Sunday, December 30, 2007

Decisions, Decisions

I'm about to cave in and buy a subscription to either Creative Screenwriting or Script. I think I know which one I'm going to pick, but if anyone's had more consistent experience with them beyond the way I pick them up every couple months at Borders and can give me good advice about which one is better, I'd appreciate it. Thanks!

More Orange Juice Trauma at Dunkin Donuts

Since I got back from church this afternoon, I have been parked on the couch watching hours and hours of the BBC's Robin Hood. It's wonderfully reminiscent for me because it was just premiering when I was in England. Isn't it funny, I probably wouldn't watch it if it came on week after week; I didn't watch it then (though my friend N. made the observation that Jonas Armstrong is ridiculously good looking). But I'm finding that this series is super enjoyable in five hour segments (however the commercials are getting tiring). But I'm so mad! They're not showing every episode, so we're missing quite a few episodes and bits of story in between.

Remember how I have that fear of falling down the stairs? It's the worst in my house. The stairs are already slippery, then if you're wearing socks, you can feel yourself gaining momentum as you charge down until you crash head first into the antique desk/glass enclosed bookshelf at the bottom. It's quite scary really.

So that idea I said I'd come up with? Well, I got an idea for a short. Nothing special, but there's a situation and a plot. I got a couple more cool situations/characters - if only I could remember all of them... However, a sort of cool concept is starting to grow moss (like a stone that's... not rolling). It's a bit out there, but with some serious world building, it's not so far fetched.

Movies I've seen the past couple of days:

NATIONAL TREASURE TWO: BOOK OF SECRETS - I really enjoyed this movie. I'm not sure it had the believability of the first one - they reach a little bit beyond themselves, I think - but it's still a fun adventure movie. I found myself highly entertained and even watching with bated breath sometimes.

HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX - I saw this when it first came out in the theatres in the summer, but my family and I watched it again the other night (well, I skipped out for about twenty minutes to play Guitar Hero III). I enjoy the Harry Potter series, though the books are better and have so much that the movies are often choppy and off kilter, I think. But the thing that really annoys me, I think, is the fact that they have all this money and all these resources and they don't bother to get little things true to the book. Like Tonks? She's supposed to have short pink hair. I know it's little things and I'm nitpicking, but why do they make choices that go deliberately against the books?

PS I LOVE YOU - Well, I was sad for a lot of this movie, so maybe it accomplished its purpose. But, it was an alright movie. I did want to see it, but after seeing it, I think it would have been better for a girls' night in and our Saturday night movie ticket would have gained a better return from Atonement (which is unfortunately not playing many places near me) or Juno (which was playing the exact same time and same place as PS I Love You). But, it had an Irish actor, Gerard Butler (nice surname, huh) and a few scenes that took place in Ireland, which made me happy (and a little sad). I've been getting in touch with all my Celtic roots in the past couple of days. Mix that in with my English ancestors who repressed my Celtic ones, and you've got some sort of weird twisted dysfunctional family drama on your hands. [We did also talk about how amusing it would be to be the ticket seller for this movie and keep hearing random strangers tell you that they love you and how you could use that to your advantage. My friend L. told a story about going to see "Because I Said So," and the ticket boy replied, 'Well, only because *you* said so." Geez.]

(Just a couple of the) Movies I'm looking forward to:

JUMPER - I think it's a cool concept and it looks very exciting and well done for something with such high special effects needs AND Hayden Christensen is in it. This is the movie he was filming in my uni's town the day I was at my friend's wedding. The saddest day of my life...

GET SMART - I used to *love* this tv show when I was a kid. I'm not sure about Anne Hathaway as Agent 99, but I think Steve Carell will be great as Agent 86.

NARNIA: PRINCE CASPIAN - Saw the trailer when I went to NT. It looks, maybe not as good as the first one, but it still looks like bloody fun.

27 DRESSES - Huh. Somebody made a movie about my future. How funny!

Movies I will make fun even though I won't see them:

RAMBO - Really? Really??

THE WATER HORSE - So they finally made a Scottish Free Willy. If you watch the trailer, you can even see the famous shot of Willy jumping over the little hero boy.

MAD MONEY - Katie Holmes gave up an amazing character in an incredible movie that will be a sure fire blockbuster to act in this?

I just finished reading "The Portable Film School" by D. B. Gilles. Not a bad library read. I feel like it got my head in the right mindset for filming a couple of shorts next semester.

I pulled in another set of scripts from Zoetrope. Maybe the third time will be the charm, but I have yet to read and review one single script. I've heard Zoetrope is a great place to get feedback on your screenplays and I know a lot of very talented writers hang out there, but I just can't make it through the requisite four reviews before you can get feedback on your own. And reading the loglines for the scripts I have in my bin right now just made my heart sink a little. I'm sure once I get back at school, too, it will be a lot harder for me to find time to get into Zoetrope. Which is sort of why I wanted to get started while I was on holiday. Maybe after my screenwriting class this semester when I'll be giving feedback all the time, maybe during those first couple of months in the summer, I'll be able to get into Zoetrope. It's supposed to be good, no?

My, I do ramble on sometimes, don't i?

Friday, December 28, 2007

For the person you're missing

There's no one in town I know
You gave us some place to go
I never said thank you for that
'thought I might get one more chance

What would you think of me now?
So lucky, so strong, so proud
I never said thank you for that
Now I'll never have a chance

May angels lead you in
Hear you me my friends
On sleepless roads, the sleepless go
May angels lead you in

So what would you think of me now?
So lucky, so strong, so proud
I never said thank you for that
Now I'll never have a chance

May angels lead you in
Hear you me my friends
On sleepless roads the sleepless go
May angels lead you in

May angels lead you in
May angels lead you in
May angels lead you in
May angels lead you in

And if you were with me tonight
I'd sing to you just one more time
A song for a heart so big
God couldn't let it live

May angels lead you in
Hear you me my friends
On sleepless roads the sleepless go
May angels lead you in

May angels lead you in
Hear you me my friends
On sleepless roads the sleepless go
May angels lead you in

- "Hear You Me" by Jimmy Eat World

Thursday, December 27, 2007

I dislike dentists.

I was sitting there today, the oral hygienist scraping away at my teeth and prodding my gums, asking me, "Is your mouth *sensitive?* Does this hurt?" I could not answer due to the pointed metal instrument that was making rounds between my teeth.

By the way, for those people who like free screenwriting software, I just downloaded Celtx's new version of its software. It's got a whole bunch of new features that I find incredibly delightful and good for both being productive and wasting time.

I've recently discovered Brett's blog, A Bucket of Love, which is fun reading because he's more involved in the industry than anyone I know in *real* life and because he's one of this year's Nicholls finalists (next year, I can see it...). Throughout the holidays he's putting up posts about his week in LA for the Nicholls ceremonies, but I found this one post in particular intruiging and not because of any reason connected with the Academy. In it he talks about meeting his agent, surprising them with a finished script, complete with catchy title and witty tagline, and all the various going ons that those of us without agents (yet) can only dream of. I think my favourite part is when one of his agents asks if she's given him the "20 Ideas in a Week" assignment and Brett responds by handing over a flash drive with 42 script ideas. Forty-two.

A question screenwriters get asked a lot (real screenwriters, of course) is where they get their ideas. And while I can see that sometimes prove to be more difficult for the creative mind, I'm finding that the real question is where *can't* you find ideas. In my previous post I mentioned that I was hanging out in the airport and jotted down four or five ideas for feature length scripts that I all really liked. Of course, I think almost all of them were ones that had been percolating for a while, but I think it shows how easy and simple it is to start coming up with ideas. I think writers should always be actively trying to come up with new ideas, regardless of whether or not they are currently working on a project. I'm going to try to follow Brett's lead by doing two things.

1. Centralize all of my story ideas in one location, in one file. This will also allow for easy manipulation of ideas until they're ready to be worked on seriously. Sometimes some ideas need a little percolation. I had an idea for a short for a long time that was only recently completed by a news story I followed. Some ideas are like that and need a little time before they can be moved along in the process. A word file is a great place for them to wait and percolate.

2. Come up with at least one or two decently fleshed out ideas each week. I use my writerly nature to excuse all sorts of unconscionable nosy behavior anyway. That combined with being alert to the stories in the news, in my life, and spending some time just sitting around thinking of stories should be more than sufficient to sustain this new habit. I chose a career where I get to sit around and think up loglines and call that a productive day. Isn't that beautiful? I'm starting this week. By the end of Saturday night, I will have one new, likeable screenplay idea. I will let you know how that goes...

I see a brightening horizon for my productivity on my screenplays. Why is this? I got a new MacBook for Christmas. Am I crazy happy? Yes, yes I am. : )

Saturday, December 22, 2007

My Sweater in the Trash

I actually stole that from a friend who was talking about how random and irrelevant CD titles often are. The thing is, as I was pondering this and how I was going to plagiarize it for a blog post, I realized that there is a *huge* difference between "My sweater in the trash" and "A sweater in my trash." Possession of either the sweater or the trash creates a whole different story. Sure, probably only an English major (former English major, really) would pick up on the emphasis created by the possessive. However, any good story teller would pick up on the difference.

I flew home the other day. During my trip I thought of several things to blog about. With a computer finally in front of me, my mind is rather blank. And it's a crying shame, too. I keep telling myself that while this blog is instructional to no one, some people might find the adventures of a undergrad film student mildly entertaining. But how few those adventures have been. Next semester, I say, when I finally take a screenwriting class, what I am supposedly at school for, when I write and direct my own short, when I am more immersed in the program than I've even been before, then, *then* I will have some stories. But I find myself anxious still.

