Why #NotAllMen Needs To Go…

Musings:

Sound reasoning from a fellow man to #notallmen. His sensitive and logical explanation is a welcome moment in this horror story.

Originally posted on Doom and Gloom in Austin:

Before I begin, I just want you to know that this is the first time I’ve ever written anything like this.  I have shared stuff found on the internet and Facebook before, but this is different.  My thoughts are a bit scattered on this and trying to get something with any coherence was trying.  Please forgive me if I overstep bounds or get something wrong.  

This past Friday, a nightmare unfolded out in California as Elliot Rodger went on a shooting spree that killed 6 people and injured 13 before he took his own life.  His reasoning?  Women kept turning down his advances.  He left behind videos and a manifesto that was rife with virulent, toxic misogyny.

I spent the weekend processing this horrific event and half the week figuring out if I wanted to write about it or not and, if I did, what I would write.

I…

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Things to Remember

So here it is, the day of my first episode on my new show Art & Soul with Trina Fallon and I’m sitting here drinking cup of coffee number two with chicken breasts thawing in the sink. I’m fiddling with my hair, a sure sign that I’m nervous about it.

 

I called my friend Casie yesterday about what to do with my makeup and hair. She’s a freelance makeup artist out of Orlando and she’s pretty much great. She gave me some decent tips which I plan on using all of them….at the same time. heh heh heh

 

 

I have to say after making my first iPad game I was exhilarated. But producing my first film is quite frankly gratifying. The best part is making all the new friends. I love these people, they’re down to earth, cool and honest. They come with your garden variety quirks and idiosyncrasies, stuff I eat up with a spoon. I knew I was in good company when I met Joe Whall, he’s honest and endearing in all the right co-worker ways. I’ll be keeping him and a slew of other individuals forever.

 

 

I kind of wondered why you see the same people in Hollywood working together now I get it, I  get it completely. Once you find your kindred, you keep them. Gene Wilder had Mel Brooks and a few others. Seth Rogan runs with a great crowd, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill and James Defranco among others. Jim had Dan, Bill had Harold and I can’t wait to see who I’ll count in my crew, but one things for sure, Syntax will always be special for too many reason to state here.

 

 

That being said, again back to the things I must remember, Why am I doing this show? Why why why would I put myself in front of the dreaded camera? I’m goofy, eccentric, cryptic, sarcastic, empathic, engaged and enthralled when it comes to meeting new people. I love it. I’m pursuing this for the simple fact that I love talking to people and if I could make that a career I’d be bliss-filled.

 

Me with tupelo honey bear.

Yesterday I went to Target with my daughter Brianna to look for things to use on my set and found nothing, muah muah muah. So as we walked out she popped into the clothing department and started picking stuff out for me. What a sweet girl. I got a few things for tonight and headed out. As we got into the car I admitted how nervous I was, she said mom you’re going to do great. Of course I had to say, Oh Yeah? Why do you say that? What she said next was what I needed to remember. She said, Mom, I observe you a great deal. And when you talk to people you make them feel like the most important thing in the world, you give them all your attention because you’re completely engaged and people love that. And me, being myself of course asked, Yeah but is it entertaining? Is it something people would want to tune in and see? Then it hit me, it’s not about having everyone like what I’m doing, its about creating something for the people that are looking for it.

 

 

 

I’m not on a huge network yet, I may never be, but really who knows. I’m on the internet where a handful or hundreds of people could possibly see the content I am producing. If it’s something they want, need or are looking for well now it exists. THIS is why I am doing this, sometimes knowing why you are doing something is just as important as doing it.

 

 

 

For anyone whose ever wondered how does one become a filmmaker, how does one break into being a makeup artist? Here is the show for you. Are you a creative person? Does writers block come into your study at night and perch like Nightcrawler on your wall ready to pounce on any inspiration that holds hope for your novel? Could it help hearing how another writer beats that muse killing Nightcrawler out of their consciousness? Well look no further I hope to shed some light on the subject.

 

 

 

I have for years believed that the keys to peace and social improvement are already within us and all we need to do is just turn the right key. I think that key is tapping into one another’s experiences. Each and everyone of us has an incredible story to tell, all we need is avenue in which to tell it and by golly I need to create it, so here I am producing this show and making a platform now. This is what I need to remember. This show may or may not be for everyone but I sincerely hope it is for someone and my greatest aspiration is to help others find their way.

