One of these days…

I will actually write those damned pages.  Honest.

While I could have attempted to today, I opted to exercise instead.  It involved a run of approximately 10 miles, all as part of my training for a half-marathon I’m doing in a month.  My legs are sore now, but it was necessary.  I seriously doubt the weather in Anaheim will be comparable to the type here, but it has a start time of 5AM, so it should at least be a little cooler than what I’m expecting.

-I decided to try yet again with the Friday logline contest.  Prize is analysis of your first five pages.  The guy behind it also opened it up to unlimited, or at least three, entries.  I sent in three; one via Twitter, the other two in an email.  I’ll be amazed if anything happens with any of them.

-An interesting conversation with the wife tonight.  I’ve been working part-time in radio for the past 18 years.  My boss keeps telling me I’m at the top of the list to be made a full-timer, but there’s no definitive timeframe for when that could possibly happen.  Although I have a somewhat set schedule, I occasionally get extra hours, but it’s slowly getting to not be enough.

There’s a guy at work who does a lot of radio production on the side, and he always seems to have some example of having purchased a very expensive item.  He also said he’s even done some minor voice work.  Wow.  Sure, I get a bit jealous, but I also remind myself “You don’t do that.”  What CAN I do?

I can write.  I’m a good editor and proofreader, and would even say a somewhat decent screenwriter.  K thinks I could easily double my income by getting a full-time writing job of some sort.  Part of me isn’t saying no, but I also like the idea of having some time to write my own stuff.

I’m in the final stages of a freelance editing project.  I looked at Craigslist tonight.  Two opportunities for screenwriters (granted, neither pays very much, but work is work), and a ‘writer wanted’ listing for a group working on a TV pilot (not my area of expertise), which maybe they would consider.

It’s nice to see that I may able to put my abilities to use.  That would be nice.

Next week, back to the script.  I promise.

Well, that sucks

I admit it.  I got cocky.  And that may have been my downfall.

My entry in the one-page competition was not one of the three finalists.  I suppose I was biased since I made it in AND won the last time.

I checked out the three.  At first glance, I liked two of them, the third not so much.  Then I read them again, a bit slower.  The first one, which I originally liked the most, was a little confusing at the end.

The second was clever.  That’s all I really can say about it.

The third I initially didn’t like, but after re-reading it, I liked the twist ending more than the rest of it.

If I had to pick, it would be between 2 & 3.

Lesson learned:  when I think something is good, take a little break, then go back and make it better!  I’ll give that a try next time around.

-Didn’t get to do any of my own writing today, but still feeling somewhat confident about it.

-I registered with a kind of peer-review message board for various stages of screenwriting and submitted the Dreamship logline.  I’m curious to see if anybody’s responded and what they have to say.

Part of my motivation for this was my receiving an email from a contest where the 100 best loglines are forwarded to producers.  Sounds interesting.

-Speaking of which, I really should check up on that contest I found myself in from earlier this year.  Unfortunately, I can’t remember what it’s called, so tracking down an update will be quite the challenge.

With my luck, I’ll get an email sometime in the next week with my status.  But I’ll probably forget about it by this time tomorrow, so no big deal.

-The wife heads out of town this weekend, and the daughter’s camp is half a day all next week.  Those precious hours between dropping her off at 1 and picking her up at 5 will more than likely be filled with exercise and/or running.  The flaw in this plan is being too exhausted in the evening to focus or at least stay awake while trying to write while she watches TV.  Even if I only get 1-2 pages done a day, that’s still more than I’m doing now.

-Finally heard from the woman who runs the new writing group.  I suspect lots of us were off/away for the summer, so now it’s time to jump back in.  Looking forward to this.

-Inspired by last Friday’s logline/Twitter contest winner, I developed and have decided to enter the following: Moe, Larry & Curly: Undercover G-Men!

1944. The famed slapstick trio is recruited by the War Department to help break up a Nazi spy ring that has infiltrated Hollywood.

If that doesn’t work, it’s back to the drawing board.  Then again, it sounds like it would be an awesome movie.

