Kristina Furey

A perfect day for reading

The weather on Saturday was gorgeous here and it was just my luck that I had the perfect book for outdoor reading, William Rabkin's “Writing The Pilot: Creating The Series”.    When I was in my twenties, I started writing a comedic novel called, “New Year's Resolutions” <--a bit ironic now that I think about it…started it but didn't keep up with it…  It was VERY similar to Bridget Jones's Diary, the idea of it. At the same time, I started writing 2 other novels (not comedies). I never finished any of them. I started them because they seemed to possess me the way songs do.  I could see them from beginning to end and I realized, these we're NOT songs. Yes, I considered “Alice's Restaurant” and “2112” but mine would have been much, much longer. You knew that didn't you? So, I didn't see an audience for that but I did, for the novel's I started.  I blamed myself at the time for not finishing them. In hindsight, I was so busy with working, Barbizon modeling lessons, modeling, acting lessons, dancing and vocal lessons, music and band stuff. Dan and I were dating too. I was crazy about him and wanted to spend every other moment I had with him. It was 10 more years before I got hit with another inspiration, my screenplay, “The List”.

For at least 20 years now I've had this inkling in the back of my head. (Bother, bother, bother) "Write a novel". (Bother, bother, bother).  "You need to write a novel!" (Bother, bother, bother) Call it “Growing Up Female” "loosely base it on what you went through and saw as a girl growing up.” I saw the movie “Clueless” (Bother, bother, “Mean Girls” (Bother, bother) and I often thought Ally Sheedy's character (Bother) in "The Breakfast Club” (Bother, Bother) and thought, "That would be a great one to uncover and explain."  There were all sorts of girls I grew up with, that I felt, should have had more of a voice in certain situations. “Freaks and Geeks” AWESOME, went straight to the heart, cured me of my bother, bother, bother, for a while. BUT something kept simmering in the back of my mind. A fan of TV shows based on John Boy Walton and Laura Ingalls Wilder, I started keeping a journal. Then around age 12, after my father started asking me questions, he only would have come up with, had he read something in my journaling…  He had. He was concerned. Rightly so. For him it was that bother, bother, bother and he was never anything but courageous when it came to starting tough conversations. He dove right in, shoot first and don't give them an opportunity to disagree, just lay down the law. This particular time he was lost and willing to ask for directions, which came in the form of some serious questions to me. Great father move but my journaling came to an abrupt stop. (Cue record scratch sound) Instead, I started coping down lyrics of songs I liked into a journal. I would record them off of the radio and painstakingly listen over and over as I scribed. Next, I found myself writing my own lyrics and later just putting pen to paper and writing whatever showed up, which then escalated to recording what happened to find it's way through me.  This is what all that bother is now chattering on about! ("Back to back... Back to back, to back, to back again... Back to back, you know I do, I still remember when, you put us back to back and you made comparison's, snide remarks about my body, how I never could win, you know it made me, it made me feel, made me feel, less than, less than, less than human." And all the doctors and their medicines, couldn't cure the sicknesses you put in my mind")

You see, once upon a time, my best friend and I came up with a plan.  I would become a soap opera actress and a singer and she would run a home for runaway girls.  With the profits of my music and acting going towards the functioning of that home. Okay, I didn't say it was a sound plan and yes,the universe had a plan of its own.  (She scratches her head and wonders what exactly that might be… (bother, bother, bother…) she's been trying to finesse some version of that all her life but like Tetris, the pieces kept falling down, faster and faster, unmanageable at times to keep up with and threatening to bury her.  All the more reason to be tenacious and keep thinking how do you do this? Imagining the smallest of scales scenario, the biggest and all that would fall in between.) My best friend and I went our separate way years ago, as she found other ways to put her talents to use with children in another country. These past 10 years, I have considered a strictly music show. I considered a one-person show, something like a Demetri Martin's, “If I”. My working title was “What If?” but time rushes on, other things come to light, like "What if it's too late for that plan to work?"  I seem to be dealing with A LOT of change and challenges which creates a moving target situation. So I go back to the chalkboard, add what I know now as I try to reassemble a plan. So many songs written and packed away. It's like an encyclopedia I was writing for some reason. The reason was to help others and yet, I question now, if it wasn't the universe's way of showing me, my biggest flaw. I saw them as MINE. My songs, I have spent my life, my time, my tears, my laughter, so much of my energy has gone into them. Seems too painful to allow someone else to karaoke them or change their intention. You know, I felt the same way about my children. Overprotective. Still, somehow I found the courage to give them to the world and allow them to become what the universe intended. Those painful moans are mine, oh the growing pains!!! How much more must I... grow... let go... accept... learn to trust... on and on the questions and the pangs of sorrow.

