No. Freakin’. Way.

Okay…so when I get emails on this computer, Outlook pops up a little window in the bottom right corner of my screen.

Monday night, I am working away, furiously trying to get ready for the upcoming trip to LA (7:00 AM tomorrow morning…can you say coffee?) for the pitchfest/screeningfest/meetingfest.  And I glance down in said corner, and guess whats I sees!?!

An email from none other than…Wil Wheaton.

Yep.  No kiddin’.

I clicked immediately over to read it.  Unfortunately, he and his wife are on a family vacation this weekend, so they can’t make the screening.  But he sent a really nice message:

Hi Bill,

Thank you so much for inviting us. We’re out of town, and won’t be able to
However, I wanted to take a moment and congratulate in our absence.
Have fun,

Short and sweet, but I am impressed that he answered at all.  It shows that the man is not only a helluva writer and master blogger, but an all around, straight up cool guy.

Now, more than ever, I hope I get a chance to meet him someday.

Mr. Wheaton, I dubbeth thee St. Wil.

I guess my typo didn’t scare him off too badly.

True dat.

The mortal enemy of the writer

Typo!  O! typo!  Thou art a demon!

Why why why why why why why, oh why?!?

Why must I be plagued so, with fat fingers that produce the most stupid, most embarrassing errors.  Especially when I am trying to…you know…impress someone.

This is what it was today.

Okay…so I was sending out announcements to my mailing list about the upcoming RUNAWAY screening in LA, and there were a few very special ones I wanted to send.  You know…in cases.

One was to Thomas Dolby, who lives in LA.  And of whom I have been a rabid fan since I was, like, 15.  Yes…I have all his albums.  Well, all of them except the She Blinded Me With Science EP, which was my first Dolby purchase.  On cassette.  I wore it out and haven’t been able to find a replacement.

Dolby’s, by the way, was the first "rock" concert I ever went to.  At age 19 (gimme a break!  I grew up on a freakin’ farm!), at First Avenue, with my friend, Mike Popham.  The Flat Earth tour…Hyperactive as the day is long.

One was to Nikki FInke, because I think her Deadline Hollywood Daily is the coolest, most informative place on the Internet for the inside scoop on what’s going on in the movie biz.  If you wanna know the story behind the story…and then wanna know the story behind that..?  Read Nikki’s blog.  Anyway, I sent her an invite.

The last one was to WIl Wheaton.  I would LOVE it if he would come (well, if any of them would come, but I am not holding my breath).  His blog and his book (I read Just a Geek during my downtime while I was in NYC for RUNAWAY preproduction) and his attitude–and integrity by which the guy leads his life–all impress me.  And they’ve inspired me.

And, of course, he’s the reason why I started a blog in the first place.

It was to Will Wheaton dot Net that my brother, Jack, sent me one day in 2003, saying, "Have you checked out WIl Wheaton’s blog?"

"You mean Wesley Crusher?"

Unfortunately, any cred he’d gained from being the Stand By Me kid had been erased from memory after Star Trek.

And that’s no offense to him.  He was fine in it.  It was those first two seasons–especially the second one.  Yeesh!  Then there was the matter of the producers and writers obviously throwing their hands up in the air virtually every episode that featured Wil’s character and crying, "What they hell are we gonna do with the kid this episode?  ‘Cause I got nothin’."

Anyway, back to Jack and me.

Jack replies, "Yeah.  You wouldn’t believe it.  It’s amazing.  You need to give him a read.  …And then, Bill?  You need to be doing that, too."

And so it came to pass.

The name of the blog has changed, but the inspiration has not.  It’s why I keep the tagline "One droll primate with an iBook can’t be wrong" in the blog banner.  It’s an homage to Wil’s old tagline "50,000 money with 50,000 typewriters can’t be wrong."  (You’d be amazed how many people ask about that.  Now.  You.  Know.)

Okay…so you get the picture.  I wanted this email message to be smooth.  Fly.  All that and a bag of chips.

Yet, in the last line, I type this:

I would love the opportunity to thank you in person for the gift that it that

And I hit send.  Of course.

What the hell?!?

Ack!  Ugh!  Shit!

Why does this happen?!?

I proof and proof and proof and proof and still…

I wish I had that detailed eye, but I simply do not.  And it is the freakin’ bane of my existence.  Makes me feel like an idiot when crap like that happens.

Which is always in the most Wheaton of situations.

All I can say is that I hope Wil looks beyond the typo and doesn’t think I am a total dip.  "This guy calls himself a professional writer?  As fi!"

Oh well…at least I didn’t type:

…for the gift tha tit that

That would make me a real boob.

