Thursday, September 14, 2006

A Blast From the Past

My mom had her 80th birthday celebration a few weeks back. My entire family was up at her home in Reno, all except me, because, for various reasons I was unable to attend.

Anyway, one of the projects my family was doing while they were there was to separate the pictures. I thought this one was particularly poignant. I was home from hospital that day on a visit to see if my family would be able to take of me. The girl to my right is Ida, my first girlfriend. There is a long story there (which will be a chapter in my autobiography) about how having her as a girlfriend while I was in hospital kept me from having a mental block about my wheelchair being a wall between me and the opposite sex. The girl in a miniskirt is Debbie, a neighbor from across the street. That was 1972. Although I'm smiling in that picture I was in a very, very bad place. My hands had been taken away from me and all I had aspired to do for most of my life was to work in electronics. I loved building stuff.

The reason I include that picture today, is because it's a hell of a lot easier to look back after thirty-five years, than it was looking forward from that skinny fifteen-year-old perspective I had. Believe me, I never thought in a million years I'd be where I am today. So, to all of those people out there reading this who are newly quadriplegic, or know someone who is, or even those who are trapped in a position that they don't want to be in, I hope that this picture will give you some hope. There is life after a spinal cord injury, there is life after tragedy. Wow, I don't usually get into that part of my past, it's not a good place for me for the most part. I much prefer living in the present and future.

Speaking of the present, I graduated from the Disney scholarship two weeks back and pitched my "Outsiders" script, which is now called "Area 52" and it was well received but no one as yet has asked to read it. That's pretty much how Hollywood works. Lots of smiles, encouragement, compliments, and other glad handling, but no sales. If they're interested in buying your work, you'll know it because they won't glad hand you most of the time. As with everything though, there are exceptions. Michael Landon told me how terrific my audition was then hired me three hours later. Larry David went on and on about how terrific my audition was, but have you ever seen me on "Curb Your Enthusiasm?"

I am mostly occupied with writing, it's about all I do. I got feedback from a script consultant on my zombie script last week which was very helpful. Most people write in a vacuum and if you don't have input from informed outside sources your script has a strong possibility of being jam packed with holes, two dimensional characters, and an ending that comes out of nowhere. I'm sure you've seen movies that are examples of all of those and more.

So, that's enough for me for today. Thank you all for reading and following my career. As for all of the other projects I have, other scripts, my autobiography, and others, they are all coming along well. Until next time ...