Monday, June 22, 2015

Losing Money, Disagreeing, My Novels, and Self-Esteem

1. Started to watch Neighbours.

I'm very impressed with the bravery of the Turner family in regards to them losing $800,000.  Their reaction seems equal to how I feel and act when I lose about $20.

And they're not rich. I mean if you're a billionaire or multi-millionaire, losing $800,000 is probably not earth shattering.

2. Wondered if reaction to losing money is intensified by how it's lost. If I lost $20 in a casino, I wouldn't be bothered. I would have expected to probably lose.  At worst, I'd be mildly disappointed. But if the money was stolen or I was given the wrong change...that would be difficult for me.

The Turner's money was stolen in a scam. That would bother me immensely. But really. The Turner family seems to be taken it in stride. At least so far.  Matt (Josef Brown) is the only one who seems a bit grumpy about it. But I think his reaction is about equal to the way my dad would react when we accidentally spilled our drinks.

Bailey (Calen MacKenzie) seems a bit down. I think he's feeling guilty, because he was the one who was scammed.  But he doesn't seem absolutely devastated.

3. Wondered if maybe the family is in shock. Maybe they don't yet realize the extent of their loss.

Or they could just be very brave and levelheaded.

4. Got idea from Paige (Olympia Valance) that the Turner family might not be as calm and brave as they appear. It's more like they're closeting their feelings.

5. Liked what Anthony Dillon said in this editorial.  I am pleased to see that universities often do provide opportunity for debates, independent thinking, and a variety of opinions, where students do not have to fear going against the grain.

It can be terrifying going against the grain—whether you're in a university classroom or on the Internet.  Kudos to those who are kind and open-minded enough to not attack those who think differently than them.

It's not that we can't strongly disagree with someone; and speak out against what they said. But there's no need to threaten their life or belittle them.

6. Saw Paige (Olympia Valance) get rejected for being too beautiful.  She meets with Bryson (Brodie Derrick), and he tries to kiss her. She backs away a bit. This hurts him and he then rejects her prior idea of him staying an extra night.

I think Bryson feels she backed away from the kiss because he's not handsome enough for her. But I think even if he was better looking, there'd be a good chance she'd reject the kiss. It was a bit forced and awkward; and they just met.

Later Paige meets up with him and kisses him. Bryson says he doesn't want to be a charity case. Nor does he want Paige as a friend. He doesn't need anymore friends. Paige doesn't want to lose him and suggests he stay for awhile. She adores him as a friend and feels if he stays, an attraction might develop between them. Bryson refuses.

I definitely think Bryson is at fault here. It's like Paige is being punished for being beautiful and not being automatically attracted to him.  Bryson's level of attractiveness matters less than the fact that he lied about how he looked.  What if we fell in love with someone online who looked like Guy Pearce. Then we met them and they looked like Chris Hemsworth?  I think we'd probably mourn for the loss of what we imagined we were getting.

7. Did understand that if Bryson was initially honest about his appearance, Paige might not have pursued the online relationship.  I can understand why he gave into the temptation to lie. But Paige was nice enough to forgive him. And she's smart and open-minded enough to understand that since she loves Bryson's personality, there's a fair chance, she could end up becoming attracted to him.

8. Wondered if the truth is that Bryson is disappointed in Paige. Had they ever spoken before? I'm not sure. But if they didn't, maybe Bryson imagined Paige having a different voice. Maybe he finds her voice very unattractive. Maybe he doesn't want to admit that to himself, so he projects his superficialness onto Paige.

9. Started watching an episode of The Secret Life of Us. I'm down to the last five of season three.

10. Thought a guest star on The Secret Life of Us looked very familar. I searched through his filmography, and then realized this Joe Manning was on the show a few episodes back. In this episode and that episode, he played David Forde. So...no wonder I recognized him.

But I don't know who David Forde is; and what he did on the show.

