Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Unemployment Diaries: Day 2 (the outside edition)

10:30 I WOKE UP but I laid in bed for an hour playing Avengers Academy and Kingdom Hearts on my phone.

11:30 get out of bed and convince myself I'm going to get some work done before dropping off rent at noon. Play more Kingdom Hearts. Watch New Girl while I eat my cereal (I found some Rice Chex upstairs! But it's the last bowl. Add rice chex to grocery list).

12:15 leave for Starbucks b/c that's where I meet my landlord to give him rent. Treat myself to a green tea frapp with espresso, partly because if I don't get caffeine in my system I'll wind up with another adorable migraine.
I decide to check out Goodwill for any books. Find nothing. Check the plastic toys for any Disney figures b/c wedding decorations. Find a bag full o' Beauty and the Beast toys. Decide I should create a spreadsheet of what figures we already have so I don't buy the same ones over and over.

1:00 pharmacy time to drop off prescriptions for refill. pick up hair dye and condoms (practice safe sex, kids!), both of which were on my shopping list. Tweet about my day b/c damn I look cute. Yes, that's Peggy Carter lipstick and Peggy Carter sunglasses and a Peggy Carter t-shirt. I'm not usually this On Theme.
Oh yeah, do you follow me on Twitter??

1:30 home. watch New Girl. hang with roommate Hannah. Laundry. Kingdom Hearts. Paint nails for the base of my Winter Soldier manicure.
What else did I even do with my time?????? No one knows.

4:00 apply for jobs on indeed.com. I found two really great ones! And one kind of okay one. A friend sends me an article about LEGO company jobs, but they're all in far-flung countries and also for like engineering-minded people. I am decidedly not an engineer, regardless of what my Fitz t-shirt says.

5:00 feed cats, get ready to leave for therapy. My sister is babysitting for my fave kid, who has declared war considering he is an Iron Man fan. Snapchat about said war. Declare him dead to me. He sends increasingly impressive vids of himself in full costume complete with SOUNDTRACK IN THE BACKGROUND???? Note to self: Teddy is very wrong, but very dedicated. Hire him in the future.

5:45 guess what I don't have therapy oh well I'm out of the house now! Stop at pharmacy, pick up rx. Stop at grocery store, pick up delicious toppings for my bagels, cereal, some avocados, whatever. Have a Really Uncomfortable Time at the self-checkout? Like I'm here to AVOID human interaction please do not stand so close to meeee???
(there is a longer version of this story but I've already told it three times today. Maybe I'll include it tomorrow.)

6:30 home. settled. eating some unhealthy dinner b/c I decide I deserve it. fold laundry, wash more laundry. Tell Hannah the uncomfy grocery store story.

7:30 SAM GETS HOME! Sam is also my roommate. He's cool. Sam and I fill each other in on our days. I read a couple more job postings Jeremy sent, none of which seem GREAT but one seems okay so I start my application. Watch some Teen Mom 2. Be glad I bought those condoms earlier. Tell the grocery store story for round 2.

8:30 begin countdown for Agents of SHIELD, while watching very little of Prisoner of Azkaban on Freeform.

9:00 live tweet Agents of SHIELD partially because I am total trash for that show, partially because I really like the interaction of the community. Clark Gregg retweets me. I am pleased.

9:30ish Ted Cruz drops out of presidential primaries. Sad. I was really rooting for the Zodiac Killer, tbh. I wanted to see where his lizard people campaign was going.*
I....was not going to vote for him. 

*I was not rooting for Ted Cruz. I'm not honestly rooting for anyone? I'm kind of hoping Obama just declares himself King. 

10:00 Destroyed again by Agents of SHIELD. Chip Zdarsky has also liked one of my tweets, but it's not enough to stop my sadness.

11:00 Jeremy is home from DnD! I tell the uncomfy grocery store story for the third time, to which both he and Sam react with great delight. They insist it is due to my story-telling abilities and not my discomfort. I am skeptical.

11;30 Jeremy leaves for sleep. I type up most of this diary. Sam watches some sad-ass movie about vampires which features a man named Josh (Hartnet? Hartnell? I don't feel like googling this one.)

12:00 obsessed with Ben Foster and proving he was in Flash Forward in the 90s with Jewel Staite, I google all this information. I discover this is not a show I made up. Success.

Now I have two options: tumblr until I pass out on the couch, or bed and go for round three on the getting up on time thing. (You have probably already guessed which one I'm picking. GNIGHT)

Monday, May 2, 2016

Unemployment Diaries: Day 1

Hello everyone! Long time, no blog.
Today is my first official day of unemployment--I quit my marketing job b/c of reasons and I'm going to spend my time working on writing and theatre work. I've got RENT rehearsals three nights a week, and still freelance for InsightBulletin, but in the mean time, I've got....well....I've got cats.

