Week in Review: Week 41

Reading Time: 2 minutes

This week, as promised last week, I focused on two projects other than this blog. First, I continued research for “Harry Houdini and the Witch of Beacon Hill” by reading through the first volume of my journals. I started journaling in 1978, when I was making the transition from law school to freelancing.

I filled in these blank books as a tool to jot down my story ideas and to self-examine why I was making this writing career. Much of it is tedious and pretentious, some sophomoric. Some of the ideas I had were good, many others just plain dumb. But they do give me some insights into writer’s block that I’ll share here and in my book.

Meanwhile, though, among all the bad ideas and notes about drafts, I found nothing about the “Margery” play. I’ll press on to 1979 next.

[We] also talked at length about the entry I made 1 Sept. about transactional analysis and my internal writer. Am I going to listen to that voice saying “Dammit, Fielding, you’re a writer, let me out and let’s get on with it?” he asks. I don’t know, I reply. I’m following a mature, scientific approach that will make me more confident should I do so.

Howard W. Fielding, “Journal,” 7 September 1978
“Memories of 1978” October 13, 2022, Southbury, Connecticut. By Howard Fielding. Offered under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. The Post-It notes show areas where I wrote my about writing journey. The colored tags show places where I made notes about story and character ideas.

The other project was to prepare for my in-studio interview about the history of Bubble Wrap for The History Channel. “Brooklyn or bust!” was a bust after all. The shoot had to be rescheduled, probably later this month. Three of their “experts” had complications–one broke a leg, one had a bad haircut, and one got a burned mouth from teeth whitening. I’ll leave it to your imagination.

I doing my research for the interview, however, I discovered something new about the Bubble Wrap origin story. And that led to another discovery this week that will tear down the “they wanted to make wallpaper” theme. But that will make a great separate post.

Observations: The 23-year-old me faced many of the same frustrations as I do today and had some useful insights. I’ll share some of those in separate posts.

Interaction: Had a good long talk with the show runner for the series, who may be conducting the interview.

Professional development: Continuing to read books by a local author for review; listening to podcasts of “The Shit No One Tells You About Writing.”

Next week: On to Volume II. The play is in there somewhere; by 1981 I had completed a second draft. And back to Brooklyn?

In case you missed it

  • Week in Review: Week 47

    Week in Review: Week 47

    Reading Time: 3 minutes Modern Thanksgivings are comic tragedies of tension, travel, parades, and commercialism. We put up with all this to focus on food and family. Where is faith?

  • Time to move on …

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    Reading Time: 2 minutes What I didn’t realize at the time was that creative “work” and “a job” aren’t mutually exclusive. You can have your cake and eat it too, only in smaller portions.

  • The Mayflower Compact

    The Mayflower Compact

    Reading Time: 2 minutes The history of the Plymouth Colony is dramatic and often controversial, but that one act planted the seed of self-governance, freedom, and independence that we enjoy today.

  • Week in Review: Week 46

    Week in Review: Week 46

    Reading Time: 3 minutes As part of my research into the back story of the creation of Bubble Wrap, I needed to connect the dots of how the two inventors met. I had a good timeline with documentation for Marc Chavannes, but not enough on my own father, Alfred Fielding.

  • Week in Review: Week 45

    Week in Review: Week 45

    Reading Time: 2 minutes Digging into history and political philosophy, it’s good to be on the side of people like George Washington.

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