Category Archives: Humor

3 Tips to Help Crawl out of the Creative Dumps

creative dumpsThere’s a pile of dishes in the sink. The bed hasn’t been made. There are a stack of bills on my desk that I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to pay. “I need to shower,” is a relevant thought but currently I’m sitting in the middle of the floor, legs crossed, laptop on my lap with a Final Draft document open – completely white except for the blinking white cursor in the top right corner. The cursor refuses to move. There are a million thoughts in my head, scenes that play in regular rotation but can’t seem to make their way from my brain to my fingers and into the document. This is the story of a writer, and how so often the hardest part of being a writer is, well, writing.

My Year of Intent was to finish my first screenplay. My goal is to have a first draft by my 25th birthday (July 4th, if you want to set off an extra set of fireworks for me, that’d be cool). I want so badly to be able to say I wrote my first script by the time I was 25. It’s an over-achiever thing. The problem is that it’s really hard and I’m behaving very much like an under-achiever, which is something really difficult for me to deal with. I’ve had really good training on how to get things done – to make schedules, deadlines, to burn the midnight oil so that it happens – but this is different. This is personal so I want it to be perfect which means I edit myself as the scenes come instead of writing them down. I am convinced that all of them won’t work before they’re even born. The truth is you have to write everything down. If it doesn’t work you can delete it but if you don’t put it down then nothing really exists. The internal struggle has created a bit of a creative depression. Or it’s quite possible that it’s an all around depression at this point. It seems a lot easier to stay in bed than to write. I’ll put those dishes in the dishwasher at some point. Right now, I feel the need to rest in a fetal position and tell myself a few hundred more times how much I suck because this isn’t getting done. I’ve been told this is a thing that happens to a lot of writers.

It’s been my experiences that these pot holes happen to everyone when they’re working towards something big. You get stuck, and the exhaustion from spinning your wheels can put you in a funk. The important thing is that you have to get yourself out of those holes. The dishes are still in the sink, but I did manage to finish the first act of my screen play, so it’s possible. Here are my tips for pulling yourself out of the creative funk.

1. Take That Shower - This sounds like basic information, but it’s important especially if you are working from home. The appeal of rolling out of bed and sitting down at your laptop in your pajamas is so hard to overcome. Next thing you know it’s 7pm and there’s no point in showering because what would you change into? More pajamas. Make yourself get out of bed, take a shower, put on CLEAN clothes (yes, this means you have to do laundry. UGH I know). Eat some breakfast. These basic routines are part of a full robust wake up system. They make you more alert and prepared. They make you feel like a real human instead of a creative zombie on a hamster wheel. I’m not kidding – making yourself wear real pants has an amazing effect on your outlook. It also makes it more likely that people will want to be around you because B.O. is awful.

2. Set Deadlines – The problem with self-appointed goals is just that – they’re self-appointed. That means the goal post can move whenever you decide. Stop that. Set incremental goals and then give yourself a timeline in which it has to be done. My friend and Intent partner in crime MeLissa told me about her brilliant system of asking herself when she thinks she can get something done in a reasonable amount of time, and then she sets a deadline of three days earlier. So if you think it’s going to take two weeks to get something done, tell yourself you really have 10 to make it happen. Set up a penalty if it doesn’t happen. Didn’t get that draft done? Bye bye potato chips. Page count wasn’t met? I guess I’ll be DVR’ing Mad Men this week. Decided not to write at all today/this week? Haha, oh buddy, those plans to see Captain America this weekend just went down the toilet, congrats! When something is at stake you are more willing to keep the ball moving. I’m fortunate enough to have a great screenwriting teacher that’s been coaching me through the process – which brings me to the next thing!

3. Find a Hero/Coach/Inspiring Person  – This can take a lot of forms. For me, it’s Jon Bernstein. He teaches the classes I’m taking to help get this done (I realized that having grown up an academic nerd, literally making writing this screenplay homework was the best way to get me going). He is the loveliest person and super encouraging and his praise is like dancing in a rainstorm of sunshine and rainbows and candy. I feel like Eve the robot in Wall-E when she boots up in the sun whenever he tells me that I’ve done a good job, or that something I’ve written is funny or makes sense. On the downside, when he gives notes and it turns out I’m not his favorite thing about Earth I don’t know how to handle it. When I first started his class I barely had an outline, but I managed to improv my way through a log line and basic plot points. Then I had to given him a detailed description of my Act I plan and he wasn’t impressed. To be fair, I was still winging it and hadn’t really done the work. He told me he wasn’t compelled by the ending and there was no reason to keep watching the movie if that’s how I was going to do it. Um, what? This was life shattering news to me and the worst part was he was right. Everything he said rang true and that was worse. I could have thrown in the towel then because writers are sensitive and clearly if my rough outline of things I was planning to write was crap then there was no hope for me. But…I need Jon Bernstein to love me, because I respect him and trust his advice. So instead of giving up, I sat down at my desk and I wrote. I changed almost everything I had up until that point. Created new things. Broke up my darlings that were supposed to kiss at the end, made them miserable (because that’s what movies are until the end!) and I felt better for doing so. I felt more creative.

