Monday TIFF-day

As expected, I am suffering somewhat today.

However, the show must go on. As must life! So with another busy day and late night ahead of me, and the beginnings of a cold that have been hanging around for over a week now, I’m having some spicy kimchi noodles from the convenience store on the corner. Hoping that’ll at least keep me warm until lunch time!

Also because tasty.

Even though I can’t afford to go to TIFF, and especially because it still feels strange to not be on vacation and heading to screenings, I think I should plan to book at least the front end off next year. The Mind Reels is not accredited press on an official level, but we’re still getting more than enough festival action coming our way, and I am broken and exhausted right now.

Luckily I still have paid sick days available. Self care time is upon me, I think.

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I filmed as much as I could for Canada In A Day, so once I get feeling better and have a bit more energy, I’ll be able to start going through the footage and cutting it together. There’s unfortunately not very much of it – the day didn’t really go as planned – but there’s some. Hopefully I can at least create a mini-narrative of my day, such as it was, and then share it online once it’s been submitted. I think the cut-off is a month from today, so while I have time in theory, I don’t think I have much time i practice. My next few weeks are pretty busy, too. SOMETHING will get submitted, though! Some clip may even make it in! I filmed Brody a bit, and he’s irresistible!

Tonight is going to be a late night. Not sure how I’ll get through it, exactly, but at the same time, if it’s as much fun as last year, I think my billionth wind will kick in nicely! Just have to get there, is all! I haven’t really been to many TIFF parties – or any others, that I can recall – but I think the Canada one would be my favourite, anyway. It’s just got an unpretentious vibe to it. Plus, I know a lot of the people who will potentially be there, so once the initial red carpet formalities are out of the way, everyone just gets to hang together, which is nice. I even just like people-watching in an environment like that; when everyone is relaxed and having fun together. It’s just nice.

Plus, if there are chips and beer, I’m all good!

Anyway, it’ll be amazing, I’m sure. I wish I felt better so I could enjoy it more, but really, just being there will be worth it. Knowing me, I’ll forget how crappy I feel shortly after my arrival, anyway!

For Me

I think I’m going to cancel both GWR applications I currently have on the go. Both are pretty amazing ideas, but they also require a little help from a lot of other people, and I just don’t think I have it in me to count on other people anymore. Not right now, at least. I have so much else on the go that lighting a fire under the asses of the masses just isn’t sitting well within my current energy spectrum. It’s too bad, because if done well, the benefits of the one in particular would far outweigh the effort involved, but it’s that whole “if done well” part that kills all of my big ideas. I just can’t get anyone to see a similar big picture to what I see, so I spend my time trying, instead of doing.

And we all know what Yoda would have to say about that.

In an effort to be less vague, one attempt is for Largest Online Photo Album of Animals. I wanted to tie it in with the zoo, and fill it with photos of those who call the zoo their home. I thought it would be a fun way to highlight the zoo and its residents, and bring other zoo-goers together by having everyone contribute as many photos of zoo animals as possible to the album. The current record is just over 104k, and while I could probably break it on my own, the guidelines state that more people have to contribute, and that all of the photos are then compiled by one entity. In my mind, I saw the zoo getting involved and helping to get the word out, and visitors from all over adding their photos to the online album to push us way over the top in celebration of all the amazing critters who live there. Then the album would be online for all to see whenever and from wherever they wish, while the zoo gets a tiny spot in history. Maybe even for longer than my first Guinness World Record.

If it was done well.

The other attempt is for Longest Line of Paper Hearts. I was really excited about this one, too. I envisioned getting people to help by cutting up tons of paper hearts and mailing them to me or bringing them to me, and then having some kind of small event – maybe a launch for the children’s picture book about hearts I keep meaning to work on – wherein all the hearts are strung together and laid out and measured officially for Guinness, and pictures taken and fun had by all. Maybe even display the chain into a giant heart of its own after the measurement had been taken. Then once I was the official record holder, it would also be great promo for my book.

But again, there are time limits on how long you can go between having your application accepted and actually making the attempt, and even though I’m sure I could cut all the paper hearts myself and figure out the rest of it alone, too…like, why? When I already have so much to do (both need to do and want to do), why would I take all that on, too, unless it were to serve some larger purpose?

Like, not change the world, or anything, but do something positive for me; expand my knowledge or skill-set, market myself in a new way or to a new audience – even just be something I enjoy doing when it’s not for a record. Cutting out paper hearts? Not so much. Taking pics of animals? Always, but preferably without a set time-line or target number of photos I need to take in order to not feel like a failure.

Basically, I want to do more things for me, and I’m not sure these particular things fit the bill anymore.

Communication and Juggling

I started making a few notes for the two writing projects I am most excited about last night before bed. It was late, of course, because I had to see how the Raptors game turned out! And I was super tired as it was, but wanted to get a couple of things down so I wouldn’t forget them once real life started back up again this morning.

