Quote Monday

So I happened upon my insights page and compared what I’ve done this year (so far) to the three years prior and the results are dismal. The first year I really took to blogging, I posted 164.  The next year, which saw a great increase of interaction with the outside world, I posted only 112.  Then last year, I posted 118.  Can you imagine with my lulls of inactivity where I might be sitting this year?

21.

Yep.  21 posts (now 22) in seven months.  ((sigh))  Wow.

If those are the results of my blogging, I don’t even want to know what that might mean for my writing.

I set goals for myself at the beginning of the year (last year had proven productive, for the most part), and I wanted to keep that enthusiasm going.  I’m now reevaluating those goals as I’m certain I’m going to fall short at the rate I’m crawling.

How did this happen?!

I may need to reevaluate a few other things as well.  I saw this quote and decided it may be the best way to get motivated again.

NotAPriority

What are your motivational/goal achieving tricks?

What To Do In The In-Between Time

IdeaLightBulb(jeffbullassite)Draft after draft.  Rewrite after rewrite.  Sometimes it feels like all we’re doing is writing in circles.

When you need a break from your beloved, it’s hard to decide what to do in that downtime.  I know I’m usually at a loss.  I try to find a new story idea, or consider rewriting one of my other screenplays, but sometimes you just need to do different work for the same story.

Bang2Write is a great resource for writers, and if you aren’t subscribing to Lucy V Hay’s site, as a screenwriter I would recommend it.  I have found loads of truly useful information, like the following – 7 Useful Things You Can Do Between Drafts.

Using my sci-fi pilot, The Demeter as an example, I’ll go through the steps and show you what I’m thinking about in my own downtime.

  1. Compare/Contrast to “Like” stories – Like the Doctor of Doctor Who, I want my human protagonist to not hold any immediate prejudice because of what an alien might look like (although easier said than done. We humans scare easily.).  The video game Mass Effect inspired the idea behind the human/alien interactions and romance options.  It’s unlike shows such as Firefly because not all the characters are human and not all stories are about human problems.  Star Wars and Star Trek are obvious go-tos, but other than the military connection, which won’t be overly used until season 2, I want to stay away from any ideas influenced by either.
  2. Think it Over – The pilot needs to foreshadow more of the ideas I have for the first season.  In addition to a different opening scene, I need to show the “shady” nature of the ship’s captain so the viewer is unsure for some time whether or not he can be trusted.  Early feedback suggested I integrate an image of where the show “might” go aka Battlestar Galactica always showed Earth as the final destination.  Where do I want the show to go?
  3. Work on Craft – Feedback also recommended I adjust the pacing.  Determine the best course to improve this.
  4. Make Contacts – Besides social media…think outside the box on making contact with those in the industry – Meetups, retreats (within reason), writer’s groups?
  5. Feedback – Build relationships of give and take.  Giving feedback will help my writing as well.  Get back on Zoetrope.
  6. Submission Strategy – I’m already using a calendar to keep track of contest deadlines, but could be better arranged for the whole year.  FilmFreeway is a good resource to use more fully.  Get more than one script ready for submission.
  7. Nothing.  Relax…for a minute. 😉

I hope you find this information as useful as I did.  Happy Writing!

What Happens in Vegas Gets Blogged

Ladies night out.

In Vegas this is not an unusual occurrence.  There were at least 4 brides-to-be among the crowd.  But for me, well, that’s another story.  This is how it all began…

A young lady at work asks, “What are you doing Thursday night?”

I answer sort of skeptically because generally, I’m a flake, “This Thursday?  Nothing?  Why?”

“Wanna see some half naked men?”

I blink.  “Uh, yeah.”

Thunder

The ladies in our events department were given free tickets to the Thunder from Down Under.  For those of you unfamiliar with the show, it’s like Chippendales, with accents.  Well-muscled men dance and flex and pretty much tease the crowd into a frenzy of handsy, screaming, lose your inhibitions (mostly) women.

It’s a good time.

We ended up at what now seems like a strategically placed table, and for some reason The Sis and I ended up at the front of it.  In the line of fire, so to speak.  So it really should come as no surprise, but totally did, that for the first “grab a woman and drag her up on stage” moment, I was chosen.

Uh oh.

The seasoned dancer, “Alexander” was a big and burly guy with a full man beard, and was thankfully as tall as I was.  (You’ll understand why this is important later.)  Many of the other guys were quite slight in comparison.  He spun me around and made gestures that made the women squeal.  It was all a blur except for one thought, “Heels, don’t fail me now!”

He tells me to “relax”.

