My Leap Year

By New Year’s Day in 2010, I had cookie-cuttered my life into a 2005 Pontiac Grand Am: whatever fit inside would have to sustain me for the foreseeable future.  Whatever didn’t was discarded.

2010 was my Leap Year.  With no job prospects, few connections, and a numb-yet-burning naiveté, I hit the gas as I crossed the Mississippi River, trying to stay a timezone ahead of my doubts.  In the Arizona desert, they caught up with me.

(I blame Arizona and their refusal to observe Daylight Savings Time)

I was on the phone with a colleague, awkwardly trying to explain my plan (I had none) to “make it” in Los Angeles.

“That’s fine,” he said, “but what do you want to do?”

“Write.  Or direct.  Both?  I can produce, too.”  Ten years worth of work spilling out in ten awkward syllables.

“Nah, nah, nah, nah –”

“– Batman!” I thought –

That’s no good.  You can’t do that.  You gotta decide on something.  You gotta have some kind of plan.  Nobody is just going to give you a job.”

And then he said a sentence that would haunt me for months:

“What you have to ask yourself is: what do you want to do?”

Cut to the empty sounds of cold January winds whipping the night-time desert.

I had no idea what I wanted to do.

I knew where I needed to be (Los Angeles), how to get there (“Go west, young man”), how I planned on surviving (somehow).

Flat-out had no idea what I wanted to do once I got there.

The story of how I got from there to here is more complicated (you can start by reading my essay on John August’s blog), so let’s cut to the chase.

I Know “What I Want To Do”

This blog will look a bit rag-tag over the next few weeks, as I slowly get it back on its feet.  I’ll keep posting things anyway.  Los Angeles taught me that creativity has its own inertia, and it’s better to have half of something than a perfect nothing.  Half of something grows fungus-like into a whole something.  Nothing stays nothing forever.

All of the stories of how I got here will be yours in time.   But for now, let me tell you I do know what I want to do.  And it is not just one thing, but many things.  And they all begin with words.

And the words begin now.

Warm up your inputs, my lovely digital creatures.  I have so many wonderful ones and zeros to share with you.