Tonight is my screenplay class.
If you've been following my self absorbed minutia, I was awarded a second scholarship to move into the advanced class next semester.
The screenwriting process is not easy for me, which is a good enough reason to pursue it probably.
It's like writing up a crime report or working as a private detective, to me, it feels very dry and calculating.
Writing novels can be, is allowed to be, an effusive medium.
Effusive is easy for me.
Economy of words is not easy for me, all the more reason to do it.
The class has liked my story so far, and some scenes I've written for them to read out loud in class have been relatively successful.
But last week I learned a big lesson because my scene was six pages long and by the end everyone in the class agreed with the professor that the whole scene was really worth about one or two pages, tops.
It wasn't that important of a moment, by my own admission, in the story, and the way I had the characters talking and talking and talking the scene would take up like twenty minutes.
This week I've tackled a scene I'm excited about and I hope I've been more economical with my description and my dialogue.
We shall see, the class is tonight at 6:30pm.
I'm writing about Sidney of course.
But for whatever reason I jumped forward and skipped all the mid-years that are covered in books two and three (that so far remain unpublished).
I'm writing the screenplay based on my experience at the New Orleans Folk Alliance Conference this past January.
I can't say it's going to make a riveting feature length film, but I can say I'm learning a lot.
I may be learning about myself the most.
Maybe that's the best we can hope for.
I'm seeing the very intense looming issue of money play out in every scene of Sidney's experience.
Why is money such a lesson in my life?
It must be that I'm not getting it right.
It's not about skipping the coffee drink a couple times a week to cut costs.
It's about some kind of internal shift that I have not made.
We see Sidney trapped in her worries about money.
One of my classmates, a wonderful Black guy from Chicago, my home town, said something in an impassioned tone to me last class.
I've already written about this last week a bit, but it is staying with me and I'm trying to get closer to the essence of this so it bears repeating.
"I don't like the parts where you have Sidney start worrying and getting upset about money. I feel like I know Sidney, and I think I know you. You are always having these serendipitous things happen that keep you going. It's just like that's how you live. It wouldn't work for most people but it works for you. So when you have Sidney get all worried and lose faith, it's like so out of character that you lose me."
This short speech still completely freaks me out.
Being worried and losing faith.
Being Worried And Losing Faith.
That's not out of character, that IS my character.
This is the essence of my money woes.
The Universe, or God, or The Great Creator, or the Holy Spirit, is/are trying to teach me a lesson.
And this lesson is the lesson my soul yearns for.
I hope I can learn it in time to fully enjoy some time lived in the light of this lesson.
The lesson is being taught to me by keeping everything so small, so tight, so close to the bone, that I NOTICE when the synchronicity occurs.
When I've had tons of money I've thought it was I doing the deciding.
When I don't have any money to insulate me from the workings of outside forces I have to see that some things I try to do have red lights around them, blocking me from making that decision, and some things are all smooth sailing green lights the whole way.
I went to New Orleans in January and that was only by the hand of Fate, the generosity of others, and by my taking a leap of faith.
I did no planning, no plotting, no saving up.
I couldn't have plotted and planned and saved that story into creation if I tried.
The story was about the let go let God experience.
Why can't I stay true to character as the great guy in my class said to me?
He thinks I'm faithful to my vision all the time.
He thinks I let people down when I have Sidney lose faith.
If he read this blog he'd see what a disappointment I truly am.
The world is constantly offering me bouquets of roses and I walk on the rose petals and sleep on the bed of roses...even when it's in the lower bunk at the hostel...I'm there sleeping with my arms around my Martin guitar praying for safety....but I'm already being cradled in the arms of Destiny.
Why can't I see the ruby slippers on my feet?
Why can't I see the LOVE in this house provided by Rob but made a home by LOVE.
My work is to never throw the gifts in the faces of those who believe in me.
Fans of my music continue to make donations and provide everything from food, to clothing, to shelter, to performance opportunities.
And just like the guy in my class, just like the Holy Spirit, they must be disappointed when they see me "break character" and lose faith.
In the face of all the co-creating happening before my eyes on a daily basis I want to be in a constant state of revery.
Do you know this Peter Mayer song?
I'll sing it this Wednesday at my show at the good old Finnish Bistro.
This is the second verse.......
"When Holy water was rare at best
barely wet my fingertips
now I have to hold my breath
it's like I'm swimming in a sea of it
Used to be a world half there
Heaven's second rate hand me downs
now I'm walking with a reverent air
'cause everything is Holy now"
I'll sing it this week for you.
I'm getting closer.