Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Carpal tunnel froze your fingers?

That's writer equivalent for "Cat got your tongue?" Psh, I don't know, I hate making up titles for my blogs. Or my screenplays or teleplays or novels or anything.

Since I have the attention span of a goldfish (yay, I'm shiny!), I sometimes am unable to read through other writers' brilliant and looooong blog posts. I don't know how most of them do it, by the way. Maybe that's why those people are real writers...


Anyway, one of the blogs I was so perusing in my scany eyes-glazed-over way was Kay Reindl's post Readers & Writers that followed up on Josh Olson's angry diatribe. These particular passages jumped out to me, emphasis mine:

I can tell if someone can write. End of story. The script may not be very good. The writer may have made all of those rookie mistakes that we all made. But if that person has the ability to write, I CAN TELL. If they have a tin ear for dialogue, I CAN TELL. If they can't structure a story, I CAN TELL. Not because I'm successful, but because I've read three million screenplays. I've been in writer's rooms breaking stories. I've given notes. And I've written. I've read scripts that are hot messes, but there's a voice there. Writing is ALL about voice. Either you have it, or you don't. Sure, people can learn to structure stories correctly. They can learn the mechanics of writing. But they CANNOT learn to be writers. Either you have a voice, or you don't. If you don't understand what makes a writer, then I guess I can't explain it to you. ...

I was an illustration major in college. Like Josh, I can draw pretty well. And I thought I could make a living at it until I met someone whose work had voice. And I realized that although I could do a pretty decent job, I didn't have that voice. I realized it because even though I love making art, I allowed myself to be open enough to really see what made a successful artist. And I didn't have it. I was close, but I didn't have it.



Now Kay Reindl doesn't know me, but I'm very sure she picked up a 2x4 and whacked me across the face with it. Because I'm pretty sure I have the most pedestrian voice ever. And first of all, what the crap is voice? Sidney Lumet says in his book that style is one of the most overused words ever. Isn't voice just another word for style? I don't know how to become self aware of my voice. Maybe I'm unsure about my voice because I have yet to carry a screenplay to its business-ready draft. The first couple drafts are so much about getting the story out there - I turn off my internal editor just so I can finish a page without worrying that I sound uninspired - and subsequent drafts are where my voice finally finds it to the page.

She has a point, you know. You can know how to write a screenplay or a story or a concerto but not have a gift for it. I can learn about the mechanics of perspective but never draw a stunning picture. But the problem is, you can still draw. I can write. Five completed first drafts say so. But I think it's difficult to become self-aware of your voice. And part of me just isn't sure yet where to find it in all those pages. I feel like the little mermaid here, clutching my throat after Ursula commandeered my voice (ugh, tentacles!).

Which is why, on the flip side, I love Julie Gray (she's just nice. And she likes cupcakes. We would definitely be friends). Her recent reply to an email about jealousy is a nice balance to other panic-inducing blogs:

If you feel jealous, take a deep breath and sit with the feeling for a moment. Articulate it. Bob got an option, and I suddenly worry I’ve been wasting all these years and I’ve GOT to get a real job one of these days and [insert random, stream-of-consciousness worry here]. Okay, those are all valid feelings. So what are you gonna do, quit? Become an angry, bitter, ugly person and throw some coconuts at Bob? Or how about sit your ass back down and get back to work like a pro and maybe make some of your killer spaghetti sauce later?

And that's what we do. Sit ourselves back down and get back to it. And maybe there's a voice of indomitable character in that.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


I just spent the last twenty minutes reading My Life is Average. I laughed so hard I cried. It might have been funnier than any sitcom I've watched in the past couple of weeks.

What did you see?

Amanda the Aspiring TV Writer posted recently on the virtues of FlashForward in compelling storytelling, which motivated me to finally watch the only new TV show I was really interested in seeing.


First of all, who doesn't like a good end of the world sequence? I am a total sucker for disaster movies, and I think everyone in the world blacking out for 2 minutes and 17 seconds definitely qualifies as a disaster.