I’m so awful

Last week I said I would be vigilant about daily posting, and I’ve fallen down on the job twice this week.

Would it count if I said I was busy with a freelance editing project?  I was.  Not as many hours as originaly expected, but still a good start to a potential sideline.

Negative side – the company asked for my business license number, which you need in San Francisco.  I had one years ago, but hadn’t needed it since ’07.  So I go to City Hall, ask about renewing it, and am told that it never expired and I owe $$ in back taxes. WHAAA???

I know the city’s broke and hard up for cash, but this is preposterous.  Now I’ve got to find out if they accept installment payments.

-On the script front, I did enter a one-page contest I was fortunate enough to win earlier this year.  If I get lucky again, the prize is a $25 gift card to Amazon and a 15-minute consultation/discussion with the woman who runs the contest.  She’s also a professional script reader/consultant, so I think I could really benefit from that.

The requirements are: one page that include, in context, three words of her choosing.  I like the way my scene developed and liked it more than I expected to.  Hope she likes it.

The weird thing is doing the comedy for that one page wasn’t that hard.  I had fun while I wrote it.  I really need to keep that feeling going while working on Baby Likes Jazz.  Maybe it’s not as hard as it first seems.

-There’s also a weekly contest from a guy who is also a script consultant, and his picks the best logline.  The prize is usually something like he’ll analyze the first 5 pages of your script, or a 5-minute phone call.  I haven’t had any luck yet, but suspect my Xmas Noir one came close.

I do have a problem with last week’s winner.  ‘Susan B Anthony: Dragon Slayer.’  Clever, but not terribly original, especially considering the recent release of ‘Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter’ (which was part of my wife’s birthday present). 

I wonder what kind of reaction something like ‘Moe, Larry and Curly: Undercover G-Men!’ would get.  I may not have a script to back it up, but it sure sounds fun.

-Still looking into possibly going to a pitchfest-type of thing in the fall.  More investigation needed.

Back to work…

Well, the emails have been sent out to all 6,304 of us Nicholl hopefuls regarding possible advancing to the next round.

Despite my positive thoughts and efforts, I was not among the fortunate.  I didn’t even get a p.s. saying how I was THIS CLOSE to making the cut.

It’s somewhat depressing, but I’ve been reading a lot of blogs and comments from people in my situation.  The responses have ranged from ‘They never like (genre) anyway,’ to ‘That’s it.  I’m done.  I will never enter this contest again.’

I’m probably more reluctant to try again next year.  But somebody posted an interview with a previous winner who said she had entered her winning script the previous two years, only to lose out in the first round.  But when she entered the third time, she was able to make it to the winner’s circle.  I’m more intrigued what changes, if any, she made to her script.  I bet I could do even more to improve Dreamship, but that’s something to think about later on.

In the meantime, I’ve already broken several self-imposed vows regarding Baby Likes Jazz.  I haven’t been able to write every day, which is my own fault.  While I should be about halfway done, I’m only up to page 20.  I went back and edited/rewrote those pages, which I told myself I wouldn’t do.  But I also like them more than I did before, so that might not be a bad thing.

While I’m trying to get this first draft done, I’ve also been very concerned about whether or not it’s funny.  It’s hard to self-analyze on that front.  I’m not the kind of writer who does Hangover-type stuff, but I wish there was a way to improve.  Maybe writing every day will help.

Part of me also wonders how serious I am about getting this done.  It’s a cute concept, but doesn’t exactly scream “Commercial!”  I think I decided to take it on because I wanted to see if I could do it.  Maybe in the end it would work better as a writing sample.  Unless I can make it better.  We’ll see.

I’ve also started thinking about two other ideas I began developing before I dove into Baby.  One a mystery-comedy, the other another fantasy-adventure.  There are still lots of details needed to flesh out both, but I’m already looking forward to taking them on.

-I’ve mentioned to the wife about upcoming pitch festivals in August and September.  I like the idea of going, but wonder if it’s really worth it.  Then again, it’s not like anybody’s breaking down my door lately.  I’d probably pick one and take it from there.  We’ll see.