Live Long, and Prosper…

Leonard Nimoy

I was eight years old when I came home and announced to my parents that I was going to be a writer when I grew up.

For years after that (admittedly crazy) statement, life as a TV writer was nowhere on my horizon. (Any childhood dream of moving to HOLLYWOOD!! – fearsome land of the flashing lights and brilliant stars — was definitely more predicated on the idea of growing up and marrying Leonardo DiCaprio vs. any actual thought that I could grow up and actually write for the small screen…)

See, I grew up without watching much TV.  I Love Lucy and Leave it to Beaver were usually playing at my grandparents’ house, and my fam watched Lois & Clark like clockwork. A few later years, my deep and enduring love for Smallville could not be overstated. But outside of that? I was much more of a books girl.

But there was a show — The Show.

On weekends, whenever we could find reruns, my dad and I would sit and watch Star Trek.

I had no idea in those random moments how much my entire future was getting laid out before me — a future TV writer of the sci-fi persuasion.  I just knew that I loved hanging out with my dad and watching A City on the Edge of Forever, The Trouble with Tribbles or Mirror, Mirror. We watched that show for years together — and still do.  (The last time my dad was in LA, we sat and watched City for probably the millionth time.)

And so tonight, sitting in London on the writing adventure of a lifetime, I find myself sad.

Leonard Nimoy has passed away… 

Even typing that feels just a little impossible.  I’m sorry — that makes no sense.  What???  Decades before I was born, he was creating this weird little show with so many others, imbuing life and humanity into this odd, seemingly emotionless creature.  He was the other, the outsider, the one who just didn’t understand. He railed against our emotions, against our seeming lack of logic, against everything that was wrong with the way we humans went skipping about the galaxy. And we loved him for it… he was our voice of reason in this new world we so desperately wanted.  He was Mr. Spock.

And it was this weird little show that made me love sci-fi. It was this weird little show that made me feel like maybe I wasn’t alone, that even if all my friends hated all things sci-fi and nerd-culture while I loved it, that I’d be all right. I could be me, and let them be them. It was the beginning of Lynn The TV Writer, and I didn’t even know it yet.

So tonight, I’m a bit quiet and a bit reflective, thankful for all of the people who created the worlds that inspired me to create my own.  We were never meant to make it alone — we are all here because someone else went on ahead of us and said — The hell with convention. Let’s make it awesome.  

Where would we be without them?

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Monet’s The Beach at Trouville

This is one of my favorite paintings on earth.

Meet Monet’s The Beach at Trouville, currently hanging in The National Gallery in London. It’s a painting of Monet’s wife and a friend of theirs, sitting on the beach and enjoying a leisurely afternoon.

And you know why I love it? 

One of my favorite things to do here is wander the halls of all the amazing art museums here and live in the past for the briefest of moments. I admire brushstrokes and color choices, the way the light plays across the surface, the texture of the oil paint long since dried.  I wonder if the subject ever imagined that this painting they were sitting for would ever be hung in a museum three centuries later. I laugh at these stunning “unfinished works” and “studies” — these painfully beautiful paintings that the artist dashed off in an hour or two one day, prep work for some bigger and better piece of art — the art they completed in a hurry, the kind that’s still leaps and bounds over anything 99.9% of painters could ever hope to accomplish.

And I wonder how the artist — Monet in this case — got inspired to paint a specific scene… what piece of his life — his dreams, his hopes, his terrors — he decided to save for us. Because life, your real life, in all its weird absurdities, always gets reflected in your art.

Which brings me back to The Beach at Trouville. 

It’s one of my favorite paintings because there are still grains of sand and bits of seashell from that day — so long ago and so far away — embedded in the paint.  Monet was really painting in that moment. It wasn’t a revisiting, it wasn’t a memory.  It was now, this moment, right in front of me. Real life saved in the paint.

Metaphor become real. And our world is all the more beautiful for it.

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Surviving Comic Con (A How-To Guide)

I wrote this after Comic Con 2012, and it only seemed fitting to bring it back for today.  Enjoy!!! 

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First time at Comic Con?  I can help! 

Comic Con 2012 was a smashing success! 

There are things no one tells you about Comic Con, because it’s kind of like asking about details of Disneyland.  No one tells you about how long they stood in line or how much time they spent staring at the map when they should have been sprinting to make it to yet another showing of Abraham Lincoln. Because who wants to hear that when you can talk about Space Mountain and pizza in Tomorrowland or Indiana Jones and your third Dole Pineapple Whip of the day?  (Just me?  Where was I?  Back to Comic Con…)   So I’m going to try to help you out here.

1. You are going to stand in line.  For a LONG time. It’s worth it.

This morning, Luke and I (and friends) stood 4000+ people back in line for Hall H – home of fantastic panels like FRINGE… and most importantly… DOCTOR WHO!  Doctor Who!

There were people who camped out overnight.  Our 3+ hours in line = a cakewalk. It’s just par for the course if you really want to see specific panels or exhibitions or film clips or you just want to stare at Matt Smith see your geek favorites.

