Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Just a little note...

I wanted to send out my eternal thanks to my cousin for his help with my computers. As some of you know, my laptop crashed after I lugged it to Disney; eight hours in the Orlando airport with this dead weight on my shoulders, I wasn't a happy camper when it crashed. I ended up losing 150 pictures from my digital because I couldn't download to the computer and the camera doesn't have a memory card. I really wanted to pitch the laptop out of the plane instead of lugging it through the airport again on the return trip (an then having security search the entire bag too, it's lucky to have made it back to Atlanta.) But anyway, all data was first thought to be lost but my cousin is a wiz at computers. Everything has been retrieved, including the first part of my screenplay (of which that was the only copy. I know. I know. Back-up. Always back-up. I won't be lazy about it anymore.)
So I was making technical changes on part one last night and just glancing at the material, there seemed to be such an energy about what I'd written that it's sparked a writing marathon. No more writers block for me. I'm still in conversation with Mattie cause there's still something she wants me to know but at least I'm working on the screenplay again. Hip Hip Hooray!!! Double kudos go out to my cousin!

AJH commented:
Wanted to let you know I am cheering your progress.

Mandan commented:

 This is a great website Cheyenne! I'd love to see some of your screenplay!

Have a great evening. =)


 Cheyenne commented:
Thanks Manda. I'm just about at the point where I'll be needed input and you're at the top of my list. Look forward to it. 

Dabbling in Something New

I suppose you could say that I've written a few articles before but now I've written one for Writers Digest (finally finished) and plan to submit it here in the next couple of days. We'll see what happens. This has the potential of being the first paying market I've submitted my freelance work to. I have the option of submitting to other writing magazines but my favorite is WD so that's where I start. Let you know what happens.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

wanted to share my favorite poem

my childhood

my bed is high
off the ground          
my feet dangle down          
never touching the floor          

the sun doesn't shine          
through my window          
the awning           
over the porch          
puts a stop to that          

the squirrels          
in the tree          
next to the porch          
run & jump          
& play hide & seek          
& never see me watching           
longing to be free          
to join in the fun          

Raggedy Ann is mad at Andy          
and they're both not talking to me          
and even my imaginary friend          
doesn't want to play today

Monday, May 22, 2006

Back to the Monday Morning Routine

As most of you know, I have no set schedule or routine. Everything I do is rather spontaneous, including work. Unfortunately my work schedule is ruled by someone else's spontaneity. But that leaves me time to write, sporadically. (Maybe I'm more sporadic than spontaneous but spontaneous sounds better.)          

So anyway, I went to bed rather late for most of you but early for me, around 2 am, figuring I'd sleep til at least 10 but nooooo! I was up shortly after 7 am, my mind racing. It hit me that I wanted to write an article for the Writer's Digest on this years upcoming National Novel Writing Month, or NaNoWriMo for short. For those of you who don't know, the NaNoWriMo writing contest takes place in November, every November, where those of us who actively (and voluntarily)participate crucify ourselves upon the pen and let our blood intermix with the ink and commit 50,000 words of a new novel onto paper (or computer memory, as the case may be).

The deadline for publishing in an October or November issue of a magazine looms overhead at this very moment so the first thing I do this morning is... you guessed it, jump on the bouncer with my hand weights listening to Bob Marley and the Wailers. (My neighbors just love me.)          

I have no idea where the motivation for that came from. I'm not a morning person. My day starts around 3 pm. If I'm awake to see the sun rise it's because I've been up all night. For the last week or so, I've been waking up just after 7 and not always by choice. Seems the landscaping crew feels that it is necessary to wake the neighborhood early with their make-shift alarm clocks; mowers, weed-eaters, trimmers and blowers. And they do not give you a chance to go back to sleep. Seems that it takes an entire eight hours to trim the property here. And they can't do all the work in one day. The next day is for the mowers and the next is for the weed-eaters, etc. etc. etc.. And of course, there are the guys on the roof repairing the storm damage from April 8th. Arrruuuuuggg!!!!! It's a good thing I don't have a shotgun! Though I could learn first hand what my character Mattie, would go through as a sniper. Hmmmmmm. Anyone got a shot gun for sale, reasonably priced? After all, I am a starving artist.          

Well, after the bouncy thing, I rummaged through several years of Writer's Digest magazines, looking for the article that first piqued my interest in NaNoWriMo. Then scourged the WD website and finally the NaNo website and found no mention of the damn thing. I printed a bunch of info regarding the writing contest and checked my email. I wrote to Chris Baty, the founder of NaNoWriMo, yesterday with the intent of designing NaNo products to sell through their website to raise money for charity. No word yet, but of course, he's in California. It's only 8 am here in Atlanta and 5 am in the sunshine state; he's not even awake yet.          

Then I fight with the computer. Dial-up kicks me off-line 6 times and I finally give up chatting with a friend on Yahoo! IM. So, now, here it is 11:10 am and I'm blogging. Not a word written on my screenplay, though I can hear Mattie calling me from my notebook. Guess it's time to get something to eat. Then maybe tackle my journal and chat with Mattie. I still have just under 13 hours to write today, minus two hours for the 24 season finale. Busy. Busy. Busy. TTFN.


