9 to 5

Don’t think I haven’t been working.

I’ve been working.

I’ve also been procrastinating.

Also, there is a lot of television on my mind.

And I can actually log some of my tv time as research. Of course, I didn’t know that certain aspects of different shows was going to inspire different pieces of this story.

Nothing huge was ripped off, just to be clear, but there were things that jumped out and screamed “LISTEN TO ME!” that I knew needed to be thought about as I continue to write.

Some folks say you can’t be inspired by television, that you just end up stealing bits from tv and calling it your own.

Here’s my perfect ambrosia salad of an early Fall-tv lineup:

M-F when I’m home I watch One Life to Live, General Hospital, and, until recently, All My Children (Boooo! Screw The Chew!)
Daytime soaps show me how to add a little drama and create some suspense.
I live for Monday nights during the regular tv season. I survive Mondays only because I know that Castle is on.
The relationship between Castle and Beckett is a good study in trust. Sometimes all it takes to inspire many pages is one look from either of them. There are very specific moments I keep in my vault.

Tuesday nights get quiet at the store sometimes, So I have Glee to while away an hour. Tell me you don’t have a soundtrack playing in your head at all times, and that occasionally you feel like doing a whole production number.

I know it’s not just me.

Sometimes the music they use are exactly what I need. Sometimes it’s exactly what I need to distract me from one WiP to think about and plan for another. Most of my WiPs are inspired heavily by music and involve some dancing (so, ok, I will catch Dancing with the Stars if I can, depending on the contestants, but I prefer So You Think You Can Dance).

Thursdays are all about Grey’s and Private Practice. Drama and interaction. That’s what those two hours are for. The interaction between Meredith and Cristina and Bailey and the Chief are outstanding. They are entertaining and they draw you in. I want to be able to do that.

Fridays are Fringe Fridays, but I really can’t claim research for this one. I have no idea what is going on in this show, but I love it.

I watch SNL for comic timing purposes. I do the opposite of what they do, and I’m good.
Saturdays are also for Doctor Who. There’s a wealth of interaction and plenty of drama and suspense and truth. And lots of timey wimey stuff. It’s helpful to know how to weave a convoluted web.

Oh.

I watched Pan Am on Sunday. It’s too early to tell, but I don’t think it’ll be around for long.

So see? I can find an excellent excuse for watching all the tv that I do.

I’ve also been reading. Books I’ve had forever, some more recently written stuff that I REALLY need to review.

I’m keeping up with the Tuesday Tales and 750 words challenges, but I really think the 750 words isn’t going to be something I’ll do again for a while.

I think I mentioned it, but I’ve posted the first few chapters of this one on Book Country. I think it’s the first 5.

I’m nearing the end of month two of my so-called “One month” project. It looks like it’ll be more like three months.

To recap:
1st five chapters are on BC, and I have chapters 6-10, and the second half of 11. I’ve done the first half of chapters 12 and 13–I got stuck. Then I started bobbing and weaving and I was fine.

I had to bob and weave to the end of the whole shebang. With this one, I don’t know what’s going on in the middle until I know what is going on with the end. And that is surprisingly easy.

I also have chapters 14 & 15 done. I am waiting for inspiration to strike for chapter 16…we’re starting to wrap up here. But I’m trying to figure out where to add the tension, and create an obstacle, because the vomit that I am trying really hard to honor is really pretty boring. Or it will be until I get everything all stitched together so that I can create a timeline and an outline and edit the thing so that I can revise so that it doesn’t look like a grade schooler wrote it.

And take a deep breath.

It will also be time to get all the vital stats of the characters down on paper so that they’ll have the correct name, eye and hair color in the next version, etc.
I’m really starting to know who these people are, and how to interject some humor into the situation.

Humor I can do, no problem. But here I’m writing about something I’m not exactly familiar with and just kind of saying things, hoping they stick to the wall like spaghetti cooked to perfection.

Ok. Whatever. It’s very late. I’m very lucky I’m off work tomorrow. Plenty of time to clean up my draft. I’ve double pasted like crazy towards the end. Ooops.

