Monday, April 27, 2009

A Bible Super Smarty Pants

I’ve never been the type of person who’s a Bible smarty pants, able to quote scripture at the drop of a hat. Some folks can gush it out like an exploded faucet:

John 1:13 "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.”

Matt 5:3,6,9. “People who have within them the spirit of the poor are blessed; their's is the kingdom of heaven...people who hunger and thirst for justice are blessed; because they will be filled...people who work for peace are blessed; because they will be called children of God."

Isaiah 43:1 “But now, this is what the LORD says— he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”

And everyone LOOOOOOOOOVES Jeremiah 29:11-13

11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

But I never had a favorite Bible verse to bust out in conversation.

Last week found me in 2nd Chronicles, which is basically Remedial History If You Returned From 70 Years Of Babylonian Exile And Wondered How Your Country Got To This Sad Sorry State.

In the narrative, Jehoshaphat, ruler of Judah, is standing in front of the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem, as a huge Edomite army is marching towards them with the intention of wiping them out. Jehoshaphat prays to God a big prayer about how You’re awesome, You’re mighty, bad guys’re coming, help help help, we can’t defeat them, la la la.

And then he says this (2nd Chronicles Ch 20, verse 12 (the last part.):

“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”

At last, at last, a Bible verse I can claim and call my own. I can look like a super smarty pants now too!

“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”

Jehoshaphat’s lucky, because the Spirit of the Lord comes upon one of the priest’s sons, and gives them super specific instructions on how exactly to take care of this Edomite army.

But yeah, here I am, God. I don’t know what to do next either, in terms of life plans. I mean sure, the idea is to keep writing, keep writing, all that stuff. But what comes after that? I don’t know what to do, but my eyes are definitely upon you.

So feel free to show me. ☺

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I Don’t Know About Extensive

So yeah, this weariness isn’t going away. Which sucks because I was in a good mood this weekend.

I had asked God for a tiny sign that what I’m doing – currently unemployed and working my butt off writing instead of looking for work – is what I’m supposed to be doing. Am I even supposed to be writing? Is there something else I’m supposed to be doing? Because if so, I was welcoming God to knock me off this course and onto the path He always wanted me to be on, assuming it wasn’t going to be painful, like a car wreck that decapitates both my hands, which is how I discover the career I was always supposed to have was working with Ugandan orphans or something.

Instead, I get more than one sign that yes, indeed, I’m supposed to be writing. I got feedback on some projects that was very positive and encouraging me to keep going. That feedback let to a couple of brainstorming breakthroughs on those projects and I was eager to start writing on them. I got news that the Pink Piggy premiere is happening. And more than a few times over the weekend, I caught myself thinking you know what? I kinda like my life right now. Sure, it’s out of whack – no day job, no significant other, still sharing a house with Roomie Heckle and Jekyll, who are slobs. But the money is there, and the desire and inspiration is there, and the time is there, so I might as well take advantage of it, and pretend that yes, I am a working writer. Because the only thing that would be different about my life now and my first big paycheck for writing would be that I would be living by myself, and I would finally have the comfy chair in the living room that has become the metaphor for success for me. Most everything else would be the same.

And then I caught myself rationalizing that those signs were just coincidences, and God didn’t send them, and it’s just me making events make sense. Heh.

At my Monthly Small Group, everyone commented on “Smiling Amy.” I didn’t have any prayer requests (especially because Stella and Wella are doing amazing, Wella is 60 –70 percent better, confounding all the doctors with his amazing progress), I just wanted to thank God for this moment, right here, right now. Before the Pink Piggy premiere happens, and people may not like the film. Before I write the scripts and send them out and people may not buy them. Before starting to look for a job and maybe there’s not any out there. This is the best place to be, going up the wave, instead of it breaking and sending you screaming down the other side in defeat.

And then I got through yesterday and came out the other side exhausted. Maybe it’s the caffeine wearing off. Maybe it’s reality setting in. Maybe it’s exhaustion setting in, the weight of people’s expectations about the film, the script, the play, people watching me, thinking there’s someone who’s on her way up, weighing me down like an f’ing ton of bricks. Maybe it’s going without alcohol or candy for a week.

And I’m exhausted all day today, and I don’t know where the excitement went, or if it was even real in the first place. Now it’s gritting teeth time, and forcing myself to keep going, keep working, keep writing.

Nevertheless, I will still thank God for the moment, however fleeting it was. Where I liked my life and everything seemed hopeful, and people commented on “Smiling Amy.”

Monday, April 20, 2009

Working on it

The hilarious thing about last week is two days after my lent post I got word that they're having a premiere for Pink Piggy at the end of this month. So I vowed to go on a no alcohol no sweets fast until the premiere, since I carry about three extra pounds from those two food groups that I don't really need to have on me for a premiere.

And it's times like this that I think that's the stupidest thing I could've done, because I sorely need a drink.

When I don't drink alcohol and am in the midst of a massive writing jag as I am right now (like seriously, people are waiting on me to turn in stuff) I drink boatloads of caffeine. which results in me crashing, as I am currently doing. I've stared at the computer for eight to ten hours a day, and I feel like my eyeballs are going to melt out of my head. I think I feel the enamel wearing off my teeth. My stomach is saying things veggies are NOT a breakfast food, and if you don't give me some tequila pronto instead of all this water I'm going to digest your lower intestine and make you puke it up. I'm exhausted.

