Lover of London & LA

Two loves. Two cities. One dream. One life somehow stitched together between the two. And the ever-popular question I always get: WHY??? 

 

A few years ago, Krista Tippett (amazing author/podcaster) & her guest were talking about using writing/words/conversations to find your own sense of belonging… and they were saying “A simple, simple exchange of words can give you a sense of gravity. I’ve always loved the definition for contemplation:  a long, loving look. And when you take a long, loving look anywhere, you feel sort of more bonded with whatever you’ve looked at. You feel as if you recognize it. You see it. Maybe it sees you back. And you’re participating in a world where it exists. And so feeling that sense of gravity and belonging everywhere is very important to me…. Writing is a way of having a conversation between those different selves inside you… 

“My life will forever be a conversation between different places.” 

I think that’s how I feel about London and LA.

I find myself equally at home and adrift in both cities, dreaming and inspired and wondering what’s coming next, and somehow — I step effortlessly between my two lives in my two cities, as though no time has passed at all. I recognize London and Los Angeles on a deep soul level as the two places I belong most completely.

I am myself here.

I think — regardless of whether or not I can explain the why of it all — that my life will forever be a conversation between London and Los Angeles.  That I am lucky enough (or doomed? I suppose it depends on your perspective and general hopefulness in the moment)  that I will always have two lives, two cities, two loves with writing being the thin, beautiful string stitching all of the disparate pieces together into one whole. 

I am always missing the place that I am not, but always overwhelmingly glad to be in the place that I am. 

And isn’t missing something recognizing its value in your life? And doesn’t that mean that I always, always have something to look forward to? 

See? Hope.

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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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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. Geek and Sundry. Summer Glau. The angels have the phonebox.  Chris Hardwick. 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.  And I like you, readers.  No getting your heart ripped out.  You need to come back!  (And that’s a whole other show anyway…)

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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Life in my Messy Kitchen

Mainly, my days are writing. Or researching. And finally getting the nebulous story idea I have floating around in my head to finally make its way to my computer screen.

But one of my most important creative outlets is being in my kitchen.  Baking, cooking – it doesn’t matter.

I love it all.  

And I’m totally the girl who takes pictures of the best of the best: Instagram that shiz! 

gluten-free pumpkin sage pasta with toasted flaxseed
IMG_4037
fancy blt crostini (definitely cooking for other people)
gf almond buttermilk scones
gf almond buttermilk scones

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Aren’t they pretty? 

And… when I’m all done cooking, my kitchen usually looks like this:

the messy
the messy

That’s just real life for those of you totally swayed by my Instagram feed.

Being creative is all about getting to the final product: the finished painting, the end of an episode, a gorgeous meal out on the table.  It’s about having something to share with the world.

But it’s also about enjoying the process and realizing that sometimes it’s going to be messy and crazy — and you can’t skip it, no matter how much you’d like to. It’s not always easy, I know.

Because sometimes the mess says the thing you wish the whole world knew:  Art was created here. 

Messy kitchen and all.

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Dramatics, Your Honor…

If you’re not watching The Good Wife, do yourself a favor and start at the beginning.

the good wife

I have my own personal Best of TV List.

West Wing’17 People.  Sherlock’s A Study in Pink. And His Last Vow. (I tried to pick just one. I really did.)  Homeland‘s Q & A.  Lost‘s The Constant.  The Heroes pilot.  Breaking Bad‘s 4 Days Out. Doctor Who’s The Doctor’s Wife.  Quantum Leap’s M.I.A..  Gilmore Girls’ I Can’t Get Started.  Star Trek: TNG’s The Inner Light.  Fringe‘s Making Angels (or Bloodline strictly for Seth Gabel’s amazing performance.)  The Alias pilot. And many more for a million different reasons. (I’ll be talking about more general tv awesomeness in future blog posts…)

They’re fresh. Inventive. They’re a pilot episode where you just know that the stories to come are going to be something spectacular. Stories where pieces of a character’s heart get revealed. Stories where The. Thing. You’ve. Been. Waiting. For. finally happens. They’re a twist in the backstory that now makes so much sense, and it’s all in the tiniest of details.  Or — the writers take risks and send the story off in some wildly new direction that we didn’t see coming…

Enter The Good Wife’s Dramatics, Your Honor.

