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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Your Presence has Made My Life So Beautiful…

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Your presence has made my life so beautiful. 

It was part of my Facebook status update after my birthday.   And since then, I’ve really started thinking about it…. 

How amazing is it that we need others in order to live?  

I know I could throw in this whole ‘No man is an island’ thing and just go on and on.  But I literally would not be the person I am today without every single person around me.  I’ve learned things from every person in my life, and at every turn, my friends and family and office-mates (who quickly become both friends & family!) have inspired me with their own stories and determination to create.  

My heart is so full today.  It feels heavy… not in a Things are bad kind of way, but in the way that beautiful sculpture  is heavy.  Here is a thing of weight, of quality.  It feels present and beautifully permanent. It will make its way through time, while everything else is fading away – it will keep right on shining.  I’ve carried your voices and encouragement and hopes and dreams all this time.  You’ve made me feel grounded and completely free all at once. 

We’ve all come through battlefields together – and some of us have actual physical scars from all we’ve seen and heard.  We’ve made our way through celebrations and shattered glass, through tears and blood on the ground.  We’ve made our way through staring out across a huge ocean and feeling so infinitesimal and utterly present all at once, through laughing so hard we’re crying, through getting thrown in the pool at 2 in the morning, through looking around and thinking – This is the moment I want to live in forever. Endless glasses of wine, bowls of soup, cake for breakfast, and more cups of coffee than I can count. 

She taught me to be fearless because she was fearless.  He taught me to not take myself so seriously, that I needed to laugh and zen out every once in a while.  I watched her live life and discovered that maybe the thing I was so afraid of wasn’t really that scary at all.  I read his novel and her script and knew that the bar had been set wildly high for my own writing. I want to be her when I grow up.  I have so much to learn.

I am not a self-made woman, not by a long shot.  I am becoming this beautiful, crazy, how-on-earth-does-this-work mix up of everyone who’s been so amazing to share their life and experiences with me.  They’ve all somehow sharpened me and fought with me to become the person i was made to be… And I am so brilliantly grateful. I owe you all my entire life!  

There are so many more adventures coming for us all.  

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The Importance of Being Inspired

                          Van Gogh and Monet together

Imagine that first twinge of inspiration. Think about it.  I know you’ve been there.  A road before you was muddled, and is now clear.  The questions you’ve fought through suddenly have answers, a way through you’d never seen before.  This is the beauty of inspiration.  

I don’t know anyone who would pass up a chance to be inspired, whether through a movie or song or encouragement from friends and family or an excellent essay from someone else.  But over the past few months, I’ve begun to realize that inspiration is not so much icing on the cake, as it is the essential air we must have to survive.  

I love frosting as much as the next girl, but if I go the rest of my life without air, it’s going to be a very short life.  And I have a lot of living left to do.  

Inspiration can take so many forms, and I’d bet the farm that it looks different for every single person. In my life, I’m inspired by Luke.  He’s the craziest, most wonderful person I’ve ever met, and he can make friends with anyone, anywhere.  He’s just that guy.  (My first job in the industry was a direct result of him striking up a conversation in the middle of a grocery store, I kid you not.)  He makes me want to be a better person.

In my writing, I’m inspired by so many people, it would take weeks to write out all the names.  From Aaron Sorkin to Rob Bell, from J.M. Barrie to J.K. Rowling, I love the way they put words and ideas on the page, how they bring new worlds to life, and how they challenge me to never rest in mediocre or halfway-done writing.  I can always be better.  Always be stronger.

My best friend Laurie has been to hell and back, and is one of the most joyful, peaceful people I know.  She’s always there at the moment I’m about to give up.  My friend Sarah is one of the most driven people I’ve ever met, and if I have a great idea, she’s back in about ten seconds with a plan for how we’re going to accomplish it. Love that about her. My sister can make me laugh like no one else on the planet.  Cheryl was the first one to encourage me to become a vegetarian, and the difference it’s made in my life honestly can’t be overstated.  She’s another one who’s always there at the moment I’m about to give up.  One of my cousins just joined the Army, choosing to risk life and limb to protect us.  Another one of my cousins is going to become a firefighter, the guys who rush into burning buildings to save lives every day.  ”I saved a guy today” is an average statement on an average day for him.  I can’t imagine what a good day must look like.  My friend Alli saves babies in Africa.  Cat is conquering New York City, and she can cook healthy circles around anyone.  Really.  Jenny, Crystal and Jess reminded me to keep going in the midst of a lot of pain last year. I’ve worked with unbelievably talented and creative people who have believed in me and inspired me with their creativity and new projects. My pastors, specifically Scott & Tim, helped me make it through my teenage years and into my adult life relatively unscathed, believing great big things were coming just around the corner. These are the people who have taught me not to be afraid of anything. They were the air that I needed, the little God-whispers in life pushing me along.  Without them, I’d probably be small and alone, still stuck somewhere scared of my own shadow. But I’m not, because they came along and surprised me. They pointed me to hope.  To life.  

I love Monet and Van Gogh (in fact, the photo above is two of their paintings, hanging side by side in a Getty gallery.  I spent a lot of time sitting there.)  I love Banksy.  I love Brooke Fraser, Gungor, David Crowder, The Civil Wars, Florence + The Machine, Mumford + Sons and Mutemath, all for different reasons. They inspire me, usually at extremely loud volume. I watch Finding Neverland at least four times a year. I also read Madeleine L’Engle’s Walking on Water about that often. They’re a brilliant reminder that creativity takes work and passion and a little bit of letting everyone think you’re crazy. Inspiration does that to a person. 

I wouldn’t be the person I am today without all of these disparate influences, inspiring me and moving me forward. 

So what inspires you? How can you pursue inspiration every single day?  How much would your world change if every single day you had a moment of sheer wow to play with? 

I’d imagine it would be a beautiful thing to see… 

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