Maybe I Should’ve Been a Nanny

Film school is amazing. It’s perfect. It’s everything I’ve dreamed it would be. It’s even better than I imagined…True. It’s also hard work. Running back and forth. Getting dehydrated. Choosing between eating and sleeping. It’s stressful. Do not build any type of emotional attachment to anything you plan to film, attempt to film or actually end up filming. A number of things can go wrong and will and that’s not even a joke. It happens.

Last night, my team of four set out to film a scene which was assigned to us as homework. I was in charge of sound. Before we even got started, the sound equipment was down. We set up lighting and camera while we waited for the other team in our school to finish with sound so we could use their equipment.

The other team took so long that our staff suggested we just go to the office, learn how to use the older version of the mixer, and go from there. I got to the office and was greeted with bad/good news. The other team was done so I could walk back and use the new sound. All the way back.

When I got back to set, we had to set up the sound. I vaguely knew how to use (read: I didn’t know how to use) it from our brief session in class . One of our crew members showed me how to do it on set and I started winging it from there.

Everything was ready, except we didn’t have one of our main actors. We didn’t have time to find someone, it was already past 10pm. We were meant to start filming at 9. We began to film and our first take didn’t have sound because I said “Sound speed” and forgot to press record. Once I realized, I started pressing record every time I was required to. Ah, the first day. Our sound cord would give off a strange static noise if I moved the boom mic in even the smallest way.

The next few shots seemed to go well. Then a fire truck pulled up right next to the shot. It was outside of the frame, but it cast red blinking lights onto the front of the car we had in our scene. Amazing. It eventually moved and we continued. Rain kept starting and stopping so we were constantly praying against it.

While doing my best to capture sound, a group of about twenty goats started casually walking by next to the fence behind our set. They were loud enough to be picked up on the mixer. I just laughed and recorded the sound because there was no way we were gonna get anything finished if I waited for those goats to go.

Part way through the production, I realized my director was calling “Roll camera. Mark it. Sound.” This doesn’t make any sense. The whole reason the mark is there is to sink the audio with the video. It should be roll camera, sound, then mark it. I told the director and he said I had a good point. He only ended up doing it once more.

One of my favorite parts of the night was when our DP (Director of Photography, Cinematographer) was trying to get a handheld shot of one of the actors. He was walking low to the ground, and one or two of the other crew members  would get shadows in his shot. He told them to keep their shadows out of the shot and they agreed to stay out. Next take, they were in again. He turned and said, “You guys have one job, and that’s to not be shadows!” He was kind of upset but it was funny because we were all stressed anyway. He ended up apologizing afterward because his own shadow was in the next one.

We had been filming for a few hours at this point. It was about 1am when we realized the rain was going to start. Director called for the last shot and once he said “That’s a wrap,” the sky released a downpour. We rushed to the equipment and tried to get it all safely to dry land. We were able to rescue it all by the grace of God.

We have to finish this project tonight. Now we have the actor that we were missing for one of our main roles. Our sound should work fine. Hopefully it won’t be raining. We learned a few good things last night. Our director still has to edit everything sometime between when we finish shooting tonight/tomorrow morning and… tomorrow morning at 8. He doesn’t plan on sleeping.

Welcome to the beauty of filmmaking. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

YWAM Kona update

I’m getting ready to go on an adventure this year, 2016, to the YWAM University of the Nations base in Kona, Hawaii. I got accepted to the School of Digital Filmmaking (SDF) which runs from April 7 to June 27. While there, I’ll be receiving hands-on training in film production, directing, editing, scriptwriting, lighting, sound, etc.

During my time at the school I will write, produce and direct at least one short film of my own, as well as do some work on other students’ films. This school runs alongside the School of Acting for the Screen, which is where we’ll select our actors from.

Since I first applied, God has provided enough money through the generosity of others for my ticket and living expenses as well as getting my tuition balance down to $5,445. April 7th is the day I leave and I need to have paid off the rest of my tuition by then.

