blog: thank you

Hello friends.

Thank you for following along for the past fifteen months, for your encouragement, your support and your kindness.

I’m going to take a break from this blog to give all I’ve got to rewriting the pilot. I'm not having an easy time of it and in fact, am in the throes of admitting that this script may never see the light of day. I'm admitting this not to get sympathy but because the whole point of this blog has been to tell the truth.

If and when there’s news, I’ll post it here. 

blog: After Chappelle's Show, Neil Brennan's one-man show 3 MICS

So I heard part of a segment on the Leonard Lopate Show last week, an NPR show I’ve been listening to for decades on which Leonard Lopate interviews all kinds of smart people. This segment was different from any other because Lopate was laughing so hard that he could hardly choke out the questions for his guest, Neal Brennan. I managed to lock it in that Neal Brennan was the co-creator of Chappelle's Show, a hilarious show. And I promptly forgot about it.

And then on my Sunday afternoon stomp around Lower Manhattan when I had my big epiphany, what appeared before my eyes but the theatre where Neal Brennan’s one man show 3 MICS is playing until April 16. (The Lynn Redgrave Theatre at 45 Bleecker Street near Lafayette Street in Noho with tickets for as little as $21).  

Taking this as some kind of sign, I pried myself away from the rewrite and went to a sold out performance last night. I loved it.

Brennan is magnificently funny, real and sometimes very vulnerable as he moves among three different microphones. At one mic he does one-liners, at the middle one ‘emotional stuff’ and at the third one, stand-up comedy. He covers a lot of ground: family, depression, his experience with anti-depressants, student loans, his girlfriend experiences, his violent alcoholic father, 12 step programs, self-esteem, racism, the problem with having famous friends and a whole lot more.

As an artist, I found it incredibly inspiring, encouraging and moving and wish that every artist in New York City and beyond could get to see this before it closes.

No pictures were allowed during the performance so I snapped this one just before the show. It’s possible that Brennan will take 3 MICS on the road so maybe people in other parts of the country/world will get a chance to see it. I hope so.

blog: the oh so elusive gift of surrender

(Click on 'BLOG' in the navigation and then scroll down for Part 1 of this blog from April 4 )

So when Mr. Green chose to not rush in and prop me up with the sort of platitudes I really wanted to hear (“You can do this! Of course you can do this!”) I was left to face the goddam abyss.

Like any sane person with options, I spend as little time as possible there and my active mind raced for a getaway plan. I could justifiably blow off a little steam shrieking at Mr. Green: “Thanks for kicking me when I’m down!” etc. But in a moment of grace, or was it blind panic at the gravity of my situation, I said nothing. I sat there staring blindly into the middle distance.

To let it all go and ask someone else to write the darn script - oh dear. My past life of writing ‘collaboratively’ flashed before my eyes. My stomach seized, there were stabbing pains in the chest and meanwhile my mind soared at the thought of the freedom and carefree hours.

But maybe I have no choice.

It actually felt like I was cracking into two, along a vertical fault line.

While the soup in the bowl in front of me got cold, the oh so elusive and precious gift of surrender bloomed in my interior cavities. Twenty-four hours earlier, the Runes (thank you, Mudd Lavoie) had advised: (Perth) "Let go of EVERYTHING - no exceptions, no exclusions. Powerful forces of change are at work. Becoming whole….”

I got up from the table and went out for a two hour 'walk' storming and sobbing all around lower Manhattan. (There's 'surrender' and then there's an extended version for people who really like to suffer.) The walk, complete with brilliant sunshine and 40 mph gusts of Arctic wind, cleared my head and I realized that I’m willing to do whatever is necessary.

Since then, I’ve written an outline and am studying scripts of other television episodes. And even though my mind always feels locked against this inscrutable concept of 'structure’, something opened that afternoon.

