The Wall of Shame

Well Blog Land, I am going to enter this writing competition for television, and I have on idea what’s going to happen, and it’s frightening, and I wish the aliens could send me a computable signal that could make this script any good, and I wish my dialogue could improve, and I hate this feeling of not knowing if I’m any good. Ugh, SUPER nervous. I keep thinking these studio writers receive all these specs and make two piles. A top ten pile and a bottom ten pile. The top ten get discussed in the holiest of spaces — the writers room…meanwhile the bottom ten get put in some sh*t pile where pages of the worst writing any of them have ever seen get selected and framed on the wall for all to see. The wall of shame.

It’s going to be a long night.

Advertisements

Hurt

Image

Dear Blog-Land, I have learned a valuable lesson this fall. One must never hide their true emotions and feelings. One must always express what they truly feel without fear. Even if it means it will hurt someone else for a little bit. It’s always better to be honest than to keep things hidden.

Hurt is part of life. Sometimes we carry the scars with us forever, and sometimes we don’t.    I want to take this moment and thank Neosporin for helping me clear my scars throughout my life. Thank you Neosporin.      But all joking aside, I am grateful for a personal scar from a few years back (the one that runs real deep) because I learned so much from it. I hope it never disappears. It’s a constant reminder that life is a journey, that nothing is permanent, and that we are continuously growing and shifting in our bodies and minds.

For all the good, the bad, the funny, the sad, the grotesque, and the beautiful anything…I am grateful. Our hurt can make us into really interesting people. People with likes, dislikes, desires, fears, etc. etc. etc.

Above all, hurt gives us a reason to write.

To anyone out there who has been hurting for a while, ask yourself why. Are you perpetuating the hurt, or are you doing something about it? Sometimes hurt is optional. It’s up to you to make that change. There are all kinds of support for people who are hurting, and no one is alone. Never forget that. Just do the research and reach out if need be. You’ll be surprised how many people have your back.

Here’s my food for thought today—–> Scars are okay. As long as we learn from them.

I leave you with a Nine Inch Nail song covered by the irreplaceable Johnny Cash. It’s kind of depressing, but if you look real deep into his crinkly eyes…you’ll also see life/adventure/history/love/sweetness/desire/reflection.

Writing Partnership Part 2

Image

Dearest Writers in Blog Land,

A few days ago I posted about being contacted by a person who would like to work with me in a project; better known as the writing partnership. I met him today. Turns out, he’s Peruvian, an engineer, and an inventor—but he hates the process of writing. English was his worst subject, apparently. However, he’s been sitting on this story idea (which is pretty interesting but needs a lot of organizing) for 15 years. He’s had a couple of tragedies in his life which have enabled him to reach out, in search for a potential writing partner. These tragedies have given him a new perspective in life, and he’s also started working on other projects in order to find a way to support his endeavors as an entrepreneur/inventor.

I met him through a mutual friend.

I agreed to write down notes of our discussion, but of course—being the cautious one that I am (and having friends who in the past have been screw*d over)—I told him that I would write 1-3 pages of a sample from the outline he provided. I told him he was to review the sample, and if he liked my work that we could continue working together. He has promised, if published, a certain cut of the deal.

Here’s my dilemna. I am paranoid because I trust anyone who laughs at my jokes. I know, stupid right? But it’s true. I can say that much about myself. I’ve consulted a few people, and they tell me to go by the life rule: CYOA — “COVER YOUR OWN ASS.”           I’ve only been published in a Berkeley journal. I’ve never really been paid for writing. I have no idea how this works! Does ANYONE out there have any advice?

Is there a good website?
Can someone recommend a place where I can find a solid contract? One I can mock a draft after?
Someone also told me to keep a journal of our discussion. Yikes. Maybe I’m being too paranoid.

How do I go about the professional logistics of a writing partnership without insulting the person who has provided an outlined story? He doesn’t want to write it, he just gave me an outline with a lot of information — BUT I would be the one developing the character, conflict, obstacle —etc. etc. etc.