I’d like to encourage you to pray about giving financially towards my journey because I believe God is about to do something big in the film industry. So much of our culture is influenced by what is released in the media and entertainment today. God is ready to step in and change our culture from the inside out and He’s asking me to be a part of it. He’s asking you, too.

By supporting me in whatever way He leads you to, you are becoming a part of this mission to see lost lives come to Christ in an industry that does its best to push Him out. You are giving me the tools to serve God through this medium I believe He created me for. Thank you!

If you’d like to donate, you can send a check made out to: Grace Church of North Brunswick, 321 Old Georges Rd., North Brunswick, NJ 08902. Just write “for Ruby Armour” in the memo.

Or you can go to my blog: rubyarmour.wordpress.com, to find this letter with the link embedded in the post to donate through YWAM Kona’s donation page. Just be informed that 2.75% will be taken from your donation if you pay with a credit card, no debits accepted; an electronic check is free. Also note that by paying this way you will not receive a tax deduction.

Your support in any way means so much to me and I know God is doing amazing things as a direct result of your prayers! You’re awesome:) God bless and thanks for all the help. He will reward you.

Thank you.

 

Note to Self.

This is a genuine note I wrote myself in December. Maybe it inspires you.

Ideas about life for 2016:

I don’t like having a bunch of crap I cling to everyday. I pile notebooks and stuff all over my room and I leave it and don’t clean it, lame. I would rather put it all in a place… And then have shelves lined by date with filled notebooks and then my fun will be finding a new notebook that’s different and beautiful. I am going to go on a social media break where I realize it’s stupid and pretend it’s the 1920s.

I want all the stuff I have to be put away from my eyes so I can simplify and stay focused on what’s important. I don’t want to keep wasting time and I want to write all the time about many things.

The more I put my phone down and pick up my pen, the better my life will be, I believe. Let me focus on Jesus instead of stupid things that are meaningless. I never talk about this and address it with myself, but I live under the oppression of electronics. When my insta doesn’t load or this or that, it’s a tragedy. And the reason I don’t delete my insta is because I think I’ll hear from some special person and my whole life will change. It’s lame. Time to move on.

I spend a lot of time hating what I’m doing, but then I never address it and actually stop and change. I get stuck. That’s why the plan for this year is to branch out and live each moment as if it’s the only moment I get.

Have an office themed life. Get binders for each story idea (novel, memoir, script, etc) and keep tabs in them to separate sections of notes chapter summaries, ideas and so on.

Get rid of books on shelf that you don’t like or if they’re sentimental just put them away. Only have books that you really like on display. If there aren’t any, don’t try to buy them yet, it’s better to have none than to have ones that annoy you.

Make an actual schedule where you write and read and stop pretending anything else you do is more important. Anything like cleaning room or working at the church or anything like that can be scheduled at certain dates and times, but writing and reading take precedence. There are several writing projects that don’t get done because you spend all possible time on Instagram and Facebook and Twitter and you tell yourself you’re getting something done, but you’re not. And please discover the joy of editing and stop acting like it’s a pain. The only reason you act like that is because you know it’s your passion and you want to be doing it for the rest of your life but you’re afraid you’re going to do it wrong or get tired of it, but you’re not. Writing’s a good thing to be in love with.

 

I Guess I’ll Just Write

I suppose it’s time to take a step back and look at my life for a moment. November was an adventure of putting faith in myself to fight procrastination with deadlines. I failed that attempt and even realized I was fighting something else by trying to write a novel. I wasn’t writing my memoir, and I was using my novel as an escape. I think that’s why the whole month went down the drain and I’d only written a week or less of blog posts.

And then it was the thoughts about how no one actually cares about what I write. As if that matters. As if the reason writers write is so that others admire them or want to read their work. No, I thought it was more about the joy of the thing first, before anything else. Why write and hate the thing and only experience joy when someone else does? How do you even make good art or write good words if there is no passion in it?

So I’ve decided to stop being so hard on myself and just write. I want to sell my memoir to pay for film school this year, but I need a platform first to get noticed and to market. What should be my niche? I’m thinking movies or books and then occasional journal entry style works. Once a week, no pressure. Just write.

