Logo, part 1
Logo, part 2
  Thursday   October 2, 1997




The Usual Suspects

A selection from today's mailbag: "What is the deal?!?! You haven't posted in 5 days!! You better get busy or you're gonna lose faithful readers..."

No concern about why I haven't posted anything in nearly a week, just a demand for moremoremore, a petulant insistence for the trained monkey to bang on his keyboard for your entertainment, a strident cry for me to bring meaning to an otherwise empty Internet. For all you folks know I could have a really good reason for not posting, but you don't care about me, all you want is my words. ...sniffle, sob...

Sadly, D knows me too well. She's not buying it. Even from 2,000 miles away, lolling in the shallow Tennessee waters of our nation's gene pool, she knows I haven't been posting because I'm a lazy bum. All right, fine. This one's for you, Danielle.

Actually, I do sort of have a reason. It's weak, but serviceable: I've been preoccupied. I've been watching the new sitcoms (Stop snickering! I'm a TV writer, I'm supposed to watch TV.) and batting around ideas for the Finnish pilot I keep talking about. Every spare erg of brainpower I have has been tasked to creative endeavors. I've had nothing left for this space. I wanted to write entries, honest I did, but I just haven't had the energy for it. Each night for the past five days I've dragged myself to bed after a hard evening of TV watching and idea-making and dropped into a coma as soon as my head hit the pillow. I've been consumed with guilt over it, but...

See? I told you it was weak.

I really have been up to something, though. Last night I had an interesting meeting... I got a piece of mail Tuesday night from someone at DreamWorks who has an idea for a show and wondered if I'd be interested in writing it for him. Duh. Write for DreamWorks? Hell, yes! Unfortunately, it's not like that. This guy may work at DreamWorks, but he has nothing to do with their production arm. He was approaching me as an individual, not as a DreamWorks rep, so anything that happens with this idea is strictly after-hours. But he does have access, which is a very valuable commodity. Once the script is written, he can personally hand it to the people we'd need to see it and know that they'll read it with an open mind. That ain't peanuts, kids. I'm not stupid: I said I was interested and met with him.

I liked him. That's important, because I don't play well with others. I've only written with a partner once before in my life and it's not something I want to repeat. And while I won't be writing with this guy, it is his idea and he has to have input on the story, so it is a partnership. But I liked him, and I think I can work with him. His idea? I was pleasantly surprised. My sitcom web page generates a lot of e-mail from people who have a GREAT idea for a sitcom. These ideas are always autobiographical and always bad. I was half expecting that when I met with this guy, but I was wrong. His idea isn't about him, and it's not half bad either. I don't love it but it has potential. So that's what I'm working now.

Unfortunately, that means the Finn thing is off the table for now. Again. I've finally nailed down a concept for it that I feel pretty good about, I've sketched out the characters and was just starting working on the story when this DW thing came up, and now it's on the back burner. This new pilot is just as fly-by-night as the Finnish one but the potential for payoff if it works is orders of magnitude greater, so Finland loses hands-down. The Beginner's Luck pilot script is also on the back burner, as are my plans to write a spec Frasier. One thing's for sure, I'm not practicing what I preach. One of the first things I say on the sitcom web page is "Don't write a pilot" and now I find myself working on three of them.

I'm not sure how I feel about that. I jokingly say I'm an idiot for doing it, but there's a lot of truth to it, too. I suddenly have the sense that I'm walking a tightrope in total darkness while juggling eggs that are already broken. I think I'm getting too far afield from what I should be doing, which is writing the Frasier spec. Maybe it's time to really start juggling by writing two scripts at once. I don't know. I don't like not knowing.

This would all be so much easier if someone would just hire me. Please?





Copyright 1997
Chuck Atkins