Recommending Woody Allen…

When I was 14, I wrote a letter to Woody Allen.

I’m pretty sure it was a long letter (I never skimped on words), detailing how I wanted to grow up and be just like him. It’s not like I really wanted to be him, per se; I just loved the idea of the freedom he had to make the stories he wanted to tell. See, even then I could tell this was a storyteller not only having the creativity in abundance, but the capability to let that creativity reach its heights.  As an adult, I am even more floored by his ability.

So my letter begged for advice. What did I expect from him? I couldn’t say, I was a kid trying to latch on to some kind of a future, like any typical young teen. Maybe I was hoping he would send me a plane ticket and take me in as an apprentice?  He didn’t write back, of course, but he did send an autographed picture, which I still have today.

There is a chance that Midnight in Paris, Woody’s most recent film will take home the Oscar for Best Screenplay (It is also nominated for Best Picture), and I think well deserved. Of course, Woody won’t show up for the award.  That is not Woody’s way, and I find that also very bad ass.  Simply put, he is too busy making his movies to stop and take an award for the past, he is already on the next story, the future.

These, as a Woody fan, I would recommend as first dips into his library. Continue reading

A Writer’s Remorse: Shooting Myself in the Foot…

One of the problems of having an imagination is that you also become burdened by the “what ifs.”

What if I made that decision instead? What if I went with that agent or publisher? What if I didn’t lose that contact?

The trick is not letting these “what ifs” become regrets. And for me that is many times hard to do.  I can’t put my finger on it exactly, but many times in my career I’ve made decisions more out of my own “vision” of what I wanted to be, as compared to the opportunity in front of me. And in all of those moments I have walked away wondering if I had just shot myself in the foot.

Here, let me give you an example… We’ll start with one of the funny ones… Continue reading

This Writer’s New Year Resolutions

1. To be more up-front about my writing and experiences in my blog, but not to come off as whiney or as if I deserve anything from anyone.  The market is far too-congested with writers and luck and “who you know” plays a greater role than anything else on finding success as a writer.

2. To accept being a number three and hope someday to be a number 2… OK, I need to explain this one.

-BREAK FOR EXPLANATION-

In my opinion there are four levels of being a writer in today’s world:

  • Number 1 are those that have a relationship with a big publisher and can actually survive as a writer without needing an additional job.
  • Number 2 are those that have been published once or twice by a big house, but still need to have a day job
  • Number 3 are the small, artistic, indie writers who get published by small, artistic, indie presses, find some small critical success but don’t make much money (if any).
  • Number 4 are the clique of the self-published writers’ world. And yes, it is a clique. Some find success, most don’t… a large majority don’t.

3. Not to look down on the world of the Number 4 anymore. I do it, and even though my first book is out there via iuniverse, I still scorn the idea of being self-published. Sometimes all a writer wants is for their book to be published and at least this is an avenue for that. I need to be more understanding of that, but it can be hard for me to take a work like that as seriously as something from Putnam, for example. I know a lot of educated writers have the same mountain as me to climb about this; so this is me acknowledging the mountain. “Yes, I see the mountain, damn it!”

4. Find some inspiration this year, but not enough to take me away from being a good parent (I have two little ones and I don’t want them to come in second behind a project). I wrote an editorial on Green Spot Blue about this a while ago called “Mush.” Here is the link- http://www.greenspotblue.com/lifenestbabytoy/2010/12/21/mush.html

Hmmm…. It seems a lot of these deal with just be accepting of who I am and not getting down on myself about things.

So what are my hopes for the new year?

Well, I hope to find a publisher for A JANE AUSTEN DAYDREAM. The reaction for it appearing online was very good, and some publishers were initially interested, but everything has been silent since then. I did have one publisher replied and said that it needed to sound more “contemporary” if you can believe it. So a book that was mirroring Jane’s voice sounded too much like Jane, I’m not sure whether to be insulted or happy by that. While I would love a big house, I would be happy with a small press and the capability of it be in ebook format.

Ipublish Press which published MY PROBLEM WITH DOORS and MEGAN said they are trying to get the ebooks out on Google Ebooks this year. I really want that to happen… Which is funny since I have no desire to own a kindle or read an ebook. I actually had a friend since me a copy of her book as an ebook a while ag0 and I have guiltly yet to look at it ( I’m really sorry, Emlyn Chand. I will read FARSIGHTED soon, I swear).  Is it an anti Kindle/ebook thing? I don’t know.  It’s just reading a book on a screen takes something away for me.

And then there are the screenplays… I still dream of them being made, but the days of wanting to be the next Woody Allen are long gone. I have three scripts I really want to see made- CHRISTMAS DREAMING, THE SISTER MOON, and my adaptation of HAMLET (Which is always a debate for me whether it is the best thing I will ever do, or just one of them). But I do have others (4 others to be honest)… And there is a part of me that would like to write a new screenplay, but like with my books it is hard to be inspired when you think a work might join the pile of material sitting in my chest at the end of my bed. I need to feel like it will breath later. I have quite a few works already to feel guilty about just sitting around…. But seeing one of them that I wrote on the screen would be a dream…

Finally, I hope to survive the Mayan Death Day…

… Ok, that last one was a joke.

Hopefully.

Definitely, I mean nothing bad is going to happen.

Of course, if it does and I don’t plan, I’m going to regret it.

Argh.