Lives of love and beauty – Asmara

asmara

Only thing more colourful than her hair is her personality

Asmara Bhattacharya: writer, musician, ball of energy

I don’t know how I met Asmara. I know it was while visiting Austin for the screenwriters conference and film festival, but beyond that, it just feels like this spitfire of a lady simply arrived in my life as an eternal friend. An orchestral musician, I know Asmara mostly as a prolific and amazing writer, who churns out new and stunning ideas and screenplays the way I process bacon, if in the opposite direction.

The lady is a creative and playful whirlwind of enthusiasm and polychromatic hair. One does not join Asmara in an activity or social outing, so much as get swept along in an amusing riptide of good wishes and excitement. Everyone and everything are fascinating to her, and while she is ceaselessly surrounded by friends and acquaintances, you never feel like you’re being neglected when in her company. I still haven’t figured out how she does it. She is a human social media hub, connecting people from every corner of the universe.

Thanks, Asmara, for keeping my world lively and for constantly challenging me to be a better writer, and maybe to stay up past 10pm in Austin.

See also:

Dickflicks.net (her blog)

2016 Austin Film Fest bio

Lives of love and beauty – Kevin

kevin

Kevin is the one on the left

Kevin Bruce Scott: son, actor, puppeteer, integrity trainer

The man I affectionately dubbed Sweetums on our first meeting in honour of his impressive size, hirsuteness and rolling voice has wondrously become a constant in my life, even despite his gregarious activities that see him crisscrossing the North American continent. I first met Kevin when he auditioned as a puppeteer and actor for a sketch comedy show I was helping another friend develop (Nicholas Lemon’s SomeTV!), and it was bromance at first blush.

To know Kevin even for a few moments is to experience an earthquake of enthusiasm and playfulness that has been rivalled by very few in my advancing lifetime. Quick of wit, clever of brain and charming of eyebrow (you have to see it), Kevin routinely explodes with volcanic laughter and excitedly joins any creative moment with love and insane bonhomie. To merely stand in Kevin’s presence is to experience unbridled love…but dive in for the amazing hug, if you get the chance.

I say without hyperbole that should Kevin reach out with any idea, I am an eager participant because I know that even if the idea amounts to nothing tangible, I will have had the best time working on it.

Thanks you, Sweetums, for going on that audition and making my face hurt with smiles.

 

See also:

12 Days of Gratitude – Kevin

Effortless Alpha (Kevin’s blog & mission)

Hero of a Thousand Voices

I hear dead people.

I also hear living people, imaginary people and people who aren’t even people.

I am a writer, and I am highly confused.

Since quitting my day job to commit full-time to writing, I have found the voices that run rampant through my head have amplified, in volume and seemingly in number.

Before I quit, the anxieties and activities of daily living dampened the voices, shoved them to the periphery, surely as a functioning if not coping mechanism.

Now, without those distractions, the voices push outward, stretching their muscles after years of confinement, exploring their new world with the glee of a four-year-old on a steady diet of Coco Puffs. And here I sit, trying to control or harness them, sticking my pinky in a fire hose opened to maximum flood.

I have so many stories to tell, to record, to witness. But as soon as I sit down to transcribe one, a dozen others poke their heads out of the ground; conceptual prairie dogs wondering if the coast is clear.

I’ve always believed that creativity breeds creativity. I am experiencing that in spades, these days.

I will admit that after so many years of holding it back, part of me wants to let the voices flow unchecked. I want to stand at the foot of the waterfall and let the deluge wash over me, cleansing the grime of repressed enthusiasm from my soul.

But at some point, in some way, I still have to function in this universe. I want to recount these stories to someone, and for them to be intelligible, I have to direct my journey through the eddies that buffet me.

I hear voices. And I struggle with how to deal with them all.

At times, the onslaught of voices is one more wave than I can handle. (Photo taken at Carilla Beach, Costa Rica)

At times, the onslaught of voices is one more wave than I can handle. (Photo taken at Carilla Beach, Costa Rica)