Friday, August 24, 2012

I Finished the First Draft of My Novel, Chronicles of the Dead!

It's only just begun...
I just completed the first official draft of my novel, Chronicles of the Dead. It's in terrible shape. The characters are flat. The dialogue is boring. The plots all have holes. The action isn't very action-y. my grammar sucks. And I'm pretty sure I added things that didn't need to be there and left out a bunch of things that did. In short, my novel is a hot mess. 

As it stands, I have 164 pages and 47,411 words. I think the second draft will be a lot a longer but for all the right reasons. I can't believe I finished after all these years. I started writing this story in 2009 when I was plagued by nightmares about the undead. To cope with it, I jotted down a synopsis that eventually turned into a novel. Later that turned into a web series. 

I'm really excited about COTD coming out next Thursday and what better way to celebrate than to start making the second draft. I would love for this story to get published. I've planned for it to be a trilogy, but the first book can stand alone. I don't want to rush myself because it has taken me a long time to write this but I do want to get moving on it. I'll have plenty of time so there's no excuse.

I suppose before I jump head first into rewrites, I should take some time to flesh out my characters and find out who they really are. These people are important and I'm the only one who can tell their story. Every one of them serves a purpose and every single one of them needs to be given their equal chance. Even if you hate them or don't agree with them, you have to understand why they do what they do. 

Character bios anyone?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sex, Gore and Foul Language

I know what I like
John and I attended a writer's workshop yesterday. The woman leading the class is old enough to be our grandmother. We were the youngest people in the room besides one other girl who appeared to be there against her will (or at least that's how it looked).

The point of the workshop is to bring your work to get critiqued so you can write better. However, when the subject came up of content, things went south.

There we were sitting in a room full of conservatives who were sensitive about politics and the word pussy. How am I supposed to read Chronicles of the Dead to these people? They're aren't going to be able to give me valuable feedback if they can't get over the word fuck. 

Excuse me for growing up in a house were vulgarities were the norm. I like to say fuck and shit. I like sex and nudity and lots of it - gratuitous or not. When I'm reading a book and the sex is hinted at, that's fine. It's like flirting. But you can only hint at something for so long! As Winston Porter says, "Give me the meat. Give me what I came for!" Yeah, no shit.

The opening monologue to COTD is filled with fucks. I counted. Before we even know the setting of the opening scene the main character says fuck, bullshit and cock two times each plus the word sex. 

Of course, there are tactful ways of omitting the raunch and if I were writing a YA novel, that's exactly what I would do. Writing for adults means you get to say whatever the fuck you want to say. I can describe blood and guts. I can talk about wet pussy and hard dicks. I'm free to describe the sensation a woman feels when her partner enters her from behind.

Is this too much for you? Does it bother you if you're reading a book and a character gets his eye gouged out and the author takes an entire paragraph to describe it in vivid detail? Yes, the world has become desensitized to violence and gore thanks to video games and the Saw movies, but that doesn't mean I need to sensor myself because the grandmas and grandpas of this world can't handle it. Everyone has stuck their hands in their pants and fondled their own genitals before so enough judgements!


Monday, August 20, 2012

Conversations With Myself

Monica: I'm going to be successful. I'm going to work hard and accomplish everything I ever dreamed of.

Acinom: Eh, you might accomplish a few things, but let's face're not going to do anything remarkable. Hard work doesn't amount to anything if you're not smart about it.

Monica: What do you mean?

Acinom: You know EXACTLY what the fuck I mean. Think of those ten long years you spent slaving away at KFC...and for what? What did you get out of it? What does it all mean? All that time you spent trying to "make it" trying to "be someone" and you ended up with nothing to show for it.

Monica: ...

Acinom: Yeah, what have you got to say for yourself now? All you've got is a pile of bills and a car you can't pay for. Take your hopes and dreams to the bank and see how much they're worth.

Monica: You're wrong. All that work I did wasn't for nothing.

