Saturday, December 31, 2005


Christmas is only a week past but I'm still figuring out how to use my new iPod Nano. A guy named Jason at Apple helped over the phone after I spent three hours downloading songs and podcasts only to see an icon of a File Folder and an exclamation point through the LCD screen!
Anyway, the trick is you have to "eject" your iPod before unplugging it from the computer... learn something new everyday.

There's a great website for reading free scripts. "Syrianna" by Stephan Geghan is available so check it out, along with many classic scripts.

I've been writing... finished my romantic comedy called "Olive Juice". Plan to have a friend read it through with a red pencil for corrections/suggestions and then do one more polish. It should land on my agent's desk by late January. I took a break from the priest crime script... it's heavy... and the holidays didn't help. I plan to tackle that script and another in '06! AND... if I ever get those damn notes on the sports script... I'll rewrite that too.

I'm doing freelance editing work to survive at NBC. It floors me every time I walk into the 30 Rock building -- it's atmosphere and broadcast history.

Hope to see the ball drop tonight in Times Square... this will be my third year in a row if I can get by the police barricades... it's awesome to stand on W. 45th Street and witness the celebration of a new year! When the ball drops and the confetti flies and you hear that music blasted through the speakers... and New Yorkers are crying, hugging, kissing... cops hugging their spouses and kids... you can't help but get choked up.

New York City is one helluva place to be for any holiday.

Cheers & Happy 2006!

Tuesday, December 20, 2005


Now if only everything else was right around the corner... since there is a NYC transit strike and no way to get anywhere without walking or paying high cabbie fares. New Yorkers are always
scared about the subway/bus system being brought to its knees in such uncertain times... but who would expect our own NYC workers to do it to us? What happened to holiday spirit? Good will to commuters?

Mayor Bloomberg estimates a $400 million dollar loss today due to the strike. $400 million a day?! Wow, somebody is really spending a lot on Christmas shopping this year. It's not me. I actually planned to do some shopping today, but not with this strike... no fun lugging shopping bags through crowded streets!

I'll keep busy working on two scripts and keeping the energy going as the holidays arrive. I haven't heard from my agent or anyone on the West Coast so I assume things are slowing down in L.A. too.

Wishing you all a joyous holiday season and prosperous 2006!
Merry Christmas to those who celebrate it.

Saturday, December 10, 2005


My agent emailed me the other day that one of my cop scripts was liked by a particular cable channel in LA. It's a buddy cop/crime drama. The producers, say says, aren't interested in buying the script but liked my writing style. It seems the channel is developing its own crime drama and in February will put together a staff. She said I might get the chance to come out to sunny California to meet the producers. She said "it's better than a kick in the head", which is her way of saying getting rejected flat out. I agree.

Normally news like this would have me doing cartwheels... but I know this business and a lot of false, well-meant promises are made every day -- deals fall through, producers leave companies, scripts get abandoned, writers get dropped like hot potatoes. So, I'm being realistic about the whole thing. If it happens, and they're willing to pay for me to come out to L.A. to meet, I will do cartwheels. But for now... it's just talk... which is better than a kick in the head.

My friend Patrick invited me to a SAG screening of "Brokeback Mountain" and it was excellent. After the movie was shown, the cast Heath Ledge, Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway and director Ang Lee gave a Q&A. It was amazing! Now my friend Patrick is Chinese and very subtle about everything. I thought we were just going to see a free movie... while we're eating Mexican before the screening, he informs me that Ang Lee and the cast will be there too! I nearly choked on my taco. I'm a big fan of Ang Lee's work (except for The Hulk which I didn't see). He gives a story a chance to unfold and uses beautiful images. With "Brokeback Mountain" he does the same. The story is solid, the characters tragic, and the acting great. To just label this movie "a gay cowboy movie" is a disservice. It's a powerful story about people realizing what they have and not having the courage to embrace it until it's too late.

Christmas is approaching. We had a beautiful snow fall in New York yesterday. The city never looked better. I better get to shopping.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

"It took me 15 years to discover that I had no talent for writing, but I couldn't give it up because by that time I was too famous." – Robert Benchley.

I heard from my agent yesterday. She said there is a company in LA that provides excellent script notes. If we don't hear from A-list producer by '06, then let's go that route to make the sports script a slam dunk. You pay to get this solid feedback -- two to three hundred dollars (ouch!) -- but I'll look into if it will help the script to get to the next stage.

In case you didn't know, "notes" are very popular in Hollywood. Everyone wants to give you notes on everything. I would hate to date in LA... "Our first date was really good, but here's some notes on how to improve on the second one."

Most writers politely accept these notes and use 30-50% of them. It never hurts to get an objective opinion on your work, but there are so many opinions out there and people looking to make a buck off you. You have to really trust the people you listen to or your script can become a total mess.

As one agent recently said, "write from the inside out and not the outside in" -- most movies today are written from the outside in. No inner voice, no passion, just writing by the numbers... namely Box Office numbers.

So on that note... bye.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving!

It doesn't seem like December already but it is. A friend just emailed me about a pre-Christmas lunch, so soon the craziness begins with shopping (yes, I'm a procrastinator), visiting with family and friends who come to NYC, and then planning for Christmas and New Year's. My best day is always January 2 when it's all over! I do enjoy the holidays, but you have to admit life gets a little out of control from Nov. 20-Jan 2nd.

I haven't posted lately because there isn't much to post. I'm working on my scripts, but haven't heard much from my agent of late (and don't even ask about the A-list producer dude). It's like the quiet before the storm. I get anxious because I like to be proactive and feel I'm moving forward, and I have in many ways this past year, but as writers we have to depend on others to keep the pace and that's frustrating.

I recently read "Conversations with Anne Rice" which was published over ten years ago. It was so enlightening about the writing process, whether it's screenwriting or fiction. She explained how for years she'd send in her manuscripts to her publisher (this was post her "Interview with a Vampire" success!) and some copy editor would revise and rewrite her work! Write all over the page and change Anne Rice's tone, style and complete thoughts! It made her nuts to the point where she sent the marked up script back once and said "Remove everything that I didn't write!". You go, Anne! Now they don't dare rewrite her. They may suggest, but they can't scribble all over her pages.

Anyway, it just goes to show that with writing you are always being judged, critiqued or rewritten whether it's a book or a movie script. It's all part of the writing game.