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Showing posts from January, 2018

Warrior Wednesday - The Etiquette of Commas

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I meant to post yesterday, but I crashed out of exhaustion. Then I went and swung my sword around for a bit.

I had this thought today about writing screenplays and martial arts and came to, what I think is, a decent conclusion.

We often hear about how important having the scene headers correct and using proper grammar is. There are teachers that refuse to read further if you have errors like comma splices. Sometimes, it can feel like they're just mean-spirited. The thing is that there are many people like that in the industry. I don't want my work passed over because it was painful to read.

As I think about this more, I see the link to martial arts. Budo is life and life is budo after all.

What's the link?

Commas and whatnot are like etiquette. Sometimes it feels silly to place so much importance on something that seems so small. But small things add…

Make-It Monday - Embracing Changes

Okay, so last week I finished a skit for our fund-raiser and I had my first day of placement, which was decent. I also completed Act One of my feature film script and peer reviewed a friend's Act One.

We once had groups based on genre that we counted on to review our work. Then the teacher realized a bunch of people no longer wanted to write features, so they were given the option to write two short films instead. Well, that caused a bit of a problem because the people writing shorts preferred to review shorts and the people writing features were left in the lurch. I was one such person left with no one to review my stuff. I asked my teacher what would happen if there was no one to review my work. She told me I wasn't the only one and she regrouped us.

I was scared with who I might end up grouped with, but my new group is amazing! We're all good workers and I think we're really going to help each other elevate our writing to a new level :D

One of the members is my partner…

Symphonic Saturday - Dulcet Tones

After finishing the writing of Act 1 of my feature film, I decided to squawk out a very poor rendition of Any Dream Will Do on my gunmetal trumpet I've dubbed Blunderbuss.

It was a little complicated for where I'm at currently, but fun. Oh, my Trumcor Super Stealth mute lets me play in the condo without torturing everyone else.

I've had Blunderbuss for quite some time. Since 2010 in fact. I got him when I visited Montreal in 2010. In Montreal, there is a Steve's Music that is like an unending music store. One section leads to another and there was an entire brass section. I was in heaven. This Jupiter beauty wasn't expensive, but it was quite the step up from the banged up one I got from e-Bay several years before.



I'm rusty on everything trumpet. I used to be fairly good back in high school. I was part of the brass ensemble. Our band leader wanted us to get into marching, but we didn't want to go full band geek and refused. We did play at graduations, in the …

Warrior Wednesday - So Many Battles

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Budo is life and I'm fighting many opponents right now.

The battle for a routine is ongoing, but I feel like it'll smooth out soon. I expect it will probably be after next weekend when our fund-raiser comedy show is done. The skit I wrote this time is about a master of orgasm-fu, which takes a funny jab at chi masters.

Several of us were talking about our plans for after school is done and it's comforting to know that I'm not the only person in the class that would prefer not to move to the Toronto area right away, if possible. I think it's important to be prepared for it though, so I'm going to push forward on sorting through the multitude of things I own and hopefully sell some things on the weekends. And it's quite possible that in the distant future I'll need to go elsewhere, but writing is a career I should be able to do f…

Theatrical Tuesday - Harsh Realties

Today was partly a day of hearing things I don't want to hear.

Things like that if I'm to get anywhere in this career, I pretty much need to move to Toronto or possibly my hometown. I don't want to move back to my hometown. My heart hasn't been there for a very long time. I'm not averse to moving. I just hope I don't have trouble selling my condo and I still have the problem of not having money to cover May's expenses.

And while killing time, I chatted with one of our alumni who thought my movie sounds more like a made for TV idea, but I think it could be bigger. Maybe I didn't explain it well enough.

Derek Diorio from Hard Rock Medical and many other things spoke to our class today. We learned a bit about how things get funded in Canada and that's what brought up the likely needing to move to Toronto idea.

Otherwise, it's been a tough day for me. I guess I slept wonky because my neck is super pissed off and I've been in pain all day going down …

Make It Monday - Struggling to Find Routine

I'm struggling to get used to the new semester.