All right.  I know I’m at a show that induces women to forget themselves, and asks them to check their reserve at the door, but at this point, I had only had one drink.  And I’m half English.  This is about as relaxed as you, Alexander, are gonna get.

He sits me in a swivel chair and continues to dance, thrust, and gesture.  I’m like a deer in the headlights, not quite sure what to do.  I try to find my friends beyond the blinding light, and I can see hints of them waving their arms and screaming in encouragement.

I decide to ham it up.

I’m uncomfortable, and am one of those girls who would rather make conversation than feel them up.  This is their job.  Yes, they’re gorgeous, and sexy, and have accents, but do I really want to slide my hands up and down their sweaty flesh in front of a bunch of strangers?!  Well, when I put it that way…

No!

He tells me to relax, again.

I kind of what to yell at him that I am.

Another blur of seconds pass, and he tells me to hold on tight.  Ah, crap.  He’s going to attempt to pick me up.  And he does.  (At 6 feet tall, this is a huge bonus as pretty much everyone I know is unable to do this.  I swoon a little inside.)  I think I had my eyes squeezed tight out of fear, and clung onto him like a baby monkey, so it came as a surprise when he laid me down upon the stage.

More dancing happens.  All I can hear are the women screaming.  I’m sort of shell shocked.

He flips me over onto my stomach and I pose.  The ladies laugh.  After a few more moves, it’s over.  My heels are still a burden as he helps me up and embraces me in a sweaty hug and kisses my cheek.  I think I thanked him.  For what I’m not sure.  The memories?

He helps me navigate the stairs, because I’m both unnerved and embarrassed, and I fall back into my seat desperate for my drink.

My friends love the whole thing.  Later in the ladies room, I hear some of the women talking about me.  One of them tells me I should’ve taken more advantage of Alexander.  I kind of laugh it off, but I’m reassured by the fact that none of the other women taken up on stage did any groping either.

Maybe it’s that thing of having the spotlight on you when you haven’t sought it out.  You’re not prepared, you’re unsure.

Overall, it was a memorable evening.  There was a lot of laughter and I bonded with some of the ladies I work with.  The next day it was THE topic of discussion.  They had told everyone.  Even the GM had a few jokes for me.

So, you might be wondering what this has to do with anything I normally talk about here…well, the dancer sort of looked like a Dragon Age character, or two. 😉  He’s the third from the left, but I’m intrigued by the Chris Evans look-a-like who was sadly absent that evening.  Also, as the name of my blog suggests, I have a terrible memory, so what happens not only in Vegas, but anywhere really, goes viral, as a reminder. 😉

Quote of the Week

PassionIgnore the working out aspect of this quote (unless you’re also into that) and think on what the words mean.  Where do you spend this kind of energy?

Is it on your writing (or other form of art)?

I know I don’t always put such passion into my work, as any artist knows, not all days encourage such intensity of emotion, but most days, we should have it.

As a “yet to be professional” screenwriter, I’m passionate about everything I write because they are the stories I want to tell.  It’s my hope, in time, I will have the opportunity to feel this same intensity on a professional level.  Because if we’re not passionate about our art, then why are we doing it?

It’s a thankless path for the most part, well, at least until we “make it”.  It’s hard and it’s lonely and nobody cares about our struggles – their concern is for the final result, so we have to have passion.

I spoke with a fellow writer once who wanted to give up.  They hadn’t had any success and just didn’t feel the drive to continue.  My advice was to take a break and see if they missed it.  Like a relationship, which is pretty much what it is, a little perspective via distance can help a great deal.  Hopefully, a little time away will reignite the fire, but if not, they won’t waste any more precious time on something that doesn’t spark such emotion.

Because I believe that this is something we all want to find – something that drives us, something that we’re willing to give up sleep for, and let our minds wander off to…

So tell me.  What are you passionate about write now? 😉

Where Did May Go?!

Goodness.  Visiting my site and finding that the last post was back in April makes me feel like quite the lazy blogger.  Eek!  It’s June!  Not a single post in May?!  Now, I know I’ve been busy with the new job (no routine, weird hours), but I wasn’t compelled to share anything that happened last month?  Shameful.

cher

So I suppose I have to do a “look back” type post in order to remember years down the road from now what happened.

