Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Andy Whitfield -- Be here now

Today is a day for memorials in a lot of ways.  For Americans, it is the remembrance of an awful point in our history, when thousands were killed by terrorists.  That singular event, galvanized a nation into action.

But also, a year ago today, an actor by the name of Andy Whitfield succumbed to cancer at the age of 38, leaving behind a wife and two small children.  His death hit me in a very personal way.   Andy, as a person, was a very kind, gently soul, who loved his family deeply.  He cared for his fellow man and showed compassion to those less fortunate.  Even in the midst of his treatment for cancer, he allowed film crews to document his journey.  Which sadly, ended in his death.

I just wanted to write about this to say I was thinking of him on this day.  I am thinking of his wife and children and was touched by his wife's email to me giving me hugs over a well wish to her and her children.

It makes me consider, what do we leave behind?  What is our legacy in our individual lives?  I hope that I do like Andy and like those who died in the world trade center, and leave a legacy of love to those family and friends around me, and to even those who did not know me, but viewed my life from afar.

I miss you Andy.

Vashti Whitfield
Be Here now documentary
Lucy Lawless remembers Andy Whitfield

Sunday, August 26, 2012


Ah! Back at my computer, writing my little heart out.  It feels like it has been forever, but finally I am able to sit down and work.

I had an art show on August 18th at the Covedale Arts Center and that took a lot of prep time away from writing.  But the show was really good.  Always good to hear what others thought of my art.  I didn't sell anything, because no one wanted prints.  I'm certainly not going to part with my originals, much to the chagrin of fellow artists in the tent next to me.  It was so appalling to them that I wouldn't part with them, even when I had offers to buy them.  But I frowned and wanted to ask, "Excuse me, could you part with your children?"

Yesterday was the car wash to raise money for the making of The Hardship movie.  That was fun and great to meet people who wanted to support the military.  We had to correct their thinking to let them know it was to raise money for a movie and not for the actual military.  I'm not sure how much we raised, but every little bit will help get this movie to screen.

A few weeks ago, the producer had asked me to come up with about 10 to 15 minutes of scenes to be used to film and subsequently made into the trailer.  This trailer will only be use to post online to raise funding.  

So I diligently ran through the most important scenes from which to glean the basics of the story.  I sent those to her feeling good about what I had selected.  She returned that back to me with an outline of what she'd like to see instead.  It was a little different than the script, but her being the producer and in charge, I wrote a trailer based on her ideas, and not so much what the script contains.  I hope this does not interfere with the funding in anyvway, but as a writer, sometimes you have to give the people in charge what they want, much like any job.

They plan on filming the trailer in the next couple of weeks.

Elemental edits are coming along nicely, albeit slowly.  I am in awe of Allison Cassatta who can crank those out without breaking a sweat, but I am very slow at editing my stuff.  I am on Chapter 7 of an 19 Chapter book.  Then I go through the arduous task of corrections once my friend has read through and found errors.    I cannot wait to get to the point of inquiry letters to publishers for this story.

AND....as if my life cannot get get hectic enough, I am forming a production company with an acting friend of mine, who divides her time between her and LA.  Our first project slated is my script, "The Invisible Rainbow" (which Allison Cassatta did the artwork for!).  So many exciting things to look forward to.

I must keep moving....moving....moving!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Script editing vs Book Editing

Right now I am in the midst of script edits for "The Hardship".  Finding the ability to shift gears from book editing to script editing takes me a moment.  I didn't realize that would happen until I really started  getting into the guts of editing "Elemental" and then jumping over to script edits.

The producer of The Hardship sent me a list of suggested scenes and basic edits.  The scene edits forced me to stop and think all the way through the entirety of the script to make sure the continuity wasn't lost, not unlike book edits.  However, where books allow for the insight into a characters thinking and feelings, script writing forces you to act out the emotion or the thought.  Sometimes that can be a bit dicey.  If the audience doesn't get it the way you meant it to, the interpretation can be a bit different.  But I guess that isn't too bad, art can be like that.  You mean it one way and someone takes a completely different meaning from what you have presented.

I love script writing, it's clean and logical and follows a really nice pattern of layout that I like.  The challenge ends up being that the conversations have to be spot on.  It helps to actually read them out loud as your write it to make sure it sounds like a conversation one would have with someone else.

Back to my edits!  If you are interested in following the progress of The Hardship film, you can like it on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/thehardshipmovie.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Wouldn't it be nice?

On my run this morning, I started thinking over the thoughts that had been running through my head concerning other stories that I have read from some really great writers.

The last couple of days, I have been thinking as reader and pondering the beautiful way in which some writers bring their characters to life.  It got me thinking about how it be so great if those characters were real tangible people.  Flaws and all.  

I'm tired of the Katie Holms, Tom Cruises, Brad Pitts and Sandra Bullock types brought to life by their publicists and managers.  It is tired some.  It made me wish for the Daniel from the Lauren Kate's Series, or Tohrment or Veck from J.R. Ward's Series, or even Patch from Becca Fitzpatrick's books.  I know they are angels, a vampire and a human thrown in for good measure.  But just their strong beliefs to do right, their fierce loyalty and ability to love.  We miss that in the people around us I believe and our real life "characters" in the form of stars disappoint sometimes on so many levels as we are voyers into their lives.  But still, it has me wishing.

Yes,  have been thinking, wouldn't it be nice.  I so hope that readers want to know my characters as much as I do

Friday, July 13, 2012

Will I ever get there?

Like a lot of aspiring authors, getting a major project off the ground is a challenging effort at best.  Add the element of working full time and managing a home, the attempt becomes a major effort.  

I find myself more frustrated day in and day out with trying to get the goal of my first book published.  Setting aside the needed time to do it become harder and harder.   I rally against the seemingly insurmountable task of getting this off the ground.

Additionally, due to my lack of education, I find I struggle with punctuation and grammer in so many areas of my writing.  I didn't realize how much I lacked until a friend began helping me edit my book, chapter by chapter.  One day she brought an edited chapter to me and quipped, "I feel like a school teacher with a big red pen and I'm sorry." I smiled and assured her this was exactly what I wanted her to do, but I couldn't help thinking inside how useless I feel in that regard.

The desire to write still fuels me on and it is the total love of the characters and story that keeps me sane. But quoting Morpheus from The Matrix, not being able to spend time doing what you feel you were born to do is like a "splinter in the mind".  

One day I hope to have a big pair of tweezers!