Tuesday, September 20, 2016

SO MUCH FOR THAT

So much for writing every day. Life intervened, and I'm not even going to try and catch you up to date. Let's just start anew. Suffice it to say that I'm doing well, maybe better than that. I have a new job and a new outlook. I've been working on being positive more than negative. It's the 5 to 1 principle. This means that you give five positives for every negative comment or redirection. This is based on research that shows successful businesses and marriages are based on this principle. I learned this in research I was conducting to create and present information in a workshop for my new position. It changed my life. Well, I hope it changes my life. 
My son is a recluse at 16 years old. I don't know why. He's had a Beaver Cleaver childhood with the same home, parents, and rules. It's not that we are overly negative people. But the odds are that if you do something, our immediate family and extended family will tease, lecture, or give you advice. This is negative and we definitely don't overpower this with positive remarks or recognition. It comes from a good place; we want to help each other get better.However, it makes the odds of dealing with each other, and in the case of my son dealing with all people, a losing proposition. So, who's going to play those odds? It's a game my son has opted out of.
I have been trying to turn around the odds in favor of interaction by educating and emphasizing the importance of positive feedback. There has been some hurt feelings and arguments in this process too, but I assure them all that I'm also on a steep learning curve. It is important to note that positive feedback is most effective if the feedback is genuine and specific to an action that deserves positive attention and is beneficial in its repetition. In effect, we make our interactions an overall higher percentage of win to fail. THAT's a game  worth playing; one in which you have a great likelihood of winning. Therefore, the hope is that my son will get back in the game of personal interactions because the odds are in his favor to feel good when he interacts with people.
In the first week of my new 'smiley face' theory, my husband began kissing me good-bye in the morning again after ten years. I hadn't even thought how this would impact my relationship with my husband. We had a good relationship. We liked to spend time together. I feel more loving towards him too. WOW! I even began sending him nice loving text messages during the day.
By the second week, with a few renewed efforts, my son began to seek us out for interactions and conversations. He began to go places with us again like the store and the movies. He began initiating hugs and affection-he had never done this before. He began saying nice things to us! Yes, he's a teenager. He would call me 'Dumbo' before, and now he's telling me that I'm a great teacher. I am flabbergasted and elated.
I never thought that such a small change, though it does take concerted thought to continue, could impact my life so completely. Give it a try and share your stories with me. I hope they transform your life too.

Monday, July 28, 2014

If Only...

If only I had all day to write and dream up words and worlds that would last forever. If only I didn’t have a time job that sucks out most of my energy. If only I didn’t have a family that I love to spend time with. If only I didn’t have to bathe and eat and all those other things necessary to survive in society. If only I could prove and show the genius behind these bars to the world. If only I could let loose instead of tapping a tin cup against the steel cage in which my writer’s soul thrashes. If only I could deny the world my presence to create a present the world can unwrap their minds around for eternity.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Great American Pitch Fest 2014

I am still recuperating from an exhausting two days at the Great American Pitch Fest. It was held at the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center across from the Burbank Airport, California. How could I turn down two days jam-packed with seminars and like-minded screenwriters for $25? I couldn’t. After teaching summer school, I drove wildly through the Los Angeles freeways Friday madness and arrived in time to gobble down a sandwich that I packed that morning (thankfully since that was all I ate all day) and register. The classes lasted an hour and a half each. They ran from 1:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Friday and from 11:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday. I didn't attend the pitch event on Sunday because I knew that I wasn't ready quite yet, and I couldn't stand all that rejection on my birthday. The speakers were varied: agents, authors, directors, managers, producers, and writing coaches. I left with more skill, but less hope of actually breaking into screenplay super stardom. I am exhausted, mentally and physically. My back and bum ache from the slightly padded conference seats. The best part was learning specific skill sets that I can apply to my art. The camaraderie was nice, but sparse. It is a competitive market. The worst parts were the statistics. Shane Black said, “93% of you have no talent. I can say that because you all think that you are the 7% that do have talent.” Is that me? A published author and paid screenwriter said that it took most people 10 years to practice writing before they were good enough to get sold. In spite of stark statistics, I rest and continue writing even if I’m too old, not talented, and inexperienced.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Ready the Blow

I tell myself over and over again, "Ready yourself for the blows." I have read about famous authors with staggering numbers of rejections or a now best-selling novel that was rejected numerous times. I think I'm ready for that first 'no' as sure as losing the lottery. BUT, it still stings. I will never be ready. Another person in California won the $425 million PowerBall, AND I got my first agent pass. It was a polite and inspiring rejection, but it doesn't matter how it's served. It hurts and emotional nerve-endings inflame. I must massage my ego back to work and continue to buy more lottery tickets. 

Friendly Edits

I begged some of my family, close friends and peers, who happen to be very intelligent educators, to read my children's short chapter book. They gave incredible feedback. At first I was elated because it unstuck me. I had finished and edited a few times already. I just didn't know where to go with it; I was stuck in a catatonic state. They gave me that little push to get rolling again down that hill, and the movement was exhilarating. But then I couldn't seem to stop and the feat seemed near impossible. I'm not the type of rider that likes to climb steep roller-coaster mountains and zoom down at break-neck speed.  So, I have to forcefully put the breaks on and slow down the revisions and the dizzying 180 degree turns. This is what it's all about: the elation, creation, sweat, tears, and lottery quest for publication. This is a ride that can dump me at the back of the line again and again, and why not? So many better before me have waited there too.