Almost the sexiest man in my car

An updated autobiothingy

A thing that will never happen:

I’m standing at the Pearly Gates and St. Peter says: “I know you’re a good man, George, with your charity work and that to-die-for profile, but I’m going to give you a pass. ‘Batman and Robin’? What were you thinking? And bat nipples? Dude!”

And I say, “Sorry, St. Peter, but I’m not Clooney. But don’t worry about it, I hear it all the time. Easy mistake.”

and the gates swing open.

***

Okay. A daydream. No one’s really going to mistake me for George Clooney. I’m a short bald guy with black-framed bifocals, and waist-deep in middle age.

People Magazine will never proclaim me “Sexiest Man Alive” or even “Sexiest Man on My Road”. Maybe “Sexiest Man in My Car, if Rod Stewart Isn’t Playing on the Radio.” Or “Sexiest Man in a 16-year-old Subaru on My Road, at 7:30 in the Morning. On a Tuesday”.

Clooney drives, what, an ’06 Econoline? Pfft… close enough.

But do I care?

No, not really. Sort of. But no.

I’m a writer. (George has screenwriting credits, but please give me this, okay?) I write novels, mostly, but other stuff, too. Poetry, short stories, flash fiction, and more!*

*maybe not be more*

So what? you say. Everyone’s a writer these days. Even Woody Harrelson! You can’t swing a dead Pokemon without hitting a writer.

Yeah, but, umm….

When I’m writing, I can be anyone I want to be: a swaggering pirate, the King of Nebraska, a shirtless painter with paint spatters artistically spattering his painted chest with paint. Indiana Jones (no, wait, that’s another story). I can be anyone. So why not Sexiest etc.?

Because I’m humble. Truly.

I can’t market myself as a sexy, come-hither writer because eventually I’d have to produce the evidence. Not that appearance has anything to do with success. Look at Stephen King. I love the guy, but come on. Still wearing those T-shirts from your Rock Bottom Remainders days, Steve?

But I digress, because that’s a fancy word I can use when I forget the point I was trying to make. (It’s in the dictionary, I checked.) Image isn’t everything. I have nice blue eyes and I can wear a Wal-Mart hoodie like nobody’s business (see above photo, the one without the bat ears. No, the OTHER one).

So sexy? Why not? And furthermore–

Honey, can you PLEASE scrape the chicken crap off your shoes before you come in?”

Yes, dear.”

Sexy!

(Batman photo copyright by Warner Brothers Studios. Steve photo copyright by wife Angela)

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What’s in a name?

Since moving to Virginia almost eight years ago, I have never heard my surname so mangled, maligned and misspoken. Granted, it’s not a common name around here, and spoken with the varying Southern accents — from Hillbilly on up — I usually answer with a shrug and a gentle correction. Sometimes even my first name is misspelled, which happens. I don’t know which of the two is more common — Steven or Stephen. People I correspond with on a daily basis at work, through email, often spell it Stephen, even though the proper spelling is in each and every signature of each and every email I send out. But never mind. Call me Steve and we’ll be fine.  Continue reading “What’s in a name?”

But seriously (or not)

I’m a serious writer. I watch, I listen, I write. I take it all seriously because I love it. So sometimes it comes as a surprise to people that I have a sense of humor. It’s not all about marching words to the edge of a cliff. The very first thing I wrote was a humour piece for school. I was extremely shy, 10 years old, and made to read my little story in front of the class. I almost died. But in a trembling little voice, I read it. And almost died again. And then the damnedest thing happened. My classmates stood up and applauded. I wasn’t even sure they knew my name. And at that moment, a writer was born. Continue reading “But seriously (or not)”

Footnote

Regarding my post that acclaimed actor Tommy Lee Jones has agreed to begin filming “Ordinary Handsome”:

Not going to happen. He dropped out at the last minute due to the “Didn’t feel like it anymore” clause in his contract.

Daniel Day-Lewis has faxed me an international restraining order.

On the other hand, Adam Sandler has shown some interest. He wants to play all the roles. In drag. It was more than I hoped for, but I’m still waiting to hear from Bob at the liquor store. That boy can emote!

Okay, I’ll stop now. Have a great April 1!

Tommy Lee Jones agrees to direct, star in “Ordinary Handsome”

After weeks of intense negotiations, Academy Award winner Tommy Lee Jones (The Fugitive, Lonesome Dove, Batman Forever) has  agreed to film “Ordinary Handsome” as his next major project. Jones will play the pivotal role of Henry Wasson.

Further details will be announced. No firm date has been set for shooting.

Happy April Fool’s Day. Of course, Jones won’t be starring. It’s Daniel Day-Lewis. (PS — call me, Dan!)

TommyLeeJones07TIFF_cropped

Image by gdcgraphics. Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:TommyLeeJones07TIFF_cropped.jpg#/media/File:TommyLeeJones07TIFF_cropped.jpg

Boot Scootin’ Boogie

boot_scootin_boogie_by_smbaird-d7h2ztv

“Boot Scootin’ Boogie”
Out in the country past the city limits sign
Well there’s a honky tonk near the county line
The joint starts jumpin everynight when the sun goes down
They got whiskey women music & smoke
It’s where all the country folk go to boot scootin’ boogie.

Written by Ronnie Dunn, Brooks & Dunn

Watercolors (Take two)

I wrote the original and unvarnished version of this around 5:45 this morning… the line about watercolors stayed with me through most of last night and I wanted to get it down before I forgot. I thought it felt a little too purple, but didn’t have the time to really give it a thorough rinse before leaving for work. I decided to revise it a little bit;  I’m not really a good morning writer.. not before my second cup of coffee, anyway. It’s a mood, a memory, of an old man remembering his finest summer, the summer when everything changed for him. This revisions are minor, but I think it cuts it a little closer to the bone.  And my wife did point out that cornflowers are blue, not yellow. Oops. – Steve

***

No one ever knew that I might have been in love with her.

Even now, as I feel the cold bite into my joints, and see the nonsensical kaleidoscope of snow as it buries rooftops, (the flakes dancing like lunatic sprites), I can still feel that summer. I don’t have to close my eyes or imagine those fields buried in green and yellow. I can feel it. I can see it. The warmth, from blankets to floor, spread like cornflowers, blue and shimmering.

That summer was a time to put away crayons and create watercolors. The lines inside didn’t matter; I was creating my own lines, and the colors were deep and wet.