On Writing in Public Places, the Benefits & Pitfalls of:

I like to write at coffee shops, because I actually get things done there. If I’m at home, I get distracted way to easily.

Today, however, I was typing the closest thing to a sex scene that I tend to write. Let’s call it an “almost sex scene.” To add a layer of excitement, there was somebody sitting behind me, who I don’t think was looking at what I was writing,  but it was kind of hard to tell.

The bottom line is: there are some scenes which may be preferable to write in the privacy of one’s home, where the only witnesses are cats. (Unless, of course, you enjoy the added layer of excitement of a stranger watching you write).

tyujtyd.jpgMy ideal sex scenes are both awkward and humorous. (And maybe sexy, too, if there’s time.) For fans of Arrested Development, that kiss Lindsay and Tobias share in Maggie’s shower when they’re trying to steal her pee is exactly what I imagine Hook and Smee’s first kiss to be like: a tender moment for those participating, but terribly awkward when you take a step back.

 

EXT. NEVERLAND JUNGLE – DAY

In the spirit of transparency, I’m posting my latest draft of Act One of the Pilot of The Gay Adventures. 

Go to the Pilot Episode page, or click here to read it: Pilot – The Gay Adventures (Act One)

I know it’s not perfect, but I had a lot of fun writing it. If you’re familiar with the book, look out for bits n’ pieces from that! I hope I didn’t disrespect the ghost of JM Barrie by trying to emulate his style. Please forgive me, James.

“It’s so Ass” part II

This is a follow-up to my previous post, when I overheard a 12-or-maybe-13-year-old describe something as “so ass.”

Out of curiosity, I looked up “That’s ass” in the Urban dictionary. What I found was both beautiful and compelling:

“That’s ass: Basically meaning that’s really shit, or that isn’t good, that’s ass is terribly underused in modern day society. People who do use it, use it to express their anger or sadness for a certain event, like running out of beer.”

So I guess the boy from the coffee shop doesn’t like sports video games after all. How sad.

But not NEARLY as sad as running out of beer. That is super-mega-ass, a phrase which I will be using relentlessly from now on, until my friends move away and my family disowns me.

“It’s so Ass”

You know when an old white man tries to write a script where the protagonists are teenage girls? It’s unintentionally hilarious. And I’m now following in those footsteps.

Even when I was a teenager I never understood what people my age were talking about. I’m currently trying to write a bunch of child characters, and I want to try and capture that beautiful mixture of imagination and self-centered-ness. Unfortunately, I never spend time with kids.

I’m sitting in a coffee shop right now and two teenagers (I’m guessing they were 13?) sat down next to me. Just for kicks, I took off my headphones to see how they talked to each other.

I heard a lot of words I didn’t understand. Let’s face it: I’m 25 now. My glory days are over.

That’s when one of them said that sports were cool, but sport video games were “so ass.” First, I tried not to laugh, and then I thought, Wow. I have no idea if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. 

“So ass” could mean something is “shitty,” or it could mean, “it’s the shit.”

In conclusion, I will never be cool. Ever.

This is my Therapy

Why do I write?

A HUGE reason why is too process what I see, what I think, how I feel…

And The Gay Adventures of Peter Pan is my therapy. I project myself onto on my characters (hopefully in a healthy way), and allow them to act out my own unhealthy habits. My insecurities, impulses and secret thoughts…

So I thought I’d share some of what I work through with my characters:

Captain Hook – I love Hook and find him the easiest to write for. Having Hook take his denial to an extreme (literally burying his head in the sand or refusing to believe there’s a boulder in his path), allows me to see and express my tendency to plug my ears and hum when there’s something I “don’t want to know.”

Hook allows me to express my denial, my fearful choices, my lack of self-esteem, my tendency to cling to the past and over-analyze, my desire to be seen in a positive light even if I’ve done something incredible stupid, and the list goes on and on and on.

Hook is a way for me to view how past experiences can strongly influence current life decisions. The reason Hook’s choices are often so backwards is because he’s forgotten his past and therefore re-written his memories to be what he wished they were.

brain

Peter Pan – Like Peter, I often wish I could just run around and climb trees. He’s a good way to connect with the id and stay in the moment.

