Learning to take care of myself

Good! Just sit there. Watch a movie or play a game. You’ve already been working for an hour. Don’t deny it; I saw you! Just…take a nap or something. – My brother, yesterday.

Scolded into taking care of myself. Again. Don’t know how my brother can always mix that slightly teasing tone with serious concern in his voice, but he can and he gets it 100% right 100% of the time. This time it came on the heels of pulling sound notes from the trilogy. It’s not terribly difficult, but it is wearing on me – staring at the screen, scrolling down slowly, checking every single page for every single sound notation.

My brother really should have saved that sure-fire scolding for a few hours later.

Spat out an outline for a new script. Just…paced about five minutes, opened up my computer, and began typing like a madwoman. It was just there. Scenes, dialogue, characters… Not a real surprise, I guess, since it’s based on my novel. In effect, I already wrote the story (just not in script form). But it made me confront the truth about my past work: I have no driver. It’s a funny story, with funny characters, outrageous scenarios and very laughable dialogue, but it has no driver. I kept looking at it and saying ‘yeah, this is amusing, but where are you going with it?’ Still don’t know. Took time to watch a few comedy films in the afternoon, looking for patterns to use. My arm chair analysis has led me to conclude there are two ways to handle comedy: over the top farce/slapstick, or twist something you think you know. OTT farce and slapstick works best in film; fast edits, special effects, all that. So I’m looking at the twist. But I need that final goal. It doesn’t even need to be addressed in the script, but I need to know it. The easiest is the simplest: save the world. Overriding, un-arguable…it’s used a lot. I’d like to be a bit more original, but I might have to fall back on it like a safety net. Besides, the old ‘save the world’ gag is a lovely vehicle to hide true motives that lurk beneath the surface. *sigh* What to do, what to do…

Worried this new idea will end up offensive. Oh, hell! It WILL be offensive to some; don’t think I can get around that. Anytime you turn something on its head you run the risk of offending someone. You poke fun at the un-laughable, you say the un-sayable.

I am pleased, at least, to find my mind has moved off death and violence and petty little human actions and onto more amusing topics. For close to a year I’ve been locked in small rooms with my characters, in the dark, in fear. It’s had to have had an effect on me psychologically. Now, my inner film screening room is running comedy. At least the ‘rushes’ of the day. I’m allowing it. Taking notes (obviously). Somewhere in me I have something funny to say…

Eight days to the script read through. Been thinking of what I need to say before we start. Practicing it, because I’ve a tendency to go on and on if you let me. I have to hone it down to the bare essentials, just like I do my writing. And I must note that my head is there, and focused on that task, rather than fretting over heading to language class tomorrow. That’s okay. I’ve distracted myself from the shame I feel over my behavior. But I don’t want to blow off my apology. I want to move forward, and to do so, I have to open my mouth and say the words (even if one of my teachers corrects my grammar instantaneously). That’s my path. I know it.

Zero homework done. Didn’t even open my books. Comforting myself by reading Roald Dahl in Dutch as my bedtime reading; at least I’m doing something. Have the occasional word to puzzle over, but most of the text is within my grasp. And I’m enjoying it.

A bit worried that my mouth guard is going to trigger me in my sleep. Two days of using it, and I’m reminded sharply of my teen years wearing a retainer. Teen years…now there’s a mess of muddled thinking. Not sure I want to connect with the me of back then. Or, let me rephrase that: I’m not sure I want the me of back then to take over. I’m connected to her. Always will be. I remember my first cigarette. I remember the shame I felt walking down the school hallway. I remember turning to writing, pouring my young heart out as best I could on the page. …Hm. Truth is, I might not have turned to writing without her. Maybe I shouldn’t be so afraid.

lol! Now there’s a phrase I should put on a poster: maybe you shouldn’t be so afraid. Just as a daily reminder. Just…try it. Try not being afraid for a day. Or an hour. Or a minute. You don’t have to commit to it, you don’t have to force yourself into submission and change your life from head to toe. Just sample it.

Not a bad slogan to take out into the world today. Saturday is easy as a trial date.

Now. A kind return. I do that, I try it, and I get something back. Figure it out. A coffee, a treat, a walk in the woods – figure out your reward. Sounds like a good time to deep condition my hair and apply a moisturizing face masque. A me mini day. No. A ME mini day. ME is important; ME deserves capitalization. ME. I will watch a film I wouldn’t dare suggest to my brother, knowing his tastes. I’ll turn the heat up a bit so I’m not huddled under my hoodie. I’ll cut my nails, maybe even do the cuticles.

How did I get so old without learning to take care of myself?


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