What the future holds

As each day passes

and your future draws near,

the answers to all your questions

may still be unclear

The solutions you seek

aren’t really hard to find,

just look within yourself

and your problems will be left behind

The same goes in life

as you grow old each day,

the more wiser you become

in each and every way

You learn to be patient,

you learn to be kind,

you become more trusting 

by using your heart with your mind

When the years go by

and you gracefully grow old,

use your acquired wisdom

and you’ll have a heart of gold.

In the darkness of the night

As a writer I often find that I’m my most productive at night.  Call me a night owl but for some strange reason that’s when I do my best thinking…my best work.  Just me and the computer…together as one.  This is how I feel:

“In the darkness of the night…

where the sounds of modern things are at ease,

where bodies are lifeless and in slumber

It is here where time momentarily stops

Problems dissipate,

feelings for loved ones are not thought of

It is here…

In the darkness of the night

where I find my peace,

the freedom to create,

a time of endless possibilities

where no on can see the true me

except for myself

Only here…

In the darkness of the night

where solitude is valued more than wealth,

the chance to stand

on one’s own two feet,

this brief precious moment

Helps to give me strength and insight

It can only be here…

In the darkness of the night.”

The Name’s The Game

 

There are a ton of challenges that come with being a screenwriter; the list is long and varied from person to person.

 I’ll wager that for all of us the common denominator is just writing a screenplay; it can be painstakingly difficult and time consuming.  Another most common, albeit monumental feat, is coming up with a high concept, fresh and original story idea.   

 Granted I encounter these every time sit at my computer ready to weave a tale, but for some reason my one arduous and stressful task is creating the names for the characters in my story.  Can you believe that?!  Coming up with a name is what I most dread about the screenwriting process.  Go figure.

I can sit for hours in front of my computer switching out names for the characters in my story as I write.  Having a cool name that embodies the character and all his/her flaws and strengths is a problem that I come up against all the time.  You’d think it would be easy…WRONG!  IT’S FREAKING HARD!!!

For me, it’s like doing higher levels of mathematics like combinatorics, hyperbolic geometry or algebraic topology…sheesh just saying that sends a cringe down my spine.

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Why can’t I come up with names for the people in my story?!  It’s sad that I have this same problem over and over and over again.  You’d think that I’d be good at crafting names by now but alas it’s a work in progress.  And don’t get me started on screenplay “titles”…that’s a-whole-nother can of stress induced worms.  

 There were maybe one or two times, in all my years writing, that I can actually say that I came up with a perfect name for a couple of the characters in my screenplay.  I was truly tempted to try and use them again in other stories but decided against it. 

 I’m just going to accept the fact that it’s another process that I must endure in my never ending journey of becoming an established screenwriter.  Hmmm…maybe in the meantime, I’ll ponder the thought of becoming an expert in creating “great” screenplay names/titles and offer up my services for those in the same predicament as I.  Now the only problem is, “What name should I call my service?” 

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Fade Out…

That’s the two words most screenwriters love to see and say out loud. Why you may ask? Basically it means that all your hard work toiling in front of the computer and pounding away on that keyboard has finally come to an end. The story that had been pining away inside of you finally came out…every character, every dialogue, every scene, every nuance that was worked out in your mind’s eye is now all within your computer.

You lean back in your chair, prop your feet on the desk, stretch your arms and take pride in your creation. Your “baby” has finally come to life. You think it’s a work of art, a complete perfection, the “best damn story” that was written in all of history.

Your mind drifts off to what might be as a result of completing this “amazing script.” Delusions of grandeur pop into your head, and rightfully so. It’s good to think that. It gives us a sense of self-confidence…realists see this as false hope. But who cares! You created something from nothing and that’s no easy task.

Once everything settles, reality sets in and you soon realize that this is just the beginning. The real work comes into play. You’re going to have to do a ton of rewrites…WHAT?! But you thought it was perfect, how can you improve on a masterpiece?! This is your “baby” we’re talking about.

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Sad to say what you thought was impeccable, now has a bunch of flaws. Parts of the story doesn’t flow well, terrible dialogue, nondescript scenes and useless characters are the defects that stings the very fiber of your core. What you once thought was great, has now been reduced to ashes; remnants a novice’s attempt lay at your feet.

You start to question your credentials as a writer and think how can this possibly be fixed. Doubt creeps in; stress and anxiety soon take over and all your creative juices are all out of whack. You’ve just made the possible something completely insurmountable.

Don’t really know if other writers go through this, but I’ve experienced this numerous times. At the moment I’m about to throw in the towel, an epiphany of why I write hits me like a lightning bolt. I take a deep breath (actually several), grit my teeth and press on.

My love of writing will outweigh any type of insecurities that I have. I look at it as if I’m polishing a diamond in the rough; my story has the potential, I just need to add a few key elements to bring out and display that passion that I had while writing it.

