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Script Done. Redhead Undone



REDHEAD walks towards a chic cafe on a busy street. She’s wearing a sun dress and flip flops that are too big for her feet. She has more freckles than ever from the non-stop ninety degree days. She has a large worn out leather purse on her shoulder with an iBook in it. It’s lunch time so she stops an ice cream truck driving by.

How can I help you?

An ice cream sandwich please. Do you have other flavors besides chocolate for the outside?

Vanilla or chocolate?

Vanilla. I mean, I guess…I’m still getting some of the food groups; protein and wheat.

(no expression)
That will be $1.35.

I think this would be the perfect job for me right now. Do you have a job application I can fill out?

Mam, I’m a solo act.

Kids are lining up. An ice cream frenzy is building behind her.

Me too–at least right now, I’m down to the last five scenes in my screenplay. I’ve been writing for sixteen days straight. My house smells funny. You should see…

Mam, you need to move aside, I have a business to run here.

He waves her off.


• • •

The above is a parody — a metaphor if you will;  a sketch of my past month.

I pitched a novella I wrote to producers at a conference in June.
Five of five asked to read the script I had not written and didn’t know how to.
I took a month off work to learn and to write it. I figured two weeks to learn and set up notes, two weeks to write.
I completed the first draft, 111 page play in 18 days.
And now am in the rewrite phase with high hopes to send it out by the end of August.
First I need to chum up to two upset, neglected bunnies and get over the bronchitis I got in the mix of stress– and eating…well, not so great.

Owners manual for anyone seeking a life that includes both art and business:

1. Should you take a month off work to learn something completely new, like: Write a novel or play, learn a musical instrument, a new language or paint a series of paintings. Make sure you have your cupboards and refrigerator stocked, a message on your machine that says, “I’m in artistic purgatory, and believe me, I absolutely can’t wait to get back to you, but it will be long past your interest in talking to me; please forgive me in advance.”

2. Don’t work naked. It scares the neighbors. And believe me, they are already scared of you!

3. For Writers: Make sure you have at least one friend who makes you laugh and knows your drink. This is very important. Otherwise, your characters suffer your grumpiness.

And, they don’t deserve it.

They wait patiently for your attention and come to life with the slightest sliver of it. They entertain you endlessly, they love you, they hate you, they don’t notice you, they are insecure and overly confident. They are a huge stack of imperfection–so treat em’ well, treat yourself well and the clients who come back to your when it’s all over. Because they are the real thing!

4. For those of you who can work full-time and write at night and weekends. I’d give 100 freckles to be like you. I think and brainstorm from Friday night to Sunday night and the real action starts to write itself on Monday when most people go to work. I risk a month of client-free living to write. I’ll let you know how it turned out as soon as I know.

5. You may think this is a romantic venture. You may see yourself as I did, like this:




6. Practice your passion whatever it is. Even if you get sick like I did you’re still smiling from your internal organs–your heart, your kidneys, your liver…they are all happy. Even if the dishes in your sink are growing mold and your rabbits show you their backs more than they used to.

7. Buy a bunch of great music. If you aren’t a smoker it will help curb the desire.

8. Remember, even if doing what you love most of all obsessively looks incredibly selfish to others–keep the faith. When you’re happy you give 3 X’s more in the end.

Make sure you stock your closet with rabbit food. I’m still catching shit on this one!


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  • GuRuth on Oct 13, 2007 Reply

    Okay, so I’m a bit late reading…however, the timing couldn’t be better. I needed to know all this as I embark on a self-imposed time-to-tell-my-story marathon culminating in THE book by midnight December 31st. As always, you’re my hero…thanks for stepping into the fire!

  • Verna Wilder on Aug 30, 2007 Reply

    So THAT’s what you’ve been up to! Wow! I’m impressed and inspired and I still miss you and want to see you, so let me know when you come up for air.
    How was the ice cream sandwich?

  • Rosemary Carstens on Aug 27, 2007 Reply

    WOW, Niya! I’m impressed and encouraged that you had the courage to take a month off to do your project. I’m considering the same thing as I have a goal to complete a nonfiction book proposal by the end of the year. But clients keep calling and I’m afraid to turn away the work/money. I’ll have the last prelim research done by Oct. 21 and then I’ll hunker down!
    Rosemary Carstens

  • Ingrid on Aug 15, 2007 Reply

    Great work, keep it coming!
    Still looking for an agent for my novel but I haven’t given up yet. Maybe we can attend a conference together some time.

  • Susan Flint on Aug 14, 2007 Reply

    …no wonder I felt a psychic void across the waves. I was thinking to myself, “just what is that girl up to now….” Good job!

  • Elizabeth Hack on Aug 14, 2007 Reply

    You’ve had quite a month. Completing the first draft of a screen play in 18 days while keeping your clamoring clients at bay?? Now that’s diligence. Very inspiring!!

  • David B. Leikam on Aug 14, 2007 Reply

    Yes, indeed! 🙂 LOVELY … like the grocery list too.

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