Tuesday, August 25, 2009

need to get away?

i do. i have so much to do. so much that i really want to do. so much that i wish i could check out in order to check in with myself- to figure out where to put what and why what is where and why i am allowing, insisting, enduring and surrendering to distraction. why i wait for the other foot to drop on my heart and walk all over my soul.

I have set it up over the years to allow for no room, no opportunity for slowing down, for reflection or for gathering and recharging in order to be able to move forward as the strong, activated and capable woman i demand.

it would seem i have set myself up for failure. but really it's mostly about the human and social distractions that i succumb to. the choices i make on a daily basis-- why don't i choose the high road and honestly move forward with the people and activities and energy who make positive contributions to my pursuits? i'm no sociopath. my involvement in anything mandates joy and love- how is it that i can hand myself over to time drains and psychic vampires? people places and things who don't contribute to my bottom line or at least to my heart and well being?

i get stuck in making things happen. things that are just too hard, therefore they obviously aren't working. but my dreams die hard so there goes the indelible spirit attached to the hopeless. i suppose it makes sense that i have pit bulls- not hard to see where i refuse to let go despite even the magic 8 ball prophesying failure. once it's burned a hole in my soul- the healing isn't so ready or steady.

must get to work on my stuff since a weekend at the spa just isn't an option!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

15 Films

15 Films in 15 minutes- must preface with how inadequate this list will be by virtue of the 15 limit.

1. A Bout Souffle (Breathless- Jean Luc Godard)
2. Grease
3. Curious Case of Benjamin Buttons
4. Titus
5. The Big Lebowski
6. Good Fellas
7. Love With a Perfect Stranger
8. Cronaca di Amore (Antonioni's first film)
9. Arabian Knights (Pasolini)
10. Sherribaby
11. True Romance
12. Love Story
13. Wild Strawberries (Bergman)
14. Exterminating Angel (Bunuel)
15. Abre los Ojos (NOT Vanilla Sky)

My next post will be all about the why and the films that come up that didn't make this first 15...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

process people, it's a process

it's one of those things that unless you do it, you don't get it. it is the ultimate you had to be there. and by there, i mean in there. the masses of amazing people who consumer, enjoy, delight in watching movies, reading books and listening to music are as integral to the process as the act of creating itself. however, as one of those creators (perhaps aspiring is more accurate until i grow a more substantial following of consumers) who is often confronted with why don't you just do it, why don't you do more and more often... it isn't that easy.
in fact i am surprised and you ask almost any writer/composer/director - we'll lump them as creator for our purposes here- and they might just tell you that it is astounding that there are as many quality books/movies/music etc. out there as there are.

last night it was as gratifying as it was frustrating to hear an audience of fans pressing Quentin Tarantino about his product (mostly Inglorious Basterds as it was the premiere, but his other work as well) past, present and future. With few exceptions the inquiries probed scratched about as if QT had been blessed by Fairy Godmother of movies and that he has only to open his mouth and the script appears ready-to-wear, or even that he hangs out smoking joints before he sits down and simply chunks it out, well aware of not only the beginning, middle and end but the cool bits that fill it out. The fan base and my own consumer group too seem to take the concept of INSPIRATION- the act of drawing in to the lungs- quite literally. More than four times he had to preface his reply with- I didn't know that when i started. That wasn't my original intention. I've been working on this for more than 10 years. I don't know yet.- and the like.

The questions all seemed to assume that a project starts with an idea- and that the finished project is a destination with the idea as a map. He used a few good analogies - it's like knowing where someone's house is and you can get there, but that doesn't mean you can give directions, you have no map and you probably won't take the most direct route there. You know where you are now, you think you know or remember what the house looks like but you can't confirm with detail until you get there. He also equated the writing process to mountain climbing- you don't just walk to the top of Everest- you have to prepare, you have to adjust along the way to things you can't predict and it never looks or feels like you think it will once you reach the top. Then there is dealing with your success once you have arrived and descend. (Okay, so most of that is me adding my own embellishment, but you can see where his original nuggets are, no?)

The best part for me was sitting so close, making eye contact throughout and asking the only writing process related question and observation. Likely he has forgotten the red-head in the front row of the incredible Castro Theatre at his first San Francisco premiere, wearing the hot pink SUPER PISTOLS t-shirt who hasn't seen all of his movies but totally groks his writing process. alas, i'm confident we'll cross paths again and then i can give him my own sage advice- it's never Frisco.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

having it all

wow. it was such a secret low hushed whisper that i couldn't be sure that it even registered with the universe, let alone to manifest let alone to come to my as a rule easily distracted attention. but it has. all of it.

that's right- and perhaps they will even read this as they google me when i make the cut of folks they consider for the position- there is a job opening at one of my top companies to work for- BENEFIT COSMETICS. not that i am some random make-up or retail maven- no that's not it- better than that, find what works, why and love it. i know about the competition, i know why they have caught me and kept me. from the product and packaging to the marketing and advertising- why their approach to branding and presentation has put them at the forefront of their market- with almost everybody else either following the lead or stepping as far away as possible in order to catch whatever audience is left over.

