Why the Search for Normal Is Paralyzing

what-is-normal-Google-Search-1I know writing. I have been doing it for a long time. I know how to get published in magazines, in newspapers, on websites. I’ve done that. And it was fairly easy to figure out. I know how to get a book published. I have written a couple and have a couple ideas for future books. Now, I have not actually published either book. But I spent a lot of time trying to get published and getting rejected. Of course, today, I would just self-publish. Unfortunately, at the time, self-publishing still carried a huge stigma. You know. It wasn’t  “normal.” So I have no books selling on Amazon.

But making a movie?? A complete mystery. And a very expensive mystery.

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Pitchers and Pitching

I love baseball.12

My only explanation for that is that I am from St. Louis. How
could I grow up in St. Louis and not come out a baseball fan?? I am not sure it is even possible.

Not only do I love going to the games, keeping score (or sometimes not!), eating a plain hotdog – no mustard or ketchup here! – and having a Budweiser, but I love using baseball as a metaphor for life. Ever since my son started playing (and yes, I was one of those moms who had him in t-ball at the tender age of 4), I have come to realize just how many lessons baseball can afford us in our every day lives.

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Float Trips and Fleeting Moments

Heard something this weekend from Andy Andrews. I have seen him speak twice and have twice been amazed at what a powerful speaker he is.  Something about his delivery is simply mesmerizing. I was in an arena with 20,000, and he created absolute stillness. And the really strange thing is that I would catch myself nearly in a trance, hopefully soaking up the words into my subconscious!

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Reading Screenplays, Inside AND Out

Inside OutAs an English professor, I LOVE analyzing literature. And I especially love analyzing a novel with a class full of freshmen who really have no idea how to tackle a novel: mapping plots, evaluating characters, determining the role of setting, deconstructing the language, discerning themes. But I have not worked with my classes on reading scripts (except Shakespearean plays, of course!).

Since I am fairly unfamiliar with screenwriting, I have been downloading and reading as many screenplays as I can find in my genre. Then someone gave me a flyer about a group that reads and discusses screenplays, Screenplay Development Group. When I saw this month’s choice was Inside Out, I knew I had to sign up! Not only is this movie in my genre, but I saw it with my 19-year-old daughter, and we both absolutely loved it. For $35, they mailed me a copy of the screenplay, and I joined about 40 people to discuss the writing.

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Learning from the Pros


Here’s a great clip I came across last night from the brilliant writers of South Park (my son’s favorite writers – he’s a smart kid!). It’s a bit old, but I thought I would share. You can bet I will be looking at my screenplay this afternoon before the Superbowl!

Matt Stone and Trey Parker

Thanks to AFW.



Medium Mocha Frappuccino with Whipped Cream

starbucksSo this screenplay is not my first foray into the world of writing. I have written (and had published) dozens of articles, served as a regular columnist for a magazine, and written two books before this.

Well, partially written two books. One was a complete book proposal and about 50 random pages before I abandoned it. It was a great book, but I was not getting much encouragement from publishers and agents. And unfortunately, this was long enough ago that self-publishing still had a pretty large stigma. If I was writing it today, I am certain I would self-publish it. The other book simply had no ending! So frustrating! It was 90% complete, but I could not come up with a satisfactory ending. That is still safely tucked away in my external hard drive, just in case I have a flash of inspiration. I’m still hopeful…

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