Three days later, the insight about 'structure' is a little fuzzy, but I'm holding on to a friendly feeling about it and to some kind of faith that I don’t have to be so scared. Facing the abyss has its own rewards. In case my little story doesn't convince you, take a look at the script for the pilot of Breaking Bad. 

blog: the emotional uproar of a writer in the throes of a rewrite

So this incredibly interesting Numerologist told me I’d be stepping into a 100 mph zone in April. With my literal thinking, I naturally figured he meant I’d be flying off to LA (at 500 mph) and meeting all kinds of people, pitching up a storm.


Well at least not yet. For now, my version of the 100 mph zone is emotional. I generally have a very long fuse, slow to feel and even slower to act on feelings. But as of the last few days, clear the road. I’m in an emotional uproar. Cycling through the highs and the lows, infuriated, sobbing, storming around lower Manhattan on a two hour ‘walk’, frantic at having wasted five weeks on this rewrite and knowing I’m capable of wasting seventeen years. Except that I won’t because I’ve already done that once.

Being ‘old’ (I’m not old) is serving me. I don’t want to waste any more time.

With Mr. Green sitting across the table at lunch yesterday, I resisted biting his head off when he blew a Golden Opportunity:

Me (scared)  Maybe I can’t do this rewrite. Maybe I’m just not capable of it.

Mr. Green     Well maybe you can’t. Maybe you need to let someone else do the writing. What did Hitchcock say? “When the script has been written and the dialogue has been added…”  You’re really good at dialogue. And your ultimate objective is to have a show, right? Or is your ultimate objective to write a script by yourself that’s good enough to get produced?

It’s a testament to how totally freaked out I was that I didn’t pick up my end of our considerably large and heavy dining room table and push it at Mr. Green. (Believe me I wanted to write “break it over Mr. Green” but it’s just not in the realm of possibility. If you want to see what I’m talking about, the table co-stars in episode 32)

(to be continued)

Pretty sure they're not the kind of 'amazing things' that the people who paid for this banner were imagining...

blog: what I haven’t been able to admit even to myself

I’m very happy to report that my dark and miserable night of the soul is over … at least for today.

It all started in responding to a friendly email from my pal Sheila the playwright, where In the privacy of a private email, I was able to choke out the words and admit what I haven’t been able to admit even to myself:

“Am between rock and hard place (I resist saying ‘death spiral’) with this rewrite of the pilot. Filled with fear and shame. I don’t think like a writer. I’m NOT a writer.”

It seems that those two lines to Sheila were lead that turned to gold. They miraculously jimmied open my psychic log jam and I was able to look squarely at the enemy: I’d described it.

Effortlessly and without thought, within seconds, I was madly googling ‘tv pilots’ and other related terms. It quickly became clear what my problem is and that it’s not uncommon.  

a) I’m basically self-taught, work intuitively and have no external criteria. I absolutely love everything I write until I reread it the next day and decide it’s terrible.  

b) ’Structure’ has never been my friend. But without any structure to grab on to, it feels like I’m not merely circling but actively going down the drain.

Making episodes of The Louise Log, I got away with working intuitively, without learning any craft. They were short enough and I didn't have to show the scripts to anyone to get financing.  For this tv show, I figured that I’d gotten a Get Out Of Jail Free card by lashing myself to my structure-wizard co-writers. They could deal with all that and I could just channel my part of the script.

But after this past month of churning like an egg-beater, writing up a storm, rewriting up a cyclone and coming up with nothing usable, I’ve felt a level of confusion and insecurity I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. To make the leap up to a half hour show, I’m going to take a workmanlike attitude, learn what I can about structure and the craft of television writing and put one word in front of the other. I'll keep you posted. 

Structure, baby. 

Structure, baby. 

blog: Anne Lamott's wonderful - Everyone is screwed up, broken, clingy, and scared

If I wanted to plagiarize Anne Lamott, I could call today one of those days when I'm feeling "screwed up, broken, clingy and scared".  I even have a list of possible blog topics for those days or the other ones when ‘nothing’s happening’.

And so I scanned down my list of possible topics, fervently hoping to find a subject that would grab me.

