It’s Summer Vacation! Here’s Some Puppy Pictures!

I’m on my first vacation (stay-cation, actually) in a year. It’s much needed. I need sleep, too, but that’s not going to happen. A few weeks ago I adopted this cute thing. Her name is Olive.

Olive, the poodle puppy at 8 weeks old
Olive at 8 weeks old

Needless to say, puppies are like babies. Kittens are nearly self-reliant but puppies are a whole other ballgame. This morning was the first time I’ve slept past 5:30 in about 3 weeks. I can feel the normalcy slowly coming back…but not quite. I think I have at least a few more months before my sleep is back to normal. She’s worth it though.

Olive the puppy

I’m working on a writing project every day during my vacation so I’m going to be blogging less reliably. Check my Facebook page for updates, though. I typically post there often. Or you can join me on my personal Facebook page which is going to consist of Olive pictures and writing updates.

In the meantime, here’s some things to read/watch/do/hear:

Blogs: 

Olive’s blog (basically just cute puppy pictures)

News: 

The tiny island where men have their own language

Where in the world is it NOT okay to hold hands on your wedding day?

Books:

On Writing by Stephen King

Nowhere Near Normal by Traci Foust

The Next Best Thing by Jennifer Weiner

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Movies: 

The Answer Man with Jeff Daniels

Friends with Kids

Music: 

A new song by Lorde, a 16 year old New Zealand singer-songwriter, Royals:

Lorde / Royals from joel kefali on Vimeo.

A new song by Nelly featuring Nicki Minaj and Pharrell, Get Like Me:

Spanking for Jesus: Really?!

You've got to be cruel to be kind...

A reader linked me to one of the most disturbing articles I’ve read in awhile (and trust me, I’ve read quite a few disturbing articles on Christian fundamentalism and the abuse that’s hidden beneath the surface). It’s called Spanking for Jesus: Inside the Unholy World of ‘Christian Domestic Discipline’ and it was recently published in the Daily Beast.

Christian Domestic Discipline (CDD) is essentially a small (4,000 members) online fringe group of Christian men who practice spanking their wives if they get out of hand, or roll their eyes. In other words, Biblically justified domestic violence.

I grew up in a home where domestic violence was norm for many arguments and from a child’s perspective, it’s one of the most frightening and disturbing things a kid can witness. Domestic violence can escalate, especially in homes where alcohol is also abused or where weapons are kept. When two people are involved in an abusive relationship, anything can become a weapon.

According to the Beast, “…there are posts that are just plain disturbing: ‘My wife cries and writhes and begs me to stop during spankings, should I?'”

This should really be a no-brainer, but Christian teachings can reinforce this behavior even more. When I was a teen, I went to my pastor’s wife to ask her what a woman should do if she’s being abused by her husband. I pointed out the verse that said a wife should submit to her husband and brought up my complaints, ‘There’s no way God would ask someone to submit to an abusive husband, right?’ My pastor’s wife’s answer was disturbing: ‘She should really look into her heart and ask herself whether she’s serving and submitting her husband. What’s wrong with her attitude to cause him to react that way?’ My faith started crumbling then and there and to this day, that conversation is a cornerstone to why I’ve lost my faith in Christianity.

Women easily can justify domestic violence when it means preserving their livelihood and family, especially when they’ve been taught that divorce is sin and a threat to society:

Vera (not her real name), argues that abuse is all about intent. “He never punishes me when he’s angry,” she says of her partner. “He doesn’t yell. The worst thing I can do is disappoint him and I do that when I act on one of my character defects.” And do men have any of these defects? Who is there to correct them? “He’s not perfect,” Vera says, “but it’s not my role to point that out. He self corrects.” And as for what a man gets out of it, besides a woman who obeys his every command, Vera says her partner is satisfied by her growth. “He enjoys seeing the person he owns, his property, become the thing God wants her to be. It might sound weird, but that works for me.”

You be the judge. What do you think?

(h/t to Greg G. for the link to this article)

Read more: Battered into Submission: The Tragedy of Wife Abuse in the Christian Home

Here’s How the TV Meeting Went

As I wrote yesterday, I had a meeting with someone at a television production company. ​They’re a major company and check out as Lisa-approved (and if you know me, you know that’s a big endorsement).

screenI met with Jen around 5:30 after I got off work. I had my Skype set up, photo finishing powder and my lip gloss popping. So clearly, camera ready. I’ll be honest, I was tempted to go pants-less and hair-in-ponytail because that’s how I roll every day after work but I stepped up my game and wore yoga pants. ​(Shhh! She couldn’t see them!)

