26 September 2005

Not just the news....

I have been reading Neil's blog the last week or so and feeling so much for him and thinking that if it were me, although I would probably also post, I can't imagine that I would be as articulate. What an amazing talent that boy is and how great that we can bring up his page and take a peek into his life. I also like the fact that I can keep emotional tabs on my friend Nicole and know instantly what's tweeking her sense of propriety today. I've never met Kris but I consider her a staunch ally and believe that if we did meet alot of wine would be imbibed. Brian has got to be one of the sweetest guys I know (and, Nicole, he's not self-proclaimed as such) and I look to him whenever I want a reassurance that "kids these days" aren't so bad. These blogs make me wish that all of my friends had blogs because there is something wonderful about checking in and finding exactly what folks are really thinking about.

I mean, most of the time, when I call friends or family and ask how they are, I get a run-down of what they've done in the last few weeks. Not that I mind that, I like to know about my niece starting school and the poems my fellow MPWers are working on and how the new job and new home is working out, but I feel like it's mainly a news report and I'm really looking for the editorial. Okay, this is what's happening, now how do you really feel about it? There is something about a blog that allows you to ruminate on the emotional impact of a situation and truly own it.

That's what brings us back to check in, we feel like we're not just getting the news, we're receiving a letter and the subject of the correspondence is relevant to our fears, our love, our hope and each strand of the web that is weaved reaches to the next, easily, cleanly and is anything but tangled.

18 September 2005


When you go to a restaurant called "Firefly" you do not actually expect them to light it using fireflies, especially since fireflies are few and far between here in Los Angeles. I wonder that because the back wall is open to the elements, they actually expect the little suckers to wander in and hover above the tables. I went to Firefly with friends last night and it was dark. Really dark. Too dark to read the menu, too dark to see what was on your plate. I tried to get a table in one of the cabanas but even though you have to make a reservation, the cabanas are first come, first serve. (Not first to ask for one on a reservation.) The cabanas are better lit and probably a little quieter. The restaurant is pretty noisy. Now all of this would be fine if the food knocked me out of my seat. But it didn't...it was good....but it wasn't fantastic so Firefly is a great place to go have a drink - the faux library bar lounge is a great hangout and their white cranberry cosmos are classy.

15 September 2005

Progress Report & Musing on Mentors

I realized today that I haven't given a progress report on my screenplay for a while. The reason, of course, is that I haven't been writing the actual screenplay. Instead, because of Syd's class, I'm going back and doing the "prep" work I didn't do before I started. So I've been defining the "idea", stating the inciting incident, the key incident and the resolution. All of these things can or may change but he says it's important to have a map for your destination. Last week I had to do a 9 page analysis of my lead character tracing her life from birth to the moment before the story starts. It was actually very good for me to do and will probably help make her more active (instead of reactive) and now this week, he wants me to turn it into a first person narrative instead of the third person sort of removed piece I wrote. Not everyone has this extra assignment but I completely agree that I need to do it. The funny thing is even though I'm not moving forward on the action of the story right now, I feel like when I get back to it, it will move forward more fluidly and probably be more interesting. Syd is a great teacher and a real inspiration to the class.

I've been thinking a lot about mentors this week and wondering why I didn't seek them out earlier in my life - I really could have used them in my 20s. Whose your mentor? If you don't have one, what or who would be the ideal mentor for you and why?

09 September 2005

My 10 Year Old Niece, the Novelist....

My 10 year old niece, Amy, has sent me the gallows for her latest book. Not that she has a publisher or even an agent. But she has a three part book with a female CIA agent as the lead character. Her agent is resourceful and smart and interestingly enough, has really sweet sense of of self-deprecating humor. I actually got this last weekend but with my own schoolwork I wasn't able to read it right away. I have to say I'm blown away by her imagination and the thought that went into the stories. Needless to say, I'm thinking my niece has a little genius wrapped up in that head of hers. Did I tell you when she was 6 she wrote a mystery short story about a mouse? She also has a monthly newsletter that you can subscribe to for $5 and get the latest gossip/news about her mom and dad and sister and brother. Since Derek and I (her dad, my brother) don't correspond regularly, it's often how I get the most up to the date goings on. Amy is definitely a pistol and I'm just lookin' over my shoulder wondering which one of us is going to get paid to write first!

You know normally, I would feel depressed about a kid genius but she's so darn sweet, I can only feel proud of her and glad that we're related.

05 September 2005

All I have to do is dream, dream, dream...

I've been thinking alot this weekend (uh-oh) about life and the goals we set for ourselves and dreams we have in our teens and twenties and how those look some 20 odd years later. It's interesting that as I get older, I don't want to give up on that "but something fantastic could happen right out of the blue!" feeling. It has abated, that's true enough. I think my first wake up call that life wasn't going to turn out the way I planned was at the end of my first marriage. That kind of thing takes the wind right out of your sails and leaves you flapping in the breeze for a while. Then three years later, I met Carl and that spark of "gee, life is grand" became an ember and with our wedding I was feeling the heat of flaming idealism at 39.

Now, I'm in my 40s. The truth is, I'm beginning to lose that feeling that things could change on a dime for the better. To clarify, I'm talking about creative life here. I'm talking about being creative every day and not worrying that the leaky front sprinklers are going to interfere with plans to take a vacation (because you don't have money for both). I'm talking about finally making a leap from being brilliant to being brilliant and getting paid for it! I'm talking about not just getting paid for what you love to do, but getting paid well.

I guess in L.A., it's all about the connection. Meeting someone who turns you on to some big opportunity. (Tough to do when I write in my back room all day....) And here I am probably preaching to the choir by blogging about it. Anyway, how's your life turning out? Is it what you expected? Is it better?