Friday, June 20, 2008


Let’s face it, we are all capable of being more generous, open, and loving however- we aren’t always willing to do it. I have realized today that family matters more than we know. Whenever doubt or worry plague me, I can always count on my sister Ipuna to shed some light my way. Although she is a mother of 3 and a wonderful wife to a husband that goes to school full time- she’s always by my side to take my calls. I am her older sister, but she always seems to make a way to let me know she loves me.

I am not a mother but I've always wanted to be one. I see my sister’s as a great example of what a mother should be. I can’t remember my niece and nephew’s age to save my life. I’ve got so many sister’s with baby’s now. My oldest sister Maria has 3 kids, my second oldest sister has 1 girl, and my second youngest sister has 3 kids. My little sister and I don’t have any children yet! Anyway, Ipuna is an amazing person and I hope everyone has a sister just like mine. I recall people asking us in the past (before she was a wife and mother) if we were best friends? Well, we are! People couldn’t believe that we were sisters because we were so close, we always seemed to be the best of friends. It’s alright to actually get along with siblings.

The one thing that I love to do more than anything is write, as it has become a part of who I am and why I chose to get into the film industry. I called my sister the other day because I simply wanted to discuss the script I just finished. She was breast feeding and told me she had her “Hide-A-Hooter” wrapped around her? How funny is that! Well, that’s what the thing is actually called and it’s exactly that. She was breast feeding in public with her “Hide-A-Hooter” wrapped around to hide her- you know what, and watching her 2 other children (still can’t remember how old they are….Kobi is 7 yr and Xayla is 3 yrs…I think). Without going into what she was doing, she closely paid attention to what I had to say. This blew me away because she could have been irritated and angry but she wasn’t. She genuinely wanted to hear what I had to say and usually I’m the one rambling at the mouth about something.

I know we all deal with our own issues but in the end- family means the most to us all! What happens when we are going through a tough “writer’s block” moment or when we are in between jobs trying to settle in to something? Who is here for us? I have close friends but my sister is one of my most favorite people in my life. She’s just not my sister- she’s an amazing person. She juggles driving, having 3 kids, working full time so that her husband does not have to work and focus only on dental school, and she still makes time to talk to me. My sister Angela is the same way too. She calls me when she can, but she has a child and 3 jobs! Whenever I miss her call- I feel bad because I know that she went out of her way for me.

I am not a mother, I am not a wife…I’m a film student graduate and an artist pursuing my dream in Los Angeles, California. As shallow and cold this place can be, it can be equally rewarding, beautiful, and amazingly welcoming. It’s not easy dealing with L.A. and it’s not easy dealing with all the economical changes. Current changes has included: New Line Cinema and Warner Brother’s Independent closing shop, recovering over the writer’s strike, and now a possible SAG strike. If you include the gas prices, the increase loss of jobs (a part of GM closing down and some of the airline’s as well)- there are many unemployed people looking for work. It can be very discouraging and in these times what has helped me the most is family.

It’s amazing when I can simply call one of my 4 sisters and I know that if they are busy- they will call me back and I have someone to talk to. More importantly, I realize that it’s not always about me- it’s about listening. What is active listening anyway? The key to better communication with ANYONE is active listening, because listening is an ART. When you learn how to truly digest what other's say, you begin to understand that there is more to life than complaining about the drama in our own. So, the next time you are feeling down or begin worrying about the chaos exploding around you- stop and think about what someone else might have going on in their own world. We often don’t realize how easy it is for all of us to forget that there is an entire world out there with situations far worse than our own. More importantly, we have family that love and care for us and friends who would drop everything for us. I have friends that will stop what ever it is they are doing- just to let me know that I have their full, undivided attention.

It’s time for all of us to do the same. If you are dealing with issues in your life and you really need someone to listen to you. Try calling someone: a family member or a friend and ask them how they are doing. Better yet, try listening to them speak and just wait until they are completely done before telling them about your problems. More chances than not, you will realize something about yourself- life is not so bad and that the world does NOT revolve around you. This week- I learned that once again and realized that I have a lot to be thankful for and too many people in my life that I owe my life to.