Does anyone know whatever happened to Julie?

I got to visit the Apple store today. They really need to rename it the Happy Store. Anyone else see the advantage for an emerging filmmaker to have an iPod video, or at least one of those adorable little new Nanos that have video on them too? Why yes, I have made a short - in fact, I have it right here in my pocket.

I've been having acute episodes of Paranoid Writer's Syndrome. I'm not even sure what about, really. One hit me in Borders today as I was flipping through various books about writing. There are so many great quotes from writers, but often times I read them, especially those that absurdly try to define who a writer is or what they do, and something cold squeezes around my heart when I realizes that, whatever kind of person they're talking about, they're not talking about me. Those writers who talk about how writing is like breathing for them and they can't imagine being happy doing anything else and how a writer is someone for whom, I don't know, writing is like picking flowers, just as happy and joyful, they make me want to throw those books to the ground and run away. It's not that there aren't also a plethora of quotes about how writing is hard work and how most writers do everything they can to avoid writing and how writing is like picking up a pen and scratching until it inks out blood. It's just that I'm afraid that those are not the really writers. What if the reason that writing is so difficult for some of us is that we're not really meant to be writers? For every quote about how beautiful writing is, I need three of how painful and hard it is to reassure myself. It's a painfully scary business, writing. If you don't know exactly how thermodynamics work, you can learn it through studying. If you can't understand how to tell a good story, well, all you can do is keep chasing after the lightning. There's no guarantee you're ever going to get it.

On the flip side, while I was hanging out in the airport the other day I made a quick list of all the ideas I have for feature length scripts. Within two minutes I had a list of five or six ideas, and any one of them I would be happy to pick up and start working on right now. In fact, the difficult thing come the beginning of my screenwriting class is going to be deciding which one I want to pursue. It will be my fourth script, so maybe we'll finally be approaching on something good. Really, I'm excited, albeit a little nervous, about finally taking a screenwriting class. I've waited a whole year to take this class (stupid prereqs). Hopefully it will teach me the discipline that I've completely lost since this summer, and I will finally be able to work in a peer-review environment. I'm ready for this.

I really am in love with that Snow Patrol song. I love songs that encourage people, even if there is a somber note in it. It's a beautiful bittersweetness. "Have heart, my dear."

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Final(e) Week

I'll sing it one last time for you
Then we really have to go
You've been the only thing that's right
In all I've done

And I can barely look at you
But every single time I do
I know we'll make it anywhere
Away from here

Light up, light up
As if you have a choice
Even if you cannot hear my voice
I'll be right beside you dear

Louder louder
And we'll run for our lives
I can hardly speak I understand
Why you can't raise your voice to say

To think I might not see those eyes
Makes it so hard not to cry
And as we say our long goodbye
I nearly do

Light up, light up
As if you have a choice
Even if you cannot hear my voice
I'll be right beside you dear

Slower slower
We don't have time for that
All I want is to find an easier way
To get out of our little heads

Have heart my dear
We're bound to be afraid
Even if it's just for a few days
Making up for all this mess

- "Run" by Snow Patrol

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

I Need You

I've dug up miles and miles of sand
Searching for something I can't see
And I've just got bruised and battered hands
And a brand new void inside of me
Complete with walls I did create
From all the earth that I've displaced
A mess that I have made from what
I've just let pile and pile up
I have not been abandoned, no I have not been
Deserted and I have not been forgotten

I need You
I need You here
I need You now
I need security somehow
I need You
Like You would not believe
You're the only thing I want
Cause You're everything I need

Explore the cave that is my chest
A torch reveals there's nothing left
Your whispers echo off the walls
And You can hear my distant calls
The voice of who I used to be
Screaming out "someone, someone please
Please shine a light into the black
Wade through the depths and bring me back

I have not been abandoned, no I have not been
Deserted and I have not been forgotten

I need You
I need You here
I need You now
I need security somehow
I need You
Like You would not believe
You're the only thing I want
Cause You're everything I need

When my hopes seem to dangle
Somewhere just beyond my reach
You say You've heard my prayers
And read my words there on the beach

I need You
I need You here
I need You now
I need security somehow
I need You
Like You would not believe
You're the only thing I want
Cause You're everything I need

- Relient K

Monday, December 10, 2007

Social Experiments

I swear there was a girl doing one on me in the elevator today. I was riding down from the sixth floor, and she got on somewhere around the fourth, and she stared, not at the numbers above the door like normal people do, no, she stared at me for the majority of the time. It was creepy. I wanted to turn to see if she really was staring at me, but what do you do when you look eyes with someone who's staring at you in an elevator?

I'm working on a short script that will require a look alike. How do you go around trying to find a look alike? I mean, auditions only go so far. Do you just sit around and stare at people? And then, if you finally spot someone who would be *perfect* for the part, how do you approach them? "Umm, hello... My name is Amy. So, I'm not so good at this, I don't do this often, but yeah... I'm a film student, and I think you would be perfect for a part I have - what kind of film? Haha, no I promise I'm not hitting on you, but you would, literally, be perfect for this part. What part is that? Well, you'd be playing Mark Zuckerberg, creator of Facebook. Uh, why are you leaving? Oh, ok. Well, can I give you my email? How are you going to call me, I didn't give you my number. Oh, ok, well, have a good night!"

Yes, I do not see that going too extremely well.

Another great social experiment? When your friends are passed out on their futons and leave their doors wide open, steal their large appliances. Who would pass up a laptop and take a microwave?

No idea. : )


I like to say that ideas percolate. It sounds like something's bubbling. Sometimes they need to percolate for a long time. "Mull" is another good word. I'm mulling it over.

I've had an idea percolating about a short on Facebook for some time now. The thing is, I could never get the story right. I had the themes and the vehicle set, but I couldn't find the right plot. And then suddenly, last week, it just fell into my lap. Right from the front page of our campus newspaper. Now I'm really excited about the project. What few ideas I had before were forced and would never make a good short, for various reasons.

Sometimes writing is like finishing a puzzle. You've got one piece, and you've got to collect the others. So really, it's like a very complicated, time consuming, requiring of a scavenger hunt puzzle.

Check out the song "Whistle for the Choir" by the Fratellis. They're English. It's goodness.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Brilliant Advertising

I was watching TV the other day, and this commercial came on for those stupid "heelies," the sneakers with wheels in them. And the tag line was "Free yourself. Free your soul."

Those 'tweeners are going to be all over them.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

I'll Switch Your Foot

Yesterday is a wrinkle on your forehead
Yesterday is a promise that you’ve broken
Don’t close your eyes, don’t close your eyes
This is your life and today is all you’ve got now
Yeah, and today is all you’ll ever have
Don’t close your eyes
Don’t close your eyes

This is your life, are you who you want to be
This is your life, are you who you want to be
This is your life, is it everything you dreamed that it would be
When the world was younger and you had everything to lose

Yesterday is a kid in the corner
Yesterday is dead and over

This is your life, are you who you want to be
This is your life, are you who you want to be
This is your life, is it everything you dreamed that it would be
When the world was younger and you had everything to lose

Don’t close your eyes
Don’t close your eyes
Don’t close your eyes
Don’t close your eyes

This is your life are you who you want to be
This is your life are you who you want to be

This is your life, are you who you want to be
This is your life, are you who you want to be
This is your life, is it everything you dreamed it would be
When the world was younger and you had everything to lose

And you had everything to lose

- "This is Your Life" by Switchfoot

Friday, November 30, 2007

Brent Forrester and My Office

The only thing the two have in common is an actual office.

Brent Forrester, former writer for the Ben Stiller Show, the Simpsons, and King of the Hill and one of the "current" (well, they're not working right now, are they?) staff writers from the Office, was gracious enough to come out and chat with me and my fellow screenwriting students last night. I'm not a television or a comedy writer, but he still had a lot of interesting things to say.

He said a couple of really insightful things about situations. He quoted Charlie Chaplin who said, "A man falls into a manhole; that's slapstick. A man steps over a manhole and gets hit by a bus; that's irony." And it's so much more creative and complex, too. The Obvious doesn't always make a bad story, but the Unexpected always makes a story better (the justified Unexpected. Can't be throwing random, unmotivated things in everywhere. We call those stories "Films that frustrate film students because their professors will teach them not to do such things then show 'classic hits' that do just that." But I digress). Or he used an example from the Simpsons of when Bart was running away from someone (I'm not up on my Simpsons lore, obviously) and ran into a room, looking for a place to hide. There was a huge fish tank that he ducked behind - making his head ten times bigger. A solution that just ends up being a bigger problem. The other thing he mentioned was that when he was just starting in comedy writing, a comedy writer who was his friend's mother gave him the advice of writing about what is difficult, maybe even a little painful. His first script to get attention drew on some of his personal experiences and feelings about his brother which were difficult for him. Comedy isn't silly, he said. It really isn't just about getting a laugh. It's about good story telling, and those principles can be applied no matter what you're genre.

On characters, he suggested that when we write, we think about what a character does in an attempt to conceal himself and how that reveals the character. How does your character try to portray himself and how is he actually portrayed? I think this is a fascinating concept for either comedy or drama, because it's so real. I try to be a really honest person, an open book, and even this week I realized how much I wanted people to think I am a certain way when I emotion/word vomited all over my poor friend. But then again, I may be a little biased, because I think the risk/gain aspect of relationships is one of the most film worthy things around.

