You had me at hello.’

Leave it to Cameron Crowe to make ‘hello’ an aphrodisiac to millions of women around the world.   Yes, Cameron – Director and Producer of “Jerry Maguire.”

And Screenwriter.

Ah, the power of the pen.  Laptop. Ipad. Iphone.

Whatever your vice of choice.

I learned the power of the pen at an early age– when I wrote a sitting President of the United States a letter about a very unpopular war.  

Then again, aren’t all wars unpopular?

The President responded with a hand-written letter on bright white White House stationery.  That stationery impressed the heck out of me, along with his beautiful penmanship.  So important to a Catholic girl who dodged the wrath of the penmanship police, disguised as nuns.

The ink has long since faded. The war finally ended.

Nobody won but everybody lost in some way. 

Moving to a beach town was a turning point in my life as  kid when I started surfing.  The surfboard weighed way more than me but somehow I lugged that log down a steep hill.  Ironically, that passion lead me to a wonderful high school program where we were encouraged to focus on the industry that we wanted to work in; vs. the money. 

And what a year.  I was an intern at Hobie Surfboards when Hobie Alter strolled the office; then I interned with John Severson, the found of Surfer Magazine.  Casual Friday was Monday through Friday.  

I went on to be media buyer and copywriter for an ad agency working in print, radio and TV.  And feeding my creative juices into the wee hours.  Frankly my dear,  it’s easier to be a starving writer.

The competition for starving writers these days is fierce.  Think about it. We’re all prolific with Facebook, Twitter, texting, blogging, emails.

Yet, our words still get misconstrued, edited and deleted into internet purgatory.

But, thanks to those wonderful creatures known as screenwriters,  some words are embedded in our lives and our vocabulary.   Forever.

A memorable phrase or a one-liner that can bail us out, redeem us, make us laugh, make us cry.

And most of all – make us feel.

After one too many sleepless nights, I enlisted in the UCLA Writers Program.  Loaded down with ideas, I joined the ranks as a screenwriting student.  Talking to my computer into the wee hours.  Killing off characters that gave me any trouble; and feeding my shredder with rewrites.

Then came the fun part:  Film festivals, awards, accolades and a whole lot of sweat later, I collected my first paycheck.

Just in time to buy a new shredder.

© Copyright www.MaggieFranks.com 2014