Am I turning into my character?


Who out there in writing land has felt as though they turned into their characters or one of their characters?

I realize that a lot of what we write, we take from our own personal experiences.  I get it.

But my character has been creeping too much into my head lately…and too much into my life!  Yes, she was initially inspired by me…because that’s what I know.  After exaggerating her personality and thinking about her life and thought process and adding new idiosyncracies, I feel as though I am taking on her traits.  It is consuming me…which is either a great thing for writing or an awful thing for my brain.

Is this how method actors feel?  How do they become like someone else and then snap back into themselves when their movie/show/whatever is over?

I AM Abraham Lincoln, dammit.

Is method writing a thing?  It must be…everything is a thing, it seems.

The silver lining…is that I created this person.  I can make her into whatever I want.  So if I need to improve my disposition, I’ll just improve her disposition.  I’ll have her turn into the sweetest, funniest, friendliest mother fucker I can think of and change everything about the whole story.  Because I can.

Hell, maybe the prize patrol will show up at her door with a giant check and balloons!!!  Maybe then life will imitate art??  Right?

Responsible Laundry


image

I own a shirt with little black sparkly circles all over it, like sequins…. and the tag on this disco ball says this sparkle monstrosity is to be dry cleaned only.

Last Friday, my birthday, I opened the dryer first thing in the morning and out tumbled all those wonderful shiny black circles!! Oh my!! What a hilarious surprise!!

It was like over-the-hill confetti!!

Not only was the shirt ruined…but I was left with a large load of mostly black clothing with tiny black circles imbedded all over.  Now I find these specks everywhere I go in my house, in my car, on my body… I even found a few sprinkled at work.

This is how contagious diseases are spread… lesson learned.  Launder responsibly!!!

Though shalt not wallow


image

You never know what you’ll find in the bargain priced book section of Barnes and Noble!  From mandala coloring books to paleo cookbooks to this little self help gem…

It made me think about how so much of what we read nowadays is found online (ahem…this blog, for instance) yet the most amazing books, magazines, and knick knacks we find are because we wander and browse.  There is no one behind a computer across the country figuring out my browsing preferences and suggesting things through advertising.

The charm of a bookstore.  It’s the only comforting place within the bowels of February.  And even though it’s a large bookstore, not a cute little mom and pop book shop, it’s still a favorite.  My soon-to-be ten year old says to me as we left the bookstore the other day: I just love the bookstore.  I love the way it smells and how quiet it is and all the books. I just love it!

So I’m not wallowing about that.

I’m trying not to wallow at all…and although it is difficult because I am a pale skinned, vitamin D deficient, polar vortex inhabitant, I’m slowly coming to the surface like a little ice cube bobbing to the surface of a fruity rum drink.  What I wouldn’t give for a crisp margarita in some 75 degree sunshine.  Yes, to all you people that don’t live in cold climates, yes, there are some of us that do sink into a little gray, seasonal depressive, funk-ball.  It stinks.  But we’re not wallowing!!

You wouldn’t believe the amount of things we can accomplish when it’s 55 degrees and sunny, truly…but now it is wintertime….and we’re trapped in darkness.  Alas, there’s books to read and books to write and angsty emotions to convey through an insignificant little blog.  We are not wallowing though, thanks to the bargain priced books!

(I’ll have you know, I thought long and hard about purchasing that book and while I found it endearing and reasonably priced, I couldn’t pull the trigger…because that would mean that I actually was giving in to my wallowing.  I’m very un-constructive about my wallowing.  I will not give in!  I will not let it happen!  Sorry, little book, but thank you for being written…love you!)

Ah, yes, the obligatory birthday post


image

Today is my birthday.  I am now 34.

I welcome my birthday much like people welcome the plague.  While I pretend to enjoy the new internal struggles of ‘oh fuck, now I’m 34 and still haven’t made any progress towards what I really want to do with my life,’ I also pretend to enjoy questions about myself and my birthday plans.  I deflect. 

It’s a strange thing…attention.  It makes me slightly uncomfortable when it’s something I don’t have any control over.  Birthday? I didn’t do anything to get praise for that.  It just happened one day.  It happened to my mom, mostly.  I may have been 10 pounds and it may have been painful. Work hard and try to make something of your life?  Meh…everyone does that, right?

I have no significant birthday plans.  It’s -5 degrees outside right now.  Plans? Really?  I’m wearing two scarves for crying out loud!  It’s a double scarf birthday!

As I reflect on my past year and sketch out a new framework for this coming 34th year, I try to remember all the things I used to want… the things that I told myself I wouldn’t forget to do when I got a little older. Maybe most of them are unachievable.  But maybe they’re not!  Good lord, I hope they’re not….

Posture


image

I had a grade school teacher that would say ‘good posture is the key to good behavior.’

I always thought it was an evil trick to get us to stop slumping in our chairs and pay attention…. Because although this quiet contemplating pup, while having impeccable posture, is not the most well behaved piece of fur in the pack. 

She’s statuesque, yes. 

Just give her a minute and she’ll be up on the window trying to get that asshole squirrel, pulling down curtains and drooling all over the furniture. 

Isn’t she lovely?

Things that make me think I can write better


When I’m trying to be a productive writer, and I use the term writer quite loosely, there are a few things that I like to use to trick my brain into being more focused….and hopefully more creative and clear.