So Jen and I just chatted for a few minutes and then we started the interview. It was the same basic questions most journalists or producers ask me, so it felt like second nature. In fact, I wasn’t even nervous this time around (lots of practice makes perfect I guess?). ​We talked for about an hour and then Jen said that she’d share a few clips to her development team later in the week and we’ll be in touch. Which in TV language means we’ll be in touch or we won’t be if something else comes along.

Ultimately the hard part is that we’re essentially talking about creating a television show based on my life, my work and my personality. It’s a little hard to look at yourself from a higher-level and see what your work now could become, I’ll be honest. That’s why I always say bloggers are entrepreneurs and innovators because this is where television and literary people are finding their talent: blogs. Our wheels are always spinning, even when we’re sitting behind our work computer hashing out data (oh, that’s me).

In reality, a year ago I thought I knew what I wanted and when the CW was interested, I laid it all out there–what I was doing at the time, what I wanted to do and why it would make a fantastic show. But then I realized it was dangerous as hell and putting myself in a precarious spot wasn’t worth the risk…even if I was crazy enough to do it. I was already intensely paranoid because let’s face it, there are a lot of weird people in my audience, and this actual show was going to put me in physical and psychological danger. Which would  make amazing TV and would send me straight to the psych ward.

So, with that experience behind me, I’m able to see things clearer. I want to work on a television show that will feel fun to do for a few years, not something that will give me burn out after one year. ​And yes, I want it to sell and be popular and I think my personality is just perfect for that, but I also want to live through it.

I also have some fantastic ideas for a scripted show but I’m not revealing anything to anyone, not even a writing group and literally 3 writer friends, until the manuscript is completely written and has an agent. It’s that hot and it’s unique. Ideas get stolen from me all the time (not that it matters–when you’re the creator they’re all just the generic version and it won’t come to life with the same vibrancy.) I’m used to it by now, but this one is my baby. I’m not rushing myself to write it, either, even if someone wants to see the script, because great writing takes time and also because you get more money selling the book. Duh. ​

The most interesting part of the interview was when Jen asked where I see myself in five years from now. I think that was something DiGa Vision asked, too, and that’s sort of the “How can we brand you?” golden question; because, let’s face it you don’t just invest money into making a TV show out of someone’s story or personality unless they can generate multiple projects and revenue sources. Television production is expensive and it’s risky because you could work so hard on something and it won’t get bought or it won’t make it past season one. So, as for branding, think Kardashians. They are the queens of branding and have done it well. They’ve secured their spot on the voyeurism lot and organically endorsed products, were the first to get paid to Tweet and have spin-off shows that have high ratings. And no, it’s not just because of the sex tape. Here’s how it works: Kim and all (maybe mostly Kris) are experts at marketing analysis and studying what worked with society’s obsession with celebrities and transferring it into their own marketing plan. So many people dismiss them, because those people are thinking too “in the box.” They are powerful women we could all learn from. I certainly do.  ​

Anyway, back to the five-year plan. ​I’ll be working on it and looking around for inspiration. If you have any you’d like to send my way, email me or put it in the comments below.

I Have Another TV Meeting And Here’s The Run Down

For those of you who don’t read my official blog (which is everyone), I posted this there and wanted to update you on one of the amazing opportunities I’ve been given. 

 

Tonight after work, I have a meeting with someone who works for a TV production company. Let me first preface this by saying, I’m not a TV industry expert so it’s all a little terrifying. I think my worst fear is not knowing if I’ll sell myself short, just because I’m inexperienced with the process and the contracts. I’m not too worried it will fall through because the majority of TV projects seem to fall through and my own TV project with the CW fell through last summer. Being round 2 of something similar, I’m excited but more grounded. I know the reality is I could work my ass off (and I will) for this to work and the luck of the draw will be that another show makes it. ​

Or they won’t like me/my story. But let’s face it, that won’t happen. ​

So how does it work? ​

First, we had a phone meeting where she got to know me and I got a chance to hear what they have in mind for the project. I got to talk a lot about my story and what I blog about. ​

Second, is today. We’ll do a Skype call and repeat the first step where I’m interviewed again and we kind of get to know each other more. It’s like taking our relationship to the next level, except professionally. Then, she’ll take the recorded interview to her team and they’ll see how they feel about it. ​

I’m sure at this point, they have several other options for projects and maybe even other cult bloggers, so the bottom line is this could be the end of the line or we could go through several more weeks of talking/interviewing/discussing ideas and then work on contract negotiations. Even after all of that, the show might not make it on the air. ​

