This Maybe Isn’t the Most Efficient Way to Write a Synopsis

May 11, 2015 § Leave a comment

or, I’m in Synopsis-Writing Hell. Liquor isn’t helping.

Write
May 11, 2015

Not to say that I didn’t try, though.

Vegan Bailey's from Mind Body Green recipe

Vegan Bailey’s from Mind Body Green recipe

I finished my latest round of manuscript cuts a few days ahead of schedule. The next step was to rewrite my synopsis. This is how I made the best use of my time advantage:

1. Took a few days off from even looking at the damn thing. Fiddled with the NaNoWriMo draft instead. Went to see Avengers: Age of Ultron. Told myself I’ll start the synopsis on Sunday.

2. On Sunday morning thought to myself, “Gah. It’s Sunday already? I so do not want to work on the synopsis. Besides, Not That Kind of Girl is due at the library tomorrow. Spend the day reading that instead. I’ll start the synopsis on Monday.”

3. Monday I remembered I am also supposed to be planning my new website. Why start off a Monday doing something hard like a synopsis? I spent the morning looking at authors’ websites for ideas instead.

4. Tuesday I exported my manuscript outline from Scrivener to a .csv file and then to Excel so I can use it to rework the synopsis. Great start. Then I left early to take the car in for the oil change in case the carpool to the Claudia Rankine event in Santa Fe fell through. (It didn’t.)

5. Just wasn’t feeling the synopsis writing on Wednesday. I spent my morning hour looking at other author sites again.

6. I slept in on Thursday on account of getting to bed so late the night before after going to the Claudia Rankine event. No time to work on the synopsis even if I wanted to. I didn’t.

7. Friday. It hit me that a whole week had gone by. Panic fluttered in my stomach. I wrote down in my planner “I don’t even want to look at my f***ing synopsis.”

But I did it anyway. It was not quite as horrific as I thought it was going to be. It needs all kinds of work, though.

All kinds of work.

I’d rather watch the birds.

Weekend Reading: Not That Kind of Girl

May 4, 2015 § 1 Comment

Read
May 4, 1015

I put a library hold on Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham because the book is on all kinds of “must read” lists and also because my actress/filmmaker friend Dia told me all about Dunham just before she became so well-known for her HBO series Girls. When a copy finally became available three months after I put it on hold, though, I sat down in the library to read the first few pages before I committed to checking it out. After all, I’m trying to get a submission ready. I have a crap ton of books on my to-read shelf. If I actually checked out this particular book, I would have to finish it in the next two weeks because forget trying to renew it. (There are currently 16 holds on 14 copies.)

Not That Kind of Girl book cover

I was sold at “But I want to tell my stories, and, more than that, I have to in order to stay sane.”

What made me get up out of the library chair and immediately go check the book out, though, was Dunham’s hope that her stories will, among other things, stop the reader from “thinking that it was your fault when the person you are dating suddenly backs away, intimidated by the clarity of your personal mission here on earth.”

Because I remembered all the dates that stopped happening and the relationships that ended shortly after the guy realized just how serious I am about this writing thing. And now I realized that it was okay.

It really is okay.

I’m Not Buying the “Ridiculous Six” Satire Argument for One Minute

April 26, 2015 § 2 Comments

or,
Maybe Get the Ethnic Group Right Before You Claim You Are Satirizing Ethnic Stereotypes

Bliss
April 27, 2015

First of all, the jokes were just gross and racist as hell. Kudos to the Native American actors who walked off the Ridiculous 6 set. I’m totally with them on that one.

And, okay, I’m a little “how dare you?” that The Ridiculous 6 is supposed to be a satire of the classic Western The Magnificent Seven. One of my favorite Westerns ever. One that I watched because my mother watched it because my dad watched it when he and my mother were together. The movie that has in its lineup, among others, Yul Brynner, Eli Wallach, and—to reference Sex and the City—the old movie star I’d have liked to fuck when he was young, Steve McQueen. The movie containing lines that I still quote at my mom and then crack up, such as “Please don’t understand me so fast” and “It seemed like a good idea at the time.”

Steve McQueen as Vin in "The Magnificent Seven"

Steve McQueen as Vin in “The Magnificent Seven”

No spoofing of this film allowed!

Seriously, though, the other thing that is not working for me is the claim that The Ridiculous 6 is supposedly “satirizing” The Magnificent Seven and the “stereotypes” Western films popularized. If you’re claiming to be doing a satire on ethnic stereotypes, though, maybe you should actually pay attention to what ethnic group is portrayed in the movie you are supposedly spoofing. Enough attention to know that The Magnificent Seven isn’t about Native Americans. It’s about hired guns protecting a farming village in Mexico.

Mexicans, not Native Americans.

Wrong ethnic group, dudes.

Cat in the Corner

April 7, 2015 § 2 Comments

Write
April 6, 2015

I shooed him off my writing chair.

ReadWriteBliss_CatInCorner1

I waved him away from my keyboard.

