Category Archives: Writing

A Movie for Every Year Of My Life: 1974

So, I saw this idea somewhere on the Interwebs, and I thought it could be fun to break up my usual posts…   A short short about a movie from every year I’ve been breathing – something that I likely would have liked, or watched, prior to say five years of age, and then some movie from every year that I watched movies after that…  Something that defines that year and my entire generation for me.  I’ll link one page to the next so that they can be viewed in order.

So, let’s start!

1974:  The Texas Chainsaw Massacre

Release date: October 1, 1974

“What happened was true.”

I wasn’t even two weeks old when this movie came out.  I’m sure this was of no interest to my parents, in the least. I’m about half way between my mom and dad’s age right now, at the time I was born.  I just can’t imagine them going for this…

Now, me, on the other hand…  I don’t think there’s any question.  I’ve always been a fan of horror. I like the fact that I can include this movie in my list, and that it was released so close to my birth day.

I was a voracious reader of all things macabre as a kid and teen, thanks to books left behind by my sister, and the fascination with the ordinary horrific.  The normal person who’s insane; the insane person who’s as regular as Sunday Mass.

Do you know who you live with?  Who you love? Do you lock your doors?

Have you traveled down a country road, desolate, and wondered who lived in the shack  nestled in the trees?

If your car broke down on a road trip, at 2am, do you walk up to a stranger’s door along a country highway?  I had it happen to me a few years ago when my gas pump died…  It was the strangest feeling of dread, that the person who opens the door is a stranger…and you don’t know what you’re going to face looking back at you.

Desperation, and the unknown, have been themes I’ve explored in most of my creative works.


The Dirty Thirties…

I’m putting a novel together. I started it a long time ago. About the 30s decade. One chapter for every year. Loosely based on my life, and of everything I’ve experienced and absorbed since I turned 30. I think I will publish it for my 40th birthday. If you know me, you’ll probably find yourself in it. Or at least something about you in one of the characters.

Fun, eh?

Death and song…and love…and everything else

A gathering happened today at the Manx Pub on Elgin (I named my cat Manx after that pub).  It was to celebrate the life of John Lavery.  I didn’t know him well, certainly not as well as others in the room.  I still miss him.

We had the opportunity to hear him play two songs…they were beautiful – in words and in spirit.  It was hard to hear his voice, his song – but he was there today.  In the room with us.  You could feel it.

Music has a way of healing and haunting.  It did both for me today.

Then, I came home and resurrected a CD that I have not listened to in a very long time.

untogether by Lori Yates.  I wore it out when I first got it.

One song in particular.  Healing and haunting me at the same time.  Damn music.


I loved you like a river

I made myself very clear

Look for me at the shoreline

I’m standing right here

Don’t dismiss it now you don’t need to

—  Sweetest Times


Toronto Screenwriting Conference & WGC Awards…

I’m heading there this weekend to TSC 2011.  Then, Monday night, I’m going to the Writers Guild of Canada Screenwriting Awards.  Lots going on here, lots left to do.  I feel behind.  Will I ever get caught up?  Taking my work on the road with me.  Going to Kingston tomorrow night to visit with a friend then heading to Toronto on Friday.  Looking forward to the train ride.  Been a long time since I’ve done that.

Got some good workouts in this week too.  Getting stronger and faster.  My trainer set out a new routine for me for the month of April.  I bought a scale (something I thought I would never do) since I only check in once a month now.  It will keep me accountable.  Also going to work on a meal plan too.

As I said, lots going on here.

Who you are, and who you aren’t…

I saw Tim Burton on Strombo last night.  He said that he has spent his entire adult life trying to become human.  I liked him instantly, and I’ve been a fan of his movies, but to be honest, I haven’t seen many of his latest ones.

He moved to his grandmother’s house at the age of 10.  From an very early age, his difference was obviously out there and he had the familial support for his artist endeavours.  Now, he also lives in a separate house from his wife, Helena Bonham Carter, connected by a walkway.  Best of both worlds, I imagine.  He also lives no where near LA, and prefers it that way.  He has managed to be a huge success, despite everything that could have went sideways along the way.