Excellent actors, excellent characters. You really want to know what happens to them, if they made it through the black out alright, if they're going to fulfill their flashforwards. The only one I wasn't too crazy about was the creepy girl. Why are kids always spooky?

But the best part of it, and Amanda touched on this, is that you really really want to know what happens next. In having the flashforwards, the writers are in one sense "giving away the ending." But the plot is not the ending to the story - the ending will be the emotional journeys of these characters to their flashforwards and the decisions they make that will either make those flashforwards true or not. It's the age old question of fate. Can we change our future? Especially once we know it? The flashforwards are great at getting the audience's emotions involved as well - I don't really know how I feel about the flashforwards or if I want them to come true. For some people, the 2 minutes of unconsciousness saved their life - for some it killed them. (It's very Lost-esque in that. Were the survivors of the crash picked for some hidden reason? Or was it random? Was the flashforward timed to prevent some deaths? Or was it random?) For others, their flashforward showed them wonderful things - for most people it was frightening. So suddenly, as an audience member, you're torn. I want this good thing to happen for this character, but I don't want that character to be ruined either. And, of course, the biggest question of all - why did the flashforwards happen? Who/what caused them? What do they mean? (Ok, so the three biggest questions of all.)

And then, in the last five minutes, watching the footage from Detroit, I literally got chills. That is good story telling.

My only disappointment is that the entire time I was thinking about what a cool concept it was and how brilliant the guys are who created it and how it shows that original ideas can still make it in the industry today - when I got to the credits and the first thing it said was that it was based on a book. I mean, clearly I still think it's brilliant and cool, but can the entertainment industry do nothing original? Or do all the good ideas come to brilliant novelists and then we rip - er, option them? Frustration.

Monday, September 28, 2009

I'm not sure the jeans I'm wearing are mine.

But they were in my laundry.

Anyway, for those of you who might be interested in such things -- not my laundry... -- I thought my pastor's sermon this week on the Lord's Prayer was really great.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Timing is Key.

So a funny thing happened at Starbucks today. Remember that time I said I wanted to be done with the first draft of my TV pilot by October 9th? Yeah, well, I finished it this afternoon. Granted, what I finished I wouldn't even consider a first draft. It's a hot mess of a script. I already have notes about things I need to change, I have events magically transforming halfway through scenes, an entire revelation I majorly botched, and a few more scenes I know I need to work in. It's Draft Zero, basically, so my deadline still stands. But still - I am amazed - it's there, in complete beginning, middle, and end story form.

The endings always sneak up on me. Maybe I get anxious and just shove it all out there or something. Maybe the intensity of being so close to the finish causes me to frenzy and pound it all out. My last acts always seem to be a little on the concise side. However, I like to think of it as just the natural speed that comes with a perfectly prepared ending. The reason the ending takes so little time to write is because I set it up so perfectly.

Yeah right.

Anyway, I'm jumping right into getting it into a presentable first draft. Something I can show my friends (I have been carefully collecting favors the past couple of months...) so they can tear it apart. And I can rewrite it again. And again. And again.

On a related note, I've had a lot of time to think recently (because, you know, I'm unemployed - sort of. However, today was the first time I told strangers what I anticipate doing. They seemed much more impressed than whenever I've told people that I am practicing my craft in order to be a successful writer. Nobody ever seems impressed by that. My prospective job, however, involves me working with children, which I think gives me automatic brownie points with new acquaintances). There are two things I think about constantly - my past two years at Michigan and my future after this year in Jersey. I could probably be thinking about more productive things, I know. Oh well.

