Sunday, January 31, 2016

Writing Updates

I haven't really posted about this much, I think at first because I was waiting for something to "happen," but that doesn't seem too likely.  So anyways...

In October 2014 my script "The Dead House" came in third in the horror category at the Page Awards.  One of the judges was an independent producer and contacted me that day about optioning the script.  A week or so later the paperwork was done.  From October till April 2015 we did rewrites.  The first few were fairly decent - editing out superfluous scenes, rewriting quite a bit of the antagonist's POV scenes to clarify his motivation and arc - but they weren't full rewrites by any stretch.  After that, the passes became increasingly small and specific, to the tune of changing individual words here and there, cutting just one line from a long beat of dialogue, etc.  Fine-tuning.  I would get notes, spend anywhere from 3 days to a week doing my rewrites, and then I would send the new draft in.  The independent producer had a production company sign on for financing early on, so I was getting notes from both, though they helpfully collated them together for me.  Sometimes it would be a month before I'd get notes back on the latest draft, so it was a very start-and-stop process.

Starting in May, they sent the script out to specific directors.  Who all passed.  That was the bulk of this summer.  Last I heard, an actress was reading for the main role, but that was months and months ago, so I'm assuming she passed, too.  I actually haven't heard any updates since...August, I think?  I should probably email just to say hi, but I've been assuming that if they'd made any progress they would tell me, haha.  At any rate, I mostly forget that it's even out there.

In I want to say September, an agent at a talent agency that mostly reps writers contacted me.  He had read "TDH" as it made its rounds, and wanted to see what else I had.  I sent over three of my older scripts.  He emailed back a few weeks later that they were good but not really what he was looking for.  I had just finished a first draft page-one-rewrite of a script I've been working on for literally a decade, and hastily sent it over, not wanting to lose this chance.  And he liked it!  And he sent it over to a friend of his who works as a manager for a production company, who liked it, too!  I got notes from both of them, and started working on a second draft.  In the meantime, the manager and I have had several hour-plus long conversations about new script ideas, and I've started working on one with his input.

So even though I haven't signed anything concrete (because you just don't at this stage of things), I essentially have a manager and agent.  Which is pretty amazing!  However, the pressure it has put on me, gosh.  I'm used to just writing for myself when I feel like it.  I enjoy writing so it do it mostly every day, but at my own pace and with my own process.  It's very different having to do the "write a brief synopsis, notes, write a treatment, notes, write an outline, notes" thing.  So I find myself procrastinating and worrying a hell of a lot more than I ever did before.

I'm typing this mostly to remind myself that I only got to where I am now because I have a slight idea of what I'm doing, and to just trust in myself and go for it.  It's hard, though, because I don't want to screw this up, haha.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Media Lists Complete!

Interesting things I came to realize upon doing this.  I have definitely not read as many books nor watched as many movies the last few years as I did when I started keeping track.  Part of the book thing, I know, is that I stopped subbing and instead started working at the library.  There were many days as a substitute where I might read half a book in one day, as all I had to do was take attendance, pass out worksheets, and make sure the kids didn't light a fire.  I certainly don't have that luxury now.

But mostly I think the change is in the fact that I no longer live with my parents.  Back then, I would need to have some time to myself, so I would sit in my room.  No computer in there (no space), so I would either read, watch TV, or watch a movie.  Now I have my own house, so I don't have that need to find something to do away from everyone else; I'm always away from everyone else!

I have been reading and such more lately, though, because my desktop computer's been sort of on its last legs.  I've been putting it to sleep, and so it just seems silly to wake it up for something small.  The problem is, "something small" often turns into me just sitting on my computer for an hour or two reading random reddit articles or browsing tumblr or whatever.  So in the long run, it feels like it's been a good thing in that I've been motivated to do more productive things.  (And watching TV is definitely more productive compared to looking at cat gifs on tumblr.)

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Random Musings on Dumb Shit that Ultimately Doesn't Matter

So I've been doing this completely useless task of transferring over my old media lists (new books read and new movies watched) from this blog into little notebooks.  2008, 2009, 2010 all written down with care.  (And holy shit, this took four days at work - like so much longer than I thought it would take.  I kinda liked it because it made me look like I was industriously working on something important.)

2011 - January, February, March, April...and then I just stopped posting to Blogspot.  I got out the original little notebook* where I started writing this shit down physically - as opposed to just having the lists on the computer - and that starts in 2012.  So I have eight months that aren't accounted for!  Why did I stop?!  Where are those lists!

I got upset at the lack of continuity in this random, meaningless activity that has no actual point other than I felt like doing it.  I'm at work, so I couldn't search my computer, but I also knew that I was still living at home at this point in time and it's likely these lists would have been done on either my old laptop at the time or the family computer, in which case there would be no retrieval.

Then I thought to check LJ and they were right there!  All is okay!

*I kept track of everything chronologically in that notebook.  For instance, January, 1. episode of TV, 2. episode of TV, B1. book, 3. episode of TV, M1. movie.  Etc.  It's okay for TV since that's the bulk of it, but it's really hard to scan through and find movies and TV (and I do actually go through it sometimes when I can't quite remember the title of a book I read, but know I read it sometime last year).  Thus why I've decided to keep TV in one, movies in another, books in a third.  I'm sort of irritated by the fact that the three little notebooks are part of a set I got for Christmas years ago, and the TV one is about 2/3 full, and obviously the others aren't even close.  So I'll fill that one up way before the others.

I don't know why I care about this nonsense?

ETA: December 2011 is not on LJ, either.  It skips from November 2011 to January 2012.  I AM DISPLEASED.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Hello Again!

I can't believe this blog is still active, ha.  I'm compiling a master list of books read and was hoping some of my earlier lists were still here to copy over - and they are!  I think I'm going to start blogging again.  Not that I've been using my LJ much recently, but I'll keep that for more fandom stuff, and just do my random personal thoughts here (where probably no one is reading them, which suits me just fine).

Starting on New Year's Day, I've been writing a short journal entry every day; my parents got me a Moleskin journal for Christmas.  (Interesting fact: though Moleskins are sort of generally considered as "fancy" notebooks, the paper in them is not all that great; if you use fountain pens, the ink will feather and bleed through.  I do manage to write in mine with a fountain pen, albeit one with an extra-fine nib.  Which means I don't have to fill my pen as often, so it works out.)  Mostly it's just been boring "this is what I did today" kind of entries - which has been useful in a sort of meditative way - but I've also been writing about my writing just a little bit.  I think I posted this here once before (years ago!), but I might get back into the habit of blogging here with my writing stuff.  Sometimes just sorting through things in my head, finding a way to articulate various thoughts, even if it's just rambly or incoherent to everyone else, is very helpful for me.

Not today, though - at work today and we're exceptionally busy.  It took me a solid hour to just get through this much!