Monday, January 10, 2011


by Gina Sestak

OK, I admit it.  I'm a bit behind the times.  Ten days, to be exact.  That's no reason not to celebrate, though, is it?

I didn't go out on New Year's Eve - stayed home and drank pomegranate juice instead of champagne, getting high on antioxidents.

I don't have anything against drinking alcohol.  It just tends to make me sleepy, and I'm tired enough already that I don't need help from chemicals.

I started this year with no expectations.  I'm not anticipating finally getting a novel published.  I don't have any WIP I need to finish.  I'm crossing my fingers on those Steeltown Entertainment Project entries, but not holding my breath.  As for the two feature-length screenplays, I'm still doing everything I can to get them made into movies.  At this point, that's a money issue, best left to folks who know about that kind of thing, but believe me, if I hit the Powerball, I know what I'll be doing with my millions!

I haven't made any resolutions, but my plan for this year is to do things that are fun.  So here's my top five list of things I plan to do this year just for my own amusement:

1.   Watch movies.  I love movies in general, but I've developed an unquenchable addiction to Bollywood films in general and those starring Shah Rukh Khan in particular.   He's the world's greatest actor, and that's no lie.

2.   Dance.  Folk dancing is a long-time passion (maybe one reason I like Bollywood so much).  I'm clumsy by nature, but once I get into the flow, the music carries me.  And it's such a treat to be moving in unison with other people for a change, in contrast to my usual sense of being a square peg in a round world.

3.   Learn.  I bit the bullet and registered for two more courses at Pittsburgh Filmmakers.  As I've mentioned in past posts, Filmmakers' classes tend to be labor intensive, requiring many hours of outside work.  And the Acting for the Camera course I took last semester turned out to be one of the most terrifying things I've ever done, stripping down self image and exposing all the flaws, not only in surface appearance but in my very way of being in the world.  So I signed up for the follow up class, and for a short writing course on Screenplay Character Development.  I figure that can't hurt.

4.   Write.  The other day, when I mentioned the screenplays, etc. I've been working on, a friend said, "You have so much self-discipline!"  I had to correct her.  It would take more discipline than I possess to make myself stop writing.  I did more collaborative writing last year, on three of the screenplays, and that's a special kind of fun, even when nobody provides a special cake.  [See my December 20, 2010 post for details.]  Maybe that's one of the things I like about filmmaking - it takes a village to make a movie, and just being part of such a creative process is incredibly energizing.

5.   Try things I've never done before.  To that end, I'm pitching a class to a Pitt program on a subject near and dear to my heart - more on that later, once I find out if it flies or not.

I don't think these can count as resolutions.  Resolutions for me have always boiled down to: Stop being the way I am and start being the way I'm not.  These are different.  They're more along the line of:  Start being the way I really am.  Have fun.

How about you?  What are your plans for 2011?


PatRemick said...

I was delighted to see this because in contemplating my blog for tomorrow, I also have been thinking about 2011. One of my goals is to "live with joy" -- in my writing and everywhere else. I hope that's part of being the way I am for years to come!

Annette said...

This sounds like a great plan of action, Gina. Way better than resolutions which never work.

Joyce Tremel said...

Sounds like a great plan for the year, Gina! It does sound like it will be loads of fun.

I don't make resolutions either. My goal is simple: write as much as I can.

Laurie said...

Wow, Gina, you're my idol! I love how energetic and joyful your plans are for 2011. Happy New Year's!

Jennie Bentley said...

I love it! Yeah, maybe it's time I stopped trying to make myself over into someone I'm not and just started being who I am, too. Even if that someone could stand to lose a few pounds and exercise more.

Gina said...

Jennie -
Let me tell you the truth - body weight has absolutely nothing to do with how much you eat or how often you exercise. There are Fat Fairies who come in the night, and if they really like you they will leave you a few pounds. They like me a lot and they are such sweet, gentle creatures that I can't bring myself to chase them away whenever they drop by.

Ramona said...

When I stop laughing over Gina's Fat Fairies theory, it will probably be next year.

I go back and forth on the concept of resolutions. But I know that one of my greatest weaknesses is that I don't submit often enough. I have completed stories that live in my computer. They need to be set free to be rejected, or not.

Patg said...

Making lists of things to do is a habit I've had for years. They keep me on track and from forgetting, but I never make resolutions. Like I've said before, the ones I made back in 1960 are good enough. Try to succeed at something that makes you happy.

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