It Would Be Easy–Some Introspection

It would be easy to blame exhaustion from work for your lack of motivation in your creative pursuits.

Vegging out on the couch watching entire seasons of past-hit televisions shows doesn’t take any effort at all–so when the Netflix red loading screen is calling your name, you haven’t been one to turn it down. Working a 50+ hour work week chasing two very active children around Los Angeles is enough to make even the most stalwart human ready for a month-long nap

It would be easy to throw in the towel after being handed a big fat bag of rejection. 

What is the artist’s life if not one rife with rejection. Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab [FINAL ROUND] turned out to be a “no” for this year. And a sketch team audition didn’t garner a call-back. News of both happened on the same day within mere hours of each other. That’s enough to make anyone want to bury their head in the sand.

It would be easy to shut down the computer, close the notebook, and let Writer’s Block have control of your creative process. 

When that blank page is staring you in the face–when you make excuses not to work because your favorite pen is out of ink and it’ll be a while before you can get back to the store–when you tell yourself that everything you’ve ever written has been absolute junk so why bother? Most people wouldn’t bother–most people don’t bother.

It would be easy to constantly compare yourself to others–to find your shortcomings in other’s successes. 

When you’ve surrounded yourself with other aspiring industry nerds–when you’re inundated with the flood of media glorifying those that have done the things that you want to do— one can’t help but lose perspective. That tiny little devil on your shoulder whispers tantalizingly in your ear: “If you give up now…I’ll buy you some cake to enjoy while you drink your cocktail of coconut rum and the tears of your unaccomplished goals”. Who could resist such an offer?

It would be easy to pick a more secure/safe/certain path. 

You’re really good at working in retail. You’ve helped raise so many babies over the years, surely, if you just found a guy [not even Mr. Right, but Mr. That’ll-Do], you’d make some awesome little offspring to drive to soccer and ballet and whatever other activity you chose to live vicariously through them. Surely.

It would be easy to pack up your car and move back east. 

Out of LA, back to where you won’t spend a majority of your wages on rent. Back to a place where you can live the rest of your days trudging to the movie theatre wondering what would have been–yelling at the actors on the silver screen “I COULD’VE DONE THAT BETTER”. Where a solid lead ball will drop into the pit of your stomach every time you think about how you surrendered because it was too “hard” and because you were too “tired”.

But you’ve never been the one to do that which was EASY.

Someone tells you “No” and “Can’t” and you immediately spring into action–it’s not simply that you must prove yourself to THEM–you must prove yourself to…well…yourself. You wrote a spec script and got an actively working sitcom writer (for your most favorite show on the entire planet, no less) to give you some valuable feedback. While he gave you a ton of notes to work on specifics, he also gave you some words of encouragement: “You clearly know what you’re doing in terms of joke writing…You really get the characters voices!…You know how a 3 act story is structured, etc.”. You aren’t shooting blanks, at least, so keep aiming at the target.

You came to Los Angeles with a goal–an astronomical goal–but you chose it for yourself. The only one that’ll be disappointed in your failure to achieve these completely fabricated life missions is YOU. If you want it, go get it. So get to work!

[And for God’s sake, go take a shower.]

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If Kickstarter Was Easy, Everyone Would Do It.

Hey y’all, it’s been a while.

How are you?

Are your azaleas blooming nicely?

You get that raise you wanted?

AWESOME. Glad I asked.

SO, before I continue on with my awesome Hawaiian adventure, I’m going to take a minute to insert another kind of adventure into the conversation.

CROWDFUNDING.

this is sparta kickstarter 2

And, forreal guys, this adventure is way more unpredictable than the other.

I’m helping my friend market her campaign to get her children’s picture book published.

You should definitely. Check. It. Out.

NewTeal

Here is the link to her project. 

Watch the video.

Get your heart warmed.

Then pledge.

It’s pretty much the cutest video with one of the most wonderful ideas to introduce kids to a different kind of family structure. I’m going to be pumping her project all over the internet because I truly believe in what she’s trying to accomplish.