Perhaps the funniest moment was when he was talking about how he gets hired to comedy "punch ups" on films and his contributions to one particular movie, and he said, "I don't know if any of you have seen Office Space?" Does he not realize it's a collegiate cult film?

In my own office, I do a lot of mailing, data input, and it's always fun to look at the names of our participants. I finally came up with a good last name for a character today (I have particular trouble with last names). I once mailed off a package to a Prick. The other day I found a "Vondermark," which sounds suspiciously like "Voldemart." And today I stumbled across the worst possible name ever - Horst Bormann. Why would you ever do that to your child?

The most embarrassing last name I've come across? I'd blush to tell.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

"I promise you I will learn from my mistakes"

Facebook has a ridiculous number of applications now. Like really, it's getting a bit obscene. But one of the great things it does is let you stalk every single move your friends make. One of my friends posted a link to the video of "Fix You" by Coldplay and added the simple comment "World Peace."

I'm a big Coldplay fan, and I don't really think of world peace when I think of them, but I hadn't heard the song in a while (silly computer being dead and all), so I went ahead and clicked on the video. Not only is the song brilliant and amazing, but at the end of the "Fix You" video they have footage from a live concert. Dear H.D. has gone to a Coldplay concert and described this moment for me, and how everyone's just bawling. Just watching the video stirs emotions.

Then a few weeks later I got to go to a Switchfoot/Relient K concert. Really, music blows me away sometimes. Being in an auditorium with hundreds of other people, all singing along to songs that have integral meaning to each of us, is an incredible experience. I think art is often considered a luxury. It serves no functional purpose. It's subjective. It's often manipulated to conform to commercial whims. But when you go to a concert, when you read a book so often its binding breaks, when you find yourself watching the same movie over and over again, it's impossible to image life without art. The expression, the connection, the transformation that is possible. I don't think I'm an idealist when it comes to the influence of art. I just think that too often, we don't even realize how much we depend on it. You don't believe me, go play some of your favourite songs. I doubt that you like them because of their clever lyrics or because of their musical genius. I bet you like them because they connect to your life in some way. A personal connection like that, isn't that one of the most powerful connections of all?

"Nobody said it was easy; nobody said it would be this hard."

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Hanging by a Moment

Desperate for changing
Starving for truth
I'm closer to where I started
Chasing after you
I'm falling even more in love with you
Letting go of all I've held onto
I'm standing here until you make me move
I'm hanging by a moment here with you

Forgetting all I'm lacking
Completely incomplete
I'll take your invitation
You take all of me now...

I'm falling even more in love with you
Letting go of all I've held onto
I'm standing here until you make me move
I'm hanging by a moment here with you
I'm living for the only thing I know
I'm running and not quite sure where to go
And I don't know what I'm diving into
Just hanging by a moment here with you

There's nothing else to lose
There's nothing else to find
There's nothing in the world
That can change my mind
There is nothing else
There is nothing else
There is nothing else

Desperate for changing
Starving for truth
I'm closer to where I started
Chasing after you....

I'm falling even more in love with you
Letting go of all I've held onto
I'm standing here until you make me move
I'm hanging by a moment here with you
I'm living for the only thing I know
I'm running and not quite sure where to go
And I don't know what I'm diving into
Just hanging by a moment here with you

Just hanging by a moment (here with you)
Hanging by a moment (here with you)
Hanging by a moment here with you

- Lifehouse

Monday, November 26, 2007

No no NaNo

I've thought of lots of witty things to write about in the past week or so. I've forgotten all of them, which is especially sad, because I think one of them could have been filed under "funny medical stories."

But I would like to confess, as much as I am a champion of National Novel Writing Month and as much as I intended to participate this year, it just didn't happen.

This would have been my fifth straight year. How disappointing to break such a streak. Am I sad? Truly, not really. I mean, I do enjoy NaNoWriMo as much as the next deadline-drive procrastinator, but that's a fix that's being filled by my projects and papers this semesters. I would like to blame it on the October 30th death of my beloved iBook laptop, I really just didn't make time for it in my schedule. I think the thing that perplexes me the most, in a mildly concerned sort of way, is that when it came time to sit down and write a piece of fiction, I balked.

The last time I wrote fiction was for last year's NaNoWriMo, and even then I remember having qualms about it as I had been focusing on screenplays for the past year or so. My aunt said to me once a few months ago that she missed reading fiction pieces, that screenplays were all well and good, but that there was something she missed about the language of straight of fiction. And I can see that and miss it too, in a sort of detached way, but I have no driving impulse to go back to fiction writing. Which doesn't matter, until you attempt it again.

It's another aspect of Paranoid Writer Syndrome. I've forgotten how to do this, the prose is coming out stilted, what should my descriptions be like. It's difficult to overcome when you first sit down and stare at the blank page, but luckily, it's also easily to vanquish. It, like every other genre of writing, takes practice, and soon those white flashes and spells of breathlessness as I squeeze the pen tightly in your hand and blink furiously will disappear, and I can find fiction writing a comfortable place once again.

I look forward to Script Frenzy in the summer. Congratulations to all who will be NaNoWriMo winners - make sure you get your free book from LuLu - and I hope to be typing furiously with you next year.

Monday, November 19, 2007

God bless the Queen and save America

Last week was my one year anniversary of arriving home from England. I tried to make it commemorative. I wore my English gear, shared a pint of cider with a friend, and had a cup of tea while watching a British movie. I also ended up going through my photobucket page, skimming through all my pictures. It did make me miss England, but life is good.

The day I came back from England was also the day that my parents handed me my letter from Michigan. It was a pretty emotional moment, even though we all knew what it probably said. It demanded a decision of me, when all I had to do previously was hypothesize. Sometimes I feel like my time in England was a pause button in my life. I was leaving one school and going to a different one, trading one life in for the other, and while I was in England I was making those decisions about what I wanted my new life to be.

My life has been a little disjointed, at least geographically, and it makes it easy to look back and see how things have changed. Sometimes I think people don't stop and reflect back enough. So much has happened in the past year. My life is so vastly different from what it was or from what I thought I wanted it to be. You lose things and gain new things. You lose contact with old friends and make new ones. You buy new clothes, get new haircuts, get new names. You struggle with different things, and you grow in new ways. I wish people would stop and take more time to recognize these things, to look back and see how they've changed and evaluate where they are, if they are living the life they want, if they are where they want to be.

This is not where I thought I would be. It's not all that bad. : )

Thursday, November 08, 2007

My Compulsion to Walk Fast is a Psychological Flaw

Instead of doing my Spanish journals for the past hour, I've been doing something much more productive. I've been finally educating myself about the Writers' Guild strike via YouTube and blogs. It's a little sad it's come to this. We had a visiting agent from L.A. come out a few weeks ago, a woman who's really up there, and she told us that she felt there was progress being made and that a strike would not come with November.


If you would like to know more, I'd suggest checking out some of the writers' blogs on the sidebar over there, especially Jane's and John August's. Billy has a great inspirational post, asking you just how much writing is worth to you. Scott has a good YouTube video explaining the crisis up, and I would also recommend looking at John's clip from the cast/crew of The Office and at the official announcement when you're over at YouTube. The best part of The Office's clip was when they talking about how the industry is trying to deny the stability of the internet, and they paused and said something like, "Yes, what you're watching us on now."

The most staggering statistic? Almost 50% of the writers in the union are unemployed. That's why getting that 4 extra *cents* off of DVD sales and getting paid for websoides/"promotions"/internet reruns is so important. Your work is still making money but you're not? How does that make sense?

The studios can try to be immovable now, but come January when there are no more new episodes of Grey's Anatomy, the Office, Pushing Daisies, Heroes or Ugly Betty being written, things are going to get disasterous. No union writer is going to pick up a pencil.

And neither is a non-union writer. Because it's not just about knowing there will be a moment when you finally get that golden moment to apply for a union membership and you will be asked if you've ever crossed a picket line and the feeling of cold sweat breaking on your forehead. It's about dignity for the working writers and the indignation of us that aspire.

The last strike lasted 5 months. I hope for the sake of the writers that the studios don't attempt to hold out that long again. I'll be shocked if they'll be able to. This is going to take some major economic toll on multiple aspects of American - not just Hollywood - economy when you think about all the coporations and people and businesses involved in movie making.

I'm not saying writers control the world or anything - or do they?

Monday, November 05, 2007

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
To blow up King and Parliament.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England's overthrow;
By God's providence he was catch'd
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!

Friday, November 02, 2007

Somehow I interpret this as a happy song

I've got my things, I'm good to go
You met me at the terminal
Just one more plane ride and it's done

We stood like statues at the gate
Vacation's come and gone too late
There's so much sun where I'm from
I had to give it away, had to give you away

And we spent four days on an
Island at your family's old hotel
Sometimes perfection can be
It can be perfect hell, perfect...

Hours pass, and she still counts the minutes
That I am not there, I swear I didn't mean
For it to feel like this
Like every inch of me is bruised, bruised
And don't fly fast. Oh, pilot can you help me?
Can you make this last? This plane is all I got
So keep it steady, now
Cause every inch you see is bruised

I lace my Chucks, I walk the aisle
I take my pills, the babies cry
All I hear is what's playing through
The in-flight radio
Now every word of every song
I ever heard that made me wanna stay
Is what's playing through
The in-flight radio, and I
And I am, finally waking up

Hours pass, and she still counts the minutes
That I am not there, I swear I didn't mean
For it to feel like this
Like every inch of me is bruised, bruised
Don't fly fast. Oh, pilot can you help me?
Can you make this last? This plane is all I got
So keep it steady, now
Cause every inch you see is bruised, yeah

So read your books, but stay out late
Some nights, some nights, and don't think
That you can't stop by the bar
You haven't shown your face here since the bad news
Well I'm here till close, with fingers crossed
Each night cause your place isn't far

And hours pass, and hours pass, yeah, yeah...

