Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Recharging . . .

There are times when I’m ready to quit.  Really.  Chuck this frustrating, maddening, consuming avocation and find some shaggy hedges to prune.  Or patterns to sew.  Or cakes to decorate.  Something –anything- other than the constant keyboard pounding that only serves to keep the levees of my mind from breaking in a Katrina-like flood.

Eventually, I get over it.

Usually, I’m recharged by reading or watching something that inspires me, and I’m not talking about Dr. Phil or Oprah.  There are a lot of talented storytellers out there, but only a few that can break the doldrums and push me back in front of the keyboard.

Tonight, I’ve added Shane Ryan to that short list.

We all loved Dirty Harry; he did the things we wanted to but couldn’t.  We all loved John McClane; he was a maverick that wouldn’t kowtow to the system or the pricks that ran it.  Burke’s a thief and a con-man, but he has a mission that mitigates any peccadilloes he commits along the way.   Anti-heroes abound in literature, on television and in the movies.  They’re rough around the edges.  They’re tough and gritty.  But penetrate the choppy perimeter, hose off the grime and smooth out the gravel and you’ll always find a good soul with pure motives and a moral center.  You have to; who wants to care about a bad guy.

If you’ve never watched The Shield, I’d advise you to rectify that situation immediately.  If you’re a faithful viewer, no other explanation is necessary.

Don’t trust my opinion on this one; check it out for yourself.  Set your Tivo for SPIKE TV on Friday nights.  Throw a DVD on your Netflix list.  Watch the first episode (and yes, the first episode will be enough to convince you you’re not watching anything related to Law & Order or CSI) and I guarantee you’ll be hooked.  And here’s the real wonder:

After five seasons, it just keeps getting better.

There’s your homework for the weekend.  Catch an episode of The Shield.  Then, when you’ve caught up on that, we’ll talk about the some of the other creators whose work you should be reading/watching/experiencing.

It might just be enough to make you think you could write something worthwhile.  It usually works for me.

But Then Again, You’ll Have This . . .

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