A Strange and Mildly (Very) Frustrating Day – TRUE STORY

 

Frustrated road sign

Thursday, 17th May, 2018.

 

Woke up, checked my phone. Started the day nicely with a rejection email to a job interview. No one likes rejections, but luckily, I wasn’t sure it was for me anyway, so not too bad. Got myself up, dressed, then had to do my Pilates; a daily routine to try and help my ailing back and neck. Some days, I get up and feel a bit better, but oh no, not today. Got up from the yoga mat, and could hardly walk. Left side jammed, with pain down into my butt. The neck problem makes my head sometimes feel like it has a pressure build up, making my hearing go as if under a tunnel. It usually only lasts a few seconds… but of course, today being what it is, it was at least a minute or more.

After clearing my head and back jam, I got washed and dressed and went to make breakfast. I had some lovely grapes in the fridge, so washed them and put them in a bowl. It had a long wooden stem on the bunch, so I took a knife to cut it down to fit the bowl…. Yep, sawed right into my finger. A deep gash. Thankfully, I knew I had a plaster or two, so put one on whilst desperately trying to stop the blood gushing out. Of course it wasn’t enough so I also wrapped a ton of surgical tape round it. Apart from a small amount of seepage, this worked.

To work. Today I had a writing day planned. A collaborative affair with a colleague and dear friend, via Skype. What could possibly go wrong? My set up is this: old Mac Pro with a large (and heavy) screen. With my neck and back problems being an ongoing chronic issue, and sitting in front of a computer being a known ‘no-no’, I had managed to make myself a homemade standing work station for myself; screen on small ornate coffee table, placed on top of my normal table, keyboard on 2 gaffer-taped together box files sitting on top of a small plastic storage box. This had been working brilliantly, and for some weeks. But today?

As I attempted to prepare for my waiting writing collaborator (I was, by this time, running a fair bit behind) my screen had somehow dislodged from its usual position and was tilting a little precariously. On adjusting it, aside from scratching the beautifully finished table, the brightness button, (geniusly positioned underneath the screen) turned itself down. Attempting to awkwardly lift this heavy screen (remember, positioned on the small coffee table to raise it), a wasp flew in and was incessantly buzzing around. I couldn’t see it, but I knew it was near. I told it to f**k off. But it kept buzzing.

After several attempts to reposition the screen back to how it had been for weeks, each time readjusting the brightness – WITH my bloody (actual, not swearing) finger only to have it darken each time I let the screen go (sloooowly), and with the incessant buzzing, possibly adding to the frustration, I decided to give in to the situation and agonisingly lifted the screen off the table (engaging my core muscles first of course… the Pilates taught me something!) Having placed it back down safely, I went to look for another, hopefully more suitable platform to put the screen on. It was at this point that a huge black fly came in too (the wasp still buzzing elsewhere). Fed up and frustrated I told the fly, somewhat louder, to also f**k off, this time with flailing arms, managing to knock a lantern – with a glass inner tube off it’s ‘been there for ages’ hanging position, smashing it to smithereens on my stone tiled floor.

With my cat, thankfully safely outside in the garden (broken glass worries the hell out of me, as there are always so many tiny fragments, which is not a good idea with soft paddy paws around) I took the brush and pan and with a mighty plastic bag, picked up and bagged all the main pieces. Then just to make sure, vacuumed the floor too. (All this with a bad back (and neck) and while my writing partner patiently waiting (via the odd text) for me to be ready…). I then found a new ‘thing’ to put the screen on, and re-set it – and the angle was perfect and the brightness stayed put!

Finally I was ready to commence. I use my MacBook for Skype so a) I can see a full screen on the Mac Pro to work on, and b) because the (now newly repositioned) large screen has no camera… but the MacBook has one built it – same with audio. So all good for Skyping. I logged in… but wait…. WHY WAS THERE NO CAMERA!!! Preferences: ‘There is no camera available’. It’s a fecking MacBook!! <face palm>. FFS!! Enough already!! Only option? Shut down and re-start it…

It’s an old machine and pretty much runs on steam it’s THAT slow. While it rebooted, I made my ‘morning’ coffee to calm me down and did what an old Irish boyfriend once told me when things are all going wrong, turn round one and a half times. It means you are facing the wrong way… but I just walk off and get back to where I actually want to be. It worked!!! I logged on, texted my writing partner that I was ready, and he Skype-called me – with video all happening and all back on track. Yay!

