About Movies and Writing and Friends

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Back at the turn of the century, at my first teaching post which was a Benedictine Abbey and Academy in Illinois, I introduced a movie buff club where students and I watched a film once a month on a Thursday evening. I would have 12-30, seventeen-year-olds crammed in the “movie room” on campus. We watched a wide range of classics from Apocalypse Now to A Rebel Without a Cause. Thrice our club went to Chicago for field trips. At the Esquire cinema on Oak Street, we experienced Kill Bill: Vol 2 and Being John Malkovich. Once we went to the Gene Siskel Film Center and saw Pollock followed by a conversation with actor Ed Harris. Our club lasted for six years until I relocated to Virginia. Today, I know that blogging about movies is a similar experience except we are all adults here with sophisticated experiences and opinions about the industry.

When I wrote my first novel, I had ideal writing conditions. I lived alone with no mate or roommates. My children had grown and pursued their own adventures far from me. I lived in a condo at a four season resort in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.  My computer screen waited each day to chip away at the historical fiction manuscript. I was enrolled and working on my MFA in Creative Writing at Goddard College, Vermont. Professors mentored and edited. Deadlines ruled my life in the low residency program. So, I taught students during the day, and the rest of my time was devoted to exercising, reading, and writing. I have to confess it was one of the loneliest chapters of my life. But, under those circumstances, I had no distractions. I was focused, and after a three year gestation period, out of me came the finished product, The Knife with the Ivory Handle. It was a bittersweet time, gone now.

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I moved to Arizona. I have been told by writing experts that you are supposed to have a blog to promote your book and market yourself. I found maintaining a blog is time consuming and rewarding with instant gratification. For three and a half years, I have been writing about films, photography, writing, and aspects of culture. In that time, I’ve researched and have written one third of the second manuscript, Inside the Gold Plated Pistol. Ugh! 

This chapter of my life is quite different. I’m surrounded by people I love claiming my time. I have two jobs, and in my spare time, I watch movies and read books and try to create interesting posts. There seems to be no time for writing the novel and now my head feels pregnant and overdue. In truth, I’m irritable and depressed. I know the reason why. I’m not doing enough physically, and I’m irregular with my creative writing. I appreciate all our many conversations. I’ll be back, but I don’t know when. I have too many stories that need to come out before I’m too old to remember them. Cheers, my friends.

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33 thoughts on “About Movies and Writing and Friends

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  1. I am going to miss the Lucky 13 club, as well as the photos of Arizona, and the great debates to be found on your blog. I wish you well, Cindy, and whisper a fond ‘Adieu.’
    It seems we always lose the best ones…
    Pete. x

  2. I am sad. I’m terribly sad. At the same time I completely understand. You obviously have strong creative muscles that need flexing. And if it is weighing you down you are probably doing the right thing by focusing on it, on the physical, and on what makes you happy. JUST MAKE SURE you do what you said – “I’ll be back”.

  3. The blogosphere will miss you Cindy. But I completely understand what you mean. Sometimes we just need to step away and do other things. I did for a while last year, when a dear friend of mine passed away suddenly in November. The words seemed like concrete blocks in my mind, nothing seemed fun anymore. Chatting to people on here and my friends on Twitter helped a lot, but I needed that break away to get my head together and do other things. I wish you well Cindy, take care, and above all, be happy & creative 🙂

  4. Let’s end then with two movie quotes. What film does this come from?…..”Live long and prosper.”
    And which film does this almost come from?……..”You’ll be back.”

    Cheers, John xx

  5. Congrats on taking that bold step. The creative process can be incredibly challenging, but infinitely rewarding. I found your words here inspiring. I have a similar story regarding writing and expression. It itches at us. I think you have to scratch. I’m looking forward to what’s next for you. I’ll keep my eye out for updates. I think you understand the medium well and encourage you to write fiction, or even a screenplay. I’m an editor, who’d rather write than read. The internet is great for expression and the community, but nothing is as satisfying as birthing the thoughts of a pregnant mind. I’m with ya 😉 Good luck, Cindy.

