Los Angeles Times

I told you I was back at it.

In spite of the resurgence of the pandemic, which is both a national tragedy and a national disgrace, the creative wheels continue to turn and this week has already brought an few unexpected doses of good news.

FIRST

As the image above tips off, all three of the scripts I submitted to this year’s Final Draft screenwriting competition have made it through to the Quarter-finals. Two features and a sitcom pilot. This means that for 2020, I went eight-for-eight with my script submissions. ALL of them placed somewhere in every competition I entered. As I tell writers all the time, even established writers much more successful than I am, the legit contests are one of the very very few places you can get a real evaluation of your scripts at a low cost. Let’s face it, your friends are going to be too nice, and those “script reading” services can cost hundreds of dollars. But a $25-$40 “entry fee” is a small investment in a script you believe in and think might be “good enough” to put out into the world. True, great, sellable scripts get rejected by contests all the time, but if you submit a script to 3 or 4 competitions, if it really is as great as you think it is, it is going to eventually ‘pop’ in competition.

Now the anticipation builds while I wait for them to announce the Semi-finalists. lol.

SECOND

I received an email yesterday from an editor at the Los Angeles Times. They are putting together a book of “Greatest Hits” from their LA Affairs column and they want to include my 2012 submission in the collection. That, plain and simple, is pretty thrilling.

Good news of any sort has been in short supply this year – for me, for everyone I know, and probably for you too. So I am both thrilled and grateful for these bits of blue sky.

Stay Strong & Stay Safe Everyone.

I do like being right.

I ended my previous post by saying that I sensed some positive changes were on the way. Turns out I was right. I don’t want to turn this post into a brag or, worse yet – a “humble brag” but I think it is good to mention it when things start going well/better – if nothing else, it is a form of gratitude.

I’m in the final back & forth edits for a short piece that should be appearing soon in the Los Angeles Times – assuming it and I survive the editing process. Sure, it’ll be in the “online edition” for all the world to see – and which I plan to shamelessly self-promote, but it will also be in the print edition. I don’t care how old or young you are, there IS something special about walking to the end of your driveway, picking up a major metropolitan newspaper, opening it and seeing your name in a “by line.”  …and of course, on the slim chance that it doesn’t get published, I can always come back and edit this paragraph out.

I have finished the redesign of the Ask A Punk website. It isn’t a major overhaul and there haven’t been a ton of bells/whistles added but, since I do it all myself, it is still a bit of an accomplishment. I have delayed putting up the new posts and gearing up the necessary self-promoting etc. because I will also be putting out my first “eBook.” at the same time. I have turned the 1st year of Ask A Punk posts into an ebook that I’ll be giving away for free (at first) on every reading device known to man… and since I am doing that all by myself too, there has been a bit of a learning curve and several technical hurdles to overcome, but it all seems to be coming together now.

My weekly “LA Cartoon” is slowly starting to get some notice too.

Work. Paying work that involves a lot of thinking and the typing of funny things also appears to be in my near future again. and I should be teaching a new improv class soon. …and both of those things always makes me feel better.

…now if the Red Sox could only start winning.

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