I create context. I also write blog posts:

Kelsey thinks I’m pathetic.

Posted: November 29th, 2010 | Author: | No Comments »

In her face... She loves me anyways!


I think I’m showing signs of maturity. Here’s why:

I was just getting ready to go to Starbucks to do some work. I was packing my computer up and I was all ready to leave and I decided I didn’t want to have to leave the house in order to get work done. I’m comfortable here, I don’t want to put on a jacket, I don’t want to warm the car up, and I don’t want to pay four bucks for a cup of coffee. Also, I have a Saranac Winter 12 pack in my fridge, and I’d like to have one of them now, thank you.

I thought about it, and I thought, “Why do I have to go to Starbucks just to get work done? I have a fantastic writing desk (that’s covered with junk at the moment but I can dig out a hole big enough for a notebook), I’ve got two — count ‘em, two! — monitors on my computer, and I’ve got The Board looking down on me in my comfy computer chair.”

None of that matters, though. I go to Starbucks and I buy a four dollar cup of coffee because I can focus there. I turn off Twitter (usually) and bury myself in my notebook and get work done. Changing locations means changing my mindset and changing my goals. “All right, I’m here to work, let’s get some work done.” Way more effective to tell myself when I’ve actually physically transported myself somewhere than when I just pull up a chair at the same place where I surf online and watch movies.

So I just set up a new account on my computer, and when I’m logged in to this account, I’m blocked from Facebook and Twitter. That’s the part where Kelsey thinks I’m pathetic. “You need to do all that [it actually took a bit of work to create the account and share the folders and get everything up and running in a new environment] just to avoid going to a few websites?”

Well… yes. It’s become such a part of my routine that I instinctively check them when I sit down at a computer (or pull my iphone out of my pocket or get bored with a conversation or any number of other situations). I’m not proud, but hey, oh well. I’m trying to do something about it.

I think that’s a sign of maturity.


A Guy And His Dog.

Posted: November 26th, 2010 | Author: | 1 Comment »

It’s been a little while since I’ve posted but I’m getting warmed up for 2 Pages/2 Voices, so here goes…
 

EXT. PARK

A GUY in his mid-thirties is sitting on a bench with a DOG at his feet.

He’s in no rush to go nowhere, but the dog wants to be running.

GUY

Dog. Whadda you know about the world?

The dog stares at him stupidly.

GUY

You don’t know about mortgages or health insurance or car payments or college loans or speeding tickets.

The expression doesn’t change.

GUY

But I guess you don’t know about girls and music and baseball and air-o-planes either. You’re just a dog, they never teach you that stuff. They don’t teach you about potential and dreams and job interviews. You just sleep and walk and eat and pee.

The dog scratches behind it’s ear with a hind leg.

GUY

I wish I could be a dog sometimes. But no one never told you about clouds and buildings and other dogs. They didn’t teach you about getting older and about death and about living.

(beat)

What’s a birthday to you ‘cept another chew toy? But birthdays come and go and we rip pages off the calendar ‘til it’s time to buy new ones. That’s it... “Made it through another year? Tear the sheet and buy a new one!” Congratulations! Start over, make new resolutions, set new goals.

The guy thinks a second.

GUY

But you don’t make resolutions or set goals. You sleep and walk and eat and pee. It doesn’t occur to you that a day’s gone by, none’less a month, a year. It doesn’t occur to you that you’re in the same spot you were last year, same spot as the year before and the year before that.

The dog patiently sits, not understanding a word the man is saying but listening nonetheless.

GUY

You don’t know what it’s like to sit still, to waste time. Me? I do. I know what it’s like to keep checkin’ your watch as you mark the days and months, wishing that second hand would stop movin’ jus for a little bit.

The dog looks at a bird in the distance, overcomes the instinct to chase it.

GUY

You don’t know that you need to keep movin’ to feel alive, to feel like you’ve accomplished something. I know that.

Dog looks back up at him. The bird’s gone now.

GUY

I just don’t know how ta do it sometimes.

He throws the stick away. The dog flinches, thinks about going after it, but stays anchored in his spot.

GUY

Why’m I even talkin’ to you like this? Yer jus a dog.

He sits back on the bench. The dog patiently waits by his side.

Curtain.


The Board.

Posted: November 3rd, 2010 | Author: | Tags: | 1 Comment »

For the last couple of days, I’ve been working out a brief but wicked important outline of the entire script, and painstakingly writing the bullet points down on index cards. It’s the first time I’ve done this, but it’s a pretty helpful visual organization of what needs to happen and in what order. If I hit a bump in the road, I’m just gonna look up and there it is, all laid out for me like a road map. “Here’s where you were going next…

Now, obviously, it’s not set in stone. There are some cards that’ll come down and some cards that’ll be changed, and probably some cards that’ll be added, but that’s about it. That’s my script: twenty-four notecards.

The yellow sheet in the middle is the centerpiece of writing, it’s the best advice I’ve ever gotten. It comes from John August, and it reads: “What can burn, and why haven’t I lit it on fire yet?”

(There are three postings on the bottom that aren’t notecards: the paper on the left is a one sentence summary of each of the main characters’ stories, the middle is Kurt Vonnegut’s eight rules for writing a short story, and the yellow legal paper is a scene that I wrote that will someday make it into something I write; just, not this one. The blurred stuff in the bottom right corner are checks that I need to deposit — the board doesn’t just help me write! Above that are some other notes, including my reminder of Dubin’s Fuck First Rule — which, you’ll remember, says: “Start it with a fuck scene!” — and another piece of advice from John August, “the protagonist is the character that suffers the most,” and finally, a Far Side comic.)

Onward.

[This post also showed up on Paper Dailies, my almost-daily screenwriting log.]

[BTW, does bolding help at all? Or is it just annoying on the eyes?]

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