It was an early, quiet morning. And I can now add ‘emotionally traumatizing’to my list of things that make an amazing episode of television.  (Seriously, how many showrunners actually release a letter to their fans?) Last night’s episode was far and away the gutsiest story move I’ve ever seen. (Yes, I’m keeping it as close to spoiler-free as I can while still making this coherent… or maybe I’m just trying to get you so intrigued that you have no choice but to join me in Sunday nights of The Good Wife.) Everything feels destroyed and up for review. It was ugly and shocking and unpretty. It was real. There was no dramatic and-now-we-have-a-speech scene.  No wrap-up. Just a missing shoe and no one else who really, truly, viscerally cared about this moment outside of Continue reading “Dramatics, Your Honor…”

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Made-Up Stories Can Matter

Life has been totally crazy lately (hence the serious lack of posts here!)

So – in protest of the craziness, and honestly a bit out of self-preservation, I bought a book just for me, just for my own heart.  It has nothing to do with research for my show.  Nothing to do with things I’m writing.  I don’t plan to write anything similar to it.

I just want to read someone else’s story and disappear into it.

fault in our stars

Enter John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. 

I haven’t even started reading yet, but I am already in love with Green’s words.  This is his author’s note at the front.

This is not so much an author’s note as an author’s reminder of what was printed in small type a few pages ago.  This book is a work of fiction.  I made it up.  

Neither novels nor their readers benefit from attempts to divine whether any facts hide inside a story.  Such efforts attack the very idea that made-up stories can matter, which is sort of the foundational assumption of our species.  

I appreciate your cooperation in this matter.

Made up stories can matter… 

What a revolutionary idea.

We spend our growing up years with questions papering over our hearts like an interior decorator gone bezerk. Will you tell me a story?  Will you read me a story? Tell me about the time when this happened to you.  Why?  When?  What did the strawberry chiffon cake taste like?  Do you think time travel is real?  What would you do if you had a pet dinosaur.  Can I watch a movie?  Will you read me just one more story? 


And why is that?  When you’re 8 – the whole world is new for you.  I’d never been to Africa, but I remember learning about ancient Egyptian culture.  I remember going to the zoo and trying to imagine  what it must be like to be a lion in the jungle. I remember trying out a British accent at 10 and wondering what life would be like if I sounded like that.   When you’re so small,  life isn’t old and average yet.  It’s new and scary as hell and different.  Every day is a new story.

But you still want to hear more.  

I read the Little House on the Prairie books so many times my mom finally took them away from me so I would read something different.  I read all the Nancy Drew books.  I wrote stories of time traveling teenagers and strange alien spaceships and a girl who was in love with a boy and she could never tell anyone about it at all.

Those made-up stories mattered.

Every once in a while I get asked why I decided to be a tv writer instead of going off and becoming a doctor (blood and math. seriously?) or lawyer (arguing for a living? pass.) or businesswoman (I could have survived.)

I want to take this quote and just superglue it to my forehead so everyone who wants to know can read it.  Made-up stories can matter.

And maybe my stories aren’t going to matter in the grand scheme of the world.  I’m not going to cure cancer or solve an international crisis.  But I’m sort of going after the smaller moments anyway.

There’s a Star Trek: TNG episode where the Captain has a chance to re-live his life making the ‘correct’ choices.  He undoes a crucial risk he took – stupid youth gotten way out of hand – and in a flash, he ends up being some a mousy no one on his ship.  I was 16 or so the first time I saw the episode, and I don’t know if it was just the moment I saw it in my life or what – but it sparked something deep and lasting in me.  I was the quiet little wallflower who just wanted to stay out of everyone’s way.  But I wanted SO much out of life – and up until that moment, I lived in fear that I would miss it all.

I suddenly saw my life as if I was headed into those sort of big crucial decisions – and I decided right then and there that I was going to make the big choices and take the big (dare I say stupid) risks and see what would come of it.     My life has been scary as hell some days – but I don’t have a long list of What ifs?

That was a made-up story that mattered.  

One of my favorite college memories is sitting in a friend’s living room with 10 other friends watching Triplets of Belleville. It was a moment in time where I felt safe and surrounded and like maybe – at least for the moment – everything was going to be all right.  We laughed and talked and paused the movie to admire the artistry in every frame.  We drank a good bottle of wine and bonded over our complete inability to cook dinner that night.

