Why Do I Keep Doing Things That Terrify Me?

I’m directing a short film.
I’m starting a weekly Substack newsletter.
There’s a 90% chance that by the end of the day I will sign up for a class that will force me to pitch paid publications.

All of these things have been on my to-do list for awhile, but I have not done them.
But right now I’m feeling a desire to pull the trigger on these things. This desire has unknown origins, but it is not unfamiliar. It is a desire that pokes its head up very intermittently and causes present-me to set events and projects in motion that future-me will then have to navigate and carry out long after the desire to do so has beyond diminished and she is reduced to a frenzied ball of “Oh-God-just-let-me-get-through-this-and-I-will-never-put-us-in-this-position again.”

During the pandemic I wrote an article for Emry’s Journal that described this process in some detail. It all holds true.

More on this topic in coming days.

Changing the World, a Little at a Time

Hands

For more than three years, I’ve been working as a co-writer (and reluctant (but proud!) producer) on a script about a black woman and an Iranian man who fall in love, how this affects their relationships with their families, communities, their feelings about religion and themselves.  THOSE PEOPLE: A Love Story is a light drama–a love story. It’s fun. But it also represents is something we take seriously — not just a movie cast with diverse actors (though we applaud that) and not just a “celebration” of diversity (although movies that do that are good too) but an actual exploration of diversity and its challenges today.

Today marks the last week of our campaign to raise development funds to lift this project off the ground. The amount we’re trying to raise is small by Hollywood standards, but it’s a lot for us – and we can do a lot with it!  We’re already working with a passionate producer who’s been working for free – we’d like pay her! And before reaching out to investors we’ll hire an experienced casting director to help find the perfect actors, and a lawyer to put together the legal end of things… You can see the details (and me, in a video!) at  https://www.seedandspark.com/fund/those-ppl-movie.

A couple things:

1)    Any amount you contribute is just a pledge—until we meet 80% of our $20,000 goal. If we don’t get $16,000 in pledges, we don’t take any money and your card will never be charged. If we do reach our goal, you’ll know that we have enough to push forward to the next step, and that your money won’t just float away. (As of this writing, we are $9000 away from that require 80%)

2)    We also really need people to FOLLOW our project on Seed and Spark. FOLLOWING IS FREE, but it helps us! Investors will look at our followers number to know that there are people who are interested in seeing our film, and, if we get to 500, Seed and Spark will guarantee us distribution! (As of this writing, we need about 350 people to meet this goal.)

A few more words about this project. Black and Persian. Strange combo, right? Sometimes love is strange! But we are happy with both sides of our interracial equation:

Even though they are loyal film-goers, black women are one of the most neglected  groups — both on screen and as an audience.

And time and again we hear our Iranian friends wishing to see their real lives reflected on screen — without a terrorist plot!

When I imagine this film made, I think of someone browsing through her Netflix options, and having the options of seeing a story about someone who looks like her… and I think of other people having the option of choosing to watch a movie that helps them understand the lives of people who might look different from them. That’s how the world changes, little by little. A march, a story, a song… a film,

We want to make a piece of art that moves the needle on the dial just a little. If you’d like support of that, a little or a lot, here’s how:

You can CHECK OUT our Seed & Spark site, watch our VIDEO,  and read about our TEAM.

If you like what you see, you can SHARE this post with anyone you know who might be interested.

You can FOLLOW us for FREE simply by clicking the BLUE FOLLOW BUTTON on the right. (They’ll make you log in, either with Facebook or an email. Sorry for the pain. We recommend using those 60 seconds to meditate on the positive intention you’re putting into the world!

You can CONTRIBUTE by clicking the GREEN CONTRIBUTE BUTTON.  Don’t feel bad if you’re not a big spender — no amount is too small!  (Actually, there’s a $1 minimum, but $1 is not too small — it brings us $1 closer to our goal!)

The countdown is on. I’ll check back in on April 21 —  6 days and 8 hours from now — with the final results.

 

 

I Was On The Radio

o-RADIO-MICROPHONE-facebook

So, I did a little radio interview this week for a show called Let’s Get Reel on KPC Radio — which is the station run by Pierce College.

“Reel” is like “film reel”– clever, right? We get to do that for a few more years I guess, until film reels are no more…  It was the first on-air interview for my host, Sal Fariaz, and he did an amazing job!  Much better than I did being interviewed. In a way it’s comforting to know how incredibly unlikely it is that I shall ever be famous and oft-interviewed.

But of course I’m posting the interview here because… it exists.

Out of the several things I’d like to go back to say more eloquently or much more briefly (or not at all), the only one I’ll point out is last question, which was the “wrap up” question, that I should have seen coming. “What is a piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to get into screenwriting?” Anyone who gets interviewed ever should have a prepared a “one piece of advice” answer for their specialty, but of course, I didn’t.

Being a little jaded, I advised aspiring scribes to understand that for a long time, being a writer costs more than it brings in, and to brace oneself for that.  It’s actually a practical piece of advice, but I wish I’d added just a little more–which is, while you do need to do non-writing things to feed your stomach, and your landlord–you also do need to feed your soul. Make some kind of little pact with yourself to try to GET BETTER every day–whatever that means.  Maybe it’s writing a page a day, or maybe on some days, it’s just watching a TV show, but I think it’s good to plan out what your ritual is, and then do it with intention. Take little actions that will move you — even incrementally — toward your goal, and keep reminding yourself that you are a writer. So that’s my bonus, off-air advice!

Least Favorite Night of the Year

My yearly scans: colonscopy, endoscopy, various ultrasounds and a trip to the dermatologist, are like my annual mini-gauntlet that must be run before the pleasant holidays.  The first on that list is, of course, the least favorite, due to the day of fasting, followed by the night-long uncomfortable evening of “prep.”

That evening was last night.  To make up for the lack of sleep, food, and physical comfort, I try to offer myself other pleasures in the form of reading or watching multiple episodes of a TV show (TV tends to work a better than movies because frequent bathroom breaks are somehow more conducive TV.

Last night I checked out Master of None, the Netflix series created by Aziz Ansari and loved it.

I spent some time trying to figure out the ongoing mystery why my friends keep liking our Lovers In Their Right Mind Facebook page but they don’t show up on our counter and we can’t seem to break the the 500 fans threshold. Although some Facebook support pages indicate that this is due to people’s privacy settings, this seems inaccurate in our case, and more and like a ploy to back us into a corner where we have to pay to “boost” our visibility, but before falling prey to my own cynicism I decided to call my brother and making him play with his privacy settings.  It made no difference, so my cynicism is intact, but we also got a chance to chat and I found out he also has a blog, related to learning science and his current job working with education and underprivileged youth. It’s pretty groovy.

Today the “procedure” went okay, but for the fact the surgeon had to remove some tissue and fasten the wound with clips. Not to worry, he says, I  just need to eat clear liquids for two days, after which I can have not-clear liquids for two more days.  By no means the worst outcome (as I know from having worse outcomes) but it definitely sucked some of my joy to look forward to eating something delicious this evening and then learn that I will be liquid-fasting for four more days.

But I can’t feel too sorry for myself because over the weekend I finished reading my friend Dan’s harrowing memoir Home is Burning, wherein his dad, increasingly paralyzed by ALS, goes on a feeding tube for the last months of his life — the end of solid food — and then dies.  So that’s some perspective, I guess.  As long as I can avoid getting hit by a truck in the next four days, non-liquid food is almost certainly in my future.