Even as I made my notes, though, I could already feel myself talking myself out of trying to work on either one. The spec script for the old TV series I love was the first to back away, followed closely by the screenplay for my first novel. I could sense how much work either one would take just to do at all, let alone do well, and as tired as I was/am, I’m not sure I have the energy I’d need to bother. My mind was still asking questions and coming up with answers, but my excitement was already waning. Part of me wondered if it was really just that I was so tired, but another part of me knew the problem had more to it than that.

I’m just not good at communicating.

I have always been more of a writer than a speaker. I’m aware that, when I talk, I either can’t get my point across at all, or I take forever to get around to it. I never liked speaking as a kid, and I guess I still don’t, but now it’s more because I am just so painfully certain I am not being understood. Or I’m boring. Or I have nothing useful to say so I babble. Or I struggle to sort out what I should say versus what should be held back. I always think about it before I say it out loud, and when I then screw that up, I wonder how I managed to suck so much that I couldn’t have anticipated such suckage.

Writing has always been easier in a way, because even though I can’t write as fast as my brain processes things, I can at least go back and correct something, or read over it again to ensure it makes some kind of sense, prior to sharing it. I mean, there are reasons why this is a blog and not a vlog, you know? Still, I am also painfully aware that even all of that preparation for thought-sharing doesn’t make much difference when I can’t string together the words I need to in order for another individual to absorb and understand whatever it is I’ve written. And when I share it and get any kind of feedback, it usually lets me know that I was not successful in expressing myself with the written word, either.

I mean, there are some things – I think I do slightly better with one-on-one conversations, because when the person is right in front of me, I can gauge whether or not we are understanding one another by how the conversation goes. I can take my time, and alter my wording to say the same thing a different way. My therapist usually repeats back to me what she’s heard, but in her own words, so that we can both check to make sure we are on the same page before we move on. I don’t really expect conversations with others to go that way, of course – therapy is pretty one-sided, after all – but you can still tell if the basics are being received on both sides of the conversation.

Adding even one more person to the scenario, though, increases the chances that I won’t feel understood. It’s hard enough checking in with one person to see if we are still connecting, let alone two or more. Everyone’s focus is split that much more when more voices and minds are included, too.

Which makes trying to get something across via a blog kind of difficult, too, really, because I can’t even look a reader in the face to see if what I’m saying is being received the way I want it to be. I mean, I know it’s never exactly as I intend, because we all come from different places with different experiences under our belts. But it’s very one-sided, as well, in that you put something out there, and either get no feedback, or feedback that let’s you know your efforts didn’t work. Sometimes you spark a longer conversation, which helps, but essentially, it’s just throwing things at a wall to see what sticks, and whether it does or doesn’t, you only find out after the fact. You’ve already posted it, so if it’s misunderstood or misinterpreted, it’s already done, and can’t really be redone with any sort of effectiveness. You can go back and say, “I meant blah dee bloo” but it’s ridiculous to think you can have one-on-one written comments with everyone who read the initial post. You have to accept that putting something out into the world in writing does not in any way guarantee that everyone – or anyone – will understand what you were trying to say. It’s just not possible.

Same with writing in general. Like, I think a couple of people have read my short film script, but I haven’t requested any feedback, and for the most part, the whole thing exists in my head. I guarantee that no one who has read it can see it the way I do, because there’s much more in my head than was written down, and I don’t have the words to make that all apparent. I felt a visual medium would be a better way for me to communicate, and while it’s early yet, it may well be better, but that doesn’t make it great. It doesn’t mean I’m even capable of being an effective communicator; not to my own satisfaction, at least.

Which is also part of the problem, I’m sure. If I don’t really feel like I am being heard or understood, I get frustrated, and end up closing myself off all the more. I live inside my head, and when I occasionally try to communicate and fail, back in I go. Maybe practice makes perfect, so this blog might help, and writing might help, and talking might help. It might not, but it can’t hurt to try.

Okay, it can hurt to try, and often does hurt to try, but there’s no real point in not trying. Because as frustrating as it is when other people don’t quite get what I’m trying to say, I recognize that the issue is really just with me. The frustration is with myself, really, and I definitely can’t expect to be more effective at communicating by not communicating, so I write to be less frustrated with myself in general.

Still, I already have a lot on my plate, and I am not sure adding two more is a great idea.

Maybe one more, though. I may yet focus on the screenplay adaptation of my novel and see if I can get around to giving those characters a better story than the one they currently have. Not that anyone else needs to think it’s better, but I definitely want to. It’s still on my mind all these years later, so at some point I do need to address it.

The spec script would maybe be fun to write and post online as I do so – it could be kind of a cool exercise. No idea when I’d have the time, but you never know. I’ve never really gotten a lot of feedback while writing. It’s usually after the fact. It might be interesting to see what would happen if people were weighing in throughout the whole first draft process. It might make it feel less like it exists solely in my own head, at least. I don’t know. We’ll see.

When you’re already juggling a billion things, does one more really make much of a difference?