Thursday, July 31, 2008

Just call me Buttah Fingas

Hi, my name is Wendy. I am a klutz.

I drop everything, including myself on occasion. I am not allowed to take off my wedding rings or engagement ring in public places. There's at least and 80% chance that suddenly, for no explicable reason, a trio of musical pings will soon follow as they hit the ground. And heaven help me if the floor is carpeted. Good luck finding them then!

It goes beyond that, however. I'm a typing klutz as well. My story, and I'm sticking to it, is that my brain is moving faster than my hands. I leave off 's's, I drop letters, I make mistakes like "I am ore than that" in place of "I am more than that" and many many more hilariously bad examples of typing: "What not to do" with a keyboard. If you can think of a typing error, I'm pretty sure I can put a check mark beside it. (And for you literal minded people, *cough* dear husband *cough*, I refuse to even address the other 'what not to do's' I have committed with a keyboard. We will not be discussing milk today.)

There was a point to this...oh, yes. Script. So, yeah, I have this script thing. It's going to be handed over early next week, I hope. In deference to my typing faux pas, I have let a few people read it. It's more than a smidge embarrassing to see page after page of marks with the most mundane of errors - 'shp' instead of 'shop', 'her' instead of 'here', 'co-works' instead of 'co-workers'.

That 14th 's' you forgot, it really sticks with you.

But, I'm happy to report that aside from typing errors it seems to be well-received in this small group who've seen it. The 2 who watch the show say it sounds like a real episode and in an equally glowing compliment, the 2 who don't watch now want to watch the show. I'm pulling in fans. Yeah!

So who else will see it? Well, we're doing something very cool with our scripts next week. I can't say more. But a couple of weeks after that, before the next season premiers, we should be posting them publicly for anyone willing to have a peek. Even in script format, I think they'll be a fun read.

Mmm, pie....

Monday, July 28, 2008

Pillow Talk

No, not that kind. Sorry!
That kind.

We've talked pillows for a very long time. For the nearly 3 years of our marriage we have used pillows that my husband had before he met me. Flat and shapeless do not begin to describe. Something had to change, and the pillow talk began.

2 years ago.

We talked, we poked, we prodded, we even bought one a time or two but they barely made it out of the package before being returned. Enough is enough though, and this weekend we set out to hit Bed Bath and Beyond and not leave without new pillows, no matter the cost.

We got out surprisingly cheap, in the end. We squished and fluffed a long row of selections and walked out with 2 new pillows. (We actually walked right back into the store to look at sheets, but that's another story entirely.)

So. We get them home. Our old sheets were in the wash at the time so the new pillows, freshly de-bagged, sat perkily in their new spots with the bed spread beneath. Thoughts?

Wow those things are huge...

After a bit, the sheets are done and my husband makes the bed. I pass through the room again to see the new pillows looking not unlike a large sack of potatoes stuffed into a tiny bag. More foreshadowing, completely missed. But, I'll skip ahead a bit: bed time.

The sack of potatoes simile returns here, if not for texture, definitely for size. Huge is an understatement. I've never heard so much pillow punching. Shift. Beat pillow. Shift. Shift. Vigorously beat pillow. Rinse and repeat. Night 2 wasn't quite as bad. But it is a reasonable possibility that I was too tired from the previous restless night to care.

So, I for one, am left hoping the flatten quickly. But only a little. Is it possible to find the perfect pillow, that stays perfect for a reasonable amount of time?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A-Team Classic Moments

I recently rediscovered a favorite show from my childhood on Hulu: The A-Team. I absolutely love this show, for so many reasons. Every character is so unique and fun:

Hannibal - Colonel John Smith; The leader; The Brains; "I love it when a plan comes together"
Faceman - The con artist; The procurer; If they need it, he gets it.
Murdoch - The pilot; The hilariously insane one
BA Baracus - The muscle; The philosopher; The caretaker of the weak

Here's one moment of many that just makes me laugh.

Face: Murdoch, what's going to happen?
Murdoch: It looks like we goin to crash.
Face: Oh c'mon, really, what's going to happen?
Murdoch: It looks like we gonna crash. And die.

This is right after Murdoch admits to Hannibal that he stole they plane they are currently using from a repair line. And that the plane is unfixed because obviously "they start to miss 'em once they been fixed."

