QWERTY Power

I’ve been writing today and it’s going well. I keep thinking of things the story editor/consultant told me and it’s making me work harder and take more things into consideration. Some scenes that I am reincorporating but rewriting have gotten a lot more exciting. I have written about eight pages worth of bios for characters (single spaced!) and two pages of outline. But there’s a lot not in the outline yet, and I’m going to have to strip it down again for a more concise outline AND then write scene by scene breakdowns. It’s a lot of work, and I have to get it done by next week to have the next talk with the editor about changes and if it’s ready to write another draft. There have been some major changes, some things got tossed, somethings are new, somethings are shifted a bit, but it’s overall a very different (and I think more interesting and complex) story than the first draft.

So it’s fun but the pressure is on! And I think I’m gonna be working on it all next weekend. I kind of took Sunday and Monday off because I needed a little break. But back at it! I’m trying to keep the core essence of the story there, which is that a woman has a magical power of fire and is seeking answers and justice for her missing mother. And so there’s still that, but I’m trying to work with it in a more interesting and thoughtful way. She’s more of a complex character this time around. She has issues, she’s not perfect, she could be better to the people who love her. I tried to give all of my characters some more complexity in their bios so they weren’t hollow always innocent or evil people, but it will probably shift a bit more. And also realizing she has this power isn’t as instant as in the first draft. She needs to piece it together this time.

I got some really good feedback from the story editor so I feel like it’s pushing me to a really interesting place creatively. Of course part of me wonders if I am on the right track or if I am still holding back or if it’s just too many locations, etc etc. But this is a process so I am trusting the process.

ALSO I found out I got a commission from the Vancouver Indigenous Media Arts Festival and Queer Arts Festival to do a short experimental video for the QAF this summer. So I have some money to work on that, which is SUPER nice, and I have a couple other shorts to finish, one which I am making with my friend Riki. And I have another 2 Spirit video to do by the end of April. So there’s a lot of work right now, and some involves decent dollars and some does not but it’s all really exciting to be making so much work.

The writing right now is my top priority but I’m not really worried about finding time to do the other stuff. It’s really writing that takes a while for me, and some of those scripts are already written or will involve monologues which are easier for me to write. It’s nice to be doing what I was trained to do! And also when all is said and done I will have a more polished screenplay and also three short videos which can go out into the world and find out if people want to see them.

I am also involved in programming for TQFF this year. I started watching some submissions last night and it was a really interesting thing to experience. We’re using Film Freeway so it’s so much easier than the old days when we had to look at DVD’s or tapes. And also it’s just good to see what’s out there, even the stuff I’m not as into. I am pretty busy! But it’s a nice busy. I mean, right now. I might hate it in three weeks I don’t know!

FRIDAY! :D

When you are a self employed artist/writer type, there’s not really a such thing as a weekend. But I like being part of something, so every time weekday workers on my FB feed get excited for Friday I end up joining in. Yay Friday!

I’ve got a loose deadline for the next phase of writing, so I have been working on that. I was writing bios for characters part of the week, and also working on an outline, and sometimes I go back and forth between them when one informs the other. I also had a more productive conversation through chat with my collaborator Riki who is working on a video with me. I think we have some solid beginnings for a comedic short that will write itself (I hope!). There is another video that people are asking me for from stills from and it isn’t shot yet, so that is breathing down my neck.

But overall I am feeling productive. I had one sucky day. I was out of Vyvanse, had to do some things, just ended up feeling like a lump. But today and the other days were pretty good. I’ve been upped to 30mg of Vyvanse. So I am hoping I don’t get insomnia or any of the other shitty things that could come with it. I took my night meds tho and am yawning so that’s a good sign.

It’s funny because I had a breakthrough in my script today and was all feeling happy about it, but it’s grim material so it’s hard to talk about when enthused! Awkward. BUT it adds a whole new layer and makes things more complex and I’m really excited to incorporate this next twist into the work.

