Sunday, November 11, 2007

No More Movies

I hadn't planned on writing about the strike.

To somehow discuss the impact it's having on my plans to break into the industry, when professional writers are out there making real sacrifices to their livelihood would have been self-absorbed, in my opinion.

And while I usually have no qualms with putting myself above others, I genuinely respect a lot of these guys.

I did do some thinking, however - about how I could make a difference.

That's when I decided to write this blog.

While I can't refuse to write another word until the strike is over, I can refuse to buy another DVD. I can refuse to go to a movie theater.

I can withhold the one bit of leverage I have in this situation - my wallet.

So from this day forward, until the strike ends - no more movies.

No more box sets of television shows, no Christmas DVD purchases, and no date nights that include movies.

As our friends out there walk the picket line, and refuse pay for God knows how long this strike might last, I think this is the least we could do for them.

I did struggle with this decision, as a lot of people I respect have movies coming out in short order.

Derek Haas' wonderful 3:10 to Yuma was recently released, and his next smash Wanted is set to premier in March of 2008.

Jeff Lowell's directorial debut Over Her Dead Body premiers in February of 2008.

Tim Talbott's The Stanford Prison Experiment comes out next year as well.

Along with many others.

So I struggled with whether I was making the right decision here, because I would love nothing more than to support these men and women and their movies.

But at the end of the day, I decided that they do have my support.

And while I'll buy their DVDs once this strike is over - for now, until the moguls start listening - my pledge is simple:

No More Movies.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Hollywood Bound Opening


Just a quick note to let you guys know we have an opening in our online screenwriting group.

I already have a couple people in mind that would be a good fit with the group, but wanted to mention it in case some of you wanted to apply to be in the running.

Just drop me an email over the next couple days with a writing sample if you do.

Tomorrow: The Ex Files, Episode 2

Saturday, November 3, 2007

The Ex Files - Volume 1


I've already told you a little about this certain ex-girlfriend in the past, but as with any story worth telling, there was a lot I just couldn't squeeze in the first time around.

Now if you know me at all, you know I hate night clubs. Hate them. They're like the Whole Foods of pussy - crowded and overpriced.

I'm more of a Costco kind of guy. I buy in bulk.


Anyway, my ex is out here visiting, when she gets the bright idea that I should take her to one of those posh Hollywood night clubs. Places with names like Libido and Panther Club.

Normally, I would have said no - but at the time, I was under the spell of New Tail Phenomenon - a perplexing loss of rational thought that takes place in men during the first three months of a relationship.

So we get to the club and I can already tell I'm going to hate it. There's a line a mile long outside, even though they're nowhere near capacity. And I ain't waiting in no line.

I grab her by the hand and drag her to the front of the line and slip the bouncer a twenty spot. He looks at it, looks at his clipboard - and still makes us stand there for about five minutes before finally letting us in.

At least we didn't have to wait in line.

Now in case you didn't know - the secret to any outdoor drinking is to tip the bartender really well for your first few drinks. Don't start a tab, just pay for the first few drinks with cash or charge them and pull out immediately. Tip at least 50%.

The rest of the night we drank for free.

In fact, our new best friend bartender gave us so much free alcohol, that by the time we left - neither one of us could see straight.

But eager to get to our hotel room and will my dick into functioning, I decided to throw caution to the wind and drive. Unfortunately, this is what happens when you combine New Tail Phenomenon with Drunk Man Syndrome. Kids, don't try this at home.

So I wave to the cop guiding traffic just outside the club, and off we go down Santa Monica Blvd.

Now a funny thing would happen to my ex when she drank - she'd either get really horny, or she'd get really crazy. Sometimes both at the same time - and that, my friends, was the golden ticket to the chocolate factory.

Much to my disappointment, she picked crazy over horny on the drive home.

While stopped at a red light, she decided she hated me and jumped out of the car and barged off. If not for the likelihood of some great sex that night, I would have let her keep going.

After some A-Team-like maneuvers through traffic, I caught up to her on a side street a block away. Where we fought. Loud.

If it weren't for a concerned citizen who redirected our rage by opening her window to yell at us, we would have never forgotten how much we hated each other and made it to the hotel room.

It was finally time for the sexing to begin.

We did things that even R. Kelly wouldn't do. Filthy things.

No foreplay, no beating around the bush. Just dirty, nasty sex.

We should have gone to night clubs more often.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Alive and Well

Just a quick note to let you all know I'm home from surgery and all is well.

We'll be returning to your regularly update schedule shortly.

Hope you enjoyed the hiatus, because it's back to fucking and punching now.

Edited to Include:

Post-Op Boredom... I think I was put on this earth to find bad YouTube videos and put them to better music. See below. I rule.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Off To Surgery

See you folks in a week.

Hope I don't die. :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

When it Rains

Sorry for the lack of updates, but I've been incredibly busy the last couple weeks.

I don't really want to get into it all right now, but it hasn't been fun.

Anyway, I have surgery scheduled next week, so that's been on my mind as well (not to mention I obviously will not be blogging from the hospital, so expect another week-long radio silence). Expect the blogging to return to normal when I return from the hospital from surgery.

I've never broken a bone let alone had surgery before, so this is new ground for me.

I keep having dreams that a hot latina nurse is giving me head when I wake up from anesthesia.

That would be nice.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Trannys and Fornication

My month of work is finally coming to a close, and I'm once again free to regale you with tales of debauchery and mayhem.

But that's later.

Today I want to talk about television.

First, let's get the chicks with dicks out of the way.

Hot Shots and Dirty Sexy Money, both which premiered this week, featured a transsexual cast member.

Now I'm not really interested in discussing the merits of these shows, but I am fascinated by their decision to finally recognize vaginoplasty in the credits.

Did someone send out a memo that the new taboo, edgy thing to have on network television was a shemale?

Are Neo-Vaginas the new black?

More importantly, were these the best looking shemales they could find? Because I can assure you, a quick drive down Santa Monica Blvd (or Western, if you're on a budget) at night would yield you better results.

I hate to be a tranny snob here, but get your transgendered act together, network television - give me some eye candy if you're gonna include a hulking cock under that dress.

Now onto my favorite new show on television - Californication.

When I originally watched Californication, I couldn't wait to blog about it. It was as if Showtime had reached into my psyche, plucked out my innermost thoughts and handed them to David Duchovny with a pair of brads.

The show is, without a doubt, brilliantly written. The casting is phenomenal, and the acting is superb.

Every week I'm humbled by how well-written it is.

That said, I feel the need to point out that I feel a little bait & switched by it.

The first few episodes gave promise of a show that not only had assloads of gratuitous sex, but interweaved above said fornication with brilliant writing.

Sadly, this was not the case.

After only the second episode, the fornication in Californication dropped drastically. Plummeted, in fact.

And while the show is still amazing, and something everyone should watch - if for nothing else than its writing - I still can't help but feel a little robbed by this vaginal vanishing act.

Like Barry Bonds, Californication is going to have a little asterisk next to its name for eternity unless the boobs return.

Bring back the boobs, Showtime.

Even if they come with a cock.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Screenwriting Group


The last time we talked, I mentioned setting up an invite-only online screenwriting group.

I'm happy to report that things have gone off without a hitch.

All but one person accepted the invitation to join the group - and we just had our first meeting this past Sunday.

We're starting as a small group, only ten people - so that we have a solid foundation to build upon. There were a few others I wanted to invite, and several people emailed me to join - but I think starting small is the way to go for something like this. Any bigger and we'd be risking a chaotic start.

The group is really, really solid - and everyone involved is quite talented and a go-getter.

We'll be reviewing scripts every other week, and on alternate weeks I'm going to be asking special guests to join us (readers, pros, and so on), so we'll see how that goes.