Acinom: Oh really? How so? Please tell me because I'm dying to know.

Monica: I gained experience that no one can take away from me. I know how to deal with people. I learned a lot about running a business and even more about myself as a person. How many other 29 year old people can say they worked somewhere for ten years? Probably not a lot. It shows my dedication. People are always impressed by it. The one thing I can take away from all those years at KFC is knowing that if I can work that hard for someone else, I can take twice as hard for myself. You're just jealous because you can't do what I do.

Acinom: I'm not jealous of you. I pity you. You actually think you're going to accomplish your dreams. In a year, you're still going to be facing the same problems...maybe even worse. You couldn't even pass a stupid math class and now you have to sit idle while everyone else goes to REAL college - without you! 

Monica: Everything happens for a reason.

Acinom: The universe must hate you.

Monica: So what if it does. That isn't going to stop me. I know what you're trying to do and it's not going to work. I won't quit and I'll never give up. I've come to far to listen to you and believe your lies. You can say whatever you want about me, but I'm going to keep moving forward with my head held high. I'm going to get what I want and you can't stop me.

Acinom: That's what I wanted to hear. I'll be quiet...for now.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

5 Tips on How to Hang In There When You Really Just Want To Quit

Never give up!
I've done my fair share of giving up. I have started and quit so many things that my failures just about equal my triumphs. It's hard to continue something when the odds are against you. Whether you're looking for a job, trying to finish school or stuck at a really tricky part of your novel, don't give up. Giving up is too easy and the fact that you're reading this means you're still fighting. Here are five tips (tried and true) to help you stick it out. I should know because I do them all the time.

1.) Take a break: Everyone needs time to recharge. Even machines break down so don't try to run yourself like a robot. Focusing on your task with renewed energy will also help you make better choices. Have you ever tried to do something while you were sleepy or hungry? Yeah, it probably didn't go so well. And don't worry about losing any time. If you make a mistake because you overworked yourself, you'll still lose time correcting the mistake.

2.) Ask for help: I am an only child so I'm used to doing things by myself. Sometimes I'll need help with something and I won't even realize it until another person points it out. Never underestimate how much your family and friends can help you out. Stop assuming no one will care and just ask. 

3.) Have a good cry: I'm serious. Sometimes we get overwhelmed with the pressures of life and you need a way to release it. You could do some intense exercise or go for a walk and that's fine too. If you're like me, you'll have a good cry. Crying releases serotonin into your bloodstream and it acts like a painkiller. Once you're done, you'll feel better. 

4.) Appreciate what you have: Sometimes we get so caught up in what we want that we don't realize what we have already. I would love to have a million video views on YouTube, but I have 189,575. I have 1,933 more views than I did last month. Learn to celebrate those small triumphs. Whatever it is that you're striving for, you can achieve it. Just hang in there and don't stop.

5.) Remember that the only failure is if you quit: Have you ever heard of someone who entered a contest and lost but the contest opened up another door for them? True failure comes from inaction. When COTD comes out, people may hate it, but there's no telling what kind of opportunities we'll get to take part in because of it. Keep your dreams alive and don't give up on them for anything. 

In this day in age, you have to prove that you're serious about what you want. A lot of people may want to give you a chance, but they want to be sure that you're for real. There are a lot of people out there wasting time and taking up space and it's hard to distinguish the serious people in that crowd if they give up too soon.  

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Pro & Cons of Research

Love it or hate it but you will do it!
Any time I want to know anything about anything I do research. I'm sure you all do because you're smart and you want to make sure you don't fuck up.

Remember those days in high school when your teacher would make you do research papers on bogus topics that you didn't even care about? And that was back when we actually had to use those clunky things with pages.....books? You dragged through the assignment praying that it would go quickly. Well, over the years I've learned that research is your friend...but it can also be your worst nightmare. What am I talking about? Here are the pros and cons of research:

* You learn stuff you never knew! That's a great thing!! Research helped me reconsider joining the armed forces. Of course there was also that pesky gut feeling I had.