And I am also yawny and shit. Right now. But it’s been an exciting day! And the dogs are great, quiet, happy, I was home most of the day so they were in heaven. Tomorrow I’m just running out to get groceries and go to my producer’s get together. So hopefully they don’t panic!

Worst Dogsitter of All Time Fallout

So I came home from my trip on Saturday night to a notice from Toronto Animal Services about the barking and not having licenses (but I did have licenses and we worked that out!), two bags of garbage in the living room, poop on the floor, a sink of dirty dishes, so many empty cans of dog food on the counter, a cut up Wellbutrin pill on a plate that looks a hell of a lot like someone was snorting it or injecting it, and an empty bottle of vodka on the floor. No dog sitter to be found. He called me and came by the next day to give back the key and I was so pissed but just wanted him out of my face.

So I’m back to looking for another dog sitter/boarding situation. I was lucky that because this was the first time Toronto Animal Services was called with an excessive barking complaint that I am not getting a thousands of dollar fine. But it still FREAKED ME OUT and obviously I was upset not knowing how much neglect these dogs went through while I was gone.

I’ve been trying to get them used to me being out for short periods of time again. There was only one day they had a hard time, Monday, when I took my laptop with me for a story session with my producers and editor/consultant. I came back to them barking. But the other few days I’ve been out they have been doing pretty good. I went out tonight and came back just 20 minutes past 10 and they were nice and quiet and happy to get some chicken I brought them. So slowly we are getting back to them feeling secure. But I’ve really only been going out for 3-4 hours at a time, sometimes less. They feel better I think.

Other shit is going on, but most of it doesn’t have to do with me directly anyway so I’m not going to write about it. There’s some good stuff in my life and I have some writing work to do this next while, which is fun.

I’m totally crashing! It’s bedtime!

Daylight savings time screwed me over when I came back Saturday night because I was still on Sask time (and so was my laptop) and then the time changed and suddenly it was four in the morning! I was shocked!

Telefilm, Saskatoon, Arty Trip and Barking Dogs

So FINALLY (after trying to keep it a secret for weeks!) I can tell you that my producers and I have gotten Telefilm Development Funds to work on my feature Evil Fire, which I had worked on as my thesis project at Ryerson and which won an OUTtv Award at Ryerson and won Best Low Budget Screenplay at Female Eye Film Fest last year. It’s a huge step in my career and the first time this particular project has gotten funds of this nature. It’s also the first time I have had funding for a feature film, which is super exciting. I will be doing two more drafts of this script and then we’ll see what’s happening with it. I also get to work with a story consultant/editor, which is pretty exciting. It’s not a surefire guarantee that it’s gonna get the funding to be produced, but it’s a pretty good chance!

There’s been a lot on my mind around this project the last few months, meetings and contracts and waiting and stuff. Exciting stuff!

Right now I am in Saskatoon getting ready for my opening tomorrow night at AKA Gallery. I’m showing three videos along with artist Andrew McPhail. Today I went to check things out and give suggestions for installation. And I won potato wedges on a free coffee I had won from Tim Hortons, so that was nice, though I have never had their wedges. I’m just here until Saturday night, so that’s nice. Short trip! It’s been super stressful though because people keep telling me my dogs are barking a lot at home. And obviously I am far away and can’t do a whole hell of a lot. I sent my friend Terri to check on them yesterday, and the dog sitter is around enough that they have water and clean pads. So I’m not sure what’s up. I think Posey just is super anxious. It’s stressful for me though because I feel relatively powerless and know at least one of my neighbours has had it in for me and my dogs for a long time. So if the dog sitter can’t keep them quiet consistently I’m worried I’ll get kicked out. It’s fucked up my whole trip and right now I really just want to be home with them. My sleep is fucked, I’m super irritated, it’s hard to like things right now and I keep being pissed by small things. So I don’t know what to do. I tried to see if someone could stay with them more full time than my dog sitter seems to be doing, but no one was available. So I honestly did all I could. Stressful! I might try to find a kennel to put them in next time. It’s hard cause it’s so expensive. I tried to ask another dog sitter about watching them next month but I haven’t heard back so I don’t know. Either way I need to find a more solid dog care option that my neighbours can’t complain about. I work from home so the dogs are used to having a lot of attention.

