30 November 2006

Running Away

Thursday 30Nov06 8:21pm

I caught a bit of a movie with Keanu Reeves, Cameron Dias and Vincent D'Onofrio on the weekend. Can't for the life of me remember the name. In the movie, Cameron's character begs Keanu's to take her with him. Run away. I thought, how nice the idea of running away. Going somewhere new, not knowing anyone other than the person you're with. Blank slate. You can create yourself as a completely different person that the one everyone knows in your present life.

"What do I have to run away from?" I asked myself. I thought and thought and realized as I said it out loud, "Nothing!"
For the first time in my life I don't feel like I have anything to run away from. Where did that come from? Where indeed?

I'm broke and I'm in debt but that's my only real problem and taking care of that is about time, plain and simple. Time and less spending.

And thank goodness I don't have anything to run from because I've got a shit load of books to pack, if I did run.

I've got a few entries on the new blog, if you're interested... Writing Zazen
I'm liking the wordpress.com service if you're interested in blogging it's been the most user friendly thus far. The only thing is I haven't found a spell check. And the type is larger when you're posting which makes a huge difference to me since I'm on the computer all day at work and have strained eyes when I blog at night.


27 November 2006

i'm More Stubborn than I thought

Monday 10:57pm 27Nov06

So I started another writing blog. It's twice now that I've had some sort of issue with Angelfire. If they save my stuff I'll keep posting there and if they can't I've got Writing Zazen

Click the title to be led there...


Fingers Crossed

Monday 8:08pm 27Nov06

My other blog has disappeared! I don't know what happened. Sigh! If it's gone for good there's a boatload of writing that I've just lost. Again!
I've sent a help ticket to Angelfire to ask if they can retrieve it. My RSS feed still shows old entries so I'm thinking that that is a plus. What do I do if I've lost more writing?
Fall down seven times, get up eight and keep my fingers crossed!



25 November 2006

Giving my Writing back to Myself

Saturday 7:41am 25Nov06

Received a call from my boss at my old job a couple weeks ago. She told me that she'd have to take me off the payroll because I haven't worked there in five months and Human Resources has been breathing down her neck. The funny thing is that I'd actually quit but it was my boss that suggested that she keep me on the payroll in case I'd changed my mind. I'm glad that I'm finally being released.

It wasn't easy to quit five months ago. The job has saved my ass so many times but I have no joy going through those doors to work a shift. I don't care about the extra money, although I could use it.

It's all energy. If you're earning money but aren't happy about the ways you earn it that affects everything -- the way you live, the way you spend, your ability to save. That's why I call it being released from my old job. Letting go of the old fears that I need a crutch because I may have made a bad decision. Letting go of the feeling that I had a family there and if I left who would I turn to? Letting go of five minute comps. Getting to see theatre shows and dance and the like for free has given me the chance to see shows from around the world that I would have never seen. And so many other things.

I responded to my old boss via email. I knew if we talked on the phone she'd pull at my heart strings, talk about how much she still wanted me there, tell me how much she was always able to depend on me. Who needs that noise? Or is it static? In my email, I reminded her that I'd already quit, there was no reason to apologize for being forced to take me off the payroll, it really is no biggie. In her response she said, "was kinda hoping that you wanted to come back..." Bingo!

No, I don't want to go back. I want to move forward. Despite being more cash poor now than I've ever been in my working life. I'm committed to working my full time job and writing in the rest of my hours. If I don't learn that lesson now, when do I learn it? If you are still in love with your ex you can't really move forward with someone new with out all these old issues popping up. I can't hold on to my old job, work my current job and balance my writing life and attempt to have a social life anymore. I have to say what I want then live it.

I made a man cry the other night, well, a week ago. The reason why he cried was that I made it okay for his fuck ups. I told him that you taught your children more by being out of their lives for five years and then coming back then you would have if you hadn't left at all. You taught them that they can fuck up and climb their way back out of it. You couldn't have taught them that lesson if you hadn't fucked up.
He said, "But I still feel bad."
Yeah we're always going to second guess ourselves aren't we? We're always going to wonder if the choices we make are mistakes. We're always going to wonder about how we hurt others and ourselves. But there are benefits we gain from the voids in our lives and there are negatives we get from the so called good things in life.

