On my 40th birthday, my dad drove up from Capon Bridge for my surprise party. Seeing him strutting in the door of Starport really made my day.
At some point, he made mention of an old friend from high school and what she had said about me the last time he saw her.
"Your son was the whitest black boy I had ever met!"
I laughed and so did he. It was funny. It's still funny.
But then it kind of bothered me so I thought about writing about it. Then, I remembered I have a whole episode of Hyphen Nation about this very subject.
I was so proud of this episode that it made me think I had nothing left to say on my podcast, so I spent the next episode ending the podcast before I took it all back in an added-on clip.
In March of 2020, during my first week at home, I logged into my website.
Only to discover I had been hacked.
Spammers love to hack into unprotected WordPress code and ruin your site. And all of my posts and pages had malicious code everywhere.
It was an uncertain time. Kobe died and then the entire world shut down. Angel and I had been in Pittsburgh in February. Angel and Aaliyah had been in New York City a weekend or so before. And now, we were all home together. And my website was screwed up.
So I didn't take the time to successfully clean my site. Instead, I logged into GoDaddy and wiped out the WordPress files from the file manager. Everything was backed up, so it was fine.
Everything was not fine.
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The original incarnation of It's Not Gonna Write Itself was made up of 9 pieces:
Introduction - a reintroduction to me writing regularly for the first time since my first newsletter, I Once Scored 100 Points with Penny Hardaway, which I stopped in 2017.
Mariano - I wrote about the retirement of Mariano Rivera. I don't know why considering I've been a Red Sox fan for much of my adult life.
Championship Basketball League - I created a basketball game in junior high. It was a mess. But it was also glorious.
The Long Way Down - I posted the first chapter of my unfinished book, The Long Way Down.
Shoe Check - I posted what I had so far of a screenplay I started based on my old job.
In The Cut - This one was about how my lunch time spot at the mall got invaded by a mall employee.
An Old Favorite Returns - I resurrected my old WWE column, Promos By Hyphen, to talk about the build between Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, and Ronda Rousey heading into WrestleMania 35.
RE: Is Writing Fun - a response to a blog Marcus wrote on his site. This is the only one I still have.
It's Always Been You - I think this one was about video games.
I had no backups of any of these other than the response to Marcus. Now, if I’m anything, I’m definitely a digital hoarder. I have backups of almost every website I created going back to 2004. I may have even backed up my site in 2018.
But not in 2019. The site, while frustrating to wipe clean and rebuild, was the easy part. Not owning that writing drives me up a wall.Two of the posts were me being lazy and reposting other writing. But I really liked a few of them.
I spent months trying to find the full columns. Nothing in my inbox. Nothing on Google Docs. Nothing in my work inbox. No word docs. No dice on my external hard drive. I scoured the Wayback Machine for weeks as I rebuilt the site, thinking that somehow, my writing could be found. All I found was broken links and shattered dreams. And yes, I'm being dramatic but I wanted my writing back.
So since then, I’ve debated what to do. I could attempt to rewrite them all (aside from Mariano and An Old Favorite Returns). But I feel I’m a better writer now and that any rewrites wouldn’t have the same charisma of their originals, so I’ve never tried.
So what is the point?
The point is, those lost writings helped me come back from a period where I wasn’t writing and I needed an outlet to get back to it. Just like I used TikTok to get my confidence back for rapping, INGWI has done the same for writing. Since relaunching officially in January 2022, I’ve written about several different things and I’ve loved them all. I even had the guts to do a new adventure of my Deadpool/Jessica Jones audio drama on Hyphen Nation. That wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for this newsletter.
But now, for your entertainment, I present a reenactment of each of those pieces in two sentences each:
Introduction: I used to write this other newsletter but this is my new one. Writing is hard but I’m going to stick with it this time.
Mariano: Mariano Rivera was unstoppable. I’m glad he’s retiring.
Championship Basketball League: I made this basketball game where I would set a timer for 12 minutes and then describe the action back and forth to myself until I played all 4 quarters. I kept stats and played the entire season and playoffs until a champion was crowned.
In The Cut: I used to hang out in a stairwell at the mall on lunch and watch YouTube. One day, a mall employee started coming out semi-frequently at the same time and talked to me while getting high on his lunch.
An Old Favorite Returns: Ronda should be the heel and I’m really excited for this triple threat match. I sure hope Becky is healthy because she has been milking this injury angle and I want to see her looking strong going into WrestleMania.
It’s Always Been You: I would throw tantrums when I had to leave a house with a video game console as a child, so my parents weren’t trying to get me my own system. I am a Mario Kart Wii and Mario Party 8 Gawd.
That’s really the gist of them. Oh, I forgot:
Shoe Check hasn’t had one word touched since I started it in this very basement in late 2016. I think there’s still something there, so hopefully, I’ll come back to it soon.
The beginning of The Long Way Down needs to be rewritten. I realized recently that I don’t want my two protagonists to be cops, which is how they’re introduced in the entire first chapter. So I’ll be changing them to private investigators. The first chapter with the scene of the crime can still be used but minus Abigail and Gwen.
And for our finale: I present the current ideas I want to write, in one sentence each.
INGWI: I have ideas, no matter how ridiculous they may be.
Fake Interview Book: I want to make a book of long interviews done with fictional people in a fictional universe. Almost if a writer decided to publish all his interviews over the years (I posted the first attempt to start this last year).
The Transcriptionist: I don’t know why she’s a transcriptionist but she is a badass.
A Man Named Bob: His name is Bob and he’s one of the best agents in the world.
It's been cathartic to revisit these lost writings for the 1 year (technically 2 with a 2 year break) anniversary of It's Not Gonna Write Itself. Now, I can at least say they exist again in some fashion. And if I really wanted to write about the Championship Basketball League again, I could do it.
I mean, you totally want to hear about how my 4 team league expanded to 12 in 3 seasons led by stars such as Kelen Conley and Matthew Spencer?
I know, me too!
Happy anniversary INGWI.
Item! The aforementioned Alias Investigations audio drama continued on Hyphen Nation 206.
Item! Noveliss and Handsome Bane unleashed their Jake The Snake Invitational on the world in the latest episode of the Rasslecast Power Hour.
Item! The full video for Hyphen Nation 204 arrived this week as well.
fake Interview Book is golden.