Election Advice

I’ll be the first to admit – I am in love with the political process.  

Some days I think if I wouldn’t have decided to become a tv writer, politics might have been my game.  But I watch all the debates religiously.  (Last night’s being a particular favorite of mine – seriously. THAT is how you debate, people.)  I research plans and ideals and future ramifications of elections like crazy. I read the NY Times and watch previous interviews and spend an enormous amount of time reading the other guy’s website, rather than just standing in an echo chamber to hear what I already agree with.  I think Luke’s excited for the election to be over so he doesn’t come home to “Listen to this 10 page proposal!” over and over and over again.  

But my least favorite part of this whole process is getting vilified by the other side.  I hate getting dismissed instantaneously because I have a Romney Obama Romney Obama (wouldn’t you like to know?) slant on a particular issue or five.  

And so I give you John Wesley’s quote for the day, a quote from his 1774 journal.  

(A huge thanks to my friend Noelle for sharing!) 

I met those of our society who had votes in the ensuing election, and advised them, 1. To vote, without fee or reward, for the person they judged most worthy: 2. To speak no evil of the person they voted against: And, 3. To take care their spirits were not sharpened against those that voted on the other side.  

Let’s be humans in this election, cool?  #TeamUSA

And so concludes my political postings for the next 4 years.  xo

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This Guy is My Hero

For the rest of my life, I will ALWAYS vote for crazy stunts like this one.  Humans are made to take risks and stretch further and try new things.  We are meant to risk our very lives in pursuit of something greater than ourselves.  Felix Baumgartner is awesome.

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In That Moment, I Swear We Were Infinite…

I’m sitting in my car, typing this out all thumbs, just out of the theater, at the Americana at Brand. And the night is cold and beautiful, and though this is LA so we can’t actually see stars, I like to imagine they’re twinkling far above me.

I miss the stars sometimes.

Sometimes I forget they’re actually there – except the North Star and maybe Orion or the Big Dipper. I remember when I was, still in our first house, and Mom looked up into the sky and said, “Look, there’s Orion’s Belt.”

And me, being the incredibly grounded, literal, tell-me-how-the-world-works kid that I was, I started looking on the ground for an actual, literal, made-from-brown-leather belt on the sidewalk. And my mom kind of laughed, and pointed up to the sky. “No, the stars.”

And that’s the first time I really remember looking at the stars, and the first time I remember feeling so infinitesimally small.

And the world cracked open around me.  

Suddenly I wasn’t a little kid in this tiny, crushing world anymore.

I was alive and free and the feel of the breeze on my skin and my mom standing next to me looking up at the stars and it was beautiful. The world was dangerous –

and I was nothing but a speck.

Any dangers that the universe could throw at me were going to be exponentially larger than anything I could dream up, and more likely than not, I was going to get swept out to the deepest parts of the ocean and drown. And there was nothing I could do about it. Nothing.

But in that moment, I felt so safe. Like the world was so full and so big and if I held my breath and tried to think every thought in the world, for one tiny second, I could grasp a hint of what it all was. And then it would fade , because my heart wasn’t big enough yet.

I think that was the last moment I was ever tied to the earth.

It was like the moment I thought there might be a God out there somewhere, and that if everything all these people had said was true, and if I was really truly lucky, that maybe he knew my name. And it felt like the first time I thought about living forever, and I had this one perfect moment where I just understood.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

Perks of Being a WallflowerRead the book.  Watch the film.  Stephen Chbosky, you are incredible. Logan Lerman, Emma Watson and Ezra Miller are Charlie, Sam and Patrick, like they’ve always been the characters and we just now noticed.

I was a lot like Charlie in high school. And a little like Sam. I thought no one ever noticed me.

But oh, my friends.  They made me the luckiest girl in the world.

The moments I remember most are so small, a tiny breath of a second.  Standing on stage for the first time as part of an actual rock band.  I was 14 and just starting my freshman year in high school, and everyone else was 17, 18 and 20.  I was terrified and safe all at the same time, and I just knew that they knew how stupid I felt, how much I was so afraid they were going to play some progression I had no idea how to play.

And yet, my fingers found their way across the keyboard at the right moments, and I managed to stay conscious the whole time.  Everything lined up perfectly.

Years later, and in another band, I was driving with friends through the mountains of Colorado.  I think we were heading for Arizona for a show.  In the middle of the night, we made it from my parents front door to the Eisenhower Tunnel in 45 minutes (a ridiculous feat of sheer belief that we were completely invincible – and in that moment, we were.)  It was so cold with the mountain air – and for a few minutes, I curled up in the front seat and closed my eyes.  I could have fallen asleep, because I was so at peace.