Lo and behold, several things did jump out. But here’s the rub: my system of checking off the ones I’ve already used is not exactly a ‘system’.  Though I'm generally pretty well-organized, in writing this blog, I'm often scrambling at the end of the day and forgetting about niceties like leaving a   √    alongside the topics I've used. So my 'system' comes down to what I can remember I’ve used, what I have the patience to comb through the old blogs to find and the few on that list which have that authoritative check mark. 


Today I’m sharing a link to a wonderful Anne Lamott piece which is utterly soul-satisfying and even if you read it when she wrote it last year, maybe your recall is as bad as mine and you'll rediscover it all over with the same delight I did : Everyone is screwed up, broken, clingy and scared.  Enjoy!

Postcard from my brain

I recently heard about Everything is Copy the new documentary on HBO by Nora Ephron’s son, Jacob Bernstein. Apparently Nora Ephron used that expression, that everything was material for her writing, up to and including her messy divorce from Carl Bernstein … until she got cancer. When it came to cancer, Ephron told almost no one and avoided using the experience as source material for anything.

Well I totally understand Nora Ephron’s inclinations. I’ve long thought of my life, the emotional as well as the physical, (and Mr. Green’s, when he’s willing to let me use it) as ‘copy’. Yes, it’s often been exaggerated or transposed (hey, I’m not a housefly), but I haven’t wanted to talk in this blog about my recent bout of being a little under the weather. (emphasis on ‘a little’)

The fact is that this extremely minor blip in my generally excellent health is not even worth talking about. But between it, the cure for it and my battle-to-the-death with this rewrite, I’m exhausted, feeling bouts of hopelessness and seeing the glass half destroyed.

As this is supposed to be a ‘reality blog’, now you know the hard dull facts of why I’ve recently made myself scarce. Thank you for your patience. Please don’t feel you have to prop me up. I'll be roaring back. Soon. 

Postcard from New York: Superheroes in the Subway

One of the things I love about New York City is that you can walk as much as you want. If you’re late for where you’re going, you can always jump on a train. It’s usually faster than a taxi. If your destination is too far to walk for the amount of time you have, (figure a block a minute for uptown/downtown blocks) you can walk part of the way and take the subway the rest of the way. Who needs a gym? And the subway is fun. The people watching is out of this world.

When I moved to New York, I had a bicycle. That’s a whole other post to file under ‘reckless behavior’. For today I’ll just say that this bike saved me the 50¢ subway fare every time I went anywhere. Today, the same ride costs $2.75.  

In the past few years, the 4,5 and 6 subway trains on the Lexington Avenue line (East side) have developed a bad reputation, with the #5 distinguishing itself as one of the worst trains in the city for its mechanical breakdowns and delays. Sometimes the platforms for these East side trains are so crowded that you have to wait your turn as three or four trains fill up before you can even get on one.

The Union Square subway station at 14th Street and Broadway is busy and, from the looks of this video, dangerous (though I have to admit I’ve rarely felt the danger). It’s great to know we have back up patrolling the corridors …  but I felt just a little less safe when I noticed their tip box. Aren’t superheroes supposed to be above that kind of thing?

blog: a clip from the beleaguered Mr. Green's breakfast this morning

There's not much to tell you about my progress in getting this pitch going. I sit here day after day, crazed with urgency and bent over the keyboard finishing and re-finishing this rewrite of the pilot.

In the meantime (this is supposed to be a reality show after all) here's 24 seconds of poor Mr. Green bearing up under the tribulations of married life. My favorite part is when he tries to reason with me like I have a very limited intelligence or am three years old.

blog: inspiration from a web series called "Feathers & Toast"

It's nose to the grindstone here. A psychic told me that I'd be stepping into a "100 mph zone" in April and how can that happen if I'm still sitting at my desk?

So I'm working away on the rewrite (as are Mr. Green and William M. Hoffman when it's their turn) and it feels like we’re getting close to having a draft to take out on the road (trumpet fanfare)!

