The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

High Tension

I hafta say this: Hollywood is a trip and a half. Can't talk about it more specifically than this: something just happened that could break open a project we've been putting together for over two years. I mean, a verbal commitment that is in line with what a number of other interested parties have also committed to. If any and/or all of them are telling the truth, I'll have some very good news for you guys within a week.
Did 2500 words today on the second ASSASSIN'S CREED novel, and am absolutely brain-fried. The two are not directly connected, though: I can still feel a few bacteria lurking around in my system from the food poisoning, and had an intense workout this morning, beating up my abs. That may have triggered a bit of residual yucka. Whatever...I'm taking the rest of the afternoon off to re-read some source material, and watch a horror movie called HIGH TENSION, a blatant rip-off of Dean Koontz' rather classic INTENSITY. Blatant. I have no idea how they got away with it. The first 2/3 is damn near scene-for-scene. Only a "twist" ending keeps it from being a photocopy. I wasn't that impressed by Intensity on first reading. But I went back to it, and am now an admirer. It's one of those books that feels like it could be written in a week--but only by a master. Most couldn't write it at all, a damn-near real-time thriller pitting an innocent girl against the monster who slaughtered her best friend's family. Koontz has really developed over the years. Now, when he gets into his moralistic trips I don't find him as interesting. But when he goes for the lean, stripped-down people-in-peril stuff, there's damned near no one better.
And...another good meditation this morning. I'm stirring up some not-pleasant stuff. Gummy and sticky. Third morning in a row. Tell you what: I'm going for 100, and let's see what happens. That "young Steve" voice inside me is encouraging me to ignore any and all older voices (during my meditation) and pay attention to what he is saying. Astonishing how hard it is just to get quiet and listen. Those older voices try to pull me into worldly concerns of all kinds: money, power, career...none of them have anything to do with the core of my quest, which is to be a "Potato"--solid top to bottom, with my goals, values, and actions all moving in the same direction. I had been working at a pretty high level, but it's amazing what happened as soon as I committed to pushing toward greater congruence. Or is the term coherence? Whatever. I remember Swift Deer telling me that it was taking every erg of his energy to make a jump to the next level of spiritual integration. I see what he was talking about. And I have renewed appreciation for what people go through when they try to heal their hearts, lose serious weight, or straighten out their finances. It's like the walls of our prisons are made of pain. As long as we don't try to break through them, the pain is locked in a matrix: it confines us but doesn't exactly hurt. The price of freedom is re-absorbing and processing what we froze into those walls. If I don't refine my ability to process the toxins, they will overwhelm. My ego, afraid of leaving the prison (by which it defines itself) will use everything--including creating "emergencies" by the score--to slow me down.
While I've postponed the Spiritual Autolysis until Jason is older, this path is still capable of creating scary levels of chaos. But in an odd way, is also wicked fun. It's a little like an existential extreme sport...

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