In Search of a Silver Lining

silver-liningI’ve been wondering for the past few days if I wanted to talk about the election and the ramifications.  As you all know, I’ve tried to make this blog a positive place where I hope you’ll find inspiration and, when I actually sit down to write, tips you’ll find useful.  This blog also serves as my diary, in part.  I try to limit the scope to the writing sphere, and although it may not appear so, at least not in the beginning, I’ll get to that bit by the end.

So yes, I’ve decided to talk about it.  At least a little.

I’ve been trying to find a way to remain positive and to find the right words to share here, with you.  Even as a writer, this has been extremely difficult.  I’ll be honest, I cried when the votes were tallied and discovered that a candidate whose entire platform was built upon some of the most deplorable things I’ve ever heard had the audacity to walk up to the podium to accept the presidency and say we needed to come together…the word “hypocrite” came crashing to mind.

I was, in a word, horrified.

I’ve never been politically inclined, or evidently overly patriotic.  Since I was 19, I’ve been trying to find a way to move to England, and I had only become a US citizen two years before.  Did I think about reinstating my Canadian citizenship?  Yep.  Will I?  Well, in my desire to travel and live around the world, it is easier to do so as a Canadian, sooo maybe.  (And no, I was not one of the many who crashed the Canadian immigration website.)

The night of and the following morning, my eyes were glued to social media as if I were witnessing the carnage of an accident.  I couldn’t look away.  But then the gloating started.  The “stop whining” started, and from people I considered “friends”, well, at one point in my life, I mean we’re just Facebook friends now, but still.

Were they so oblivious to what this meant to so many?  Were they just ignoring all the threats made?  The insults?  The blatant lies?  Or were they under the impression that his whole persona was just for show?  That underneath all the “isms” is an actual decent person?  Do they really believe that someone who had aided in dividing the country so greatly is actually the one who will bring us together?

And this is an honest question – Is this what they believe?

Talk about delusion.  There are a number of quotes about the actions of people vs their words, and in either case, the president-elect has shown us his true colors.

I have worked a long time in the food service industry.  I have been assaulted by men at least a dozen times, both physically and verbally, because in their minds, their tip for me providing them with food and drink also included a grope, fondle, grab, or enduring a disgusting string of insults under the guise of a compliment.  Only a couple of weeks before the election, these two older white men who have become regulars at one of the restaurants I work for had the nerve to say that all women would happily allow a man in a position of power to grope them, as if it were some sort of special commendation.

I looked at them aghast and said, “No, we wouldn’t!”

It is not a compliment.  It is not welcomed.  It is not acceptable.  We are not asking for it.  For many of us, we’ve had no avenue to defend ourselves against such behavior.  And when we do speak up, we’re bitches and being difficult, and the assailant gets a slap on the wrist.  And if you’re wondering why we’re feeling even less secure, it’s because the chosen leader of our country not only condones such behavior, but has also perpetrated it (and on minors, no less).

This is just one example of one of the “isms” you think we’re being cry babies about.  There are a number of groups who have been trying to make strides in the direction of equality that now feel an even greater upward battle is just beginning.

Then the voices of rational people started to join together and grow louder.

No, we don’t think all his supporters are hateful people.  No, we do not want him to fail.  That was never even a thought.  He will be our leader, and there is a great deal riding on his “broad shoulders” and his leadership.  We’re all counting on him to be successful.  We’re all hoping for that, even amidst the fear many of us are feeling.

The irony of it all, I suppose, is that for a man who wanted to break down the political system, he has shone a bright light upon it and made a lot more people want to get involved.  Well, maybe not so much irony as a blessing.  Perhaps this is that silver lining we’re looking for.  I don’t overtly share my beliefs.  I try to find quiet ways to do things for the causes I believe in, but that quiet side is done with sitting in the shadows.  She is beyond incensed and ready to find an outlet.  There’s just been too much.

And this is where we get to the writing.

