Ghost Radio Fun

The ole timey radio play we did last night was so much fun!

I kind of think it might have been my favourite so far, but I hesitate to commit to such a statement, as all of them have been ridiculous and had just as many laughs.

This one also had wine, though, so that might be part of it.

One thing about this one was that the script had far less racism and sexism and all the other -ism’s that make people uncomfortable these days. The scripts we use were all written and performed in the 30’s and 40’s, and while they are always a fun and fascinating glimpse into our past, they also highlight so much of what people now try to cover up – that we just aren’t very nice to one another. That we say less out loud now doesn’t mean we’re not still thinking things sometimes. And just because some laws have changed, practices are not as easy to alter. They are just less overt much of the time.

Unless you’re paying attention, anyway, which the majority of society seem not to be.

Anyway, there was less blatant racism and sexism, and more body shaming and ghost story telling in this one. And there was real life red wine to go with it. And an incredible cast of some of my favourite women on hand to perform it! Two of them had never done this with us before, and while not everyone knew one another going into it, they all played so well together! It was actually so amazing to watch that I kept missing my scant few lines in the script, and just enjoyed the show as performed by everyone else. I’m assuming it wasn’t really written to be a comedy, but they way these ladies played it was pure brilliance. Comedic gold, if I’m being honest. I’d love to get that same group together again sometime and see what else we can come up with, because they all worked off of one another so perfectly!

There were, of course, technical difficulties, and I am pretty sure we lost the whole night of footage from the tricaster. That means nothing from the microphone on the table was recorded. We did have a backup recording going, thank goodness, but only for the “official” read, so the practice read is, I believe, gone forever. It’ll just have to live on in the memories of those of us who were fortunate enough to be in the room.

As well, the audio from the backup recording was not likely able to pick up some of the quieter dialogue, but the majority of it should be okay, I think. And Tim did an audio-only recording with his phone on the table, too, so that will go up on iTunes, but again, only the official read, not the practice one.

Still, that final read was even better than the practice one, and so long as the audio turned out more or less okay, I think it’ll remain a favourite of mine for a long time to come. Those ladies all just killed it, and I am so thrilled with how it went!

I just wish the evidence of our evening had been better captured.

Also, Flynn is sick again with a urinary tract infection and I think the cold I had mostly fought off is roaring back with a vengeance this afternoon. In addition, I’m trying something I haven’t done in easily 2 decades. More later, maybe, after I see how it goes.

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Starry Sky and Decisions

When out with Brody last night, a small cluster of stars/planets caught my eye, as I’d never noticed them before. Which – I know almost nothing about the night sky, or day sky, for that matter – but I do notice it a lot. In a way, I might actually notice it more here in the city, just because there is so much less to see of it, but it’s always kind of caught my eye.

One of my fondest memories to this day was the night my friend and I took blankets to the park and stretched out in the middle of a baseball diamond to watch some of the Perseid meteor shower back when we were young. I still lived in Creemore then, and the conversation he and I had that night ranged over an insane variety of topics, to the point where shooting stars almost became an after-thought; a distraction from our talk.

Anyway, I’d downloaded the Sky Map app for my iPhone a couple of years ago, and used it all the time, so I’ve been missing it on occasion since I switched to Android. The cluster that caught my eye last night was the last straw, and I downloaded it to my current phone as soon as Brody and I got back inside. Turns out Saturn and Mars were both super bright last night, and they were part of what I’d noticed. I actually had to stop and stare at the stars to see if any of them moved, because I was sure at least one of those lights had to be a plane. So bright! I wish I could have taken a picture, but not even my real camera would do such a thing justice. Besides, I read somewhere that memories of things we experience with our own eyes are retained more clearly by the mind than those obtained via photograph or video and the like. I don’t know if that’s true or not, but in last night’s case, I really only had the one choice, anyway, so I went with it!

In other news, I’ve been getting the finishing touches together for our radio play reading tomorrow, as well as the Reelie awards announcements which will precede the play. I’m pretty excited already, and by the time we do it, I imagine I will be even more so! This is, however, the most racist, sexist script we’ve tackled thus far, so hopefully none of it triggers anyone or makes them feel bad in any way. I’m hoping we can…like…overall, the script is ridiculous. The writing and plot and characters are just silly, which is really all you need for a sci-fi radio show that was intended to entertain and nothing else. Well, also to sell stuff, usually.

