I’ve been writing. A lot.
I’m not usually my most productive during the summer. The weather sucks, and there are always interesting things to do – not the best conditions for bunkering away and embodying that inner writer ascetic.
Plus there’s the inevitable end of spring burnout. Even this year, I feel like I haven’t fully come down from the adrenaline high of the semester. Working 10+ hour days every day for months on end, and suddenly waking up with this strange thing called “free time” in my hands is a weird one.
But, it’s given me the space to breathe.
It took me a while to get back into the groove. The burnout was real, but I got over it. Since then, I’ve been fairly consistent with my self-imposed monasticism. Wake up before 8, make coffee, and hammer away in front of the keyboard for hours. Stop when hungry or in need of shower, and then get on with my day.
It’s been good.
In May, I completed a feature length screenplay in just under two weeks – fighting the clock for festival deadlines the whole time. That was definitely the quickest it’s taken me to compose a 90 page story.
Two summer agos, the process took a bit over two months; last summer, I it down to a one month turnaround. Looks like I keep slashing it in half.
Of course it helped that it was bubbling in my head all semester, waiting to be released. It was a little rough, and more than a few typos escaped capitivity, but I finished it in time to fire it off to a few festivals.
Some updates on that front. My obnoxiously titled story “1866: Song of the Pearl” (which, upon further consideration, really should have been named “Song of the Pearl: 1866”) isn’t doing too bad.
I landed second place at the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival (LAIFF) open screenplay competition, beating out a couple dozen of scripts for silver. Gold would have been nice, but let’s not get greedy.
On another front, things are also looking kind of promising. It’s still judging period at the Table Read My Screenplay contest in Los Angeles and I’m still in the game. I didn’t get knocked out at the gate or the semi-finals, which means I’m a contender for genre finalist. Not expecting to net that grand prize, but top of a category would be some nice writer’s cred. Guess I could start calling myself an “Award-winning screenwriter” or some other nonsense.
With that puppy out for it’s walk, I’ve been back to work at my original idea for that story – writing the fucker out as a full length prose novella. Only now, it’s becoming larger than a novella. Just passed the 75 page mark in the draft this morning, and it’s feeling like it’s about a third done. Looks like a real contender for “longest story I’ve ever written” award. Just gotta keep hammering away.
Aaaand then once all that’s done, time to start going through the notebook and getting a few more tales to paper. If I can finish a novel in three months, should be pie to put together a couple of short stories. Here’s hoping.