Sunday, February 18, 2018

Part 3 - My Author to Screenwriter Journey

Why I am doing it
Before I explain why I’m writing a screenplay.
Let’s go back to the beginning.
At 20, I bought a Smith Corona typewriter at a garage sale and made a career choice.

I was going to be a working writer. In fact, the next Erma Bombeck.
With my poetry phase behind me, I was ready to write a body of work.
To give you an idea of my skill set. I quit high school at 16 and went to night school while also working full time at a local carwash to help support my mother and younger siblings.
High school for me was after work with a lot of moms and dads, immigrants and people who decided to go back to school after dropping out.
To my credit, I finished on time when my peers (who went to high school in the day) did.
I didn’t feel I missed out. Rather I enjoyed not being in the company of teenagers, though I was one.
I was a go-getter. -- Eventually hired away from the local carwash to become a detailer for a local Saab and Subaru dealership.
Funny, I was so green that I didn’t even know I was negotiating my salary when the car dealer asked what I made at the car wash. I said, “I can’t afford to leave here.”
The day I bought that typewriter I knew I needed serious help. Grammar and structure were/are my weakness. Not story.
I have ideas.
Anyway, I signed up for every English and writing class the local junior college offered. Not because I wanted a degree, I wanted to write!
My college creative writing teacher, God love her, said I had a “certain naivete.” Which I took as a great compliment. I didn’t look up the definition. In fact, I was sure it meant gifted.

She had me. Clueless -- and fearless! So much so, I sold articles to the local weekly newspapers.

Ten dollars and a byline. Sign me up.
With my growing portfolio, I eventually moved up to stringing for the dailies. The big time.
Sure, I heard remarks about my writing, but they still accepted my stories and corrected my work. Made me look good.
I was getting noticed!
How do I know? The editor came out of his glassed-in office to the newsroom floor, paper in hand and screamed, “why is the stringer writing everything? What am I paying you to do!?”
Apparently, I was invisible. I was out in the open. He’d made his point, turned and stormed back into his display case.
So why am I screenwriting now?
Because I have a certain naivete.

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