But he also provides an outlet for the part of myself which tries to wall off my emotions and unwanted thoughts. His strategy? If it makes you feel bad, block it out.

I was cut off from my emotions for years and only recently began opening up more and practicing my vulnerability. I think it also helps to write for someone who’s such an extreme. In comparison, I feel a little more grounded.

John Darling – John is my geeky and socially anxious side. He doesn’t fit in at school (and neither did I), but he doesn’t know how to “fix” that. When I write for John I get to let out the part of myself that wishes I were more easy-going, but in the end wants to control everything. “If I could just control myself more, then I could be more easy-going!!!!!”

John has to suffer through everything he hates so he knows he can survive it. A large part of social anxiety comes from mental exaggeration. You go over and over the same thing in your head and create a story to go along which can make even the tiniest thing seem insurmountable:

A pause in a conversation is the scariest thing in the world. And don’t even get me started on public speaking…

Conceptual image of human brain in colorful splashes

Smee – Smee is my shadow (the part of myself I’m not in touch with). Smee gives and gives with no expectations. He trusts people implicitly.  I have trouble trusting people, and learned to give so I could get something in return.

Writing for Smee, I feel like I’m finally beginning to understand what it feels like to view the world through a lens of love and trust. And I have to say, it feels pretty good. It’s not like Smee never gets hurt or taken advantage of, but his general experience is joyful and my general experience is one of anxiety and suspicion.

***

I’m basically “writing what I know,” but metaphorically.  I’ve never lived on a tropical island or been a pirate captain, and I haven’t yet learned to fly. Instead, I’m writing from my many years of experience of being imperfect.

A special thanks to my anxiety, depression, and negativity for being both my inspiration and an endless source of new ideas!

The REAL Treasure

I’ve always been a fan of Jack Handey. He is a secret genius with amazing insight:

“It’s funny that pirates were always going around searching for treasure, and they never realized that the real treasure was the fond memories they were creating.”

-Jack Handey, “Deepest Thoughts”

If you haven’t, I’d highly recommend checking out Deep Thoughts. Your life will never be the same.

pirates_0

Proper “Indian Names” for White People

Since white people always seem to want to be Native American, even to the extent of wearing headbands or announcing at every party they go to that they’re 2/87ths Cherokee, I thought I’d help out.

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Blake Lively: part “Cherokee”

Here are some names to consider [for WHITE PEOPLE ONLY!!!!]. Please pick the one that suits your spirit animal best:

  • Bird that Falls off Branch
  • Bird that Sings off Key
  • Bird that Poops on Clean Car
  • Chair with Three Legs
  • White Man
  • Slug that Slimes upon the Leaves
  • He Who Takes Land of Others & Kills Everyone

people-who-have-very-little-native-blood-and-claim-native-are-a-danger-to-real-natives

Start Weird & Keep Going

When it comes to writing, I have a simple philosophy:

start weird & keep going

My favorite TV shows are ones that tickle your brain in a funny, sideways way. Most of these shows also have anti-heroes, psychology and/or philosophy, and obscure puns.

This is my inspiration, and I recommend every one of these shows if your taste is similar to mine:

Arrested Development (the earlier seasons are best)

Excerpt:

EXT. THE BANANA STAND – DAYfgjfg

RON (V.O.): At that moment Michael’s son had a visit from a cousin whom he hadn’t seen in years.

MAEBY: Um, yeah, I bought a frozen banana and when I bit into it, I found this.
She holds up the missing foot from Lucille’s fox stole.

GEORGE-MICHAEL: It looks like a foot.

MAEBY: It tasted like a foot. Which I didn’t really mind, but I’m pretty sure I said “no nuts.”

 

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Excerpts:

KLAUS: From the expedition Journal of Doctor Montgomery Montgomery, April 24th: “The Incredibly Deadly Viper wouldn’t hurt a fly. I know this because I tried to feed it flies this morning.”