I really think it's going to be a fun and fruitful experience for everyone involved.

Anyway, that's about it - tonight was the season premier of Heroes, How I Met Your Mother, Two and a Half Men, not to mention episodes of Californication and Weeds - so I have a lot of Tivo to watch.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Big News

While I'm still busy with the work, I thought I'd take a moment to talk about something that's been brewing.

I'm putting together an online screenwriting group.

Annabel and I are working on the domain, website, forums, and so on as we speak - and they should be done in a few weeks.

As for the group itself, it's going to be invite-only. I'm beginning to send out emails to the people we have in mind this week, and we only have a limited amount of space and most slots filled out.

For the time-being, it's people we already know (whether through various blogs, forums, or in person) and all the slots have been allocated.

But in the off-chance you think I may have forgotten you, or would like to throw your name in the hat for future consideration - drop me a line and let me know.

That's about it for now - I'll have more info on the group, the website, and all that at a later date.

For now, I need to get back to slaving over some ad buys.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Still Alive

Just a quick note that I'm still alive.

Been working lots with the client I took on for the month - they're riding me. Hard.

Haven't written, sadly - but enjoying the time off from thinking about writing.

I do have some stuff to talk about - so stay tuned this week as we explore the awesome that is David Duchovny in the new series Californication.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Ladybugs & Vomit

It's getting fucking depressing around here.

At first, I was bummed about turning 30 (which you've heard me bitch enough about by now). Then, I was bummed because both my parents and my girlfriend had planned vacations over the long weekend.

That's right. The woman whose vagina I came out of, and the woman whose vagina I go into - BOTH decided to be out of town. On my fucking birthday.

Needless to say, I was one heroin addiction from going all Owen Wilson on myself.

But a funny thing happened as I posted my depressing six month recap...

At four in the morning, on a day of what can only be described as smoldering weather here in Los Angeles - in my smoke-filled office - as I clicked "Publish Post" to put up my recap... a ladybug started walking across the top of my monitor.

I shit you not.

Right on top of my monitor, when I was feeling my worst - a little bit of happiness walked across my screen.

Now I'm not really one to believe in signs or superstitions. I never wore the same underwear because they were my lucky pair, and I never not washed my jock strap just because we won a football game while I had it on.

Still, this was a nice surprise. I couldn't help but be a little touched.

So, I decided to suck it up and go out with some friends and celebrate my birthday. After all, it would be downright morose of me to still be depressed after that touching little moment with an insect.

If nothing else, I could drink until I puked all over myself.

And out we went. To the wonderful world of Oz.

And by Oz, I mean a strip club.

Not a nice strip club, either. The kind of strip club where you wouldn't be surprised if a roach climbed out of the strippers hooch and did a pole dance as part of her act. The kind of dirty, stinky, seedy strip club that you actually have to drive out of your way to find.

It was like being home again.

Up to my old shenanigans, I felt like a kid again. A kid with a huge boner.

The night wouldn't have been complete, though - unless right in the middle of a lap dance, as a dirty, dirty naked woman is grinding all over my crotch - my girlfriend calls to tell me that she cut her trip short to surprise me. The only way this call could have come at a more inopportune time was if I were balls deep in this dirty, dirty woman.

With one hand cupping a slice of silicon heaven, I answered the phone anyway to let her know where we'd be in half an hour.

"You don't want me to just meet you at the strip club?"

What the fuck? Did she have a nanny cam installed in this chick's nipple? I inspected the nipple further.

"Where else would they be playing Motley Crue, dickhead?"

She had a point.

You haven't lived until you've had your girlfriend walk into one of the dirtiest, nastiest strip clubs in town - take one look at the place - and ask for a paper towel to put on the seat before she sits down on it.

"I am not fucking you tonight if you get a lap dance from her," was heard several times throughout the evening.

Overall, it was a really great time. We drank until the wee hours of the morning, I remembered what it was like to not be such a whiny bitch, and I managed to squeeze in a few lap dances from women the girlfriend wasn't totally repulsed by.

And I did end up puking, but it wasn't all over myself.

It's all about the small victories.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Six Month Recap

Here we are, six months into my little plan. That means time for another recap.

I've got to be honest with you - these last three months have gone by a lot quicker than the first three did, and I was a lot less productive with my time.

Here is the recap.

  • Not A Prodigy

If you remember, at the tail end of my first three months, Annabel and I had finished our first spec and were getting feedback from various friends. I honestly thought we would hit it out of the park on our first try.

Turns out, that didn't happen. I wasn't a prodigy after all.

The good news was that it wasn't a complete failure. I made some great contacts, and learned a lot during the process. Lessons we would hopefully incorporate into the next script.

  • Wrote a Short

I was having a bit of writer's block and thought that perhaps a small exercise would help get me back into the groove of writing.

It did.

I set up a short exercise on the Artful Writer Forums, and my entry (Fly Ball) received quite a bit of praise. While very flattering, more than anything, the feedback served more to remind me that maybe I can write after all.

  • The Query Letter Game

Before I came to the realization that I wasn't, in fact, a prodigy - I sent out over 200 query letters to various agents and managers to get them to read our first spec.

I got a whopping two read requests. Neither of whom I ever heard back from.

In retrospect, this was a good thing. The script wasn't ready, and we were better off not getting the reads. Still, the indifference was shocking. I was beginning to yearn for some sort acknowledgment that I existed - even if it was rejection.

  • My First Contest

Just before I dove head-first into query letters, I sent off our script to the Austin Film Festival. I may have missed the Nicholl deadline, but fame and glory would be mine in Texas.

We received our rejection letter from Austin just this past Friday. We didn't even make the second round.

I never liked Texas anyway.

  • The New Spec

This one would be much better than our first attempt. Guaranteed.

We had a killer idea for our second spec, but were having trouble finding the story. It was like having a word on the tip of your tongue, but not being able to say it.

After several weeks of brainstorming, we finally hit the nail on the head. We had our story.

And it was great. We started outlining like madmen, and loved every second of it.

  • I'm an Undisciplined Primadonna

Annabel turned in her first draft to me several weeks ago, but I've been dragging my feet getting my part of the work done.

It's a really great concept and deserves more of my attention, but between the realization that I wasn't God's gift to screenwriting and my looming 30th birthday, I couldn't focus on the task at hand.

So more than anything, the last three months have taught me that I can't always just sit around and wait for inspiration - and that even when I can't seem to focus or am uninspired, I just need to sit down in my chair and force myself to write.

  • Turning 30

Today, September 3rd, is my 30th birthday. I'm officially old.

It's been a tough three months with this birthday looming over my head. Beyond just being an immature fuck who never saw himself turning 30, there's been a lot of internal pressures associated with this birthday.

I never thought I'd be taking a year off to pursue a new career at this age. I thought I'd already have one that I loved.

I never thought I'd be breaking up with yet another girlfriend at this age. I thought I'd be married with children.

No house. No white picket fence. No American Dream.

The reality of all this has sat pretty heavily with me.

I'm dealing with it.

  • Looking Forward

As you can see, the last three months haven't been as productive as the first three were.

Such is life. I can only learn from my mistakes and work harder from here on forward.

But on Friday I got a call from a former advertising client of mine, asking for my help with a new product launch they have coming up. It would only be for one month.

Taking into consideration how out of sorts I've been and the extra financial cushion this would provide me, I've decided to take a month off from writing and agree to help them with their launch. Who knows, doing a quick bit of advertising work might help me remember why I decided to pursue this career change in the first place.

I'll still be blogging, and it's only a month. So no big deal in the grand scheme of things.

More than anything, I hope I clear my head.