If you are in Los Angeles on Saturday, June 21…

Okay…so I will do a more formal announcement about this exceedingly cool thing tomorrow or Sunday.  At the moment, I have to admit that the week has left me exhausted.  It was difficult generating sufficient steam to power myself through meetings and the minutia of my day, even.

I need to rest.

But!  First…I need to give you all a heads up that RUNAWAY will be screening in Los Angeles at 8 PM as part of the Great American Pitchfest.  An event they’re billing as a "Screenwriter Showcase".

It’s a pretty swank event, the Pitchfest—well attended and well advertised.  The Pitchfest folks and I hit it off really well in Austin last year, and they are big fans of the movie.  They know I’ve got some things in the pipeline and other things I am trying to get off the ground, and they wanted to spotlight an up-and-comer who could use the exposure in Tinseltown.

The details are just getting finalized now, but here are the particulars that I know so far:

DATE: Saturday, June 21

PLACE: Burbank Marriott Hotel and Convention Center — Academy One Ballroom.


TIME:  Doors open at 7:30, screening at 8:00.  After the movie, there will be a short interview with me and a Q&A, and then a reception with appetizers and beverages to follow that.

Very cool.  I am quite honored and don’t know how to adequately thank them.  Equally cool, it’s a way to get RUNAWAY back in the environment in which it performs best…in front of an audience.

Tell all your friends!  And hope to see you there.

The script, my friends, is done.

It’s a day late (or several days late, depending on how you look at it).

Hopefully, it’s not a dollar short.

At 5:19 this morning I made my last edit.  I hit save, converted to .pdf, and sent off to Dean for his take.

I will have one more quick pass this afternoon sometime to integrate Dean’s notes (which seem, so far, to be minimal).  From there, it’s off to the producer of the ScriptNight reading, so he can get the script to the casting director.

I will, of course, want to take one more read.  You know, the one where I am actually awake and have my wits about me.  The one where I am not rocking back and forth and drooling like I’ve been locked in some rubber room for too long.  That’s when I will trust the work is valid.  And it is then that I will, I am certain, make the "final" changes that constitute this draft.

That’s the version I will trust to send to the TInseltown producers and such who have expressed interest.


For now, my life–like my office–feels like it’s a complete mess.  I am certain that’s not the case, and that all it takes is a little tidying up to be good as new.  Over the course of this week, however, as I have locked myself away day and night to cross this finish line, I could hear balls dropping around me right and left.

That’s not a good feeling.

And it’s a strange thing to know it’s happening, yet know that your life at the moment depends on your keeping focus on achieving one particular goal to the exclusion of nearly everything else.  And that in order to do it service, the process of achieving said goal, in fact, demands it.

You bracket that feeling away and soldier on, knowing that the fabric of your life is
unraveling some in the process.  Your hope being that the pieces of your life are
still relatively intact when you return to "normalcy"–at least
intact enough that you can them pick up and that they will function reasonably well when you put them back in place.  You trust in that…in your ability to do that and in the strength of your relationships with the ones you love, who suffer the most when you step away.

It’s the thing, by the way, that I am not certain I like about writing.  It’s certainly the hardest for me to wrap my head around because I’m the "I want everyone to like me and to have everything be okay" guy.  And yet, for some reason, I accept the "not okay-ness" of this life.  I submit to it willingly.  And with gusto.  And abandon.

I guess that’s why I say it’s a calling.

That said, I am going to start tidying up.


Yes…those are beer bottles.  More than I realized.  And dirty dishes piled up.  And something nasty is wafting up from the garbage.

And then there’s getting the tabs for the car, which should have been done Monday.  And paying some bills to, you know, keep our home working.

And touching base again with what makes it all worth it.

Robbye and I are heading off to a Haley Bonar concert tonight.  A CD release party for her new album.  It was a Mother’s Day gift for Robbye.  I am looking forward to spending some quality alone time with her.  To enjoying some of our favorite music together.

And maybe this time she’ll actually talk to Haley!  (I will let Robbye explain sometime…  [wink])

Hold, please…

Hello, OLU Reader.  You have reached Bill’s blog.  Bill isn’t available right now because, as you know, THE SCRIPT, MY FRIENDS, MUST GET DONE!  Bill will make his triumphant return to the blogshpere just as soon as he puts this @#&$^%&@ to bed.

In the meantime, perhaps you might enjoy a little music while you wait.

Got a message from my friend, Jason Morphew, who, you might remember was the original composer/songster on RUNAWAY.  Things happened and yada yada, and suddenly one day his music is off the movie.

Don’t get me wrong–I love Robert Miller’s haunting score.  It’s one of the most impressive parts of the movie.  And when I first heard the chilling and mournful strains of the main theme, I was nearly moved to tears.  Uh…yeah.  That kinda good.