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It Gets Better

When I was younger, I was bullied by the kids in school. I was called names because I was a fat kid. In junior high and high school, for the same. But I was tormented mentally by those who called themselves “friend.” I was a doormat. I let it happen. I didn’t have any place where I could fit in, so I joined up to a certain set of girls, who were the bane of my existence, from eighth grade until the end of my first semester as a freshman in college. Only one girl I met in high school was cool.

In college, I was trying to figure out who I was, and where I needed to be. I found a home in the theatre department at my college. I jumped in with both feet. I went to class, I worked my tail off for shows, and I played. I had roommates and had TONS of friends.

But I was still lonely and depressed. I still hadn’t shaken off the previous 18 years of crap that I’d gotten. All the fun that I was having was great, but I still didn’t fit. But it didn’t matter at that point. I had enough people around me who made me feel good about myself to help me out.

I got through all that mess. I survived it. I learned from it. I figured out that I have to get rid of the “doormat” label, and stand up for myself, and let people know how they need to treat me.

But not everyone gets the chance to survive.

Jamey Rodemeyer, a 14 year old boy from Buffalo, NY, couldn’t take the homophobic, anti-gay bullying he had been experiencing anymore. He took his own life to escape his pain.
(read the story here) http://www.buffalonews.com/city/schools/article563538.ece

Jamey was one of Lady Gaga’s nearly 14 million “Little Monsters” on Twitter. In fact, his last tweet was dedicated to her.

He had also made a “It Gets Better” video for the Trevor Project. (watch video here) http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/blogpost/post/jamey-rodemeyer-bullied-teen-who-made-it-gets-better-video-commits-suicide/2011/09/21/gIQAVVzxkK_blog.html

Over the next 24 hours, the Monsters shut down their usual shenanigans and banded together to mourn for a member of the online family. Monsters took pledges to no longer take part in any bullying activities, some decided to stand up for themselves. Millions of these fans helped to make #MakeALawForJamey a top 10 Trending Topic on Twitter. Many of these fans are under the age of 18, not legal to vote. But they were expressing their need to be heard by those in charge.

Lady Gaga tweeted about her anger and sadness about the situation, and had promised to get some sort of change made that will protect our kids.

In the meantime, Little Monster Twitter drama is starting to resume, but with a bit less hostility. It may not last long, but we’ll all have Jamey in the back of our minds, reminding us to be gentler with each other.

It’s so very sad that it took such a tragic event to get the Monsters to band together the way they did, and to focus attention on a young boy who was crying out for help. I pray that Jamey’s death won’t have been in vain.

I want anyone who reads this, any one of any age to know, that while there ARE ups and downs that may show up when you least expect them, but it DOES get better.

I promise.

Paws Up Forever Project

(“”)(“”) Paws Up Forever, Jamey.

We’re on the edge with you.

The Grand Canyon

And I SO do not mean the big hole in Arizona.

I am at the point in my story where there is a vast pit of nothingness in between scenes.

AND I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO DO.

It’s not writer’s block, not exactly, but I just don’t know what kinds of things need to happen here.

I’m pretty sure I need a few chapter’s worth of stuff to link these scenes. But what do I write???

Even as I write this blog, some ideas are popping out, but not enough. I need the MMC to start helping the MFC with her issues, but I also need them to start falling. AND there’s a wedding to plan in the midst of it all, not to mention their regular lives.

AND the fact that I can’t figure out how to write the POV correctly. I keep switching off too fast. I figure that maybe once it’s all done done, I’ll be able to go back and rewrite and figure it out. So I’m not worrying TOO much about that.

No, my focus right now is what to do with them in between an old folks dancing lesson and a baby shower. Am I going to send them on actual dates, or is the stuff I need to write going to be the dates? Because the first scene I have written after the baby shower starts to go pretty deep…So that means these next chapters need to start making their way towards that.

HOW??????

HOW HOW HOW HOW HOW HOW HOW?

HOW?

