The Third Post – About Being Offended

Hello Everyone,

I just got finished doing a once over of the script, so I’ll be updating it on the script page.  I added some content that connects two parts of the story where I felt there was kind of a gap in continuity.  I also did some formatting and general proofreading.  So if you haven’t checked it out, definitely check it out now.

So, as I was going along with Misophonica, I found that I wanted to continue forward with this theme of acceptance.  There are so many different ways to demonstrate acceptance, I thought, I want to write more stories.  I love the characters in Misophonica so much that I didn’t want to let them go just yet.  I don’t think this is a sequel situation, but more of a triptych situation.  Three stories that are related by the characters but not sequential, you know?

So I started writing a new story featuring Mo’s sister.  Mo is one of the leads of Misophonica.  She visits her sister at one point in the story, but we never meet her.  I’ve gotten nicely into that story at this point, though it is much slower going than Misophonica had been.  I just got to a part where Craig, from Misophonica, and Mo’s sister (her name is Zo), go to an Evil Dead marathon at a theater and between films they’re at a bar.  They hear a girl talking about sleeping with another girl and it makes Craig angry because she’s talking about sleeping with girls like being gay is a choice.  And that gets him all riled up.  Then I realized that I’ve been finding offense in some things that I hadn’t maybe two years ago.

I work in an industry dominated by men.  I’m not singling out men here, but they are more prominent in my life.  Something that ends up being common in such circles are jokes or slights or cracks, both prodding and joking, that are quite offensive in the way orientation is perceived.  I’m not hating on anyone here, I’m making an observation.  The sensitivity to nonbinary people in this type of professional circle is nearly nonexistent.  I find it offensive.  Not let’s start a riot offensive.  It’s like an inside voice telling me, hey that was kinda shitty what that guy said.  And then I feel offended.

It could be like a guy cracking a joke about another guy standing near a lady’s purse, and he’d be like, oh nice bag, hahaha.  Like, it’s not okay for a guy to carry a purse.  I get it.  It’s uncommon for a man to carry a purse or a giant Coach tote or something.  But so what.  Why does that become a focus of ridicule or prodding?

Another situation I experienced recently was an assumption about my own orientation based on the fact that I was having a conversation about women, and the previous topic was my wife and daughters.  And some comment is made about how at least I like girls.  Well, sure, I do.  But the assumption that I’m completely straight arrow guy is offensive to me.  An assumption like that, in a professional setting, to some people might be a call to HR.  For me, I just internalize my offence and move on because I understand.  Not everyone has these ideas in their common brain.  They don’t’ recognize that maybe some people aren’t straight like you assume.  I’m not gay, but I’m not straight either, and you shouldn’t assume one way or another.

I’m not a proponent of labels.  I don’t want everyone to wear or have to wear labels saying how they identify themselves, who they’re romantically and sexually attracted to, etc.  I prefer we all are who we are and we each respect each other for all the possibilities that we could be.  Ultimately, this starts with education I think.  Acceptance of other people no matter how different they are from oneself is a whole different process, but education is where it begins.  That’s why I see YouTubers like Ash Hardell and Dr. Lindsey Doe so unbelievably important to the world.  They are both on a road to educate.

Acceptance is constantly on my mind.  I believe it’s the most important thing we can teach our children and each other.  Here’s one thought I’ve had lately.  This lack of awareness of the people around us and who they could possibly be.  Unless I know you very well, I am ultra aware of all the possibilities of you.  Staying inoffensive and accepting of the person you could be is very important to me.  That’s a message I’d like to convey to everyone.

Acceptingly Yours,

Matthew Raup

 

P.S.

Ash Hardell

Dr. Lindsey Doe

The Second Post

Dear Everyone,

I thought it appropriate to add a page about the story, so I will do just that.  Here’s a little writer’s bio about me and my story.

My name is Matt.  I grew up reading things like Calvin and Hobbes, the Far Side, and Shel Silverstein.  One of the first stories I wrote was a little piece inspired one of the less common Calvin characters called Tracer Bullet.  He was a detective in a noir-y setting.  I don’t actually recall the name of my detective.  I do remember that the villain was a guy named Garcon who wore a tuxedo and white mask.  Hmm.  Now I’m sad I can’t remember.  I was pretty young, maybe 15.  Maybe younger.  It was hand written in a notebook or on loose leaf.  Ah well, it might come to me some day.

The start of writing for me really came when I started reading.  A friend in High School, junior year, told me to read a book.  She handed me Harpy Thyme by Piers Anthony.  I devoured it.  Literally the first book I ever read for pleasure.  I never stopped from there.  I’ve read maybe 20 of Piers Anthony’s books at this point.  I picked up other authors.  David Eddings, Neil Gaiman, Larry Niven, Michael Crichton, C. Dale Brittain (she writes my all-time favorite series called the Wizard of Yurt series), George Orwell (1984 is my all-time fave book), Lemony Snicket, a little Terry Brooks.  My writing took an obvious turn into expansive high fantasy stories with no possible end in sight and tons of unnecessary characters.

