Blogs Are Stupid

Doesn't anyone believe in Dear Diary anymore? What happened to the joy of putting actual pen to paper? And why does every ordinary Jane and John think they can write well enough to burden the world with their scribblings? It’s a mystery that badly needs solving. My first entry contains my thoughts about blogging and will set your expectations. The rest will probably be stream of consciousness garbage, much like you’ll find on any other blog. Perhaps we will both come away enlightened.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

I Got Nothin

Nothing that has inspired me, or annoyed me, or excited me. It's been raining all day, I am men-stroo-eight-ing, (there's just no good way to say that. I hate all the stupid euphemisms related to menstruation, so I'm just laying it out there.) and I feel very blah. I don't feel like writing. I don't feel like reading. I don't feel like painting my toenails. I don't feel like baking. And I damn sure don't feel like cleaning.

So...what to post, what to post....

Did you ever go back and read something you wrote, and laugh yourself silly in an embarassed 'what was I thinking' kind of way?

A couple years ago, I decided to write a romance novel. I figured it was a good way to cut my teeth, because any idiot can write a romance, right? Not to knock Ms. Steele, Ms. Woodiwiss, Ms. Plain and Ms. Price, but one does not have to posess a great deal of talent to write about dewey eyed innocents living in drafty castles who are seduced by handsome but tortured rogues, who unknowingly take their virginity in a moment of passion but then are sorry for it later. Throw in a couple of heaving bosoms and throbbing members, and you got yourself a best seller, right? It's a formula that never fails because there are always women who would rather read that kind of schlock than read anything of substance.

But I wanted to write something a little different. I wanted to write something smart and sassy and real. Sorta like Jackie Collins, but with more heart, and a really strong and intelligent heroine. Yeah. I could do that. And so, I set about doing so.

So, ummm, the thing I learned is that I'm not really cut out for fiction writing. Memoir type narrative is definitely my niche. I also learned that writing really hot sex without employing one of the abundant euphemisms that plague literature, is a lot easier said than done, unless you're okay with something that is more suited to Penthouse Forum than a Chick Lit bestseller. And, I suck at it. I wrote about 25 pages and abandoned it.

I was recently sorting through all of my Word documents and discarding those I no longer need. PTSA flyers, Team Mom letters, etc. And I ran accross the product of that misguided initiative. Since I haven't anything new and profound to write about, I thought I would post some of that for your amusement. Hey...I can laugh at myself. Today, you can laugh at me too.

So here, for your Hump Day reading enjoyment is the Introduction to my never titled novel about a never named action movie star and the relationship that develops out an accidental meeting between him and an average woman living an average life. Stunning concept, isn't it?? Oh my.

If you feel brave, join me, and post something of your own that you wrote, that you have since realized isn't really what you thought it was. I think it's cathartic in a way, and definitely helped me find my style and my define my goals in regard to my writing a little more clearly. In other words, I realized that I'm not happy with sucking. So, even bad writing serves a valuable purpose. Everything we create helps shape us.

Laughing and jeering are appropriate, but please don't throw anything rotten. My laptop is not under warranty anymore. I give you....


Really Crappy Untitled Novel

by Blog Antagonist


Prologue


Its been two years now, and Hollywood still doesn’t know what to make of my story. They refuse to believe that the life of one they allowed into their perfect glittering world was not offered up in sacrificial servitude and naked exposition. They refuse to believe that secrets can be kept in Hollywood, though almost everyone has a few of their own that they guard with desperate ferocity. Their disbelief however, does not give them peace.

Its not really my story that disquiets them of course. I was never one of them, and they do not concern themselves with the details of a life unworthy of their interest or their scrutiny. They worry, however, that in discounting me, they made themselves vulnerable. Perhaps I heard something, perhaps I witnessed an unguarded moment. And they worry that such a moment has found it way onto these pages. They worry that pillow talk will be their undoing.

Or, perhaps in their pomposity, they simply cannot forgive the all but insignificant role that Hollywood really plays in my story. I didn’t court or covet their lifestyle, and I probably reviled them as much as they disregarded me. But above all they begrudge me the intimacies of a life considered to be a public enterprise. But he was more than an enterprise to me.