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Dream Interpretation

Jesus. What a fucked up dream I just woke up from.

I'm at a Creative Screenwriting Q&A after the screening of the current script I'm working on. Not only was it optioned and produced, but the movie itself - the finished product - was met with raving success too.

A dream come true.

So, there sit Annabel and I, answering questions after the audience has just finished watching the movie. It's going really well.

And in the middle of the Q&A session, just as I have the crowd roaring with applause and laughter...

I cough up blood and die.

Right there on stage. No warning or nothing.

But here's the best part.

Seconds before I die, as I'm lying on the floor after having just coughed up blood - I utter the words, "I knew this would happen."

Boom. Dead.

And of course, that's when I wake up.

Now I know most of you reading this are way smarter than I am, so maybe you have some opinions on what the hell that means.

And while you come up with theories on that dream, stay tuned this weekend as I have my six month recap to do, and a small announcement to make.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Stages of Grief



This has got to be one of the funniest bits from Robot Chicken that I've ever seen.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Heartbreak

Falling in love is a pretty spectacular thing.

The butterflies in your stomach when she calls. The way she smiles at your bad jokes. The wink she gives for your good ones. How her hair falls just so over her shoulder.

Tomes have been written about the subject.

But a very close second to falling in love is a broken heart.

To grieve over lost love is so uniquely human, that it can't help but be romantic.

To love is one thing - everyone can do that. Even a moron can fall in love. But to mourn lost love - to embrace the emptiness that comes with unrequited love - that, I think, is what separates some of us from the rest.

I remember one night in particular. And one particular girl.

We called ourselves Red Team, while my roommate and his girlfriend were Blue Team. The four of us had some great adventures together and were inseparable. For months on end, it seemed like Red Team and Blue Team were unstoppable.

Until, that is, Red Team decided to sleep with someone else.

"I think I want to stay here," she said, as I tried to leave the party.

And stay she did.

The next day, after I'd sobered up, I was in agony. I felt devastated. Annihilated. I sat at the pool all day, just staring off into the distance - smoking cigarettes. Writing.

It was beautiful.

You can't get that sort of inspiration on your own.

An amputated soul can move mountains.

So now, as an inevitable breakup with my on-again off-again girlfriend of two years grows closer and closer, I can't help but be a little disappointed that there's no real chance of any sort of heartbreak once it's finally over. Which is a shame.

Because sometimes I think I don't miss falling in love so much as I miss having a broken heart.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Coming to Terms


I'm still struggling with finishing the first draft of our next spec.

Annabel turned in her first draft to me like two weeks ago, but I haven't been able to finish my rewrites quite yet. Thankfully, being mother to what must be several hundred children, has given her the patience of a saint. Because she definitely puts up with a lot of shit from me.

I miss the old days where I would do my work, come home, and all I'd need was some booze, tits, and maybe some hot wings - and I'd be happier than a pig in shit. I even started to write with this mindset - and it was easy. At first.

Now days, you put in me in front of Final Draft, and I turn into an artsy fartsy type - all indecisive and emotional.

I think a lot of it has to do with coming to terms with failure.

I guess part of me wanted to hit it out of the park with our first spec. I would go as far as to say I kind of expected to. Unrealistic? Sure - but when aren't I unreasonable? It's part of my charm.

So a lot of what I've been going through with this spec is coming to terms with the fact that I didn't hit it out of the park on my first go-around. And even though I feel our current concept is much stronger and much more marketable, I might very well fail this time too.

I hope not, but the probability is that I will.

And a lot of the time I've been taking to finish this first draft has had to do with building up my ability to cope with that probable failure.

See what I mean about being emotional when I try to write? Any minute now a giant beer can is going to fall out of the sky and crush me to death.

Slowly but surely I'm getting over this artsy fartsy shit, and I'm jumping back into writing with cock in hand. And pretty soon the first draft of the new spec will be done - and a whole new batch of feedback will be given.

And the process will repeat itself.

God, writing sucks.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

My First (Not So) Gay Experience


Growing up in a city like Los Angeles, one usually becomes acclimated to different cultures and lifestyles at an early age. Your friends and neighbors tend to be people from all walks of life.

I think that's why I find myself comfortable and at home regardless of my surroundings. I joke with and tease anyone as if I were a part of their culture, and they of mine. Most people seem to respect that sort of candor.

Life is only socially awkward if you allow it to be.

I remember the first time I had to come to terms with a weird situation.

I had two really good friends growing up - they were brothers. The older one, sixteen, happened to be gay. The younger one, thirteen, while a lot more meek and girly, was not.

Their parents were the owners of a chain of restaurants, while mine were not - so, naturally, we hung out at their posh estate in the Hollywood Hills a lot more than my tiny little apartment in Hollywood.

We had some great times there. Adventuring through the brush and hunting lizards like we were Crocodile fucking Dundee. Swimming in their football field sized pool. Playing every video game ever made. It was like hanging out at Disneyland.

One day in particular stands out for me.

I should have known something was going to happen because we kicked off the day by shooting the gardener. No, you didn't read that wrong.

The poor guy was minding his own business, plucking the weeds and trimming the bushes on the hill across the street. Unfortunately for him, we were bored teenagers with a fully pumped and loaded air rifle. And he bent over a lot.

Yes. We shot him in the ass.

After we got yelled at by our parents, we found ourselves bored again - and this time with no air rifle.

We had a good two hours to kill until we were scheduled to attend a house party down the street, so we decided to try on some clothes and see what we looked best in.

I had just come out in my spiffy new party clothes when the older brother exclaimed, "Someone looks good!" If only he'd stopped there...

"The girls are gonna be like, Ooooh Dan," he shouted.

And that's when he went to grab my balls.

My ninja-like reflexes kicked in - I zigged to the left, and zagged to the back - but I was too slow for his superior homosexual agility.

He managed to firmly grasp a hold of a single testicle. It was the first time anyone, let alone a man, had touched one of my jubilees.

I think he realized what was happening, because he quickly let go of it and apologized. Either that, or he saw the terror in my eyes as his jaws of life clenched onto my little kiwi.

I didn't know what to do.

Part of me wanted to panic. Was he hitting on me? Did this mean I was gay? Was my Dad going to disown me now? All these things rushed through my head as we stood around in awkward silence for a good three seconds.

Until I said the two magic words, "You fag." And we all broke out into laughter.

Needless to say, the moment passed just as quickly as it came, and what could have been a weird situation ended up being a funny story we told for months afterwards.

While it wasn't a life-changing moment, I think it was one of the many good lessons I learned at that young age. No, I wasn't gay. Yes, he still was. No, he wasn't hitting on me.

Sometimes a grabbing of the balls is just a grabbing of the balls.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Head versus Heart

The toughest obstacle when it comes to writing, for me, is the battle between my head and my heart.

In most areas of life, I follow my heart. It's the one true barometer I have. You usually can't go wrong following your heart - It tells you when to persist, even if the odds are stacked against you. It tells you when to admit defeat, even if you want to cling on to hope. Karate here.

Writing, on the other hand, seems to be counter-intuitive from the rest of my life. It seems to call upon my head for a lot of the decisions my heart should be making. Your head is a dangerous place to be stuck inside of - It makes you overthink things, long after they've lost their flavor. It causes you second-guess yourself, even when you have no reason to. Karate not here.

I should have been done with the first draft of my new comedy this past Sunday, but I've been stuck inside my head for longer than I care to admit.

What if I fail? What if I can't do this?

My heart tells me I'm doing the right thing, and this is a great script.

My head tells me I'm crazy, and taking a year off from my career is suicide.

I don't like failing. I've never failed at anything I've put my mind heart to. I've screwed up a lot of things after I've after succeeded at them, but I've never failed.

