19 February 2010


NOT TIGER WOODS. I just tried watching his public mea culpa and I had to turn it off. If he wants, he can go ahead and apologize to his wife, his family, his business partners who have lost some money. But me? I don't need to hear it.

Now sure, on a fantasy level what I would hope to hear Tiger say, backed up heartily by his wife, is something along the lines of: "You guys have it so wrong. Elin and I have an open relationship. We think monogamy is ludicrous and goes against everything in our biology. So leave us alone."

But, well, a very wise old friend of mine used to say: "You can hope in one hand and shit in the other and see which fills up faster." So I'm not expecting something like that, not from anyone, not ever. It's a shame, really. Think of how much grief the country would have been spared if Bill and Hillary had gone on TV and said something like that.

(I have no idea whether or not any of these people have open relationships, but the reality is that - especially in couples where one or the other or both people are rich, powerful, famous, or heartbreakingly beautiful or handsome - they really should have considered it for their own good. They might as well give in to the reality that monogamy isn't very likely between them, and be honest about it.)

Okay, so barring my fantasy scenario, what I really want to hear from the next "caught" celebrity is: "It's none of your fucking business. Get off of my lawn."

There are a large host of pretty damn important issues staring us in the face every morning when we wake up: unemployment, healthcare, education (or lack of it, or lack of funding for it), corruption, government gridlock, a couple of wars, future-threatening deficits, whether or not the Dodgers are going to have good enough starting pitching this year... All of which are inadequately reported by media outlets that would rather deal with the simplicities of who Tiger Woods is sticking his dick into, than the complexities of the real world that actually have an impact on our daily lives.

It's the media I'm mad at, not Tiger Woods. I don't really care about Tiger Woods. I only care in that the newspapers I read, the websites I visit, the radio and TV shows I listen to and watch, are filled with him and his stupid, boring apology, rather than with anything that informs me about the stuff that actually affects me.

Okay, so now that that's off my chest, I'm going to talk about writing. I'm a writer, after all.

I just had an interesting interaction with the person who constitutes what little I've got in the way of a writing group. (Follow this link to read what she has to say about this matter, but finish reading mine first, okay?)

Sometimes we trade our works in progress back and forth for comment and criticism. It can come in very handy. She pulled me back from a cliff I was about to jump off of in my latest book - CENTRAL AVENUE.

But we work very differently. She is a diligent, detailed outliner. I'm not. I don't outline at all, I just sit down and start writing and see where it goes.

A couple of days ago she sent me the outline of her latest book. She wanted to know what I thought. What I thought was that I liked it, but it might be stronger if she changed the gender of one of the major characters in the book.

She said, maybe that makes sense, but it would mean she would have to totally rethink, rework and generally rewrite the entire book and almost everything in it. That thought did not make her happy.

I, not being accustomed to the huge amount of labor that some people put into working out their outlines - and being something of an ignorant boor from time to time - responded with something that she felt belittled her concern over the massive task I had just suggested to her. I said something along the lines of: it shouldn't be too much work, the basic plot is still there and you haven't written the book yet, just the outline.

Okay, so perhaps I can be a bit insensitive sometimes. But that is the way I saw it. I piece together my books as they come, word by word, line by line, scene by scene, and in my mind, when I type that very first word, all it means is that anything can happen next. If at some point I need to take something in a different direction, I just do it as I get to it.

But, it should come as no surprise to me that not everyone writes the way I do. Nor should they. Every writer needs to find their own way to write, the way that works best for them.

I don't know whether or not she is going to take my suggestion to heart, or tell me to shove it up my ass from whence it came. That's up to her. She'll write the book she wants, in the way she wants, and knowing her it will end up being a very good book.

And what have I taken from this? Yet another kick in the butt telling me that not just the end, but the means of getting to that end need to be taken into account on a regular, and individualized, basis.