Thursday, July 28, 2011

Rejection Letter

I received my very first rejection letter today.  I'm pretty excited, because I've never submitted anything to a paying publication before.  So, this was my first submission, and I received a response back in only five days.  The website said it could take two months.  In addition, the email note was a personalized one, and not a form email.  Score!

I thought I would be bummed out by a rejection letter, but I found instead that I was pretty jazzed and smiling about it.  What weirdo smiles and gets excited about being rejected?  Well, apparently that weirdo would be me.  Two reasons:  1) The note was personalized and it was a mix of positive and negative, so that's something.  It reinforces my notion that I can write, but what I wrote just wasn't for them.  2) It's a start.  Every writer has to start somewhere! 

And so my efforts to be "officially" published begins...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

My Corpus Christi Police Story

From 2003 to 2006 I drove through Texas many, many times.  I liked the people in Texas--they always called me "ma'am" and were respectful and helpful. I liked the can-do attitude there. It seems to be a very self-reliant state. And if you ever run out of dinner plates, you can borrow somebody's belt buckle.

The reason I drove through Texas so much was because I used to be a long haul trucker.  Those who know me aren't surprised.  Those who don't know me so well are.  I guess it's because most women don't become truckers.  But that's a subject for another post, another time.  No, today I want to tell the story about something that happened to me when I went to make a delivery in Corpus Christi, Texas.

Before I do that, though, I have to do a teeny bit of back story.  I've worked for two different trucking companies in my long haul trucking career.  My last job trucking was with Auto Truck Transport.  It's an awesome company with great benefits.  They aren't driver sweat shops like some outlaw companies are.  It's different than probably every other trucking job in that they deliver brand new trucks to trucking companies and other places.  They can deliver anywhere from one to four trucks at a time per driver.  A four truck delivery would be three trucks attached piggy-back style onto the chassis of another truck.  I don't know if you've ever noticed a bunch of trucks toolin' down the road like this, but it is interesting to drive them.  After we get to the destination, we have to take them all apart.  This means some disassembly and reassembly of the trucks.  I got to be a mini-mechanic, and it was fun!  After drop off, since I had no more trucks to drive, they would fly me to the closest terminal (usually) and I'd pick up some more trucks to deliver.

Now, I mentioned that I like the people in Texas, right?  My overall experience with them has been pretty good.  That's why I was surprised at the reactions I got from a bunch of cops in Corpus Christi, because their reactions didn't fit the mold of everyone else I had interacted with in Texas.

It was back when I had just started at Auto Truck.  I was still in training, and I drove one set of piggybacked trucks while my trainer (I'll call him Steve) drove another set.  I was in the lead, and he was following.  We had driven from Portland, Oregon and were finally at our destination-Corpus Christi.  During our trip planning, we knew we were going to get there after dark, so we decided to rest up at this one hotel and then in the morning we would deliver the trucks when the place opened.  So I took the off ramp to our hotel.

When driving brand new trucks, drivers must be aware that they are sorta like test pilots of new aircraft.  Nothing in the trucks have been worn in, none of the equipment has been used.  So if something isn't installed correctly or perhaps a part is faulty, the driver of the brand new vehicle is likely going to have a problem. 

On the off ramp, I got to experience that problem.  The clutch dropped straight to the floor, and no longer engaged anything.  I couldn't get it in gear and had to coast to a stop right on the off ramp.  Fortunately, the off ramp was a two lane ramp.  Steve passed me and pulled into the parking lot of the hotel we planned to stay at, which was literally 50 feet or so from the ramp.

Breaking down on my first run was actually a good thing in that I got to learn what the procedure was for breakdowns (and trust me, it wasn't the last--I had turbos go out and many other things go wrong over my time with ATT).  Meanwhile, I put up the traffic warning triangles and called it in.

While calling it in, I had a Corpus Christi police officer leave the freeway and pass my truck on the off ramp.  I thought great.  Cops always like to bug drivers--they want to see our log books, and do inspections.  Being broken down like that was an invitation for all kinds of questions.  Fortunately for me, I had always been very meticulous about my pre-trip inspections and my logbooks, paperwork and permits, but it was still very easy to be paranoid about police.  I didn't want any blemishes on my record for some thing I may or may not have forgotten.  Thankfully, the cop didn't pull over, but instead pulled into the hotel parking lot.  In the parking lot was a Mexican food restaurant.*  The policeman got out and went into the restaurant.   Whew!  

