Pirates without Mothers

I’ve been absent for a while– trying to focus on writing 🙂 but I thought I’d post a little excerpt from one of the episodes I’ve been working on. Nothing fancy…just Hook and some of the other pirates discussing their woes about being ‘Motherless.’

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Two quick notes:

  1. The word mother is capitalized throughout because in this case I’m using ‘mother’ as more of an idea than a person…
  2. The beginning scene is largely transcribed from JM Barrie’s original work, which I then took in a slightly different direction from the original. A big part of the reason I want to make this a TV show and not a movie is the opportunity to really expand on the central character’s lives and motivations that Barrie hinted at, especially the complexities of Captain Jas. Hook of The Jolly Roger

 

Check out the pdf here:

Motherless Pirates

 

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.

 

Amateur (& loving it)

I am not a professional screenwriter. I am a self-taught (aka internet-taught) screenwriter who loves what he does. What’s more, I don’t plan to pretend to know what I’m doing.

How does one get better at something? Obviously, by sitting around and thinking about how great it would be to be really good at something.

The word amateur has negative connotations in our society. For many, ‘amateur‘ means unskilled and shoddy. It certainly can mean that. But I know plenty of professionals who do shoddy work. Much worse, they don’t care about what they do.

The root of the word amateur comes from the word ‘love.’ The true meaning of the word comes from doing something because you love it, not because you have to, not for monetary gain…

Amateur, definition: A person who engages in this study, sport, or other activity for pleasure rather than for financial or professional reasons.

I’m proud to be an amateur. I’ll continue to write for the rest of my life, whether I get published or not. Whether I get paid or not. Because I love it.

And since I love it, I’ll continue to get better at it. I’ll take classes, read books, and most importantly, I’ll write. And write and write and write.

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So be proud to be an amateur. And go out and share your love of what you non-professionally do with others!

“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.

I Recently Got Back into Writing…

For the past several months, I had a lot of difficulty getting myself to sit down and write. A big part of that was dealing with the rejection after attending conferences where you can pitch your TV Show ideas.

But I’m happy to report that I recently got over myself and started writing again, encouraging myself by remembering that no one else cares. Essentially, I’m pretty sure the people who didn’t like The Gay Adventures most likely forgot me (and my project) five seconds after reading it.

I remember them, of course…but they’re not welcome to be a part of my writing process. That’s for me, thanks.

Here’s an Excerpt from Episode Two, which I’m writing now:

EXT. PIRATE SHIP DECK – DAY

Hook and Smee stand together by the railing. Hook holds a battered pistol with gold detailing.

HOOK: …and if Peter still refuses to take me seriously, that’s when I fire the warning shot.

Hook aims, then hesitates.

SMEE: Go ahead, Captain, I’m right here.

Hook misunderstands, and aims the pistol at Smee.

SMEE: (CONT’D)  No, no, Captain! I mean to say that I’m here for moral, emotional, and physical support.

HOOK: Oh, of course.

Hook aims towards the aft of the ship. Pause. He lowers the pistol.

SMEE: Is it the loud noise, Captain? I know you have sensitive hearing.

HOOK: (who wasn’t listening to Smee)  I’d plug my ears myself, Smee, but last time I did that I ruined my sensitive hearing.

Hook glances down at his pointy hook, which does not make a good earplug.

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.

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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.

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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!