Not too long ago I listened to an interview with the author Curtis Sittenfeld (on NPR, yes of course) in which she said something like, “I used to think a writer shouldn’t have two things if she wants to finish her novel: Have children and write a blog. And now I have a daughter.”
Well, I don’t have children. But I do have a blog.
There is so, so much more I want to write about.
The flicks of Woody Allen, 21st century dinner party etiquette, and the
passing firing of Joe Morgan, to name a few (“We come not to bury Morgan, but to praise him.”). The approaching on-slaught of the holidays, a review of the new Springsteen documentary The Promise and the new Muppet named, well, um, Walter, to name a few more.
A year ago today I started this blog. What a year it has been, on both good and bad terms! And no doubt I shall reappear with a blog, probably in a way cooler format, though. But what started as a daily writing exercise has– as even the most casual observer most notice– not been happening too often, and when I get a little time to write, it can’t be for the blog– for now. (In other words, we need a new modus operandi.)
I want to thank you, yes you!, my faithful blog readers. The best part has been hearing from new friends, keeping up with old friends, and even being ready by a stranger or two.
So, keep the faith and keep reading the Internet (you’ll get to the end sometime soon). A Wally blog will be back. As I take a leave of absence, here’s an essay I wrote several years back for a screenwriting class at UCLA Extension in good old Westwood, California, entitled ‘Why I Write.’
Why I write: Because the position of manager of the New York Metropolitans is currently filled by Willie Randolph, and everyone from George Vecsey down to the drunk 22 year old in loge section G, seat 14 A will tell you he’s nowhere near getting fired. [Editor’s Note: Uh, life changes quickly. Check back here in a week.] Because although I’m a trained actor who once nonetheless endured abject humiliation for the idolatry of Carson Daly by appearing gratis on a pilot for something entitled ‘Cyberhood,’ the people who currently have the power haven’t figured out what to do with me yet. (Whew. That was a fancy way of saying I’m the male Tea Leoni of my generation.) Because although I make a really wicked clams risotto, it’s the only dish I make that is wicked. Or features clams. Or is a risotto.
Because even though my brain knows its way around a Cole Porter lyric the way Cole Porter’s brain knew its way around the city-streets of Paris, my brain apparently forget to tell my voice. Because I can’t quite bring myself to complete the last few lines of the application for Rutgers School of Law, Newark. And even if I could, do you know anyone who keeps a stamp handy in this day and age?
Because the truth is refreshing, but lies are even more delicious. Because if I sit down to peck at the computer after I’ve had just a bit too much good wine or just a little cheap vodka, I can almost convince myself I’m Aaron Sorkin. Because I still can’t figure out precisely why you’re supposed to balance your checkbook. Because it’s been said by someone far less handsome and far more modest than I that Washington is Hollywood for ugly people. And because I’ve gone on to surmise that Hollywood is strikingly similar to the world of off-off-Broadway, only there’s a slight chance that at the end of Hollywood, they give you a beach house.
Because I know the difference between ‘your’ and ‘you’re.’ Because the position of Zac Helm is apparently already being filled by Zac Helm. Because it turned out I could kick a dodge ball about as well as I could dodge a dodge ball—which was about as well as I could tell you the chemical properties of the rubber used to make up the kind of ball ineffectively used in dodge ball. Because I’ll turn thirty soon, and while everyone I know who is currently in their thirties tells me it’s a better decade than their twenties, they also choose to watch Jay Leno over Jon Stewart, so what the hell do they know, really? And because I can no longer hold my liquor than way I used to be able to hold my liquor, and so the only logical course of events is to write about that most distressing course of events.
Because I absolutely adore run-on sentences. And because like the writer/performer Spalding Gray, I find life hard, so hard that I sometimes think, ‘Wow. Life is so hard that Spalding Gray hurled himself off the Staten Island Ferry and into the freezing-cold water. That’s how hard life is.’ However, unlike the late Mr. Gray, I know how to swim.
Why I write: A writer who had a more difficult upbringing than I, and thus who we shall presume is smarter, for that and other reasons that to list here would take us onto a verboten second page, once wrote, ‘Writing is acting is directing is living your life.’
Because I want to live my life.