11. Looked at Sullivan Stapleton, another guest star on the episode, and saw he's more than a typical guest star. He's in twenty-four episodes of The Secret Life of Us. Will he ever get to appear in the credits?  Or will he be one of those actors who appear in several episodes, but never graduates from being a guest star?

12. Saw that Sullivan Stapleton was on Satisfaction. He played Josh. I'm not sure who that is.

13. Found out who David Forde is. He's Evan's high school bully.

14. Glad that Gabrielle (Sibylla Budd) and Tidy (Dan Spielman) are finally a couple. I like them.

15. Hoped that Kelly (Deborah Mailman) and Justin (Sullivan Stapleton) will become a couple. I like them together. And it's time for Kelly to have a decent man. I didn't like Jake (Torquil Neilson) at all.

16. Tried to remember if I liked Nathan (Todd MacDonald) with Kelly.

I think I was probably indifferent about it.

17. Had idea about who Sullivan Stapleton was on Satisfaction.  I'm pretty sure he played the lover of Chloe (Diana Glenn).

I'm seeing stuff on IMDb plot descriptions that makes me believe I'm right.

It's funny, because Glenn played Jemima, Evan's (Samuel Johnson) girlfriend. Evan is Kelly's roommate. If Justin starts dating Kelly, then the Satisfaction characters can say, Do you remember in that past life when we both dated those roommates in St. Kilda?

18.  Went totally against what I wrote in #5 when looking at Rotten Tomato reviews of Inside Out. Almost every reviewer (98%) loved the movie. Then I saw one reviewer who did not. I immediately decided he was an arrogant asshole with no heart.

Okay, maybe I'm not so bad. Because I didn't go off and attack him. But I was thinking that I'm going to find out who is he and hate everything he's written.

But see...now I've caught myself. I'm going to be a decent person and live up to my high morals. I'm going to read his side of things.

19. Read the review. I don't agree with him for the most part, but he has some fair points. Sort of.

20. Decided to read an Australian review of the film. Fiona Williams says, There’s plenty of giggles in a group of oddballs competing for control of 11-year-old Riley’s (Kaitlyn Dias) outward expressions - but brace yourself, kids, this sweet surface story of pre-pubescent growing pains goes to some very deep places.

I agree. I thought it was very deep. I've been wondering if my young nephews would like it. I think there's enough visual silliness to keep them entertained for awhile. But I think you need to be an older mature child, or an adult to understand, most of the messages and ideas.

I might be wrong.

21. Liked Fiona William's concluding line about the film. Inside Out is a triumph of Joy and Sadness and – at the risk of agitating my own inner Disgust for saying so – it will make you feel ‘all of the feels’.

I had a lot of feels. And deep thoughts. If a movie can do that for many people; I'd say it's a good one.

22. Read another Aussie review of the film. Dov Kornits has only one complaint about the film. The 3D glasses get in the way of our tears.  I agree more with a review I read earlier. He or she said the glasses helped to hide the tears.

We didn't see the 3D version.

3D bothers my eyes these days.

23. Read a third Aussie review of the film. Paul Byrnes says,  Inside Out has a manic sense of humour, exploding in all sorts of directions, but the heart of it is a girl's descent into depression. That was unexpected, as was the depth of that depression.  

Yeah. Exactly. It took a very serious subject and made it very relatable. I think it's that whole combo of laughter and crying. I embarrassed myself towards the end of the movie by sniffling (a lot) and then giggling.  Awful snorty, breathy giggling.

I was a mess.

24. Started to watch another episode of The Secret Life of Us.

This episode might be meaningful to me. It's about getting bad book reviews.

25. Imagined getting bad book reviews is better than having no one read or buy your book.

I think it's been over 90 days since anyone has bought any of my books.

I'm often okay with that. I love my novels. A few people read and liked them...maybe even liked them a lot. That's often enough.

But then sometimes I feel regret about it. It's almost like I feel the characters are forgotten and neglected—that they're in limbo, waiting for someone to give them attention.