Anyway, yeah! Stressed out fucked up trip. But I got Telefilm funding! 😀

I’m doing better

Ha ha anyway so after my shitty day and distressed post the other day, I feel like I should return here and let you know I’m doing better and thank you for the support.

I feel like a bunch of things have happened, but not really. I got paid so I paid most of my outstanding bills today, which was a relief. I just owe some on my phone bill now. I went to a screening of work by Wrik Mead last night at OCAD with my friend Riki, which was fun. He does experimental queer film so it was great seeing that. Some of the bloody stuff, in particular sewing a patch onto someone’s arm, is hard to watch though. I have such a weird relationship to bloodplay and play piercing. Like when I have done the piercing stuff it’s kind of fun, but I HATE watching it! Like at sexy lesbian shows in Vancouver I would always cringe when some leatherdykes would start doing a play piercing performance. And so seeing it done with a sewing needle WAS EVEN WORSE! In my mind I’m like “OMFG that is such a blunt needle relatively speaking!” Ha ha even tho it was a good film.

I wonder what that is about, that I could do something (not with a sewing needle tho) but still have a hard time watching it?

Anyway! The dogs are doing good. I wasn’t able to take them on our usual walk yesterday because I had a really bad day in terms of energy. My sleep the night before was shitty because I had a lot on my mind. I was worried I was starting to get Vyvanse related insomnia, but then last night I had a great sleep. So I think the Vyvanse thing is still ok! But today is a good energy day so I walked the pups and they had fun, Posey sniffed a lot of things. Little Mister just likes to march along and not pause on his walks except to pee and poo, but Posey wants to know everything that is going on and investigate things with her nose. I think it’s because Little Mister had a strict puppyhood as a show dog, and Posey has had shitty training so far so she still does what she wants. Although I do like that she wants to explore, I think it’s important for her.

Anyway, back to the Vyvanse. This coming Tuesday will be two weeks on it. It’s been pretty awesome, I do notice I am more sensitive to coffee though, so I might cut back. And on caffeine in general. :/ But I love the beverages that are usually caffeinated. I’m still appreciating the benefits of better focus and reading and stuff. I haven’t read a book in a while (I feel shameful about this!) but I have a bunch that I’ve been meaning to get to so I think I might try again. My focus always used to wander away, or I would prioritize short form blogging like Facebook posts over actually sustaining reading for a novel. I think most of my recent reading has been friends books because they have been shorter and/or also because they are my friends so of course I am interested in what they’ve worked on.

My strict rules about Facebook usage fell out the window when my daily work tasks temporarily dried up. So I’ve been wasting time on there again during work hours. I think I’m going to try going back to it, the rules I mean. It’s hard. What a terrible addiction. The part that frustrates me is knowing how tenuous and ephemeral Facebooking is. Eventually that site is gonna die, or someone will get mad at me and get my account deleted, or something like all their servers will get taken out. And all those years will be for naught. I can’t keep my Facebook posts. I can’t download and import them to a different platform. I know Zuckerberg wants to make Facebook the internet, but shit, I don’t think it’s going to be a forever thing. And maybe that is a good thing.

Internet.

Ha ha anyway. I had a cute date, that was nice! Ha ha but I’m not talking about it here so never you mind.

Ahh and you know, there’s background stuff going on I can’t mention here. But that’s ok. It’s fine. I only won a donut this year so far on Roll Up The Rim. My goal is a coffee. I know there’s fancy prizes too, but I also know the odds! I haven’t bought a lottery ticket in a while. I’m not as excited by them. And anyway, I have to work on another grant soon.