 

What Am I Afraid Of? Fear And Loathing with Myself

Unless you’re new here, or may be you don’t know me well, let me inform you, I am never in short supply of ideas.

It’s the main reason I want to be a producer. The title is vague, large, and somewhat encompassing, just the way I like it. There’s power in the specifics, there’s power in the details, but try to nail me down to one thing and I’ll buck every time.

So what am I afraid of? Never being in short supply of ideas should mean that logically I have many things to my name? Many accomplishments, endeavors, you get the idea. You see, I have these ideas but I’m afraid to act on them. I share them with friends, colleagues, associates, strangers in the hopes that someone will like the idea and run with it. Sadly, my mother does this too. A historical or genetic legacy I presume?

I see how she desperately wants to do the things that she comes up with, she hopes I will sail in and champion her cause. I know this because I am guilty of this too. If I’m sad for her then surely I must be sad for myself. Well it’s true, I am.

So what am I afraid of? Well one thing, not knowing how to start is a big one.

Back in 1999 I had a revelation, or an epiphany or a delusion pick one, it fits I’m sure. That I should get into the entertainment industry since I didn’t like the direction that I saw it heading. The only way I know to stop or change something I don’t like is to get involved. I’m pretty sure that’s still true. So what did I do, I started a few things, put myself out there and then decided maybe it was a bad idea.

So, I went back to my father’s house after my divorce and started all over again. This time, I got a job at Sprint and work hard to pay off all my debt and get my life back in order. This was successful, very successful, I did great obtaining all my goals and objectives. Then I met Joshua. That’s him below in the middle with the mustache.

Ah to be young again.

We became best friends, then we dated, got engaged and have been married since 2002. I could characterize it as happily married but honestly, we’ve been successfully married, as happily implies so many things and they’re not all accurate. Successfully has a whole other set of implications all of which are accurate.

I became a full time homemaker, mother, and wife. It is a job, anyone who disagrees, has never had to run a household before. Add the fact that we were both previously married with children and now remarried that comes with a whole host of obligations, responsibilities and issues. None of which are ever at all easy. But this I’m sure is no mystery.

I’ve been a blended mother of 5 for quite some time, and now I am a blended mother of three, as two have become adults and have moved into their own chapters of life. This allowed me to have some free time. Not a whole bunch mind you but some and some is better than none, so I ran with it.

We relocated here in this new town, with a city just 15 minutes away when I decided this is it. I’m going to go for it. I’m gonna learn film production. So I did, I jumped in the line (thank you Harry Belafonte), and didn’t look back. As opportunities came I took them, I payed attention, asked questions and worked hard.

The Beautiful Lost Cast and Crew after an all nighter.

Now I have a great group of new friends and colleagues like I’ve never had before. And they are fun, lots and lots of fun. For once when I use my Pocket Whip (an app in iTunes) on my fellow co-workers they don’t get mad and actually think it’s funny, which in my opinion IS incredibly funny. For the record, if I used the Pocket Whip on my Game Production crew, NONE OF THEM found it in the least bit humorous.  It was met with great disdain. GREAT. Whether it was my developer (aka husband) or the art director/lead artist (Aka my eldest daughter) or the composer/GUI designer (Aka my eldest daughters best friend) they were sorely unimpressed. I was disheartened as the producer/project manager. No joy here for me.

Pocket Whip

But my new colleagues, friends and cohorts all think it’s awesome and even asked to be whipped or ask me to whip specific and or all crew members. AHHH My people! We have found each other. Enter: New found bliss. But even so, with this plethora of new faces, personalities, opportunities and creativity, I’m still hearing the echo of my fears. I have so many ideas, I just don’t know how or where to start.

I think it’s time to air it all out. Maybe with the light it will chase away the shadows. Let’s list them non-categorically.