Yeah, yeah, she still counts the minutes
That I am not there, I swear I didn't mean
For it to feel like this
Like every inch of me is bruised, bruised
And don't fly fast. Oh, pilot can you help me?
Can you make this last? This plane is all I got
So keep it steady, now
Cause every inch you see is bruised, bruised, bruised

- "Bruised" by Jack's Mannequin

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Welcome to the Twilight Zone

Things have been going awry here in the space/time continuum. For one, October was a lot shorter than a month. I feel like I went to bed one night and woke up and it was Halloween - and I don't even sleep that much! Not only that, but the physical area of this town has been slowly stretching. It now takes me 1.5x the amount of time to get to the USB as it did at the beginning of the year. If I didn't have to walk there so ridiculously much it wouldn't be such a big deal... *grumblegrumblegrumble*

So, apparently, what I've heard is, where I go to school, well, it's kind of a big deal. In the top twenty five in the nation or something. So how is it that Monday night I can collapse exhausted on my bed, get a power nap at midnight, drag myself up again at 1:30 to wrangle together a response essay for a lit class on John Milton's freakin Paradise Lost, and get a response back from my professor the next day that it was an "excellent response" and that it's good enough for me to consider turning into my term paper.

Shouldn't people be expecting more of me than this??

Why Our Brilliant B-School is the Fault of High School English Classes Everywhere

I knew this trend existed, I did, but I feel like I've seen it manifested a little bit more recently. People picking majors based on what careers will get them the six figures, figuring out specialties based not on what they enjoy but on which has the slightly bigger paycheck. Really? Really, people?

Don't your high school English teachers make you read Death of a Salesman?

My esteemed friend H. D. Martin said once that she wants to write for the "middle class crap." And if you're carefully watching, you can see exactly what she means. Most of your friends are probably missing out on their lives, and they don't even know it. Art is one of those things that tries to wake people up, point out questions and problems, study dilemmas, not often give answers but at least gets you thinking. The thing is, I'm not sure many people have spent time thinking about their lives in relation to their careers. And just why is it so important to be making the most amount of money in your field as possible. Everybody's chasing the American Dream now but maybe someone's forgotten to get some real sleep on it.

I am not a huge fan of Death of a Salesman. I find it long and tedious. It really hits you over the head. Which is why high school counselors should make everyone of their students read it as part of the college application process. And then write a two page response paper about it.

I've been ruminating on this because I had an idea for a screenplay about a young man who has the commendable middle class lifestyle but goes through several life changes about how that's not enough (cheesy in one sentence like that, yes, and without half the plot). It's a "coming of age" story in a different sense, in a sense when someone realizes that their B-school diploma is just a plaque on the wall. As I was thinking about this, realizing that it has so many themes of the tedious Death of a Salesman, I had to wonder if we needed another, reinvented Death.

The sad thing? I think we do. Maybe the B-school does need another prerequisite course in their major: "Your Career and how Art has deconstructed the myth that it will lead you to Happiness." A cumbersome course title? Maybe. But appropriate? I think so.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Luck of the Irish

My computer has managed to finally die, even though I was trusting it to last for another year so I could put the money for a new computer towards tuition instead.

It's just in time for NaNo.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Plan B

I was walking with a friend the other day, talking about our (collective) futures, and he was referencing me and another friend, saying, "Honestly, I just don't see you two going in the same direction."

In the past year or so I've found this both a frustrating and amusing comment. Frustrating because I think to say it, people have to make huge assumptions that most people are really not qualified to make about another person. Amused because if they know where my life is heading, I do wish they'd tell me.

I've learned that while long term plans are a good idea and practical, it's also very practical to make sure that you're aware they will probably change. So when people ask me about my post graduation plans, they go somewhat along the lines of "Well, I think I'll probably move to California... and we'll see what happens..." (After a friend A. laughed at me, I've stopped including the preceding "If I fall in love and get married and have a reason to not go to California...") To be honest, California is my Plan B. In my chosen career path, that's a bit frowned upon. People expect you to sell your soul for a chance in this industry. Screenwriter Billy Ray (Shattered Glass, Breach) came by the other week and talked with us, and he talked about getting an Oscar, how badly he wanted one, and not just one but several, and his intensity was riveting and a little disturbing. That's the passion expected of people in the film industry. But do you really want to spend your life chasing after a little golden man? I mean, I will definitely want one, and strive to produce work deserving of one, but it's all part of Plan B, you know?

What's Plan A? I don't know. I'm leaving it open. Because moving to California and becoming a struggling filmmaker who lives in a cardboard box on the beach, that can't be it, you know? It's not a bad, plan, really, and I can definitely see components of it in the ambiguous Plan A. But I'm just being cautious. I've already had the opportunity to learn, at age 20, that your career isn't everything. And so I can't make it Plan A.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Jack's Mannequin is my new favourite already favourite band

Two to one
Static to the sound of you and I
Undone for the last time
And there this was
Hiding at the bottom of your
Swimming pool some September
And don't you think
I wish that I could stay

Your lips give you away
I can hear it, a jet engine
Through the center of the storm
And I'm thinking I'd
Prefer not to be rescued

Two to none
Roads that lead away from this
I'm following myself just this once
And I got spun
It appears you're spun as well
It happens when you pay attention
This could take all year, but

When it's quiet, does she hear me?
A jet is sent to the
Center of the storm
And I'm thinking I'd
Prefer not to be rescued

And ohh-oh, I can feel her, she's dying
Just to keep me cool
I'm finally numb, so please
Don't get me rescued... rescued...

And it's unclear
But this may be my last song
Ohh-Oh, I, I can tell
She's raising hell to give to me
But she got me warm
So please don't get me rescued

And ohhh-oh, say you'll miss me one last time
I'll be strong, but whatever you do
Please don't get me rescued...

Cause I'm feeling like
I might need to be near you
And I feel alright, so please
Don't get me rescued...

- "Rescued" by Jack's Mannequin

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I Missed What Might Have Been the Greatest Moment in My Life

Hayden Christensen was in town on Friday filming for his movie "Jumper." I was on my way to a wedding in Illinois. : (

I'll Slice Your Life

It's weird the way your first impressions change - or don't.

I've had the privilege of making "home" a place where I had previously had only a handful of isolated memories. When I first moved here, most places were associated with my previous memories of them. But things change, and I can remember how I used to view certain aspects of campus - I even remember things that were gone before I made this campus home, like the tree stump with the brick wall in it they tore out to make room for the museum addition - and sometimes it makes me smile, how different my perspective was. Campus used to see so big and intricate - and it still is, but now it's familiar too. It's funny the way memories are retained and yet perspective can change, almost like there are two versions of a place, and the way sometimes you can see both of them at once. Some places don't change, though. Places I don't visit frequently, even a couple I do, still have the exact same impression on me as they did three years ago. I don't mind, necessarily. With a memory as bad as mine, it's nice to have some strong memories. It's just weird and interesting, at least to me, the way people's perspectives can shift and change.

Sounds like a great theme to build a story on to me. : P

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

To the Typewriter

It's that time of year again.

I had forgotten, to be honest. My fifth year, and it might have slipped by me if I hadn't gotten that email from Chris, making my heart pound and my mind go temporarily blank as I realized -

National Novel Writing Month is just a month away.

It seems so soon again (I think that's because of Script Frenzy), and it's great, I'm excited. I love November for this reason (well, there are other good things too). I'm sorta at a dilemma about what to write, however. Last year, after finishing a rather dark novel, I was determined to have more fun. I wrote a space opera in 2005 and all the characters were named after Shakespearean characters, and I had a blast. I wanted to have just as much fun in 2007, so last year I vowed to return to my roots and write a bit in a sillier genre that I used to dabble in when I was younger.

Some of you may know what I'm talking about.

However, over the past few months this idea has been percolating in my head, and I think it might be really good. But it's more dramatic, darker, and could just be sorta a downer to write. And really, it would be nice to write a novel that I felt actually has potential. This will be my *fourth finished one* after all.

When I was putting up my participation icon, I found out I can put polls on my blog! So if you'd like to advise me on what to write, I'd appreciate it. You'll have to read about it for a month or so, after all.

Is anyone else planning on staying up late on Halloween, not trick or treating, but tapping their fingers against the keyboard, waiting to start?

Monday, October 08, 2007

"Brighter than Sunshine" is my new favourite song

I'll slice your life...

One week up at camp this summer, we got into a discussion about difficult times during Bible Ex. My kids would pretty much unanimously agree that God would allow hard times to happen to a person, but they would say that He would *cause* a person to go through bad times. I tried to point out the flaw in this logic. If God knew that going through hard times would make a person better, and so allowed them, why would He not cause them if He knew the result would be good? When I asked another staff members what they thought, I found they would initial take the same position as my campers, though sometimes discussion would show they thought God might cause difficult times, though not trials that were the result of sin because God couldn't associate with evil.