Anyway, I was thinking about where I might potentially want to go after my time in Jersey is done, and I happened upon this interview with Ehren Kruger. It's really interesting and long and I greatly anticipate reading the other two interviews on the site, but something about what he said got me started thinking about how I've been sort of planning a couple years' buffer in between me and LA so I can get a couple scripts up to par. Two things came to mind:

1. I should have set time limits for how long drafts should take. I should say, "Alright, I'm starting a new spec script, I'm going to give myself three months from typing FADE IN to FADE OUT on the first draft." After that, I can put the project away for a little while and work on something else, then pull it out again and give myself X months to do the rewrite. Being out of school and out of screenwriting classes means that I have to learn how to work with self imposed deadlines. And they're not all that difficult to keep up with (as in the case with both Current Draft and TV pilot this past week). The past couple days I've been trying to write at least five pages when I sit down. If I can keep that up and make sure I sit my butt down every day, I can get a 120 page script written in a month.

2. If I can be that productive, if I can set and maintain those sort of goals for myself, am I really going to need two or three years before I have enough "best of Amy" material to take with me to LA? When does this go from being smart about perfecting my craft to being scared and not taking any risks? And this should be risky, right? If I didn't want any risks, I should have been an accountant or something. Though that would have meant many risks for my clients.

In the end, there are going to be a lot of factors that go into my move away from Jersey. But I figure the quicker I move out to LA the quicker I sell my scripts and become the hottest female screenwriter since Diablo Cody and the quicker I make a ton and a half of money and can therefore move out of LA and travel the world like I want to (hahaha - I'm joking, you guys know that right? I anticipate many years of starving in LA. Just that. A sale might be nice. Maybe a conversation at some point with someone in the industry). Regardless of what happens next, I'm not going to let a lack of preparation on my part narrow my choices in any way.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Turns Your Brain to Mush

I've watched a lot of TV recently. This is to be expected, as I am unemployed and have to do "research" for TV writing. However, this happy period of my life will soon be at an end because I got a voicemail this morning offering me the job I interviewed for. Yay! Of course, I am the sort of skeptic who wants to be physically at said job before saying I have it, so hopefully I didn't just jinx myself there.

A day job. Not related to film. Something that is an integral part of every aspiring screenwriter's life.

Anyway, I watched a lot of premieres in the past couple week. I've seen premieres for Bones, Mad Men (pilot), Glee, Buffy (pilot), the Office, and Dollhouse. Wow - those are just the premieres I've watched. I feel like a loser now. Anyway, I just have to take a minute to rave.

Dear Joss Whedon,

Dollhouse was amazing.

I know, everyone was surprised you even got renewed. I myself was more than reluctant to tune in at all and only did so after the first season was over. It was slow going there for a while, buddy. It had to grow on me. But it looks like you guys are finding your legs, and it looks like you're taking Echo in the right direction. But all growing pains aside --

What is up with Saunders!? Amazing. And was Adele couldn't have been right with what she said about Paul and November, could she? And Echo is going to be so kick-a now. Dang that girl was smart in a tight spot.

Like they say in the Dollhouse, I really think you did your best.

PS. Paul Ballard, you ain't no Seeley Booth.

But I think I might love you.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I've been writing a lot

Just not here.

A few days ago I was going to announce my intentions to the world (ie, my dad and two friends) that I was going to have the first act of Current Draft finished by October 4th (at first I typed "first draft." That will not be happening. I will not finish an entire screenplay in two weeks. I'm glad I caught that typo.). ... Buuuut, I've finished the first act, more or less. It's very rough, but it's there, and I feel pretty good about it. I think I might clean it up and send it to my creative genius life partner to see what she thinks. Sometimes I feel like she's the brain and I'm the monkey who sits at the keyboard and pounds on the keys until something readable comes out. What're the odds for that again?

I'm also working on a new creative project, the details of which I can't discuss here.

I basically said that just so you would be burning to know.

Still not talking about it.

