Monday, February 28, 2011

The Academy Awards

When we decided not to host our annual Oscar party this year, I felt conflicted about it, as the power of tradition holds strong for me, and we've always hosted this party. I just knew that I wanted to take a year off, and last night I settled in to the experience of watching it with the kids for the very first time, and sharing some of my future dreams with them. We all filled out a ballot and checked off each award as it was handed out, the same as we would do with our friends. The kids loved that friendly competition and it kept them interested in the proceedings.

Each time someone would walk out to present, William would ask, "What movies are they in?" and we would get to tell him a little about each person. Ava pinches my People and Entertainment Weekly magazines from the library each week, so she was up to speed on most of the movies and performers nominated, even if she'd only seen the animated movies. We feasted on Chinese food, ice cream, chocolate bars and iced tea, and I had fun sharing my love for the Oscars with our kids.

Ever since I was a little girl, I've watched and dreamed of attending and winning Oscar gold. That dream hasn't lost any of its power, and now that I'm re-working my screenplay yet again for two upcoming competitions, and have more movie ideas than time to capture them, the dream feels close enough to touch. I still long for it, but I also finally understand that these things take years, even decades to accomplish. It's a step-by-step process to get there, and each of those steps must be taken in turn. I'm now walking that path, and have expanded my dreams to include publishing my memoir and novel alongside selling a screenplay.

There is time. I used to feel competitive with the greats of screenwriting, like Aaron Sorkin who won for The Social Network last night. Now I feel inspired to do better instead. I'm not remotely near where he is when it comes to my writing, but I could be someday. A script like The Social Network could be a once-in-a-career achievement. That is something you build up to, not start out with. I finally understand this, and the knowledge has settled peacefully in my soul, and encouraged me instead of serving as a measuring stick to show me how far I still have to go.

I feel satisfied after watching the show last night, the way you feel after a delicious and leisurely meal. I enjoyed sharing it with my kids, and they were as excited as I was about the show, which meant it was the right time to try watching it as a family. Listening to the still, small voice never lets me down, and gives me hope for my future. All I can do is walk this path, step by step with my goals in front of me, lighting the way.


  1. I like your comment that "A script like The Social Network could be a once-in-a-career achievement. That is something you build up to, not start out with." I first realized that when I read the first novel that Lisa Samson published and then her most recent novel. The difference between those novels was HUGE, and encouraged me to realize how much she had learned and grown as a writer over the course of her career.

  2. I remember watching 'A Few Good Men' when I was in film school, and feeling so small about the student film we were making, but years later I realized that you have to build up to your best work; you don't start there, and that knowledge has brought me a lot of comfort.