In C.S. Lewis's book "The Problem of Pain," he talks a lot about God's love and how He can and will use pain to make us become more Christlike. And part of me just wants to accept an image of God who doesn't force us to go through hard times, but who simply uses the hard times we put ourselves in or the trials we are pressed with to create good in our lives. But really, I can't believe that. It doesn't make logical sense, for one. I would hope that a God who would allow a difficulty to happen to make me a better person would also cause it if He needed to. But more importantly, I can look back in my life and see how He dismantled it just to put it back together again. I think if God hadn't intervened, things would have gotten even worse in my life. It's like, some people think of how parents will have "tough love" for their children. But it's more perfect than that. Hard times are ok as long as you choose to believe that.

It's not necessarily an easy choice to make.

Two bars of music from this song have been torturing me for the past two days. Now I've got it. : )

I never understood before
I never knew what love was for
My heart was broke, my head was sore
What a feeling

Tied up in ancient history
I didn't believe in destiny
I look up you're standing next to me
What a feeling

What a feeling in my soul
Love burns brighter than sunshine
Brighter than sunshine
Let the rain fall, i don't care
I'm yours and suddenly you're mine
Suddenly you're mine
And it's brighter than sunshine

I never saw it happening
I'd given up and given in
I just couldn't take the hurt again
What a feeling

I didn't have the strength to fight
Suddenly you seemed so right
Me and you
What a feeling

What a feeling in my soul
Love burns brighter than sunshine
It's brighter than sunshine
Let the rain fall, I don't care
I'm yours and suddenly you're mine
Suddenly you're mine

It's brighter than the sun
It's brighter than the sun
It's brighter than the sun, sun, shine.

Love will remain a mystery
But give me your hand and you will see
Your heart is keeping time with me

What a feeling in my soul
Love burns brighter than sunshine
It's brighter than sunshine
Let the rain fall, I don't care
I'm yours and suddenly you're mine
Suddenly you're mine

I got a feeling in my soul ...

- "Brighter than Sunshine" by Aqualung

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I've decided that the people who ask what my scripts are about are a tad silly. If I could explain it to you in a few simple sentences, I wouldn't have needed to write a movie about it, would I have? : P

Monday, October 01, 2007

My Friends are too Cool

Today I got car splashed twice. Before last winter, when I got snow splashed, I thought that only happened in movies.

I got some pretty cool news today. Not quite like winning the Nicholl, but it's still pretty thrilling for me!

Last night I learned not to rummage around in the dark in your duffel in the pockets you know contain razors, even if you think they're capped. They probably aren't anymore.

Do you ever get scared about losing people before they're gone?

Someday I'm going to make a film on how Facebook has changed social relationships. It's going to go on the festival circuit and win a massive number of awards.

Friday, September 28, 2007

All the Small Things

All the small things
True care truth brings
I'll take one lift
Your ride best trip

Always I know
You'll be at my show
Watching, waiting

Say it ain't so
I will not go
Turn the lights off
Carry me home
Na na na....

Late night
Come home
Work sucks
I know
She left me roses by the stairs
Surprises let me know she cares

Say it ain't so
I will not go
Turn the lights off
Carry me home
Na na na....

Keep your head still
I'll be your thrill
The night will go on
My little windmill

Say it ain't so
I will not go
Turn the lights off
Carry me home
Na na na....

Keep your head still
I'll be your thrill
The night will go on
The night will go on
My little windmill

-Blink 182

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

It's so hot I hope it storms

I work in an office on campus. One of the many necessary and vitally important jobs I'm in charge of is compiling and typing up course evaluations and emailing them to the correct instructors and chairpeople. I used to like this job because it meant that I could sit at my desk for a while and do mindless work and sometimes I could sneakily listen to one headphone of my iPod. However, recently, as I've had a stack two feet high of evaluations to tabulate and write up, this job has become the ban of my life. Especially with the really abysmal handwriting some of these engineers have. I mean, really. On the other hand, I suppose that perhaps this is how people feel when trying to read my handwriting.

Today I emailed off a whole bunch of finished evaluations, several to people who I had never emailed evaluations to. Usually I don't hear back from the instructors, but today I got three email responses back. Two of them were just thank you's, but the the third one made my day. The instructor wrote back to me, "Thanks, A. Noted that the comments wanted a second day on RPA. Did I have too much material or did they want more time with RPA?"

What? Is he asking my advice?

Listen, buddy, I just type up the darn things. I don't even know what an RPA is. Or a VTR or the A3 or most of those technical terms and acronyms. I know about Six Sigma and VSM and Lean only in relation to the fact that we teach courses on them. But I had to smile, because I wonder who this instructor thinks I am. I'm mildly tempted to write back and say that maybe he should think about trimming his material but putting in more funny stories and maybe instead of focusing on the RPA he could focus on the PAR. I think, however, that in the best interests of both of us, I'll just defer his question to his chairman.

That would be the best thing to do, of course...

Monday, September 24, 2007

From "The History of Love" by Nicole Krauss

"A hundred things can change your life; a letter is one."

Why is pink lemonade pink?

Once upon a time (aka last Monday), I was sitting in a meeting, and the leader was talking he had heard about one family, more specifically the children of the family, who were not able to leave the church because of the love and faith they had found there. He said there was no way they could not be a part of it because of the way the church family had adored them and nurtured them as they grew up. I think these were pastor's kids, which is an even bigger accomplishment.

It was a thought provoking thing to hear, especially in light of what we had been taught the day before. S., during the service, had told us that the church should be the HOPE of the WORLD. That when people are asked what they think will be a source of help and hope, they should be able to say the Church of Jesus Christ, but that even Christians don't believe that. He talked about how the church was the only institution that Jesus founded, and that Jesus asked his disciples to love each other and take care of each other. And quite simply, that we as Christians, need to love the church. It's hard; I think often we don't think about loving the church. But don't we want it to be a place that people have a hard time leaving because of the love they've found there? Don't we want it to be the hope of the world? Don't we want it to be the place and the people that Jesus meant for it to be? What would it take to get us to commit to that?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Go ahead as you waste your days with thinking
When you fall everyone sins
Another day and you've had your fill of sinking
With the life held in your
Hands are shaking cold
These hands are meant to hold

Speak to me, when all you got to keep is strong
Move along, move along like I know you do
And even when your hope is gone
Move along, move along just to make it through
Move along
Move along

So a day when you've lost yourself completely
Could be a night when your life ends
Such a heart that will lead you to deceiving
All the pain held in your
Hands are shaking cold
Your hands are mine to hold

Speak to me, when all you got to keep is strong
Move along, move along like I know you do
And even when your hope is gone
Move along, move along just to make it through
Move along

When everything is wrong we move along
(Go on, go on, go on, go on)
When everything is wrong, we move along
Along, along, along

When all you got to keep is strong
Move along, move along like I know you do
And even when your hope is gone
Move along, move along just to make it through

(Move along)
(Go on, go on, go on, go on)
Right back what is wrong
We move along

- "Move Along," The All America Rejects

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bada Bing!

Yesterday I took the director's chair. It was super cool. I'm in the Introduction to TV, Film, and Video Production class this semester, and we just started actually working in the studio. The first of the three units (Film, Video, and TV) that we're doing is Video. We had a three minute interview that we were filming live for tape and we were all going to rotate the positions, director, AD, tech director, floor manager, camera people, etc. etc. We marked up all our scripts for when we're the director, and I even practiced the commands aloud. I was going to be fine, I was sure, as long as I wasn't the first one.

We got our rotation charts first thing in class on Wednesday. I was most definitely the director for the first set.

In a live (or live for tape) TV show, the director calls all the shots as they're happening. We had a monitor in the control room with all three camera shots going and a bigger picture of what was actually going out. So the director gets to sit there and say things like, "Ready [camera] 1. Take 1. (pause) Ready 3. Take 3." and so on, trying to make the three minutes of people ad libbing look interesting. That's not the hard part of the director's job. The hard part is getting into the program and getting out. In a three minute program we had the clock set for three minutes and ten seconds, and when the AD got to "2" in the ten count, the director starts spewing forth all the ready and real commands to fade up picture, sound, graphics, open mics, cue talent, take camera 2, fade music down, lose graphics, etc. etc. etc. That was so stressful because the talent doesn't talk until they're cued and you can just read the commands in one big breath until you get past the intro into the actual segment. Getting out is stressful because you have to get out AT ZERO and sometimes the talent isn't quite done talking. We rehearsed the segment a couple of times before actually filming it for my grade, and we never nailed the ending quite right. And I'm already nervous because I'm the first one, and our instructors have been assuring us over and over again that we're going to make mistakes. Well, really -

I nailed it.

I wasn't perfect, but as soon as I cried "Fade sound and picture out!" because the tension at this point is ridiculous as you have your AD counting down next to you like an atomic bombs about to go off, the audio guy all the way in the other room, the talent on screen rambling about something, and your professor in your ear whispering instructions and warnings - really, quite a lot of stimulus for an already overstimulated girl. But we faded out, and my professor goes "Great job! This girl is one cool cat!" (Or something along those ridiculous lines. I love the phrases older people use. My boss sent me an email the other day and ended it with "You're a GEM!" It made me smile. Yup, that's me. I am one freaking precious rock, baby!). I think everyone else was relieved, too, that the first shoot went pretty well, because it was their first time working their positions too.

Next week I am going to be the host of the show. Oh I am so excited.