I think the project I really want to knuckle down on (because that does seem to be my problem half the time. Which one of my gazillion unfinished projects would I like to work on?) is my TV pilot. I was struggling for a while. The next scene wasn't playing out right. And I think I realized that the problem was 1. bad plotting on my part and 2. the characters wouldn't have done what I was trying to convince them to do. Basically this realization came about while I was thinking about how to write the trouble scene and realizing that I wouldn't approach the problem like I was trying to write it, so why would my characters? A little replotting and restructuring, and I think I've got a workable beat sheet. I took the 15 pages I had written, modified, rearranged, and embellished, and I'm halfway through Act II now, feeling good about being able to write the next scenes. Sometimes the answer to a problem scene isn't approaching the scene a new way. Sometimes it's writing a completely new scene. And I was discussing the premise with my family, and they pointed out an entirely new aspect to the world that opens up wonderful possibilities. Season two? I'm thinking yes. So the goal here is to have my first draft of the TV pilot done by October 9th. I have a wedding the next day, which seems like a good reward (a reward that's completely unrelated to my writing and also predetermined before my writing goals, but a reward none the less).

Also, I've been reading Alex Epstein's "Crafting TV Writing: Thinking Inside the Box." I'm really enjoying it, and I think it's positive reinforcement for principles I've learned throughout university and writing on my own, as well as some new ways to look at the craft.

Basically, things are going pretty good over here with the projects. I'm in taking a lot of caffeine and outputting a lot of pages. But someday, it would be nice to get paid to do this.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Writing is rewriting is rewriting is rewriting is rewriting

Know what I did today?

(Not much now that I think about it. Church, cleaning, day dreaming what it would be like to have friends here, not watching the Emmys because somebody else was watching football and I knew they cared more about that than I did about the Emmys.)

Anyway, back to what I did do. I moved one of my progress bars back.

I went to Starbucks today and did some thinking. I wrote some stuff down to make my thinking look productive, but really all I did was try to figure out what wasn't working with Current Draft. Because it wasn't working. Even with my "look, I emotionally connected with Current Draft!" post, it wasn't working (that's because every Current Draft is from the devil and incapable of emotion or connecting). Here's some of what I figured out --

1. My secondary characters need help. They are like the ignored step children of Current Draft. Especially those ones that I knew weren't going to be getting a lot of pagination. I sort of just... threw them in there. The problem is, (well, one, that is completely unprofessional and just poor writing) that while these characters may not affect the story that much, they sure affect my protag. So if I want to get to know him, I have to spend time with the other characters.

2. My opening was weak, weaker than -- well, I won't get into politics. I tend to hurry through Act I. And as such, I wasn't giving my protag enough development. He didn't have a personal shining moment. He had a professional one, which was supposed to flesh out his character a little, but the audience needed something more intimate. Because work is great, but no one acts quite like themselves at work... right?

3. My theme needed refining. Yes, I felt like I had a personal break through last week when I delved into Act II and wrote that sentimental scene that finally spiritually connected me to the story... And then I realized what that scene was leading me to, the theme I needed all along. I need to write it out and stick it somewhere so I'll see it and write everything towards that theme now.

4. I need to be more patient with the story. I was super restless, mega ADD, sprint through Act I crazy writer. I couldn't focus at all. This is a a recurring problem for me. I write too quickly and too little. I don't spin out the story enough. (Which is why, with Keys to the Garden, I finished the story on page 75.) Most writers need to cut their ramblings. I need to elaborate a little more. You've got to be concise as a screenwriter, but I was doing a disservice to the story by sprinting to the end of Act I. I didn't give enough credit to audience attention span, and I wasn't exercising mine at all.

So I rewrote the opening to Current Draft. Six extra pages of just meandering around, getting to know the characters and the world. Part of me is pulling out my hair because we're not at the inciting incident yet. And I know some people would be of the opinion that the new opening is weaker because there's not a lot of plot, especially not connected to the overall plot. In one sense, nothing happens.

Except my main character's life. That happens. And that's what the story's all about anyway.

Dream Concert

Free Coldplay Music. A couple of my favourite songs.

Friday, September 18, 2009

I was proposed to once... by a three year old

I'm going to a Mennonite wedding tomorrow. All I'm gonna say is, how many of ya all can claim that experience?

