I was at a club one night with my friend Eric. He pointed to a handsome, shirtless man across the bar, and I said, “Ooh! He makes me all kinds of nervous!” Eric took a sip of his margarita and issued a dare, “Find out his name, and drinks are on me all night!” I finished my drink, popped a fresh piece of gum in my mouth and said, “One moment please…” On my way over, I caught his eye. He smiled and gave me a subtle nod. As I approached, he stepped forward, leaned into my left ear, and in a deep, Spanish-flavored accent, said, “I’m Francisco.” I offered my right hand, opened my mouth to say “Hi,” and watched as my fresh piece of gum, looking like a suicidal incisor, fell onto this handsome stranger’s chest. He looked at me, horrified. “What the…” I gently plucked my gum off his pectorals, mumbled an apology and scurried back to Eric who was laughing hysterically. When he finally caught his breath, he asked, “Didn’t he want your Chiclet?”
This failed flirtation is a bit like my approach to writing. There’s an idea, beautiful, seductive, and just out of reach. On a good day, I can access the right thread and move my story forward. Other times, like my encounter with Francisco, my writing efforts are nothing more than a Chiclet bellyflopping on a sweaty, unsuspecting body part. Either way, it doesn’t matter. I am compelled to come back to my computer again and again until I finish the story I am writing. As a result, in the past ten years I’ve managed to string together enough good days of writing to self-publish an AIDS memoir (Slaves to the Rhythm), an award-winning collection of short stories (A Little Chatter), three screenplays (two placed or won awards at some smaller festivals), and a collection of essays (Lost Soles). I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished and plan to keep exploring the craft of writing and screenwriting – likely dropping a few chiclets along the way.
Thank you for joining me on the ride.
To schedule a reading or talk with me, use this email: firstname.lastname@example.org.