Thursday, April 3, 2008


Welcome, Jane Espenson readers! I'm honored that Jane featured me on her site today. Feel free to comment or email me at the link to the right.

Meanwhile, my usual readers will know that I've been MIA for a few days. Here is my dilemma: I can no longer steal internet at home. dlink, the trusty network I've been using since August, has now disappeared. How dare my neighbors password protect their networks! (And how sad it is that my eager wireless card finds a dozen networks at all points in my apartment and yet all of them taunt me with their locked key icons.) I suppose I could knock on some doors, ask, "Hey, are you the owner of the 'Suk Ma Ballz' network? Can I pay you $10 a month for the password?" But alas, who actually talks to their neighbors these days?

Part two of the dilemma is that I have plenty of access and time for internet surfing at work, but I know that HR or whoever can follow where I go on the internet - and I do not want them to read my blog and see what I'm saying about them. Not that I've said anything particularly disparaging lately...because things are going pretty well with my job! I've already been on this desk for a month, and it makes me think this year might go faster than I thought. It has occurred to me that my timing will be kind of off...because by March of 09 I don't know if any shows will be looking for writer's assistants...but I guess I'll deal with that problem later.

Back to the problem. I may or may not be posting this from my car, sitting in a parking lot. I am on the lookout for a coffee shop in ShOaks that's is open late and has free internet, but the valley kind of dies after 9 pm...and I'm too cheap to be buying sugary coffee drinks anyway.

WriteGirl is going well. I'm sad I wasn't able to pull anything together in time for our publication deadline, but I helped my mentee submit some of her pieces, so that is exciting. We also had our screenwriting workshop last weekend, and we had some awesome screenwriters there: Diablo Cody (Juno), Rita Hsiao (Mulan, Toy Story 2 - and beginnings in television) and Robin Swicord (adaptations of Little Women, Jane Austen Book Club, Memoirs of a Geisha). It was nice to see/hear really great writers who are also enthusastic about empowering women - and fun to learn things like the fact that Diablo has to write in a room with other writers so she doesn't get off track and start looking at gossip websites. The workshops are always so inspirational. As I told Rita in our small group, I love WriteGirl because it's such a positive retreat when Hollywood gets you down. A fellow New Yorker, she had actually heard of Ithaca, and she was really down-to-earth and friendly. She got her start as a writer's assistant on The Wonder Years (jealous!!). I brought up Jeffrey Stepakoff (who also worked on Wonder Years), the writer of Billion Dollar Kiss, the fabulous book about the BUSINESS and CAREER aspects of TV writing you never come across. She said, "Oh! I'm in his book!" And surely, a few nights later, I reached the part where he calls her and asks for help in getting a staff job. Hollywood really is tiny sometimes.

Can we talk about how amazing Greek is? Two episodes have aired so far this season and I loved them both. If I had to criticize, I'd say the peripheral characters need a little more depth - and not be just "the gay one," etc. But they're getting deeper each episode. The show is funny, fun, creatively visual for a soapy cable show (prohibition/flappers party!), and I can say the same thing about it that I said of Gossip Girl: it is successful because it takles small plots and events that mean big things to the characters. What's funny is that it's on ABC Family, what with all the sex and underage drinking that are not undertones or implications - but the PLOTS THEMSEVLES. My roommate said, "This needs to be on the CW." But as I reminded her, "IT'S A NEW KIND OF FAMILY!"


Scribble94 said...

There's a frozen yogurt place on Ventura called Limelite. They're open past 9, and they have free wireless.

Hollie Nell said...

Leave it to Jane to give me another great blog to read...and distract me from writing. It's great to read about other people's paths. Looking forward to seeing more.

anna said...

Really enjoying your blog. I've left LA, but not the biz. It' great reading about your experiences and getting a little slice of LA that I miss. Yes, I do miss LA sometimes.

Dan Williams said...

Hi. Saw the link on Jane Espenson's blog and came over and read some of your enteries. You have a hilarious sense of humor and it seems to my eyes you'd be a real asset in the writer's room.

One thing, though. You said that you "crank out the scenes." It may just be me, but the words "crank out" -- well, not so good. They don't, to my ear, sound full of joy and of respect for the work and the creative process. If you said you felt more like you were "composing" as you write a scene, then that would give me more of a good feeling about how you feel about doing the writing.

But that silly nonsense aside, your humor and your point of view struck me as being fresh and energetic, and also with a nice quality of patience weaved in. The story beats aren't rushed, they seem savored and so I savored them. That's all for now, hope you are having a great L.A. day.

Daniel said...

Hey, I also found you via Jane's posting.

Even though I am not even remotely connected to writing fiction, I really enjoy your blog. In fact, I think that I can even apply a fair amount of the things you are writing about to my field of work.

Anyway, just wanted to say hello..

Dwacon® said...

Whoops, I commented in the wrong spot originally. The more the merrier, anyway.