Thursday, January 31, 2013

Letter to the BC Government
Dear BC Government:
I think this plan is wonderful. It will hopefully give many young people an opportunity to grow up and appreciate the arts so that film and every other career in the "arts" will not only be appreciated but will be supported in the future. I think that it's about time that the children got some funding for extracurricular activities that went outside of sports teams. Sports are great fun, but have been very highly focused on in the past, to the exclusion of all else.
I think it's admirable how you have planned to focus on the future of the arts in British Columbia and put so much time and attention toward these children. I think it's wonderful that you plan internships for them so that they can get real job experience and will better be able to break into the industry. Most of all I think it's generous of you to prepare so many for a career in the United States. Will you be contacting LA to make the process smoother for them to become American citizens? That would be truly kind of you as the majority of your plan surrounds them and their education.
The rest of us who are too old for high school or who have been in the industry for years and have no reason to go back to university, hope that there will be many internships in Toronto and LA for you to send students to while they are pursuing a career in the arts.
The amalgamation of the arts into one group is brilliant of course, it will really allow the arts to be centralized into one place. Hopefully that will make it so that the government will never forget about us again while focusing on other industries who yell louder that their jobs are being cut, or that their pay is not enough. I wonder when the last time the film industry went on strike because their wages weren't enough, could you tell me when that happened last? I would genuinely like to know when we last complained about our declining wages.
Thank you again for the $24 Million dollars that you are promising to the development of young people in the arts. And for the $1 Million toward the research and development of the rest of the community. Do you know how long that research and development and Marketing will take? I would really like to be working again right now, on anything, but so far it looks like it's all into competition. It's funny, the only work I've had lately has costed me money, but that's alright. That's pretty much how it is here. You only get experience if you're willing to work for free so maybe those internships for students really will be a nice bridging gap. Do you think that I could get in to one of those internships or will they be age dictated?
Emily Carr is a wonderful school for the arts, it's very kind of you to extend your attention to them. I hope that the new building will make their entrance requirements a little easier, but then I'm reluctant to wish that considering that the small class sizes are far more desirable for teaching the arts, they're one of the few schools who try to keep them small too, so that they don't' get overwhelmed by students.
I wonder where all the young people who benefit from the increased funding into the arts programs are going to go when they graduate. I wonder how high the competition will be or how many jobs will be taken by free internships from those who already work for free just to gain experience. I wonder if there will even be a possibility for internships by the time they get there or if five years will be too late. I wonder too if there are any truly creative thinking individuals in jobs outside of the "arts" or if people still don't understand what creative people are worth. So far a concentration on the 'youth' of BC seems to be the fall back state for a great many things the government doesn't want to deal with.
I am worried that you are only focusing on the children because you do not know how to help the Artistic community in any concrete terms. I am worried that you throw money at our young people, while looking at the crowd and yelling that you are doing such a wonderful thing to distract them from the lack of results that you are coming up with in terms of what to do for those who are already in the arts. I am worried that your grand schemes will come to nothing but pretty words and wasted dollars in the long run.
Where are the strategies to help the arts community who are not "young" anymore? What should we who are already experienced or who have already finished school do to work in our chosen fields? How should we proceed if we are not young but we are just starting out in the industry? What are we to do as the jobs that should be there decline? The idea of jobs in BC seems to be a hot issue right now, but instead of coming up with a plan to build more jobs for the economy this plan seems to focus on building more people for the jobs that aren't there. Why is that?
Why don't we have plans for the future that start with what we already have in the industry? Why do we always have to go back to the 'young' people and assume that they are our future? What about the people who have helped to build the industry who are no longer young? What about those who are already passed "youth" and who are struggling to find their place in the industry?
These plans ARE wonderful for our young people, and when I decide to become a parent, I think I will be even more pleased about the subtle shift in our focus to include the arts as a much bigger area of study in the schools and after school programs that you are helping with this move. That is of course, IF I can afford to have a child or two because I am able to find work. That is IF I stay here in BC because there IS work. That is IF I can find even a regular job outside of my chosen industry.
It's a good start, this plan of yours. It has good things in it. The only thing I don't understand is how you can side-step the outcry of so many, and tell them that they don't matter. How can you take a cry of people wanting to work and say that you are dealing with it only to offer something that will just create more competition in an already too crowded industry with not enough jobs to go around?
Isn't that a little counter productive?
A Concerned Citizen.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Beg, Borrow and Steal

Want to know what you should be begging, borrowing and stealing?  Time.  For yourself, for your writing.  I've come to realize in the last couple weeks that it doesn't matter how much time you think you have, it doesn't matter how little time you think you have either.  If you're serious about this craft and about finishing anything that requires a little patience, time is one thing you need to have to devote toward it and it's never about finding time either.

I've realized that "finding" time is a misnomer.  If all you do is look for time, ironically you'll probably never find it.  You'll always have something more important to do and something that will take priority over your writing or you just won't feel like it because that time could be equally useful in resting or in doing something else that you really want to do because you don't really feel like writing.  Often it's because it's just one more thing in your day to do, just one more thing to keep you tired that's all too easy to shove off to one side and let it go for a day.  There's always "tomorrow" right?  When you're writing your first novels especially this can be hard because you're not likely to have a deadline or an agent waiting for your book and keeping you to task to get it in on time.