So my heart and my brain continue to duke this out, while I'm caught in the middle - paralyzed from writing. I'm not completely stalled, but slow enough to where I need to kick this puppy into gear before it's too late.

My heart says this script is the one.

If only I can stop listening to my head.

Friday, August 10, 2007

The Great Bambino

The Sultan of Swat.
The King of Crash.
The Colossus of Clout.
The Great Bambino.

Also known as Babe Ruth - the man who called out his home run to center field.

"What do you think of the nerve of that big monkey. Imagine the guy calling his shot and getting away with it." - Lou Gehrig

No, this blog isn't really about Babe Ruth - but there's a reason I bring him up.

We're almost done with the first draft of our latest feature spec, and I'm feeling pretty damn good about it. Really good. I think this may be the one, ladies and gentlemen.

A high concept comedy with all the makings of my first spec sale.

Never the one to shy away from putting my foot in my mouth - I'm going to go ahead and call it out now. This spec is going to be my ticket into an illustrious screenwriting career.

Other than that, I really don't have much to say, unfortunately. I'm knee-deep in this first draft, which should be done by this weekend.

I'm excited.

This is the one.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Bad Internet. Bad.

One thing I haven't really gotten the hang of yet is forcing myself to write.

Just sitting myself down at the keyboard and pretending someone is holding a gun to my head. And writing.

I can procrastinate 'til the cows come home, so this is a skill I'm going to have to teach myself at some point or another. But with the interwebs so readily available, how can I ever even start?

The internet is such a huge time suck, it almost seems like I'm going to have to go someplace with my laptop and no network card. Some sort of parallel universe where the tubes have become clogged with porn, and the internet is not even an option.

I can't tell you how many hours a day I lose into the black holes of Wikipedia and YouTube. Or the various podcasts, blogs, and message boards. The internet is one giant time suck - and its evil purpose is to stop me from writing.

Is disconnecting myself the answer? I sure as fuck don't have the willpower to not click just one more link.

All I know is I need a system free of distractions where I can just force myself to write.

Any suggestions?

Monday, August 6, 2007

The Lawn Gnome Incident


When I lived in North Carolina, I would always notice an abundance of lawn gnomes during my drive to work. It seemed as if everyone had one. Staring at you with those glassy eyes as they stood guard. Bearded, porcelain gods.

Something had to be done to stop them.

It started like any other night, with drinking and games of pool at our local watering hole. Nothing terribly out of the ordinary. Until, that is, someone showed up with some acid.

Acid in and of itself makes for interesting times as it is - but combine it with boredom, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Or one hell of an adventure.

After the bar had shut down, we were relegated to take our debauchery home with us. Unless, of course, someone came up with a better idea along the way. And that they did.

"Dude, I think that lawn gnome just flipped me off."

"Yeah, I fucking hate lawn gnomes."

"Tell me about it."

"We should steal them..."

We should steal them. It sure sounded like a good idea at the time.

So now we have a trunk full of nearly two dozen kidnapped lawn gnomes, and the sun is going to start coming up at any minute. Maybe this wasn't such a great idea.

Someone thinks they heard them talking in the trunk. While under normal circumstances this person would have been dubbed a moron, this wasn't one of those times.

We pulled over to try and listen to what they were saying in the back. One person confirmed they could hear them - plotting.

And that's when it happened.

"Dude, we pulled over right in front of their leader. Don't look, don't look."

We all looked.

Sure enough. There he was, in all his glory. The King Gnome. How did we know he was the King Gnome? He had a pitchfork.

He stared at us. Motionless. Judging us.

"I think he wants them back."

"He totally does. I can tell."

"We should just do it, this is getting weird."

It sounded like a good idea at the time.

Quietly, and very suspiciously - four strangers slinked out of the car that morning to drop off twenty-five lawn gnomes on a poor, unsuspecting persons front lawn.

When we finished, we couldn't help but stand back and revel at our creation.

Separate, they were just lawn furnishings. Decoration. But now. Together. They had purpose.

They were an army.

An army of lawn gnomes.

They were our minions. And while we had to go home and pass out, we would not forget about them. In fact, we promised we'd return to check up on them the following night.

But when we got there the next day, they were gone. Even the King Gnome had disappeared.

Some might say their owners came and picked them up the next morning, or that the owner of the house relocated them - or maybe that they were confiscated in some sort of investigation.

But I like to think they're still out there somewhere. United.

An army of gnomes. Marching as one.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Movie Moments


You ever find yourself with a group of friends making lists of your favorite movies, or best lays, or greatest fights? That's your High Fidelity Moment.

Do you remember the first time you heard a song or band that was so perfect, you felt like they were speaking to you? That was your Almost Famous Moment.

Or your Office Space Moment - to find that perfect opportunity to slip in "two chicks at the same time" during casual conversation.

Life is a lot more interesting if you view it as a series of movie moments.

Anyway, the last couple weeks have sucked. Not very many movie moments to speak of.

I've been full of self-doubt when it comes to my writing, and have been avoiding working on my latest feature spec at all costs. There's a lot of pressure in writing as it is, and a looming 12 month deadline doesn't make things any easier.

I needed a movie moment to get me out of my rut.

I wanted a Taxi Driver Moment.

Unfortunately, I've already been shaving my head every morning since I was 19 - so I couldn't exactly sport a mohawk to fulfill that moment.

So I did the next best thing. I shaved my goatee.

That might not seem very significant to you if you have a full head of hair - but believe me, when it's the only hair on your entire head with the exception of your eyebrows - it's a big fucking deal.

Don't judge me, bitch.

And a funny thing happened when I shaved it... I started writing. And writing.

Not only did I feel reinvigorated and was writing again, but I came up with a much-needed climax to the current project I'm working on. And it works.

I gotta tell you, though - the life of a writer sucks. It's a sick roller coaster of emotions. One day you're feeling confident and on top of the world, and the next you're wondering who you're tying to kid by thinking you can do this for a living.

But, we need to work through those rough times in order to get to the good ones - because there's nothing more satisfying than writing something you're proud of.

So, the next time you're having some self-doubt or are in a rut when it comes to your writing - give yourself a cool movie moment.

You never know, it might just work.

And speaking of work you're proud of - if you remember, last month I talked about a small exercise we did on the Artful Writer forums. We had to write a five page short on the theme of dealing with a bully.

Here's mine - FLY BALL

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Nicholl Fallout

This is a strange week in the screenwriting world.

People are finding out whether or not they made the Quarterfinals of the Nicholl Fellowship.

Since I didn't finish my first spec in time to submit to Nicholl, I get to watch as an outsider at the developments. And I'm of two minds about it.

First, there's part of me that feels both disappointment and joy for friends of mine who did or did not make the cut. I really feel bad for those who didn't, and genuinely congratulatory for those who did. Natch.

But that's not why I'm blogging about it.

I'm blogging about it because my evil side has decided to come out and play this week.

This isn't a pretty side of me. It's definitely not one I'm proud of. But it's a part of me, for better or worse.

So, here I am, embracing my evil for the world to see.

I know we're supposed to all be happy and hand-holding and shit, and for the most part we are - but I've gotta admit, there's a couple of you out there that I just can't stand. And when you got your rejection letters this week, I couldn't help but grin a little bit.

Sorry.

Some people just rub you the wrong way. I'm sure there's lots of people who read my blog and walk away thinking, "What a self-promoting blowhard." And really, they wouldn't be too far from the truth.

But I'm okay with that. I'm an acquired taste.

Most people are.

So, for those of you who didn't make the quarterfinals - Better luck next time, and keep your chin up.

For those who did - Congratulations. You deserve it.

