Novel or Screenplay?

This past Saturday I attended a wonderful writer’s workshop put on by the Scriptwriter’s Network. The topic was self-publishing. And, though I received some very helpful information about self-publishing, the biggest revelation I received had almost nothing to do with the workshop.

In the beginning of the workshop, the speaker asked how many of us were working on novels, and how many were working on screenplays. Someone in the group said they were trying to decide which one their story should be. In an instant, although I have been working on a screenplay, I realized that my story needs to be a novel.

There is no cut and dried way to know which format one should use. But I realized that my story needs to be a novel because:

  • It is about a woman’s inner transformation through her relationships
  • There is not a lot of action in the story
  • I want my main character to narrate the story

None of these items, in my opinion, makes for a great screenplay, so novel it is. I also realized that the reason I had shied away from writing a novel is that I feared it wouldn’t be long enough. Publishers tend to seek specific word count ranges, and I have no clue yet how long my story will be. With screenplays, it’s 80-120 pages. I feared that I might start writing a novel and then only have 80-120 pages. Who would want it?

However, having the option of self-publishing solves this problem. If I choose to self-publish, the word count is up to me. I haven’t decided yet if I want to self-publish or not.  But, somehow, having this option freed me from fear. I feel energized to abandon the screenplay and start my novel. I’m excited.

Speaking of excitement, one of my Facebook friends posted a video of a woman who raged against the notion of “inspiration.” When it comes to achievement, inspiration is overrated, she said. Most of the time we won’t feel like creating or doing what we need to do. Do it anyway.

So, although I am excited, I accept that excitement might be the exception rather than the rule. To accomplish my goal I will need to just work towards it, little by little, inspired or not, until it’s finished. That, actually, is also liberating.

Happy Reading,

Raven

A Poem About How Women Should Stop Dieting

I wrote on Facebook the other day, asking – rhetorically, of course – why being happy always seemed to lead to me gaining weight. I joked that I wanted to find some way to lie to my body that I was miserable. Ha ha.

Later, though, I thought about what I’d said. What’s wrong with me, that being happy is kind of a bad thing simply because I’ve gained five pounds. No one even knows that but me. And, certainly, no one cares. What is this internal tyranny over women that suckers even a (I like to think) conscious woman into putting body size and general happiness on equal planes. Would I really rather be sad and skinny than happy and fat? Isn’t that sick?

Coincidentally (or, as I view it, serendipitously) I watched a YouTube video on the health benefits of eating one meal a day. Many Muslims also advise one meal a day. Many Buddhist monks recommend one meal a day. Trying this for a while could be a way to not only lose the “happy pounds” and further improve my health, but, more importantly, to spend less time preparing food and washing dishes. There are other things I’d rather be doing. The weight itself no longer matters to me. There are too many critical issues going on in our society for anybody – especially any intelligent being – to be wasting time worrying about five or ten pounds.

The Divine Feminine is needed now more than ever. With the separation and categorization of people into little groups to oppress and demonize. With our health care system at the hands of a Twitter-junkie who cares for no one but himself. With our planet heating up, and our water supply drying up. We need Woke Women everywhere to be about it.

This poem is primarily a reminder to myself. It is also an invitation to other people – especially all who identify with the Feminine Spirit – to use your talents, your voices, your bodies, your minds, and your spirits to uplift the planet.

So, here it is…

Die It

They asked her

which she’d rather have,

sexy steamy night

with stranger,

or

sweet, easy piece of

dreamy cheesecake.

Surprised

I was not

when, of course,

devilish dessert

earned her body’s lust.

Deprived of carnal passion –

no woman ever,

but fashion,

commercialized, capricious eyes,

and masculine wish for

sole supremacy,

Reduce

sunshine-colored pink topped cupcake

to armed adversary, scary

fat-throwing attacker.

Beauteous baby building digs

Decreased

not by accurate concern for

maternal magic, but

Fear

of feminine largesse.

The best most can expect –

five to ten pounds

Less?

While fleshy souls,

Lost,

scream soundlessly inside

cells bereaved, in need –

not of packaged poison

in food clothing – but

Insurrection, mutiny

This is me!

Head to knee,

ass to feet,

take the scale and weigh

the mass of heart

as I love you

squeeze you

high into sunset sky

build up this ball of blue

till it cools

the winds of ill will

killing it through and through.

Weigh

the song I sing to

little ones wondering

why we won’t willify what we want

when so much to do

goes undone

Wasted

time, dieting to hide

the light this world is pining for,

Eat.

And eat well,

Gas for the next phase

of feminine triumph

Please don’t buy into

Diets,

Goddess, your one-pointed

Presence is Spirit’s imperative Essence.

 

 

The Path Unclear

One of the many dangers of living in an increasingly polarized world is that it tempts us to think in terms of black and white – not just the literal black and white of racial discrimination, but the more insidious black and white of “either-or” thinking. Rarely are things so neat and tidy. But our general laziness as human beings seduces us toward the easy, uncomplicated, unexamined path.

My current path is nebulous and unclear. But I know, with a deep knowing, that the lack of clarity is purposeful and useful. It is like the murky head-space of dreams – where important things are worked out in the subconscious. My personal relationships are vibrant and satisfying, but mostly unclear and hard to label. My creative life is evolving into greater professionalism and excellence, but on the surface, nothing has changed. My day job continues as usual. My spiritual practice is personally enriching and sustaining,  but undefinable – I can’t just provide the name of a religion and have people nod their heads in recognition. Where other people seem to seek security and certainty, I have purposely chosen an enigmatic but captivating life path that is hard to explain.

I discovered this last night while trying to describe my life to a new friend. I didn’t 17_02_19realize how bizarre and riveting my personal experience has been until I tried to explain it. Perhaps this is the path of all artists (and we are all artists in our own ways). Perhaps our lives are meant to be like dreams – strange and non-linear, queer, but revelatory. Ever since graduating college – and certainly ever since changing career paths in 2009 – I have avoided a clear and definable path. Every choice has its pros and cons. But these choices have served me and my purposes in this life.

My hope for all of us is that – whatever path we take, whatever decisions we make – they will be consciously chosen, and based upon what we know is ours to do in the world. May our lives reflect our deepest values and personal truths. May we weed out all hypocrisy and any limiting beliefs that would prohibit us from becoming all we were meant to be in this life. Here’s to a week of increasing courage – the courage to be radically unique individuals in a world that generates thousands of copies.

Peace and blessings,

Raven