Thursday, March 26, 2015

I Achieved a Bucket List Goal!!!

I have to say, working in the film industry can be insane and crazy and draining, but there are moments when it is the coolest damn thing ever!

The teaser trailer for Dope was released today which will be the first feature film to be released in theater that I will actually have a legit title credit for!

I am so very excited to see this in theater and finally see my name attached to a theatrical release. After working in film for 4 years, I think it is massively deserved. I have been dead set on making this moment happen since I moved up to Los Angeles, and I finally achieved it!! So if you go and see this film and scroll down through the credits look for:

DI Producer      Jessica Clarke


Wednesday, March 25, 2015

I'm Proud to be a Potterhead

The other night I was riding passenger as me and Bear drove to go get some dinner. I was absentmindedly scrolling through Google + when I realized how many Harry Potter meme's there were on my home page. One giggle led to another and then I had to start sharing them out loud to Bear. He chuckled more at my nerdiness than at the memes but still it caused me to realize how much I am a complete and total Potterhead.

I will go on the record to say that Star Wars had it's followers and George Lucas will have those nerds until the end of time, but JK Rowling has her loyal group of nerds and we will never stop loving the books and movies she gave to us. Star wars had three movie to geek out over (and of course the books), but Harry Potter had seven book and 8 films to go completely nerd over. I think it's safe to say that Harry Potter is the Star Wars of my generation.

It's not just the books though, it's not just the stories of mischief and magic, its the underlying meaning beneath the stories that truly pulls you in as a Potterhead.

There is a strong force of self acceptance and internal struggle that every person goes through. JK captured an awesome story yes, but she also captured the emotions of the every day human, muggles and wizards a like!

I owe JK more than she will ever know and I am proud to be a loyal fan of hers. Potterheads for life my peeps!

And some awesome Harry Potter humor to make you giggle...

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

You Get What You Focus On

Every morning on my way to work I take this route through the hills of Los Angeles. I'm not sure if it's the angle of the early morning sun, or the hazy fog still clearing from the valleys of the road, but I look at the houses around me as I drive and I think, "I want to live here."

My mother told me once that you get what you focus on. So far her words ring true; I am living in LA working in the film industry as a DI Producer, I have the best group of friends I could ever ask for, I am dating an amazing man that has brought more happiness to my life than I ever could have imagined, and I completed my first novel of my trilogy that I have working on for the past 6 years. Everything that I have set out to achieve, I have accomplished, and to a certain degree shot past the goal I strove for.

New goals take the old one's place, and now I see the things that I want in this life a bit differently. I used to look at those big beautiful homes up on the hill as unobtainable and only for the rich and wealthy. Now, when I look at those homes as I zip through the open back streets of Mulholland drive, I see a future of family, kids playing in the yard, and lazy Sunday bbq's. Those homes are no longer unobtainable and an object of status, now they are reachable and a building block of my future.

If all I have to do is work my booty off until I achieve my goals than so be it. I want to finish the final editing on my novel, land an agent, and send the book off to a publishing house that will share it with the masses. I want to continue working in film and work my way up the ladder to become a top of the line Producer. I want to spend my weekends with my friends and Bear and his little cubs. Yes I want, now it's time to continue to achieve.

It's amazing what happens when you look back and realize that goals you set out to accomplish have been achieved. You begin to see that nothing is impossible. That house right there on the corner of Longbow Dr can be obtained. The best selling trilogy sitting pretty in the window at a book store with my name on it is within my grasp, I just have to reach out and take it.


Friday, March 20, 2015

Why Are You Yelling At Me?

I have something not writing related to talk about, it's more human reaction related which I find just as intriguing as any writing related topic.

Really truly as we walk through our lives we are constantly confronted by people who make great characters for a novel. I recently wrote a blog (which lives here) about finding novel characters in your every day life and how fun it is. There are moments when it's not so fun because the reaction the person is flinging your way resembles the evil monster character that we all love to loathe.

It's just hard not to dislike them for the ridiculousness of their attitudes. There is no rhyme or reason really for the way they act, they just say things and do things for the pleasure of it, or because they believe they are justified to act or speak that way.

So several days ago I was confronted, via text message mind you, about something that I had apparently done that upset someone else. I had no idea the person was upset, or even frustrated; so when I was verbally attacked through the monotone text message I was completely thrown off my rocker. More like hurtled off my rocker that was on the tip top peak of a mountain.