Monday, June 16, 2008


There are many things that leave me often puzzled in life. One is the drive that some of us have to write. I have read many books giving me advice on what I should and should not do as a writer. I read somewhere that if you want to be a successful screenwriter; we should crank out 10 scripts a year and be single because relationships often fuck up writers. In the long run does anyone have the perfect formula to be a successful anything other than tenacity?

About a year ago I finished a script that I had revised a hundred times or more. I thought I should throw it away because it was my first dark comedy and well, I was told that it should be darker, minus the comedy. Others thought that it was just…NOT FUNNY. Okay, so I realized that maybe I should move on to something else and I gave up on the script. I never claimed to be a comedian, and I also never claimed to know exactly what I was doing. To me the script was not just a dark comedy. It was about everyday life, what I knew and what I understood: fucked up relationships, life, and personal identity. While I know these topics are broad, I’ll refrain from telling you the full synopsis because I’ve learned the hard way- NOT to give out too much about works in the making.

Let’s just say that recently I picked it back up again during a position at a previous job that allowed me to sit for long periods of down time. I decided to fiddle around with it. I didn’t put any pressure on myself. I simply just wrote and I didn’t give myself time to think or worry about the imperfections, sometimes we can over think something, and before we realize it—we lose momentum and are paralyzed. What stops us from moving forward and using what drives us deep inside? What causes this “writer’s block”? Why do we get blocked and why do some of us breeze through what ever it is we’re working on? There is something that I would call “the switch”. Whenever this “switch” is on— it is like the floodgates are open in our mind and suddenly the words pore out like an avalanche—an unexpected overflowing of words. I’ve often felt my fingers unable to keep up with the words and my characters that speak to me in my head. It is like I can hear them and see them and I know what should happen next not because of any beat sheet I’ve followed, but because from my own gut instinct it is what should happen naturally.

This doesn’t always happen to me. Usually I feel conflicted with my own worries and that’s what I’ve found to be the worst stumbling block for any of us. When we are stricken with fear we become immobilized and unable to reach the center of our souls. When we are so stricken by worry and the need to be perfect, we remove the passion and love out of the gift we crave to use. Fear is likened to what nagging is to a relationship. It kills all the fun, joy, love, and passion- saps it and then we wonder what went wrong? Death of inspiration and death of the love affair we had for our: novel, script, poem, song, short story can have many excuses and reasons for why the love faded. When push comes down to shove, if you really look deep within yourself you will see exactly why “the switch” has not turned on for you. You are thinking too much and somewhere along the lines the more you thought about it the more you became afraid. We can think ourselves scared and that often leaves us immobilized. I’m not perfect, you’re not perfect, none of us are perfect. So how about we just let go of our thoughts and for once- STOP THINKING.

One insomniatic night I realized that I couldn’t stand myself. I couldn’t stand the thoughts and the over thinking and the worrying. I wanted so bad to change my situation (job, career, and personal successes) that I was unable do what I loved- WRITE. When I went to write, I often worried if what I’d write next would be good enough? I went over the script so many times that I almost felt like I had nothing left to give. Once you hit the bottom and you give up the notion that what comes out of you must be perfect and you say goodbye to your fears—watch out, because that switch will come on for you. And be aware, that your finger may not be able to keep up with the flood of words pouring out of you. So, if you are stuck: life, relationship, financial troubles, and you feel like it’s all getting in the way of your creativity, or if you simply feel stuck in a “writer’s block/rut”- DON’T GIVE UP! Chances are if you give yourself a break, and realize that you don’t have to produce perfection, or over-thinking about it all—you might just revisit that old piece of work you put up on the shelf years ago. Oddly enough, when you get rid of fear, other things in your life will fall in place too, and we’re not just talking about overcoming writer’s block. Don’t throw away old ideas, I didn’t, and I am very pleased with my completed script and its 101st final revision!