Stuck on the Second Act and “Cheesy” Cream of Wheat


Lately, I have been exploring other peoples’ blogs and getting more readers. (Thanks new readers!) One of them reminded me that the title of my blog is all about procrastination. Procrastination is something I do every day, so I thought from time to time I might start sharing what it is I am avoiding working on. I avoid writing in many genres — humorous essay, memoir, children’s literature, and screenwriting.

Today, I am avoiding working on a script. This script is the culmination of over ten sydfieldbookyears of screenwriting workshops, development meetings, traumatic Hollywood experiences (that’s another blog), and soul searching. It’s a comedy that is also sad which is my favorite kind of film. And of course, I’m stuck on the second act. Syd Field, who wrote my favorite book on screenwriting (now out of print) called How to Write an Action Movie (he has lots more books though that aren’t out of print, see one at left), is one of many to point out that the second act is the tricky part of the script. That’s the moment where you have to twist things around and surprise the audience by going in a completely different direction to propel them through to the end. Also, I may have been going around telling people that this script is the funniest thing I have ever written. Inflated expectations mucreamofwheatphotoch?

So breakfast. Maybe this isn’t exactly what the Mayans meant by the end of the world but I discovered I am out of Grits! Instead, I prepared my usual recipe for fake, vegan “cheese” Grits but used Cream of Wheat instead. Why is it that I have two different kinds of Cream of Wheat (quick and quickest) and no Grits? Bad. My apologies to Wichita Sims though, who gags when she even thinks about Grits. Must be a Civil War thing.

Vegan Chveggiesliceseesy Cream of Wheat

4 cups of boiling water (it will boil faster if you salt it first)
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 of cup of any kind of Cream of Wheat or Grits (I don’t think the various times on the box are meaningful — you’ll know when it’s ready)
2 or 3 slices of Vegan American-style cheese (I used Veggie slices — since American cheese “food” isn’t technically cheese either, the vegan version doesn’t taste too different)
2 tablespoons of Earth Balance (though not necessary)
1 teaspoon of paprika

Add your cereal to the boiling, salted water. Reduce to a simmer. Wait a minute or two and add fake cheese slices, paprika, and Earth Balance. Cook until soft and graciously orange, about 5 to 7 minutes. Serve with a dollop of  lactose-free yogurt. Makes enough for 2 or 3 people or leftovers for the next day.

Reading about donuts with my coffee for breakfast...Not quite the same thing

Reading about donuts with my coffee for breakfast…Not quite the same thing


About bakingnotwriting

I'm a writer who is always baking! Or a baker who is always writing...No. Other way around.
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6 Responses to Stuck on the Second Act and “Cheesy” Cream of Wheat

  1. N.G. Davis says:

    As a writer with another odd mash-up of a blog and a desire to start cooking more… this is awesome. Think I’m going to have to go ahead and follow you.

  2. Wichita Sims says:

    Not only is this script the funniest thing you have ever written, it is the most hellaciously funniest thing I have ever read. Remember that day you were reading it to me, and I had to make you stop because I was laughing so hard I was wetting my pants. This script is going to ruin theater seating all over the nation. And then it will go abroad and ruin the seating there.

  3. That had better be true!

  4. Maximum Z says:

    Great intro for me to your blog (courtesy Mr Davis, listed above), although I believe vegan cheese to be a truly vile substance. Can’t wait to read more. Keep going with the screenwriting! (Field’s books are okay, but I recommend Trottier’s SCREENWRITING BIBLE or STORY SENSE by Paul Lucey.)

    • Thanks for your comment! It’s been so long (too long?) since I consulted any kind of screenwriting book. Maybe it would help me get over the second act hump if I did. Syd Field is super cheesy (speaking of cheese!) but I like that about him. Note his credits — all made-for-TV-movies from the 80s. You are absolutely right that vegan cheese is disgusting. I wish it weren’t and I’m trying to find ways to make it edible for myself. I lived in LA for 5 years and that almost cured me of writing entirely! Going to check out those two books. Thanks again.

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