FranklyWrite

Live Life and Practice Writing

via Daily Prompt: Static

It is good to mix things up and not remain static.

Today my goal is to write this, proof it and post in 20 minutes. Go!

Dramatic writers have many conversations about the status quo. A play or screenplay is stasis, chaos, new stasis.

As a new writer, the idea of status quo was very difficult for me. My characters were extraordinary beings, how dare anyone suggest they have normal lives!

Writing for TV and needing to turn out storyline after storyline changed my thinking on this. Even the extraordinary has a static state. A sky diver’s status quo is jumping out of an airplane; for me, jumping out of an airplane would be a bolt of static electricity.

When starting a story it is important to know your characters’ normal, what’s their daily routine? Then ask what breaks that routine? What’s different about today? Why? Now? Today? That’s the beginning or your story. Although in some cases, it could be the end depending on how big a break it is.

Back to the skydiving, if the character were me, jumping out of the airplane would probably be the climax of the story with the rest of the story building to that moment. That freeing scene in the movie that has the crowd cheering and feeling proud of the character. You start to see how the story would be built to achieve this ending. Jumping  would be the thing that concretizes something else in the character’s life; taking back control, accepting mortality, breaking free of controlling relationships, being an authentic self.

I can also see it as a starting gesture to a change, but in this case the story is about the character’s loved ones dealing with a person who has broken out of the box. Which ones will can handle it and which ones can’t?

Anyway that is my bit of writing advice today.

How did I do?

Write every day. It is my favorite piece of writing advice. The post  “Should You Write Every Day? A Close Look at the Oldest Piece of Writing Advice,”  by Nathaniel Tower on Juggling Writer made me re-think how I give it.

Reading the post, I realized Nathaniel and his followers do not know why, “Write every day,” is the oldest piece of writing advice.

Writers hear this advice a lot. It’s given so often without explanation that it has become a platitude that disappears into the background to be ignored. It should not be ignored because it is the single most important thing a writer can do. Continue reading

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Me at 214 pounds Christmas of 2017. My God, do I look like my mother.

214.4 pounds

4 days without a bottle of pop.

 

I must, must, get rid of this weight!

Two years ago I stepped on a scale and saw the number 242. I could not believe it. I tried a different scale. 242. I remember weighing 125 and thinking I was fat. 242. When I lived in New York I weighed 190 and felt pretty good. My doctor would tell me to lose 20 pounds. I joined Weight Watchers and lost the 20 pounds.

When I moved back to Michigan to care for my elderly father, my life completely changed and so did my eating habits. Gone were the healthy habits that were so easy to establish in New York. 242.

I bought a FitBit and started with a step goal of 7,000 steps. I tried to track calories, but that is difficult unless you eat a lot of processed foods pre-labled for you. I try to stay away from that. I tracked my exercise and found it easy to meet my daily goal and increased it to 10,000 steps.

In two months, I was down to 220 and have hovered around that for the past year. I know why I am on this plateau and will blog more about my struggle with healthy eating and my Dad.

In the summer of 2017, I reached the low of 195, my current goal is 190. But it did not stay there. Today I weigh 214.4. On the upside, I did not gain any weight over the Holidays.

As I re-commit to getting healthy at the start of 2018, I will post my weight and how many days I have gone without a bottle of soda or as they call it in my corner of the world–pop. For me eating healthy is reflected in the face and although I take terrible selfies, I will include of photo of myself.

My reason for wanting to be healthier has not nothing to do with looks. I want to feel better and have more energy because I have more responsibilities than ever.

Please post any tips, recipes or just some encouragement in the comments. I need all the help I can get in my moments of weakness. Feel free to ask questions.

via Daily Prompt: Viable

Words have different meanings in different places. In New York, viable meant worth doing, possible. A new creative project; a play, a musical to consider. Or it was a solution to a creative problem a friend was having. It meant my advice was wanted and sought. I was viable every day and I gave freely.

Living back in my hometown in Michigan it means a job, usually hourly, that pays almost a livable wage, is less than 45 minutes from my house and includes health insurance. The industry and scope of the work doesn’t matter.

