I’ve Got

Nothing’s coming out.  Got lots to say, but nothing to say about it.  World’s moving too fast these days, no time to think about it.  No time to construct proper sentences.

I’ve got longings.  I’ve got things I wished I never done.  I’ve got wonderings about girls I crossed paths with once upon a time, a long long time ago.

I’ve got disappointments in people.  Got disappointments in myself.  I’ve got musings fuelled by disappointments.

I’ve got a hankering to undress a beautiful woman.

I’ve got shit to do.  Shit I ain’t never done before.  I got shit I’ve done a thousand times before.  I’ve got other shit I’ve been putting off.

I’ve got a stream of consciousness racing against the clock.  Got somewhere to be in 14 minutes.

Got coffee to finish.

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The Opposite of Flowing

I’m sitting in Atlantis looking out the window.  It’s a beautiful sunny day.  I’m thinking about eating lunch at mom’s campsite, about 20 minutes from the city.  Jazzy’s there right now and she’s been out of cell phone range.  I want to talk to her and find out how her dental appointment went.

She needs a lot of work done on her teeth and the prospect of all those needles, drills, and other items of dental torture had her on the verge of tears.  She asked me if it was going to hurt.  “Yup,” is all I could say, “But not as much as you imagine it will.  And by 4pm on Friday, you’ll be past it.”

Those words didn’t seem to help, but before she had too much time to think about it, we went and picked up two of her friends so they could hang out for a few hours.

I’m also feeling off balance these days.  I think I’m moving into the next phase of my life.  I bought a condo (my mortgage was approved yesterday), I’m optimistic about my career, big things are happening in my city, and for the first time in a long time, I’m not searching as hard for the unanswered questions in life.  If I meet the right girl, one who stops time and takes my breath away, I might allow myself to take that plunge once more.

Actually, locating her whereabouts has been more than an occasional thought in my mind.  Hence the imbalance.  Life works better for me when I flow, but ‘flowing’ for the purpose of finding that girl isn’t really flowing.  It’s exactly the opposite in fact.  I guess the trick to finding that balance remains an unanswered question.

In the meantime, I’m off to mom’s.

Version 8

Finally finished my play and found myself sitting around a table in Saskatoon with most of my original cast.  Not everyone could make it, so I wound up reading one of the roles.  What a schizophrenic experience!  Last night I was an actor, playing a character, who is based on me.  I was thinking actor thoughts, playwright thoughts, and personal thoughts.

In some ways I felt like a 12 year old kid getting ice time with his NHL heros.  During the workshop at the end of May, I was the writer, a bit out in left field, and rarely dealt with the cast directly.  That was Don’s job.  Mine was to shut up, sit back, listen, and learn.  This time I got a chance to be one of them.  It was truly a rewarding experience.

Even so, my judgement of how well the play stands up was a bit cloudy as a result.  I was too busy hitting operative words, playing objectives, and ‘acting’ to be a proper judge of the dramatic structure.  I still saw where the dialogue got bogged down in places, or where little messes needed to be cleaned up, but in general, I was far too wrapped up in my role be a dramaturge.

I’ve already sent it off to the SPC to request another workshop.  My next step will be to get the TeleFilm application complete and sent off for potential funding.  Following that, I plan to get the pen out and start breaking the script down into beats — get a good look at its bones to see what kind of shape they’re in.

Overall, I’m really happy with it.  The cast was thrilled with some of the changes, questioned a few other things, and expressed their desire to be a part of the next draft’s reading.

Father’s Day

Yesterday was kind of a big deal.  After Jazzy landed we headed downtown and parked where my condo will be built, about 15 floors down from where my balcony would be.  We walked through the city hall courtyard and Jazzy soaked her feet in the fountain.  After that it was Victoria Park and then Jazzy noticed the Roughrider logos on the twin towers.  She wasn’t as impressed as I was, but then again, she can’t name all the teams in the CFL either.

Atlantis was our next stop.  Hot chocolate for her, London Fog for me.  We hung out for a half hour or so… just like we used to… just like no time had passed between visits.

After that it was off to Strasbourg to do Father’s Day with Dad.  We see each other about as often as I see Jazz.  Again, it’s like no time passes between visits.  Must be a family trait.

Backyard bbq, five games of Backgammon, laughter, and long talks ensued.  It was a pretty good day.

1970s Rabbit Ears

Something was off.  Couldn’t put my finger on it at first.  The dialogue seemed alright, but something was off.  At first I thought Thelma’s actions were inconsistent with her character.  Then I realized that she had the wrong dialogue.  Not just the wrong dialogue, but the opposite dialogue.  Once I swapped her lines with Ash’s, the scene took on the proper shape.

Act III was now off to a good start, but then I realized that some of the changes I made in Scene 17 were causing problems in Scene 18.  I then went to work on Scene 18 and realized that my changes were affecting Scene 14.  I wasn’t about to change Scene 14 so I went back to 17 and figured out how to make 18 work better with all three.

