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Writing: The Journey from Novel to Screenplay to Stage Play to eBook


Trish Causey's Voices on the Wind Original ScreenplayI’m in the process of re-writing a screenplay I wrote years ago into an e-book novel.  It’s called Voices on the Wind, and the story takes place on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.  As you probably already know, I’m a lifelong activist, and one of the areas I’ve always stood up for is the plethora of issues that affect American Indian tribes.  So after a good long time away from this story, I’m re-visiting it … and looking ahead.

I’ve revised the format a few times over the years — it began as a novel, but after four chapters, I stopped because the cost of printing books was just too high (at the time); so I switched gears and wrote it as a film screenplay, which turned out to be a colossus 184 pages.  I thought a film would be great because that would have the biggest potential audience to receive the message … or so I thought at the time.  I even went to the trouble of registering my script with the Writers Guild of America (WGAw) and copyrighting it.  However, the logistics of actually making my script into a film were daunting and expensive — even by the numbers of SAG’s low-budget contracts.

I tried writing VOTW as a novel again, but I simply loathed the process.  My background is in the literary classics.  I haven’t read much in the contemporary book market.  My mother was a literature professor, and my father was a scientist for the government.  My world was nerd-central.  I read Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and Hamlet by the time I was in 6th grade.  While I loved the plays — probably due to my burgeoning theatre obsession, I loathed the lengthy tomes with endless prose and little dialogue.  The idea of writing descriptive prose was not something I wanted to do.  In fact,  I still have heebie-jeebies from reading Silas Marner in high school.  I mean, did George Eliot really have to spend 2 to 3 pages describing a frickin’ tree?  I say, “No.”

A couple years ago, I had gone back to the revised-revised-finalized-final version of my Voices on the Wind screenplay to adapt it for the stage because I could finally admit that what I really loved was writing dialogue not descriptive paragraphs that go on for pages (this blog notwithstanding).  But I realized that in adapting my story for a screenplay, I had taken out a lot of the scrumptuous dialogue that actors love to deliver for the sake of brevity in the film medium whose motto is “Show.  Don’t tell.”  Well, screw that.  Actors like to talk.  And so do my characters.

Interestingly, in the past 10 years, writing in the mass paperback industry has changed considerably.  People like quick reads, and dialogue helps do that.  Descriptive writing is still necessary, of course, but not at the lengths that used to be the standard.  Also, with the advent of mobile, digital readers, more people than ever can afford to read (e)books because the costs are usually much lower than the physical book.  This means I can get my story into people’s consciousness everywhere, more quickly and less expensively.  Plus, the publishing industry used to be almost impenetrable for new authors; but the digital age has leveled the playing field for writers and placed the advantage squarely in the realm of self-publishing, while the cost of film-making has skyrocketed.

Now, here I am, going back to the tattered, worn, falling apart original 184-page screenplay of Voices on the Wind — barely held together with its tarnished brass brads — to reformat it as an e-book novel for your reading pleasure.  It has been emotional for me to revisit the story as I wrote it originally, to once again dwell in the hearts and minds of my characters whom I love so much.  Some things have changed on Pine Ridge since I was there in 2001, and some things haven’t.  As a writer, it will be such a relief to FINALLY get this story out into the world.

I admit, there is nothing like actually holding a book in your hands as you curl up in a comfy spot with a cool drink and a tray of assorted chocolates nearby.  Nothing will ever really take the place of the physical, printed book.  But for me, the world of the eBook is a great opportunity.  Therefore, the journey continues….

Even better, all these years (and this blog) later, I’m not afraid to write the sex scenes. :-)

trish

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AW Radio: Trish Causey discusses the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby verdict on Birth Control


Supreme-Court-Hobby-Lobby-protestersThe Supreme Court has once again determined that women are not people but corporations are and that corporations have more rights under the Constitution that human beings do.

Tune in for “Trish Causey discusses the Supreme Court Hobby Lobby verdict on Birth Control.”

CALL IN to (646) 787-8587 and voice your opinion on this ridiculous verdict, or post your comments in the online chat room.

Be heard!

trish

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NEWS: I Can Now Marry You


handfasting-marriage-wedding-handsI am now an official Marriage Officiant!

If you’re looking for a pagan, heathen, witchy, Wiccan, bohemian, theatrical, non-traditional, out-of-the-ordinary, non-Christian, and/or non-religious wedding, LET ME KNOW!  (I will be happy to officiate a Christian marriage, too.)