Everyone Hates My Art

Arg. Argle Bargle. I had the shittiest day yesterday which involved two people saying I have a terrible blog and say too much about everyone and it’s ruining everybody’s lives and it’s probably the reason I am single. Which is SO FUCKING FRUSTRATING because from day 1 this blog has been just about my life and what it’s like to live with bipolar disorder. Like, there are people I have interactions with, and sometimes I mention those interactions because that’s what being a fucking human being is about. Like it’s mostly “I had fun doing this thing with these people.” It’s not like I’m all “So and so has a communicable disease” or “Blah Blah person embezzled 30,000 from their work and took me out to dinner with it!”

Anyway. I don’t know why everyone hates this blog. It’s not like they have to read it. It’s not like it’s widely read. Most of the hits I get on this site are from people reading one entry I wrote with Labia in the title. Most other recent readers are just friends from my Facebook page who would read this anyway in some smaller format on my Facebook. And the rest are hackers from the Ukraine who are trying to hack this to get practice for their next big hack. OH and some bot in Portugal.

The funny thing is even before I made this blog, people were still paranoid of me because I make really personal films.

Fuck me for making such personal work. But think about it, what artists DON’T make personal work? Why do relatives and such keep trying to censor me by making me feel awful for having a long running ongoing arty writing project? Shit happens. Sometimes shit happens to me and I write about it. Sometimes good things happen and I write about it. And fuck, I have been trying so hard to make this blog just about me and sometimes I worry I come across as being so selfish and myopic and it’s because EVERYONE HATES THIS BLOG~! And I have to keep it to being just about myself. And that’s what it is. And I have an actual diary I write in, and that’s where all the dirt is, but I don’t publish it because it’s mostly about crushes or specific people who did something untoward or some aspiration I would rather keep to myself, or things I am emotionally working through that I don’t want people to shit on.

Anyway, fine I will be single forever because of a huge long blog that’s going to be a book at some point. I guess that’s my lot in life. It’s too late to stop doing this. I’ve been writing for 13 years and I don’t want to stop. That’s practically a third of my life. I’ve been making personal videos for 22 years too and it’s too late to stop that. I would rather be a single artist than a muzzled married person.

Day 5: Thoughts

So I have now been on Vyvanse for five days. I hate being crabby. In a general sense, it’s not a good feeling, it’s not productive, it makes me short with friends and relatives and I’m sure hurts their feelings because normally I am an easy going person. But I have noticed when it’s later in the evening my irritability goes up. At the same time that my Vyvanse is beginning to wear off. It’s not SUPER horrible, but it’s enough of a bother that I think I need to come up with some coping skills for impulsive irritability. Also I think I need to eat better, I’ve been poor the last week so my eating has been terrible, and that lowers my blood sugar and contributes to the irritability. Because when I have food in the house I usually eat a piece of cheese in the evening and it helps a lot.

Anyway, that’s really the only downside to this med so far. The good things really outweigh it. I’m working on a script rewrite and I needed to reread it and make notes, and sometimes that has been a struggle for me because my attention will wane or I will get distracted. But that day I was able to focus, concentrate, get done in three hours what would have taken many more. I also worked on redoing my CV yesterday. It’s such a boring task, and there were a couple times I was like “BLECH I don’t want to do this!” but it didn’t stop me from finishing my task! Like I just thought about doing something else, but I still completed this job. It was kind of amazing. I didn’t drag my heels.

It’s especially important because as a filmmaker I can hyperfocus on the creative parts that I find really fun, in particular writing and editing. But the administrative aspects of filmmaking, like fixing my cv and doing forms and paperwork, oh I really could do without that. But I have to do it, and Vyvanse makes it easier. So that is really interesting.

I can also have conversations with people and not get lost or think about something else. It’s really cool.

