What Passes For Intelligent Conversation Around Here Lately

[scripty]
MOM
I was playing with the baby and I can’t remember the toes song.

PAMIE
“This Little Piggy”?

MOM
Yeah.

PAMIE
Well, it’s not a song.

MOM
Fine, sure. But I said, “This little piggy went to market. But this little piggy didn’t go anywhere.”

PAMIE
Yeah, that’s not quite right. But he did stay home. And then one of them had roast beef, which now suddenly seems really weird.

MOM
Right? That’s weird.

PAMIE
Cannibalism.

MOM
…Pamie. Roast beef isn’t made from pigs.

PAMIE
… Right. Right, I knew that.

MOM
It’s still weird. And I don’t know where he ate it, because they didn’t say. So you’ve got This Little Piggy went to market, This Little Piggy–

PAMIE
–stayed home. This Little Piggy had roast beef, and This Little Piggy had none. Which doesn’t rhyme too well, but whatever.

MOM
And then the little pinkie toe piggy went wee-wee all over the place.

PAMIE
What?

MOM
That’s what I always pictured! This pig running around peeing all crazy, just running and peeing. Wee-wee, wee-wee, wee-wee all over the place. Hee-hee-hee-hee-heeeeee.

PAMIE
Not “all over the place.” He went home.

MOM
He’s still funny. Peeing and running.
[/scripty]
Read more

Mom Changed Her E-Mail Address

“Mom, you sent me a blank e-mail.”

“No, I didn’t. I sent the people an e-mail, and I said it was from my new e-mail address.”

“Yes, but you put all that in the subject line. Then you open up the e-mail and it’s blank.”

“Well, if they want to know anything else that’s going on, they’ll have to write me back!”

We Need a Word

For when you’re nursing your child and your mom stands super close to watch it while she chats, and then she gets so caught up in the moment that she leans in and kisses the baby’s head, just centimeters away from your bare breast.

Because that is what happened to me yesterday.

Oh, does that not happen to you on a Thursday? Then I guess maybe we don’t need a whole word for it. Maybe just a therapy session.

Why Moms Are Here

People like to say, “I bet your mom is so excited to be a grandmother. What did she do when she found out you were having a baby?”

“Oh. She immediately put her house on the market.”

And they laugh. They laugh and laugh. “That would be so funny,” they chuckle.

I don’t say anything. I don’t have to. You can see it in my face, my tired eyes, my worried hair.

Their laughter fades away. They whisper, “Oh, you weren’t kidding.” Read more

Making it Work While You’re Mostly Working for Free

I’m waiting on the phone to ring to find out about a project I pitched yesterday while simultaneously scheduling a pitch meeting around another pitch meeting I already have set, one that is effectively killing my original plans to attend a friend’s wedding, which leads me to answering an excellent question about money with a whole lot of words on juggling multiple projects.

Heidi writes in the comments section of this entry:

[readermail]
If I may ask a question about the super secret fantasy life of a writer — how do you budget financially during the jags where you’re working flat out for free until you can catch your breath and the unexpected income arrives? …I’ve found my own 1099 income years to be sort of jarring, so I wondered.
[/readermail]

I’m sure there are many ways to do this. Unfortunately, I am not blessed with the “Rich Uncle” version, so I had to go about it differently.

My very first day of my very first tv show job, one of the more established writers said to me, “Save your money, kid.” He didn’t have to do that. I’m pretty sure I didn’t ask for any advice at all. Because of that, I thought, “That man is telling me something he wishes someone had said to him. He is literally trying to pay it backward.” So I do try to always save, particularly when I’m on a show that’s paying me every week. I put a lot of that away, knowing it’s my paycheck when I’m not staffed or waiting on a check from all my other writing, which pays about maybe four times a year.

Making it work while you’re working for free takes some discipline, some planning, and still a bit of luck. But it can happen!

If I’d been fortunate enough to be on a show that lasted more than a couple of seasons, I could tell you, “Residuals.” That’s one of the reasons we were striking so hard those few years ago.

Samantha Who? still plays in other countries, and is on Netflix streaming, so every once in a while a “little green envelope” comes in the mail from the Writer’s Guild that is my tiny cut of that pie. A very, very tiny cut. My last LGE was for around three hundred dollars, after taxes. I might get another one next year for less than that. But that show wasn’t on for very long, and I wasn’t at producer level. Someone more established on a show that lasts four seasons or five or is on multiple networks — those residuals keep you going during the times when you aren’t on staff, when you are “working flat out for free.”

But that’s not me, either. I’m going to try to answer your question with the four rules I keep in mind when I’m doing this job.
Read more

Putting Me Out There

In case you were coming here looking for a collection of my Valentines Day Poems: The best place to go is here.

As you read this, Glark is hard at work, tirelessly attempting to wrangle the beast that is pamie.com into something that can reload with dignity. After looking through thirteen years of file dumping, he has declared me the Hoarder of the Internet. He has a small point. Anyway, I’m very excited about unleashing a pretty, sparkly version of this site in the near future. Read more