Zach's PEN #30: Good Signs
2021 Week 7: Writing wrongly, good signs and big news at work, and some more snowbabies...
Shout-outs to all our family and friends in Texas and environs. It's pretty grim down there with people in line for water and I have friends whose families' homes were destroyed, as in, completely destroyed. So devastating.
Love, thoughts, prayers to you all.
This was a great week, because it was a very bad week. Louisa had a wicked fever, there were unexpected snow days, work was jam-packed and stressful… So why was it a great week? Because even in this very bad week, I still continued with all my healthy habits. It has now been more than 60 days straight of writing and exercising, in this case specifically riding the spin bike. I seem to have stumbled upon methods that are working for me, and I don't feel stretched at all. In fact, I feel an increased capacity. The celebration of this if and when I hit 100 days straight will likely be to double-down, not "take a break."
Short Order Update: Customers are officially showing up again. A lot of them. It's been a no good, very bad year for production, and we're wildly lucky to be where we are.
Markee Update: I don't think I ever let the PENpals know, but we closed our fundraising round. We raised $600,000! Our team is kicking ass and it's a real dream to be part of building a software product that I truly believe can make a difference in the world. Our interface redesign and new brand is about to launch and I'm going to be talking a lot about it in the weeks and months to come.
This Week's Posts
I discussed something I wrote wrongly a couple weeks ago and that offended some people I care about.
Zach Phillips @zachphillipsI’ve spent my life incredulous of people who can state “how they feel” with confidence. I realize now it’s because I never learned to trust, or even pay attention to, my own sensations: physical, emotional, otherwise. MOST PEOPLE I’m feeling XXXXX ME But how do you KNOW? 👇
I wrote about how platforms like Twitter and Facebook not providing the means to italicize writing leads to a less civil world.
I wrote about writing a poem for Allison instead of flowers and why I have difficulty with rote rituals (even though I love rituals).
I wrote about the problematic lack of constraints that come with being your own client.
I wrote about the first ingredient we measure in the Original Recipe™ process, a way that we craft and measure story ideas at Short Order.
Zach Phillips @zachphillipsHere's how the Original Recipe™ process works: As you evaluate ideas (some do this during brainstorming, most wait until after), assign a number from 1 to 10 for each of these five "Core Ingredients" of effective story: - Purpose - Authenticity - Conflict - Spectacle - Novelty
I wrote about a word that was lost and ruined before it became useful: "multimedia"
I wrote some thinking about how to approach writing characters differently from the way I think about writing the other elements of a story.
Filmmaking in Public
Jason and I got together on Zoom while a few bugs are worked out in Storyboarder's virtual reality environment to discuss the story of our (now) zombie series pilot I mentioned recently.
Spoilers abound. We're literally writing the story.
We mostly discussed main characters and we have a working title for the moment. We're currently using a copout of simply naming the series after the town it takes place in: Junction (a made up town in southern Delaware).
Kiddos in the Snow
Not as pretty as the first one from the big snowstorm, but if it's gonna keep snowing in Philadelphia, I'll probably keep shooting babies in the snow.
Much love PENpals,