On this med I can take days off, but I’m gonna take it everyday for the first two weeks then maybe have Sundays off or something. I almost want to be on it every day though because it makes such a difference.

Aside from all of that, life’s been pretty good. I did a talk in a class on Friday, worked on script and cv stuff like I mentioned, I think I’m going to try and get into better work habits now that it’s easier to work.

My friend who helped me figure out all this ADHD stuff has been too busy with other things to chat, but I am stoked about our next phone call when we can compare notes!

Day 1: A New Hope

Today I saw my G.P. and got a prescription for 20mg of Vyvanse. She also sent me for an ecg just in case my heart has troubles with this med, so they know what it is like when I haven’t got stimulants in my body. So I did that, dropped off a form, got some cinnamon hearts, and filled my prescription. It’s been an interesting day.

I didn’t want to have a busy day trying to do important things when I’m just starting this med. So I had a laid back day of reading about ADHD and Vyvanse, Facebooking, walking pups, and repeatedly calling my Mom (which to be honest is something I do everyday, I like talking to Mom). And I’ve been evaluating myself all day. Am I speedy? Am I “high”? Apparently I am technically high, but I actually don’t feel like, wildly euphoric or anything. I wasn’t super hungry (but I did get hungry enough to eat something), no headaches (but a couple times there was a shadow of a headache for seconds that passed), and things actually feel slower. Like in kind of a good way though. I also noticed that I don’t drift away on this. Like, I can read a page and remember what was written, I don’t have to go back and re-read a paragraph or sentence. And when having a conversation with someone I can focus on what they are saying and not forget it or start day dreaming.

It’s kind of amazing. I honestly did not realize how normally impaired I am by my ADHD until now. How did I do school? How did I do GRAD SCHOOL???? Does this mean I can finally actually go to a conference and pay attention to more than one panel? I used to HATE conferences because my attention span was so fucked. But I didn’t realize it was my ADHD. I’m just on a starting dose for the next month, but they are going to increase it after that. My doctor made me sign a contract about not sharing or selling my meds, not photocopying my prescription and filling it at different pharmacies (I can only fill it at my regular pharmacy), and if I lose my prescription my doctor and I have to file a police report. SERIOUS STUFF!

So this is a long acting stimulant, and it’s late in the evening and I can feel it not working as well now, which is fine because it’s almost bedtime. But it’s been really interesting to see the difference. I think I will have an alright time getting to sleep tonight. Mostly I’m worried about three side effects: Insomnia, loss of appetite, and mood changes. My pharmacist said if I start behaving differently I should go back to my doctor. So I’m gonna keep checking in. The trouble with going mad is it all seems reasonable when it’s happening. Like yeah it’s epic and crazy, but it makes sense to ME but not anyone else.

I actually didn’t clean today, and I meant to. It’s fine, the floor was washed just the other day and I did laundry yesterday and there’s only a few dirty dishes. But maybe tomorrow I will clean more. I mean at all.

So this is day one, what’s going to happen in a week? In a month? Or even just tomorrow?

Dates

I made one of my resolutions to date more this year than last year(s). So on the urging of a friend, I rehydrated my OKCupid profile and used a silly profile picture, and actually I met a couple of people who didn’t seem horrible (actually they both seem really nice). So I went on one date (achieving my goal!) and it was actually a pretty cute date and I think we are going on a second. Before that date I ended up making another coffee date with another woman. So it’s pretty interesting. I don’t know what’s going to happen. Anything!

I haven’t dated in a long time. Like, super long. I’ve had these awkward “hang outs” with friends/interesting women where it just ended up being really one sided on my part and only friendly on theirs. So this time I am actually intentionally dating. It’s making a difference I think, for sure, instead of the friendly ambiguous queer hang outs. I’m nervous though because stuff like commitment and exclusivity is a ways off (if it happens) and I have rarely actually dated more than one person at a time (although once I managed!). Actually my previous relationship patterns really sucked. I always moved too fast, had sex before getting to know my partners, ended up feeling emotionally invested in women I really needed to see honestly before all that sex related oxytocin coloured my vision. So I am trying NOT to do that this time. Even the last woman I had sex with I was like, immediately puppy dog eyeing and I think it totally annoyed her because she just was not into that. Also she was far away.

