I Need A Nap

Not feeling very great today, and not sure what to write about. I didn’t get much sleep and now I’m a bit dizzy on top of being tired, so it’s more difficult to focus. How is it only Tuesday? Haha

Over the weekend, I sold the wee felted Falkor I’d made, and so it shipped out yesterday after work. There is now enough money in my Paypal account to purchase something special I found on Etsy that I need, but I’m so paranoid about the buyer of my wee felted Falkor deciding she doesn’t want it, or something, that I’m going to wait a while longer before purchasing it. To make sure everything goes through smoothly. I paid a bit extra to ship with a tracking number, so hopefully it will get to its destination safe and sound. Hopefully the recipient will love it and not want to send it back. He’s really cute, wee felted Falkor. I almost didn’t want to sell him. But if all goes well, I’ll have something unique and perfect for what I need it for.

Sorry to be so vague, but whatever. I’ll talk about it in more detail if and when I am finally able to purchase the item.

Man, I really don’t know what I feel like talking about. I feel like napping, not talking. My mouth aches and my mind spins and my heart feels…not numb, but just…cautiously present. Haha

Maybe it’s napping, while the rest of me cannot.

Jealous.

Last night I was watching TV and texting with a friend and rubbing Brody’s belly when I realized that I wasn’t paying attention to the TV at all; so wrapped up in conversation was I. So I turned it off to watch from the beginning some other time (ah PVR). I actually can’t remember the last time I talked with anyone like that, let alone this person in particular. I feel like most of the conversations we have take place in my head, so I’m glad of glad it was in text form this time, because having it written down is a good way of proving it happened at all. It’s not even so much what was said or discussed, so much as how completely focused I was on it. I just sat and typed and thought and read and responded. I wasn’t doing other stuff, or talking to anyone else or thinking about other things. Brody reminded me when it was time to go back outside, and I managed to look up from my phone long enough to notice the skunk sniffing about in the next yard over, so Brody and I headed back home again. But otherwise, I was just in a string of moments with a friend I love, and it was nice. Some of the subject matter wasn’t nice, per se, but the sense of both of us being present in the same moments at the same time was really nice, to me. It was the first time in a very long time that I haven’t felt the need to carry on the conversation in my mind due to my holding so much back from the real one. There are a couple of things I meant to say, of course, but for the first time I felt like they could keep – in exchange for time to sleep – and that the chance to say them will present itself again soon.

In the meantime, maybe that’s partly why I’m so tired today, too. Emotions can be exhausting.

General Thoughts From A Foggy Mind

Got an email last night for members from the Toronto Zoo. As predicted, Inukshuk, handsome papa polar bear to Hudson, Humphrey, Juno and two others, is heading up north to Cochrane sometime next week. I figured he’d be going up to the Polar Bear Habitat, because he usually does spend his winters there.

What I didn’t realize until I got the email was that he’s going indefinitely this time, and I won’t have a chance to say goodbye.

That hurts my heart, because I’ve come to love that sweet beautiful giant so much, and I always miss seeing him when he’s not here. The idea of never seeing him again is not okay with me, so I’m thinking a trip north next year sometime might be in order.

Regardless, I’m gonna miss that guy.

At least the Polar Bear Habitat will post lots of pictures and updates, though. They are GREAT for that! I’ve never even met Ganuk (Inukshuk’s son whose paw print painting is on my bedroom wall) or Henry (the new guy from Australia), but I kind of feel like I know them, just from the amazing updates I see online!

So it won’t be all bad, at least. I feel bad for Hollie because she has an extra soft spot for that particular bear, but I guess changes are afoot, and something exciting and new might come out of all this one day, too.

I’m out of it today and feeling like I can’t really figure out what I want to say. I’ll miss the bear, I’m excited for the WLU alumni homecoming event tomorrow, my weekend is super busy but hopefully I will get things done, my PVR is filling up with new fall shows and new seasons of returning series. Well…not really filling up, but definitely getting used more! And all to be watched on my shiny new TV.

