Risk!

March 31, 2010

Today, I’m thinking about taking risks. Risks with my writing, especially. Here are some of my favorite quotes about taking chances.

Jenna’s Favorite Risk Quotes

“Risk! Risk anything! Care no more for the opinions of others, for those voices. Do the hardest thing on earth for you. Act for yourself. Face the truth.” Katherine Mansfield

“I have accepted fear as a part of life – specifically the fear of change… I have gone ahead despite the pounding in the heart that says: turn back.” Erica Jong

“If you don’t risk anything, you risk even more” Erica Jong

“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Anais Nin

“If you wish success in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your elder brother and hope your guardian genius.” Joseph Addison

“Progress always involves risk; you can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first base – Frederick Wilcox

“A lot of people approach risk as if it’s the enemy when it’s really fortune’s accomplice” – Sting

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Checking In Again

March 28, 2010

Hadn’t realized a week has gone by since my last post. Been very busy with both writing and day-to-day living stuff.

I started drafting my cowboy ménage à trois. I should be finished with it by the end of April if not sooner. It’s proving quite interesting to write as it’s the emotional dynamics of the two men and the woman that I’m finding fascinating.

I’m still prepping for Script Frenzy, which is only four days away! Which means, also, it will be April 1st in just four days. Which means time is flying again! The first quarter of 2010 is nearly over!

I’m going to Wiscon. I’ve signed up for some panels and I’ll be doing my Tarot for Writers workshop. I’m looking forward to that.

I watched Vicky Christina Barcelona the other day.

It was a gorgeous movie with a gorgeous backdrop—Barcelona—and gorgeous actors, such as Penélope Cruz, Javier Bardem and Scarlett Johansson. It was enjoyable, although I have to admit, I was enjoying the breathtaking scenery, the beautiful Spanish architecture and the haunting strains of the Spanish guitar more than the actual plot. It was strangely narrated, too, as if someone was doing a reading of the story at a bookstore or something.

I thought it was going to be a lot sexier than it was. It has a ménage à trois which involves Cruz, Bardem and Johansson, but their threesome is pretty tame, IMHO. It’s a Woody Allen movie so there are plenty of neuroses to go around among all its characters.

I really thought that with such a sensual, sexy cast and being set in Spain—in summer no less—there would have been a lot more heat. You know? 🙂

Anywho, I have to get back to my edits, my drafting, my prepping, my worldbuilding and, of course, my sundry non-writing activities that make up day-to-day life in 21st century America.

Ciao for now!


Just Checking In

March 21, 2010

We actually got close to 3 inches of snow on Saturday. I was not happy to have to brush the heavy, thick stuff from off my car. But, fortunately, it only coated the grass and not the street.

A woman was walking her dog as I was cleaning my car of snow and greeted me with a “Happy First Day of Spring!” But, today, the sun is out, although still a bit chilly, and the snow is all gone and temps will be in the 50’s this week. Not too shabby.

Let’s see. What am I working on? Oh, yeah. I’m doing Script Frenzy, which starts in eleven days on April 1st. I have a bit more prepping to do before then so that’s my #1 priority. It’s a fantasy that’s dealing with both religion and science, one of my fave things to mull over.

I’m also going over a novel I wrote back in 2004 for NaNoWriMo. It’s a wild and wooly space opera which I’m thinking about rewriting. It really needs a LOT of work but there are some seeds inside it that I think just might sprout into something interesting.

I’m also writing a short erotic Western. A cowboy menage a trois (MMF). Why? I have no idea. It’s only going to be about 15,000 words but it’s like a burr under my saddle and I gotta write the darn thing or go crazy.

Oh, and my steampunk. *sigh* I haven’t given up on it but the world-building is proving to be very, very challenging. To me steampunk has to be about the world or it’s not steampunk. So I haven’t given up on it but I need to spend some time working on the world in order to feel comfortable writing it.

So, trying to stay busy in order to stay out of trouble. 🙂


Persistence

March 17, 2010

“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan “press on” has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race” Calvin Coolidge


The Finish Line

March 14, 2010

I’m near to the finish line on my edits. I managed to move my flashback scene to the beginning of the novella, add a new scene to transit that new scene to the rest of the novella and go through and make the necessary changes to the story to reflect the changes. Whew!

What I discovered was, just like what happens when you throw a stone into a pool of water, the further I got in the story from the new scenes, the less changes I had to make. Like ripples dissipating in the water as they they move out from the center of the disturbance.

Well, at least I found it interesting. 🙂

I have to work on it some more today and tomorrow and then I will send it back to my editor. I did, however, take a break in order to watch a rather delightful movie. It was called The More, the Merrier.

Made in 1943 it starred Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea and Charles Coburn. It’s a romantic comedy that deals with the housing shortage during World War II. Particularly in Washington DC. Jean Arthur is a young career girl who winds up sharing her apartment with two men. A retired millionaire played by Coburn and an army sergeant played by McCrea, who has no place to stay while he waits to be shipped overseas.

