My Favorite Garry Marshall Story – July 20th, 2016

I never met Garry Marshall, I watched a lot of his shows in syndication, but I love some of the stories I’ve hear about him. For example, apparently he first met with Jennifer Jason Leigh for Pretty Woman


JJL, “Wait, so it’s about a happy-go-lucky hooker with a heart of gold?”

GM, “Well, Jenny, you see, she just started hooking, so it’s new to her. It’s still fun and exciting for her.”

JJL, “Hooking. Exciting? Fun?!”

GM, “Yeah. Let’s just say she’s been doing it for two weeks, max. So, you in?”


Amazing, right? Almost next level. This from the guy that convinced us that the coolest dude was a 30 year old that lives over a garage, hangs out with teenagers, is friends with their parents, and drinks milk.


Next level shit, right?

But my favorite Garry Marshall story has to be from The Other Sister, starring Giovanni Ribisi.


GM, “Okay, Gio, now, in this scene, I want you to remember one thing. This is maybe the most important thing for you to remember in this scene.”

GR, “What’s that, Garry?”

GM, “You have to remember that you’re retarded.”

[… they shoot the first take…]

GM, “CUT! Whoa! Gio, come here. Yeah, okay, so you’re not that retarded.”


…and apparently he gave the same direction every day of the shoot.

Okay, yeah, I know, that story is probably not true but I love it.

Garry, thanks for the awesome tall tale.

Also, I’m at Comic Con. Find me and say, “hi!”

Posted in General

Time to Wake Up Early – July 14th, 2016


I gotta start waking up earlier to write. It’s not because I think I’d be a better early-morning writer; I’m a strong afterwork writer. It’s that when I get home I either have commitments (the joy of three writing groups) or it’s so freakin’ hot in my apartment that it’s near impossible to concentrate. Sometimes I can do public spaces but sometimes I need peace and quiet.

Therefore, getting up earlier seems like the answer.


So how the hell do I do that? First I need to look at my normal routine. I’m up around 6:30a, get to work just before 8a. I would like 60 minutes of uninterrupted writing, but that means I would probably need 30 min for getting up, making a coffee, cursing the dawn, that sort of stuff. So now I’m looking at waking up around 5a. Okay… let’s breakdown this plan into bite sized tasks.

5a is the target. Currently, I wake up around 6:30a but I go to bed around Midnight. 6.5 hours isn’t enough sleep, I’m always tired, but let’s work with what we got. So, if I roll everything back, I need to be in bed by 10:30p. That’s doable. I just watch less TV, play less PS4. That’s good. That’s fine.

I also need to prep my morning so I minimize hurdles. Growing up, my Mom always nagged me, “if you have everything ready before you go to bed, then you won’t be rushing in the morning.” I need to heed that advice. My computer needs to be booted up and ready to go. I need a glass of water within arm’s reach. If I’m making coffee, it’s ready to brew. My backpack needs to be packed for work. If I’m going to try to exercise before writing — friends, note that this is when the plan spiraled out of control — then I need my workout clothes right next to my bed. Also, I need to know exactly what I’m going to write. I need to set a writing goal before going to bed.

Lastly, I should set an alarm for going to bed. I should have an alarm set for 10p that says “stop playing Fallout and get ready for bed.”

What else? What have you tried that’s worked for you?

Posted in General, Writing

Best Word Using (2016 Eisner Nominees) – July 7th, 2016

Last but not least, let us celebrate those writers that were nominated for this year’s Eisner award.

Jason Aaron for Southern Bastards, Men of Wrath, Doctor Strange, Star Wars, Thor


John Allison for Giant Days


Ed Brubaker for The Fade Out, Velvet, Criminal Special Edition


Marjorie Liu for Monstress


G. Willow Wilson for Ms. Marvel


And now it’s time to vote for two of your favorite.

Who is your favorite 2016 Eisner nominee for "Best Writer" (pick 2 writers)?

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See you at San Diego Comic Con!

Posted in Industry, Writing

Consumed June 2016 – June 30th, 2016

If it weren’t for all the stupid double shifts I worked, I’d say that June was a pretty good month for consuming content.


Damn it, Cube! I said “month,” not “day!” Roll the list.