  1. I’m afraid my ideas stink. That’s right, the ideas are kinda bleh or so I fear and no one is nice enough to tell me.
  2. I’ll start and it will fail from poor execution. Yep, I did it! But it stinks, or is poorly planned.
  3. I’ll do it and it’s a flop. Queue the trumpet sound of a bad joke. *muah muah muah*.
  4. I’ll do it and the public screams in outrage. In my mind this plays out like a scene from Young Frankenstein with villagers, pitch forks and torches. Yes, it is dramatic.
  5. I’ll do it and it will be a complete waste of time, money and resources. Now look, I’ve wasted everyones time and money. Queue guilt.
  6. I’ll do it and get perceived wrong, or it’s misunderstood. This is frightening to me, I hate offending people, it makes me feel bad.
  7. I’ll do it and become successful and all the people I’ve ever hurt come back to get revenge. Yes, I presume they care enough to do this. I hope they don’t but it could happen.
  8. I’ll do it and all my lofty dreams, goals and ideals, never come to fruition. This I know sounds sincerely absurd and yet there it is.
  9. I’ll do it and my career will suffer from lethal mediocrity. This needs no further exposition.
  10. I’ll do it and I’m wrong. Just plain wrong about the concept, intention, everything is just wrong wrong wrong.

I think this just about sums it all up, so lets take a closer look here. Well it looks like I’m being held back by some weird rendition of ego. Yeah, all but maybe one are all manifestations of ego. So it looks like I have nothing to worry about since the ego cares for no one but itself and will sacrifice all in able to live. Well who knew? I guess I’ll just start walking. As Hunter S. Thompson said, “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”

I guess I should take comfort that even if all of these came true the worst that would happen is nothing and nothing is already happening if I don’t do anything, so really the worst of my fears is already here. So on that note, I guess I’ll just get started. Taking my time and doing something right, isn’t wrong. But sitting here year after year thinking of ideas and doing nothing with them, well that’s a different story.

Acting: It’s Not For Sissy’s

I attended the actors workshop here in Tampa again last night. That would make two times thus far. The first time I was literally thrust into acting. I was put off guard but I embraced the moments as they came. Letting them pass through me like a stern wind trying to whisper to my soul.

I was nervous, trepidatious but courage has never been too far from me. So I did it. I am glad I did. While I felt a discernible difference for the first exercise, the next few times I could not conjure the same presence. But I still committed to the exercise.

The first exercise consisted of a watcher and an actor. One would portray a moment of their constructed character. The other would watch and try to guess what was being portrayed.

My partner was very good at what she chose to do. I could hear my inner dialogue create a movie of what was happening. I guessed correctly, no great feat on my part considering how well she did. She portrayed a woman who had just discovered her husband had been cheating on her, something I could tell, she had suspected for a while and she went from anger to conflict to regret and then she finally made her decision to leave. Very compelling to watch for sure.

Then it was my turn. Scary scary scary. I had no character. I had come in 15 minutes late and had no idea what to expect. So I had maybe 3 minutes to create a character. I went back and forth frantically in my mind as to whether I should do Jill, an old LAV character I had in the mid 90′s. Cheating? Yeah, probably, I played that character for 3 years and it became White Wolf sanctioned back in the day.

But I digress. Then I thought, I did have a female character that I could portray. Connie, from my screenplay Shades. She is the female supporting actress that has recently been publicly humiliated with her boyfriend breaking up then walking out on her in a crowded diner. She sat their berating herself quietly thinking the old some thoughts. Why me? Why does this always happen to me? So yeah, I did that. She guessed correctly.

Our next exercise was more involved. It was supposed to be dramatic. I didn’t have an idea that we could do, but I had two partners and one of them had a decent idea. We would enact a parent teacher conference where the 12 year old boy in the class, was my son and I was his step-mother whom he did not know really at all. He was having behavioral problems and was acting out in class. My other partner would be the teacher.

It was a strange role for me since I was to portray essentially a trophy wife who had no children of her own and little interest in the one she had married into. This is far and away from what I am in real life. I have step-children and I love them as my own. To act like I had no care or concern for a child in my care is alien to me. It was challenging. I felt no connection to the character at all. I’m not sure how I did, but maybe I’ll know one day.

The next exercise was between myself and two other students. We were to portray being very close friends but they knew my husband had been cheating on me and were going to attempt to tell me over dinner. I won’t go into details but, I did not feel a connection to the scenario. Maybe improv isn’t for me, or maybe I just need to loosen up, or practice more but those moments were awkward for me. But then again that’s probably the point.

