|Yup. That about covers it.|
"If I could not earn a penny from my writing, I would earn my livelihood at something else and continue to write at night."
-Irving Wallace (via Michael O'Donoghue)
Yesterday, I went into my Blogger "Draft Posts" folder, where all my unfinished articles and stories reside, and deleted everything in it. It was a sad and profound moment. I knew I was never going to finish these posts, so why should they taunt me? Among the casualties: a very high-concept short story about cartoon characters (specifically, cartoon nephews) getting together in Hollywood; a far-reaching and history-minded analysis of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, one which connects it with such films as Easy Rider, The Big Chill, and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas; and a half-kidding, half-serious editorial about how Jim Henson's Muppet Babies was the beginning of the end of everything. They all bit the dust, along with a number of never-to-be-completed reviews of certain movies, including (yes) some titles from my Mill Creek Comedy Classics box set. (I haven't forgotten about it.) I honestly thought I could live like Irving Wallce suggested: earning my livelihood by day and writing at night. Kafka did it. "The Night Writer," some have called him, though that nickname brings to mind talking cars more than talking cockroaches.
Folks, I've tried, but I just can't be Kafka. Not right now, anyway.
Between working and commuting, I have only about two hours every weekday between when I finally get back home and when I have to be in bed. During that two hours, I have to eat dinner, make my daily phone call to my father and patiently listen to every detail of his event-free day, check my e-mail and social media accounts, and maybe try to watch a little TV or part of a movie. That leaves very, very little time for writing. Today, I'm using part of my two hours to write this little update. Was it worth it? You tell me. I suppose I could write on the weekends, and I try to do so, but those are my only days to catch up on laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping. and (oh, yeah) something called sleep. While it's still warm outside, it would be nice to get some fresh air occasionally, too, if possible.
Ed Wood Wednesdays is going to have to go on an indefinite hiatus for the time being, at least until my mind and body adjust to my new work schedule. All other writing projects I may have had are hereby cancelled. As always, I will probably post some brief, informal articles here from time to time, as I have always done. But I don't see myself writing anything research-heavy or complicated in the foreseeable future. This is a very troubling and disheartening time in my life. It feels like I'm putting a well-loved pet to sleep. The creative/silly side of my personality is dying. Maybe it's already dead. I just know that I'm tired all the time now. Tired of mind. Tired of body. Tired of spirit. As Lili Von Shtupp once succinctly put it, "Goddamnit, I'm exhausted."
On the bright side, I discovered a neat little obscure R&B number from the late 1950s, lurking on a compilation I've owned for years. It's called "King of Fools," and it's credited to a singer named Sam Hawkins, who currently does not even merit a Wikipedia entry. Give it a spin.