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April has been an interesting month. I began it with the best intentions of completing Scriptfrenzy but in the end I didn’t, or won’t by tomorrow night anyway. On three occasions I sat down to begin writing one of my short film scripts and three times I ended up writing a completely unrelated short story. After that I got 4 pages of script completed then began working on my novel again.

Don’t misunderstand me, the scripts will get written. Now is just not the time. My head is in my novel and I can’t really complain about that. I like my novel. I like where it is going and I like how I’m getting there. It feels good to be living full-time with the characters in my head again. So I gladly relinquish a win in my first attempt at Scriptfrenzy and continue on with my labour of love. I know I’ll come back to the scripts but I’ve got a few things to finish up first.

Not to say I don’t have other distractions nipping at my heels. A novel idea and an idea I think would be suited to novella length have been brewing. The novel will have to wait but I think developing the novella is worth a little time. It’s a story based around political intrigue and I think even if the novella never goes anywhere the exercise of trying to write it will be valuable for my current WIP which is loaded with intrigue.

The writing is going well. I’m setting a minimum goal of 5,000 words per week but until I manage to find a job I think I could do significantly better than that. If I am diligent I am confident I can do 25,000 per week, maybe more. At that rate I will finish the novel by the end of May. What a delicious thought.

Time to get started.

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I’ve been working on a full update of all of my creative goals but it’s actually a bit daunting to sort it all out. I have so many interests that at times I get bogged down and nothing gets done on any of them. So I’m going to use the goals update to really look at where I want to put my limited personal resources.

In the meantime here’s a shorter update of my most recent accomplishments:

  1. I’ve officially signed up for Scriptfrenzy on the website. I’m looking forward to spending a month just working on dialogue and by extension human interaction.
  2. I wrote and have half edited a flash fiction. The working title is Ape Dreams until I think of something clever. I have a strong belief that flash fictions must have clever titles.
  3. I wrote 5000 words on my Novel!! Woo! The dry spell is over! After two months of opening my novel and looking at it, pecking out a few words and trying to catch that thread I had lost, I’ve finally found my way back into it. Granted I started with a scene that was pretty easy and from the point of view of my favorite character to write at the moment but I’ve got the momentum now to keep going on those harder parts and trickier characters. Such a relief.
  4. I’ve written several synopses for short film scripts I want to write for Scriptfrenzy. Including a longer one that has really caught my attention.

After all the work I’ve put into the Monster-Post-of-My-Many-Goals it’s really good to be able to look at this list and see the things I’ve accomplished rather than all the things I’m not getting done.

The pessimist says the glass is half empty. The optimist says the glass is half full. The scientist says the glass is full, half with water and half with air. I don’t know who coined that last part but I like it. My glass is half full of the things I’ve accomplished and half-full of the things I’m going to do. It’s going to be great!

 

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Today during a conversation with PiscesMuse I noticed my new phone’s autotext automatically capitalizes the word bacon like it is a god or a country, or possibly a day of the week. In honour of this stupendous idea I have written this short as a warm up for Scriptfrenzy.

An empty stage save for a bistro table with three chairs.

Man One sits at the table eating bacon, enter Man Two stage right.

Man Two

Hey what day is it?

Man One

It’s Bacon.

Man Two

Right. I’m supposed to have breakfast with my mom today.

Man One

Oh yeah? What are you having?

Man Two

Duh, Waffles. What else would you eat on Bacon?

Man One

Oh right, waffles are the holy food of God Emperor Bacon, after whom this day is named. All hail him.

Man Two

All hail him indeed. Man, that guy sure loves waffles.

Man One

Who doesn’t!

Man Two sits down at the table and they proceed to eat bacon together. Pig enters stage right.

Pig

Hey guys, what’s shakin’?

Man One

Hey Pig, it’s great how we call the meat of your belly by the name of waffles.

Man Two

Yeah anything else would be so weird!

Pig

It sure would! Hey is that waffles?

The pig sits down and proceeds to join Man One and Man Two in a tasty snack of bacon.


Eventually I think I’m going to turn this into a flash cartoon, time permitting.

