I am back to my day job and that makes me feel more inhibited. There is so much wrong with my day job.
That Vera-esque eyeball is painted right on that pumpkin seed! It's by Salavat Fidai whose artistic career was borne out of losing his job. Could that work for me?
I have not been back here for awhile because my seed had been sprouting and I'd been so, so busy with great plans. But then they all "fell to shit" (as Norman might say), so here I am in my favorite place to whine. Sorry. I titled this something about self-destruction, and I don't even have the energy to write about it. And I'm too embarrassed to reveal what I have been planning and thinking about which fell apart. Of course it fell apart. "Some folks lives, roll easy as a breeze." (Paul Simon)
Is there no redeeming value in just giving up? Don't bother exercising, trying to make life better, trying to achieve? How would my life be different if I had no goals? It might be better. I could just rest more.
What if I just lived in a little town and spent my every spare moment drinking in a bar?
1. Academy Award
2. Tons of money
6. Genius (recognized and rewarded)
9. Success all around (family)
11. Good King Midas
22 days of meditation with Oprah and Deepak revealed in him a vicious, internal monster who wants him dead.
It's just waiting for a chance to take over. More evil than the grammar police. The intensity of its hatred is beyond logic. WTF? The second he lost focus, it lashed out and robbed him.
Part A: I am very grateful that I do not seem to be susceptible to biological depression (unless I'm so very disconnected with my body and mind that I am able to be in denial about it). Having said that, like any other human being who isn't a psychopath, I am vulnerable to reactive depression (meaning depression in response to a life event or events). This year's illness (which I think is over?), combined with job disappointment, combined with family disappointment proved to be the perfect trifecta of misery. I have been depressed. When I'm down, I write, so I have a clear record of my descension (that is a real word) along with my metaphorical disappearance.
I imagined that my "death" would result in a rising up like a phoenix. I thought I might have a great spiritual awakening and it would be all very dramatic and result in a completely new life for me -- money, career, fitness, relationships... furniture shopping. I had perused google images for beautiful renderings of phoenixes. (They almost all look gaudy, or tacky, or silly or something).
At present, I am coming out of this depression/purgatory. It's very much like a cloud that chases me, and hovers just above and behind where I can't see it. When I think it's entirely gone, it moves directly above me and then descends. I have learned that in moments in which the cloud lifts, it is still lurking, so I won't say I'm over it yet. At the moment, I feel free, and that is wonderful.
So. I've figured out that I'm not going to rise up like a phoenix. Instead, I am now appearing again, but as nothing more than a little seed. I need a whole lot of light and water to get going again. Hopefully meditation and exercise can help me with that.
PART B: (I thought about making Part B its own post, but it fits here, because it is part of what give me hope)! Here is the first critique I have received from my latest completed screenplay, Marina. It is from the Bluecat Screenplay Competition which I entered due to its reputation as one of the the ten best to enter (I'll never enter another cheap skate money-making scam competition again. Why just hand over my money for some digital laurels?). Anyway here is the critique! I'm very excited about this:
BLUE CAT CRITIQUE OF MARINA:
What did you like about this script?
One of the strongest aspects of Marina lies in the writer’s ability to create characters that feel nuanced, believable, and authentic. Marina and Charli, for example, are both incredibly interesting to follow throughout the story, and their relationship within the narrative allows for a number of really emotional scenes. They are so well-developed that I can’t help but wonder if the writer knows or has known people like them in real life. Their shared scenes together are especially revealing, and their dialogue seems to have a great sense of chemistry. These characters have different personalities and serve as foils to one another, which, in turn, allows for great conflict and chemistry to arise.
In most scenes, the writer has done a good job of making her vision clear to the reader, which is certainly a testament to the writer’s overall skill. Also, the tone is consistent, which allows for an easy and enjoyable read.
Furthermore, the writer should be commended for her ability to stick to three act structure. All of the appropriate story beats occur at just the right time, which is certainly a testament to the writer’s skill.
I found the scene in which Marina has a panic attack and clutches her chest to be really well-written, suspenseful, and harrowing. The writer has done a great job of bringing the stakes to a boiling point, and then allowing it all to simmer in the hospital scene that follows. This sequence reveals a great deal about Marina’s insecurities, character flaws, and what she values at her core. I got to know Marina so much better through this scene. Well done!
