Welcome Aboard

Welcome to my first blog.
I'm excited you've come along for the ride with me, as I blog my thoughts and adventures on the way to being a published writer. Take a look around, post a comment or two, and enjoy!

21 April, 2012

Stones

Read a church sign on the way to work the other day. It said "Every Goliath has a stone." You remember how David killed Goliath with a single stone from his sling shot. Here was this massive giant, towering over David. David used his faith in God to walk out on the battlefield and face the giant without sword, or shield, or armor-just a stone.

Each of us has battled or will be battling Goliaths in our own personal lives. My greatest Goliath has been fear. I think the greatest thing fear excels at is causing me to be indecisive. Should I do this? What if I do and then X happens? What if I do and I should have picked Y? Sound familiar to you? Yeah, I'm tired of that recording playing in my head. How do I defeat the Goliath? Hebrews 11:6 talks about faith and God. The thing is, I don't have just one stone. Jesus has unlimited stones and He's standing right beside me with the first dozen or so.

Reach in the bag and pull one out. It reminds me of a perfect piece of coal. Why coal? It was one of the "rocks" I used to collect as a child.
I'm in the process of doing deep editing in one of my novels. I have cut entire scenes, I have added action where it needed to be, and I have added depth. It was good before, and I got positive reviews to that effect, but I want it to be great.

Put the stone in my sling shot that says on it "I can do this. I can have a successful career as a writer." Goliath is down. Uh oh. Here comes his twin brother. And he's twenty times the size of the other. He's got two heads, arms the size of buildings, and clubs in each hand. His breath is like month old used baby diapers, and his eyes are yellow. He fingers end in razor like nails that drip poison. And he wants me to stay put.

In my heart I know it's time to move on, to leave the state I'm living in and move to a place that is more me. I've found a place that fits me like a well-worn slipper. I've visited, and whenever I have to leave I'm sad. When it's time to come back to this city, I'm jumping up and down in excitement. It's a city that took me by complete surprise with its friendly folk, and humongous lakes, independent bookstores, and Highlander Grogg coffee. (As I write this I'm smiling ear to ear).

But Goliath's twin brother is Causing me to fear leaving. Has me frozen in fear. Jesus doesn't even bother looking at him. He hands me a stone, tells me He will always be with me and to not fear. I look at the stone, it says "FAITH". And yet I hesitate to put the stone in the sling.

What if it doesn't kill this Goliath? What if what Goliath 2 is saying is true? What if leaving is the greatest mistake? Shouldn't I listen to others who seem to always know what I should do, where I should work, where I should live, who I should date?

Or should I be listening to the one person who paid the ultimate sacrifice for me, has no hidden agendas, and stands by my side every time a Goliath shows up. Do you know Him? Hs name is Jesus.

So what did I do? I haven't done it yet? I'm standing with the stone Jesus gave me in my hand to either slay or run away from the largest giant in my life.

14 April, 2012

So I bought an IPad

Yes, the title is correct. I bought an iPad. It was for my nine day trip to Los Angeles last month. I had a choice: lug six pound Frankenstein laptop around on the subway and for dozens of city blocks, or switch to an iPad. And no it's not the iPad 3. I waited until Apple announced the new iPad and bought the iPad 2 for $100.00 less. Then used the $100.00 to buy a keyboard case. Because when you type 85 or so words per minute, it's much faster on a real keyboard rather than a touch screen. I'm at about 50 wpm now as I type this on the touchscreen.

My thoughts about my iPad? His name is Herman. Yes, I named my iPad. I love him. I can't understand why I didn't get one sooner?
In LA I finished the last 65 pages of a screenplay on it via a great program called Celtx. I also worked on my Mfa papers. I wrote a critical paper, and did novel revisions via Apples's Pages product. I watched ABC TV on the plane to catch up on Once Upon A Time, and I listened to hours of music. And less I forgot to mention, submitted two of my screenplays to a manager, and a few queries to lit, and screenplay agents. All on the iPad.

