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Posts tagged ‘writing’

Oops

I feel so accomplished every time I post on my blog, but that feeling is usually short lived because before I know it I’ve gone weeks without writing here! I blame it on all the changes WordPress has made because I need an excuse. I’m sure the changes are fairly simple to comprehend but just because I come from a generation that is stereotypically supposed to understand technology and the internet doesn’t mean I do. When I move out of my families house (in a month!), it’s going to be me that’s calling my father asking how to turn on gadgets and fix the computer, not the other way around.

My original plan after slacking off was a well defined “post more often”. Then I got too ambitious and decided I should try to blog every day, as I’ve seen some bloggers do. This is my ideal goal because I think it’d be great to post everyday even if it was something small and I’d get to see what the people I’m subscribed to are up to every day. I’m going to be realistic and officially set a goal to blog every other day. This shouldn’t be too daunting so hopefully I’ll be able to manage it. See you Thursday!

Is blogging easy for you? If so, share your secrets with me. Please.

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A Good Hair Day

I didn’t brush my hair today. My perfectly logical explanation is that I couldn’t find a brush. Because I am the kind of person that frequently misplaces their hairbrush, which doesn’t even seem like it should be possible, but I always take mine in the car or in my purse. Our house is sparse and uncluttered because of the showings and I still managed to lose it. Though considering how good my hair looks today it might have to stay gone. This is the second day my brush has been missing and I swear my hair looked great both days. And that’s probably only 20% or 30% wishful thinking. I only did the fingers through the hair quick comb and yet it seems to be much less frizzy and unkempt than usual.

In addition to the hair, I feel like I’ve had a pretty good day. I was productive and I had a free meal at Subway with my mom. My veggie sandwich happened to be on the low fat list of subs (I’m ignoring the amount of cheese and mayo I added), I’ve been able to get some writing done, I worked out, and I studied Spanish for a little while. The only thing I can hope for is that this continues until tomorrow. It seems like every good day I have is followed by a day that I wear sweatpants and don’t leave the couch.

I suppose all of this is my way of saying I am glad to have some Mary Oliver in my life.

Reckless Poem- Mary Oliver

Today again I am hardly myself.
It happens over and over.
It is heaven-sent.

It flows through me
like the blue wave.
Green leaves – you may believe this or not –
have once or twice
emerged from the tips of my fingers

somewhere
deep in the woods,
in the reckless seizure of spring.

Though, of course, I also know that other song,
the sweet passion of one-ness.

Just yesterday I watched an ant crossing a path, through the
tumbled pine needles she toiled.
And I thought: she will never live another life but this one.
And I thought: if she lives her life with all her strength
is she not wonderful and wise?
And I continued this up the miraculous pyramid of everything
until I came to myself.

And still, even in these northern woods, on these hills of sand,
I have flown from the other window of myself
to become white heron, blue whale,
red fox, hedgehog.
Oh, sometimes already my body has felt like the body of a flower!
Sometimes already my heart is a red parrot, perched
among strange, dark trees, flapping and screaming.

Technology Deprived

I turned into an old woman for a week. More specifically my mother. She stretches out on the couch, gets all set to watch her favorite shows, and then she’s asleep before the first commercial break. I’d come home around eight or nine this week and promptly doze on the couch for a couple hours. I think I was out by 10:00 every night. I didn’t know what else to do since my computer was broken.  I guess I can’t really understand that logic now but it made sense at the time. I like watching TV but it’s not something I can sit still for unless I’m doing something else. So this may have been first clue that I rely on my computer too much.

Or maybe that came as soon as I drove home from dropping it off and my first thought upon entering was that I should look up the song I just heard on the radio. And it continued like that. I’d want to check facebook then I’d remember, go to write then I’d remember. I don’t know at which point it become normal for me to write using the computer. Maybe its the three bags full of papers and notebooks that are in no discernible order.

I’m usually always on my computer. Sometimes I’m even doing something productive on it. Something went wrong with it (determined to not be my fault, yay).  The picture would freeze or turn gray and I had to move the screen to adjust it and get it to work again. This started out fine but when I was shaking it like an Etch-A-Sketch to get it to return to normal I figured it was probably time to just send it in.

