Alone at the house today, I had a lot of time to work on my writing. Early this morning while on the treadmill I caught a little spark from the creative gods resulting in an idea that I thought would give my current screenplay, Under the Rising Sun, another level of depth and richness. I couldn’t wait to get home. And it worked beautifully. On the heels of that, I worked out some story issues I had with another script that I was, quite frankly, ready to toss in the toilet. Now I’m thinking this script could really work. So, while I didn’t get the laundry done (that was my only real goal today before the writing muses came to visit), I AM feeling that creative churn again. And that’s always a good thing.
I lost my brother Tim today. He had been ill for a while, and this last week was especially bad for him. He died peacefully, in his sleep, early in the morning on Christmas Eve.
Growing up as brothers, we were inseparable. What we shared over the years is something that I will cherish and hold in my heart forever. The forts we built with blankets when we were kids. The fishing trips. The baseball games. Our trip to Disneyland. The dreams we had and how excited we were about them. The things that siblings share that no one else could ever understand. The laughs. The tears. The everything. My God. I will always love you, Tim. Someday, we’ll skip stones across that lake again. I promise you.
“Today, a young man on acid realized that all matter is merely energy condensed to a slow vibration—that we are all one consciousness experiencing itself subjectively. There is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we’re the imagination of ourselves. Here’s Tom with the weather.”
Comedian Bill Hicks (1961-1994)
“Storytelling is innate to the human condition. Its underpinnings are cerebral, emotional, communal, psychological. One of the storyteller’s main responsibilities is to resonate in the audience’s psyche a certain something at the end of it all, to emotionally move the audience, to compel the audience to ‘get it’ on a visceral level.”
Arthur Hiller (1923 – 2016)
“Enlightenment for a wave in the ocean is the moment the wave realizes that it is water.”
Thich Nhat Hanh
I’ve recently formulated a daily meditation that I use each morning to help get my day started with purpose and empowerment. It’s just a simple affirmation, but it works. Try it and see how it feels to you, or change the letters to something that has more meaning to you.
Here’s mine — it’s a simple acronym: GRIP
Today, I will:
G – Gratitude. Remember the people and things in my life that I’m grateful for.
R – Respect. Have respect for others, respect for nature, and respect for myself.
I – Integrity. Be trustworthy in all of my words and deeds.
P – Passion. Involve myself in my work and play with equal enthusiasm.
“The Muses are the personifications of the energies of that unconscious system that you touch when you sit down as a writer. You just have to find them. When I’m writing, there are two ways that I write. One is badly, and the other is well. And when it’s badly it’s dictated from up here, and that’s the stuff that goes into the scrap basket. There’s often a period of trial, pushing around to see where I can get that trapdoor to open. And when I hit it, it’s almost––physical––the feeling of opening a door, holding it open, not giving a damn for the critics, what they are going to say or think. . . . It’s an actual experience, nothing mysterious about it. If you have never hit that level, well, then it’s mysterious. But if you have, it’s not.”
Joseph Campbell, interviewed in The Bloomsbury Review, December 5, 1983
“Anyone writing a creative work knows that you open, you yield yourself, and the book talks to you and builds itself. To a certain extent, you become the carrier of something that is given to you from what have been called the Muses—or, in biblical language, ‘God.’ This is no fancy, it is a fact. Since the inspiration comes from the unconscious, and since the unconscious minds of the people of any single small society have much in common, what the shaman or seer brings forth is something that is waiting to be brought forth in everyone. So when one hears the seer’s story, one responds, ‘Aha! This is my story. This is something that I had always wanted to say but wasn’t able to say.’ There has to be a dialogue, an interaction between the seer and the community.”
Joseph Campbell, The Power of Myth (with Bill Moyers)
Our new grandson, Lincoln Cole McCoy, was born on Friday May 15th, 2015. Congratulations to Tom, Carrie, and Gwen (who loves her little brother!).
Under the Rising Sun is Among the Top 50 Scripts in the 2014 Academy Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting
Under the Rising Sun placed among the top 50 screenplays entered in the 2014 Academy Nicholl Screenplay Competition (of a record-breaking year of 7,511 scripts). Congratulations!
We are going to distribute a list of the top 50 screenplays to hundreds of industry agents, executives, managers and producers. We hope that this top 50 list will draw more attention to you and your screenplay.
Congratulations again for placing among the 2014 Academy Nicholl Fellowships Top 50 Screenplays.
Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting