It’s been over a year but I didn’t just drop off the face of the planet and chose to stop writing. Due to a sudden death in the family, my husband returned early from his last deployment. It was soon after that that we found out we were pregnant with our third. Followed by the expected and dreaded Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG - Severe morning sickness). On top of that, I was sick with a virus that refused to go away until I was about 8 months pregnant. The stress of it caused heart issues, dizzy spells, energy levels to a zilch level and more puking. Once my daughter was born, there was adjusting to having three children, two with special needs, and the baby having some minor health issues herself, I continued to put writing on the back burner. When my new baby was 5 months old, my husband got a new job and we moved four hours from where we were. Now that we’ve gotten established, the baby no longer has any health issues herself, I can take some time out to write during nap and evenings after bed time again.
It was just a few days ago that I logged back into my FilmFreeway account and saw that I had won an award from the Canada International Film Festival for my TV Pilot screenplay, Summons. It was a semi-finalist award, one that landed my name and script title on their awards page, but it was an unexpected and energizing surprise. I only logged in to see what was out there, I had completely forgotten that I had one more festival that hadn’t come in with their results just yet. Along with surprise, I also felt a sense of “yes, I’m not crazy.” Last summer, with my husband away,and endorphins running high from my daily gym visits, I decided I wanted to try something new. It was seriously on a whim. But I ended up loving it. I still do. Writing comes more naturally to me in this form. I’ve written stories, novels, short stories, a ton of Buffy fanfic when I was a teenager. I’m talking 400 pages in a fanfic series. I’m not ashamed to admit it. At the time, Buffy and Angel was THE ship to ship.
I will never forget the day my high school librarian suggested I write screenplays, though. I shook my head right away, without hesitation. It sounded so empty. Where was the character development, the detail, the description? Since then, I’ve written two novels, a few short stories and I get it. The novels take me forever it feels. My OCD gets lost in the details. But with screenplays, I can leave out the descriptive and leave it for the set maker. Forgo the character details and leave it to the director and costume designer. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fully aware there is still descriptions, character detail, but not nearly as in depth as a novel.
So, as of right now, I am entered into five more festivals. Why so many? Simple answer, variety. There’s a lot of feedback that comes with these contests. I also get a feel for my editing. I made a lot of changes to my script, I’d like to see what different judges have to say on it. Am I wasting my money? I don’t feel I am. I think, in any business, as a self employed individual, you have to put money out to make money. As I get awards, if I’m lucky to get any more on this script, it gives me confidence to pitch it for production. If it doesn’t, it means my editing missed it’s mark, I should go back and make changes accordingly.
I’m also about two-thirds done with a feature screenplay. It’s definitely something I’ve always wanted to write as a novel, but only got as far as a few notes on scratches of paper. Just this week I added about 7 pages. Which is amazing as I’ve also been sick with a cold, managing my three crazy kids and running around town to various doctors appointments. Three kids, flu shots, vaccines, therapy, evaluations, it can be tiring, for sure. After next month though, I expect things to settle just a little more. For now, I’m taking it one day at a time. If I get even just half a page done during a nap, I call it a win.
That’s it for now. But I look forward to adding more to my blog more often again. It helps me sort stuff out. If you made it this far, thanks for reading!