Imagine going from carrying at least ten pounds of laptop, cord, mouse, flashdrive, notebook-to one iPad, and case that may have weighed four pounds total.

The only thing I didn't count on was my iPhone 3G being jealous. I used to write alot of my blogs on him. Plus I never gave him a real name. Shame on me. While I was in Hollywood one day my phone battery died. I plugged him in and in the morning he would not turn on. Yep he was mad at me. I prayed and then I remembered the trick-push the home and on button at the same time. Lesson learned.

Since I've been back home, I still use my iPad for writing. I haven't uploaded all my writing to my iPad yet, I still us Frankenstein laptop. I think he enjoyed the break from me.

04 April, 2012

What does Holy Week have to do with my writing?

Holy Week is what Christian's call this week, as we take time to reflect on the sacrifice Jesus made for us-His death on the cross.

Last night at church, I had the opportunity to go through the Stations of the Cross. In a room, they had set up 8 different stations for you to read a devotion, pray, and reflect on the hours leading up to Jesus's crucifixion.

Powerful and moving yes. Humbling and convicting yes. Renewal yes. Freedom yes. If your church or a church in your area (google it), offers this experience please take the time to do it. Even if you're not a believer. If you've ever been curious about Christianity, the Stations of the Cross is your perfect introduction. No one hovers over you, or even speaks to you. It's just you, the objects in front of you, and your guide book. But it's definitely an experience you don't want to miss.

Much went on within me as I walked through the different stations. One thing I will share has to do with my writing.

Hollywood is a funny thing. It doesn't exactly cater to Christians. Many movies coming out of there are definitely not for a believer, but I want to be a screenwriter. How do I write screenplays for Hollywood without selling myself out-losing my identity as a believer?

I don't focus on the end result. Meaning, I don't focus on the paycheck (meaning my paycheck. I still focus on the cost of producing a movie based on my screenplays because that's just practical business sense).

If I'm not focused on making tons of money, then if someone asks me to change my screenplay, take God out of it, I can refuse. I'm free to write what God has called me to write, and to write what I am deeply passionate about.

Not all my screenplays carry a direct Christian message, but all are written for everyone-believer and non-believer, even the Christian ones.

I look at what's going on in the world around me through my Christian eyes and a screenplay comes out.

Also, I look at the fantasy and sci fi and historical fiction, movies, and tv shows that I love and screenplays come out of that as well.
On the drive home yesterday divine inspiration struck me. In my head popped the perfect, never been done before, idea for a TV series, using my Christian values and some of my other loves. That's all I can say this point, because as I said-It's never been done before. And I have time to write it, and edit it before a certain TV script writing contest deadline this summer. If I hadn't realized the slippery slope I was headed on with my screenwriting, I know this idea wouldn't have come to me.

Novel writing-yeah. I'm still involved in that. A little disappointed in a certain publisher that told me six months ago they didn't publish YA, and they have a novel coming out in YA by a first time author this month.
I hold tight to honesty and integrity, but I need to realize in this business it isn't equally shared.
I'm deep into revisions of my first novel with my faculty advisor. And she has me going deep. It's making a difference in my novel, and will I'm sure, trickle over to my screenplays.

That's it for today, have to head into the day job.
Keep praying. Keep believing.

01 April, 2012

Review

I'd never really given much consideration to what IVF (in-vitro fertilization), entailed. I assumed, like many people, that a woman gets some shots and has lots of sex with her husband in an attempt to get pregnant. After reading "In The Name of a Mother", by Kelly Keenan Trumpbour, I have a new found understanding, and respect for these women.

Kelly's essay is part of a collection entitled "Madonna and Me". Inside this book, women share how Madonna the singer, helped shape their lives, or give them courage through difficult situations.

Kelly's essay focuses on her trials with IVF. She questions the very desire of motherhood and the stark possibility of never becoming one. Kelly's command of raw detail pulls you in as you explore how Madonna, who bears the same name as the mother of Christ, used her name to empower her, even as the author herself realizes she must.

The openness and honesty in Kelly's work as she struggles with infertility will leave you rooting for her long after reading.