March 31, 2010

Through the Blizzard... Script Frenzy

In a few hours it will be midnight. I'm not sure if it's like this for everyone but to me that means it'll be April first (April fools if you prefer). One thing is for sure, this grand adventure I'm about to embark on is not a joke. 100 pages of screenplay in ONLY 30 days. Ask me how I feel about this? I'm really excited.

For the past month I haven't been going to school and I don't have a job so I've been watching movies, reading screenplays, taking a bunch of notes, and plotting for my awesome screenplay. Now that April is upon us I will have to write a minimum of 3.3 pages a day (though I'm planning to write 4, or more if inspiration sparks).

What I'm looking forward to is to being called up for a job interview, getting a job, getting a bunch of obstacles in my way, and still getting through this screenplay. It would make my heart sing if life became unpredictable, if I was thrown left and right and through it I managed to find my own way, accept it, and come out of this experience just that more grown up. God knows I've got so much to learn on every side of this circular geometric life (that includes: scriptwriting, time management, and who I am).

My screenplay is an adaptation of the children's novel "Perloo the Bold" by Avi. I chose this novel because I am a little Perloo myself. I think I have everything I need, I think I'm fine doing everything on my own, I think dreaming my life away is a great escape, and yet I fear the future, I fear to live life, I fear the challenge of being myself.

I foresee this movie would be a family animation: Funny and cute, but inspiring for people of all ages, for various reasons, for various ways of seeing the world. I will enjoy this month, following the rabbit-like montmers and their tales on Rasquich Mountain. I hope to learn from them every step of the way.

Wish me a bunch of unexpecteds this month! I'll update every once in a while, tell you what my furry friends are up to.

"Perloo the Bold" cover art by Harvey Chan

March 26, 2010

3. Angsty poetry?

Angsty poetry indeed, what with my over thinking and pointless self-defeat... though I try to stay away from the cliché angst. I live with something I like to call petty issues. They are problems that get me so worked up even though in the general sense of life I don't care a thing for them. I try to stay away from these issues when writing angsty poetry... though maybe it would help to put them on paper?

* Here's a quite repugnant excerpt (I should probably not be posting):
"Something tells me I don't import
While I long for all to see me.
I get attatched to bodies;
A suicidal jumper on the edge of a cliff..."
I'll leave it at that while I go out and take a waft of fresh air to clear the shadows. Boo!

* Here's a not too shabby excerpt:
"Through torture you can get whatever you want
But remember it's my passion you're taking it out on.
We've yet to find a day where my projects aren't at stake
And your power to collaborate, not a dead end fate."

March 24, 2010

2. Poetry?

Send me some poetry! Something you like, something you love, something I might like. I would love to discover this side of literature.

I like poetry. Some poems sound nice or look nice to me but tend to go over my head even though I try hard to dissect them. Other poems move me tremendously (I haven't got any examples though... I'm not a big poetry geek at all). I think I rather be read to or shared a poem orally though. I like to write them but usually look back at them in disgust because I find myself too choppy and pointless or way too obvious.

Here, I found a piece of poetry that I quite enjoy. It's music lyrics, the poetry I am exposed to the most. Somewhere only We Know by Keane (The first song in my playlist to the left) is full of dream, of wist, of nostalgia, all things I am very fond of:

I walked across an empty land
I knew the pathway like the back of my hand
I felt the earth beneath my feet
Sat by the river and it made me complete

Oh simple thing where have you gone
I'm getting old and I need something to rely on
So tell me when you're gonna let me in
I'm getting tired and I need somewhere to begin

I came across a fallen tree
I felt the branches of it looking at me
Is this the place we used to love?
Is this the place that I've been dreaming of?

I myself have little snippets of prose in a bunch of scattered post-its that I find are going somewhere yet which I can't bring myself to complete.

"But I'm lying here, half asleep
And the alarm is ringing so it's hard to keep
My eyes closed...

I'm barely sleeping.
My dreams are seeping
Out of my grasp.
It's a slow eye movement."
"And the golden birds fly over the mountain
Where the royal heart bleeds,
And the quest to the river of blood
Is held by tiny blind green men..."

"The soul in me; the ghost in me.
The ghost in you; the soul in you.
The concrete shoes, they're pulling us down.
It's a sorry potential."

March 22, 2010

Thawing Out a Dentist Smile (Speculations)

I'm currently drinking tea out of a straw because the right side of my mouth is too numb to retain any liquid. Needless to say, it's a useful method to reduce the amount of drooling.

I must say, technology really is going a long way (Not because of the straw!). Remember I said I had two cavities to get fixed last week? Well, today I got them fixed in under 30 minutes and I felt 5% pain max. It was much better than when I used to get my teeth fixed when I was younger (and I can't imagine how it must have been for my parents when they were kids... or for medieval folk... yikes).

