Frequently Asked Questions, Part 1: "How Do You Spend Your Day?" and "What Are You Working on?"

I'm launching a new occasional feature today that aims to answer questions that I am most frequently asked. Although the question I receive most by far is, "What hole is your favorite?," we'll save that one for a later date and tackle these two: "How do you spend your day?" and "What are you working on?"

When it comes to how people perceive me, folks tend to fall into two camps. There are those who think I am a stereotypical overachieving Asian, a workaholic who slaves away at various projects with tireless (and inscrutable!) dedication and focus. And then there are those who assume I do pretty much nothing but watch TV, surf the Internet, and download porn, since I am home all day long. To the former people, I feel like a fraud because I think they over-idealize the life of a writer; to the latter people, I feel like smacking them because you don't achieve the things that I've achieved by lounging about with a vibrator rammed up your ass all day. What's closer to the truth is probably something in the middle.

On an average day, I spend about 4 to 6 hours on actual writing for various writing projects and about 2 hours checking e-mail, reading news online and other people's blogs, writing my own blog, and working on the "business" end of a writing career (research, PR, website work, etc.). These 6 to 8 "working hours," however, are not necessarily consecutive. They may (and often are) "interrupted" by The People's Court, lunch, afternoon walks and errands, arcade visits, going to the movies, reading plays for the class I'm teaching, etc. But it all adds up to 6 to 8 per day, just spread out over time. When I'm under deadline or particularly inspired (which has been lately), my actual writing time may increase up to double and I'll be on my computer late into the night.

Additionally, I try to watch one or more movies every day, either in the theater or on DVD, as well as do a little reading (what I often refer to affectionately as "channeled texts from disembodied entities"). In terms of TV, all I watch are The People's Court, The Office, and Dexter. (When spring comes, I'll add 24 and Celebrity Apprentice.) Other non-"working hours" activities include playgoing, concerts, etc.

The creative projects I'm working on are as follows:

* I'm on the second draft of the Raunchy Comedy Movie that I was hired to write by Film People Who Shall Currently Remain Mysterious. For the movie, which looks like it will be independently financed, I've had to get into the mindset of a wild straight frat boy and write that way, all while subverting things with the occasional flashes of unusual intelligence. The screenplay is based on an idea by the Film People Who Shall Currently Remain Mysterious, but they've let me take lots of liberties with the story, as I have proven to them that smart smut is what I'm all about.

* I'm on the first draft of a Kafka-Inspired Comedy Movie that I was courted to write on spec by a Company That Shall Currently Remain Mysterious. Despite your assumptions, the idea is actually very broad (but has a subversive undercurrent) and is indeed inspired by Franz Kafka. Yes, I've actually been reading Kafka, which means pigs are flying.

* I'm writing and compiling new pieces for Jukebox Stories: The Case of the Creamy Foam, which runs at Impact Theatre in the spring. I'm also working on early PR for the show, booking more West Coast dates, and working with Brandon to flesh out the concept of this sequel.

* I've been kicking around the idea for a new play, which I've worked on, on and off, for a couple years now. But it needs some more research, and I have a new book coming in the mail to aid me in that regard. The book is Shades of White: White Kids and Racial Identities in High School by Pamela Perry. Pretty damn intriguing, isn't it?

I almost forgot—Pork Chop and I also play together every day. Sometimes we play chase, sometimes "Torture," sometimes "Trapped in a Mine Shaft."

(Private note to Someone Who Shall Remain Nameless: When I'm writing, leave me alone! Or, more precisely:

PRINCE: Let me explain something to you. Whenever you come in here and interrupt me, you're breaking my concentration. You're distracting me. And it will then take me time to get back to where I was. Understand?

SOMEONE WHO SHALL REMAIN NAMELESS: Yeah.

PRINCE: All right. Now we're gonna make a new rule. Whenever I'm in here and you hear me typing or whether you don't hear me typing or whatever the fuck you hear me doing in here, when I'm in here, that means that I am working, that means don't come in. Now do you think you can handle that?

SOMEONE WHO SHALL REMAIN NAMELESS: Yeah.

PRINCE: Fine. Why don't you start right now and get the fuck out of here?)

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BAMBOO NATION: Frequently Asked Questions, Part 1: "How Do You Spend Your Day?" and "What Are You Working on?"
Frequently Asked Questions, Part 1: "How Do You Spend Your Day?" and "What Are You Working on?"
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