Thursday, November 26, 2009

Less Talk More Rock!

I was just mentally composing a post on what is challenging me today, but I think it will serve my purposes better if I just shut up and get to it. Less yap more write. That OK with all y'all?

Don't worry, more speculation posts to come in the near future.

PS: Happy Thanksgiving America! (Canada, zip it, you had your turn!)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Pot Stirrer

Today I want to stir the pot, but I know I'll regret it tomorrow. I have an overwhelming desire to blurt out loud all of the things I've been saving up. All the remarks I am not allowed to say, the cutting comebacks I bite back, the hypocritical judgments that would reflect so poorly on my character. I can just see the pot, sitting there, looking all clean and reserved and my hand reaches out for the spoon. There is so much I could unleash lately, but I hold back. Its a self-preservation thing.

The problem with stirring the pot is that the payoff is seldom worth the long term consequences. There may be a momentary release, but the guilt and isolation brought on by letting your guard down lasts a lot longer than the high.

I'm hoping to lend this pot stirring fixation to my writing. It is far more rewarding to deal with the consequences when my characters are the ones stirring the pots. Perhaps I can live vicariously through their biting remarks, and lack of vocal filters. If they have a lapse in judgment, I can play both sides of the coin. I can push buttons I would never dare approach in real life. I can finally release the pent up rage, and then turn it around and respond with the righteous indignation one is entitled to, when verbally attacked. I think it could be fun.

Breathe sigh of relief. Chalk this one up in the writing-as-therapy category.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Nerd Alert!

You know what comes out tomorrow? The new Star Trek movie. On BluRay. Shiny steel encased three disc'd BluRay. Oh yeah. Obviously this will result in further failFAIL situations (thank you all for the encouraging words, by the way) however, I did manage to bang out some goals today, so perhaps a little more failFAIL isn't the worst thing.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


I've failed the NaBloPoMo. I've failed my personal writing goals for the week. I've failed at my attempt to avoid fast food. Good thing I've change my motto to "failure IS a option, actually".

Tomorrow is a new week, but I'm sick of the phrase "back on track". What crazy track is this anyway? I have no idea where its going, and most of the time I don't even know where its been. Tonight I just have to be content with my failure, and allow myself to come to terms with my limitations. Once we're on a first name basis, I can smash them to pieces and show them who's boss.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Projects Vortex

I have three writing projects currently swirling in the project vortex. I am prepping to add a fourth. I like having many plates in the air, however, I'm finding it difficult to prioritize. Each project has a very specific goal, and will facilitate a unique result. I've managed to bet on the lead horse, but the rest of the contenders are all locked in a dead heat for second, and the runner up remains unclear.

How many projects are healthy to take on at once? A more confident person than I may compare it to having a main and an alt. If you understood that somewhat vague reference then its likely we are kindred spirits.

It is my experience that one project usually takes an early lead, but should I stonewall the others until the first is polished? Is it OK to bounce to the second when my head hits a stonewall of its own while working on the first? Do multiple projects mean I'm stretching myself too thin and not giving my all to one script? Are these long-winded questions tempting you to navigate away yet? I'm done. Promise.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

November 11th

I was not there, the day you landed on that beach, slogged through that mud, sat shivering in that trench. The day you offered what little you had left for the promise of what I could be in the future. It would be a long time before I would be here, and even longer before I could fully appreciate what you gave, so I could be.

I wear my poppy proudly, knowing that you offered everything you had. Knowing that a wife like me sat at home with with your picture in her hand dreading that knock on the door. Knowing that a woman, like me, shed countless tears into bloody hands as she tried to nurse so many of you back to your former selves. Knowing that a man, like you drew his last breath for the life I live today.

I wish it was easier, to see the promise you fought for. To cut through the mess and dive into the hope that you brought for us. I wish we had done you more justice. I wish your sacrifice was the last. Maybe someday, somewhere, someone like you will be the last. For what you gave, I honour you, thank you, and assure you that I have not forgotten.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Writing Rituals

Two days of missed Blogging. The people at NaBloPoMo are plotting my punishment. I have a passel of excuses, but I'm not going to use them. Why? Because I am not a passive protagonist (unlike some of my characters).

I'm commencing my writing ritual, it goes something like this. Turn off the TV. Wander around the house tidying. Make myself something to eat. Drag my laptop to my "real" workspace. Pick the perfect writing soundtrack. Open whatever document I saved most recently. Stare. Stare. Stare. Make myself some coffee or tea. Stare. Stare. Sip. Stare. Tweet three things. Check my blog stats. Look at my watch, realize I have forty minutes before X happens. Uncross eyes and bang out what is sure to be pure awesomeness or absolute tripe. Move on to plan X. Lather, rinse, repeat.

Someday I will have what it takes to sit down and do what I need to do without all the pre-curser, but today it is what it is.

"Lions make you brave, giants give you faith, death is a charade, you don't have to feel safe to feel unafraid." -LIGHTS

Friday, November 6, 2009

Poetry Tag

I have fourteen minutes left in today. It has been a challenging week, but I will spare you the details.

Tomorrow I'm going to see LIGHTS, thanks to some incredible friends of ours. First I must survive the brunch crowd. Wish me luck.

No Pants Island left you with a Limerick. I will leave you with my specialty, a Haiku (minus the movie review):

Bitter winds unite
Changing minds and directions
Whisper in my ear

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Rule of Two?

Tonight it is, because I have only two things to say. A statement and a question:

1. The shower curtain scene, though overused, terrifies me every single time. I know "it" is never behind there, but I have to cover my eyes every time. I am going to successfully use a shower curtain scene someday, and "it" WILL be behind there.