Catastrophe – Not as good as the first season, but that Frenchie… YAS!


Dr. Who
Better Call Saul – Still waiting for season two to get great.


The Flash
Agents of SHIELD
Lady Dynamite – Very weird, but I liked it.


Brooklyn Nine-Nine
Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – Maybe the most I’ve liked Tina Fey, ever.


Legends of Tomorrow
The 100
The Last Man on Earth
The Path – Had to quit after three episodes.


Agent Carter
Wayward Pines – I really hope it’s as good as the first season.


Mr Robot – Goddamn good (but immediately sensed the Fight Club influence).


Flaked – Three episodes in and I know this is what I’m supposed to watch while washing the dishes. #FlakedSoWhite


11.22.63 – Couldn’t even finish the pilot.


…holy smokes, I’m in a bad mood. I know why. The day-job asked me to do something terrible and it’s poisoning my soul.

Godzilla – Watched it on a plane and I cried… NOT (but it’s not a bad movie).


Edge of Tomorrow – Also watched on a plane and damn this is a great movie.


Finding Dory – Made me smile.


The Girls by Emma Cline – Wanted so much more from this book.


Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff – Taking the slowest read but loving it.

Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

Training Day – See, I’m trying to read more pilots before they’re produced but since it’s not out I don’t want to say anything.

Bed Rest – Same as above, expect that I’m loving it.

Jughead – Goddamn great. Chip & Erica are gold.


The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl – Apparently I’m madly in love w/ Erica this month.


The Walking Dead
Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Five
DC Comic’s Bombshells

Bright Star – The lead was A-ma-zing!


The Crucible – So damn good but two of the directing choices left me scratching me head.


See ya in a month.

Posted in General

Mid 2016 Check-In – June 23rd, 2016

Hello June!

June Carter Cash

You are a hot bitch… of a month. No seriously, it’s been over 100 degrees in my tandoori oven of a bedroom. I wish that were an excuse for my pathetic creative output but it’s not. I lost my mojo the first part of this year and… blah, blah, blah. You don’t want to hear me whine. You want to see the half-time score card. Let’s roll.

Feature – Haven’t touched it since last year but I do need to bang out a draft this year.
Comic Books – Just started working on my script again. Going to San Diego, Portland and possibly New York to look for an artist.
Pilot – Just starting rewriting one of my pilots. I’m hoping to have a draft done by September.
Spec – HEY! I ACTUALLY DID THIS ONE! I wrote my iZombie spec and have sent it to the WB Writers Workshop and the NBC/Universal Writers on the Verge fellowship — still need to submit to the Final Draft Big Break contest and the NHMC fellowship.

As for the other goals:
-Still looking to take a full fledge class this year but I did take a great seminar with Meg LaFauve, considering seminars with Aaron Sorkin and Corey Mandel.

-I’ve told a few people that I’m looking for work as a Writer’s Assistant or as a Writer’s PA. Okay, I’ve told exactly one person but it’s a start.

-I’m still looking for a sport. A couple of people are trying to convince me to take up running. One person wants me to start doing triathlons… but maybe I should start with something a little less ambitious.

-I still need to do more traveling. Yes, I’ve been to New York and Seattle this year. And yes, I’m traveling to San Diego, Portland and Austin later this year but I would love to still love to see Canada.

-I am looking to get more music back into my life.


So that’s me. How has the first half of 2016 treated you?

Posted in General, Writing

Start Rewriting From The Source – June 16th, 2016

Raise your hand if you’ve ever steered a rewrite down a road so pedestrian and cliche ridden that you were ready to burn it to the ground, move on to the next project and never look back.


That’s exactly what I’ve been doing with this pilot I started rewriting last week. Every choice I made, every direction I picked, transformed my script into a homogenous sludge of tropes dressed up in courier.

Then I dug up my original brainstorming document.

Holy s**t! The first few ideas were fun, a little punk rock and kinda bats**t in the best possible way. Clearly, when things started veering off course I should have revisited my inspiration. I should have started rewriting from the source.


Lesson learned.

