End Of The Year: 2016 Wrap Up Post

Another year comes to a close. 2016 threw quite a few punches my way that I wasn’t expecting, both professionally and personally. Some of the good, like my dotsons Willow & Chase, and some not so great.


Me, Tay with Willow & Chase

My sister and I with Willow & Chase on Christmas 2016 ^_^

As it were, like many other people, I’ll be teetering into 2017 with one eye open and not with a complete full-stop attitude. While I did not check off as many book goals or writing goal that I originally planned to this year, I am very happy with what I have accomplished.

DIversity Reading Challenges Banner Stiched 2016 for blog posts
Hard to say how I did with these two. I originally pledged a  4th Shelf: 19-24 books level on my post here,  with a list of 10 subsidiaries books with specific guidelines.  I was only able to read 5 categories out of those 10.  These are just a few of those:
diverse-two diversity-one

Continue reading

I Don’t Feel Like Writing Because….(A Writers Write Prompt)

I Don’t Feel Like Writing Because… (A Writers Write Prompt)

Because I don’t want you to see me fumble for my words when I (try to) describe something I love or find totally and completely awesome and I just want you to fall in love as much as I have.

Because no matter how many times I practice it, memorize it or look it up, I will always spell the word “*insert any word ever* “ wrong.

Because I have a love/hate relationship with commas, the listing comma in particular, but I think anyone could understand that.

Because for some odd reason my brain always likes to randomly include “Subsequently” in every other paragraph I write when discussing something, even though it never fits.

Because as much as I love/know about writing, story and characters, there are a million and one things I still want and need to learn, so I don’t often want to drudge on and on with my opinion when I could be spending my time learning something new. (Might be the worst one)

Because I prefer to hand-write my thoughts before typing them up—this prompt not excluded—but when your notes are three pages long (front and back) well…

Because 99% of writing is intimate, regardless of what I am writing, these words are an extension of my mind, my thoughts, my perspective, my opinions, and me. What if someone doesn’t like what I have to say? What if they find my short stories and advice naïvely tedious, cumbersome, and subsequently lame?

Because sharing it with anyone has and always will be painstakingly nerve racking, but I am always happy when I do share.


Thanks so much for reading. 🙂

Until next time,


Screenwriting Tip #1: Before The Fade In – Know The Screenplay Ingredients

Script photo for effect & example bj GJ

This is just for effect because obviously it would be INT. House – Living room – Day if this were a real slugline (but ignore my rambles and read on)

Hiya, Guys:

Today, I kind of wanted to tell you a story about the little-engine-that-could, rather the little screenwriter-engine-that-could. (And don’t worry it’ll be brief). As some of you might know, and for those who don’t, more than 50% of writing a screenplay or a script comes from prepping and research.  A rough guesstimate would be about 10-15% format and 20-30% is editing/rewriting.

These rules do not just apply for screenwriters or script writers of course. It applies to all writers and our ability to take our ideas and make them real by creating the characters and their worlds. Here’s a food-for-thought question for you scripty-writers: Do you know what the main ingredients in a screenplay are? I mean really know.

It does not have a DP (Director of Photography) or a director calling shots. It does not have an editor choosing how to transition from one scene to another. It doesn’t have an inside voice speaking to the audience telling them how a character is feeling before an action or giving information about a character’s past while the movies in process.

No. The real ingredients of a screenplay are: setting, plot/objective goal, tone, three-dimensional characters, dialogue, active description, slug lines, and a message.  All these parts will prove to be  a bit difficult to tackle at one point or another, but the easiest way to start this journey is to begin with the characters. The characters of the script are the ones who will carry the story the moment you pick up your pen or turn on your laptop.

SW blog post photo for effect & example by GJ

Rarely, are the produced scripts we find on the inter-web  the actual original drafts of the scripts pre-production. They always have extra mumbo jumbo formats and information about the project after production, i.e. camera movement, camera placement, cuts/transitions etc.

I would also like to point out here that when I say screenplays, I mean films. The line between Television and Film has an almost translucent divide. They are very different mediums, but can be very similar. (But I’ll get to that another time.)

SW blog post example photo by GJ

Your characters will carry the story, from beginning to end , on their backs over and over and over again with each edit and revision during the writing process.

The characters are also the ones who will carry your story after you’ve (registered it with WGA,  or copyright it with the Copyright office, always an important thing to check off when you’ve completed your final draft) decided to submit it to a contest or a writing competition.

However, fair warning, if the concept or plot of the script should ever leave the characters behind or take on a mind of its own, then the entire script will suffer. To give a clearer picture: imagine a film rumor you heard about for a production in process or a teaser/trailer you’ve seen for a movie that looks awesome and you were dying to see.

Then, when you were finally able to see the movie all the excitement and buzzing expectations you had suddenly disappear. Or as you’re watching the movie things don’t really seem to fit. I was reviewing a script a recently that had a really interesting folklorist/ mythology concept, but when I sat down to actually give notes, I realized that it was hard to find things to discuss or comment on the story.

In fact, the first thing I remembered thinking was that it was forgettable. It’s kind of like a domino effect: you tip one and the all fall down. Or a Janga effect: you take out the wrong piece and the entire tower falls down, which is not the the actual point of the game (go figure). Or duck-duck-goose when you… Wait, no I don’t think that works here.

Script photo for effect & example for post#2 by GJ

The point is: it’s important to remember that the characters are the foundation of the script. From them we get amazing stories, with exciting plot points, continuous action, edge of your seat tension and side splitting dialogue.  And who doesn’t love side-splitting dialogue?

No one wants to be forgettable, so  you should always try to keep making your characters and their stories memorable in the foreground of your mind when sketching out the outline of your screenplay. Regardless of the genre, indie, action/thriller, drama, comedy or horror,  create strong characters that can carry your work before you fade in.

As always, thank you so much for reading. I hope this post was helpful, or at the very least insightful. ^__^

Until next time,


SW Fadeout 2 for effect and example by GJ