Over the past month I’ve had two encounters where I’ve been talking with friends I haven’t seen in a while — both of whom I know outside the industry but work inside it — when they said to me, “I thought you went home.”
“No, no, I’ve always been here,” I said.
“You didn’t go home and then come back?” Both of them said that, with a cock of the head. “I could’ve sworn I’d heard you left.”
Both of these people are Facebook friends, which pulls from my Twitter feed. This means I’m not doing a very good job of representing myself lately. And yes, I do a lot of work I’m not allowed to publicly discuss, and I’ve learned important lessons in my million years on the web about what is and isn’t wise to share on the Internet, so I probably err on the side of not enough information.
It has been a very busy year, so I’ll try and give something for everyone here. A little work update for those of you who enjoy reading about the writing life, a little bit of baby info, for those of you who want to know the latest on Qwerty, and finally for those of you who just want to know what Mom’s up to next, a little something special.
I mentioned in my last entry that I was working in the corporate world, which maybe was too vague because people started thinking I was back in tech support. I’ve been hired by a studio to be an in-house screenwriter on a film in development. That’s legally all I’m allowed to say. (Actually, I think I’m allowed to mention the studio, but I’d rather err on the side of not enough info for now.) I love it so far as it takes everything I like about working in a writers room, combines it with everything great about locking yourself up in a room to write pages, and then throws in a coffee shop one floor down. (And since it’s LA, I feel the need to add it’s also a very convenient commute.)
For those of you who loved reading the confessions from my teenage diary, you might be excited to learn I’m working on a comedic memoir of my teen years that should be coming out sometime at the top of the new year. Currently titled NOTES TO BOYS (AND OTHER THINGS I SHOULDN’T SHARE IN PUBLIC), I have to admit with every single page I am convinced I am doing the wrong thing, which is how I know you will truly enjoy it. Just chapters and chapters charged with my superpower: absence of dignity.
Other than You Take It From Here, everything I wrote last year is either dead or in development. Sometimes that means the projects die a slow, silent death. Sometimes it means you see your name in the trades in the middle of someone else’s press release. Sometimes it means you put things on a shelf and let them wait for a while.
Television development is starting up, which means pitching season is starting again. I have a couple of things I’m going out with, but this year I plan on sitting down and launching into a description of Behind the Candelabra just to see how far I can get before someone says, “Wait a second.”
For ladies of Los Angeles, I’m performing something from the teen memoir this Sunday as a part of the girls-only Sunday Night Sex Talks. [Click the link for tickets]
I talked a whole lot of comedy and whatnot with Robyn Morrison over at her TV comedy writer podcast The Send-Up.
And now…. BABY STUFF
It is difficult to dress for work when you basically have to be prepared for partial nudity all day every day.
I want to look nice, but I also have to lock myself in a room two to three times a day, expose myself, and sit still while I collect food from my body for the baby. There are only so many wrap dresses, people. And because things can get pretty busy in the morning I find that no matter how cute the outfit, by the time I get to grooming all the parts on my head it’s like, “Well, at least the dress is cute.”
I worry my style currently says, “I just put the baby to sleep and then drove here.” It’s a valid concern, as that’s what has been happening for the past month. I got to shoot a little something for a project I’m working on the other week that had me sitting in hair and makeup for fifteen minutes — which is basically time enough for false eyelashes and a flat-iron — and you would have thought I was runway ready, the way people were reacting. “Oooooh, someone has a BIG meeting today!”
I’m spending so much time trying to figure out how to nicely dress the concept of open-boob clothing that I’m letting a very important part of me– the part people have to stare at all day long — go neglected. Is there a wrap dress for the face? Because I need it. You guys, I’m so desperate to figure out what to do with my (quickly falling out in clumps) hair that I bought a snood. I bought a snood! This morning I spent five precious minutes trying to figure out how to wear it without looking like I worked at a factory. I finally thought I got it right when I presented myself to Jason, who broke into an Italian accent and said, “Yo, you tell Tony if he gives you any trouble on the line today I’m gonna bust his bawlz.”
Anyway, the baby is great. Qwerty is smiley and loves music, bouncing, watching people dance, and screeching like a dinosaur in heat. Our house is still under Infant Rule, which means the half of the house that has the baby’s room in it becomes off limits after the child’s bedtime. It’s a problem because the nursery butts up against the kitchen. Turning on the oven heats up the baby’s room. Accidentally letting the fridge door slam shut might wake the child, even though there are TWO noise machines in the nursery to drown out all other sound. We are tired, yes, but we are also hungry. Very hungry. People ask my secret in losing all the baby weight and I tell them it’s easy: “The baby won’t let us eat.” In the morning I’m too busy nursing and/or adjusting my snood. At night we can’t risk waking the world’s smallest dinosaur. We are going to have to move just so I can cook a decent meal some day.
If you haven’t heard, Mom’s now a TV Critic. (I’m working on getting her second edition transcribed as we speak.) She’s also looking for some fun things for seniors to do in Los Angeles. Do you know of any area Scrabble groups? [It’d be great if their one requirement is “Must take an hour to decide which tiles to play. Maybe two hours. …Some amount of time where the opposite player contemplates gouging out her own eyes just to have something to do.” Because that’s what she needs.]
Mom and Qwerty have lots of fun times, but the baby takes a lot out of my mother. Consequently, at the end of the day sometimes she’s flying out the door. Other times she carefully gathers her things, even though she’s pretty sleepy. It doesn’t matter which style she chooses, Mom will forget to pack something. She’s left so many items at the house day after day it’s like she’s trying to get a second date with someone we haven’t discovered lives here. I present to you this partial list.
THINGS MOM HAS FORGOTTEN TO TAKE HOME WITH HER
Her cell phone.
Her watch (by the sink this time).
Her computer charger.
Her other shoes.
Her credit card.
Her watch (over the sink this time).
Her camera’s software for the computer.
Her Kindle charger.
Her cell phone’s SIM card.
Her cell phone charger.
Her computer bag.
Her water bottle.
Her container of milk.
Her watch (by the bathroom sink).
Her shoes AND her other shoes.
Her watch (by her things at the door).
Still, she wonders why we have yet to let her drive anywhere with the baby. I told her just as soon as she keeps that watch in her care for a week straight I will think about letting her take that baby to a second location. Until then, no way.
I suppose if you only heard me talking about having a baby, getting married and living close to my mom again, you might think I went home. But the reality is that home came to me. Life is now messy and busy and each day is stuffed until every minute is exhausted. Already the weeks are flying by because there’s so much to do and so much that can’t possibly get done yet. Home is swirling with to-dos and just-dids and milestones both big and small, and it’s amazing how all of it can sometimes just stop on a dime because the smallest member of this life gave the biggest, drooliest, toothlessest, silentest smile.