pilot script

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. 

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.

Go Big or Go Bust: Day 85 (On the Sundance Pilot and Friends In Deed Anna Lefler and Mhairi Morrison)

Is this life imitating ... The Louise Log?  For reasons beyond dispute, neither of my co-writers can even read today’s new draft.  And our deadline is TOMORROW.

Thank goodness for friends.

Over the top thanks to Anna Lefler and Mhairi Morrison who read and gave me feedback within an hour, Anna on her cell phone during lunch from her high-pressured gig, Mhairi putting aside the mountain of work generated by her triumph last week with the can can girls.  Beyond grateful!