Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

While procrastinating on doing an assignment for Boxoffice this afternoon, I stumbled across This Article about President Kennedy answering a letter to a third grader concerned about nuclear tests killing Santa. I thought it was fantastic, and I highly recommend checking it out.

Before I go drive illegally across the state to see my family in Tampa, I wanted to share the Christmas present I got from my friend, Jesse, last night before he too headed home for the Holidays -



That's right, folks, that's aDominic Monaghan action figure - via Charlie Pace of Lost. I suppose Jesse knows me very well, and that I almost had an asthma attack upon opening it.

I think I'll take Charlie home with me for Christmas. Perhaps we can all make jokes about how I finally brought a boy home.

So, off I go to finish some long overdue assignments for my favorite employer, and to all of you, Merry Christmas and a safe holiday. I'll probably blog about some horrendous adventure at home in the next couple of days.

It's inevitable.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Near Jail Experience, and other Wintertime Adventures



For those of you who don't know, here's how this went:

A couple of weeks ago, in an effort to simplify shooting my Capstone, I moved the shooting dates way back to start on Wednesday instead of Friday. Perfect! It'll save time and guarantee better performances. Woo.

So, Wednesday night, I paced like a madwoman in front of a girls' dance studio, waiting for my cast and crew to arrive. Somehow, I'd been misinformed, so I got there almost 90 minutes early, and nearly had a nervous breakdown thinking that no one was going to show.

Eventually, however, they did, and we prepared to shoot our Exercise Video and opening scene/dream sequence.

Good plan - so, after several hours of, "Okay, can we do the squats again?" and, "Someone please replace the donuts on the end of Greg's dumbbell," we were wrapped for the evening, tossing piles of equipment into various vehicles in the 3am Florida smog.

Much thanks distributed around the table, double checks of the studio and parking lot, and a sigh of relief that I'd soon be asleep, I cranked my car and pulled out into the street.

So, as soon as I drove by the cop, I knew I was going to get pulled over. I've had a headlight out for almost two years now, and I only get pulled when someone's feeling exceptionally bored on a late-night traffic watch.

So, with an impressive stream of expletives, I pulled into the right lane, waited for the inevitable lights, then swung into a housing complex to await either a ticket or some sort of awkward strategic conversation that would lead to a warning.

The cop actually turned out to be really nice. He practically admitted to just being bored, and told me he wasn't going to give me a citation, he just wanted to let me know my headlight was out (gee, thanks). All he had to do was clear my license, and I was off to a warm bed and a plentiful night of sleep.

Beat for dramatic effect.

"Your license has been suspended."
"What?"
"Yes, ma'am, you're driving without a valid license."
"What?"

Somehow, I convinced the man that I had no idea that the license had been put under any sort of jeopardy, which is true, and managed to get off with a pricey ticket and a transportation quagmire. He also took my license.

So, through a set of events which involved frantic phone calls and sitting in my car reading a novel in the dark for half an hour, I got home, managed to finish my shoot, and flew to England over the next few days.

But, now I'm back, and I need to get my license reinstated. It's amazing how fast this loan money is flying through my fingers. My car has been in Tampa, so yesterday, through some logical process I had no part in, my mom sent my brother (in my car) to come pick me up in Orlando and bring me back to Tampa to get the license thing taken care of. (?)

Other things I need to do during winter "break?"

- I forgot to register for graduation. Oops.

- Capture/Begin editing my film

- Find my freelancing career and nurse it back to health

- Register for Spring classes

- Possibly find a part time waitressing job just to get me the hell out of here as soon as I get my diploma, which hopefully I can still do after forgetting to file my intent.



Also, while I was gone, Boxoffice published one of my backlogged articles. To be honest, this one was written in a rush, and it's not my favorite, but maybe it'll be useful to someone, somewhere - enjoy.

Ten Steps to Holding an Audition

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Things I Miss About London



Today, I got antsy and took a walk. I decided to go check out this glittering body of water I pass by every time I drive home, on a nearby corner.

