Thursday, March 20, 2008

There's Been A Big Story



My one and only attempt at collaborative writing was in the seventh grade. My friend K (not his real initial) and I decided in a burst of boredom, ambition, and access to my dad's old Tandy computer to write a story about yearbook camp (an event we were looking forward to in high school -- if this doesn't tell you all you need to know about the sad desolate nature of my social life, nothing will). We created not-so-thinly veiled portraits of our friends and enemies while my mother's creepy-ass portraits of tribal warriors from New Zealand stared down at us. For inspiration, we'd pace and shake our tornado bottles (plastic bottles filled with water and dishwashing soap -- shake and you'd have a tornado) in the small space off the garage that served as an office. If we'd lived in a town with a Chinese restaurant that delivered, we'd probably have tried to order take-out and settle in for the night, like they did on all the old newspaper shows; there's been a big story and we're going to be here all night!

Our final product, a real exercise in wish fulfilment, makes me laugh now. Our enemies suffered horribly under such fine writing as "Charles couldn't get head if he drew it himself" while our friends made plans to meet their new beloveds at Star Trek conventions. I ended up with the hot yearbook teacher (he didn't exist -- a figure draw solely from the imaginative powers of me and K) and K ended up with a girl (the one real bit of fiction in the piece). By the end, we were pissed as hell at each other; there'd been a lot of push/pull in terms of sentences. Plus, K wanted to illustrate the whole thing and decorate it with stickers which I thought would trivialize the power of our sentences. But it got done and as I watched page after page print off on the slow dot-matrix printer, I felt nothing but pride. Neither of us ever attended yearbook camp; I was "dating" my high school English teacher, and K had become obsessed with listening to George Michael, decorating his room, and pretending to be straight. We had a lot more to learn about writing fiction, but we were both becoming pretty skilled at living it.

Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I'll play it and tell you what it is later." Miles Davis

Cocktail Hour
Drinking novel suggestion: Tweak Nic Scheff

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy first day of spring!

12 comments:

Brian in Mpls said...

Your attaction candle is working

Anonymous said...

I paid the price for putting full frontal nudity of me in my high school yearbook.--Daniel Granger

Anonymous said...

That photo looks familiar.--John Ricci

Charles Gramlich said...

Collaboration is very very difficult. It made for an interesting story here, though.

Anonymous said...

Conrad and I worked well together.--Ford Madox Ford

Anonymous said...

RIP Paul Scofield. You upheld the British tradition of excellence in acting.--Oscar Winner

Anonymous said...

Such a fetching lass. Makes me feel like baying at the moon.

Enjoy your blog

Anonymous said...

Let's put a smile on that face.--The Joker

eric1313 said...

Great post. Collaboration works best when one person has final say over the product. Luckily, I ususally do that with my collaborations. But sometimes others get last say, too, so you just have to let it go. The good lines will get through, but if they don't, then don't collaborate with them anymore.

I bet your HS English teacher was hotter than mine. Mrs. Stapleton was a bit on the dowdy side.

peace out

Anonymous said...

My geometry teacher was not a beautiful woman. Her face had the look of being in a permenant state of recovery from a battle with acne, her lips were uninspired, her eyes hidden by bangs, and the one promiment feature was a slight pug nose that drew the observers attention.

The instant she turned to write on the blackboard a hush fell over the class, as side conversations and activities ceased, at least among the male members of the class. In that instant she became the most beautiful woman I had seen.

Short in stature, she reached up to begin her writing near the top of the blackboard. Her weight shifted to her left leg, the hip cocked slightly, the heal of her right foot rose off the ground as she reached up. The chalk strikes the blackboard in a very precise though soft and rythymic motions. With each motion of the arm and hand, her ass moved in small circular motions, perfectly formed within and accented by tight baby blue trousers. Her gorgeous brown hair, streaming down her back, danced left and right over that
lovely sight.

Lana Gramlich said...

Funky little table in the picture!
Regarding collaboration, I love the quote from Q in Star Trek/NG; "I'm not good in groups. It's difficult to work in a group when you're omnipotent." ;)

Anonymous said...

i kinda hate nic scheff