My biggest benefit that I've gained from the voids in my life is my writing. I started writing because I couldn't draw as well as my brother. I continued to write because I felt ignored in my family. I felt like I wasn't listened to with the same respect as my other family members. I needed a way to express myself because I always had a feeling of neglect despite the fact that my mother and I were very close. She couldn't give me 100% of her attention (who can?) because she had her own cross to bear. She had her guilt for that. But she gave me my writing.

And in letting go of my old job once and for all I'm giving my writing back to myself. Yeah, I could pay off all my bills and have the money to buy nicer furniture in my apartment. I could have a bigger wardrobe with the latest fashion. I could look outwardly better from all the things money can bring me and I will - eventually. But if I don't feel good inside, none of those things will make me look better.

If I hold on to a past job that I haven't liked for at least two years, if I hold on to that stand by position, if I have to suffer fools (which come in big supply at that job) ... Well, you do the math.

14 November 2006

Inspiring People 2

One of my favorite quotes is from Rumi, "The morning breeze has secrets to tell you, don't go back to sleep."

It's basically about when you wake up at some crazy hour, way before your alarm goes off to start your day, and instead of going back to sleep staying awake to hear what your intuition has to tell you. If you listen long enough, you'll hear it. Instead of being stressed out that you're not getting all your sleep be inspired that your intuition has woken you up. It's hard. Sleeping is so much fun. But if you can manage to stay up and listen, well, who knows?

From inspiration to income
Wayne Fromm has transformed frequent middle-of-the-night brainstorms into nearly 50 successful commercial products
Nov. 11, 2006. 09:40 AM From The Toronto Star

Almost everyone has thought of at least one great invention they believed would make them a million dollars. But few are like Wayne Fromm, who has converted his musings into nearly 50 successful commercial products.

Even among inventors that's a rare feat.

"Less than one-tenth of one per cent of patents are profitable. The odds are against you there," said Fromm, 51.

Over the past 18 years, Fromm's "hits" have included Disney's Beauty and the Beast Magic Talking Mirror, Crayola's Sketch-A-Lot and Nesquik and MacDonald's Magic Milkshake Makers.

But the buyer at a well-known regional camera chain knew none of this when Fromm stepped inside the Toronto store a few months ago looking for help getting his latest idea, the Quik Pod, on the market.

He just thought Fromm's invention, a kind of "extendable hand-held tripod" that lets you photograph yourself with your friends and family, was cool.

"There's nothing else like it in the marketplace," said Jim Floroff, a buyer for Henry's Cameras. The Quik Pod won't be in Henry's stores until sometime next week, he said. But initial response has been positive.

"Wayne brought the prototype to The Imaging Show last month just to get some response. People wanted to buy it. But it wasn't in the country yet," Floroff added.

This weekend, Fromm will be putting his invention to the big test when it appears for the first time on The Shopping Channel and in an ad tomorrow in The New York Times for the venerable J&R Music and Computer World store.

Fromm said he invented the Quik Pod to solve a problem he had taking a photo of himself and his daughter in a restaurant. The table was wobbly and he didn't want to ask a stranger to shoot the picture.

"I can see video bloggers using it to film themselves, making their own movies, at three in the morning," Fromm said. Down the road, he has an idea for a website where amateurs could post their news and views from around the world.

The lightweight extendable device works with any photo or video camera weighing less than two kilograms and with a standard tripod mount and a self-timer.

After years of inventing products mainly for the toy industry, bringing the Quik Pod to market was like starting all over again, he said.

As usual, there was no instruction manual to follow. But a combination of intellectual curiosity, marketing savvy and relentless focus seems to be part of the winning formula.

A university degree in psychology gave him insight into how people think. His apprenticeship in his father's bowling alley and movie theatre business taught him entrepreneurship. And the chain of video-arcade stores he launched in the 1980s, called Video Invasion, taught him how to fix things with circuits and wires.

