Monday, July 31, 2006

good things come


But why wait? Well, it’s all about planning and I am the consummate planner.

Which is maybe a detriment since I tend to be inflexible sometimes – okay, most of the time. It’s been pointed out to me and I can’t really refute it.

So what’s the latest? Well, my fevered brain continues to create my script, but I fell into a bog the last week or so and wallowed in self-pity and shit. Stupid-dumb-ass!

Why? Self-doubt, that nagging little bastard has a habit of creeping into my life and sitting on my shoulder talking in my ear. I should know not to listen to the little bastard, but he says such convincing things.

I keep beating myself up about my script and thinking if should be fantastic when the best I seem to come up with is so-so. I need to remind myself, and that shoulder perching pinhead, that this is only a first draft of my very first script – for crap’s sake.

So, slapping the little shit from my shoulder, I soldier on ignoring his jibs from my hip where he has managed to get a grip. Still, he is far enough away now that I can successfully ignore him.

I better keep an eye on him though incase he gets any funny ideas of climbing back up again.

I watched “Dodgeball: The True Underdog Story” on the weekend and was duly impressed. Now that is a comedy script worthy of any I’ve seen in a good long while. Every set-up had a payoff, and every scene had a purpose and the acting was great and so was the pacing and the jokes.

But (note to self) – it wasn’t somebody’s first draft of their first script. So I will continue to practice, and get better and then in 22 months (yes I’m counting) when I ditch the soul-sucking, mind-deadening, life-leeching day job to become Mr. Mom, I can try to regain balance in my life and get on with being the funny, fun-loving guy I used to be.

Which brings me to exercise - of which I have been doing a lot lately. I only let myself off the hook once per week. So, every day I either play tennis, go for an hour long walk, or do my light weights and trampoline routine. Yeah, sounds like I should join the circus – maybe after 22 months?

Well, you have had enough of me for today I’m sure.

Until next week when I go on about my life again and you can read what I wrote to overcome your insomnia.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Okay on the Serengeti

Well it is Monday again – cripes do they come around quickly – why it seems like only last week . . .

So- Writing update – still working on script, blah, blah, blah. Not the script - the still writing it.

Should be done Sept 1-2006. If not, I will cry, be abused by those who know me and fall into a deep funk for which I may never return. Nah, just kidding. Going okay – but that is (as Tank says to Neo) “boring shit.”

So with that “business” stuff out of the way it’s time to let the mind wonder - please feel free to change the page at any time.

War in the Middle East . . . Nothing new there.

I was thinking of a get-rich-quick scheme. Since I’m too damn lazy to make millions I’ll just give away the idea here and let some other more ambitious person take it on.

Rubber dickies!

Yeah, you heard right. Small rubber dickies that you can keep like a pet rock, put on a necklace or make into a keychain.

Go ahead and laugh, but I tell you if you set up a website and sell these things you will be a millionaire. You can get something like this made and painted in China for about a dollar a piece (or less) – sell them for 4.99 + shipping and after a few hundred thousand sales – you are on your personal yacht sailing the Caribbean laughing every few minutes.

If you aren’t lazy like me that is.

I’ve given you the idea so now you have no excuse for poverty.

So I was looking at my lawn this weekend and admiring its wild meadow appearance. I hate grass. Grass is wrong and will not grow without a huge amount of labour which is plain stupid. And some wild weeds have really cool flowers.

Now clover. I like clover. We can buy clover seed here and it grows fast and is not as irritating to grow as grass. I hate grass.

So, next spring I’m buying a fifty pound bag of clover seed and dumping it all over my “lawn.” The neighbours can kiss my ass if they don’t like it. I hate grass.

I’ve had a lot of free time on my hands lately. Been watching DVDs and pondering life’s complexities. The DVDs are more fun.

Almost finished season 4 of Farscape now, and it keeps getting better. I like it. Some don’t. Some didn’t like Kermit the Frog either. Some like grass too. I hate it.

Anyhow, Farscape is worthy and different. Fun to watch and after four seasons you know the characters very well. Watch it. It is not dren for frell’s sake like 90 percent of all shows.

Well, I’m going to wrap this up. Get cracking on that million dollar idea I gave you. If you don’t I may get a weak moment of enthusiasm and capitalize on it before you do.

I hate grass. Now, on the Serengeti – that’s another story.

Monday, July 17, 2006

sex and diamonds

have nothing to do with this post – except that maybe both are huge human motivators.

Yeah, been rethinking my script way too much the past week and it has got to stop. First drafts are supposed to be just that – first drafts. Diamonds in the ruff, so to speak. Not sex though – is there such a thing as a first draft for sex?


So, this past week has been pretty good on the old writing front. I’ve managed to rewrite (I know I shouldn’t cause it is first draft – but) my script from scene one onward using my new “Single” premise. And it is working very well.

My goal, as stated before, is to have the “first draft” complete by September 1. And I am struggling to stick to that. Not the completion part, which I’m pretty sure I will make, but the first draft part.

You see, I’m wanting to rewrite, revise, and rethink what I have done and the scenes I want to do. But this is not good. Not good at all.

