Hi, I'm Greg and I write screenplays and work as a teacher.

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”

… why does that not apply to writing? 

To say that I’m behind on my updates and my writing would be an understatement. I totally failed after those first few days and I have to take complete responsibility. No excuse this time. One could argue that I’m really good in finding excuses or reasons why now (as in any time I could have written in the last few weeks) is or was a bad time to do so. This “talent” extended to pretty much any aspect of my life. There’s an argument to be made that I’m really relaxed at the moment and that’s definitely true but I don’t this that’s treason why I’m not doing things that are good for me and or I really enjoy, at least one I’m actually doing them1

So do I have a plan to change that, not really but I’m going to take it one day at a time. Next weekend we have our big concert. So this is a really bad week to start, and that’s exactly why I’m doing it. I’m going to set asides some time, to work on Alaska. I hope to resume the “one page a day” schedule pretty soon bur for now I’m  starting with 30 minute write sprints. That time frame seems manageable, even during a busy week and The goal is to make writing part of my daily routine again. 

Other than that, life’s pretty good. I have a handle on my diet again, I’m on track to be my best possible self again. School is going great as well. So there’s nothing to complain about besides my lack of drive and #Momentum but I’m working on that. But Now I have to go rehearse for the concert and I also need to get 30 minutes of writing done. 

  1. Starting to write is so much harder than actually writing.

#Momentum – The first five Days

Quick update. I started with the “One Page a day Challenge” on Monday and so far it has been a success. I had to force myself to start and the first two days were a bit difficult but once you’re having a “streak”1 you want to keep it going. I decided to stick with the one-page goal, I could’ve written more on some days but I figured it was a good idea to know how to start the next day so I try to end every session a with a prompt for the next day. I like knowing how to start and once my brain is in writing mode, new ideas keep coming but I like the initial spark from the day before to get me up to speed again. 

I’m quite happy with the pages. They will require a couple of rewrites obviously, the dialogue is too on the nose,  I’m still “finding” the story and I’m probably missing many occasions to develop the theme but getting this first version of the story written is more important than unachievable perfection. First drafts always suck but that’s what rewriting is for. So fingers crossed that I can keep the streak going. The plan is still to have a decent draft by the end of the year.

In other news… not much. The Netflix “Dark Crystal” show is pretty good. Judging by it’s premise, “Carnival Row” should be right up my alley but I had to force myself though the first episode. Not a good sign. Other than that, there haven’t been that many new shows that caught my eye. It’s probably because there are too many to keep track of. 

While I wait for a new must see show, I’ll try to keep writing and I might read a couple of D&D and or Pathfinder 2nd Edition books, speaking of that, Amazon, please hurry I’m so looking forward to compare rules. I obviously looked at the P2 Playtest but comparing books is just so much better than looking at pdfs… and I’m saying this as an DnDBeyond Power User. 🙂

 

  1. I’m on day 4, probably too early to call it a streak but this is my blog so…

#Momentum – Here we go again…again

Yeah, let’s do this again…again.

First things first. I’m back and I’m well, very well actually. I took my time adjusting to normal work life but I can honestly say that I feel exceptionally well. My trip through Ireland had the intended effect. I feel rested, content and ready to conquer the world. Those five weeks really relaxed me in a way I haven’t thought possible. I’m as good as new and ready to embark on the next phase of this hopefully final self-improvement project.

Not sure if this is the second, third or whatever relaunch of #Momentum and I don’t really care. I decided to stop caring about unimportant things and focus on the important stuff. One of the many things I learned or rediscovered in Ireland is the fact, that I am a writer. Yes, I just typed that, and I’ll type it again: “I am a writer!” and I will try to prove that from now on.

Doesn’t matter that I’m an unsuccessful one, doesn’t matter that most of the things I write suck, I’m a writer. I might have to remind myself about that from time to time, but at the end of the day, I like writing and I don’r care what wether I’m successful or not, I love telling stories, I love writing them down, not as much as making them up but nothing is perfect.

#Momentum has been successful in the past but I have to make it permanent. I’m currently listening to the Podcast “Write Along” by David Chen and C. Robert Cargill and I feel energized. I will try to follow the advice from the first episode and set myself a reasonable writing goal. I will probably go for 1 or 2 pages a day, dosen’t sound like much but the idea is to be consistent in achieving your goal.

Another thing I care about is doing a good job teaching my students. Even though I haven’t prepared too many lessons over the summer, I had a good start, my students return a bit more mature from their holidays and I’m cautiously optimistic about my new class. They seem nice and eager to learn so far.

So what are my goals for the immediate future, let’s say December? They can be summed up in three words: Write, work, weight.

