inbox, part six.


…I’m almost done with reading your latest posts and their links to eventually realize

1) a real airbag is much better than any Radiohead song whether it’s taken from ok computer or the bends or in rainbows… But I’ve never ever doubted that

2) Perez Hilton (anything to do with Paris?…) didn’t bother mentionning at least your website

3) you get a lot of support and it’s great -for the reasons I gave in my previous mail

4) just when I finally managed to turn my TV set on right when a dubbed in french episode of The Office was airing I should probably not have sat and watched it because:

Let’s lead with this lovely report from Peter Leftcourt:
“This morning, I picketed with an 86 year writer, who wrote for ‘Mr. Ed.’ He said, ‘It pisses me off that that fucking horse wound up speaking Italian, Polish and Rumanian, and I never made more than a nickel.’”
-Peter Leftcourt

taken from: United Hollywood

And as I’ve certainly not been as busy as you this weekend I took some time to browse the internet and found this cover of ‘I go to sleep‘ you said you loved few weeks ago. # 11. I even listened to a Nickel Creek concert on

Now I should go to sleep and hope you can sleep long enough to recover from such exhausting days.



You and the WGA are badass. Keep on fighting the fight! I work in Sales with a bunch of people who don’t know much about tv besides what shows they watch- and so I have been making it my business to educate whoever will listen on what a raw deal you writers are getting- and will gladly do anything I can to support ya’ll out there on the lines from my home in upstate NY.

Again- BADASS.


Hi Pamie,

I heard you on WGN radio and then checked out your blog — nice job!

I’d like to find out more facts as figures regarding revenue in the entertainment space and how it’s broken down by media type. Is this published by the WGA? I did see the chart for ‘Entertainment Segment Revenue‘ in the WGA Contract 2007 briefing which referenced “WGA Analysis of SEC filing and Company Annual Reports” — was this published? It sounds like exactly what I’m hoping to find.

Thanks and Good luck!


Hi, Tom. I’m not sure if it was published. I haven’t been able to find anything online, but if you call the Guild at (323) 782-4833, maybe they can give you a better answer.

Hey Pam!

I’ve been keeping updated on the strike through you and Stee’s websites. You guys are awesome. I can only imagine how hard it is to do this, but you stay strong! It’s awesome to see that there are people with principles willing to stand up to the big guys. You guys totally deserve to be paid for your creations. This may be another marathon, but you have done it before and you’ll get through it this time. Just thought I’d drop a line of encouragement!



I paused the TiVo on “story editor Pamela Ribon” because seeing that on the screen is just so awesome.

IMHO “horrific highway crash” is on the list of approved excused absences.

The combo of (1) the “written by” entry and (2) the photo of your car makes me want to throw up. I can only imagine how you feel. Like lying face down on the floor, apparently. Take the doc’s advice and give yourself a break. It’s hard to believe but you can stop spinning the plates on the poles. They won’t crash. You can’t help anyone else if you’re broken, right? Fix pamie first. Everything else second.

Good luck,
Carolyn (TWoP: “CAI”) in Wethersfield, CT

I have so many Internet Moms. But really, the spinning plates won’t crash if I stop for a second? I don’t know if I believe that yet.


I just wanted to write you a quick email to let you know I am supporting you and all the writer’s on strike. I’m glad you’ve all taken a stand and thank so much for keeping us up to date on your blog.

I know a lot of people don’t really know what the strike is about, and most of the poeple I talk to don’t realize the writer’s don’t make any money from internet downloads. I’m on strike with in my own little way – I’m dying to watch Samantha Who? on (I’m not home while it airs, so I watch the episodes that way, just like many) but I won’t until you all get what you deserve. They need to resolve this now, so you can get back to your job and we can all enjoy your work.

Thank you for sharing your talent with the world and I hope you can get back to it soon. It’s horrible the strike ever had to happen in the first place.


PS – I posted about the strike on my blog so those of us in the Midwest are little more informed. I used the video from one of your posts and linked to your site. It’s not much, but everything little thing helps I hope.

Hey Pam!

Thanks so much for giving us updates about the strike. I’ve been wondering how it would affect you and I’m doing my part by not streaming any TV over the internet (which I’ll admit I did quite a bit) or buying any more TV shows on DVD. I’ve enjoyed watching Samantha Who? and being able to tell people I know one of the writers. I’m cool by approximation, I guess. And I agree that Perez is a douche. But you mentioned something about supporting the WGA strike fund or the Solidarity fund… can non-members contribute and how?

A red shirt in spirit,

p.s. Do you get calls from the Annual Fund folks? I used to and it was really odd.

I still get calls from the Annual Fund, Sara, and I still contribute every semester. I end up dorking out to the poor student caller. (“I used to HAVE that job! Are you still by Kinsolving? Do you know I still have so many friends from that time?”) And then I give money because I know how hard that gig was.