It turns out to be privately-owned lakefront access, so even though it was beautiful, and kind of what I needed, I couldn't sit and look at it.

And I couldn't go any further, because it's very hot outside, and when you walk beyond your own driveway, people act like you're insane.

I guess you probably are. I really need my car back.

Anyway, after I dropped onto the couch in a heap of self-satisfied heat exhaustion, I started to pine for last week, when I was in a city where you could walk anywhere you needed to go, with the small addition of the occasional tube ride or bus. The pining just sort of took off from there. I might be in love with that city.

Things I pined for:


5.) The History -


I'm kind of obsessed with the past. Knowing that I'm walking on a 300 year old road, or standing in front of a church that Henry VIII took sacrament in sends me into head-spinning bouts of euphoria. None of that exists here in Florida.

I saw the Globe. I walked across the Thames! Now, I'm eating crackers and hummus and blogging from my bed again. It's a long way to fall.

I've spent most of my life wanting feel closer to history. I finally did. :)

4.) Travel, in general -

Okay, so once again, I love walking, hiking, whatever. Travel on foot. Taking a train to some
fascinating corner of the city, and walking around was one of the best parts of London. I might have even dropped a few pounds, despite eating decadent foods every couple of hours.

And, after seeing the NYC subway system, I have renewed appreciation for their clean trains, upkept stations, and articulate automated voices.

3.) The Signage -






sigh.






2.) The Weather -

Cold weather? At Christmastime? What?!

1.) The People -


I really can't elaborate enough on how easy it was to make conversation (for once) with my peers over there. And I didn't even have to start naming bands to connect with people. Television occasionally came into play, but hey - that happens.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Home Again, Home Again


So, I'm back in a twin sized bed, in moderate 80 degree weather, re-adjusting to ideas like: if I need to go somewhere, I've gotta drive, wearing sweats is okay, and if I waste a whole day playing tetris, there's still tomorrow.

I suppose there are perks and downfalls to that. The most important thing is that I finally spent a significant amount of time out of Orlando, after four years of, "No, this has gotta be done tonight!" type stress. I went on a vacation the same day I wrapped my thesis. It's actually fairly comical.

But I have to say, even though I spent a big hunk of change, and I'll probably be desolate (again) soon, it was worth it to have the experience, and to see parts of the world that I might not have, otherwise.

I absolutely loved London. The atmosphere, after a day or two of adjusting, really just fits into much more what I'm after than anywhere I've ever been before - which isn't surprising seeing as I've never really left the South, aside from a week-long cruise in high school to the Caribbean, wherein I spent a few hours each in Belize and Mexico.

New York was great too. I didn't really have a lot of time to adjust to it, and my only time spent alone in Manhattan, I stayed in a bookstore, because I was afraid of getting lost (I'd still only been there a few hours), but I feel like it's a city I could potentially grow very fond of.

I don't want to put anyone else through my vacation slide show just now, and I really must get back onto all of my freelance jobs - particularly wrapping up my production blogs and lassoing in another assignment for Boxoffice. It's just so hard to deliberately break the spell.

My little snow globe of displacement started to crack last night, after hitting the 24 hour mark, and realizing that I was back now, indefinitely, and even though school is out for the moment, it's time to refocus.

However, and this is important - I seem to be approaching things now with more determination, or at least from a different angle, than I did before. Even jet-lagged and frustrated with a return to people like my redneck roommate (I showed her a photo of the British House of Parliament, and she asked what that was - I said, "Parliament," and she said - in reference to a night club here, which must be her only association with the word parliament - "you mean, like, gays?").

I started to clear the serious clutter that is my room with efficient determination last night. I went to a get-together/mini party, and coerced my ride (my mom still has my car in Tampa) to take me to the grocery store on the way back (thank God). Now, I just need to get my freelancing wheel rolling again, and maybe buy a bucket of paint for this depressing white box I call my room.