I want to provide an alternative to those who can’t or don’t want a Christian/church wedding but want more than the Justice of the Peace gig. 

If you’re in a state that allows GAY MARRIAGE, lemme know!  I will travel!

Feel free to contact me by leaving a comment below.

trish

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Dream: Losing My Hair and Going Bald


swept-in-a-bubbly-dream-gun-leglerThis morning I awoke from a dream, the kind I haven’t had in a while and a very specific kind I have never had.  Ever.  I dreamt all of my hair was gone, and I was bald.

My hair has been a distinguishing feature of mine since I was a child.  Hair stylists naturally gravitate to my tresses and touch my hair without asking.  But these guys are almost always gay, and they’re more interested in my hair than me, so I never really minded them.

However, on too many occasions to recount, I have been standing or sitting, minding my own business, only to feel something strange happening to the back of my head and realize some stranger was groping and fondling my hair.  From a guy at the mall when I was 12 — who wound my hair around and around his arm and said, “I’m sorry, I couldn’t help myself”, to which I replied, “Oh, yes, you could have!” — to a creepo, sleazy, fat guy with one tooth at the circus who operated one of the rides, men are drawn to my hair.  An artist wanted to paint me nude because of my skin tone and my hair.  Because of these experiences over the years, my hair is definitely one of my sensitive spots.  These creepy follicular invaders somehow had the nerve to get offended that I was offended that they were touching and stroking my hair.  They would guffaw and sneer, “What do you care?  It’s just hair.  It’s dead.”

Newsflash:  As long as my hair is attached to my head, my hair is a part of my body and is off-limits to anyone unless I personally give permission for a person to touch my hair.  Period.

People are taught that hair is dead.  Sacred teachings say it is not.  In the ancient culture of the tribes of Ireland, Scotland, Gaul, and other European pagan traditions, hair was very sacred.  Most people never cut their hair; they let it grow their entire lives, for to cut your hair (nonchalantly) was to cut off your power.  In some instances just before major battles, some warriors might cut their hair as a sign of sacrifice to the gods, for blessing in battle.  They may also cut their hair while mourning.

The head was sacred to the indigenous tribes of pagan Europa.  The head is where we think, see, hear, smell, taste, talk, sing, kiss — all of which are extremely important to every person.  In fact, the head was so revered that warriors would take the heads of their enemies to prevent their power from transferring with the deceased to the Other Side.  If you’ve ever seen a depiction of the great mother goddess Kali from the Sanatana Dharma teachings, you know the head is a prized possession in several cultures.

Samson, from the Judeo-Christian bible, owed his considerable strength to his hair.  Some American Indian tribes have traditions that involve cutting their hair when a loved one has died.  Keeping the hair long is part of many yogic traditions that go back thousands of years.  The hair is thought to be like “antennae” to the surrounding environment, able to pick up on energetic vibrations, useful, informative sensations that are then transmitted to the brain.  Even beards were required of scholars in academia and holy men in some religions.

So hair has always been a very conscious matter to me…. The Broadway musical included.

Note:  I’ve never had a lucid dream, and the one dream in which I actively controlled what happened was a real doozy.  Oftentimes my dreams are like films, and at an important moment, I’ll get an extreme close-up, zoom-in shot to hone in on what is important.

I had already had my dreams for the night, gotten up to go to the bathroom, and gone back to bed, only to lay in bed for over an hour unable to fall asleep.  Sometime after that, I dozed off and had this dream.

I was looking into a mirror that was in my bedroom closet, brushing my hair with my hands.  Suddenly a clump of hair came out into my hand.  I was understandably upset.  My hair is one of my signature features.  More hair fell out.  I went to my bathroom to look in the bigger mirror, and my hair around my ears and the back of my head was gone.  Suddenly, a zoom-in, close-up showed my scalp, and the hair was cut close to the skin, but it was obvious that it had been cut, i.e., with clippers.

I was instantaneously back in my bedroom looking into the mirror in my closet, and I was completely bald.  But I wasn’t upset.  In fact, I ran my hand over my bald scalp and smiled.

Dream ended.

When I woke up, I was confused and slightly worried.  Losing hair so drastically is usually a sign of severe illness such as Diabetes or thyroid dysfunction, or worse, the effects of cancer treatment such as chemo and radiation.  I have dealt with my hair thinning out due to my thyroid dysfunction, but I’ve been able to regrow my hair now that I have my thyroid and insulin response under control thanks to a superb product.  And I would never do chemo or radiation if I had cancer, so I knew that this was not a precognitive dream, showing me a scene from my future (as I sometimes dream).

