Thursday, 24 February 2011

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Days of our Lives and other things.

I'm starting my day with The Terminator. I love The Terminator, and I haven't seen it in ten years, so this is kinda nice. Plus it's a nostalgia trip; my first crush was Michael Biehn, when I was about 13. The first time I watched was with my mother who decided to educate me in the ways of kissing by telling me that 'there's no way that guy is a virgin; look at the way he's holding her head, he knows how to kiss, now that's a real man'. Which personally I still think is the stupidest bit of faux advise I've ever heard. At 13 I gave her the benefit of doubt ect but soon realised it is the most pointless statement about kissing ever conceived. I'm generally on a bit of a nostalgia kick at the moment; I'm wading through the Golden Girls, cos I love Betty White. Let me repeat that: I LOVE BETTY WHITE! I wish I was related to her, or that she was a neighbour I could treat like a surrogate grandmother. If I ever met her I'd probably fall apart and start telling her all my darkest secrets in the hopes she'd tell me I'm alright and offer me a cookie. When I was a kid I used to watch Golden Girls all the time and the lingering memory of all that was watching and knowing its just a sitcom, bordering on a fucking soap for gods sake, but with the delightful silliness that makes it a worthy guilty pleasure. And I thought like so many other things that after all these years I would cringe because the delightful touch was all in my head, but no! My obsession with Rose was definitely justified :D She comes out with the weirdest dialogue, talking about making every recipe with fish and the fantastic references to Rose husband as some sort of sex god.

Yesterday's writing session was pretty good, and it taught me something new: I don't like writing in appropriate outdoor clothes, and I need a sofa. I had been thinking that writing at home in random loose clothes and always on my sofa might be a mistake, but apparently not; I found yesterday exhausting and I got really uncomfortable after about two hours. Good to know.

I was happy with what I wrote though, as a start; it was useful on this occasion to write it around other people, helped maintain perspective I think. I waded into the scene that I hope will exorcise some demons, and that was bothering me the most; the educational, expositional diagnosis scene. You know, character upset, sad sad sad, how doctors talk, poignant etc. It was the part that was bothering me the most precisely because it was the bit I was likely to get lost in, so I've been delaying it a little bit, but around other people I didn't get stuck into my own head. And then I wrote a summary of all the medical stuff that happened to me in the first month or so, the order that it happened in, which I actually amused me no end - written down in a summary, even notetaking with only vaguely what you could call sentences, it took over a page, and it looks really comical written down, which bodes sort of well for the script, giving that I don't want the medical stuff to be boring, nor solemn, nor sad; I've been designing the medical stuff to take place in a split screen so that all the prodecural stuff is like a visual overload, quickly and intensely and then to focus on the relationships of the characters getting to know each other because of family or proximity during that period before the stuff of the second act.

Anyway, I won't go into that now. Something else is interesting me today: apparently Days of our Lives is currently running a storyline about medical staff in a prison stealing organs from prisoners to sell on the organ black market - and apparently the transplant community is outraged and urged to write to the show stating why the storyline does incredible damage to the already slanted public perception of organ donation in America.

I was reading this on . Donate Life is an excellent website and I certainly understand the drive to urge the show producers to reconsider the storyline as it stands. But naturally my urge to think philosophically and pretensiously abstract kicked in and I started thinking about how the bigger issue is the other side of perception. As far as I'm concerned the issue is not just that negative storylines with an element of fear inducing sensationalism leads to compounds the already established fears about donation and the transplant community. The issue is more specifically about the lack of a wider understanding of the community, the lack of, or inefficient counterpoint to the negative portrayal is the stronger background.

However, the day is disappearing before my eyes. I might have to come back to this later; Ant wants to try n get to West Park today. Um, now.....................

Friday, 4 February 2011


I just scrapped 13 pages of script :D

Exposition: ya doin it wrong...

Script - day 5

I've realised something - the stuff I make up from scratch is much better, more efficient, more directly written in terms of applying to specific needs of the scene than the stuff I write trying to amalgamate what happened.

This is fine. This is much much better news, given that only 15 minutes of the movie is supposed to reference actual medical facts that happened in certain ways and can, medically, only happen in certain ways. This is great, I shall stop worrying about it. All it means is I can't see which parts of what really happened are interesting, and which are excruciatingly boring and drag as slowly as a ferret draging an obese corpse, but other people will.

I'm fine with that; all that means is when people read it they can tell me straight which bits in the hospital are incredibly boring, and which bits are interesting but need to be squidged together...

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Script - technically day 4...


ok now that's over back to the script.

Script - technically day 3 Ha....

So I seem to be sleeping properly, only during the day :D  Wicked. Ok, so not wicked, but better than the constant attempts at keeping myself awake during the day like a zombie that doesn't actually succeed in making me sleep at night, just either crash out during the day the next day, or stay awake both during the day and the night and then the day again. My body apparently only wants to have a good, restful sleep during the day. So I'm going with that, and trying to just work with it. At least my lifestyle makes that possible given that these are exactly the problems that allow that schedule, I don't have a schedule imposed by anyone else I have to be fresh and focussed for at the moment thank god.

