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BY morton

03/01 Direct Link

February analysis: moderately better.

Finances: up. (Chipped away debt. Savings account replenished of "borrowed"funds. Still have that 10K to pay off.)

Cleaning: down. (Back to unsanitary conditions, albeit still better than in December. Cleaning cards forgotten.)

Excercise: same. (Sloth-like. Actually jogged voluntarily once.)

Eating: down. (horrific. Developed a serious rice-cake problem. )

Grooming: par for the course.

Accordion: up ever-so slightly. (actually didn't fuck up as extraordinarily as usually at the valentine's day show)

Writing: up slightly. (100words.com completed, albeit with much cheating. Did mainly use it for Picasso brainstorming. Zero trips to writer's room)

What else is left?
03/02 Direct Link

Should we go back to the Picasso brainstorming thing? I'd rather not, because I'm getting to the tough part, where I actually have to start with the story - imagine. Let me go check where we left off....

We just outlined it:

1) shelter runs out of money
2) raising money
3) money raised
4) discover eminent domain
5) futile protest
6) find homes for all the dogs
7) Eliza comes up with a plan
8) Plan foiled
9) Eliza enlists classmates
10) Plan executed
11) Shelter saved.


OR

8) Eliza kidnapped
9) Picasso & kids save her
10) shelter saved
03/03 Direct Link

Holy shit! I can't believe I never thought of that cheat before! "Hmm... let me check where we left off... Ah, yes! I see... here's where we left off [copy] [paste entire entry] [modify slightly]

But I should do some work at least for one entry. Let's review that outline.

It's kind of sparse on the tail end. I need to look at that 9 act structure thing again.

The hardest part is going to be making it NOT be a total rip off of Cassandra Cat. Which reminds me that I still have to send Voitech his birthday gift.
03/04 Direct Link

let's review the 9 act structure.

#0) character backstory- a long brewing conflict
#1) Opening image
#2) Something bad happens in first 4 minutes - usually done by Bad-Guy, perhaps off-screen (15 min, character development)
#2.5) Good-Guy is introduced doing Good-Guy stuff
#3) Protag heading towards collision
#4) Protag pushed or pulled into no turning back
#5) achieving wrong goal (i.e Bad-Guy is only henchman)
#6) low point - realizes actual goal
#7) ticking clock and new plan in near-real-time - help from friends - bumps
#8) 5 minutes to restore the world to normal and roll credits.


That was actually pretty helpful.
03/05 Direct Link

According to the 9 act structure, the first thing to do is develop "long brewing conflict.-

Now, we don't have a long brewing conflict per se, but we do have a long brewing issue, which is Eliza barking and Picasso's snout. That's definitely backstory, and like it, so we're keeping it.

Next, the opening image, which I'm going to consider as the shot after the title after the backstory.

How about a P.O.V. shot of someone approaching a pup who's scavenging through some trash? As the shadow approaches, the pup trembles with fear. Cut to Picasso, snoozing, wakes up intuitively.
03/06 Direct Link

So this is what we've got thus far:

Eliza's birth, Picasso's birth - that works because it introduces the main characters. What's next? I can't remember how that sequence went exactly.

Eliza's birth
Picasso's birth
Picasso not being adopted
Eliza being shunned at lunch

Um.....

Anyway, after the POV shot, we pan down from a Picasso print to a CU on Picasso's name tag and then to his face which registers something. He pricks up his ears and gets up.

He exits the shelter, listens to something imperceptible

ALRIGHT!! I JUST REMEMBERED I DON'T HAVE TO COME TO WORK TOMORROW!!! WOO-HOO!!!
03/07 Direct Link

I'm surprised at the lack of info in my February entries. I thought they were thorough. Instead they're vague: "oh, this happens and then maybe this, and now I'll talk about rice cakes.-

Maybe it was in all my January entries which are gone now because I didn't finish the month's entries nor keep them on my computer somewhere.

Moving along...

Picasso finds the pup, picks him up like a mother cat would and races back to the shelter. The pups eyes are goggling and his tongue is bouncing up and down in time with his ears and Picasso's gallop.
03/08 Direct Link

So Picasso just found the injured stray pup.

