Monday, February 25, 2008

Returning to the Outside World

I spent the weekend at a writing conference. Well, most of the weekend. I kind of bailed midway through the day on Sunday after I did my workshop. It was the first time I'd really been out and around people since before I got sick, so there was some adjusting to the real world, and I was utterly exhausted by the end of it. But I suspect most of that was the fact that I was having to wake up earlier than normal, and just as I started to fall asleep Saturday night, I suddenly had all kinds of brilliant insights for my presentation, so it was yet another late-night brainstorm that resulted in no sleep in a night before I had to get up early the next morning.

I did my workshop on using mythology and psychology to develop characters, basically, all my archetype stuff. Based on questions and comments from the audience, I think I need to analyze the cast of Battlestar Galactica when it comes back on. That could be tricky because most of those characters seem to be trying very hard to be something they aren't, and they won't even admit to themselves what they really want or need, or in some cases, they go for the complete opposite of what they really want or need. It's possible to figure out how they're trying to present themselves, but when they're so good at hiding their true selves from themselves, it almost gets to the point where only the writer and possibly the actor knows what that character really and truly wants. When even their actions go in the opposite direction, all you can tell is that what they're going after isn't what they need, but you may not be able to tell what they really need.

Speaking of the previous late-night brainstorm, my agent wants to talk about it on the phone tomorrow. I'm going to try to be optimistic and assume that means she thinks it could be viable. If she just thought I was insane, she'd have probably been able to put that in an e-mail, to the effect of, "No, that probably wouldn't work. Go back to what you are working on. Do you, by chance, own blinders? That might help." Wanting to talk may mean she wants to brainstorm and develop it more. Of course, it could also mean she thinks I really am insane and she wants to schedule an intervention to get me professional help or to make sure I didn't become addicted to cough syrup when I was sick. Or maybe this is the "You know, you could be too crazy for me to continue working with" conversation. Isn't paranoia combined with imagination fun?

In other news, while I was huddled on my couch yesterday, recovering from being around people, I caught the first couple of episodes of The Tudors, where they've put then in slightly edited form on regular OnDemand. There's the huge disclaimer about how they are edited, and if you want the whole thing, you need to order Showtime. After watching a couple of episodes, I think that translates to "If you want to see all the nudity and the full sex scenes, you'll need to order Showtime." I think that's my biggest complaint about most of the premium cable dramas. The fact that they can show anything and have no restrictions sometimes mean they use that as a crutch or an easy way out. In this series, particularly, it seems to be "Oh, this is starting to drag. We'd better throw in a sex scene and some nudity to spice it up." Instead of, you know, writing something better so it doesn't drag. (I know, radical concept, and I'm sure I'm in the distinct minority in not getting anything out of on-screen sex. Watching other people have sex is kind of like watching other people eat chocolate. I'm sure it's good for them, but there's not much point to it for me.)

However, this series has reminded me how much I love Jeremy Northam. He has an odd effect on me in that while I'm watching him in a role, I can totally fall in love with him or be utterly fascinated by him, but then otherwise I never think much about him at all, until I see him in something else and remember how much I love him, and it's almost like discovering him all over again, like I didn't even realize I liked him before. It's not that he's not memorable, so I don't know what it is. Maybe he has that same quality I do when I'm dating, that men seem to really like me when they're with me, but then when they're not with me, they seem to forget about me entirely.

And on that note, I was actually energized by the conference to really get back to focusing on work, so after lunch, I'll be doing that. Really.

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