One of the few diversions I permit myself is to watch other shows for inspiration. Feathers & Toast is a charming, intelligent and completely unique web series. It's the craziest version of a 'cooking show' ever. (Talulah teaches you how to do things like poach an egg and make 'hot water, lemon and honey'.) Meanwhile all hell breaks loose on screen and behind the scenes.

Feathers & Toast has texture, wit, style and the tone of an I Love Lucy show all in around five minutes an episode and its creators, Mhairi Morrison and Holly Payberg, are in the process of pitching it as a half hour comedy show for tv. I'm putting my money on their getting a deal. Take a look!

(Now just in case you want a second opinion from someone you trust, Mr. Green is a huge fan of Feathers & Toast. Click on the first video below, which is only 111 seconds long.)





blog: the priorities of successful creative people

I’ve lived for decades with a sense of shame and guilt, fearing that I’m at best self-centered, with possible anti-social tendencies and (God forbid) a full-blown misanthrope: I'm constantly saying 'no' to people.

Thanks to my dear friend and coach Mudd Lavoie and to the golden resource Mudd discovered in Stephanie Palmer, I’m looking at the fact that work is my priority with new eyes. I'm also seeing my relationship to people and to the national obsession with ‘hanging out’ from a totally different angle.

This article (which Stephanie Palmer tweeted last week) threw a knock-out bucket of ice water at the nasty judgy voice which has dogged me for decades. I am redeemed!

For more great stuff, check out Stephanie Palmer and Mudd Lavoie.

Rewriting. GUILT-FREE.

Rewriting. GUILT-FREE.

blog: turning over a new leaf while preparing my taxes

Hello from the land of the itty-bitty receipts.

I asked Mr. Green to take a picture so I could save the thousand words. Mr Green's response: "No."  Curious to see if this was a form of throwing down the gauntlet, I tested the water, asking him where he'd parked the car. "Not telling." 

And then Mr. Green threw a stamped envelope to the floor by the front door (our age-old spot for anything headed out to be mailed). I raised my eyebrows and pointed to the basket I've recently put by the door.  Mr. Green furrowed his brow: "I'm gone for a few days and we've got all new procedures?"

The good news is that, for the first time ever with my teeny tiny receipts, I'm tallying up the categories as I go (stationery, post office, etc) instead of blowing a gasket at midnight. 

buried in receipts at tax time

buried in receipts at tax time

It's personal: The benefits of an emotional binge in writing a tv show (special thanks to Tom Waits)

Somewhere along the way in childhood, I made a decision to live my life as a turtle. It's nice and safe to be hidden and protected by a big thick shell. This arrangement served me well for a while, even after I decided that I wanted to be an artist, unaware that it’s counter-productive for an artist to be emotionally shut down.

In my late twenties, suffering from creative blocks, I went into therapy with the goal of becoming as productive as a machine. The therapist laughed (gently) saying: "Many people go into therapy so they can feel more. You seem to want to feel less!" I remember thinking, "What's the big deal? Who cares why you do whatever do, just do something."

Well so for the last few decades, I’ve been chipping away at the shell, trying to break out of hiding. It's still unsettling to watch actor friends IRL as they surrender to the full gamut of feelings and seem to teeter on the verge of losing control. Their frustration, anger, impulse and all the rest of it is fascinating to observe but oy, do I really want to go there without ‘deciding’ I want to?

Working on this pilot script, and wanting to do the best job I can, I’ve been thinking I do - cause I want the script to be funny but also full of the rest of life.  

And so, over this past weekend it's been pretty much of a non-stop crying jag. I'm on a modified writing retreat (not that I ever left the house, Mr. Green went away) and bingeing on music that makes me cry. Okay, maybe it’s not the ‘full range’ of emotions, but it’s a step in the right direction. And it’s nice to not have to do it the way Louise did, coping with her inner cat.  Crying apparently releases all kinds of feel-good chemicals. I can't recommend it highly enough.

Here are two Tom Waits songs which put me over the edge time and time again. The House Where Nobody Lives and, double whammy if you’re a fan of the late brilliant Alan Rickman, Take It With Me.

