Here’s Johnny…

I have been on tour for the last week “bringin’ the Cat!” to the Chicago area. It’s nice to be back in the blogosphere — please excuse the delay.

Had a great book signing at Borders in Deerfield on Friday night. Wow! What a nice crowd. And I led two one-day seminars on Saturday and Sunday with a GREAT group of writers. A lot of fun!

Just give me a bottle of Pellegrino water and I can talk for hours.

During a break in the action on Saturday, Barbara Lyon handed me a slip of paper. Barbara, who organized last weekend’s events and is putting together our Chicago “Structure! X 3” seminar this coming weekend, had written down something I’d said.

“Our mission is selling your script…” it read.

Reading that piece of paper and realizing I had said it without really planning to was a breakthrough moment for me.

It helped me focus on what my book and this site are really about.

The decided difference between me and other screenwriting guri is my emphasis on results. As a working screenwriter for 20 years, I spent a good long time learning my craft by trial and error. I didn’t have Save The Cat and didn’t have the shortcuts it details. I love writing. And I would probably do it without the promise of ever making a sale. But there is something truly satisfying about getting paid for doing something you love.

And I want you to have the same success I’ve been lucky enough to have.

If I can shortcut your road to success that is the “mission.” And we are starting to see the results, you and I, with several Cat! scripts working their way up the chain.

The only better feeling than to achieve success for yourself is to help another person do the same. And that is my mission for sure.


Dennis Weaver, Darren McGavin and Don Knotts.

All three of these great actors meant something to me and we will miss them.

Dennis Weaver grew up in Joplin, Missouri — my Mom’s hometown. Though just acquaintances, they had many friends in common and Duel — in which he starred — remains one of my all time favorite films.

Darren McGavin not only was The Nightstalker, the inspiration for The X Files, but gave all new meaning to “fatherhood” in A Christmas Story.

And what can you say about Don Knotts, star of my all-time guilty pleasure movie, The Ghost And Mr. Chicken, except to quote a line from that great family film: “Atta boy, Luther!”