Help!

Sincerely,

LM

Midnight Post 3 aka food for thought

You know that part in the book The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, written by the ever-fabulous Dr. Seuss, when the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes? Well, it has happened. I have matured by three tiny levels tonight in a way I have never before. Okay, the truth is I’ve been on this “growing-up” kick for a while now, but tonight I feel like all the things I have been challenging through have been paying off. I would like to share some of these discoveries with you. Just know, that this is all based on my personal experiences. Everybody is different. But if it can help a few fellow artists out there, then good! So here’s the deal writers and artists alike:

1. Take your art seriously because if you don’t, nobody else will.

2. Be responsible. If you know events are coming up in just a few weeks – don’t be wimpy and do things the last minute. Prepare, prepare, prepare! Better to be over prepared then have things falling apart during your events. In fact, in the film industry (when I used to work in it) we had this saying, “Have a back-up for your back-up.” It’s no joke.

3. Don’t be a flake. Do not expect people to come to your music concerts, fundraisers, food events, screenings, readings when you do not invest into that person/community. Give more–take less, in the end it’s most rewarding. You develop as an artist, plus, the more things you go to — the more you get to network!   Get out of your comfort zone already.

4. Write your mom. It’s good karma. If you don’t have a mom, write someone dear to your heart who has seen you grow up and develop.

5. NEVER–and I mean NEVER FORGET TO SAY THANK YOU. To those who have helped you, supported you, stood by you, loved you while you were on your path to self-discovery as an artist. These are the people worth keeping around.

6. I’ve learned that the people I feel the most awkward/uncomfortable/defensive with — are the people I usually have the most in common with. Do not ignore yourself. Great work can come out of these awkward encounters sometimes.

7. It’s okay to have your downs, just as long as you appreciate them as much as your highs. I get very creative during my lows, so use that depressing time wisely peeps.

8. Remember that what you create, whether it is a piece of writing, a canvas full of paint, or a song — you are impacting some type of energy around you. This energy can be a single person. It can be a community. It can be the self. Be bold and brave, but know that there are always consequences to your creations.

In my short life, I have found that everything is balanced. Therefore, after something really bad happens — I look forward to something really good happening. And when something really good happens, I TRY to make peace with the likelihood of something bad happening. Because good and bad are irrelevant. It’s all about how you take it into your being and your creations as a writer/artist/performer/ etc. etc. etc.

Just know that the bad is just like the good: fairies, fantasies, and farts. Everything is ephemeral.

Long live Art.

Applying for Jobs

Reader, I am sure you have applied for a job before. Question: (ahem), when in your whole life has applying for a job  been a wonderful experience? Never, right? Let’s be serious. It’s tedious, you have to tell a complete stranger how great you are, and that you like to work like a mule, and etc. etc. etc. What if you’re really not that great? I don’t think anyone is, really, I mean—we’re not flipping robots! We put our best foot forward, and sometimes our best foot is not everyone’s cup of tea. I mean, what if you’re just like — “No, boss woman/man, I am not going to freak out! I am going to work in a timely manner and have peace all around me because I do not want to die from an aneurysm or heart attack by the age of 55. Thank you very much.” But it seems like the pressure is on for a lot of people. It seems like, at least for those of us who are re-entering the work field after a couple of years, that you have to do the work of three in order to stand out. Or at least, pretend like you are.

Maybe I’m being pessimistic, though. Maybe there are a few people out there who love updating their resumes, maybe they love writing cover letters, and maybe they enjoy the interview process. It gives them a high…maybe.

Overall though, times are tough right now (Cliche 1). You don’t have to be a genius (Cliche 2) to realize how bad things have gotten for many of us –as workers, as students, and as people in general. I mean, how do you sell yourself on a piece of paper?! What do you tell these gods of hire, that will make them think — “Oh yeah, this one is THE ONE.” I feel like I’m embarking on an adventure, except this time it’s to decide what I’d like to do for the next 2 to 5, heck 10 years maybe. And that’s a little frightening.