After calling it in, all I could do is wait for the wrecker to come move the truck.  Steve and I waited.  Another cop car went by.  He didn't stop, either.  Instead, he went and joined the other cop car at the restaurant, and the cop went inside.  A few minutes later,  another cop car came in from another direction.  He stopped and went into the restaurant, too.  

While we waited, Steve went and checked us into the hotel. When he came out, he told me to go ahead and get my gear situated and come on back out.  I did so. By the time I got back out, I saw another cop car had joined in with the other three.  

We hadn't had dinner.  It was after 9pm.  Steve suggested he go to the restaurant and get us some food while we waited.  Another cop car showed up and a cop went into the restaurant.  That is five cop cars all told.  By this time, I'm thinking it must be a really damn good restaurant and probably the safest place to eat in all of Corpus Christi!  

Steve came back a while later with some food.  I asked him if any of the cops in there quizzed him about what was up with our trucks.  He said that one cop asked him something.

"What did he say?"  I asked.

"Well, he said, 'Is that your truck broke down out there?'"

"And?"

"I said ,'Yup,' and he said, 'okay,' and that was that."

My brain was boggled.  It was so....un-cop-like.  Aren't cops supposed to be the guys who are helpful and want to see what problems are and help keep problems from getting worse (i.e. traffic incidents from one lane being blocked, for example)?  Maybe it was break time or something, I don't know.

The next day, we finished our deliveries and took the trucks apart and everything.  After we went back to the hotel and cleaned up, I went back to that same Mexican restaurant for lunch.  There were a couple more cops in there then, too.  I just chuckled to myself and ordered lunch anyway.

And boy, was that food damn good!



*My sister tells me this story would be better if I substituted doughnut shop for the Mexican food, but I like the truth better.  Doughnuts are so cliche!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Kitties--Rebuttal

I've had folks tell me that not all kitties do the things I wrote about in my last post.  They say that kitties are sweet and that some kitties --gasp-- are attention whores.  Some kitties like to be held and to get their bellies rubbed.  Some kitties like to play ball or are trainable like dogs.  Some kitties will actually play "fetch."

Now, I know I've seen these types of kitties, too.  But these kitties are the pariahs of the kitty world.  Other kitties marginally tolerate these mild-mannered kitties, but behind their backs, the gamer kitties gossip about them:

MR. TINKLES:  "Did you see Sparkles?  He let our pet human rub his belly for hours.  I kept waiting for him to attack our pet's hand, you know, as if he was lulling him into a false sense of security, but no!  He just keeps laying there, getting his belly rubbed like he's actually enjoying it.  There's something wrong with that cat."
LAFLEUR:  "Did he drool?"
MR. TINKLES:  "Yeah, it was coming down in streams."
LAFLEUR:  "Disgusting."
MR. TINKLES:  "I know!"
LAFLEUR:  "What a loser!"

And kitties that actually come when they are called and are trainable and chase a ball like a dog have already lost the kitty game.  They have demonstrated their complete inability to train and control their human properly, they have violated the rules of kitty decorum and they have dared to stoop to the level of a canine.  Their game points are wiped out, gone.  They may as well give up their feline membership cards and apply to be honorary puppies.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Kitties--Gotta Love 'em...

Cuz if you don't, you'd likely strangle them.


I've been talking with friends lately about all the crazy, infuriating things our kitties do.  It would seem that all of our kitties participate in these behaviors, which makes me wonder who is more crazy--the kitties or us.

The aggravating things kitties do, in no particular order, or to be more precise--Ten Ways Kitties Gain Points in the Kitty Game of Life:

1.  Play Death Race (if you've ever seen the movie, you'll know what I mean), using your nice squishy body as a springboard to get more air.  For some reason, it is a Kitty Rule to do this AFTER you go to bed, and they get more points if they manage to bounce off your head (since heads are less squishy).  Even more points if they manage to draw blood in the bounce attempt.

2.  Run in front of you anytime you get up to go somewhere so that their little bodies get intertwined between your legs, nearly making you fall and break your head open.  If you do fall, kitties get extra points.  More points if they manage to make you fall while escaping unscathed themselves.  They secretly high-five later.

