Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Today they have Michael Jackson's will in hand and Farrah Fawcett will be laid to rest in Los Angeles. Wow. This all seems so surreal. Yes, I know people die every day, but to see two vibrant talents gone so soon is sad. Farrah fought the good fight. As one reporter in NYC said, she saved her best for last -- showing the world she was brave, courageous and no dumb blonde the way she acted on Letterman that night. She took on cancer and the sleazy National Enquirer. She won one of those battles. (The next time any of you think about paying a dime to read the National Enquirer think about what they did to Farrah (she said the publication got someone at the hospital to reveal her medical records while she battled for her life).

And Michael Jackson -- how I remember "Beat It" and "Billie Jean" in those very early MTV days and watched his videos over and over, not to mention "Thriller". I remember watching the Jackson 5 cartoons in the 70's! Michael was simply magical.

It's sad to see these bigger than life icons wither and pass away too soon. It makes our lives seem all that more vulnerable. Was Michael really 50 already? And Farrah 62?

We'll miss them both.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


I'm so pleased to see that Sandra Bullock's new movie "The Proposal" is doing so well! The movie is a fun, light summer comedy. It's first act is much better than the rest of the movie, but still, it's good for laughs.

I'm also happy as a clam that this summer will bring us movies by Michelle Pfeiffer "Cheri" and Meryl Streep "Julie/Julia". There are not enough well-written movies for any actors, male or female, but at least great actresses like Meryl Streep get to keep working in a time of comic book movies, special effects over kill (Have you seen "The Taking of Pelham 1,2,3? It's dizzying.), and lame story lines.

Speaking of interesting movie roles for women, I rented "Frozen River" the other night and it was very well-written and acted. Melissa Leo was nominated for Best Actress for the Oscars. I believe the script was nominated too. It has some real, heart wrenching, dramatic characters and moments.

When I was growing up, I remember watching strong women actresses like Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Susan Hayworth, Barbra Streisand, Faye Dunaway, Jane Fonda, Sally Field, Goldie Hawn and others . They made wonderful movies about strong, defiant and remarkable women. Screenwriters wrote powerful roles for them. (Jane Fonda in "Julia", "Klute" and "Coming Home", Meryl Streep in "Silkwood", Sally Field in "Norma Rae", Goldie Hawn in "Private Benjamin". )Where are those type of writers today? Why are some of the most amazing actresses simply out of work or showing up in droves on cable cop shows?

Nia Vardolas of "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" fame said a studio guy told her recently that women don't go to the movies so studios don't make women's movies. She claims this studio suit said the success of "Sex and the City" was a fluke.

Well, no, women do go to the movies, Mr. Studio Bone Head... when they're worth seeing. We may not go every single weekend, but we will pluck down our money for a movie with some intelligence, wit, and originality. "My Life in Ruins" wasn't one of those (Sorry, Nia), so don't go by the success of that movie alone, Mr. Studio Lug Head.

But I digress, I'm thrilled that Sandra Bullock's new movie "The Proposal" is her biggest opening weekend movie ever! Really? Hurrah for over-forty Sandra! All you writers out there -- keep writing your best scripts and keep all those actresses in mind when you do. They need your help! We the moviegoers need your talent! And that studio suit should be fired.

Until next time.

Friday, June 19, 2009


So about a week ago a massive lightning storm hit NYC.  I've never seen a storm so intense, especially since living in the city.  It knocked out my Time Warner Internet service for going on the second week now and I feel like my right arm is missing... I'm writing this from a Starbucks.  Does anyone actually write creatively in Starbucks?  It's so damn noisy between the chairs sliding on the tiled floor... the blender mixing iced drinks... and the music blaring, but hey, it's got great coffee and WiFi service (that you have to pay for, bummer! ).

But, the good news is that I've been writing like a maniac on two projects because of NOT being connected online.  I'm pretty good about a writing schedule, but when the Internet is right at my fingertips it is tempting to take a break and check my emails.  I realize now how much time I spend online (some of it is useful research or communication).   Imagine if the TV cable blew out?  I'd be one prolific gal.

Do you spend a lot of time online when you should be writing your book or script?  Try disconnecting your service (save money) or take a week's break and see what you accomplish. It's painful, I won't lie, but it's amazing how much more you'll accomplish when unplugged.

Gotta go... the guy next to me at Starbucks just slid his wood chair across the floor and it's giving me a headache.   

Until next time.

Friday, June 05, 2009

Summer Reading

I'm reading a book called "TIME to Write" by Kelly L. Stone. I received it as a gift for my birthday (along with one of my favorite books "Bird by Bird" by Anne Lamott). Time to Write is an easy read about following your writing bliss. It's a gentle kick-in-the-pants book for writers on how to block out time to write (no matter your job or responsibilities). Prolific authors tell about their daily process, what gets them to the desk to write, and how to keep that mojo going.

I love reading about writing (whether screenwriting, playwriting or fiction writing). Writing is writing, no matter the platform you choose to do it in -- it's daunting, insane and wonderful to be a writer. This book basically says to keep a schedule (like you do with working out at the gym or at home). If you train your brain to write, every day, it will not be such a big deal to face another blank page the next day.

If you haven't read "Bird by Bird" pick yourself up a copy. It's not only funny, but heartwarming and inspiring. Anne Lamott tells how as a kid her brother had procrastinated on writing a book report about birds. It was due the next day and he was sweating bullets knowing how massive the report would be to tackle. Anne's father told him to just take it "bird by bird". I try to live by that philosophy in all areas of my life -- whenever I feel overwhelmed -- I think of Anne's book and advice to take it step by step, scene by scene, chapter by chapter, script by script... you can apply it to your own life too. It's amazing how much you can get done if you set small goals each and every day.

So stop reading this already and go do what you need to do for today -- bird by bird.

Until next time.