Writing that tugs…the GOOD then the BAD

Author’s Note: This is a converted blog post from a previous blog software I was using. It originally was published on 04.16.14 @ 6:36PM Pacific.

Okay, so I can definitely say that there is quite a bit of good writing out there. I mean, I’m easily inspired when I see it. So many artists are great muses as well. Though they often don’t know it. Jay Brannan is one such muse of mine. I happened upon him back when I was relocating from San Diego to the SF Bay Area (for me it was a move back to SF – second time around) as my daughter was going to SFSU and she needed family support for our then five year old granddaughter.


Jay Brannan’s new album – arriving July 2014.

Anyway, I found Jay Brannan’s album/recordings from a site that was promoting up and coming gay artists. I bought the album without hearing a single song. I later found a YouTube channel for him and it was music love at first sight (hearing). Jay’s a master with words – a modern day bard. His first full length album “goddamned” was an impressive collection of words and music that, though it had been many years since I had to wrestle with what he was singing about, it did bring me back to those feelings the moment he began to sing/play. The truth of his words cut though the years behind me like blowing on a dusty photo album and rediscovering old friends, lovers and acquaintances. Brilliant textures and a crystal clear voice that I found haunting as it was lyrical.

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So I’ve been listening to him ever since. His latest album, “Rob Me Blind” served as the emotive core for one of the main character’s in the Angel’s of Mercy series. So much so, that I had him be a fan of Jay’s work in the book. Those lyrics were tantamount to why Elliot did and thought the things he did while Marco overwhelmed and consumed every aspect of his little artistic geeky boy life.


The album that inspired me to write Angels of Mercy.

Marco is a god to Elliot. Towering, confident (though never cocky), and most of all – steadfastly devoted to Elliot. Elliot doesn’t understand this. Can’t fathom how the star quarterback of his varsity high school football team would even notice him let alone being totally in love with him. It’s heady stuff for Elliot. And for a while, he keeps waiting for the other shoe to fall. For Marco to wake up and realize what a colossal mistake he’s made in dating Elliot – the out gay geeky nobody at Mercy High.

I worked really hard at Marco’s and Elliot’s backstory before I ever put a single bit or byte to electronic paper. I had to know them so thoroughly that writing them would just flow. And for the most part it does.

Now we come to one of my biggest gripes about dramatic writing – especially on TV or in the movies, is that it’s gotten way to soap opera-y on us all.


Take for example the recently aired episode of Resurrection from ABC. I don’t know if you follow it or not, but there was a moment in last week’s Ep where a busy body old cow (played brilliantly by one of the Cartwright sisters) got up and railed against probably one of the nicest/most balanced characters on that show and said some hurtful things that stretched the truth of the matter in front of his entire congregation (oh yeah, I should mention he’s the town preacher). Evidently Bessie the old cow, wasn’t happy with chewing the cud on her part of the pews and decided to rail against the preacher because of something that happened in his past (that the TV audience was completely aware of how he had been duped by the recently returned (un)dead girlfriend (this is where the title of the show comes in).  There was simply no way he could’ve anticipated what came out in the wash (that his girlfriend from 12 years ago had killed herself and was pregnant with his child when she took a long drive off a short pier). But all of that is fine… EXCEPT for what came next: the preacher said none of this in his defense. Leaving everyone in his congregation to assume what Bessie had been mooing over from her part of the pew farm was the absolute truth.

Now… you and I both know that if it’d been us and we were wrongly accused of something we had no knowledge of we’d defend it. Not stand there like some poor brainless schmuck who appeared to have wandered from the Walking Dead onto the wrong show. And don’t give me the whole: but he’s a preacher crap, either. Preacher men are men of words. Not always the right one’s. I’ll grant you, but of words nonetheless. They are ‘paid’ to think on their feet. So if there was ANYone who would’ve said something it woulda been him. But nada, zilch. Just stood there like a government employee (and I was a government employee once so I can say that with some authority – that last, by the way was a nod to the writers of Greater Tuna). That’s not how it happens in real life – I know, I know, it’s a televised drama – keyword: drama.

But there’s a way to make it far more believable, isn’t there? Preacher man – no matter how balanced and good, should be able to handle Bessie the cow and put her back out to pasture to chew the cud with other bovine gossipers of her ilk.

Anywho, I’ll get off my soap opera box now. I’m just getting tired of screenplay writers who take the easy way out to create drama. The whole Duh, dah, dah moments are so 1960. I know Mad Men is still all the rage, but hey, at least they get the heightened drama right.

Am I right?

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