I sobbed uncontrollably for hours before my wedding and apparently during it, too.

I sobbed uncontrollably for hours before my wedding and apparently during it, too.

A Stormy Story Conference on the Rewrite for the Pilot Episode of the TV Series based on The Louise Log

patiently transcribing Mr. Green's notes on the rewrite

patiently transcribing Mr. Green's notes on the rewrite

I’ve been nose to the grindstone this week working in a very focused and disciplined way on the rewrite. And this is thanks, in large part, to the excellent suggestions you made on the fb feed last Friday. Thank you again!  I had some bonafide breakthroughs and am feeling very very excited, so much so that I've recently switched songs and am now listening to The Cranberries’ Zombie on repeat.

One of my co-writers, Mr. Green, (who actually is kind of overworked) carved out the time tonight to read the draft and to sit down with me to discuss it.

I asked him for a simple summary of his reaction to the new draft. He obliged me.

 “It’s very much closer and is a lot funnier.” I asked him to elaborate. “No I can’t do that.”

He's very good with the boundaries, a fact which sometimes angers me.

“I don’t like your attitude.”
“Well I don’t like YOUR attitude!”

We managed to make it through all twenty-nine pages, me carefully taking notes on every one of his (often excellent) suggestions. And then Mr. Green pushed me over the edge. He asked if I’d ‘make a deal’. Having been married for a while, I knew where he was headed.

All week, in gratitude for the time and energy he was eventually going to give to this story conference, I’ve been catering to Mr. Green, peeling his oranges and even accompanying him today on one very long and boring errand. His ‘deals’ usually have something to do with chocolate. Tonight I flatly denied him. No deal. I didn’t even want to hear the terms.

Knowing that this was going to be the subject of tonight’s still unwritten blog, Mr. Green responded: “Well you know what? Everybody’s going to feel sorry for me and you’re going to get a lot of comments because my wife won’t walk to the store with me to get a little piece of chocolate. Imagine! A husband can’t get his wife to take a walk around the corner to satisfy his chocolate addiction.” 

Mr. Green likes to say things two times.

Sometimes I have to make hissing cat noises to hold my ground with Mr. Green.

Sometimes I have to make hissing cat noises to hold my ground with Mr. Green.

How my facebook friends pulled me out of a death spiral. #amwriting

Having admitted the problem, it becomes easier to come up with a plan of attack ... especially if you have smart friends who care enough to make suggestions in your Facebook feed (as mine did last Friday) which pulled me out of my death spiral.

Marta Szabo, Mudd Lavoie, Jessica Arinella, Corinne Friesen, Julia Wolfe and Tracy Wuischpard had ace suggestions which I’ll boil down to:

- get out and move your body

- have some FUN

- start scribbling like there’s no tomorrow

With the one exception of wishing that I hadn’t sought ‘fun’ in walking past the weirdest storefront window in the Village (with the large rabbit, on Waverly near Charles) I recommend following their suggestions to a ’t’.

I’d gotten sucked into the old perfectionism trap and was trying to come up with seven, beautifully constructed, tightly written pages to drop into the middle of the script.    

Having gotten out and 'moved my body', I relaxed ... and had an idea! Do what art students do at museums: copy from the masters.

And so I googled ‘best eps of 30 rock”, watched the 30 Rock episode called ’best-structured” (acc to Vulture: 1. “Tracy Does Conan” Season 1, Episode 7), understood for maybe the first time EVER what people are talking about when they talk about ‘structure’, watched it again and wrote down what happened scene by scene and a third time to see how long each scene ran, watched some I Love Lucy and did the same thing.

I’m probably not going to win any speed race in finishing this rewrite but at least I’m working on it and even having fun with it which is a huge improvement from the panicky death spiral during which the fingers were clenched around the pen, the shoulders brushing the ears and sounds of anguish coming out of the sides of the mouth.

Thank you my dear friends for your love, support and ace suggestions!