And, along with editing my thesis, I need to plan for the future. Perhaps a long-term return to London. We'll see what happens.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

The Heathrow Blues

I couldn't sleep last night. I kept rolling over how little I wanted to leave, but there was comfort in the fact that it'd all happen early, and that by the evening, I'd be seeing Avenue Q on Broadway, for free, with Phil.

I got to see what's visible of a London sunrise. It's sort of a fade from dark gray to light.

So, I got up at around 5am, packed, tidied up, and was out the door by 6:30. Several Tube delays and a painfully long trainride later, I arrived at Stansted airport, about 45 minutes prior to my flight, relieved that I'd made it - or, so I thought.

The very (not) nice French lady at the desk informed me that they stopped boarding fifteen minutes prior and that I'd have to be moved to a flight, six hours later, at another airport that was going to cost me £21 to get to. The kicker of this was that I knew, about a hundred feet away, that the rest of my flight hadn't even boarded the plane yet, but she wouldn't budge, even when I dissolved into a quite humiliating puddle of tears and estrogen. Besides, it'd already cost me £15 to get to Standstead, and now I was going back from whence I came.

Basically, today I've spent about $80 to go in a circle.

So, here I am in Heathrow Airport, full on too expensive chicken curry and too exhausted to be emotional, knowing that i'll arrive in New York at just about the time the audience is applauding the first number of Avenue Q.

In retrospect, I can say the following: I had no idea I needed to leave four and a half hours early to make it on time. That was communicated nowhere. And I haven't got the powers of God to make public transportation efficient and ontime, though as far as London is concerned, it was the only time this week I was delayed. At least it's lesson learned.





So, I'm going through my digital photo log, and remembering the past few days wistfully. I'll be sure to recount them here later, but let me at least say that I'm flying home deeply satisfied and with just enough yearning for a little more to secure that I'll be back as soon as I can.

I feel like writing fiction for the first time in a year or so, so that's a good sign, I'll get on that as soon as I have charged appliances again. So, wish me safe flight, with a not creepy seat neighbor, and I'll be back home in a few days.

I'm off to have a torrid little fling with NYC after my love affair with London.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Alone in a Big City

So, first of all, I hate the Arabic-style keyboards in these internet cafes. There's only one shift key, and I can't find special characters like the at sign unless I go on a ten minute scavanger hunt.

Gina left for Heathrow this morning, so I'm now officially on my own in London, which I think might actually turn out to be fantastic. I'm even considering extending my stay here until Monday, just so I can have the weekend to explore and maybe meet some strangers.

Last night, I got to meet a few of Gina's old classmates with a tour of the Camden area that started in a very trendy district filled with tattooed young folks, and moved on through the lovely Primrose Hill (very steep climb, btw), onto her school, where there was a play reading going on.

There were three twenty minute plays written by the writing students, and by attending I got to meet some very fun people, and I actually have plans to go to a comedy show this afternoon, and out drinking tonight.

So, I think I'll spend today at the Victoria and Albert museum, which is free and apparently very worth the trip, and if I'm able to extend my stay, even by just a little, tomorrow I'll go to Postman's Park, which is apparently a special cemetary and park with memorium set up for people in London who have sacrificed their lives to save others.

I do have pictures, but they start out pretty rough and start to gradually improve as my trip progresses, because the camera is brand new, and I'm still not super comfortable with it yet. I'm drafting out a post to showcase some of the photos I've taken, and inform my friends as to some differences to be aware of when visiting merry old England.

I wanted to write more, but the man behind me has a fairly rough cold, and I'd rather not catch it. He seems to be indiscriminate about where he sneezes. So, ta for now, and I'll see you all sometime next week - I've decided to definitely stop off in Manhattan for a few days. This is just too much fun.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Greetings from London

Hey everyone - my phone is on the fritz, so I wanted to let everyone know that my flight went well, and London is fabulous.

Yesterday, a vagrant asked me if his accent was sexy, and then told me England has guns too. Other than that, no hostility. I'll have pictures soon, and more stories, but for now, this is just a drop in. Leave me love in the comments until my phone is back.

