LB’s Poetry: Two People Who Died By Their Own Hand

by Larry Brody

NOTE FROM LB: 

The following poem has nothing to do with showbiz…except that it owes its existence to the fact that it tells, as compactly as possible, the kind of story I always wanted to tell on TV but never could.

There were rules back in the day, about what topics you could touch and how you had to stroke them. Life and and the danger of losing one’s life were beloved by network execs. But there sure as hell weren’t any I ever met who wanted to read a script or watch a show about suicide. (Not even if it was action-packed.) Poetry, however, knows how to welcome:

Two People Who Died By Their Own Hands

I knew a woman who killed herself.

We met through mutual friends.

Her name was Harriet, and

She was impossible to deal with,

Always asking questions from nowhere,

And saying irrelevant things. Her husband Arnie

Survived by ignoring her, and so did her

Kids. Then, one day, the little ones came home from

School, and found a note on the refrigerator door.

Inside, said the note, was dinner. All they had do to

Was heat it up. “I love you,” said the note. “Good-bye.”

The house had been cleaned immaculately. Everything

Seemed perfect. Except the kids heard the car’s

Engine in the closed garage, and found Mommy

Slumped at the wheel. When I spoke to Arnie

About it, he shook his head. “Inappropriate,” he

Said, “to the end.”

 

I knew a man who killed himself.

His name was Phil, and he and his wife Betty

Owned a small jewelry shop. When he was

Young Phil had been an outlaw biker,

And his face still bore the white trails of

Hundreds of fights. Everyone who knew Phil

Loved him, as a man who did everything right.

One day, after Betty got out of the shower,

Phil didn’t answer her call. She found his body

In the basement, 9 mm pistol in his hand.

Later, Betty learned he had a brain tumor,

And had wanted to spare her his pain.

At the funeral, we all celebrated his

Selflessness, but the truth is, Phil didn’t even

Make Betty a snack.


Larry Brody is the head dood at TVWriter™. Although the book whose cover you see above is for sale on Kindle, he is posting at least one poem a week here at TVWriter™ because, “As the Navajo Dog herself once pointed out to me, ‘Art has to be free. If you create it for money, you compromise your artistic vision by trying to please those who are paying. If you don’t accept money, you can be yourself. Like your art, you too are free.’”

Who is the Navajo Dog? Keep coming back and you’ll see.

TVWriter™ Don’t-Miss Posts of the Week – Sept. 19, 2016

In case you’ve missed what’s happening at TVWriter™, the most popular blog posts during the week ending yesterday were:

Peggy Bechko’s World: Writers, Get Out of Your Creative Rut!

Looking for TV Pilot Scripts?

LB:”Star Trek” storyboards? Oh my!

Indie TV: Here’s a Scene from “Sangre De Cristo”

Empty Promises: My experience submitting scripts to Amazon Studios

And our most visited permanent resource pages were:

Writing the Dreaded Outline

THE PEOPLE’S PILOT

The Logline

THE PEOPLE’S PILOT: Enter

THE PEOPLE’S PILOT: Rules

Major thanks to everyone for making this such a great week. Don’t forget to click above and read what you missed. re-read what you loved, and while you’re at it do yourself a favor and ENTER THE PEOPLE’S PILOT. (Yeah, we’ll be saying this till November 2nd cuz we really want you to get your careers soaring!)

3 Script Development Truths Nobody Ever Reveals

Can you guess who the writers are here? Yeppers, thought so.
Can you guess who the writers are here? Yeppers, thought so.

by munchman

Gleaned by your fave munchamaniac from the mouths of experienced writer friends who actually pay attention to what works for them when trying to make a deal (and what doesn’t):

  1. Execs say they don’t care about our writing style but just want to read a “good” script. They’re lying – to themselves as well as to you and your agent
  2. True Hollywood definition of a “good script” – “One my boss will like”
  3. Alternate but equally true Hollywood definition of a “good script” – One that has a concept or storyline that will fill a gap in our development schedule and get me promoted”

Any other old pros out there with more to add? Yer friendly neighborhood munchman is eager to know!

John Ostrander Gets Trumped!

trump-mad

by John Ostrander

I’m almost ready to give up. Throw in the towel.

I’m a writer of fantastic fiction. That’s been my bread and butter for over 30 years. Folks that fly. Folks that travel through time. Folks that live in multi-dimensional cities. Bad folks doing bad things for ostensibly good causes. And so on and so on.

For all that the stories and characters have been fantastic, I have to keep them in some ways real. I don’t want to have the readers say, “Oh, that could never happen.” I don’t want to have an editor say, “Oh, that could never happen.” Or “That’s ridiculous.” Or “Who do you think you’re kidding?” The stories need to be at least plausible in some way.

Or so I thought until this political season.

Yes, I’m going to use the T word. Trump.

If Trump did not exist, if I had simply made up him and his candidacy, I could never have sold his campaign for president. I don’t think I know an editor who would have bought it except as some wild political satire. It would probably have been dismissed as a product of my fevered liberal brain.

Reality has… trumped me.