I remember being sixteen and feeling invisible/unstoppable. Like I could write “super-hero” on my resume for fun, and still get hired. Now, I am tentive, timid and frightened. What if they don’t like me? 

I know there are a bunch of helpful sites on how to make your resume great and all, but still there is this tinge of fear that goes into what I write on a page. I wonder if someone’s ever looked at my resume and thought, “Well, clearly, she made that up!”

Evidently, I have some growing up to do. For now I will write a paragraph, insult myself, and push my hair on my face because that’s what I do to hide from my computer. Today is such an OATMEAL day. It’s like I have to start all over with my computer now…

Dear laptop,

I thought we were friends…etc. etc. etc. 

Avoid it.

I was going to avoid writing about this. I tried starting this post a few times, and ended up deleting it over and over again. I have a need to express something, but I don’t know if it’s valid or even permissible. I’m babbling, and that’s because I’m nervous. So maybe I’ll just express myself creatively.

Interesting Human Being Post

You see, I was watching TV with my roomies. We were in our apartment, talking about getting fat and eating too much. We were laughing at New Girl and the dorky jokes. We were complaining about things everyone complains about: drama, local news, pain in our backs, crap about internet, etc. etc. etc.      Sometime in that space. Sometime in those moments of laughter that reverberated through the walls of our kitchen-living room, you decided to jump. Sometime in that moment,  across the way in a building across your Unit that is identical looking to ours, you thought it would be best to depart. And I can’t even fathom what was going through your mind. We just know, that it happened. It happened. We were laughing, people were studying, the gym was full of runners, the elevator was working, the air conditioner was blowing, the birds were sleeping, the trees were shaking, the courtyard had smokers…and one of them probably saw you. Falling down. Falling away. Falling until there was nowhere else to fall to. I am wrong for feeling strange. I am wrong for expressing myself this way. I am wrong for pretending to know what you must have been going through. Depression. Pressures of life. No way out. Alone. Whatever.    I am wrong for writing this.   But what else can I do? How else do I blow off steam? I try to speak, but I sound like an idiot describing details of the caution tape, the cops, and the boy— who at the sight of  the blue tarp—crumpled into the arms of a friend as if he were just a piece of paper. Disappearing into her bosom, and returning to a moment in his life when he was a child—a moment when someone took his favorite toy, and all he could say was, “It’s not fair.”

You beautiful human being. You beautiful guy. You beautiful boy. You beautiful person. You were there last night. I walked by today. I couldn’t look past the stairs. I looked last night, I saw the blue tarp…but today I can’t look beyond the stairs. I can’t. I talked to a stranger about you, and I sounded like a robot. I sounded stupid. How dare you? I thought. You didn’t know the guy. How dare you speak about him? I thought. He was a neighbor you never met. He was. He was. He was. I thought, as I regurgitated facts to this woman, who simply told me to go to the health center.

How do we react? 

We human beings. We want to make sense of it all. We want to understand. I heard many talk about him. I saw the posts on facebook. I thought, damn…I thought…damn…they thought…damn. We all sighed, damn.   He was such a nice guy. If only I was there more often. I didn’t know you were sad. I’m sorry. I never met you,  _______ , but tonight you are in my heart. Live on brother. I dedicate this song to you, bro. Bro. Bro. Bro.

I just couldn’t avoid you. Not any longer.

* * * * * *

Sometimes I can’t keep things inside. I have to share this because maybe someone out there is hurting tonight, and you don’t have to. If you are going through a hard time, whoever you are, don’t ever forget that there are hundreds of people willing to hear you say: I need help. Reach out. Reach out to us. You are never alone.

http://www.dbsalliance.org/site/PageServer?pagename=crisis_hotlineinfo