:)

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Post-Thanksgiving Stuff


So, a late happy Thanksgiving to everyone - didn't get a chance to update over the holiday, because I was at home, and my computer was being monopolized by my brothers.

This is going to be a very, very big week for me. Shooting the thesis, flying to London, and writing my finals (both essays) overseas and finding someone to print them out and bring them to class. Fun, fun. I should mention that glitch in my next prod blog.

I have three more of those to do (the contract was for ten blogs), and am trying to figure out how I want to angle them. What's the most interesting and strategic? My editor is pushing for one on the budget, which will be easy, and fairly interesting. I'm open to suggestions.

Here's the latest -

Production Blog 7

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanksgiving Horror

Last night I got two holidays worth of experience in one go. On the first end, I had a lovely evening at a friend's place doing the Thanksgiving thing with my surrogate family with turkey burgers and a movie.

When I got home, at roughly 1:30am, ready to cuddle into bed and wait for tomorrow, I unpacked my laptop and went to plug it in, only to see a MASSIVE EFFING ROACH right on the outlet. This sucker looks like it's been living under a tree for three hundred years, I mean, it's like a football, and roaches are my irrational fear, no question, the thing I'm most afraid of.

So I back up, you know, survival instinct, and it crawls after me. It can ... well, not smell fear, because I'm pretty sure it doesn't have a nose, because it's a roach and it's effin gross, but it want's to mess with me, that's apparent, so I start throwing shoes at it. I throw the ballet flats, I throw the tattered exercise tennis shoes, I throw a zip up boot, but this guy is elusive, and doesn't get hit.

He decides to punish me by crawling into my bed.

Not. Okay.

So, eventually there's the final battle involving me, my sheets, and my left foot's chuck martin sneaker. Ew.

By this point, it's probably around two in the morning, but my roommate's television is on, and her boyfriend's car is in the yard. It's an emergency, so after some knocking and pleading, Joe, my roommate's boyfriend, does the hero thing and gets the roach. He then retreats back to bed.

Immediately, the sheets are ripped off, the washing machine is fired up, and some Xanex are consumed.

Shaking and slightly hysterical, I grab an Evanovich novel and pull up an online tetris page, waiting for the pills to kick in and the washing machine to wrap up.

ONE HOUR LATER

So, I'm walking into the kitchen to move my sheets into the dryer, and I frighten one of the mice living in the house. It panics, and runs right onto one of those sticky traps and does not get stuck. It doesn't get stuck, but it heads for the fridge, and I know what's about to happen.

I'm already running back toward my room when there's a giant snap, and the mouse starts making horrible screeching noises. Then I start making horrible screeching noises, and force Joe to come out of my roommate's room again, but by that time, the mouse, injured and pissed off, has already retreated.

So much for Xanex.

Once again, shaking uncontrollably, I put the sheets in the dryer and come back into my room, attempting to play Tetris, but really fairly certain I'll never sleep again. At one point the mouse in question ran into my room, and I hid by leaning back so I didn't have to see it jump into the hole in my wall where the cable outlet used to be.

Eventually, I slept, but not well. Someone want to explain to me why all of this needed to happen in the same night?

Sunday, November 18, 2007

My Favorite Blogs

I wouldn't have started blogging if not for being inspired by some of my regular stops on the Internet Superhighway. Enjoy three of my favorite haunts, all very different, but equally entertaining.

Deborah Ng's Freelance Writing Job Board - I stop by this website at a frequency second only to my email account. Actually, I occasionally stop here before I even check my email to see what's up for grabs. It's become such a habit, that the weekends, when Deb and her assistant Jodee take a break, are torture.

Television Reviews by Billie Doux - Bille has a smart and entertaining way of reviewing television that's great to go check out after watching a good episode of one of her shows. She also has discussion groups for shows that are currently airing. I'm a big fan of her Alias, Lost, Heroes, and Six Feet Under posts.