He was a rising star, moderately famous, often criticized as much as he was praised, and like many up and comings, he had not yet been given the chance to really shine. He had been pigeonholed, as often happens to those who lack the power and prestige to pick and choose. Nevertheless, he had created a niche for himself. When I met him, he was America’s reigning action hero, a playboy, and a heartthrob.

Men liked him, because although he was an unabashed bad ass in the way most men could never hope to emulate, they could identify with him. He wasn’t so handsome or so polished that he made other men feel inadequate. They could see themselves in the roles he played, without stretching the boundaries of reality beyond what their collective imagination could reasonably process. Conversely, he was just handsome enough that women found him completely irresistible. His everyman appeal allowed them to fantasize about him with satisfying plausibility. They could believe that only time and circumstance separated them from a man of his caliber.

The roles he garnered relied not on his acting skills, but on his ability to be intimidating, while still vulnerable enough to charm the ladies who got dragged to his films by their husbands and boyfriends. He could act, and quite well, but he rarely had to. In several of his movies, he was billed as the star, but uttered only a few lines of dialogue. He glowered and raged, flexed and pummeled. And America ate it up. It was all they asked or expected of him.

He didn’t complain about his roles, though he knew he was capable of more. He understood that he had to pay his dues, and he was truly grateful for the chance just to be in the movies. He had spent the lean years peddling his own scripts, and making his own low-budget independent films while he waited to be discovered. They had earned some acclaim, but he knew success did not happen overnight for most, if at all. So he took what was offered, and he learned the business. He made contacts, and he waited for the day when he wielded enough power to choose the roles he knew himself to be worthy of. He waited for the freedom to tell everybody else to go to hell. That day was fast approaching, but in the meantime, he exploited his status as America’s “Favorite Action Hero” to the fullest, and used it toward that end. It wasn’t cash that kept him accepting those roles, but clout.

Only one of his films had failed to do well at the box office, though they all did well once they went to home video. That film had strayed from the proven formula in an attempt to exploit his dual appeal. Hollywood had long known that such a vehicle was a true rarity. As a rule, chick flicks and guy movies are two entirely separate entities, with any attempt to marry the two bound to end in failure. But every once in a while, a daring producer would try to make a name for himself by doing what so few had been able to do. As was often the case, the gamble did not pay off. The box office returns were bleak, but he did not consider it a failure. He knew that there is no such thing as bad publicity, and as long as people were talking, he was happy. It hadn’t been so very long ago, that nobody even knew his name.

Understanding the person behind the performer was not a privilege that many were granted. He was always personable and professional; unfailingly gracious and solicitous to his fans. But never revealed too much of himself to those outside his small circle of trusted friends and associates. His gruff, tough guy persona belied his true depth and sensitivity. His brawn seemed to contradict the possibility that he had any brains to speak of, and he was often taken for nothing more than beautiful, but vacuous beefcake.

Its true that he was not well educated. But he was sagacious and street-wise, and he knew people. Ten years of tending bar in Greenwich Village had made him an infallible judge of character. He was routinely underestimated, but he put forth no conscious effort to change the public perception. He surprised people, and because of that, he was remembered. It gave him an edge that he was too shrewd to squander, even if it meant taking it on the chin now and then for being a lackwit.

He was audacious as hell, and it was often said that his ego was a bigger star than he was. In truth narcissism wasn’t his style. But in Hollywood, you have to know how to sell yourself, and you have to be utterly convinced of your own marketability. It can mean the difference between success and failure. He had to act as if demanding a $30 million dollar paycheck was a perfectly reasonable thing to do, and he did it with conviction.

Describing him aesthetically is difficult, because his appeal was so much more than just the sum of his physical features. Rattling off a laundry list of characteristics in an attempt to explain it, would be a bit like listing paint colors in an effort to describe the beauty and enchantment of a great painting. It fails to convey the utterly visceral response inspired by both.