Anyway, this one is Flash Gordon from 1935, and while I started off just laughing at how terrible it was, I was eventually just kind of uncomfortable with some of it. I even had a brief thought about not doing it, and choosing a different script, instead. But ignoring things doesn’t make them go away, and it changes nothing, whereas admitting we are uncomfortable is, at least, a starting point to something more meaningful. Maybe some of the power in such words and behaviours of the time can be stripped away simply by mocking it, too. Humour can be many things, including a tool for making a broader statement.

It’s going to be interesting, at any rate. And hopefully good ridiculous fun!

My lovely dentist put a very temporary patch on my tooth last night, so for now I am in way less pain than I was since it got cracked, but a decision has to be made very soon as to what to do next. She thinks it’s still salvageable, but is sending me to another dentist for a second opinion chat in the meantime. This tooth had a root canal done, and so far THAT is holding up really well, but without a crown all this time, the top part of the tooth is crumbling pretty quickly now, and won’t hold out much longer. She’s not even sure there is still time, but there is a potential extra step that could be taken before the crown that might still save it. If not, taking it out would really be the only choice. No way could I ever afford an implant. I can’t even afford the crown, which is why I haven’t gotten it yet!

On the one hand, it’s my tooth and therefore a part of me. I’ve already had the root canal and the dentist said there is still good strong tooth underneath, so it seems kind of sad to give up on it after everything already done to try and save it. On the other hand, it’s a back molar, and taking it out won’t really affect anything in the long run, at this point. Plus, that’s an option I can more easily afford. So it’s looking more and more like it’s the option I’ll be going with. First I’ll see what the other dentist has to say.

And then maybe just sit on it a bit longer before I decide.

Feeling My Way

Just found out that a brand new Wendy’s location has opened up mere blocks from where I work.

We are all gonna get so fat now! $0.99 Frosty?! Whaaaat?!

Do we not use the symbol for “cent” anymore? I don’t see it on this keyboard. I guess that says something about how much things cost. And that we no longer have pennies. Apparently, it’ll cost you at least a nickel to hear my thoughts now.

I have no idea what to talk about today, either. There is, as always, a lot on my mind, but I’m having trouble sorting through it all and staying focused.

I tend to carry things around with me – literally – to help me remember them. Mostly printouts of things, or lists in my phone. This morning I pulled out all of the paper reminders I had in my bag and went through to see what was currently important. It’s not that the other stuff isn’t also important – just that these particular things have my attention at the moment, and in the near future. My resume needs to be updated and re-organized, if only so I have it up-to-date and presentable in case I suddenly need it for anything. I’ve got notes for some of my writing projects – the picture book about hearts and a re-imagined extension to some of Carving The Light. I was thinking I might try to write it as a screenplay – possibly through the month of August, and I was considering signing up for a challenge like NaNoWriMo, but with screenplays instead of novels. As if I have time, but it would at least get me started. Often that is the toughest step.

Even though all of the steps are currently tough. Haha

I put out some feelers earlier today regarding Mind Reels stuff, so we’ll see how that goes. I’m having trouble committing to that, because I feel like I am the only one who is doing so. But I like it, so I don’t really want to walk away from it all together. I am just not sure how much to put into it anymore. I guess we’ll see. No need to decide anything on that front any time soon, anyway.

I’m finding this weaning off antidepressants thing pretty interesting. The first time I tried it, several years ago, I was an insane mess within a few days, and went right back on them. The second time, I barely noticed because I was happy and travelling back and forth to Colorado and kept forgetting to take them, until one day I realized I was pretty much off them. I saw on my Facebook memories the other day that I’d tried a year or so ago to take them every other day, but it had made me physically ill, over and above everything else. So I went back on them again.

Now I don’t know what I’m doing, and I definitely notice a difference in how I feel – mentally, emotionally and physically – but it’s not as bad as it was some of those other times. And I’m in no rush – just picked up a new refill last week which I haven’t even started yet – so we’ll just see how each day goes, and week, and take things as they come.

I imagine PMS is going to be more horrible than usual, so that might make go back to them full time.

For now, though – in that as in so many things – I’m just feeling my way along.

Great Idea, Poor Execution

I think I’ve pretty much always had the big ideas; just never the talent to make them a reality, let alone a successful one.

In fact, that’s my autobiography title: Great Idea, Poor Execution. With the tag-line of “How I Scraped The Bottom Of The Barrel To Discover I’m It”.

