Monday, April 22, 2013

Motivation: It's your choice.

"Be miserable.  Or motivate yourself.  Whatever has to be done, it's always your choice." ~Wayne Dyer

Friday, April 19, 2013

Comic Relief: Car Sales

Used car shopping saps the life out of me. We need a second car and it seems like every "free" moment gets sucked into talking about cars, researching Consumer Reports, and going to auto dealerships. Aaaagh. So for today's Comic Relief I found two clips about a car salesman (Robin Williams) from the movie Cadillac Man (1990).

I've never seen the film, and have no idea what it's about, but I like these clips. The first one ("Sale at a Funeral") represents the sleezy side of a car salesman. The second clip ("Wheeling and Dealing") shows his view of car shoppers.  Uh...I'm the indecisive one who can't commit.

The Car Salesman:

The Car Shopper:

I asked my husband what we will spend our time talking about when we aren't talking cars. "Vacation," he responded. I need to get out of the "I dunno" stage, quick!

Monday, April 15, 2013

"Block" Buster: Open the gate.

"It is my experience both as an artist and as a teacher that when we move out on faith into the act of creation, the universe is able to advance. It is a little like opening the gate at the top of a field irrigation system. Once we remove the blocks, the flow moves in." ~Julia Cameron

Sometimes I think I am blocked, but as soon as I make the effort (take action) the block lifts. I am still writing on my screenplay every day. There are days I don't write very much, but I make sure I write something.  It's amazing how much progress I make even when the action I take seems small.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Comic Relief: Film failures.

I got a chuckle out of this quote. My failures shrink in comparison!

Failures are inevitable. Unfortunately, in film they live forever and they're 40 ft wide and 20 ft high. 
~Harrison Ford

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Action!: Screenwriter's group.

Last week I was invited to join a newly formed (on-line) screenwriter's group. I know most of the members, and admire the writing success of the group's host, so I accepted her invitation.

Since I've been re-writing my second feature-length script, I planned on submitting pages of that one for the group to critique, but then I decided to try my hand at writing short scripts. I've only written two.  My first one is real short, and the second one is incomplete (the one I planned to enter into that contest I missed).

I submitted my first short script to them. It's only 1.5 pages and no dialogue... I love visual story-telling!

It's amazing how nervous I was to submit that little script!!! Many writers view their work as their "babies" so even though the script was small, it was like I was sending my baby onto the stage and hoping she wouldn't embarrass me by singing off-key, or picking her nose.

Now I need to rest in a dark room until my nerves settle down... and gear up for the feedback.

Monday, April 8, 2013

"Block" Buster: Turn the faucet on.

"Start writing, no matter what.  The water does not flow until the faucet is turned on." ~Louis L'Amour

As I mentioned in a recent post (see: Action!: Battling Resistance) I am writing even when inconvenient. For instance, last Wednesday I was very busy and at the end of the day, when I was ready for bed, I realized I had not written on my screenplay.  Even though I felt more like sawing logs, I opened up my screenwriting software and did some re-writing.  I was amazed how ideas started to flow, even when I was so sleepy.

Indeed, when I turn the faucet on, I can tap into a hidden reservoir of creative energy.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Comic Relief: Running from bad news!

This scene from How Do You Know (2010) made me laugh. I can't count how many times I wished I could run from bad news! Wouldn't it feel great to do this, even if it's only temporary relief?

Note: This movie is rated-R for "some language." I abhor foul language, so I watched it with a Clearplay filter. Although I found the movie interesting and funny, I cannot vouch for the content of the film in its entirety.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Artist Date: Wooing my inner creative child.

In her book The Artist's Way, Julia Cameron encourages "artist dates" and defines them:
An artist date is a block of time, perhaps two hours weekly, especially set aside and committed to nurturing your creative consciousness, your inner artist.  In its most primary form, the artist date is an excursion, a play date that you preplan and defend against all interlopers.  You do not take anyone on this artist date but you and your inner artist, a.k.a. your creative child.  That means no lovers, friends, spouses, children--no taggers-on of any stripe.
I've attempted numerous artist dates, but felt stuck when it came time to plan. Similar to a bored couple whose go-to date is dinner and a movie, I kept falling back on the same outing...go to the library. One time I was daring and stayed home to read a book about writing.

Determined to snap out of my rut, I made a list of artist date ideas. I came up with 159 dates by using brain power and an Internet search. I printed out the list and cut it into strips--one idea per strip--then folded each one and put them in a decorated box.

At the beginning of the week, I pull one out and then schedule the activity for later in the week so I have time to plan or prepare.

By randomly selecting an idea from my box, it saves time and brain cells from trying to decide what to do, plus it prods me to do something different. If I just looked down the list each week, I would probably keep choosing familiar or comfortable dates such as...

#17 - Write a letter - longhand, on pretty paper - to an old friend.

#82 - Drive.  Aimlessly.


#98 - Read jokes or watch a comedy.

Artist dates should broaden my horizons, so now when I pull out a strip of paper, it might suggest a new experience for me...

#21 - Sit in the driveway and make designs with pretty rocks.

#35 - Spend a day naked.


#71 - Create a piece of artwork entirely with things from your recycle bin.

For added encouragement to stay consistent with my dates, I want to post about my adventures, but felt I should explain about artist dates first.

I would love for others to share their artist date experiences too!

Monday, April 1, 2013

"Block" Buster: Noun-verb combinations.

I came across a writing exercise similar to the one I wrote about last June (see: "Block" Buster: Shifting Adjectives).  However, in this exercise you randomly make a list of nouns...
  1. cat
  2. computer
  3. pan
  4. radio
  5. truck
  6. book
  7. rug
  8. cart
  9. apple
  10. cabinet
Then think of an occupation (chef, accountant, doctor, teacher, carpenter) and make a list of action verbs fitting that job.  For instance, a sales associate...
  1. bargains
  2. drives
  3. discounts
  4. sells
  5. negotiates
  6. shows
  7. guarantees
  8. displays
  9. stocks
  10. assists
Now put the nouns and verbs together and see what fun combinations emerge...
  1. cat bargains
  2. computer drives
  3. pan discounts
  4. radio sells
  5. truck negotiates
  6. book shows
  7. rug guarantees
  8. cart displays
  9. apple stocks
  10. cabinet assists
Hey, that was fun.  Now I make sentences...
  1. The cat bargains for the most comfy chair.
  2. A slow computer drives me insane.

  3. The radio sells advertising.
  4. His truck negotiates tight turns with ease.
  5. A travel book shows pictures of exotic locations.
  6. That crumpled rug guarantees tripping.
  7. The cart displays fresh produce.

  8. The bathroom cabinet assists me with organizing.
It's amazing how writing exercises help break through the blocks.

Give it a try.  What sentences would you write with noun-verb combinations #3 (pan discounts) and #9 (apple stocks)?