James Hillman talks about this “perfect storm” phenomenon in many of his books, most notably in two – The Soul’s Code and The Force of Character.  What are the things that happened to you, in your early years, that make you who you are later in life.  Are there interests that are more dominant, but we get beaten out of us.  Burton mentioned this too, noting that most kids are creative, but it gets lost along the way.  Mostly, these things get lost because we think we need to do other things, but what we really need to do is create art.

We can always learn new things, but our interests from childhood, if you take a hard look, often tell alot about a person.  I recently came to this realization when I remembered that I once loved to design doll clothes.  I wasn’t content with what came in packages.  And, I wanted to make up new things.  I also knew that I could because I could knit and crochet from a very young age and I was encouraged to be creative.  And, because my mom always had needles and yarn around, it was a fairly inexpensive thing to do that I could get lost in, much like when I wrote my short stories.  This has carried over to my adult life whereby I rarely buy a Hallowe’en costume.  I would rather buy the materials and create something myself, something no one else will have.

I guess you could say, I like being unique, and I’m not afraid to step into or out of the river.

Back to the beginning….Burton has a new show in Toronto that I would love to see, and I might just try to get down there….to the TIFF Lightbox.

115lbs for a new PR for the sumo deadlift…

…on Saturday, and then I stalled.  My brain shut me down.  It’s happened before.  It will happen again.  It’s like my back became unhinged and I shutdown.  It’s a protection mechanism, I know, and it’s a warning sign.  Still I managed to get the bar up once with 115lbs.  That’s a 20lb improvement over where I was just two weeks ago.  I can’t be too sad about that. Work my way back up again slowly.  I lost my focus.  It’s in the legs and when I try to lift with my arms, it all goes to hell.  Learning….all the time.

As for the rest of the PT session on Saturday, my legs and arms are in moderate amounts of discomfort today.  I know I did something, like the 100 squats and the hold and hang for the chinups.  Those are coming along.

On a side note, I went to see The Social Network last night with a friend.  At the root of it, the way it’s written, it’s a love story – boy meets girl, boy makes a mistake and loses girl, boy is upset and rebels, boy tries to get girl back (in the meantime, making a shitload of money).  I find it amazing that the most socially inept and brilliant person, could understand the human condition so well, that he designed something that would fuel the needs of so many to be the “rockstar” among their group of friends.  I find socially awkward people, who also happen to be gifted or slightly evil, very fascinating.  All of the “success” books would tell you that you need to be charismatic to be successful, or at least be good at influencing people to follow you.  In some cases, you need to be the total opposite.  You need to be so self involved and so confident in your own direction that it takes precedence above all else.  There’s another school that says you need to be observing and open to new ideas all the time.  I think that is almost more important these days than being charismatic.  You never know where the next great thing will spring up.

I’m reading: Crafty TV Writing.  What a great book.  Learning so much about TV writing.

Friday afternoon Brad Special…get it while it’s hot…. :)

Yeah, so – where do I begin.  25 minutes outside, blazing sun….I was teamed up with another victim to pull that blessed tired across the parking lot.  Twice.  Fun times.  Then tire flips (where my partner did most of the work….still not so great at those), then some dips, some pushups, some leg raises, two lengths of Farmer’s Walks (with TWO kettlebells)…am I forgetting anything?  Probably.  And that was just the outside part.

I have to say, that I do enjoy it though…despite the griping…it’s fun to challenge yourself.

Inside – 25 minutes – the goal was to do 100 each of: overhead presses and bicep curls with a weight that you could reasonably lift 15 times.  Then grip strength drill for 5 minutes.  Then 100 Hindu squats (I told Brad he was evil).  You’d think I’d be getting good at these by now….for goodness sakes….I managed 50 each of the press and bicep curls with 15lb weights, a whopping 40 seconds of grip strength (2×20 seconds each) and 60 Hindu squats.

I honestly felt ready to puke nearing the end.

At one point, one of the other victims said “Who signed me up for this?”  I giggled.

On another note, I sent out a short script today to a competition!  Will hear back by August 25th-27th if it’s selected to go to the next round.