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.

Monday, January 20, 2014

One More Notch on the Pencil

I finished a short children's chapter book last week, a very rough draft. This week, I finished a first reread and edit. Tomorrow, I will send out to friends for feedback.

I began this journey with an idea in mind and mulled it over for a few weeks. I created a quick outline for each chapter. Then, I jumped right in and wrote it. I had to tell myself constantly to just let it flow even though it might be runny diarrhea of ruminations. The real craft comes in the edits. It worked and I finished the whole process in about six weeks.

Now on to receiving criticism with grace and wit enough to stick to the original vision,yet be flexible enough to see the wisdom in their words. Maybe I'll even sell it and then won't that make my year?

On to the next project, bigger and better.