I’m still looking for a way to contribute online directly to the Solidarity Fund. Since I can’t find it, try calling the Guild Headquarters — (323) 782-4833 — and ask them for an address or something. (And if you find out, will you let me know? I’ll ask again at my next Strike Captain meeting.)

Hi Pamie,

Having just spent a week in NYC (where I saw Samantha Who advertised everywhere) I wanted to check out the blogosphere’s perspective…

Just want to say that as a fellow writer (albeit for different media) I totally support the screenwriters and hope the strike can end successfully and soon.

All the best,
Diane x

Dear Pamie,

First off, I support the strike, and you as a captain. You’ve taken on a huge responsibility and it seems like you’re doing a great job. I really appreciate all the updates and I hope it’s all resolved soon and you all can get back to the jobs you love with the residuals you deserve. I’ve been reading you since my college roommate introduced me to squishy in 2000, and I’ve read your books and had been following Samantha Who? I’m a fan.

About Perez, though:

I sort of see your point about his profiting from you uncredited, but you didn’t write that letter. Your friend asked you to post it, point being that your audience would read it. Wouldn’t the larger audience be even better? It really doesn’t seem like the same thing as him using something that you’ve written for work, you never would have made money off of this yourself. Perez had been posting things about Ellen in reference to the strike as well as accusing her of mean bossery and it’s nice to see him eat his words, or at least offer a counterpoint. I even considered emailing him that text (with a link to your page) before I saw that it was already ON there (I did notice that it was uncredited). Isn’t it possible that one of your readers sent it to him in an effort to get the story straight and didn’t link to you? I know he steals from other entertainment/paparazzi sites, and gets a lot of shit for it, it’s not above him, but your site probably isn’t one of his breaking news sources. It’s not like he’s got the most reputable connections, maybe he (or his staff) doesn’t fact-check and just throws up whatever hearsay looks good at the moment. Anyway, I just wanted to say that maybe it’s not the worst thing in the world that he stole it from you, and though the donation idea is great, I wouldn’t expect anything in the way of an apology. He’s been sued for much worse, he seems to only credit images, and then only some of the time. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a credited story on there, though I’m fairly new to his site. He’s loving his most hated man in Hollywood reputation.

Once again, good luck,


Thanks, Meg. Yeah, I’m glad Liz’s letter got circulated (and judging from my referrals, there are a LOT of Ellen fansites out there). No, I wouldn’t have made any money off of the letter by posting it on my site, but that wasn’t the point. He does make money off of his posts. But I am past being angry about it. I was venting some strike-anger at someone. At least he deserved it, don’t you think?

At least some people think so:

Pamie: I got wind of the whole Perezhilton debacle before I even read it on your site. I just wanted you to know I also made a post/editorialabout it on my page. F that [edited to be nice. — p.].



First off, way to deal with that thief. You tried the polite, non-public-outing way first, but then you did what you had to. Also, I’m sorry that the strike continues. Having read your blog for a while, I’ve followed your journey to become a television writer (and a successful one). It sucks that when you get a great job on a great show, you have to deal with this. But kudos to you for all you’re doing to help your fellow writers.

I’m sure you get this question all the time, but how does one go about becoming a telelvision writer. I know that you did sketch comedy and wrote stuff for live performance, but how do you make the leap. My quick story: I’ve been in radio (as a music dj) for 12 years now, and worked as an imaging guy and producer for the last 7. The thing is, I’ve never written comedy outside the imaging stuff I’ve worked up with our Imaging Director.

I guess the two questions would be – how does one “practice” (how do you start writing like you want to be hired to write), and how do you get your stuff out there (and where exactly is “out there” – who do you try and get it to). I have the feeling that one answer is going to be that practice involves writing a show for an existing series and seeing where that goes. Whether or not it gets seen, it helps you write.

Any time/advice you can spare would be amazing. Good luck with everything. In all seriousness, you’re an inspiration. You never stopped working towards your dream, and now you’re a published author and tv writer. Your optimism and persistence is amazing. Take care.


Hi, Alec.

how does one “practice” (how do you start writing like you want to be hired to write)

You write spec episodes, which means you write sample episodes. Start learning the form of different shows, playing with the dialogue, the voices, how they structure their stories. You have to have specs to even get an agent, and they’re your calling card, so you’d better have a few. And it might take a while before you like one. Just keep writing.

and how do you get your stuff out there (and where exactly is “out there” – who do you try and get it to).

I started by entering my scripts in contests (both LA-based grants/fellowships and contests affiliated with festivals). It helped when a script would make it to semi-finals, because often I got to go to those festivals and network. It takes a while to build a base of people you know and people who know you to get your script into the right hands. Eventually you will get an agent. And then the work is really just beginning.