The biggest loss when Jason left the project, I believe, was the hole left where his uber terrific Bull in the China Shop of Love used to be.  What a cool song.  Funny and poignant, innocent and menacing all at the same time.  And it’s hip and catchy.  Nothing against The Libertines’ song, which is a worthy replacement.  The movie was, however, designed around the Morphew song, and its absence shows.  And the experience of the movie–over the top uber magnificent as it is–is somewhat diminished as a result.

Anyway, got a little side-tracked there.

Jason’s new album, Vaporizer, has hit store shelves, physical and metaphysical alike.  In his email announcement, he included an mp3 of one of the tracks, Taking Things for Granted, which is kinda flowery and boppy, but also carries a subtle aspect of ennui that gives it unexpected heft.

The tune is downloadable on his MySpace page.  But in an effort to save you from the torture that is MySpace, I have included a link to the mp3 here:

Taking Things for Granted by Jason Morphew

The album seems to be getting some good buzz and positive notices, with one reviewer calling Jason "one of the most gifted songwriters now going."

Not bad.

You can purchase Vaporizer on iTunes, or by visiting Jason’s website.

Congrats, Jason!  I hope over-the-top success solidifies around Vaporizer.  (yes…I just had to say it.  The temptation was simply too great.)

The Prattle in Seattle

Just a quick note: I haven’t had an opportunity to say much about my excellent adventure in Seattle with Robbye and Dean and the good folks of the Northwest Screenwriters Guild.  Because, as you know, the script, my friends, must get done.

You can read more about it on the SagePresence blog, where Dean and I managed to sneak in a couple of posts on the event, which was, might I add, nothing short of stellar.  I look forward to going back there soon, and I think Robbye’s ready to move there.

Anywho, I got a heads up that NWSG President Aadip Desai posted some kind words about us on the NWSG website.  I took a moment to check it out and was quite touched.  I thought I would share his wonderful sentiments here.

"Since I haven’t blogged about it yet, let’s talk about the amazing BILL TRUE and DEAN HYERS. These two are on my top 10 list of nicest guys ever. This list includes Blake Snyder, by the way. We will bring them back again. For those of you who missed it, shame on you 🙂 This was hands down the most invaluable pitching training I’ve ever had.

"We were all nervous as hell. Pitching in front of an audience is hard. I don’t care who you are. Even as President of NWSG (basically a volunteer Project Manager) I ranked 6th out of 22, which was a hard pill to swallow. Of course I blew through my pitch in 37 seconds instead of the allotted 90 seconds.  I left out my catalyst (duh!) and a major piece of the subtext/set-up puzzle. The hardest thing was to admit that I didn’t do my best, didn’t prepare properly, and sold myself short by not using all the time.  I forgot that it doesn’t matter how hard we try to check our egos and pride at the door, they still crash the party. So, not only did I learn how to pitch better, more from the heart, and how to hit the major plot points, but I learned that I need to acknowledge that my ego is right there with me, vulnerable to, as Dean Hyers would say, devastation. Phew. Who needs therapy when you can just pitch in front of an audience and get feedback! Imagine if these guys were mean, I think I would’ve gone home and drank a bottle of Vodka and watch Taxi Driver. But, in this case, I was appreciative of their knowledge, brutally honest feedback, and I was inspired to take my pitch to the next level."

Thanks, Aadip, for the great props.  The feeling, by the way, is altogether mutual.

The script, my friends…

This is gonna be short today.  The recent embarrassment of riches in my professional life have had one downside.

This INCARNATION draft..?  Still not done.


I’ve got the producer of the July 8 event emailing me this morning asking for a draft of the script, so he can get it to the casting agent.  And we’ve got at least two Hollywood actors who are considering doing the reading.

The script, my friends, must get done.

I have been trying to carve out the time to simply finish it.  This week, for example.  But something always comes up.  Now it’s Friday, and I am barely further than I was on Monday.

The script, my friends, must get done.

There are at least two companies interested in buying the thing.  There is another production company interested in looking at it as a Dean/Bill project.  There are a couple of folks interested in possible financing.

The script, my friends, must get done.

I gotta lock myself away.  With the exception of the Super Sale tomorrow, which is a Heavir-Schlafer tradition that deserves its all due respect, and Robbye’s 40th B-Day gathering, which is a once in a lifetime thang, I gotta go into my cave.  I have to somehow make the time to put myself in the mental zone, so I can see how all these pieces fit together.

The script, my friends, must get done.

Yet, the floor drain in the basement is backing up.  One of the cars might be on the fritz.  Bills must be paid.  Loved ones require care and attention.  Dogs and cats must be let out and fed.  And businesses must be run.

But somehow, for a moment, I must close the door and escape into this world my mind has conjured.  Because the Universe I live in on a day-to-day basis is telling me the solution to all that stands in front of me right now is simple…

The script, my friends, must get done.