Attitude is Everything


Especially when it comes to creativity and the arts.

The following video by Hal Galper – pianist, composer, teacher – is about playing jazz. But everything he says applies to writing as well. When we sit down at the keyboard, we’re improvising just as we would at a musical keyboard, aren’t we?

Hal teaches and plays and, you know, lives HERE

Herbie J Pilato: The best thing you can do for your career is to live your life.

liveby Herbie J Pilato

Attachment to anything is never a good thing.

One of my favorite quotes to this regard is from the genius spirit of Confucius who has said, “Lose expectation; gain everything.”

And this may be applied to every aspect of life…and career and how, for a writer, both intertwine moreso than for other professionals (or for anyone at any level of employment).

You can’t wait for your career to flourish for you to begin your life…to find the perfect mate…to write the great American novel…or the great American TV script.

First, you must live the scripts of life to write them; for living is from where your great stories and dialogue stem.

But even just the experience of living fully adds to the writer’s talent – and the writer’s life.

For example, I served as primary caregiver for both my beautiful parents in their later years, and I came to better understand patience, and so much more.

And also, in the process of caring for them, I became a kinder, more understanding, compassionate person (or at least I think I have).

Yes, the stories they told me of their own lives remain precious memories for me, as well as an inspiration for essays, and novels, and scripts…and clearly, blog posts (like this one!).

But again, more than anything – the actual “relating” of my experience with them made me all the “richer” – beyond what any book royalty or script sale could provide.

So, you want to a professional writer?  First, be a personable human being.  Cherish your relationships.  Fill your life up with relationships.

It will all work out in the long run.  You’ll sell that book…attain that staff job on that TV series…and bring more “to the table” than you would have ever thought possible.

You will have your “dream job” – and your “dream life.”   Because, ultimately the two go hand-in-hand.

Many fail or burn-out in the entertainment industry because they lack the solid foundation of reality to help keep them grounded.

So, appreciate the simple things in life….go for an ice cream…take a walk on the beach…have coffee with your neighbors.

Don’t ignore your job or your talent or the time you need to invest in your career; but try not to focus only on these things.

Because the best thing you could really do for career – is to live your life.

Everything else will then fall into place.

And in doing so you will be happy, healthy and fully-prepared to make that acceptance speech when you win your first Emmy or Oscar for best screenplay or teleplay or story.

And you will also be able to sincerely thank the “little,” “big” and “in-between” legitimately beautiful people in your life who helped you along the way to that podium speech.

For as Billy Dee Williams told Diana Ross (if ever so melodramatically) in the classic 1972 feature film, “Mahagony”:

“Success ain’t nothin’….NOTHIN’…unless you got someone to share it with.”

The Lego Movie: Are We Lego, Or Are We Meta-Lego?

Overthinking the surprise smash hit of the year:

Will-and-Emmetby fenzel

When you build a house out of Legos, there’s a point where it goes from being “a bunch of blocks” to being “a house.” This isn’t quite when it’s finished — but before that, when the walls and maybe a bit of the roof has started to take shape. Your view of it naturally changes and expands to consider it in a new way.

And yet, as much of a “house” as it becomes, the “Lego-ness” of any such project is apparent from those trademarked studs and certain qualities of shape and texture. It never leaves, and is still there when you look for it.

While considering a Lego object, then, it is possible to “zoom in” and “zoom out” — to think of it as a combination of Lego bricks, or as an object in itself, or in the larger context of what is going on around it.

Taking derivatives and integrals in calculus is similar — you can zoom in on, say, a movement with respect to its rate of change, or pull back on, say, a path that forms the edge of a shape for a wider view of the total area or volume it encompasses — in each case, there are qualities that exist on levels, that are at once always already present, but can be seen better by manipulating what you’re looking at — and that can be explored in either direction once you know the patterns to look for

You cannot differentiate an equation to find velocity, and then integrate that same to find density. At least not except in a very specific sort of example you set up just to make fun of this article (leave it in the comments).

Stories work like this. A lot. You can zoom in a story in many of respects, and zoom out on just as many. And sometimes, of course, stories do it to themselves. Newer stories tend to do it more often than older ones. Community does it constantly.

But we’re here to talk about The Lego Movie, which sports a giant “zoom out” that changes everything — and nothing, at the same time.

Emmet’s Fall Out of the World

When little Lego Emmet plunges to his doom out the window of President Business’s skyscraper, he wakes to a bizarre new reality. He sees the giant human boy responsible, apparently, for most of the events of his life, and the father whose actions are being interpreted in the story of President Business and the Kragle. He even hears the call for the real “Taco Tuesday.”

All in all, it’s delightful. Unexpected, fun, smart — it’s a bit commercial-ish, but it’s a great place for the movie to go. Legos are about building your own toys and settings, therefore a movie about Legos should be about building your own story.

The story of the Lego movie expands in a bunch of directions in this moment, but I’d like to focus on two of the patterns — ways in which the story and the viewer can “zoom in” or “zoom out” of what is happening:

Read it all

Puppetoon Fun For Everybody!

pup-coverTVWriter™ bud Arnold Liebovit has put together one of the most enjoyable DVDs in recent memory – THE PUPPETOON MOVIE, a collection of the “Oscar-Winning Animation of George Pal.”

Check it out:


We’re tempted to go on and on about the greatness of all the features listed above, but, hey, there they are. So all we’ll say is that we’re absolutely recommending this, with absolutely no caveats or qualifications. Even if you know nothing at all about stop-motion animation you’ll, well, you’ve love everything you see here, is what you’ll do.

Good work Arn. And the autographed copy thing you’ve got going there – class, baby.

Find out more about all the goodies the Wondrous Mr. Liebivit has for sale and order HERE.

Pitching Advice: Revealing Your Big Surprise Twist


The Bitter Script Reader gives us his take on a problem as old as, well, film and TV:

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