Mr. T (B.A. Baracus) happens to be especially quotable. There's a consistent theme in the show that BA hates to fly. Every time they need him to fly they have to drug him and I enjoy all the different ways they trick him, both onto the flight, and afterwards when they try to hide it from him. BA stands for Bad Attitude and he's not afraid to show it.

In one scene from the episode I'm currently watching, they are carrying him away from the plane so he won't know he flew.

Face: Maybe it would help if we took the jewelry off.
Murdoch: No, I don't think we can. I think he's got it hooked up to a burglar alarm.

Later he figures it out and this quick exchange follows:

BA: Murdoch crashed the plane, didn't he?
Murdoch: No, no no no no no. I simply relocated the aircraft with extreme prejudice because of a total loss of thrust and lift functions!
BA: You crashed it, sucka!

BA: BA Baracus gonna take that lie outta each and every one a your hides.

I could really go on forever. It's a hilarious and highly quotable show. I recommend it to everyone.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Late Update

It's been a very busy week! I've gotten some great feedback on my script from my husband and a good friend and Bones fan. One more friend read it, but she doesn't watch the show. She does read Kathy Reichs' books however, and while she couldn't help me on specifics related to the show, she did call like the story and, in what I consider a high compliment, said that it made her want to watch the show. Yay!

Today has been a very busy day with Bones cast and the creator appearing at Comic-Con yesterday. I've made countless posts as information comes in and spent a lot of time organizing a special podcast with a couple of people who saw the Bones panel first hand. I'm very jealous of these people, especially the one who squeaked his way behind the scenes and had a private one-on-one with David Boreanaz. He's one lucky man!

Tomorrow though, aside from the interviews with the lucky ones, I will be focusing heavily on The Final Draft of my script. It's time to rid myself of the scourge of typos and word omissions, fill in those last few holes, and proclaim it 'done'.

And then?

More writing, of course! I thought of a new story even today. It's not remotely Bones related but it could be an interesting movie ride...

It is very true: The Stories Never Stop

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Writing Update

I've got updates I can share, and some I can't. But the first draft is basically done. I have a couple of lines to fill in and one scene that's not in the document because I've written it multiple ways but's in the bag.

I will be doing a lot of editing, especially to formatting. Jamie, my partner in this script debate, told me about The Screenwriter's Bible, by David Trottier. I resisted pulling it out until the draft was done so I wouldn't mire myself in the technical, and I'm glad I stuck to that choice. It's already a revelation that I wish I'd had in my hands back when I submitted my pilot competition script, but that can't be helped. It will, however, greatly help me now.

Jamie did score us some science help, thankfully. A real bona fide professor and coroner who was willing to take some time to answer some wild questions for nothing but sincere and heartfelt thanks. And boy am I grateful. He didn't answer every single question I posed (I did send at least 15 after all) but what he shared was invaluable and went a long way to rest my mind on the scary science. I'm still guessing on parts but he saved me from at least one big goof.

My script is over budget on length by at least 7-8 pages. Hopefully the bulk of that will be taken care of when I go back through the dialog in a couple of days and tighten it all up. My goal was 60 and I'm happier being slightly over than any bit under.

No matter what, I've really enjoyed writing this. I've written a rather long fanfiction story with the characters in their happily-ever-after glow but I have to's a million times more fun to write them as they are now: bickering, teasing, and hopeful for their futures.

I just hope it's a good story!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Silly Tests

I'm kind of offended I didn't score higher.

I am nerdier than 74% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to find out!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

New Song of the Day

I've been really busy and not honestly had a re-re-repeat song for awhile now but this one has definitely taken that current spot. There are not any good embeddable videos but here's a link to a good live recording. The song is a beautiful balad of heartbreak called "Gravity" and it's by Sarah Bareilles.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Productive Lunches

Today was an extremely busy day. Work was busy, Bones news was hopping, I had to come up with questions for a very generous person to possible ask the Bones panel at Comic Con (thanks for the help, Jamie!), compose questions for another generous person who has offered to help us with our script science issues (he may run away when he reads both our emails), and then somewhere in there actually work on the script too.

During lunch I did a little of each of those last 3, and then later this afternoon I managed to squeeze in the writing of the most daunting non-scientific part of the script: a heart-felt letter from Zack to Dr. Brennan. I can't say more than that but it comprises only words spoken in the final scene of the script and there's a strong burden for it to be righteously self-important. Those words matter. They are the true resolution, as far as things are resolved, for the entire episode. They've weighed on me heavily and I've continually ignored them. But suddenly the words just came. I hope they read as well as I think they do.

