Monday, June 14, 2004

The Green Slime

Do you believe in portents? I do, and why not? I have had too many perfectly normal-seeming people sit down and tell me about seeing ghosts or getting phone calls from dead relatives to not believe there is more than we understand on this great green earth. Here's a for instance: many years ago my wife was going through a rough time and woke up in the middle of the night in her apartment calling out for her father. A few short hours later he called her from home, saying he thought he heard her outside calling for him in the night. Any rational explanation is welcome.

So I had to go to the library and pick up a book for my wife and a book on the shelf straight across sort of poked out at me, and I saw it was by William Goldman, my screenwriting hero. William Goldman, you may recall, was the august personage that I evoked on the set of the Bigfoot movie Among Us, when the Polonia Brothers were burning my script in the campfire or when I was carrying a heavy tripod over a rickety bridge on a raging river, sort of "What Would William Goldman Do?" moments.

So I opened it up and started thumbing through it, and got so engrossed I checked it out, and read half of it this weekend. It is called What Lie Did I Tell?: More Adventures in the Screen Trade and something on every page jumped out and punched me in the eye, because it was talking about my life, and the lives of every screenwriter everywhere since Fred Ott sneezed. Most tellingly for me was that my screenwriting hero went for about SEVEN YEARS and was considered a leper in Hollywood and couldn't sell a thing, and this was after Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Stepford Wives and Marathon Man and Magic and A Bridge Too Far. Then he came back and did The Princess Bride and Misery and the train kept on rolling. And it made me think, damn, what am I worried about?

So does finding sage words of advice from my hero William Goldman mean my luck about to change for the better again? I hope, I hope, I hope.

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1 comment:

The Furnace said...

Goldman is the king, and I love everything he's written (especially his books, which should be required reading). And you know if one of the greats gets rejected, we're all going to get rejected (lord knows I have many many times). - Gary