Thursday, July 26, 2007

Tagged and Bagged Numero Dos

Been meaning to get to the last remaining tidbits about me. I see most of the other scribo bloggers that Unk or other bloggers have tagged have spilled the beans.

Plus I got a ghost named Unk breathing down my back. Hey, get a breath mint.

So here we go.

4. Yo hablo Espanol mas or menos. Yeah, I know enough Spanish that when I hear it I am intrigued enough to try and decipher what is being said. Just after college I went with my dad and a mission group to Bolivia for 2 weeks to help build adobe homes for nurses in a village a couple hours north of Cochabamba in what they call the Altiplano or high plain. I tried my damnedest to help translate when we talked to the locals. Okay, most times I sucked. But for one afternoon, while I worked with one of the elders of the village who was college educated and had come back with his wife to help the village. We sat by the small trickling creek that flowed past the outer walls of the village gathering stones needed to be added to the adobe. Once he found out I knew some Spanish he only allowed me to talk to him in Spanish. I learned more Spanish that day then my 3 years in high school. That trip was a defining moment for my life and sometimes I find myself back there in my dreams. Now, it isn't a good place for gringos like myself but some day I would hope I could go back.

5. I dated a woman long distance for a few months mainly talking via phone and internet. I thought she was the one and was ga ga over her. She broke it off with me during one of the times I came to visit her and I thought I would never recover. I look back at that and realize I am glad it never went any further than it did. Otherwise I wouldn't have met my wife, which leads me to the next fact....

6. I met my then future wife in a chat room. No long distance this time though. After a few days of chatting we met on a date at a local restaurant and well, the rest is history.

7. One sad note is I lost one of sisters almost 6 years ago. She died October 2001. It was surreal because while the whole USA was still mourning 9/11, my family was in mourning over the loss of our sister, aunt, daughter and granddaughter. She had a rough life suffering from depression and bulimia. She was finally finding herself and realizing her goal in being a healthy woman but after a nice day spending time with my parents she got up to get a pop while at their home and collapsed onto the floor. My poor father tried his best to revive her but he couldn't. This one moment I know still haunts him. I wish I could take it away from him, he deserved better than knowing there was nothing he could do. She was my best friend and my confidante. I called her Biza cause when I was young I couldn't pronounce her real name, Elizabeth.

Still think of you every day, sis.

Maybe I jumped too far into the memory pool with these notes, but this ain't easy folks. I have one left. My wife has been bugging me about the fact she wanted to come up with one thing about me. So, I relented and she can take us to the fade out.

8. He loves candy. He is always wanting to venture to the store to get some "treats." He always is munching on Skittles, Milk Duds, Twizzlers to name a few. As a matter of fact, he is digging in the cupboard right now trying to fulfill his late night sweet tooth.

Ain't it the truth. She's not too bad at this blogging thing. Maybe I should hire her on as a ghost writer.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Tagged and Bagged

Damn. Just when I thought I could go quietly into the night...

Something made me check out Unk's blog tonight. He has been quiet the last few weeks (as have I) so I've been relying on Google reader. But tonight, I just thought I'd hit the site.

Unk never seems to have a dull moment. Always as a story to tell. Don't we all, but he seems to have lived some interested ones. All I can say is treat him nicely on the road.

Okay, so why all this talk about the shadowy agent of screenwriting blogs all of the sudden.

He plainly stated he wants the smack--the lowdown--a little 411 on yours truly. He got tagged and now he's passed the torch. Am I surprised? Damn straight.

So, I guess I have to comply ('cause I got some nasty dirty secrets in my closet...or maybe just some laundry needing to done.)

1. When I was a tiny tot I spent some time in the hospital where the docs were checking out some usual lesions on my scalp. Docs never could figure out what it was. They said I'd probably end up in some medical journal. (Suburban Screenwriter's Syndrome anyone?) Did get a nice pair of cowboy boots from my parents for my trouble. Also remember reading a comic in a room touching my head coming back with blood and proceeding to throw up all over the comic.

2. One of the front teeth is chipped due to being a hot rod when I was around 8 with my best bud Kip. He lived away from town but we would ride our bikes into town. (You could let kids do that back in the 70's.) I didn't have my bike there one time and so I ended up having to use one of his sister's bikes (damn embarrassing I tell ya but I think it was a light blue) Anyway, their driveway is a steep drive so we head down the driveway onto the road and the brakes on bike I ended up with weren't the best and as I proceeded to barrel down the drive I flew across the two lane road into the ditch and crashed into a ditch pipe. And all I got was a chipped tooth.

3. I have been tackled and padded down by Minneapolis Police. All I can say is don't go out late at night at Augsburg College to chill and swing on some swings in the park in the middle of college campus. I wasn't drunk or high (though I wish I had been.) I wasn't packing any heat (someone thought I was which was the nature of the call.) It was a surreal image seeing police move from several positions as I listened to my Walkman and out of the corner of my eye see police guns drawn come and throw me off the swings, rudely pad me down and realize they had just violated some squeaky clean scrawny white kid. The cops were gracious enough to just look at me and say "you know why we had to do it, don't you?" Yeah, right. I had a case with my floppies in it of my writing which I had left in the back seat of the squad car and proceeded to get lost at the cop shop. So, I lost some decent crappy college level writing.

More of this god forsaken trip into memory hell later, folks.

Send my regards to Unk.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Recently, I was working on a project which required alittle bit of research. I had a great idea of how to present the idea and had orginally decideed to use that idea. However, my brain got the best of me and I talked my way out of using the idea.

Not always a good thing.

I tried to write something else with the idea but after a few pages I was stuck. Sure, the idea was intriguing and the pages seemed good, but yet my heart truly wasn't with this idea. I had allowed my head to get in the middle of what my gut already knew would work.

Instinct. As per wikipedia:

Instinct is the inherent disposition of a living organism toward a particular behavior. ..generally inherited patterns of responses or reactions to certain kinds of stimuli. ...which moves an organism to action, unless overridden by intelligence...

We all have it to a certain degree (however an old blind socialogy teach of mine from my college days had a good argument saying instinct had basically died with the Neandrathals.) As a writer once you have dealt with enough stories and such you're gonna have skill and smarts about how a story works etc.

But what seperates a good and a great writer I think is the instinct that drives the need to write. I could have easily written a mediocre idea and done something with it to make it work out. But, in the end, the story wouldn't be that good.

Falling back to my original idea opened the flood gates for me. As I paced my living room for about 5 minutes I had what i needed for the idea and I pounded out the rough draft for it in about an hour. It's just a short script so there wasn't alot of space to work with but I laughed at how easy it was.Easy because I allowed myself to write what I knew was the story. No thinking or analyzing or second guessing. That would all come later.

Three drafts later, the story has changed to a certain degree but the core is still there. On top of it, it's a comedy. I don't usually write straight out comedy, instead I put any dry wit I may have into my usually dark moody scripts. Comedy is hard and more times than not isn't very funny to most people.

I am glad though I allowed myself to go back what I really wanted to show and used it.

Now I can get back to my dark survival script of a couple trying to outrun a fire in the middle of the wilderness.

Lots of laughs there.