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
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 …
Reading Time: 2 minutes I didn’t have the necessary devotion, interest, motivation, or drive to continue my legal studies. Had I subconsciously decided not to return to the law?
Reading Time: 2 minutes Biking through the countryside gave me a new view of the paper’s coverage area, and time to think about the stories I wanted to tell.
Reading Time: 2 minutes Does a reporter create a conflict of interest by accepting publicity work from the subject of a story? It could have become a tangled web.
Reading Time: < 1 minutes As a writer, I should care more about what other people think and less about what they think of me.
Reading Time: 2 minutes Sometimes the hats of journalist and fiction writer can overlap. Covering a local disaster led to ideas for a short story.