That happens now and then. When I first proposed my idea back in the 80s for a Suicide Squad revival, of saying that the government would get supervillains to do covert missions is (supposedly) in the National Interest, there was some concern that the premise was a little too out there. In between the time when the Squad proposal was accepted and the first issue was published, Irangate hit.

(For those who are too young or too old to remember, Irangate or The Iran-Contra Scandal occurred during the second Reagan administration where the White House sold some weapons to Iran (which was under an arms embargo) and used the money to fund the revel Contras in Nicaragua which had been prohibited by the U.S. Congress.)

In short, reality trumped me back then as well.

When Donald Trump declared himself a candidate for President, I thought it was a joke. I thought he was a joke. After all, he ran before and went nowhere.

Now? Now he’s the Republican nominee for the highest office in the land and the most powerful person on the planet.

I think that’s a notion that American Horror Story could do a whole season on.

He has done and said things that would have sunk any other presidential candidate in memory. Just this week he praised Vlad Putin, the dictator of Russia, and even went on Russian TV to praise him and disparage President Obama. That was too much even for Bill O’Reilly.

I’ve watched countless Republicans in high positions who had to answer questions about it and looked like they were going to vomit in their mouths. They usually mumbled something along the lines of “I support the Party’s candidate.”

Look, I make no bones and no apologies for what I am – liberal and decidedly anti-Trump. I’m not nuts about Hillary Clinton and, frankly, I think if it had been almost any other person who was the Democratic candidate, they would be crushing Trump. I think, and hope, that she will in the end.

All that said, I cannot conceive that Trump will win this. I keep telling myself it’s not possible but, on the other hand, I never thought he would get this far either. I do not understand the appeal. I understand there’s a lot of anger out there and a lot of people are fed up with Washington but – c’mon! You seriously want the nuclear launch codes in Trump’s hands?

If this wasn’t what we laughingly call reality, there’s no way I could have sold this concept, this story, to an editor.

If The Donald wins the election, we’ll have an additional definition for the word, “trump.”

Fucked.

As in, we’ve all been well and truly… trumped.


John Ostrander is one of LB’s favorite writers in any medium. In addition to writing a zillion great Suicide Squad comic book stories, he also is the creator of Amanda Waller. Don’t forget to read his most excellent blog at ComicMix.

Posts TVWriter™ Wishes We’d Published

This week’s collection of recent articles from other websites about TV, TV writing, etc., etc., etc., including a couple about writing for television in places we in the U.S. don’t normally think about.

The plan here is for you to click on their headlines and visit the sites and read the posts in full…and is anybody asks, tell ’em TVWriter™ sentcha, okay?

What’s it like being a sought-after TV writer in Pakistan?
by Sadaf Siddique & Sadaf Haider

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When Faiza Iftikhar describes her lead character using an unprintable term and terms men ‘oxygen masks’, you know she’s a writer who won’t stick to the script.

Though we suspect that is mostly because she has trouble with total recall. She claims she is especially prone to forgetting the names of dramas that launched her career.

One would think that as a famed novelist and drama writer, she would have her every success on the tip of her tongue but in a lively, no-holds barred conversation Faiza Iftikhar proved that while she takes her work seriously… herself, not so much….

Natalie Dormer: ‘Writing my own film was illuminating’

Women In Film Los Angeles Celebrates The 2016 Crystal + Lucy Awards Presented by Max Mara and BMW Featuring: Natalie Dormer Where: Beverly Hills, California, United States When: 15 Jun 2016 Credit: FayesVision/WENN.com

he 34-year-old actress is most famous for her roles in movie franchise The Hunger Games and TV series Game of Thrones. But she has explored another talent in writing, after working with her film director fiance Anthony Byrne on new project In Darkness.

Resorted to ghost-writing to survive in showbiz
by Indervesh Yogee

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Mumbai, July 3 (IANS): “Love Ke Funday” writer-director Indervesh Yogee, who hails from Haryana, says to survive in the rat race in Bollywood, he even had to ghost-write and direct some projects. Now his debut film, a romantic comedy, is set to release on July 15.

The romcom “Love Ke Funday”, a film on today’s youth, is produced under FRV Big Business Entertainment Private Limited banner by Faaiz Anwar and Prem Prakash Gupta.

It was after he was appreciated for writing plays during his college days in Rohtak that Yogee thought about joining the film industry. He first tried his luck in Delhi, but when he saw there were people fleecing the gullible ones, he decided to make the shift to Mumbai….

Writing an Episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer for the Toronto Screenwriting Conference 
by Greg David

buffy

A full-day experience in a television writers room taught me one thing: there is no such thing as a bad idea. My fascination with what occurs behind closed doors on a TV series was realized when I was given the opportunity to attend the Writers Guild of Canada’s Writers Room Intensive for this year’s Toronto Screenwriting Conference.

In a sunbathed room on the seventh floor at Entertainment One’s Toronto office last Friday, I watched as Wynonna Earp showrunner and executive producer Emily Andras welcomed participants Laura Ashley Seaton, Tim Kilby, Priscilla M. White, Keri Ferencz, Matt Doyle and Blain Watters, who worked together—fuelled by coffee, water and food—to break a spec script of Buffy the Vampire Slayer….