We got much further into the mountains, and pulled off to the side of the road.  We turned off the car, and all the lights and just stood there looking up at the Milky Way through the trees.  And the silence went all the way to our souls, and I knew for the rest of my life, I was going to be able to find these guys and tell them anything.  I saw our lives stretching out, and I knew that we’d go off in all these different directions.  We’d all find our One, and get married and have babies.  Maybe we’d move away from Colorado, maybe we’d stop seeing each other every single week. Maybe weeks and months would go by.

It made it sharper and sweeter and I knew that I was holding a bubble about to pop.  Nothing is forever.  But it was in that moment, I found a piece of God I’d never found before.   We turned on the song “Stars” and turned it up as loud as our stereo would go.

It was perfect. 

I understand what Charlie means.  In this moment, I swear we are infinite.

And maybe in a strange way, that moment was infinite.  It’s still reaching forward in time, as full and alive and beautiful as it was in that initial infinite second. It was a second bigger than itself, bigger than the rest of my life all put together.

It was over so fast, and yet sometimes I still live there. 

I know what it’s like to look and only see pain everywhere.  I know what it’s like to want desperately to rescue friends from everything they’ve created as their reality, where you just want to shake them and say, “No!  You deserve so much more!”  I know what it feels like to be invisible.  I know what it feels like to realize I am not alone.  I know how it feels.

And I think our lives are that full of those infinite moments that lap ahead and push us into the future and make us the people we long to be.

Those moments of praying at the ceiling and finally hearing an answer in your soul.  Those moments you know you’re going to remember the rest of your life.  The feeling of leaning against friends on the gym floor at Carr Street.  The feeling of looking out at the moon, your fingers twisted together with the one your heart loves.  That perfect harmony in the middle of a show.  The moment you know you’re surrounded by the ones you’d die for. The way my grandparents’ house smelled when my grandma was cooking meatloaf and smashed potatoes. Those moments of another glass of wine and an indie movie and waking up on your friend’s couch at six in the morning and eating breakfast together at seven with reheated coffee and fresh scrambled eggs.  And laughing.  There is always laughing.

Standing at the ocean, arms outstretched, when every stress falls away for just a second. Where you forget the time that you cut yourself. You forget the look on his face when he told you No.  Not today.  Not ever.  When you forget the words No one wants to hear about you. When you forget the moments you gave up.  The moments where you were so afraid that you missed out on what was really important.  You forget the feel of the bruise. You forget the doctor’s face when you start to cry.  You forget that you ever cried at all.

Now is not the moment to hold onto everything.

Now is the moment to be free. 

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Looper

I’ve actually held off writing this review for a few days so I could fully process the visceral experience that is Looper.   Part of me wants to just post the trailer and say “Go see it.  Posthaste.”  Part of me wants to tell you all my thoughts and all the spoilers line by line because this movie is that good. Part of me wishes I had never seen it because it just makes my stomach twist and my brain ask all sorts of horrific questions.  But here it is…. Looper.  

Go see it. Today.

Where to begin? 

I’ve loved Joseph Gordon-Levitt since I was like 8 and watching Angels in the Outfield. And then again when I was a little older and watching 10 Things I Hate About You.  J G-L and Heath Ledger in a single movie?  Come on now!  Sigh.  Heath Ledger.  There’s the person I’d want to go back in time to save.  He had too many stories left to tell.

I honestly can’t think of a Joseph Gordon-Levitt movie I haven’t liked.  And here, where he looks oddly like Bruce Willis – he still gives one of his best performances.  So strong that the prosthetics end up disappearing and you forget them completely. Maybe I was just predisposed to like this one already, and then when it was actually good

Back to Looper

It’s a twisted tale of a world without any real semblance of morality.  Even the main character – Joe – is a man finding his way in the world, his life a swirl of drugs, death and girls.  And he knows that one day, he’ll kill his future self.  Cheery life. Hit men for hire

It’s not just some hedonistic rush of a movie, though.  It’s really smart about how the story unfolds.  There are tiny moments – like the one in the trailer above when Joe tells Old Joe, “Your face looks backwards.”  I don’t think I ever would have thought of that. I got through about half the movie when I realized I’d never seen this movie before.  Ever.  Usually – when you see a movie, you’ve seen pieces of it before.  Boy meets girl.  A buddy cop movie.  A new job movie.  A romantic comedy.  An historical drama with a love triangle.

But this one had no boxes.  No preconceived ideas about where the story was heading, or where it needed to go.

