Thursday, June 09, 2005

Another long-ass day where I spent much of my time both lighting a candle and cursing the darkness (in broad daylight no less)...

Ever wake up and just feel grumpy for no apparent reason? That's been my whole week. Just can't shake it and it taints the whole day.

So what do I do to cheer myself up? Attempt to mow the Triffids in front and trim the mess created by "He Who Walks Behind The Rows" in the dog run (if it were titled Children of the Weeds, of course).

As everyone knows, I am ill-suited to physical labor. I tend to break easily. Having still not fully healed from my career-ending injury at the Post Office, perhaps trying to force a hand-driven gasoline-powered trimmer through shoulder-high brush was not the best idea I came up with today. But it needed to be done.

I started around 9:30 AM. The thermometer read 72. So, great, my outdoors was room-temperature.

The thermometer lied.

About 10:20, I actually had a visible trickle of sweat running stream-like through the center of my face. Where sweat isn't usually found.

I got about two-thirds of the dog run trimmed. The lousy dogs can swim the rest of it until Saturday, when it's actually supposed to cool off.

Because of the near-constant rain we're to have between now and then.

And we all know what rain does to weeds, right?

Never one to learn from my instincts, I immediately attempted to mow the front yard, where the weeds were hiding small colonies of antelope at last investigation.

I got through one circuit before the wheels started to spin in the wet and the mud and before the engine began stalling from the weeds inhibiting the blade motor.

So I gave that up.

I will now be calling on a neighbor kid to mow with his father's trusty combine. And once he's done, I'll ask him politely to allow me to hurl myself under as well.

After that, I went immediately to physical therapy, where an insanely chipper young woman intern chirped at me throughout much of my implied relaxation. Then had me do very strange exercises for my shoulder that did little but eat up time.

I come back home and get to read a bizarre press release-cum-apology-letter from Nick Palumbo on a variety of message boards, wherein he talks about the "controversy" surrounding his insanely dull "movie", Murder-Set-Pieces. The alleged film is more boring than it is shocking, so the thing read more like a piece of PR designed to stir up peoples' interest in the final product, which is, I'm told, having a hell of a time finding a home on DVD. Though his post does promise that it will be "officially rated XXX". (Which is just stupid if you think about it... or even if you don't think about it.)

Instead of being entertained, it just added to my irritation. Not to the point where I was yelling obscenities at the computer, but close...

So that was my day, how was yours?

Anyway, news... It occurs to me that my news will be celebratory, but vague (so it will be closer to "masturbatory", but what else is new?).

I sold a script.

It's a zombie script. Zombies in prison. I pitched it about six months ago to a company out in LA that I'm friendly with (or, rather, I'm friendly with the people who work there, not the actual company). They liked it and suggested changes so that they'd like it more. And more importantly, their buyer would like it more.

So I made the changes. I had no real emotional attachment to it yet, so I made the trims and additions they wanted.

Then there were more suggestions... it just wasn't good enough for their buyers, who, apparently, have very specific ideas about what the general public wants to see in a horror movie.

The general public, it can be surmised, being the average 13-year-old.

So I made the changes, thinking "isn't a third draft supposed to improve a script? Not make it crappier?"

But about midway through the new draft, I remembered something.

I'm a really good writer.

Not just, you know, okay. I kick some serious ass as a wordsmith. And you can tell - because I use words like "wordsmith".

So by the time I finished the third draft, with the revisions in place, I realized that I really liked this script and would really like to see it made the way I wrote it. And at the same time, I realized that it probably won't get made line-for-line the way I wrote it, but at least I gave it a damned good effort.

I've never written work-for-hire before. Or, rather, I've never sold anything I'd written for-hire before. Things usually fell through before I got to see my name on a check.

This time, the producer called to tell me that they loved the script, all the partners loved the script. And it's going into production in July.

This July.

Five weeks or so.

To which, I replied, "Holy shit, that's a hell of a turnaround!"

They have a director lined up, casting begins next week. They're all set to move on this thing. And they're paying me for writing it. It's not a tremendous amount, but it's more than "nothing", which is what I'm used to.

So that made me do a little happy dance.

I got this call on Friday. The night before we won the award for The Resurrection Game.

Right after the call, we got an email from an acquaintance wanting to option The Resurrection Game. There's some planning and negotiating to be done here, but still, it's a solid offer.

And that was my past weekend. A series of weird and unexpected rewards for very, awfully, ridiculously hard work.

So, of course, me being me, I have spent the time following all of these rewards scanning the floor before me, searching for the big white X that I will undoubtedly be standing on sometime in the future.

That "X" has not shown up yet. Doesn't mean it's not there and doesn't mean it won't show up.

But for the time being, I'm allowing myself to be, cautiously, very happy.

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