But yes, my cousin is getting married tomorrow. I'm very excited. She's one of the cousins I was closest to growing up because they lived the nearest. I think it's supposed to be an outdoor wedding as well, which will be beautiful.

Now, I've had pretty good luck at weddings this year. What do you think the odds are that I'll meet a nice guy tomorrow?

(Apparently, my parents are not as hopeful, as they told me a couple days ago that in talking to each other they've decided I should join eHarmony. Come on, guys, give me at least another five years before we send me off to the match maker.)

I hate how much I like Taylor Swift

I made s'more brownies last night. Uuhhmmmmmm yuummmmm. Why would I ever make anything else?

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Bones Season 5 premiere. Tonight. 8 pm.

I am so excited.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


I interviewed for a job last week. It's not a job in film, because I don't have that sort of commitment level in me, but it's a real, salaried job. (Ok, that comment about the film industry is a little untrue. I poked around the film jobs near me but decided I didn't want the hour-each-way-commute or the 10-12 hour days with no time to write. That is, of course, assuming I could even get one of those jobs.) I haven't heard back yet, but my sources on the inside tell me good things.

As it is, though, I currently don't have a job. I try to make my life meaningful by leaving the house at least once a day and baking various confections as quickly as we can eat them. I've recently discovered I can tolerate Starbucks macchiatos, for all the time I spend there staring listlessly at my computer screen. I try to write at least once a day because, like I said, I don't do anything else to be a contributing member of society, but the last couple days my creative juices have been completely zapped. I don't even consider it writer's block when I'm not even able to focus on any current projects.

The only thing I'm making any progress on is the screenplay D. and I thought up inside an elevator. And by progress, I mean I'm plunking out a page or two a day, cringing at how flat and uninspired my writing is. I'm still in Act I, no matter how desperately I'm crawling towards the act break. It's at times like these I'm glad I can type without looking at the screen, because then I can advert my eyes away from the train wreck.

This is when the whole writing as a career thing starts to look like a bad idea. Paranoid Writer Syndrome starts to encroach upon the logic of how mastering the craft takes time, the fact that I have improved, the fun I do have while writing, yada yada yah.

I did finally connect with Current Draft last night. Perhaps I am stunted as a writer, but I find that I write better and the story flows faster when the emotional core of the story is related to something going on in my life. And last night I figured out how Current Draft related to my life, and I skipped ahead and wrote a scene in Act II and made the characters pontificate to each other. A scene that's terribly on the nose. A scene that will most likely get completely reworked and rewritten, if not completely cut. But it's in the file, in its own little tab, so that when I get frustrated and confused and start thinking about how satisfying it would be to throw my computer against the wall I can glance back at this little scene and remind myself about the emotional core of the story. It's a lot easier to write when I remember how this story is just my story.

I never thought Act I was that much fun to write anyway.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Times They Are a'Changing

My feelings toward Twitter are... less than favourable. I'm hoping it's just a fad, but even if it is, it's indicative of an inevitable trend in everything from journalism to personal privacy.

That being said, I do follow a handful of Twitters. Without a doubt, Mystery Man on Film has one of the best, most informative and entertaining Twitters. Anyone who reads this blog who's interested in screenwriting or filmmaking (so all three of you) should also be following his Twitter.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Just hit replay

I'm a terrible cinephile.

We used to joke that I was an embarrassment of a film major because I'm not very well versed in every film ever. How I have never seen classics like The Godfather, Jaws, or Home Alone. I always retorted that my weekly screenings for class, including such classics as The Seventh Seal, The Gleaners and I, and Tout Va Bien (gaaaahgg), more then makes up for my lack of "commercial" classics.

The thing is, I did feel secretly guilty. As much as I love film and TV, I'm not the person at the library who grabs the first fifteen DVDs at hand and just pops them in the DVD player one after another. I don't really have a desire to watch film history unfold on the celluloid itself. I don't have favourite directors. I can barely name actors, let alone connect them to more than a couple of movies. Generally, I have to watch any movie twice to be able to remember enough of it to discuss, while all my film peers were running around impersonating the New Hollywood of the 60s and having esoteric discussions on the standard repertoire of films every cinephile should know.

