Tuesday, December 17, 2013

My Merry Mad Way

It’s been a while since I posted anything, and this may be nothing too. The concrete has taken over and weighed me down. I vacillate between wanting to write and filling the needs of my family. Can I write to help my family and fill both needs? It doesn’t work that way, at least for me. I have to be in a place mentally and physically in which I lose myself in the process, living upon a different level. But thoughts intrude on even the most secluded moments (though these are few). I think to myself about what will please the reader, the editor, grammar police…I get spun around by tornadoes of thought and strain against the winds to reach what? No one will want to read the pinnacle of my piece until everyone wants to read it. Therein lies the crux: to go along my merry mad way or to bow to an audience of finance?

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Dreading Monday teaching in the 'hood. Here is one of many reasons:


talking to another teacher
just outside my classroom
with an interruptive feature
boom, boom, boom, boom

we paused and wondered
and then continued to talk
something closely plundered
just around the corner walk

it was on the news that night
a man from another division
walking his sister on the right
on a street just west of Mission

kids were streaming home
walking by the local school
some groups, some lonesome
all ethnic types were cool

a car stopped on the street
the passenger jumped out
ran behind the man with heat
and popped him real neat

just one hurt in that crime
and the shooter got away
but many more were shot in time
many more were yet to pay

our students gathered round
the fallen man and distraught
when emergency crews found
and a war was randomly wrought

I was not there, but saw the news
and prepared for student trauma
the next day as we faced the bruise
but they shrugged and continued on

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Research Rally

Pouring my minutes and moments into two new projects, a script and a book. I’m finishing research and brain storming for the script as I step lightly into the writing. Does research and idea generation ever REALLY stop? So excited that I’ve got to rein in my creative chaos to organize a written wallop of all those chimeras.

I am also planning for a book with possibilities of many volumes. This presents a huge amount of research and planning from settings, characters, and plots. Writers out there know how research can take over your life and time, sometimes a curse and at others a celebration.

All in all, loving it!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Film Writing Failure

So, a year ago I wrote my first script. It was 130 pages! I know, I know. I tried to trim it down but I couldn't part with any more after trimming 20 pages from that. I decided to write a family action film that my son and I had talked about because I figured it would be a throw away first film. When I finished, I immediately began to write another one as I submitted that one to a contest.

To my surprise and delight, I made it through the first round...but most everyone did. They also offered services to critique your film. AHA! They wanted me to pay for some extra services or a fee to resubmit with changes! I wasn't going to fall for that trick. I just let it ride through the next round, and it made it. Now, I was getting giddy with dreams of a big paycheck and stardom. This time, I did cut the pages down and paid an extra fee to resubmit with a rewrite. I made it through the next round too. My dreams exploded. I blazed through pages of Zillow to find my new dream home in Newport Beach.

Then, the final round results came after months of build up. I read the names five times, and mine was missing. Dashed! I had finished two more scripts in this time and a few more contests too. Nothing had gone well. How could I have let myself get carried away? I know it takes TIME to get good at a thing. Did I really think that I could make it big on my first script? YES!!!

Now, I have to bolster my esteem and keep writing. Ahhhh. It's so difficult, and I feel so guilty for licking my wounds and whining too long to myself. The plan: share the pain in my blog, get group feedback on my scripts, and settle for being a bad writer...till the next round.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Meetup.com is better than class warfare!

I did it. I joined a writer's group from meetup.com, and I love it. We get to hear other people read their projects and I get to read mine. Being that I already think mine is crap, I'm not shy to share. In the past two weeks, I was surprised that some of my poems were well received, and the comments were spectacular! Members gave me spot-on advice for crafting blog posts too. Best of all, I didn't have to pay anyone.

So yesterday, I read the twelve page beginning of a script that I wrote for a contest recently. Twelve pages that I toiled over for weeks and then submitted. To my utter surprise, I did not win and I didn't know why. My writing group said that the action did not happen soon enough (meaning=bored at the beginning). "Where do you think the action begins?" I asked. ALL the members said a point near the end of my twelve page well-crafted, and what I thought was exciting action. Basically, I spent weeks just crafting a back story. Hmmmm. I'm still deciding if I want to start all over. No, I'm just pulling your leg or my leg. I definitely don't want to give this project any more of my time. Why? I don't think that I have the background or knowledge to write about the region and historical period to give the story it's due. I still love the idea; I'm just not the person to research and write it.

I'm still overjoyed with the revelation. Chip, chip away at my ignorance.

Saturday, July 6, 2013


Who am I if not a dreamer?

Not a writer or poet
not a teacher or mother
maybe before the age of steam
people worked too hard to dream
Who am I if not a dreamer?
not a sports enthusiast
not an actor or gardener
work is now compartmentalized
our extracurricular is super-sized
Who am I if not a dreamer?
not an adventurer or student
not  game player or changer
my mind is buzzing and blinking
multiplied by facts for thinking
Who am I if not a dreamer?
professor of possibilities
and a strategic schemer
I am not just a survivor
there is magic to fly for

Are there people without dreams? Who are they? What do they do?

