The work of Pepper Reed

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The Ease of Procrastination

I should be writing. In fact, I am writing, but I should be writing my screenplay rather than this blog post. Day of 4 of Script Frenzy and though I know the story I’m telling backwards and forwards, and though it is a story I want to tell, I’m still procrastinating. Some writers say it is part of the process. I think that it’s just something that I do.

There are times when I really enjoy the process of writing, when I feel totally inspired and the words just flow out of me. This is not one of those times. At least not at this exact moment. I know that it can change by the minute & the more I sit in front of my computer, the more likely it is to happen. So I sit, and eekk out a page or two at a time and hope for a jolt from my muse.

One of my friends says his muse isn’t a lovely goddess-like creature as most of us think our muses are. His is a troll that lives under his desk who bites him on occasion. We had a lovely discussion the other night trying to name him. My muse seems more like a ghost to me, a spirit who is there one minute and gone the next. It is only when I am relaxed into myself that I can see her as a corporeal entity. That is when I write the best. That is when I paint the best. If I can just “be” for a moment, and then a moment more.

Other Endeavors

So, I paint, but I’m also involved in numerous other artistic endeavors. My BFA is in Acting. I’ve self published a book of poetry. I sing. I direct and produce theatre. And I write screenplays.

 

I couple of years ago I wrote a short screenplay. I had a couple of people read it and a friend who also wrote screenplays thought it could be extended into a feature. We finished a draft on that.

 

Now, if you know anything at all about writing, the fact that a draft is finished is EXTREMELY difficult. Many people spend their whole lives working on one novel or one screenplay without ever finishing a draft. I’m very proud that we finished a draft, imperfect as it was. In any case, we worked on a second draft for quite a while before we both moved on to other things. We just could come to a consensus as to where the plot really needed to change to move it forward. C’est la vie.

 

Last year I signed up to participate in a month long event called Script Frenzy. It’s run by the same people who run NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), The Office of Letters and Light. I tried to write a new screenplay, but I was working an insane amount of hours trying to open a restaurant and just didn’t get it done. So, I’m going to try again. I have an idea percolating in my brain, different from last year’s idea. I really want to do this.

 

It’s going to be hard on me. I usually only write when the muse moves me. This deadline is going to be very hard. Not to mention that I’m working a lot this year too. In any case, April 1, my new journey begins. Wish my luck. Send me good vibes. Hold me in the Light. I’m certainly going to need it.

 

Script Frenzy

Taking Time Away

I spend too much time online. Maybe not here at my blog, but Facebook, email, Twitter. Not to mention the 8-12 hours  a day I spend on a computer at work. So I’ve decided to take some time off. I have a couple of blog posts scheduled and I’ll probably write a few more, but I’m going to limit my online time. I’m not going to go on Facebook at all for a couple of weeks. I’m only going to check my email twice a day. I hope this means I’ll spend more time on artistic things I’ve got brewing rather than that I watch more TV. We’re going to see how it goes. Wish me luck.

Trying to Figure It Out

My dad wants me to find a day job that I can live with. My current day job makes me nauseous on a daily basis and want to claw my own eyes out at least once a week. This is extremely hard on me.

I remember being told as a kid that as long as I worked hard and did well in school, I could do what I wanted. And I worked hard and did well in school and went to a good college. I have my Bachelors of Fine Arts from one of the top schools in the country. It also happens to be one of the most useless degrees there is. It has absolutely NO relation to whether I will get a job in my field. I have my BFA in Acting.

::Laugh. No really, it’s ok.::

Now, as much as I love acting, I don’t want to be an actress any more. Performing is fun and I enjoy singing and pretending that I’m someone else for a while. But AUDITIONING I do not enjoy. It’s nerve wracking and stressful and you hear “No” a lot and that you’re too fat or too tall or too loud or too… If I’d known that being an actor was auditioning all the time, I might have tried something else sooner. Or taken more audition prep classes. Or…there are so many things I would do differently if I’d known then. But I didn’t.

Oklahoma isn’t known for it’s interest in the arts, much less encouraging them. So I just went along “knowing” that it would be hard, but not having any real idea what I was in for. No one I knew had ever even considered doing what I was doing. There wasn’t anyone in my life who could say, “Look, this was my experience. You might want to try it a different way.”

Now, I’m 34 trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life. I know I can’t keep doing what I’m doing.

And as I said, my dad wants me to find a day job I can live with. I love him for trying, but it isn’t something that he can fix. And the thing is, I want more than that. I want to be proud of what I do. I want to feel some sense of accomplishment. I want my job to use my creativity, because that is what I have to offer. It is my best self. I want to, at least some of the time, if not most of the time, be excited to go into work in the morning. Maybe I’m just a dreamer, as John Lennon said. Right now I just feel lucky if I don’t make someone’s life worse by the time we’ve finished our phone call.

I don’t want a job where I go to work from 9-5 and rush out so I can spend an hour or so doing whatever creative endeavor I’m working on at the moment. I don’t want my life to only be lived in the snatches of time I can find on the weekends.

I realize I’m rambling a little tonight. I just want it out in the Universe. I don’t mind hard work, I just want work I enjoy.

Dancing Through the Day (Job)

I spend most of my time on the phone. Not because I want to, but because that is the job that is currently paying my bills. When you are on the phone as much as I am, you learn to appreciate the art of hold music. Now, I understand that in the world of hold music, I am EXTREMELY lucky. No Muzak for our company. We have real music, and depending on the day & the department I’m holding for I’ve heard everything from Buddy Holly and the Crickets to Eminem. But even listening to hold music can get boring if you are sitting through 15 songs waiting to speak to a senior advisor, so I don’t sit. If the music moves me at all, I dance. I have very limited space, only 2 or 3 feet usually in which my chair and I move, but there you have it. Anything to make it through another day.

So I ask you out there in the blog’o sphere: What do you do to make it through the day?

Inspiration

Have you ever heard a song that you have to keep listening to over and over again? I fall in love with songs all the time, but it is rare that a song speaks to me so much that I have to paint because of it. It happened with a song called “Flying Home” by Jason Robert Brown, which inspired a piece called Carry Me On.

The song on repeat in my playlist at the moment is called “Somebody I Used To Know” by Gotye. I’m in love with this song. I’ve even found a cover of it sung by a Canadian band called Walk Off the Earth where the 5 members of the band all play the song… well, just YouTube it because it is totally awesome.

In any case, this so has me working on a new piece tentatively called “Shadow of Somebody I Used to Know.” No, it isn’t a direct line from the song.

Anyway, here’s the video for the original version. Hope you like it too.

Artistic Appreciation

I’ve decided that in addition to showing my own work, I want you to see work that I enjoy. This is the first of many posts about art that makes me want to be a better artist.

I received this piece for my birthday earlier this week. Jane Austen is my favorite author and this is a painting based on my favorite of her novels, Persuasion. This beautiful painting is an original watercolor by Elizabeth Monahan. I’ve been dreaming of owning one of her pieces and can’t wait to get this framed to hang it on my wall. She does make prints, but the original is all mine. Take a look at her other work on her Etsy page: www.etsy.com/shop/BlueSkyInking