The rest, he said, is trial and error. "You have to be very patient, very focused and a little crazy."

He says his ideas come out of his head. "It's totally unscientific. I just go with my gut feeling." His focus group is an ex-girlfriend. "I have 100 ideas a week. She tells me 99.9 are no good." And his (now) adult daughter, Sage, who's in her second year at university. "I'll wake her up at three in the morning to say, `Should it be in this colour or that colour?'"

His laboratory is his basement, where he assembles products using everyday items he purchases from stores such as The Source and Canadian Tire. His first effort at the Quik Pod, for example, was based on parts cannibalized from an umbrella and a ball-point pen.

After that, Fromm said it's a matter of making lots of calls and sometimes flying to New York, Europe or China to meet people personally. And never taking no for an answer.

Sometimes, he licenses an invention to a big name. Other times, he brings the idea to market himself, as he did with the Quik Pod. Not all ideas bear fruit. He once worked on an idea for two years only to find out someone else had beaten him to the punch. Another time he licensed a product to a company that sat on it for two years because it no longer fit its corporate strategy.

By the time Fromm arrived at Henry's, he had the prototype, the packaging and the marketing strategy all worked out, Floroff said. Fromm also brought in a receipt for a product he'd bought at Henry's back in 1971. "I wanted them to know I was a long-time customer," Fromm said. "They got a big kick out of that."

The buyer for the store was impressed.

"This was a finished product," Floroff said "So, yes, we took a chance on it. It's hard to say how it will do."

But Henry's has ordered "hundreds," just in case.

12 November 2006

Belief and Patience Opens Doors

Sunday 12Nov06 4:39pm

I'm so in love with the television series Heroes that I have to say that I think it is the best show I have ever watched on TV.
I watched four episodes in a row this weekend and by the end of them I was thinking about Milo Ventimiglia and feeling happy for him that he's got such a stellar gig. Milo played a major character on the series, Gilmore Girls for a couple years and since he's left the show aside from the odd cameo appearance he hasn't really come back in any substantial way.
When ever I read anything about the Gilmore Girls there is always some mention about Milo being asked back and him always declining.

He's said something along the lines that there's no where for his character Jess Mariano to go. When you read about it, if you're a Gilmore Girls fan, you think, "what's he doing? He's not on anything. He might as well make a pay cheque." But Milo has really stuck to his guns and not suckered himself back into a role that isn't going to go anywhere for him. The show is called the Gilmore Girls after all, how much of a role can you give a guy that isn't one of the Gilmore girls?

Anyway, Milo has been jumping around getting bites of shows here and there but nothing that has really lasted. He had a spin off show for his character Jess that never really got past the pilot episode. He also had the Bedford Diaries that never really went anywhere either. So that's why I'm so thrilled to see him in Heroes. As someone with many actor friends, I know how hard it is to have a plan and stick to it without worrying about paying your rent. It couldn't have been easy for him to seemingly sit around waiting for the right project that would have more than 2 episodes air. Be pestered by people telling him he was crazy not to jump at the chance for a gig by returning to Gilmore Girls. It's not easy having a plan and sticking to it despite everybody in your life telling you that you're crazy to wait for the elusive gem that may never cross your path.

I found the whole thing inspiring this weekend. Thinking that he's waited a good three/four years to get this part in a show that could quite possibly be the best show that's ever been on television. And who wouldn't want to play a super hero? Hello!

You have to believe in yourself and what you want and the process of how things come to you. Despite what others tell you they think you should do, where they think you should live, how they think you should act, how they think you should or shouldn't be in a relationship and all the other shoulds that people should on you. Sometimes it is a waiting game. Sometimes it takes years. But belief and patience open doors when you stick to your plan for yourself.


07 November 2006


Tuesday 7Nov06 9pm

Grant me the senility
to forget the people I never liked anyway,
the good fortune
to run into the ones I do,
and the eyesight
to tell the difference.

It made me giggle!