Prickly Pear

I took my mother to Shoney’s the other day. Outside the Shoney’s nearby is a large clump of cactus.  I went to the car alone after we ate.  Suddenly I realized those cactus were prickly pears. I had seen them for years and had no more thought for them than, “Don’t touch!”

When my mother came out, I told her they were prickly pears. She gave me one of those mother-of-demented-child looks. After all, we live in Virginia where we do not see many cactus to compare.

Yes, I had been doing research about the desert. Now I recognize the cactus outside Shoney’s. teehee

Overheard at the Nurse’s Station

Nurse 1: “Oh no, I ain’t going in there to check that alien’s bandages.”
Nurse 2: “Well, I’m not going. They don’t pay me enough.”
Nurse 1: “You think they pay me enough? I heard the red head one chops out people’s livers.”
Nurse 2: “Yeah, well, the brunette slammed Wimble so hard against the wall she got knocked out.”
Nurse 1:  “At least she got to keep her liver.”
Nurse 2: “Yeah.”
*pregnant silence*
Nurse 1: “So, wanna draw straws?”
Nurse 2:  “I want a transfer to obesetrics.”
Nurse 1: “Haha!”

Obsessed

I am obsessed. Camp Nanowrimo June 2012. Yes, I’m doing it.

My November Nano novel is in beta right now, so no more work on that for the moment. (By the way, if you want to beta, too, I’m happy to trade with you. The more eyeballs the merrier.) My Script Frenzy script is fermenting on disc, waiting for me to be up to novelizing it. I just finished a 363K monster of a story that will end up being two once I’ve whipped it into shape.

I have work to do. I have a major volunteer event to organize for the middle of June. I thought: I’m too busy for June, though. Maybe August.

A week or so ago I sat down and did a vague outline for the next story stuck in my head. No amount of shaking or hanging upside will make it go away. I kept telling myself that I would have it ready for August. I kept telling myself it was better to wait until I have more time. August, yes, August.

Wrong answer.  I have to write this. I have to write it now.

I’ve gathered up my sleeping bag and my tin cup and my mess kit. Off to Camp Nano for a month.

The funny part is that I hate camping. Writing, though, that I love.

30 April

There’s a lot of excitement going on over at Script Frenzy with less than two hours until May 1 here on the east coast. The emails pulled me over to look. I see the whooping it up and the gnashing of teeth, the sighs and the sobs. I feel very distant from it all.  Yes, I’m a winner, but I don’t feel the joy.

Then I realized: I have been finished with my script for twenty days now. Not one or two. Twenty.

In those twenty days the excitement wore off. I finished the second draft of my Nano ’11 novel. I started fleshing out the outline for my Camp Nano project. I wrote more on an ongoing piece that makes little sense at times but I have a wonderful time writing. I started a major charity project. I worked. I played with my cats. The frenzy part of Script Frenzy vanished into the distance behind all these things.That’s okay.

Unless God reaches down to throw my script at a filmmaker, it will never see the big screen. That’s okay, too.

I enjoyed the process. I’m not sure I will do it again. I learned a lot along the way. I learned along the way that I do not have the interest in film to write scripts. That may change. Whether it does or not, whether or not I ever do it again, I’m glad I did Script Frenzy this year. I’m glad I won.

Kudos to all the other frenzied writers.

Screnzy was fun

Script Frenzy was fun. I learned some things. I always enjoy that.

I learned Greek. I mean, how to format a script. Same thing to me.

I also learned how to read Greek…scripts. I have never enjoyed reading scripts of any kind. When I read for pleasure, it all unfolds in my mind as though I were watching a movie. Scripts were always choppy looking and interrupted the movie in my head. Ironic, yes. Now that I understand better how they are put together, I learned that script writing is a lot like the Twitter role play I used to do: spare description, lots of action, and lots of dialogue. Once I realized that, it flowed much easier for me.