And for those few of you I wish testicular cancer upon - Well...

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Television Roundup

I love me some TV.

So I thought I would do a quick roundup of some of the shows I'm currently watching.

Entourage: The mother of all shows. It really is my favorite. Ari Gold has got to be the best character ever created - kudos to Jeremy Piven for bringing him to life. I love that I don't need to turn on my brain to watch it, and that these cats act just like I do with my friends. VICTORY!

House MD: Gregory House. How I love thee - let me count the ways. House is me, but with a bum leg. He has some of the best one-liners on television. "Maybe Ashton Kutcher did it." I really hope he hooks up with Cuddy soon - that shit has been a long time coming.

Kyle XY: It's true, I also love me some Kyle XY. Just something about that kids adorable dimples that gets me every time. Yes, Kyle - this is how you pee. And that confused look on his face - "So this is how you pee." Exactly, Kyle. This is how we pee.

Greek: A newcomer to the Tivo Season Pass. And it's awesome. Spitter is such a great nickname. And the guy who plays Cappie is just fantastic in the role. Being a new show that I'm not having to catch up on, unfortunately means that I have to wait an entire week between episodes.

The Riches: Eddie Izzard. They really didn't need to say any more to get me to watch the show. But they did a really good job of keeping me watching it. It does lull occasionally, but I loved the season finale and am quite disappointed I have to wait forever for season two to start.

Heroes: Everyone knows it, everyone loves it. The Zero to Hero concept done literally. I love this show so much - it appeals to my inner (and outer) geek like none other. I want to be Peter Patrelli. I want to kick some Sylar ass. Season two can't start soon enough.

There's more on the list, but I think that's quite enough for one day.

What are you watching?

Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Foiled Plan

Every group of friends usually has that one guy nobody likes.

Ours was named Gary.

Gary had been my arch-nemesis ever since the sixth grade when he ratted me out to a teacher.

I had vowed my revenge upon him from that young age, and needed only wait for the perfect opportunity to exact it upon him. Like a ninja.

Such an opportunity presented itself when we were sixteen. Revenge was to be mine.

See, we had a fellow in our group named Mike. Everybody liked Mike. He was flamboyant and funny. A real riot. He was also very gay.

Mike would insist on teaching us the intricacies of the gay scene, even though none of us were particularly interested. We listened, mostly because Mike was in the closet and I'm sure it was nice for him to have a group of friends who knew and didn't care.

One day, Mike taught us about the homosexual romps that took place in Griffith Park.

It was truly fascinating.

He even showed us the places.

Guys would hang out in certain areas of the park, and just randomly hook up to go do naughty things in the bushes. If I were ever teetering on being gay, this facet of the lifestyle would surely have pushed me over the edge. Purely anonymous, no-attachment frolicking.

If only women were into such things.

Anyway, the day Mike showed us these places - the idea came to me. It was brilliant.

We'd strand Gary there.

Oh, the joy we would have watching a clueless Gary try and thwart off sexual advances from strange, eager men. It would be one for the record books. And I'd have my revenge.

Now don't feel bad for Gary - I assure you, he deserved it. Plus, we were teenagers. I can barely justify the shit I pull now, let alone the stuff I pulled over ten years ago.

So, the day came and the plan went off without a hitch.

Gary stood around, alone, waiting for us to get back from our quick fifteen minute run. Men circled him like vultures. Mike pouted that he was in hiding with us instead of being out there.

Then, it happened. The first man approached him...

We giggled in the shadows. What would happen next? What if Gary was into it? How long until he caught on? This was going to be great.

Except it wasn't great.

Gary made himself a fucking friend.

For twenty minutes we watched as Gary and this strange man just talked. Nothing more. Just talking. No angry fist-waving, no being dragged into the bushes - nothing. Just conversation.

How could our plan have gone so wrong? We had to go see.

We pulled up just in time to catch Gary and the guy exchanging numbers - and he hopped into the car. All smiles.

"Hey guys, that was Ted."

That was Ted?

"Yeah. We talked while you guys went to the store."

And he gave you his number?

"He was a really cool guy. We should call him to hang out with us some time."

He had foiled my brilliant plan with the cunning use of stupid.

I fucking hated Gary.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Why I Write What I Write

Time for a quick break from my usual crass antics.

Underneath all the boorish stories and in between all the crude jokes, I live with two constant struggles in my life.

The first is staying clean.

I have to turn my head anytime a scene involving drug use comes on during a movie or television show, because no matter how gruesome they may be trying to portray the act as - I can only see the romance in it.

That gentle dance between your mind and the drug.

It's like the most intimate, whirlwind relationship you've ever experienced. Love, hate - empowerment, failure. All wrapped into one.

There are nights I have trouble falling asleep because it's all I can think about.

But, I manage.

I know if I ever fall off the wagon it'll be the death of me. And I'm not quite ready to die yet.

The second, is my son.

I dream about him constantly.

Sometimes it's that he's sick, other times it's that his mother has given up on raising him and dropped him off at my doorstep, and sometimes it's her calling me to tell me he's dead.

Last night I dreamt he was sitting next to me on the bed while I slept.

Nothing more. Just him sitting next to me on the bed, playing and smiling in his blue jammies, as I quietly slept through the night.

I try to manage with this struggle as well, but I can't help but tear up a little whenever I see a beautiful baby with pudgy little legs run across the television.

So, maybe these are the reasons why I am the way I am. Why I write what I write.

I've seen enough serious times and dark alleys to last me a lifetime. I don't need to write about it too.

I'd rather use the time I have left to talk about things that are mundane and obscene.

Whip out your dicks, fellas. Fuck while you can.

Life's too short.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

8 Random Facts


Nick, the world's greatest writerist, has tagged me to list eight random facts about myself.

Here goes.

  • I'll only have seven of these.

I couldn't come up with an eighth answer. So I decided to come back up here and add this in as my first entry. There will only be seven random facts.

Shit happens.

  • I wish I were smarter.

I'm not exactly a ten dollar word kind of guy, never have been. Give me a good looking girl and a vice or two - and I'm pretty much a happy man.

But there are days when I look upon those who use words like esoteric and ubiquitous in regular conversation with envy. Would I be a better writer if I were smarter? I've always been a life-experiencing type over a book-learning one, so I guess we'll never know.

  • I'm not black.

Much to the surprise and chagrin of people who try to bum a cigarette off me, I smoke menthols. Kools, to be exact. Most smokers who read this blog are making an uneasy face right now. Menthols just aren't very popular. Unless you're black. Then you smoke Newports or Kool. But contrary to what my smoking habits may tell you - I'm not black.

  • I used to be a Republican.

It's true. I was a South Park Republican - fiscally conservative, socially liberal. I used to vote party line every single year until the last presidential election - at which point I abstained from voting for the first time since I turned 18. Now days, I don't have a political party.

  • I fuck in strange places.

My first experience with this strange habit was on the log ride at Six Flags Magic Mountain. You know the one, right? A big log with a bench in the middle that twists and turns through water. Well, I fucked on that once. Before I knew they had installed those spiffy little cameras that take your picture on one of the drops. Needless to say, neither the guy operating the booth nor the parents in line waiting to buy said pictures were very pleased with what they saw on the screen above.

It did trigger a long line of weird sexual escapades, though - encompassing such interesting locales as a hotel balcony facing a busy city street, the parking lot outside the gym, and multiple public bathrooms - to name a few.

  • My jokes sometimes lead to uncomfortable situations.

I talk a lot of shit. You know this. One of my long-standing schticks is to go on and on about getting a hummer from a tranny. Don't ask me to explain why I do these things, I barely understand it myself.