Friday, July 5, 2013


I am sitting at my desk looking towards the door because I have family that will sneak up on you and laugh as you clutch your chest, not to mention erase the one great thought that you were nurturing  for just the right moment to BOOM! So, I boot up the laptop and open the project that has been consuming me. I reread what has been written and get back into the story. Thoughts are whirling around so I close my eyes while I type to shut out any visual distractions. I capture the word marquis that moves through my mind with racing strokes and...the door squeaks open.  

I try to keep my eyes shut but the fear of being pranked is too great.  I open my eyes and try to pause the flow while glaring at the intruder. My husband stares until he realizes that I'm focusing the death ray vision at him.  He walks in like he has an invisibility cloak and riffles through the drawers for some papers. All the time I stare at him over the laptop screen. He thinks that by not looking at me that he hasn't actually 'bothered' me or the writing process, but the cinema of words so carefully crafted in brain vision is now gone...forever.  He walks out without looking at me and closes the door. He doesn't actually take anything except my  laser beam focus. He will suffer later, I promise.

I tell myself to let it go and move forward. If after forty-three years of obsessive reading I can't come up with another idea or some visionary phrases, I should call it quits anyway. I tap out another tune, and I'm getting a whole new groove on  in a new direction. Suddenly a tantalizing twist turns through my thoughts, I try to capture it like a bubbling floating upward when my daughter barges through the door.

She twirls around in the middle of the carpet, goes out, comes in, and then stands before me with her hands on her hips. "I'm bored," she says. I keep tap, tap, tapping. She gets closer and waves her hand in front of my face. "Hello?" she demands. My fingers freeze and I try to capture the twisting turning bubble as it slips away from conscientiousness.  "You're not even writing!" she screams.  "Go away," I say. "How rude!" she stomps out. I yell to close the door. I bellow two more times. I try to ignore the open door, drone of music, and incessant TV chatter.

I can't recapture any semblance of pace so I take a break from the aforementioned text and switch to editing a poem that is half begun. I read it through until the thoughts, rhymes, and connections zoom through my mind and my fingers, and SPLAT onto the screen. As I muster up the middling climax, my 'tween son pushes his body through the door and flops on the sofa (okay it's really a bed) with his arm dramatically flung over his face. I look at him...the screen...him. This too shall pass. He has to learn to figure out his own problems. Right?

Growing up among girls, I didn't know how dramatic boys could be until this past year. His storms are not episodic like my sisters or daughters, quick and explosive. His are epic with a beginning that builds to a massive middle and ends as a novella with a possible sequel. He quakes and boils, holding back tears. His voice cracks as he tries to man up and put his tragedy into words and grunts. Can empathy emanate from my pores while I continue to write? What was I writing? Will he notice? He will surge for hours, brew deeper injustices, and plot strategic solutions or revenge. It breaks my heart as he starts to gasp for air and his body trembles.  It's hopeless,  I must batten down the laptop hatches before I throw it through the window and weather the storm  to shelter my musings for calmer conditions , like maybe a class five rapids.

What distractions are disasters that keep you from capturing the fragile flight of ideas and drive you mad?

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Chewing and Spewing

I want to spew forth my idea perfectly formed without obsessive life-altering revisions. Projectile verse would save me a lot of time and sanity. I understand how my sixth grade students feel when I tell  them that great writing is in the visions of their revisions. But I can barely bring myself to swallow this binge-purge of truth. The idea, the meal is so settled in my mind that it SHOULD burst forth as a perfectly orchestrated Disney firework display. Sadly, this is not the case. The words, the events, the organization, and the decisions are painstakingly slow processes. I'd rather write about it then actually do it. Ergo...this piece.

How do you structure your revisions so that you don't go bonkers?

Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Journey

The journey continues as I joined a writer’s group that meets in San Dimas, California. We meet in a small taco restaurant. It was interesting to listen to other people’s writing and to gauge the reaction to my own. We meet weekly, and this gives me a goal to work towards every week so that I can possibly share a new something; be it a poem, short story, or snippet of something else.

What journeys have lead you to be a writer?

Sunday, April 7, 2013


What is life without people?
Not much of any meaning.
But each new body of intrusion
takes up space in the churning psyche.
This leaves one with very little
time to age the line of creativity.

How do you overcome the guilt of spending more time writing than with the people you love?

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Dating Advice

Choose to date someone who thinks you're hot
over those who think they're hot and you're not.

Do you have any dating advice?