As writers, we have our voices.  There is a great deal we can do.  Whether you write a non-fiction essay about the ramifications of this decision, or you write an allegorical fantasy that thinly veils these contemporary times, we have it within our means to say so much for so many.  We don’t have to stay silent and wonder what we can do to make a difference.

pinWe have our voices.  Let’s use them!

And on a side note, I truly appreciate the safety pin movement created during Brexit, and offer my support to any who need it.  I’ve added my email to my About page.  Feel free to use it if you ever need a friendly ear or a word of encouragement.jossquote

Keep your chins up, my friends!  Let’s do what we can to stay positive and to bridge the divide.  Let’s be kind and open-minded.  Let’s stand against all the “isms” and find a way to help one another.  We’re all in this together!

xx, Rach

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Opportunities for Writers

MegaphoneWhen I find a writing opportunity, I like to share.

If you’re not following Aerogramme Writers’ Studio yet, you definitely should!  Like right now.  Go.  I’ll wait.  😉

Okay, now that you’re back, let’s get to business.

Aerogramme sends regular monthly emails with opportunities, and then a number of other emails throughout the month when they discover something new.  Now you don’t have to waste your time not writing because you’re looking for avenues to showcase your work, they’ll come to you.

Here are two, for example:

  1. Kathy Fish Fellowship for Flash Fiction Writers via SmokeLong Quarterly. Applications will be accepted until September 15th which is only a week away, but there’s no entry fee (although a $5 donation is suggested) and they accept unsolicited material all year round.
  2. Buzzfeed’s 2nd Annual Emerging Writers Fellowship is open until October 1st.  The winners will spend four months being mentored in either NY or LA and win $12,000 to financially support themselves while they learn.  There is a great deal of work required to enter this one (a resume, a personal statement, 5 writing examples, and 3 letters of reference), so if you’re interested, get crackin’!

Wishing you the very best in all your endeavors!  Good Luck!

Quote Monday

Happy Monday, my friends!

So yes, I was away last week, and I don’t even have a good excuse like I was on vacation or anything.  It was just one of those weeks.

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking recently, in regards to the future and the whole menial work situation, and have been rattling some ideas around about how to change all that.  While living in LA, I discovered an organization that I wanted to be a part of just before we moved away.  There is no such organization where I am now and I’ve been thinking of starting my own.  A HUGE endeavor, but one that combines a few of my passions.  When I draw some better conclusions, I’ll share more.  So in that vein, I offer you the following quote:

BuildADoor

Have you had similar thoughts?  Please share!

Have a great week everyone!

Hey, Screenwriters! There’s Another Call for Entries!

MegaphoneAs most screenwriting contests are drawing to a close, BlueCat is picking up again with a call for entries for 2016.

Exciting news for those who may have missed the earlier deadlines!

BlueCat Screenplay Competition is open until November 15th with the early deadline starting June 15.  Here’s the link for all the information.

Wishing you the best of luck!

Screenwriting Opportunity

Coffee!I apologize for my absence, but I come bearing gifts.  🙂

Thanks to Lee Jessup‘s monthly newsletter, I was introduced to this unique opportunity for women screenwriters over 40.  I now fall into this category…crap, I wasn’t ever going to mention that again.

The New York Women in Film and Television is offering The Writers Lab which will begin accepting applications May 1.  So get your screenplays ready ladies!

Other deadlines fast approaching are: Scriptapalooza, April 29th, the Academy’s Nicholl Fellowship, May 1st, and the Sundance Institute until May 1st as well.  Final Draft is accepting until July 31, so you have a little more time there.  *See here for links, etc.

Good luck, my fellow screenwriters!!

Submission Season is Upon Us

EditingAs promised, here are a couple of resources to utilize to find contests and their deadlines.  While some screenwriting contests are just beginning (Nicholl, PAGE, and Scriptapalooza), others are nearing their end (Cinestory, Creative World Awards, and Bluecat is already closed).  I have updated my Calendar of Events page to highlight screenwriting contests in particular, and by no means is this a complete list, but they are among some of the more notable ones.

