I am writing this from a very hip and trendy wine bar in Los Feliz, which is a hip and trendy part of Los Angeles. The friend I am meeting is a writer on a CW show and is finishing up what I can only assume is a day of sparkling conversation and hard-ass work. Such is the life.
Such is my life that even when purportedly relaxing over a glass of crisp California rosé at a hip and trendy wine bar, I am working… if you consider blogging to be working, which I suppose one shouldn’t, really.
BTW, the last time I was here, the friend I met that evening was all hopped up because Jon Hamm was sitting at the bar. I don’t watch MAD MEN (oh the shame!) so I’ve never fallen prey to Jon’s particular charms. My friend, however, was all kinds of goo-goo about it.
What’s funny is that, months later, I realized that I should have been goo-goo too. Since I know nothing about celebrity gossip (seriously, nothing; it’s amazing I’m aware of Brangelina), I had no idea that Jon Hamm’s girlfriend is Jennifer Westfeldt.
Okay, so she may not be the household name half of the couple, but I totally would have fan-girled out over her. In case you don’t know, JW is this sharply insightful, brilliant and witty writer who just happens to act in her own movies. I mean, who does that—and does it well?! Her characters are beautifully defined and her stories are passionate and poignant. And she’s not afraid to GO THERE.
Extra-awesomely, Jennifer Westfeldt just so happens to be currently onstage in New York City in a production called The Explorers Club along with one of my dearest friends in all the land. If only I could rearrange life so I could make it out there during the run…
Speaking of rearranging life, you’ll notice that it’s summer. Also known as Dead Baby Gerbil Season. Also known as The Most Difficult Season Of My Year. My ever-present maternal guilt means that I don’t like to plan too much for the kids because it seems like we’re SO over-scheduled and crazy during the school year. In Dream Life, summer has the kids frisking about in grassy fields or happily collecting seashells at the beach. Actual Life, however, has them squabbling over Legos at the kitchen table. This particular summer brings with it a particular set of career-related circumstances: I have a book due at the end of it. And a movie (yes, I sold a movie!).
I’m thrilled and excited and amazed (because, as my Jen says, it’s “champagne o’clock!”), but also a little overwhelmed. Especially because, for those who don’t know, this is the way being a screenwriter/author works: you write constantly. You come up with ideas and you go to meetings and you flesh out pitches and you revise pages and it’s ALL THE TIME and yet, get this: a lot of it—like a LOT—is for free. Crazy, right? Totally, until…
Everything happens at once, which is what appears to be going on right now. Book sold, movie sold, going out with that TV pitch with a studio, going out with that other TV pitch with a different studio, working on anime project with producers and foreign partners, script due for a project at Scholastic, etc. I’m so happy, in that way that you can be so happy while you’re also emotional and spinning and exhausted (kinda like when you have a new baby).
My friend eventually arrived at the hip and trendy wine bar, meaning that I put all utensils of writing away and focused on her. Thus, it is now several days later and I am finishing this blog post from the comfort of my house. More specifically, from my own BED. Yes, we are three weeks of summer vacation down (seven to go) and my husband is taking the kids out of the house for the day. My plan is to spend these hours of solitude in heaven. In this case, heaven = my bed, pajamas, computer on lap, coffee nearby. The animation script can wait until Monday. The housework can wait until someone cares enough to do it. Today, I get to dive deep into my book. This, my friends, is heaven.
What is your heaven?