Some years back I had considered a rewrite of "Singing In The Rain" only with a twist, a loop and a handful of songs I protectively guarded. It was sometime around Britney Spears rise to fame, I consider the bullsh... young girls are fed, so that people can make money at the expenses of vulnerable girls, while at the same time grooming them to be the pawns of “The Man's” world.  (I love men but let's face it a #METOO movement didn't pop out of thin air) Thought to myself, “Homey don't play that”! (No, I don't hit people in the head, though occasionally I have to speak up or at the least WRITE in an effort to educate or at the least be that voice...) Yeah... I've crossed the line of hypocrisy in moments and played the role I was groomed for... Told myself it was okay because it was for the better good... told myself it was the one strength or tool I had because... doesn't matter, excuses don't make it okay on either side but it takes real effort and mistakes to make a conscious change stick...) Anyway, the young coquettish ingenue, is a lip-syncher, perfect 10, jail bait type and her manager wants something better for her.  A Liz Lemon type. During the escape the crowd scene, as in the original "Singing In The Rain", of all vehicles they end up escaping in, it's a “Mom Van,” unbeknownst to Mom. Who ends up finding them in her car, after getting home and closing herself in her garage and then fearing a home invasion only to be face to face with this young sensation... Yes, it's a comedy!!! Also, you guessed it! Mom is the one who traded her own dream to help secure the dreams of the future generations ( a stay-at-home mom).   No, she does not approve of coquettish ingenue or her manager. Yet as they await their pick up car, Mom warms up and confesses to her own singer/songwriter aspirations and shares some thoughts and lyrics/songs. Yes there is some lip syncing but no, the ending is not what you might first suspect. Now how do you take such a fine piece of established work as "Singing in the Rain" and create your own script based on it? Don't have the time to figure that out? Just look at the Tetris pieces falling, sigh... I have enough to sort out and put in place. So, just when you think I would be coming up with simpler ideas... Along comes the inkling to write a TV show. My life may be full of Tetris pieces, yet I realize how fortunate I am to continue my life is a dilettante but that little voice in the back of my head says, "Everyone has to start somewhere... You never know if you never try... Keep throwing that pasta up against the wall and see what sticks... BANG YOUR HEAD against that brick wall till you break through or get amnesia and forget what you wanted...I don't know just keep on keeping on and DREAM ON....

For whatever reason, if it's not a song I'm writing or a blog, it's a script.  I think my novel attempt days are behind me and I see where the music and lyrics I've written over the years, fall into a much more natural relationship with scripts, as I find them running through my head the way I do songs.  SATURDAY, was the perfect day to explore this idea of a TV show, with the working title of “Growing Up Female”. An hour long and with an example of our budding young 12 year old girl's writing and/or songs. Next step, write a pilot and see what comes next. Of course, I imagine all sorts of stuff like parents watching TV with their kids again and discussing things worth families discussing. I see Mothers and daughters, maybe even Fathers and daughters attending concerts or musicals and discussing on the way home, things like I discussed with my Mom after seeing "The Breakfast Club" together. I see the next generation consciously making decisions that will secure a future for them and their descendants.

As for Dan and I and our music.  We are once again, working on putting our old music program back together.  If it worked before, we can make it work again. We can tweak it from there and see where it goes.  I would suggest the same for you, if you fallen on tough times and are trying to get back into the swing of things.  No time like the present and no day like today to "Start at the very beginning. A very good place to start."

Frank Turner "Recovery"


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