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Traumatized author after unintentional shock therapy with a five foot tall rabbit

Traumatized author after unintentional shock therapy with a five foot tall rabbit

Recognizing my Denial in Trying to Write this Show for Television

I have a problem with denial and I'm sorry, dear reader, that with this blog, I drag you right into that pit with me.

In my ‘post-story conference’ blog last Friday, I neglected to mention that one of my co-writers had initially pronounced the most recent draft “very good” (emphasis on the ‘very’ ... and said with feeling). Naturally this went to my head. I’d forgotten just how kind and diplomatic he can be.

So it came as a bit of a surprise that after the two hour conference, I heard the words: “You’re looking at a major rewrite, kiddo.”

With my huge capacity for denial, I shrugged that right off: “Oh I’ll knock it off this week!” Who wants to be bent over a keyboard and reams of scrap paper with my Writing The Natural Way doodles for even that long!

In heavy denial

In heavy denial

So here we are, one week later and I’m realizing why I spent my childhood walking on my hands and climbing trees. Constitutionally and temperamentally, I’m better suited to physical labor than to working at a desk. Give me a physical challenge and I can usually figure out how to tackle it. The same is not true for the non-physical. I feel lost, out of my depth and both frantic and lethargic.

In a blinding insight on exiting the supermarket, I realized that I’d had the same reaction to cutting the highlights reel and to writing the pitch. I start off with great enthusiasm and a wildly unrealistic idea that I’ll ‘knock this off’. The highlights reel ended up taking almost a year and a half. I can’t even bear to figure out how long the pitch took.

Fortunately, while dragging my heels back to my desk, inspiration alighted. Nancy Baker, the brilliant film editor who did the unimaginable job of lifting the movie Harlan County USA out of the hundreds of hours of 16mm footage shot in the hope of making it, once shared this simple tip.  (paraphrasing) << A lot of the job of film editing is sitting watching the footage go forward and backward, forward and backward … until you get an idea of what to do.>>

Impatience is not my friend in tackling mental jobs. To sit at a desk feeling lost and frightened, asking questions and waiting for answers is harder for me than digging a ditch.

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This one's personal ... the key to self-confidence? Part 2

Part 1 (recap from Feb. 29)

As anyone who’s ever watched an episode of The Louise Log might imagine, a lack of self-confidence, has been the bane of my existence. I’ve tried ignoring it and acting as if I feel sure of myself, I’ve tried affirmations, read every self-help book in reach, gone to psychics and to therapy, consulted the I Ching and The Runes. It all helps.

But it’s all felt like band-aids, that I’m a broken person pretending to be okay.

Part 2

Over the past number of years, the gobbledygook of ‘The True Self’ and ‘The Inner Child’ has been in the air. Both sound corny enough to be right out of Roz Chast cartoons which, as far as I'm usually willing to admit publicly, is where they should stay.

But I've heard that ‘connecting’ with one or the other can be a crowbar to change. And though I’m a very practical person with little patience for forays into the rat’s nest of my past, who wouldn't be curious about psychological crowbars?  And then the question arises, just in case you wanted to ‘connect’, how would you?

Being visual, I figured that if I ever wanted to, I’d do it by looking at the pictures I have from childhood. Unfortunately, studying them gave me only the usual sense of rooms and places. It wasn’t until I read about ‘non-dominant hand writing’ that the hairs stood up on the back of my neck.

I finally got around to giving it a try the other night at 3AM. After tossing and turning for an hour, I got up and went to make a cup of tea, looking forward to the single good thing about insomnia, the bonus ‘found time’. Waiting for the water to boil, I figured I had three minutes to kill and tried writing a question to my “Inner Child” with my ‘dominant hand’ (the hand I write with) - nothing fancy and no expectations:

“Hello (childhood nickname too embarrassing to reveal). How are you?”

And then I put the pen in my other hand. Within half a page of very bad handwriting, I’d crossed over into The Twilight Zone.