* You get facts to back you up. Reading a lot about a subject and knowing a lot about it can help you help other people. Plus, you get to pull out facts and look smarter...unless you find an untrustworthy source.

* Research makes you smarter when looking for credible information. If you ever found yourself researching your research, you know exactly what I mean.

* It helps you fill in the blanks. Sometimes I have all the pieces I need, but I'll be missing one key thing. Doing a little research can help me find out what it is. Google is my best friend.

* There are too many opinions out there. When you're doing research, it's best to stick to facts as much as possible. Opinions are like ass holes, everyone has one. What worked for Jane might not work for you. Be aware of all the conflicting information you'll receive too. Sometimes, you may just have to rely on what you feel inside.

* Depending on your need, there may be no information out there for you. I once wanted the lyrics and English translation to a Spanish song...this was about seven years ago. A few times a year since then, I'll do a search and there still isn't anything. The name of the song is "Soltera" by Cordero, in case you know anything about it.

* People can be douchebags as I covered in my last post. You can go read it in case you missed it.

* Sometimes your research can leave you more confused than when you started. I hate when that happens but it happens a lot. I'll watch a video that's supposed to teach me how to do something, but the steps will be so vague or ambiguous that I'm confused all over again. 

That concludes my rant...or, was this a rant? Whatever, it's over. If you have beef with research, tell me about it!


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

WORLD PREMIERE - August 30th, 2012!

"The time has come," the Walrus said, "to talk of many things..."


After 30 million LONG hours of hard work, we're ready to show you what we've got!

On Thursday, August 30, 2012 at NOON Pacific time, we will be uploading episode one of season one!!!

There are six episodes which equals six weeks of fun! Subscribe to our channel now and spread the word far and wide! 

I would like to extend a special thanks to all the cast and crew and bands and homeowners who helped make this project possible. I'm so grateful that we were able to do this and I will love everyone forever for helping us out.

As for a season two, who knows...maybe we'll get lucky one more time.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Douche-Bag Advice I'm Tired Of Hearing

I've been on the internet A LOT lately. So much that I've hurt my wrist manipulating the mouse and I'm currently wearing an ace bandage. 

We're still hard at work editing Chronicles of the Dead and we're halfway through episode 3 now! That means we're halfway to being finished and ready to pick a release date. 

I've been looking up festivals to submit our work to and I haven't found anything yet. If you know of anything, leave me a comment and a link!

Anyway, what I have come across is a lot of douchey advice when it comes to the wrongs and rights of making a web series. It seems like everyone wants to give their two cents. I'm really glad for that, but a lot of people are just plain mean and short-sighted. Here is a short list of douchey advice that I'm sick of hearing...

1.) Get Great Equipment - First of all, do I look like Stephen Spielberg to you? All the know-it-alls out there boast about getting great film and editing equipment. What they don't realize is that the normal people in this world don't have the money for such expensive gadgets. Do you think I would be making videos on an HP if I could afford a Mac? Would I be filming with a JVC camera if I could afford a Canon? Of course not! Everyone has to start somewhere. Even if you have a cheap digital camera (like I used to film with) go out and do it! Don't let anybody tell you that you can't. And by the way, Steven Spielberg used to make home movies on a Super 8.

2.) Get Great Sound Quality - Although you should be searching for the best sound possible, don't let those douchebags tell you that you have to go out and buy microphones that cost hundreds of dollars that you don't have. There are ways around everything. Play with your locations and find places that don't have a lot of wind or echo. Even if they do, film some audio separately in your car (because cars are great sound booths) and sneak it in places where the audience won't be able to tell the actor isn't really talking. Film a lot of "over the shoulder" angles and sneak the audio in. Be creative. You don't have to go broke to go viral.

