Thurs. Dec. 19, 2013: Routines Constantly Changing

Thursday, December 19, 2013
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Cloudy and cold

Busy day yesterday, but got everything on my list done –minutes typed and out, other minutes amended and out, press release and blurb rewritten, pitches done, questions out on room rental, questions out about the grant, filled out the rest of the information for my new health plan.

I’ve been moved to a new insurance plan, which is about 10X better than the one I was on and cheaper. It kicks in on January 1, and that’s a big relief.

I still wasn’t feeling well–upset stomach. Which is better this morning, but now I have the sniffles. The cold in stages, I guess, one symptom a day, which is somewhat easier than being down for the count.

Got through some research, including a poorly written biography (a shame, because the subject was interesting).

Not much of my own writing done, unfortunately — trying to catch up, since the internet was working and I didn’t have to dash from library to library all day.

I got my certification in neuro-ethics, which was exciting!

I’m hoping to work on the two novellas and get some work done on the Sparkle & Tarnish series today, and maybe one of the screenplays. Deadlines are looming, and I keep sorting and resorting things! S&T is what I really want to work on, though. That’s the project pulling at me the most strongly, and, of course, is the most complex.

Back to the page.

Devon

Published in: on December 19, 2013 at 7:51 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Dec. 19, 2013: Routines Constantly Changing  
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Friday, Oct. 18, 2013: Full Moon & Writing

Friday, October 18, 2013
Full Moon
Lunar Eclipse
Cloudy and cool

I need to do some serious raking in the front yard! The leaves!

Yesterday was alternately stressful and good. Got some really good work done on the screenplay, percolated on the novella, booked an editing job and a critique job, one immediate, one for the middle of next month, worked with students.

Absolutely adore my neuro-ethics class, but feel the genome class is going around in circles. I find the lectures repetitive — I look back at my notes, wondering if I’m imagining things, and see I’ve already written that down, so why are we going over the same material again?

I’m invited to a party tomorrow afternoon, which should be fun, and then, I hope to take some time off on Sunday — maybe just write a little. I need the break.

Devon

Published in: on October 18, 2013 at 7:00 am  Comments (1)  
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Mon. Sept. 9, 2013: Writing, Neuro-Ethics, Idea Batches, & Script Coverage

Monday, September 9, 2013
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

Busy weekend. Most of the focus was on the new novel. I’ve now written six chapters, the first 107 pages. I’m happy with the bones of it, although it will need revision. The pace is a little more intense than my usual one, but it fits this particular book’s rhythm. My original concept was category genre, but it’s evolved into contemporary fiction, so I’m rolling with it. I trust my characters, and they are not disappointing me.

Did my course work for the Creativity Course and the Paleontology course. I’m a bit disappointed in both. I don’t feel challenged enough. Maybe I was just spoiled in the archaeology course.

Found my neuro-science research and the notes for the project that didn’t work. That one can’t be saved — too derivative. But I wrote eight pages of an outline for another one that I think will work. Even if the neuro-ethics course keeps getting pushed back, I’m going to tap that professor as a resource.

I also jotted down a batch of notes, because ideas come in batches, and, on days when the well runs dry, I can pull out the notes and get to work. These are loglines for projects I’d love to create, a mix of prose and script projects, and I hope I get the chance to explore at least some of them.

I went over my script coverage package samples again, and I’m happy with them. Now, it’s a case of running off copies of the packet, sitting down with the production book, and deciding where I want to pitch. I like the work, and I want more of it.

Have to do some work in regards to the play today, and also knock out a couple of articles. I was paid for the last batch of articles, so now they get the next batch.

The 9/11 Anniversary is coming up, and I’m trying to prepare myself. I will honor those I lost that day, but I also have to function, unfortunately, because I have to attend a grant writing seminar at the Arts Foundation that night. This is a wound time does not heal.

Relaxed by watching movies in and around the writing all weekend. There was a continuity issue in BOURNE LEGACY that bugged me — at the top of the motorcycle chase, suddenly he’s putting on a pair of sunglasses. Where the heck did he get them? Renner’s a smart enough actor to want logic, and a movie that is so detailed that the wallet he later gives her is in the shot when he picks up the car in Chicago is not going to make that kind of continuity mistake. But it bugged me (hey, I used to work in wardrobe — it’s one of the discussions I would have had with actor and other crew in setting up the shot). I hunted down B roll footage on line and saw that, originally, the sunglasses were in the helmet hanging off the handlebars, so when he hands her the helmet, he takes out the sunglasses, delivers a line (giving her time to get the helmet on), puts on the sunglasses, and off they go. THAT made sense. It was cut in the edit, to keep pace. So, from a production point of view, it calmed me down, but that shot is still going to bug me any time I see it (but you know, sometimes things get sacrificed).

Watched MISSION IMPOSSIBLE: GHOST PROTOCOL. My response was, “meh.” I grew up absolutely crazy about the series (I mean, really, Peter Graves? Be still my heart, especially as a kid not even realizing I was learning about story structure), and just never really connected to the film franchise. What they do, they do well, and there were some character scenes I loved (especially the second-to-last in Seattle that had some great detail work by the actors). Too much character development was sacrificed for action, especially when it came to the villains. The team discussed the whys of the villainy, but I would have rather SEEN it during the scenes where we encountered the villains than HEARD about it in dialogue (I know, don’t faint, I actually want information not given via dialogue). I mean, it was fine, it was fun, but I don’t feel like I missed anything by not seeing it in the theatre.

