Success!

Two major things happened this week: I moved out of my Virginia Beach oceanfront paradise, and I sold an article. Both on the same day, ironically.

The article was kind of an experiment. I’ve toyed with the idea of submitting some of my work to publications, and actually sent a short story to a few mystery magazines when I was in high school (still have both rejection letters). 

So when I came across the magazine for a national association of estheticians, I thought maybe I can write for these folks. I have skin. I’ve learned some stuff about it.

So I pitched a few ideas, came up with an outline, and finally wrote the article on spec since I didn’t really have any other samples to show them. And they liked it! My article will be printed in the Sept/Oct issue, and I will officially have one writing sample! And a check!

This came as very welcome news, as I paused to take a break from stuffing all my earthly possessions into my Hyundai Elantra. The time has come to move to Los Angeles, but that means I must first move away from Virginia.

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My beach with a rainbow after a storm.

Living in Virginia Beach has been – in a word – delightful. I cannot recommend it highly enough. If you find yourself needing a place to live for a few months during the off-season, consider wintering here. It’s really affordable, and there are still plenty of warm days between October and June.

Being here has given me space to sort of re-imagine my life as a writer. The ocean has beckoned to me when I was so wiped out and frustrated with my work that only toes dipped in the waves would help. It’s been a haven and an inspiration. And a launch pad.

And now it’s time to go! I left many new friends, a few old ones, lots of household items and a piano. A little piece of my heart. But it’s time.

I’m so excited about moving to California! I’m so glad to be moved out, because it’s soooo much work to move! But I will miss my little slice of oceanfront and the people that made it special.

And I’m really jazzed to sell my article.

California Bound

What an undertaking it once was to migrate in America. A trip out west used to be a major ordeal fraught with danger, death, disease, robbery, and even barring any of those difficulties, it certainly involved sacrifice of life-changing proportions.

Nowadays I can buy a plane ticket Wednesday, pack a bag Thursday, and five hours later I’m in Los Angeles. And the worst thing that happened was the airport food.

courtesy of noirbabes.com

But I think the experience of venturing from home and familiarity to parts unknown is still similar. Granted, the pioneers made a choice for life, no turning back. But the decision to swap coasts has certainly become a defining one in my life. You see, I’m going to live here. Soon.

Today I’m flying. The countdown to my cross-country move is at four weeks, two days and ticking down each moment.  So I go briefly to scout the territory. To seek friendly waters, a safe haven, and opportunities to make my living as a screenwriter in the great Wood known as Holly.

Tomorrow I’ll be volunteering all day at the Biola Media Conference, which will be a fun opportunity to rub shoulders with other entertainers and make some friends in my new neighborhood. I’m really excited because I get to work the registration desk, which I’ve always wanted to do.

Then Sunday to Wednesday is all about finding a church, apartment-hunting, meeting friends and making industry connections. All in four days. Overbook much?

Meanwhile I write! I write in the airport and on the plane. I run into the airport convenience mart to buy markers because I somehow failed to pack a pen in my carry-on bag. Notebook, yes. Anything to write with, no.

I write on the metro. I write in the hotel. I write on the back of a receipt while I wait to pick up my dinner order. I write every spare moment, because that is what I do. That’s why I’m leaving a comfy life in Virginia to pioneer my own little corner of California. Writing is what I want to do in this new stake I’m claiming on the other side of normal.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

Frankenstorm

Life. Ain’t it fun?

My screenwriting class officially started two days ago, with a 3.5 hour teleconference. Very stimulating, motivating and inspiring. And even though I have a huge backlog of work to catch up on, a house to finish cleaning and painting, and a few carloads of stuff to pack and move by Thursday… I can’t wait for my first screenwriting assignment!

To make things more interesting, we’re having some unusual weather in the northern Virginia/east coast/entire right half of the United States area.

The hurricane that went a little too far.

I just called my landlord in Virginia Beach to see if I can still move in Thursday, and everything appears to be right as rain down there. Which is great because I have really been looking forward to moving.

Now to be productive for the next three hours, just in case the 40-55 mph winds don’t knock out the electricity and keep me from receiving the email with my first writing assignment. Because I just can’t wait to find out what it is.

Becoming a Screenwriter

Pardon my long silence, it’s been a little nuts.

Next time I decide to sell my house and move 200 miles away, plus start a class, plus work for various clients with various deadlines while my editing system perpetually falls apart… please tell me I’m crazy. I will believe you.

No campus or frat parties, but that’s OK.

 

Be that as it may, I’m determined to become a screenwriter. So I’ve been downsizing my life to focus on the next six months of training with ScreenwritingU, a highly recommended professional screenwriter training program.

With any luck, I’ll come out of this a much better writer and better positioned to make a living doing it!

Plus I will be here:

Buckle up, landlubbers! Tomorrow it begins!