back from the hinterland

Today I feel capable of writing a journal entry.

For the past few weeks I could not envision writing anything for this journal. While College is not taking up my every waking moment, I do have plenty of other tasks to tackle while I’m not at the Huston Film School.

I’ve immersed myself in films. At the moment I’m watching at least one a day, and sometimes two or three. I’m trying to keep up with what’s current in the cinemas, as well as watching everything that’s on my course, and extra films besides that.

I’m saturation-bombing my subconscious with the movie form.

The side-effect is that it has left the part of my brain that writes somewhat paralysed. All desire, interest, and love for writing disappeared. This effect is aided by how drained I am after a long day in College taking classes and watching films.

Thankfully, I seem to be developing a tolerance for the onslaught of movies I’m inflicting upon myself.

September was a difficult month in some ways. I had a lot of changes to deal with, and that always stirs up stuff. But, it is a transitional month – summer morphs into autumn – so I think it naturally follows that people tend to experience some kind of ambivalence during those weeks.

On Sunday I received terrific news. The flash piece I wrote in August, entitled “Who Hears Our Cries in Forgotten Tongues?”, has been accepted for the Winter edition of Flash Me magazine. One of the editors was exceptionally kind in her endorsement of the piece, which was lovely.

Sharp-eyed observers – if there are any of you left – will have noticed that I’m coy about mentioning the titles of stories I’ve written, or the names of the markets to which I’m applying. This is a kind of superstition of mine. In a way, the story isn’t concrete until it has been accepted by a market. It’s in a nascent form, and may continue or change as it goes through the process of being rejected. Anyway, I’m glad to release the name of this story and its market.

Imagine, someone is paying me for a story. My mind boggles.

I’ve had little time to rejoice over this sale. I’d have expected more fireworks, kicking up of my heels, ecstatic phone calls, etc. Instead, I tackled the one re-write that was suggested, and then had to plough back into writing the synopsis of my film, which was due the following morning. It was hard to shift gears, especially since I spent an hour struggling with just one sentence.

Then there was the rush of classes on Monday – including my first pitching session of my film in front of half the class – and during that period the excitement somehow stalled. I haven’t even got around to repeating the news of the sale to people who would like to hear about it.

At this point it’s starting to sink in. I’m also kicking around ideas for short stories now, something I’ve been incapable of doing since I started the course.

I have to hand in a script for a short film, between 3 – 15 minutes long (i.e. as difficult as you want to make it for yourself), for Monday. Luckily, I got an idea for the story during a lecture last week. Now I have to write it.

Now I have to write it.

The story of my life!