Blog, Reloaded

Q: When do you know you’ve been away from your blog for too long?

A: When you try to log in and can’t even remember your password.

Yeah, I’m back.

So what’s happened over the past ten weeks at WriterDad Manor?  Lots of baby-related hilarity and frustration, some minor illnesses (including the current cold that all three of us are now fighting), a twelve hour stretch of time that featured not one but two instances of the Peanut falling off something and miraculously escaping injury, slightly more sleep than we’ve become accustomed to, lots of good times, the occasional bouts of bickering between me and the Missus that seem to wax and wane in intensity like they’re on a lunar cycle, too many trips to Target than I could possibly count, and work.  Life, basically.

Oh, and I did somehow manage to squeeze in writing.  After receiving notes from my writing partner and my wife, I did a rewrite on my Bigfoot Comedy that is now in the hands of a couple of other trusted readers and (probably foolishly) the Nicholl Fellowship committee; I had fun churning out the first TV spec of my life — for THE OFFICE — in order to enter the Nickelodeon Writing Fellowship Program, and I’ll probably end up submitting that script to the Warner Bros. Television Writers’ Program; and I’ve begun circling around the rewrite of my long-ignored Domestic Comedy, which I’ll probably have to put on hold because there’s finally some movement with the Wedding Comedy that was optioned almost a year ago.

We have a director.

Supposedly.

I’m meeting with the Director on Tuesday, somebody who did several cult classics in the ’80s, hit it big with an iconic comedy in the early ’90s and subsequently cashed in with several big studio pictures, and has worked steadily if at a lower profile since then.  She loves my screenplay and wants to make it.  Again, supposedly.  We’ll see what happens.  Assuming the producers successfully work out a deal with her and everybody’s on the same page regarding the notes she’s got for me, I’ll probably be rewriting that goddamned script again by this time next week.

It’s hard to believe that as of this November or December, it will have been five years since I came up with the Wedding Comedy idea in the first place.  In that intervening half-decade, I have survived the horrors of wedding planning and gotten married, gotten laid off and hired elsewhere, knocked up my wife and witnessed the birth of our daughter, signed with a manager, fired the manager, made a tiny — and I do mean tiny — bit of money writing, made the rounds at studios and prodcos, and wrote this script.  And rewrote this script.  And rewrote it over and over and over again, to the point that I can’t even remember what the story is in the very first draft.  I’ve written plenty of other scripts in this time, but this sucker, the Wedding Comedy, has always hung in there like the party guest who refuses to take the hint and go home, even though it’s four in the morning and the keg is empty and you really just want to see how disgusting the bathroom looks — “fuck it, I’ll deal with it in the morning, maybe” — and  go the hell to bed yourself but goddamn it, there’s this guy on the couch and he’s asleep and he refuses get up .  That’s this project.

All that said, the Wedding Comedy may be a pain in the ass, but it’s certainly been good to me — many doors have opened, thanks to that script.  Who knows, if this movie actually gets made, maybe I’ll even feel a little sad that it’s finally finished and I’ll never have the opportunity to tweak it again.

Ehhhh, probably not.

ANYWAY, that’s what’s going on at the moment.   Thanks for (still) reading.

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15 Comments on “Blog, Reloaded”

  1. WhatACard Says:

    Welcome back! First, um, did you just imply your wife suffers from PMS? Because she has my blessing to give you a good talkin’ to! SHAME!

    Second, sorry to hear you’ve all been sick. I swear, these first few years with kids are rough on the immune system.

    Third, sounds like some good exciting stuff on the writing front. Yay!


  2. I don’t know how you do it man, but I’m glad you do.

    Welcome back to blogging!

  3. WriterDad Says:

    WhatACard — thanks! And although I was horrified to read your PMS interpretation (which never occurred to me, honest), I ran it by the Missus and SHE didn’t read it that way, either. So that made me feel a little better. 🙂

    Dave — glad to be appreciated. 🙂

    • William Says:

      It’s really good to know I’m not the only one going through this. Really. Like, it’s not just my kid getting sick ALL the time.

      Good luck with all of it. Both our names are in the hat. Now it’s up to the committee.

      I’m sure your Target is better than mine. My Target sucks.

      • WriterDad Says:

        Yeah, my kid definitely has her share of illnesses — I blame daycare. Hopefully she’ll make it to preschool with an iron constitution. That said, her illnesses are usually pretty mild; sounds like your little one has the far worse deal.

        May the Force be with us on the contest front.

        We’ve actually got multiple Targets that we visit — there are at least five that I can think of within a ten minute drive. This is what passes for adventure in our lives now: figuring out which Target we’re gonna hit on a given Saturday afternoon. 🙂

    • WhatACard Says:

      To be fair, if Jordan ever said our bickering waxes and wanes on a lunar cycle, it would probably be a pretty accurate PMS commentary 🙂

  4. WriterDad Says:

    Well, uh, I suppose that’s pretty applicable to me and the Missus, too, now that you mention it. 🙂

  5. hugel Says:

    Congrats on the wedding comedy. Are we allowed to guess the director? Sounds like Penelope Spheeris to me… Sadly there are too few female directors to make it too difficult.