After completing my first rewrite, I’ll take a break and then come back to it to do a second and a third rewrite. For me, anything after three is overkill. Once my script’s done, I lean back in my chair, prop my feet on the desk, let loose a gratifying smile and bask in the satisfaction that I was able to endure the true writer’s journey…FADE OUT.

Dream a little dream…


There is a point in all of our lives where we aspire to be great, to do something big or to be famous beyond all belief. Call it delusions of grandeur, wishful thinking or lofty goals…but we all go through it.

I dreamed a lot…ages ago, when I was able to run like the wind, shake off the flu with ease and be pain free.  I had all these dreams…being a rock star, the hero that saved Earth from invading aliens, a star athlete, you know the usual stuff.  But there was one particular dream that I am most grateful for and that was to be a writer of cards.

You know what I’m talking about…birthday cards, wedding cards, anniversary cards, any type that you’d find in a Hallmark store.  That was my foray into writing.

You see, at that time I was extremely “girl crazy”…you would be too if you came from a Catholic all boys school like I did.  When I got into college and started to mingle with the hordes of beautiful women on the college campus, I decided that whenever one of my lady friends had a birthday I would give them the gift of poetry.

My type of poetry didn’t contain eloquent verses; it wasn’t even close to anything magnanimous, it was more of the rhyming sort.  The kind that you would find when you opened up a “Hallmark” card.  I would pine away at the right words to use to convey how I felt and would take pen to paper soon after.  Here’s an example:

“Some write songs of love old and new,

others write books of love so grand and true

But songs and books cannot describe,

the real true meaning of love…

A love that comes from inside

From within the heart a certain feeling grows

it cannot be hid for through your action it shows

It’s seen in the eyes of both the young and old

It’s shown through their smile that’s pure and gold

If everyone had one wish they’d probably say,

Love stay with me forever, never go away.”

Yeah it’s cheesy but it helped me on my path to becoming a writer…which was something that I subconsciously dreamt about when I was writing all those weird short stories in my high school English classes.  It was a start and like all dreams, you have to start somewhere.  Even if it seems illogical at the time, you have to try.

My whole point that I’m trying to get at is that you truly can’t be afraid to dream.  Failure is not an option but merely an obstacle that you’ll overcome.  Even if it seems impossible, unattainable or just plain crazy.  If that’s what you want then strive to get there at all costs.

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I’m a screenwriter and that’s probably one of the most unattainable dream that one could aspire to be…but I stuck with it.  It took me almost seventeen plus years to get representation but I achieved it…and I’ll go another seventeen years more to try and sell one of my scripts.  Persistence and patience are the key ingredients to achieving one’s dream…add a dash of luck to the mix as well.

So dream away and dare to be great.

So many stories, so little time to write.

As a writer, the one key dilemma that I often encounter is having too many stories in my head and too little time to get them all out onto my computer.  Granted not all of them are good but nonetheless it’s a story.  Sometimes when I’m finished writing one story and about to start the next intended one, a new idea pops into my head and I have the urge to work on that on.  It’s times like these that I wish I was the mutant Jamie Madrox aka “Multple Man” from the X-Men comics or better yet Uzumaki Naruto and then I could perform Kage bunshin no jutsu. I could produce thousands of clones of myself and work on them till it’s finished…no wait maybe not thousands cause otherwise I’d run out of stories.  Anyhow the key problem is just having too many ideas in my head and not enough time to write it out and give it the proper care it needs to become a good story. There are times that I end up putting ideas on the back burner to work on the ones that I truly feel passionate about.  It’s so hard to do because each idea or story is precious to me and I feel that sometimes if I abandon it, I may never get another chance at coming up with a new one.  Guess that’s the fear that all writers have…not being able to come up with something new.  That’s the price we all pay and that’s why I guess my dilemma will never be resolved…sigh.  Just have to live with the fact that I have a ton of stories in my head and so little time to write them all down.

Keeping the creative juices flowing.

Coming up with fresh and original ideas is probably one of the toughest aspect to being a writer.  Just when you think you got something unique, you find out that someone else wrote about a story that is similar in tone to what you created.  It can be frustrating to say the least.  Hollywood wants writers to have something completely original but yet they are doing “reboots” like there’s no tomorrow. Coming up with an idea that no one has ever thought of is a feat in itself.  I don’t know how other writers deal with this.  It’s hard to keep one’s creative juices flowing knowing that your idea probably was already written four or five times prior.  Needless to say, we trudge through and put pen to paper and write.  We become the eternal optimist and have faith that the story we created is both fresh and new.  It’s the only way we can keep our juices flowing.  We just have to put on our blinders and write as if we’re the only writer left on this planet Earth.  I don’t know how my other colleagues handle this, but this is how I keep my creative juices flowing.  My voice is unique and that is fine by me.