This is a problem even when you have loads of time.  In fact, it might be more of a problem when you have lots of time because your sense of "i can do it later" is somewhat true.  Trite sayings like "never put off what you can do today until tomorrow" are painfully true in this situation.  If you want to write the words need to get on the page.  If you're never "finding" enough time to write, re-evaluate whether you really want to be writing or not.  If you don't, go do somethign you're rather do and don't waste your time, but if you do, make that decision and do it.

A good author friend of mine (who will know who she is when she reads this I expect), has set a goal for herself to write 500 words every day.  It's not a lot, but when you're dealing with two kids in the 2-3 year range that suddenly becomes a mammoth task, and yet more times than not she manages to make time to write it.  I suggested to another author friend of mine (who will also probably know who she is) to try just 100 words a day because she was feeling particularly burdened with time and with the writing.  She was doing something I'm terrible for doing, she looked for time but couldn't find it and then spent a lot of time feeling guilty that she couldn't do it.  The small word goal and a determination has been enough to see her in front of the computer and she's already written two chapters up from not writing at all!

I'm the worst culprit for spending too much time "looking" for time (and yes, it's active so you can waste time while you're looking).  I've written two novels (that will likely never see the light of day because they're not up to my standards and I don't think they can be PUT up to my standards, they're terrible), and I'm working on my third.  The biggest differences come in my ability to time manage.  The first two novels I wrote I wrote the biggest chunks of them in under three weeks.  Partly due to a deadline and partly due to not being able to find "inspiration" or "time" or whatever other excuse I could think of.  I found reasons to put it off and procrastinate and even as I was doing it I felt guilty because I KNEW I could spend all that time writing instead.  If I had spent as much time writing as I had trying to find time to write I probably could have written six novels already!  (and believe me with the number of "idea's" folders sitting next to me that I've come up with over the course of the novel I'm writing right now?  It wouldn't be hard!)

When I wrote the first two I didn't have enough time, but it was a priority, I wanted to get it done and I had to get it done and instead of putting it off I begged, borrowed, stole whatever moment I could to get it done and it worked.  Now, writing my third, I have too much time, not enough to fill my space and perversely it's even harder to make myself sit down and type anything, let alone my novel.  It's too easy to feel discouraged and then guilty about the time I've 'looked for' and then ended up wasting.  If you're serious about it, make a decision, set a small goal that will be really, really easy to reach and set it for every day, don't  miss a day and the thing you're working on will get done.  Maybe not as fast as you would like, but it will get there and that's part of the beauty of doing it.

There's an ending to the cliche I mentioned earlier and the whole thing put together makes me smile and think that's exactly what I've been doing with all my "free" time.  Never put off until tomorrow the things that you can do today, because today is just yesterday's tomorrow.  It's good advice when you hear the whole thing, and it's all about making time to do things, even when you maybe don't feel like it.  But don't kill yourself with guilt either, just recognize why you didn't do it and if you are still serious about writing, change it.  It's always going to be one step at a time, regardless of what you're doing and writers need to remember that too.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Chocolate Ganache

Life has been crazy lately, trying to get everything done and keep writing. While I have had the inclination to write I haven't had the time.  I have however been chosen for a small acting role for a short film that I am extremely excited about. I will probably give more details when I'm done and have permission to do so. (Assuming they give me permission!)

But one of the things that is really taking up a lot of my time is chocolate and the quest for a ganache without cream. It seems next to impossible to find and I can feel another book idea creeping up on me as I search for it. I expect the next romance I write may very well be centered around chocolate, mystery and love. It is a fun idea for me.

There is actually a ganache that you can do without cream called a butter ganache, but I haven't had the courage to try it yet. Or the time for that matter. It's funny though how things in your everyday life can give you such inspiration for future ideas. Cut yourself off from noticing life around you and expect writer's block. Pay attention and live life and suddenly your access to materials for future novels grows. If you're stuck with your writing live a little more life then go back to it. After all, whatever story you might be writing about, in the end you're still writing about life. (And yes, writing about death, the undead or the afterLIFE still counts in my book.)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Uninspired week.

I can't think of anything to post this week.  I'm feeling unfocused and ill, though I've been trying to think of something to post.  I know I had several ideas earlier in the week but I got distracted and now I can't find the note paper I'd been looking for to write it down.  Sooooo, that means this week's post is kind of weak.

The fact that the phrase "this week's post is kind of weak" makes me giggle the way it does is a suggestion that I'm probably getting sick.  Either that or I'm just really off right now.  That being said, with the rush and bustle of Christmas, writing and the blog haven't been high on my mind.  It's amazing how this time of year makes everything else slip away, especially when you're still (or still choosing to) make your own Christmas presents.  They may be easy on the wallet but boy do they take a LOT of time to do.

I almost called this post "the indulgence of Chocolate" since I've been spending a lot of time making chocolates.  I'm trying to think of some unusual flavors that will make good chocolates, like paprika lime or curry cashew maybe.  Right now I make tea-chocolates, they're kind of my thing and I've made them several years in a row so I'm getting pretty good at it.  The attempted study of them is much more difficult than you'd thing.  Half the time you get the same information regarding the "chocolate makers" which involves the beans when most people are actually Chocolatiers, not chocolate makers.  Funny huh?  All the chocolatier books? Yeah, they're ridiculously expensive...

I love chocolate, and it fits in with the romance genre in so many ways.  Men enjoy it too of course, but hey, it's so associated and aimed at women... anyway, it's a fun hobby and eventually maybe I'll move on to making and selling them.  They're pretty good so far if I do say so myself. :D  Hopefully next week I'll be able to concentrate on something other than... well... chocolate.