  1. The new job is among one of the best jobs in the service industry I’ve had.  There are great people to work with, there’s variety in the work, and the compensation is top notch!  I finally have a savings account..what a wonderful feeling.
  2. The new car is lovely again after a major accident that involved six cars after only a month of having her (not our fault).  She’s back in pristine condition, and I have to say, I made a great choice.  She’s getting a Dragon Age themed nickname because she’s a tank.  She took the hit like a champ. 😉
  3. The Sis and I got geek inspired sister tattoos. It My DA Tattoowas not a hurt I wish to endure again any time soon (even though I still have a few finishing touches needed), but in the end, worth it.  Yes, Dragon Age is a part of it because, of course!
  4. I took a small jaunt back to LA.  It was my first time on a plane in like five years, and it was the very first time I had ever been away from my furbabies overnight.  I need to use this newfound monetary-rewarding job to get out more often!
  5. My TV pilot finished in the finals of one contest, so I entered a couple more.  ((Crossing fingers))
  6. I finished the final in-canon chapters of the Dragon Age fanfic.  Finally.  I’d like to say I can move on, but now I have all those non-canon stories to tell.  ((Sigh))

I think that about covers it.

So, how are you?  I’ve missed you all, and will do my best to not let such a lapse occur again.  Anything exciting to share?

Wishing you all the best!

Quote of the Week

A couple of weeks ago, I discovered that I had not placed in the top of the last contest I had entered.  I was excited to have advanced at all, let alone make it to the finals, but I was still disappointed – to get so close.  Ah well.  It’s time to move beyond this latest round and look forward.

Easier said than done.

It was a huge boost to my (writer’s) ego to get that bit of validation, but now here I am again, starting at square one.  I have that tune in my head, “second verse, same as the first”.  Creatives have a tough gig.  So I was trying to find a quote this week that speaks to those of us who continue to try, despite the odds, because passion dictates that we do.

I present the following:

Churchill-Success

Yes, this is a quote that most likely relates to a world war, but the message can be applied to anyone who continues to strive towards their goal.  It is my hope that we all do!

Best Wishes and Happy Writing!

Writing Prompt Challenge Accepted #22

Yes, the slacker has returned. 😉 And she finally took up the challenge.  If you’re wondering what I’ve been up to, take a look at Chapter 4 of the Dragon Age fanfic under “Scribbles”.  This goes back to my last post about writers and their OCDs.  It’s a problem (and there’s still more to come).

These were written late last night in an effort to write, well, anything else.  I call them flash fiction – no prep, quick, with little editing – stream of consciousness style.  
Something Dumb

Bad Idea

Help, I did something dumb.”

We all stared at her – various parts of her body were bandaged in a makeshift manner, there was a faint smell of burnt hair, and the lights from the room behind her flickered to an indiscriminate beat.

“All you had to do was keep watch.” The captain was flabbergasted.

“I was forced to get creative.”

Water quickly pooled at our feet, and continued to rise. There was a groan of metal and we all looked at one another worried.

“I said it was dumb.”

We lurched sideways.

“Will it at least work?” The captain asked gravely.

“I suppose we’ll soon find out.”

That was not reassuring.

GoldDustRitual

She hadn’t set foot in the temple in a hundred years. It was both strange and familiar. Little had changed over the millennia, although it was beginning to show signs of age. She twirled the gray streak in her hair fondly with one hand as she gingerly let her other hand rest on one of the columns.

They had endured.

She began to hum a haunting melody; the sound filled the empty space. As the song swelled, her body moved in fluid rhythm until she positioned herself under the great rotunda and twinkling golden light shone down upon her. She had come to pay her respects, as she had done countless times before, and they in turn offered her their blessing.

Despite how she had witnessed the outside world change, this ritual allowed her to remember how it all began.

auroraThe Hereafter

I knew I was dreaming. I always dreamt of him – the faceless man my heart knew.

I wore the same gown, we walked the same path…it was always the same.

I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream.

I found happiness in this place, but always felt a cold bitterness at its loss.

And I know it’s true that visions are seldom all they seem…

We always chased the fading sunlight, but today it seemed to grow brighter.

I shielded my eyes and saw a haloed figure.

That look in your eyes is so familiar…

I suddenly felt a warm breeze upon my face, a warm hand in my own.

A faceless man was helping me up.

You’ll love me at once…

“The way you did once.” He started.

“Upon a dream.” I finished.

~*~

It’s never too late to join in the Writing Prompt fun!  If you’ve been inspired, please share!  Happy Writing!

Writer’s OCD

TypewriterFontWriterIf you Google the above, you’ll get a slew of articles and posts about how writers suffer from various forms of obsessive compulsive disorder.  I know I have my own tendencies, I can thank my years in fine dining for that – put this exactly here, move that slightly to the left, straighten it, remove the clutter, organize!  This doesn’t disrupt my daily life, so I suppose it just means I like things a certain way.

And then there’s the writer side – reorganize your desk, yet again, remove the clutter around said desk (which is really just procrastination) oh, and of course, get that story out of your head!  Whenever and wherever.

