8 Jul

So much is happening:

Athenaeum wants to come on board with Umzumbe Boys; they’re also reading African.  Rebie digs African, she had a few criticisms but was especially moved by the long Greenland section.

Thierry was begging to get back on African but his option has expired. He was pleading with Michael, “I have a very inter-escent development – but I can’t tell you what it is. Give me a letter of extension and I’ll tell you.”

Michael told him to come up with the money promised the writers on exercise of the option, $10K each, and he’d get his extension.

Thierry froze.

It’s another piddy-paddling diversion from Thierry – I’m glad he’s gone.


This week, Tom marched into a totally overwrought ROTC officer- in-training role, trying to whip Michael and I into an arbitrary shape of his own devising. We had it out and he apologized.

Michael showed Tom’s e-mail to one of a therapist he knows and she said, “What? Is this guy your boss?”

Tom implies that he’s the success behind Umzumbe Boys– that our scripts need his expertise to become saleable. Umzumbe Boys was a terrific three-way writing experience – we were all invaluable. To characterize it as anything else is intellectually dishonest.

It doesn’t bode well for the survival of our three-way partnership. I think we’ll be evaluating it on a project-by-project basis. Most likely we’ll write Drum together. If we learn to value each other, maybe we’ll tackle other projects further on down the road.


Ann came full-circle. I think she’s decided to love me faults and all. We had a long conversation about California, with Ann talking enthusiastically about moving for the first time ever. Figuring out how we’ll sell our house in Jersey, the kind of spiritual experiences she’ll seek in California, the casita she sees in her mind that we’ll live in, light and airy. It was a pretty amazing change.

Getting a $5K check from Ground Zero didn’t hurt either.


Gene Burton told Michael they’re going to work together, “But your scripts are all period pieces – I want to see you tackle a big, contemporary story.”

Michael told me this yesterday. I can feel he’s wrestling with whether or not he should fly solo on a gene Burton project. It would be a big payday – maybe $600 K. That would be a nice check to have all to oneself – a sole writing credit can’t hurt either. I would understand totally if he decided to go it alone on this one.

I also think he values what I bring to a project. So who knows? The best thing to do is ask him outright if he wants to tackle this one alone.




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