Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Fast, Cheap, and Good

I'm not an entrepreneur, just yet.

Because, now I’m not doing the CD anymore. I mean, I am. But not NOW. OHHHHH! Yesterday had so many hours spent discussing something that’s just going to get postponed. Right now it feels like I wasted the day just talking about it so much. But I think it’s the best thing to postpone the CD a little bit.

See, I recorded three shows to edit together to make one Letting Go Of God (LGOG) Live CD. While I was doing this, I was, of course, as always, listening to This American Life every time it came on and I was thinking that LGOG would be very good if it were done as a Spoken Word CD as well. The medium of telling my story directly into the microphone to one person. You wouldn’t get the audience there laughing, but then you would gain an intimacy and my performance would be so much different if I were doing it this way. But then, after many discussions with friends, I decided that it was too confusing to do two different recordings of the same show, and that I should just go with the one, and that ONE should be the live recording.

But then, yesterday, I literally spent hours on the phone with Ira, talking about my experience and how we are going to do this This American Life show. And he felt that I should do the show as a Spoken Word recording. I mean – of course he likes that better, he’s Ira Glass for crissakes. But he said some things that make sense about the intimacy of the writing and how he read the script first and had a certain feeling, imagining me say it, and was different when he heard the live recording I sent him. There was something lost in the live recording. I was playing more for laughs, more for the audience.

Of course I can completely see what he’s talking about. But which to do, the live or the spoken word? Then, after talking to Ira later again about it, he suggested and I think he’s right, that after I record the sections of my show for his show, which will be a spoken word format and listen to them back again, I will know which way is best.

But this means not getting the CD done in time for the show to air. And it means that I told a jillion people the CD is going to be ready soon and it won’t be.

So, now I’m not making the CD right now. I’m going to wait. I think it’s better to get it done right rather than fast or when the most people might want to buy it. ARGH! Also, to get it done this quickly would incur a lot of fast-track prices that make it more expensive. Plus, there is so much I need to learn about how to do this, and I want to put a lot of time into it…I heard once that you can do any creative project two of the following three ways: Fast, Cheap, and Good. Your project can be Fast and Cheap, but not Good. Or it can be Good and Cheap, but not Fast. Or Fast and Good, but not Cheap.

I think that’s right.

I’m going with Cheap and Good. And Slow.

Then I had another talk with my editor yesterday, who I love so much, but who is understandably frustrated that my book deadlines are continually delayed. This caused me so much anxiety that I was up, again, last night all night long. Really. I finally took Excedrin P.M.’s at five in the morning, just desperate out of my mind for some sleep. They should make Excedrin A.M.’s for when you are up at five a.m. and you just need two good hours of sleep. Because now I have that sleep medication hang over. In the night as I frantically paced the floor, I decided I have to give the book advance back. I don’t know if I can write this book with this much else going on. But of course, this is not the state of mind to make these decisions, with two hours of sleep.

I may take a job – well, it looks highly likely I will take a job writing on a TV show today – the details are getting worked out. Of course it could all fall through. But man, I so want some stability. I am tired of freelancing my way through. Ira and I talked a lot about freelancing versus being on staff on something. Right now I want very much to be on a staff, working on something other than my own projects.

While I was up in the night, I had my New American Bible out and I reread parts of each book of the New Testament. I am going to have a conversation with a theologian soon and I need to bone up. It’s just amazing to me that anyone thinks that the four Gospels are anything other than different drafts, different versions of the story – the clearly fictional story – of Jesus. In this one they cut the birth scene, in that one they make his family travel 60 miles for a census, in that one a star moves around showing where Jesus was born, in this one three guys with incense and myrrh come, in this one draft Jesus dies and cries out “My God, why have you forsaken me?” And in that one, Jesus just says, “It is finished.” It’s like a typical group of screenplays up for arbitration at the Writer’s Guild. In this Gospel, Jesus is related to David with 42 generations between them (and that’s related through his father, Joseph, who he’s not even related to directly anyway) and then in that one Jesus and ABRAHAM have 42 generations between them and they are completely different people named as ancestors as the ones between Jesus and David.

Anyone who says there is no inerrancy in the Bible clearly has not read the Bible. In fact, the Bible makes mistakes about itself! The Bible itself is lax in it’s OWN reading of the Bible. There’s a reference in the New Testament to a passage in Jeremiah that isn’t there – it gets things wrong all over the place when it refers itself.

In one Gospel Jesus says, “Whoever is not against me, is with me.” And in another Gospel he says, “Whoever is not with me, IS against me.” I mean – isn’t that direct contradiction? Hmmm, could it be that Jesus is just like all of us, on some days optimistic and other pessimistic? Who knew that only two thousand years later the most powerful man in the world would use this pessimistic quote to threaten the entire political landscape to coerce them into joining us in a war in that very region of the world?

Wow, I must seem like a crazy woman, up in the night reading the Bible. It’s so funny, there I was with my grade school Bible, and I figured it must have been handed to me in about sixth or seventh grade. I bet I have used that Bible more than any other kid who was handed that Bible in that class! I even have a note in the Bible from high school, because we were to use the same Bible’s all the way through, that excuses me from gym class for a doctor appointment. The note is written to our P.E. teacher Mrs. Roberts (even though Mrs. Roberts herself asked to be “Ms.”) and it’s signed by Sister Mary Howard – not even her real signature, just a stamp of her signature. Ms. Roberts is dead now. I wonder where Sister Mary Howard is?

Okay, this is going to be one of those blogs where I’m worried people will be worried about me. Not sleeping, reading the Bible in the middle of the night.

Oh, now Mulan is up and we must start our day. I will take a nap today. I will get clear on things. I will eat well. I will take Arden on a hike.


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