In fact, the good mood of this past weekend may have been me on a extended caffeine binge. Not sure.

All of which is to say, there will be a more extensive blog entry tomorrow. The bed is calling. Sleep is calling. I just wrote the last paragraph with my eyes already closed. Thank God for spellcheck.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Lent Doesn't Do It For Me

Lent is over for a lot of people. It never started with me, as I don’t necessarily believe in it. That statement got attention at my Home Group, where people gave up things like wine, alcohol, sugar, etc.

I used to be deliberately contrary and add things for 40 days, as opposed to giving anything up. One year I added an ab workout that I did for 40 days (as opposed to only when I went to the gym) and the resulting core strength continues to serve me well. Last year I decided way before Lent that I was reading the Bible straight through, which I continued until I was done (and then turned around and started all over again.)

But as I was trying to explain myself to my church peeps, when you give something up for 40 days, it turns into more of an aggravation for me, a Why Can’t I Have This Battle of Self Discipline rather than something that draws one closer to God.

Not to mention the fact that Jesus didn’t give anything up for 40 days on his merry way to Jerusalem to be crucified. And yes, I know he was led into the dessert to be tempted for 40 days, but that’s not the same thing to me. I’d be more willing to do that if it came in the middle of the year for no reason, and some church authority said This Is The Season Where We Fast Because Jesus Was Tempted In The Desert For 40 Days And We Think It’s Somewhere Around Here In The Calendar Year As Opposed To A Pagan Religion That We Co-Opted.

I mean, honestly, I don’t need a religion to deny myself something for 40 days. I am the master of self discipline AND a masochist to boot. If there’s something on the horizon to work towards, I’ll totally do it. I gave up alcohol for a month until I got on the cruise, to make it extra special. Other times, I’ve given up sugar until Christmas, or carbs to get down to a size 6 (I overshot and hit size 4 instead.)

And as far as drawing closer to God, I work on that all day every day too, this blog being the best evidence of that.

I certainly don’t think any less of my many friends who did give something up, or my friends who did Lent, but gave themselves breaks every Sunday. To each their own, I guess.

Maybe I’ll try fasting Fridays. Or the Daniel diet. Or maybe I’ll just go in the backyard and say Yo God, What’s Up.

Because I think all are equally valid.

Monday, April 06, 2009


I’ve accomplished the two writing goals I set for myself for the month of March (two outlines), yay me. And there’s the pull about Do I Go Back To The Temp Agency Already or Do I Take Another Month Off To Write Those Outlines Into Scripts.

The smart money would say go ahead and sign up with the temp agency, because it may take a while for them to get going with me, as they may be under a flood of new applications, given how every new Los Angeles morning brings another 300 people out of work (I made that number up.)

But I do have a history of getting placed fairly quickly every time I pull the Temp Agency lever, and I have to say, I do like this time of getting caught up with the writing. The bank account is more than solvent, and I’m just now getting the unemployment checks, so there’s not a financial crunch motivating me. It’s times like these that I could use some clear direction from God about What Do I Do Next, and I worry that God’s just volleying the question back to me, What Do You Want To Do? I WANT YOU TO TALK TO ME, GOD! THANKS FOR THAT!

But one good thing that I’m able to do with the time off is help out my peeps in need. My best buddy needed me to help him out with his dogsitting gig, as he had a temp job in Culver City, so twice now, I’ve found myself in South Pasadena, daysitting the most adorable puff fluffles named Pee Wee and Two Bits (obviously not their real names.)

They are cockapoo puppies, about a year and a half old, and they adore people. And they are so small you can hold them up with one hand, see?

I know it looks like they’re big (or at least have a big head), but you can see my ONE HAND underneath him, holding them up. Pee Wee is actually smaller, and managed to squeeze herself on my lap even though the computer was already there. She wanted to rest her head on the keyboard, but then my script starting saying things like

So I had to put a stop to that.

Pee Wee and Two Bits are sister and brother, and they’ve never ever been apart, they don’t want to be apart, apparently when they went to the vet, the vet observed them all day and then pronounced judgment about how they CAN’T be apart, so fierce is their sibling bond. I’ve never seen two related dogs love each other that much. I had Ernie and Bert as cocker spaniel sisters growing up, and they hated each other at times.

This is how close they are – they sleep like this. Isn’t that the most adorable thing you’ve seen in like, a week?

I totally want that. I want a snugglebuddy. This is what every chick dreams of, by the way. You can be fairly awful in bed, and if you will be a snugglebuddy with a girl afterwards, it covers a whole multitude of sins (smooth her hair back, kiss her forehead, and whisper how everything’s gonna be alright while you’re at it.)

But even taking it out of the secular realm for a moment. I want to feel that close to God. I want God to be my snugglebuddy. Just look at these two puppies. Doesn’t it look like Two Bits is going to totally protect Pee Wee, even though they’re both fast asleep? You know Pee Wee wouldn’t be able to sleep at all if Two Bits wasn’t at her side. Why do these puppies have that kind of closeness when God always feels so remote to me?

Um, because you’re not a dog?

Yeah, right.