It was as if a periscope had dropped into a specific moment of my childhood: the past and the future stretched in opposite directions away from a precise present. I’d made contact with (and was channeling?) a presence or a personality of a very young version of me but whose perspective, until then, I’d only imagined.

This didn’t feel like imagination. It was too distinct, she was too mysterious. And as we wrote back and forth, I felt more aspects of her personality, especially her innocence and her vulnerability.

And then it got even better: I was flooded with an unusual calm and a sense of being 'enough'. Something like the feeling of falling in love, I was relaxed, with a sense of compassion and of being exactly where I was supposed to be. And it felt as if I had all the time in the world.

This may be, for me, the brass ring of life. After decades of yearning to feel strong, to feel capable, to feel enough, in a matter of a few minutes I somehow tapped into what feels like the source of self-confidence.

It’s so radical, I can hardly believe it’s true. But for today, it still is.

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On my mother's lap, wearing tap shoes.

On my mother's lap, wearing tap shoes.

This one's personal - and all about change (Part 1)

When I told Mr. Green about what had happened the other night, his reaction was:

“Annie, it’s unbelievable. I’ve never heard of anything like this happening, especially not overnight.”  

I reminded him that it hadn’t happened ‘overnight’, that it had happened instantaneously. He choked out a dry little cough of the inexpressible:  

“I know. I heard you. I was trying to give you the benefit of ‘overnight’. Instantaneous is … incomprehensible.”

To keep this blog going, I’ve had to write about pretty much whatever’s going on in my life. It’s a special bonus if it’s related to my effort to get The Louise Log out to a wider audience but I don’t always have something newsworthy.

What happened the other night was so personal that I’ve been hesitating to write about it here. Thinking that maybe it’ll be worthwhile for someone else, I’m forging ahead.

As anyone who’s ever watched an episode of The Louise Log might imagine, a lack of self-confidence, has been the bane of my existence. I’ve tried ignoring it and acting as if I feel sure of myself, I’ve tried affirmations, I’ve read every self-help book that ever caught my eye, I’ve gone to psychics, I’ve gone to therapy, I consult the I Ching and The Runes. It all helps.

But it’s all felt like band-aids: I’m a broken person pretending to be okay.

(Trying to keep this blog to 250 words so please check back on Wednesday. And please don't hesitate to click on the 'Like' button under the photograph for something instant and delicious ...  If you want to Share, please hit the 'Share' button right next to the 'Like'. Thank you!  \o/ )

Me at about five years old.

Me at about five years old.

The pilot episode you need to make the leap from tv online to a tv program

To make the leap from tv online to a tv program on cable or Netflix/Amazon, you need a few things. One of them is a script for the first or ‘pilot’ episode.

On my watch, ‘improving’ the script for the pilot episode had ballooned it up to a bloated mess. Luckily, I have brilliant co-writers In William M. Hoffman and Mr. Green. But we could never all be in the same place at the same time, so they each gave/sent me notes when they could and with them sliced the script down to a svelte two-thirds of its former self.

For the past week, I’ve been at my desk trying to build it back up to the half-hour length it's supposed to be, which is why I don’t have stories for you tonight of being back out there “knocking em dead” with my pitch.

You can be grateful that I’m not including a picture of the experience, me bent over my desk, the tearful, blotchy face, the used kleenex littering the desk and floor. This writer-in-action is neither glamourous or exciting to look at.

Instead, here’s a picture from after today’s story conference, confidence in life and self restored. Mr. Hoffman, Mr. Green and I sat around a table at a diner and although they made recommendations for more slashing and clarifying ... there was much more. We howled with laughter, we whispered so people at the next booth wouldn't be able to hear. I got so excited, I knocked over a pitcher of milk which Mr. Green and Mr. Hoffman mopped up sort of the way they mop up my 'structural issues' (they never call them that) never mentioning what they're doing and all without breaking stride in their brainstorming.

I'm being guided by two angels.

(Just below the photograph is a late Valentine's Day present from me to you if you click the Like button ...  And if you want to Share this, please just hit the 'Share' button right next door. Thank you!  \o/ )