It had been penciled in on my calendar for months, ever since we booked the flights for this vacation. Today, a plane left Bangor for Dublin, and I planned to cry because my special someone was booked on that flight.
I’m crying this afternoon, though, because she never got on the flight two weeks ago that was supposed to bring her to me. So, instead of planning a winter wedding for the past two weeks, I’ve been trying to come up with a plan for why I should bother to get out of bed every morning.
One of the only good things that has come out of this miserable period is the fact that I am now 71 pages into a new screenplay.
It has been a long time since I’ve completed a new script. I’ve started several screenplays, over the past few years, but I’ve abandoned them all before they were finished.
Yes, Modern Philosophers, I have serious abandonment issues.
Screenwriting can be extremely frustrating. When people ask me why I don’t write them with the same frequency I once did, I try to explain it like this:
Even if I completed the greatest screenplay ever written, if I can’t get it into the right hands, it will just sit on a shelf and gather dust forever.
I have many screenplays at The House on the Hill that have suffered this fate. I’m not very good at marketing myself, and it sucks to pour my heart and soul into a script only to have all that effort wasted because no one will read it.
I have serious abandonment issues…
I knew that I needed a distraction because otherwise I’d go insane. I’ve isolated myself at The House on the Hill for the past two weeks for a variety of reasons.
The most obvious was that I was in no condition to go out and deal with the rest of the world. I break down in tears without any warning, every thought that enters my head has been about her, and everything I see reminds me of her.
I just didn’t want to break down in public and have that hanging over my head as well.
Since a man can only watch so many Olympics events, and because the Irish flag seemed to pop up no matter which event I was watching, I knew I had to find another way to pass the time.
My working theory was that my body could only produce so many tears, and eventually I’d just go dry and the crying spells would end. Of course, I didn’t factor in that I’d wake up every night from a dream thinking she was in the bed next to me.
It just made sense to pass the time by focusing on a new screenplay. Fortunately, my head is always bubbling with ideas for a new script, so it was just a matter of selecting the right one and forcing myself to write it.
The screenplay I’m writing was at the very vague mental outline stage when I started it. The best things it had going for it was that I had come up with names for all the main characters (picking names can be such a drag!) and it was a dark thriller.
If ever there was a time for me to write something dark, this was it.
Much to my surprise and delight, the pages have been flowing. I do not outline. When I start a script, I might have the first ten pages plotted out if I’m lucky, and a foggy image of what could happen in the first act.
With this screenplay, I had the first two scenes and the basic gist of what the twist was in the second act. I had no idea how to get to the twist or how the story was going to end.
A couple of days in, I ended up completely rewriting those first two scenes, so when you bottom line it, I really had nothing other than the twist that falls around page sixty.
Somehow, though, I’ve managed to get to page 71.
You know how that was possible? Because words never abandon me.
I have serious abandonment issues, Modern Philosophers, and I don’t know what I’d do if words ever abandoned me.
My heart might be broken, Modern Philosophers, but luckily, my creative juices are still flowing.
Please don’t abandon me. Stick around and follow me on Pinterest…