Having been immersed in the ballet world growing up, I know a ballerina in rebellion will cut her hair.  Remember when Rosie O’Donnell got her famous haircut and the media crucified her?  I’m not G.I. Jane or Sinead O’Connor.  I wouldn’t look good bald.  So I consulted the wonderful world of Google for some dream meanings to make sense of this dream that threatened to rock my body and cranial image.

Losing one’s hair in a dream spells gloom and doom according to some interpretations (particularly the religious interpretations).  But my dreams are never as concrete as many of the standard interpretations anyway, and I quickly found several interpretations that resonated with me and my current situation.

Losing power was associated with losing hair throughout the various interpretations, but they also noted that the hair that has fallen out (or been cut off) represents something you no longer need.  So losing a clump of hair could be a sign of getting rid of something that no longer serves you or an end to a stressful time of your life.  They also mentioned that losing hair to the point of baldness could signify a whole new chapter in your life because when you get rid of all that doesn’t serve you, you are left with a blank canvas — a bald head, in this case — to start over.  They note that being bald was seen as a sign of wisdom in some ancient cultures, as priests and sages would shave their heads to show they were on a path of knowledge and wisdom. The best explanation said, “You are at a stage in your life where you are confident in fully exposing yourself.” Hmmmmmmm…..

One important thing was whether the hair was falling out on its own or was cut off.  My zoom-in, close-up, Mr. DeMille shot clearly showed that my hair had been shorn off with clippers.  In effect, I was purposely getting rid of things that no longer served me.  I was purposely on a path to greater knowledge and, hopefully, greater wisdom.

I can only go by what I felt when I woke up.  And with this dream, though I was a little shaken at seeing myself bald, I did not have any bad feelings upon thinking about the dream.  This was one reason I didn’t freak out … like I did after the time I dreamt of all my teeth falling out.  Yikes!

This dream is accurate in my opinion.  Since I’m still processing my Congressional run and getting my personal life and my self back on track for what I should be doing with my life, I can see how this is a good dream to have.  My existence will be uncomfortable as I move forward and let go of the things (and people) that do not enrich my life or my work, but the path (to knowledge and wisdom) is most definitely a path I want to take.

trish

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DailyOJ 06-23-14: Getting Back Into My Body


nude-woman-in-solitude-peachI can’t believe how long it has been since I wrote my last true DailyOJ post.  It seems like a lifetime ago that I was on my regular meditation and awakening practice, but I felt I needed a break due to everything that was going on.

So on 02-03-14, I took a break from writing here on my ArousedWoman Blog as I officially entered the campaign to be a Congressional candidate.  I had started back to college in October, around the same time I finally decided to run for Congress.  The ensuing months were some of the most mentally stressful I’ve had in a while.  I was over-extended and being pulled in so many different directions — home life, rebounding from the loss of a job, starting my Musical Theatre Magazine for income, going back to college, throwing my hat in the ring for Congress, being a single mom, running this blog, trying to finish other writing and music I had started, my computer crashed in December, starting another fitness certification, and other things I can’t even remember now.  It was just too much.

In April, I had to take a leave of absence from school to focus on my campaign, but the campaign ended June 3rd, when I lost my bid to be the Democratic candidate for my district.  Which is fine.  What I learned about politics taught me that my place is here as an activist.

My second-to-last DailyOJ post was on 09-16-13, so to sit here and realize it has been over 9 months since my last real DailyOJ is just strange.  Nine months is the gestation period of a child, from conception to birth.  This impels me to wonder, what did I give birth to?  What was brewing in the womb of life experience these past nine months?  What did I think I was conceiving?  What do I have to show for this amount of time and work and stress and even grief?

Not much.

Somewhere along the way, I stopped doing yoga.  My three+ miles that I walked every single day rain or shine dwindled down to one on many days, and closer to the primary election, sometimes zero miles.  I had an allergic reaction to some store-bought bread (again), which made me gain weight and inner inflammation that I’m still dealing with.  The stress of fending off the evil ring-wing nut-jobs on social media sent my cortisol levels up, which didn’t help my body at all.  And mostly, I just didn’t like how being in the political arena made me feel as a person.

