...musings of a Scribbling Mother Trucker...

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Posts tagged moi

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When NOT to ask someone to read your material

When I first meet someone and tell him/her that I’m a TV writer, I pretty much hear two responses.

1) “I don’t watch television.”
2) “What shows do you write for?” (go here if you were curious)

Followed by a, “Cool,” or the more common “Oh.”

Every so often, however, I’ll get asked by the stranger/person I’ve just met, “Can you read my ________ ” Go ahead. Fill in that blank. If it can be written, I’ve probably read it: screenplays, bios, spec scripts, essays, etc.

I’m not saying this is a bad thing. In fact, I owe a great deal to all the generous friends and mentors who’ve read and given feedback on my works-in-progress. One of my girlfriends flat-out told me the one-woman-show I was attempting to write was atrocious and that I needed to turn my stories into personal essays. I did, and those essays led to two pilot script deals (ps - THANK YOU).

It’s more the apprehension I have about being asked by a complete stranger to read his or her work. Then again, I’m not going to knock anyone for being daring and bold. Life’s not about playing it safe, right? (no, really, I’m asking…)

I can say, however, there’s at least one instance where you should NEVER ask someone (friend or not) to read your material.

A couple of years ago, a woman I’d just met asked, “So what do you do?” (see above). After I answered, she beamed and said, “I’m a writer, too!” She proceeded to tell me how she’s a songwriter and had a catalog of songs that are perfect for X or Y country artist. She then asked if I’d be willing to look at them.

All I could think was:

a) I know nothing about song writing

b) HOLY F’N *&%, I have a kid!

See, less than 24 hours prior to that, I had given birth. Un. Medicated.

The hubs and I were still staring at/in awe of this new alien being in my arms when the nurse sprang this question on me. Through my fog (and certainty that I’d somehow scarred the kid for life because I hadn’t figured out how to do a %&@* proper latch) I politely told the woman my lack of songwriting knowledge and wished her luck. Undeterred, she said she’d bring me her notebook the next time she came by.

Fortunately for me, she’d left that notebook at home.

So in case you were ever thinking, hey, that writer in that hospital bed is not going anywhere for another day or so, now would be the perfect time for me to give them my stuff.

No. No, it would not.

Why, yes, even though my bottom half is on FIRE and I can’t use the facilities unassisted, I would LOVE to read your latest masterpiece.

Filed under writing mamahood moi the kid

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Once more, with GLEE!

I have a confession to make. I know I’m a little late to the party, but I’ve recently become a Gleek.

Oh, I’d watched an occasional “Glee” episode here and there (Sue Sylvester remaking Vogue? Hi. Larious. A mash up of Singing in the Rain/Umbrella? Genius) but they weren’t enough to make me a fan.

But then, after listening to my friends go on and on and ON about the show (as well as discovering one of the Glee kids is a neighbor but never knowing which one), I decided to see how it all began and viewed the pilot. And then proceeded to watch season one. Every. Single. Episode (darn you, Netflix).

Because of my newfound Gleekdom, all I want to do is belt out a song. Loudly. And not just in the shower. One problem:

I can’t sing.

I guess, technically, I CAN sing, it’s more that I don’t sing… WELL.

Somehow this didn’t stop me from being cast as “Marty” in Grease in high school. For those who don’t know, that character has a solo. Anyone who had to endure my vocal stylings back then, all I can say is… I hope you’ve recovered by now.

Don’t think I’m being hard on myself. I’ve got witnesses. And “magic” microphone.

Magic what?

Basically, it’s everything you need to do karaoke… in a microphone! Not only does it have the songs and lyric book built in, but it has some kind of numerical judging system. In. the. mic.

I first encountered this portable Simon-Cowell-type device a few years ago at a friend’s house. The hubs and I had just started dating, so I was still trying to impress him — and yet, this did not stop me from joining in on the karaoke fun. Clearly, I was suffering from some kind of “crush” delirium.

We all took our turns at the mic. And on a 1-100 point system, my friends registered a 96, a 97 and a 93 (I should’ve known they owned this thing for a reason).

Then I went.

Cringing. Wincing. Grimacing. All happened. Soon, my rating appeared onscreen. The good news: I made it into double digits.

Not one to leave me dangling, the hubs grabbed the mic and passionately belted out a power 80’s ballad. My heart melted — he was taking one for the team (while his skill far exceeds mine, let’s face it, that’s not saying much). Warm fuzzies engulfed me… until his score popped up onscreen: 98.

98. 9-8.

This meant the hubs beat not only me, but also all our friends. These are people who have been paid to sing. ON BROADWAY.

Maybe the mic wasn’t so “magical” after all. Or at least not for me. Which is why I never used it again.

Don’t worry, that hasn’t prevented me from resurrecting my solo career… mainly while I’m changing diapers (hey, it’s not my fault the kid can’t speak) or in the shower (I’m quite popular with the inanimate crowd).

So the next time you accept a ride from me, you may want to think twice. Especially if the radio’s blasting. I just might be getting my Gleek on.

Filed under Glee The Hubs moi my mad skillz

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Aw, cr@%.

NOTE: Probably not the best idea to read this while eating. Just sayin’…

As I listen to the otherworldly sounds emanating from my dog’s stomach (afraid of what will eventually come out), I’m reminded of how, yet, again, my life centers around… waste.

Anyone who’s been a caregiver/parental figure/animal lover, feels my pain. What goes in must come out, and as anyone who’s watched Dr. Oz on Oprah knows, the end result is a barometer of one’s health (it should be an S! — if you’re unaware of this reference, consider yourself lucky).

Because of this, I’ve been known to describe — in detail — the contents collected in the post-dogwalk-baggie. The hubs thinks I’m obsessed. I say I’m observant. There’s a reason one of the most asked questions at the pediatrician’s office revolves around what one finds in a diaper. It’s this output that can help answer burning questions, like:

"Are they eating enough?"
“Do we need to start giving prunes?”
“What on earth did they get into?!”

It’s not a laughing matter. Which is a shame.

Because poop is funny.

Now, I understand many might disagree. But maybe it’s because they’ve never had the opportunity of working with comedy writers. Or, I could just have the mentality of a thirteen year-old boy.

Thanks to my colleagues, I’ve probably seen and heard almost every body function joke out there. I laughed at most of them… okay, all of them. Sometimes to the point of tears.

Farts? I’m ashamed how easily they’ll elicit a titter. Once, on vacation, I heard the man half a hall ahead of me pass gas. I laughed so hard, I couldn’t get off the ground… FOR TEN MINUTES (did I mention my juvenile sense of humor?).

So, yeah, flatulence gets me every time.

Well, except for when a fellow writer, who, sitting with his legs propped up on the table — and, who, perhaps ingested one too many beans at lunch — let one rip… with me in the chair, RIGHT. NEXT. TO. HIM.

I never jumped so far, so fast. Didn’t matter. Neither I, nor the others in the room could outrun it. The inevitable happened: we got consumed by the vapors. GAH.

A few weeks later, I exacted my revenge. Just know that I’m Asian, and I’m not afraid to consume dairy.

So now I keep vigil next to my dog, awaiting her output. I’ve got my serious and observant cap on. But I have to admit, I can’t wait until every creature in this house feels better. When I can laugh at it again. Because in the end, that’s some funny sh*t.

Filed under moi writing