As a playwright I felt like I was doing the equivalent of adjusting rabbit ears on a 1970’s television set… you know, hold your arm out this way, arch your back, stand on one leg, all in the pursuit of obtaining a clear picture.

After three hours, the two scenes I wrote in the bar on Friday night were sufficiently tweaked.  This allowed me to move onto Scene 19, and that’s when I had to leave.  I’ve written 87 pages so far, and I’ll probably end up in the neighbourhood of 105 by the time I’m done.

In other news… Jazzy flies home today!  Just in time for father’s day… I get to see my beautiful little girl.  I’m actually sitting in the airport right now and her plane lands in 15 minutes.  I plan to head off to Strasbourg later and spend time with Dad.  I don’t think he or Kathy know about Jazzy’s arrival.

Oh yeah.  The riders are playing today too.

Good Juju

Okay.  The juju is back.

I sat at the bar in the Last Straw and wrote two brand new scenes to begin the 3rd Act.  I think they’re pretty good, but I’ll give them another once-over today to see if they pass the ‘not under the influence of three pints’ test.  Alternatively, the audience could simply be required to inebriate themselves before watching the play.

Also of interest this morning — juju is a word.  I thought it was just something I made up, but when my computer didn’t underline the word in red, I set out to look it up in the dictionary.  Turns out that juju not only is a word, but has two completely different meanings.  It further turns out that one of those definitions suits perfectly my intended use of the word.

juju
noun
a charm or fetish, esp. of a type used by some West African peoples.

  1. •supernatural power attributed to such a charm or fetish : juju and witchcraft.

Juju is also a style of music popular among the Yaruba in Nigeria.

I am forced to admit that I must have picked the word up from somewhere and that really sucks.  I like the word because it doesn’t sound like a real word.  It’s like something you might speak in a low fluffy voice while playing with a puppy… or write at the top of a blog article to describe that magical feeling you get when the writing feels like it’s coming out right.

In general, I like words.  I mean, I’m a writer.  I consume them.  I’m even a subscriber to the Oxford English Dictionary’s ‘word of the day’, looking to learn really cool words like ‘verisimilitude’ or ‘fuckwit’, but instead I get words like, ‘duck’, ‘right’, ‘player’ or yesterday’s gem, ‘resistant’.  Who the hell am I going to impress by casually throwing around the word ‘resistant’.

They’ll think I’m a fuckwit.

Motherfucking Patience

I make deals with myself and then I break them.  I’m really starting to annoy myself.  Don’t even have a good excuse.

I’m still writing my play.  It took me longer to finish the 2nd Act than I expected.  The pace just wasn’t there like how it was before.  My characters are getting frustrated with me.

Still looking to hire a technical producer for momMe.  That’s actually the most aggravating thing on my mind at the moment.  These things can’t be rushed, but at the same time, the clock is ticking and a deadline is afoot.  I’ve made some phone calls, published an ad on Techvibes.com, and sent some emails.  I don’t want to take the first application through the door, but at the same time, I’m getting kind of desperate.  Any ideas?

Patience is the key I guess.  Motherfucking patience.

Usually I’m cool with not knowing my immediate future.  It can be a real pleasure to simply buckle in and ride the waves.  Things have a way of happening for me when I simply allow my life to unfold as it will.  I always land on my feet, but usually never where I expect.

Just checked my ad, and it’s now viewable to new media developers all over the world.  I have a couple more phone calls to make and then I’ll have exhausted my possibilities.  Nothing to do but strap in and ride after that.

It’ll be a good time to get some writing done.

At the End of the Tunnel

I’m going to finish my play tonight.  I’m gonna to finish it, then I’m gonna polish it, and then I’m sending it out the door.

There are a few people in my life clamouring to read the new draft.  I’m also sending it off to theatre creatures who are already familiar with it.  I’ve organized a table reading with most of my original cast in Saskatoon next week and from all that, I await feedback for the next draft.

In the meantime, I’ve already begun to visualize it as a movie.  I am chomping at the bit to get my TeleFilm application out the door.  Imagine that?  Paying myself to write my own movie.  I’m seeing it as a 3D film because playing with positive and negative parellax (the area in front and behind the screen in 3D space) will be a great way to transition from the world of Robert & Shawn in the present, to the world of the other characters in the past.  Some great possibilities present themselves as the point of convergence between the two worlds are crossed.

Speaking of worlds… mine is full of ellipsis.  I like my life best when it’s cut, dried sorted and nice.  Start one project, finish it, then onto the next one.  Such a pace permits me the time and headspace to feel the flow in the universe and go with it.  Day two of my newly inherited sense of urgency has shown me that I’m not at all enjoying my newly inherited sense of urgency.   I need to buy myself time to get all my projects done, one project at a time.  This business of trying to do everything at once is not working.  By not working, I mean, not at all very satisfying.