Here's my class schedule:

Monday 9-12
Tuesday 12-3
Wednesday 2-5
Thursday 10-6
Friday TBD

Yes, I realize there aren't a lot of in-class hours compared to some programs, but almost all of our serious work is to be done on our own time. It looks light, but it's anything but.

To get there on time, I need to leave about 2 hours earlier. That means on Mondays I need to get up early to shower and eat something. Now, I know what this sounds like. Yes, for an office job, that's normal. The thing is that much of my work is done at home in the wee hours, because that's when creative people generally thrive. I'm not a morning person. I didn't feel awake until class was over today and I was on the bus ride home.

But it IS only the second week of classes and our first Monday. I know Mondays will get better. For three Mondays in March, we'll be having class at night instead as we attend rehearsals and watch actors practice o…

Symphonic Saturday - Musical Adventures

I'm sorry I didn't post yesterday. I got into my homework and then it was off to a game night with some dojo friends.

At least, it was supposed to be a game night. We did a little informal game, but then as we became plied with drink, we soon found ourselves trying to play a smörgåsbord of instruments including a 5 string banjo, a keyboard, and a fife.

The fife is played rather flute-like only it has simple holes like a tin whistle and it is extremely hard to get a sound to come out of it. I have a newfound respect for anyone who played flute in my high school music classes. I almost got a sound out of it, but it's one of the harder things I've tried and it's so different than every other wind instrument I've used, that it has temporarily bested me. Or maybe permanently. We'll see. I don't like to completely remove an option from the table, but it was a little too frustrating when I could start collecting tin whistles or get a chanter for bagpipes or use …

Thoughtful Thursday - Insecurity

It's strange listening to others sometimes.

There can be so much pettiness that it makes me wonder if there is hope for a beautiful future on this planet.

We received our marks from first semester.

For the first time in my life, I'm an A student. I've not done anything mystical to get there. I just did my homework, handed it in on time, tried my best to follow instructions, participated in discussions, and usually accepted feedback without question unless it was important to question it. My note taking is just okay. Sometimes it's dismal even. I pay attention in class. If I'm running late, I always make sure they're aware. I'm behind in all my readings, but I'm still reading the books at least.

There has been the odd person that has grumbled to me about people they don't think deserve to stay in the program. Sometimes it's a general nameless grumble and other times it's specific.

I don't think this is a positive mindset nor professional behav…

Warrior Wednesday - Progress with Standing Oku Iai

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I wasn't feeling like going to practice last night at all. It's winter. Home has comfy pants and Netflix. Outside has cold air that hurts my face.

I'm really glad I sucked it up and went. Practice was great last night! I'm not sure Sempai would agree as he had to keep getting us back on task, but we worked on Standing Oku Iai kata while having fun conversations of the type I'm used to in school with the comedy group.

Some things finally clicked for whatever reason. I knew some of it was advice I had heard before, but I guess my mind couldn't apply it or see the scenarios clearly before. Specifically, Shinobu (shh-no-boo) and Sodome (sew-doh-may) are feeling better. I think part of it was having so many higher ranked people there to watch.

For Shinobu, I finally get what I've been doing wrong. I was close before, but it was like havi…

Theatrical Tuesday - Review of Okja

When I saw comments about Okja being a film that seems like the brainchild of Spielberg and Miyazaki together, I knew I had to watch it. I also knew that a film that sounds that fantastic would be a great pick for my first film of 2018.

Initially I wondered if it was going to be a modern take on Charlotte's Web. It did have some basic elements of the children's story, but add a bunch of blood, violence, poop comedy, and action scenes.

From the plot to the beauty of the scenery, it felt like a live action Hayao Miyazaki film throughout much of the story. Near the beginning, I was hooked.

Jake Gyllenhaal's performance was quirky and I thoroughly enjoyed him. I also enjoyed Steven Yeun's character.

I almost loved the film. It seemed fresh and I was ready to sing its praises.

In fact, I loved it right up until it turned into obvious vegan propaganda and showed business people as one dimensional heartless monsters. There are so many business people doing great things in this wor…

Make It Monday - Preparations

As semester two begins tomorrow, I've been spending a lot of time this weekend preparing for it by catching up on chores, planning food, and getting some rest.

