Friday was always the golden day of the week for me. Still is, in some ways.
When I was 11 or 12 Fridays not only meant freedom from school and the promise of the weekend ahead, it also meant adventure. Staying up late to watch Johnny stroll through his multicolored curtain with that wink in his eye. . .staying up even later to watch ‘House of Fear’ on Channel 13 where I was introduced to Karloff, Lugosi and Chaney. . .stealthing our way onto the high school football field on Saturdays to kick field goals. . .or racing our bikes across town to hike Mt. David. The possibilities were endless.
With writing it’s kind of been the same way. Holding down a full-time job and writing is trying at times. But you have to put in some after-hours work or there’s nothing on the paper to read. It’s like Lawrence Kasdan said: Writing for a living is like having homework everyday of your life. Albeit homework you, for the most part, actually like. Still, as the end of the week approaches and weariness crawls across my shoulders, I know that Friday holds the promise of magic on the page.
Writing can tax the brain and the heart. It takes perseverance and more than a little courage to take the time and effort to put forth words on paper that come together to tell a story. I hear fairly often when talking to someone when they find out I write that they, too, have always wanted to write. Just can’t find the time. But they have great ideas, they say. And I don’t doubt they do. I have a million ideas. Ideas are not the problem. The problem comes with taking the time to write them down and hope that in the translation from mind to ink, the idea isn’t ruined. So, yes, I understand that having ideas is great. But taking the time to write them down is the ditch-digging part. But it’s in the digging (or rather sculpting, which is a better metaphor) that the magic appears, almost as if the words are pushing you on, inviting you to complete their task, to create a forest of black on white, so that they can begin to weave their spell.
And sometimes the magic does happen. More often than not, my words don’t quite fully embrace the magic. But on Fridays, the words always seem to call in a hopeful manner with the same anticipation I had as a kid waiting for Lon Chaney to morph when the full moon crested the trees. The promise of Friday pushes the hard week aside and I find myself at the keys, enticing them along the path of the latest adventure.
And it’s one I hope to always take.