Ghosts, the Universe, and the subsequent Adjustment

I have been avoiding my computer for about three weeks now.  There are no good reasons for it, ever. Yet it remained to be true until now. I had been contemplating, avoiding contemplating, searching, distracting, preoccupying myself from doing what I know is inevitable. I keep talking myself into and out of what I know that I want. I want to write. Having the courage to write the things I know I am supposed to well, that’s another story.

The vulnerability, doubt, insecurity, uncertainty all stem from the same place. Shame. It’s a dirty word, I know that to be true. It’s the only word, concept, feeling, experience we all share universally among humanity. It controls, stops and gets in the way and worst of all it’s something that has to be allowed or given permission to experience.

I’ve read Brene Brown’s book The Gifts Of Imperfection. It is now required reading in our family. I remember being shame resilient at a few points in my life. Right now, I am vacillating between certainty/strength and uncertainty/shame.

I have a terrible habit of putting a great deal of pressure on myself when I endeavor to do anything. I’m going to go ahead and call it Ego. Anytime I start in a direction I can only conceive of the pinnacle of my achievement. Having pondered that incessantly, I become overwhelmed and I haven’ t even gotten dressed and walked out the door much less done anything else.

This is a real problem. A very real problem. I’ve been telling myself for as long as I can remember that I can do anything. I started to believe it. The bad thing is, it’s not necessarily true until I do something. But if I’m spending my days believing I can do anything and yet not completing anything, then I am in fact not doing anything. Crazy, obvious and yet glaringly true…so I see.

I had started along a path to filmmaking this summer. It’s something I have dreamed about doing for as long as I can remember. I have not acted on that dream until very recently. I wrote a screenplay, started a production company and have started attending an actors workshop here in Tampa.

I haven’t been so scared to do something in a very long time. The closer it got to me having to go to class I became very nervous. I started imagining having to act, improv, being inept, missing the mark, just name it. I hadn’t even attended class yet and I had already conceived fifty ways to embarrass myself.

Horrifying, unnecessary, unproductive yes. But I am nothing if not vigilant in my self pruning. Throughout the chaotic span of the last few months here at our new home I have been watching myself very carefully, trying to glean any truth about what is really going on above and below the surface of myself.

WHAT I’VE LEARNED

I’ve learned that the truth of what is going inside lies not in the words but in body language.

As humans I can only determine that as a survival tactic humans are adept at hiding the true motivations and feelings from ourselves as well as others for the most part.

I have found that the most telling truths about myself were things I telegraph in the moment. From the way I hold my head, were I set my eyes, the line my shoulders make when someone is talking to me. All the signs are showing me what my mind has already processed that I keep my eyes from seeing.

I’ve learned to watch myself and more importantly I stop listening to what my mind is distracting me from and started asking my heart to open it’s lovely den of light and let a beam of truth come out and point the way.

LAST NIGHT

Last night was no different from any other night over the last three weeks of distraction. I played a few game demo’s I watched a few sit coms and went to bed. As I sat in bed sipping my Sleepytime Tea looking at my phone for the gazillionth time getting fed up with myself, my phone and Facebook I closed the screen and put my phone down. Then I picked it up again almost immediately. As I hold the phone in my hand, I think for a moment, What am I still looking for? I wish I knew what I am supposed to do so I could stop looking. I unlock it again, I stare at the Home Screen and then I hear it.

Open Pinterest. It may show you what you’re looking for.

Then I see this:

At first I didn’t see it. I read the words, I liked them and then as I kept scrolling it hit me. All these quotes are about writing. Then I just sat their smiling, stunned and feeling awed as well as loved. I had just moments before simply asked to just know what I am supposed to do. Vacillating back and forth between movie producer, mother, screenwriter, writer the choices and paths were all laid out before me.

Then I see this. So I took the hint and started a board on Pinterest called Needs. What happened last night, truth be told, happens to me all the time. ALL THE TIME. I could write a book about how I speak to the universe and it speaks back to me. But Paulo Coelho already did that in The Alchemist. Great book if you haven’t read it go now and do so.

