Jurassic Park Truisms
This movie is one of my all-time favorite adventure flicks—and the one I tend to pause on when channel surfing. Sick, tired, or in need of background noise, Jurassic Park hits all my happy buttons. If you’ve not seen it (the very first one, 1993), this blog has tons of spoilers. Stop reading, go watch it, and then come back.
If it’s been a tick, watch it again. And pay close attention to the dialog.
I still laugh at some of the lines, even as they topple out of my mouth. (I know, I know…I scold my dear hubs for watching The Andy Griffith show as he pretends he doesn’t know that Barney’s about to shoot his foot off with that one bullet, but this is about me now. And I’m allowed to know every line in this particular Spielberg flick.)
A few days ago, I found it airing for free, and I listened with a whole new set of ears—ears of a head-spinning writer in the middle of a pandemic. Some lines fit the world-wide scenario we find ourselves in. Some exchanges fit what’s going on in my own house.
Many fit my current writing predicaments. I’ll share a few. You listen for yourself. See what sticks.
Here we go:
“I hate computers,” says Dr. Alan Grant when he’s at the dig in the opening scene and everyone’s using tech instead of good, old-fashioned digging and education to unearth fossils. I, too, have a certain hatred of the things. But they’re a necessary evil (I can’t imagine the wrist strength required to chug out manuscripts longer than a page without one). However, my laptop reminds me every other day that it’s about to give up the ghost and turn into a digital dinosaur soon. The screen jiggles and wiggles just like the one in the movie. Soon... Very soon.
“That doesn’t look very scary, ” says the unnamed idiot kid at dig site regarding a velociraptor. I can hear government leaders all over the world say the same as they look at the puffy coronavirus sphere. Ahem. Then Dr. Grant schools the kid in all things vicious raptor, right down to the gutting.
“The kind of control you’re attempting is not possible.” Dr. Ian Malcomb (my favorite guy in the movie), warns the scientists they’re out of their collective minds. I thought I had a plan and a fuzzy sense of control over my life as I flew home from the Vegas writers’ workshop in February. Yeah. That’s what I get for trying to make all of my dinosaurs female. Or putting my ducks in a row, heaven forbid.
“Hold on to your butts.” Ray Arnold (Samuel L Jackson’s character) when the scientists, lawyer, and two children start their tour of the dino-themed amusement park. Yeah. This quote is multifunctional no matter what industry or crisis you’re in. He also said this as he tried to reboot the park’s massive IT system. How appropriate. Rebooting a system.
“Life finds a way.” I fear Dr. Malcomb will be correct once again as we get further into the pandemic. A virus has a way of finding a way, too. So do goats, pigeons, monkeys, bears, and reindeer as these creatures overtake the now human-less landscapes. Very interesting what nature’s doing at the moment.
Or, you could be more optimistic than I and say humans will find a way (to overcome, to come together, to make a difference). And we will. For a bit. But I’m a realist. And we’ll likely find a way to royally screw up the next crisis, too.
“How can we possibly have the slightest idea what to expect?” Dr. Grant explaining the ridiculousness of the park. We can also put this quote directly into the mouths of every doctor, politician, statistician, business owner, and author.
“He left us. He left us!” Lex screams this as the lawyer abandons the kids to save his own rear only to be eaten by the T-rex. She says this again to Dr. Grant as he tucks her into a drainpipe for safekeeping until he can get her brother out of a tree. She’s completely and thoroughly freaked. Her voice is high. Her eyes are bulging. She’s shaking with fear.
And this is the moment that hit me the hardest given my internal struggles during this global wildness.
This is me to a T.
Not because I’m spooked of the virus, as serious as it is. Not because I’m petrified to be around people (though that wasn’t my introverted self’s favorite thing in the first place). Not because I’ve lost a chunk of my “day job” (because I have, but it’ll come back. Maybe). Not because my husband has days off work all willy-nilly and I never know how to cope in the kitchen.
But this is me in my writing office.
Little Miss Muse. The one that keeps me company as I create. The one that whispers those glorious gems of dialog and sprinkles glittery ideas from her purple bag of tricks as I plod away at the keyboard. The one that holds my hand through plots thick and thin. The one that reminds me she dropped a “Little Miss Muse bomb” five chapters ago on purpose and slaps me upside the back of the head to remind me to use it. Weave it in. Don’t waste the magic.
Her. Little Miss. That creative purple winged imp disappeared when the pandemic showed up.
She left me.
She left me.
Don’t have a clue where she’s run off to, or what she’s doing. Even this blog post, which should bring her out of hiding to have a tiny tidbit of fun, isn’t cutting it.
I’ve left my office window open. Baited her with firecrackers that I’ve caked in purple glitter—her favorite shades of lavender to be exact. I’ve stocked her favorite purple soda, grape bubblegum, and Chunky Monkey (gag me, but that’s a muse’s pantry for you). Even bought her a brand-new pair of high heels (purple, of course). The ones that go clickety-clack when she dances as my keyboard makes the same sounds.
In the meantime, I’ve switched gears. The 52 story challenge is done, and I’ve got proofreading and publishing to work on. I’ve got classes to take.
And I’ll wait. But not for long. Because that novel is itching at the back of my brain. And if she wants any credit for that endeavor at all, she’d better show up. Soon. Or I’m going on without her.
Maybe I’ll post a job listing for creative muses. See if there’s a black-and-white polka-dotted dinosaur or an overweight cigar-smoking basement-dweller that’d be up for the task. They’d likely be less maintenance, but the training they’d require? Oh my. Please, Little Miss. Pretty purple pleases all day long…
Okay. Now that I’ve vented and gone all snarky, here’s a little encouragement…
“Hold on to your butts.”
When things reboot in a few weeks. Hold on.
If things don’t reboot. Hold on.
If your muse or mind or money has gone missing in the coronavirus muck. Hold on.
At some point, the world will spin or jump or jiggle or jive. Whatever “it” looks like next…
Just. Hold. On.
And leave your window open a bit. Maybe allow a little ray of hope to wiggle through the crack and snuggle up next to you while you sleep…