2. When writing a spec of an existing series, how important is it that the series is currently on the air? What is the grace period for how long a show can be out of production before your spec is no longer acceptable?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I'll Write THAT For A Dollar!

After a day like today, I'm pretty sure I would write alternative definitions for Riboflavin if it would pay me. Call me a sell out, but anything, and I do mean ANYTHING is better than today. Let's talk about the social construction that is tipping. Actually, lets not talk about it, just read this (comments, particularly). Now, I know people out there are feeling all recessed, but may I just interject by saying that there are many no-tip-required establishments out there, available on virtually every street corner for your recession friendly needs. Also, when you order a bottle of wine, pricey entrees and a double cappucino post dessert, you've lost your right to play the recession card. Now before I carry on whining, let me be very clear about something;

I know when I deserve a bad tip.

I know when the service is slow, when I make a mistake, when I accidentally say something stupid... (One of my worst involves this greeting: "Hi there, my name is Rachel, can I get you off?" *Panic stricken stop, dodge glare from scary girlfriend* "Ummm....started off, STARTED off with something?" *Run, Run, RUN!*) When I make these mistakes, I fully expect a bad tip. When I mess up your order, I have the Terminator-esque computer vision that tells me at what rate my tip is decreasing, and that's OK. Even when its not my fault, when the kitchen runs long, or the hostess doesn't give you the giant booth you want, I'm not surprised that my tip is affected. But do me this one courtesy, please general public I beg you; DON'T tell me everything was wonderful, that the service was lovely, ask me to get involved in your conversation/photo experience/personal life, or hit on me, and then make me pay to serve your table. You don't stop on the street for a dime anymore - so if you're thinking 2% is enough to pay my rent, you'd be wrong.

I have to give a percentage of my loot to the kitchen and the bar regardless of whether you're clutching the purse strings or not. I am attempting to make a living based on a teetering piece of social construction, and that is my choice. But you choose not to live in England where they don't tip, and that is your choice. I know you wish the restaurant would pay me a wage that would cancel the need to tip, but I also know you wouldn't appreciate the dramatic increase in your food costs. If you dine out in North America, it is safe to assume that your server makes minimum wage, even less in some regions. We've built a tradition of tipping. I can't force you to buy into that. If you want to walk out paying the price of your bill and not a penny more, I really have no leg to stand on, and I can tell you I've never questioned a customer regarding a tip. I can, however, remind you that there is more behind the smile that I am working hard to maintain then a lack of dental benefits.

Ok, angry rant has gone on long enough. I also feel the urge to qualify every time I freak out. I am lucky to work at a place that values their employees, providing excellent training. I am not required to dress like I'm working the street corner. I have a management team that supports their staff and helps to manage complaints in a great way. The above is not in any way a reflection on my employers, it is simply a product of several bad days, and the lack of power to educate the offenders in the moment.

That being said, bring on the selling out! I'll write it with a dog, I'll write it with a cockroach for all I care, just show me the MONEY!

...and scene.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Villainy is Afoot

I'm loving the chatter after yesterday's post. I'm slightly loathe to post something new today, but I promised the NaBloPoMo people so I will forge ahead.

Yesterday after reading John August's post "Every Villain is a Hero" I began to think about the type of villain that I respond to. As I work to craft my characters, I want to be sure my antagonist is multi-faceted. I want to move past one dimensional and create a villain that the audience could almost rally behind, if they weren't so distracted by who they're supposed to support.

Benjamin Linus of LOST is still one of my favourite complex villains. Perhaps its because I can hold out hope for his redemption, since i don't fully understand his motives. Perhaps I just like having someone to hate on loudly while shaking my fist at the flat screen (why my husband still loves me also remains a mystery). One thing I know about Ben, he wholeheartedly believes in every single thing he does. The why may evade us, but we can harbor no doubt regarding his convictions.

Favourite complex villains?

Monday, November 2, 2009

Selling Scripts and Selling Out

Last night during script chat we had a lot of discussion surrounding the issue of selling vs. selling out when it comes to screenwriting. There are three different schools for writers, as far as I can tell:

1. Writers who want to sell their scripts, whatever the cost, and will collaborate to all extents. They want to earn their bread and butter by any means necessary.

2. Writers who want to sell their work, but do not want to sell-out, meaning that telling their story is still very important. They are looking for a compromise, they still want to eat, but aren't willing to sacrifice their story for a Porter-House steak.

3. Writers who don't care about selling and just want to tell their story. They aren't looking for the cash, and will work a day job for the rest of their lives if need be, in order to tell a story their way. The trick here is getting people to listen.

I can't say what category I fall into. I guess it really depends on the day and how good my tips have been at the restaurant. At this point I work a day job because I don't have a choice, a girl's gotta eat. If I were given the opportunity to exclusively write to pay our bills, I think I'd jump at the chance to do so, even if it was based one someone else pulling the strings; however, just like the H1N1 vaccine, I'd be concerned about the long term effects.

The way I see it, a lack of creative control in the long run would either spur me to write my own projects on the side, or turn me into a jaded bitter writer, hitting the keyboard for the man. I'm not sure the lines are as clear as I've defined them above. As was mentioned on last night "Film is a collaborative medium... bend over."


Off To A Bad Start

I'm 23 minutes late for my first NaBloPoMo deadline(I don't make up the names friend, I just follow the herd). Seeing as I didn't realize this was going on until I took a trek to No Pants Island, I figure they'll have to forgive me. Consider this my post for November 1st.

Haiku Movie Review for "Law Abiding Citizen"

Jumps in with a bang
Entertains a hungry crowd
Big punch, small payoff

That will have to suffice. If you get bored, migrate here.