The other day I saw a former child star at a coffee shop. He happens to be one of the stars of my favorite 90s sports franchise, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a split second of blind fan girl excitement. IT’S HIM blinked the neon sign in my brain, all but sending out the signal to raise my arm and point at him directly. He was there with a writing partner, though, sussing out handwritten notes and converting them into a screenplay. I watched as they spread out their legal pads, crossed through ideas with ink, rearranged plot points, pitched new ones. At one point, the former child star went back into the coffee shop, and when he reemerged he exclaimed, “I got it! I got it. It just came to me. In this scene, [female character name] should…not want to die.” His writing partner nodded his head emphatically, typing this new great idea into their outline. “Yes, yes, that is exactly what needs to happen,” he said. Now I can’t claim to know the specific nuances of their screenplay, nor can I speak for the female character who might be more valuable for realizing she maybe doesn’t want to die, but I can say this: everybody is just trying to make it in this town. Every last person. Even people who had the privilege of appearing in not one, not two, but THREE 90s sports franchise films are still trying to make it. Maybe that should be a little depressing, all these years he’s been working and hustling, and he’s still the guy with crumpled up legal pad notes to himself. But aren’t we all this person? Here are some notes from my notebook about a project I want to start writing:

  • like a really dark Christmas in Connecticut
  • she killed a guy? Not sure how that would work
  • **should absolutely eat trash in her spare time (what about literal trash? Does she have pica?) NOTE: there are in fact multiple stars next to this idea in my notes

I write a lot of notes to myself. They are usually not this coherent (yeah, that’s right, this coherent). So solidarity, former child star. Simpatico. Hate to break it to you, but you and I? We’re in the same boat.

(One last thing, Christmas Eavesdropping, how do we feel about this? Would you watch that? I’ll write it down, come back to it.)

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