It’s funny – I’m not used to it yet, but at the same time, I’ve settled into it so comfortably that I feel like it’s been here for longer than it actually has been. Still giddy, yet comfy. I like it.

So much to do; so much to doooo.

I think Brody and I will have popcorn for dinner tonight. I won’t be able to have any for a bit after my dental surgery thingy next week, because my gums will need time to heal before I introduce crunchier foods again. So stove-popped corn – probably with cheese – tonight, and hopefully some delicious movie theatre corn with one of my best friends on Sunday! That should realistically tide me over for a week or two while my mouth heals, but we’ll see.

I can always just focus on chewing on one side, right?

Birthday and Belated Birthday Day

Okay guys, I don’t have a lot of time, but figured I could get away with a quick post about my tiring but ultimately awesome day thus far!

So focusing on the awesome parts, met up with my mom and bro for a belated birthday lunch at one of our favourite places, the recently-opened second location of The Smoke in Vaughan.  I haven’t been there too often yet, so am still working my way through different menu items each time, but damn…everything is SO GOOD!!! Today I had the W.B.B.T.L.C. (Wild Boar Bacon Tomato Lettuce Cheese…I think) with fries and tried the gravy for the first time and OH MY GOD!!!  It was all I could do not to drink the rest of it after I ran out of fries.

We even had the smoke apple crisp after, despite the fact that I’d eaten myself into physical pain by that point.

http://www.thesmoke.ca guys…locations in Collingwood and now Vaughan.  You won’t regret it.

Then we stood outside in the light rain so they could present me with my belated birthday present.  My brother lifted the rear hatch of the van to reveal a sweet new Sharp HDTV!  What?!  Apparently my mom, brother, niece and nephews had gotten together to get me a TV I could use with the Blu-Ray player I’d gotten for free quite awhile ago when I had to use up my Airmiles and switch to Airmiles cash before they expired.  Instead of slowly growing obsolete in its box, it’s now hooked up to this beauty TV, and now I can watch Netflix on it instead of my iPad Mini and I can watch the Shomi HD content and everything looks sooooo pretty!

Also, and this is bigger, it’s Brody’s 9th birthday today.  I got him a marrow bone for dinner which he’s been working on for the past 2 hours.  That boy’s mouth is going to be so sore.  Bless.

His mama has been on my mind a lot lately, and I haven’t been sleeping very much and I feel like I have only been home to sleep.

I need a vacation from life.

But holy hell is he ever cute.  He is the puppy I love most in the whole world, beyond all reason or measure.  I tell him all the time.  I love all the puppies – and there are a lot – but none more than him.

That munchkin is the greatest, and a bright shining light in my every day.  Just like his mama was.  ❤️

Spinning Plates, And The Like

Man, last night was fun!

The Mind Reels did our third Old Timey Retro Radio Play episode, and as always, it was a blast! We had five guests, four of whom were doing the read with us for the first time, and one who’s happily been with us every time so far! We had to fiddle with gender roles a bit, as we only had one female guest (and me) but more roles for women than for men (for a change). Luckily, everyone came to play, and the guys decided to keep the roles as female, but played them with a gusto that made the end result even better than I could have possibly imagined! Tim and I also worked out a back-up strategy so that we can get the content posted more quickly ourselves, rather than waiting for it to appear on the Smithee sites (which it will eventually, but we are growing impatient so have a lesser quality version to go up on our sites more quickly – best of both worlds, really), so everyone will get to enjoy the final audio/video read, and just miss the hysterical practice cold-read. So excited to share these with everyone! Thus far all of the guests have been turning in some hilarious performances, and I feel like it’s only getting better as we go along! We may be onto something here!

I giggled all the way home…and then again all the way to work this morning. So much fun, guys!

Also, when I got home last night (after taking care of the critters, of course), I sat down with a Rogers Live Chat agent to sort out my new billing issues now that I’ve upgraded my internet package. Thanks to Cindy in Moncton, NB, that went even better than I’d hoped, as well, and I’m already so pleased with the upgrade that I basically can’t wait to just go online all the time. For everything. It’ll be like second year university when the house we were renting had a BBQ so we literally barbecued everything we could think of for the first few weeks of school that autumn! It’s like a new toy, and I can’t wait to play.

