Out to the Movies

My husband and I went out to a movie for Valentines Day this year.

Now, before you tell me that sounds like a completely ordinary date, let me just explain.

My husband and I have never been on a date to a movie before.

Weird, right? We’ve been to one movie theater since we started dating, and that was for a work function with my job.

It was not romantic.

See, my husband and I started dating in March. Of 2020. For our first date, we were planning to go mini-golfing and then out to dinner. I canceled last minute, because apparently a world-wide pandemic had started and everything was shutting down.

Bit of a rough start to a relationship.

Since we were both low-risk of spreading anything—I work from home and he is a foreman for a construction company and spends most of his time alone in his truck—we decided to take a more socially distanced approach to our dating. We met in a parking lot, I jumped in his truck, and we drove up into the mountains to talk, admire the scenery, and decide if this date was going to take us anywhere.

Spoiler alert, it did.

The next three months of dating were spent driving through the mountains, eating take-out sushi, and watching every single season of The Office beginning to end. I think we were engaged—or getting close to it—before we finally went out to an actual restaurant for dinner. For some reason, this method of dating stuck, and we spend far more time in the mountains—or in sushi restaurants—than we do at the movies or any other typical dating location.

But things are opening up now, and Murder on the Orient Express finally, finally came out in theaters.
Second spoiler alert, it was amazing.

As fun as it was to escape for an evening and enjoy our first date movie in a theater together, I am still thankful our relationship began the way it did. I’m also thankful for a man who was brave enough to trap himself in his truck for a three hour drive with a potentially very awkward date just to see if it would go anywhere.

That’s courage.

Have you been back to any movie theaters since things have opened up? What did you go see? Tell me about it in the comments!

Cluttered Life

Welcome to my cluttered life,
Won’t you stay a while.
There’s space between my endless tasks,
My planner and my file.

Welcome to my cluttered life,
Ignore that pile of dreams.
I’ll move aside the heap of goals,
That’s tearing at my seams.

Welcome to my cluttered life,
I wish that you could stay.
We’d have some tea and cakes and laughs,
And in the sunshine we would play.

Welcome to my cluttered life,
I’ll try to make some room.
Amidst the host of scattered thoughts,
Those wishes and my gloom.

Welcome to my cluttered life,
I meant to offer tea.
It’s hidden ‘neath those rotten hopes,
I meant them for a better me.

Welcome to my cluttered life,
There isn’t room for you.
I filled that space with daily tasks,
Schedules and to-dos.

Welcome to my cluttered life,
I’ll see you to the door.
You could have stayed and drank and laughed,
If I’d gotten rid of more.

Knives Out

I love murder mysteries.

They’re one of my secret—or not so secret—passions. Agatha Christie books, Monk, Father Gilbert, Sherlock Holmes . . . I’ve enjoyed them all, and I’m generally not too picky. As long as there’s a mystery to solve and a plot that keeps me guessing, I’m in.

So, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that the first script I started with in my ‘year of scripts’ was Knives Out.
I love Knives Out. My sister and I went to see the film when it came out in theaters—way back when we still lived together, I was single, and theaters were still a thing—and we loved it. Every single minute of it. I can’t remember being so tense in my chair during an entire movie in years.

I didn’t go to a chiropractor afterward, but I probably should have.

Reading the script now, years later, was every bit as enjoyable, but in a completely different way.
The story revolves around Marta Cabrera, a nurse who caretakes for Harley Thrombey, a wealthy mystery writer whose dysfunctional family hovers around him, waiting for handouts from his vast fortune. When Thrombey is murdered, Marta is recruited to help solve his murder by private detective Benoit Blanc, uncovering along the way an abundance of family secrets and conflicts that would be more than enough motive for a murder.

Since this is a murder mystery and the whole point of a murder mystery is to keep you guessing, I won’t say anymore. The movie, suffice to say, kept me on pins and needles all the way through, and the script—well, the script was a whole new experience in itself.

See, reading scripts is different than you would expect. The structure is anything but formulaic, and some of them—the really good ones—show a whole new dimension to the work in the form of writing style, character descriptions, and details that are so, so easy to miss when you’re watching a film for the first or even second time. Depending on the draft you were able to find—because obviously, screenplays go through multiple drafts in development—the story might be quite different than you remember from watching the film, and you get to experience the tweaks, adjustments, and even flat-out rewrites done by the director during filming or when the film was edited.

Knives Out had plenty of cut scenes that were written in—possibly even filmed—and then cut later to streamline the final product. Reading them now, after I’d seen the movie itself several times, helped clear up a few areas of confusion, as well as flesh out character arcs that, although interesting, didn’t impact the main plot enough to remain in the final product. Definitely good information when it comes to knowing what to cut and what is essential to a story!

Did you see Knives Out, in theaters or afterward? How did you like it? Tell me about it in the comments!

Job VS Career

As many of you know, I left my full-time job in March of last year to start my own business.
It was something of a daunting transition. Lots of panicky moments. I came up with a business name, we bought an airplane hanger, I packed up my desk.

It was a whole thing.

But since then, I’ve been thinking a lot about the concept of a job vs a career. See, having a full-time, nine-to-five job is very comfortable. You have benefits, your paycheck lands in your bank account every other week, other people tell you what to do and when to do it . . . it’s comfortable. There’s security.

But—and this took me years to finally admit about myself—I am a fiercely ambitious person. I have plans. Plans that don’t involve a nine-to-five or paychecks that land in my bank account every two weeks. Plans that live outside of the nine-to-five. Plans for books and TV shows and projects that are mine instead of someone else’s. Even when I was working my nine-to-five, I was coming home and spending several more hours working on my books or this blog or whatever other projects I felt were necessary to what I was doing at the time. Sometimes that meant editing, or finishing the design on a book cover, or posting on social media.

You wear a lot of hats, when you have your own business.

Wish I’d known that back when I first started.

Someone’s gotta do the taxes and keep track of business documents. And guess what? It’s gonna be me.

Every single time.

But, in the last year as I have been settling into my new role as a business owner, I have discovered the benefits of attaching myself to a dream, not a company or a job or even a project, in fact. Over the years, I have reached the point with projects where they were no longer driving me forward, and I’ve learned to let them go and be thankful for what they’ve taught me, rather than allowing them to hold me back for any longer. The same goes for companies, jobs, and even genres.

In other words, I am allowing for growth. Rather than being discouraged that I no longer have the security of the nine-to-five, I am looking at my career as a collage of projects and seasons, jobs and commissions that will grow into something far larger—and more diverse—than a single nine-to-five is able to offer.

And that, I’m finding, is far more lasting and resilient than a nine-to-five.

Do you have plans that feel too big or too uncomfortable for you? Tell me about them in the comments!