Feedback

Earlier this month, “The Space Between”, a screenplay by yours truly was read and evaluated by industry professional Dave Trottier. And while he didn’t love my script he also didn’t hate it, so my screenwriting career is half full.

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Much of his criticisms were either issues I had kinda noticed myself or things I completely understood, and as I read his eval ideas immediately came to mind. Currently four pages worth of stronger plot points, better dialogue, and a new twist ending. Oh happy, writing…uh…day.

**ponders for a moment**

Yes that can be a thing. Happy writing day!

Said twist earned Mr. Trottier’s approval, thank goodness because I had my concerns. I mean what kind of writer writes a screenplay about a writer who decides in the end that she really doesn’t want to be a writer. Are we allowed to do that?

Although the screenplay I’m currently working on is a movie in which the growing movie business is the main antagonist…

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In short, be a writer/human who graciously accepts feedback, both positive and negative. Use the wisdom of experienced writers/editors/consultants, for it is the very thing that started me down the path to making “The Space Between” a much better story.

Until next time,

The Texan

 

It’s You

I apologize in advance for the brevity of this post, but my dog and cat have a date with the vet; and yes they are super excited.

Okay maybe not.

However my time crunch is for sure a good thing because I could drone on and on about today’s subject, doubt. Doubt and I have met before and I am quite certain that many of you are familiar with it as well. Doubt is nasty little booger, arguably worse than fear. And we all know that fear, is a punk.

The other day I introduced my kids to this guy.

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Buster Keaton, a brilliant comedian, epic stuntman, and innovative independent film maker. His life was full of ups and downs. He hit bottom, but rose up, surprising many people, possibly including himself. After learning more about him, I thought hey that might make a good movie.

Then I thought the same thing I thought when I started writing “Fred and Ethel”.

That can’t be a good idea, because if it was someone else would have done it already.

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Sound familiar?

Doubt is easy, quite possibly the easiest human emotion. It seems that we jump at every opportunity to sell ourselves short. Then stories don’t get written, companies don’t get formed, and ground breaking discoveries go undiscovered.

The truth is, it’s you. You are the one, who can write the stories that no one else has thought to write. Discover the things that no one else has thought to discover. And create the company/product that no one else has thought to create.

All this potential awesomeness is just waiting for the right one. You.

Go write, create, and discover. The world is waiting for you to stop doubting yourself.

Until next time,

The Texan

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33 and 3

Today I begin my 33rd trip around the sun, my 33rd year of life. 32 was good to me, I graduated from college, went to Niagara Falls, finished 2 screenplays, reconnected with an old friend, and improved my physical fitness.

Not mention countless laughs and good times with my amazing family, who encourage and inspire me every single day.

Today I have also started writing my 3rd screenplay under the working title of “Fred and Ethel”.

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Then I thought wow, three 3s. So I looked up the meaning of the number 3. And found that the number is connected to inspiration, creativity, art, growth, talent, and being brave.

I definitely need to work that last one, but I’m inspired now more than ever to do so.

Here’s to being 33. To the future, and all the opportunities that this year will bring. To writing from the heart, to being brave, and to becoming more and more comfortable in my own skin.

Until next time,

The Texan

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On a side note, did y’all see Bucky’s cover?!

Love. It!

Just A Little Human

I remember when we moved to my hometown of La Grange, Texas. I was in the second grade, and during my first day at Hermes Elementary I was treated like a celebrity. Everyone wanted to talk to me, and help me, and let me use their crayons. Kids who were new to the school in later grades received no such treatment.

My daughter is getting to the age where going to school and being around other kids is getting to be more dramatic. And at times that can result in heartbreak of varying severity.

There’s a boy in her class that will talk to all of the girls except her. She’s not girly enough. She doesn’t act like everyone else. She doesn’t know enough about makeup. (I was taken back by this one because, what 9 year old does know anything about makeup.) She having trouble connecting with the girls in her dance class. Kids who are two-faced. Kids who steal away her friends. Kids who think that a little girl shouldn’t love Darth Vader.

She is struggling to find her place, find her voice, and find her significance.

And I wonder how am I supposed to help her with her struggles, if I struggle with the same things? Feeling alone in the world, feeling voiceless, not to mention friendless. I also know that I am not alone in feeling that way. I read the other day that an actor, my favorite actor I might add, harbors feelings of self doubt, worries that nobody cares about him, and sometimes feels alone in the world.

The negative point of view could be well, if someone like that harbors those kinds of feelings what chance do I have in overcoming those same thoughts.

Or you could say Sebastian Stan is a brilliant actor, a beautiful person inside and out, and adored the world over, but he’s also “just a little human”. And if I can see all the positive things he has going for him that should put those feelings to rest. Then I can see all positive things going for me too, and in turn encourage my daughter to focus on her positive.

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We all struggle, but we are also all capable of overcoming those struggles. Yes there needs to more people who stand out from the crowd regardless of what anyone thinks. More people who are kind. More love. More compassion. And more people who recognize that we are all on the same boat. And that we are more the same than we are different. Some positive change will do this world a great deal of good.