Well, that does it

Since finding Bones I have almost entirely lost interest in other procedurals. CSI and Law and Order both used to be staples of my TV diet. The only thing that kept me occasionally peeking into either was William Peterson's character Gus Grissom on the original CSI. I like geeks!

Today I read that he's leaving the series. The 10th episode of the upcoming season will be his last a a cast regular. On the one hand, it will be interesting to see if a show can survive losing it's lead. I think it's been done before, in ER for example, with Anthony Edwards leaving. But on the other hand, it completely takes all last vestiges of interest I held onto in regards to this show. It does give me hope for one thing, however. This better lead to a life-time of geek love with his girl Sarah, who ended her run as a series regular last season. I may tune in to the 10th episode just to find out.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Oh the best laid plans...

I didn't get nearly as much done as I planned. I have finished act 2 almost and made some good, shaping notes about a few more scenes. The good news is that Act 1 really is the whopper that holds more page than any other, so I'm well over 1/2 done.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Well, whadda ya know...

I got a lot done yesterday. Amidst giving mechanics money for normal repairs/maintenance on both our cars I managed to get some good writing done. I finished Act 1 of the Bones "Zacksplanation" spec script completely. I'd say I'm about 1/3 done with the entire script. Unfortunately it looks like that 1/3 might be a whopping 30 pages by itself. And that's just the 6 page teaser and Act 1! I think (read hope) the other acts are smaller than the monster that is Act 1, but we shall see. It was interested, digging in, and visualizing the flow in my mind. I could see things like the points where the actual show would add a few very short cuts to different scenes to keep the momentum going. I added 2 short vignettes that weren't there before.

I think in general I might have a couple of scenes that are way too long. I'm just going to keep trucking with it and when I'm done hopefully it will be easier to then go back and see where there happens to be dead weight I can cut out. There's a scene in Act 2 with a character that gives the biggest group of details about the victim's life and tells a character story. I'm afraid to type that one into the computer and see how big it really is. But I'm running with "more is more" and the idea that it's easier to cut than add parts that won't flow as well. That or I might just be writing a 2 hour episode without realizing it...

PS Super Smash Bros Brawl (which we got for 1/2 price on Amazon) is the devil of a fun timewaster. I am Bowser. I SMASH!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

For Fear of Blank Spaces

Blank spaces really are terrifying, when you're staring at a deadline. If you let them, they can lead the mind straight to the same blankness.

We've set the end of July as our deadline. 3 weeks. And this weekend I have a 3 day weekend thanks to some unavoidable errands on Friday. In preparation for the planned fantastic and extensive work I will do on my script this, really...I plugged most all of my latest hand-written notes into the computer document and printed myself a fresh gleaming copy to mark up. And believe me, there's plenty of wide open prairie land on those pages, free for the marking!

For pure fiction I can easily write either on or off the computer. My brain flows better with a pen, but I can manage either way. However, I have this odd process for script writing. Almost none of the script first appears on the computer. I have a continual rinse and repeat cycle where I write furiously on paper until the paper is barely legible, then I plug it in and organize it on the computer. I can then print out a new copy and do it again.

I couldn't have reasoned this process out in advance, but it works beautifully for me. My brain just seems to work better with a pen in my hand, only stopping when the mass of blue begins to obscure the structure beneath. The only real evolution to this process has been learning where to incorporate blank spots so I have pen breathing room. On this latest printing the blanks are definitely crushing the blacks in sheer size, hence the near-panic at times.

The only solution is to write. And if I can focus on one scene at a time, step by step, I will get through it.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Feeling the Burn

No, not in my butt, unless it's from sitting too long. I'm feeling a deadline burn now! In ~3 weeks Jamie and I are supposed to have completed scripts for our "Zacksplanations". I work best under pressure and well, now I'm feeling it. I've been continually refining the science with some helpful prodding by this guy and consequently chunks of the victim's life and some of the outline have changed. And I love the changes! They've unintentionally added some fantastic new layers to the plot that I think are nothing but improvements.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Buffy is Over

Well I haven't updated in a long time but we just finished Buffy Season 7 and Angel Season 4. I've had serious 'god I hate this show' moments with Buffy but in the end I have to say it's a great watch. Angel I like most of the time and I'm happy we have 1 more season to go.