26. Saw that Talia, the Scientologist (Pia Miranda) is still around. I wonder what will happen with that storyline.

I'll be impressed if it doesn't end up that Talia is evil, crazy, and or a complete brain-washer.

Yes, I know there is evil in Scientology, victims of Scientology, and yucky bad Scientologists. But the same can be said of Islam and other religions.

But I have a hard time imagining The Secret Life of Us bringing on a Muslim character who ends up being portrayed negatively.

Personally, I feel there's a double standard.

If there can be decent Muslims, Christians, and Jews; I think there can also be decent Scientologists.

27. Felt luckier than Evan. Because he read the rough draft of his novel and hated it.

I liked mine. At least the content.

What frustrated me and made me want to give up was the grammar and proofreading issues.

I'm thinking it's probably the trivial mechanics of the whole thing that made me want to quit novel-writing.  It was horrible trying to proofread on my own. So much pressure to be perfect. And I got so sick of having to read my novel over and over and over and over....

I think in the end, I had a fairly decent project. But getting there was too stressful.  The shit of it all overshadowed the fun bits.

Still. I think having frustration over proofreading is better than being completely dissatisfied with one's novel. I don't think I've ever gone back, read one of my novels, and hated it.  I think I've been relatively happy with all my full-length writing projects.  Then again, maybe I hated something so much that I've blocked it from my memory.

Well, and if I read the stuff I wrote in high school, I might cringe a lot. I'd probably be better now at spotting my immaturity than I was when I was in the midst of it.

28. Thought Kelly was very sweet. When Evan was having doubts about his writing, she took out a large scrapbook where she had collected his positive reviews.

I'd like that type of encouragement.

The truth is...I have 100% faith in the fact that I can write a novel that I love. I often don't have faith that I can write a novel that other people will like.  This is especially true when I go months without anyone buying or reading my novels.

Sometimes it's nice to read the positive reviews. It restores some of my faith.  I say some, because you never know when a reviewer is trying to blow smoke up your ass; or they're just being kind.

29. Wondered which of Evan's friends actually liked his book, and which of them liked it only because Evan is their friend.

30. Had deep thoughts inspired by plot twist on The Secret Life of Us.

Evan is angry about a review of his book. He goes to a party, because there's a chance he could meet the reviewer. He wants to bitch him out (which is not very professional or mature, by the way).  Evan meets the reviewer, who ends up being an attractive female.  Evan hides his identity. He and the reviewer flirt and then have sex. They like each other despite her not liking his book and him not liking her review.

It makes me wonder. Of the people I've fought with online—especially the ones who seemed to hate me immediately; would we get along fine if we had met in real life?

And on the other side. Of the people I know in real life; would we not like each other if we had met online?

I could use my blog as an example. Are there people who like my blog that would end up thinking I was horribly blah if they met me in real life? And maybe there are people who like me in real life, but would be bored to tears by my blog.

31. Asked myself. Would I rather have someone like the real-life me or the blogging me?

Probably the blogging me; because it's more of me. The real life-me is kind of only the surface-me.

32. Thought of someone I met in real life and liked. But as I come to know her online/writing persona, I've grown to like her less and less.

So then what did I like about her?

Her smile, I suppose. Her accent. Her laugh. We seemed to have a few things in common.

33. Thought about a person I don't like much in real life; but I loved her blog. I thought it was hilarious. She's a fantastic writer.

Why?

I think she managed to hide things in her blog that were in her personality. Though she's actually quite popular in life; so maybe the traits that bothered me don't often bother other people.

34. Thought about people in my family. There's one person that I seem to get along better through writing—emails and texting. Then there's another who I come close to hating almost every time I get an email or text from them. I find their writing/online personality to be infuriating. But usually in real life, I like them just fine.

35. Wondered what's most likable—my novels, my blogging personality, my face-to-face personality, or my emailing/social media personality?

I guess it would depend on who's judging. Right?