After receiving this much asked for message at 12:30 AM on an idle Tuesday night/Wednesday morning I wrote my messenger a message:

To @pinterestuser here I was listening to the old familiar haunting that plagues me time after time. The soul searching and the berating taking its usual toll. I ask my heart and soul in earnest what am I waiting for? Why am I still searching, I wish I just knew what I’m supposed to do. I pick up my phone get fed up with FB and put it down. Moments later I pick it up and what do I do? I open Pinterest. A part of me says what you need you may find there. And like an answer to a song in the soul were all your recent posts about writing. I’ve been struggling with whether or not to continue. You’ve helped me with my answer by showing how connected we all are whether we realize it or not. You have been a friend to me by being a friend to yourself and for that and all the posts I thank you.

 

I had to say thank you. Who knows what she was doing pinning at that hour. Who cares? All I know is I heard the small still voice say, oh the answer you need, yeah it’s right here, your welcome. The messenger was some unsuspecting woman going about her own life, unknowingly making my night and days better. No small task.

So this morning I get up as usual, make eggs, sausage with tater tots for breakfast, full disclosure, not the usual breakfast, and get my kiddos off to school. As I am driving in my car, my mind does what it always does and starts to wander in the same intellectual concentric ego driven circles. As I am top rocking in my new chili red Mini Cooper Hardtop blasting my music I hear the same banshee cries from within, what? what? what?

Then I remember, HEY, I already know what I’m doing. I got this. But then I started wondering why am I still thinking like this? That’s when it donned on me. I am being motivated by all the old ghosts.

Then I had to ask myself, what are my ghosts? What do they want?

THE GHOSTS

Upon reflection of the forces that fight to control me I have discerned that they mainly consist of, my ego, my expectations, my vanity, my fears, self inflicted pressures, shame, regret and ambition. These subconscious motivators, drives and forces have been pulling me anywhere but forward. So I did what I always do, I thought about it. (On a side note, as I was writing this part about ghosts, 8 vultures appeared in my back yard. They flew in a circle over my pond. When I noticed them, I grabbed my phone and started taking pictures. One by one they flew off until only four remained. I will post the picture here.)

THE ADJUSTMENT

I started rearranging my understanding of what’s important and necessary in my life. No longer allowing these forces to dictate my path I redefine and prioritize the significance I would give any of these ghosts. I do this by seeing that my life is really blessed. I fill the hunger of ambition with the understanding that I have all that I have ever wanted right now. There is no need for more when all I want is currently in my hands.

I handle regret with the kid gloves of being in the moment, like a shepherd I gently remind myself that no other moment counts but the one I am living right now. All the past is an apparition hoping to live again by stealing the glory and beauty of the present, like the unwanted ghost that it is…

I fought my ego long ago. It was a great and terrible battle. Just terrible. Many many many casualties of war, thinking of this fills me with a tremendous amount of guilt. That guilt helps me in ways I had no idea were effective until a few years ago when I found my spiritual father. But that’s a tale for another post. My ego, although I fought and won, will raise her head and whisper a few things here and there. I know when she tries to take over, it feels like a hot, slick, slippery oil that twists, roils and rolls inside my chest confusing me into believing that the moment is more important than it is or that my actions are correct or worth fighting for, when in fact they are not. She is a tricky one Ego. She cares not for me or anyone else ever. We could call her Inner Demon but man that gets mouthy after a while. In any case, her whispers have become pictures, movies I play in my head. Movies of accomplishment, of award ceremonies, of achievement, I’m sure the picture is clear. She does this to entice me and then to paralyze me. That sly and awful manx. But now,  I am onto her new wiles. So now, when I start to see those picturesque moments of pinnacle, I simply push them out and remember, all that I want, I already have anything more is just great.

By simply taking a real look at what I have done so far with my life, and seeing the lives I make a difference in each day, I see that all those other pressures are just that, Pressure.

I am not going to change the course again. I’m still going to get into film production, not to get an Oscar but hey that would be awesome. But because I think it will be gratifying. I will do it because I have always wanted to, not for any other reason.

Film production won’t be the only thing I do, I will also continue to write. I will write all the thoughts as they come. I will write  until I find my voice. I will write because it is what I am supposed to do for no other reason than that, and that is good enough for me.

