Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Anatomy of an Article

So I'm in a little bit of a frenzy. Remember how I talked about how Finn would be at a day camp for three days this week, thus giving me three days to get my massive workload finished? Well, it didn't happen. Finn's former preschool teacher was running the camp and she suddenly had to go out of town to help her father, who is ill.

It was all, of course, understandable and totally unavoidable, BUT it did leave me in a bit of a pickle and back to where I was in the days before Finn went to preschool--working at night.

Apparently I've become spoiled with the boys in school and being able to work during the day because I'm finding it quite hard to stay focused into the wee hours anymore and I'm clearly out of practice. I thought I'd give you a little rundown of a few hours over the course of an evening, trying to get motivated to write and produce something.

Note, this schedule is slightly later than it would have been "back in the old days" when Finn wasn't in school because the boys would have gone to bed earlier. These long days--they'll be the end of me.

I'm finally sitting down to write. The topic? Accounting for government stimulus money. I know. I nearly fell asleep just writing that. Try writing the whole article, people.

For some reason, I have to quickly surf through as many blogs, CaringBridge pages and celebrity gossip sites before I can settle down to start writing. And now I'm writing this blog as a draft before I forget it. Anyway, I don't know why I have to visit all of these sites before I can write. I have to have the most up-to-date information on what everyone did today. I mean, how can I be expected to work when I don't know the latest about Jon & Kate Gosselin or Tony and Jessica's breakup?

The TV is on. I almost always have the TV on until I get to really heavy duty writing. Many times it's on a very low volume, or even mute, but there's just something about having it on. Most of the time I just ignore it and look up occasionally to "rest my eyes." Tonight Top Gun is on in the background. I write a few lines. I rest my eyes. How old is Val Kilmer anyway? I have to know. IMDB.com is my best friend. I love the trivia and goof information. Val Kilmer is 50 this year, by the way. Is he older than Tom Cruise? I'll need to check that. Why yes he is, by two years. Is Tom Skerrit dead? I feel like I read he died. Oops, no. Still alive. Sorry, Tom. I'd better close IMDB. Done.

After several aborted attempts I realize that the government stimulus article is going nowhere fast. The information I got from the interview just isn't compelling enough to develop an article. I e-mail the client and suggest we delay the article until the end of the summer/early fall when the state government contacts said they would have more information. I feel relieved. And with that unofficially checked of my To Do list, I take a "break" and read some vital information about a new diet plan someone told me about. I realize it involves injecting yourself with something and I dismiss that as "crazy" and "scary" and "something I am too afraid to do" and eat some chocolate. I need to keep my energy up for sitting here. My job is what you might call "sedentary."

Dang. It's getting late and I haven't produced anything billable. I turn my attention to an interview with the new head of the International Federation of Accountants--only the second American in history to lead the organization. Kelly McGillis doesn't really seem like she fits in during that scene in the restaurant where Goose is playing the piano and they're all singing "Great Balls of Fire."

Oh dear. This is the scene where Goose dies. I hate this part. I love Goose. Ugh. Why am I watching this when I'm premenstrual? Was I in high school when this movie came out? Egad that's an old movie. Ohhh, here's the terrible scene where Maverick goes to see Goose's wife, who, incidentally, is Meg Ryan, who, incidentally, got her start as Betsy on As the World Turns, which, incidentally, I watched for my entire life until right after Declan was born. She's wearing one of those loose-fitting jumpers with a t-shirt underneath it that we all thought were so attractive in the 80s. Did you also know that Tim Robbins is in this movie and that in real life he can't even fit into the cockpit of an F-14? In fact, Tom Cruise was the only actor who actually met the height requirement of a nav-al av-ia-tor. True story. Or so says IMDB.

The neighbors are grilling hot dogs. My husband is at the neighbor's. It's the Wednesday Night Ride where all of the husbands go out on their bikes and then go back to the bike shop (or to someone's house whose wife is not home), drink beer, eat junk food, and, if it's July, watch the Tour de France. I didn't get to see the stage today. Perhaps I should be watching that instead of watching Top Gun. Val Kilmer is trying to make Tom Cruise feel better.

I have plagiarized several paragraphs off of this organization's Web site. Even after interviewing this guy, I have no idea what he was saying. This is one of the hazards when you write for a profession after you earned a C in the course during graduate school.

Charlie: "I'll have what he's having. Hemlock?"

Mav: "Water."

I can't decide the format of this article. I want to do a Q&A. It sounds easier.

It's a miracle. The introduction is written. Maverick is receiving orders at graduation from Top Gun. He'll get his reel when he gets to the ship.

I would like to buy a new video camera for when I go to Ohio next week. I'd like to record my grandpa telling some of his infamous stories. I should research this, but I'll refrain from doing it right this second. It's hard to refrain. If anyone has any camera suggestions, let me know. I want one of those where you record right to a hard drive. I'm sick of tapes and I don't want to go to the DVD stage (Don, please advise), just straight to the hard drive.

Valerie Bertinelli looks really good.

Why are they always so sweaty on ships? Is it really that hot? Or are they really nervous. Everyone is beaded with sweat. Actually, I'm beaded with sweat over the stress of this article.

I'm on a roll. I've edited the first question.

The remaining MiGs are buggin' out.

You can be my wing man anytime.

I got hooked on the Righteous Brothers after this movie.

I can't take it anymore. I'm going to bed. I think I can bill an hour.


Kristie said...

Wait. Valerie Bertinelli was in Top Gun? Or do you just mean in general???

Cate said...

That sounds exactly like the process to write commercials and do voiceovers. I edited and watched Transformers for the first time. I don't know why. My boyfriend said I had to see it.

1dreamr said...

So... where exactly did Valerie Bertinelli fit into all of this??! YOU are hilarious!!! :-)