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I am terrified of falling down stairs. I would say I was phobic but as my fear springs from a totally rational source I am clearly right to fear stairs. The problem is that I tend to fall down them. Sometimes I trip over some dangling thing I failed to notice. Sometimes I slip on icy cement or metal stairs outside. Canada presents many opportunities to slip and fall on all kinds of surfaces, and I do, but stairs are my true nemesis.

My last fall involved a gorgeous set of highly polished wooden stairs leading into a friends basement. The 2-3 glasses of wine I’d had probably didn’t help but I have it under good authority that those particular stairs are a menace to more than just myself. They are a lovely polished-to-a-high-sheen deathtrap with a plethora of victims.

I bring this up because I am currently working on a script for Scriptfrenzy and one of my characters has a similar problem but more so. At worst I’ve sprained wrists and earned some spectacular bruises. By contrast I’ve got this character breaking limbs, getting concussions and I’m toying with a short coma. She isn’t me but she’s going to be a lot like that aspect of me, multiplied.

I’m torn between using the experience and feeling like I’m cheating because it won’t be coming from my imagination. Though in a way I guess it is because my own fear is fueled by my imagining of worst case stair-falling scenarios.

I’ve read a lot of John Irving and I think he’s a brilliant author. Many of his books consider the issue of whether writers should make up their stories from whole cloth or whether it is okay to take elements or even fully formed characters from real life. His novels tend to fall on the side of using-real-life-is-cheating. I’m curious to know if Mr. Irving himself truly believes this and has projected it onto his characters (oh the irony!) or if it is merely an opinion of his fictional characters. My own paranoia even wonders if it’s a fake out aimed at budding authors but this paranoia is the kind that just makes me giggle because that would be sort of awesome.

The result is that I sometimes feel like I am cheating when I lift elements or out of context events from real life and include them in my fictional writing. Worse I often feel like those are the parts that read as most true compared to what I had come up with on my own. This worried me for a long time but lately I’m less concerned about it. I feel like some of my truly fictional elements are getting better. I still use pieces from real life but I think I’m learning to write even fictional parts that ring true. Maybe someday I’ll learn to write without stealing from my own life but honestly, I don’t know that I will and I think I’m okay with that.

But I still worry about it. That’s okay though, I’m just a paranoid sort of person.

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So far this blog has been primarily used for writing updates because I am working on my skills as a writer. Word count updates have proved a challenge to do in a way that’s interesting. So, though I will continue to do updates about my goals, progress and achievements as a writer, I will also be including some new kinds of posts.

I have a couple of narrative posts lined up. I’ve just moved and I’m experimenting with narrative, especially humorous narrative by recounting stories about the quirks one encounters in a new home. I will also be doing some book reviews both fiction and non-fiction.

Between a hectic school schedule and an unexpected change of residence my word count has been flagging this semester. Plugging away at the novel has gotten harder. I’m hoping by switching it up now and then with fun blog posts and book reviews I’ll be fresher to work on my larger work. I also intend to keep working on poetry as well. Oh so many aspirations!

Of course all of that wonderful planning might go out the window come April since I’ve committed to participating in Scriptfrenzy this year. It’s like Nanowrimo but instead of 50,000 words participants have to write 100 pages of script which should be around 20,000 words. This sounds easier but it’s got to be all dialogue!

I’d call myself crazy but since I got excited about Scriptfrenzy I’ve done some pretty nice outlining for my script, written and polished two and a half future blog posts, hacked away at an old short story (okay that was more of a warm-up to the other stuff) and pulled my novel out after a month without even looking at it.

Things are looking up!

So, to announce my first book review which I hope to post before April begins.

I’m currently reading How Not To Make A Short Film: Secrets from a Sundance Programmer by Roberta Marie Munroe.

It was a birthday present from my best friend who took me to the bookstore and let me pick whatever I wanted. How awesome is that!

There are two reasons I chose this book. One is that it will be really helpful with Scriptfrenzy because it has some excellent chapters on Script Story and Script Structure which I hope will come in handy come April. It is also on my bucket list to make a short film.  So to recap by reviewing this book now I:

  1. Will be doing research to help me write a better script for Scriptfrenzy
  2. Will be learning to analyze non fiction for a review.
  3. Will be producing what I hope to be an interesting new type of entry for this blog.
  4. Will begin to learn film making skills that will help me cross an item off of my bucket list.

Multitasking shall be the key to achieving my goals.

Now back to my novel!

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