3.) Get Great Actors/Crew - I'm all for having the best of everything but sometimes you have to take what you can get - especially if you aren't paying! Unless you're trying to win an Oscar, you should stop complaining and appreciate the people who were gracious enough to help you out. And ask yourself this, is it the actors that are bad or is it the writing? A crappy script can suck the enjoyment out of a film faster than a bad actor can. Unless you're producing a SAG/AFTRA film and you can afford to pay your actors, don't be picky and mean! Appreciate everyone and treat people with respect!

4.) Pay for Bullshit Services - I've read a lot of asshole advice written by people who are trying to convince me to buy some product or subscribe to some service that will shoot my project to fame. Blah fucking blah. Nothing comes that easy and anything worth having is worth working for. Do you really want to go broke trying to buy your way to the top? What happened to hard work and dedication? Don't buy into this lie. Don't believe someone when they say they can get you this or that if you pay X amount of dollars. It's crap. If it were that easy, everyone would do it. The old saying rings true that if something seems too good to be true, it probably is.  

I hope every one of you reading this is out there making your dreams come true. No one is going to knock on your door and hand it to you. You have to go out and make it happen. Don't think that just because you're not as rich or popular as someone or because you don't have the fancy equipment that someone else has that you can't do it. You can and if you really want to, you will.

" or do not, there is no try." - Yoda

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Make Promises To Yourself

Keeping it together is tough!
I'm going to lie...

I'm the messiest and most disorganized person there is. I can't keep things in order unless I know the consequences will be severe.

For example, I have to work (most likely two jobs), write and produce a video a week. That may not sound like much. I don't have kids to take care of (thank god), but I still have issues getting things done.

I like to waste time doing nothing because it makes me feel good. Is that weird? I like movies and video games but they do very little in helping me achieve my goals. Should I write for an hour a day or thirty minutes? How creative and involved should my videos be? Should I ask for certain days off work or should I just cram everything in between the days and times I'm scheduled? I don't really know.

I think what's really happening is that I'm freaking out because I won't be in school this fall and I'm scared I'm going to have too much time on my hands and I'm going to waste it. If time and money are the same, they get wasted the same.

People always say what they would do if they had X amount of dollars but probably wouldn't do ANY of those things if they actually got the money. I can't count how many times I've said, "If I had time, I would do this and that." But if actually given the time, I would probably play games, watch videos online and watch movies that I've already seen a million times. I scare myself.

How does everyone stay on track? How did I do it in school? No one made me go. No one held a gun to my head and said, "Finish MSJC or I'll shoot." Somehow, I did it all by myself. I made a promise to myself.

I hate breaking promises, especially ones I make to myself. I've done it before and I felt like crud afterward. I think back to the time I was flirting with the idea of joining the Army and the recruiter was like..."Drop out of school, you can go later." But his 'suggestion' became a mandatory order and it didn't feel good. He wanted me to break a promise I made to myself and I couldn't do it. If I can't keep my own word, how could I swear to my country and be trusted? I walked away.

So I'll do that. I'll promise myself that I won't waste time. Here and there is fine, but I'll stay productive for the coming year. 

How do you keep yourself in check?  

Thursday, August 9, 2012

What If It Was A Novel Instead...?

Change doesn't have to be a bad thing, right?
My first love was writing. Before I ever picked up a camera, played with an editing program or gave the stage a second thought - I had a pen in my hand. Every time I thought of an idea for a story, I thought of it as a novel first.

Lately, writing novels has been the last thing on my mind. I decided to give them a break because that was my default option. Now I'm thinking about how a story would unfold as a stage play or a screenplay, or a web show. I get the visuals in my imagination and I want to turn them into film or live performances.

But I'm starting to have second thoughts about Undead Again. Everything that is wrong with it, I'm beginning to see is wrong with the overall feel of the story. I'm realizing that it's not as dark as I'd like it to be. There isn't enough grit for me. I really want it to shine in certain areas and I don't really know how with a screenplay. I feel like I need to start the story again as a novel and that will help me write the screenplay.

Am I crazy for doing this? A lot of people may say yes. Maybe I'm making unnecessary work for myself, but how can I tell a story properly if I don't even know how it's supposed to be told?

