Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Sometimes everything clicks. Yesterday was one of those days. Made a stunning looking veggie lasagna AND a Baileys cheesecake (both tasted pretty good, too!), found new strength at the gym and the writing flowed. Should have bought a lottery ticket while luck was with me.

My novel that has been losing steam got a boost with a new chapter and a plot twist that felt fresh. It has been tempting to toss the work in the growing Abandoned pile, but I’ve slogged on, determined to complete the first draft before going through a slash and burn process during a painful revision stage.

My new approach may be working. I’m limiting myself to an hour or two a day on this project and then switching to another writing task. In theory, the time spent becomes more focused as I don’t let it drag on only to be filled with drivel. On only the third day of Plan B, it worked. Hopefully that creates new momentum.

My new writing project is an original television series pitch, pilot and subsequent script. As I’m polishing three spec scripts for existing TV shows, I’m trying to complete a television writing package with the new series material to show that I can create my own characters, plot points and rhythm. When I get to the point of sending queries and manuscripts out, I’ll be fully stocked with other writing samples if only a prospective producer, showrunner or agent should ask.

Yesterday’s work on some character background development and a rough outline of the pilot episode was going so well I could feel the energy behind the people I was creating. I got so excited I had a step away a couple of times to take in the moment and to retain clarity by calming down.

To end the day, I finally had a chance to skim the morning newspaper and a tiny article popped out, the genesis for a possible future writing project. I read it, clipped it and jotted down some quick notes before filing it away. It’s great to know my Ideas folder continues to gain thickness.

It was a writing heyday, nicely capped by a little R and R, watching the Vancouver Canucks impressively dominate the Nashville Predators.

What a day! Encore, please!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009


The most fun I have writing is drafting spec scripts for existing television series. While I’m not a full-time couch potato, there are always some series that I watch religiously. I get a sense of a show’s timing and the nuances of each character. At that point, writing a teleplay becomes more entertaining than watching an episode.

Twenty years ago, I wrote spec scripts for “Designing Women”, “Mad About You” and “Seinfeld”. I showed some of them to friends and was encouraged when I’d hear them laughing out loud in the other room. (I could never be in the same room as they read. I’d drive myself (and them) mad, scrutinizing every single facial expression. Okay, you say it’s just gas, but do you really mean my writing stinks?) It was a huge step to share the scripts with anyone. But I never took a step that mattered. I never attempted to get them read by anyone in the business.

I’ve now written three spec scripts for current shows: “The Big Bang Theory”, “Being Erica” and “The New Adventures of Old Christine”. I’m proud of each one and I can hear the characters’ voices as I read the lines.

I’m more willing to put my work out there for an agent or a producer to read, but I remain stumped about where to mail the scripts and query letters. I don’t have any links with people in the entertainment industry. And to my knowledge I don’t have a friend whose former next-door neighbor has a third cousin whose boss plays squash with a buddy of the personal assistant of George Clooney. (Sorry, no links even to Kathy Griffin. Or Rob & Amber.)

So I’m at a standstill. Advice anyone?