Mar 2, 2007, 11:17 AM
Post #216 of 1632
Wow, I am glad to have sparked such a debate! What I saw at Columbia was a lot of talented people get railroaded for various reasons, but the suck ups and "hot chicks" got ahead. It was disheartening. Yes, I'm in my 30s and know the world is like that, but this was in the extreme and the last place I expected it. After all, I went to an Ivy to be around the best and the brightest, not the hottest and most manipulative.
Re: [Arkinese] Yourself and Your Work: How Thin, These Borders, These Borders?
[In reply to]
Anyway, the flipside of my fear is the hope that there is a place for me, where my voice will be welcomed and encouraged to blossom. I mean, if there's room for Middlesex, there must be room for ME! Also, how many times do we hear of a novel or script being rejected 25 times and then it becomes the breakout hit of the year? You just need to find the right agent/publisher/audience. It's out there, somewhere.
Much of my work is autobiographical, I've stopped apologizing for it. It's natural. Now, that is not to say it's always something that happened verbatim. However, friends have told me for years, when something painful or wacky happened to me, "Write that down!" Most of the time, there is a kernel of something that actually happened, but then I turned it into something else. I'm totally outting myself here, but for example, one of my stories is about living in a hotel for women and how difficult that makes it to get laid in New York City, since men tend to want the woman to host, as it were. Yes, I have lived in hotels for women most of the time I've been in New York and have struggled with that issue. I love the community of women, but I also love sex and the city being what it is, my actual relationships have been few and far between. Now, did I actually sneak a guy upstairs? Nope, too afraid of the consequences.
Oddly enough, the things that were usually questioned as too fantastic were the couple of nuggets that were true. I took a massive hit on a screenplay because everyone insisted the rock band would not have a platonic relationship with a teenage girl. For me, that was the heart of the story -- both because it's the opposite of what you expect from a band and because they were good to me and encouraged my creativity. Those guys made the writing path a viable one for me to choose, where my parents encouraged me to get a job I hated and stick with it (OK, so actually, it's been a mixture of the two -- writing while working meaningless jobs). Nearly everything else in the story was made up, but few could accept that it was possible for a band not to screw this minor. It was aggravating for me, because that's what the focus became, rather than the things I was concerned with making real -- esp. having a dead mother, while mine is very much alive 20 years later.