Just keep writing. It took years out here in Los Angeles before I got my first television writing job, and years after that before I wrote anything that made it to air. Best of luck, and thanks. I know all I said was basically “write and let people see it,” but that’s kind of the trick. You have to write. And you have to let people see it.


I am a long time fan, and I thought it was long past time to introduce myself.

I found this site about a year ago through TWOP, specifically through your GG recaps. I literally shed tears laughing this afternoon when I heard your beatboxing with Eric (Feb. ’00.) I have a tradition that every time I am sick and cannot leave my bedroom I try to catch up on Squishy from the beginning. Since I am on my third day of quarantine, I have read nearly a year of updates. It is amazing how easy it is to identify with (early 20’s) you. I am in my early 20’s myself, and although I grew up in Oregon, and didn’t move out of my home town until I was 20, and then I moved to a city 40 miles away, it is quite refreshing to see the universal experiences we all go through. It is also fun to be reminded of the late 90’s/early ’00’s trends. I keep remembering where I was, my interests at the time, and what I was going through. You have certainly reminded me of quite a few awkward and embarassing moments I would love to forget altogether, but am somehow glad to be reminded of.

I also broke up with my boyfriend of almost 4 years back in May, so it is nice to feel some girl power there. (See how I just used a late’90’s phrase there? I have been reading your blog too long.) It also keeps me optimistic since you were/are so successful with your career dispite all of the worrying if you were doing the right thing, or on the right track. Thank you.

I have truly enjoyed reading your recaps to GG episodes I virtually have memorized, just to get your observational humor. I watched the series from the pilot on through to the bitter end, and was disappointed to see that you had to leave your post at TWOP. I was re-reading some first season recaps, and was curious why you gave a “D” grade to the first 7 episodes. I realize that Ragdoll filled in for you for a couple weeks while you moved, and she also gave the “D” grade to those two episodes. I ask because you really seemed to enjoy the writing on the show, and suddenly started giving “A”s with episode 8.

[I think that might be a glitch through all the years of TWoP changeover. I noticed that on the Young Americans recaps, too, and I know I didn’t give all the YA episodes D’s, and I’m positive I didn’t give those early GG episodes D’s. — p.]

I also wanted to express my support of you and the SWG during this trying time. I am with you guys all the way. I also will not download/watch online episodes until the situation is resolved (This is a little empty, as I didn’t really do those things before except with Studio 60, which was promply cancelled, and I friggin’ HATE I-Pods, but the sentiment is still there.) Hey, do you know if Aaron Sorkin is walking the line? I love him, and worship his genius (I am only slightly exaggerating), The West Wing is another show I faithfully followed.

[I haven’t seen him, but I wouldn’t know if I was standing right next to him. Also, I doubt he is looking for the low-profile action of the CBS Radford parking structure gate. –p. ]

I am watching Samantha Who? (in large part due to Melissa McCarthy, a brilliant comedienne) every Monday and thinking of you when I do. Good luck, and best wishes from your friend to the north.

Best wishes,

P.S. Sorry about the rambling, run on sentences, and misspelling. I think all the cold medicine is really going to my head, and it is definitely making me blurry eyed. Please don’t hold it against me.

Oh, this reminds me of a good story about my car. The day of the huge Convention Center meeting, where we all learned that we were soon to be on strike, I had trouble finding my car once I got back into the parking garage. I knew where I’d parked, but I didn’t know how to find it. I also had made the stupid mistake of wearing little blue unforgiving heels that have a two-hour foot life before I start to cry. In fact, during the meeting, standing in the back between Liz and Sara, I took off the shoes and stood in my socks (also they were teasing me for pretending I was taller than either of them with my heels. My girl writer friends all tend to be right around the same tiny height. It’s strange.)

Anyway, I’m wandering the parking garage, about to take my shoes off, when a blue Mini Cooper pulled up behind me. Two women were in the front seat, and they asked if I wanted a ride to find my car. “Someone helped us find our car, and now we’re paying it forward! Your shoes look like they hurt. Get in.”

The driver looked familiar, and I was trying to place her, but couldn’t. We chatted about how friendly everybody in the Guild is, and hoped for a very quick strike, if it was as unavoidable at it was looking at the time. We joked about seeing each other on the picket line.

We found my car, and the woman driving pointed at the metal Bevo I had on the back. “Texas!” she shouted. “I went to UT, too!”

“I thought you looked familiar,” I said. “Drama or film?”

“Architecture,” she said. “What’s your name?”


“I’m Catherine,” she said. And then it clicked.

“You’re Catherine Hardwicke!” I Farley-ed. “You wrote Thirteen! You’re awesome!”

She blushed a thank you and asked what show I wrote for. I told her. Then both of them squealed, “We love that show! I bet that’s so much fun to work on!”

See? That Honda Civic brought me nice memories. And thanks to Catherine, I get to stop hating the Mini Cooper.)

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