Get used to the lines.  Love the lines.  It’s worth it. Seriously, though.  You’re standing next to people who love exactly the same tv show/movie/comic book that you do.  Make a new friend!  Bring a backpack and snacks to share.  You’ll totally be the cool kid in the lunchroom whose mom packed the good desserts while everyone else is stuck with squishy day-old turkey.

2. Accept that you won’t get to see everything you wanted to see.  It makes you love the things you do get to see. 

This is coming from the girl who couldn’t make it to the Firefly panel.  It just happens sometimes, and that’s okay.  Plan as best you can, and just run with it.  Make better plans for next year. And take tons of pictures in the panels you do get into.  Enjoy it!

3. Sit in on random panels.  You might be in for a surprise or two! 

Nathan Fillion, Sarah Wayne Callies, Liam McIntyreNow, stopping for another moment of truth.  Sometimes, in order to get into a later panel in the day, it means you have to sit through the three panels beforehand.  (They don’t clear the room in between panels at Comic Con.  Once you’re in the room, you’re in.)   Yesterday, while waiting for the Alphas panel in the shiny and beautiful Indigo Ballroom, the moderator got up and announced the TV Guide panel.  Thrilling stuff. But there was no way on earth I was missing Alphas, so TV Guide it was.  (Is there even a TV Guide anymore?  Does anyone still watch that channel?)  And then Joel McHale of Community and The Soup walked in.  And Liam McIntyre from Spartacus. And Maggie Q from Nikita. And Sarah Wayne Callies from The Walking Dead.  And Jasika Nicole from Fringe. And did I mention Matt Smith and Nathan Fillion?  It was a fantastic panel and I am SO glad that I just happened to be there.

And today, I was in Hall H for the Fringe panel at 10am.  And I have been waiting for a year to get into the Doctor Who panel at 12:30 since I couldn’t make it last year (again, see #2). I wouldn’t have missed either of those panels for the world.  But, in between was the Supernatural panel, a show I just haven’t had a chance to watch.  But after today’s panel, I’m seriously going to get Season 1 and start watching.  The panel was hilarious, and it made me want to give the show a try.  I’m so excited for it!

See?  You never know…

4. “Cosplay” = all the awesome costumes around you.

That’s like Comic Con 101.  If you have to ask someone what ‘cosplay’ means, you’ll definitely get the “Who are you and why are you at Comic Con?” look.  So now you know. You’re welcome.

5. Doctor Who. TARDIS. Felicia Day.  The Guild. Firefly. Star Trek. Tribbles. Star Wars. Buffy. JJ Abrams. Jane Espenson. Battlestar Galactica. The angels have the phonebox.  The Nerdist. Lord of the Rings.

Chris HardwickComic Con 201.  Learn, young Jedi, learn.  It will keep you from asking questions like, “What’s a sonic screwdriver?” in front of 4000 Whovians who will eat your heart out if you mess with their show.

As seems to be the theme of this blog, you never know what you’re going to discover.

6.  Be ridiculous.  Wear the hat.  Paint your face.  Let your geek flag fly.  Have fun! 

Have a blast.  It’s so worth it… The real world will be waiting for you on Monday…

I now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

love,

an incredibly exhausted and happy Lynn 

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Seeing the Moon on a Clear Night

I was born into a world where Neil Armstrong had already walked on the moon.

It was a fact of life, a way of living established by people who had long ago lived out the wildest dreams of humanity.

So easy to forget sometimes that these adventurers made it to the moon and back with guts, grit and the practical equivalent of a few pieces of metal held together with chewing gum, duct tape and hope.

A few months ago, I ran across the speech President Nixon had ready to go in case of an Apollo 11 disaster where the men were unable to launch back off the moon.

“Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace. These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.

“These two men are laying down their lives in mankind’s most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.”

 

It wasn’t until I read those words that I really understood what they’d risked.  

Of course, they made it home to a hero’s welcome and a place in the world’s history books, splashing down into the Pacific Ocean and forever defining our history with before the moon and after. 

I have a short list I call my Happy List.  It’s a collection of songs, historical clips, movie moments, journal entries, even YouTube videos that I watch when I need to be reminded that there is good in the world.  There is hope.  That despite all of the truly horrific pieces of life, that sometimes we actually do come through with something breathtaking.

I like to imagine God laughing in delight with me.  Humanity is so weird, so funny.  So adventurous.  

One of my clips is Walter Cronkite’s anchoring of the moon landing. Here is this grown man –  smart, tactful, respectful, always pulled together.  He was the voice of reason for a country trying to make sense of where they were at as the world changed dramatically around them.

But when the Eagle touched down, he was once again the voice of a nation and the world – the giddy, unbelieving, laughing nation going, “Holy hell… Jules Verne was right.”  Walter Cronkite laughed like a little boy given the keys to the planet of Christmas.

Neil Armstrong – standing on the shoulders of giants – made our dreams come alive, then came home and lived.

I always wondered what he thought about when he looked up at the moon every night.  

While we mourn the loss of a very good man, we also celebrate his remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young people around the world to work hard to make their dreams come true, to be willing to explore and push the limits, and to selflessly serve a cause greater than themselves.  

For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.” 

– the family of Neil Armstrong

Good night, Mr. Armstrong, and godspeed….

  

 

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