I’m trying to be a screenwriter.  I mean, I am a screenwriter, but I’m trying to make a profession out of it, so you can imagine the annoyance at having a completely unrelated story taking over your life.  I can’t seem to focus on any other story beyond the one I’m working on now, and it’s bloody fan fiction.  ((exasperated groan))

I’m wondering how many of my fellow writers out in the ‘verse have this problem?

I don’t know how it happened.  I posted a writing prompt of concept art from the video game series Dragon Age a long time ago, and after writing a small chapter, 6,500 words, it slowly began to consume me.  I was struggling with my own work at the time, I remember, and I just wanted to write something.  It became a refuge from my unsatisfying server job, but then I found that I enjoyed thinking up scenes that were unseen in the game or expanding on conversations, etc.

When I write a screenplay, I agonize over every detail, every word, and I found with the fanfic that I could just write – whatever I wanted, without worry, without much forethought or editing.  It was so freeing.*  What I’ve posted so far sits at about 68,000 words.  Are you kidding me?!  I think this is where the writer’s OCD comes in.  After so much time and energy invested, I have to finish it.

The problem is two-fold.  1) This has taken away from the writing I want to do for my livelihood, but then again, any writing is good, right?!  2) Writing this story has opened up more possibilities, and now I want to explore those story lines.  When will it end?!

I feel like I should be asking for help, and yet, I am loving every moment.  I keep thinking if I write one more chapter, or finish a particular story line the OCD will subside, but it just seems to be getting worse.  I think another part of the problem is that at my old job I was alone a lot, without much to do, so I could escape, now there are too many people around.  The routine I had set has been disrupted and needs a new avenue to find its way.

So I guess I’m looking for advice or validation. 😉

If you suffer from a similar predicament, let’s commiserate!

*Just type Dragon Age or fanfic into my search bar to see what I’m talking about.

 

It’s a Smorgasbord

Hi-SmileyEmoticonA lot has happened in a short time, and much of my free time has been taken up with, albeit good things, but time consuming nonetheless.  I have had very little time to do the things I enjoy, like writing here.

Hi!  I hope you’re all well.  Today I’ve decided to share a little bit of everything, I’m so very behind. 😉  There’s some good news, a quote, and a writing prompt.

So the good news.  I got a new job and start this week.  Yay!  This has made it necessary to buy a “new to me” car, which is where all my free time has gone – research mode.

And then the best news of all, my pilot advanced to the semi-finals of the Fresh Voices contest.  Yes!  Yes!  Yes!  (Happy dancing ensues!)  Positive feedback is hard to come by in this, my chosen field, so you can imagine the boost to my psyche upon learning such wonderful news, which I had to read four times to see if my eyes were deceiving me, in part because I was having this weird side effect of water drippage. 😉

Now, the quote.  This is about staying positive, which is sometimes hard to do:

Life

 

And then there’s this Writing Prompt, number 101, for those of you up to the challenge:

Something Dumb

I hope to be back to the old routine soon.  Wishing you all the very best in your endeavors!  Happy Writing!

Where Does the Time Go?

I was scattered all last week.  It was my birthday, again, can you believe it?!  I asked for the day off because in the environment I work in, working on your birthday is grounds for  inflicted harm…on others.  I don’t care that you want a side of ranch with your fries, in fact, I hope you choke on those fries. Kidding.  Sort of.

In order to get my birthday off, I had to pick up another day in exchange.  This is the third rhairday off I’ve asked for in over a year and a half by the way.  So I had one day on, one day off – all week, hence, I got very little accomplished.  Although, I did manage to squeeze in this –>

The hair grows like a weed, and for a couple of reasons, I let it grow and grow until all the kids were calling me Rapunzel or Elsa.  With the birthday looming on the horizon, it was time to mix things up a bit.  Now I have to do my hair everyday.  Sigh.  😉

This week, I just haven’t been able to get to the computer.  I’m planning to cosplay this year, one of my 2017 resolutions, and I’ve been out hunting for supplies, tools, etc.  I thought I would share the process and the progress.  As a newbie, it will be interesting to see when I finally break down and cry.  More on that later.

And then there’s the writing.  Not much of that happened last week.  Actually, nothing happened last week.  This week I’ve turned my attention to finishing the first draft of a new screenplay.  I was about 45 pages in when I abandoned the project, and because of it’s theme, it’s rather timely, I should probably get back to that.  I’m giving myself a deadline…it is submission season after all.

How the time flies whether you’re having fun or not. 😉

How was your week?  I hope you’re doing better at reaching your goals than I did this past week.  Happy Writing!