We have been having gorgeous weather out here. My favourite type, really, occasional rain notwithstanding. Thursdays are a little stressful for me because it's really go go go from 830 to 5, and then I have a TON of Spanish homework because I neglected it all week. But I have an excuse to enjoy the weather with a picnic instead of doing homework, and I finally got to see the army guys repel down the side of the dental building, which I've heard about extensively but never actually seen. I couldn't stop and watch, because that would just be awkward, but I got in a few backward glances. It was impressive, but really, I think I could have repelled down a little quicker. : P

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I am Jack's Dry Sense of Humor

I really need my eyes to get better. No, that's not true. They are better. They haven't been red, painful, or watery since the day it all happened. What I need is to be able to wear my contacts again. I have been inaccurately estimating strangers' attractiveness and failing to recognize friends.

So my friend knows Future Husband's manager (Future Husband being Mat Kearney, c'mon people, keep up). That makes things *so* much easier on me.

I have two classes that are going to rock, one that is mediocre, and two that will be a disappointment, I'm sure (I'll give you a hint: one of the disappointing ones is Spanish, though the fault there is my own). The two classes that are going to rock also intimidate me a lot, but I think we've all learned by now that without a little bit of struggle and stretch there is no progress.

My guy friends have all suddenly discovered my age and consider this to be old. This would not be such a big deal because I *have* recently discovered that if you haven't made it in your career by the time you're 23 you still have a chance. However, as I've been keeping up with all my old friends via Facebook on engagements and weddings, I find myself in a shrinking... equality? with other girls my age. Never fear, I was also reassured today by one said guy friend that there was no way I could possibly find a guy I might think about spending the rest of my life with before I graduate college. Two years, apparently, is just not enough time.

On the other hand, I've been mistaken for someone older than myself twice in the past month. Once was in a class where the girl next to me turned and asked if I was a GSI. The other was in the Metropolitan Museum of Art with H.D. An elderly man approached us and asked me if I was German. When I said no, he told me that I looked remarkably like Assistant Professor Matilda Burgendorf at the University of Munich, or something along those lines. He talked with us for a few minutes and left without trying to sell us anything. Apparently, I just look wise beyond my years.

On the writing front, I have several ideas bouncing around in my head. I hashed out ten pages today on a story I really feel has potential, though the tone of those ten pages is not quite right. I read an amazing piece about the difference between contemporary Rom Coms and ones of the Jimmy Steward, Katherine Hepburn, and Cary Grant era. Hopefully I'll be able to find it again and post the link, because it was really great, and inspired me to try and write a Rom Dram (because I'm not so good with comedy on the written page, though I am truly hysterical in real life) in the tone of Katie and Cary's playful, equal battle of wits. So we'll see how it turns out, but I will be definitely giving it more time and energy to make sure that it comes out better than my last two scripts. (More on my thoughts on my terrible scripts later, because I have been thinking about those too). I actually spent several days just ruminating on this idea, and though everything's not worked out yet, I do feel pretty confident about what overarching themes and plots there will be and what I want to happen in the first half, at least.

The other two scripts I have bouncing around will be built at a slower pace. One is a collaboration piece, so it will take some time working on how to collaborate and the time lag between us. The other is a study of college life, so I will be gradually gathering real life antidotes. It's going to be great, I think, though a little sad and more than a little critical.

Ever buy plastic cutlery for a friend?

Thursday, September 06, 2007


"And who knows but that you have come to (royal) position for such a time as this?"

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Things should be different

I went into South Quad today to buy some food, and I was shocked and appalled to see this sign on the wall: "Elevators ---> Because we're not West Quad."

They're just jealous that they always lose to us in the snow ball fight.

Not for sensitive eyes

Or the story of how I went blind for 5 hours.

On Labor Day, I didn't really have anything to do besides get ready for classes the next day, so I got up, got a lazy start, hung around my room. about ten minutes after putting my contacts in, I noticed that everything seemed a little... hazy. After about half an hour of wondering if all those horror stories I heard about your contacts slowly causing eye damage were true, I took my contacts out, washed them, and put them back in. It didn't do anything. Not only did it not clear up my vision, but everything was still hazy without my contacts in at all. It was driving me crazy, so I just took them out and went about the rest of my day with very limited vision.

I tried to ignore the fact that my eyes were burning. It wasn't much at first, but by late afternoon when I was out drinking my peppermint mocha frappucino and plotting out my next screenplay on the Diag, I had to close my eyes.

And then I couldn't open them. It was only for a few minutes, but I decided that it was time to give up on the beautiful day and head back inside while I was able to keep my eyes open. When I got back to my room I took a look in the mirror - my eyes were bloodshot like Frankenstein's bride, really. However, I was still able to keep them mostly open at this point, and so went out to meet up with a friend and go hang out at her house (instead of going to the movies like the original plan was. At least I was smart enough to realize that sitting in a dark room with a huge blindingly bright screen shining in your face would not be good for sensitive eyes). But when we got to said friend's house, I sat down, closed my eyes, and that was pretty much when my 5 hours of legal blindness started.

Long story short, be careful to not wear contaminated contacts. They cause double eye infections. Diane had to lead me around by the arm in CVS on our way to the pharmaceutical counter, my sunglasses on, my eyes tearing and my nose running like I was having an emotional breakdown. Two rounds of eye drops and a sound only version of "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants" later, I could open my eyes enough to walk home by myself. I bet everyone was wondering, though, who that pompous girl was to think it was cool to wear her sunglasses at night.

Matthew 5:43-48

"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

Friday, August 31, 2007

Would you believe that a quiet game could last for fifteen minutes in a car three adults and two teenage boys that are all overstimulated and over tired? Yeah, I was surprised too..

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I started watching "Bones" and now I'm hooked

If you give your college age daughter a gift card to Dunkin Donuts for breakfast one day, you'll never see it again. Or maybe if that's just if you give it to me...

I just saw a "It's ten o'clock. Do you know where your children are?" ad. They still have those?

So in my previous post I talked about how I feel that, since the last two of my three scripts have sucked royally, I really need to make the next one count. Lucky for me, the next one will probably be a collaboration piece with a friend who came to me with a great idea. But a thread sprang up on Wordplayer that has to do with self doubt that I've found helpful. Some people are like, "Well, get it out, even if it sucks. It's all practice." Other people are like "I've never understood that. It's only practice if you're practicing the right things and it will be good." Bill M. had a great response here about how everyone makes mistakes as they learn. Anticipate the mess, but don't get sloppy. I should know this. I've been writing long enough to know that what I'm doing now will not be as good as what I'll write later. It's part of perfecting the craft. Everyone's going to doubt now and then. It's all in about how you handle it.

Films/Theatre I've seen recently:

A Midsummer Night's Dream, Shakespeare in the Park - Good. I always enjoy Shakespeare in the Park, and I really liked the main story. I always have mixed feelings about the play within a play, because they did it really well and we laughed a lot, but at the same time you're like, why? I'm sure there's a grand interpretation, but that was the only time I got fidgety.

Trust the Man - Really, I want to love this movie. I like it. This is the second time I've seen it. It's just, can we deal with relationships and be funny without being crass? It's just the last scene - it saves the entire movie. I love that scene, it's perfect, especially what Billy Crudup's character says. This gives us an important lesson about the last scene and how crucial it is. It can swing your viewer/reader (as long as they've made it that far).

Mary Poppins, Broadway - Not my favourite Disney movie, but they offered us reasonable tickets. And I was absolutely delighted. Really a fun, amazing show, and even with all we know about the tricks of Broadway, I found myself wonder about how they did things. I definitely recommend it for anyone visiting New York. Great singing, great acting, great numbers. Not that I've ever had any experiences like that, a nanny in England...

Factory Girl - Sad movie. Fascinating and engaging (though here, too, are scenes that...) And Hayden Christensen looks great. ; ) Good movie, but definitely not a light one.

I have Russian Ark sitting by my bed. A movie shot all in one take, a choice that amazes me. I really want to watch it, but... I'm going to go back up my poor, beat up computer instead. I found out I'm eligible for a battery recall. That's great because my battery can only hold ten minutes. But it's not being recalled because it can't hold a charge. Oh no, it's being recalled because it tends to catch fire.

What can I say? It's a Mac. It's hott.

Monday, August 27, 2007

It's a funny feeling when you realize that the dreams you once had aren't going to be the ones you live out (and it's okay).

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Atlantic was born today, and I'll tell you how:
The clouds above opened up and let it out.

I was standing on the surface of a perforated sphere
When the water filled every hole.
And thousands upon thousands made an ocean,
Making islands where no island should go.
Oh no.

Most people were overjoyed; they took to their boats.
I thought it less like a lake and more like a moat.
The rhythm of my footsteps crossing floodlands to your door
Have been silenced forever more.
The distance is quite simply much too far for me to row
It seems farther than ever before
Oh no.

I need you so much closer
I need you so much closer
I need you so much closer...

So come on, come on

- "Transatlanticism" by Death Cab for Cutie

Thursday, August 23, 2007


I'm not sure what it is, but apparently two girls wolfing down pizza and cookies as they stumble down the streets of New York is attractive to some guys. The theme of the trip is "Oh, we *were* going the right way."

Heather and I stumbled upon Power Rangers (in Space) on TV tonight. Creep-ers.

Heather and I are great at making up stories about people. Put two writers together in one of the biggest cities in the world and hilarity ensues. We almost waited out to see if this man and a woman were going to conquer the silence barrier and talk to each other like they had obviously been thinking about but it was getting cold and dark so we had to leave and we never found out if the man gathered up enough nerve to finally talk to her.

Power Rangers is getting really intense and emotional. Quite surprising.

I'm getting a little stressed about school. I just don't know how everything works for fall semester, you know? And after I gave that little speech about how I can still appreciate the mess in life, I need to, well, remember it. Sometimes I wish we could all just.... grow up.