ReadWriteBliss_CatInCorner2

Now he’s found a new place to hang out.

ReadWriteBliss_CatInCorner3

In the corner of my bookcase, behind the printer, on top of the wireless router.

ReadWriteBliss_CatInCorner4

I know. So pitiful.

At least I can get some writing done.

Weekend Reading: How to Be a Woman

March 30, 2015 § Leave a comment

Read
March 30, 2015

I checked out How to Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran because it, along with My Horizontal Life, was on Buzzfeed’s 32 Books Guaranteed to Make You Laugh Out Loud.

How To Be A Woman

I was definitely trying to contain my giggling and snorting while reading this book at the pedicure salon. Moran’s essays on such subjects as the trap women have fallen into of spending time and money on waxing and wearing inadequate underwear are painfully hilarious:

“A man may think, I have a party next week. I’d better roughly scrub my face before I tootle on out the door.

A woman, on the other hand, will call up the calendar in her head—like the midair screens in Minority Report—and start a cycle of furious planning, based around hair management.”

Um, guilty. Only I get out my scary day planner.

“A case in point: a few months ago, I was on a crowded tube with a friend of mine, who gradually grew paler and quieter until she finally leaned forward and admitted that her knickers were so skimpy, her front bottom had eaten them entirely.  . . . Clearly, this is not right. Jesus Christ. Underpants like this need to be bombed back to the Stone Age. Batman doesn’t have to put up with this shit—why should we?”

Thank you. If a pair of panties doesn’t provide ass coverage, I ain’t buying it.

And here is my favorite bit on the ludicrousness of proclaiming to not be a feminist:

“What do you think feminism IS, ladies? What part of ‘liberation for women’ is not for you? Is it the freedom to vote? The right not to be owned by the man you marry? The campaign for equal pay? ‘Vogue’ by Madonna? Jeans? Did all that good shit GET ON YOUR NERVES?”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

 

 

Movie Night: “Rear Window”

March 26, 2015 § Leave a comment

Bliss
March 26, 2015

My love of Rear Window began with my mom telling me about it as one of the movies she loved in her day. By the time I finally got to see it on television, it felt like I was watching it for the second time instead of the first. I never tired of re-watching it every time it aired, even on a small TV screen with numerous commercial interruptions. Thanks to the March 25 TCM Presents Rear Window event, I got to see it on the big screen, and it was magic.

No "Rear Window' movie poster, so had to make do with the "TCM Presents" marquee.

No “Rear Window’ movie poster, so had to make do with the “TCM Presents” marquee.

Foreshadowing is one of my favorite storytelling devices. In Rear Window this moment is couched in humor. When the insurance company nurse, Stella (Thelma Ritter), walks into Jeff’s (Jimmy Stewart) apartment, she says “I smell trouble.” She then proceeds to tell him how she also predicted the stock market crash because the director of General Motors had a kidney ailment. It just makes the omen of things to come that much more fun.

The Unlikely Alliance of a wheelchair bound photographer, a high society fashion model, and a down-to-earth, middle aged nurse is one of the things that makes this movie so freaking cool. That and the fact that the older nurse is happily married, and dispenses refreshing and amusing wisdom to Jeff on romance and relationships.

Which leads nicely into the Humor and Wit. Some of my favorite bits:

“I’d say she’s doing a woman’s hardest job: juggling wolves.”

“Did they have signs on their luggage saying ‘Grand Central or Bust’?”

“I can hear you now. ‘Get away from me, you perfectly wonderful woman. You’re too good for me.'”

“You know if someone came in here, they wouldn’t believe what they’d see? You and me with long faces plunged into despair because we find out a man didn’t kill his wife.”

Grace Kelly’s Ensembles – Okay, I have to mention these visually stunning outfits that the even more stunning Grace Kelly wears throughout this movie. I personally want the light green suit ensemble pictured below and the snazzy casual loafers she wears while she’s lounging and reading a Harper’s Bazaar. I love the fact that one of her dresses was so classy and feminine while giving her the freedom of movement to do the legwork that the injured Jeff wasn’t able to.

rear-window_JimmyandGrace

Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly in “Rear Window”

The slow, real-world like Buildup of Suspense keeps you captivated and then it catches you by surprise. It progresses from Jeff being bored and watching the neighbors for fun to hearing something in the night and not knowing what it is to convincing his skeptical girlfriend and nurse that something is wrong at the apartment across the way. Then suddenly my friend Martha on my one side is saying “Hurry. Run! Run!” to the screen and Dia on my other side is clutching my leg and even though I’ve seen this all a dozen times I am squirming in my seat.

I have a top five list of favorite movies, but after seeing Rear Window AGAIN, and on the big screen at that, I’m going to have to add it to the list and make it my top six.

New Range

March 23, 2015 § Leave a comment

Bliss
March 23, 2015

This week, I got my new stove!

And with this, I am slowly but surely eliminating the items in my home being held together by duct tape.

Stove

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