Here was my Friday:

fixed my blue ray player
did a bit of novel editing (more on this below)
moved a bathroom cabinet, sink, mirrored medicine cabinet out of my car
shoveled some of the snow out of my parking spot
put away some of my Christmas decorations
submitted a thing related to placement plus updated my placement log
got in touch with my next placement person
got a little tipsy (work hard, play hard :))
watched 3 movies (Blade Runner Final Cut, Deliver Us From Evil, and Big Hero 6)
put together my second semester schedule
removed the old mirror from my bathroom
watched some Black List

Saturday was:

many loads of laundry
baked chicken wings
watched 2 movies (The Meyerowitz Stories and Vampire Academy)
watch more Black List?
did more editing
played some guitar and transposed one song from trumpet to guitar

Sunday:

beat Lego Marvel Superheros

Symphonic Saturday - Transposing for Fun

I started this day listening to the latest play list, Static, from Fringe Music Fix. I enjoyed it though I found there's a large electronic component these days with drum machines and whatnot instead of a drummer with a kit. I prefer the real sound.

I've been checking blues out recently and I'm not sure it's blues guitar I want to learn. I think it's jazz that I want to play actually. That shouldn't be that surprising given my fondness for the trumpet. I'm listening to some Andy Brown on YouTube today and that's more the sound I want to learn.

I have a jazz book for trumpet and I could easily use for guitar by dropping the pitch by one step. I say easily, but it's actually not. I have to transpose it and the fun comes when you have sharps and the like. It's almost like math in a different language. I'm not sure I'm doing it correctly, but I think I have a circle of fifths somewhere around here to help me out. I guess I'm starting that …

Frisky Friday - Normal Dating vs Assault

Usually on Fridays I try to keep it fun, but I think this is a critical topic.

Catherine Deneuve is a French actress who isn't fully on board with the #metoo movement and I don't blame her. I actually agree with many of the points in this article.

In my mind, #metoo is supposed to be about actual assault, not someone clumsily showing interest in another.

In the old days, a kiss might go down like this:

One of you pays the other a compliment.
One steps closer.
The other either also moves closer or away to indicate their interest.
If they moved closer too, repeat until you're kissing.
If they didn't move closer, stop.

Of course, some things are just plain wrong to do. We all know rape is wrong. There are smaller things that are also not acceptable such as putting your hand on a woman's thigh when you're not dating, just met, and they're a classmate or colleague for example. Thighs are near the genitals, so it's obvious to most people that it's not a place you …

Thoughtful Thursday - What's Our Business?

I've been thinking about war a lot lately.

It's a common precept that Western countries go across the world to fight battles in order to change another country's government. The idea there being that the only way for people to want to stay in their country is if the living conditions improve.

But should we be doing this? Does anyone even ask themselves this or do they simply believe their country's government is better and therefore that is what all other countries should have in place?

Is it not extremely vain to think Eastern countries should have a more Western style government?

People say they're doing it to make the world a better place. But are they actually doing this so we make the whole world more Western? If so, is it so we understand them better?

Are we doing it to seize power?

Western countries developed their governments, in part, through having their own civil wars. In Canada, we had uprisings in Ontario and Quebec before they were named as such. I think mo…

Warrior Wednesday - Needing Downtime

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First, I'm sorry for not posting yesterday. I'm Canadian, so you know I'm being sincere.

At least, I think I didn't post yesterday. My Facebook feed can't tell me if there was a post or not as it seems to be missing all my posts from after my grading video that I posted around Christmas. That's... A lovely thing to discover.

I didn't have time to get to martial arts yesterday. My class went out for drinks and then I had to round up something to wear for a web series that I played an extra in today. It was neat seeing the non-writing side of things. I met a lot of new people in the Ottawa film community. The lead actress was nice. I spent most of the day glaring at her though. It's what they wanted me to do!

Anyway, tomorrow is our last day of class for semester one. With my four-day weekend, I intend to get some cleaning in and …

Make It Monday - Clearer Goals

Going forward, I've decided to change the name of Monday's posts to better reflect what they're about.



And so, Make It Monday is born.

I've had a rough Monday, so far. I'm not sure if I should be happy or not that my nightmare was interrupted by the snow removal folks at 4:45 AM. I'd tell you what my nightmare was about, but I think it's going to become part of a writing project because it was both awful and fascinating.