Now I won't go into detail of what was said because that is absolutely pointless. No reason to pick apart the minuet details, more I want to address the action. This wasn't the first time I had been verbally (via text message) attacked for something that I had no idea was going on. I have tried to be understanding and accepting, but sometimes I have to take a step back and realize that it actually isn't about me. Sometimes the other person just needs a whipping post because they are pissed off. Sometimes communication isn't clear or expressed and they freak out because you are supposed to know what they want and need. Sometimes people are just ass monkey's though...and there is nothing to be done about that. Talking to you WORMTONGUE ------------------------------>

Anyways, needless to say I was beyond surprised by the words flung at me, and more than a little hurt that someone actually thought I was being inconsiderate and mean. It's hard, actually almost impossible to be considerate of someone's needs, wants, and desires if they never let you KNOW what their needs, wants and desires are. Every evil mean annoying character in a book and movie has an agenda, but they also have a need for something. They usually are mean because they don't communicate what they actually want.

Then again....some want WAY more than they should ever be allowed to have. Like...THE WHOLE WOLRD and that's just selfish. Can't always get what you want you know!

So, I would never actually liken the person who bit my head off to any one of these characters shown above, BUT I would say that this person has a tendency to jump into aggressive meanness before calmly looking at the situation at hand. To any person out there who yells before they think, aggressively accuses before hearing the whole story, or who justifies their own feelings with illogical ideas needs to sit back and take a minute to scrutinize themselves.

Do you actually want to be a Regina George? Do you really want to be seen as Draco Malfoy? These people are people we love to hate because they are complete and total pricks for no damn good reason. Perhaps next time you can politely ask for what you need and give the other person a moment to reciprocate that niceness. Now if you tried that and it still didn't work you can go all Voldemort on their butts.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

To Query like the best of them.

Today is figure out how to write a queary Query day. It's a good thing I learned how to spell it first....

Now I have done this before. Tried writing a query. Though I have yet to send one out for an agent. I think it's because I am slightly afraid of MASS rejection. Though I know I will endure the rejection just like every other author has, I think it's also because I just don't feel like my novel is complete. It's had to ask someone to back something I am still a little unsure of myself. 

Yesterday I found five separate Literary Agent companies I want to contact. Now to find a way to get their attention through the awesomeness of my super compact totally intriguing Query!

Here is my plan...first I google Query....

This didn't really help me at all right away. All of that seems extremely basic...until I re-read my last attempt at a Query and realized I didn't mention several of these "To-do's"

No kidding this site actually has a lot of helpful information, and I will paraphrase a few bits that I think will help you as much as they helped me:

A query letter has three concise paragraphs: the hook, the mini-synopsis, and your writer’s biography. Don’t stray from this format. You won’t catch an agent’s attention by inventing a creative new query format.

This actually helps a lot. It explains the bare basic truth of Querying. Don't make it new and fresh, make it your own in the formula. The story should be the hook, not an updated version of Query formula.

Paragraph One—The Hook: A hook is a concise, one-sentence tagline for your book. It’s meant to hook your reader’s interest, and wind them in.

The hook is the most important part of the Query, it's the point where you really can shine and yank an agent to attention. It's like you are screaming, "Look at me, I am amazing!!" and the agent actually turns around and says, "Well you have my attention, go on...."

EXAMPLE of a Hook: Bridges of Madison County
When Robert Kincaid drives through the heat and dust of an Iowa summer and turns into Francesca Johnson's farm lane looking for directions, the world-class photographer and the Iowa farm wife are joined in an experience that will haunt them forever.

The "When" Formula: “When such and such event happens, your main character—a descriptive adjective, age, professional occupation—must confront further conflict and triumph in his or her own special way. Sure, it’s a formula, but it’s a formula that works.

Variations on the "when" formula: Three Different Examples:
Following a botched circumcision...
While defending a drug-addicted prostitute accused of murder....
After years of abuse at the hands of her alcoholic mother and step-father...

Paragraph Two—Mini-synopsis: This is where you get to distill your entire 300 page novel into one paragraph.

