Freudian Slips: Living the Life of Reilly

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Location: Irony, New Jersey, United States

Life takes us many places. It's a box of chocolates and a Hansel and Gretal trail of candy wrappers. I have filmed as an actor in The Happening, Invincible, The Lovely Bones, The Bounty Hunter, The Greek American, Bazookas, Limitless, TV's Its Always Sunny in Philly, Outlaw, New York, The Warrior, The Nail, Game Change, Cold Case, & commercial work includes The Philadelphia Eagles, Septa, Coors, Turbo Tax & Carnival Cruises. Freudian Slips spotlights irony in short story format.

December 01, 2004

Living the Life of Reilly

The lead sentence for any writing assignment should be thought of as the first words you say to a bridge jumper. If you don’t catch people’s attention from the jump, the splash you hoped for in your writing is now but a blip in the water. My killer lead worked, if you are still reading.
I recently wrote slobbery fan mail to Rick Reilly, the renowned writer from Sports Illustrated magazine. Rick’s writing style carries both a dramatic flare and an acerbic edge. I spill envy all over the page when I read his weekly column. If he wrote his column on toilet paper, I would be first in line at the bathroom door screaming let the shit hit the fan!
In my letter to Rick Reilly, I let on that I am a wannabe scribe and an admirer of his prose. I asked him to check out my Blog and if he could throw a few peanuts of pointers my way, I would be all Dumbo ears. My motto is don't ask and you shall never receive.
My adulations for Rick Reilly really are two hands clapping. As of late, I have even incorporated Rick Reilly into my Blog writing. After I write a rough draft, I will go read snippets of Rick Reilly’s finished artistry. I return to my own drafts with such inspiration it could cause a paper shortage at Staples. This exercise for better writing I call my own myopic “Living the Life of Reilly.” It is a catchy phrase but one that has not escaped the master because “Life of Reilly” is the title of Rick’s column.
I received a reply email from Rick Reilly on November 29, 2004. I don’t want readers to flip a wig here. It is a form letter. But it is a form letter…related to becoming a better writer. I suspect Rick must have a form letter for every topic down to jalapeno pepper seed harvesting. I’ve heard of prepared statements but something struck me as funny for a prolific columnist to have a prepared form letter to save words.
Nonetheless, I do not let the opportunity go to waste. I begin to read about how a young Rick Reilly got his start in sports writing. I absorb the roll call of Pen Zen Masters who inspired him. He even provides practical examples of how to transform basic writing to distinct authorship. His words dance like Sioux Indians before a needed rain. My eyes are absorbed by the content. I fall into a hero worship of his talent. It feels both wonderful and a cold slap in the face reading someone who writes with the skill and style I always wanted to. That’s when I remembered this is only a generic form letter. Heaven's to Betsy, the master got this young apprentice again. If I find out Rick Reilly signed his next book deal with Scott’s paper products, I’ll be sitting down for that one…in the bathroom.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kept my attention from one paragraph to the next. Your writing is flowing with the beat of your heart and getting full of substance. Keep it up! Post from et.

8:01 PM  

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