So it's the second day of the reshuffled deck and I need to do this or I won't get to it.
The last eighteen months have been crazy. Awesome but crazy.
Much of my conversation here has been about the roller coaster and what it takes to survive it. I came up with equations, some zippy one-liners and some, I hope,
fun anecdotes about all that, all in aid of saying, "This is doable. It's wicked hard work but it's doable."
That paparazzi-chasing gadabout Marcus Aureliuspopped this one off a little while back and I took it to heart. "Because a thing seems difficult for you, do not think it impossible for anyone to accomplish."
He's a quippy little bugger, old Marcus is, but that one is true.
So. The last eighteen months.
To compress a really long story into something bite-sized, I made it a policy over the last few years to say, "yes" to any paying gig that involved me writing, polishing or
consulting on the writing of fiction of any sort. I met, worked with and for a lot of people in that time and wrote a stack of stuff I'd never have written otherwise.
So one of those former employers came to me with a proposal - "Co-write something with me and I guarantee the right people will see it." So I did. So she did and we
ended up staff writers on this:
It was an interesting experience in the Proverbial Chinese way. I wrote a lot. I learned a lot. I met some great people. My partner (yes, we were partners for the duration) and I were not asked to return. They say this means nothing in the big scheme of professional TV writing but to me it felt like being fired (because that's what it was) and it was the first time in over 20 years of professional employment that I'd been fired.
Well. Wait. No. Right out of college I worked in a sort of cold-calling sweatshop managed by a former classmate who fired me for being ten minutes late. Once. He was a prick but ten minutes is ten minutes, I guess. Live and learn.
Anyway. I was rescued from professional oblivion (the sort of oblivion that exists only after you've been fired from something you've worked years to attain. can you say
"bleak?") by the good folks at this place:
I loved this show and had tried for two seasons to get a seat at that table. They always liked me, they said, but the money was never there. This year, in the proverbial nick of time, not only was the money there but there was an empty chair.
I packed up my kit at Law and Order on a Friday. That Monday I was at Leverage.
The next twenty weeks were, by far, the most fun and the most rewarding of my professional life due ENTIRELY to the awesome crew of people I was lucky enough to work with there. They bust their asses to make that show and they manage to do it with a smile (usually) and without becoming [expletive-deleted]'s. To say I loved this time is to understate the feeling by parsecs.
I helped with all the episodes (everyone does; that's how it works) and I got to write this:
and co-write this:
Fun, baby. I mean If-You-Seek-ing FUN.
And scary. Flying solo is always scary, no matter how many times you do it.
I have to stress, too, that this was, none of it, due to lottery wins or luck. I don't believe in luck. I don't believe in thanking the spirit world or providence or any of that for the wins I get in life or blaming my many losses on the bad will of evil ghosts.
I believe in hard work. I believe in taking the punch and getting off the mat as fast as you can. This blog has, when it has talked about anything serious, stressed that one view over and over.
Another thing that happened this year– and, by "happened," I mean "something else I worked hard to make real."– was this:
My friend, Todd Harris, and I did this comic, all 96 pages, in tiny slivers of our "spare time" over about three and a half months. Just the two of us. Everything. And then we would go to our day jobs and write and draw there. In addition to the extremely positive response from fans and critics (EXTREMELY positive) this comic book was instrumental in getting the attention of the creators/producers of this:
I'm immature. Most people who know me know this. I watch shows like this, not because I'd like to write them ( I would and that's a part of it) but because I LIKE them. I enjoy the adventures and the intrigues and, as this has been the case for over 30 years now, I don't think it's going away. Immature. Me.
So I'm at Geek Mecca (aka the San Diego Comic-Con) last year and I get called out on the floor by one of said producers.
"Hey, Geoff! I read Prodigal! Really nice work, man!" (paraphrase, of course. they don't talk like that. I do.) "Would you like to write an episode of our show?"
I said, "Hell yes," of course. And I got to do it. I got to write two. More on that later.
The other thing, the newest and maybe strangest, is this:
I read this : John August's Blog
I was inspired by that to create this: The Winterman Project
Things are going well. More on that later too.
So that was the year. 18 months. Sounds great, right. And it is. It really is. But please, please, PLEASE, remember the point of all this.
This is, none of it, the result of Luck, or Fate, or Chance or Magic or Prayer. No divine hand reached down and tapped my shoulder. No mystical voice spoke secret words in my ear. And, during times of adversity, there is no curse on my back, no dark mark in the sky, no blot on my forehead.
Life is flux. Life is change. Life is work. And Life is buckets and buckets, stacks and stacks of failures.
Strive. Fail. Fall. Rise. Strive. Fail. Fall. Repeat.
No fate but the one we make. But, getting back to Marcus Aurellius...
Maybe you think it's pretentious to mention him at all. Fair enough. Another quippy guy, a bit younger, a bit more recently said something similar to the first one. He goes by the name of Mamet:
Yeah. You're God Damn right.
Life is short. Kill that [expletive deleted]ing bear.
Causes Geoffrey Thorne Supports
Operation USA, Greenpeace, Doctors Without Borders,