This part really really sucks, mainly because it was harder than writing the entire novel. How the hell am I supposed to stuff the entirety of my novel into 150 words!? Patience is not my virtue, but this one really tested me. The main thing to stick to though is the absolute basics. The main character has a problem. The main character must face the external problem and internal problem. Main character confronts conflict, and may or may not succeed.

Paragraph Three—Writer’s bio: This should be the easiest part of your query. After all, it’s about you, the writer.

No this wasn't the easiest part. I don't have ANY writing bio background. I never had anything published, never wrote for a magazine or newspaper. I didn't go to school for writing, I just enjoy writing and love building a new world with my words. That's it. But I can't really say that. It's ok though, the less words I write in a bio, the more I can use on the mini-synopsis. WIN!


I have a Query.....I need to write it. Again. I'll let you know when I have something worth value. Back to the blinky blinky line mocking me on my word doc page. "Blink, blink...write something. Blink...blink...BLINK!" Shut up word doc, I am thinking!

For any further details on Query writing check out:

Random Pug Picture Time!
Here is my little man, The Dude

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

So where have I been?! Ohh let me tell you....

I am so excited for Saturday and I have been thinking this since Monday morning. I can't wait to not sleep in and get up early to write. I can't wait to clean up my living room and mop the floors and clean the kitchen. I can't wait to hang up my new curtains and put away all my laundry. I can't wait to sit back and enjoy the sparkling clean awesomeness of my apartment as I write away the weekend.

Sometimes I wonder, what the hell happened to Jess, and why is she so into cleaning? I have no idea when it started, but I just can't stand a messy apartment. Not to say it isn't messy often, of course it is. I am too damn busy all the damn time. Let's discuss shall we what has been going on since my long absence....time to go back....

September: I got a new job towards the end of August and it picked up dramatically in Sept. I am now a DI Producer, which is basically a glorified name for a movie babysitter. No joke though I love my job and it was never something I thought I would do. I basically get to talk to people all day about their movies and work with my team to get them colored and rendered out for final master to go to theaters. Now there is a tone of stress and crazy nights in this wild lifestyle of film making, but I love the energy and love the outcome. There is nothing cooler than being in a theater surrounded by strangers and seeing you name wiz by on the big screen!

October: My best friend got Married!! To which I was the Maid of Honor. This was a crazy whirl wind day and several months prior. I will say I have never seen a more beautiful couple, I love my family of friends.

November: Me and my boyfriend really got into the feelers. Very long back story on my boyfriend, who on this site we will call Bear (because I respect his privacy and he will giggle when he sees the nick name), but I won't get into the details of our history just yet. Anyways, things got intense in November, in a good way. There was some serious growth between us, and serious growth for me.

December: Is always insane with the Holidays...enough said there. Plus I was sick, yuck!

January: Work hit me like a ton of bricks. Busy all the time and there were just no breaks ever.

February: Probably the best damn Valentines Day I have ever had. Bear made me the most amazing meal and we chowed down with gusto! This was the month that I realized I hadn't been in a serious relationship this long (6 months at the time) since over two years previous. That....amazed me. But finally I felt like I found someone that gets me, that I love to giggle and laugh with, someone that chases me around the living room trying to tickle me. I was quite giddy in love and on the best most amazing cloud 9.

March to Now: Still busy with work, but more determined than ever to finish my first novel, The Praetorians. I decided I need to stop waiting and just get working. I want to put the name out there, I want to put my name out there, and I need to stop wasting time and procrastinating. So...then came the idea for a new name, a changed look, a fresh-ish start.

Now: I am J. McSpadden, I am a new writer about to reach the point of needing an agent for my first novel; The Praetorians, and I am ready to share my moments of hard work, struggle, excitment, and enjoyment with you all.

Here's to a fresh start, I hope you enjoy it all!

The Girl Nerd has left the building and J. McSpadden is taking OVER!

New Post. New Look. New Name. It's a new year...and it's going to be grand.

Hello to all! I have been quite the absent blogger, it isn't easy to blog every week when you work way too damn much but it's about time I just back on the writing block. Exciting news is soon to come and I can't wait to share the many details of my up and coming novel debut.

Trust me I am anxious and nervous, and I sincerely hope you haven't all forgotten about me. I am back, and I will comment away once again!!

I look forward to being a great blogger for you all once again. The Girl Nerd has turned a page, now it's time for J. McSpadden to take the spot light. Let's get writing!!