“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.  I defected from Catholicsm long ago, but I can still feel guilty about anything and everything…not.

The ink has long since faded.  The war finally ended.  Nobody won but everybody lost.

After college, I graduated to media buyer and copywriter for an ad agency working in print, radio and TV.  Dabbling in political rants along the way.  Frankly my dear,  it’s easier to be a starving writer.   And the competition for starving writers is fierce.  Think about it.  We’re all prolific nowadays 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 become embedded in our lives, our fantasies and our vocabulary.   Forever.  A memorable phrase that can bail us out, redeem us, make us laugh, make us cry.  And best of all – make us feel.

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

A few film festivals, a few awards and a whole lot of sweat later, I collected my first paycheck.  Just in time to buy a new shredder.




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