That is not to discount his physical attributes as unimportant. To do so would be to deny the effect his presence had on others. Often, it was experienced as a tactile sensation. He was felt before he was seen. Whether you loved him or hated him, he was not a person who could be ignored.

He wasn’t conventionally handsome, but the enigmatic character of his face was compelling. The secret of his heritage hid there, giving him an ethnic beauty that couldn’t quite be defined. It was rugged, but exotic; fierce, but sensual. The mystery of his face was captivating.

Nevertheless, people usually noticed his bald head and bulging biceps first. His hair was completely shorn in a trend popularized by other actors, wrestling stars, and certain fringe groups. Some rumors suggested that he did it in order to defy the stereotypes that inevitably arose in the face of speculation about his ethnic heritage. Black, White, Latino…these were labels he was not interested in cultivating or perpetuating. But others suggested it was merely an affectation meant to enhance his menacing appearance. Whichever the case, it was a look that suited him. The bareness of his head emphasized its beauty, and accentuated the strong line of his jaw.

He was long legged and lean through the hips, with broad shoulders and an expansive chest. His entire body was honed to muscled perfection by years of training and discipline. It looked like a finely sculpted work of art, but performed like a well oiled machine. He could do any stunt, perform any feat of strength that he was asked. Men wondered what it would be like to possess such raw power. Women wondered what it would be like to be possessed by it.

But it was his eyes that really commanded and held one’s attention. Jet black and bottomless; long lashed and framed by finely arched but masculine ebony brows, they could be as open and expressive as the eyes of a child, or as blank as a canvas devoid of brushstrokes. They flashed hard like onyx when he was angry, chilling with recumbent rage. But when he was feeling genial, they twinkled with mischief and danced with humor. And, as many a starlet could attest, those eyes would smolder with perfect, languid sensuality. When he smiled his incandescent smile, his eyes smiled too. His face was transformed by that smile.

And who am I to speak of him with such intimacy? My name is Elizabeth Pearson Vogel. Prior to April 2002, I was indifferent to him and all that he was. I was a shell-shocked divorcee, struggling to find my feet as a single parent and pay the bills without taking a dime in alimony from my cheating bastard of an ex-husband. Hollywood might as well have been Mars, so far removed was it, literally and figuratively from my life.

I knew of him of course. He was on the cover of every trade publication, ladies magazine and gossip rag there was. You couldn’t pass a grocery store check-out without seeing his face. The internet was awash with fan sites and picture trading groups dedicated to him. Movie posters bearing his glowering visage plastered bus stop shelters video store windows, and taxi Marquis.

In my estimation, he was nothing more than another muscle-bound buffoon, overexposed and under talented. I didn’t find him outstanding in any respect, and I was mystified by his appeal. Strangely enough, it was those very words that brought him to me.

This is the story of how (no name chosen yet) came in to my life and changed it forever. But this is no Harlequin Romance, no Cinderella story. There is a Prince Charming, and there is a heroine badly in need of rescue. But there is no happily ever after. I wonder if there ever really is. Perhaps, in the preceding, I have painted and idyllic picture of him and if so, I’ve done him an injustice. He wasn’t a perfect human being. But he was perfectly human, which is why America loved him. Its why I loved him. Its why I killed for him.

4 Comments:

  • At 10:51 PM, Blogger R.G. said…

    Wow, thanks for posting that fiction piece. Great little hook at the end there!

    P.S. I like your replacement "no prayer in school" icon. :-)

     
  • At 6:53 AM, Anonymous Kvetch said…

    I think you have the rest of it in you, BA, I just think that your own real life is what's eeking to get out of that amazing head of yours first!!!

     
  • At 10:08 AM, Blogger sunshine scribe said…

    I'm with Kvetch on this one. I really enjoyed reading this and applaud your sharing it. I am way too chicken.

     
  • At 1:32 PM, Blogger Blog Antagonist said…

    You girls are too kind. Thanks. I think I'll hang onto it, but I don't really see myself taking it any further. Maybe someday when I'm a favorite author, I'll bring it out and all my fans can laugh at my early works.

     

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