Am I Really Writing a Thank You Letter to Robert De Niro?


People say I am a friendly. I smile a lot, I like to chat with others, and I’m out-going. I guess you can say I am a pretty happy person (try not to throw up in your mouth too much).

But take a step into my head and you might want to grab a flashlight, a bottle of Prozac, and some turkey-jerky.

While presenting at the 2014 Oscars for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Screenplay, Robert De Niro said, “The mind of a writer can be a truly terrifying thing: isolated, neurotic, caffeine-addled, crippled by procrastination and consumed by feelings of panic, self-loathing and soul-crushing inadequacy. And that is on a good day.”

Bobby, you couldn’t be more spot on.

Thanks man.

Thanks man.

The inside of a writer’s mind is always a wild ride. It is dark, creepy, and sometimes full of Snickers bars. The inside of my noggin looks like the love child of Edgar Allan Poe and Ruth Buzzi, but with a lot of grammatical errors.

You might get lost a few times down a rabbit hole ripe with memories of roller skating into a rose bush, getting caught for smoking cigarettes in the closet, or school kids laughing at an unfortunate bob haircut. These memories are usually followed with feelings of worry, fear, anger, and laughter. Then wine.

Not that I would know firsthand.

Writing is such an odd creature. It evokes so many different responses. Some people need it like a drug. Others use writing a form of release. It helps some organize their thoughts. Many are graded on how they write. Sometimes writing is boring. Sometimes my ass hurts after writing for too long. Writing can be pure torture for many. Just ask my seven year old.

The art of writing evokes the same emotions as the act of reading. There is crying, there is laughing, and there is, “This is the dumbest crap I have ever wrote/read. No one cares about a donkey’s point of view.”

However, for many writers, there is one subtext of fear: No one will give a shit.

Truth. And I don't even like cats.

Truth. And I don’t even like cats.

As writers, we give a shit. Too much in fact. Those sentence came from inside our heads, our hearts, and most often, the life experience of letting one rip during Social Studies. Not that I would know.

Writers write because we have a story to tell. If we don’t get it out, we might go crazy and accidentally buy too many bags of tortilla chips and multi-colored pens. Then stare into space for a while. Once again, not that I would know anything about that.

I write because I have to. Otherwise my head would pop off. I write because I think life is funny. It is ridiculously funny to me. It also really sucks ass at times. I write because I care, and hopefully someone will read what I wrote and relate to it.

So Dear Mr. De Niro:  I want to thank you for shedding some light onto the thought process of the writer and why we have to write that novel, short story, script, and yes, blog.

If we are lucky, someone else will give a shit enough to read it.

Am I Really Organizing the Pantry To Avoid Writing Assignments/Scrubbing the Tub/Looking for Lost Socks?

Marky Mark did NOT want me to write my essay. His biceps told me so.

  Marky Mark did NOT want me to write my essay. His biceps told me so.









Aaaah, procrastination…you know it means “Googling Ugly Baby Names” in Latin.  It’s funny how when there is a certain task at hand how other must dos just pop up.

Allow me to demonstrate.

I have a stack of papers sitting on my desk. I call it the Go Through This Pile of Sh*t so You Can Get to Your Computer To Do pile. Bills, receipts, magazines, kid art, school notices, and summer camp forms make up this pile. One time I found an earring and a gummie vitamin. Here’s what I like to do with that pile: shove it onto the floor. When I am done using my desk, I dutifully pile it back onto my laptop and chair.

Instead of cleaning up my pile-o-crap and writing an article, today I accomplished the below:

–          Watched five new movie trailers on IMDB.

–          Read Facebook posts and “Liked” most of them.

–          Cleaned the patio then lined up the shoes in my closet.

–          Played with the Cat Paint! App / looked at Pain and Gain photos (well, that actually was not a waste of time, pretty hilarious and I don’t even like cats).

–          Stared.

–          Checked email, then re-checked five minutes later to see if I received anything new.

Why don’t I just go through it, get it over with?  It makes me wonder, why do we put things off when we eventually have to do them anyway?

I think it has to do with the lack of exchange of goods for services.

I have yet to meet a person who has said, “God I love digging hair out of the tub drain so I don’t have to shower in two feet of water. And I did it all for free!” Or, “I can’t wait to dig into this thesis paper about the multiple personality disorders of the tsi tsi fly! Maybe I will offer to write all of my classmates’ papers – pro bono!”

Newsflash – we don’t get paid for doing the have tos in our lives. We just have to do them. Mortgages need to be paid, dishes need to be washed, and old Goldfish crackers need to be dug out of couch cushions. It’s the American way.

So I have come up with a few ways to aid ourselves into getting it done, now:

1)      Pay/Reward yourself.  Seriously, promise yourself that after you finish scooping up the dog doo doo in the back yard you can sit back there and crack open a beer. Or after you scrub the ring off the bathtub, you will get your nails done. If you want to leave yourself a couple of bucks on the counter as a tip I’m not telling.

2)      Give yourself a deadline.  Put it on the calendar. Schedule an activity immediately after the “to do.”  Looking forward to an outing might help you plow through the task. Unless the outing is to wait in line get your oil changed.

3)      Get your Sirius XM on. Loud music makes everything better, but that’s just me. A little boogie might make lint-rolling the dog hair off your pillows more interesting.

4)      If all else fails, ground yourself. You heard me. Tell yourself you simply cannot go to the movies unless you go to the store and buy more dog food. Your canine is done eating your left over sandwiches.

The above may work, or they may not. I haven’t tried them out…yet. But I do know that I like when things are done. I feel better when I can check a task off my list. I can breathe a satisfied sigh knowing that I have a somewhat clean slate to do what I want.

Until my daughter tells me she has to create a Three Little Pigs costume for tomorrow morning.  Then I will most likely need to clean all the hairbrushes in the house first.