3.  Meow loudly to get something, and then when you get it for them, act like they don't want it.  They are really just flexing their mind-control powers.  The problem:  A) you didn't hear their message right (they didn't garble the message--you just got the message wrong.  It's your fault, of course).  B) You brought them the wrong thing.  Or you opened the wrong thing.  Or, you idiot, just plain did the wrong thing.   When they meow or stare intently at you like that, it means they wanted that other thing!  And even if it was the correct thing, kitties must not break form by acting excited about it.  That's what stupid dogs are for.  No, the kitties must act nonchalant --lick, lick, streeeetttchhh-- and decide that if you must put that salmon treat out there, it'll do.  For now.  They really wanted filet mignon, but the salmon will suffice in the meantime.  Extra points for keeping kitty cool; loss of points for getting excited.

And, of course, if kitties can get you to run around in circles trying to make them happy, offering them copious free entertainment, the kitties get points.  The crazier you act, the more points they get.

4.  Kitties will allow you to give them affection.  When they want it.  Usually it is when you are trapped in one place, like on the toilet or when you are trying to take a nap.  .And when they want it and you aren't ready to cough up, be prepared to suffer their wrath.  Likewise, kitties will grace you with their presence by laying their soft warm bodies on you only if they feel you are worthy.

Kitties will turn seeking affection into part of the kitty game by making sure you are doing something important (i.e. your attention is focused on something else) before they decide to bug you.  If you are reading a newspaper, a book, or working on the computer, they will climb on top of what you are working on and stick their asses in your face. That last part is the most important part of the game.  Kitties don't get points unless their butt-holes are placed directly in front of your face. The more you tolerate it, the more points the kitties get.  Later they snicker about how they farted and you just took it, you sap.

5)  Kitties will be annoyed if you pick them up if they aren't in the mood to be held.  (Which in my case, is most of the time.  My kitties detest being held.)  Humans taking initiative in this way Is Not Part Of The Game.  However, clawing the shit out of you so you drop them and making you bleed buckets will help kitties regain lost points from humans taking initiative.  (Likewise for trips to the vet.)

Humans taking control means major loss of points for the kitties.  They must take a time out and ignore you for a while--it's part of the kitty game rules.  Then kitties must work overtime to regain those lost points.

6)  Vomiting on expensive things seems to be a favorite part of the kitty game.  They get more points the more expensive the item is.  True vomit is worth more points than the occasional hairball.  This is a useful kitty strategy after a vet visit.

7)  Peeing on your favorite shirt, especially when it's fresh from the wash, is good for a ton of points in the kitty game.  This is also a useful communication device for kitties to express their displeasure at the new dog (or other pet) you brought home.

8)  Pooping outside the litter box is an integral component of human training.  The best "gentle reminder" for human training is pooping on your bed.   Kitties get more points if they train us to change their litter boxes frequently.

9)  They must bring the victims of their hunt into the house to share their awesomeness with the rest of us.  By setting the critters free and hunting them all over again, sharing with us the narrative on how Badass they really are, they get double points.  Even if kitties are strictly indoor cats, they will still do this with the bugs they find around the house.

10) Showing dominance over other household pets (that includes us humans, by the way) by terrifying them/us is worth many a kitty laugh and, of course, is worth a ton of points in the kitty game.  They keep us in line by attacking our ankles at random intervals.  Also, dropping from a great height onto the German Shepherd's face while he's asleep on the floor is the ultimate in kitty High Comedy.  After doing these things, they brag of their exploits to each other and then the next kitty is egged on to do even worse.



There are other ways for kitties to gain points, I'm sure.  But since I'm not a kitty, I'm not privy to all of their esoteric rules.  I've only mentioned the most obvious ones.

Why do I tolerate these cruel kitty games?  Because kitties are...soft.  And fluffy.  And they purr.  And they're so cute!  And their tongue tickles.  Did I mention they purr?  And they are fun to play with (even if I do walk away with my hands and arms all bloody).  And...I'm a brainwashed masochist?  No.  I prefer to think of it as a symbiotic relationship.  We both get something out of it.  Yeah.  I get fluffy furballs to love and they get points.  That's my story, and I'm sticking to it.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Harry Potter All Grown Up

Today, a couple of the gals from one of my writing groups and I went to see the last installment of the Harry Potter series.  *spoiler alert*  I went to the theater with a feeling of trepidation.  Each film seemed to get better and better as the series went on, and I was worried that the finale wouldn't live up to the franchise. 

Now, the only Harry Potter book I've read in its entirety was the first one.  I think I might have read part of the second one (Chamber of Secrets), but I'm not sure.  I remember reading about Dobby and I don't think that was in the first, was it?  I only remember reading Dobby because I was reading the book out loud to my son way back when, back when he enjoyed it when I read to him.  I read the book, complete with different voices for the different characters, and me affecting a British accent (hah!).  But my son loved it.