But wait is exactly what I’ll do – for a tad longer. I have other plans tonight. 🙂

I still have a ridiculous amount of things to do, even as I slowly drop potential projects from the list. I have to be so freaking careful with my budget this month, too. Like, every month, but this one especially because of Fan Expo and new Rogers billing and the fact that I can’t quite seem to get any sort of routine down in my every day life. I’m having trouble anticipating upcoming expenditures – even simple things like what I figure I’ll need to spend on groceries for myself and the critters. For some reason, it’s suddenly become a big question mark, even if I don’t buy anything different from last month. I think it’s because there is just SO MUCH going on, and so many changes and decisions and sacrificing some things in favour of others. It’s a constant balancing act, and I haven’t been sleeping much so my mind has a difficult time retaining it all. It does, anyway, but more so in recent weeks. Every time I make a decision between two things, for example, a third thing will crop up and another choice will need to be made.

That’s how it feels to me, at least. Like trying to keep all of my plates spinning on their wee poles – but sometimes forgetting one of them even exists until I notice that it’s about to fall. It’s exciting, but a tad stressful, too. I worry I’ll forget something important one of these days; something I can’t catch in time and rebound back from.

In the meantime, though, I’ll just go get another chocolate Frosty from Wendy’s and try to remain calm and alert. Alert-ish. #sotired

Expanding On My Happy List

As always, I have a lot on my mind, and today I’m not entirely sure what I feel like talking about here, so I was thinking I’d expound upon some of my happy list from yesterday.

  • getting people to talk about their passions
      • The Mind Reels was initially started because we realized that no one was really talking about the things we loved (as far as TV and movies and the like), so we decided to talk about them ourselves. That quickly turned to podcasting, because talking is faster than writing, sometimes. And within weeks we were conducting our first actual interview with a film director! I think that was the start of things changing for us, because that director (Jeremy Lalonde) hooked us up with interviews for some of his cast, and one of them (the wonderful Mary Krohnert) put us in touch with Lost Girl cast member, Rick Howland. From there, we spent much of our time pursuing interviews with people we wanted to talk to, who were creating the content we love.
      • I’m not sure when it happened, exactly, but at some point, interviews started coming to us. This was different in that it was often for projects and/or people that we might never had been made aware of otherwise. That new aspect added an additional level of excitement to each interview, because not only did it expand on our awareness of content we might enjoy, but it also gave us the opportunity to create a casual, comfortable and fun atmosphere for our guests, which allowed them to open up more about their passions in general. Instead of just asking the same rote questions that go hand-in-hand with every industry interview, we started getting people to talk about themselves, as well as their projects, and that’s made all the difference, I find.
      • I love the way a person will light up when they talk about the things they love, things that interest them, and things that challenge them to be more. It brings out a side of a person that is among the best of human qualities (and we really don’t have very many, so I treasure the ones I find), and that I play a part in bringing that part of them to light makes me feel kinda special, too.
  • being around non-human animals
      • I mean, there is just something so pure about non-humans. Not always “good”, I guess, but it’s like they are on a whole different level from us. They aren’t calculating which foot to put forward, which face to wear, nor do they edit what they communicate in the hopes of not offending anyone’s delicate sensibilities. If my cat, Kate, didn’t like you, she had no qualms about peeing on your shoe. There’s no fake-ness with animals – if you are paying attention and taking the time to know and understand them, you know exactly where you stand. You also learn not to put what you think they are thinking ahead of what they are actually thinking; you learn to admit that you don’t know. At least I do. I admit I don’t know much at all, but I feel like that leaves me more open to learning, as compared to some people who think they know more than they actually do.
      • Anyway, for me, one of the things I love about being around animals – aside from all the love itself that they sometimes give out – is that I don’t have to pretend, either. I just have to show up and be present, and they expect very little from me beyond that. Actually, some don’t even expect that much. Some just want to be fed, and some just want to be left alone. To be able to inhabit a space with another individual who asks you for nothing is really quite liberating. I get to be in their presence, I get to be myself, and things can just be quiet for a while. That they usually don’t care whether I am there or not is also quite humbling. It’s a good reminder that we are not always the shit. We go through our lives looking for validation and attention and for others to just see us and recognize that we are there – we want to be seen. Other animals, for the most part, really don’t give a crap about such seemingly superficial needs. They just are, and the idea that there are times when I can just be, as well, is incredibly appealing to me.

