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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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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