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Another new blog

The Adventures of Margot D. and Other Stories is ongoing, but here's a new blog that's just about my professional life: http://erinsneath.com/

it's not you, blog, it's me.

Here is the new blog: http://artfindermargot.wordpress.com/
It's mostly a serial story but I'll get to have some out-of-fiction posts as well.

character voice exercise

This won't be in the book, but I'll probably steal parts of it. I wanted to know how she sounds, for when I give her dialogue.


Kelly's monologue:


This was supposed to be a picture of Carlotta. The other guys are there because I'm not going to ask her for a portrait. She'll think I'm a creepy stalker or something. I am, but I don't want to make her feel weird. I care. Don't laugh, okay?


But look there. Yeah, there. What's that shadow supposed to be? I looked everywhere in the whole entire room, the same time of day. That's fourth period. It's probably nothing, like, costuming or a prop or something. Maybe someone took it home. I hope that's all it is, but seriously look at it! That's a claw. She's got this big dark claw right behind her neck.


Maybe that thing about cameras stealing your soul is true sometimes. Maybe it just makes you exposed. After I took the picture, she got on the ladder, getting a box down from the closet. I was too far to catch her but I saw her fall and I was like: She's gonna break her neck or she's gonna land on that beautiful nose and it's gonna push right up into her brain and her piercing, that nice blue stud is gonna kill her. We won't hear her laugh anymore and it'll be my fault for taking a stupid coward picture!


Carlotta broke her wrist. She'll have to do something else for stage combat week, but she's okay. She's breathtaking when she cries. Really. That's creepy again, but it's true. Some people look like scrunched up trolls and she's like some renaissance goddess icon. Something made the shadow and something knocked her off a ladder and got away with it.


I don't think we're safe here anymore. We're in this room every day, sometimes staying 'til long after class. We relax like we can't (I can't) relax anywhere else. We let go. We flip out. We even meditate, for eff's sake. We're open to everything here. For us it's all just a bunch of warm-up games and homework. What if we're too open? Carlotta's the best of us. We all try but she's already there. She's got presence. She's the one who got hurt.


I love, love, love this class. Everyone's kind. That doesn't happen, and Dumonde is like the best teacher I've ever had. Ever. If something is in the room and it's attacking us? I don't know. I've got plans and I need good marks. That means going to this class every day and being “present”. Even if I'm right, even if we're really in trouble, I know I'm gonna stay. Is that dumb? Would you rather do well or be safe?


You think I'm making a big thing out of nothing. I get it. Carlotta's okay except for her wrist, but there was a second where she looked dead. For reals, dead. Her eyes were sunk back and her skin was all grey, and black lips. Not goth lipstick black. Real. Under the skin. Then she cried and she was alive again, all flushed and her eyes shining cuz, you know, pain does that.


I bet someone took notes about her reaction. I get that, but it's sick. Anyway, I don't need to. I've got instant replay over and over in my brain.


The photo's not a prank. Even if someone wanted to mess with me, I was alone in the darkroom. Alone with that claw shadow thing. I hope I'm wrong but I think something's hiding in the Drama room, and I think it wants us.

character study

I did two characters studies and this is one of them:

Name: Kelly Turtle Age: 17


Archetype: Athena

From: Ramsay, Ontario


Vocation: Student at Ramsay Collegiate Secondary School

Arts Focus Program 1998-1999 school year. Grade 12. 91% average.

Taking English, Photography, Ceramics, Regional History, Drama, French. 3 courses and one spare for each semester.


Look: Tall, black hair, medium-dark skin, puberty stretchmarks, uneven skin tone that she hates but probably no one else notices. She has a DD cup size but it ruins her posture, made worse because she doesn't exercise, leaving her little core strength. Her bra is now too small and to save money she loosens it to the point where she has to tighten her shoulders to keep the straps up. She wears maternity clothes to hide herself from scrutiny, and big, broken running shoes. Hippie sundresses and skirts in the warmer months. Good luck pendants. Plastic digital men's watch.


Family: Her father teaches History at the local university. Her mother teaches Grade 1. Her brother Jason is close to finishing his masters at Harvard. He spent his last year of high school at Upper Canada College, which was expensive. The family home was damaged by black mold, costing so much money that between that and Harvard, they have very little left for Kelly. She needs a scholarship.


Friends: Rex, an ex boyfriend from grade 9. He's a metal head and he claims a connection to other worlds. She doesn't think he's crazy, but she doesn't always believe him either. She has a handful of friendly acquaintances, and a lot of people she likes, but only Rex is close. People see her as stand-offish.


Challenges: She takes on more than she can chew and then she panics about deadline. She's a suck-up with the teachers and alienates the other students. She doesn't know how to move from small talk to friendship. She crushes easily and tries too hard to impress the objects of her affection. She fears punishment and any failure at all. She is paranoid about getting caught so she never does anything forbidden, though she would like to do so. In any given year/month she either believes in everything supernatural or nothing at all. She finds it painful when her point of view shifts on the big questions.


Immediate surface wants: Full scholarship


Long-term surface wants: National Theatre School, followed by Stratford Festival, followed by Broadway


Immediate secret wants: a classmate named Carlotta. Kelly calls her Goddess behind her back.


Long-term secret wants: to start over, socially, and be a pillar of the arts community in a major city.


