In today’s blog I will tell you all where the heck I’ve been the last couple days. I know I’ve been slacking on my blog posts and to be honest I did have one written Sunday morning but something happened with the app and it deleted it. 😞 But here I am again, with more to report, or babble about.
I’ve been working around the house a lot. My husband and I got a lot of things knocked off our to-do lists last weekend and now we can focus on some of the bigger projects. First, we pulled a lot of weeds and dead branches/foliage from the back yard planters. I trimmed a tree but it’s pair needs a professional whack it’s gotten out of control. The same with the lilac bushes we have lining the side of our fence. Then today, my parents and I all got together and weed whacked the weeds and tall grass beside the garden area dedicated to the chicken coop. We did a great job. Tomorrow, we are going to level the ground a little and lay out the brick on which the frame of the coop will rest on so that it’s not just sitting in dirt, it will last long and less likely for predators to get inside.
Now, my mind is wheeling about and I’ve been chatting with my sister, whom I’m getting these chickens from, and she’s going to do rabbits after she gets the chickens set up. Which is exactly what I was concidering. So, now I’m thinking we will relocate the playhouse, which used to be the hen hour, and it’s actually a pretty shed, to the other side of the yard for the kids, and make that whole corner beside the garden a large pen, eventually, for the chickens, ducks and rabbits that will all share a community pen when they aren’t doing free range activities. The rabbits can have their own coop, same with the chickens and ducks, but they will all have one big pen to graze and mingle in. The chickens and ducks will probably be free range in the back yard, as long as the dog doesn’t bother them, but the rabbits are probably always going to need a fence between them and my rodent murdering dog. 🙄
And this is my plan. By the end of the year, I hope to have the chickens and ducks all set up. A fence will be built between now and next spring, around the garden, and a large pen will taper between the two fences and create one big small animal community. It’s a large space, everyone, and these animals do well with one another, so don’t freak out. Like I said, they will have their own spaces, and I will have mini coops to keep them separated if/when ever we need to. I’m excited about this. The rabbits will be angora, which is the kind you can harvest their fiber/fur and sell for making clothing. We will have the chicken and duck eggs for us to eat and share or sell, depending on how good the production is on that front. And later we will have a pony, horse and alpacas, over the next couple years. Our little farm is close to starting and I am so excited. I’m doing all the research and learning all the things. I got a ton of extra stuff for the chickens to make their lives happy and healthy here. They will probably be more like pets since we aren’t going to use them for food except for the eggs. I got a bridge for them to hang out on, a toy to chase around and get treats from and special herbs to increase egg productivity. I know I may have gone overboard but I don’t care! We bought a farm and by Jorge I am going to make it a working farm! Woohooo! 🙌🏻
The other day I purchased an evaluation review of my tv pilot, ”Summons” through WeScreenplay. It was $69 for their basic service and the turn around is 72 hours. Flash forward to that afternoon, they had already finished my evaluation. I read through it and there are a few things that need changing, including some grammar issues, which I will address and it received a “Consider.” There are three possibilities, Pass, Consider and Recommend. Everyone wants a Recommend, but Consider means you have some work to do before its Recommend worthy, which I anticipated and am super pleased to get. I was just hoping for not Pass. They said my story concept was really good, the character arcs needed some work as well. Which is all totally manageable to correct and, hopefully, get it up to Recommend status the next time I submit for an evaluation.
Now, because of all this, and WeScreenplay having an affiliation with Coverfly.com (screenwriters platform) the judging gave my script just over 100 credits, which is substantial when you consider these factors: The first time it was evaluated, I got 102 credits, for a competition and the next time it was evaluated for a fellowship competition, it was given 36 credits. Now I have 238. With this new score, my script is listed on what they have is The Red List. It’s a list of Top 10 scripts in their genre and type, in this case, TV Horror and it is #7 right now. This was a goal of mine, to get “Summons” on The Red List, but I thought it was going to take a lot more than just one judging/evaluation. Again, I plan to make the corrections mentioned and get it reevaluated. Who knows if something similar will happen. I imagine, if it reaches Recommend that it will move up in the ranking.