the line between relevance and irreverence, written with eyeliner and underlined with glitter! why am i all about it? is it because they present their face cream with copy like DEAR JOHN, I'VE MOVED ON AND THIS CREAM HAS DONE MORE FOR ME DAY AND NIGHT THAN YOU EVER DID! oh hells yes, it starts there with such an irresistible hook, certainly. BENEFIT- even the name is something so simple and just shy of obvious- make-up isn't magic and it shouldn't make false promises either. or worse than false promises, me as a savvy consumer (okay, so i'm a professional- as a writer that is) I am turned off by any product that offers something unattainable, as in a personality, lifestyle or look that is as MC Hammer would say- CAN'T TOUCH THIS. I am not 6 feet tall, i am not going to look like a supermodel, movie star or anybody in the periphery / proximity- nor do I want to! How many of you would laugh at me if i did my eyes to look like Iman or Angelina Jolie? no chance of me emerging from my inadequate residential lighting even close to camera ready- especially the point and shoot digital variety. Enter BENEFIT. They offer options- just like you do with the products themselves- it's all about the blend that's right for you- and rather than some fantasy personality- they provide a guide- a persona- camp- vamp -tramp! if you aren't peeking into one of these windows, shopping for something you can actually wear out in your life, then no it isn't for you. but i tell you- what it is- it's real. it's clever and it's fun. what else should make-up you actually wear be?

wish me luck. getting this job- would be a good old fashioned move, chances are i will be there for a long long time- like Darren on Bewitched!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

learning to love the Twilight saga though it may prove to be my undoing

it was easy. albeit uncomfortable. each book was easier to devour than the one before it. the installments grew progressively longer~ the first wasn't even 500 pages! by the time i reached the 4th and supposedly final book- just under 800 pages~ waiting in the darkness for a friend to drop it just before midnight. i gobbled it up like a vampire drains its prey, in under 72 hours.

not unlike a vegetarian vampire, my affection for Edward (his refined, gentleman's behaviors, including his ability to express his unwavering love, with song, restraint, generosity, passion and focus) will keep me sated for a spell, but my seemingly unquenchable thirst will reveal itself once the magic of an absorbing novel has been washed away by some of the nasty side effects of my own mortality~ time and craving for companionship.

so now i fear an old age surrounded by books as Edward may be limited to the page. not sure if the moral high ground it espouses - purity is rewarded with TLF~ is inaccessible to reformed hedonists like me. or is the word offered as there is somebody for everyone and patience with faith will provide the secret recipe to imprinting a mate. really it's not about all that- just a good solid partner: a handsome man who is accepting, loving, at least as strong, generous, educated, smart, compassionate, talented, adventurous, courageous, stylish and vibrant as me...or in short, a good fit for the long haul. men with expirations dates, Peter Pan, man-child afflictions wearing scaredy pants need not inquire.

the good news is, despite the undeniable and overwhelming pulpy qualities of the series', the depth, intricacies and overall superior quality of the story and each of the stories woven in, is INCREDIBLE. I have spent the bulk of my years as a reader avoiding supermarket checkout line literature~ but these books make me want to chat with Stephenie Meyer about her process; what did it look like when she started? did she outline? did she know who was going to end up with whom? what changed over time? where did she get blocked and why? what would she change now?

i am motivated to write my own. that is only reason i am not grieving the vampire and shape-shifting family i have come to know and love. they infected me- i was bitten- i only put the books down out of absolute necessity. and now i can only endure the separation because of my desire or instinct or motivation...to write my own*.

*I have no intention or inspiration to write vampire, shape-shifter, supernatural novels. I am a writer of good old realist-ish fiction. but damn if the Twilight saga hasn't pushed me to another level. you never know what shape the muse will take...and not that this will throw cupid on the path or anything but i know that as soon as i surrender to my own heart pursuits, wheni can really focus inside on the quiet, i'll hear him knocking...

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Quiet Still Room

talking, collecting, caring for, busy, productive, projects, information, talking~ all of it a ready distraction that fills up my space and controls the time and energy. welcome to duh moment number 9,302,475,098,103,094.

i haven't ever been the brooding, quiet in the corner taking it all in writer. i am the one who spins from the center of the storm, who bemoans the drama and life excesses with a pledge to not live the stories but write them. no surface in my house, no page of calendar or moment in my day doesn't have some thing poised and prepped for filling up whatever space might present itself.

this insistence on filling up not only pretty well guarantees that the unexpected, you know, where the magic lives, don't have much of a chance, rather the miracles need miracles themselves in order to manifest in my life. ouch.

i have done some great work on opening up space recently- in my home. my heart, not so much~ more a healing place, but that's the work to make the room, right?

time to break out the Rilke. time to listen to my own advice and impose even greater routines so the muses and their bags of miracles will know when and where to find me. it's called the open space of the soul required to stop, look and listen to the QUESTIONS. and if you are lucky ~ you will live long enough to know and revel in the answers.