In the end, I found it truly heartening to see Marina admit to caring about Keith. This is a great moment to end on, and it serves as a culmination for Marina’s emotionally satisfying character arc. I had hoped that these characters would share the final scene with one another, and I’m happy to see the script end on the strong connection between them.
Overall, Marina is an interesting script with a lot of great attributes. I have just a few suggestions in mind to help move it in an even more positive direction.
What do you think needs work?
Though Marina, Keith, and Charli, for example, are interesting characters, their dialogue does not feel particularly unique to either one of them. Each character’s dialogue should contain speech patterns that differ from one another and it should be difficult to reassign one character’s dialogue to the next. I would suggest going through the entire script to ensure that each character has his or her own distinct voice. This will not only help the reader to easily tell the characters apart, but it will also help in sympathizing with the obstacles and challenges they face.
Also, Marina can benefit from more descriptive action and less dialogue in a number of scenes, specifically in the second and third acts. The great deal of dialogue has resulted in a script that is a bit too talky and at times feels void of the proper imagery. Each and every page in a script should contain a mix of dialogue and descriptive action. This will help to ensure that the story is told in both images and words, as opposed to just one of the two. Providing this mix of descriptive action and dialogue also helps to keep the reader’s attention, as too much descriptive action can be hard to follow.
Lastly, none of the supporting characters feel as well-developed as Marina and Charli. Though they are minor characters in comparison, it is still important that they are just as well fleshed-out as Marina and Charli. I’d like to know more about their backgrounds, so as to have their characters enhance the main storyline and Marina’s overall character arc.
Overall, Marina needs a few edits, but nothing of which the writer is not capable of fixing. In taking the suggested changes into consideration, I am sure that this script will be headed in an even more positive direction. I commend the writer on their effort so far and wish them all the best of luck in future drafts!
I'm back from a writers' retreat which was absolutely perfect with the exception of a ton of sluggish flies that haunted my room every day. I had a chance to hear other writers read their work which was amazing. I loved that. I read my own work too which was an adrenaline rush, because I chose a piece that was about as embarrassing as it could be. I figure if I've got one chance to read something it might as well be the most intense scene I've got. I imagine I blushed quite a bit. It was good for me, because my writing has all been critiqued via online class. I didn't quite realize how impersonal they would be. I never really connected with anyone except the professors.
I also realized how far I've come from a literary style of writing. My style has evolved (or one might say devolved) into very plain offerings. I'm mostly happy with it. It is what it needs to be for screenwriting. The only screenwriting rule that I absolutely insist upon breaking is subtext. I've got to write subtext, and hearing that Kerry Ehrin feels she must do the same is good enough for me.
I'm too old to follow any kind of rule or formula that doesn't serve my writing just because it is a trend or because the "authorities" say I should. It's the same way I felt about academic writing which is often dense just for the sake of being dense. I learned to write in that style when I took philosophy classes, but I don't much respect it as more than a writing exercise akin to doing scales on a piano.
I'm just certain that those flies were symbolic. I actually planned the trip to Vermont to help me heal some in this difficult year (that means the school year 2017 - 2018). It was healing, no doubt, but it wasn't heaven. I fought flies half of the time and a headache the other half. Maybe that's why I love the character of Norma so much. She tries so hard to have a happy, peaceful life and it just eludes her.
Today, I get a sense that the vacation is over and I'm back to the old grind, but it's a family grind rather than a work grind since I am still on a leave. I'm glad I'm on this leave, but I can't get myself out from under this heavy energy that insists upon descending every few days. That's why I can't quite yet rise up out of this purgatory even though physically I'm much better. I'm impatient. What if this takes years rather than weeks? I can't bear the thought of that.
Something has got to move, to change, to happen. And it needs to be something BIG. Does any of this make sense? When I was thirteen and fourteen I was stuck in misery. Now I'm substantially older, but I think I'm going through it again. I am asking for some divine intervention to get me permanently out of this muck. (And I thank the divine in advance). It's so like a recurring dream I had when I was young. I would dive off the dock, so deep into the lake that I'd hit the muck at the bottom and be sucked down into it. It was a terrifying dream. No wonder I'm claustrophobic.
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