So one day we're with a group of friends and I jump right into my tranny routine when one of the guys in the group says, "Are you serious? Because I found a bunch of shemale porn on my dad's computer when I was a kid and I'd love to hear your thoughts on it."

Nobody really picked on him for being a 30 year old virgin after that.

  • A tattoo on your dick is as good as spanish fly.

Nothing makes a woman want to pull out and see your schmeckel more than telling her you have a tattoo on it. It's literally a carte blanche to sleep with whomever you want - because, well, once it's out you gotta do something with it, right?

My only regret is not having discovered this phenomena sooner - because I would have gotten it done ages ago.

  • I got my sex-ed from the 80's.

The first bush I ever saw was in the movie Revenge of the Nerds. Where they install cameras in the girls dormitory and Booger shouts, "We've got bush!" We've got bush, indeed, Booger.

The first movie I ever rubbed one out to was Hamburger: The Motion Picture. It was a teen sex flick like Porky's, except at Hamburger University. Don't look at me, I just tugged one out to it - I didn't write it.

My first Playboy was given to me by my father. It was the Suzanne Somers issue. Thank you, Chrissy Snow.

Thank you for everything.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

I'm a Potty Mouth

Everyone seems to be doing this blog rating thing now, so who am I to argue with the mob. The mob is Rome.

Free Online Dating

This rating was determined based on the presence of the following words:

  • asshole (14x)
  • fuck (13x)
  • shit (8x)
  • cock (7x)
  • suck (6x)
  • sex (4x)
  • grope (3x)
  • piss (2x)
  • rape (1x)
Who knew?

I knew.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Stressed Out

Been a pretty ugly couple days.

The script was coming along great - and I mean really great - and then when we started the scene-by-scene outline, suddenly an end of Act 1 problem cropped up.

Acts 2 and 3 are great. The concept drove both acts home. But this end of Act 1 problem has had me frustrated for a couple days now.

I compromised on a solution that isn't perfect, which I think has me even more stressed out.

Everything else came together so nicely, that maybe I'm just expecting too much.

Or maybe it's because writing is hard.

Or maybe it's because the concept is flawed.

I don't know, and I'm trying to figure it out.

In the meantime, I'm stressed over it. And while I'm usually the most easy-going guy you'll ever meet, I've been a bit on edge the last couple days worrying about it.

I hate being stressed.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The Pitfalls of Boredom

I don't know if I've mentioned this before or not, but I have ADD pretty bad.

Like really bad.

And thanks to my history with amphetamines, I can't really risk taking my medicine for it anymore.

If I happen to get into "the zone" then I'm golden. Nothing can stop me, and I can crank through pages and pages of writing without breaking a sweat.

Unfortunately, these "zones" don't come very often.

What this basically means is that I go through various stages of absolute boredom throughout any given day.

When it's mild, I can just turn on some music and keep writing.

When it's bad, I can watch a movie or turn on the music really loud and read a script.

But when it's abysmal, I get sucked into doing god knows what.

Sometimes I find myself lost on Wikipedia for hours and hours. Other days I lose myself in YouTube. If I'm lucky, I use my distraction for something positive.

Like making a video.

One day I got bored and made a House video. Another time, I made a Taxi Driver video.

This morning, I made this:



And I'm pretty sure it means I'm a racist.

Breaking The Story

If you remember, on July 6th I had a breakthrough.

I was being haunted by two simple little words for weeks: High Concept.

Then it came to me.

An idea that I not only loved, but genuinely felt was high concept. I was rock hard to jump into characters, arcs, plot, and outlining. I was stoked.

But that excitement was short-lived.

For the past ten days I've been struggling with a new demon - breaking the story.

I had a great concept, a great theme, a great title - and nowhere to go with it. I can't even begin to tell you how frustrating this was.

The first outline felt contrived. Forced.

So much so, that I tried to move on to outlining another idea that had been on the back burner.

As much as I tried, though - I kept circling back to the high concept one.

I knew there was a story there - a great story - I just had to find it.

Once again, I took a couple days off to let my brain cool off and watched movies and read scripts.

Then all of a sudden, last night, it happened.

We broke the story.

You should have seen it. It was amazing.

"This this happens. Oh god, then this! What about this? That's hilarious! Jesus, this is great..."

Until yesterday, the phrase "the comedy should come from the concept" didn't really mean anything to me. It was just a mantra used by the professionals.

I was wrong.

Something special happens when that light bulb flickers on, and concept starts driving your story. That inherent comedy that comes from a concept is one you just can't reproduce with gags and characters.

Concept is king.

Anyway, I don't want to get too ahead of myself here - and risk incurring the wrath of the Hubris gods - but I really feel like this is the one.

The script that's going to bring me to my goal ahead of schedule.

I really hope I'm right.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Movie Snobs

I've never understood movie snobs.

People who seem to find faults with almost every movie ever made, and couldn't suspend their disbelief if their life depended on it.

But, some of the most intelligent and funniest people I've ever met happen to be movie snobs - so I've learned to just agree to disagree with them on the issue.

Aspiring screenwriters who happen to be movie snobs, though?

That's just suicide.

MovieQuill recently brought it up, and I wanted to expand on the subject.

For someone to say they want to write movies for a living, then turn around and publicly criticize working screenwriters and produced movies baffles the living fuck out of me.

Coincidentally, most of these same guys who are aspiring screenwriters/movie snobs have been writing specs for over ten years and all they have to show for it, if they're lucky, is making the quarterfinals in Nicholl.

Don't be that guy.

I'm not saying blindly follow and love every film ever made, but instead of looking for all the bad in movies, try and look for the good. Every movie usually has at least one redeeming quality - even if you have to try real hard to find it.

You're supposed to be doing this because you love movies - or at least that's why you should be doing it.

Leave the bashing to the critics, that's their job. Your job is to love film and absorb all they have to offer.

If you can't turn on your television, or pop in a DVD, and immediately be transported into a different world, where things don't always have to make sense - then maybe you should rethink this whole screenwriting thing.

Oh, and if you haven't seen Transformers yet - go buy your ticket now. It's the best action movie to hit the big screen in years.

This blog entry brought to you by Michael Bay and General Motors.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

My First MILF

Every young man should go through a MILF phase.

Right around when a guy is in his late teens and a woman is in her mid-thirties - something magical happens. This period is what I like to call The Sweet Spot.

It's when the sex drive of a guy is directly proportional to that of a womans.

It's a magical time, indeed. It's also one of mutual benefit, for the MILF is our teacher.

You may think I'm kidding, but this period determines what sort of lover a guy ends up being for the rest of his life. Not an opportunity you want to squander.

Not to mention, the sex is great.

You'll have plenty of time to fuck clueless young girls later when you're rich and successful (and usually even if you become a complete fuck-up, but that's a blog for a different day).

Ladies, if you're in your thirties, find yourself a young man to ride. Do it for the sisterhood. They're going to end up dating and marrying these guys one day.

I remember my first MILF fondly.

I was 17, she was 36. And married.

A firecracker of a redhead that rocked my world like no woman had before her.

Of course, I wasn't armed with the knowledge I'm giving you here today, so I just thought I was in love. Very, very in love.

I also had no idea she was married.

One day we're in the middle of a 12 hour marathon session when my phone rings. It's a man - demanding to speak to his wife.

His wife?

So I hand her the phone, and she takes the call outside. I didn't really think much of it - I just wanted her to come back inside so we could finish. Blue balls suck.

Anyway, she comes back inside and gives me some business about it being her ex-husband, and how the divorce wasn't final yet. I believed her - mostly because I really wanted to get back to fucking.

We dated for about three months, until one night she invited me over to her house.

I'd never been there before.

