Taking it to the Field: Research Part 2

TucsonSo in part one of this journey to Tucson, I wrote about conducting firsthand research for my screenplay. The research took place at Tucson Greyhound Park, a run-down, deserted, out-of-date greyhound racing track.

The track announcer had just begun to read off the dogs for the first post. I had been texting my daughter, so I told her I needed to go, and I headed outside.

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Taking it to the Field: Research Part 1

TucsonFor one section of my screenplay in particular, first-hand research would be necessary. The only problem was that the research would require a trip to Tucson, Arizona. But it was a trip I knew I would need to take at some point.

Part of my movie takes place at a greyhound track. There was a time when greyhound racing was the sixth most popular sporting event in the country, and race tracks dotted the map. But the heyday of greyhound racing is long gone, and most of the tracks are closed. Only a few are scattered across the country, with the majority of those that are still open in Florida.

Tucson Greyhound Park is the one closest to the West Coast, so I set my sights on traveling there.

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Screenwriting Secret: Don’t Relieve the Tension

gmail, checking emailI’m feeling the tension! And seeking relief.

I keep nervously checking my email. Way too often.

But I can’t help myself. I am waiting for feedback on my screenplay. Yet again.

I just spent the past two months on a new rewrite, making some adjustments requested from a group of investors who took a look at it back in February. They want more tension. My response to that was, “Yeah. No kidding.”

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Preparing for My First Interview

Mike Lizaraga, Michael Lizaraga, screenwriting, The Shell, student, writing, short story, horror genreI am meeting with Mike Lizarraga tonight for my first interview for this blog!  The reason he is my first is actually a great story, so I wanted to share that with you beforehand.

I have taught college English for 20 years. But like everyone else, there is always that first semester. In fact, I just spoke with my niece Josie the other day as she is finishing her first year as a teacher (she teaches fourth grade, something I think only saints or crazy people can do!).

Talking to her reminded me of my first class. Continue reading “Preparing for My First Interview”

Captain.on.track 2.0

celebrate, version 2.0, captainontrack, screenwriting, blogging, blogIt’s here! Version 2.0! It may seem a bit early to be coming out with my new version, but as a writer, I am never opposed to revising.

And just like I am a beginner at screenwriter, I am actually a beginner at blogging. So this is a learn as you go project, and I decided it was time to make some changes.

The first change is to my address. My new domain is theaspiringscreenwriter.com

This will still be my journey to the red carpet, but I am going to take you along with me. I want you to finish your screenplay and to invite us all to your premiere party or your first screening or your debut film festival showing.

I will continue to take you with me as I navigate this process, but I am also going to bring in other people’s stories. If there is one thing I have learned so far, it is that there is no “right” way to make a movie, there is not just “one” way. So I want to share as many ways as possible.

In the future, in addition to my posts, look for interviews and links to helpful information. I am so excited about this new direction! And I look forward to everyone’s input.

 

My Attempt to Respond to “Fear”

fear, roller coaster, scared, emotional roller coasterI am sitting at Starbucks, fearful that I have not been productive enough last week. So I am using the day to alleviate that fear and to write. When I come here, my routine is always the same, even though I need to change it. I log on to the wifi, check MSN for headlines in case anything momentous happened over night, check email, and check Facebook. The last check is the one I need to discontinue, except for today!

The first post came from a friend, an actual friend, not a virtual friend: Kelly Raymer. And it was a link to his latest blog post, I am guessing, sitting in a coffee shop on the other side of town. I was going to comment on it, but I had too much to say. Here is his post: Fear.

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How Not Knowing Twitter Makes You a Rookie. I am a Rookie.

 

twitter, social media, captain and the greyhounds, first tweet
My first Tweet. Notice the two likes. One is from me and the other is from my only follower – my daughter!

I am a late adopter. There. I admitted it, as embarrassing as that is sometimes. For example, I only bought a smartphone because Verizon no longer sold phones without data plans. Otherwise, I just might still be using a QWERTY keyboard. Or worse yet, one of those keyboards where you have to hit the numbers keys one, two, or three times for each letter. And even now, I am carrying around an iPhone 4. I am shopping for a 6 right now though, only because I really need a better camera on my phone.

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How to Tap into Your Genius

writers genius

I spent an amazing weekend with this group! The goal? To get in touch with the genius that we all have and to use that genius for good (actually, we are all writers, so the real goal was to use that genius to write something considered, well…genius!).

The power of community is something I did not understand until much later in life. I’m not sure why. I have always been somewhat of a loner. Not necessarily socially. I love being out among people. In fact, I am at Starbucks right now simply because I like being around people. But when it comes to work, I have always been more of a “do it myself” kind of girl. And I’ve always been proud of that too. I now cringe at the thought of how many times I have bragged about not needing anyone. Not ever asking for help. Being able to figure things out myself. Installing ceiling fans and toilets – all by myself. You know the type, I am sure. We re all over the place, usually struggling and overwhelmed!

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Doing Dreams the Right Way

Emily, selfie
See. This is what she does to me.

My daughter Emily and I went to Starbucks together to get some work done – I had writing to finish, and she had studying to complete. What a mistake! I always forget that I never get anything done when we go together. There’s too much watching people, sharing funny tweets, taking selfies (she is the one taking selfies, not me! Although she often gets me in the background, unbeknownst to me), noticing cute dogs outside, and doing whatever else keeps us from our tasks at hand.

Then she had to show me her favorite all-time video. She  was giddy as she queued it up and untangled the ear buds. She then handed me one as she placed the other in her ear. Here it is:

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An Idea You Can Steal from Old People

The Met, older couple, holding hands, never too old
No, this isn’t Nick. But I took this at The Met because I loved seeing this couple soaking up life.

And I don’t mean me! This is something I am stealing from an old person, or at least someone older than me.

Here it is: You can start over at any age.

Today I met an 81-year-old man named Nick. He is a writer. However, he does not call himself a writer.  But a few years ago he started over and started writing. So, he is a writer.

We crossed paths because he was looking for an editor, a role I have played more than a few times in my life. We spoke briefly on the phone and settled on meeting at Starbucks (I know, not very original! But to those who have read my earlier post on Starbucks, you will be proud of me because I did NOT order a Medium Mocha Frappachinno with whipped cream! Yay me!).

I knew nothing about him other than he would be wearing a white hat. 

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