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Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Culture of ME

Many blogs are quite personal. Which is why, for a long time, blogs did not interest me whatsoever. Even though I am a people person and a writer, I really am quite honestly not interested in the details of the lives of random bloggers. You know, the early days of blogging were very belly-button gazey so you'd have these blogs (and you still do) in which bloggers rant about everything from movies they like to how much they love their kids or hate their in-laws or when they tried a new recipe. I found (and find) those types of blogs stultifying. If a reader has no investment in who this person IS, then it's tough to be entertained by unqualified rants. However, a good blogger, one who develops a persona, is one who can attract a following that becomes invested. Or is that who becomes invested, Chaia? (Did Wavers know that my adorable-but-could-totally-kick-your-ass assistant, Chaia, edits TRW daily because of course yours truly, who espouses good grammar and language usage, is eminently fallible and doesn't always have time to make corrections?) [LOL. --Ed.]

I have thus far fairly successfully avoided making The Rouge Wave about me. Rather, I really do try to make it about YOU. I already know about me. But I gather that you guys enjoy having a reasonably entertaining place to go where you might pick up some inspiration or tips about screenwriting while avoiding work and other temporarily avoidable duties. I am a procrastinator helper and I'm happy to be your Florence Nightingale.

So every day I try to come up with something for The Rouge Wave that contains valuable information for you. Some days it's easy, other days I stare at the screen and then go look at my Facebook, check the weather, get more coffee and return to the blank screen. Some days I'm cranky about something and so I blog about that. Other days I figure, well, we haven't talked about X subject for awhile, I guess it's my duty to return to that subject. The truth is, in the two+ years I've been writing The Rouge Wave, I think we've covered pretty much every subject related to screenwriting.

If you've ever wondered, yes, I do have to approve comments so if your comment shows up - yes, I read it. You might have a question in your comment and if I have the time and the desire, I answer it. If I don't have the time, I'm sorry, I skip answering the question. I do my best. I actually would MUCH prefer if you sent questions or topic suggestions HERE.

I have received zero flaming bags of poop since I changed the "anonymous" comment posting setting. It seems when one's real name is involved, people are a little more thoughtful in their comments. Fancy that.

As you can imagine, while I love The Rouge Wave, it is only one of 10,000 other daily duties, what with running a script coverage company in the throes of tremendous growth and a screenwriting competition - which - wow, you'd be surprised how much behind the scenes work THAT is. I had to have two training sessions on how to operate the Without A Box submission system. Color me not so techno-savvy. I manage several readers, a new creative director (hi, wonderful Keith I cannot do without), business partners and new investors. And then I try to find time to write.

The blur between my personal and professional lives is profound. Some stuff comes up and I try to repurpose it to make it relevant to writers and writing. Like being at the hospital all last weekend. Or the interest and attachment my partner and I have in and to our thriller. Or the arrival of Ray the Chihuahua a few months ago. He's up to a mighty five pounds, by the way. So - you might want to watch your fingertips and valuables around him. How so much attitude can be packed into five pounds is a mystery to me. Then there's Maddy the Shih-Tzu, or as we affectionately call her, The Glacier. She doesn't move around a whole lot. Except right around midnight when she and Ray do their nightly Indy 500 around my apartment. The other night, Maddy leaned from the couch to the coffee table and one by one nicked tangerines and brought them to her lair. She was lying on a pile of like 10 tangerines when I figured this out.

But mostly, I figure Wavers really don't want to know about what I get up to on a daily basis. But maybe I am wrong. Which is why today is an experiment in how long I can hold your attention. Don't worry, I have no intentions of changing up the content of TRW. It's just for today.

I practice what I preach in terms of joyfulness and balance in my life. I take long walks most every day. And on those long walks I decompress and explore my colorful neighborhood. Which is probably 80% Orthodox Jewish so that's interesting. I live quite close to CBS Television City and am treated to bursts of audience applause several days a week which is surreal. Can you imagine? My home is an informal salon for creatives - people knock on my door and show up at all hours, seven days a week. I guess it's comfy here and I always have good food and wine. Steve Faber is my neighbor and dear friend and so we have a lot of late night chats about what he's doing. He is one of the smartest, most intellectually curious people I have ever met and we love to discuss politics, history and literature. Give Steve a good cigar and a glass of wine or Belgian beer and you've got yourself one amazing conversation. Plus Steve has taught me what courage, humor and tenacity look like.