Also, here is a link on writing loglines that you may find helpful.

Aerogramme Writers’ Studio has put together the following list to highlight those events coming up in February and March many of which are open to both experienced and novice writers alike.

If you know of any great contests and would like to share them, please leave me the info in the comments and I’ll be sure to add them to the list!

So let’s get crackin’!  Let’s get our work in order and show them what we’re made of! 😉

Happy Sunday!

Look at this!

HelpfulTipsHello, my fellow creatives!

If you’re not following Aerogramme Writer’s Studio yet, here’s their latest post, and probably a big incentive as to why you should.  I have found a great deal of helpful information on their site, and this is an especially good one.

A residency in France?  Scotland?  Denmark?  Yes to all, please!

Give it a look and Good Luck!

 

Quotes of the Week & A Little Something Extra

Sometimes knowing a decision has to be made does not make the action occur any quicker.  Nor make it any easier.  Sometimes you need an external persuasive element, and sometimes you don’t want it or need it at all, but it happens nonetheless.  In the face of such challenges, we, not only as writers, but just as people, need to maintain our perseverance.

Yes, this is relevant to what is happening in my own life, as a decision was made for me and The Sis, one we had been kind of trying to avoid for as long as possible.

It is necessary to remind ourselves that bumps in the road, detours, and change are just part of the journey.

TryFallChangeRise       PerseveranceIsStubbornnessW:Purpose    Persevere1

And the “little something extra” is a freebie!  Gotta love that!

I met with an entertainment career coach at the beginning of the year, Shawn Tolleson, here in LA.  She helped to put some things into perspective, something I needed at the time.  Something I may need again. 😉  She is offering a free online class.  Here is the link to sign up.

Happy Wednesday!

I’m Baaack (and I Have a Few Things to Share)

Hi everyone!

GISHWHES has ended and I’m trying to return to my abnormal normal.  That routine I love so much was completely lost in a week full of chaos, slapdash, and mind-numbing exhaustion.  Saturday I had to put my house back together, and Sunday I slept about 12 hours and still only felt partially coherent.  There’s still cleaning, laundry, and reorganizing to be done, but for now, at least I can see my floor again.  For a little insight into what we do, one of my team members created a Tumblr account last year and has been slowly adding pictures from this year’s hunt.  You’ll quickly understand that I am not joking when I say it’s a crazy week; 15 people to a team, usually not in the same place, trying to accomplish 185 items.  Madness.

So, now that that’s over, I need to get back to work.  It will probably take a few days to read all the articles and such that are pending in my inbox, but here are a couple things in particular I’d like to share, both found via Aerogramme Writers’ Studio –

1.  The Cesar Egido Serrano Foundation’s ‘Museum of Words’ International Flash Fiction Contest is accepting entries until November 23rd. The competition is for very short fiction pieces (max of 100 words).  Top prize is $20,000, with three runners-up each receiving $2,000.  Not too shabby. 🙂  Here’s the link for more information.

2.  Wattpad (this is the link to the article) – for writers and readers.  This sounds like a wonderful opportunity, and as I’m still making my way through this labyrinth of information, if any of you are familiar with this site, please share your insights.

And to get myself back on track, here’s the quote of the week:

Sometimes we have to let things go

Happy Monday!  And best wishes to you!

Another Tool For Screenwriters (& Maybe Your Next Interview)

HelpfulTips“Tell me a little bit about yourself.”  A statement we’ve heard time and time again during interviews, but who knew the importance of that question when you’re trying to sell a screenplay?  Thankfully I came across this article, The Deal Closer: Your Personal Narrative by screenwriting career coach Lee Jessup, because as screenwriters we needed one more thing to worry about. 😉  To sum up the article, the basic idea is that our writing can be wonderful, but so must we.  Selling our work the first time out is rare, but in order to work – staff writing positions, contract work – we must be able to sell ourselves as well.  Let me add this to my Professional To Do List: #19.  *I exhale a heavy sigh at the revelation of one more element to master.

Have a wonderful weekend!