On the water – British Columbia

A few more shots in and around the waterways of central British Columbia.

Taking wing in Hawaii

A few more shots from the photo archives…no scanner this time, though (yay).

These were some of the amazing winged creatures I met while traveling through Kona-Kailua, Hawaii about 18 months ago.

Lost

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Where are you?

I watch you though

You are not here.

Your eyes search

The horizon absently,

Wandering lands

Only you can see;

Listening for noises

Only you can hear;

Searching, needing.

 

Where are you?

I sit with you

But you not with me.

I feel your heat,

Your breath, your soul,

But you are unaware

That I am waiting.

You cannot sense

My heart beating,

My eyes watching,

My mind racing.

 

Where are you?

I want to know

So I can help

You with your search.

 

(Image used without permission because I was distracted.)

Off guard

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The tiniest of movements,

Almost imperceptible,

At the corner of her mouth

Told me all I needed.

She had heard me.

Her eyes resolute,

Focused keenly

On the wall ahead;

Tremulous in fear lest

She give herself away.

Pulse quickened.

Breathing changed.

Hands once relaxed

Now firmly planted

To still nervous thighs.

And so I repeat,

“I love you”

(Image used without permission mostly just to keep you guessing.)

(Ab)Use your imagination

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Four more reps! C’mon, you can do it. Three more reps! Don’t quit now. Two more reps! You’re a champion. One more rep! Almost there. Annnnnd, you are done. Way to go!

Phew!

As you may be able to tell, I recently started a fitness routine, a boot camp if you will. The nice thing about it is that I can still eat and drink whatever I want and the only reason I break into a sweat is because Toronto’s experiencing a nasty heat/humidity wave.

Just over a week ago, I started a screenwriting boot camp of sorts called Screenwriting U, which is designed to teach you how to create the most stunning and saleable scripts that Hollywood will eat up. (My apologies if this sounds like an infomercial.)

All I know right now is the program—the ProSeries—is kicking my ass.

For the next six months, I will have an assignment practically every day (including weekends) that is designed to push me to excel at EVERY aspect of screenwriting; e.g., concept, plotting, character, conflict, narrative, marketing.

I won’t go into any detail as to what we are doing—that would be improper and unethical as the fine folks at Screenwriting U have to make a living—but I can tell you about the outcomes.

At the moment, we’re working on concepts.

Once most of us come up with a concept that really interests us, we typically start writing right away, whether actual dialogue or mapping out plot points. We’re excited. We want to see our amazing idea come to life. Tomorrow is too far away.

No such luxury here.

In the true Full Metal Jacket sense, the instructors are making us break our ideas down to build them back up. And once we’ve done that, we do it again. And again. And again. Each time with a slightly altered method and/or goal.

In nine days, what was six interesting ideas (to me, at least), has become 30 new ideas, some of which are completely lame whereas others are pretty damned good, and more importantly, a hell of a lot more solid that the originals.

It’s a brainstormers wet dream and nightmare all rolled into one.

No matter how thoroughly I think I have developed an idea, just a little more time (or time away) shows me that I can go a little further with the idea or take it in new directions. As with the writing process itself, it is the permission to fail spectacularly with an eye toward finding something truly amazing.

And like physical exercise…what, I did that once…it is painful as hell in the early going, but it does get easier. And when it gets easier, I’ve got to make it hurt like hell again. I’m building imagination muscle memory. I’m making these thought processes second nature.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go change…oh, wait, that would be telling.

PS Hal Croasmun, our drill sergeant, is nothing like the guy in Full Metal Jacket, unless you wanted to imagine verbal enthusiasm replacing verbal abuse.

(First image is used without permission because I like to push the envelope, or any other piece of stationery, for that matter. Clip art below clipped without permission.)

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Communication or Noise – My 200th post

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In honour of my 200th posting to my blog, I wanted to get some feedback from you, my readers and guests, about the blog.

I worry sometimes that my eagerness to write, my enthusiasm for ideas and visions, puts some people off. That the messages I try to convey are received and perceived as spam, an intrusive noise in the recipient’s day.

This blog is just one example.

Whereas most people post once a week or every couple of weeks, I am posting almost twice a day on average (200 posts in 120 days). I recently joked with a friend that I had only just discovered that other people post to WordPress, too.

My one solace is that social media outlets like WordPress, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are voluntary. That you—my community—have chosen to follow me, to connect with me, and that should I become onerous or boring, it is within your power to ignore me or disconnect entirely. And some people have. I respect that and I thank them for their time, wishing them well.

Working in advertising and owning several email accounts, I understand the invasiveness of spam, the personal violation of being picked out a crowd by someone only looking for personal gain. I don’t want to be that person. I want to share, not push.

But I also want you to know that what you think matters to me. I will always welcome and respect your feedback and commentary, but reserve the right to determine how best to incorporate it, if I do.

In fact, I have initiated a couple of polls to solicit your direct feedback on the volume and content of this blog. I would greatly appreciate you taking a quick second to offer your thoughts.

You are my community, and I am grateful for that.