That’s it for now, as I have to get back to work. Maybe I’ll cover some of the other stuff tomorrow.

Oh, and just because it’s still cool to me (and falls nicely into my own personal quest for attention and validation), it was one year ago today that my status as a Guinness World Record holder was posted on the GWR website, and we went public with the announcement of our success!

Breaking Ideas

And that’s a wrap for the Toronto Screenwriting Conference 2016!  I’m not sure if any other event gets me so jazzed up and yet completely drained at the same time.  My body is exhausted, but my mind is full and wired and churning.  I have so many seeds of so many ideas, and very much want to make time to work on, like, all of them.  Definitely some more than others, though.  From ways to revamp things I’ve already written, to some brand new concepts and possibilities I want to try out.  At the moment, I have no idea if anything will happen with any of it, but at the same time, I can’t stop thinking about it, and am so excited to try.

In no particular order:

  • a screenplay to turn my first novel into a feature-length film.  Same characters, same general scenario, but vastly different plot points which would hopefully make it less gentle and far less predictable.
  • develop my Ellie Skye book for young readers into an animated series (far less expensive to produce, and endless possibilities to work with in that world)
  • I haven’t quite settled on what to do with Ebon Black – I originally conceived it as a middle grade chapter book, a one-off fractured fairytale that could possibly be turned into an animated feature, or possibly an animated short…maybe a comic book.  Something visual, but I don’t know which medium would suit it best, or even if it should be animated or if live action would work.  I think it’s almost always been animated in my head, but I haven’t completely ruled out live action just yet, either.
  • Suffer The Fury could definitely be developed for a series, definitely live action, but first the whole plot would need to be re-vamped and … I don’t know.  Made better.  Stronger. Faster.  Haha
  • one new project idea that I am giddy-excited about is that I want to try writing a spec script for one of my favourite shows of all time.  It’s no longer on the air, so in a way it’d be more like fan fic, but I am okay with that because I’ve never written anything like that before, either.  However, I’d also be writing it as though it were taking place now, like re-booting the series, but 30-odd years after the original series took place.  If it were still going on, what would be happening with those characters now?  What would the world in which they existed look like after all these years?

There are some far less realized seeds germinating, too, but those are the main ones that came out of this weekend.  The two I am most focused on right now are the Carving The Light screenplay, and the spec script/ fan fic script for a new episode of an old show that I love.  I’ve been wrestling with them both for the past two days, and have broken a few obstacles on each wide open, and I’m excited by the direction each seems to be going.  There would be a boatload of work to realize even a first draft of either one, but one step at a time, right?  First I’d need to  brainstorm ideas, especially for the spec script, because I only have the barest bones of an idea for it.  A plot would be handy.  Carving The Light at least has a plot, however basic.  I just need to turn it on its head and add some more meat to it.  A lot more, but I at least know where the characters are going, as opposed to the spec script.  Right now, it’s still at the “what if” stage.

In both cases, I am thrilled at the idea of living with those characters again, though, and that’s really what’s generating my excitement and drive in their directions.  I can’t even say which I am more drawn to yet.  My mind keeps flipping back and forth between the two, asking questions and trying to answer them.

I should really write down what I have breaking thus far, but I am way too tired, I think.  Maybe tomorrow.  Or after I walk Brody and brush my teeth.

I can’t believe the weekend is over already.

“Is Teri Died?”