I guess it’s my job to figure it out.

Crap.

There is Always Tomorrow

Tonight was a tough one.

Today was a good enough day.

Sort of.

Today began the final week of All My Children’s tv run. So sad.
Plenty of tears for The Hubbard’s happy ending.

Plenty of excitement, knowing that one of my favorite non-couple couples was coming back to my tv. Yay, Castle is back!

I get entirely too emotional over television, but hey, at least I was excited about something.

I didn’t get any work done on my WiP, but here’s what I DID do:

I watched Castle after work.
I watched Doctor Who after Castle.
I posted four chapters of an older WiP that has started getting reviews on Book Country. I really like this story, and it’s pretty close to being done, so I thought I would get on it.
I tweeted a lot about suicide tonight. There was a kid named Jamey from New York who took his own life because of bullying, and issues with self doubt, self love and self confidence.
I tweeted a bit of stuff about how I have felt in the distant, and the recent past. Not going to go into it here, but the kid’s story broke my heart.

Going back to my current WiP, I decided to post the first five chapters in their extremely rough form. I’m not even sure what this story is going to turn out to be, but I’ve got to start getting some feedback on it to see if I’m going in the right direction, or if I need to make a U-turn.

I’m pretty wiped out. It’s 2 am. I probably won’t sleep for a while, but I think it’s time to try.

Lazy Sunday

And sorry, it’s not a Lonely Island-style “Lazy Sunday.” It was more like yesterday’s Lazy Saturday, but with a lot more dozing off.
Spent another day in bed, this time re-watching the True Blood season 1, but with the commentary. I’m a sucker for anything with commentary. Maybe I’m just lonely for other people. Or I just like commentary.

Anyway, another day…not necessarily wasted, but one where I didn’t do much. I came out of the inner cave to hang out in the outer cave to watch and live tweet the Modern Family Awards…I mean, the Primetime Emmys. I love tv, so this was like Christmas…no, wait. TOMORROW is like Christmas, because Castle is back tomorrow night…

Anyway, I did that for 3 hours and then worked on my 750 words challenge, and then finished a chapter. This one is Chapter 9. Most of it was already done. It needed some tweaking to fit the new stuff I had written.

So I basically cheated. But hey, it got a chapter completed. This next chapter is mostly done, too. Just needs a little bit more added to it And that will give me five chapters done for September, the same amount for August. But I have a few more days of September to rack up another chapter or two.

I seriously don’t know how I’m going to get this one over and done with in less than 25 chapters without some having way too many pages.

I like to talk. I say lots of stuff without actually putting any detail forth. I’m wondering if it would be a good idea to post this rough draft on Book Country, or if it would be way too embarrassing.

Nothing But True Blood

As this particular title suggests, I’ve done nothing lately but watch True Blood. (NOT drink Tru Blood…don’t be gross)
I finished watching Season 4 and found myself with a little extra time until the new Fall schedule begins, and I saw the first two seasons at the video store, so I’ve been trying to keep myself busy and off the streets.

Since I hadn’t seen those first two seasons, I was pretty enraptured. Every night, I’ve taken a notebook to bed to write the beginnings of a scene that I’ve needed to get done, but nothing has gotten done.

I’ve been depressed, angry, not feeling well, lonely, hopeless…so many issues, so little time. I’ve used those feelings as the excuse not to write. Instead, I got sucked (sorry) into the world of True Blood, seasons 1 and 2(btw, the first episodes were like an extremely horrible play, the characters caricatures of the ones I know today. I’m so glad I started watching at Season 3, otherwise, I might not like this show so much.)

I’ve also been reading. I received a book in the mail that I desperately need to review, and a couple of others…One is the book that spurred this whole challenge. I keep hoping that it will help me remember the reason I started on this journey. I keep finding mistakes and issues in that book, but I’m a little more apathetic.

After I got off work on Friday night, I finished up season 1, falling asleep somewhere around 4am. I woke up around 1pm or so, and turned on season 2. I stayed in bed all day. ALL DAY. I got up for food and the bathroom, but I even ate in bed, careful not to get any crumbs or ketchup on the now-clean sheets. I would pop into the living room for a cigarette and to see what was happening in Internet Land.