What do other writers do? Do you choose if a story would be better told as a novel or a screenplay or stage play? Have you started one road and then later abandoned it for another? 

I'm going to do it anyway and see what happens... 

New & Slightly Improved!

I love trying new things. 

I never understood how something can be both new and improved...
This morning, I've uploaded my first official sketch of my comeback. Check it out and please subscribe for more!

 I have tons of ideas and I'm crazy enough to pull them off. I was thinking about doing a few tutorials on things I learned how to do better like green screen and stage makeup. I have a ton of makeup and I should use it for something!

I also want to throw a little more of myself into my videos too. Skits are great and I love when people dress up as characters, but I also like skits where the person plays themselves in a funny situation or even when they just sit down and talk. As long as they have something interesting to talk about. 

I usually do all my talking here on this blog, so I have no idea what the hell I would talk about in a video. I guess I could think of something. I want people to see my creativity because I was born with a surplus.

Today, we will continue editing Chronicles of the Dead. And just in case you were wondering, when I say "we" I'm talking about my wonderful boyfriend, John

Neither of us have been working on our screenplays. We've been writing skits for my channel and video editing. We want to give ourselves a real break so we can go back in strong. Right now, when I even think about my script I cringe a little bit. There are just so many thing wrong with it and I want it to be good. I take comfort in knowing that all the best movies took years to write. You can't just shit out perfection. Sometimes though, I wish I could.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I'm Excited By Simple Things

Today has been  especially eventful. We're practically done editing the first episode of Chronicles of the Dead, I got an A- in college algebra and filmed another video for my m0brya channel.

In case you're wondering, I pronounce it "mo-brEYE-yuh"
Anyway, maybe this whole being-out-of-school-for-a-year thing will go pretty smoothly. I've already racked up like six projects to work on so I definitely will not have room to get bored. Not to mention the fact that I'll be working my day job, maybe two.

My room was a messy disorganized train wreck but then I cleaned it up and my mood changed. I was suddenly happier. I think that research holds true. Being in a clean environment really helps you focus and feel better.

Tonight, we'll be finishing episode one and starting episode two. I'm excited because I never thought we'd actually get this far. Pretty soon, we'll be uploading and premiering it to the world and I hope everyone watches. Even if they hate it and think it's retarded, I still hope they watch! Maybe we'll inspire people to go out and make their own web shows. That would be pretty amazing.

I'll be back later with a better post and I'm thinking about doing a tutorial on green screening! Don't forget to check out my vid tomorrow and every Thursday thereafter!!!!




Monday, August 6, 2012

This Is What They Mean When They Said, "Fake It 'Till You Make It!"


It seems so elusive but maybe it's not. Maybe it's really close and I'm too busy absorbed by my "depression" to really take advantage of it.


Here's what I'll do. I'll pretend I'm happy and maybe I'll become happy through default. I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow.

So, I was on YouTube earlier and I realized something I hadn't noticed before. I'm a Partner. How did I not know this? The short answer is I'm stupid. The long answer? I applied a few years back and YouTube said I wasn't quite ready to be a part of their program. Fast forward to today and I'm just realizing that I'm a Partner. Yeah...I'm slow.

They've given me a lot to work with. I can monetize videos and really put myself out there. It depends on how far I want to go and how much effort I want to put in. I keep saying that. I repeat myself a LOT, but it's only because repetition works. You only have to do something seven times for it to become a habit. I want to make entertainment my habit, my career, my future. I tried to escape it many times and I've come to accept the fact that I MUST do this.

I'm trying to enjoy the journey but it's hard when there's a bunch of pot holes and dead ends. You can't enjoy the journey if you're not sure where you're going, can you? 

I was really hoping that I would have something enlightening or intelligent to say but I don't. It's just the same old crap I always give you and I hope you suck it down with a tall glass of "oh well, she tried." I really am trying...even if it doesn't look like it.