And that’s what a good coach does. Stephen King calls them an “ideal reader” but it’s the person who keeps you on track. They pop your ego balloon when you’re floating too high on praise instead of work. They are the ones that remind you that you are capable and brilliant when you’re down in that hole. Find your Jon Bernsteins. Find the people that are going to push you to that finish line because the most important lesson in all of this is that no one ever really gets there by themselves. (And again, it’s why showers are important).

Plus, I have to imagine that it’s sweeter to have people to celebrate with at the finish line.

Weird Valentines

They say that some things get better with age.
And then, there are some things that just stay weird.
May we present a selection of the weirdest vintage Valentine’s Day cards we could find on the internet.
We invite you to send anything that strikes your fancy on to your loved one*.

*Explanation for your choice of Valentine to your loved one not included.

valentine1valentine 8 valentine2 valentine3 valentine4valentine6 valentine5
valentine7 vintage

xoxo, Intent.com

My Favorite Families: A Film Review

I always hear that TV and film is entirely too violent. There’s a lot of sex. And that’s not even talking about the reality shows. But then there are some really excellent stories we’re left with. I’m talking about families who are just trying to make it work, whether that be in Neverland or the middle of America. Here are 5 of my favorite film families:

1. The Charmings

once upon a timecopyright ABC / source

From the ABC show “Once Upon A Time”, The Charmings extended family includes Snow White, Belle, an evil queen AND a gold spinning imp? That’s a family I want in on. Thanks to a fairytale curse, most of the family members are about the same age (and very good-looking, but we think that is non-curse related), but the sweetest aspect of this family is how much trust they put in every member to be the best version of themselves- even allowing grandson Henry to lead them on life-saving adventures through foreign make-believe worlds.

2. The Weasleys

The_Weasley_Family_at_Egyptsource

We love the Weasleys for a lot of reasons. 1) They’re magical and a magical family of 9 can only result in craziness, which I enjoy. 2) While much of the set of Harry Potter is fantastical, the Weasley house, while certainly having elements you wouldn’t see in a Muggle home, still really feels like a large family lives there. Mix-matched chairs. Laundry hanging over stair railings. Dishes piled up in the sink. 3) With 7 men, the 2 ladies of the family (mom Molly and daughter Ginny) are both strong yet still all woman. A family that can just be is a family that I want to be in.

3. The Tenenbaums

royal-tenenbaumssource

A family of geniuses who are learning that your brilliant brain doesn’t necessarily make your heart problems go away? That would be the story of the Tenenbaums. As independently awesome as they are (financial whiz, tennis star), this family ultimately realizes that they’re better together, even as adults. They learn that having a little fun shouldn’t be against the law and ultimately they learn that a little forgiveness (of others, of yourself) can go a long way.

4. The Hecks

NEIL FLYNN, PATRICIA HEATON, CHARLIE MCDERMOTT, EDEN SHER, ATTICUS SHAFFERcopyright Michael Ansell/ABC | source

The Hecks live in The Middle of America and remind people watching television that not everyone is a real housewife of a county where even toddlers drive Bentleys. Mom Frankie is regularly forgetting to pack lunches, to pick up kids, to set her alarm. Just like a real human. Dad Mike has trouble connecting with just about everyone on any sort of emotional level and each Heck child is definitely marching to the beat of their own drum. Unapologetically. Mostly, because they don’t know that they’re doing anything weird, not out of a sense of pride. Their house looks like my house. Their family bickering sounds like my family bickering. Also, I wouldn’t mind some of Sue’s outfits.

5. The Goonies

gooniessource

The Goonies are proof that you can pick your family. While Mikey and Brandon Walsh also have parents they love, their fellow Goondock residents are the family we remember. Sometimes it’s an Asian kid who flies through your window on a self-installed zip line. Sometimes it’s a motor-mouth brat who actually has a heart of gold. Sometimes your family is just who you choose- good, bad, ugly. They were bound together by adventure and the hope that they could make their lives their own. And I’d choose that family too.