I didn't read the rest, because by the time I read part of the second one, I decided that I wanted to see the films first.  I hate that phenomenon where you read a book, and you go see it in the theater, and then you hate the film because it doesn't do the book justice.  Since I'm a filmmaker, I wanted to enjoy the films as they progressed, without interference of my expectations from the books.

The first couple of movies were okay.  In part because the cast was so young and inexperienced, the acting wasn't all that convincing to me.  The story was enjoyable and the effects were enjoyable, so I let it slide.  And I had read the first two books, so I was doing that comparison thing and I told myself to knock it off.  I wanted to see how it ended.

The first two or three movies seemed like stories all by themselves.  They could have ended there, and that would have been fine.  They didn't seem to build on each other very much.  But the further in to the series we went, the more things seemed intertwined and the more I wanted to see the next one and the next one to see what would happen next, because the adventure I just witnessed wasn't the whole story, but only an episode in the part of the whole.

My kids have grown up with Potter.  I have grown up with Potter.  The actors have grown with Potter.  I wonder how they feel, knowing now that it is all over?

And the funny thing is, certain events that happened in the stories I expected to happen.  To me, they made perfect sense.  I remember when the book Dumbledore died in came out.  My sister, who is a complete Potter-holic, called me crying.  "Dumbledore is dead!  Snape killed him!  I was hoping Snape would be a good guy, but he isn't!  Dumbledore died."

My response didn't help.  "Of course he did.  This is essentially a rite of passage for Harry.  Dumbledore had to die in order for Harry to find his destiny.  Look at the Lord of the Rings.  Gandalf died.  Look at any epic story where you have a hero--at some point his mentor usually has to die in order for him to complete his quest."

It also didn't surprise me that Snape killed him.  I knew that Snape was probably ordered to by Dumbledore himself in order to gain the trust of Voldemort.  These things just made sense to me as a writer, just looking at the structure of the story.

It was exciting to see the end.  I got to see my belief about Snape be validated.  I wasn't surprised that Harry had to die, either.  Or that he was resurrected.  This is an epic story of good vs. evil.  Look at C.S. Lewis and the Narnia series.  Watch the film, Legion.  Hell, look at the Bible.  It's the source of a lot of these ideas.

It was fun to see Harry, Hermione and Ron all grown up.  The actors have really come into their own.  Their performances were marvelous.  The special effects were wonderful.  I thoroughly enjoyed it, and the end was a suitable end to the Potter franchise.

My only quibble was with the epilogue at the end of the film--"19 Years Later."  It was smarmy and completely unnecessary.  The Return of the King had the same problem with Bilbo, Gandalf and the elves heading off out to sea to the land of the elves.  The end was rife with the sappy music and tears.  Blech.  Both LotR and the last Potter film could have done without the sap.

At any rate, Rowling is an excellent storyteller (even if it is the film version).  It is unusual to find a series where each one gets better than the last.  I'm looking forward to actually, finally, reading the rest of her books.  Anybody have any copies they can loan me?

Friday, July 15, 2011

Fitness Struggles

Like many people, I struggle with my weight.  For me, it has been a lifelong battle.  As an overweight kid, I became an overweight adult.  Since I was a teenager, I have always weighed over 200 pounds, except for two separate occasions where I managed to lose a lot of weigh and keep it off for a couple of years each time.  Six years ago, I breached the 300 pound mark, became alarmed, and started walking.  Because of my efforts over the next few years, I managed to drop down about 40 lbs from my highest mark.  November of 2009 saw me as the most fit and the skinniest I had been in probably twelve years.  It was awesome!  I had so much energy and bounce and could do so many things that I wasn't able to do at my heaviest.

Two months later, I found out Micah was going to have to go on dialysis and I fell apart.  I started actively cramming my face, and in the year following that I fell into a horrible depression.  I knew eating was a support mechanism, I knew all that eating was bad for me, I knew I needed to stop.  But I couldn't.  I honestly didn't care because I was just too freaked out about everything to care about myself. 

And so we get to where I am today.  I have lost all of the fitness gains I had made, plus put on 20+ pounds over my former heaviest weight, for a grand total of 60 pounds gained in about 18 months time.  It's shocking.  My body is really really complaining to me right now.  I have no stamina, no ability to walk or stand for very long at all, my strength is gone, etc.  I feel...gross.

