Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Writing a screenplay is a lot more involved than I thought. I am starting from before scratch. All of the reading I have done so far has basically enlightened me to the fact that I know very, very little about writing a screenplay.

So my work is cut out for me. And then some. And here is where I usually get fluttery and decide that maybe I don't have what it takes after all, that I should just leave screenwriting up to the professionals and who do I think I am. There is so much to be done around here, never mind my high falutin' dreams of seeing a movie I wrote up on the big screen. How about those high falutin piles of laundry. Here is where I usually come back down to earth and settle for what I got. Which is alot, of course. I am grateful and lucky and blessed and all that jazz. The part I hate about realizing your dreams is the work. The hard hard work it takes to be anything above 'what you got'.

I remember being fifteen and in drum corps and I was in the colour guard which meant I spun and tossed the flags and rifles around to the music. I know, if you have never seen it it sounds like the weirdest thing. But it was kinda great.

Anyways, a few girls in the guard could do 'spinners'. This was when you crossed one foot over the other, tossed this wooden rifle in the air, and while it was in the air you pivoted around 360 degrees and then the rifle comes down and you catch it. It is super hard, to get the timing right and the rifle to spin the right amount of times so it lands in your hands the right way. Plus you are whipping your body around so you get kind of disorientated. My friend Michelle Boyd broke two of her front teeth trying to do this, because she spun around with her head up and the rifle came down too quickly and she kind of caught it with her mouth. Yee-owtch is right.

So. I was determined to do a spinner. I had gone off by myself and tried it many times during rehearsals, but never quite got it right. And it could have ended there. And many other times in my life with other hard things it always ended there. But I was fifteen and loved spinning that rifle and I was full of life and I believed in God and grown-ups and most of all, myself. So one Sunday I went to a corner of the gym that we practiced at and started trying to do a spinner. I spazzed out like nine hundred times. I hit myself on the head with the rifle. I spun around too fast and fell over. I spun around too slow and the rifle bounced off the ground and got me in the shin. I was sweating and my heart was pounding and I just kept getting back into place, crossing my foot over the other foot, and throwing up that rifle. I was almost in tears.

And then, for the nine hundred and twentieth time, I braced myself, crossed my feet, tossed the rifle, spun around, and BAM.

The rifle landed in my hands. Perfectly. Like it was metal and my hands were magnetic.

I stood there, breathing in and out, sweating, pulsating, standing straight and tall and fifteen and utterly amazed.

I looked around. Other people were practicing on their own. Noone had seen my spinner. But it didn't matter. I had done it. I had pushed myself past myself and done it. What a feeling. I felt like Robert the Bruce from my seventh grade language arts book, when he watched that spider try over and over again and then it finally made it.

Now, I am not fifteen anymore. So much life happens from fifteen on to knock the fierceness and bravado out of a person. But. I am still the same being I was back then. Sure I get discouraged and funky and tired and whats the point-ish. Sure I have a busy life without having to add some looly idea like writing a screenplay to it. But the thing is, without the dreams, we can get robotic. And miserable. And stagnant. So in a lot of ways, I gotta write this thing. Someone else might have to do something else, like learn to paint or volunteer at an old folks home or learn how to forgive somebody. The optional things we choose to work for can define us and give back to us the people we were when we were young.

Ach, now I am going off on a pseudo-philosophical tangent. And all for the want of a horse shoe nail.

Any HOO. I am going to try and not flit away from this dream. Only time will tell. 99 percent of me knows that a year from now it will probably not be done. But that one percent. Could move mountains.



At 4:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I liked this. It is good to read things like this and that rifle story, wow.


At 8:20 PM, Blogger Christy said...

No matter what happens with the screenplay, it's a dream & part of your heart. You will never look back & regret spending time on a dream, only regret not persuing it.

I'm going through something similar right now...I have had this 1/2 marathon goal for a long time & am finding out these days how hard this training is in the final weeks. When I envisioned this goal I thought I'd feel empowered all the time. But instead I'm cramming it in with kids who don't sleep and a crazy stage of life.

But if I were to throw in the towel I would miss out on some valuable lessons about myself that I know I need.

Kudos to you for taking on the journey even though it's hard. And may you reach the place where you see all the amazing potential in you.

At 11:27 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

One step at a time girl - that's how mountains are climbed!

At 11:29 PM, Blogger Dang Cold.. said...

If you want it badly enough it will happen I say. Others have done it so there's no reason that you can't. Quentin Terantino didn't goto film school or writing school. He worked in a video rental store behind the counter and got his ideas from all the different movies he would watch while he worked all day.

Knock 'em dead !!



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