Anyway, earlier this month, I received a document from the government stating I'm being audited. I've been very stressed about this. For whatever reason, I logged into LinkedIn last night and found a message from an old colleague. That led to me getting in touch with another old colleague and I now feel much calmer about this whole situation. I don't know how it will play out, but I know what actions to take on my end and that always makes me feel better.

So, goals wise, that might be a major stumbling block financially for me to fi…

Symphonic Saturday - Music to Write To

I've spent most of the day finishing the script for a TV episode.

Music helped me through it.

I'm finding instrumental movie music can be great to listen to while writing. It's often inspirational and without the words, it's not overly distracting.

I found a nice long mix on YouTube.

It took all day and part of the evening too. It was like pulling teeth to get the last couple of pages done. Then the system wouldn't let me log in to hand it in.

So I took a shower and then it was working again.

Anyway, I finally finished and I have a packed day tomorrow, so off to sleep I go.

And that's how it flows today.
R~

Frisky Friday - They Stuck What Where?

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Apparently, last year was filled with people stick things in holes.

I mean, there's even a huge list!

I'm wondering how many were repeat offenders as opposed to single incidents.

I'm also wondering how the author gathered all the data? Did they interview nurses? Is there a database where medical staff lists all the "stuck weird crap in orifice" cases?

It's also fun to note that both children and adults do this, which may suggest humans generally have a preoccupation with bodily openings.

Things to ponder as I try to finish my last projects and study for an exam.

And that's how it flows today,
R~

Thoughtful Thursday - A Weight is Lifted

I didn't realize how much one of my school assignments was weighing on me.

The term project for video production class has been a huge pain. First, we had scheduling issues. Then we had equipment, location, and power issues. Then we couldn't get equipment during the Christmas break.

Today,  we were having battery issues and had to stop multiple times to charge the camera.

But we got it done!

Outside of the problems, it wasn't bad. I learned how to make realistic fresh blood from a classmate and once we figured out all our shots exactly, it only took about 2 hours to film.

There's only a couple more things to finish and hand in then the semester is over.

I meant to post this on Thursday instead of back dating it. I even thought I had posted it. But I fell asleep instead.

And that's how it flowed yesterday.

R~

Warrior Wednesday - A Rough Start

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The last couple of days have been rough. I've had two in a row that I had to be at school earlier and I got up extra early to ensure I actually caught a bus that would get me to school on time. My options are go really early or be late because the bus that would get me there at a reasonable time seems to always fall into a black hole somewhere along the route...

The weather has been really cold. Today was quite a bit warmer, but it was the kind of cold that makes me achy in places like my ankles, especially the one I injured doing roller derby 4 years ago. The walk to the bus stop was more of a limp.

It's also the time of year where the heat makes my dry eyes drier, so they feel rather like rubber balls and it's really uncomfortable. It makes me hate screens.

We haven't had our first Iaido practice of 2018 yet because people were still on holid…

Theatrical Tuesday - Review of The Last Jedi [SPOILERS AHEAD]

So I loved the movie.

That doesn't mean I didn't see any flaws in it.

Leia's Space Flying Whatever-The-Fuck

Initially, it bothered me. A lot.

Then I thought about it more.

I thought, Leia is the general of a rebel army. My warrior brain said, if I was in her position with the weight of a colony on my shoulders, basically had magic powers I didn't know how to use, and my brother was like Gandalf or some shit, I'd totally have my bro teach me some things. I mean, at the very least, the Jedi mind trick would be good if I got captured again. And really, the floating thing is basically like calling a lightsaber to your hand, but instead you're calling your hand to something stationary.

Basically.

So what's wrong with it? Well, I can't say I fully understand the math and such in this article, but I think it's saying Leia could move in space, just not as fast as she did, thus making it impossible for her to actually make it back to the ship in time to survive.

I t…

Merry Monday - Welcoming 2018

I'm changing things up a wee bit today.

It's a new year and I wanted to try something new on the blog.

Just because I'm a writer doesn't mean everything has to be written on here, so here's a short video talking about my goals for the year.

I wish all of you the best for the year ahead!

R~