Just as we said our hellos, someone knocked on his door. He came back after dealing with it, then he got a phone call… then the bloke who had been at the door (a gardener) needed to check something with him in the garden, then his girlfriend needed his help on something…. <sigh> Sometimes, things are JUST not meant to be. Needless to say, we didn’t have a very productive writing day, I think we may have had a half an hour to re-cap what it was we had hoped to get on with.

So that was my Thursday. At least the wasp, the fly and Murphy (the one with the sodding law, not the ex-boyfriend) all went away. So I guess there’s always ‘tomorrow’. Right now, I have to go to the chiropractor.

 

Till the next time, I’ll bid you farewell and I hope you all have a smooth-running weekend!

(Written on Thursday, finished on Friday.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Do you worry about your ideas being stolen?

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There are often articles written about how writers are scared someone will steal their ideas. Whilst of course the thought probably crosses every writer’s mind, and I include myself in this, fear of it being stolen is not my biggest concern. What I try not to concern myself with but would be lying if I said it didn’t exist in my psyche, are my thoughts regarding collective consciousness, or as us more commonly said, the ether.

I believe ideas, true ideas, true creativity comes from the source. This is one collective consciousness. Without going into a whole spiritual rant, it is the one place where everything exists. Yes everything. (It’s a concept that has to be explored with an open mind and outside the realms of your ‘normal’ understanding and acceptance of your physical existence. If you want to get your mind blown, and it’s not an area you have explored before, take a dive into some research on the matter, it will transform your perception of life as you know it, Jim!)

So ideas and the source. Even if you don’t totally grasp the true meaning of this, just for the purpose of understanding the reason for this blog, suspend your disbelief and imagine there is such a place. So were such a place to exist, and everything exists in there, you start to understand why no idea is totally original and even to some extent, your take of it is open for anyone to see/experience. Open your mind, or rather close your mind and open your heart (though that sounds far too airy-fairy and ‘feminine’ an expression; words after all, don’t always help, as we are so biased towards our own perception of their meaning) and you will be privy to the source of all creation, including your ability to create from this powerful place!

But of course you must be also therefore mindful of the fact that anyone who is able to access a channel to this place, can also draw from its source of everything, which is why it is quite possible that your idea will have already, or may currently or in the future, be happening. And if you take linear time out of the equation, that blows your perception of originality even more!

Hopefully that also helps explain why perhaps some of you feel like you’re just the vehicle to an idea, (those ideas that just grab you and flow without effort… “I don’t know, it just came to me, no idea where from!”) or even a copycat (“I just don’t feel like I’ve really ‘invented’ this”) because on some level you are, always. But paradoxically, whilst we, like ideas, are all part of this ‘one’ of everything, our own ‘extension’ of it is unique! WE are unique. YOU are unique. No other individual of any form has the exact make up of you. Therefore, everything you do has its own unique stamp, fingerprint, if you like.

So when you are able (open) to be completely creative, whilst yes, the idea is there for anyone to channel into something tangible, accessible, readable, viewable, watchable, listenable, tastable, smellable, touchable, perceptible, it is your creation, your execution of the process – your take on it – making it any of those things for others to experience, and making it something new.

But as mentioned a couple of paragraphs back, someone else may have seen, felt, taken that same idea from the source, and whilst it won’t be exactly as yours, it may be close enough to ‘beat you to it’ as a ‘new’ idea for a film, TV show, stageplay, book, song or whatever. Sadly without a time machine, there’s nothing we can do about that, it is what it is. But you can get some very powerful consolation from this, as I did just recently: 1) you should feel proud that you were able to connect to the very source of creation, 2) if your idea has been made by someone else, know it was good enough an idea to be made by someone else, funded, produced and released!

As for actually stealing your ideas that have perhaps not yet been produced or commercially released, but ‘told’ to others (through word of mouth, consultancy, competitions or other physical distribution) 1) in professional circles, this really doesn’t happen. You will hear many successful writers, producers, and other industry executives say the same, and find very few examples of it having actually happened, 2) in less than pro circles, it’s still very rare that someone will take, and execute your idea as you have, or steal the whole thing (and you do have some protection against actual written form material) but maybe be a little guarded if you know nothing about someone, before handing over your ‘baby’).

Stealing anything from anyone is selfish, hurtful and disconnected (from the feelings of others and the source!) and there are those needy enough to perhaps try, but in the creative arts, it is quite often not that intended act, but simply one of synchronicity.

So try not to worry. Fear blocks creativity for you and the universe itself to show/give you it’s wonders.

So lose the fear and go create! And have a nice day (unless you’ve got any other plans).

