(photo: Samantha Sessoms. For you, Dear Reader, because our family loves putt-putt, and the lake, and especially putt-putt above the lake. Oh, and this post is about crossing metaphorically bridges, even if they're scary...)
In the last 51 days the following happened:
a. I started to unravel at the seams and my graduate Thesis Script contracted my anxiety.
b. Mr. Sessoms was told the company he worked for would close in June.
c. The entire outline and first act of Thesis Script were tossed in a drawer. Never to be heard from again (not now anyway). Seriously. I had a momentous sit down with my writer-self and realized that the anxiety was because I had nothing to say for that particular movie idea. I let others hype about how good the idea was influence my decision to write it instead of Secret Idea I'd been passionate about for the last year and half.
d. Little Man and Baby Girl became socialites of their elementary school, for about three weeks straight, it was something everyday it seemed. Including Little Man's field trip to his future Middle School. I'm not ashamed to admit I went all raving-mother, or, Is That Profanity On The Bathroom Stalls, These 8th Graders Are Going To Corrupt My Angel. I say this because of course My Son will never turn into a hormone-raging, obnoxious teenager like ALL of the kids I grew up with. *wink, wink *
e. I worked at, and was laid off from, two part-time temporary jobs.
f. I pulled out all the outlines (there were SO many) for Secret Idea, and all the notes (on receipts, post-its, junk mail, junk mail envelopes, memo pad paper... I mean you name it and I'll write on it if a scene/line/motive/character/description comes to me) Any how, I gathered all Secret Idea's notes/outlines and got to work creating a coherent updated version. Then I gave myself permission to write Secret Idea instead of Thesis Script, which was HUGE because I was afraid to tell my Thesis Advisor of the change. What if he thought I was just being lazy, whiny, writer-distracted-by-new-shiny-idea? I had to approach him with something serious to show Thesis Advisor that Secret Idea was meant to be my new Thesis Script II.
g. Mr. Sessoms was laid off (along with everyone else at the company, but still). As you are aware, if you have a calendar, it is not June. This was not good.
h. Little Man and Baby Girl participated in their school's science fair. Little Man created a tornado in a box. It took four different tries with fan types, and more dry ice than anyone should buy in a weekend (I think Mr. Sessoms is on a Special Watch List now at our local market), but it worked! He was very confident and articulate in front of the judges, receiving excellent marks and a gold medal. Baby Girl partnered with a friend in her class to make the classic project: Volcano. But, wait, this was not any run-of-the-mill science fair volcano, this was a volcano that bordered the ocean. Play-doh waves and palm trees made an appearance, along with real lava rocks. The judges loved the creativity, but wished the girls would have spoke up more (they're still kind of shy and soft spoken), not to be fazed, the girls ran around the room holding their silver medals high!
i. I finished the outline for Secret Idea/Thesis Script II. Then I discovered SCRIVENER. Oh My Drafting! I've never been able to describe my writing style before because I jot notes everywhere I can, in all their out-of-order glory (if you remember), but I also can't write until everything is organized. Then, I need to see it, all of it, laid out in a visual way (not a word document I have to scroll through). See how that could wreck havoc on a writer?! Me too - it's so 3-deminsional character of me! Enter Scrivener - think: Sexy Kick-Ass You Want Me theme music – Scrivener sashayed into my life all shaved-short hair, brooding guy rocking 12 pack abs – it was HOT! Seriously, this program rocks my writer world. I can attach note cards and outlines to specific scenes, and then I can move within said scenes whenever I want without scrolling. For the first time ever I was able to write which ever scene I wanted with the click of my mousepad. I was writing my writer-tail off! (sadly, Scrivener did not pay me to write this post, shame on them)
j. Mr. Sessoms went to NC for a week to look for work, so we could relocate. I was elated, y'all. It seemed the dream of beaches and writing under Spanish moss-covered old Oaks was right around the corner. It really turned the job lay-off into the most positive experience one could have from such a situation. Then...he came back with not many leads, or hopes to move soon. I'm still keeping my fingers crossed because I'm into unrequited tragedy like that, and I just want the ocean to need me the way I need it!
k. Mr. Sessoms was called for interviews in our hometown. This should be a good thing. I have nothing else to say about that.
l. Today, on April 5th 2012, I completed Secret Idea/Thesis Script II. All 150 pages of it. I'm not even kidding. Another cool thing about Scrivener is that you can draft novels, screenplays, teleplays, plays, essays, etc. That being said, there was no regular Final Draft page number in the corner while I wrote. I just got everything out and now I have more than enough material to work with in revisions. I. Loved. This. It may not be for some, but I can't stop smiling – seriously, it's like someone gave me a thousand dollars to go buy office supplies, I have perma-grin! Though, I shouldn't give the page count and the 'I finished' aspect all the credit, there is another reason I'm overjoyed. For the first time ever I'm relieved to be finished with a project (especially before deadline), AND at the same time I can't wait to get back into it. Not even joking, I had to put the hard copy in a drawer to keep it from my greedy fingers and eyes. Now I know what everyone's been making a fuss over. I love this project. I know my characters inside and out. You could throw any event at me and I'll be able to tell you how each of them would react. I even have so much love for it, I can't wait for my betas to tear it apart so I can make it that much better. This has never happened to me before – I've only ever written for plot and created the characters around my main idea. What a heady difference. I'm addicted!
Our last *51 days have been a roller coaster of stress and sheer joy, but it was the best 51 days I've had in a long time simply from being around people I love more than anything in this world, opportunities knocking at our door in the face of bad times, and finally giving myself over to my dream – trusting it to take me further than I could have imagined.
*There is nothing significant about 51, other than the day I could no longer write Thesis Script. Wish it was cooler than that. You have my permission to make something up, if you'd like :)