Hayao Miyazaki on his retirement: ‘This time I am quite serious’

Musings:

HIs work is nothing short of inspiring. His films are incredible, sensitive, imaginative, uplifting, intriguing and downright entertaining. If you’ve never seen or heard of Hayao Miyaki, do yourself a favor and take a moment to do it now. You will not regret it.

Originally posted on Inside Movies:

[ew_image url="http://img2.timeinc.net/ew/i/2013/09/06/Hayao-Miyazaki.jpg" credit="Jun Sato/WireImage" align="left"]The Japanese master of whimsical animation, Hayao Miyazaki, has retired before. This time, he says he really means it.

Miyazaki is one of animation’s most admired and successful directors. He said Friday that at the age of 72, he now wants to do other things besides slaving away over his drawings to meet feature film deadlines.

“I know I’ve said I would retire many times in the past. Many of you must think, `Once again.’ But this time I am quite serious,” he said.

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Silly Things I Used to Believe

I remember when I would write everyday. Filled with the raw emotional drivel of a young girl with lots of time on her hands. Then I became a parent and sitting around sifting through the pile of feelings I carried with me everywhere isn’t something I had time to do anymore.

 

Some how I convinced myself that I had nothing to write. Yeah, that makes sense right? NO not even close. Looking back now as an incessant navel gazer I see now that I didn’t write because I didn’t allow myself to feel. I substituted real strength for numbness. I see that now.

 

Upon this realization I have been taking a hard look or as Brene would say I have been digging deep to see where did all those thoughts, realizations, and epiphanies went. I had none, because I wasn’t looking. Then I took stock on all the times when I did write and when my work was profound and tried to remember what was different now compared to then. The answer, I didn’t drink, I didn’t smoke and I didn’t back away or numb the feelings I was having unlike now.

 

Let me say that I have always believed that I was a strong woman, well by the look of it that’s not entirely true. I am a numb woman. The thought of that is just a little disappointing. Okay its very disappointing. Now I am considering leaving all those old ways behind. No more drinking to numb the feelings to avert the pain and thoughts that come like b52 bombers in the night dropping parcels of introspection.

 

I can anticipate a great world war within myself. Who knows what it will actually be like, but I can no longer keep this up. I know I have volumes inside me of what I haven’t been able to see for a long time now. But something tells me that won’t be the case very soon from now.

 

The Fall has always been my favorite time of year. I love transitions in every way. This is another transition for sure. I’m 40 now so why not now? Let’s parlay this significant age and make it exciting by abandoning my old ways.  It should be interesting since I have decided to start indie filmmaking and looking for a regular job as well.

 

I’ve had a child leave the nest and another on the way. A tumultuous time to be sure.

 

After looking for the answers I have catalogued thus far I also went looking for evidence that I have been numbing myself. I found plenty of proof. Then I went to see why or how this happened.

 

At some point I stopped deeply connecting with people and started skating on the surface of our friendships. I didn’t notice it at first but I started looking and all the signs are there. I have been avoiding deeply connecting with people out of fear I would hurt or disappoint them.

 

The fact is, sometimes, I just need to be alone. I actually like it, I need it. I seem like a pretty adept extrovert and truth be told I can be for short bursts, but down to the bone I am also an introvert, or as Susan Cain would put it I am an ambivert. Able to navigate both worlds. I have not been honoring myself, my introversion or my friendships by refusing to be open and honest about my need to pull way back and chew on the moments at hand.

 

I woke up this morning determined I would get my normal housework done and then I would sit and feel long enough to write open, raw and unrelenting. I am afraid. I am afraid that my friends will read this and think AHA! I knew it, or worse, they’ll think, WHAT?!? Could that be why? I hate the thought of hurting or offending someone, I know it’s inevitable, but I loathe it just the same. I know what it’s like to be hurt by a trusted friend. I don’t want to be that friend. I guess I’ll have to learn to let go of the end result and be more anchored in the moment and just trust that all will come out okay in the end.

 

It feels like a dangerous, risky almost irresponsible thing to do, yet I also feel there is no other way. So here goes nothing, I am now going to start walking up to the plate of life and say, okay I’m here, give it your best shot. I’m not walking away from this one. 

Repairing My Lack of Confidence

I’ve been thinking about it forever now and have decided that the one thing I do all the time is think.