By the time I was almost 30, I’d matured enough to complete some stories.  I’ve self-published two of them.  After I self-published my novel called Glyph Writers: The Wish Glyph, I struggled to find a voice again.  I did finish a sequel to the novel, but it’s sitting unedited on a drive somewhere.  Everything else I’d attempted hit a block.

Then my life took a little change in direction.  I started reading a book called Living Dharma that highlighted 12 interviews with Theravada Buddhist masters.  Buddhism became something important to me.  The Buddhist that I took to the most was a man named Achaan Chaa.  In his answers, he spoke about mindfulness, being centered, recognizing suffering, all the normal Buddhist topics.  But what stood out to me about him was his approach.  Every answer he gave had a theme.  Mindfulness is only the destination.  There is no right or wrong way to get there.  Some people might sit on the floor and meditate for ten hours.  Some people might meditate while exercising.  The path is yours to choose.  But if you find mindfulness, if you center yourself, if you recognize suffering and rise above it, then the path is correct no matter what it is.  So this got me thinking.

I changed.  This philosophy helped find evenness.  In being even, even keeled, even minded, balanced.  In being balanced, I found myself accepting everything around me.  Not only did that include other people, but it included myself.  I looked at myself differently.  I discovered that I was a little different than I used to think.  Deep in my mind, in my heart, I met myself anew.

To generalize, I became accepting.  Acceptance, I believe, is the key to all things.  I could go on and on about it, but I’ll leave that for another time.  Anyway, acceptance is the theme of Misophonica.  It’s about people accepting each other and themselves and finding love.  Because I believe that once we learn acceptance, the result is love.

So I started writing a story about Elliot, the protagonist in Misophonica.  I had a singular thought of “what if…”  It grew into Misophonica, but not initially as a script.  I started it as a novel, as prose.  The blocks were unrelenting.  I couldn’t grasp a narrative that suited the story or these characters.  So I pivoted.

I looked up how to format a script, I used existing scripts as guides, and I turned Misophonica into a script.  And I absolutely love it.

I love small stories that have a lot of heart that don’t last long.  I love movies like The Last Kiss, Manchester by the Sea, I’m really excited for the Big Sick, because these are compact stories, that don’t take place across a giant time line, that reduce the small cast to dealing with an emotionally charged situation.  I love that stuff.  I like to think I’ve captured that in Misophonica.

So there you go, everyone.  The story of the story.

Acceptingly yours,

Matthew Raup

The First Post

Dear Everyone,

Hello there.

So here’s the plan:

I’ve written a script for a full-length feature film.  This is the site for it.  I’ve made the script freely available to any and all who would like to read it.  Here’s a quick blurb about it:

Misophonica is a feature length film about four students at the Kennett Musical Conservatory in southeastern Pennsylvania. Elliot, the protagonist, is a musical savant, and a ball of social anxiety molded by a lifelong affliction called misophonia. His friends Sammy, Mo, and Craig create a safe bubble in which Elliot survives the normalcy of college life. Elliot’s life has always been consumed by music. So much so that relationships, even friendships, had fallen by the wayside. Once in college, friendships started building, but romance remained unfounded. Eventually, however, both Sammy and Mo discover feelings for Elliot. As the story goes, friendships are tested, some relationships are cultivated, and some left behind. Ultimately, Elliot’s love for himself and for his friends is tested in one furious moment.

Misophonica is a story about love in general. Love of music, love of yourself, love of your friends and partners. Love of different types of people in different ways at all times. Misophonica was written as my dedication to love and acceptance of everyone.

I’ll put some stuff about me in the about page, as well as this blurb in case you want to read it again!

So, it’s always been my dream to be creative as a career.  I’ve been writing prose my whole life.  This script, however, deviates from my normal path.  But I think I’ve got something special.  I’ve been as passionate about film as I have about writing forever, so I think my writing will translate well into film.

Here’s a big problem with writing in general: writing something and selling it isn’t just about writing something great, it’s about finding the right person who loves it at the right time.  That’s the hard part.  Finding someone who wants to sell your writing is a very subjective process and as the writer, you’re at the mercy of the decision-maker’s subjection.  That’s why you have to be tolerant of rejection.  It’s like batting in major league baseball.  Batting .300 is considered really good.  That’s only 3 hits out of every 10 at bats.  That’s not a high percentage.

So while I have sent my script off to agents and the like, I’ve submitted to contests as well, the idea of having complete control over my own story is also a thrilling prospect.  Which is why I’m going to launch a kickstarter to maybe fund this project.  I plan on building up this blog more.  I’ll post about films in general, about the themes in my script like LGBT topics, consent, anxiety, music, all that good stuff.  I do want to get into some more depth as to what Misophonica is about, so I’ll do that going forward.  This is the first step in a new journey and I hope that everyone who comes here thinks it’s worth joining me on it.

Acceptingly yours,

Matthew Raup