Sunday, May 21, 2006

In The Beginning

It's funny. I have a section in my book "God Doesn't Ask Why" entitled "In the Beginning." I've been noticing lately that things tend to come around again and again.          
Anyway, saw "The DaVinci Code" at the theater yesterday and was surprised to see Jean Reno playing the part of Captain Bezu Fache. Jean Reno is the star of the original movie of which I'm writing a sequel. Of course, his character is killed in the first movie, and no I'm not resurrecting him from the dead, but I do have a fantasy of inviting him to the set of my movie while it's being shot. That fantasy consists of me actually being the on-site writer while it's being filmed, which means that I'll be going to Paris, France and New York City. It's very motivating to fantasize about visiting two cities I've always dreamed about, and on someone else's dime too (or Euro as the case may be).          
My short stint as an extra on the film "Warm Springs" (out on DVD already, for those of you who missed the HBO release) and the tv show "Blue Collar TV" (out on DVD this August) gave me incredible insights into the world behind-the-scene of the movie/tv industry. I also went to Disney last month for the first time and was amazed while visiting Universal Studios and MGM Studios. I could have spent the entire week at theses two parks and not have gotten bored. We did seven parks in seven days and had a blast. Kudos go out to my brother Bill for making the trip possible. I learned so much about the movie biz. I recommend the trip to all writers out there, if only to get in touch with your inner child. While there, I picked up an official old time chalk Clap-Board at the Universal Studio Back Lot Tour ride. It's been a great visual motivator while I'm writing a new scene.          
I currently have several scenes under my belt. My intention is to have the first draft done by the end of the summer and the final draft before the end of the year. Just last week I decided that the movie will be set in the Fall and early Winter in New York City so I hope to be filming just before Christmas next year. Christmas in NYC. How exciting!!! Skating at Rockefeller Center, horse-drawn carriage rides in Central Park, window shopping. Another dream come true.           
Yesterday, I was microwaving my dinner when a Chinese Fortune stuck to the front of my refrigerator caught my eye: "You have the power to write your own fortune." That little slip of paper has been there for nearly two years and I've never noticed the dual meaning until yesterday. And I'm the one who stuck it there on the refrigerator. I really believe that in writing this screenplay, I'm about to completely transform my future and my fortune. Isn't life utterly amazing? There are signs everywhere. We just have to be aware of them.          
I've been dealing with writer's block for a little while now but I think I've found a way to break through it. I'm having a conversation in my journal with the main character of the movie. I'm learning a lot about my character and everything that's happened since the first movie. Mattie is now 25 and she owns a plant nursery in NYC. She's single and works part-time at her "adopted" family's restaurant. But all of that is a cover. She's actually a hit-man for the mob and pretty damn good at it. No one suspects that a little ol' girl could do such a thing. So follow along as I explore Mattie's world.           


As many of you know, I have endeavored to write my very first screenplay; a sequel to a movie released in the early 90's. I've already scouted out the original writer/director and producer and feel confident that they'll be interested in buying my screenplay. So all I have to do now is write it.           But, in the meanwhile, I've found a nifty way of looking productive while indulging in a form of procrastination and you're reading it: blogging!!! Seriously, my intentions here are to record my ups and downs, frustrations and celebrations throughout the whole process. What I'm asking of you is your moral support. How do you do that? By subscribing to my blog and sending me comments when you so feel inspired.
Anyway, I'm new to this blogging thing but if you have any questions, just email me and I'll get back to you with an answer ASAP. Join with me on this journey to see my name on the BIG SCREEN and you'll all be invited to the premier.  If you have any other writer friends out there whom you think would be interested in reading my blog, just forward my website address to them and encourage them to subscribe. I can use all the moral support I can get.           

Mark McDonald commented:

Great site, Shawn! I am looking forward to updates on the progress of your screenplay! That is something I've always wanted to try my hand at. My dream would be to faithfully adapt a Preston-Child novel for the silver screen (unlike what was done with 'Relic'). But, for now, I suppose I'll stick to short fiction. Good luck!

Jenn commented:

 Best of luck to you! I hope this blog isn't read by someone that will steal your idea. I can be so negative, and that's the first thought I had. So maybe talk to the folks you hope to sell it to and get some sort of contract/patent? You and your writer friends know more about these things than I do, but I want to be sure you protect yourself. Anyway, I send you best wishes and inspiration and good thoughts and energy and all that stuff. Write away, girl! Jenn

 Cheyenne commented:

Thanks Jenn. Knowing how avid a reader and movie go-er you are, I'm anxious for you to read the screenplay when I'm finished. Your opinion means a great deal to me. Cheyenne
 Cheyenne commented:

Thanks Mark. There's no time like the present to get your project underway. I highly recommend the book: "Writing Screenplays That Sell:  The Complete, Step-by-Step Guide for Writing and Selling to the Movies and TV, From Story Concept to Development Deal" by Michael Hauge. A friend loaned it to me and now I'm searching bookstores so I can have my own copy. Let me know if you find it. I've been writing fiction for so long now that it's taking a lot of effort to do this screenplay. The format is so different. I'm used to getting into the characters heads and you can't do that in a screenplay. It's definitely a lesson in 'show, don't tell.' All writers should dabble with a screenplay just for the experience. Shawn

 Markcmt commented:

Hey Cheyenne,
Great site! Consider that "writer's block" is nothing more than your mind needing down time to recharge itself and review all the angles and subplots that you're writing about. And that nothing is GOOD or BAD, it just IS (postponing your flight out West, etc.) Just a thought! 

 Cheyenne commented:

Thanks Mark, I know there's a purpose behind writer's block but it can get frustrating anyway. Thanks for the support! ;) 

Stonesinger commented:
To be or not to be?

 funnyshirt commented:

Write more often