I learned that as with novel writing “THAT’S WHAT EDITING IS FOR” is invaluable. I’ve been on the Script Frenzy forums looking around and seen so many people with sparse page counts obsessing over how exactly to do sluglines or a type of action or introduce a speaking character. As with novel writing, if you are busy obsessing, you are not busy writing. Throw it down any old way. You can fix it later. That’s what editing is for.

Also, I learned that as with other writers, script writers who are writing on forums are busy not writing their scripts. Dude. If the real goal is to write a 100 page script in 30 days, go write it. Then come back and chat. If you are not doing that, it might be helpful to figure out what your real goal is.

Finished and Floored

At page 80 of my screenplay, I thought I might not have enough end of the story to make it to 100 pages for Script Frenzy purposes. I started to worry about it.

I told myself to shut it and just write the rest of the story. I reminded myself that I could easily go back later back and add a scene or two somewhere. I was confident I could even make sense of it. So I shrugged off the worry and continued writing.

I kept going, telling the rest of the story. I knew where it was headed. I knew exactly what the end was and how to get there. When the story was done, I wrote in my first ever FADE TO BLACK.

I was excited. I got through telling a story as a screenplay! I survived it!

I was nervous that I would have to go back and add things to hit my page count.

I told trusty CeltX to run my screenplay in PDF format so I could get a page count. When it coughed it up, I almost broke my jaw from it hitting the floor. My page count was 100 exactly. Four or five more lines and it would have been 101. I had read that a 100 page screen play would be approximately 20K words. My hundred pages was 19,192 words.

Whoa.

I did it. I told a story, in a format that was Mandarin to me when I started, using a thought process that was Samoan to me at the beginning, to hit a goal that looked doable but challenging.

Go me!

Things

Skypechat:
Dasher: ‘”Colorful vegetables” as a prop. I like it.
TLP: To be truthful it would work very well
Dasher: Oh, it will. It just sounds amusing to me. Large kitchen knife is another prop. Guess what the large kitchen knife is doing? LOLOL
TLP: Well, with her….it ain’t cutting veggies.

#ScriptFrenzy Day 1: 19 pages.

I had thought it would drag. At midnight last night when I put the first words to this movie story, I still did not understand the script format. I was clueless as a chocolate cupcake about CeltX. I had memorized enough unintelligible bits of both and sacrificed a virgin Slurpee to the God of Scripts Written by the Clueless. I had hoped it was enough. I was so far out of my comfort zone I had forgotten its name and address. I was determined to blunder on nonetheless.

Halfway through the first page it hit me. Light bulb moment!

This is text-based role play as done in chat. One person says this, another says that. You toss in bits of movement and place so the voices aren’t hovering in space, unless they are doing so, in which case that is probably of note in itself. I know I can do this.

WANNABE SCRIPT WRITER’s shoulders relax.


                    WANNABE SCRIPT WRITER
         I can do this. I know I can. How did CELTX
         suddenly become so intuitive and easy to work
         with? Is it?


Wannebe Script Writer shakes head.

                    WANNABE SCRIPT WRITER
         Is it? Could it be? It must be Script Frenzy
         magic. That must be it! I will have to go 
         sacrifice a golden ticket to the Script Frenzy
         gods. Right after I finish this scene.


I’m not saying I will do it perfect, or even well. I can, though, do it without giving myself an ulcer and while having a great deal of fun.


Self, Screnzy on!

What do I know?

32 minutes and once again counting.

Script Frenzy here I come. I hope you’re ready. I am not.

The oh-so-intuitive script writing software is as intuitive to me as cuneiform with half the letters erased just to be tricksy. The screenplay format is written in an alphabet I know, but that is as close as that gets to intelligible to me. I am pretty sure I do not understand chopping scenes up for the screen; my brain feels like chopped parsley just thinking about it.

Praise Deht there are a few things I do know to offset those things. I know how to create a story. I know I can learn software and formats. I know it will be fun. I know I can do it.

In the end, that is all I really need to know.