No one seeks my advice and my opinion is not wanted.  I no longer feel viable. I often feel invisible.

As a writer, being invisible has a viability of it’s own.

You can listen and observe and no one notices. People reveal their lives with abandoned. So much to write about when you’re invisible. You are safe and all walls are down.

When you are viable it is hard to be invisible, but when you are invisible, you can make yourself viable and than disappear again. I like that.

 

Categories: Life

via Photo Challenge: Growth

img_2379First, I had a heck of a time trying to post a photo on my blog. I use my iPhone to take all my photos and apparently during my hiatus Apple got rid of iPhoto and moved everything to Photos to make it easier to share photos across all devices. That’s great.

For some reason they removed the ability to export your photos to JPEG which is a must in order to use the photo on my blog. I started at 1 pm EST writing this post and it is now 5:39 pm EST and the only way I was able to get a photo to this blog was to download the WordPress App onto my iPhone and upload the photo from the phone. I didn’t want to do that because it’s inconvenient.

Photo exports in .MOV and .HFIV, but not .jpg. I tried manually changing the file extensions, I dragged and dropped 10 different ways, tried to use my old iPhoto App, I contacted Apple, I contacted WordPress (They tried to help) and nothing. I wanted to scream and throw my computer against the wall.

I am not going to write this post unless I can upload this photo on my iMac!!! I’m not! I’m not!! I’M NOT!!!

After the tantrum, I looked at the goal–to post a photo about growth. Not to post it in the most convenient way, but to get it done. No one but me cares how. I downloaded the WordPress app on to my phone and uploaded the photo to the Media and here it is.

My post was going to be about facing fears and succeeding in spite of them. I used to be afraid of the broiler and now I make excellent steaks with it. Instead it is about overcoming life’s frustrations and getting it done.  Not letting myself get pig-headed and digging in my heels and quitting because things aren’t going my way. I let it go and got it done. Growth of the soul.

Perseverance plus letting go equals growth.

Writing. What does it mean? To me it has always meant using words to create pictures that affect other people. That’s the high flalutin’ answer. The reality is sitting for hours staring at a computer screen, usually with a bad posture, and creating ways to translate what’s in your head to a blank page with correct grammar, spelling and tone.  It’s not easy. The biggest obstacle in this process is life. Life will interfere; but, life is the stuff of good writing. You cannot have one without the other. It’s the old writing catch-22.

Today I re-commit to work with my life to fuel this blog; to accept the lemons and combine them with oranges, honey, Himalayan salt and ginger to create a natural hydrating drink without all the sugar and peservatives that is refreshing and delishious.

Succesful blogs focus on one thing. I know that. But for a writer I think that can be fudged a bit; writing needs to be about something. I will continue to write about the craft of writing, but I will also begin to include posts about my life.

When I look at my life it includes things many people struggle with every day:

  1. Caring for an aging parent
  2. What’s for dinner
  3. Giving writing advice
  4. Living in suburbia
  5. Working for an hourly wage in a working class area.
  6. Seeking a job as an over fifty, over weight intelligent woman.
  7. My dogs.

Over the next year I will attempt to merge these things into one cohesive blog. Can I do it? I don’t know.

Life interrupted the writing of this short post. Life always interrupts, but it is me who stops. I am taking life off the excuse table.

My first challenges are to make my blog easier to navigate and to up my Fitbit step goal 500 steps.

What are you changing this year?

Today I crave a thing that cannot be obtained by a trip to the fridge or drive to the store. Money cannot buy it. My craving is from the brain, from the soul. I want to do the one thing I’m good at, the thing I love. Write. Unfettered and free. I want to write something to completion and have another person read it.
Today I am a writer.

June 12, 2017

This blog post is about writing a television spec script and contains the first part of a spec script written for the HBO show DEADEWOOD. It contains strong language and adult themes.

From time to time I decided I should share some of my work on this blog. Overall, I don’t think it’s a good idea to share current projects on the internet, but I see nothing wrong with sharing work that has served its purpose. This may help other writers who want to write a spec script. I know it would have helped me. Continue reading

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