    Anyway, I found my first spec TV script a fun diversion from my roadblocks. Good luck with everything.

  6. WriterDad Says:

    Hugel — Thanks! Yeah, the TV script was definitely a fun diversion for me, too — it was like using a different set of muscles or something. I’ll be trying it again soon.

    As for the identity of the director, I can’t reveal her identity yet, just in case this whole thing goes south and I need to vent, but I will say that your guess is an excellent one (and unfortunately you’re right in that it’s not too hard to make a pick). That’s not to say you’re necessarily correct, of course. 🙂 But stay tuned — all will be revealed eventually.

  7. John P Says:

    Heckerling?

    • WriterDad Says:

      Another good guess! I’m torn about spilling the beans, if only out of fear of jinxing it — maybe if this thing really goes into production (and the producers are saying that they’re looking at an August start date), I’ll reveal all…

  8. John P Says:

    Well, good luck.


  9. I know what you mean about a script that has been around forever… I had my script for Raspberry Magic forever, and every time I thought that I never wanted to see it again, something new and cool would happen… Many years later, I’m now in post, about to complete it as my first feature… Check out the trailer!

  10. Shawn Says:

    Blog reloaded…and abandoned again. Dammit! I love this site, seeing that I’m a new dad (daughter was born two weeks ago) and struggling writer myself. Great stuff, WD.

    My only question re: trying to get writing done with a newborn in the house – does it get better? If it doesn’t, please lie and tell me that it does. Thanks.

    • WriterDad Says:

      Damn it, Shawn, you’ve guilted me into returning to my own blog! Congrats on the new addition to your family — ooooohhh, boy, are you in for a ride. 🙂

      In answer to your question — at first it’s virtually impossible to write with the baby around as you’re struggling to attain some semblance of equilibrium or at least a couple shreds of your former sanity. You’ll probably be too brain dead to write anything more than your name anyway. After a month or so, though, things definitely get easier — no, things won’t ever the same as they were before you became a dad (which you’ve probably learned the hard way by now), but you’ll adapt. You learn the kid’s rhythms, and if you have long legs like me, you learn to type with the baby sleeping in your lap. I rewrote the Wedding Comedy last summer doing exactly that.

      You’ll cruise along like that for a few months. Writing around the baby, your significant other and a day job is difficult but generally not impossible. Learn to focus on the work in 15 minute bursts, and keep a little notepad and a pen with you at all times so you can jot down ideas while taking care of the kid or shopping for diapers at Target or whatever. That way you know what you’re going to knock out when you DO have time to sit down at the keyboard.

      Starting around 6 months, though… man, it’s REALLY tough. The good news is that your daughter will start moving around and displaying a personality. The bad news is that your daughter will start moving around and displaying a personality. She won’t just sit on your lap asleep or staring vacantly anymore; you’ll have to, like, INTERACT with her. Delightful on a personal level, but not very conducive to writing.

      You gotta grab the time whenever you can, however you can. Usually when she’s asleep which, if your baby is anything like mine, can be an enormous crap shoot. “Flexible” is the keyword: If need be, you have to learn to turn on your creative brain at 5 in the morning or 11 at night. I certainly have, mostly because I no longer have a choice. The reason I’ve neglected the blog for so long is that when I DO have some free time to myself, I need to work on the Wedding Comedy (which supposedly starts shooting in September).

      Now that the Peanut has hit her first birthday, things are easing up a bit at WriterDad Manor. The Missus and I are no longer operating in a state of perpetual panic anymore (only 40 percent of the time), and while certain aspects of our lives are even harder — watch out when the kid starts walking, good grief — a lot of things have become much more relaxed. And that should free you up to slip away to the keyboard with a little more frequency than in the previous 12 months.

      In the meantime, I guess it all comes down to willpower — if you want it bad enough, you’ll find a way to keep writing while dealing with your suddenly overcomplicated life. And if you DON’T find a way, or if you lose that way for a few days or even weeks and decide that you’d really rather veg out with the Xbox than face the blank screen, well… don’t sweat it. Don’t beat yourself up over it. You’re a new dad — you might as well write off the next six months, so ANYTHING you get done during this time should be considered a bonus. I drove myself really hard over the past year, but that was mostly because I had no choice thanks to A) the script option, and B) my wife, who often believes in me more than *I* do.

      And although it’s sometimes hard to do, try not to take the writing too seriously, especially in light of your new responsibilities. I’m sure you’re like me and want to make a living as a writer, but at this point, the writing should be a fun escape, a diversion, not the be-all-end-all of your existence. That half-finished script will still be waiting for you in a year, but you’ll never again get to experience the beginning of your offspring’s life.

      Man, I should be writing self-help books or greeting cards.

      Anyway, so those are my two cents on the matter. Glad you’re enjoying the site and good luck!


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