I have a gym membership that is set to expire in a couple of months.  In the past, to get in shape and lose weight I walked.  I can't do that as I am right now. It's too painful.  So I'm going to take advantage of what little time I have left on my membership and swim like the dickens.  Hopefully in the next month or two I'll get to a fitness level that I can start walking again.

I also signed up for a half-marathon training thing that starts next month and the half marathon is in December.  This is doable as long as I work hard at it.  I know before that I went from walking only 10 minutes at a time (when I was previously at my worst) to being able to do a half marathon in about 4 months.  But this will ONLY be possible if I stick to my swimming over the next month. 

I signed up for the half marathon because I'm thinking that will help keep me accountable to my goals.  As bad as I feel right now, it is super easy to get discouraged and I can use all the support I can get.

On Writing

I remember the first story I ever wrote.  I was in first or second grade, I believe.  Somehow, it doesn’t surprise me that my first story was a horror.  I’ve always had a twisted streak.  I enjoy irony.  It makes me giggle.  And thus, my first story was a demonstration of irony. 

To boil down the plot:  It is Halloween and a little girl is trick or treating.  She becomes aware of being followed, and every time she tries to see who it is, she can’t.  Finally, she ducks behind a tree in hopes of spying who it is.  Out comes this giant 9 foot tall celery stick.  The celery stick grabs her and tells her:  “You eat me all the time.  Now it’s my turn to eat you!”  And that is the end of the story. 

I think I was protesting celery.  I never did like it much.

The actual mundane act of writing–holding a pen or pencil to paper or typing letters on a keyboard– can create magickal results.  Catharsis.  Relief.  Joy.  Hope.  Perhaps with my celery story I was hoping Mom wouldn’t make me eat it any more after she read it.  

But more than a way to purge emotions, writing is a way for me to create.   In writing, one gets to be God.  I create whole worlds, people and conflicts.  I save and destroy as I wish.  It is a heady mix of power and muse.  I love it.  I always have.

For many years, I gave up my dream of writing, because I didn’t think there was a future in it.  The people I knew all told me that it was unrealistic, people didn’t make money writing and I should be more practical.  Thus, I stuffed my writing desires in the back of some tiny compartment in my heart and focused on the business of life. 

Despite that, writing still served me well.  I wrote a journal in order to bring me out of a major depression after divorcing my first husband.  Writing never seemed very far from me as I contributed to my college newspaper and wrote newsletters over the years.  When I went back to college, writing took on a more clinical taste as I wrote essay after essay for my classes.

It wasn’t until I took some scriptwriting classes that somehow my desire managed to bust out of the little prison in my heart.  I wrote several short scripts and had a blast.  The act of creating was like a drug.  It was FUN!  It was SATISFYING!  It felt, well, GOOD.

I finally came to the conclusion that whether or not I make money on my writing, I’m not going to let that stop me from writing the way I want to.  Writing will be more than just a tool, to be used only when necessary.   I will write, and write some more.   I will be the writer I always wanted to be.

*Re-posted from my Walknroll blog dated Sept. 11, 2010.*

I AM WOMAN

We give the power of nature a female aspect.  She has the power to create–with spring the world bursts into bloom.  In the summer, fruit ripens, and nature’s bounty is ready for harvest.  Likewise, women give birth to children and raise and nurture them.

But Mother Nature is a schizophrenic, with a split personality.  She gives, but she takes, too.  Lightning, tornadoes, avalanches, mudslides, animal attacks, the list goes on and on.  All of these are potentially deadly manifestations of nature.

Kali, a Hindu goddess, is dark, violent and is associated with annihilation.  Kali wears a necklace of human heads.  More recently, some say she is a benevolent mother goddess.

I think these goddesses are cultural manifestations of the nature of women.  Women give, create, and nurture.  We also take and kill.

My mother is very nurturing.  She is a preschool teacher.  She has a degree in early childhood education.  She has always been kind and gentle.  I never would have thought she could have a dark side.  I first got a glimpse of this darker side when I was fourteen.

We lived out in the boonies and kept chickens.  The chickens weren’t penned, so they frequently ran amok and got underfoot.  One day my mom decided we had too many and that some of them were going to give their feathery lives in order to feed us dinner.

After a very comical scene of Chicken Chase, mom finally managed to catch one of the boogers.  She grabbed an axe and took the sacrificial rooster to our big ol’ wood chopping block.  She raised the axe high in her right hand, held the rooster down on the block with her left, and… hesitated.