I need to have a whole script in whatever form (gee, let’s call it a first draft) before I can rewrite, revise and rethink. Otherwise it will forever be in flux and never be written at all.

So, my promise to myself is to keep cranking on what I have already outlined and just finish the damn thing. Then I can go back over it (after a break of course) and do the second draft.

Enough of that. On to health. I’ve been making a real effort to trim down and get in better shape. And so far I am doing just that. Now the funny thing is I don’t seem to be loosing any weight, but I do feel a whole lot better. I think my fat is just turning into muscle.

I’ve taken to walking every day that I can for an entire hour. Yeah, an hour. Doesn’t sound like a great feat or anything, but I can tell you it is not as easy as it sounds. The first thirty minutes are a piece of cake, but the last thirty start to eat up my energy reserves and make me sweat and ache and wonder why I’m doing it and how did I get so damn old.

To kill the walking boredom I have my MP3 player along with me. And right now I’m listening to a book on disc about Mythology. I know, can’t give the script writing urges a rest. Must be what I feel like doing these days – which is so the right thing.

Anyhow, on the days I can’t walk I’m doing a light weight routine which includes trampoline. If this sounds bizarre, well maybe it is. But, I’m feeling stronger and in better health already.

And diet – trying hard to eat “healthful” foods and leaving Fridays to “eat what I want” day so I can sneak in the fries, ice cream sandwiches, beer and pizza without feeling completely deprived.

Oh, and all this health and exercise stuff is helping with the writing too. I think it is true that a healthy body helps a healthy mind or whatever.

Well, before you get too bored I’ll leave off here.

I also started another short story too – will post it at Reader’s Den when and if I get the chance to finish it. Script is first on the list.

Until next Monday.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Finding Jewels

Jewel Staite
Vacations are a very good thing.

I’ve had a chance to catch my breath, search my soul, hang with my family, talk shop with my very good friend and fellow writer Joe, meet some of my favourite TV stars, and get back on some sort of schedule for my health and writing.

What does all that mean? Well, let me elaborate.

My script was suffering from a lack of definitive direction. My passion for it was waning and I was struggling to make it happen – kind of like severe constipation. Three things, four actually, happened over my vacation week to help me turn this lull around.

One – I had a good long talk with my wife and we agreed that we should work together on our writing efforts. I mean, we live in the same house and all. So on Sunday nights we are going to get together and discuss our projects and help each other out.

She’s writing a novel right now, and I am doing a script – as you know. I really think that we can help each other immensely – time will tell but I am confident this is such a positive and needed step forward.

Two – I spent a fun day with my very good friend Joe. We went to Toronto Trek 20 and wandered about soaking in the atmosphere. I got Jewel Staite’s autograph and a photo with her as well as Amber Benson’s autograph. I just plain had a fun relaxing time of it. We listened to the guest speakers for hours (four), went out to eat fatty fast food (Harveys and Swiss Chalet), and attended the Aurora Awards where Joe was nominated twice. Sadly, he did not win, but it was cool all the same and a day that really recharged my batteries.

Joe and I talked shop (writing) for a while over our quarter chicken dinners and set each other a goal to hit by a certain date (Sept. 1). Me – finish my script first draft. He – finish a one minute script idea we will film and put on the internet.

This is good, this is true progress. Ultimately it is up to each of us to get the job done, but help along the way is needed and I believe necessary. No finished project is an island.

Hanging about the convention and meeting some stars and writers, it dawned on me again how much of a collaborative effort creative projects are. Nobody sits in a dark room totally alone spewing forth great works of fiction – nobody. It’s a myth, a belief many of us hold and it’s complete bullshit.

So many people have input into the final product. Take a movie or TV show for instance. We see the actors and actresses and we think this is good. But do we have any idea how many dozens of behind-the-scenes people are banging their heads together and working their collective asses off to make it all happen?

Well, I think about this kind of stuff all the time, but up until this last vacation break I kept believing the old sit-in-the-room and crank out great fiction in a vacuum nonsense. Creativity can come from within and go forth on the page, but the finished, polished product will need help from others – always.

Three – I picked up “The Art of Dramatic Writing” and while reading through it a light came on. No, not the one on the automatic timer in our living room, but in my head. I was reading the chapter on “premise” and realized why my script was so bloody complicated and hard to write. I had two different premises going at the same time.

That leads to script confusion – and writer madness. I know, I was heading there. So this morning I hammered out “one” premise for my script and started to rewrite it from that one angle – and it’s flowing now like . . . um, like a good single premise script instead of a confused double premise script.

Four – I should go to more conventions. I always get all fired up and inspired when I see those actors and writers who have completed projects and soldiered on. It was an inspirational kick to my ass. And having time to spend with Joe, talking the writing project talk, really helped a lot.

Now that I have made your eyes sore, I’ll chop it off here. But . . .

I have so much to learn and so many miles to go – but every once in a while I need to do the vacation thing and take a breather – look at things from another angle and mingle with people who have worked so hard and stayed the course.

And I actually didn’t goof off at all this morning, putting in a solid 50 minutes of writing. I feel really good about that too – and feel inspired now to continue to do it.

I have recharged batteries, a script with a direction and great friends and family rooting for me and helping me out. Does life get any better than this?

Until next Monday.