It's what I wanted to talk about today though. Pain, anticipated pain, pain that heals and makes us stronger, and vain pain. I thought of a parallel between the unbearable anguish and internal conflict that life painfully drops on us regularly and the pain at the dentist (Well, the former pain). I also made a connection to sickness. Without being arrogant, I've seemed to have found a more positive way to undertake depression.

There are two pains I’ve identified today in the dentist’s chair. There is the pain you go through, by choice, to evolve and make things better and to keep going on without pain. I call this "The dentist". There is also the pain that was uncalled for, that simply attacks you, and that you must fight against (usually this brings more pain) to get better. I call this “The cancer”.

I'm confident fighting through a cancer is not vain. The attacker (the cancer) itself may be vain, but surely one who is affected by the disease and gets through it learns much about life. Learning is not vain. Surely they become an inspiration to others. Affecting others is not vain. It will not have been a vain battle whether the victim survives or not, so long as they fought their best battle.

So why should I feel that freeing oneself from depression is a vain goal? I've been attached to my own anxiety and dejection because I felt that if I fought against it like you would the flu or a cancer, and I got better, I will feel I had suffered so much for no reason since I would be well and unchanged. Cancer victims do come out of a vain sickness changed and why would I be afraid to let cancer vanish? The difference between depression and cancer is that cancer is physically provable; victims are not be alone. Melancholy is invisible. I would want to stay depressed so that I would never be cured and I could search indefinitely for a positive reason for my condition.

Well I realize now that fighting this feeling inside me, this obstacle, is not vain at all. I tell myself this all the time when I have the flu and I’m shivering and my muscles ache and it’s hard to ingest or digest, your throat is burning and you have cold sweats all over… I tell myself to fight the disease, not the pain, to simply endure the pain because once I am healed I will feel better and the memory of the hurt will merely make me stronger. Why should I keep this bit of knowledge from myself when I am down in the dumps?

That’s how my outlook is more positive now. I’m not sure whether depression is a “dentist” or a “cancer”; in my case it might have become a bit of both. Whatever it is, I have learnt so much about life because of this and though most people will not see me as a hero or an inspiration for surviving it, when others have to go to the dentist after me, if I have kids one day, I could share my tale. “Don’t worry. The dentist hurts for a little bit. You feel horrible and have a fever, trying to vomit for hours, but it’ll pass. Once you are better, whether everyone knows what’s happened to you, whether you’ve learnt anything from it, it doesn’t matter, you’re free now, go forward, you can share this with your kids later.”

Now I know why I should try to be happy. It’ll become easier and easier to quit this redundant habit of mine.

*Smiling mask by Kathleen Carr

March 21, 2010

1. What’s the last thing you wrote? What’s the first thing you wrote that you still have?

I. The last thing I wrote is a short story called Succesion (Title may undergo change). I've been practicing short stories for a while now. Though I don't find my voice is really clear in these they are good for my storytelling skills (them that need working on). It was the story of a man writing a letter to his newborn daughter about the dreams he must sacrifice for her to grow up with dreams of her own.

"My dear May,

Do not find me hasty for writing you this letter so soon. I know very well you’ve never set eyes on written words yet. I am aware if I was to give you this letter now you would merely snatch the paper out of my hands, drool on the ink, and giggle at the running words. Do not think me arrogant either. I do not claim to being anything grandiose, but this sacrifice, it is bigger than life. I will not accept to forget it, not completely at least, or I may come to believe I was not a good father and that’s all I have now. I do hope one day you will choose to recognize what I have given you.

I was once a king, and once the leader of a utopic anarchy. (...)"

II. The first thing I ever wrote (that I still have) is a snippety piece of writing inspired by the tale of Jack and the Beanstalk. It was a first person fragment and in it I was the giant. I would clean myself in the rain, dry myself with cloud and give Jack everything that he wanted because I was not the evil giant people rumoured about but in fact Jack's best friend. I wrote it at 6 years old and won a cute literary award for it.

"Fee-fi-fo-fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman."
Illustration by Arthur Rackham from
a 1918 English Fairy Tales, by Flora Annie Steel"
It's interesting that I realize now why I have this subconscious connection to this tale. In a screenplay I'm currently writing, parts of the story are quoted as a parallel to the main plot. The giant in my case are two immortal twins who look evil by their actions though they merely want to survive while the protagonist, by abusing her magical powers, is sending them into inexistence.

I fell upon this writing survey originating from an unknown chain. I decided to post each question on seperate posts every few days or so.

March 19, 2010

I have Two Cavities to get Fixed on Monday

Yesterday I slept through my radio alarm and instead I woke up to the phone ringing. The call was to inform me that I was late for my Dentist’s appointment and that I would have to reschedule. I felt quite dreadful. I don’t know why this happens to me, but whatever I do, no matter how subtle or honest I am I always end up looking like I’m out of it, clumsy, and indolent. I am no slacker believe me. I am usually earlier than on time, but for some reason these mishaps curiously always happen at the worst times.

