• Here’s the Story

    I wrote a book called The Forest for the Trees and it’s an advice book for writers. For four years, I blogged every day about the agony of writing and publishing, and the self loathing that afflicts most writers. A community of like-minded malcontents gathered and thus ensued a grand conversation. Now, the most popular posts are gathered in Greatest Hits ( a work in progress) Gluttons for punishment can scroll through the archives. If I've learned one thing about writers, it's this: we really are all alone. Love, Betsy
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Your Hat Strategically Dipped Below One Eye

Aloha from the Nutmeg State! How the fuck are you? I know this is obscenely soon to check back in after my Oz-like disappearance from the internet, but holy shit on rye I finished my fucking screenplay and I owe it all to you. Well, first some august readers have to weigh in, but I finished the fucker. Do you feel me? Now I get to submit it to agents, producers, pimps and prostitutes. And be taken down a peg or two or three or four million. Courage Lerner! Courage Five Pumpkins in a Belly! Courage Wipeass!

And I finally figured out what I want to do next. And, yes, I am on my meds.

WHAT ABOUT YOU? Anybody home?

50 Responses

  1. Yipppeee Betsy! Well done, you. and yes, I feel you. Good luck among the prostitutes, porkers, and pimps. I am great, thanks for asking. I’m taking my meds, too, but only because my husband reminds me when I start to act a bit daft.

    I’ve missed you but I take solace in the fact that you have been productive.

  2. Goodbye, hello. Goodbye, hello. Anyone else getting a neck ache? :) Congrats on the screenplay!

  3. Courage Lerner! I love it :) Congratulations!!

  4. Conflagellations Betsellator…
    You done good.
    I done a bit good too… I wrote words down every day this year… if this was October, I’d be awesome.

  5. I am delighted for you.

    Enter it in the Academy’s Nicholl Competition, ‘kay?

  6. Awesome! So what is next?

  7. Hey Betsy,

    It’s been ages! Congratulations to you. I trust that you have also aced your cover letter. We expect no less than your dazzling success. And after the movie premiere, what’s next?

    I spent the morning with my trainer and the afternoon working on a novel. Working on (quickly aging) body and soul. Tomorrow I’ll drive to the North Shore of Boston to give poetry workshops to three 2nd grade classrooms. We’re doing Body Poems (“My eyes are like a door. They open and shut.”)

    Belated Happy New Year to all my fellow Betsy Lerner Blogettes!

  8. Excellent! I’m home, cleaning up the aftermath of my brand-new 10-year old’s gift-unwrapping frenzy. Totally worth it, though.

    Congratulations on the screenplay!

    I’m about 15,000 words into something and I actually have an outline for the next bit. How odd is that?

  9. Congrats on finishing!! Please keep us up to date when the submissions begin rolling out. Surely you’ve got some agents just sitting in your back pocket. How does that work anyway–agent seeking agent? Is it ever weird? Like a clinical psychologist seeking a therapist? Like doctors being bad patients, do agents make annoying, high strung, too well informed clients?

  10. Here’s to getting it done. I’m cracking the door and taking a look at my “it” — wooosh.

  11. i gave up my meds last year. they were killing me. now i take my life straight, no chaser.

    i’m glad you finished your screenplay. i wrote one of those nine years ago. it was a lot of fun (i was high the whole time). what it wasn’t was a workable screenplay. i hope your has good cinematic chops. mine was too much, in some vague but inescapable why, like the skeleton of a novel. so these days i’m turning it into a novel. it was either that or the abject despair of irremediable failure. can’t have that. i’m off my meds.

    courage wipeass, ms. lerner. it’s the only kind that sticks.

  12. So apparently the blog break and the bed rest provided the necessary boredom to kick some creative ass? Congratulations!

  13. Congratulations on finishing your screenplay! I raise my Diet Coke to you. I am waiting for my edited second draft to be delivered and I will be joining you in the pimp me please line….

  14. Yes! So are you going to start a new thing around here where we’re supposed to actually do what we keep talking about doing? Damn it.
    Next up, “And the Academy Award for best screenplay goes to…”

    We’ve missed you, Betsy, but way to step it up!