Thursday Morning Melody: Me And You Grandma

It’s entirely possible that with a week left til Christmas, you’re already tired of hearing every version of “Jingle Bells” imaginable on the radio.
We have the solution.

Erin and MeLissa are a pair of comedians who sing songs and tell jokes in Los Angeles by way of Nashville, TN. This Christmas, they released their newest song, “Me and You Grandma”. It is a tribute to the most under appreciated holiday date you can have: your grandmother. She buys you things. She knows a thing or two about costume jewelry. She doesn’t care how many cookies you eat. That’s love.

So pause your Bing Crosby playlist.
Listen to a little bit of Erin and MeLissa.
Call your grandma.

If you need more Erin and MeLissa, visit their website, listen to their songs on Soundcloud, and follow them on Twitter or Facebook. You won’t regret it. (And we’re not just saying do it because MeLissa is part of our team, but because it’s going to make your life better and filled with more joy).

What do you think of the video? Who are you most excited to see this holiday season? Tell us in the comments below! 

VOD: Aziz Ansari Has the Perfect Holiday Gift For You Featuring Deepak Chopra

In a recent appearance on Conan comedian Aziz Ansari unveiled a rather unconventional holiday gift. If you’re in need of a sari – a traditional garment worn by Indian women that is also popular in many other south eastern Asian countries – he’s got quite the solution for you. Since “sari” makes up over half of his last name, and Aziz is Indian-American he’s advertising his own special take on the gown. Now you can get a sari with Aziz’s face on it! Aziz takes us (jokingly) through the process of making his specially branded saris. Our favorite part is when they use glue to smack his face on the “fine material.”

Better yet, Deepak Chopra makes an appearance to condemn the process (whoever said Deepak doesn’t have a humorous side hasn’t been paying attention). Unfortunately, even Aziz can’t put up with the ridiculousness of it. Oh well, you can still get the Gene Hackman home gene testing kit for all of your celebrity branded gift needs!

What do you think of the video? Tell us in the comments below! 

Take Back The Internet And Do Something Great

caffeinating, calculating, computeratingI’ll be the first to admit (though not proudly,) that at times I’m all about using the internet for mindless activities and procrastination… though I’ve never ventured into Candy Crush territory, so at least I have that going for me. Nevertheless, it’s often that I find myself  keeping a window minimized on my computer screen while working on an article just so I can “accidentally” hover my cursor over it to see if I have any new notifications on Facebook and Twitter. Usually there are and next thing I know, it’s half an hour later and I’m still only a couple of paragraphs into my piece.

Well, Kid President is back with an exceptional new video (which definitely pulled my covers a bit) on ways we can use our time online for a collective greater good, rather than just for procrastinating, posting “selfies”, getting the latest gossip on celebrity nonsense, ad infinitum.

Check out the video below and visit the Socktober page for ways you can get involved and help make a difference! And with that being said, it’s time for me to get back to the other damn article I’m procrastinating on…

photo by: ryantron.

VOD: Stephen Colbert Marries Couple Whose Wedding Was Marred By Government Shutdown

When the government shutdown everyone was in outrage (as they should be) over the obvious programs that were closed – Meals on Wheels, Headstart – and the hundreds of thousands of government workers that were sent home with pay. As the days went on though, the less obvious consequences of the shutdown started to become apparent.

For many couples that had planned their weddings at national parks like Yosemite or the Grand Canyon they will have to postpone or make last minute (expensive) adjustments. That’s what happened to this couple, who were planning to get married this month at the Jefferson Memorial (the site of their first date, aw!) Luckily, comedian and Colbert Report host Stephen Colbert came to the rescue with the funds from Colbert Nation.

He flew out the wedding party (and a few other special guests!) and married them on the show! It was full of spoofs and laughs (check out the bride’s rather shiny bouquet). They may not have gotten the wedding they planned, but it is definitely one to remember!

What do you think of Stephen’s wedding gesture? Tell us in the comments below! And if you have a video of the day you’d like us to post let us know! 

Watch: 6 Year Old Creates Superhero Short Film with Help From Dad

6-year old Elliott Worley likes art, superheroes and his baby sisters. Elliott is an artist with a filmmaker father, Seth, and when the two combined their own super powers, Super Lion was born.

Super Lion is a character invented by Elliott who fights crime (specifically the evil Dr. Hyena) with the help of his trusty sidekick, Bumblebee. Seth took Elliott’s drawings and narration and turned it into the best movie trailer about lions we’ve ever seen. To top it all off, Seth recruited his own brother Ben Worley to create an epic theme for Super Lion. We not only get Super Lion’s origin story, but meet his sidekick Bumblebee (who has horns on his head so he can hear good!) and see them face off against Dr. Hyena.

