Sunday, February 5, 2012

Bringing it to the Now

Interesting dilema for a story written over decades. Times change. Using the telephone booth seems silly now that I can put cell phones in their hands. Yet, the 80s had a certain look, not just fashion, but what we did in our sparetime, words we used and of course what was going on in the world. So now I have some 80 characters I want to update, but without losing their appeal.

Yeah, I could stay in the 80s, the birth of the story even, but modern day conveniences are just so damn convenient! And though the story spans over some of their lifetime, it's only like ten years, not almost 30!

At any rate, still working on the pieces and updating as I go along. Not convinced of the starting point yet, so challenging myself to come up with three different possibilities and build outlines off each and see which feels best.

Lots of great ideas but so little time. Nothing new there! I did have an epiphiny at work the other day as I was working through my lunch break. Yeah, I do that, a lot. At least with this job I don't bring work home with me but I still work my ass off to be the best I can be, always working towards a promotion and more money, even if that means continuing while I eat lunch so I can put out even more subpoena research (which is what I do) and increase my stats at a very competitive bank.

What if I gave my stories that same damn effort? Why can't I strive to write the best story I can write and do that during my breaks at home? Hell, why can't I do that on my breaks at work? Yeah, I want work numbers to look great, but in ten years will I be happier in whatever position at the bank I'm at - it's not a passion, it's money. Or will I be happier if I've created the story I want to write? Hell yeah!

Of course I can't give it all my time but I can start snatching up bits of times as they present. Afterall I do have a family that needs me and work does pay the bills, and well today is Superbowl Sunday and looking forwards to watching the game at a friend's party with some great people. Go Pats!!!!

But I will continue to find ways to bring that much needed time to the now! :)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Piece Work

Projectss unfinished, nothing new, but going back to Reality Fades - the story I started in childhood and developed the characters (in my head mostly) over the years. I have lots of pieces of the story written, with lots of rewrites, and I know how the story ends. I finally went to my old harddrives and CDs (the floppys had been at least copied onto CDs some years ago)and pulled everything together in one file.

Since the beginning of this month,I've been going over the different pieces, making bookmarks, comparing rewrites, and then I have mornings like this when it all looks like one big mess! I have different names for the same characters in different files. I have marked differences in character traits from my early years than the characters they became in my adult years. Yet I can't cut out their early years which play a big part. So what I have is piece work.

When I've attempted to work on this story in the past years I've come across the same roadblock, do I go in chronological order or do I provide flashbacks? I've attempted using flashback on certain pieces with the mindframe that I want this to be an adult story and I could start at the peak of the action - but honestly it is hard to explain everything without starting at the beginning. Also, when I think flashbacks, there is so much to tell, what do I share first. I know as I "share" my characters will be more revealed and it has to be artfully done so my characters are likable.

Also, with using flashbacks, where in the story will I start? There is a lot of action and once I anchor "current day" there will be a set of ministories that become flashbacks and a set of ministories that will bring the whole story forward, current, and to the conclusion; which, I actually have two possiblities. Once everything is in action I can let the characters lead me to the correct one.

Perhaps I will just start at the beginning, finish it and then decide if it works. Considering my writing hours are limited to just a few a week in total, this will take me forever, but it's my side project, and I'm writing this for me. I want to bring these characters to life on paper.

The duplicate names, I'm not so worried about because I always know which character I'm referring to and I can use "Find and replace" at any time once I decide. Character traits, I will have to fix old pieces so they make sense. My characters (at least the main ones) are pretty solid in my head, now I just need to get them solid on the paper, without taking them for granted. It's always difficult to read your own piece with foreign eyes.

So lots of pieces but thus far it's been kinda fun. My new escape if you will, in very small doses. And I look at the time and realize my writing time is almost up for today, so guess I better get back to it... but which piece? I'll go to the outlines (yeah, multiple) and randomly pick a piece to update and make fit.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Bring On 2012!

I have not disappeared, I have merely suited up.

2011 has been a great year in so many ways - new adventures, new friends, new job and new responsibilities. I've accomplished my goal of 11 new things, which I won't go through that list today, but it is an easy resolution to keep; and I leave behind a year with highs and lows, joys and tribulations. Life.

I barely wrote. Family had to take priority and equally so, some personal soul searching. I have arrived healthy, happy, and eager to bring on the best year yet! I am at peace with my life. No, this doesn't mean things in my life are great, it means I can face them daily, without regret of the past, of decisions or without care of what anyone else thinks. This is me and I proud of where I am today.

And I am happy! Not all the time, I'm not completely absorbed into my fantasy world (yet). There are times when my girls are upset or worse, fighting with each other, when I don't feel happy. Times when I read the news about the misfortunes of others and even when I read about the great fortunes of others and pang for more. But mostly I am happy. I certainly smile and laugh daily, appreciate what I do have often, and indulge myself with nature when I can.