The computer is back now and I’m happy. I did manage to get a few things accomplished without it. I got some cleaning done, I washed and folded a huge amount of laundry, I watched all of Party Down while washing said laundry. When I didn’t have anything else to do during TV I tried doing stomach crunches. I resorted to exercise and cleaning. I’m so glad my computer is back.

The Benefit Of My Ethics Class?

I had great professors in college that were witty and challenging, and some who I didn’t bother setting my alarm for. Some professors like to make you think, others don’t care they just want you to know the material. And there’s that third category that pops up sometimes of professors who do want to make you think, but only about how brilliant they are.

My ethics professor was this third kind of person. He liked to pose moral quandaries and no matter what was said he wanted to poke a hole in the other person’s argument. One could say he was trying to make us critical thinkers but he didn’t give up until everyone agreed with him or just stopped trying. He liked asking vague questions then judging our character based on the answer. One question was would you rather see a play or eat a fine meal? The play is supposed to prove you’re a thinker, and you value the important things in life, but I picked meal because my idea of a great meal at the time was crab cakes and I’d take that over an unknown play anytime.

I once got asked if a person who bought a gun and bullets and went to shoot someone was guilty of the crime even if they stopped beforehand because they wouldn’t be able to get away with it. The answer he was looking for was a sin in the heart is an actual sin, but my answer was no. Attempted murder alright, but unless he pulled the trigger, I wasn’t willing to call it murder. I gave up once I started getting a lecture about Christian teachings, most of my ethics and philosophy classes turned into religion classes instead.

Of course, I could have had a worse teacher. My best friend Megan used to text me in class about what her professor was saying. The one I remember most was the lesson about how it’s okay to eat animals because they can’t feel pain. I thought she should have debated that one since its pretty easy to call bullshit on that but she went the smart ass route and muttered that abortion must be fine then so she was glared into silence for the rest of the class.

There was a bright side to my ethics class and all the boring classes and self righteous teachers I encountered in college. I wrote instead of listening to them. There was a whole chunk of time where my only choices were listen to someone drone on or get some writing done. It was probably one of the times I was most productive.

A lot of my ideas happened like this,  sitting spacing off in a class, and a lot of them have grown since I’ve been out of school. Right now I’m working on a pilot that I thought of in that ethics class.  However, at one of my last screenwriters meetings I got a kind of reality check. A writer there has been in the business for over thirty years. He’s sold dozens of scripts. One was used. And he didn’t get to stay on any of the projects. I’ve been working on one of my ideas since sophomore year in that class. It would be absolutely heartbreaking to have it sitting somewhere unused. Or to have it turn into something that I don’t get any input in.  I’m trying to get used to this, even though it makes me nervous. I suppose the brightside would be that someone bought it at all. The reality is that even if my scripts do get bought, it’s still unlikely they get made, and once they do, it’s even more unlikely that they’ll make it to the point where they get six seasons and a movie (I’m having Community withdrawals). I know this is the reality, I just prefer not to think about it. I don’t really know what to do about it. The only answer I’ve come up with so far is “oh well”, and then I just keep writing.

I’m not sure what that ethics class taught me. The professor thought separation of church and state was an injustice. But hey, if my script is bought some day at least I’d get some use out of that class afterall.

Aspiration for the day: I’ve got nothing to do all afternoon. I need to clean something. Ugh.

Observation

The screenwriting book I’m using talks about using lean yet descriptive writing to introduce characters. So probably not the string of adjectives and lengthy backstory I sometimes create. It’s also important for characters to have a unique trait. For example, the girl with the dragon tattoo has a dragon tattoo, Blair Waldorf always wears headbands. Or she used too, I don’t keep up with that show as much anymore. I can pare my descriptions down, but I think I need more work on giving characters something distinctive.

Another thing my acting teacher said is to always be working on my five senses. Which basically means to be aware, to experience what’s happening around me and take it in. This is difficult for someone who is always spacing out. So I’ve decided to try to start observing people and documenting their quirks. Maybe this will give me inspiration when developing my own characters, or at least give me an acceptable reason to people watch without being too creepy.

So person number one, a waiter at work: He’s a boy having a love affair with water. He slurps it out of a tiny paper cup with a straw and always exclaims “this shit is so good”.

 

Grand Opening: new "water drop bouquet&qu...

