Saturday, August 25, 2007

Separate Christianity from the Culture

The thing I realize is that what you receive in church isn't just Christianity preached. It's also the culture from where it comes from.

Coming from an American denomination, a lot of the preaching style is emotional, high spirited. But it lacks intelligence and thought. There are times when I question the logic in the preachers argument.

The British Christianity that I've observed from the Anglican church is more thoughtful, well thought out. But it lacks a certain pizzazz, spirit, high-tempo.

It may be good for me to visit other churches in my travels like Coptic, Eastern Orthodox. It would be good so that I can contrast what I have readily accepted as Christianity and then realize it was merely cultural practices.

Which leads to another thing to separate it from. The specific church's or preacher's style. What we mistake for Christianity may be the preachers own attitude or mistaken beliefs.

Forgetting Your Laptop Adaptor

Note To Self:

Remember to always pack your power adapter of your laptop first.

You are far less likely to overlook your laptop computer than the power supply.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Time It Takes To Write A Story

A day of writing should extend for 3-4 hours, which is best done in the morning when the writer is rested.

(I write after a good nap).

Pumping out those ergs of energy each day is NOT like writing a term paper or taking a final exam.

(Which is what I thought too. I agree.)

It is like sustaining a dream that easily dissolves and is gone.

Screenwriting requires us to sustain images that are seen in the mind's eye. To sustain this fictive dream, we learn to focus our imagination.

When you feel that your writing is not happening, it may be because your thinking is not sufficiently focused to imagine. Keep at it, for imagining takes time to learn.

You should also appreciate the challenge of plotting a story and not expect to rush through it. When you feel that your brain is dissolving with fatigue, take it as a sign that you are writing the story. So there is no confusion on this point: Working out a feature-length story can easily take several months of gulag labor. That is the nature of this task, so brace for it.

Revisiting Your Story

When you have problems with writing your story, one of the reasons could be that you don't have a clear enough picture of your story and idea.

I'm revisiting my idea and using a framework of ideas from and writing down one paragraph definitions of things like, What is the genre? What is the frame? What is the event? What is the crisis? What is the conflict about? What is the theme?

These are all simple questions to answer. And by answering them I have a clearer understanding because I have broken down my story idea into bite sized and manageable chunks.

The good thing is that I have intuitively answered all these questions when I wrote my synopsis and treatment, so it wasn't too difficult to answer those bite sized questions.

Answering those questions concisely helped though to have a clearer understanding. I think it is good to always go back to answering those questions over and over again.

It applies also to life and work and marriage itself. When you are having problems at work ask yourself, why am I doing what I am doing? Who is my customer? What is the attitude I should have? etc. In marriage: Why did I marry you? How should I love you? What is the goal in our marriage, etc..



Wednesday, August 22, 2007

David Mamet on Writing

You write your first draft about something you choose.

The during the process, you figure out it's about something altogether different.

Your next draft will then be about that altogether different topic--but it too becomes about something different.

This process continues on until you truly understand what you are trying to say and what your story is really about for you, the characters, and the audience.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Seriousness and Importance

If you're serious about something, you will be thinking about that subject almost all the time. You will find every spare time to do what you need to achieve that objective.

If something is important to you, you will do it IMMEDIATELY. You will also find ways to do achieve it despite obstacles and rejections.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Self Development Goals for Rest of 2007

I aim to increase my skills in the following areas:

1. Leadership.
2. Building and Maintaining Relationships.

I think that I've already hit my limit on technical skills that I need to learn, there is always some API to learn, some new technology to learn, and given time I can master them all. Therefore my next area of growth will be in leading and influencing people and in building and maintaining relationships.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Discipline

Writing is a discipline. Much like training for a marathon or learning to dance or learning the guitar. There is no substitute for preparation or continual effort.

Don't worry about your story idea being "not new". In fact most story ideas are as old as time itself. It's just how we tell it, the setting. Boy meets girl stories. Heist movies. Wedding stories. Shakespeare's stories are always rehashed every few years or so.

Yes, audiences always want something fresh. Just like people want to taste something new. But in the end there are only the basic food groups. It's how we cook it.

EPL Predictions (Week of 18/8/07)

I don't gamble. But the winning/losing is the how much I would win/lose if I did on Singapore Pools with the minimum $5 bet per category. It's also to prove why I shouldn't gamble, though I like predicting.

Portsmouth 1 - Bolton 0 (3-1, Lose $25, Win $3.75 = -$21.25)
Birmingham 1 - West Ham 0 (0-1, Lose $20, Win $15.75 = -$4.25)
Fulham 2 - Middlesborough 2 (1-2, Lose $25 Win $0.80 = -$24.20)
Reading 1 - Everton 2 (1-0, Lose $20 Win $15.70 = -$4.30)
Tottenham 1 - Derby 0 (4-0, Lose $25 Win $2 = -$23)
Wigan 1 - Sunderland 3 (3-0, Lose $30)
Newcastle 0 - Aston Villa 2 (0-0, Lose $25 Win $1.50 = -$23.50)
Man City 2 - Man Utd 1 (1-0, Lose $15 Win $32.15 = $17.15)
Blackburn 2 - Arsenal 3 (1-1, Lose $25 Win $1.35 = -$23.65)
Liverpool 1 - Chelsea 2 (1-1, Lose $20 Win $13.65 = -$6.35)

Virtual Total Profit/Loss: -$143.35