So if I move slower and get to know someone without just thinking about how fast I can get naked, I think I might have a better go of it.

Plus I am almost 40, it’s time to start breaking bad patterns.

I don’t want to be rude or fuck anything up though so I probably won’t go into much more detail about my dating situation. If things get more serious I will probably mention that here. Because I think romance is cute.

Anyway, in other news, tomorrow I go to the doctor to get my ADHD medication prescription. I am hoping it’s decent stuff. I think I am going to try and take it tomorrow morning (my dr. appointment is 9:15am) and start getting used to it. People say I’m gonna feel high the first couple days until my body adjusts. So that will be . . . interesting. I’m not really looking forward to feeling speedy. Although I imagine I might be able to get some deep cleaning done. I’m glad I don’t have a valentines day date, because I’m probably going to be really annoying tomorrow. I’m already anticipating how much blabbing I am gonna do on social media about trivial stuff. I already mention a lot of trivial things on facebook (ie. I talked about the new chicken place today), but I imagine the volume of trivial things will be more. Much more about the chicken place and the gyro I got today.

Anyway. I’ve been alright. Money is tight. I didn’t get a grant I wanted, which is sad but also maybe a good thing because there is something else I have to concentrate on the next few months. I am anticipating money, but not having it right now bites. I know it’s eventually coming though, which makes me less anxious.

The dogs are fine and fun. We’ve been walking everyday (except during blizzards) and Posey’s socialization is getting better. She still sucks with other dogs, but she has been passing adults without freaking out, and now she is even walking past children without being grumpy. Once a child chased us to pet her and she had a cow, but that’s kind of understandable. And she’s still so small I can lift her up and out of the way.

Posey’s gotcha day is tomorrow! 🙂 3 years with me! My little red Valentine Girl! 😀 I remember she was so tiny and scared in her crate, and she pooped and barfed on the way home. And she was so adorable, and sweet, and funny. I tried to get my mom’s friend Norlane to hold her when I first got her and she CRIED so hard like she was injured and we didn’t know what was going on. But now I think she just really got attached to me already and wanted to be my dog, and was worried I was gonna give her to someone else. She and I bonded really fast. When I got Little Mister he was already a year old and had been bonded to his breeder’s family, so he was shyer and didn’t feel bonded to me right away. But it worked out. But Posey bonded within a day really. And she was very snuggly, cause she’s a short haired dachshund so she liked being warm with me. Best baby! And I called her baby. I still call her baby. She’s probably always going to be my baby.

ADHD Confirmed

HEY! So I saw the psychiatrist on Thursday and we went over my symptoms and how long they have been present (as long as I can remember, so long that it seems normal), and then he agreed that I likely have ADHD and that it would be good to treat it.

So he suggested Vyvanse, or I could take Concerta or Adderall. I read a bit on Vyvanse though and it’s appealing to me because it’s extended release dexedrine so I can feel the effects over the course of the day instead of just for half the day. Of course I might really hate that, we’ll see.

He says as long as I continue to take my other medications there shouldn’t be an issue with my mood disorder acting all fucky. And he is the Mood Disorders psychiatrist, so I feel like he should know. I’m still gonna try doing regular check ins with myself to see if things are feeling grandiose or magical or speedy.

I have to go back to my GP for the prescription, which won’t happen for at least another week. So I don’t know how it will feel yet. I’m excited for things to change, I’ve been reading about how people feel when they finally get medicated and it looks good. There’s still going to be things I have to do on my own to make accommodations, but it will definitely help.

Ahh geez I wanted to make this post a big fancy blab, but it looks like this is going to be a short snappy post instead!