Then she slowly lowered the axe to the chicken’s neck and raised it back up and lowered it down again.  She did this a few times.  Sort of like someone playing baseball swings the bat in order to get ready for the ball before the windup and pitch.  I could see the intense concentration on her face.  The look in her eyes was uncertain.  She had never killed anything before.

Then, her eyes narrowed.  Swiftly, the axe came swinging down.  THWACK!  It wasn’t quite hard enough to sever the head, so up came the axe again and THWACK!  The head flew off.  Blood ran everywhere.  The other chickens milled around, and squawked in confusion.

She raised up straight and roared into the sky.  “I did it!  I AM WOMAN!”

As a teen, I didn’t understand then why she would say that.  But I do now.  I do believe I got a glimpse of Kali at that moment.  I can almost envision my mom with a necklace of chicken heads.

When I was pregnant with my daughter, we had a cat that gave birth to kittens.  We let the mom and the kitties out one day when we finally figured they were old enough.  Unfortunately, some animal got to the kittens and savaged them badly.  One was killed outright, and the other two were so damaged that they were dying a very painful death.  I asked my husband to put them out of their misery.

He couldn’t do it.  These little fluffy kittens were just too tiny and cute.   So I, with my round, ripe belly that was carrying life within me, had to do it.   This was the ultimate irony, I felt.  A giver of life was taking it.

I had never killed anything before, either.  Well, not mammalian anyway.  I had gone fishing and killed some bugs, but I’m not counting them.   As I stood there looking at those poor little faces and their shallow, rough breathing, I knew that I had to kill them to end their suffering.

I bashed them over their cute little furry heads.  And you know what?  I roared, “I did it!  I AM WOMAN!”

However, I think I will do without the necklace of kitten heads, thank you very much.

*This is a re-post from my Walknroll blog dated Sept. 14, 2010.*

My Writing Style

I think I’m learning something about my writing style.  I never thought I had a style, but lately I’ve observed an undercurrent of a theme in my work.  So, I guess I do have a style after all.

If you look at the progression of films I have chosen to do, you will see what I mean.  My first short film, Prognosis, is a heavy drama.  My second is a dark comedy short film.  My third, a feature length horror film.  All very different genres, yet all with a dark undercurrent to them.  Even my Nine Levels script, which isn’t in any sort of pre-production at the moment, is dark and twisted, while still very funny.

I like dark.  I like the dank recesses of the human brain–the parts where people’s inner secrets hide and souls cower.  These dark places are what make humans tick.  That’s not to say the bright, vaunted emotions like love aren’t fun to write about.  They can be.  But I prefer not to.

For me, I find that love as a motivator for why Husband rescues Wife from Bad Guys is boring.  No, I find it far more interesting to find that Husband rescues Wife from Bad Guys because if she disappears, he will no longer have access to her Daddy’s money when Daddy kicks the bucket.  I find it more interesting the motivation of Husband planning to kill Daddy then off Wifey after the money is safely inherited by Wife and willed to him.  Bad Guys kidnapping Wife has messed up his plan, therefore he must Go Save Her.

I mean, if you were watching a movie or reading a book, wouldn’t you think that is a more interesting motivation than just…yawn…love?

I think fear is the common denominator in my writing.  Fear of some kind–fear of failure, fear of going to hell, fear of not getting father-in-law’s money and being in the poorhouse, fear of XYZ.  Perhaps it could be argued that fear is the common denominator to all writing, that fear drives us all in some way or another.  I suppose that is true enough. But in my own writing, I like to see just how twisted people can be, and just what they will do in order to alleviate that fear.

That said, while I enjoy the darkness, there is one of those vaunted higher emotions that does show up in my work time and again.  Hope.  People go to dark depths and hope they will see the light again.  People hope they will get away with murder.  People hope that the monster isn’t going to eat them.

Huh?  You say something?  Ohhh!  You thought I was going to say something like hope is the bright torch that illuminates our way to finding love and happiness, didn’t you?  Well, you thought wrong!

Hope, while gilded with promise, is actually cloaked in darkness and despair.  That’s why I love it so, because THAT is reality.  In Hollywood, hope serves us up exactly what we wished for.  In my writing, it doesn’t.  In my writing, Hope is a spectacularly unhelpful bitch. 

You would never know from reading this that I am an optimist at heart would you? Just call me an optimist with cynical tendencies.  Perhaps my characters have no hope in order for me to find mine.  Maybe they go though such hardships in order for me to get through my own more easily. Who knows?  That’s for film critics to ponder once I get rich and famous.

*This is a re-post from my Walknroll blog dated Sept. 14, 2010.*