Though his dad and uncle helped, Elliott is clearly on his way to an illustrious illustration/animation/filmmaking career. Really, the choices are endless, right? This is what happens when we notice our children’s creative potential and help them explore it in interesting and fun ways!

So moms and dads: what are some ways to collaborate with your children? Whether it’s making cookies or turning their random doodles into a movie the world can’t wait to see, amazing things come from spending time being creative with your family!

***

Elliott Worley’s SUPER LION from Seth Worley on Vimeo.

 

Need more?
You can watch Elliott’s first film “The Three Little Pigs”.
You should watch Seth’s most recent short, “Spy Vs Guy”.
You can download uncle Ben’s Super Lion score HERE, including the super awesome Super Lion remix.

Introducing Your New Intent Team!

Hello Intent Community!

It’s Megan Vick and MeLissa Gavarrette here – your new day-to-day Intent and Intent Blog team! Megan is taking over as managing editor of Intent Blog and MeLissa will be marketing coordinator – handling social media and managing new initiatives on Intent.com.

MeganMeLissaIntroBlog

 About Megan

Megan has been working with the Chopra family for over a year now, starting with The Chopra Well YouTube project and transitioned to Intent earlier this summer.  She majored in music industry in college and is in Los Angeles as an aspiring screenwriter so to say she loves pop culture and entertainment is an understatement. She has previously written for Billboard Magazine, Rolling Stone and IFC.com. Her writing on Intent Blog will mostly focus on how we can use entertainment mediums to create a better world – and the disastrous results when we don’t. Humor and comedy are very important to Megan so you can expect to see a lighter tone in many of her pieces and hopefully you get a laugh!

Her intents for the year is to make Intent Blog the number one wellness and conscious conversation destination on the web, to  finish her first screenplay and go to the gym regularly. She’s really excited to move from social media to the blog where she can write more and get to know the rest of you!

What She Plans for Intent Blog 

While we love the heartfelt and personal stories we post here on Intent Blog (and will continue to do so), we want the blog to expand. In the coming weeks we will start tackling more current events, popular culture and global issues and adding the Intent voice to the discussion. Many of our current Intent voices have their specialties – from addiction to sex and relationships to organic gardening and cooking. We want our bloggers to use those specialties, passions and points of view to add deeper context to the stories everyone is already talking about.

If that sounds like you, or something that excites you, please pitch your ideas for articles or columns to editor@intent.com

About MeLissa

MeLissa comes to Los Angeles from Florida by way of Nashville, TN. She loves comedy, writing, wise words and breakfast burritos. She’s done everything from working at a gym, to teaching kids to conquer their fears at summer camp, to traveling with a BMX team across the country. Now she’s excited to be settled in Southern California working with the Intent family to empower it’s community to live the lives they’ve always wanted.

Her intent for the year is becoming an invested part of that community. It is a community of movers and shakers who are intent on making the world a better, healthier place– who wouldn’t want to be a part of that?

What She Plans for Intent.com

MeLissa is focused on continuing to make Intent a community built by it’s members for it’s members. What does that even mean? It means finding ways to increase interaction between users. It means further expanding resources for both men and women on the website and blog. It means taking new steps to encourage users to see their intents fulfilled. MeLissa has ideas for all these things and looks forward to hearing yours.

For any issues or concerns with your Intents send them to support@intent.com 

What do you want to see in the upcoming months on Intent Blog and Intent.com? Share with us in the comments below! 

Watch: Hilarious 88-Year Old Woman Creates Ellen’s Favorite Show Moment

Gladys Hardy of Austin, Texas is a dedicated watcher of “Ellen.” She loves the show. In fact, she loves it so much that she called the show’s hotline to insist that Ellen move the spiked plant situated behind her chair due to its distracting nature when Ellen’s face lined up right in front of it. What a caring and observational viewer, right?

Since Gladys was so gracious with her advice Ellen decided to call her back and ask for more suggestions to help improve the show – and Gladys was only so glad to help! Watch as this endearing woman complains about the local news and tells the hilarious story of the first time she was on television.

We don’t blame you at all for drinking a little bit Gladys – have some fun! We think it’s a shame that traveling is too bothersome for you to come to the show though (those liquid restrictions are instense). We would have loved to see you on air, but thank you for giving us a reason to smile about over the phone!

What did you think of Gladys’s advice and conversation? Let us know your favorite Ellen moments in the comments below!

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