Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Problems and ideas and superstitions.

Seems my screenwriting book is in limbo for a while as the text was improperly done with different shades of black, one dark on the left page and one lighter on the right page. This was sent to createspace last Wednesday.

So I called them today, Tuesday May 30 only to find out that nobody had transferred it to the techs! With a lot of accented apologies given me I said I didn't want apologies I wanted someone to fix it.

This book has been one hell of a time, it has now taken up time for around 8 months. Some of it is due to my procrastination and the other part was having to get some editors to do their work which is time consuming.

And it's taking me away from writing my new screenplay based on a presidential thriller. I can work on one screenplay at a time and it consumes most of my days and I really am trying to start it soon.

The thing is, many writers, me included, have very specific working hours. I'm an early riser and can start writing around 8am maybe up to 11 am. I usually go for 5 pages a day but sometimes, if it's working smoothly, I can do more.  I have a few habits that I'll share, but each writer has their own little habits.

I have to start a new screenplay on Mondays, it's the beginning of the work week and it's the beginning of a new story. Mornings are the best, I take lunch at exactly the same time, 12 noon, and then a nap and the rest of the afternoon is for reading or taking notes or shopping or sometimes, lunch dates. I do no writing at all after 5pm, which is my cut-off time.

Since I work alone in my home office I need to make a work-office schedule otherwise I would be all over the place wearing old t-shirts or pyjamas. It is a strict routine but I can change if I have to.

Evenings are for free time, watching a movie usually or going out. Saturdays and Sundays are off-days, I hang around and sometimes don't do a damn thing

I don't have any specific superstition, just a routine I guess, that allows me to write as much as I can. 

But right now I can't start my new screenplay because I have to deal with the damn screenwriter's book as well as a few other things that people have asked me to do, including a pilot for a TV series and a pitch for another TV series. And while that sounds great, all it means is working for free until the money rolls in. If it ever does. A lot of what I do is for no money, mostly a page or two of a story I have, so it isn't a big deal. But everyone always asks for free rewrites.

So much for that, should have a better blog later this week.


Monday, April 29, 2013

Trinidad, Cuba I

From Cienfuegos, we caught a ride to Trinidad (our last stop in Cuba). The woman we were staying with in Cienfuegos recommended one of her friends in Trinidad who rents a room, and we went with it, not knowing what to expect. Turns out it would be our favorite room in Cuba.

We climbed a steep, lopsided spiral staircase to the top floor which was entirely ours. Vaulted teal ceilings and a silky pink bed provided wonderful bursts of color. The old iron bed frame, creaky wood floors, and school house lights were things I would take home with me if I could. The best part--two giant doors that lead out onto small balconies and let in the most beautiful light. We left the doors open and watched the rain fall on terracotta rooftops from bed or listened to salsa music and laughter coming from the darkness late at night.

Trinidad is a maze of cobblestone streets lined with pastel colored buildings, overgrown in blossoming vines and weeds. The town is on a hillside, which means lovely views down the narrow streets from many points of the town. Like any Cuban city, life is slow paced. Every front door is open, and neighbors gather on the front steps to chit chat, or pull out a rocking chair to watch the passersby. Every few blocks, we ran into a children's soccer game or men playing dominos on a small table taking up the sidewalk. I feel more rested just thinking about it.

- Julia

P.S. We have four posts coming from our time in Trinidad.

Our lovely room in town.
The view from the balcony in our room.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Cienfuegos, Cuba

After Havana, we headed South to Cienfuegos. We stayed with another nice family. They didn't speak any English and we didn't speak much Spanish, so it was a little tough to get to know them but we had a great time with them nonetheless.

Cienfuegos is a small, quiet city with great 19th century Spanish architecture and some French influence, along with the Palacio de Valle which resembles an ornate Moroccan casbah. We did a lot of walking and exploring. It's a beautiful city, especially considering it was bombed during the Cuban Revolution in 1957 for uprising against Batista. It was a lot cleaner and more quaint than Havana. Neat little neighborhoods with 2 story homes and not much traffic. The center of the city and the beach were both a short walk from where we were staying.

One of the days here, we took a ride out to Playa Rancho Luna and spent the day scuba diving around a ship wreck and relaxing on the beach.

- Yuriy

Palacio de Valle-- easily the nicest hotel in town, built in a Moroccan style. We went to the rooftop for a drink and some live music.