I’ve worked hard to overcome my natural warrior tendencies, to incorporate more yin wisdom.  But politics is all yang — and not the good aspects of yang.  Politics is an evil, dirty, money-driven business based on extreme competition that I personally found to be destructive on many levels.

For me and my body, what concerned me most was how my energy level dropped.  I don’t mean energy, as in feeling like getting up and going somewhere, I mean my true energy, my life force, my palpable connection to the universe and everything around me that actually matters to me.  Because politics is so based in low-energy matters like money (economy, budget/deficit, jobs, etc.), I felt my energy just fade away.  I no longer felt my energy buzzing up my legs, or my Kundalini spine-zaps that circle around to tickle my face, or the out-of-body heartgasms, or the energy that bounces off my arms when I think about something I love or something that makes me happy or makes me laugh.  Nothing about politics gave me good vibes.  I tried focusing on the fact that I was wanting to help the people of my area, and I focused on being me, not a puppet politician that the media expects a candidate to be.  I spent so much energy deflecting the negativity of the political scene, that I had no energy left over for me, my well-being, and my needs.

I had lost my connection to my body.  When I would try to do a practice session, my mind was on politics.  When I was sleeping at night, I’d wake up at 3 a.m., and think about politics.  Because I was virtually alone in my campaign, it all rested on me to do a good job.  I felt a responsibility to the people who saw themselves represented in me, a progressive liberal candidate in a Red State.

My sessions became less about my practice and solely about trying to have orgasms.  Therein was the major problem.  “Trying” for pleasure is a sure-fire way to ensure true pleasure eludes you.  My orgasms, while still amazing on any orgasm-o-meter, were different.  They were no longer full-body.  They were localized to my genitals.  They were rarely as emotional as I was accustomed to.  I didn’t know my body anymore.  And I couldn’t focus enough on my practice when I had them to raise my energy again.

I will say again as I’ve said before — My “worst” orgasm now is infinitely better, bigger, and more pleasurable than the best orgasm I ever had before my awakening.  But at this point, I’m used to a certain level of mind-blowingemotional orgasmic experience.  Regular, genital-centric orgasms simply will not do.

I’ve also said many times that orgasm is an energy, and when I’m in that energy, it’s like living in a completely different vibration.  I’ve told people the feeling is like orgasm is a higher vibration level, and whenever I’d want a sudden orgasm, I just stand on my tip-toes, and I’m there, in that energy field, and they just happen — whenever, wherever I want them.  My body is amazing.

Or she was … before I got the crazy idea that I should enter politics.

The primary was June 3rd.  I got 44.6% of the votes, but lost.  The follow-up after the campaign lasted about 9 to 10 days, and as voters began to focus on the unfolding dramas elsewhere in the crazy world of Mississippi politics, I bowed out, thinking I’d get back to doing what I do.  This is when my body crashed.  Simply crashed.  I spent a few days in thorough lethargy, allowing my body to release the pent-up exhaustion that had accumulated over the course of nine months on the campaign trail.  This was when I fully realized what I had done to my body and my psyche and my spirit by following a path I had intrinsically known was not for me, but that my activist self thought I could strong-arm my self through — for the greater good, for standing up for our rights, for speaking up for the right thing.  I have always despised politics, and now, I had reaped the lesson of what happens when you don’t listen to your true self.

Now, it’s summer.  I’m not home alone during the day … or night.  So I can’t do a full practice on a regular basis.  I still enjoy my stealth orgasms.  In fact, even my nipple-O’s and stealth clit O’s had begun to wane in intensity.  In the past week, I’ve been trying to get more sleep, and even though I’m still only getting five to six hours of actual sleep, I’m staying in bed to rest a few hours more to get at least eight hours of sleep/rest in so my body can heal.

Because I’m a single mom, I won’t be able to get back to my regular practice until the Fall, but I will do what I can with my stealth O’s through the summer.  That might be a good thing actually — allow my body to finish processing all this politics B.S. and regroup.  I will allow my fire to come back gradually.  I am focusing on positive, life-affirming, creativity-inspiring pursuits, like my new online workshop.  I am ready to help people who want to be helped.  I will get back into a regular yoga practice.  I will dismiss the wheat and sugar that somehow crept back into my diet (and devastated my body).

By August, I should be back to myself — or introduced to my new self, a woman who has learned so much on this journey and who is ready to be aroused in mind, body, and spirit once again.

Aroused and healing,

trish

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