Anyways I thought it'd be a great idea to keep notes here on my blog, first of all it'll keep me writing consistently, help me keep track of all the Great Ideas I have throughout the day (today's gem: keeping a blog to keep track of all my Great Ideas. How Meta.), and generally broadcasting all the really exciting and inspirational things I do all day (example: it is 4:00pm and I'm still in pjamas.)

Without further ado, here's today's entry.

11:00 Wake up, think how early it must be and how great it is that I woke up without an alarm. Look at phone for time. Have regrets. I slept through my 9:00 and 9:30 alarms.

11:15 Get breakfast. Roommate is watching Cutthroat Kitchen on demand. Join while I eat my Lucky Charms (I'm out of Lucky Charms....add to grocery list).

12:15 Downstairs for all my Productivity to start. Migraine starts to settle in. Consider nap, decide NO WAY I'VE ONLY BEEN UP FOR AN HOUR ARE YOU KIDDING? Log in to tumblr instead.

1:00 Okay I've been on tumblr too long.

1:30 So I should probably log off tumblr and do something productive

Chris Evans has a dog named Dodger okay seriously though nothing else on tumblr is worth my attention.

2:30 finally close computer because migraine is so bad I feel like I've got to vomit.

2:35 clean kitchen. Take excedrin. Consider all the things I haven't done with my day. Make tea. Open window for cat to enjoy the spring air. Take out recycling and trash. Wow this is exhausting. Try not to vomit b/c of headache that's still lingering. 

3:00 turn computer back on with intention of doing paperwork for RENT. Check emails, delete a bunch of them. Cry b/c JAWS sperrys are now in stock at Journeys and I have a mighty need. 
Cry b/c headache still lingering. (p.s. I have not actually cried today, just been generally upset.)

3:30 smol cat sits on me, preventing me from doing ANYTHING (read: playing Kingdom Hearts on my phone). Landlord and I set up time to pay rent. 

4:00 start this blog post, consider all the things I STILL haven't done today. Start to-do list. 

4:30 email cast to let them know our rehearsal location has changed. Consider all the things I still haven't done today. (this is the theme of the day).
Agonize over what to wear to rehearsal, as this is the first time I've gotten dressed all day and I want it to count. Decide on ridiculous neon colored Star Wars ensemble. Feel sad I didn't think of this combo sooner.

5:00 print out any missing paperwork for RENT binder. Charge phone which is almost dead from all the Kingdom Hearts important work I've been using it for.

5:30 PRINTER IS BEING A BRAT so I clean the cat's litter room (which is really just a portion of our downstairs bathroom, which is really just a toilet in the same room as our washer/dryer.)


7:00 marvel at RENT rehearsal like full on Angelica Schuyler in New York City like how lucky am I to be alive rn

10:00 drive home

10:40 home. eat some ice cream. consider my life choices. Snuggle w/Jeremy. Hang out w/Sam. Stare at bunny. Stare at photos of monkeys my sister is meeting in Costa Rica. 

12:00 Read hella long article Leia posted to fb (for your reference the article is here)
add a million new books to Amazon wishlist based on article. Consider Western novel, but come to no interesting conclusions. 

12:45 decide to send out rehearsal report/emails to folks. so tired my eyes burn, but I click on tumblr anyways.

1:00 finish unemployment diaries. Post. 

~~le fin~~

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Writing Exercise: Sending Someone Away to Your Personal Hell

The postcard arrived from what I'd have thought of as hell. Silence, meditation, farmland. I'm a city guy, feet grounded in concrete and head full of smog. This guy, on the other hand, was full on hot air about the country. Fresh, hot, manure-scented air. He loved every second--said it gave him "inspiration". Even his handwriting was pretentious. Tiny loops where they weren't needed. Written in fountain pen, which I knew because I'd seen him use it--slowly, with great pomp and circumstance, taking painstaking time to waste no ink.

"greetings" the wretched practically chimed at me. "Hello" wouldn't have sufficed and "hi" was right out of the question, I guessed. "I'm having a perfectly lovely time out here the air smells so rustic and the people are so Earthy." That was his classist way of saying 'poor'. "I've been eating lots of potatoes and running extra as a result." Lies. He barely ran at home. "And the cats have taken an immediate liking to me." That's because he doesn't shower enough and he smells like tuna all the time. "Lots of quiet time in which to get my book done." Okay, I know you don't work without headphones--an electronic banned on the farmy retreat, but sure. "You'd absolutely love every second." false, and he knew it. "Hope to see you soon." More lies, he never visits. "Lots of love, your brother, Edward." That was the first expression of love he'd made towards me in fifteen years.