I usually have trouble telling others what I do with my days because to them reading and writing and all the small things I do to keep on learning is not anything that helps me forward, so I’ve got nothing to answer and I look so worthless. And I am trying to get a job even though it feels oh so awful, but really it only looks like I’m slacking, doing my best to avoid employment and continue to leech off of others. I absolutely despise leeching! I probably look like I’m justifying my sluggishness with pathetic excuses right now… Well this is complicated!

Needless to get into a spiral of justifying justifications, because, though I had missed my appointment, I ran to the dentist
anyways and was able to get an appointment one hour later. This took me up a spiral of relief actually. In the dentist’s chair my dentist kept asking me questions: Did you miss class to come here? Are you in college? Why aren’t you in college anymore? Do you work? It’s funny the way dentists ask you a bunch of questions even though you clearly can’t talk with their hands in your mouth. When I could slip a word in the conversation I did my best not to sound idle. I was honest with her, told her I was not sure what to do yet but that school was not the place for me. I told her I had no room to be creative in the literature program. I was amazed. Instead of judging me like I thought a dentist might she admitted to have been the queen of indecisiveness after high school. She had ambitions and she never followed through with them, yet there she was, quite a content dentist. She asked me, and not in a pejorative manner, “So your like an artist at heart?” It made me smile and attempt to nod as she flossed my teeth.

I found I could work around her questions, with genuine honesty, and manage to express myself and be understood. Although I was at the dentist’s, a place that is so esthetically far away from who I truly am, I felt like myself (I still don’t know what that is though), I felt comfortable.

(Pictures from Public Record Office Victoria and Ontario Archives)

March 14, 2010

Something to Follow through Fog and Slimy Things

So I realize now, more than ever, that life is ups and downs. I mean, you always know this; you feel it. One day everything goes well and you know what you’re doing and you’re motivated to the max, and the next there’s a foggy wall in front of you and you feel terrifyingly blue and stagnant.

I haven’t been writing on my blog for a while now, ‘cause I hadn’t the ambition. That is my worst enemy really. Lack of ambition and low self-confidence, they’re deadly. They are the reason I long to dream, make my dreams tangible realities, to enjoy every chunk of life like the pulp of a grapefruit, to shout out my name, my stories, my essence to the world, and yet do nothing… absolutely nothing! I’m a slimy thing, I think sometimes. I feel as though I would be an outsider looking onto myself and being ashamed of what I see. I felt recently I should take life more positively, set positive goals such as: write in my blog. And precise goals such as: write updates on your new journey.

While the absurdity of life whips into me every time I raise my spirits enough to move slightly forward I’ve taken a few decent steps yet into the me, the personification of my beautiful mind (as opposed to my repulsive mind), the who who may not be me in actions but in the things I say. What I say doesn’t make me who I am, not to others at least, but I have a goal. I learnt though that blurry goals aren’t good goals and gosh am I ever so hazy to my own self. I do seem quite pretentious and condescending, I feel and know I know extensive human knowledge, but I’ve become proud in spite of my humility. It may be self-defense for some strange feeling of uselessness but that’s beyond the point. I have come to terms and admitted to myself outright that I do not know whom I am and I do not know what I want, AND these things scare me a lot. It was hard to admit it because I’m very cynical, and cynical people know what they’re up to… obviously.

So, like I said earlier, I’ve taken my first steps to finding answers to these questions: First, I dropped out of school. School is frankly very easy, just do what you have to do, so it was hard for me to leave to something muddled like myself on my own. I’d been in school from Illusion through to Disillusion and my face was crammed into the academic state of mind and I could take no distance from it all to find myself. The only thing I knew was that I was unhappy, that I was surrounded by unprofessional peers, that I wasn’t creating from myself at all, and that I did not have any opportunity to live the symbiotic existence everyone should have with their own soul.

I have left school with a vague goal in mind. I thought this vague goal was quite enough and hated my parents and former teachers and psychologists and orientors for being skeptical and always asking questions like “What are you planning to do now?” I despised them like this was some sort of condescendingly stupid question. I’d answer: get a job, read, write, I’m just gonna wing it… And I was too fearful to answer: I don’t know! I haven’t got a clue! I don’t know what I truly want at all. My wants are all so diverse and contradicting, so what is my ideal life’s goal? Well, these questions, and more, are my journey.

I need to experience life and let things hit me before I rationalize them. I need life to prove me wrong on so many levels. I plan to get a job (not a career), go on a humanitarian trip and break down all my stubborn ideals, to explore the world and myself, to learn arts through mentors and personal practice and who knows what epiphanies I will come to? Maybe I will want to go back to school; maybe I will desire to keep living like a bohemian. Whatever it is, it’s now or never that I must hunt for happiness and fulfillment in life ‘cause we only have one life and we’ll have to give it back some day. Wanting to live my soul is a hazy goal but it feels slightly like this and that is something I don't want to pass me by.