TGIM - Free(-ish) Wi-Fi

On the road working from my grandmother's house, and unsecured Wi-Fi is a hot commodity in Ohio it would appear. I have to be upstairs, in the farthest corner of the house. I thought I had found a solid connection when I went to load up this blog... And it was dead. I've found another connection but I'm hanging on for dear life right now, hoping I'll have enough juice (and as I type that sentence it's gone again) to update this post.

I downloaded a free Wi-Fi app for my iPhone that tells me of free hotspots based on location. I knew about the Panera down the street, but no one else will eat there (they're all dieting) and I don't have money to go on my own. The Ohio coffee culture isn't the same as in LA, so I'd likely be the only person sitting there not drinking or eating, taking a solo meeting with his laptop.

I'll figure something out. For now, TGIM for the secret corners of grandmother's houses where you can for a scarce moment connect with the outside world.

P.S. Has anyone had any problems downloading jpegs from your iPhone email (CMYK) and then trying to export them into iPhoto, but it says it didn't recognize them? Not having WiFi I can connect both the iPhone and MacBook to, it's increasingly hard to pull random files back and forth.


Let's Just Say It

Last night's episode of Sons of Anarchy was a "disappointment."

You'll note my use of quotes above. I watched the episode (at 1am, probably not a good idea), and just couldn't shake the feeling that it wasn't what I wanted given the events of last week and where I thought/wanted last night to go. But then I took a second and thought about everything I'd just seen and my jaw fell open a bit. The episode was pretty damn good, just not in the way I expected.

I think it's safe to say, when Sons has an episode as they did last night that really did two things - delayed gratification for those of us wanting bloodshed, and spent a LOT of time with its characters - they are setting the bar too high for television. And if you watched the promo for next week, everything I wanted to happen last night is going down, and it's going to be bigger than I imagined.

If you're not watching Sons of Anarchy, there's either something wrong with you or you don't have cable. The latter I can excuse, but just have one word of advice. DVDs... The former, get with it people. I've only seen Season 1 of Mad Men, which I thought was very solid, but it doesn't hold a candle to the epic build that has been Sons of Anarchy over the past 2 seasons (with 2 episodes remaining). I can't think of another scripted drama series that's currently on the air and coming anywhere close.

I also spent about 15 minutes on the phone yesterday just talking about how great the series is. Kurt Sutter and company, today we salute you for bringing it week in and week out. Long live Samcro.


Bang on my roof, why don't you...

And that's what the workers above me did, from about 9am until around 4:45pm.

I answered emails (I think I checked them about 62 times today), went to a meeting, and a had a call. But I couldn't get any writing done with that damn racket going on. I tried and I tried, but to no avail. I thought the people above me were noisy, but them moving out and carpeters (carpeteers?) were even worse. Hopefully they finished today and won't come back ever. Every room I tried to hide in they found me.

I don't like a day spent working in which nothing gets done. Makes every project feel like an albatross.

TGIM - Pushing Through

Some days work kicks your ass. You're not blocked, but you can't find a rhythm and that means you're just plodding along, working around problems instead of through them. And nothing ever seems to get any closer despite how much time you've already put in.

At 7:30 pm you tell your editor that though you were shooting for today, you want some extra time to make it spiffy for tomorrow and solve a few little hurdles. You go off for a bit, enjoying some recreation and Curb Your Enthusiasm. Then you get back to work.

At 1am, you tell your editor that the whole thing has started to unravel. You're not asking for help, you're just letting him know that as close as you thought you were, you may as well start from page 1.

You break it down on paper. Find the essentials, arrange in rough order. See if anything crops up with distractions limited. Then you find an empty breakdown doc template and fire it up. You do the same thing here, with more emphasis on structure. You're getting warm.

Finally, at 1:37 am you finish typing. You've still got one major, gigantic gaping flaw in your story, but you're feeling much better. The story has returned (along with your mojo), and you tell your editor a minute later that all is right with the world. Because sometimes all you need is a sounding board or someone to vent to, and you don't get no lip at 1:30 in the morning.

That was basically my day, with a lot more editing thrown in the mix early. And to think, if at any point I had stopped, I might not be a couple hours work from getting this treatment revised, sent off, and a miniseries in production.

Moral: Even when it feels like you're not making any progress or doing terrible work, push through. Keep pushing until you get a breakthrough, because it's bound to come at some point, when you simplify or make things complex. It's out there, waiting for you to find it.

Say, don't I have a screenplay that could use that same sage advice...?


My Next Invention

I'm going to create something that I can implant in every writer (and blogger/journalist/web type) so that they receive an electro-shock "suggestion" every time they perform the same typo or grammatical flub.

Some examples of repeat offenders include:

intact/in tact
overuse of commas (of which I use plenty, but I'm largely correct)
And more!

There will be pain...


TGIM - Back on Track

I know, I know. I said you'd probably see more blog out of me and then what did I do. I screwed the pooch on TGIM, the most regular feature here and pretty much outright disappeared. You'll be happy to know that I've prioritized deadlines in which others depend on me. It's part of being a professional, which I write about quite a bit.

It's 8:20 in the morning and I'm trying to start this week off on a better foot. I generally blog in the mornings to help get the juices flowing, but for about a month I've had problems waking up properly. And that meant a late start allowed no time for "extraneous activities." As I'm up on time today, and hopefully all week, I'll try to check in more regular like and give some thoughts and nonsense more often.

One of the things I've fallen into is an excellent Monday morning routine. I do a bunch of pull-ups, eat breakfast, and watch the latest episode of Californication. I do so love the exploits of Hank Moody, and the show (despite it's post-Season 1 warts) is one of the most eminently watchable things ever made. It's really hard not to like it. For the last four weeks or so, this is how I've started every Monday. Too bad Showtime seasons are short...

Let's all have a better, more productive week this week, yes? Hell, I might even dust off the screenplay and put in 40-50 pages on it. And that's WAY more overdue than any blogging. Routines are key. Use them. Abuse them. Love them.