I am ready.

Game on.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Time... Always Time

It sounds like it is raining, but that's just the snow melting off the roof. In a lot of ways I'm not ready to see the snow go, it's not just the passing of the time, but the passing of opportunities. I never do as much as I want to do and time... well it's always about time. Time is the enemy. My days off are quickly consumed with tasks and appointments and the needs of others - but not to sound ungrateful because being there for each other is important and necessary and I know when to say no. Still time escapes me.

So I take what I have for time and utilize it best I can and often stop to weigh the pros and cons. Social life is great and entertaining but time-consuming and can get expensive. Pros - fun, memories, healthy, self-esteem, active; Cons - money, time away from family and writing. Balance. Always comes back to balance and moderation. Make the most of each day and when you run out of energy let the day go because within rest you reclaim yourself and thus motivate to go forward.

I have found scheduling times to be very effective in my pursuit of balance (yes, I also write a daily to-do list). This has been working out well for writing, early mornings on my days off from work (weds & sats). Sometimes I find myself fantasizing what it would be like to write full time and have this opportunity everyday, sometimes I find myself spending way to much time surfing the writers-boards and just before I do that I wonder why my home page is Facebook because that takes up time too. But for the most part, Wednesdays and Saturday mornings have been successful in moving forward with scripts and stories.

I really want to enter one particular sitcom pilot into Scriptapalooza or Fox Comedy contest, and I feel I did a great rewrite after some great feedback from Romel Blossom (thanks so much!)but the question lingers... is it ready? Should I register work first? I have read so many different script writing formats I actually feel pretty solid on that end now. But will the jokes be understood? Will the characters be unique with their own voices? I have put in a request for Beta-Readers on Writers Digest Community and also sent it off to some friends, but no feedback yet. And time is passing.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

One Blog, One Resolution, & Cheers to 2011!

Hello Blog World! I hope you all are enjoying the holiday season. I love this time of year, despite the stresses, there is something magical about how much nicer everyone seems to be and the first snowfalls seem to christian the air and lay silence over the land. How the falling snow seems to sparkle and at night when all is quiet and it feels so peaceful and pretty. I am the type who continues to light the tree after Christmas because it still makes me smile. And when my girls are cheerful and enjoying the holiday company, everything is perfect!

I know I ramble, but life has been great and I have been crazy busy so this is my only December post. And though my original goal was four times a month, I'm ok with this. I am not going to ever beat myself up for the things I don't accomplish when I know I am doing my best to make my way through this journey and more importantly, I am willing to make compromises even if it means slowing down and enjoying good company, nature, and anything new that comes my way.

So here we wrap up 2010 and put it in a pretty little package called a memory. Some of it has been captured in photos and writing, but mostly it sits within us. It hasn't been an easy year by any means and there was tragedy. The violent death of a dear friend and watching her sons grow up without their parents has been something I wasn't quite prepared for and even in just thinking about it now, it is overwhelming and sad and scary - but I'm not going down that road right night.

I also made a major decision and left my job at an agency I was with for 14 years. It was one of my original resolutions and though I continue to deal with the implications (huge pay cut and not so generous with the benefits) I in no way regret that decision. I am happy once again at work, there are quarterly bonuses to strive for (I love challenges), and my supervisor really likes me. Less than three months there and I was already offered a new position which would have been a promotion that offered more money, but it was second shift and being able to pick up my youngest daughter from school so she can do drama, art club, etc., is important to me so I turned it down. I was assured there would be lots of other opportunities and I already knew that. I didn't just leave one company to accept the first job offer that came my way - opportunity to advance and earning potentials were at the top of the list!

So my resolutions from 2010 went something like this: professional - get a new job (check), Writing: blog four times a month and write weekly on stories (check). Okay, I didn't blog four times a month and had weeks without writing, but I only answer to myself. Besides, I created this blog like three years ago and my very first post wasn't until January 1, 2010 and consistently since then - make that a check PLUS! Personal: was something about ten new things - again Check Plus! The list includes(but I may be forgetting a few things): kayaking, played tennis (a lot), tried scallops (new food, tried twice and prefer with just ketchup over bacon-wrapped), a new mountain hiked (Big Moose in Moosehead, Maine), this blog, new job (yeah, they can be part of both goals, my resolutions so my rules!), conquered fear of deep water and improved on swimming and can now float on my back (I don't think I have had any other fears other than water so that is more major than it sounds, especially from someone who embraces nature!). I also joined a gym -okay very recently but I'm going! Also, a helicopter ride... amazing!!! Still have opportunities to go again but I have been so busy! Last but not least, actually most importantly and without any intentions the most important new thing happened to me. I became a grandmother which of course was not in the plans, but I was a very young mother so I was apt to become a young grandmother, and Baby Trenton has become my first true male love! He is beautiful in every way and I love him through and through!