And, of course, NEWSROOM was on, but because it was part of a two-episode season finale, it felt dragged out to me. I love the show, I’m glad it’s coming back next year, but this episode didn’t pack the emotional punch the last few episodes did.

So, I’m back at the desk this morning, juggling novels, getting other work done, hustling for yet more work. I feel pretty good creatively right now, but there are some other ducks that need to mind the row.

Devon

Published in: on September 9, 2013 at 7:05 am  Comments Off on Mon. Sept. 9, 2013: Writing, Neuro-Ethics, Idea Batches, & Script Coverage  
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Thurs. Sept. 5, 2013: Need Breathing Room

Thursday, September 5, 2013
New Moon
Cloudy and cool

I had a good writing morning yesterday, getting another chapter of the book done, and I’ve gotten about halfway through (1800 or so words) of the third chapter this morning.

Someone else wants to know if I’ll write a script — when there’s money on the table and a contract, I’ll say yes and get to work. Not before.

Worked with students, fixed the non-fiction proposal, sent it to my agent.

Started the coursework for the creativity class, which was disappointing. It feels like it’s geared to eight year olds. Which is fine, but I’m not eight and I’m not trying to “find” my creativity. I want fresh challenges in it. Frustrating.

The Paleontology course, on the other hand, is a hoot. I’m having fun with it.

The course I need, desperately, the Neuro-ethics course, keeps getting bumped back.

I’m stressed out and trying to juggle a lot of things, while also riding a creative wave, and trying to find ways to replace the hole the contract I didn’t get left. I really need some breathing room, a couple of weeks where I don’t have to WORRY about anything and just keep my head down and work. That’s just not going to happen for the next few months.

Buck up, bunny, as my friend used to say, and deal.

Devon

Published in: on September 5, 2013 at 9:29 am  Comments Off on Thurs. Sept. 5, 2013: Need Breathing Room  
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Wed. Sept. 4, 2013: Writing Frenzy and Neuro-Ethics

Wednesday, September 4, 2013
Day Before Dark Moon
Sunny and cooler

Flat out yesterday. 4707 words (18 pages) on one of the two priority projects I’m juggling. Just over 1200 words this morning, and nowhere near stopping, although this morning’s work was more of a struggle. I was fighting a scene in a different POV, because I don’t like switching POVS within a chapter. But I didn’t want this whole chapter in this second POV. But I needed the scene. I tried to do without, and it didn’t work. So I went back and added it in, and now the chapter is smoothing out a bit.

Also invoiced some articles, wrote, polished, invoiced, and sent off two reviews. Pitched a couple of jobs. Responded to some emails. Worked on the book proposal, but couldn’t finish it. I’ll have to finish it and get it out today.

I had to stop work for a few hours yesterday because of severe storms, and I didn’t want to blow out the computer. Thunder, lightening, torrential rain. Refilled the jugs with rainwater for the plants, though, but it was still a lot.

Sat down and watched THE BOURNE LEGACY all the way through last night. Hey, I pay for On Demand, I might as well use it. I liked it a lot better than I expected. Structurally, it’s astonishing. I mean, the action sequences are spectacular, too, but the way it’s written and edited, the structure is one of the strongest I’ve seen in a long time. I’ll have to watch it a few more times and break it down, really get inside the structure, live in its skin, and I’ll learn a lot. Renner and Weisz were excellent, and I love how, with Weisz’s character, every time she’s pushed beyond her limits and one thinks she’ll totally lose it, she steps up and comes through. Some of the supporting cast were a bit cardboard, but I figure those character developments were sacrificed for pace. I would have liked the assassin in that final chase to have been a threat from earlier on, but that’s just me wanting more development in antagonists in work — heck, I teach a class on antagonists. There were a couple of places where I wanted just a single beat of stillness — both these actors can use stillness to positive effect, and, especially in a movie where pace is so important, there were two or three scenes where I just wanted ONE more beat of stillness, especially between them. I felt the full connection was cut short in those particular edits.

What I found interesting in the plot was that it reminds me of research I did on various Super Soldier programs a few years ago – I wonder if the screenwriters and I read some of the same source material. Somewhere, still packed, I have the book on the program that I tracked down, after finding it at the library and knowing I had to have it as part of my research materials for a project. I remember working with Vietnam Vets years ago, and they were already talking about that kind of program. So it’s interesting to see how these theories and possibilities are creatively explored. And the question asked over and over again: Can you keep your moral compass, your integrity as a human being, and still participate in war? If you don’t participate in war, is the only choice being conquered? Do some have to hang up their moral/human integrity in the name of keeping the many safe? Where do you draw the line? I don’t think we have easy answers to that. I don’t think there have ever been easy answers to that, no matter what we want to think and believe on an individual basis. Warfare has always been about cruelty and dehumanization, and advances in technology and genome science have created new questions, not solved old ones.

That’s why I signed up for the Neuroethics class that keeps getting postponed. These are some of the questions we explore in regard to programs like developing Super Soldiers. I want to take that class, because I want to dig deeper.

Then watched LUTHER on BBC America, which is just so character-oriented that it’s always a terrific ride. I think it’s running four consecutive nights, so that will be good.

Lots of work today,and a blazing headache, so I better get to it.

Devon