It has all the stock elements of a romantic comedy (the cute meet, the misunderstandings, the wrong guy, the busybody “Cupid”, etc) and one of the sexiest seduction scenes I’ve ever seen. Which took place on the front steps of the apartment building and involved nothing more than a nervous Jean Arthur running her mouth, trying to resist her attraction to McCrea, who does nothing more than kiss her hands and her neck while she babbles.

It also had one of the cutest cars I’ve ever seen. That’s Jean Arthur being car-pooled to her job. I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. While watching it I imagined it being redone and found out that it had been remade. In 1966.

Walk, Don’t, Run takes place in Tokyo during the Olympic Games being held there. Apparently there was a housing shortage during the Games, which I can well imagine.
The movie starred Cary Grant, Samantha Eggar and Jim Hutton (the father of actor Timothy Hutton).

The premise of Walk, Don’t Run is the same. Two men and a women share an apartment in Tokyo instead of Washington, D.C.

What is interesting about this is that I’m currently reading Writing Movies and I’m in the chapter that talks about “originality”. The idea being that it’s pretty darn hard to be “original” when just about every story that’s ever been told has been told over and over and over. “Originality”, therefore, must come not from what story is told but how the story is told.

And I’m not necessarily thinking of remakes as in the case of these two movies. Although I could imagine someone somewhere thinking it may be time to do a 21st century remake of The More, the Merrier. Get a well-known older actor with a flair for comedy to pay the busybody “cupid”, and two young up and coming actors with a flare for romantic sizzle and comedy to play the young couple.

And, please, if someone is going to write this, I personally don’t want to see some man-child actor playing the romantic male lead. And no fart jokes or drunk jokes or bodily fluid jokes, thank you very much!

Sorry about that. Didn’t mean to go out on a rant. 🙂

Hmmm, perhaps I’d better get back to my edits.

Ciao for now!


Script Frenzy

March 11, 2010


Chris Batty over at NaNoWrimo sent out an email announcing the April 1st start of Script Frenzy.

I’d heard about Script Frenzy but I’d usually hear about it after it was all over and the dust had settled. So it was nice to get a heads up this time around.

Am I doing it? I’m thinking about it. But not necessarily because someday I want to walk up on the stage at the Oscars and pick up my gold statuette for winning Best Screenplay.

Although, that would be nice. Oh yeah, very nice! 😉

I have gone on ahead and signed up at the Script Frenzy website, but I’m still debating as whether or not to participate this year.

I do remember reading an article sometime back that suggested writing a novel first as a screenplay. The reason that appeals to me is because I tend to write my first drafts like screenplays anyway. My drafts tend to be very skimpy on interior monologue, description and all those elements that distinguish novels from screenplays.

And I have read a number of books on screenplay writing as a way of learning about dramatic structure so I do have the knowledge of screenplay writing if nothing else. Just actually haven’t written one yet.

And, on top of that, it might be fun to boot! 🙂

I do have an idea for a novel that I think would make an interesting screenplay. But once I was done with it, I’d more than likely turn it into a novel as originally planned.

Oh, and it doesn’t have to be a screenplay. It can be a stage play, a short film, a graphic novel, a teleplay. You just have to write 100 pages in 30 days. Which comes out to 3.3 pages a day!

So, if you’re interested run, don’t walk (as time is flying before the start) and sign up. Oh, and if you already have an account at NaNoWriMo you don’t have to register for Script Frenzy. Just sign in under your NaNoWriMo account info.

See you at the movies! And who knows? Maybe someone out there might just write a script this April that will give them a chance to not only thank the Academy and a horde of other people before getting cut off by the orchestra (or some woman who jumps in and steals your Oscar thunder!) but also get a chance to flirt with Gerard Butler on the Red Carpet. Yum!

You go Gabourey Sidibe! If I had seen Gerard Butler in the flesh and in a tuxedo I probably wouldn’t have said out loud what Gabourey said but, good golly Miss Molly, I sure would have been thinking it! 😀


Restructuring

March 7, 2010

I’m still deep into edits. I have one more week before I need to return the manuscript to my editor. I’m doing some rather major restructuring as she asked me to add another scene regarding an important plot point.

It’s proving to be quite challenging and instructive at the same time. I tend to think of any piece of writing I create as being organic. Meaning that everything, whether it’s plot, characters, dialogue, scenes, structure, description, theme, word choice, sentence structure, even the sex scenes I write for erotica, should flow together as seamlessly as possible and reflect the other elements of the story.

At least, that’s the ideal I’m aiming for. Not saying I achieve that smooth organic flow of all those fictional elements but I try. 🙂

But if I have to, for some reason, put in something new, as in this case a new scene and a major plot point, it’s going to affect the rest of the story. Some elements are affected more than others but it’s definitely requiring a few significant changes regarding the characters—if not so much the overall plot—and some minor tweaking here and there.

So I’m learning more about craft while doing it and in my book that’s always a good thing!

And with that, I shall get back to it. 🙂

Ciao for now!