So there we are, going at it on the couch - when I start looking around her living room. I start to notice pictures of a happy family everywhere. And I mean everywhere.

I was in the Brady Bunch's living room.

I fling her off me mid-stroke to go and take a closer look at the pictures.

She starts crying.

I'm rock hard, staring at pictures of a happy family, while the chick I was just fucking is balling behind me.

She starts to let it all out...

She's not divorced.

Her husband's at work.

She has three kids.

They're asleep upstairs.

Up-fucking-stairs.

So, I did the only honorable thing someone could do in that situation.

I made sure I got off, and I never spoke to her again.

The moral of the story is, guys, if you're under 21 - find yourself a hot MILF - every woman you fuck later in life will thank you for it.

And if she's married, top her off and move on to the next.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Turning Thirty

How did this happen to me?

When did this happen?

One minute I'm a jubilant youth without a care in the world, and before I know it, I'm getting old.

Really fucking old.

I've briefly mentioned my fear of turning thirty in previous blogs, but now that the big day looms closer and closer - my fear is blossoming into a full-on panic.

I never thought I'd be thirty.

Even now, I consider thirty to be old.

I still feel the same way I did when I was eighteen. Most days, I act like it too.

There's something charming about the reckless abandon of youth. I don't want to lose that. That carefree attitude, that feeling of invincibility - that's who I am, it's who I've always been.

Goonies Never Say Die. Thirty year olds do.

I was still screwing up my life just a couple years ago - how can I be a thirty year old yet?

Hell, some would say I'm still screwing my life up now by giving up my career to take a shot at screenwriting.

I see people all around me, friends of mine, who have their act together. Wife, kids, a job they love - things that I don't even really think about most days.

Responsibility is just a word to me.

I'm not ready to be thirty.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Don't Call It A Comeback

Mother fuck me have I been blocked for like two weeks now.

And I mean seriously blocked.

I couldn't complete a thought if my life depended on it. And when a couple people approached me to possibly work with them on a cool idea, I was bound by other obligations and couldn't do it.

I was seriously doubting myself.

So, I decided to do something about it.

First, I went out and picked up the game Overlord. Before I found out how much I liked getting laid, I used to really enjoy gaming (so much so that I made a career out of it for many years) - so I thought what better way to clear my mind than to pick up an old friend and forget about writing for a while.

This did wonders for me.

Then, I decided to hold a small exercise on the Artful Writer forums. I'd never written a short before, and I thought it'd be fun (and distracting) to write one for the first time with a group of others and let the community offer some anonymous feedback.

So as I was sitting at my desk practically jerking off to the really flattering feedback I was getting over my short - I had a breakthrough.

A real, honest to goodness breakthrough.

When I finished writing my first feature, I was fortunate enough to have a few professional screenwriters offer to read it for me. It was quite flattering, especially considering they made a living doing this - and I was just some guy who in February decided to write for a living.

One of these wise, awesome individuals (yes, I'm kissing your ass right now) said something to me in his feedback that has stuck with me. It was just one sentence, but it has haunted me.

He said, while he thought my script was well-written, confident, and funny...

"I think it's missing that twist that makes it high concept."

And even though he suggested it was good enough to shop, that one comment has been on the back of my mind ever since.

But today. Oh glorious day.

I had my breakthrough.

I came up with the high concept story I'm going to love telling.

It's a beautiful thing, and I'm balls out excited to get working on it.

Let's get to work.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Feedback Vs Criticism

There's a distinct difference between feedback and criticism.

Some people know how to give feedback. Others, well, they just criticize.

Sadly, I think I'm one of the people who dishes out criticism instead of feedback.

Over the past few months, I've learned that you need to look for someone who can offer you feedback on your work, and not criticism.

It's a very fine line, and most people are unable to differentiate between the two - so it's up to you to decide which one you're getting, and to make sure to have the right people read your work.

Let me make it clear that feedback does not mean someone who will just give you positive notes - feedback can also be negative, but it serves a purpose - to elevate your work.

Criticism, on the other hand - never elevates your work. It only serves to tear you down and build on your insecurities (of which most writers have many).

So don't mistake my suggestion of seeking feedback to mean only let those who cup your balls and blow in your ear read your work.

Go through the notes you've gotten from your friends on some of your past work. Read them again. See which notes made you feel positive and ready to jump into rewrites, and which ones made you feel like seeing how many licks it takes to slip into a Tylenol coma.

I think you'll be able to separate the feedback from the criticism pretty easily.

Those are the people you want to read your future work.

Those are the ones you should build a relationship with - offering to read their work whenever they have something for you to look at.

The ones who criticize, on the other hand, you should probably excuse from reading your work again. They're not helping you get better.

And like I said, most people don't even know which camp they fall into - but you should be able to distinguish between the two.

Know the difference.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Where's My Hook?


This is like the third or fourth screenwriting entry in a row. I don't know about you guys - but I, for one, will not tolerate this sort of bullshit out of this blog for much longer.

I object to my own blog.

Now that I have that out of the way - I want to let you all know that I'm washed up.

Creatively bankrupt.

Not even relegated to the life of a has-been.

I'm a never-was.

I've been outlining several story ideas for a couple weeks now, and I hadn't been able to find a hook I loved - until last night.

It seemed as if I'd done it - cracked the case. Finally stumbled upon the hook I needed for on one of my stories.

I was excited.

Then, I got up this morning.

I hated my hook.

Hate is too strong. I liked it - it was funny - but I didn't love it. You know?

I don't know what I want to write next, and I feel like every day I don't find a story I love, is a day wasted. Especially with my short schedule.

I'm washed up.

Hookless.

Sans Hook.

What I'm trying to say is--

Someone find me a hook(er).

Friday, June 29, 2007

Disney Fellowship

We're off to the races.

Today I finally got around to notarizing and mailing off my application for the Disney Fellowship.

The instructions weren't very clear on what exactly they wanted out of the Statement of Intent and Autobiographical Summary, but I managed, I think.

Showed them a gentler, more touching me.

Here's my Statement of Intent.

Dear Disney*ABC Fellowship Committee,

In 1978, when I was only a year old, my parents decided to flee from the civil war taking place in Beirut, Lebanon.

Only my mother and I were able to get a Visa, so we went ahead and came to the United States without my father. We would not see him for five years.

Without higher education and limited resources, my parents always worked long hours at mediocre jobs – but they always did it proudly. After making sure we had a roof over our heads and food on the table, their next main priority was my education.

They spent every penny they made putting me through private school.

When it came time to graduate high school, all my classmates went on to UCLA or USC, and eventually became doctors or lawyers. I know it would have made my parents proud had I done the same.

My destiny, however, was elsewhere. I was to be a writer.

Until now, I’ve maintained a career in advertising in order to make ends meet. My parents always taught me to put my heart and soul into everything I did, so I followed that career with all my passion for as long as I could.

Although I wasn’t a doctor or a lawyer, my parents were still proud of me.

As I come to another crossroad in my life this year – turning 30 – I’ve decided to finally put my heart and soul into becoming a writer.

I know a fellowship with an entity as prestigious as Disney would finally give my parents something to truly brag about.

I could become something bigger than myself, something bigger than a doctor or a lawyer – someone who touches people’s lives through their writing.

This is what I’ve always been destined to become.

A writer.

Please allow me the opportunity to make not just my parents proud – but Disney as well – by allowing me into your fellowship.

I wonder what they'll think when they go from reading that letter to seeing Ari Gold tell Lloyd that Eric wants to ragefuck him in my submitted spec?

I'm guessing diversity. Range.

Because I've got layers.

Like an onion.

Reject Me. Please, Reject Me.

You know what's the toughest part about trying to become a professional screenwriter?

Indifference.