Or maybe that last part was about my former dating life.

At any rate, even as a kid, I was always coming up with these amazing ideas, starting to work on them, and then give up early on because my imagination has always been far too big for my reality. I would, however, drag my little brother along for the ride. Of course. I mean, someone had to lead the way to creative play, right? That was one of my jobs as an older sibling. Another was to annoy him and occasionally try to get him blamed for things, but that rarely worked. He was cuter than me.

Once I convinced him to help me dig a tunnel, starting in our backyard, and going to several places around town so that we could travel underground via our very own secret railroad! I knew that we probably couldn’t have an actual train down there, but we had our bikes, and those would work. We could even bike to school in winter if we wanted! It was going to be epic, just like the TV show, but not!

We started digging, encountered a billion rocks (or, like, 5 or 6), and gave up.

rail1

Then I had a plan to build a log cabin fort-like structure (not fort as in olden war times, but as in our own place to play that no one else could use unless they were invited) around the hole we’d dug, because then it would be out of sight and therefore out of mom’s mind. We dragged some large wood beam-like things and started setting them up in an alternating over/under pattern. After we’d piled them about waist-high in a square around our hole, we realized that we had no idea how to fill in the spaces between the “logs”.

So we gave up. Totally left that things standing, though.

Another amazing idea I had as a kid that would have made literally everyone so jealous that I’d be famous was to build our own Godzilla. Out of what, I’m not sure. As far as I ever got on it was a design drawn in a pad of scrapbook paper. There would be ladders inside, so we could climb up to where the eyes were and look out at all the little people, and the beast would move on wheels…that I believe were also our bikes, actually. We actually rode our bikes a ton, so I’m not sure why I thought I could or would ever build them into my designs, but whatever. Maybe I figured we could have more bikes once we’d build this huge Godzilla to ride around in!

Godzilla_01

Finally, there was the circus. Ah, our circus, starring us. And our swing-set. Basically us climbing around on a swing-set and passing it off as stunts. I felt we should sell tickets, and perhaps later take our amazing show on the road.

It didn’t pan out. At all. And so we gave up. Same with performing plays with costumes we’d made ourselves, and once with a script one of our friends had “touched up”. Those had the potential to be better, but I am pretty sure they were still painful to sit through. Though sit our parents did. And tolerate my wild imagination my brother did. I’d had a recurring nightmare for a while and once asked my brother if he would ever just run out the door with me, no questions asked, if I ever told him to, based on nothing but my panic mode if I thought my nightmare was coming true.  If he would just trust me and do it. 

He said he would.

About Last Night

So, last night’s radio play recording was the most fun I’ve had in a long time.  I can’t remember when I last laughed that hard.  Heh – last laughed.  Say that five times fast!

Truly, though, it was exactly what I needed, and even made my headache go away for a bit.  Which is weird, but I’ll take it!  Getting to catch up with everyone a little bit was also amazing, and I think it’s safe to say that we are all eager to do it again soon!  Tim and I had a brief conversation about which script to do next, but I am trying to wait until I’ve started lining up guest cast and have at least calmed down a bit from an epic first episode of what is now my new favourite thing!

Initially, I had wanted to kind of rotate the genres of whatever we are doing each month, but at the same time, Flash Gordon will be super fun, too!

We’ll see.  I have a list of 9 more scripts for us to choose from – so far (there are many more coming) – and I want to at least go over them a little to get a sense of what each might entail.  Then I may very well select scripts based at least in part on the cast who is able to show up for that particular episode.

I also kind of want to do more than one a month, but that’s really getting ahead of myself, so I’ll try to just stick with the initial plan. Haha

Anyway, I am venturing outside of my comfort zone for the rest of the afternoon or so, and need to finish getting ready.

More soon!

PS The full video of last night’s ridiculousness can still be viewed at the LiveStream link (see previous post) for a limited time.

Rambling Mind

I don’t understand what’s going on. At all. Maybe nothing. I have no idea. There is, of late, a huge disconnect between my inner and outer realities. Add a healthy dose of PMS into the mix and the confusion is overwhelming. So isolating. Perhaps I am just succumbing to my usual paranoia and uncertainty. Though it’s often been right in the past – can it still be deemed paranoia if it ends up being correct?

Meh. Questions without answers, really. Better to just keep plodding along and wait for my next break.

