Archive for the ‘Meta’ Category

Interview up at cecil vortex

Friday, June 8th, 2007

I have a very long (and hopefully interesting) interview about creativity up at cecil vortex. While there’s a lot of material in it I’ve written about previously, this interview is a pretty good primer on my brain and work habits.

CV: How do you use your day-to-day life to feed your writing?

JA: When I was writing for my first TV show I found that I was sorting through life with a filter: what could be “in” the show and what would stay “out.” If I heard a song on the radio that I liked, I was mentally putting it into the bin for the show. If someone said something interesting — or something boring but in a particularly interesting way — I would literally stop to write it down.

That was probably necessary for the show, but I don’t think it’s particularly helpful for real-world sanity. I began living a large part of my life inside the show. That break from reality ultimately became one of the main story points of The Nines — what are a creator’s responsibilities to his creations? At what point was I allowed to walk away from the universe I’d created and get back to my real life?

I think I’m healthier now. I certainly always have my ears open for interesting phrases, but I don’t feel like I’m in constant collection mode.

You can check out the full thing here.


Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

A few things around the site to mention and discuss:

Chinese in the feeds

This was my bad. I misconfigured a plug-in, and it started to grab some random Chinese Twitter feed. I’m going to be traveling a lot in July, well outside of traditional internet access, so I’ll be needing to use an alternative method (like Twitter) to post from the field. I’m still debating whether it’s best to generate traditional posts, or just a persistent header (like I did for Sundance).

Follow-Up Email plugin

AndrewJS wrote in about troubles with this plug-in:

Your WP plugin that emails people regarding new comments for certain articles seems to be overly ambitious lately. I left a comment on your Finale PDF thread and checked that box, but am receiving follow up emails for several other articles also that I never subscribed to. I rarely leave comments on your site, and I checked those other articles just to make sure I hadn’t commented on them. This included the Marvel thread and something about a Screenwriter’s Dinner, and one or two others. They all poured in overnight at once. Seems a bit odd.

Is anybody else having troubles with this plug-in? Is anyone else using it? I’m happy to troubleshoot it if people are finding it useful, but if not, the simplest solution would just be to remove it.

Live preview on comments

Some readers are having trouble with the live previews on the comments. If you’re one of them, shoot me an email at Be sure to include which browser you’re using (e.g. Internet Explorer). Some readers have had success by breaking long comments into shorter sections. That really shouldn’t matter, but if it works, go for it.

Life is now worth living

Tuesday, May 29th, 2007

awardIn a bold choice that shocked, well, me, The Morning News gave this very site one of its 2007 Editors’ Awards for Online Excellence, which is pretty cool considering it’s a damn screenwriting blog.

The other award-winners are more deserving quite interesting, and worth a click-through. I’m particularly enamored by Mindy Kaling’s awesome Things I’ve Bought That I Love. Not that I really need to know about the best elixir for whiteheads and why they’re a unique challenge for Indian women. It’s just very funny, particularly if you read it in her Kelly Kapoor voice.

Five things

Sunday, April 22nd, 2007

I got tagged with the Five Things Meme, in which I’m supposed to share five pieces of information most readers probably don’t know about me. Fair enough.

  1. I’m an Eagle scout. I can tie all my knots, splint a broken bone, and build a fire without matches. Growing up in Colorado, I also learned to dig snowcaves, gut fish and cook a delicious snipe. My troop had the Frost Point Award, which worked thusly: for every campout during the winter months, they’d bring a thermometer. For every degree below freezing it fell, you’d get a frost point. The goal was to collect 100 frost points during the winter camping season. I got the award three years straight. Yes, in retrospect, it was crazy.

  2. Raspberries are my kryptonite. One raspberry and I’m curled in the fetal position, waiting out the abdominal pain and feeling like I’ve been poisoned. This has only been going on for a few months. I think it may related to some undercooked ostrich I ate.

  3. I was all-state orchestra. I wasn’t a prodigy, but I was very good at clarinet through high school. Then one day I realized I was never going to be great. I was never going to do it for a living. What’s more, I didn’t really enjoy it: I kept playing because I was good. So I gave it up completely. No regrets.

  4. I’m not the smart one in the relationship. By any metric, Mike is demonstrably smarter when it comes to math, history and languages. At a certain point, most couples divvy up responsibility for life’s chores: cooking, pet care, dealing with solicitors at the door. I have ceded all responsibility for calculation, navigation and scheduling. I have claimed baking, swimming instruction, and ripping the meat off rotisserie chicken.

  5. I was a vegetarian for seven years. I gave up meat during a summer film program at Stanford, largely for economic reasons — pasta was cheaper. Mostly through inertia, I stayed a milk-and-egg-eating vegetarian without complaint or incident, until I started working out and found myself ravenously, deliriously craving protein. Tuna was my gateway meat, and within a year I was eating KFC. But I still don’t eat mammals.