I love going to new movies in the movie theatre. But when it comes to home viewing, I will nearly always pick a beloved favourite over a new film. Even today, I went to the library and came back with a recent film I haven't seen yet. Tonight, I will most likely watch P.S. I Love You or Walk the Line. My Netflix instant queue is full of unseen movies. I would rather watch Bridget Jones' brilliant life transformation for the umpteenth time instead.

What? Why is that?

Well, I finally found out the reason. After months of secretly feeling like a poser, I know why I like certain movies better than film. There are a lot of facets to film, and I would love to increase my understanding of all of them over time. But my favourite part of film, the one that drew me in the first place, is storytelling. Sure the film can be shot beautifully. It can be innovative. It can be exciting and thrilling and controversial. But what I love best about film is its ability to tell a story. The emotion, the drama, the humor, the characters, their lives. How it makes me feel about my life. I don't think every film-lover can really say that's their favourite part of film - nor should they. Someone's gotta lovingly describe their favourite camera motion or short average shot length versus the long take. As for me, straight up story. IV it into me. And I don't feel guilty for rewatching my favourites, the movie I know inside out, how it will unfold, how it will connect with me, which parts I'll cry at, when I'll sing along, which lines I've had stuck in my head for weeks. Because these stories are so artfully told, they don't unfold just themselves. They unfold my life too.

And I know. I really should get on watching The Godfather.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

What other people say

Excellent interview with Nora Ephron.

Also, my former professor on what's going on in Michigan's film industry.

Oh, and Josh Olson? It was sort of funny. Now I just think you need to get over yourself.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

(1) Great Summer Movie

Billy Mernit already had a great post on (500) Days of Summer, so what else can I add, but...

One of the first things the narrator says is, "This is not a love story."

I've known people with different reactions to this movie. I say, this is not the best movie ever.

But it is pretty great.

Also, I want to dress like Zooey Deschanel in this movie.

This was one of my most anticipated movies of the summer. Maybe it's because I love Zooey Deschanel. Maybe it was because I saw this Ikea clip and thought it was amazing - "Sink's broken." "Well that's ok. That's why we bought a house with two kitchens!" Maybe I loved it because I recognized the Bradbury building in LA (thank you, film education!). It's the kind of movie I wish I had written (or maybe did, with The 4:05).

But I think why this movie was so refreshing, even with it's faults, is that it is a true movie. I don't mean true as in autobiographical (though there is a lot of that). I mean it's not the Katherine Heigl rom-com of the month. The characters were different than the ones we typically see in rom coms (think of the other rom coms of the summer and compare).

The wonderful thing about this film is that everyone has been in this movie. Everyone has had an amazing relationship that turns out... less than amazing. It's part of life - and if you hadn't had it yet, you will. It may not be a romantic relationship. It may be a friendship or a family member even. It's also very subjective and very much from Tom's point of view. Which is great, because it allows so much personal ranting on love and relationships and what exactly happened, which is exactly what everyone does when perfection doesn't pan out. Someone once said that as artists our responsibility is not to answer questions but to ask them. (500) Days of Summer asks the all time important question - What do you do with a perfect relationship that doesn't have a perfect ending?

If you want to know more, you can listen to the Creative Screenwriting Magazine Q&A with co-screenwriter Scott Neustadter here. He actually has a legitimate reason for the parentheses in the title.

"Our aim was not having a happy ending but a hopeful ending." - Scott Neustadter

"Then [the man] started throwing sea creatures."


Wednesday, September 09, 2009

In my search for TV shows to catch up on to spec, I picked up on Joss Whedon's Dollhouse. I was a big fan of Firefly and Serenity. I never watched Buffy, mostly I think because I had an irrational childhood fear of vampires and because I think Buffy is a stupid name for a girl, but now that I'm a fan of David Boreanaz on Bones, I might give it a try. I knew very little about Dollhouse, only that it was given a surprise second chance when it came to renewals.