I have my next MRI on Sunday. While I’m technically hoping it will be a quick session, I feel it’s much more likely that it’ll be one of the long 45-minute-IV-with-contrast-material types, instead. It makes more sense, since it’s just my annual check-up type one and they’ll want to get as much detail and cover as much territory in the scans as possible. I just really hate those ones, and am running out of ways to entertain myself while in the tube for that long. However, at least it’ll be over with, and since Monday is a holiday, I’ll be able to just relax and do nothing, if I want, the whole next day. That’ll help. Usually I feel more than a little off once I come out of the machine. I know it doesn’t do anything to me physically, but my mind feels cloudy, anyway. Maybe from focusing on remaining still while not letting claustrophobia set in.

There should be a law against cologne – or artificial scents of any kind – that I can smell even if I am not near you. Seriously people. What kind of nastiness are you trying to cover up by dousing yourself so completely in something else?

Anyway.

I’m frustrated at this whole not working Saturdays thing. I know, sounds weird, but there are several reasons why I’m feeling this way. Aside from the fact that it’s a shorter work day, and earns a longer weekday off, which is sometimes enough. But it would give me the opportunity to do other things I want to do sometimes. Like go to the zoo. I hate going on weekends, through the summer at least, because of the hoards of sweaty hairless apes in my way, ruining my Zen thing. But if I want to go on a weekday, I have to burn a vacation or sick day to do it. I got turned down for volunteering at the Wildlife Centre because the weekend shifts are first to go, and those are the only ones I could do. I probably wouldn’t be a Big Sister again anyway, but that’s another thing I can’t do. Not the in-school mentor program, at least. I can see my therapist if I book an appointment first thing and then head to work after, which doesn’t always have me in the greatest headspace for the rest of the work day. Sometimes it’d be better if I could just go home after and process. But I can’t, unless I am willing to burn a sick day, o vacation day, if I know far enough in advance that I won’t feel up to coming in that day.

Overall, it’s fine. I’ve just been feeling lately like I am having to give up a lot of the things that I’d enjoy or look forward to or benefit from in some way in order to continue receiving a paycheque. That is, of course, the most important thing, because without that I’d have far less opportunity than I do now. I guess I’m just sad that this seems to be all there is, and I am struggling to make even that much balance out. It’s depressing sometimes.

In other news, Mr. Brodykins has an appointment with the groomer on Saturday! He will hate every moment, except the ones where he gets to hang with Momma Kristi and ride in the car. Probably on her lap, if he gets his way. That’s his preferred mode of travel, after all. I hate leaving him there, knowing how miserable it makes him, but he does love being picked up after, and being told how utterly adorable he is. He likes to show off a bit, at that point. Maybe I’ll see about getting him some kind of little special treat for being a good boy. Because he’s always a good boy. He hates the whole grooming process with the seething fire of a thousand suns, but he doesn’t fight it. Instead, he freezes in his silent misery, and tolerates it all until it’s finally over. And then gets unnaturally excited when you put his collar back on.

Bless.

I love that little guy.

I don’t know. Maybe I’m just so in my head I don’t really know what’s accurate or real anymore. Or maybe my instincts are good enough that I’m getting the hints being put out there, but am just not certain enough to react. Maybe there’s nothing to react to at all. Regardless, I feel dumb, so hopefully I can figure out at least some of it soon. It’s seeming pretty manic, really. I’m still here, though, so as much as I am trying to sort some things out, I’m also trying to, like, live day to day life. It’s all I can think to do, sometimes.

Long weekend coming up finally, and then next weekend is the first one I booked off for myself. Four days in a row! I don’t know how I’ll manage NOT to give myself so much to do that I won’t get it done and then be disappointed in myself…but I’m going to try not to give myself so much to do that I don’t get it done and feel disappointed in myself.

A co-worker just asked if it was Friday yet – it’s like he’s reading my mind. I was just thinking how far away Friday still is, but that it’s kind of a good thing because I have a lot to do in the meantime.

I was looking up screenwriting contests yesterday to see if there were any deadlines I could aim for but realistically meet. I realized that I’m not anywhere close to ready to start writing the updated adaptation of my first book, though. I need to sort out the changes that will be made and how they’ll all go together with the parts of the story that are being kept. I’ll work on a new outline first, and then consider starting the script.

Why can’t things in our heads just come out on paper automatically?

