I was recently inspired by The Huntswoman (amazing blog! can’t recommend enough!) who posted on their instagram story about how to really dig deep and come up with a five year plan. There’s nitty-gritty detail work and going through everything step by step to try and reasonably come up with a plan to get from where you are now to where you want to be in five years.
I know where I want to be in five years. The dream is to write for a Pixar project.
That’s a big ask. I’d probably be happy with a real writing job, but Brianne (the Huntswoman) said to imagine your ideal life.
So far here is what I’ve come up with;
I live on my own, either in New York (a pipe dream) or LA (a more reasonable place for my general career choice). A two bedroom apartment with exposed brick and interesting built ins.
I have a dog. Probably a poodle or poodle-mix because I’ve grown up with them and they’re so fluffy and sweet.
I’ve sold screenplays, I have an agent who gets me, I’m working in the industry and am making a name for myself enough so that Pixar might notice.
I may be blogging professionally; at least making some supplemental income from blogging and selling an eBook or something.
I’m in a relationship that is fulfilling. This is not as important to me, but it’d be nice. Frankly I’m more invested in having my own dog and place first.
My family is taken care of; my brothers are able to support themselves, my parents are retired/semi-retired and living comfortably. I don’t know what steps I have to take personally for this to happen, but is the ideal.
Maybe I’m a little thinner, but mostly I’m wearing better clothes.
How I get there is the hard work; I’m slowly chipping away at planning and implementing. It’s hard to break down five years into month by month steps. But for the first time in a while, I’m feeling hopeful.
I’ve been painfully silent during the recent events and riots. Not intentionally, just circumstantially. I live with some hyper-conservatives so conversation about the riots and police brutality is out. Do I come up with more excuses? My anxiety and depression left me bed-bound? I had a cold and thought it might be Covid-19? I barely have enough money to donate to all the places that need support?
I don’t have any thing to really say; I’m trying to learn, trying to give a space for Black educators and activists to speak and trying to just put one foot in front of the other.
What’s worse is that I considered trying to gather up film-related resources but it all felt so fake. How could anyone write a “8 movies to watch to learn about the black struggle to live in a country that hates them” listicles? God and and some people write this and have affiliate links to the books and films they list out. As if they’ve some right to make money at a time like this.
Nothing makes sense in times like these; I’m painfully silent, and angry, and tired; and scared for my friends who are protesting and exposing themselves and being brave and good.
I donated a paltry amount of money to the Loveland Foundation and I’d love it if you would too. They focus on therapy for Black women and girls. I wish I could give more.
So, needless to say, the quarantine has really affected my life. Not as much as some, and financially I’m okay (sort of), but boy howdy this is not where I thought I’d be a few months ago.
I’m back in Sonora, which is a little rough. I was getting really comfortable in SF and now I’m back in this awful podunk town. I keep trying to tell myself that the few interactions I have here are good research for future stories, but it’s hard to get over the mental hump of being here in the first place.
I started the year thinking I was going to be moving to LA and also submitting to a bunch of different competitions.
Instead I’m in Sonora, and I’ve got less than a week for my two top competitions final deadlines, and haven’t written anything. (or rather, I’ve written pages and pages, and then trashed them because they weren’t working).
I’m so tired of the inane “this is the time to finish that big project” messages that are getting churned out at a time like this. Sure, some of us have more time, but it’s not like a vacation, it’s not the same as spending a day home from work. Even if we’re all just overreacting and this all blows over, you cannot deny that this is a hard place to be mentally. How do you finish anything when the world is falling apart? Why should you finish anything when the world is falling apart.
I’m not getting as much work done, but I’m not going to make myself feel guilty about it (more than usual at least; do not underestimate my catholic upbringing and anxiety to key up any feelings of guilt, warranted or not).
I’m not getting work done because I’m worried. I’m not getting work done because I’m trying to plan ahead in a world of innumerable uncertainties. I’m not getting work done because I’m with my family and they’re a simultaneously source of comfort and extreme tension.
Wash your hands. Stop panicking every time you feel a tickle in your throat (that’s mainly for me). Good luck everyone.
Last weekend I went out to the far side of town for a friend’s birthday, and it was delightful. I was so worried about posting some of these pictures, but I had such a good time it seemed silly not to share.
I’m looking pretty big in these pics. But I’m also looking pretty happy? Sometimes it’s still shocking to me that the two can happen at the same time.
I’m going to be brutally honest; there’s something utterly devastating and soul-crushing about being plus size in a world that idolizes thinness. That’s just a fact. Right now I’m sitting pretty at a size 20-22 jean and a 3X shirt and sometimes don’t want to leave the house because of the potential to be seen by some jerk who thinks they know what’s best for me. Los Angeles, California (and really the whole world?), just doesn’t have the infrastructure and chutzpah to love someone like me. Further still, I grew up in San Francisco which, while a notoriously liberal and accepting culture, definitely has no problem shaming fat people for being ‘unhealthy’. (The whole city is proof positive that hating fat people is the last remaining ‘acceptable’ prejudice. Yikes, right?)
And I’m one of the lucky ones; the vitriol infini-fats, and plus size POC and GNC people suffer is beyond cruel. If you squint I’m an ‘hourglass’ shape, (and I’m not going to lie, my face is super cute which doesn’t hurt). I can fake being thinner than I am in pictures. If I stick with above the waist selfies or angle things just right I look more conventionally attractive.
I’m struggling a lot with what I want to write for my Nicholl Fellowship screenplay. I don’t feel confident enough in my old stuff to work from those, but I literally am having no ideas as to what to write for something new.
The early submission date is in 32 days. (I can wait longer and do regular or late submission, but it costs more).
As of right now, my brain is bouncing three subpar ideas around in my head;
A gay bull rider on the rodeo circuit trapped in the closet.
A young woman with control issues has to go to europe to collect her dead twin’s body after he commits suicide.
A school shooting.
That’s it. I don’t hate any of them, but they’re not giving me the passion I once had with writing, ya know? But maybe I just don’t have that passion anymore because I’m older and wiser and jaded. And I’m feeling a little gun-shy because the response I got back from my AFF coverage, while good, said it wasn’t the most original story. So now I’m wracking my brains trying to come up with something original.
Either way, writing is still hard. To win the Nicholl Fellowship would be a huge deal, and the fact is the story idea itself needs to be original, plus the dialogue and writing needs to be perfect. Even then it’s a long shot. I don’t anticipate this is going to be my year, but I want to submit nonetheless — this is my career, this is what I’d have to do to get noticed in my field.