That would send me straight back into the bedroom, because all anyone could tweet about was Doctor Who spoilers (Yeah, thanks for that, jerks), so I’ve pretty much had to stay away from Twitter or Facebook, and instead play solitaire on Pogo.com while I finish a Camel.

Then, about 10:30, I came back out into the living room and turned on the tv for Saturday Night Live. Earlier on in the evening, I thought about SNL, the JT/Lady Gaga ep, as a matter of fact. Then I see a tweet that says that this is the ep that is on. My Gaga-sense was twitching today, I guess.

So I watch the show, finally laughing and smiling and really enjoying myself–thanks to JT and Gaga for the good time.
Then I see Ms. Jane Espenson tweeting about a Writing Sprint. I really like to join in when I can. What better time to try to work this scene out?

She is super encouraging in her personal tweets to me, and to others. I seriously wouldn’t be doing this Personal Challenge without her influence. So I raise my glass, my pen, my mouse, to Jane and all the writers she is inspiring with this simple exercise.

(PS Sookie and Bill are SO BORING and ANNOYING. I’m Team Eric all the way.)

A Better Day

As the title suggests, today is a better day.
The weather turned extremely nice, and I’m sitting in my apartment in the ghetto with the windows open and letting in some fresh, cool air.

Good news: I just needed a car battery.
Better news: I have a brand new battery.
Bad news: I know owe a buddy $100 for this battery.

Eh. Win some, lose some.

I was definitely not feeling this way last night, as you read.
I’m quite a bit calmer than I was, even though the outlook, though not as bleak, is still pretty dark.

But at least I’m not feeling murderous today, right?

Silver lining.

As you know, I’ve posted a “Donate” button on my home page here. One of my sweet writer buddies has already made a donation. One that I TRULY appreciate. I don’t take money for granted. I don’t take it lightly. I don’t feel entitled, I feel grateful, and even blessed for that buddy, and that donation. Every bit helps. Whatever comes to me through this donation is going directly to my car battery right now. And every time I drive the car, I will be thinking of those who assisted me, in a world where a dead battery is a #FirstWorldProblem, as Twitter taggers call it.

Now that I’m not panicking and freaking out, it’s time to go back to work. My belly is full, the weather is lovely, I have Season One of True Blood to hang out with while I go do some longhand work. I’m working up to a big scene. The big part of the scene, the reveal, is already done, but needs tweaking. What I need now is what happens leading up to this big reveal.
I’ve been trying to think it through, but my brain just doesn’t want to work.

It’s been about three months since I basically “went off my meds.” A couple of weeks ago, I started to try to substitute vitamins and herbs for these meds.

It is not working. I’m pretty sure that those herbal supplements, and maybe even to a point, the vitamins, are part of the reason I have been SO murderous. (The time of year, the weather change also triggers my depression of old, but that’s a whole other can of worms I’m not willing to get into right now.)
St. John’s Wort does NOT work for me.
I have immediately stopped that nonsense. It makes me crazier than I normally am. I am just going to have to power through until I can find a way to be able to afford what it is that I need. But one thing at a time.

Another thing that has just messed me up and made me murderous is the 750 words challenge I have set out on. This challenge has taken me to an incredibly dark place that I don’t want to visit, not even for a minute. In order to stay the course, I’m going to have to figure out a different way to do things in that challenge. I need to lock that door back up and keep it bolted.

Ok, I need to cut this off now so that I don’t use ALL of my words on my blog. I need to save some for this next chapter.

Once again, thank you to those of you who have assisted thus far, to those of you who are reading this blog, subscribing to this blog, riding the Crazy Train with me. It’s not all downs, but bear with me. This is a season that can get pretty bad when I’m not looking.

Thank. You.

And I watch this 27 second snippet of video from one of my favorite tv shows when things get really dark. And it does help.
Pile of Good Things