It's Shakespeare in the Park tomorrow. A Midsummer's Night Dream. My favourite. I'm excited. : )


Blast the radio, roll down the windows, scream at the top of your lungs

I love life. Sure, that's lacking my usual subtlety, but that's just the way I feel right now. Content, and excited, and happy. I think those moments when you fall in love with life are all the more precious when it hasn't always been that way and that it won't always be that way, either. Part of loving life is loving the mess that comes with it. I feel a little bit sad for those people who take the problems of their lives and become bitter and angry over them. And it's not like I'm looking for more ways to mess up my life or that I'm reveling in those things that present concerns to me, but really. My problems are there, but so are my answers. I wish people understood how to make the most out of their lives. I'm trying to learn. Ever felt like life was humming? This beautiful peace and joy. My future husband, Mat Kearney, said it best, "Father's got the best plan." : P

"I can tap dance. You want to see me tap dance?"
"I would love to see you tap dance."
- Garden State

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

I don't actually like *coffee,* but that's ok

I got my football tickets! I was starting to worry that they weren't going to get here in time. They're so pretty. I just need to buy more things that match with blue and maize.

My brother today told me we were going to learn to drive at the same time. Heck no! Now I'm determined to get this taken care of.

I saw Heroes the other night. I didn't find it impressive as people say, but there was a cute moment when this guy got this book for this girl about mutation or something, all on his own, without her asking. And then, I was watching Gilmore Girls, and Lorelei's car dies, and she doesn't want a new one she wants her old one, so Luke goes online, finds a car that's hers exactly, goes to the guy who owns it, tests drives it, and figures out the way to switch engines. And this is all after her and Luke have broken up. Without her asking him to do this. Guys should take notes. Because that's when we know you really like us. : P

My parents got me Cinnamon Roll Poptarts. A-maz-ing.

I'm going through social withdrawal. The only time I managed to leave the house all day today was when we went out to dinner because it was raining all day long. : ( I am *yearning* to be back at school, where it's like camp, and you're surrounded by people 24/7 and your friends are always within walking distance. But Heather's coming to visit tomorrow, and we're going to see Shakespeare in the Park and go to the top of the Empire State Building and watch lots of movies. I'm excited.

I'm also excited about these football tickets, have I mentioned that?

Monday, August 20, 2007

I hope you know

Have you ever had your perception radically changed? Completely, irrevocably, dangerously changed? People like to live in the middle. There are some things I just can't do that on. What do you do when what your heart tells you to do conflicts with what everyone else tells you to do? What if those people are people you trust and love? Do you ever break your resolve and back down? What if no one wants you to be extreme anyway?

Some things just matter too much. But people don't understand why you wouldn't want to play safe...

The Transforming Power of Film

Well, I'm back from camp. No more sleepouts. No more almost stepping on frogs in the middle of the night. No more star gazing. No more showering with insects. No more Bible Exs or devotions or awesome campers. No more cookouts and ice cream and worship Tuesday night. No more songfests. No more counselor hunts. No more bird names. No more of a lot of things. Until next summer, that is. Cross my fingers.

I didn't get much writing done this summer. Waaay too busy. I've got a few ideas though, so we'll see how it goes in the next couple of weeks.

So I have a friend whose friend had a life changing experience with a movie. He saw Transformers, and it's inspired him. To do what, you might ask.

Join the Air Force.

I don't know whether to be encouraged or exasperated, really. It is, at the very least, revealing, I think. Obviously I'm going to have to see Transformers eventually. On a similar writing note, I got my gentle let down from the Nicholls. I finished Script Frenzy with a horrendous script. So I'm feeling a little pressure to make this next script, if not good, at least a story that I like.

Friday, August 17, 2007


Hey there Delilah
What's it like in New York City?
I'm a thousand miles away
But girl tonight you look so pretty
Yes you do
Times Square can't shine as bright as you
I swear it's true

Hey there Delilah
Don't you worry about the distance
I'm right there if you get lonely
Give this song another listen
Close your eyes
Listen to my voice it's my disguise
I'm by your side

Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me
What you do to me

Hey there Delilah
I know times are getting hard
But just believe me girl
Someday I'll pay the bills with this guitar
We'll have it good
We'll have the life we knew we would
My word is good

Hey there Delilah
I've got so much left to say
If every simple song I wrote to you
Would take your breath away
I'd write it all
Even more in love with me you'd fall
We'd have it all

Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me

A thousand miles seems pretty far
But they've got planes and trains and cars
I'd walk to you if I had no other way
Our friends would all make fun of us
and we'll just laugh along because we know
That none of them have felt this way
Delilah I can promise you
That by the time we get through
The world will never ever be the same
And you're to blame

Hey there Delilah
You be good and don't you miss me
Two more years and you'll be done with school
And I'll be making history like I do
You'll know it's all because of you
We can do whatever we want to
Hey there Delilah here's to you
This ones for you

Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me
Oh it's what you do to me
What you do to me.

- "Hey There Delilah" Plain White T's

Saturday, August 11, 2007

I think we lost Hawk

Normally, it doesn't take 2 days to travel from Indiana to Albany. Apparently, I am just the special exception.

When I got back, all the Explorer counselors ran out of Pooh Corner saying "Capri! Capri!" and jumping up and down. It was precious. And the girls in my tent had punkd my bed with tulle and given me cute craft presents (as CILTS they have to give away all the crafts they make. Lucky CILT counselor! :) )

It's my last week of camp. It's sorta a strange week. We have a drama camp, and instead of counseling the few few girls we actually have attending, I'm on the "core staff" for drama week. It'll be interesting.

I'm starting to write a little more. Getting back into the habit. Trying to find my voice and style, which is what I think I've been struggling with the past couple of projects and why I've been so unsatisfied with them.

This is the last normal day off I'm going to have. It makes me a little sad, but I've also pretty much decided today that the default plan for next summer is to come back. It's that awesome.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


First canceled flight ever. Like staying overnight in the airport in England, not nearly as romantic as I had hoped it'd be. Still, with a few connections and quick phone calls, I'm staying in one of the nicest hotels in Washington DC. Thanks, Shonda! : )

Saturday, July 21, 2007

: )

These back steps are steeper to the ground
The brightest stars are falling down
I'm walking the edge, walking the tightest rope
We can be frank, reality rips on through, rolling like a hurricane
I'm over the bridge and under the rain

If everything's falling, if everything's changed
If I'm in the open, if I'm in the way

What am I doing here
If you're not with me?
What have I got to live for, if it's just my own dream
Take it back to the beginning, back to the start
When gravity's pulling, you're still holding my heart
You come crashing down
Crashing down

These four walls are closing in on me
The talk is louder than I'll sing
I want to be there, want to be where you are
But you know it all, every look and smile that aren't meant to break
I'm over the bridge and under the rain

If everything's falling, if everything's changed
If I'm in the open, if I'm in the way

What am I doing here
If you're not with me?
What have I got to live for, if it's just my own dream
Take it back to the beginning, back to the start
When gravity's pulling, you're still holding my heart
You come crashing down

And you say that everything is different, why don't we just hold on
And you say everything is different, why don't we just hold on
Crashing down

- "Crashing Down" by Mat Kearney

I need shoe glue

Week Three is over. I'm floating next week which means I don't have to worry about being in charge of a tent. It's a little nice.

I think we may have the only job where it's important to take your flashlight with you on your day off.

God reminded me this week my joy is in Him.

I think I may have missed my parents on the way to Saratoga if they thought they were meeting me up at camp today. You don't realize how important cell phone reception is until you lose it.

Friends are amazing in the ways that they see your needs and respond to them almost before you yourself know what's going on.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Power outages and counselor hunts included, best week of camp so far! And Lindsay's here! : D

Saturday, July 07, 2007

I finished a full week of camp with real campers! Heather found my camera back in Indiana. I've never laughed so hard in my life. My friend and I are the same person (she even uses In the Rain!) except that she has a cute Boston accent - and likes the Red Soxes. I got to help replace a platform tent's waterproof tarp in the pouring rain while balancing on the supports. I got to act in a songfest instead of watch one. My adopted soldier sent me a letter! My week one campers figured out my real name because I speak in third person way to much. I haven't written a word since the end of Script Frenzy. We spent too much time last night discussing how best to capture/kill the five mice we saw in Pooh's Corner. I remembered it's worth falling into.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Bug Bites on your Feet are not Fun

I wish I had time to talk about how amazing camp is. But I'm the last one of my day off party to be still on the computers in the library, so short it will be.

I finished Script Frenzy! It's awful, my script, for sure, and rewriting will be writing new stuff completely, but I"m glad it's done, and I think there's still a workable story in there somewhere.

Camp is so cool. Campers start coming tonight for a Mother/Daughter weekend, and then we get real campers on Sunday. I found out last night that I'm counseling the first week (we have one more counselor than tents in our division, so we have one "floater" a week), and I'm in Heffalump tent! Yeah, in the Explorer division (the eldest campers) all the tents are named after Winnie the pooh characters. It's awesome. As far as modeling the way that God wanted the church to train up the next generation, for older women to mentor younger ones, camps is great. It's really an amazing feeling to be able to step up to a leadership position like this. And we too have older, more mature women over us, leading and teaching us. That doesn't really happen in the real world. You have your pastor and your Bible study leaders and stuff, but to have this sort of blatant mentorship and leadership going on, it doesn't happen. It's cool to see it the way God wanted it. And camp is also a great place because even though you get to mentor and lead and learn from other women, you also get to be outrageous and silly and have more fun than should be allowed. I'm pretty much super happy (okay, and a little nervous about the campers coming in two days!)