I think about my feelings, my thoughts, my actions, my drive, purpose, intent, yadda yadda yadda, I think my point is clear now.

It dawned on me that all this mental activity was just navel-gazing. So, I decided well heck, that’s what I do, that’s what I should write. So here goes nothing, literally.

I recently finished a book I have been wanting to read for about a year now. It’s by Brene Brown about The Gift of Imperfection. It’s a wonderful book and incredibly helpful and filled with anecdotes of her life as a shame researcher and is just brimming with good practical tips and knowledge.

I want to read her other books and have every intention of doing so, but first I am going to do something a little different. I am going to actually read the books Brene recommended in the last few chapters of her book to try and parlay the realizations I had while reading it. The books she had recommended had inspired and helped her along the way and her work had helped me so it stands to reason that these books could only assist me further as well. So I went ahead and went to the magical place of Amazon.com and bought them on kindle, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and One Person / Multiple Careers: The Original Guide to the Slash Career by Marci Alboher.

I’ve started reading Marci’s guide to having multiple careers and needless to say, thus far it has been extremely helpful. I like how she relates the real experiences of the people she has met that are successfully managing two careers. Each chapter and experience so far has answered, comforted, quelled or alleviated a concern, doubt, fear or insecurity I’ve experienced recently.

You see, I have been an at-home-mom for over 10 years now, (for the record I go by domestic warrior priestess) Before that I worked for a local telephone company. Before that I did life coaching and before that I was a student. In between I have managed a few projects that heave been endeavored with my husbands software contracting company. We’ve put out an IOS iPad game, an IOS iPhone game called WordScape and have been designing a few other games since then.

Staying at home I have been able to manage producing a game while running a quite busy domestic schedule in a household that at the time consisted of 6 dependents, 2 dogs, 4 cats, a hamster and a fish. It was interesting to say the least.

After our first game release which was arduous under the circumstances, I was ready and exhilarated to begin our next project. My husband got a a new contract and all game design took a back seat.

After about a year long up and down climb over the hills of not now or not yet, we decided to postpone any game development till things became more settled. Leaving me without a project to run, design, produce etc.

We moved to central Florida and my husband now works for a new company here. I have been anxious to create something. I can just feel the ebbing inside me. I need to create and I have been putting it off forever.

My children, luckily for me, are very self-sufficient. They do their homework, they do their chores, for the most part they are pretty good at maintaining their responsibilities with the usual healthy amount of oops I forgot, that is normal f not expected in children.

I technically don’t need to micromanage their lives not that I’d would to begin with. I believe in domestic autonomy and like to give my children the space and time to just be kids. Well when they’re not in hyper college attainment mode which seems to start in high school per my husbands insistence. Admittedly, I do agree with most of his ideals and tactics, save a few.  I’d be a bit more forgiving on the work load and the grades to an extent.

When we moved here I felt a renewed sense of purpose. I wasn’t sure what it was going to be so I have been keeping my eyes and my heart open. After some rather unsettling home troubles, I do what I always do when I am in distress. I prayed.

I went into my room and I prayed for something I could be doing with my time while I wait. Ideas started to flow so I grabbed my voice recorder and headed out the door. After taking a stroll on my walk path I had an entire seasons worth of reality show programming for a series I created.

After writing that up I started working on a documentary called The Common Ground Project. I had gathered about 5-7 interviews online when I realized that the scope of my documentary was too important not to get good footage. In order to get that footage I would need a budget that I do not currently posses. So I tabled that project.

After having the heartbreaking realization that my original plan was not going to work, I started finishing my screenplay. I sat down and completely finished it. All I need now is a film crew and actors and we’re ready to start filming. The only problem is I began feeling shaky as time started approaching to acquiring crew and talent.

So I did what I always do and pull back, way back. I started playing games again and hadn’t gone back to working on the project since.

I decided in order to make this tiny hiatus a good thing I would get caught up on my reading. I am so glad I did, it has been most beneficial to me. Then I discovered the multiple careers book and it has been soothing what ails my confidence thus far.