Adrienne
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Artwork by Cameron Gray: http://www.parablevisions.com

Filmmakers’ Intentions – Doctor Strange

I made a comment from my Twitter page (@AdrienneAiken) to film director Scott Derrickson (Twitter:@scottderrickson) regarding the current controversy of “Whitewashing in Hollywood”.

@scottderrickson said: Raw anger/hurt from Asian-Americans over Hollywood whitewashing, stereotyping & erasure of Asians in cInema. I am listening and learning.

To which I replied: I’ve said it bfre, whilst deliberate discrimination is wrong, using actors of choice should be just that. is key

My reply seemed to upset some people, and a fairly long dialogue followed, essentially with one individual, who’s comments were then liked and retweeted by others. I did not wish to upset anyone, nor disrespect any nation, creed, group, minority or individual, and if I did, I apologise. My point here, perhaps not conveyed through the limited characters allowed on Twitter, for which I also apologise, is this:

I don’t believe any discrimination, judgement, and certainly any acts of violence against anyone (whether nationality, colour, gender, disability – or species!) is justified. People are people, animals are animals, whatever ‘type’ they are. They/we are here to live our lives in the best way possible, and no one has the right to take that away from us.

When people don’t live their lives very respectfully to others, they are generally reprimanded, and sometimes that may be a necessary action to make them think again.

However, in art – and indeed in the business of art (and this is where the areas get blurred,) decisions are sometimes made, rightly or wrongly, for the good of the project/art/creation itself. My point about intention, is that I am sure, and certainly in the case of the CREATORS, Scott Derrickson, and the writer, C. Robert Cargill, (@Massawyrm) who has also come under attack regarding this, (among others) the creative decisions made regarding casting were with good intention, and NOT to insult, nor deliberately – WITH INTENT – upset any of the aforementioned list of peoples.

I realise too, that Chinese box office receipts and the political situation regarding Tibet were brought into discussions following the accusations, however, I don’t believe, personally, (and this is my personal empathy with creativity and creative souls) that the creatives involved really had that in mind when they set out to make their film wonderful.

A slight aside here:

Taking what’s right or wrong when casting a stage further; the original Marvel character this argument revolves around, The Ancient One – WASN’T FEMALE! In some of the drawings of the original character, from what I’ve seen, HE doesn’t even look Asian! Benedict Cumberbatch, (Dr. Strange) isn’t American. Doctor Watson isn’t female (TV’s Elementary), and Dr. Who transforms into a whole host of different people. I think you get my drift. Films and TV shows are make-believe! Must it be accurate? This is a film about a comic for God’s sake!

And back to the discussion:

Giving all actors, black, white, male, female, straight, gay, Asian, American, Scottish etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. a fair crack of the whip for roles should always be a consideration, but sometimes, someone fits the bill to a director, a casting agent, a producer or whoever, for whatever reason, and that, for the sake of being politically correct, or any other social reasons, conditioning or opinion, shouldn’t be compromised. And that is where my point on  INTENT comes in.

If the INTENTION is to discriminate – or to deliberately leave out ‘types’ of persons (see earlier for what I mean by ‘type’ – I can’t keep typing the list) then that IS discriminating, and that isn’t fair. But if the INTENTION is to cast someone who excites the filmmakers for who they are as an actor – by definition of that actor, NOT by definition of who is left out – then the intention is good, and surely that decision shouldn’t be criticised?

A lot has been said, (on my discussion and indeed by the filmmakers’ statements, interviews etc. themselves) regarding this decision on Doctor Strange (and I know variations on this have been raised on other films/events/awards do etc.), but I defend my point, which itself was made with GOOD INTENTION, that whilst, of course, I am prepared to listen, digest, learn from any information that comes my way, I cannot help but feel in my gut, heart and sensibilities that certainly in this case, the casting was made, without INTENDING to upset, but INTENDING to make a great film, with great actors (who were also perhaps (pure speculation here) ones they knew more about, and who they believed would bring something special to the characters!).

To finish, the Twitter conversation thread I had going on from my comment was resolved with respect on both sides, and with love and care for the future and humanity:

@theLupeXperienc I hear you. We will get it right. We and our children are in this together whether we like it or not lol

@AdrienneAiken Yes, we all need to learn from mistakes & strive to be better human/humane beings. I wish you all the best

All views here are my own – I am not in any way associated with Doctor Strange, Marvel, the studios, the filmmakers or anyone involved in this production. I am just passionate about the art of creativity and make-believe…. plus, I believe unicorns do really exist! So there!