Libba Bray's LiveJournal - Most of you probably aren't familiar with Libba. She's the author of a Young Adult gothic trilogy that starts with A Great and Terrible Beauty, and will release its final installment in December.
Her posts are funny and versatile, often relating to her life as an author and as a mom. When she does blog about her work, she gives her readers delectable tidbits to chew on - like the "deleted scenes" she has up right now.

So, these guys are my inspiration. I'd love to know if any of you have blogs you check regularly. Aside from mine, of course.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Where are my Articles?


I'll admit it - patience has never been my strongest suit. It's kind of frustrating to turn in an article and still not see it published two months later (less frustrating when they pay up front, but all the same). I should get used to the sluggish turnaround timeframe of the publishing world, but again, me and patience have never much hit it off.

I think that's why I like blogging so much. I spend less than an hour perfecting the post/article, and suddenly, there it is, in print. I guess this is missing the perk of a proofread from a copywriter and ideal placement, though. And it pays (waaaay) less. Anyway, more daily blogs from WeightReductionCoach and slightly less frequent posts to CruiseShipsSite simply because it's way harder to find material about cruises.

Seriously, if anyone can find me a newsletter or something on up-to-date cruise ship news and advice, I will make you some cookies. Google can't find anything useful, so I've been making things up, and then researching them in hopes that I'll find out the topic exists. I'm going to talk about passports next. I'm sure the readers will be lining up for that one.

I also think I should find a way to write an article about how impossible it is to get rid of mice in the household. There's no sort of spray or noisemaker that drives them out without driving you crazy. Seriously, I wish I could take video footage of our Orkin guy. He just sort of stands there and says, "Yep, they'll hit the traps eventually."

It's. been. four. months.

So, I'll have to detective around for both mice ridding methods and a place to talk about them. Kind of wish they were uglier, and then I'd feel less guilty about wanting them dead/out.

Okay, I've got to go write my production blogs for this week. I'm going to try really hard not to use the word "uneventful."

Comments on cruises and mice, please.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Quicker update - and a whale



I have no call for an image, but I thought it might cheer the blog (and me) up a little. Still dealing with student loan hooplah. Some new articles below -


Production Blog 6
How to Theme your Weblog
How to Keep up with the Indie Scene

Also, check out the weight loss posting that got me a gig at the editor's other blog

To Detox of Not? - weight loss article
Cruiseshipssite.com - new blog I'm on. May be a bit more challenging to come up with material for this one

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Quick update

I've been neglecting my planner as of late. I am addicted to lists. If I don't make them, I don't get anything done.

This, by no means, means I'm addicted to order and margins. Anyone who knows me personally can tell you that, but I have some sort of tick where if I don't plan it to the last detail, I can't rest or accomplish things with the attention they deserve. So I'm about to go have some personal time with my planner to get things in order for the next couple of weeks, which are going to be hectic.

I have, for you fine readers, a new weight loss blog I'm contributing to. You'll notice the photo of me is old, but I have nothing more recent that isn't a profile or obstructed by someone else's face/hand, or horribly unflattering. Maybe I'll get something new taken this holiday season and update.

I also have a new film production blog up - there should be two, but I guess boxoffice is stilting the publications to keep people on edge. I'm okay with that.

Enjoy - and I officially give you all permission to start leaving comments. Please.

Weight Reduction Coach Blog (be sure to scroll down here - I make at least a post a day).

Production Blog 5

Monday, November 12, 2007

Picking and Choosing

First of all, no new articles today - as though any of you rabidly scroll to the bottom of posts to find my new material. I can dream.

So, quick update: I think my student loan is out of loan limbo, however, for some reason, they say unless I pay them thirty bucks to "overnight" it, it'll take a week to get here. No, thanks. Can't they just take the thirty bucks out of the loan? No, nothing doing. I'll figure that out. There's also the issue of the check being made out to both me (yay!) and my cosigner (three hours a-way!). I'll figure that out, too. I'm a problem solver; just give me time.