For anyone considering eval with WeScreenplay, I will tell you it was worth it. The turn around time was phenominal and their association with Coverfly made it even better. 😊
I am really excited about this. A big goal of mine has been accomplished. On top of the book I published last month, another one coming out this summer, one more for the Fall (I have to write it first), another Feature script writen and in editing. Plus, “Chimera” might do well, too, seeing as it’s first contest got Finalist. Fingers crossed for a win this year, from any of my scripts. I would be elated if that happened.
Everyone have a great Friday, thanks for reading all the way through, just had to share.
So far I’ve whined about editing on Twitter no less than five times and I’m not sorry about it. Editing is definitely not something I enjoy. Maybe editing someone else’s work where I go about making the script look like it’s contracted chicken pox but editing your own work? Nope. Because that’s the back end part of editing. Where you make all said changed. Removing scenes, shortening action or description. Delete characters or, in this case, consolidated two characters into one, it worked out so much better actually but I’m still sad about the loss.
Now i I have to go through it and correct any plot holes I’ve created by making said changes. And that’s only about half of the original notes given to me by Finish Line Screenwriting Competition. This is the second round of major overhaul on the script. Going into it, I know it won’t be the last before this script is ready to win any major competitions or receive a “Recommend.” I’m going to see about having it read by another writer or editor, maybe get more notes, another edit, before resubmitting to the competition.
Between each edit session on this script I will be editing something else, starting with my YA paranormal book. I am never without a project to work on, either editing or writing and it all seems to workout schedule wise.
So far, I’ve removed 15 pages and still hope to remove at least another 2. It will be challenging, especially with all the other changes I need to make still per the notes. Wish me luck guys. I’m not at my full 💯 this week.
My sister reminded me that parents parent differently with Autistic children than they do with the children who aren’t on the spectrum. And not for the obvious reasons either. Before I go through the list of what comes to mind, let me start by telling you how scary it is to know your kiddo is a runner. For parents without special needs kids, this might mean they like to run or they run off but will eventually come back when they hear the threat in your mom-ster voice telling them to “come back here now!” What I mean by runner in my family is that Korben, 3.5 years old, will run and keep running to wherever his heart desires at that time, even then, if something else catches his attention before you reach him, you’re screwed because off he goes again!
Now comes the list:
Runners mean you need to keep doors and exists locked and have back up plans in place. For instance, the garage doors can’t be left open without someone in the garage. Korben likes to get in the garage through the house door or the back yard (2 doors) and off he goes if no one is there to catch him, talk to him, give him a job, a new toy, let him play on the driveway, that sort of thing. So there are locks all over the place. Child locks that even the adults have a hard time unlocking for every day use. It’s a pain in the ass but it keeps him safe and everyone sane. The sliding glass door is our weakest link. We have to keep a curtain rod between the doors against the jamb to keep the door closed in case he unlocks it, which is a piece of cake for a three year old.
Next: normally you parents would be apprehensive to share their child’s pictures, address and mom’s phone number on social media but in this case, as Korben has already gotten out without us knowing twice in one week, I’ve done just that on our neighborhood’s facebook page. Letting everyone know that he likes to wander even when we think the doors are all locked. To call us or walk him home if you see him. My biggest worry is that he will find the creek that’s near our house somewhere and be like any other autistic child who has run away and died from entering water and drowning. It’s a real fear. We are going on a family vacation and the house we are renting can NOT have a pool without a separate fence around it. Even then, I’m nervous as hell about it. A pool on the property means even more chances for drowning. Especially with five children in the house and just two adults.
Which brings me to my next point, extra people. I can NOT do anything around the house without fear that my child will escape and run away, break something other than a toy or hurt his baby sister because he doesn’t quite have or understand empathy yet. Empathy is a social lesson kids learn and he hasn’t quite grasped it just. He’s getting there though, and I am really excited about it. Saying sorry and hugging those who have gotten hurt or are sad is a big step but it’s not all the time. He didn’t do that a month ago so I know it’s going to happen soon and for that I am thankful. Still, I have to take the baby upstairs with me to get dressed or switch the laundry out. Chores don’t get done unless he’s out of the house or the baby is asleep and even then I am limited on what chores I can do because, again, escaping or damaging the house.