He (Picasso) races into the shelter and busts into the operating room (which has swinging doors apparently.) Suzanne begins to reprimand him for coming into the surgery area but upon seeing the injured pup takes the little guy and rushes him to... off somewhere where he and the doctor fix him up.

Is this where we show them running out of supplies? Or that they're short staffed? We have to plant some info here.

Anyway, we end it with Suzanne somehow non-cheesily praising Picasso and telling him she wishes he could talk.
03/09 Direct Link

I'm bored and don't feel like doing any work.

Alright lack of discipline girl, go do some work. Umm.... Right after I IM Shelley.

Okay, I'm AIM'ing with Shelley. And I just downed a peanut butter sandwich on Wonder Bread that probably had - I shit you not - about 6 tablespoons of peanut butter on it. I just can't figure out why I can't lose this weight. Hmmmm....

I'm too distracted to do anymore work on Picasso today. I should have done more real work, I mean, work work. Capital W work. But I'm just.. lazy. Blame it on my uterus.
03/10 Direct Link

So... back to Picasso. We've done #0 - #2 (character backstory, opening image, bad guy doing something bad within first 4 minutes.)

Now the good guy is supposed to do something good. I guess technically that would be Eliza. Maybe I should just get her into the shelter right away. Among the craziness of post-surgery, Mom brings Eliza in and introduces her to Suzanne, and this is when we get the goods on what's going on in Eliza's life right now.

Aside, she reminds Suzanne of the situation. In the background, Eliza wanders among the pups, not saying anything. Everykid.
03/11 Direct Link

Crap, I can't remember how we decided (we?) to introduce the first instance of Eliza talking with dogs. I remember the situation—she takes Picasso for a walk, casually does it, but I forgot how we introduced it.

Should we have the humans sound like Charlie Brown's teacher whenever it's a scene from a dog's P.O.V.? Picasso is being walked by this girl and all of a sudden she's speaking his language?

Yeah, but when we're on her what do we see/hear? We have to make it obvious that she's intelligible to dogs, but to the human ear is barking.
03/12 Direct Link

We were working on the question of how to handle Eliza's speaking dog for the first time. She's got to be intelligible to Picasso, but obviously barking from an objective p.o.v. She could start out a la Charlie Brown's teacher and dissolve into discernible dog, we need to know she's barking first.

Here's an idea. She barks a very obvious response. I wish I had a better example, really I do, but you know that David Lee Roth song where he talks to his guitar? And from the guitar's "intonation"you know what he's saying. Plus, the responses are evident.
03/13 Direct Link

I'm going to the writer's room tonight even though I feel like I'm going to pass out, I'm so fatigued. I may even go again this weekend some time. God bless Susan Hwang for getting me there. It's much easier to go with someone else, though the limitless supply of free M&M's will seriously challenge any molecule of self-discipline I have.

I'm beginning to wonder if I will ever actually lose weight. I'm not sure I won't look like this for the rest of my life. Unless, of course, I gain even more weight. Then I'll look different, I suppose.
03/14 Direct Link

Last we wrote, we were working on the issue of how to first introduce Eliza's ability to speak dog. We decided on the David Lee Roth method. (See March 12th entry.)

So what happens next? Man, now I know why I don't drink enough water. I feel like I've spent more time peeing than working.

Okay, seriously, back to Picasso. So she speaks dog—what does she talk about? I mean, without being to expository. It's going to be the usual "you speak dog! Oh wow!"and her saying, yeah, since I was born, blah blah... how to avoid that?
03/15 Direct Link

Today I'm up to-date. Actually doing the 15th on the 15th, as I wait to snipe the Flash 5 for sale on Ebay.

Egads. Should I be spending money on this? Another frigging time-waster? Will I even use it? Shouldn't I be writing rather than screwing around making Paul Lincoln a website? Who has this kind of time?

And after every orchestra rehearsal I vow to spend my extra time practicing accordion.

And after every workout I vow to spend my extra time running.

And after every cleaning I vow to spend my extra time cleaning.