Quirks: Cracks her knuckles, toes, and shoulders. Touches her lips a lot. Loves Animaniacs, Sliders, and The Odyssey teen drama. She creates fan fiction for them and hides it behind the desk in her room.

Potential arcs:

  • Proud of her ability to grin and bear it through any angst, she finds a situation where she must either ask for help or fall apart. I think she'll fall apart but then have an epiphany.

  • When her family loses money, Kelly becomes a total cheapskate. Later she has to make a decision on something expensive but vital.

  • Kelly is too cautious. She will learn to take a risk.

greetings from sunny california

Tonight was my last night at the SoCal Film Festival, which was smaller than I had thought, but friendlier than I had hoped. My short script, The Face on the Wall, and the Chainsaw didn't win, but that was no biggie. I haven't been involved in an awards party of any sort since University. I've been collecting business cards, not just because networking is something I should make more of an effort to do, but also because I genuinely want to follow what these people are doing. Today I walked for hours in the hot sun, in my wedding boots and then I watched four feature-length films in a row. Huntington Beach is lovely. A lot of suburbia, but the kind with fun little gardens. Downtown is pretty. I had a gelato and walked along the beach and bought souvenirs. I'd like to come back next year, but I suspect that might be too pricy if I don't have any projects involved in the event. I may need another excuse.

Tags:

i'm not on the verge of panic. this is new.

I think I'm beginning to write faster. My deadlines are getting easier and easier to make, while I still find myself procrastinating because I have time to do so. I'm starting that new job in October, which could add a bit of pressure, but it's part time, which means I need to treat the rest of my time like another part time job. If I'm able to write faster, I can take on more assignments. With some decent clippings I can start getting the kind that pays. Not going to get ahead of myself, though. I want to do as much as I can of my feature script before the 27th, then it's two short stories (one of them already has a draft) and a thorough novel outline for November because this year I'm doing NaNoWriMo. For reals. I'm scared. I also hope that NaNo will increase my words-per-hour so I can collect more assignments, send out more projects and become that much closer to where I want to be. Where do I want to be? Two shelves: one for books and the other for blu-rays.

I should probably start that pulp serial fictional blog. Of course, that means starting a new blog. I will probably still post to this one, but I can't guarantee it.

california dreaming

I sent a short story to three of my friends for proofreading. If I had chosen and not put out an open call on Facebook, I would have chosen them for a variety of reasons, mostly because they think. I finished the first draft of an article while visiting a friend with other friends, watching Supernatural, and drinking wine. My upcoming job just got a little more official. I will be going to California for that film festival after all. I'll have to work a little harder at getting a feature script, or the first whatever percentage of a feature script done before then, and I've got magazine editing to do while camping and then the Horror Con the next weekend. Time's crazy when you're having fun. I'm still not used to it. I should figure out how close the hotel will be to the beach or whether there is a frequent shuttle. If so, I should get a new bathing suit. I've shrunk a bit since I bought my current two-piece, and I don't really want it falling off in front of strangers in a foreign land. Even the pretty strangers.

screenwriting club, etc

The Calgary Society of Independent Filmmakers now has a screenwriting club. It was sparsely attended, but this was only the first meeting. It's going to be democratic. None of us are professional and everyone can offer something. I brought a writing exercise (this one: http://jimvanpelt.livejournal.com/81034.html ) and an example of how I have used it. One of the other girls picked the homework for next time. I think it will go well. Hopefully I can go in November and not have it get in the way of NaNo. We'll see what happens.

I finished that nostalgic article about a projectionist and his unique movie house, then worked more on those short story rewrites. I suspect that within two pomodoros (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pomodoro_Technique ) I'll have this draft ready for other people to read. I'll put a call out on Facebook, but I worry that some of my friends would hate it for genre or even personal reasons. Yes, I understand that this is a silly concern. Yes, I will ask them anyway.

I failed to notice an important email, or rather, I noticed it but mistook it for the previous email from that sender. Looks like I might be able to go to that film festival in California after all. Sweet!

Did I ever post about "Cinema Paradiso"? An article I'm writing keeps reminding me of that film. It's about a successful producer who comes home for the funeral of his projectionist mentor. He remembers back to the start of their friendship,

and to when the man helped him survive his first love.

It's long, but breathtaking, [inappropriate punchline here.]

Not finished my article, mind you. It's not due until Friday, but there are other jobs I need to do before then. Guess it's time to get back to the ol' time management systems. On with the pomodoros!

not the same old story


I picked up a short story I wrote a few months back and did some fixing up. I'd received a critique at When Words Collide for the first two pages, so I wanted to update it from what I learned. I also had to clear away some of the unnecessary stuff, even some of my favourite paragraphs. It's better now, I think, but I'll have to print it out and go over it with a pen to see if any of the sentences have been made weird in the process. Sometimes artifacts from previous versions stick around in the middle of otherwise perfectly good sentences, just to make them weird.

 

The Husband and I played a card game with some friends of ours. The game was about bean farming, if bean farmers were insane. I won somehow. Luck, maybe, or the others cut me some slack because I had never played before. One of the neighbours watches porn on a big screen television that faces the window. We thought of calling out an appropriate one-liner but couldn't think of anything on the spot. Also, it's mean to embarrass people just for the sake of embarrassing them.