I just wanted to say a quick word about turning away distasteful material. This past week, in my neverending search for gigs (it's become like an addiction, really), I was offered a job doing advertising for a very clear pyramid scheme. I mean, these people sent me to their "promotional video" aka "powerpoint slideshow to Eye of the Tiger on youtube" and at one point, they actually draw a pyramid for the viewer out of little blindfolded men. How dense can you get?

Well, apparently the pyramid scam has ruined many a life, and I didn't want to sully my karmic waters by writing a weeks' worth of really good promotions for the "Club" that offered me the position, even for $60, which I need.

Was this wise? I'm going to go ahead and say, for me, it's okay. I've got a big ole hunka loan on the way, and I'm not a fulltime freelancer yet, so I might as well only take jobs I enjoy right now.

And where I might enjoy the job I saw on Miami Craigslist (I'm not making this up) where a man was seeking to stock up his library of emails to send to beautiful women in internet dating sites - I might actually have to link this job, the guy is asking for it - anyway, where I might enjoy it, I find it morally gray.

I've read over and over again that you've really established yourself as a freelance writer once you can say no to the jobs you don't want, but I don't think that applies in my case. I'm kind of doing this backward, and once my livlihood depends on it, you might have to watch out which personals ads you respond to.

I'd like to believe, however, that I can continue to find work that follows my line of thinking. The effort should be worth it.

In other news, I'm in talks with a company about taking over their weight loss blog. That could be fun to research and maintain. I could donate magazines to waiting rooms! More news on that in the near future -

Thursday, November 8, 2007

in Limbo



I made a committment recently to eat breakfast every morning until January (at which time I hope to have formed the habit). So, I come to you from a plate of baby carrots and peanut butter, which is better than it sounds, except for the fact that I have zero appetite in the AM. My natural peanut butter is melting :(.

Anyway, I thought I'd say a few words on waiting. It's a pet peeve of mine. If there's a problem or obligation I have, I tend to want to solve it immediately, check that it's solved, and move on. Lately, things have not been going this way for me.

On the writing end, eHow.com suddenly set up a screening process for their articles. Honestly, I approve of this, and was surprised they didn't do so before, but considering they hired me, you'd think they would've given me some sort of code to avoid being screened. Anyhow, my last two eHow entries won't be up until ... until they're approved by some unknown middleman.

In the money department, we have lots of Limbo going on. My student loan, which pretty much all of my livelyhood depends upon has been one of the most frustrating experiences in the history of call-center customer service. Luckily, my uncle and cosigner has been more than attentive, and has complied to the "Oh, and we also need this!" demands that seem to happen every time we think we've given the loan company everything they need.

This probably wouldn't irk me so much if I didn't need the money like yesterday, and if the faulty instructions and last minute desires of the loan didn't push back the recipt of this loan another week.

I need to pay my rent! For two months, actually. I'm way behind. I also need silly extravagances like gas and food and toilet paper. And on the actual extravagance side, I need to get my passport and my plane ticket pronto. I am going to London if it kills me.

Also, one of my clients suddenly wants a W9 and an invoice mailed to him before he pays me a measley fee for the massive pile of work I took on for him before I realized that I was short selling myself. If I had a printer (that's what I'll use the fee for, perhaps), I could just do it, but I have to drive all the way to campus to print things out, and it's a huge inconveniance. And I'm lazy. But, I suppose, in the name of money, I'll do it.

I suppose I could fax it to him, but I faxed the loan info to my Uncle from an Office Depot, and they charged me twenty effin dollars. For a fax! I understand it was a 16 page fax, but faxing uses nothing but time and a phone line. It's not like they were giving me sheets of paper. Maybe I should buy a fax machine too.

Also in Limbo are the locations for my film. My wonderful new production coordinator seems to be working on that by the hour, but she just can't force people to give her a straight answer: commit or not. I'll talk about that this week in my production blog.

Speaking of which, here are the blogs from last week -

Production Blog 3
Production Blog 4

Thanks for letting me whine.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Happy Surprises



Okay, so first of all - I'm going to London!!!!