Maybe I was missing something. Maybe the shit-air suited him. Maybe things were about to change-and for once maybe it was for the better.

--writing prompt from The Write Brain Workout.
Writing time: ten minutes

Monday, June 8, 2015

Collaboration: Working Together

I’ve been writing for almost fifteen years now, and this project is one of very VERY few that I chose to collaborate on. Typically, I play well with others, but when it comes to writing I waffle between overly confident that I can do it better, and far too self-conscious to produce much of anything. This project, however, is a beautiful exception to my normally wise rule.

Alright listen I know it's a different word but I love this video.

When collaborating on any project of any kind, for any reason, there are a few things you should keep in mind in order to make that project (and that collaboration) a success.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Don't Choose Your Target Audience: Your Target Audience Chooses You

Like many other small children, I was taken to Disney World at a very young age. I went for the first time when I was barely over a year old--most of the trip lives on in videos my parents took while painstakingly documenting every single time I misbehaved. 
Since then I've gotten a little taller and it's only slightly less cute when I make new friends waiting in line for Splash Mountain. When I was in college, my sister and I took our first trip without our parents and realized there were whole sections of the parks we had never explored. As our week sped on faster than we would have liked, we also realized that taking a trip without small kids following us around was an entirely different experience. Our "party of two" often got ushered to the front of lines, to round out a family with an odd number. We spent mornings sleeping in and evenings riding Rock N Roller Coaster until we were dizzy. We made friends with cast members and sat in cafes, splitting cupcakes and trying new flavors of coffee.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Chapter Five: The Chapter I Haven't Titled Yet

Dezi and Reg had watched what felt like a billion hours of crappy television by the time her mother came home from work. Frannie was home to by that point, but she couldn't be bothered with the television or her sister or her sister's weird friend with the dreadlocks. She was in her room, probably doing something boring like actual homework or possibly (rather probably, in fact) watching the same crappy television on different channels.
"Thank you for not leaving the house, Desert Orchid"
"I wasn't going to be able to get away with anything when you were calling every five minutes."
"I did not call every five minutes." She had called something more like every ten.
"You know, if you didn't want me going down town you could have just not mentioned it." Reg laughed as Dezi’s mom raised her eyebrows. "It's not like I just spend my time looking for trouble." This time he outright guffawed, and Dezi kicked him from across the couch.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Researching A Novel

I don't know about you, but I love reading as much as I love writing. I love when a new project has me learning history or looking at photos of unfamiliar terrain. It's the best. Here are some tips I've discovered when researching for a large format project like a novel or full-length play:

1. Start Simple

In Starbuck McLaw, when our titular hero wants to know more about his past, he goes to the children's section to see what the basic building blocks were in Ancient Egypt. I didn't pull this idea out of nowhere: I start in the kids section, too. I like to start with a broad-strokes approach to research, especially when the topic is something about which I know very little. If I can't get to a library, I will check Amazon for kids books, or even skim wikipedia articles and take notes on topics I'd like to learn more about. This will help me lay groundwork for more in-depth research later. It also helps me understand where my knowledge is at the starting point, and know where to build up my weaker areas.

2. Visual Learning

Photography books can be a writer's best friend. If you're looking for inspiration, or need to know how Times Square looked in 1908, you're bound to get a lot of information very quickly from photographs rather than anywhere else. Sometimes when my inspiration tank feels particularly low I'll spend a day at an art museum and focus especially on areas I may not be initially drawn towards. This can either jostle something I didn't expect, or it can solidify my instinct to go in a different direction.


Don't be afraid to put the books down and write one of your own. I can get very wrapped up reading about a whole lot of things that are only tangentially related to my project. Or, I might be reading about something unrelated all together. The reason you or I are doing this research is to enhance our own writing--and the writing won't get better if we stop doing it. So take a break after you've learned something that piques your interest. Write it down somewhere--try writing how your main character would react to that information or when they first learned it. Never forget to go back to your own writing.

4. Ask the tough questions!

So okay sometimes you'll come across dubious sources. Sometimes you need to do a little digging into where ideas come from or who did/funded the research you're reading. Sometimes you have to ask questions that haven't been answered yet--and sometimes that will lead to the best writing you've done in a while. If the questions haven't been answered you can take your time exploring a whole lot of possibilities, and no one gets to say you're wrong!

5. enjoy ya life.

If researching isn't your jam, then okay. No problem. But you SHOULD know the facts about what you're writing about. So then stick to the bare minimum, to make sure you actually know what you're talking about. But of course there's always a place for alternate history, broken laws of physics, and worlds built entirely of cotton candy and lemon drops, those worlds need to have consistent rules or reasons for no rules at all. So yeah. Enjoy ya life.