All I can think about right now, as far as Buffy goes, is this:

Edit: Now I see that's someone's redraw instead of the original. The original is soooooo much better at poking fun of David Boreanaz with his long even hairline, big forehead and impossibly small ears.

Here's a crop of a screencap but photoshopping it into workable order is proving to be a big time pain.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Blame Jamie (I do)

I used to listen to this song a lot. I remember having it as the first song on a 'mix tape' that I played frequently (oh what those words - mix tape - conjure). But during a 3 hour Skype conversation a couple of days ago it came up and now I've been listening to it again. I'm pretty sure it's not going away from my head. Ever.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Enabling disabled by request (Rant)

When I see those words on a video on Youtube that I want to show here I lose a lot of interest. Do they not understand the importance of embedding in 'cool' sharing of content? Add something annoying to the start of the video directing people to a webpage or whatever but let us embed!

Movie fun: I'm with Lucy

Recently ordering a few things off Amazon, I added in a $2 pickup for the movie I'm with Lucy. When you're a fan of a particular actor or actress you want to see their full work and who can resist $2 for a romantic comedy? Unless you're the romantically autistic sort...

I'm with Lucy is the story of a woman who's relationship ends dramatically in the first few minutes of the film, devastating her. Her sister is determined to get her back into the dating mix, however, and over the course of a year she dates 5 different men. All begin with blind dates and all of the men are flawed in various ways. Lucy is played by Monica Potter, and the men are played by (in order of the dates, if I remember correctly) John Hannah, Gael Garcia Bernal, Henry Thomas, Anthony LaPaglia, and David Boreanaz. (Entomologist, Playwrite, Computer Salesman, Baseball Player and Surgeon, respectively)

The movie progresses via somewhat dizzying switches between the progression of each relationship, with a few 'present' flashes as she's readying to marry the unnamed winner of her heart. After round 1, you think it's going to be David Boreanaz' surgeon. But by round 2 you, unfortunately, know exactly who she'll marry, or at least I did. And all the while I was rooting for the most unlikely character (nerd factor!) to win the day.

I had no idea when I bought the movie that Harold Ramis would be in it. I love every role I see him play. He was perfect as Egon and now he plays a string of large teddy-bear comfort figures and it totally works.

While a bit predictable at times, I would definitely recommend this movie for those who like sweet, romantic laughs.

Now this I like...sorta

I really couldn't get behind the Sex in the City mania. Because, well, I didn't watch the show. I think I saw one or two episodes but it never drew me in.

But I'm a sucker for Friends. And reports are coming out that a Friends movie is now in the works. I'm a bit afraid of it though. What will they do to make it interesting? Ross and Rachel are together, Chandler and Monica just got their twins, Phoebe is settled...They wrapped up the show pretty neatly in the end.

I really hope they come up with a fantastic script that defies all those questions. I will be very interested in seeing it.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Streak Definitely Broken

I've made huge script progress since I last posted a writing update. The outline is complete, the teaser and part of Act 1 are written as well as many other scenes. The science part scares the bejeebus out of me at times but my great friend, Lance, has been helping me tremendously with that and even with that discussion gave me an idea that may reshape part of the crime victim's life.

I learned so much in writing the other spec (that's about 80% complete) that I've refined my process a lot. I outlined there, but this time I outlined more specifically and in more detail. More importantly, I made a reference version of the outline. Last time I came up with the story and started outlining in my head, and then jotted down something so I could find act breaks. This time I came up with the story, started building the scenes but wrote the outline with specific focus on the act breaks. I think it, at the least, has made my organization easier. And if you're organized it's far easier to avoid the nasty writer's block. I always know where I stand in the story so I'm not getting distracted by loose ends or other scenes or broad questions.

Despite it being summertime, the Bones blog is hopping too. There is constantly some type of cast or show news trickling out and I'm really enjoying compiling and presenting it each day. I've unfortunately been slacking on my old episode reviews, with everything else going on, but I hope to remedy that soon.

# Pieces Written

Scripts - 3

4 if you count re-writing Sleeping Beauty, Hillbilly-style, in High School

Novels- 1 + .1 + .7

Can I count my 14 or so mentally composted story ideas? No? Drat.

Short Stories - 2

I'll say two officially, so far (one of those still needs to be typed up)... I lost at least 2 of my old ones and I've wiped the slate clean.

Poems- 3...4? 42?

I won awards for 3. After that I lost count.