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Looking Lucky

You'll find whatever you seek. 
Today I'm looking to be lucky.
I found many bits to peek 
and fortune sprinkled liberally.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

In honor of people that make us feel special.


enfold me splendidly singular
countermanding thine own insecure
shriek at my luxuriant chocolate locks
which was comparable to a cardboard box

personal progeny were beauties
longly lashed cultivated snooties
yet, I felt on par, clever and stylish
tho' in retrospect shabby and bookish

behold cherished auntie
not a real relation
but more like family
then those of creation

she exhausted not much more than a dime
but ad infinitum quality time
fawning and fussing a personage
acclaiming with abundant homage

she had me in a moon eyed hypnotic trance
amidst a laudatory fairy dust dance
raise the reckoning with reticence
a-stumbling askance with hesitance

behold cherished auntie
not a real relation
but more like family
then those of creation

as a memory mostly divine
inserted more than a slender line
as sundry glimmering glories she begot
my choice countenance tightened into a knot

in lieu of parody I repay
mediocrity she did allay
her physical essence hath departed
forever the spirit she imparted

Marcy Santos

Who makes you feel good about yourself?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Bare Bones Foundation

I wish that I had something to share, but I'm in the foundation phase of writing a few different pieces. Notably, I am working on an hour-long dramedy for a production company contest with Will Smith as one of the judges. It's due in two weeks, so my energy is focused on that. Can you imagine working with Will Smith? The project is family based, and I've got a killer idea that I'm fleshing out. Excitement keeps me going even after a long day teaching and picking up after my own teenagers. It's all about hope. After voraciously reading for the past 30 years, I relish the process of creating my own literary/media projects. I will share bits and pieces as they emerge from my travels inward.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


This week has been devoted to science camp with my 6th graders. Not much privacy to write, so I am   taking it all in with notes on setting, forest winterland, and characters. Lots of interesting people from kids, counselors, other staff, and teachers. I find the counselors most interesting in that they live the ideal nature-lover's dream with adventure and passing on their love of the outdoors with kids. I don't know how they do it, but I'm amazed and intrigued. I've been listening to their stories and taking notes. I'm immersed in the setting too. It's been snowing and blowing all week. What a challenge!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Wrote a Song and Published on Finale Songwriter

Wow! Way harder than I thought. I wrote a song, similar to a poem. So, that wasn't too difficult. It's a camp song for my sixth grade students. The HARD part was using the software to write the music and learning the nuances of music making software. After four hours, I have a song to copy and practice for my students. At least I can count it as my poem for the week, though I've already exceeded my poetry goals this month.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Weekly Poem

Dream Easy

Easy to dream
hard to achieve
no matter how I
weave and weave
the silver strands
through my thoughts
it's not enough
to materialize
difficult to realize
that some whimsy
will never be
though oh so clearly
In my mind I can see
and touch the
quasi-reality of
there being brought
from dust to touch
no matter how determined
or persistent the desire
a stark existence
enflames the fire.

by Marcy Santos

How do you deal with the stark difference between your dreams and how difficult they are to attain?

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Shower of Inspiration

I've been researching and brainstorming to start a new script, struggling a bit. Then tonight I was in the shower and an idea came and more details flooded around the central theme. So now, I'm going to follow the river running wild and go with my new idea since I have such a plethora of ideas. All I can say is that the title so far is "Skirts". I'll post some juicy bits as they flow off the edge of my madness. A little bit of wacky winding around a whole world of weird.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Go Team Santos!

I made it through three rounds of the Filmmakers International Screenwriting Awards:

Look for "Turning Heel" by Marcy Santos under drama. Can there ever be enough drama?

Logline: A boy and a man wrestle with the importance of family by joining forces in the wacky world of wrestling online and in person.

New Year, New Goals

Last year, I made a goal to write every day like Jerry Seinfeld. Seems easy enough, but I am a full time teacher, a mother of three, and a wife. So I set up a portable desk in my walk in closet and sat down every day with my feet up on the shelves. It was much more comfortable than you'd think. I cranked out three scripts and three pitches last year, plus I learned how to play the ukulele.

So, this year I'm making new goals. I am going to continue writing and reading daily and the following weekly: a poem or song, 12 pages of script, 1 analysis of a script and/or movie, and add a post to my blogger. By the end of the year, I should have 54 poems, 648 pages of script (about six scripts), 54 analyses, and 54 posts.

I've been reading for joy for the past 38 years and have always wanted to be a writer. I took classes, read countless books on the subject, and even taught writing seminars to teachers. With my commitment last year, I saw a huge increase in my output and even made it into some final rounds of contests. I'm so excited for the challenge, even if it's just my own.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Crowd Rage

There seems to be a lot of crowd rage going on in Los Angeles, especially where seating and space is at a premium. I went to Barnes and Nobles for a cup of coffee and a read. brushed by a man with his leg sticking out into the aisle. He glared me down and made a snarky remark. He looked ready to kill. So, I downplayed it and said 'excuse me' in a nonchalant way.