  15. Not that I wanted to bring up the whole med thing–but since you did, and I got a little background on the whole enchilada–all I got to say is if you can swing it without it–which is not easy, as I know having been on anti-depressants myself–then balls to the walls, go for it. Not if, but when people start asking you to go back on them, see if you could muster life without them…My client who has BP I, said…”I can get off them but it ain’t gonna be pretty.” When I got off my anti depressents–due to financial reasons–I remember my sweet client and told my family: “stay away from me, and no one gets hurt.” Today I walk without them. Yeah, it gets ugly, but so is life. If it gets out of control–like requiring hospitalization–then maybe you gave it your best shot, and taking them is safer for all.

  16. Well, just when I’m thinking how much I miss you this time of night, there you are! Congrats Betsy. Just renewed my Actors Equity Card today so I can get my taxes done there. Perfect timing…maybe there’s a part in there for me? (I’m SAG too!) Seriously, how many of your readers are also actors?? You think you’ve been overwhelmed by writers? Well, get ready, hun, once your screenplay hits the big time, we’re gonna be after you! Ha, ha. (Resume available upon request.)

  17. Well, good on you, Ms. Lerner, for FTF. 2013 is going to be good. My WIP and I are getting reacquainted. Right now it’s like a trial reconciliation–a little hot, a little painful. But we’ll get there.

  18. Good gal. I’m sure it will be a mover. Anytime you need to hear the flutter of creative souls do come back here. Buona fortuna.

  19. Rock on Lerner!!!

  20. You giving up your blog is like me giving up chocolate: it doesn’t last. That said, I’m delighted and anytime I see your posts in my inbox now, I feel an extra surge of joy– more than ever before. Good luck selling the screenplay. That’s so great that you finished it. I’m not sure why we’re to thank but I’ll take it, I guess.

  21. Hello Betsy, I was so pleased to hear from you this morning. Congratulations on finishing your screenplay (like you won’t be asked to do more drafts for the producers) but you already know the process, so I will just wish you every success. Good writing to all Betsy’s crew reading this, and if anyone has any sage words regarding keeping narrative drive going through that 1st-2nd act transition (novel): I’m feeling humble… please share?

  22. Chapeau Madame! May you be dining chez Weinstein soon.

  23. I’m happy for you Betsy. About me? Um, well, I’m still working on my first novel. Long long way to go.
    From Bangkok with love.

  24. A hearty congrats to finishing.
    Had to get up at fucking-4am to do inventory today, and since I couldn’t sleep because I had to get up at fucking-4am, sleeping with my fucking-phone so the alarm wouldn’t wake my husband makes sleeping difficult, I decided to jump on the old lap warmer, my computer not my husband, and check to see who doth been lurking around Lerner’s…eureka, it was Lerner herself.
    Hey I’m on meds too, NyQuil, can’t breathe, annual cold.

    While you were gone I shoved a backbone up the spine of my WIP, started a new blog and pretty much found out what I was going to do next too. Soooo glad your world is spinning right.
    My writing world is not the same without you my dear. On this morning, this very early morning, the Gods are telling me everything is going to be okay. I now know what limbo is like.
    I’m off to do the fucking inventory. How can people count so early?

  25. This is why I love words! You are rolling in the shit of happiness! Thanks for the pick me up. Roll On!

    Sent from my iPad

  26. Dear Betsy,
    Please explain to your pimp that life without ‘la Lerner’ is unacceptable for her crew. If he/she doesn’t understand, I’ll come over to the USA nifty, and punch his/her lights out. I may only be 5′ 3″ and have humungus nobbly knees but I got me a good right ‘ook. (This is the accepted vernacular in English gangsta films.) Just in case you were wondering.
    Congratulations on finishing, by the way. You sound happy.

  27. Congrats Betsy! Always a good feeling to finish a project. Glad to have you back (for a day)–I know I haven’t been following long but was missing my daily dose.
    Best of luck.

  28. That’s just great, Betsy. Congratulations on finishing. Looking forward to listening to your voice on NPR, talking about the movie with Leonard Lopate, alongside the actor playing your protagonist.

    I’m well. I sold 11 (out of a clean dozen) cards at my neighborhood book store. That’s certainly inspiring. No what’s not? The amount of laundry that needs to be put away. Ground Hog day, for sure.

    So, what do you want to do next? You can’t just put that out there without even a hint. And, yes, yay for meds.