What am I thinking?
03/16 Direct Link
...was born in Worcester, MA and became the youngest graduate of Harvard at the age of four. One month before graduation, she left Cambridge to join a traveling group of rogue proctologists in Latvia. At sixteen she put the difficulties she encountered on the road her first novel "The Grapes of Wrath"published under the pseudonym "John Steinbeck." With the success of her first novel, she became involved in the film industry where, after a modest success with her film "Titanic,"she released what is widely considered to be the best film in the history of the world, "Goose Down.-
03/17 Direct Link

Currently she lives in Manhattan with General Patton and Iris. She will also be the first smoker to run the North Pole marathon.

Well, that *was* going to be my bio, but apparently it is not funny. I thought that it would be funny, but the above sentence was the only funny part so I've been told (though in nicer words than that.) See the entry for the 16th for the rest of the (unfunny) bio.

This is a great boon to the ego of an aspiring comedy writer. Combined with canceling this weekend's writing sessions, I feel fucking great.
03/18 Direct Link

Went to the zoo with the kids yesterday and saw my totem animal: the Sloth.

Case in point: I now have to write one thousand words because of a backlog of ten frigging days. How many of these entries do you think will be productive writing and how many do you think will consist of bitching and moaning about how lame I am. Which, as the hordes of self-help books will tell you repeatedly, is A Bad Thing.

To that end, let us try to be positive, and as long-winded and florid as possible to get this over with quick.
03/19 Direct Link

Keeping in mind the abovementioned general pooh-pooh-ing of self-defeatism manifest as "negativity,"and in keeping with the also abovementioned advice to be as long winded as possible, I shall endeavor to Stay Positive in as many words as possible.

Still, I'm compelled to list the shit I've done and haven't done. Have done includes: binge on ice cream and chocolate sauce on Sunday night, eaten about three-quarters of a bag of Goldfish CrackersÃÆ'¤, and basically done carb-loading worthy of a 100K runner.

Have not includes: run, swim, write, read, or web-design. But I did knit for an hour or so.
03/20 Direct Link
Alright, it's pretty obvious that what I'm doing here is blowing off the considerably more difficult task of working on Picasso by listing all the Crap I've Done and Not Done here on my vacation.

Here, as Art Now's manuscript lies to the left of me. Which I've yet to read, which is of course on my To-Do list.

Okay, so let's make a schedule. What have we got left to do.

Oh shit. My Achilles Heel. Law and Fucking Order. Syndicated Smack. Cable Crack. Televised Toot. Video Vodka. Running out of alliteratives.

Why is this shit so damn addictive?
03/21 Direct Link

I now see one of the main obstacles of getting work done here-- Law and Order. Criminal Intent, Special Victims Unit or Standard, it matters not. Evidenced by the fact that as soon as I saw it scrolling by on the TV Guide channel I immediately ceased typing and floated to the couch. And here I am watching it even though I can barely hear anything because of the noise from a very excited niece and nephew.

Particularly annoying about Law and Order are three things which we shall address in the many subsequent entries I still have to do.
03/22 Direct Link

Part Two in a Four Part Series: "My Law and Order Issues-.

From what I've observed of human behavior, people are very interested indeed in all things sordid. Witness the traffic jams resulting from nothing more than rubberneckers scanning for blood at the scene of an accident.

So it seems more than likely that if someone as twitch-addled as Vincent D'Onofrio came around to the average person's door, asking if the next-door-neighbor has been known to carve backward passages from the Bible into the chest of previous landlords, you'd think they'd show some interest. But on L&O, they never do.
03/23 Direct Link

Part Three in a Four Part Series: "My Law and Order Issues-:

The "Quips-. A piano bar musician gets shot: "Guess he didn't play someone's request." A card shark is found with his throat cut: "Guess someone called his bluff." A stripper is bound, mutilated and deposited in a laundromat dryer: "Guess she didn't make it through the spin cycle-.