Original. 

This is the story of impossibilities happening. Fixed points in time becoming unstuck, and everything that was ever for sure becoming shaky.  Truths becoming untruths.  Paradoxes. See, the very thing that has always been a complete impossibility  happens – his future self escapes his own death.  And everything changes.  His world turns inside out, and everything Old Joe knew for certainty – I’m in love with my wife.  One day I’m going to kill myself.  I probably deserve to die. – just isn’t true anymore.

Old Joe and YoungOlder Joe isn’t just on a crazy tear trying to save his own skin, though.  He’s a man trying to save the future.  Everyone’s future.

And if I go any further than that, I’ll completely spoil the movie.

Just know that there are massive, important plot points that didn’t make it into the trailer (or any of the promo material, for that matter.)  Well done, Rian Johnson.  Thanks for finally making a movie so worth seeing with a trailer that doesn’t give anything away.  Love.

But you have to ask yourself…

If you had a chance to do the same thing, would you?   Would you risk not just your life, but everything that has made your life beautiful and good and worth living?  You start asking yourself questions about nature vs. nurture, and praying that it’s worth teaching the next generation to live and love well.  The world can be a dark, screwed-up place most of the time.

The twist is that there is hope.  Always. 

The world might not exactly look like Looper’s future world quite yet, and maybe it never has to.  But that choice is ours.  Today, right now.  In everything we do.

Let’s get on it.

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Mumford & Sons – “Babel”

I can’t stop listening to this song right now… 

‘Cause I know my weakness, know my voice, and I’ll believe in grace and choice
and I know perhaps my heart is fast, but I’ll be born without a mask.
I know I’m not perfect.  Not by a long stretch… but there is something infinitely beautiful in grace.  

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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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Where No One Has Gone Before…

                                     Space Shuttle!

Hey – LA friends!  Did you know the Space Shuttle flew overhead today??? 

I kid. I kid.  For hours today, my facebook, twitter and instagram feeds were filled with amazing shots of the Endeavor piggybacking on a 747.  (The picture above was taken by my friend Jason, whose book you really should read.) 

Between Endeavor overhead today, NASA announcing that warp drive might actually be possible after all earlier this week, and the sheer awesomeness that is the Mars rover – I feel the need to break out an old episode of TNG and listen to Picard’s great “Space – the final frontier… (Our) continuing mission… To boldly go where no one has gone before.” speech.  

Admit it. You totally read that line with a British accent in your head. It’s ok. We all do. 

There’s something strangely comforting in people from all across a city, all across a country banding together in celebration of an event.  Maybe it’s part of why I love the holidays.  Or voting day. Even Leap Year.  It’s why I loved seeing all of the Harry Potter movies on opening night.  Why we watch the Oscars and Emmys and Tonys together with friends.  It’s why we celebrate birthdays together.  It’s why one of my favorite moments with my family was when we all gathered after my great grandmother passed away.  We missed her deeply, and yet she filled the world with such joy that we could only laugh in that moment. We were together.

We all come together around our common stories. 

There’s something innately beautiful and instinctively lovely about this bonkers drive we have to see the universe.  We are curious creatures, and we’re never content to just sit back and shrug our shoulders.  We always want to know why & how & when.  And I love it! 

Today, California took a break from daily life, and we all went outside, said hello to the sun and waited for magic to pass by.  The space shuttle isn’t just some hunk of metal being retired.  It’s not even a plane or a transport system.  It was in space. 

SPACE! 

It’s the dreams and blood and sweat and tears of scientists, philosophers, mathematicians & storytellers mixed with the raw wide-eyed bluster of a little kid who thinks knows he can climb that faraway mountain if only he packs enough sandwiches and shoelaces for the journey.  

And for a few hours today, we were all reminded of why we dream.  

Sometimes I seriously hate reading the news – especially right now, when everything seems to be such a total mess.  But today – reading the news reminded me that we live in a pretty amazing time.  

I’d be stupid to close my eyes to shut out the bad, because I’d so easily miss all the good. 

I think this is part of what’s drawn me to writing so much sci-fi in the last several years.  Geek girl persona aside, there’s something brilliantly fun about writing worlds so much bigger than our own.  I get to reach for inspiration, for crazy outside-the-box ideas, for the chance to discover or create something new.  It’s a bigger canvas.  More colors.  A chance to say, “And I could tell the story with time travel!”  

Imagination. 

And it all starts with a space shuttle and a robot and a footprint on the moon. 

It all begins here. 

Whatever will tomorrow bring? 

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