After having gone through my first attempt at query letters, I find myself in the precarious position of yearning for rejection. Some sort of acknowledgment that I exist, even if it's negative.

Tell me I suck. Tell me you hate everything about me.

Tell me your anal fissure can write better pablum than I can.

Just tell me something.

It's a lot like trying to pick up a girl. You learn that rejection is just a part of the process, but when you're downright invisible, that's a whole different story.

It's one thing for the girl to think you're fat, or short, or hate your sense of humor - but if she doesn't even recognize you exist? That's the rub.

Now, don't get me wrong, I understand why Hollywood has to have such a closed-door stance on things. Over the past few months, I've been witness to how fucking batshit crazy a lot of so-called aspiring screenwriters are - so it's not like I can blame Hollywood for wanting to keep as much of a distance from these people as possible.

Hell, they scare me - and they're not even trying to get me to read their shitty script.

The unfortunate consequence of these wackjobs vying for the same ultimate goal as the rest of us, is that the barrier to entry has become almost insurmountable.

Almost. It's not impossible - but it's definitely not easy either.

So, we keep trying. Hoping we come up with a concept that gets us a read - then hoping we wrote a script strong enough to get us an option, or a sale, or an assignment.

It'll happen.

Oh, and to all you fucking lunatics out there making our life more difficult, here's a big hardy fuck you.

Or maybe I'm just bitter that I got one read request out of two hundred queries.

Today's Song of the Day - Loco, by Coal Chamber.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Here I Go Again On My Own

Going down the only road I've ever known.

That's right. As of a couple days ago, I'm officially writing solo again.

Me. Sans writing partner.

While I'd love to regale you with a sordid tale of betrayal and violence, the truth is simply that Annabel is a mother of at least three dozen children (if not hundreds more) with a whole lot of responsibilities.

My biggest decision of the day is what cereal to have for breakfast.

We'd have enjoyed continuing to write together - and I'm sure we will again - but, for now, I'm on a pretty tight schedule if I'm going to give this 12 month thing a real shot.

That means that I need to be pushing forward at full steam.

Even if it is alone.

With all its flaws, we cranked out a really great script together in record time. From inception to three full drafts in under a month. That's pretty awesome.

The sad part is, I really enjoyed writing with a partner. Having someone readily available to bounce ideas off of - who also happens to be equally invested in the project - is so huge that I can't even begin to describe it.

Oh well. C'est la vie.

So, here I am. Outlining my new masterpiece and about to get cranking on it.

Disney Fellowship application goes out tomorrow - so wish me luck with that as well.

Other than that, stay tuned as I have a blog or two to throw up here in short order.

Coming up: My First MILF

And it's only fitting that today's Song of the Day is - Whitesnake. Here I Go Again.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

5 Seconds Of Hilarity

First Indiana Jones 4 Picture


Is it just me, or does the picture above make you feel like a kid again?

INDIANA FUCKING JONES.

And today's Song of the Day...

While out at lunch with a group of friends this afternoon, I was shocked to learn that none of them had heard the Devo cover of Nine Inch Nail's Head Like a Hole.

Shocked, I tell you.

This is arguably one of the best covers ever.

In order to save some of you the embarrassment of having me look at you the way I did this group today, I present you with Song of the Day: Devo, Head Like a Hole.

Bask in its glory.

Friday, June 22, 2007

My First Blowjob


When most people remember their first sexual encounter, it's usually a fond memory. A little nostalgia, a bit of unease, and some curiosity.

I think of prison and my parents.

The year is 1993. All the other jagoffs in my private school have gotten a Beamer or Mercedes for their sixteenth birthday, while I've had to work all summer for my car. I've busted my ass, though, and made just enough to buy myself a 1972 Mustang - blue with white racing stripes.

The kind of car I'm hoping will be, as they say, a pussy magnet.

As you can probably tell, I haven't changed much since my teenage years.

The car is a hit with the girls. Within my first week of owning it, I've hooked up with some ridiculously cute hottie from Pasadena. I ditch school and pick her up every day, and bring her back to my house in Hollywood while my parents are at work.

We make out all day long.

This continues on for several weeks, but all we're doing is making out. Maybe a little second base action. I'm sixteen, with a car, dammit - I demand action. So, I stop making the trek to Pasadena in hopes of finding someone a little more adventurous closer to home.

One day I'm visiting my grandmother when out of the corner of my eye, I spot this curvaceous brunette making her way over to us. I puff out my chest and try to look as suave as a sixteen year old can.

She's the daughter of my grandmother's landlord. Almost 18 and about to head off to U C Berkeley.

As worldly as I may be now, due to my experiences with the girl from Pasadena, I'm still not so comfortable around the ladies. But she's sure got huge boobs...

I honestly don't know what came over me. As she's walking out, I stop her and without even thinking about it - I ask her out. More importantly - She. Says. Yes.

The next thing I know, we have plans for that Friday. I have a date with a college student - and she's got big boobs. This must be what Corey Haim felt like.

Friday rolls around and I'm totally excited. I've washed and waxed my Mustang so many times my hands are permanently pruned. I've got on my Dad's best Drakkar Noir, and I have a condom in my wallet that hasn't even had a chance to form a ring in the leather yet.

I'm fucking ready.

Better still? She's ready too.

She tells me to drive to Griffith Park. I do it. We park in a row of cars and without even a hint of conversation, begin to make out. When did I become such a pimp? I don't know. I'm not going to ask. This is the awesomest thing that's ever happened to me.

I knew buying this car was a good idea.

A good half hour goes by, and my suave self hasn't even made a move yet - but that doesn't stop her. Before I even know what's happening, my jeans are unzipped and she's lowering her head onto my lap.

I wish my friends were around to see this.

And wow, did it feel good. Just as I'm shutting my eyes to get into it--

There's a loud banging on my window, and a flashlight pointed right at the top of her head.

Fuck. Me.

Apparently getting head in a public park is not such a good idea, because not only do they make us stop - but they take us into the police station. In handcuffs.

Oh. And now I know what blue balls feel like.

So there I am, handcuffed to a bench in a police station with my balls in pure agony. And worse yet, both our parents have been called to pick us up.

I don't think they told our parents why we were there, because her father wasn't nearly as furious at me until he had a moment to talk to the officer. That's when his face turned bright red and his fists tightened. He rushed his daughter out of there so quick, I didn't have a chance to say goodbye. Let alone make a second date.

My Dad, on the other hand, was only furious until he talked to the officer. From then on, he just tried to hide his grin from my mother.

He even gave me a wink in the rear view mirror as he drove me to pick up my pussy magnet - waiting patiently for me at the park.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Father's Day

I'm not very good with true emotions.

I shoot from the hip and run off at the mouth. I'm great at a party and can captivate an audience, but when it comes to anything deep or meaningful, I run for the hills.

When I found out I had a son the November before last, it broke my heart.

Not a day goes by I don't think about him.

I wrote him a letter this weekend.

Dear Son,

You will likely never get this.

You don't know my name, and I don't know yours - but I write this letter in the hopes that maybe one day it will find its way to you.

By now you've given your first smile, taken your first steps and said your first words - I wish I could have been there to see them.

I also won't be there to let you ride the pony outside the supermarket as many times as you want. To play your first game of catch with you, no matter how busy I am with work. To take you to your first concert, even if the band sucks. To help you study for your first big exam. To get you ready for your first date. To tell you how proud of you I am, no matter what trouble you've gotten yourself into.

I won't be there for any of that.

But you'll be fine, son.

You will grow up to be brilliant and excel at anything you put your mind to.

You will have a way with girls that will make the other boys jealous.

You will run the world one day.

I will miss you and think about you until the day I die.

Love,

Dad