Let me remind you, he is normally a sweetheart, but when he wants attention or needs something he doesn’t have the patience yet to wait for me to return. If he wants to join me upstairs where I’m working, he wants to destroy his sister’s legos or check on the sleeping baby. There is no win situation. There’s always compromise. Even more so, I feel, than those parents without an autistic child.
That said, having another person in the house is always helpful. Just someone to keep his attention downstairs, talk to him, get him a snack if he needs one. Find his water cup if he’s lost it. Let him outside in the secure back yard with his shoes ON and not just in his socks rather than scream at the bottom of the stairs for me and waking the baby. Sanity is worth the price of a nanny, even part-time. And understanding, supportive friends and neighbors are even more special to our family.
Last, how you discipline your kids is different. I have one with ADHD who needs more direction that the one with autism because she’s older and he learns from her more than anyone else in the household. We know that’s a big burden for a 7 year old to carry, but that’s the truth. It’s not easy for anyone in the family when a special need is involved. If her first instinct is to not share, hit or yell at people, especially him, then that’s what he will do, too. So, as often as we can we explain to her that when she does this or that, he’s learning from it, which is why we get on her so much about this or that. She understands and it’s already hard because of her ADHD but I think that might help her later on in life. He’s got his own responsibility chart next to his sister’s and they both love it. It’s new in the house but we already seen a big improvement with both of them. Hopefully it lasts.
I share this to give those without a child on the spectrum a little insight. Every day is an adjustment of some sort. The smallest improvements are celebrated. Every new word or three worded sentence gets a cheer and praise. Every share or thank you gets high fives and hugs. He’s my bub and I love him. He gives the best hugs.
My son has autism: He is high functioning and though he’s labeled as non-verbal, his language skills are getting better and better every day. Since getting his diagnosis in February, we have been on the wait list for the immersion therapy here in town, the ONLY one in town. He was going to start in June and it was a 12 week program, so the whole of the summer. It worked out perfect. He wouldn’t miss out on the school setting and regress and I got to be one less child in the mornings lol. When I spoke with their office last week they informed me that due to us taking a two week vacation, he would have to attend the next session in September. I can NOT tell you how disappointing that is. And as disappointed as I am I can’t change our plans for it.
We are going to see my husband’s two older sons in Florida and they are going to meet our younger two for the first time. They haven’t seen Aurora (our oldest) since she was one and shesnow 7.5 years old. This is the only time the ex-wife said we could visit and we can’t make it shorter because we are also taking our kiddos to Disney World.
Now I have to figure out how to make it through the whole summer with all three kids at home all the time. Rory says she doesn’t want to do any extra curriculars or sports during the summer and There aren’t any part time preschools over the break for Korben to got to, just all day. We have great neighbors but this means hardly any down time and with the husband working majorly long hours I am worried about my mental health. And I am very serious about this. I plan to enlist my mom to help relieve me here and there as well as finding someone to come over a couple days a week to help me with the kids. If not to get chores done then maybe a small break now and then. I am one of those moms who need away time from my kids, though I love them to death.
i seriously hate the limited resources we have here in our new town. It’s so small. Things have worked out until now but I’m sure this is only the beginning of challenges with resources I will have for Korben, which worries me.
Im going to try and not let it get to me. Do all that I can, fill out all the paperwork and make all the necessary phone calls to help get what we need but it’s still going to be hard. All you fellow special parents out there, I see you. You’re awesome. ❤️
Good morning and happy Sunday everyone! Apparently this is my 100th blog entry. Though not consistent in the beginning, I have been pretty regular and I’m really proud of myself. I honestly think this blog has kept me somewhat accountable in my writing. Though this isn’t actually story writing, it does get my thoughts and ideas flowing. It also allows me to celebrate my wins and vent my failures. And of course I’ve used it to share personal stuff, including the hardships and rewards of parenting three kiddos, two with special needs.
Today I wanted to share how much I hate editing. I have three pieces of work to edit. Each one is in a different stage of editing. New feature script: proofreading. Old Feature: Third Edit with notes. YA Book: First real exit with professional critique, soon to have editing notes.
