Pondering the Big Questions…

I recently received an email from a guy who said he knew me in high school but he thought I had died. He wrote, “My mother told me that you died in San Francisco in Haight-Ashbury, which I believed for many years. I now know that that story is not true.” I’m pretty sure he’s right because I’d have been there if the event had occurred and I do not recollect it happening. Would I remember if it had? That’s a good question and I fully intend to ponder it.

Of course, you’d never know I’m still breathing at all if you depended on news from this blog. I’ve been terribly remiss in writing for it. You’d never guess I’m still living in Mexico (I am). Or that I’ve done a bit of traveling around Mexico, and even gone back to Texas for visits a couple of times (I have). So, my apologies. I’d claim it’s been a busy year and hope to skate on that excuse but that’s not entirely true. I admittedly do spend many hours and days—perhaps too many—pondering the big questions in life (see previous paragraph) instead of producing words and sentences and stories and… well, blog entries on this website. I fear I’ve become a prodigious ponderer.

Okay, that’s not quite true, either. I’ve always spent a lot of time pondering. Even as a child I often had that faraway look, or so I’ve been told. And I don’t doubt it. The fact of being in the world has always intrigued me. And wondering what makes the world tick, that has kept my curiosity working overtime, as well. In truth, the fact that the world exists at all, as opposed to not existing, seems pretty mysterious to me. Thinking about those things can be a full-time job.

Still, I have been writing. I’m working on a novel. And I’m also working on a TV project that I’m loath to describe in any detail because it’s such a crazy business. So far, I’ve learned to be prudent about what I say about the TV business as it seems so unpredictable. But I have noticed some things worth mentioning—

The executives in Hollywood/Los Angeles are always upbeat and excited because it’s a necessary (if insufficient) condition for getting anything done there. They’re always contending with money issues and ratings and those sorts of things, much of it beyond their control but nonetheless absolutely essential for commercial success. Did I mention that the TV industry is a commercial business? Well, it is.

On the other hand, the folks who do the main creative lifting (writers, directors, etc.) always seem like they’re about to croak from stress. They complain a lot. Their creative efforts are getting buried beneath commercial interests. They run into rejection more often than acceptance. They face cruel demands on their time and energies, including impossible deadlines that inevitably and unaccountably seem to become non-deadlines, though you can never treat them that way. What absolutely had to be finished last week is still lingering in limbo next month. Maybe even next year. And so on. As a result, writers and directors rarely seem upbeat or excited. They tend to seem… well, the description that occurs to me is eternally frustrated. Perhaps even doomed.

I don’t feel that way myself. But then, I’m still a novice. My experience thus far, though, does lead me to one conclusion: The TV industry has a lot of “hurry up and wait, hurry up and wait” in it. A whole lot. So I’ve been practicing my patience. Maybe that way I won’t end up feeling doomed.

Until the next time…