Hi, I suppose I’m back (unedited)

I seem to have failed the blog a day challenge. Or as Edison would say, I found a few ways to not do the challenge. Does that mean I’ll be an expert at doing it right? I think not. And I don’t even feel like editing because I haven’t written for days and it’s almost 12 am again, which is tomorrow. And I haven’t been writing my novel either. And I feel like I’m actually in control with my life, but something is off…

I got excited about a job yesterday, and now I’m not so excited; I don’t want to do it. It doesn’t seem right for me. And I’m getting more excited about becoming an actress, but is this what God wants? And is it my dream? Should I really just stick to writing? And the funny thing is, I want to be writing right now. I feel like these last few days, I tried to be someone and I enjoyed it, but I love words and the ability they give me to run around and have fun and do things I never would have dreamed of.

I watched a comedy movie today… It wasn’t incredibly profound, it was just funny. But it spoke to me. It made me believe in talking to people, and seeing that life is short and I wanna make movies, I wanna act. I want to build friendships that I never would have had. I think this is my calling. I’m already famous. That was me in Cambodia, I felt like I was already famous. That’s how strong it was when I was there and I feel like now, it’s just God and between me and him. It’s him giving me these prophetic dreams and maybe they are supposed to happen soon or now. Maybe they are. But what I also learned to day was that life is short… And people are cool. They’re there to be your friends, some at least. So find those friendships, don’t run from them. Come alive when you’re with them, because you don’t get that same moment anymore. That was a recurring theme through my whole day today… be in the moment and say what’s on your mind if it’s kind and it will help someone. Be a light.

Tomorrow isn’t promised. But if you are blessed enough to hold it, don’t throw it away by sitting in your room alone, even if that’s what you like doing. Go out and make mistakes as you try not to. Go and be real, be 100% you. You are gonna fall in love sometimes and that is going to hurt you if it doesn’t work out. But I don’t regret it. I feel more alive thinking about how I was hurt than I do by thinking about relationships where I didn’t care and I never tried. I tried. I didn’t win. I’ll move on… But I am comforted the most by the fact I tried. It gives me hope that we could start again. Even if we never do.

I’ll Open the Window, by Anna Swir

“Our embrace lasted too long.
We loved right down to the bone.
I hear the bones grind, I see
our two skeletons.
Now I am waiting
till you leave, till
the clatter of your shoes
is heard no more. Now, silence.
Tonight I am going to sleep alone
on the bedclothes of purity.
Aloneness
is the first hygienic measure.
Aloneness
will enlarge the walls of the room,
I will open the window
and the large, frosty air will enter,
healthy as tragedy.
Human thoughts will enter
and human concerns,
misfortune of others, saintliness of others.
They will converse softly and sternly.
Do not come anymore.
I am an animal
very rarely.”
-Anna Swir

I Don’t Dance

As promised, today I’m writing a post that has nothing to do with NaNoWriMo.

I’ve been listening to Lee Brice a lot recently. I absolutely love the song “That Don’t Sound Like You.” And I enjoy “Hard to Love,” “Drinking Class,” and “I Don’t Dance” as well. I was listening to a few of his songs on repeat and a thought came to me about I Don’t Dance. He’s saying that he hates dancing and will avoid it as much as he possibly can. Or maybe just that he doesn’t like it, but still the point is the same. He doesn’t dance. But the girl he loves dances. She loves to dance. So he dances, too. She wants to marry, but he likes keeping his options open, maybe. He said he was that kind of man. But in order to pursue her and be hers, he decides she’s worth it to give up the life he’s used to. To marry her, to dance with her, to make sacrifices for her. He loves her as much as he loves himself.

That’s something so incredible that I always missed from this song. The song sounds so simple until you really hear the words, and feel the words, and realize we all want to have someone sing this way about us. We all need to be wanted so much and we need someone who’s going to show us we’re worth it. We’re worth the sacrifice, and worth enough for someone to give up their comfort.

I think God is like this song.