This will be what I’m working on for the next couple months, I’m sure. Especially since I will be doing a lot of traveling next month and the kids will be home for the summer break. I was really hoping to have my son at therapy, like planned with the therapy services, but since we are taking a long vacation, they wont take him for the summer session, it will have to be in the fall starting in September. I will write about my concerns on this in another post, trust me, LOL.
So editing will take up a huge chunk of my time, I will try my best not to work on any other writing projects except maybe the third book in the book series I’m writing. This will be the final book and to have it done by the end of the year, on top of all that I’m already working on would check off all my items on my goals list for the year. I am already over halfway done with that list and I am really proud of myself. Though I had wished to have the book done by now and in the proofreading stage, as most of you already know, I wasn’t feeling the story. But I’m starting to get the itch back for it.
I will be getting my new feature professionally edited as well, my first time with a prof script editor. Placing Finalist for two seperate scrips has given me confidence that I might be doing something well.
And now I will leave you to enjoy your Sunday. I might be getting a cold so I am going to take a nap. 😊
My mental health has been a struggle the last year, since having my third and last baby. The adjustment from 2 to 3 children was and IS really hard. Not just that but I wasn’t getting enough rest before the baby due to a virus and my heart giving me issues. I have always struggled with anxiety but I have, until the birth, managed it pretty well. Flash forward to February and I’ve come to terms with the fact that my yelling at my kids all the time wasn’t because of them it was because of me. My anxiety and stress levels were way to high. No one likes to be around me, I didn’t even like me. Who wants to yell at their kills all the time. I realized that I was wasting precious time with my kids because I was stressed or worriying over something too much. Took myself to the doctor and go back on Celexa (I took it for about a year in my early 20s). It was so fantastic! I was able to calm myself better. My constant need to clean and organize things because it helped my anxiety was less pronounced, it was really good. Then my husband started working super long hours. The evenings are the hardest because my daughter’s ADHD meds have ran out and it’s bedtime, on my own. Nearly at my breaking point, I finally decided, per doctor ok, to take double my dosage. And holy crap it’s so awesome. I am so much more relaxed AND I’ve noticed a huge amount of energy too. I’m able to have patience for things going crazy while I unpack and rearrange things in the house with the kids around and still write/edit my script. I felt like sharing because I know there are plenty of women/moms out there who may need to hear (read) it. Too much yelling at your kids and spouse is a sign of anxiety. Take care of you and talk to your doctor. You don’t have to do medication like I did, there are other ways to help you.
Last night I waited rather impatiently for the results on a fellowship I entered called the Inroads Screenplay Fellowship. Fellowships are a lot bigger a deal than other writing competitions. You aren’t just trying to braggin rights and recognition with your screenplay, you’re competing for a chance to meet people in the industry, mentor ship, more recognition, network possibilities. So there I was waiting for results and about ready to just go to bed when I saw the post of winners and scrolled through the long list of names. Now, you have to know that there are a TON of people who enter into these fellowship competitions, so though it looks like a lot of people, it’s small in comparison to what it started out with, I’m sure. And when I spotted my name and Summons, under FINALISTS, I was so excited I nearly cried. I wanted to jump up and down but I was so dang tired. It was a whole new win for me. Two different things happened for me: I learned I was NOT a one hit wonder and I made it to Finalist status in a fellowship.
Not a one hit wonder because the day before this, I got notice that Chimera placed Finalist at the Hyperwave short competition. This is such a big deal. So one is still going strong, even after a REALLY REALLY bad review/critique. It still won this and then, with Chimera placing as well, it assures me that I’m not just writing for nothing.
What I mean by one hit wonder is this; there are so many screenwriters out there who have only written one good script and everything else was either not as good or they just stopped at the one. This placement tells me I’m not a OHW and that what I’m writing is still good. Granted, I still have a lot to learn, but this tells me I’m learning and moving forward in something I self-taught myself through books and Google.
They haven’t posted the laurels just yet, I’m sure there are a lot of emails to go out for that to happen, but you can bet I’m chomping at the bit to share the shit out of it when I do have it. This morning was all rage regarding the shit happening in Missouri, Texas, Georgia and Alabama. It might be a good thing that I just have editing to work on right now. I don’t think I could write anything that wasn’t angry right now.