But what if there were a lot of people judging and voting? And each of them knew all four of me? Would there be a strong winner and loser?

36. Thought that story between Kelly and Evan is similar to what happened to Stephen King.

Kelly sneaks into Evan's room, steals the disk with his novel on it; and sends it to the publisher.

If I remember the story correctly, Stephen King threw Carrie in the trash, and his wife rescued it. I don't think she sent it to the publisher, though.

37. Read story about Stephen and Tabitha King; and Carrie.  It wasn't the whole manuscript that was taken out of the trash. Just a few pages.

Still. I imagine it was nice to have someone that incredibly supportive.

Maybe Kelly went too far though. It's one thing to rescue someone's work from the trash. It's another thing to send it out to a publisher.

38. Decided support can be difficult. There are times I've given up on things; and I wish someone had enough faith in me to talk me out of it. No! You're really good. You can't give up! But other times I really do want to quit, and if someone was too pushy, it would really annoy me.

39.  Decided the latter is better than the former. People have asked me to come back to Facebook. I don't want to, but I liked that they asked me to come back. It makes me feel good. A few people have suggested that I go on The Voice.  I wouldn't want to, but I take it as a huge compliment (Except when I'm feeling skeptical and imagine they've said it to mock me)

On the other hand, when I took a very long hiatus from my blog,  I kind of hoped that someone would email me and tell me they miss it. Or leave me a comment. No one did. And that didn't feel so good. It took a courage to come back despite that. I hoped to get a warm welcome back, and that didn't happen either.

It kind of sucked, really.

40. Decided it's okay, because being a loser is probably better for our souls than being a winner.  

I'm kind of glad I've had a life full of rejection.

Or at least I'm okay with it.

My self-esteem has often had to stand on its own two feet.  It trips and falls a lot. But it's strong enough to get back up and try again.

41. Had my self-esteem fall flat on it's face while I was having a pee.

Because I imagined someone coming to this blog for the first time; reading this post (which is pretty much a mixture of bragging and self-pity moaning) and thinking, Well, no wonder no one missed her blog! 

42. Started watching another episode of The Secret Love of Us.

43. Saw that Claudia Karvan is back for this episode.

That's exciting.

I knew she was coming back for episode 20, 21, and 22.  But I forgot.

44. Liked this quote from A Fraction of the Whole. Like it or not, I am a celebrity and that means that you are interested in how many sheets of toilet paper I use to wipe my arse, whereas I have no interest in whether you wipe your ass at all or just leave it as is.

It makes sense. The world works that way. I can accept it.

However, recently I read something in my old blog posts—something I continue to agree with strongly. It's the fact that there are non-celebrity people on social media who have an attitude of celebrity.  What I mean is they share a lot and take in comments; but they don't do the same to to others. Or maybe it's just with me. Maybe they're more give and take with other people.

I've had these people though. I would comment on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. But they would rarely/never comment on my stuff. It was a one way street. What the hell is that all about?

45. Figured it was kind of okay if the person didn't like me or my comments; and wished I would go away. Ouch. But that's fair.

What's less okay is someone who has let me know they appreciate the comments and interest I've shown them; but doesn't do the same in return for me.

What's also less okay is if the person is a friend, relative, person I knew in the past, etc.  Then the one-sided interest and support greatly annoys me. And THAT'S why I don't want to return to Facebook. It's also why I rarely check Twitter and Instagram.  Though on Instagram, I'm following a very small number of personal accounts. And all but two are very good at the give and take thing.

46. Learned about the astrological idea of Saturn Return from The Secret Life of Us. It's the idea that at certain intervals in our life, Saturn returns to the same position it was at when we were born. And this has influence on our life and personality.

Lord Wiki says this happens around the ages of 27-29; then 56-60; and 84-90.  Supposedly, these are times of growth and maturity. Well, hopefully we're growing and maturing at every year. But I can accept the idea that we have extra growth during our Saturn years.