Blogger Aid Day

There’s a large effort underway in the blogosphere today at a ‘bloggerthon’ to donate to charities which will aid the victims of Hurricane Katrina. I plan to donate to the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army today.

I know John Rogers is matching funds, so you might want to reference him if you do it (if you want to make him feel the pinch). Or, check with your employer to see if they do matching contributions.

I have family in Mississippi who escaped the flooding. Others aren’t so lucky. They are in my thoughts and prayers.

UPDATE: Actually, the official ‘Blogger Relief Day’ is tomorrow. I’ll be registering my website with the effort. Stay tuned for details tomorrow. Feel free to donate today of course. 🙂

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This post was written by Shawna on August 31, 2005



If I’m not so talkative, you know what it means — I’m writing. I have to finish my House spec to turn in on Wednesday, so I’m furiously writing this week. I have 14 pages to go and big chunks to rewrite before I turn in a semi-not-crappy draft to my instructor.

Then I get a day to rest. I’ll talk to you Thursday.

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This post was written by Shawna on August 29, 2005


You say it’s your birthday…

So, now I’m 31. Yesterday was my birthday.

I didn’t make a big deal of it because, frankly, it isn’t a big deal. I also wanted to see how many of my friends remembered.

Everyone I count as a ‘close friend’ forgot or ignored. Close family remembered. Even a couple of acquaintances remembered. Friends of my sister remembered. It’s the close friends forgetting that I’m bummed about, of course. I don’t even know why it gnaws at me…it’s just a effing birthday, right?

The problem is that when you’re a kid (most people anyway, you weirdos who didn’t celebrate birthdays need not apply) everyone makes a big deal of your “special day”. You get used to people treating you special on your birthday. As you get older, you hit certain milestones that get celebrated wildly — 18 and 21, for example tend to be great birthdays. 25 was even a good one. You might even get a good party out of some friends for a non-significant year.

I have an extra twist to my birthday: my sister was born on my 3rd birthday. That’s right, it’s ‘her birthday too.’ When we were kids, this was a nightmare for my parents. Imagine trying to hold birthday parties and try to make it special for each one. I sympathize with parents who have twins and have to deal with this issue. It was also sometimes torture for us. I can’t tell you how many times we were cheated with a gift that was to *both* of us. What about my goddamn special day?? And she was thinking the same thing…

Now we’re older and we handle the whole birthday thing much better. In fact, we embrace it. We buy ourselves cake, take a trip, whatever. It was really nice for a group of her friends who have adopted me too to share OUR birthday with us. Still, I was sad that MY friends were MIA.

I always feel bad mentioning it’s my birthday too, like I’m soliciting for birthday wishes. The person you’ve told feels obligated to say ‘happy birthday’ and you feel crappy that you had to tell someone. Except when free food is involved. But then, I don’t want a crowd of wait staff singing to me in another language while a large sombrero is placed on my head. Not my idea of fun, really.

So, don’t feel obligated to wish me happy birthday. I’m only mentioning it because yesterday is on my mind and I needed to spew about it so I can get on with my day.

Today is someone else’s birthday, somewhere. If you know anyone who has a birthday, even if you haven’t talked to them in years, wish them happy birthday. They’ll be glad you did and you’ll feel better too.

You don’t know if anyone else has taken the time to do it. And you could make that day special for them again.

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This post was written by Shawna on August 25, 2005


Dog Days

I always have mixed feelings about August.

On the one hand, I love it, it means school is around the corner (though I haven’t been in the backpack and pencil buying set for quite some time). It also means my birthday is near. But, despite all of that, it is still August. Hot, sticky August. There’s a reason very little happens in this month. It’s so hot no one wants to move. That Iraqi Constitution? I don’t blame them for moving slow — IT’S AUGUST! In fact, it’s a great excuse. The Pope forgot to bless people? It’s August! Another pretty girl is missing? It’s August! Can’t get your screenplay written? You guessed it, it’s August!

I dreamt about a dog that had 5 heads last night. It’s August.

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This post was written by Shawna on August 22, 2005


Back from Vegas

No, I didn’t win any money, so ‘Plan B’ (i.e. Keep the Day Job) is still in effect. ‘Plan A’, otherwise known as ‘Win the Lotto and/or Sell Spec to quit said Day Job’ is on hold for another day.

Otherwise, it was a good weekend and a good break. Sorry to miss the Screenblogger’s Shindig, but hopefully no one had a swordfight. I’d hate to miss a good swordfight.

I’ve got some stuff to blog about this week, so stay tuned. More to come on Monday.

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This post was written by Shawna on August 21, 2005


AB 777

One of my least favorite California politicians has drafted an interesting bill that has bipartisan support. The bill, AB 777 would provide tax breaks to keep film production in California. (See recent posts at The Artful Writer for more on runaway production).

Legislators are hoping to push the vote on this bill quickly, so it can land on the Governor’s desk before the September recess.

I’ll keep an eye on this…

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This post was written by Shawna on August 19, 2005


A moment of silence…

For Joe Ranft. Not only was he a brilliant story guy at Pixar, but he actually breathed life into some of those digital creations by voicing them…like Heimlich the caterpillar here.

He died in a car crash yesterday. He was 45.

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This post was written by Shawna on August 17, 2005


What, you were expecting a party?

I’m having a crappy week. The only salvation is going to Vegas this weekend.

I was hoping to hear about a potential job — it’s disappeared without a microbe left behind to identify it ever existed.

A family member had some recent health issues. No, I’m not sayin’ who or what.

Another family member is getting screwed royally at work.

I’m still doing two jobs at work, no end in sight.

I’m way behind on my House spec. And I can’t make it all work in my head.

So yeah, I’m pretty quiet. I’ll come back when I’m not so pissy.

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This post was written by Shawna on August 16, 2005



And not a moment too soon, I might add. What were you people drinking while I was gone??

So, had a fabulous time driving around the state of Cal-ee-forn-ee-ah (best pronounced as Arnold does). Visited the giant Sequoias, Yosemite, San Jose, some garlicky Gilroy town (passed through on way to San Jose…smelled VERY BAD in Gilroy) and then down the PCH. Visited Hearst Castle yesterday and the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, both fascinating tours.

I live in a beautiful state. Pity I don’t get out of the city much. What was strange was the feeling of relief being back in Los Angeles today. Maybe it’s just the feeling when you get home from a trip, like ‘I missed my bed’ or other comforts of your home, but I was genuinely happy to be back. Happy to leave, happy to be back, the most I could hope for.

So, I didn’t write a thing all weekend, and I feel recharged, ready to tackle the rest of my spec script and then dive into my next feature script. I’m looking forward to what I hope are some very productive days and weeks ahead.

Oh, and as for the film I wish I had seen in a theater, my vote goes to “House of Flying Daggers”. Some may criticize how many films I see in theaters, but there are very few films out there I *wish* I had seen in a theater. My runner-up was “Dirty Pretty Things” just because when I read the screenplay I was dying to see it and I had to wait until it came out on DVD by that time.

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This post was written by Shawna on August 9, 2005


Open Thread

I’m out of town until Tuesday, so I’ll see you all then — FINALLY getting out of L.A. to see some of the state that is not covered with smog.

Until then, I’ll leave an open thread…what film did you discover on DVD/video that you wish you had seen in the theater on first run? (and you had the opportunity to see in the theater — rediscovering a 1940’s film doesn’t count, unless you were a moviegoer at that time).

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This post was written by Shawna on August 4, 2005