My Name is Corilu, and I’m a Writeaholic

by Corinna Louise Mendis

Pan Metron Ariston

This terrific T-shirt was found at https://www.sunfrog.com/5077448-63362534.html

The Ancient Greek expression above has been ingrained into my brain by my Greek Father throughout my life. It means, “Moderation in all things,” and my father, like the ancient Greeks before him, believed that moderation was a principle of life, and anything done in excess led to harmful effects on one’s life.

I work as a Physician Assistant, smack in the middle of the opiate epidemic, which demonstrates lifestyled far from moderate. As I notice how addiction affects my patients, I contemplate my own addictions.

I’m a writer. At least I consider myself a writer. I also take pride in the fact that I’m a TV Junkie. I binge-watch my TV programs just as much as I binge-write. That being said, I wonder, is writing an addiction? Are all writers addicts?

According to ASAM, the American Society of Addiction Medicine:

Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors…Changes in the brain’s wiring are what cause people to have intense cravings for the drug and make it hard to stop using the drug.”

This infers that addiction is not just related to drugs and alcohol. Addiction can be related to anything that causes a “Brain reward” such as euphoria.

I suspect that our brain chemistry changes the same way with a healthy addiction as it does with an unhealthy addiction. This leads me to believe that the term “Addiction” does not have to be associated with something bad.

Socially acceptable, “Good Addictions” include healthy foods, working out, playing music, reading, traveling, learning, cooking, meditating, dancing, The internet, phones, video games, spirituality, positive thinking.

Socially Unacceptable, “Bad Addictions” include drugs, alcohol, sex, shopping, gambling, pornography, unhealthy food, negative thinking…

You get the drift.

From my perspective, we are a culture of addicts.

Most of us have something we are compelled to do; if we don’t do it, there is a huge lack at the very core of our being. The more I think about it, the more I realize that writing also is an addiction.

To quote THE DUDE, “Far fucking out.”

Most people start using drugs when they are teenagers. I became addicted to writing at that time (among other things).

Also according to ASAM, because the brain is not fully formed at this point, the addiction literally keeps it from developing to a mature emotional state. If someone starts their addiction at age 16, and continues it to adulthood, the 30, 40, or 50- year-old person is actually functioning emotionally at a 16-year-old level.

Does this mean that I in fact am an adolescent living in a 40-year-old body because I was hooked on putting words down on the page so early? That brings up another question: When does the “good” writing addiction cross over to the dark side and disrupt our lives?

When I am writing, I become addicted to the process. I welcome the inevitable rewriting because it keeps me stimulated,  so stimulated that sometimes there never is a finished product.

When I write, I am the only person in the universe, and my thoughts and ideas pour down into my fingertips and onto the keyboard. And, please, do not interrupt me while I’m writing. I simply will not respond. Not because I don’t want to respond, but because I won’t hear you. I am in a zone and any interruption will make me lose my train of thought. And that, my friends, is the quintessential buzz-kill.

In other words, writing gives me a sense of relief and release from my everyday life. It definitely makes me high.

If I receive criticism for my writing, “Ouch!” The rejection hurts, but it seems a small price to pay for the opportunity to bask in the praise that comes almost as often, and which also makes me high.

Writing takes time. It takes time away from one’s family and friends. When I start a project, I inescapably blow off the people around me. Most of the time I’m a social butterfly, but when I write, I’m a loner.

I write to escape reality. I write to get out of my own head. I write to forget about the meaningless of existence. I write to prove to myself that the meaning of existence is to write, and when I am writing and focused on my craft, I am neglecting those around me.

A few of my relationships actually ended because I was more focused on writing than the relationship. When I’ve completed a project, I do take time to hang out with my family and friends who’ve had the patience to stick around. I share my “baby” with them and am told that I’m an inspiration by the same people who threatened to never invite me to a social gathering ever again.

I think it is clear that writing is cathartic. It can be used as a therapeutic tool to purge and cleanse our emotions and alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. Writing can even be a replacement for another addiction, a recovery tool for the drug addict or alcoholic. In fact, many writers find that they get their best work done by writing as a way of overcoming a stressful event.