  6. We all have “downers” when we feel pressure and question the relevance of what we are doing. I know you like your chosen life path and it will all sort itself out. Keep dreaming and the stories will flow. Exercise of course is a must to keep it all in balance.

  7. I admire your openness and willingness to create space for what you feel is necessary. I am excited for the many wonderful things your heart and mind will “give birth” to in this time!

    Wishing you all of the very best, Cindy ❤

  8. I’m sorry to see you go, Cindy! 😦 But I totally understand the need to. 🙂 I’ve had to cut back quite a bit recently too – the blog was interfering with my life too much. It’s very hard to get the right balance! Enjoy your time focusing on other things – we’ll all still be here if/when you choose to come back. 🙂

    1. That’s a fine compliment! I don’t write a lot of reviews like others I admire–I think Dave Crew, Tom, Stu, are the best film reviewers out there. I haven’t read enough of yours to quantify you, Lloyd, but you are certainly one of my favorite bloggers! You’ve got heart and enthusiasm and you are smart and –gee, what’s there not to like? It’s only a matter of time before you have a huge following. 😉

  9. “I know the reason why. I’m not doing enough physically, and I’m irregular with my creative writing.”

    BOY does that sound familiar!!! Hope to see you soon Cindy, good luck with the book! Since I started a blog I’ve found that I’ve had less time for my book also. A novel is a big task to undertake. wishing you the best of luck 🙂

  10. You started a movie club?? That’s something I’d love to do, myself!!
    Enjoyed your autobiography, set in recent years! Ha!! We should make a movie.
    I can understand you wanting take a break. I’ve been irregular with my Blog, quite lately.
    I’ve gone through a lot of down moments myself!
    Good Luck with everything! Take Care!! 🙂

  11. Hi Cindy, sorry I just saw this, I have been having a tough time blogging & commenting as well so I totally get what you mean. I’m gonna miss you, but I cherish you as a friend and hope we’ll stay in touch (outside of the blogosphere). God bless!

    1. Ruth, I’m around but just had to renegotiate my time (all in my head). I’d love it if you came by on the 13th. As soon as I have more chapters completed, I hope to return posting regularly. For now, it will be sporadic.
      All best, my friend!

  12. I find a bit of outdoor activity helps my creativity too, but it is difficult to find time. I have always wondered what might happen if I took my laptop outside to write. With my luck, I would simply sneeze more often. lol

    1. I’ve tried doing that and it works as long as you don’t need the internet. I like sitting in a chair upright, formally looking at a computer screen. I can’t type fast with a laptop. I’ve daydreamed of creating a writer’s retreat by staying in a cottage by the sea with me, myself, and I.
      Do you like to write creatively? (other than blogging)

      1. I’m just getting started as a filmmaker, and I write my own scripts. My first small independent feature was well received critically, at many film festivals and overseas. (Devon is my nickname. I blog under that name to separate this from my other work.) – Anyway, this modest success brought me to the attention of another independent producer. I am working on my first paid assignment. I will also be directing the film. I don’t consider writing screenplays “writing.” I always feel like a complete fraud when people call me a writer, because film scripts aren’t particularly literary. I pretty much work in shooting script style (since I direct my own films). I consider it designing. The most literary aspect is dialogue. I blog because it gives me the opportunity to refresh my mind while still keeping it active. Sometimes stepping away from the project helps me come back to it with fresh eyes.

        1. Devon, Wow! Your blog doesn’t have any information regarding your work as a filmmaker, where you are from, what festivals, etc. My hats off to you. Of course screenwriting is writing, silly. Your vision has three parts (script,acting,filming) where mine has one. All my energy goes to creating images and feelings with words. That’s it. You wear a lot of hats–I must say, I think it’s crazy for movie buffs to get so pedantic when it comes to films. Great films are hard to make. If it’s above average, I’m pleased. There’s so many components to making a film and getting everything together perfectly. It’s like creating and serving a ten-course meal in an aesthetically pleasing environment. It’s just not easy to do. And here you are doing it! Cool, man.
          Can you share your work so I can support you? Finally, is your film something Hitchcock would approve of or is your work another genre?

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