Yeah, I haven't been in touch as much. November has been pure travel, teaching, vacation and intense business. Quite scrambled. Just flew in from Phoenix and Los Angeles last night. But what I want you to know is:
1) Today we're doing a book signing today with Blair Underwood at Spelman College. Juggling hats!
2) Had possibly the best business meeting of my life last Wednesday with the producer of my new screenplay. I've had a ton of success writing for television, and novels...but movies not so much. Oh, I was creative consultant on "The Secret of NIMH" and created the "bible" for the "Sakura Ninja" series of Swedish ninja movies starring Chuck Conners (The Rifleman! No kidding) but that's not enough, if you know what I mean. I can't wait to share more about what this project is...hopefully soon! What I'll say is that it is more personal to me than anything I've ever written, and has an autobiographical aspect that has never existed in my work before. It is sexy, funny, PACKED with action, and deals with issues so close to my heart that I don't dare let myself get too caught up in the possibilitites.
Two days ago I drove from L.A. to Phoenix and collapsed into my hotel bed. The next morning, I had a breakfast meeting with Amara Charles prior to hitting the airport. We discussed the upcoming "Erotic Intelligence" course, and how excited we were to be editing the transcript and making this available. The most fabulous thing about it is how boggled each of us were by what the other presented. My attitude toward the two-hour presentation we made earlier this month (to a VERY enthusiastic audience!) was that I didn't care about coming to "total agreement" on every aspect prior to the presentation. In fact, I considered that the "rough patches" simply represented the different ways we thought about the same issue--sex, power, beauty, male and female energies and attitudes. The lovely thing is that I agreed with everything she said...but about 50% of what she said I would never have thought of saying. Even more, as I went through hte transcript, I kept thinking: "gee, I don't remember her saying that...I don't remember her saying THAT..."
And realized what had happened. Simply put, every time she said something that hit hard, that seemed to represent a deep and important truth, my mind began to consider the implications, and in that consideration, missed the next thing she was saying. Wow.
More on that thought later. But at one point we discussed the film project, and she remarked that she knew I was deliberately preventing myself from getting too excited. That is the truth. The implications for my life and career are simply too large for me to take it too seriously. "People who get excited get depressed," I said. "And I can't allow that." That doesn't mean I don't enjoy the positive events in my life. Anyone who knows me knows that would be nonsense. It is that I try to maintain perspective, and not get too caught up in it all.
November has been great, just spectacular. I've been to Oregon, Washington, California, Arizona and Florida. The Orycon SF convention the Tantric Meetup in Phoenix, the Miami Book Fair, and Loscon. Saw my daughter kick butt in "Avenue Q" (she plays...Gary Coleman! If you don't know the play, that won't make sense. But yep, THAT Gary Coleman), created a new project, set up to make my original Tai Chi video available (stay tuned!) and much more. It will take me days to sort through it all, and I'll share as soon as I can.
But meantime, here are three tips for you:
1) In rewriting, keep in mind the last major image in your writing. This is the "meaning" of your piece, and everything else you do has to support this image. Every word and action has to increase this emotional charge, or else it is pointless.
2) Plan on a slow, steady "uptick" in your day to day emotional responses. Keep a sense of humor about news, either positive or negative. Don't let the external world control your mood. A steady positive evolution is vastly superior to swings between depression and exultation. The "Five Minute Miracle" approach to maintaining calm (five sixty second "breathing breaks" during the day) is perfect for this.
3) The most important element of your physical training program is joint mobility. Five minutes of "joint rotation" exercise, slowly and carefully warming up your body in the following order: neck, shoulders, elbows, wrists, fingers, trunk, hips, knees, and ankles--is a fabulous beginning or close to any day. This was a life-saver on the road!
I'll be back at it tomorrow. Tons to talk about, and sorry I haven't been in touch.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Posted by Steven Barnes at 5:06 AM