My Garden is a Metaphor
Some of you might know that I left a good corporate job last May to become a screenwriter. It worked out—I’m lucky to have been professionally working for a little less than a year. A couple of you know that sometimes I want to talk about it but feel like I can’t for several reasons: fear of jinxing my work (I’m superstitious), fear of sounding like I’m bragging (when I’m just excited), or good ol’ fashion non-disclosure agreements (studio secrecy).
Because of the nature of the work, I can’t really take instagram photos of it, I can’t create a kickstarter around it, I can’t say online “today this happened.” Not to say those things are bad—I love those things and sometimes I wish I could share like that. Once in a while I might be able to post some press, but that doesn’t convey that what I do above all is a job and is fully integrated into my daily life. It’s fun, makes me depressed, affords me time to spend with my wife and dog, can be creatively excruciating, is at times everything I wanted in a career and at others wholly unfulfilling. I am alternately assured and well-grounded, and flailing and lost and sad on the same day.
Anyway, I recently planted a garden. It’s full of vegetables and flowers. I figured that it might be a good way to update anyone who’s interested on what’s happening with my work right now.
- Before the garden there was just some dead earth in which nothing would grow. It made me sad just to look at it.
- The shock of transplant for the new plants—a complete upheaval of their whole lives and placement into something entirely new—is JUST starting to wear off. Maybe.
- The jalapeno plant is the first thing we planted, and it’s my favorite. It’s the only vegetable we’re growing for TV, and the only plant in the garden without guns or heavy action in it. The jalapeno plant is inspired by my father. It means a lot to me. It may end up on what I think is the best cable drama network currently on TV. Even if every other plant died, I would be thrilled if this one bore fruit.
- It’s good to have a fellow gardener. Sometimes when I’m standing there pissed off, saying “I don’t know,” they think of something that saves the plant’s life.
- Although we provide each other little consolation—the fact remains neither of us have ever really done this before.
- I’ll also argue with my fellow gardener about the smallest detail there is, like how chlorotic one leaf might be, or if someone would REALLY say that to their mother on the phone in one scene. Sometimes, especially on hot days, it feels like we might one day kill each other over something like this.
- We have the first act of a tomatillo plant ready to turn into the studio.
- It’s always exciting to give the roots water. But man, the soil soaks up that water fast. Even if it feels like a lot of water, it’s completely gone within what seems like a day. It’s amazing how fast water leaves your bank account.
- Which is to say, there is NO WAY this garden is feeding any of us right now.
- Our ghost chili plant is pretty thrilling. The peppers should have a lot of heat, which is good because they’re inspired by the movie Heat. There’s one thirty-minute sequence that I think rivals Heat, but who knows. The whole plant might just be poisonous and kill anybody who eats it. That litmus test will come when directors try the peppers in the Fall.
- There is one secret plant growing in the garden that no one knows anything about. Except JJ Abrams.
- The bees, grubs, flies, ants, butterflies constantly swarming around the garden are helping a lot. Sometimes it’s hard to see, but they are really helping in a remarkable way. That’s why I pay them 25% of my gross earnings. Before taxes.
- Speaking of which, the garden could really use some more water.
- We’ll know if the jalapenos go to pilot by late Fall.
There will be enough water someday. We’re in a dry season now, but we knew that. We made the choice to plant in a dry season.
I’m pulling for those jalapenos.