A lot of work now, not much creativity will be happening the next few weeks. No joke I have three big projects to edit: two features and a book. Oy!
Going to jump right into this, everyone has probably seen or heard about the new abortion laws going on in Texas, Alabama and Georgia, right? I wont talk about the actual laws themselves in this post, but I do want to talk about a backwards opinion about keeping political “opinion” or feelings, current issues out of fictional stories in both books and movies/television. Someone on Twitter, I think it was Sarah Watson, Retweeted someone’s post saying something along the lines of this: “If I want to watch or read personal views about todays events [abortion/gun laws] then I’d read non-fiction/watch documentaries.”
I have seen/heard this sort of feeling before from fans of other shows and books that I have taken a liking to. Right now, the biggest one I can think of for this, is the reboot Rosewell, NM. I’m going to spew a few things because I don’t want to make this all tidy and shit about this show.
First, it breaks so many stigmas and stereotypes. It brings to the surface and DEALS with issues that people are dealing with today. REAL PEOPLE! Like The Wall. What does it mean to the people in today’s world. What it’s DOING to people today. When you think about budget cuts, the fear, the debt it’s causing. The witch hunt that ICE is operating right now with orders by our president. People who have served in our armed forces are being deported. What the fuck is that about? People adopted by AMERICAN parents are being deported. These are terroists or drug dealers, these are real people who live normal, unharmful lives.
Second, showrunner, Carina MacKenzie, has made it a mission, or sorts, to collaborate and consult with people of color, in this case people of Hispanic descent when writing the episodes in her show. Don’t worry guys, she really does have everyone’s best interest at heart when it comes to the minority and showing what the majority is guilty of on a daily basis, whether we’re aware of it of not. By this, I mean, not being aware of privileged lives and being ignorant to the treatment of those of color, women and LGBTQ.
No this is not a praise for MacKenzie or her show, its just an example, and I’ll tell you why it’s important in the next paragraph. I just want to make it clear that this is not a praise, it’s a validation, I guess. This story is good for it’s REALNESS and MacKenzie is to thank for that. Praise for her ability to do that, yeah, that’s definiately warranted. For shoving her opinions down your throat and making you symphasize with these groups of people, well, boohoo. Suck it up and change the channel if it makes you uncomfortable or, better yet, ask yourself WHY it makes you uncomfortable and keep watching.
Alright, so now, why is all of this important? Why should writers and show runners keep current events in their work, for you to watch, “ruining” your favorite show with the mention of gun control or lesbian/gay acceptance? Because if you have a problem with it, it’s going to make you uncomfortable, it’s going to make you think about it. It’s going to get your brain thinking, questioning. THAT is the whole point of ALL of this industry. An industry that started when we were still evolving. When all we had was the wall of a cave and paint from plants. Stories we tell are full opinions, but how the hell can we call ourselves a society,— even one that’s sick right now — If we don’t share our opinions, display them, tell our stories through OUR eyes/views/thoughts?
It might sound stupid, but it was the telling of an encounter with a predator that led to the survival of our ancestors. It was the bards of ancient times that led to the fall of many armies and generals. Rallying people up to revolt or defend themselves were because of stories told and passed on by storytelling. Bards, a type of ancient druids, yeah for real, were the ones who went from village to village to perform religious ceremonies and such, much like a traveling priest, however they also would relay information between these villages, warning of emanate danger or disease, invading forces, i.e. the Romans. And Ireland/Scotland was never conquered after contacting the village people who shared info rapidly with each other, credit going to the bards.
So think again what when you bitch about a show “craming” something down your throat that you’re mad about. Shut up and watch the damn thing. Disagree, sure, but that’s what a free country is about. Disagreeing, talking, communicating. Stop telling showrunner and writers where their business should stop. It IS their business. It always has been.
It turns out I’m not a one hit wondernwith Summons, and yes I was worried. “Chimera,” my horror short, has made the finalist round of the Hyperwave Film Awards screenplay competition. I can’t tell you how psyched I am about this. I was genuinely concerned that Summons was it for me. That I could only make one good thing. I’ve enetered Chimera into a few other contests, as well, and we shall see how those pan out but for now, 4 more days to find out if I’ve made Winner status. Fingers crossed!!!