Posted in Writing

What Should I Spec for 2017 – June 9th, 2016

Despite the fact that I still have 2 more submissions left for my iZombie spec, I find myself thinking about what I’d spec for next year’s fellowships. Let’s take an insane stroll down that possibility.

Daredevil – According to this AFF tweet, DD was the 5th most scripted spec. A Catholic avenger is certainly in my wheelhouse, so this is a strong contender.


Jessica Jones – I loved this series even more than DD but that might be my downfall. I might be too much of a fan. Plus how do you top Kilgrave as a villain?


The Flash – Absolutely up my alley but it would also be the 3rd CW show in a row (my last two specs were iZombie and The 100).


Better Call Saul – I was lukewarm about the first season, have just started the second. It was also the 4th most scripted spec for AFF. I’m fifty-fifty on this one.


Blindspot – This would be the broadest, most mainstream show I’ve scripted since ever.


Mr Robot – Am going to watch it this summer — I know, I’m the last person on the planet to watch this — but everyone tells me that I’ll love it.


The Affair – Haven’t watched this show but certainly checks the “prestige” box.


If I had to shortlist the above, I think it’d be

1, Daredevil
2, Blindspot
3, Better Call Saul

With Mr Robot and The Affair as wildcards (since I have yet to watch either). Got an opinion? Tell me what you think.

Posted in Writing

Best Tracing (2016 Eisner Nominees) – June 2nd, 2016

Face it, comics are just short stories unless you have a great illustrator. Therefore, let’s look at the 2016 Eisner nominees for best penciling / inking.

Michael Allred for Silver Surfer & Art Ops


Cliff Chiang for Paper Girls


Erica Henderson for Jughead & Unbeatable Squirrel Girl


Joelle Jones for Lady Killer & Brides of Helheim


Nate Powell for March


And now it’s time for you to vote for up to two nominees

Who is your favorite 2016 Eisner nominee for "Best Penciller / Inker" (pick up to 2 artists)?

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Posted in Industry

Consumed May 2016 – May 31st, 2016

I finished submitting my script at 4:31AM. I’m done… at least until I have to submit to Final Draft Big Break and the NHMC fellowship… but for now, I’m done. This is me for the next week:


Here’s what I somehow managed to consume when I wasn’t writing like a maniac.

DC’s Legends of Tomorrow – Giant robots! Awesome!


Agents of SHIELD
Bob’s Burgers
The 100
The Flash
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – A pretty great season finale.


Brooklyn Nine-Nine

Captain America: Civil War – Everything I expected and hoped.


The Nice Guys – Ryan Gosling goes for the funny. I like it.


Frightened Rabbit live @ The Fonda – I have been loving this band for a decade. So great to see them live.

Private Citizens by Tony Tulathimutte – If a thesaurus were to masturbate, you’d get this book.


Locke & Key – Finally finished the whole thing. It’s pretty goddamn great. No wonder they want to make it into a TV show.


The Walking Dead (The Alien) – Maybe the best single issue of The Walking Dead I’ve ever read.


Captain America: White
Injustice: Gods Among Us Year Five
Codename: Baboushka – Met the artist. Love her style.


Our Love is Real – Not as disturbing as I thought it’d be.


DC Comic’s Bombshells
Birthright – Pretty cool idea


iZombie – The comic is nothing like the TV show.


Doctor Strange
Black Canary – So damn good. Want more!


The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl – Tons of fun!





















The Surface

…Tony sleep now.

Posted in General

Ten Years of Frightened Rabbit – May 26th, 2016

I saw Frightened Rabbit live just a few days ago. During the show, Scott mentioned that this week was the ten year anniversary of their first album. Holy rabbit!

That means it’s been ten years since I first saw them live. That’s right, I first saw them in support of their debut album, Sing the Greys, at SXSW… which means it’s been 10 years since my first trip to SXSW.

SXSW 2010 Day 3 - 05

Where the hell did all that time go?

Yeah, I know I promised a longer post this week but it’s chaos at work and I have three essays due for fellowship applications so I’m cutting myself some slack. On the plus side, I’m giving you another week to vote for your favorite comic book cover artist.

Who is your favorite 2016 Eisner nominee for "Best Cover Artist" (pick up to 2 artists)?

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Posted in General