Tag Archives: the neverending story

The Nothing hankers for more …

I can’t sleep.  Per the usual.  Restlessness ringing through my ears.  Had an amazing weekend.  After coming off of an almost crushing week of grad school application and article deadlines.  I just have two more pieces due this week!  Woohoo!

I wonder if there’s anything on my mind worth sharing or if I’m merely indulging in uncomfortable squirmishness via public platform.  Maybe a little of both?  Meh, who knows.  I’ve been working so hard on my book and film stuff that I’ve sort of taken a breather from my spiritual & psychological homework, and been coasting on the healing breakthroughs of other weeks and months.  This can only keep me sane for so long though before The Ache for deepening explodes tingling chimes into my arteries and rushes them down center chest into the entrails of my stomach lining. Thus producing cravings similar to the ones I get to eat and/or be fed at 5:20 in the morning.  Or the craving everyone gets to chug a cold 40 oz bottle of Mickey’s Malt after a long hard 14 days of back to back deadlines …

I think I’ll spend much of this week tending to the call for more … not with booze, food, women, or artwork / careerwork, however, but with the spiritual & psychological work I’ve been avoiding … To heed the ringing restlessness by listening to its needs, which call for me to tend to the deepening of my experience by evolving its point of reference: my perspective.

Unfortunately, outward blessings do little to tame inner The Nothing, which, as of now lies dormant, but once awakened wreaks reckless havoc on my spirit, mind, body … and consequential life.

Only spiritual & psychological maintenance / rigorously honest and thorough work on the dimensional levels of my inward experience will afford me the perspective I need to remain centered, humble, serene, and grateful for my outward experiences. Alright, I’ve rambled on enough.  Time to get into action.

But before I peace out, here are some passages I came across last week that effectively lulled The Nothing into REM for a brief set of savory hours.

They passed a warm palm down its chest, and quelled its ominous hunger pains …

Excerpt from a poem by Stacy Gnail:

‎To have demanded each seam celestial, appealed for planetary pleats. And when you saw the sun a sequin, the moon a button shaped from glass, and in the stars a pattern for a dress … to have stood then at the edge of the wood, heard a hound’s bark and my heart hark in return.

Excerpt from a poem by Troy Urquhart:

It begins.
Simply, or not.
It begins
as a word or a phrase
or a glance.
Or a sentence.
Frost would say
“it begins with a lump
in the throat.”

Excerpt from a poem by Rosa Alcala:

The body’s hidden face

The question, as we sit
by the grill, becomes:
What is the real animal
between us?

A poem by Suheir Hammad:

his approach
to love he said
was that of a farmer
most love like
hunters and like
hunters most kill
what they desire
he tills
soil through toes
nose in the wet
earth he waits
prays to the gods
and slowly harvests
ever thankful

Excerpt from a poem by Emily Dickinson:

Let us discourse – with care –
Powder exists in Charcoal –
Before it exists in Fire –

And finally, by my friend Dare Williams:

Love is a stranger in an open car…

– Img from my fave blog RileyDog


Making A Movie Day 1 — Perfectionism

I’ve been inspired by the NC-17 horror film Julie & Julia to blog for 365 days about the making of my first feature film Dear Dios.

It’ll be like watching Atreyu’s quest to save The Land of Fantasia in The Neverending Story.  Lock yourself in a middle-school attic, throw moth-eaten blankets over your head, and start swiggin’ some popcorn …

For The Journey Begins

Today is Day 1.


I want “making a movie” to be perfect — all of it.  I want this blog post to be perfect, to outline perfectly exactly the plan that is to take place.  To specify — like I would in a grant application — each detailed step of the process.

I’ve come to accept, however, what I refused to admit to myself even 2 weeks ago:

Yes, I’m experienced in making short fiction films and documentaries on shoe string budgets, but I don’t know how BEST to go about pulling off a narrative feature film since I’ve never made one before.

Ego-smashing and 100% true.  So let’s see what the next 364 days teaches me about such an operation.

I am open …

“May we be fearless…from known and unknown…May all the directions be our allies.” – Atharva Veda

I wrote the Dear Dios (originally titled Deity) screenplay in 2007 and have been revising it/polishing it/refining it ever since.  I believe it’s one draft away from Dynamite a.k.a A Shootable Script.

As I explained in previous blogs, I’ve applied to grants and other forms of “Academia”-style support and validation for 3 years to no avail.  No Sundance Fellowship, No Slamdance Screenplay Competition Award, No Gotham Awards, No American Screenwriting Competition Award, No Nicholls Fellowship, Etc. My gut knows I gave those applications all I had so now the time has come to change direction.  Grants, Mentorships, Residencies, Contests — Competitions — have proven a barren fruit tree for Dear Dios, therefore I am done putting energy into them.

I embrace that the machinations of Making A Movie won’t bend to my perfectionistic (controlling fear-based) designs.  Rather, I have to learn to dance with the rhythms of its organic yet unpredictable nature.

1st New Year’s Resolution: Vanessa, don’t apply to grants or residencies or fellowships or contests NO matter HOW badly you want to.  You’re just investing a lot of hard work into excuses.

“Perfectionism leads to Procrastination leads to Paralysis.”

A New Year calls for New Strategies.

Today’s Strategies:

1) Accept that I need to try new avenues, and remain completely open to their lessons — whatever they turn out to be.

2) Research Inspirational and Practically Applicable Books by independent filmmakers whose creative work and professional careers I admire. How did Pedro Almodovar, John Waters, Werner Herzog, David Lynch, Guillermo Del Torro, Christine Vachon, etc. make their movies early in their careers?

3) Order 2 of those books.  One inspirational.  One practically applicable.

“It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen … Stay the course.  When thwarted try again; harder; smarter.  Persevere relentlessly.”  – Coach John Wooden


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