Am I excited? Yes. Am I fully aware that this might not pan out? Yes. ​

​On the plus side, I like the company and what they do. I have a good gut feeling about the people I’ve met so far and that’s a good feeling to have. And all this TV interest has really got me thinking more and more about writing a spec script or a screenplay. In all honesty, the reason I haven’t done it is a) it’s a mystery how to get started and b) the one idea I want to write the TV show for is my fiction novel which isn’t complete and which I want to publish before making it into a show…so that I get that True Blood money, duh. 😉

(h/t to Lisa Cullen whose blog I’ve been reading which inspired me to keep writing about my ups and downs with my blog/TV/book. I’ve written about it many times on my blog, but was discouraged last year enough to quit.)

Beachside Brunch

I’m heading out soon to join my friend in the tail end of her bachelorette party–brunch at the beach. Sounds fun, right? It’s in Santa Monica and I’m more of a Malibu person, but the beach is the beach. I’ll post pictures later! The place looks gorgeous.

Here’s a few pictures of Santa Monica to tide you over.

Santa-Monica-beach

santa-monica-coastline

My Cat Is An Asshole, The Weekend Version

Like clockwork, Molly (my cat) tries waking me up around 6 am and again at 6:30 am. Mind you, I don’t get up until 6:50 every day for work. So, those last few minutes before waking up when I have a cat paw with the claws extended going after a fake mouse in my hair are the moments that drive me a little crazy. Except that Molly is adorable and I forgive her, like she’s my kid.

See? Molly is adorable
See? Molly is adorable

 

But on weekends this is all so problematic. I try to sleep in until 9 or 10 but without fail, Molly is all like OMG, WAKE UP. YOU’RE HOME! LET’S PLAY! And then if I get up and make coffee, guess who goes back to sleep? Yep, Molly. It’s a sick twisted game, this cat has.

This morning, I wake up to a huge crash. Molly had made a habit of climbing to the top of my flat screen TV and perching up there, then jumping down. Well, today, the TV wouldn’t hold her weight (all 8 lbs) and went flying down to the ground. Luckily, it still works and the screen looks okay. So far so good. But this happened at 6 am. Dear god, kitty!

I’m okay with a game of 6 am Let’s play fetch because I can toss the fake mouse in my sleep…or more likely  hide her toys under the pillows until I get up. But this destroy the house thing? No, not okay, kitty. Not okay.

From the Inbox: The Controlling Nature of Master’s Commission

I received this email from a reader recently and thought I would share, since it’s really enlightening and another inside look at Master’s Commission. 

Hi Lisa,

Hope this reaches you. I know you are extremely busy gal. I’ve stumbled across this blog page in the process of searching for material to read an hopefully find an understanding of what I went through. I’m from a small town, everyone know everyone. I was going to a bible believe truth based AG church. (invited by a friend). I remember the Masters commission group visiting on a wednesday youth night. Full of energy, out-going, free spirited indivuals. They consumed my friend and I’s attentioned. After they left all I kept thinking is that is awesome. I am going there in the next 6 months. I quit my job. I moved out of my parents house after we argued about MC. (my parents believing it was a cult)… well me not so much. moved in with my friend and began to visit, this MC program. This was in 2008 when we joined. Had no clue what we were getting ourselves into. It was good and horrible all the same time. We weren’t allowed to talk to our families except a certain period of time. They montored our conversation by us sitting in their living room with them and the directors heard everything we/d say. then they would take our phones and tell us to go finish our school work, eat, shower and go to bed by a certain time. The church people loved us. We put up a great front every day…. no one knowing what the student actually went through. I was asked to leave my 3rd year in 2011 because I had begun to migranes and seizures for the very first time in my life. Had to be hospitalized several times while in the program. My mom finally received the news. when the nurses would ask for emergency contact info the wife of the director/pastor would put her info instead of my parents. They had my cell phone while i was in the hospital. I finally got a nurse to help show me how to use the phone an called my mom. long story short my mom wanted to hurt this lady director. It has been hard. I had to regain the trust of my parents. I just turned 25 and really have no true college credits…I am so far behind. I love the Lord. was raised methodist and want to get back where I should be. I just don’t know where to start… some of the other MCers didn’t have the same experience as I did so they are mad at me for speaking out and calling it a cult.

One day I’d love to talk to you exchange stories and progress. I think it will help. thank you for stepping out and starting this blog. I can relate so much.