Anyway, yesterday I wrote about five pages of the script, which is not my idea of good when you *think* you know every scene inside and out. I guess that's the point, isn't it - you never really know whether you know your script inside and out and see whether you really can just write and write and write without coming up against the problem of something needing writing that you haven't thought of. Either way I'm moving on with it, I'd like to be writing 20 pages a day since I'm just supposed to be getting it down, first draft style. More than 20 would be better but whatever.

Couple of things I've realised. Or re-realised. 1) The thesaurus is my friend. This is something I've not thought of in years given that I haven't written anything in years, but I used to be obsessed with not overusing the same descriptive words. Verbs I guess; I don't like reusing the same verbs even if the action in question crops up again and again. I hadn't thought about that in years, but I used to love my Thesaurus. And when I used to write poetry (REALLY HORRIBLE TERRIBLE BAD BAD BAD POETRY!) I even had a rhyming dictionary with a related thesaurus in that too :/  Ugh, that's so embarrassing. Not just the dictionary, the poetry too. I only ever wrote one good poem and that's because it wasn't contrived and the only time I'm completely the opposite of contrived is when I'm very very angry :D  It was the sort of poem Charlie Brooker would write if he'd ever been a 15 year old girl disgusted by a family death where everyone pretended to be sad when in reality we all hated the son of a bitch.

* That suddenly reminds me of the funeral. During the funeral of the man in question I quoted a line from Purely Belter. Sub-story in question is: horrible family member gets hit by a bus, family not too upset; during funeral priest says 'he will be sorely missed' and the little boy says approx 'thank god the bus didn't'. I did that - when the priest said 'he would be missed' I said that and most of my family sniggered. Now the priest didn't understand what I meant since the man in question hadn't been hit by a bus, by my family knew what I meant. Did I get told off? no I didn't, what does that tell you?*

Anyway, back to the point. 2) is coming to terms with how to use decription in order to get a reader thinking about the character is something I never considered before. It's easy to write description about a place, situation, whatever that sets the scene for the reader but somehow doesn't include the character in it. I'd never thought about that before. Hope I'm doing it right.

Anyways, back to the scribbling rubbish blah...

Tuesday, 1 February 2011


So I seem to be in thrall of a bout of insomnia. Well, not a constant level of insomnia but definitely insomnia if you add up the hours of sleep per week. Last night it was 3 hours.

Now, usually when I end up with sleep problems it's because of some massive emotional or psychological problem I can't find a way to fix or the fallout of 'emotional recovery', whatever the hell that means, is taking up too much time out of a schedule I can't slimline just for the sake of finkin bout ma feelins. I had massive insomnia when someone in the family very close wouldn't stop talking to be about killing themselves for 8 months, five hours a day, everyday and they wouldn't let me tell anyone else about it or get help for them. I had stress induced narcolepsy when I was 17 because of a strange event I won't go into here, and I might have had a reoccurance of the blackouts I used to have as a kid, though I'm not sure - when I had blackouts as a kid they were well documented cos I just so happened to beat people up during in them so they drew quite a lot of attention, though when I was 17 no one seemed to know I'd been blacked out, I didn't do  anything out of the ordinary. Not that the line of ordinary behaviour was in the right place in that group of friends; they were all junkies and frankly little seemed like strange things to do. The only time I heard anyone think something was genuinely not on was when one of our friends almost, literally, inches away, almost stuck a bread knife in his best friends head because he wouldn't shut up. And there's a bunch of other times I've had sleep problems but again, theres no point going into why; what's definitely a thing is each time that happened, I'd just move through it, functioning only in the barest sense of the word, with no rememberance of the experience, waiting for it to finish.

In the past month I've been doing something similar, not feeling clear headed, not writing, stalling, waiting to feel fresh and sharp, but the script is supposed to be about mind altering, hallucination and chemical imbalance to a point; maybe I should only write when I feel at my most unbalanced and see if what comes out is quite interesting or more like the product of a ketamine dream?

Either way, I'm tired. And my mind won't focus on anything I'm actually supposed to be doing. Which is fine I guess, whatever really. I find myself passionate one day about something I've never really thought would be a big part of my life, and completely apathetic about anything other than my cat the next. The hospital peeps enjoyed telling me - and not just once, as it seems that to many of the staff its definitely the only answer - that the recent change is 'like a rebirth' and many patients feel they need to reevaluate everything and figure who they are from scratch, but even though there might be some truth in that I mince everytime someone says it - 'rebirth'. Like nails on a chalkboard to me. Like eating chalk sticks while someone makes you scratch chalk sticks with one hand and run the nails on your other hand down a chalkboard.

I go now, I'm going to watch Charlie Brooker and eat a sandwich...
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