‘Tis the Season

This past weekend was pretty busy. On Saturday, the Missus and I went to her company’s annual holiday party at a swank hotel in Santa Monica, where we gorged ourselves on all-you-can-eat sushi and a chocolate fountain and enjoyed the benefits of an open bar. We left the Peanut with my sister-in-law, the first time we’ve had a babysitter (daycare excepted). To be honest, part of me really didn’t want to go to the party. I know, what could possibly go wrong? In my mind the answer to that was, Everything. The kid could get sick. My sister-in-law could get sick. The house could burn down. Aliens could swoop down and abduct the Peanut, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS-style. Who knows. Why risk it?

Despite my hand-wringing we went anyway, and when we got home, the Peanut was fast asleep in her crib and my sister-in-law was alive, well and about as sane as when we left her. We all breathed a sigh of relief.

The next day, the WriterDad clan trekked out to the local agricultural college to buy our Christmas tree. I’ve lived out in Southern California for more than a decade, and I will never get used to the notion of picking out the perfect Douglas Fir while surrounded by palm trees. Afterward, the Peanut got her photo taken with the Santa, who was hanging out nearby. This was an unexpectedly awesome experience, one of those moments when I stepped back and thought to myself, “Holy shit, we’ve got a kid. And she’s visiting Santa for the first time. And, perhaps most importantly, she’s not crying, vomiting or pooping on Santa.” The fact that she would probably soon be crying, vomiting and pooping on me and/or the Missus didn’t detract from the moment in the slightest. Nor did the arm full of badass tattoos that Santa accidentally flashed when we passed him our daughter.

At some point during the weekend, I also finally finished my latest draft of the Apatow Rip-Off. Considering that it’s only 99 pages, there’s no reason why that sucker should have taken me over a month to rewrite… but it did, and at least it’s finished. That’s about all it has going for it, unfortunately; I threw the script in the drawer to get some distance before I eventually read through it, but I suspect that it’s a B- effort at very best. I know — that’s why we rewrite. But is it even worth rewriting? I’m honestly not sure; the whole thing feels very middle-of-the road to me, and I fear that no matter how much I polish, I’ll still end up with a highly polished mediocrity. But that’s a decision I’ll make when I actually read the stupid thing.

So what now? I’ve got drafts of two other projects to rewrite. I also have a couple of new ideas that I find myself mentally circling around. Given how un-fired up I feel about the scripts I’ve already got, maybe tackling a fresh project is precisely what I need to jumpstart my enthusiasm. My office is closed for the last two weeks of the month, giving me plenty of time for a first draft — theoretically, anyway. We’ll see what the Peanut has to say about that. Probably “Whaaaaaaa!”

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2 Comments on “‘Tis the Season”


  1. Do whatever you have to do to write (or do something else creative) every day. The thing I most struggle with is getting up there and doing the work, even when I don’t want to – which is most of the time. I think it was Andy Warhol who said “amateur artists wait for inspiration to strike. I don’t have that kind of time.” I think I’m in the process of pushing that boundary and writing every day no matter what, and now I’m failing about 50% of the time, which is a remarkable improvement.

  2. WriterDad Says:

    Thanks for the encouragement, David. I definitely try to write every day, even if it’s only for ten minutes. After five months of agonizing, I’ve finally begun to make my peace with the fact that even though I’d prefer to have a few hours (or even AN hour) to work, I’ll make the best of the little time I can scrounge. After all, ten minutes of writing per day is better than nothing at all. I may be 90 when I finally finish my next spec, but damn it, it’ll be the best script in the nursing home…


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