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This is a blog about Truth, Justice and the American Way. The stories are true. No names have been changed to protect anyone's identity, including my own. If the story is about me, then I'll say so right up front. If I don't use a name to identify whom the story is about, then it's because it's not relevant. So please do not call me or e-mail me with your kind condolences or unwarranted congratulations about something that you believe is a cleverly disguised bio from my alter ego. These stories, like my photo, are unretouched.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

I stole from my man.


Before everyone gets all up in my face about this blog post, let me state right up front that I didn't really "steal" from my man.  I was protecting him from someone else stealing his intellectual property.  He knew I was doing it; or at least he should have known because it isn’t like I didn’t tell him in advance.  I don’t think he believed me.  Silly boy.

My husband, Brad, has been a writer of one kind or another his whole life.  He started as a news reporter, then became an advertising copywriter; eventually he wrote and directed television commercials.   He had a great idea for a screenplay about a murder case that he covered as a reporter.  Terrific idea.  Lots of twists and turns.  Eventually he figured out how the murderer got away with it, so there were wonderful possibilities.

I went back to Indiana and dug through the newspaper morgue (the archives) and did the research for him.  It had been a number of years since he had covered the case.  He poured over my research and began talking about the story to friends.  A year later he was still talking – to everyone within earshot. 

“Quit talking about it and write it,” I mentioned ever-so-tactfully about a million times.  “Someone is going to steal it from you.”

Another year passed and he was working as a producer on a small feature film.  The executive producer was a big deal from Hollywood.  One day I walked into a break in shooting to find Brad telling the Hollywood guy about his idea for a screenplay – telling him in excruciating detail.

“Shut up, shut up, shut up,” I gently suggested.  “Are you insane?  These Hollywood guys would steal the food from their mother’s mouths.”

A year later, I finally gave him an ultimatum.  “If you are intent on letting someone steal this thing, then keep it in the family.  You’ve got until September to write at least a treatment (a synopsis) and get it registered with the Writer’s Guild of America or I’m going to steal the damn thing myself.”  Honestly, did he think I was kidding?

The following January we were getting our taxes together and he saw a bunch of cancelled checks made out to WGA.  “What’s this?” he asked.  

“That’s the Writer’s Guild of America for my many treatments,” I answered helpfully.  “I took your screenplay and registered it seven ways from Sunday.    It’s registered as a true story, a piece of fiction, a third-person narrative, a first-person narrative from the POV of a young reporter covering the story, and a first person story from the POV of the murderer.  It’s mine now.”

The British have a word for what Brad was.  It’s called Gobsmacked.  It means confused, shocked, dumbfounded.  “Suppose I still want to write it?” he asked.

“Well then I guess you’ll have to be a lot nicer to me.” 

Men.  They really must start taking us more seriously.

3 comments:

  1. Oh you are a real gem. You owe me a bottle of widex....I blew snot all over my monitor. Bix Bitch indeed lol

    Stan

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am so grateful for your post. Will read on…

    ReplyDelete