Base Camp


It’s October.  I’m in Austin right now, drinking hotel room coffee and looking out my window at the Colorado river, where apparently, bats swarm after sunset.  Also, it’s October, and it’s 91 degrees today.  91.  NINETY ONE.  Did I mention it’s October?

This has been a crazy couple of weeks.  After years and years of rejection, it’s weird and wonderful to finally win some big stuff.  The Nicholl.  The Austin Film Festival feature comedy screenplay competition.  It’s a surreal, out-of-body experience to walk to a stage and actually accept an award and feel the heft of it in my hands.  Last year at this time, I’m pretty sure I popped in the Elmo Potty Time DVD for my kids, went to the back of my closet, and sobbed for a little while, heartbroken yet again (YEARS, people) to not have advanced anywhere.  Hell, I sobbed in my closet just a few months ago after I didn’t get into a lab that I’d been applying to forever.

Accolades are wonderful and amazing and utterly ego-lifting – and I’m enjoying every minute of the ride, believe you me! – but I know that rejection is a part of the game.  I’m going to have to work harder than I’ve ever worked before.  What I’ve been lucky enough to accomplish so far is base camp.  The whole mountain is still ahead of me.  And, now, I’ve got to get my ass climbing.

So, here I sit, in Austin, enjoying the view, thinking about next steps, chugging coffee, revising a pilot and another feature and figuring out how to get my current feature funded, and how to get my second kid ready for preschool in a few months, and what other projects I can work on so that, when the award fervor dies away, I’m not left twiddling my thumbs and wondering what the hell just happened.

Is it hot in here?  Or is it just October?

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