I'm in the process of getting my sh*t together and it's not glamorous at all. Perhaps I should sleep on it and try again tomorrow. After all, it is 3am...

Sunday, August 5, 2012


You know those warning labels the government made companies put on everything?

"May cause this...may cause that."


"Read before opening..."

I think people should come with those labels too. My parents for example. Even though they are great people who gave me life and a place to live, I've beginning to feel like I need to go. The sad part is, I'm trapped here.

And there's my warning label. I come with baggage. I come with repetitive complaints about things I have little control over. I get sad a lot. I cry. I can't help it because it started when I was twelve. One day, my friend Kent came over. He was ten. We played with my Barbies. We always played with them but this time something was different. We put everything away and he went home. I got sad and I couldn't explain why. I didn't want to touch the Barbies anymore because I thought he'd get erased. It would be like he was never there. He was going to move soon and I was scared.

It's because everyone leaves. No matter how much you care about someone, they always leave in the end and you'll be by yourself. There's an episode of Buffy where one of the villains points out the fact that everyone Buffy ever loved has died. This made her cry. It made me cry too. It's the same for everyone but I take it to a dark place because I've done that since I was twelve.

Once in a while after that, I'd get sad for no reason. Sometimes there IS a reason and at those times I'm lucky because I can recognize that. I guess I was sad because I knew I would always be. 

"Caution: Subject doesn't smile for real..."

I don't expect you to understand. I don't expect anyone to understand because I don't understand it. I've been trying since I was twelve to "get" it and I just don't.


Friday, August 3, 2012

The Right Time Will Never Come

I always hear people say stuff like, "One day I'll do this," or "Someday I'll do that." We all know that usually means they're probably never going to do anything.

I've found myself saying those same things. It all leads back to the fact that I'm still sad about not going to college this fall. I don't try to hide it. Everyone who knows me knows that part of me is completely devastated. But every day I wake up and the sun still shines. The world moves forward and I have to do the same.

The only reasons I want to go to college is so that I can move, get my BA in Theatre, make connections, and start working in the entertainment industry as an actress and writer. 

But who said I can't do those things now? Why do I have to wait an entire year before I can get what I want? Who says I can't write and act right now? Nobody. If I wait a year, I'll be waiting forever. Because guess what, next year something will happen and even if I get to go to school, I still may have to wait for something else before I can really kickstart my dreams.

So what have I done? Have I been writing? No. Have I been recording videos? Some, yes. Have I been studying? Trying to. I watched a video the other day. It was interview with Larry Moss and even though it's an hour long, it's filled with valuable information for people who want to act. Here it is if you want to check it out.

Every occupation is hard and acting is no different. This is something I've decided to dedicate myself to but not because I wanted to - I had to. This life chose me, or at least that's what I tell myself so I won't go crazy. Now that school is over and a fresh week is approaching, I really need to get some work done. After all, this is my full-time job that doesn't pay...yet. :)

Thursday, August 2, 2012

You Don't Have To Watch, But You Should!

Today is a day to celebrate!

I was so busy looking at all my July failures that I forgot about all the stuff I accomplished. I guess that shows how hard I am on myself. I really need to lighten up!

First of all, I completed my summer math 105 class. Today was my last day. I walked in there, took my final, and I'm pretty sure I got an A in the class. Here's hoping! I'll take a B, but I know for a fact that I didn't fail again.

Second, I haven't had any soda or fast food in a month! With the money my boyfriend and I saved on eating out, we bought a PS3!! We needed a reward for all the hard work we've done. 

Third, I've officially relaunched my channel! I uploaded my first Thursday today and you can check it out here. Of course I had to plug Chronicles of the Dead too, it's my brainchild! In between shooting and editing videos, I'll still be working part time and refining my screenplay, Undead Again. I'm giving myself a break from it because there's no way I'll do it justice by forcing words out.

I wish everyone as much happiness as I feel today and more. Get out there and make your dreams come true!