To this end, I might have a line on a newly minted line of credit that will work to ease my cash flow headaches.  The terrifying prospect of cash flowing the next 90 days while paying for a condo, my life style, and pushing projects out the door will potentially become a bumpy worry instead.  They say you can lose money for years, but you only get to run out of cash, once.

The light at the end of the tunnel is smelling good.

Sense of Urgency

It’s Day 1 of my newly inherited sense of urgency.  It’s still taking some getting used to.  The following is a summary of my projects to date;

  1. 1.‘Crimes of the Art’ – is being pitched by Canamedia to a US broadcaster.  A 3D version of the series will soon be pitched to a UK broadcaster.  There are some definitive nibbles in Canada, but the industry is still on the tail end of a shit storm.  We need a foreign broadcaster on board to trigger a Canadian license.  This deal could come tomorrow, six months from now, anytime in between, or not at all.  The moment we close a deal, I will instantly be set up for the next two years.
  2. 2.‘InJustice’ – is being pitched as an acquisition to the same US broadcaster.  They expressed interest in February and it’s just a matter of having Canamedia follow up (which they are).  This sale could immediately solve my short term Condo crisis, returning my safety net to me in the process.
  3. 3.‘That Moment In Between’ (previously known as ‘Crude Play’) – I am about to start writing the dialogue for the 3rd Act.  Really, all I need is another day and then the play will be complete (at least this draft).  I have decided to submit the play to TeleFilm Canada and apply for funding to write a screenplay version.  I envision this story as a 3D movie.  The funding to write the screen play would also solve my immediate short term Condo crisis.  Best of all, my application could be in next week, with cash flowing by the end of summer.
  4. 4.momMe – is our renamed Alternate Reality Mother’s Day Game.  Corus (one of the largest media conglomerates in Canada) expressed an interest in being our channel partner.  I also spoke to my contact at the CMF with a list of questions.  Upon completing that discussion, I made the decision to add a technical producer/project manager to the team.  Don’t currently have anyone in mind, but I’m hoping Corus might have some ideas.  We’re submitting an application to the CMF for funding on July 5.  The funding would also set me up for a year or so.  The revenue from the game could turn into the next ‘Farmville’ or ‘Webkins’.
  5. 5.Future Development – Once the above projects are out the door and in the market, it’s time to start raising development funding for new ideas.  I have several good ones in mind.  It’s possible that developing a new series could provide enough funding to set me up for a few months (as was the case with ‘Crimes of the Art’).  The real upside is that the series could be picked up upon completion of its development phase, which would even be more betterer.

I met with my accountant yesterday.  The condo idea is risky to my short term cash flow health, but long term will be great for me.  By laying down my deposit last Sunday, I locked in my price.  He works with the firm that’s marketing Capital Pointe Plaza, and he confirmed that most of the units have been sold.  The value of my condo has already appreciated in value and by the time it’s actually built, will be worth a lot more (significantly more even).

I’m meeting with my banker tomorrow afternoon to discuss mortgage options.  My FICO score is in good shape (for the first time in my life) and she’s optimistic that we’ll come up with a plan that will result in me paying less in mortgage than I currently am in rent.

So to cap things off… it’s all looking really good.  My long term prospects are promising.  My business sense is sound.

Short term is going to be a motherfucker.

1504-1965 Albert St.

Well that was completely unexpected.

I put a deposit down on a condo today.  I have 90 days to raise a large chunk of cash, AND get approved for a big fat mortgage.  Following that, I have to raise a bunch more money by next April.  After that I can coast for a spell while they build the thing.

I am excited, shell shocked and terrified all at the same time.    This building, Capital Pointe Plaza, will be THE landmark building in Regina.  It will also be the tallest building in Saskatchewan.  My unit will be on the 15th floor, facing north, looking towards city hall, Victoria Park, and the rest of downtown.  Amenities will include an indoor swimming pool, a 10th floor outdoor green space/common area complete with a water tunnel and public bbqs, access to meeting rooms, board rooms, multipurpose rooms, and a state-of-the-art fitness centre.

It’s everything I ever wanted for myself in terms of a residence.  But it comes at great cost.  I need to raise $32,000 within 90 days and I’m only half way there.  If I make one sale, or green light one project I’m there.  More than there.

My immediate future plans have been thrown for a loop.  I just became comfortable with the idea that I could coast for a few months before a project really needed to green light or sell – a rare luxury given that I work in a volatile industry.  Suddenly, that’s not the case anymore.  Things have just taken on a greater sense of urgency because my dream residence just went and sucked up my safety net.

I have to get a proposal done by Wednesday.  Guess that will become my next big priority.  Could lead to one of those much needed green lights I was talking about.