Friday, December 30, 2011

the intergalactic gesture of this is the end of the world

This is not actually the end of the world.

But I am going to blog today about something I never blog about, which may lead one to erroneously conclude preparations are underway for some apocalyptic occurrence.


Not really.

I do not know anything at all about movies. Everyone knows that.

Yesterday, I had coffee with one of the producers who holds the film option for The Marbury Lens. A lot of people who know me don't really know anything about writing or the writing business, just like I don't know anything about movies, television, awards shows, and the State of Delaware, which, I am convinced, does not actually exist.

Here's what a lot of people who know me and do not really know anything about writing believe:

1. Editors fix your mistakes. (Editor's fix you're mistakes.)

I just punched myself in the face for writing that.

2. Writers have to pay money to get their books published.

3. If you spend $450 and go to a Writers' Conference where people dress up in kooky costumes, swap sexual partners, and get drunk, you can also become a successful published author, providing you have enough money to pay for printing your book and you higher a good enough editor whom can fix all your spelling airs.

Why do I keep getting emails asking me to sign up and pay for these conferences?

Attention: I am NOT coming to your $450 conference to have "face time" with someone who once got an email from Nathan Bransford.

At least the emails I get from China about penises and shit like that (I run them through Google Translate -- I am not making that up) are reasonably entertaining.

Where was I?

Oh yeah. Some people ask me what, exactly, does it mean when a book is optioned for film.

You know what I say?

I say this: I don't know. Maybe I should attend that $450 conference, after all.

Just kidding.

I actually do want to talk about the film option for The Marbury Lens, and where we're at in the process of making this movie, but I just flashed on something I'd been meaning to gripe about and neglected to attend to.

I am like that when I start typing.

I never know what the next line is going to say, and before he gets really really pissed off at me for throwing his name out there, sorry Nathan.



I fly a lot.

I realize I say a lot a lot, too. I need to stop doing that. It will be one of my resolutions.

A lot is a stupid thing to say.

I am also going to make a resolution to write a novel in 2012.

I know. You are probably thinking that is a cowardly, wussie-like resolution for me to make.

Oh yeah? You try writing a book.


Just because I write a lot of them doesn't mean it's easy, or shit like that.

Don't judge.

So, anyway, when I travel, not only am I the snob who refuses to carry his entire wardrobe through the airport so he CHECKS HIS BAG, but I also carry with me the following: An iPhone, a Macbook Air, and an iPad. I carry them in a frayed black nylon backpack.

That is what we writers call "backstory."

Cha-Chinnnggg!!!! That will be $450, please.

[Note the exquisite use of the word "frayed"]

Anyway, here's the deal. Some airports, the TSA people get angry at me if I take my iPad out of my backpack. I have actually been mocked -- in San Francisco, no less -- for doing that.

"Oh!" The TSA screener shouted and pointed, laughing mockingly, "An iPad is NOT a laptop! Ha ha ha! You, sir, are a world-class buffoon!"

[TSA screeners are known to talk all haughty like that]

[Clever dialogue breakout session]

[ALWAYS avoid adverbs. Get rid of the "mockingly"]

[That is why we can charge you $450]

Okay. So, in the past month, I have flown back and forth across this continent three times.

Since I was taunted and emotionally scarred by a TSA screener at SFO, I no longer remove my iPad.

Guess what?

At one of the six or seven wonderful airports I passed through this month, leaving my iPad in my backpack was not a good idea.

At this particular airport, however, the TSA screener did not say anything to me at all. She only shook her head, pointed at another white-shirted officer, and motioned for me to go down an alternate chute.

When I got to the end of the roped-off tunnel I had been directed to, the man at the end said this to me:

"Don't be nervous."

I am not making that up.

He was in a uniform. With a badge and latex gloves on, and he said only this to me, and nothing else:

"Don't be nervous."

I should have known that "Don't be nervous" is the intergalactic greeting that roughly translates to:

In about 30 seconds, I am going to grab your balls.

Because that is exactly what happened to me.

I do not think it is possible to "not be nervous" when someone in a uniform is grabbing your balls.

This is true.

I bet shit like this never happens to Nathan Bransford.

I will tell you more about the Marbury Lens film option... soon.