Soon I will be starting acting classes and improv classes in order to make connections with the local talent that could be a part of my film. Worst case scenario I make an ass of myself, best case scenario I make new friends in my new chosen field. The other scenario is everything goes to plan.  Who knows what steers the ebb and flow of ones emotional tide. What variables or factors play into the winds  listened to when one is weary, tired, scared or insecure. Maybe it’s different for everyone, like a veritable spiritual cocktail of a million minute decisions peppered by the collective cacophony of all our intellectual, spiritual and emotional baggage?

 

Yesterday

Yesterday was filled with churning electric tendrils dancing in my chest. The feeling that seems to accompany any big endeavor that I am experientially unfamiliar with. I remember in my youth seeking out that chaotic influx as a means of growth. I, admittedly, would change all that I was and all that I believed. Pushing myself into chaos and confusion, having convinced myself it was necessary, that change was essential and must be sought out.

Maturity has successfully convinced me of otherwise, did I say thankfully? My family is certainly grateful, I am sure.

Yesterday was different, it was filled with that old somewhat familiar charge and pull. It quietly flickered in my chest, almost excitement, almost nervous. I knew better than to think it was related to yesterdays activities. I wasn’t doing anything necessarily productive, in as far as my current project. The day before was 6 hours straight of rewrites, and scene changes so I took the next day “off” so to speak. Instead I searched the internet for short films, looking for inspiration and like minded souls.

Instead I found enlightenment and talent. This was also inspiring, just not in the way I had anticipated. I took this in stride of course.  But that feeling kept coming back to me. What was it? What was it trying to say, show, warn, what did it mean? Maybe nothing. But ignore it, I could not.

Yesterday morning after I dropped off the kids, Tomorrow Comes Today by the Gorillaz came on the radio. I don’t know why, but I immediately started thinking about my latest endeavor. The thoughts, “I wish I could just find a group of enthusiastic passionate people to work with.” The feeling is so strong I thought about it with all my heart till I got home. For a moment I even pondered, do I have that group now? Is that group my husband, kids, and friends? Then I remembered, they are helping me. I need other professionals. I need other people in my situation. People with vision, eagerness and courage.

Then I thought something very freeing.

If I am to find these people, we will meet. Then I released these feeling and thoughts into the stratosphere and smiled. I felt the thoughts escape my heart and float away as I pulled into my garage. For five seconds I sat there and let the song finish before turning the car off and walking inside.

I went inside, poured my first cup of coffee, sat down and started searching for short films. I came across VideoStatic on Twitter, which was amazing. I watched War With Heaven and was gripped by Louis M^atters execution. The interview with OnePointFour was just as great. Helpful, open, and informative. It had everything I want in an interview. Thanks to Twitter I found this and several fistfuls of helpful information. From film festivals, composers, instructional videos, SpidVid, Crowd-sourcing, I could not be more amazed at what I’ve found on Twitter. Just saying.

But this isn’t about Twitter, no, it’s about THAT feeling. Then it happened. I was sitting in my sons gymnastics class when I got a notification, Kennedy Moronta ‏ @Ken5thAvejason croot ‏ @ActorJayCroot and Sean Beeson ‏ @SeanBeeson are following you. I look up their profiles, do some Googling and they are professionals. Lo! In my newest chosen field! The feeling began to subside and  I gathered myself and thought, maybe I am on my way. Maybe this is how I will find my group, perhaps this is what the feeling was about. Then I felt renewed.

Pursuit of happiness

There have been times when I have wondered, what separates the people who are living their dreams versus the people who don’t. I think I have pondered this for over a decade or maybe even longer. Am I showing my age there?

I have questioned, investigated, pushed and pondered. I’ve even posited they were lucky, privileged, intelligent the list goes on. But I was wrong. Near as I could tell, people of all types are living their dream, they have no common circumstances save one that I can discern. They went for it.

They just up and left and headed right for it without looking back. They simply took it. They didn’t steal it mind you. But the commonality is, they kept their eye on the prize and they did it.

Maybe the secret to happiness is contingent, in small part, in the belief that it is deserved? Perhaps that tidbit of information is all that’s needed to destroy what idiosyncratic neurosis that’s been put in place.

I don’t know if I’m right, but I believe that hopes and dreams are not to taunt us. What if they’re to push us further like an atlas of destiny?If that is the case I guess the real question becomes, when to begin?