Let’s elaborate. As I already mentioned, I’ll try to write one page a day. I might increase that number but for the time being, one page a day, five days a week. That seems achievable. I’m also focusing on work in general. I include teaching and my responsibilities for the “Verbandsmusikfest” in that. I also have to work on my weight again. Stupid me, wha did I let myself go again. Well, long story but I did it once so I know that I can do it again.

This is it for now. I have a lot of work to do.

Ireland – Part 9 – Leaving on a … Ferry

So I’m starting to type this on the Ferry from Belfast to Scottland. Yeah, my adventure in Ireland is over. I think its fitting that I leave by ferry, I got in by plane, used busses and trains and cycled through the countryside.

In the time I spent in Ireland, I probably could’ve done more, seen more but I think I did just the right amount. I can honestly say that I cleared my head. I feel more focused than before the trip, there are so many things I know I have to get back to that I just don’t care about right now, it’s absolutely wonderful.

Ireland is a beautiful country, maybe not the weather but I have to admit that I was really lucky, I caught a bit of rain once or twice, that’s just inconceivable in Ireland. I loved the landscape, the people are just wonderful and the beer was really tasty.

It’s hard to say what my favourite thing was, the Cliffs of Morher and The Giant’s Causeway were both great, I thought the Guiness Storehouse was fun, Teeling was awesome, as was Bushmills… and the Galway Craft Beer Tour…well, that was something. I “enjoyed” the history lesson on Derry, Titanic in Belfast, the Pub Crawls, literary and without … there are just to many things to mention. Let’s just say, that I will definitely come back.

I know that this trip will be over in a week, a week to relax, write some more, I made some progress but I have a about 50 pages to go but I think I know where I’m going.

Ireland – Part 8 – Double Double Toil and Trouble

So, I spent about a month in Ireland now and the last two days in Derry and I am by no means an expert of Irish History but from what I have gathered over the last couple of weeks and especially my time in Derry… I have to admit that I had no idea how interesting and complicated the history of this island is.

Most of the stories I heard make it hard to root for the British in this conflict and I’m having a hard time thinking of facts that could change that. If I had to compare it to something, I’d say that British-Irish relations resemble those of China and Tibet.

Even with all the differences, there are a lot similarities. The Plantation of Ulster for example, how’s that different from what China is doing now, settling Han Chinese in Tibet.

But I digress. I was particularly moved by the accounts of “Bloody Sunday”. It’s one of those things that really make you question humanity. I knew a few things about it but I have to admit that I used to believe some of the British government’s lies about the event. Not anymore. All the victims were innocent, they were murdered. A british government report says so. The end. But years of misinformation and half-truth (lies) don’t go away in a second.

I will probably learn a few more things about this conflict in Belfast but let me just say that it is a conflict that is deeper than religion or nationalism and I hope that we as humans can start to work to overcome conflicts like this everywhere, not just here in Ireland.

I have to admit though, even with BREXIT looming, I think they are going to be fine. There are problems on the horizon, sure, but the Irish will manage it. They will overcome.

Now Entering Free Derry.

Ireland – Part 7 – Crossing Borders

I just arrived in Derry, or Londonderry, not sure about that one yet. So it technically/basically means that my time in Ireland is over. There wasn‘t really a border-crossing, I guess that‘s the point at the moment and helped solving most of the issues. I really enjoyed my time in Ireland and I actually don‘t think that Northern Ireland will be that much different.

I plan to do some historic walking tours and explore the city. Letterkenny was nice. I had two decent meals and good some serious amount of writing done.

I‘m quite pleased with my output and I hope to be able to match, maybe even increase my output. I made some good progress with alaska and I think I finally cracked about 80% of it. There are still some details to work out but I have a good feeling about the changes I made and the pages I wrote. I feel that the story and the characters finally take shape and things I had issues with, finally feel good and natural. I even think that I have an ending that works.

I‘ll probably write a longer wrap-up post about my thoughts about Ireland and about my writing progress, I‘m just a bit too tired right now, so you have to wait for that a bit.

Ireland – Part 6 – Sitting down in Donegal

I can‘t believe I already reached part 6 of this ongoing series and so far these posts almost write themselves. I don‘t really know why I write them, it‘s not that a lot of people are reading them but it does two things.
1. It‘s a good way to reflect and process my vacation.
2. It gets me typing which in turn makes it easier for me to work on the scripts.

I need these posts to get writing, or better put, to get typing. This is not the same kind of writing as screenplay or other forms of fiction. I‘m just writing what comes to my mind, no outline, no plot-points, just writing down whatever comes to my mind.