I suppose nothing is in stone yet, I'll need money first, but this is going to happen, so help me. I'm waiting for my student loan to come through so I can (pay my rent and) get my passport/plane ticket. It's gotten me thinking about living abroad after I finish school. I've been researching, we'll see what happens.

My production blogs have started going up on boxoffice.com under the heading "Film School Production" - I haven't mentioned this to my crew or professors yet, just so I can remain honest throughout the chronicling. Those and my latest eHow are linked below.

The Production Blogs:
As a side note, I'm really digging the dramatic bolding my editor added in.

Production Blog 1
Production blog2

How to Blog Daily

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!



Have Some Treats - on me.

How To Write a Short Film

How To Make your Film a (Total) Cliche
I'm quite proud of this one - read it.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Numbers



So, I learned early on that people respond well to bullet points. For instance, most people are much more likely to disregard "An Essay on Making your Dog look like Royalty," and try to find the article on Page 43 that says, "Fourteen Steps to Turn your Pooch into a Princess."

Now, sliding over the people who'd want this type of subject matter, and what should be done to them, the fact remains that bullet points make for happier, and overall more appealing writing.

So, I've been doing just that for the past few days. I did a 'Ten Ways to" article on auditioning, and have been laboring over this How-To endeavor, which requires six more articles by the end of the week. Actually, maybe I should do one on how to sweeten your article, with bullet-pointing at the forefront.

Anyway, have a look my collegetips article (1 of 3, so far) that went up sometime last night while I go brainstorm on the article-sweetening how-to. Not surprisingly, this is a countdown article. I do love those bullet points.

Cheers.

Common Housing Mistakes
-- Update --
Two New How-To articles - one of which inspired by this blog,
and the other inspired by the Auditions article, but written for
the actor, not the filmmaker. Enjoy -

Sweeten Your Article
(Not the actual article name, unfortunately)
Steal an Audition

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Making Lemonade



I want to talk about making the best out of situations that don't turn out the way you plan.

This is something that will happen in everyone's life, and moreso if you're supposed to write down things they way they were intended to happen.

While I was covering ShowEast, my assignment was to cover the Trade Show Floor. Surprise, when I got there on day one, I found out the floor itself wouldn't open for another 24 hours, so I did what I assumed anyone would do, and walked around to find alternative things to write about, however, my editor was astounded at this initiative.

First of all, when there's a paycheck involved, we should always a solid effort to find a solution. Being able to improvise could be the second most important skill to have as a journalist. (the first, of course, being the ability to string a sentence together.)

So, when the end of my life that functions as a film student started to fall into disrepair alongside the foundations of my thesis project, I was forced to take action.

Three days before intending to shoot, I fired my producer and rearranged my shooting dates. I also altered my assistant directing team and decided to produce the project myself to avoid the same mistake repeating itself.

In the universe of a senior in film school, this situation is cause for immense amounts of self-pity and despair, but I thought, hell, why not see if someone is interested in this nonsense and what might come out of it.

So, my editor at Boxoffice, always happy to hear my thoughts, is offering me a blog series on the events of this thing.

So, it turns out that the disaster of my film might pay for its own repairs. I thought I'd share, and hopefully offer some inspiration and a possible string of cravings for lemonade.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

It's Fat



My article, Fat Boys and Girls in Theaters this Month on the new hollywood progtagonist is up now at Boxoffice.

I had the pleasure of seeing Run, Fatboy, Run at ShowEast, but signed a paper saying I can't talk about it, so you're all on your own. It's always a treat watching Pegg on screen, says I. And, as an update, I'm pretty sure the American release of Fatboy has been pushed back because it was shown at ShowEast. So, I think it's March now. I think.

In other news, I have a couple of those How-To articles up. Check them out at the following locations:

How to Save Money on your Film
How to Choose a Movie
How to Go to a Movie Alone

Sunday, October 21, 2007

ShowEast

I've been MIA for the past few weeks revving up for the ShowEast extravaganza, and let me tell you all, it was incredible.