He doesn’t dance. He was fine before he created us. He didn’t need to be loved by anyone. He had a perfect union in the trinity; he lacked nothing. But he wanted us. He chose to create us as people with a need to be loved and a need to be filled. He knew us in advance and he wanted to be the one who would fill our emptiness. Of course, he wants many of us to marry and to be blessed with people like Lee Brice. But he wants to be first in our lives and he wants to be our father.

Much of my feelings of not being good enough stem from my childhood. It was unintentional on part of my father. He wasn’t very emotionally involved with my sister and I, and it wasn’t his fault. He had been adopted as a baby and he never even met his biological father. He wanted to be better at being a dad, but he couldn’t give out what he didn’t have. My dad lived a lifestyle that wasn’t as courageous as it could’ve been and he didn’t really stand up for me or acknowledge my accomplishments. I felt like I wasn’t worth it to him to face the pain it takes to change and step up to the plate. So I had this bitterness against my dad that I didn’t even know about. I was so angry but I had hidden it so deep that it wasn’t even a thing I questioned. I thought I had forgiven him but no, I was still living life out of a place of hurt.

But God said, “You were worth it to me. You were worth the cross. Every bit of pain I endured on the cross, it was worth it for you; especially you.”

And that’s how God feels about you. About everyone of us individually. He doesn’t play favorites, so you aren’t more favored than another Christian, but you are 100% favored. It’s all for you, but God is not limited to that. He is able to give that same love and favor, 100% to someone else. He loves you. You’re worth it.

No matter what you’ve faced in your childhood, if your parents got divorced or they fought or they were just normal, broken, sinful humans. Regardless of if they were intentionally trying to hurt you or not, it doesn’t matter. You are first in God’s eyes. You are worth the effort and the work it takes to pursue you, and love you, and care about you.

God has been showing me this today. I was thinking about how James Franco’s over there in New York City today, about an hour away from me. I had a chance to meet him in Cleveland this past July, and I got there late and saw him walk by to leave. I kind of wanted to go today to try and meet him again, but I had a dream last night that changed my mind.

James and I were talking somewhere and the setting was before the NYC event, but I was in Jersey or something like that. He gave me a side hug and told me something like he respected me and our friendship cause we had been in so many movies together. It was so short and real. It made me think about how I tried to go to Cleveland and meet James in my timing, but this dream was like God telling me he has a time for us to meet, and meeting now wasn’t good enough. God cares so much about my desires that he gives me dreams about spending time with people I care about, even those I don’t know. God doesn’t ignore us. He doesn’t forget our desires.

God cares about the things you care about. And he really does keep your tears in a bottle. He doesn’t do it to say, “Look how much you cry,” but to say, “Look how much I care. I don’t forget you. I remember everything you say and pray for and I set times and dates and put it on my schedule. Just trust my timing, trust that I marked it on the correct day.”

I saw this first hand on Sunday when God gave me the healing and the breakthrough I needed to forgive my dad. I had known in my head that it wasn’t right how I kept trying to find fulfillment in guys, but it wasn’t until God really spoke to me through the Holy Spirit that I was changed. And He told me in a few months in advance that he was going to do that. He said on November 1 I would let go of all insecurity and I would be 100% Ruby, and not get offended by what everyone else thinks of me.

He scheduled it in.

His timing is so perfect and I don’t see why I won’t trust him for every single thing in my life from this point forward. He is the answer that I’ve been searching for to fill my emptiness and I want so much just to be the light that shines for his glory. Look how much he cares. When I was standing in line last July, thinking I wouldn’t meet Franco, God said, “Remember who you are. You have the favor of God.” And he was right. Then James came down the line. And maybe I didn’t meet him that day, but even to see him was more than I expected in that moment. Grace.

And the future is ahead of me, I see that God knows what he’s doing. I had a prophetic dream of meeting James and his brother Tom before and then I may have only seen them in person but still, I could never have guessed that myself without God revealing it to me. The same with this dream. I had pretty much given up on being friends with James but I kind of wanted to meet him at the bookstore. But God said no, this isn’t what I have for you. He cared enough to say something so I wouldn’t be disappointed. I am forever in awe.