I just visited Donegal Castle, one of the main attractions here and my timing was perfect to join a guided tour through the castle. Great tour guide and the more I learn about Irish history the more interesting it gets. It‘s not just about the Troubles and the War of Independence, he mostly talked about the Nine Years War and the Plantation of Ulster. Never heard of those two but the English are kinda dicks.

After I left the Castle it started to rain. That seems to be a recurring thing in Ireland but I have to admit, I don‘t mind the weather too much. I rather take a few raindrops here and there over the heatwave that‘s going on back home.

So I‘m sitting in this nice Tea Room right now and the plan is to get some pages down. I got some feedback on my rewrite of act one and I think it‘s getting there. I‘ll probably go over that first and then it‘s probably a good idea to go over the outline again. So, I think I should do that now….

 

Donegal Castle

Ireland – Part 5 – The one about the Hats

Ballina, I hardly new ya.
Well, there‘s this coffee place I know and there‘s Belleek Castle. Those were nice, the rest of the town, let‘s just say it rained only once while I was in Ballina.

Beleek Castle, Ballina.

Staying in the Castle was good though, very fancy, good dinner. The drive to Sligo was ok as well. I‘m getting the hang of this. 60km is ideal for a day. The drive from Galway to Clifden was a bit much and I think its probably best if I cheat, at least a little, between Bushmills and Belfast.

The last leg of the trip, from Belfast to Ayr should work out. It‘s the last bit and I will be rested after a couple of days in Belfast.

Today I took my bike to Strandhill, the beach associated with Sligo. 8km drive, a bit hilly but nice. The beach was windy but I managed to get my feet wet in the atlantic. Sligo itself is quite nice. I think I could have stayed a bit longer here, most places so far have been manageable in two days, Sligo seems like a place to rest a bit longer but who could have known. Tomorrow it‘s off for Donegal.

But now for something completely different, hats. There are a few things I do on holiday. I try to buy coasters and I buy a hat. On my last few trips I‘ve always bought a hat, as a sort of travel companion and souvenir. It started with a cheap Mickey Mouse hat in Disneyland but it has evolved, I have a couple of good hats, the one from Canada is particularly cool. But on this trip, I decided to leave my bike helmet at home and buy a new one. So my lovely green helmet is my „hat“ for this trip.

Stay tuned.

My feet and the Atlantic, Strandhill.

Ireland – Part 4 – SDCC Edition

So, the drive from Westport to Ballina was quite nice. A bit cloudy but dry. The Irish landscape is really interesting, reminds me a bit of our alps, minus the mountains. It‘s green, with lots of hills and many rocks. So far I haven‘t seen that many crop farms, I‘ve seen sheep and peat but the farms are probably in the other part of the island. 

Lough Conn

I stayed in the town of Ballina for one night, nice little Hotel/B&B, later I‘m moving to my other Hotel in town, Belleek Castle. Yes, I‘m staying in a castle. I might post pictures later and detail my impressions. 

But let‘s focus on something else. SDCC. Damn do I miss that place. Yesterday Marvel had their Hall H thing and boy did they deliver. Part of me worries about the omnipresence of Disney/Marvel in our media landscape but there‘s another part of me that just goes wild and excited upon hearing about their new slate. I like that they are trying to diversify and at this point they can probably turn everything into gold but you have to admire their (probably Kevin Feige‘s) balls. „Doctor Strange – Multiverse of Madness“, what the? „Shang-Chi“ with an asian Mandarin and an asian Lead? We knew about the Disney+ shows so I‘ll leave it at that but „Blade“. I loved Blade, at least 1 and 2 but I hope they can deliver on that but I think at the end of the day, I‘m most excited about „Thor: Love & Thunder“. Why? There are a few things to consider there but I‘m just going to be honest, there‘s a real chance that Natalie Portman as Thor could be the most badass thing ever. She was my first celebrity crush and if her as Thor is only half as good as I think it will be, sorry JLaw, a guy never forgets his first love. 

The thing that bugs me the most though is that whole Disney+ thing. I get it, it‘s capitalism. They want me to subscribe which I probably will, I can afford it and everything, but in the long run I‘m not sure if hiding your essential MCU TV, which these shows seem to be, behind a paywall. It reminds me of football, the Champions League for example. Back in the day, those games were special, there weren‘t that many and they got shown of free-tv. If you were a boy (or girl) into football you could watch that, wether your parents were into it or not. Today there‘s too much football, but most of in on pay-tv. So if your dad doesn‘t pay for sky, you can‘t watch the games and I think that has hurt football fandom among children a bit. I might be wrong but I just hope that a similar thing doesn‘t happen to the movies I love.