Just Write

write
Yes, I still write with a pen sometimes, and yes, I took this on my phone just now

Today I submitted a proposal to adapt one of my unpublished novels into a television series. It wasn’t done with the intention of getting anywhere with it, but rather for the experience of writing a proposal, and eventually learning to craft a pitch. There are some similarities between pitching a novel to a literary agent and pitching a TV series, but there are many more differences, and I wanted to get a little experience in both, if I could. I try to take the opportunities to learn as they come, at least when it’s something that interests me, and generally, I like to learn.

See, I am a pretty terrible writer. Average at best, and that’s being generous. I feel like things have gotten worse in recent years, but it’s possible I am just more aware of my inadequacies, which is fine, too, because it means I’m still learning. I learned a LOT during my few forrays into the world of ABNA (Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award), but since it’s been shut down, my growth as a writer has been stagnating somewhat. In addition to not having that outlet (and the instant access to all the new author friends I made over those few years), I’ve started wondering if I should be trying a different storytelling medium all together. I’ve been thinking that, if I can’t find the words I need to express myself, maybe I should be attempting to tell my stories in a more visual manner.

So I tried writing my first screenplay for what would be a short film, if I ever decided to actually shoot it.

It wasn’t the greatest thing ever, but I don’t think it was terrible either, so that’s something!

The best part is, if I ever shot it, I would let the actors have some leeway with the dialogue and such (and the director – I don’t think I’d be a very good director, as I’ve said, I lack leadership skills), and they could potentially bring more of my idea alive than I am able to with words alone. And that’s pretty exciting to me.

I always have tons of idea rattling around in my mind, hence part of the reason I decided to start this blog. To express myself better than I have been. I’ve said for a long time that my autobiography would be titled, “Great Idea, Poor Execution”, because I have a good thinking brain, but lack the skills required to express my thoughts adequately. Or even, in many cases, in a way which other people can understand. It’s frustrating for me, and no doubt unknowingly frustrating for you, because I could have solved so many of the world’s problems by now – and be rich and invite you to parties and such to hang out with me and all the animals I’d live with – if I could have just expressed myself better all this time! Haha

I should probably re-phrase the whole statement about me being a terrible writer – I think it’s more that I’m just…juvenile? Simple? I can’t even think of the word I’m looking for to describe myself. Geez! However, I’ve toyed with the idea of writing books for adults who read at a lower level, or for whom English is not their first language, etc. Because the story idea can be okay for adults or young adults – albeit uncomplicated – but the language is more for elementary school readers. I remember tutoring Grade 8 students in reading when I was in University – they were mostly all reading at a Grade 3 level or below, and the stuff we had to work with to teach them was pretty boring. I mean, I enjoy the occasional caterpillar story, but to those in their early their teen years, it didn’t exactly hold their interest, let alone spark imagination and a love of reading. So maybe my stories would do better with an audience who is interested in something they can relate to, but that is written in an easier to digest language. How cool would it be to help turn a reluctant reader into someone who actually chooses to pick up a book, rather than having to read one for a class?

I also kind of want to try out the graphic novel format someday, but I have zero skills with the visual arts, so that would be more of a collaboration. Again, though, it is a more visual medium, and if I could find someone to help me express what I see inside my head, I think it could be pretty awesome.

Photography is also a visual medium, and I have an idea about a book that tells a story and uses photos I take, but I really don’t feel like that’s something I’d be very successful at, either. I see lots of things, and can envision how I want a photo to look, but it rarely turns out that way in actuality. I’ve never taken a class or had a very good camera, and really, I take most of my photos on my phone now, because it’s always on me. I used to wish I had a good camera that I could somehow just carry around with me everywhere and be ready to snap something at a moment’s notice. I’d imagine what an amazing photographer I’d be if I could blink and take a picture of what I saw, as I saw it. Bionic camera eyes, anyone? Maybe someday.

If there’s one thing I have learned, though, it’s that nothing comes easy. If it’s worth doing, it takes work to do it well. Unless you’re one of those annoying child prodigy types. Is 43 too old to be a child prodigy? Why do I keep wanting to type progidy??

And that’s another reason for this blog. To practice. It won’t necessarily make my writing better, nor will I definitely be able to express myself better as I go along, but it absolutely will not hurt. I need to keep trying, keep writing, keep experimenting, and keep learning. Maybe none of my ideas will come to fruition, or if they do, maybe none of them will turn out as amazing as I’d envisioned. But for sure nothing will happen if I do nothing, and writing it down is probably a good first step.

Especially given that my memory is so bad lately.