Keep dreaming and keep asking questions of God. And always keep worshiping him. I started worshiping God every day sometime last month, and I just do it to be in his presence and talk to him and listen. It’s about our relationship and remembering how much God loves and cares. It’s about him giving me all he does and me serving him. True love at it’s finest and best.

I Would Prefer Not To

My word count for NaNoWriMo is 3,778. It’s the end of day four. I’m still very much behind my goal. And it isn’t like I have a good reason. I just don’t know what I’m doing. I keep thinking of Bartleby the Scrivener by Herman Melville. How he was working at his job but then he started showing up for work and when asked to do anything, he would say, “I would prefer not to.” And he just wouldn’t do it. I feel like this about writing today and maybe about almost everything else. I don’t want to do anything because it’s all taking pieces of me that I haven’t decided I’m ready to give up.

When I try to write, my head is swarming with words. I guess that’ll be a good thing when at the end of this month I am still super productive in the blogging area, but I don’t feel the same with the novel. Maybe towards the end of the month I’ll race to the finish line like I mentioned last post. But in order to make it that far and to be genuinely committed I have to care enough now to develop my characters.

What even is my plot? Why don’t I have the ending ready? Maybe I should have just been a NaNo Rebel and wrote my screenplay. Maybe it doesn’t matter anymore.

What’s really funny is I actually like the story now. I like it enough to know I want to write it, but not enough to know how to write it. At least I’ve changed this much.

I want to be able to write the post where I say I’ve finally reached my goal and I’m sailing smooth enough to work on other projects. I know that day will come. I hope. Till then I’ll just post on my blog about my procrastinating nature and pretend I care about writing other things. I got nothing.

I don’t want to actually use the wisdom part of my brain to say something kind that will help someone, but I should. Maybe I’ll do that tomorrow. Yeah. Come back tomorrow for a more helpful message from an imperfect human.

Kind of Like an Update

Ok, so I’ve been writing today. Yeah it hasn’t really been enough to catch up to the amount of words I need to write every day to complete my goal. But there’s still tomorrow, i.e. you know how it goes. I have 1,898 words so far for my novel, and that’s more than I had before. And it’s an adventure. I’m starting to get to know the characters a little better, but still not enough to fall in love. They’re kind of just my acquaintances right now. And they don’t surprise me much.

Some writers are meeting their goals right now, others are surpassing their goals. I’m sure there are many that aren’t meeting their goals, just as I am. Maybe they thought they were committed enough, then found out they were joking with themselves. Maybe they don’t see it as a big deal, they don’t prioritize. I guess I’m one of them, but I kind of don’t mind being down here. I kind of want to be that racer that is lagging towards the back while everyone passes me, only to finish on time and meet my own goal. It doesn’t really matter who is ahead right now. Maybe they’ve had more practice, or they’re more determined, or this is the biggest dream they have for their life.

It doesn’t matter who’s behind me either. I don’t feel like I’m better than they are or smarter because I am only two days behind my goals. The only person I’m trying to impress is myself, and it’s only because I want to be better at being me. I have more goals for my life than writing this novel. It’s really exciting and all, but it isn’t the whole world for me. It’s one step along the path of authorhood. I’m deciding today to be excited about the future, no matter what it holds. I’m getting my wisdom teeth in and I hear it’s supposed to be painful, and ok maybe it already is a little. But my joy shouldn’t depend on my circumstances.

I used to enjoy life even when it was unbearably painful, physically and mentally. There have been times I was in pain, but I was still happy, because I chose joy. There’s also been times I was in pain and I was angry, because I didn’t choose to be joyful. If I want to experience joy, I shouldn’t let it be dependant on circumstances. I should choose it, regardless of what my life is like. Being angry isn’t going to make it all go away. It’s just going to make me angry. Being happy isn’t going to make it all go away, but it is going to make me happy.

I want to be happy today, because today I am alive. And I can write. And I can be anything I want to, regardless of my past.

Something to think about.