Editor’s note: This is our last post in this series.
You can read them all by selecting Spoon Stealers from the Articles/Series menu!
I want to let you know from the start that this is about me and the one dream I have left. Today, I’m not standing up for injustice or for a noble cause. This is just me having a bit of a pity fest while I hold on to what’s left of my dignity and my spoons.
As I persist in searching for an innovative way out of a cul-de-sac created by being housebound for the better part of two decades, frustration steals my spoons over and over faster than I can produce them. As unoriginal as this statement may be, I feel stuck. Between a rock and a hard place kind of stuck.
There’s no doubt that in this age of easily accessible technology, one can become a successful writer without leaving the house. Or can one? Are there fields in writing that can lead to success strictly through actual personal contacts? It would appear that it is so. And there lies the situation that steals my spoons.
After a lifelong interest and study of theatre and film, I did something bold. You see, two decades ago (it’s been that long), I wrote a feature length script—not a class project but a professional one. I realize the movie business is almost impenetrable but while still mobile, I did manage to meet with one well-known (in Quebec) aging actor who fell in love with my screenplay. He was impressed with the historical, epic drama genre and the fact that it portrayed a significant event in Canadian history, one that to this day has not been depicted in a major motion picture. Needless to say I could almost taste the “option” from an eager producer.
But time went by, my health declined steadily, and the actor had issues of his own. His contacts in several production companies showed no interest in the project, so he gave up. The reasons for refusing to even read my screenplay, were 1) Financial: period pieces cost more to produce, 2) This story being mostly about French protagonists, they couldn’t understand why I’d written it in English. My reasoning was simple: I wrote a script using the classic “Hollywood” formula and not a “Let’s tell a story among ourselves so no one ever hears of it” sort of made in Quebec movie. I envisioned a sweeping, larger-than-life movie audiences could relate to, worldwide. My lead character is female and inspired by a now cherished French icon whose story was first told in a mournful poem written in English by H. W. Longfellow.
I’ve been unable to pitch my screenplay with all the passion that drives me. I just didn’t have the energy to make the journey on my own twenty years ago. Today, I count spoons just to—and I use the term loosely—keep up with my housebound life. How can I pursue something that means so much to me? How can I get out of this place in my life that makes me want to scream? These questions go on and on in my head every day, still unanswered. I can handle the illness and all the pain it brings to my body, to my heart. But it rips me to the core to have to give up on something that is part of my very soul. And frankly, I’d be thoroughly pissed if this film got made after I’m dead!
This is my last dream (well, besides a cure to myalgic encephalomyelitis and world peace). I want to get unstuck and take flight like the characters in my story, if only for a moment in time, to forget about spoons and the countless ways they get stolen as I struggle to keep up with the world while shut away from it.
Yes, this is about me. It’s also about all the dreams we dare to dream and do all in our power to bring to fruition.
A trained psycho-social counselor and life coach, (and author of Higher Maintenance, published in 2016 by Balboa Press) Marianne Granger’s commitment to helping people led her to work as coordinator of a volunteer center, and years later, as director of a large food bank. While managing and training employees and volunteers, she wrote and edited promotional and fundraising material. Her love of reading, writing, and cinema lead her to study screenwriting, which culminated in a completed feature-length screenplay. In 2001, she was struck down by a mysterious and devastating chronic illness that eventually became the inspiration for her book. She lives with her husband in southern Canada.