My articles and such, along with Brett Jaffe's are up on Boxoffice's ShowEast Page

And, for perhaps my own entertainment only, here is me with my press badge and a copy of Boxoffice Magazine




I've also recently sold another article to College Tips and hope to work for them more soon, as they've been wonderful so far.

And, I'm now an eHow expert over on eHow.com So, look for me all over the place very soon.

For now, I'm back to work.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Motivation

First of all - enjoy some new posts:

Reiko Aylesworth in Alien vs. Predator
Jen Garner's new Flick
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost's new film (Am incredibly happy about this news)
Toni Collette's got one in the oven

Okay, so, I just got my first article-related paycheck from collegetipsforparents.org, which is incredibly exciting. It's for a whopping $25, and it's stuck in my paypal account, but that's beside the point. The point is, cash refuels my ambition, and I've got a renewed sense of vigor in terms of finding other gigs.

I've decided to shape up a bit before ShowEast, just in case I actually run into someone who cares, so I'll keep the blog abreast of any progress I make. I also should drop some flab before I get my headshots for the gearlive blogs taken. Just to avoid unnecessary attacks, you know ... and I'm vain.

In other news, I'm working on a review of Eastern Promises, which I liked and reccomend to all who aren't put off by senseless gore or naked Viggo Mortensen having a knife fight in a literal steam bath. I'm also pulling together some research for the load of work I continue to pile on myself for boxoffice.com.

Hopefully, that pile of work will soon turn into links that I can post here for all to enjoy. In the meantime, I'm going to work out.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

My First Press Pass

I just got word from my editor at boxoffice.com that I'm getting a press pass to cover ShowEast!!

Be still my heart. More news on that later, and maybe a photo of me posing with my pass.

In the meantime - check out some recent posts.

Book Adaptations

Andromeda Strain

Dead Like Me

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

My First Month

I started college in 2004 with no clear idea of what I wanted to major in. I'd been reading books about freelance journalism since the age of about fourteen, and had even written a few queries and immediately thrown them out. Fiction was my medium, but a Creative Writing major seemed dull and pointless.

I figured in my freshman year to apply to several pratical sounding programs. Advertising, Journalism, and the coveted Fine Arts Film Production program, assuming that I would probably get into one of them, minor in mag journalism, and just end up doing that for a living. Well, I got into film, which was great. I spent the next three years learning all about the Film biz, and planning my future career in the industry.

Occasionally I'd play the write-a-query-throw-it-out game, but that didn't matter, because film was where I was going to end up. This summer, however, one of our ever-present Film emails came with a headline that got the old juices flowing, "Boxoffice.com Looking for Writers." I emailed in immediately with a quick sample about the adaptation of one of my favorite books, and got an encouraging response. I should mention here that if the author herself didn't keep a blog, I wouldn't have even had an interesting enough stance to write the sample. (http://livejournal.com/users/libba_bray)

Once I'd secured a column, the urge to start working was back. I discovered Deborah Ng's freelance job board, and started applying for jobs left and right. The first emails were probably a bit embarassing in retrospect, but I've crafted a fairly good cover letter (I think), and the work is becoming steadier.

I've been intending to start a blog about this for a few weeks, but now that my first publications are up, as a blogger for gearlive on http://tvenvy.com and http://filmcrunch.com I feel comfortable making my first post.

Check out my posts linked on the bottom of the page. Don't read the first one if you're sensative to Lost spoilers. I should have some boxoffice.com stuff up soon, and news on whether or not they'll be sending me to ShowEast (I hope, I hope, I hope) on assignment. I also have stuff coming in for a College Tips site and possibly for Dvisible magazine.

Keep checking the gearlive blogs for posts, and I'll update publications here. I'd love feedback on my work, and advice on where I should go next.

Thanks to everyone for reading -
Shannon


Dom Monaghan Back on the Big Screen
Sassy Girl Remake
(there's a very strange typo in this one after Elisha Cuthbert's name, I'm assuming the editor made an oops while tagging it or that I can't accept my own shortcomings).