This brings us back to moderation. It’s been said that addicts can’t do anything in moderation. But what if the moderation is an addiction of its own? I am a writing addict and am also addicted to living the rest of my life in moderation.

Ah, I see the answer now. It’s all about balancing my addictions in the most positive way. As a writer, I’ll continue to throw myself into the writing process and enjoy the high…as long as I do it in moderation!


Corinna Louise Mendis is an award-winning writer, indie filmmaker, and Physician Assistant. She’s a creative to be watched…unless she succumbs to the dread lure of Too Much Moderation.

TVWriter™ Supports Animation Voice Actors!

Solidarity!

The Vocal Majority
by Mark Evanier

Like the banner above says, I stand with the Animation Performers who are currently authorizing a strike vote.  The issue is the compensation for voice work on animated programs made for subscription-based streaming platforms such as Amazon, Netflix and Hulu.  You can [ED.NOTE: and should] read all about this here.

The strike vote will pass, probably by a wide margin.  I see just about all the important voice actors endorsing this stance and that’s a solid indicator.  These are the people the producers most want to hire, after all.  As a general rule, the higher the vote to strike, the greater the chance there will not be a strike or it will be brief one.  The negotiators, who thus far have resisted making a satisfactory offer, will be more inclined to make one if the Strike Authorization Vote is 95% than if it’s 80%….

Read it all at Mark Evanier’s News from ME Blog, one of the most entertaining and informative sites on the interwebs

Indie Video: ‘Video vs. Real’ by Zadi Diaz

by Larry Brody

The reasons artists turn to their art, immersing themselves in it, making it their world, vary from person to person, but as I get older and become more and more introspective, my self-examination tells me that most of the creative people I know pretty much started as I did, trying to hide from or make sense of the world through their art, although our lives have taken different turns from that point.

The 2012 video above, which I accidentally came across on Vimeo yesterday, surprised me by being the perfect extension of my thought on this subject while at the same time also seeming to sum it up.

What do you, as writers, directors, film and video makers, and human beings have to say about this?  Is your art more than a supplement for real life? Has it in fact supplanted your real life?

In other words, does Zadi Diaz’s take resonate with you?

And what about you, Zadi? Where are your feelings today? A quick googling showed me this about you via good old Wikipedia:

Zadi Diaz is the Executive Producer of YouTube Nation. She is a producer and director, known for founding the web series Epic Fu and co-hosting the podcast New Mediacracy. She has won a number of Webby and Streamy Awards.

And a further trip to google gave me this exciting announcement:

Former AwesomenessTV Exec Zadi Diaz Hired at mitú as Head of Digital Studios

Diaz previously worked as vp of programming and development at AwesomenessTV and has also served as head of content development at Disney Interactive, where she developed and produced original live-action and animated series across The Walt Disney Co.’s websites and social platforms.

So I know you’re doing very well, at the top of the ladder as far as interweb video goes. But are you happy with this? Proud of it? Or are the loneliness and alienation that form the subtext of Video vs. Real still alive in your soul?

I know this is a pretty damn personal question to ask. But you gave so much of yourself in this video that all of us here at TVWriter™ can’t help ourselves. We need to know how your life journey is going.

Are you closing in on discovering how to truly be real? Or have you moved onto other questions, big and small?

And as long as we’re talking, I’d like Zadi and everyone reading this to know that I’m kind of crazy about this vid from 2016 too:

Larry Brody: ‘Live! From Paradise! #3’ – Fred & Dead

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NOTE FROM LB: From the summer of 2002 to  the spring of 2010, Gwen the Beautiful and I were the proud and occasionally best owners of a beautiful Ozarks property we called Cloud Creek Ranch.

In many ways, the ranch was paradise. But it was a paradise we had to keep on earning. Here’s another Monday musing about our adventure and the lessons we learned.

By Larry Brody

One day as my wife Gwen the Beautiful and I were leaving the ranch to drive into town we noticed a couple of trucks pulled over at the side of the road. Several people were standing around and when one of them saw us he waved and called out. “You missing your dog?”

We weren’t, but that didn’t keep us from being curious. We drove over to the group and saw Fred, an old-timer from up the road, and a Mennonite couple and their son. Fred pointed into the woods—our woods on our property as it turned out—and showed me what the fuss was about. A dead dog lying under a tree about fifty feet from the road.

