Moving Forward…

The snob in me wants to wax verbose about how the breeze feels across my neck, but I think that part of me died two weeks ago. I’m sitting here in Garfield Park in Indianapolis on a Saturday evening, getting ready to crew the pick-up shoot for Dark Ground, a feature film I had the pleasure of starring in shortly after moving back to the heartland, and I’ve been hit with a horrible revelation: I might survive this.

My second son, Isaac Joel Brown, was born six weeks early on September 8th, 2015. He was 18.5 inches long and weighed 5 lbs 9 ounces. He died the night before in his mother’s womb, and the moment that should have been overwhelming in its joy was instead filled with sorrow as I saw my son for the first time, a corpse.

Now, I’m a spiritual man, and I believe Isaac to be in Heaven right now and in that moment as well. He left a warm and happy place and found himself in an even better one. This does not comfort me much. I would rather replace this knowledge with the memory of his laugh, smile, cry, touch, smell or any of the other events that might have been had he survived. I look at my oldest son and know that Isaac would have had the best older brother and that not only was his family denied his presence, but he ours.

It’s very easy to look at the horrible things that life throws at you, and simply “throw in the towel.” I could lose faith. Saying “everything happens for a reason” not only sounds stupid in times like these but cruel as well. What reason could be good enough to kill my son?

Dwelling on thoughts like this is the path to the dark side of the force. I will not search for blame. Fear leads to anger, anger to hate, and hate to further suffering. We’ve suffered enough. I have an Isaac sized hole in my heart as proof of that.

So I continued. I continued to take job interviews, work on film projects and I have not stopped writing. This Friday I was offered and in turn accepted a full-time job. I have also begun working on three different film projects and began prepping a fourth (for the 60 Hour Film Challenge).

I make time for my wife. She is suffering as I am suffering. I have hobbies though. I’ve never prayed in a blog post before, but I pray now that God place his healing hand over all of us. Things won’t change over-night, but one day, one minute at a time, we will get through this.

So, Internet, here is my vow: I will not dwell in sorrow and anger, I will not deny them, I will feel them for as long as I must, and I will let them go. I will make this life the best one I can live and I will remember Isaac Joel Brown. I will remember him as he should have been, beautiful and alive. For he was beautiful, and according to his mother, one heck of a kicker!

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I love you, Isaac.

Now, it’s time to make a movie.

Too many ideas?

 

I don’t actually think it’s possible to have too many ideas.  Too many ideas at the same time?  Yes, that could be a problem.  Learning to focus on one project and stick with it to the end isn’t a new problem for writers, and certainly isn’t one I haven’t faced before.  But, like any good villain/addiction, it keeps rearing its ugly head.

I must learn to narrow my focus from time to time.

And I have done this.  I did it for my web-series (and was set to shoot it when my producer/guy-giving-me-money-to-do-it bailed on me), and I did when I was submitting for the ABC Writing Fellowship.  And I do at work.

Deadlines.  That’s what these events have in common.  Well, how do you impose a self-inflicted deadline?  What am I going to do for myself if I achieve it?  What am I going to do if I don’t achieve it?  At the end of the day I’m not going to punish myself.

I like me too much for that.  #dumb

Instead, I’m trying to build healthy habits in my life.  One of them is daily writing.  If I can’t manage to focus this Gemini-addled brain, at least I can work it on the regular.  And by the sheer quantity of work I produce, I’m bound to finish something without a deadline.  Right?

-T2

PS: On a side note, here’s an excerpt from a recent short story I wrote for the Ventura County Writer’s Club Short Story Contest.

            Marnella Millhouse Maddison-MacGuffin was born with only one eye. “She only has her right eye,” people would say; which of course was ludicrous.  How can you have a right eye, if you’ve never had a left. It was simply put, her eye, and she was quite happy to call it that, thank you very much.

             “Who needs two eyes anyway,” she often thought. She could see as good as any dual-eyed person she knew. She often saw better than most, in fact, with the small exception of peripheral vision, but that’s why necks exist.

            And she could see as clear as day that stealing an Ogre’s treasure was a bad idea. But did anybody ask her what she thought of the plan? Of course not, that would have been smart.  

            “It’ll be alright Marney, there’s nothing to worry about.  Just go play with your dolls.” Well, she didn’t want to play with her dolls, and she didn’t want to go trouncing into the Ogre cave to rescue the morons either, but it was obvious that someone who could actually see what they were doing had to get involved.

            So, there she stood, knee deep in snow and ash, peering into the darkness of the Ogre cave, with her father’s broken sword by her side. The wind bit at her neck.  Couldn’t risk raising her hood. Whatever peripheral vision she had, she would need. 

            “Well, here goes,” she said as she entered the Ogre’s cave.

Brain Farting; In Need of Mental Colonic.

I have found, lately, that I’m feeling stuck.  Immovable.  It’s not that I’m not going places, that things aren’t happening and that I’m not an active participant in my life.  Because I am.  No, what I mean is: Have you ever had so many projects going on at the same time, that you lose the “forest for the trees?”  Like a deer in headlights, I have just stopped.

D3Now, don’t get me wrong–I love Diablo 3–it’s a great game, despite Blizzard Entertainments attempt to remove everything that was awesome about Diablo 2 from it.  I’m still playing the game.  I’m having fun doing it.  But what am I not doing?

I’m not writing.  I’m certainly not blogging, until right now, of course.  I keep saying “yes” to things I should say “no” to.  I need a mental cleanse.  I need to find my bearings.  To come up with a new schedule for feeding my brain and for vegging out with my hardcore Barbarian, hardcore MP10 Witch Doctor, and MP10 Wizard.  ‘Cause, they’re awesome.  🙂

Unfortunately, this sounds easier than I’m finding it to actually be.  My son keeps my quite busy, which I don’t mind.  He’s awesome!  He gave me a thumbs up for the first time the other day.  I felt accomplished and I hadn’t done anything.  How awesome is that?  And yes, he is one of the things I said “Yes” to, but definitely not one of the things I shouldn’t have.  It is a huge blessing to have him in my life and I find that he’s teaching me more about me than I’m teaching him, well, anything.

So, I’ve decided (Just now, as I wrote the last paragraph–which was a process: I paced and everything.) that I’m going to treat my writing time like it’s work time.  This should be obvious, and something you’d think I would be doing anyway, but I haven’t.  I’ve been treating it as “my time.”  It is something I love to do, so it couldn’t possibly be work, right?

So not true.

I’m going to start with prioritizing my projects and then work on them as close to “one at a time” as I can.  We’ll see how this goes over the next few weeks.  I’ll keep you posted.  Thanks for “listening.”  It helped me figure out my problem.  You know, saying it.

Now, back to Diablo.  😉