BUT I figured I’d share a few insights into the journey, just in case you’re interested in creating a similar project:

  1. Kickstarter is “ALL OR NOTHING”: if this project doesn’t reach it’s goal, no one is charged. So there shouldn’t be any reason for people to hesitate on backing a project. Even if she doesn’t reach her goal, pledging to the project is like giving an internet “high five” and you lose nothing.
  2. The “Green Bar” effect: Kickstarter, and other sites like it, used to be about people backing projects that they believe in. Now, people aren’t inclined to donate unless they know it’s a “sure thing”, or until the little green ‘progress bar’ is filled in. Why this is? I have no idea. But most people don’t “jump on the bandwagon” until the wagon is pulling out of the corral. I think it’s because they think they’ll be charged WHEN they pledge, which we (the educated few) know is incorrect. See item #1 for further clarification.
    • That’s why it’s crucial that we reach out to friends and family (yes, you are my blogging familia!) to donate first to get the snowball effect going. We’re working on that, now.
  3. Finding one’s audience ain’t easy: I’ve sent out many emails on this project’s behalf and even helped my buddy, Angela, write her press release. Getting media onboard has been TOUGH. Many nanny agencies and a few nanny blogs have jumped on board, though, which is incredibly nice to see. But we’re still searching for those backers.

So, now I’m asking all of you in cyberspace: when you’ve watched the video and made your pledge, will you contact me and let me know if you have any media outlets out there willing to give this project some face time?

Maybe your uncle’s 3rd cousin works at your local news station.

Or maybe my blog is a ‘guilty pleasure’ read for someone who works for the New York Times.

Or maybe you have your own blog and would be willing to spread the word (if so, let me know your email address in the comments and I’ll be sure to give you more information).

Either way, holla at me! This project only has 28 more days of life, and my gal pal needs some pledges NOW.

(HERE IS THE LINK TO THE PROJECT ONE MORE TIME. CLICK IT!)

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I’m Ready to be a Housewife

I am ready to leave the American workforce.

My two jobs, 7 days a week are finally getting to me, and this single gal is ready to throw in the towel.

I am growing weary of the first dates and the stress of the constant “will I ever get married” mantra scrolling through my brain [to be fair, it only flutters in a couple of times a month now, but for drama’s sake, we’ll say it happens every hour].

Let’s get this girl settled in a homestead, already!

Disclaimer: I know being a homemaker and a stay at home mom is hard work––I do. No. Really, I do! I was a full-time, live in nanny of three children under 5 in a former life. That’s like being a SAHM, minus the conjugal duties and the ability to make decisions about how the children should be raised (which is tough when you’re a primary caregiver).

So, I’ll add that I don’t JUST want to get hitched–I want to marry a billionaire. Because I think rich housewives have got it made. Screw the bachelor’s degree I am still paying off, I’m ready to be a woman of leisure And here’s how I’d live my life:

  1. After ensuring that my three full-time housekeepers have everything they need to scrub my house from top to bottom, I’ll pour myself a mimosa–giving orders takes a lot out of you. Don’t worry, I’m compensating them well above industry standard because I know how hard they’ll have to work to clean my mansion modeled after Windsor Castle.
  2. I’ll be the primary care-giver for my children because I won’t lose my maternal instinct and love for kids just because I’ve got piles and piles of filthy cash. However, I will have an army of nannies “on-call” just in case I need to go to the bathroom in peace (something almost impossible to do while watching an ankle biter) and eat a meal without someone asking me if they can have some. Beyond that, I’m homeschooling and raising my kids to be geniuses. I’ll spend a fortune on tutors to train my kids in Math (the hard kind), Classic and Modern Languages, Art, and Sudoku (because I am really bad at that). I’ll sip on champagne while they work. 
  3. Which car will I drive (Lamborghini or Maserati?) to take a luxuriant trip to the public library? I know, not everyone fantasizes about spending time among stacks of moldy books, but I can’t imagine that gaining money will automatically change my abhorrence of shopping and spas. I’ll treat myself to a glass of wine in those hallowed halls. Everyone’s gotta “Treat Yo’Self” once in a while.
  4. Speaking of “Treat Yo’Self”, I will have every television, one per room, set to loop episodes of the hit NBC show, Parks and Recreation. That show is my Reason for Life and if it ever gets cancelled…I don’t even want to think about it. Hopefully, it doesn’t get cancelled before I’m rich. When I have briefcases full of greenbacks, I will pay NBC to continue airing it indefinitely. And by “indefinitely” I mean FOR ALL ETERNITY.
  5. I’d give half of my wealth to charity–but only for the tax write-off. That’s just standard protocol for people that have stupid amounts of money. But, HEY, I’m giving to charity! I’ll toast them with a glass of port (because apparently, my mental imagery of the incredibly wealthy also coincides with people who have issues with alcohol).
  6. I’d buy a fleet of horses, but never ride them, as I’m terrified of getting thrown (even though I did take a couple of lessons in western riding–never fully conquered that fear). It’s just a known fact that rich people have an impressive collection of animals and such. Maybe I’ll trade in the horses for white siberian tigers. Well, maybe not, we saw how that worked out for Siegfried and Roy.

