Live Life Write

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.

There is also a story where jumping out of an airplane is starting gesture signaling a departure from the norm, 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 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

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

Breaking down a large task into workable pieces is not easy for some people. This is the reason many write by the seat of their pants with no thought to the next step. For me, having a plan relieves stress. This post presents a loose plan any writer can use. Continue reading

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