So here I wrap up 2010 and look ahead to 2011. I've decided that it makes sense to only have one new year's resolution. Seriously, and no I don't mean "no resolutions" you cynics! The one resolution will be 11 new things for 2011! That way anything I accomplish can be included and I will continue to do what I always do - move forward and enjoy life with open arms!

Cheers to 2011!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Save a Horse, Ride the Cowboy?

Okay, that song is just playing on the radio, but what I really need to do is save my script! In order to save my script as we come towards the end, my protagonist has got to redeem himself (gettting there), stop his girl from getting on a flight (he may not, but she'll come back in the end... what can I say, I'm a sap for happy endings), get back her pendant (check), save the shelter (check) and stop his father from shipping X amount of jobs overseas! DUM-DE-DE-DUM, DE-DE-DUM-DE-DE-DUM, DE-DAA-DAAAAA DUM-DE-DE-DUM, DE-DE-DUM-DE-DE-DUM, DE-DAA-DAA-DAA-DAA-DAAAA!

Yes, whole lotta love...err...saving going on! And that is where I am stuck - how to stop the jobs from being shipped overseas. My main character Seth (light romantic comedy) has just gone through quite the ordeal and in doing so has come to realize what his girlfriend has been saying and why she is leaving. Along this journey of self-discovery, he also got some unexpected insight into his father's pharmaceutical company and met a former employee (now homeless)who was laid off during the first round of job cuts. So as I'm wrapping up everything, I know I have to stop the new batch of job cuts and get this guy his job back- but I don't know how.

Part of Seth's problem with his girlfriend (and inability to take life serious)is because he's an uptown boy and she's a downtown girl (sorry Billy) so they have differing views on those less fortunate. Also, his father has always been controlling and never gave Seth any real responsibility. The movie opens with a company meeting about the jobs being shipped out and Seth makes a joke and his father responds in turn with another joke. So now I realize this is my opportunity to go back and rewrite the scene to where Seth is trying to contribute something insightful (maybe) but instead his father brushes off his idea. And it can be this idea that comes to fruit in the end.

So if anyone has any ideas on what can save a large (made-up) pharmaceutical company from shifting jobs overseas (to save money)... I'd love to hear them! Now I'm going to turn off the radio before I get tempted to make a Margarita (take me away Jimmy!)while I rework a couple scenes.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Recycle, Reduce and Reuse!

What a great day off from work! I managed to clean out my shed (by which I really mean reorganized and crammed in more stuff like the patio chairs, grill, etc) and in doing so I also took out all the bagged returnable bottles and cans which have been accumulating in an ever growing pile! So yes, I finally brought them into the redemption center which not only gave me a few bucks but also got me thinking about the whole recycling thing -which is good and not so good. Okay - it also got me wondering how the guy was able to talk with his buddies without losing track of the number of returnables I brought in...

But back to the recycling... I mean, I take the time to recycle returnable beverage containers and I also recycle glass, aluminum, plastic and paper because we have curb side recycling in town -which is a great thing. But I also have to wonder about all it involves. First we have these extra trucks coming by every week stopping at each house to collect and sort the materials. So right there is fuel use and pollution added into the environment. Then the stuff gets brought to the center where machines (also using power and causing pollution) breaks down the materials into re-usable materials. I try to weigh it all out in my mind. It provides jobs... but it also takes job from the makers of the original products; but it saves on limited resources and helps save trees and... well whatever stuff is used to make plastic, aluminum and glass... okay so I didn't say I researched this... just got me thinking. I also suppose there is less waste in the landfills which is definitely a good thing.

Of course I will continue to recycle because it feels like the right thing to do - even if I'm not completely convinced on how much of a difference it makes. I guess when you hear the three-part slogan "recycle, reduce, reuse" that "reduce" really trumps the other two, with "reuse" as second best, and then what you don't eliminate or reuse, you should recycle. Okay - I really have no idea how that stinky sock (was that mold?) ended up with my bottles but I don't think I want to reuse or recycle it!

Continuing the good verses not so good mind trip I'm currently on - I refrain from using paper products and plastic but when you don't use paper plates, for example a kid's birthday party, then think about all the extra water you're using to clean the glass plates? And aren't we suppose to be mindful of water usage? And of course I'm totally guilty of buying lots of products that I just can not recycle because my town limits the types of plastics it recycles - but I really need certain hair products (and it's not up for debate).

We say we want to make a difference and we do a few little things and feel good about ourselves, but sometimes it feels fake. I know they say that ignorance is bliss -which is why I looked away when the guy at the redemption center opened a bag of rather sticky and not so clean bottles - but mostly I don't want to be ignorant. Despite the fact that I am using plastic bags that are getting thrown away to bring in the returnable plastic beverage containers! Yet I trust that someone out there has done the research and I am totally on board with the "reduce" and "reuse" and will just have to trust that "recycling" is a good thing too!