Hulu only had the most recent five episodes up, which makes for a confusing start into a series. After the first couple of episodes I could tell why it was in danger of being canceled. Something was definitely missing. I pressed on, thinking maybe it was the other seven episodes I hadn't gotten to see. By episode 11, I had figured out the problem and was a little surprised that no one had spotted it the initial writing stage.

The entire show is about Echo/Caroline, right, and her experiences in the Dollhouse. However, at some point during every episode, Echo gets erased. The main character of the show is never the same character. And the only persistent personality, Echo in her childlike stage, is mostly inactive. By episode 11, I was emotionally invested in some of the characters, Paul, Dr. Saunders, Topher, even Adelle. I just wasn't invested in Echo. I felt pretty clever about figuring out Dollhouse's problem, stumped at why Joss Whedon hadn't seen it coming - until, of course, I saw an article about how Whedon had recognized that problem and was committed to fixing it.

And then I watched the season one finale. And while it wasn't the end-all of season finales, it was pretty darn good. But better than just it being good in it of itself, it did what a good season finale should - it promised a better second season. Some conflicts resolved, which means new conflict next season, new revelations and questions, moments of hope, and, more importantly, a promise that Echo will have a real character.

Though I suppose I won't bump the ratings all by myself, will I?

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Welcome to the Real World (sorta)

So, summer's over.

I feel like there's some over wrought blog post I should write about all the crazy summer shenanigans, but really the only stories I have are ones that would only interest those people who care about me enough to feign concern over my slightly paranoid but normally benign doctor stories. (I did have one mildly death defying accident this summer, but I need well diagrammed photos to give the story justice.)

Now that I'm supposed to be getting... settled, it's time to do responsible things like figure out how to start payments on my student loans, procure employment, go to the eye doctor (maybe I, as a grown up, should stop calling it the eye doctor and instead use the official title. Which is...), and - most importantly of course - start to write!

Before I left for camp I finished my "Bones" spec and sent it off the the ABC-Disney fellowship. I would just be thrilled to get past the first round, of course, and I don't have particularly high expectations for that, but sometimes you just have to go for it. But since then, for the past three months, I've barely even picked up a pen. I want to get a lot of writing done in the next six months, and I know it's going to be a push to get it done. I'm not particularly well self disciplined in the best of circumstances. But I have three goals for the next six months:

1. Rewrite "Keys to the Garden." This script is my most recent one, my best one, and the first one I felt completely sure had the potential to be a solid, readable script. I'm going to be reasonable and just shoot for one complete rewrite, but the closer I get to business ready the better.

2. Complete another TV script. I'll either write another spec (here I'm at a disadvantage due to the fact that I actually don't watch that much TV. I'm trying to correct that, but also practicing good time management by watching those shows that are only one or two seasons in.) or continue work on my pilot. Which I completely forgot about all summer until tonight when I was looking through my computer for a different script.

3. Figure out what my second business ready script is going to be and start on it. I know I want "Keys," but I've heard it said you should have two scripts ready by the time you move out to LA. I'm debating between picking one of my earlier scripts, all of which need substantial, near page one rewrites, or going with one of the ideas percolating in the back of my mind. In either case, I want to have all the prewriting I feel necessary done by the end of six months. Of course, if it's month 5.5 when I get to this script, my prewriting needs may be... minimal.

Those are the goals. I've got something to focus on, specifics to be ruminating on and thoughts to be taking notes on and hopefully stories to be writing. Putting goals down in writing helps me feel more responsible. I've stood up on my little virtual soapbox and made my statement in front of all of you. And you could be the two people who haven't forgotten about this little inactive blog over the summer. Or it could be the millions and millions of people I know are lurking out there! (Hehe.)

Schrodinger's cat.

Either way, in the end, I'll have to answer to myself, and that's the person who all this really matters to anyway.