We tromped in for a closer look. Fred showed me four widely spaced bullet holes. Someone had shot the dog, probably from the road. “None of these is a kill shot,” Fred pointed out. “Whoever did the shooting wanted the dog to suffer.” His eyes misted up. “Same thing happened to my dog.”

As we walked back to the road Fred told me about his dead retriever, “the best dog that ever honored a man with her love.” One day not long enough ago for the memory to have healed, Fred’s dog came crawling home to die in his arms after being shot six times. Individually, none of the wounds was mortal, but in combination, “She bled to death is what happened.”

The Mennonite Couple said they’d seen a black pickup going up and down the road slowly several times in the past few weeks, and just that morning they’d heard shots coming from it as it went by. Fred’s eyes lighted up. He described different kinds of black pickups. “Was it a Ford? Dodge? Did it have chrome pipes?” He reminded me of all the TV detectives I’ve written over the years. Sounded like a member of CSI.

The Mennonite Couple answered as best they could. Fred’s expression grew grim. “This old boy with the black pickup is just plain bad,” he said. “I’ll find out who he is—“

“And go to the sheriff…? Gwen said.

“This ain’t a sheriff kinda thing,” Fred said. “Animals’re kind of a gray area. No…I’ll just be paying that old boy a little visit on my own…”

“You might want to have somebody with you,” the Mennonite husband said. He was volunteering, but Fred shook his head. Patted the hunting knife sheathed to his belt.

“No,” said Fred. “It’s best if I go alone. That’s one of the Old Ways.” His eyes rested on each of us standing there, one after another. “Till then, you’d best be watching your dogs.”

“Somebody should bury that one,” the Mennonite woman said, pointing into the woods.

My property, my job. I told the others I’d take care of it, and after they drove off Gwen and I went back to our place, where Jeff, our Unhandy Man, and I grabbed a couple of shovels and did the deed. When we were finished I sent out a little prayer, best wishes for a dog that someone, somewhere close by, most certainly must have loved.

Since then, every time I’m on that road I find myself looking for a black pickup. And, of course, I always find one, or two or three. Part of me says, “Get the license number! Call Fred!” But another part says, “Stay out of this. How’ll you feel if someone gets hurt?”

The truth is, I don’t know how I’ll feel if I hear that an evil old boy with a black pickup was found sliced and diced or shot dead. Or if I learn that Fred’s been charged with the slicing, dicing, or shooting. I’m not even sure what I’ll feel if I hear that an evil old boy with a black pickup took Fred out in self-defense.

What I am sure of is that if in the meantime anything happens to one of my dogs I’m going to regret to my own dying day that, unlike Fred, I don’t have what it takes to hitch up my anger and steep myself in the blood of the Old Ways.

But I’ll tell you this. If that time comes, ain’t nothing in this or any other world that’ll keep me from calling on old Fred.

See It Free: Kevin Smith’s New Pilot: ‘Hollyweed’

Hollyweed Pilot, Photo Credit: Michael Becker

by TVWriter™ Press Service

Yes, it’s true. You can watch Hollyweed, Mr. Smith’s latest pilot right here, right now.

Because, also true, is the Kevman, just like so many of us, needs to raise a bunch of $$$ to get this sucker on the air.

Here’s the pilot:

Here’s the scoop:

Kevin Smith fans will get to play a direct role in whether his comedy series “Hollyweed” moves forward.

The filmmaker behind classic comedies like “Clerks” and “Mallrats” has partnered with Rivit TV to release the pilot for the series that Smith filmed in 2016. Rivit TV aims to enable established creators to connect directly to their fans to watch a free pilot and choose what they are willing to pay for a full season, ultimately determining whether the show is greenlit to go into production.

“Two years ago we shot a pilot for a show called ‘Hollyweed’ and tried to take it out the traditional way but had no luck,” Smith said. “Cut to now, and we get to bring it back to life. Thanks to the good folks at Rivit TV, we raised it from the dead, it’s crazy. Rivit TV was smart enough to take this show and leave it up to my fans.”

Here’s the rest of the scoop, courtesy of Variety.Com