Hope all is going well on the outside world!

Sunday, June 24, 2007


I am having a wonderful time - and the kids aren't even up here yet!!

Monday, June 18, 2007

All my favorite songs are different

All of your ways and all your thunder
Got me in a haze running for cover
Where we gonna go from here
Where we gonna go from here

Car lights in the driveway
I wonder who's going coming my way
Tomorrow we're turning down the highway
With another bright stage on a weekday
Green grass and a radio
Watching it fly past and away we go
Seven hundred places seven hundred faces more

All your ways and all your thunder
Got me in a haze running for cover
Where we gonna go from here
Where we gonna go from here
The back of your eyes look like my mothers
When we talk your like my brother
Where we gonna go from here
Where we gonna go from here

Time is moving on our side
How could I miss you to another guy
Pull of the ocean and the roaring tide
Is bigger than my eyes or my design
Father got a best plan
Saving his daughter for the best man
Seven hundred places seven hundred faces more

All your ways and all your thunder
Got me in a haze running for cover
Where we gonna go from here
Where we gonna go from here
The back of your eyes look like my mothers
When we talk your like my brother
Where we gonna go from here
Where we gonna go from here

I've waited and I'll wait some more
Won't see me knocking on another door
But all this is crazy and amazing
There's only one half of us that I'm saving
So I'm praying just to let it go
Watch from a distance just to see you glow
Seven hundred places seven hundred faces more

All your ways and all your thunder
Got me in a haze running for cover
Where we gonna go from here
Where we gonna go from here
The back of your eyes look like my mothers
When we talk your like my brother
Where we gonna go from here
Where we gonna go from here

- "Where We Gonna Go from Here?" - Mat Kearney

To be honest, I based Grace off myself

Tomorrow I leave for camp. I am excited. Not combustible excited, because I'm sick and tired from a fun weekend, but the happy, pleased, content excited. It's going to be a challenge and a retreat at the same time.

I am so excited by camp. This is where I used to go as a kid. We live up in the mountains by a lake in cabins or platform tents without electricity. We have campfires and cookouts. I'll be in charge of a group of eight or so girls, I'll be teaching/assisting two activities from crafts to drama to kayaking, I'll have a couple hours of free time to go horseback riding or practicing my archery skills, I'll get to lead my cabin girls in Bible study every day, I'll get to hang out with girls my own age dealing with similar stuff, and I get a cool bird name! I am going to be busy busy busy. The thing I'm going to miss most? Listening to Mat Kearney!

And I'll have limited, practically nonexistent internet access.

I got Whatever You Ask up to 13K. Not done. I can work on it some a little on the way up to camp tomorrow, but it's not going to hit 20K tonight like I had hoped. There's still a chance for it. Some times writers have to choose between having time to write and having a life. As that old knight guy said in The Last Crusade, "You have chosen wisely."

I've finally seen some *good* movies lately. Marie Antoinette, Say Anything, and the Departed are all vastly different and very good movies. Watching Say Anything after Four Weddings and a Funeral, I noticed a very crucial element - I fell in love with John Cusack in Say Anything. I didn't feel very many warm and fuzzies for Hugh Grant - and he's beautiful and has a British accent. You think it would be automatic for a writer, to create not only a sympathetic character but one that the audience can love. But I didn't root for Grant like I rooted for Cusack. And that made all the difference.

I'm watching Supernanny. Funny the way it reminds me of au pairing, especially Jo with her British accent. I've decided that with my experiences with children, if I don't get a job in the industry when I go to LA, I sure as heck will be able to get a job in child care.

Have a great summer, everyone!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Stay up late and share secrets

Tonight was the most ridiculous night of work at my temp job. I've decided, finally, that there's gotta be a story in there somewhere. There has to be.

I've solved a dilemma that arose from watching the customers at my temp job. Children like hover around their parents at the register and when said parent is not looking, slip a brightly colored little item into the huge pile their parents are not watching. I can never really tell whether or not parents didn't see it or if they're just letting it slide, so I've started asking. I have yet to see a kid, though, whose eyes do not bulge when they come near the register, so I've started to figure out ways to not let my kids get that irritating that they are constantly pulling on my clothes to buy them something that will just make them even more energetic and disruptive. I think the clear solution is - never let them know what's inside those bright wrappers. Never eat candy in front of my kids, never give it to them straight from the package, keep it secret from them for until they can read the darn labels themselves. As long as they don't know what's in those little red and orange packages, they can't want them, right?

Wrote another thousand words today for Script Frenzy. I feel like I'm writing in circles, slowly building, but still rehashing the same themes, the same scenes. It's time to bump it up a notch. I'm going to give them a few more pages to let them play nice before I tear it all down. There needs to be more CONFLICT, gosh darn it.

I saw Four Weddings and a Funeral the other night. This movie is supposed to be like one of the classic Romantic Comedies, a gem in the genre.

I really didn't like it.

Billy Mernit criticizes Elizabethtown for the fact that in a romantic comedy, you should be able to see the attraction between the two people, why they should be together, and he never understood why Kirsten Dunst fell for and chased after Orlando Bloom. Um, hello, gorgeous, need I say more? But anyway, I felt this was the very same problem in Four Weddings, even more so. Andie and Hugh don't have a real conversation on screen until after they've slept together for the second time. What? And can we talk about what a commitment-phobe Andie was? I may spend time dancing the line, but you can believe that the next time I commit, you won't find me flirting with an old fling at his wedding ceremony after separating from my husband of less than a year. This just disturbs me. Sure, there were a few cute quotes, and the friendship dynamics in the story were interesting, but the main romantic plot? Not interested. Did not find that relationship engaging or, well, sympathetic, really, at all! Still have Say Anything to watch, by the same writer/director so criticized by the honorable and wise Mr. Mernit (whose book I looked for and failed to find today), another gem of the genre, and one I would be watching now if it wasn't already pretty late...

Saturday, June 09, 2007

'Tis the Season to Enter Contests --

The Nicholl deadline's long past, Austin just closed at the beginning of the month (though they might have a later date, I'm not sure), I think Disney's Fellowship closes the first of July, and the Screenwriting Expo's first deadline is July 1st. I'm looking at entering The 4:05 and Daffodil or the divorce party short to the Expo. I think I'm definitely going to submit a short because there aren't many contests for shorts. Daffodil needs to be shortened a few pages, though.

I don't like MySpace. It's slow, chaotic, and people put up crappy music that interrupts whatever I'm listening to already. Which is currently Mat Kearney. Have I mentioned how much I love him? I think I'm going to dance with him at my wedding - to him, I mean. To his music.

I've seen a bunch of movies recently (trying to get in as many as I can before I go live in the mountains without electricity for a couple of months). My family and I watched Night at the Museum the other night. It was amazing! I haven't heard my dad laugh at a movie like that for a while. And sometimes, yeah, he was just laughing at the absurdity of it, but it was really funny. The opening was a little weak, though, because the relationships in the movie were very cliched. My dad pointed that out in the first ten minutes, a divorced family with a flawed father and responsible boyfriend/second husband and a kid caught in the middle. But about twenty minutes after that, you realize why the cliched family dynamic works, because that's not why you came to see the movie. You came to see all the cool and ridiculous things that happen to Ben Stiller when the museum gets out of control at night. You didn't want a family drama anyway. And sure, while it's not necessarily the wisest choice of the writers - it seems a little lazy - it gives Ben Stiller's character all the right motivations to do the things he does. And, like I said, the reason you can get away with it is that it's not why you came to the movie in the first place. I wish I had heard good things about this movie when it was out in theatres. I would have gone to see it.

My friend and I were talking about screenwriting (more like I roped him into giving me a detailed and thorough analysis of my writing to satisfy the writerly neurosis I have developed recently), and we talked about why I want to write and what I want my stories to be about and what purpose I want them to serve. I think it's super important for a writer to decide what purpose she wants her stories to serve. Focused writing makes all the difference. And of course, the stories that serve their purpose are "good stories," stories that connect with people communicate. I was reading my new issue of Creative Screenwriting and found this quote in an interview with screenwriter Nicholas Meyer. He says that when someone once asked him what makes a good story, he replied, "A good story is where, once I've told it to you, you understood why I wanted to tell it to you." I'm not sure if there's anything else I can add to that. I'm not a big outliner or prewriter, but I think it's important for writers to go into their stories knowing what issue they're examining or what question they're raising or what they want to communicate. Know your story's purpose, know what you want to communicate to your reader, and dedicate your work to that, and I can't imagine that you'll end up with anything but a "good story."

I haven't done any work on Whatever You Ask yet today because I had to work my temp job (if you *really* want to be well known, work at a place where everyone shops. Today I was helping a customer, and he said, "Didn't I see you on R----- Road on Thursday?" Now, I walk down there a lot on my way to Dunkin Donuts, so I said it was very possible. He continued, "Yeah, you were wearing a white skirt." A little creepy, but I try not to get too concerned. I'll have to get used to it when I'm rich and famous no? Oh, and if anyone was wondering, it was that white skirt that I managed to spill orange juice all over. The stain came out, and I have been very careful around liquids whenever wearing it now). Um, anyway, Whatever You Ask - I might not write anything, either, because I still have letters to write tonight. I haven't heard from my GI yet, which doesn't really bother me because he's, you know, in the middle of a war, but I'm starting to wonder if he exists. Of course, that gave me a wonderful idea for a story...