*Eddie Vedder radio on Pandora (this is an obvious one…obviously!)

*I wear shoes.  Yes, I wear shoes.  It makes me think that I am going to work, and am therefore more productive.  Sometimes I’m snuggled up in a blanket at 1 a.m. with shoes on.  It’s a tough job, people.  The struggle is real.

*Hoods and scarves.  I cocoon my whole head up so that only my eyes can peek out.  I like to think that it keeps the creative juices warm and toasty and traps them so they can only escape through my chubby little fingers.

*Candy…love a good sugar buzz

*Caffeine…nothing helps out that sugar buzz like a little eyeball-popping caffeine.  Lately, I’ve just taken to drinking a double shot of espresso.  No latte, no cappuccino, no americano….just gimme the good stuff.  It helps my fingers type faster and with much less precision.

*Yellow legal pads, post it notes, and my favorite rollerball pens.  Sometimes, simply shopping for these items and never opening the packages is helpful in writing….it encourages that intention to write something important.

*Cooking something in the crock pot.  This one is huge.  As a mother and wife and general do-everything-in-the-household type of person…it really helps me focus when I know that dinner/lunch/whatever is cooking itself.  Multi-tasking at its finest!!

*sometimes I venture into Twisted Sister radio on Pandora too…for a little energy boost.

 

Writing is hard


Holy shit.  Writing is hard.

Blogging is easy.

Writing…like real, honest to goodness writing, is super fucking tough.  You know it, I know it, every non-writer and writer out there knows it.  We read and dissect and criticize, but we all know it is really fucking difficult to have an idea in your head and to flesh it out onto paper with words that make it come alive in another person’s head.

It’s like eating a spoonful of alphabet soup and not being able to make any of the random letters make any sense…because you realize you can’t even read!!

…you know, I can’t think of any more clever phrases that writing is like…because I’ve spent the last 7 hours thinking that I made some headway on my project.  When in reality, I have about 3 paragraphs.  3 pretty decent, descriptive paragraphs, but 3 paragraphs nonetheless.

What’s the last thing that you wrote that made you excited to write but the creative process kept slowing you down??

Do you ever wake up with the strangest song in your head?


Today, I awoke to the rap stylings of Salt N Peppa.  I suppose I should clarify…I didn’t hear the song this morning, or last night.  I haven’t heard this song in probably years, actually.  It was just playing away in my brain, on repeat.

None of your Business.

It’s a catchy tune.  Basically, after every line, they say it’s none of your business…and that is what I woke up with today.  I’ll take it.  Sometimes I will wake up with a terribly annoying song stuck in there that the kids like to play over and over and over….picture that Frozen song or worst case scenario.  Sometimes it’s an old school classic that my parents used to play all the time, like Van Morrisson or James Taylor.  If I’m lucky it’s a ridiculous song that makes me giggle to myself…things like DMX or Mysitkal come to mind.  Oh yeah.

Last week I had a beauty!  One of my wake-up song favorites of all time!  The song Kokomo by the Beach Boys.  Hell yes!

I then proceeded to sing it for days and get it stuck in everyone else’s head as well.  Because it’s catchy…and nostalgic.  I think I was in 3rd or 4th grade when Kokomo hit the airwaves.  When it’s 7 degrees outside, it’s kind of nice to sing about the tropical land of Kokomo…off the Florida Keys.  There’s a place called Kokomo.

We’ll get there fast and then we’ll take it slow-wo, that’s where we wanna go-o-o, way down to Koko-0-mo.

And then the saxophone solo kicks in and you’re dreaming about that tropical contact high.

**you are totally singing Kokomo in your own head right now, and you will all day, and then you’ll say to someone: Hey, remember that song Kokomo?  It’s totally stuck in my head right now, isn’t that weird/great/awful/amazing??

performance anxiety


So I’m all enrolled in my online Screenwriting class!  I received all my information and my first week’s assignments.  It feels pretty fricking great to have a legitimate project to work on again.  I think that I work  much better when I have a small amount of creative guidance, prompts, and deadlines.

Deadlines for sure.  Deadlines = discipline.  I work well with a small amount of pressure.  Too much and I pretty much just drink coffee to the point of migraines.  I also have ridiculously high standards for myself and typically will tear out all of my eyebrows mulling over the mundane details even before I begin.  The hairs fall neatly onto my yellow legal pad with one sentence written, scribbled out, and rewritten another way with a few bullet points below it.  Bullet points that turn into stars.  That’s the beginning of what some people call: the creative process.

Others call it procrastination.  Others might call it writer’s block.  Others, still, might like to call it ‘Don’t quit your day job because the scratches on this legal pad ain’t never making you any money.’

At any rate, I’m at a loss.  I have many ideas.  I have tons of inspiration for characters.  I also have many silly situations that I could use in a script.  Believe it or not, I also have things that I could write about that aren’t funny at all….things that are actually quite serious and deep.  Its true!  At this moment, I’m pulling my eyebrows out over genre!

Genre!  **silly side note, my brother and I always cracked up at the way Alex Trebek pronounced genre…it sounded like shawn but with a g-like and z-like hum to it.

I was set!  Here, I thought I was only interested in writing humor and comedy scripts…and now I’m trying to get all mushy?  What is happening?

If I start talking about writing action movies with Liam Neeson…please put me out of my misery (love you, Liam!).