After somehow flipping my mental model of the city, I spent a few years trying to correct my internal map of New York City, one visit at a time. Two decades later, I’m not a native or an expert by any means, but tourists consistently ask me directions — perhaps because they recognize that I was once lost, like them. So here’s a guide I’ll offer to help anyone who finds themselves encountering New York City for the first time.
My last house-sitting gig was in 1995, taking care of Vincent Price’s old house in the hills. I lasted one sleepless night. Despite the promise of easy escape — the master bedroom had sliding glass doors to the patio — the accumulated creaks and bumps and footsteps in the dark were too much for my fertile imagination.
So, hey, you’re pregnant. And it’s not welcome news, because you’re in college and hope to go to medical school. But before you marry scruffy-cute ukelele guy, maybe think about adoption.
Sure: everyone’s already linked to Austin Kleon’s wonderful post How to Steal Like an Artist (and 9 things nobody taught me). But I can’t know that you’ve read it. And I don’t have better advice for you today, or even this week. So I really recommend you read it, and take some notes.
It occurs to me that while relatively few of my readers will end up becoming professional screenwriters, nearly all of them will end becoming up parents. So in that spirit, I want to offer a few suggestions to file away.
I have to believe she was misquoted, or excerpted in some unflattering way, because Jessica Alba couldn’t have actually said this.
My husband legally changed his last name to August while we were pregnant with our daughter, so we’d all have the same last name. It’s made life a lot easier.
Don’t let fear of the unknown stop you from visiting. A billion people live there, and you owe it to yourself to see what it’s like.
Jenny was prescribed anti-anxiety medication, but worries it will mess up her writing.
Why do people rag on Arial and Comic Sans? Does type really matter?
Any system is only as good as the person using it. I’m largely GTD, but hardly a master.
Should Nick repair or replace his 93 Oldsmobile Ciera before heading to Los Angeles?
Sunny island or culturally-rich city? There are good arguments for both based on how old your kids are.
Paul spent 29 years in a job too good to leave, and regrets it.
Jack wants advice on getting a ring for his wife-to-be.
A reader wants to know my picks for casual restaurants in LA.
This coming week, I’ll be answering questions completely unrelated to screenwriting or the industry.
For the past few years, I’ve been aiming more towards “areas of interest” rather than true resolutions. That way, there’s no implied promise to be broken.
New York Times writers offer suggestions for incoming college students.
For every alcoholic drink, drink a glass of water. Trust me.
You buy and pack most of the same things every time. So make a master list.
No, really. Most athletic shoes can and should be washed.
For LA, preschool is the new college.
No, this is not a metaphor for story structure. Change your lightbulbs!
A new series of posts will give advice about non-screenwriting issues.