“Write without pay until somebody offers to pay.”—Mark Twain
Two major events happened this past week. First, Alison and I—Guam Books and Beads, made our second appearance at the Jacob’s Center/Market Creek Plaza’s 6th Annual ARTS and CULTURE FEST. The second is something I didn’t quite advertise on Facebook.
I became obsessed with screenwriting and devoured books, blogs and websites on the subject. After five weeks of extreme focus, as much as a mother of two young ones can muster, I completed a 99-page screenplay. I explained the storyline to three people; I didn’t have it viewed by someone else due to time, so I spent hours editing, rewriting and obsessing. I was racing towards a writing competition, the Bluecat Screenplay Contest. The deadline was the day of the Festival-October 15th; so, for ease of mind, I submitted everything the day before. After tweaking the scenes and dialogue, I registered my “product” with the Writer’s Guild of America-West and submitted it electronically with the Copyright office. Major for me. Within minutes, I took the last step and uploaded my work to Bluecat. The major push to do so was to see if I had any iota of talent in this arena. People go to school for this, study for years—so, here I am faking it until I make it.
Screenwriting is an art form and the format is delicious and challenging. I have so much more to learn, but with my submittal, two experts will analyze my work and in three weeks or so, I will receive their assessment. I’ve grown a thick skin and an open-mind in regards to criticism of my writing, so I’m ready. Once I receive the critiques, I’ll have three days to resubmit for the contest—finalists announced in February 2012 and the sole winner in March.
So, now that my work is protected and my “baby” is out there independent, I will share.
The title: The Daddy Blog.
The gist: The story centers around Verona Gilroy, a talented writer, who comes from a tumultuous family past. After both parents die within five years of each other, Verona clings to her older brother, Jack who becomes in all senses of the word her guardian. Jack finds himself a single, young father with squashed dreams, when his girlfriend wants nothing to do with him or motherhood. This drama becomes the focus of Verona’s first blog, except Jack doesn’t realize that he and his daughter’s lives are in cyberspace until a tragedy brings this to light. In a time when blogs or zines were a new amalgamation of the internet, Verona realizes that with the power of technology and the magic of her written word she could forge change. In addition, the return of Garrett Sabre (her first kiss) into Verona’s life forces her to analyze her mediocre existence and metamorphose into something greater, into the woman she was meant to be.
So, there. There’s a layer of late night television mixed in and a sprinkling of my love for the music of Eddi Reader and the badassness of Bruce Lee, but that’s the screenplay.
I’m already knee deep with another screenplay that I’m adapting from 13 chapters of a book I started writing. I’ve had to force myself to stop thinking of my characters, or the crazed cycle begins again. So, I channeled my energy into rearranging my children’s room—cleaning, sorting, dusting. I really think they have a thousand toys. “Only Ben 10 toys in this box, do you understand?!”
So, as my son does math homework and my daughter runs around the house like a wild child, dancing to Maroon 5, I find myself blogging. I hope for the best, but expect a dose of reality regarding my first screenplay. Maybe one day my work will be optioned and eventually produced into a movie, and then you’ll see my name in the opening credits. A Chamorro girl can dream. And! Thank you to another Chamorro girl for digging into my screenplay and offering feedback....I heart you, Alison!