Thursday, December 21, 2006


Normally, I don’t write about personal stuff in here –- trying to keep it a writing/producing blog. But maybe I’m being too uptight about that and I should just write about things when they seem like they should be included.

Like last night.

I had to charge my iPod –- as Greg says, one of the greatest gifts to man -– and my daughter’s laptop was in the office so I plugged in there. Which got me perusing her music collection. Which got me smiling.

There’s a lot of stuff I love on there -– some of which I think I might have led her to, some of which she found on her own, some I didn’t know at all.

She came home and there I was, stealing stuff from her iTunes. She sat with me and we started talking about music.

HER: Take that Jack Johnson. It’s good music for mornings.

ME: Hey, you have Pink Floyd. Haven’t listened to that in years.

HER: The Wall’s good college music.

ME: Sure was. Is.

HER: Remember this one, when you sang it at karaoke in Maine?

ME: Holy shit, I gotta take that one. I love this 50 Cent/Queen mash-up.

HER: Yeah, which Queen song is that?

ME: “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.” Kanye, cool. I should give you a copy of Late Registration. Didn’t I send you Pharrell’s new one?

HER: Yeah, it’s cool. Thanks.

ME: I love “Keep It Playa.”

HER: You realize how funny you sound when you say that, white man?

We both crack up. It is funny. She says she can’t believe she’s doing this with her dad. So weird. I agree.

But it says so much about us and our relationship that it makes me smile warmly even now.

I love that kid.

Way more than Kanye.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Viva Vacay

Man, am I looking forward to having next week off.

And not ‘cause I’m lazy and want to sleep late. Oh no, having a 16-month-old means sleeping late vanished as an option more than a year ago…

One, I get to spend some good time with my family, and working really puts a dent in that. Pays the mortgage, yes, but hinders the whole personal-interaction-with-family thing. With my daughter in college, time with her comes all too rarely – though she’s home now. And with my son, I usually get an hour before work, and an hour and a half after. Thankfully, my wife stays up a little later than him, so we get a little more time together. But, point is, it’ll be good to just be together.

And two, I’ve committed myself to writing a lot during the week. I feel I’m at a critical point in the Harlem rewrite – like I’m on the edge of either pushing through the problems and having them at least theoretically solved, or throwing in the towel and, sobbing, admitting it just can’t be done.

Please let it be the former.

Also, during my percolating time (including a good bike ride on Sunday and a leisurely shave this morning) I’ve had some new ideas for the suspense thriller, the horror flick and the police drama.

Oh, plus another production company asked me if I could write a 40- to 60-minute short for them and I just can’t help thinking about it and even started writing a little…

Anyway, once I don’t have to think about work-related writing for a week, I’m gonna bang some shit out. Probably not as prodigiously as Greg or Ryan, but hopefully I’ll give a good boost to my page-per-month average.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Can I Get A Witness?

So we pitch Show A to That Network and they take a pass, saying that it's not really on-brand. The Head Honcho says that what she wants is Show B.

So I get to work on Show B, thinking, well, actually, this isn't really on-brand, as described by them. But it is like another show we do for them that gets high ratings, and if that's what Honcho wants, so be it.

We then pitch Show B to them. Honcho isn't there, but her main people are. They tell us it's not really on-brand. But if we made it more like Show A, it might be more on-brand.


Does anyone remember the last couple conversations? Were there any witnesses to those meetings?

Does anyone know what the freaking brand is? And do you talk to each other?

I choose to ignore the fact they're now asking for the show they declined and instead gently remind them that, as is, it is exactly what Honcho asked for. They say they'll look into it. But I don't think they'll greenlight it. I bet Honcho forgets she even asked for it.

Of course, if I do what I want to do and point out the mixed messages and ask them to please get their shit together so I know what they really want, they’ll think I’m telling them how to do their job and I might not get that next meeting.

The many layers of swirling ineptitude make me dizzy. And not in the good way.

What does this mean to us as writers?


Well, maybe another reality check to slap you upside the head and reiterate that it's a weird world out there, especially in tv and film.

But we can't do anything about it.

Sure, I'll reversion Show B so it's more like Show A and hope they remember this time that that's what they asked for. But there's no guaranteeing they will.

That's the nature of it kids. That's what we do.

So all we can do is create good stuff and try to get it in front of the right people... then hope they know what the fuck they're doing.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Clock's Ticking

I’ve become a very efficient writer.

But it’s no fun.

With work taking up so much time, and with a family that I love hanging out with, it’s not easy finding time to write regularly.

So I’ve become efficient, using just about every free moment I can. I try to write for 20 or 30 minutes during lunch. I remind myself during the drive to and from work to actively think out whatever problem’s facing my character or story. If I have any creative energy left over, I write at night after the wife and baby have passed out.

It wasn’t always like this. It used to be more fun.

For a couple years I worked from home so I was really in control of my schedule. I could front-load a bunch of work to give myself a good window, then spend a whole day writing. Or a couple days.

Toward the end of writing Dismal, I gave myself a whole week. I’ve always wanted to be a bike mechanic. (In fact, if I ever, through some fluke, become wildly wealthy, I’m gonna open a bike shop and wrench a few days a week. Promise.) Anyway, knowing this, my generous and loving wife bought me a week’s stay at a B&B in West Virginia owned by a guy who also owns a bike shop. He said if I wanted to, I could come stay with him and he’d teach me everything I needed to know in that week.

I was so freaking excited. A week learning bike mechanic stuff, riding and writing. I packed my bike, laptop and some clothes, drove out to WV and told him I was ready for class to start as soon as he was.

He wasn’t ready that day.

Or the next.

In fact, he never got ready. Never taught me a goddamned thing. Asshole.

But, I did have a week in a beautiful place with no work, no obligations, nothing to do but write, ride my bike, drink coffee and wine, stroll about, and write.

Got a lot done that week.

But now, this new system doesn’t allow for substantial gains. It’s tough trying to hit your rhythm when you work in spurts like this.

How do people do it? I mean, the beginners, like me.

Maybe I could give up eating entirely, switch to an IV. That should free up some time.