What is your favorite drink?

Mine is water too. I don’t drink anything else, except for alcoholic beverages. Okay so maybe a margarita is my favorite drink, but thankfully I drink water more.

Small Progress and Small Bugs

The little things matter. I didn’t get started until ten today. When that happens I tend to berate myself and feel like I wasted the day. Today, I made the best of it. I started writing anyway, even got a bit of freelancing done. I did a load of laundry. Sure right now I’m distracted by the Big Bang Theory, but I’m only watching a half hour of it before I do some more writing. And I’m getting this blog post done.

A lot of the time I feel like I’m taking too long to get things finished or I don’t accomplish as much I wanted to. I have to accept that it might take me more time to do things then it takes others. That I do those things is what is important.

The small things matter, and here’s an example I found while going through the sporadic journal I’ve been trying to keep for a while. In the summer I wrote that I saved a grasshopper from the obliteration it would have found under my uncles shoes. While everyone else screamed about the bug, I grabbed my empty water glass and a broom and took it safely outside.

English: A grasshopper at the fort
I save bugs whenever I see them in the house. I’m not a pro at it. It’s a safe bet that while everyone else was screaming about the bug, I was too. At least they have a small house. When I see a spider in my bathroom I have to run down a flight of stairs. I have a spider in a cup and a flimsy piece of paper over it, and I shriek all the way. Bugs scare me, I hate them being in the house but I would never squash one. I plead with them to just get in the cup while I make nervous noises anytime they move closer.  It’s a little thing but I refuse to kill them. Even though it could be agrued that I scare them to death when I fling them out into my yard, I won’t squish them. My family and friends laugh at me and say the bugs don’t matter. But they do to me. If I can put the effort into saving bugs I don’t like, even when I’m scared, surely I can do the same with my own life. I can do the things that frighten me, I can put effort into the small things. Even if it doesn’t seem like I’m doing much, if it matters to me then that’s whats important.

The Editing Process or “Hey look whats on TV!”

I can come up with ideas easily. Oftentimes I have more ideas than I can deal with and they all rush through my head as I race to write them down before I forget them. I can write a story, but I’ve never been an editor. That’s probably readily apparent in the blog posts I’ve written so far. I just don’t have the patience for it and I don’t really care. This was disturbingly common among the English majors I knew. We were all supposed to have this grasp of the language, yet we couldn’t find anyone who really liked grammar or editing to help us with our own papers.

I’m in the editing phase now. So naturally I’m writing a blog about the editing process rather than go through the editing process myself. I’ve been at a standstill since yesterday. But I’m determined to do it so instead of not just getting this finalized, I also haven’t accomplished anything else because I’m adamant about getting somewhere on this first.

There’s a local competition for women screenwriters with a small fee and I’m entering just for the hell of it. It makes me feel accomplished; I want to start entering contests and feeling like I’m making some sort of progress even if the only thing I’ll have to show for myself is rejection letters.

Because the editing process is hard enough for me, my computer has decided to add to the difficulty. It does this thing where it thinks it’s at a rave and the screen flashes black and white a lot before it freezes. Then I have to wiggle the screen back and forth until the picture becomes clear again. It’s kind of like an etch a sketch where I clear away the picture until it reverts to normal.  I need to send it in while it’s still under warranty because it needs a new battery too. I haven’t had it that long but it was bought solely because it was cheap so it probably not a high tech model.

I wanted to finish editing on a different computer in case mine permanently spazzes out. The software I wrote the short on is not compatible with anything else. Not even with itself. I tried just downloading the software on another computer and opening the document but it won’t accept its own product.

I watch a lot of TV but I don’t just randomly turn it on unless there’s a show I like. But whenever I’m procrastinating, everything on TV is suddenly fascinating. Today I was sidetracked by the One Hit Wonders of the 90’s on VH1. I told myself this was productive because maybe I’d remember some songs I loved and add them to my music collection. But Lou Bega or Billy Ray Cyrus probably won’t be on my playlist anytime soon. Who knows though, I did love Mambo Number 5.

Basically, I’m now at the ‘fuck it’ point where my piece seems good to me, or at least good enough and I just want to be done it. But I’m writing this post and then I’m going to go back and try to tackle it. Again.

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