Day 19: Prisoner

Day 19: Prisoner

Day 19 of my incarceration. Will is holding steady. The guards have seemed to loosen up a little bit from my continuous attempts to play and show them my belly. Feeding continues twice a day, always the same dry bits of food. Of course, I scarf them down like it’s the best food ever, to the satisfaction of the afore mentioned guards. I figure, if I pretend to like it here long enough, their watchfulness will slip, and then I make my move. The refrigerator will be mine.

Cooper is looking at my right now as I type this. I could *swear* that’s the blog entry that he’s currently writing in his fluffy little head. And his head is *extra* fluffy today, because we washed him. Finally. Man, it was a long time coming, and man is he just the SOFTEST THING THAT I’VE EVER FREAKING TOUCHED. It’s actually ridiculous how soft he is. I can’t handle it.

I was going to go back and pretend like I’d actually written a full-length post last night like I said I would, but now I’m thinking I’ll just leave it as-is. That was what I could write yesterday; it’s a legit entry. No cheating required.

Today, again, I’m freaking exhausted. And in a good way. I was exhausted in a good way last night, too. It’s the kind of exhaustion that we all feel when we allow ourselves to exhale because the good fight has been fought, we won, and now we’re tired. Cooper just sighed, in fact, as I wrote that. See, he feels me. Or he’s found a fatal flaw in his latest plan for world domination and he knows he won’t get any sleep tonight as he figures a way around it. Crafty dog, that one.

I started watching “The Searchers” tonight. It’s a classic western, the kind that is good enough to inspire generations of filmmakers the follow behind it. Well, it inspired me with a story idea, I hadn’t even *seen* it yet. I just knew the story, knew that it was something special, and at the right moment, listening to the right song, gave me a flash of an idea. So, I’m finally following up and watching the damn thing. The first thing that struck me about it were the landscapes that are displayed right off the top after the credits. It was filmed in Monument Valley, Utah…which is funny since the film is set in Texas…and Monument Valley is, well, *extremely* recognizable. That’s why you’d want to film there. I just don’t know why they didn’t just set the movie in Utah.

I won’t ruin it by talking about the plot, should you decide you ever want to watch it, but I will say that it’s the story of an obsessed man; an Ahab of a man. And *that’s* what inspired my story. I’m also realizing more and more acutely that I really like the idea of taking old stories, set in older times, like westerns, or sailing the high seas, and twisting those into SciFi. It just makes so much sense – the old west or the unmapped world are exactly like space! It’s just so easy, and I mean that in a *good* way. Like, it works. With some credibility. It feels more real when it’s a story adapted from those time periods, because that’s the way things really were back when the world was a giant unknown and dangerous and exciting place.

“But isn’t that unoriginal?” you might ask. Well, sure, if you write something in an unoriginal way. I was just reading an article on screenwriting the other day about how you can’t copyright an idea. You can only copyright an actual written story. And the reason is this: there are no original ideas. Jung called a collective unconscious, if you want to get metaphysical about it, but what he meant on the bald face of it all is that we’ve been telling the same stories for as long as we *could* tell stories. Those stories all exist inside of  every one of us. I don’t believe that metaphorically, it’s very much a reality from my point of view.

I remember having an argument about that sentiment a long long time ago, with a similarly overly-opinionated fellow as myself, and him countering with “If there are no original story ideas, if they’ve all been told before, then what’s the point?” What I wish I’d been able to articulate then was the power in what I was proposing existed. If these stories, these empathies for certain stories, are inside all of us, then tapping into that is incredibly powerful. It doesn’t matter if a story has been told before, it’s about how *you* tell the story that matters. Often times, all that really matters is that you *tell* the story instead of keeping it locked inside you. Then, if you’ve told the story well, it connects you to others in a very powerful way.

Shakespeare is a perfect example of this, to me, because he *literally* ripped off older plays or legends and put them to new words. Refashioned them to appeal to the people of the day, both educated and not. And it worked. The guy was considered a genius in his own day, as well as today. That’s pretty impressive.

Anyway…long way to say that I’m happy and *inspired* to be taking old stories and trying to make them new. The core of the story is what matters anyway, and anyone who can take that and insert it into something new and fresh is a good story teller. I hope that I can do the same.

That’s all for tonight. A little rambly, but hey, that’s what happens when you’re happy-tired and your dog is planning evil schemes. Fluffy bastard. I love him.