In it’s own way, that was a made-up story that mattered. 

A little over a year ago, my best friend and I sat in her living room, painted our nails, ate dinner and marathoned 6 episodes of Dawson’s Creek. And it led into a whole discussion of life in junior high school and all of the fears and weirdness that came along with that time in our lives.  We laughed at the horrible fashions from back then – and cringed when characters had to live through a moment we totally remembered from being that age.  it was a beautiful reminder that we’re not actually alone in any of this thing called life and every bonkers moment we have – someone else has probably been exactly where we are. Today is not forever.

That was a made-up story that mattered.

And it’s true that maybe I would have grown up and become a less-wallflowery type of person.  Maybe I would have taken the risk to be brave after listening to another song or after reading another story.  Maybe my friends and I still would have had an amazing night without watching Triplets.  And surely – my best friend and I could have found a thousand other things to talk about instead of Pacey (*thirteen year old swoon*)

But in those moments, those made-up stories made up precious moments of life I’m talking about and thinking about a year later, five years later, a decade later.

Those are the kind of smaller moments I’m after.  

The kind I wouldn’t trade for anything.  +


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Halfway Out of the Dark — Merry Christmas, Sweet Friends!

There’s something in the air this time of year.  

Twinkly lights edging every window, a puff of cold air whispering Hope and Go get some hot chocolate, rather than the horrific Why on God’s green earth is it this freaking cold? that somehow visits in January and February.

I love that every year ends with celebrations.

christmas flowers

Hannukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year’s Eve. Sometimes we’re celebrating a really beautiful time.  It turns out the Mayans were wrong, and 2012 was actually the best year we’ve ever had!   Other times we’re celebrating the end of a year from hell, and thank God it’s over. 2013 is going to be better.  It has to be.  There’s nowhere to go but up. 

And every year begins with a celebration.  2013 arrives, and the ball in New York City drops in perfect time with the atomic clock, and the world celebrates the beginning of a new year.  A fresh start.  A chance to begin again, a chance to undo some of last year’s damage, a chance to step into something new and beautiful.  christmas!

Winter covers over both the celebrations of the ends and the beginnings.  Every December 22nd, we arrive at the shortest day of the year.  For the last six months, the darkness has been ever creeping.  But now, (in the forever-brilliant words of Steven Moffat)…

We’re halfway out of the dark.

We’re moving forward into the light.  God has not abandoned us, even in our darkest moments.  He’s whispering our names, pointing us in the right direction, reminding us that there is hope and peace if only we’ll look, if only we’ll accept the absurdity that we are all broken yet somehow still loved. Still being pursued.  Still being accepted.

To my sweet friends, family, and friends I have yet to meet (aka my unknown readers), I just wanted to say Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!  May 2013 be a year of life and joy for you.  May you find exactly what you’re looking for in your very deepest heart of hearts.  May friends and family fill your daily lives, and may peace somehow surprise you with its perfection.

May 2013 bring beautiful adventures your way…

Thank you for coming along on this new journey with me.  I am ever so grateful.

xoxo
Lynn

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Before They Flare and Fade

– I think it might be a bit of circular logic to use a sci-fi quote to explain exactly why I write the stories I love.  I don’t write for the escapism (though escapism can be amazingly fun!) I don’t write to run away from the world around me.  

I write stories to understand the world. There’s so much to see in this beautiful place we call home. So much to hope for. So much to dream about.

There are so many wonderful, creative people I’ve been so lucky to call friends & colleagues.  It is so worth being on this adventure with them. 

The stories are a part of why I do what I do.  I love them.  But it’s the people I’m surrounded by that make this whole crazy adventure worth it.  And we have this moment to seize the day… 

I’ve never heard it put better…. 

I’m not running away. But this is one corner… of one country, in one continent, on one planet that’s a corner of a galaxy that’s a corner of a universe that is forever growing and shrinking and creating and destroying, and never remaining the same for a single millisecond. And there is so much, so much to see, Amy. Because it goes so fast. I’m not running away from things, I am running to them. Before they flare and fade forever.

– The Doctor, “The Power of Three” – Doctor Who

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