24

When I first found out about the TV show 24, I was excited by getting to see Kiefer Sutherland in something on television, and also was intrigued by the show’s real-time concept. I was on-board from the get-go, and that feeling only increased by the end of the first episode. I remember being completely absorbed and engaged – totally along for the ride. I started looking forward to it each week, and being tense while watching the episode, mixed with trying to figure everything out during the long wait in between each hour. The sound of the clock ticking away the time (and OMG the silent clock), in addition to the sound of a CTU phone ringing, burrowed into my heart right along with the characters on my screen.

That first season was epic. I was involved. I was a part of it all. I was devastated by what happened in the final few episodes – the twist revelation, those final scenes – all of it shaped how I would watch the series from then on out. Which is fitting, really, since all of it shaped how Jack Bauer would live his life from then on out, too.

I know many fans were disappointed by various seasons, but while I’ll admit that none of them would ever capture me the way that first one did, I still loved all of them. The whole journey. Even as ridiculous as some of them got, and even though they seemed to – at least in part – ditch (or pay less attention to) the real-time concept, I never stopped looking forward to each and every episode. I found coworkers who were as obsessed as I was, and we would meet every Monday to talk about what we thought would happen in that night’s episode, then again every Tuesday to talk about what had happened, and predict what we thought was coming next. We’d log onto the official show forums and see what other viewers were saying, and what other wacky theories were out there. There was a sense of community, and I was a part of it.

Then came the Fan Phone. The way I understand it, a crew member’s actual cell number was shown on-screen during an episode. Apparently someone forgot to replace it with the usual ‘555’ fake number. Some keen-eyed viewers caught it, and called it. It was posted on the boards, too, so more people called. And more. Eventually, an automated response was left, telling callers that they had reached the 24 set, and that the mailbox was full. But then, something kind of spectacular happened. Members of the cast and crew started answering the calls – while they were shooting! It was amazing! Suddenly there was an entire thread devoted to the newly-named 24 Fan Phone, and people would post details of their calls – whether someone answered, who it was, what time they called, what was discussed, and so on. I spoke with Jon Cassar for a moment (he was happy to hear I was calling from Canada, and held the phone up so everyone else could yell hello to Canada, as they had about as many Canadians working on the show as anything else, so automatically he became my new favourite director in the world), and then he passed the phone to Script Supervisor Annie, who waited quietly with me while they shot part of a scene. I heard “Action”, and “Cut”…and nothing in between. Could have had a spoiler, but got nothing!

Well, nothing but amazing memories from one of my most favourite shows.

Fan Phone stories became as talked about as anything that happened on the show, and the cast and crew seemed to have as much fun with it as the fans were. They were getting immediate feedback for the episodes that had just aired, and every so often, the phone number would appear on screen again, sending the fans who caught it into another frenzy of theories and excitement. It was an accident that turned into the coolest little gimmick ever, really, and everyone just ran with it. It bonded the community in a way that nothing else could.

Things went awry after a season or two, though, because People magazine published a story about it, but included the number to call. So suddenly, it wasn’t just fans of the show getting through on the already busy phone. People who’d never watched an episode were calling just to call, trolls were calling to troll, and those who so desperately wanted to get through were getting busy signals, instead. So eventually it got shut down, because it just wasn’t fun for anyone anymore.

But that didn’t stop them from posting the number on-screen once in awhile again, as a kind of hello and thank you to the fans who were watching, and who knew the significance of that number. I even kept it in my phone after, just in case.

And every time there is a cell phone number on a display in any TV show now, I check. Even though I know nothing like that will ever happen again, I check. Just in case.

Before Facebook, before Twitter, there were message boards, and forums, and while built for fans to discuss things amongst themselves, for a brief shining moment, they served to connect us in an unprecedented way with the people making the show we were discussing. And because it was a show like 24, steeped in conspiracy and secrets and clues, it became this incredible extra thing we could all share. An added hidden level to the experiece. One that I loved, and dearly miss, but that I’m so grateful to have experienced at all.

Even if it kind of ruined every other TV show interaction for me for, like, ever, because nothing will ever be that secretly cool again. It was the secret that made it cool, really. The surprise of it, just like that first incomparable season. Nothing will ever be quite that pure again.

Least of all me. 😉

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