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Behind the Scenes

Brian caught me cutting up some strips of paper.

“What are you doing?”

“I’m letting Fate decide,” I said.

“Exactly what now?”

“See, I’ve been driving myself crazy trying to decide what year to set my new story in. I know I want it set in the early 1900’s but I need to pinpoint what year.”

“So, just pick a year.”

“That’s what I’m doing! I have listed a year on each piece of paper. Now I’m going to ball each slip up and then draw one. Whichever ball I pick, that’s the year of my story.”

“Ooooh no‚Ķdon’t ruin the magic for me.”

*I toss the tiny paper balls in a bowl, swirl them around like hot potatoes and, finally, pull one out*

“1908! That’s the winner!”

“Wheeeee.”

“Shut up.”

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The Root of all my Anxieties

I was never a Disney kid. Something about Mickey creeped me out. I think it was his laugh. That was the laugh of a serial killer. And Goofy…what the hell was that? A talking dog that had a dog as a pet? How messed up was that?

And don’t get me started on the murderous intentions in Peter Pan. Those mermaids straight up wanted to kill Wendy.

I was a Warner Brothers kid. I loved Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Yosemite Sam, and all those crazy dudes.

As much as I loved Warner Brothers cartoons and their dry sense of humour, I have to admit that, looking back, I have to blame them as the root of most of my anxieties.

Do you remember the cartoon where Sylvester the cat wakes up to find that his family has left to go on vacation?

He’s left all alone. Kinda like that psycho rich white kid in that Christmas movie I refuse to watch.

And then the cat has an anxiety attack realizing that there is no food in the kitchen except for canned cat food.

CANNED. CAT. FOOD.

For the next five minutes, Sylvester tries to open the cans. Explosions. Anvils. All the stuff.

And then a mouse comes out of the wall and twirls a can opener.

The chase begins. Cat pursues mouse and after much shenanigans, the cat comes out victorious with the can opener. He is saved from starvation!

BUT as Sylvester goes into the kitchen he sees that the cabinets are padlocked shut.

He hears a taunting whistle from behind him.

He turns to see a mouse, holding a key, and then he disappears into the wall.

Sylvester falls into a puddle, crying, starvation just around the corner.

That shit messed me up.

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Measuring up

This will be a quick one. It’s something I want to say but I don’t have any other forum to say it so…here it is.

Today, someone commented that they had not had the success that I have had in regards to writing.

I was a bit thrown by this because….success? I’m successful? When did this happen? Why didn’t anyone tell me?

And then I heard a little voice in my head whisper, “Darling, what do you think success is?”

“I think success is a little bit more than $4 royalties from Amazon, for starters.”

I could almost hear my Muse take a long sip of ambrosia to calm their nerves so as to not slap me out of existence.

“Darling, the fact you have written stories and actually pushed them out of the nest IS a success.”

*long drink*

“Idiot.”

So, the moral here is that no matter how much of a third tier loser you think you are, someone out there might actually think you’re pretty cool.

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Comedy, Pathos, and a Muse with Boundary Issues

Sunday morning, slightly hung over and I’m in the shower. I hear a familiar voice inside my head.

Muse: Pathos is the bedrock of comedy.

Me, rubbing conditioner in my hair: Uh huh.

Muse: And that’s why Call Me Kat is doomed to failure.

Me: I haven’t watched it. Have you?

Muse: Don’t need to. All the evidence is right there in the trailer. Awkward but lovable girl quits her job and starts to live her dream of running a cat cafe…shenanigans ensue. Where is the conflict? Where is the sadness? In a comedy, you need to torture your main character probably even more than in a drama. The only difference is that in comedy, you’re twisting the screws for laughs.

Me: But Call Me Kat is basically a rip off of Miranda and that show was a blast. How could it go wrong?

Muse: True, Miranda was good but do you remember when you stopped watching?

Me: Somewhere in the third season. It wasn’t funny anymore.

Muse: And that’s because Miranda was happy. She got her dream beau. Before that her comedy was based on how large, awkward, and socially inept she was. Her friends ridicule her and every adventure is a set up for humiliation. It was hilarious!

Me: Huh.

Muse: And this Kat show is starting at Miranda Third Season.

Me: Huh. Can I finish doing my hair now?

Muse: Sure. Just remember, I called it.

Me: Great. Get out.