Sunday, January 17, 2010

Notes on the Run: THY ION and A

So I spent the whole day on my bed, trying to sleep. And right now, at 4am, I am doing work - a lot of work - as well as having my bluetooth headset on, paired with one of my two Blackberrys.

Dabarrruuuu Burackberryyyy Pawaaaaa! Tooomahawk! Boomerang!

Yea, two Blackberrys, a Bluetooth headset, in shorts and a t-shirt. I do my best work after 12. Modnight and noon.

For dinner, though, I spent most of the evening, talking to a future collaborator. After word got out that I did some movies, I guess some people now want me to write for them as well. Unfortunately, I can only do one or two movies a year. Maybe three.

So I have to choose carefully.

Anyway, we got to talking about marriage. I don't know why. I guess, since we're Malays, we'll end up talking about marriage anyway.

This guy loooovvvveessss marriage. He loves the whole communal spirit thing. How some bonds are so strong, it can withstand a lot of shit.

Me? I'm a bit skeptical of marriage. I have never met any married couple whom, when asked, 'why did you get married' ever said, 'Oh, I love the other person' or 'I like their company'.

It's always, 'I'm OLD!' or 'I want babies!' or 'I'm horny!' or 'I'm gay and need heterosexual marriage to cover up my gay-ness!'

Lamest excuse I ever heard of? 'I want someone to eat with.'

Oh well. A few years ago, I would have shat on the very concept of marriage. Took me a long time to discover that even though the usual motherfuckers usually judge me, I don't have to judge them. It is a waste of time. I'm better off doing movies.

I got a few projects lined up this year. Some old, some new. A documentary or two, some comics, maybe a game, some TV shows. One or two movies. Possibly three. Any more, and I would have to get myself cloned.

Which reminds me. My coffee is almost finished. I need more coffee. NOTE TO SELF: Buy more coffee tomorrow.

I turned down some offers to write novels this year. I wrote a novel once. An adaptation of a movie called Susuk. I didn't write the script for the movie, just the English novelisation.

During the book launch (there was a launch! Hurrah!), there was perhaps only one guy there to ask questions about how one goes about to be an author. The others, I suspect, were sitting there because there were chairs at the launch and the bookstore did not have very much in terms of chairs.

"Well," I said. "Somebody asked me to write this book, and so I did."

I wasn't trying to take the Mickey out of him. Wasn't trying to mock him. It was true.

Usually, I would be sitting at home, watching porn, and then somebody would call me up and ask me, "Hey, you wanna do this? Or that?"

Or, "Hey, we're having problems with this. Can you do something about it?"

I was in my 20s, and usually, when people ask me to try something new, barring homosexuality and fucking goats, I would say yes, and tell them yes, that I would have a go at it.

And then I would continue watching porn.

A few days later, or perhaps in some cases, the very next day, I would come back home with some notes from a meeting.

Never planned it. My plan was, the original plan was, to work as a computer programmer until I was 55, retire, look back at the wasted life I lived, and start writing a book.

I still have not written that book, but I have written a lot of things. Which reminds me. Keyboard. I need a new keyboard. This one is missing letters already. The letters N, T, H, Y, O and I are all gone. Oh, and A as well, because I also write in Bahasa Malaysia and that language uses a lot of As.

NOTE: Go and buy USB keyboards this week. HP makes the best keyboards.

These days, I feel old. I get young people coming up to me and say, "I wanna do this!" or "I wanna do that!"

What the fuck can I tell you, man? I do not have the answers to the universe. There were many times I was wrong. Like that plan I had for my life. I am wrong 50% of the time. My instincts, however, are always right. 100%. No questions asked.

So, follow your instincts.

My instinct was, to write. I once wrote 17 short stories in a year. Copying the style of Stephen King, and then, miserably failing to imitate RA Lafferty, I sent all the stories to the school magazine.

One year, they published around six of my stories. I remember one teacher - Miss Hasni, who was managing the publication of the school magazine - sitting me down, and asking me, "What do you want to be, when you get out of college?"

It was one of those serious questions. Not the kind of thing your primary school teacher asked you in Standard One. That was 10 years past. I was 17. I was on the precipice of determining where I was to go in life.

So I fixed my gaze, cleared my throat, and said, "I want to be a financial speculator."

She was perplexed. I had dreams where I would speculate on the US dollar and drive America to bankruptcy.

Now, being the most arrogant man on the planet, it would be easy for me to descend into hubris.

So I must say here, that I am not the greatest writer in the world. I'm not even the greatest writer in this country. The only difference between me and some of the greatest writers in the world, is that I write. A lot.

I know some fantastic writers, and they do not write. Some are afraid that they would write crap. I'm not scared. I've made quite possibly all the mistakes one can make in writing, in writing. And I am arrogant enough to think that may be true.

I do not discriminate between jobs. I would write a blog, status updates, movies, articles, poems, plays, novels, short stories, comic books, games, whatever. People ask me to do it, and plonk down 30% advance, and 90% of the time, I would do it.

I once wrote translations for RM40 per paragraph. The only problem was, there was only one paragraph to be translated.

Writing this blog has afforded me many opportunities. Even having a Facebook account opened doors I never knew were there. One of the writing jobs I may be taking came from a Facebook acquaintance.

My work in newspapers and TV and magazines also helped open up many possibilities. There is a shortage of writers in Malaysia. There are so many things to write.

The reason why a lot of writers eventually end up with a Government job, or sell burgers by the roadside, is due to many factors. It is not an easy vocation, but if you treat life as abundant, it will be abundant. I mean, I'm broke all the time, but I always have too much to write.

Which reminds me.

I need to get back to work. See you in a bit.