What’s that, you ask? What about my husband? Well, obviously, he’d be my love slave and give me whatever I want, and always agree with me, and not care that I don’t like to shave and never lost the ‘baby weight’. Because as long as I’m in this fantasy world, I’m goin’ all out.

A perfect example of a "Desperate Housewife" | Photo Credit: Mummy-Mayhem.com

A perfect example of a “Desperate Housewife” | Photo Credit: Mummy-Mayhem.com

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Poop.

Let’s talk about poop.

Or maybe we shouldn’t.

Because I am quickly realizing that very few of my buds in my LA friend circle care to talk about such a subject. Why? Because it’s seen as pretty crude to discuss bodily functions among single, life-loving, 20 somethings–that’s why.

But if you’re a mom, or you’re a nanny, or a personal assistant moonlighting as a nanny, than this is unfortunately a topic with which you are unabashedly familiar.

As I was sitting with a few friends post-workday and debriefing about some on-the-job-challenges, I came up to bat. One person had been lamenting the excuses their high school students had given them about poor test grades and another had commented about how the fitting for her designer label’s winter pieces hadn’t gone smoothly.

My turn:

“Well, today, little Julie (name changed) pooped her underwear and sat in it before I could get to her.”

I didn’t notice it, but this was when everyone’s jaws simultaneously dropped to the floor. I powered on, ignorant to the silence that signaled their amazement at my base musings.

“And what’s worse,” I add with relish, “is that it wasn’t at all solid. It was that weird in-between texture that makes it really hard to wipe up without using half a role of toilet paper and a pack of Kandoo wipes!”

Yeah. This photo was just chillin' on the internet...

Yeah. This photo was just chillin’ on the internet…

I paused here waiting for a chorus of “Preach, sister!” and “I hate it when that happens” to greet the closing of my speech.

None came.

Instead, I received a kind but firm, “Gross, nobody wants to talk about that! Keep it to yourself!”

My bad.

Sometimes, I feel like if I had gotten married and popped out a few kids right after college, I would’ve been just fine. In fact, I would’ve been the most social mom at the Pre-K coffee pot regailing my mom-friends with tales of failed sleep training, teeth breaking (not what you’d think, if you’ve never had kids), and of COURSE bowel movements.

There is definitely a generational gap with me and the non-parent crowd as I’ve been taking care of kids for over 10 years…TEN YEARS (I wish the keyboard had an echo effect). I am up-to-date on all of the latest gizmos and gadgets, I’m primed on the latest pureed organic food pouch brands, and I can change a wet diaper in less than 30 seconds (granted, there has to be little to no squirming from the ankle-biter for my best time to show).

But then I have days where I’m with other people’s children and I know I need to be motherless for at least another 5-10 years. These days usually include a romp with a child brimming with life, passion, a proclivity toward biting, tantrums, and carrying a sign that says “I am a Typical-Terrible-Two’s Poster Child. Outta MY WAY.”

And then I resist the urge to converse about feces, gulp my mimosa, and be glad that the only butt I have to wipe at night is my own.