I had every intention of writing my review of CRIMSON PEAK. I really did.
I was going to tell you that it’s a beautiful, chilling Gothic Romance with great performances and the wonderful visual aesthetics that are part-and-parcel of a Guillermo Del Toro movie, and that you should see it in theatres to soak in all of its splendour the way it was meant to be seen.
In short, I would have been repeating what others have said before me with more eloquence and critical clarity than I would have been able to.
I’ve said it before: I’m a lousy critic, but a pretty mean cheerleader. I’ve always been very vocal about the works and artists that I admire, and that will never change. But lately, the urge to create my own works, maybe even gain some cheerleaders of my own in the process, has become a strong one. I have been dabbling with the notion of writing for years – honest-to-goodness, pen-to-paper storytelling – without ever really committing to completing it. So many “ideas”, so many unfinished stories, just sitting there.
So now’s as good a time as any to stop yapping about it and do it.
I’ve given myself a goal. Deadlines. Scheduled time every night to get in 300 words a day, good, bad or otherwise. I’ve even signed up to compete in this year’s NaNoWriMo. Not so much to win, but to keep momentum going. I’m not getting any younger, and I don’t want this to be one of my regrets on my deathbed. So this is where my focus needs to be. In short, I’m treating it like work. As it should be.
It’s time for a little story, and I assure you, it’s a fitting one.
October 2013: A Night With Stephen King, part of the International Festival of Authors. After the Q&A, King was doing a signing: one item per person. I brought my copy of Stephen King On Writing, a source of great education and inspiration (and mandatory reading for anyone interested in the craft). It was a gift from my wife, Katherine, and she had written an inscription on the title page:
Because you can be just as great.
Love you with all my heart.
I got to the signing table. King was signing at top-speed, ensuring no one got left behind, and then it was my turn.
He opened the book to the title page and paused to read the inscription. Then he smiled. He looked up at me and said “So? How’s it working out for ya, then?” I told him it seemed to be working just fine. He scrawled his autograph beside Katherine’s words and handed the book back. “Well, maybe she’s on to something, then. Good luck.”
I’m well into my first draft now. Over 3,000 words so far, and miles of paragraphs and sentences to go before it’s over. Maybe she IS on to something. And the only way I’m going to know for sure is by doing it.
Time to go underground for a while. Not away, not permanently. But long enough to see this through.
If I have something cool – like, extra-special super-cool – to share with you, I’ll post it here. But for now, it’s about time I got to work.
See you all when I see you again. Scout’s honour.
And many thanks to Mr. King for the much-needed kick in the ass.