Jerry Orbach- as sweet a guy as he was- was particularly egregious in this matter, although I suppose that's no fault of his own. And it can't be blamed on any particular writer , because it's rampant throughout the franchise.
03/24 Direct Link

Well I just figured out how to look at the last bunch of entries, and I've finished my four part series on Law and Order, so I guess I have no excuses for delaying Picasso related work any longer.

Though I do have to say that I did jog today, and just ate a grapefruit. Yes, it's entirely true that the grapefruit was consumed only subsequent to 3 handfuls of Cape Cod potato chips, but it intention is there. Right??

So I was listening, (as usual) to the Clash and had this great, great idea. (well, I think it‘s great).
03/25 Direct Link

I really have to restrain myself from grabbing the clicker and searching for an episode of Law and Order, which is undoubtedly airing somewhere on the dial.

Okay, this great idea-- sounds silly, but Tommy Gun is a great "call-to-arms"montage song. Lyrics like "You can be a hero in an age of none"work pretty well, and the ending is great for all the shelter animals en route to a showdown with the mastermind.

But perhaps bits like "standing there in Palestine lighting the fuse"might be too much for a movie about puppies and kitties and little girls?
03/26 Direct Link

Okay, just checked my last Picasso-related entry and it was all the way back on the 14th -- fifteen entries ago. From then on it's all bullshit. Some crapping about how lame I am, a rant about writing my bio for the MSO website and a four-part treatise on Law and Order.

But, that last Picasso-related entry addressed the issue of how to introduce the fact that Eliza can speak dog. We had suggested the David Lee Roth Method, but hadn't really flushed it out.

What is a question that has an obvious answer with an intonation everyone immediately recognizes?
03/27 Direct Link

...still working on the "Introducing Eliza Speaking Dog to Picasso"problem.

Actually, this brings up an even larger problem. Do we hear the dogs speak in the presence of humans other than Eliza? Answering "no"creates a scenario like Calvin & Hobbes, where it's clear who can and cannot understand Dog. That might work.

Answering "yes"makes it a situation like "Cats and Dogs"-- where the animals simply don't talk around humans.

But we've got more of a Calvin & Hobbes situation here-- one human being that can understand a language nobody else can, and no one believes her.
03/28 Direct Link

Amazing how quickly kids can go from hysterically crying to maniacally laughing. Just when I was expecting Tyler's fit to end with his head spinning about and a priest being called, Chuck lifts him up and runs around, threatening to throw him in the pool, and suddenly the kid is back to Howdy Doody on snort.

Nonetheless, I've still got this Eliza Speaking Dog issue. So we've decided that any time there's a human in the scene other than Eliza, only barks will be heard. If she's in the scene with only animals, only English will be heard.
03/29 Direct Link

Still at the Intro-To-Eliza-Speaking-Dog-to-Picasso-For-The-First-Time issue. We were trying to come up with questions or remarks that have obvious answers, which you'd understand in any language.

Some Ideas are:

[achoo] "God Bless You.
"Pepper?" "Yes, Please."(or "No, thank you.-)
"What time is it?"
"Watch out for that"(then point to something)
"Where's the restroom?"

Ugh, but the problem is that not only does Picasso have to suddenly understand her, we have to understand that we're hearing English but she's really speaking Dog.

Our first idea was to dissolve from barking to English, but I don't know if that would work.
03/30 Direct Link

Okay, this is my first entry in a long time, only because I haven't had Microsoft word since my computer died. Killed by me, I verily admit. And I think that is a fine excuse. Sort of. I actually had Microsoft word at work, but I like to think that I was working way too hard to be able to do 100 words at work. Har har.

So here I am trying to make up for what I suppose is 10 days. I do have to say I did get to the writer's room. And this is what I achieved....
03/31 Direct Link

Holy sheep shit—I didn't realize that I hadn't even finished March. God, I thought I was doing so well. Well, I had caught up on vacation, then I let everything slide just because I didn't have the proper "word count"software on my computer and Lord knows, it's much too difficult to actually count the words on my frigging computer. Let's see... how many words is that?

And for fuck's sake, how do I get rid for that fucking happy little paper clip on the bottom left of my computer screen. Hey! Happy little fucking paper clip!!!! Piss off!