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***

COUNT OLAF: That doesn’t change anything. There is still plenty of deadly types of snakes in that room that could of done it. The Mamba du Mal bites as it strangles, The Irascible Python is homicidally grumpy, The Virginian Wolfsnake can bludgeon you to death with a typewriter.

***

EXT. WOODS – DAY

Violet and Klaus walk towards Lucky Smells Lumbermill. Violet carries Sunny.

VIOLET: (relieved) We’re almost out of the woods.

Lemony Snicket hikes onscreen.

LEMONY SNICKET: “Out of the woods” is an expression referring to the fact that woods are dangerous place to be. In Hansel and Gretel, two siblings enter the woods and are menaced by an elderly cannibal. In Little Red Riding Hood, a wolf enters the woods and is menaced by a rude little girl. And in Walden, a poet enters the woods and is menaced by revelations that we should abandon civilization and live by a pond.

 

BoJack Horseman

Excerpt:

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INT. TELEVISION SET – DAY

Charlie Rose sits opposite Bojack Horseman.

CHARLIE ROSE: In 1987, the situation comedy Horsin’ Around premiered on ABC.

A visual is shown, of BoJack sharing a giant bowl of ice cream with a happy family; and another picture he is eating it all himself and the rest of the family looks sad.

CHARLIE ROSE: The show, in which a young, bachelor horses forced to reevaluate his priorities when he agrees to raise three human children, was initially dismissed by critics as broad, saccharine, and…not good. But the family comedy struck a chord with America and went on to air for nine seasons. The star of Horsin’ Around, BoJack Horseman, is our guest tonight. Welcome, BoJack.

 

Phineas & Ferb

Despite being a kid’s show, it had quite a few moments of brilliance, including playing with obscure jokes adults would be much more likely to enjoy than children.

Excerpt:

INT. TRAIN/DINING CAR – DAY hqdefault

Perry cuts a hole in the top of the train, and drops right into the seat opposite Doofenschmirtz in the dining car.

DOOFENSCHMIRTZ: Ah, Perry the platypus, what an unexpected surp–  (Perry stands to attack him)  Oh, wait wait wait! You’re trapped–by societal convention! Look, we’re in a fine dining environment. Everyone knows not to throw scene in a fancy restaurant.

 

Rick & Morty

Excerpt:

RICK: Man, what a shitty neutrino bomb. It’s a miracle I ever actually destroy anything.
MORTY: Oh, I dunno… you’ve managed to destroy just about everything today– the villains, the heroes, the lines between them, my childhood…

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Rocky & Bullwinkle:

Excerpt:

INT. APARTMENT/BATHROOM – DAY

NARRATOR: Our scene changes rather abruptly to the interior of an apartment house in the suburbs of Frostbite Falls, where…

A man is in a bathtub, taking a shower. He is wearing a blue shower and holding a back scrubber. RockyandBullwinkleLSDreamworksClassics_featured_photo_gallery

MAN: (sings) Nelly was a lady, last night she died, toll the bell…

Bullwinkle pops out of the shower, and join in the song. The man spots him.

MAN: Oh, for cry eye, it’s a monster!

BULLWINKLE: No, I’m more of a second tenor.

Character Sketches

My friend drew these, which was so wonderful! If there is any question if I drew them or not, visit my Meaning of Life blog & you will see that I definitively CANNOT DRAW.

 

Peter for Website
Peter Pan

 

“I don’t believe I ever make promises. I certainly don’t keep them…”

 

 

 

Hook for Website
Captain Hook

 

John for Website
John Darling

 

Wendy for Website
Wendy Darling

 

Smee for Website
Smee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“My subconscious is none of your business.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I don’t wear my pajamas more often than most people; I just happened to be wearing them when you kidnapped me.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“No, I don’t know where we are, John, but I’m pretty sure there’s not a phone handy.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I find it very classy of you, Captain, to formally threaten Peter before kidnapping his newest recruit and holding him hostage.”

 

Tigerlily for Website
Tigerlily

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Shut up, I’m helping you.”