Guilt is a useless emotion. Rarely do I allow it to push me around. If it begins to seep into the edges of my brain and heart, a little bit of logic pushes it back into the darker recesses from which it crept. Lately, I have been bashing it with a shovel, hoping to kill and bury it before it wrecks my idyllic idleness of mind and action. Keeping busy since my return from Hawaii in mid May by engaging in under the table employment in order to climb above the demands of two state property taxes and a medical bill from last December’s anal probe where I didn’t even get a chance to see it on the big screen monitor because they knocked me out even though I requested they not, has been my excuse to stay away from the keyboard and hacking out any blogs, let alone any great pieces of literature. Like that was going to happen.
Just days before the frost hit, I finished painting two sides of the old one room schoolhouse. When I began I knew it would be a race against the weather. A few days before I finished I competed against an oncoming head cold, caught at Passing the Peace in church, the first service I was able to attend because of my work schedule. I hate Passing the Peace and I'll never win a prize for promoting it either.
With the paint brushes cleaned and packed away until I tackled the mantel at my sister’s house, I channeled my energies into making a video. I spent two hours story-boarding the idea at the public library in Saratoga. Then I set up my studio, gathered props and began to shoot a series of short scenes. I sketched out my main character, a squirrel, on a notepad and I was off to production. The hardest shot involved getting a walnut to fall into the black hole of government waste. It is difficult to tie a piece of nylon thread around a nut and Scotch tape doesn’t stick very well on the crevassed surface.
Shooting the scenes in sequence kept the editing task from being a chore. After sleeping on a draft movie, more creative ideas evolved. I reshot a couple of scenes and quickly spliced the shots into a two minute video. I even had time to go down to the local dump with Dad to recycle bottles, plastics and my empty paint cans.
I expected voiceover to be a nightmare, listening to my voice drone on again and again. I combed out stutters that occurred when my brain froze or pauses because I couldn’t find the next thought even with a script in hand. I slapped on the headphones and I found it amazingly easy to do the voiceovers once I heard my voice sounding eerily like my sister. I reasoned I could blame everything on her. In the end, ad lib turned out to be best.
I laughed out loud when I saw the first movie make. Finally I understood the insanity of cult movies and actors delivering the dumbest jokes. They actually think the lines are funny. But what is really hilarious is that some big studio paid for the project.
I, however, operated on a two day schedule and a financial budget of $17.58. A charcoal pencil, two pads of tracing paper, a box of crayons and two boxes of pudding. I needed five boxes, but I found three in the cellar pantry with expiration dates of 2007.
Posting it on YouTube was as easy as attaching a document to an email. Small wonder why there are so many trash videos out there. Any buffoon can do it with a click of a mouse. Kind of like writing a blog.
A day later I had 90 views. That’s it? In a world where a six year old kid hoaxes a flight across Colorado and gets a million hits in 24 hours? I worked two long days on that video! I asked all my faceBook friends to watch it. I even had Diablo, my twittering cat, hawk the video. After all she has nearly 800 followers.
So I came crashing back down to earth and not in a Jiffy-Pop helium balloon. Guilt won’t motivate me to get back to writing. The reality is it is hard work and after spending two years writing the next book, no one will read it anyway. But I still have something to say. That’s what will motivate me.
Anyone want some pudding? Enjoy some while watching the video. Click on this YouTube link to view it. 2 minutes! That is all I ask. For now.