I am thinking of getting an office so that I no longer work at home. I am looking at an office on The Lot which is a historic studio lot here in LA. Mary Pickford, Douglass Fairbanks and Charlie Chaplin had their offices there. It is a storied studio lot and currently has offices rented to everyone from Alan Ball, Sacha Baron Cohen, Fuse Entertainment, Pachew Productions*, Heroes and Villains and too many others to list. True Blood is filmed there and there is a great commissary and courtyard. I'm excited to move my offices there and will be doing so in about a month. I feel like an 18-year-old getting her first apartment - I'm already thinking about how to decorate! I have been enjoying working at cafes lately but to have an actual office - that sounds like heaven to me. Then my home can again be just my home.

*Pachew Productions is a yet-to-exist production company that my friend Mike and I are noodling around with starting. Mike's offices are currently at The Lot.

So there you have it: today's Rouge Wave. Forgive me if I have bored you, thank you very much if I have entertained you. Either way - get back to work.

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Joe Public said...

The 'flaming bag of poop' thing is something I'm not aware of.

Second, good luck with the move. It is nice to come home, and, just be home.

Audrey McKenzie said...


Yours is the only blog I read on a daily basis - or monthly for that matter.

I enjoy all your blogs immensely and you've taught me a lot that I refer back to often.

I loved the peek into your life that you've given with this blog. I found it very interesting. I look forward to more!

Thanks for all you do!

writer0825 said...

We love you Julie and you kept my interest all the way through. Glad things are progressing well. I would send you a cupcake (not flaming poop) here but don't know how to do that. ;)

Trina0623 said...

That was an interesting little peek -- thanks. The "flaming bag of poop" always makes me giggle.

Your new office sounds wonderful. I'm excited for you!

Gerry Hayes said...

Nice to meet you, Julie.

Belgian beer, eh? I'm there.

Chris said...

Hey, The Lot is right down the street from me. Drinks at the Formosa Cafe!

Tiago said...

Nice to meet you Miss Gray!

Joe Public said...

Hey, very nice ads you have placed in Script. Who's the arteeeest?

Julie Gray said...

Thanks for all the kind comments, everybody!

@Chris - drinks at the Formosa: I'm there :)

@Joe Public - we have an amazing art director and creative director who worked together to totally reinvent our brand, look and feel. They did GREAT work, didn't they?

Joe Public said...

Yes they did!

I'm not the suck up type, but the artwork on page 68 caught my eye before I realized it was you guys.

The other ad, though just as pleasing was pretty self evident.

Really great work!

Julie Gray said...

@Joe - well, hey, what do you want for like a jillion dollars? :)

Christian M. Howell said...

Really, if I wanted to hear about people's personal lives I'd be on MySpace.

You do have a flair in your musings that piques curiosity.

I'm a dry theorist with a wicked sarcastic streak.

Wish me luck in Silver.

E.C. Henry said...

My favorite thing about you, Julie, is how you get your daughter involved in your act. The mini-wave's movie reviews are always appreciated.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

Joe Public said...

This is a little late; but, I don't mind the life stuff. I live in the sticks--well a rustic area of CT, with no sounds of studio applause creeping into my living space. From my bedroom window you can hear a pack of coyotes running between two swamps. You can hear and see deer and fawns. They used to eat my vegetables growing on the vine... A little cayenne goes a long way toward ridding one of that problem: Point is, my point of view toward them is I regard them as extra large rodents. Somebody in NYC might regard them as one of nature's treasures. So to see somebody write about someplace different than from where I live is interesting to me.

Isn't what goes on in every day life the source for ideas? I'll call anybody a liar if they say "no." A writer just has to take that idea and whip a million "what if" darts at it until something special begins to take form.

By the way, not knocking the second ad at all, just that the first one really is an eye catcher!

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