moving pictures

My mother loved movies. So, so much.  It was ridiculous.  Her favorites were those woman in trouble movies that dramatized news stories “ripped from the headlines.” She also loved a Western. Or anything starring people she randomly met over the years.

I used to do my homework to them, half watching–mostly not–as I typed on this horrific typewriter–for hours at a time.  Reviews of Sinclair Lewis and analysis of this or that and the Civil War.

Being a photographer and a poet, I tend to think of stories cinematically.  Ideas don’t really come to me as words.  They come to me as mini-movies in my brain.  It’s this lush, inspiring, slow-motion capture of everything I want to show my reader.

I’ve been drawn a lot to film lately.  I’ve had ideas for doctoral projects.  I’ve had ideas for documentaries.  Personal passion projects.  And now–today–maybe one of the biggest projects of my life.

Writing can be difficult.  You can have this intention–this idea–even an outline.  But as it builds inside you, it can decide to be something else entirely.  You can be rigid or you can let the idea drive.  I tend to step aside.  After my mother died, I had some ideas I tried to write about.  Big, amazing ideas.  And they came out the way they needed to.  I’m actually sorta proud of what I wrote back then.  But it was the tip of an iceberg.

Only I couldn’t write it.  I hadn’t lived enough.  I hadn’t survived this horror story that invaded my life.

Today, out of absolutely nowhere, this scene hit me.  I was in tears.  And I knew it was that damn story.  The one I’ve been trying to get right for about 10 years.  I think I’m ready.  Or at least, it’s telling me I have more to add.  And it needs to be a damn screenplay.

Except I don’t write screenplays.  I write poetry.  Plays.  Novels.  I mean I can probably figure it out.  But…

If you or someone you know writes these things, tell me:

-What books should I read?
-Who are your favorite screenwriters?
-Know any cool workshops?
-Pitfalls to watch out for?
-Anything else?

Any advice is appreciated. ❤


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