And I plan to start with the beautifully broken human that I see in the mirror everyday.

Will you join me?

Until next time,

The Texan

 

2018: The Year of No School Work

Early last year, fed up with doing school work, I decided to speed things up a bit so that I could finish before Christmas and declared 2018 as, the year of no school work. And I succeeded in that goal, graduating in August (with honors) the proud owner of a bachelors degree in history.

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Little did I know then that 2018 would also be the year of hardly no husband. And Murphy’s Law of Deployment (essentially means trouble waits for your husband to be gone) hit us hard this time y’all. Car trouble, frozen pipes, broken microwave, stomach flu, endless snow shoveling, and a broken door latch on my husband’s car. The last one involved me having to drive 5 miles to the VW dealership while pulling on the door so it wouldn’t fly open. This all happened in the last two weeks.

**sigh**

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Thankfully we were able to ring in the new year as a family, and soaked in the joy of being together before facing the pain of being separated. This certainly changed how I viewed the new year, the hopes and the expectations, were quite different from last year. And I thought that I would share them with you, in honor of those whose new years celebration had a dark cloud hanging over it for whatever reason.

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Here we stand in front of a fresh new year, and I am reminded today about how circumstances can effect ones outlook. Today begins a 7 month long deployment/training. A chunk of time where our family will not be together, and everything we do until he gets back will be bittersweet. It is a burden that we must bear as a military family, and honestly no amount of patriotic statements or mentions of military benefits makes it any easier.

So our word for this year is connection. To dig deep and stay connected to each other. To stay connected to family and friends who can help and fill in gaps. To connect with personal improvement. To connect with hopes and dreams, and the powers that be who can, help, make them come true. Connect to what will make us stronger and better when this is all over.

And this years statement is, and that’s okay. When one thinks about hopes for the new year, they can be lofty and ambitious. But once you’re down in the trenches of every day life things change, and that’s okay.

You’ll have days when all you feel doing is watching TV. You’ll get sick on a weekend or holiday. Messes will be made, and mistakes too. You’ll be sad, frustrated, or angry at some point in the next 365 days and that’s okay. It really is.

So this year do whatever you need to that will help you feel better, make you better, help you smile, or help you cry if you need to. Ignore all those pre made “10 steps to a happier you” lists and make your own. Because personal well being is not one size fits all.

So we will strife for connections and if we miss an opportunity to do so here and there, that’s okay. The goal here is remain committed to becoming better humans, the road there may be uncertain but it’s the destination that’s important.

Happy New Year! May you be happy and healthy in 2018. And if you have days when you’re not, just remember, that’s okay.

Until next time,

The Texan

Writing Woes

Writing is difficult because it is never easy to create something from nothing, all while having only one tool at your disposal to do that with; your brain. However, once you finish a screenplay/novel/short story, you have to figure out what is the best way to get your work to the masses.

Which does indeed open up a whole new bucket of madness and frustration.  I am realizing that writing the darn screenplays will be the easiest part of this whole endeavor. Because while writing produces seeds of doubt, preparing a marketing plan opens up way more. Allow me to walk you through some my own thought processes in just the last couple of hours.

The journey began by reading selling strategy advice in The Screenwriters Bible by David Trottier. I will summarize.

Be persistent, but not pushy; be original but familiar. You need an epic hook, sell your story with awesomeness, be exciting, be captivating, showcase your work on a stage made of gold and dreams. Have your ducks (not regular ducks mind you, the best looking ducks you can find) all lined up in the perfect row, follow the rules, do your research, and don’t forget to shoot for total perfection.

Yep, I knew it everyone in Hollywood is Lord Business

***after stewing in self doubt for several minutes***

I’m not a genius okay, I’m just a writer. Your average human writer. Where do they expect to find people who can do all this crap. And speaking of crap, Hollywood, you got some ‘splanin to do.

I can’t do it. Nope. Can’t handle the pressure. This is madness. What kind of sick person would put themselves through this torture on a daily basis.

**sit and ponder for a moment**

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Yep completely craz — Wait! I’ve got it, the perfect logline/hook! **write it down**

Oh and this is a nice thought, maybe could be included in a pitch or query letter! **write it down** And this too! **write, write, write, writey, write, write**

Awe look it the little ducks finding there way to the row. Isn’t just…

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So what kind of person would put themselves through this?

A writer. And that is what I am.

Until next time,

The Texan

 

 

 

 

 

No

So yesterday I received my first unfavorable response to the statement, “I’m going to write screenplays.”

She simply said, “No.”

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No? What’s that supposed to mean?

No, you shouldn’t do that.

No, you can’t do that.

I wouldn’t touch that career with a ten foot pole so, No, I don’t want to hear why.

She said absolutely nothing else just, no. Then she gathered her kids off the bus, and walked away.

And I was like…

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Then I said to myself, I’m going to keep writing those screenplays, they’re going to get made into movies, and it’s going to be…

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**photo credit: knowyourmeme.com**

Now if you’ll excuse me, that screenplay ain’t gonna write itself.

Until next time,

The Texan