  29. Jesus, you didn’t waste any time. Amazing how fast you can move once you get the kids off your hip.

    I’m playing whack a mole with my draft, aka revision #142. Which is why I’m up early and presumably hard at work, though I swear if I have to deal with those two characters today I’m going to use the mallet on my own head.

  30. Cock-a-doodle-damned-doo! That’s fan-freaking-tastic. I rarely watch awards shows, but when you get nominated by the Academy, I promise to stay up to watch your acceptance speech.

    Me, I’m seriously considering self-pubbing this year. I know, not the path you’d recommend, but I’m an old broad, and I’d like to lay a golden egg or two before I hit that great big fryer in the sky. I’m weary of the constant editing, and it’s time to defecate or decommode.

    Happy New Year! (You’ve certainly gotten it off to a great start.)

  31. Connecticut is probably one of the most underrated states in the country, playing second fiddle to Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and even Mass. and Rhode Island, but shit there’re some beautiful rivers meandering through the state and lots of forest land that for some reason (thankfully) hasn’t yet been developed. The coast is cool and Mark Twain lived in Hartford.

    Here in the mountains, all is well. Lots of snow and good skiing, although later in the week we might get rain and fuckpissshit weather. I have the flu, but I can’t slow down, skiing this weekend and smoking dope on a side trail then hitting the bar afterwards. It’s a rough life.

    Writing, of course. Working on a revision that seemed good in my brain, but I’m having trouble getting down on paper, stuff about getting inside a sick person’s body, a living Xray, and how it looks from the outside as well, convulsive movement, spasms and the form of something alive moving around the belly and chest. Not a baby, oh no, but not as sci fi as an alien; sickness of the worst kind. Where it will go, I don’t know, but this I can say: it’s going.

    Congratulations on finishing your screenplay. You’re on your way.

  32. Damn but if you ain’t sneaky. A big fat porky congrats to you on F’ing The F’er! (Ahem…, New Year’s resolution – except I already forgot on Averil’s site.) I hope to it’s a huge success and your most fave producer is slobbering all over it soon.

    Back to working …1000 wpd, 1000 wpd…it’s like some mantra in my head.

    Still hoping for us all.

    Still here.

  33. I tip my hat to you (in a non-strategic way).

    And Betsy, here’s hoping the Lerner Bar & Grill is like the Hotel California. You can check out anytime you like, but …

  34. Well well well, Ms. Lerner, congrats on finishing that fucker. Way to set the pace for 2013!!

  35. So happy for you!! So happy you stopped in!! I started rereading FFTT without your blog to kick my butt. But the real question–what in the world do you want to do next?? (or did I miss something?)

    Anyhow, go put the ape in ape-ricot (following your Oz reference, yes I played the Cowerdly Lion in my 5th grade play-typecast even then) and hang on to that courage!

  36. Good for you and much luck.

  37. Congragulations!!! That is awesome news! I can’t wait to see the film and watch the awards ceremony!
    2013 is going to be a year of happenings – i can just feel it!
    P.S. I will always be home for you Betsy (meant not in the creepy, stalking sort of way that it might sound, but in the miss your inspirational posts sort of way)

  38. Congratulations! I love the rush that accompanies the long-coming end of a project. I have very recently finished my work-in-progress too and am eager as all hell for feedback. Fortunately, my test dummy readers are pretty quick. Should hear something within a week or two.

    Then it’s back to waiting, of course. Waiting on agents, waiting on editors, waiting on me to come up with the new wip to take my mind off all the goddamned waiting. Let the fun begin…

    Best of luck to you. :)

  39. You’re friggin funny. Congratulations wipeass! Never said that phrase to anyone in my life. Thanks for the new note! But sincerely, completing anything is a big-toe dance, drum roll those babies while kissing a mirror.

  40. Well done. I will only be disappointed if there is no scene of a group of people sitting around a table, pondering the exact use of butt plugs while snatching drinks back from frightened waiters.

  41. You are the greatest person on the face of the earth! I was thinking about what I’d like someone to say to me if/when I finish my screenplay, and this seems appropriate. Way to kick off the new year. I’m usually bloated with delusional piss and vinegar as it rings in, but this year I can’t seem to get it up, and it’s been so long since I’ve indulged in meds I figured I’d mastered working without a net, but who knows. Chime in from time to time about how you sold your screenplay to Hollywood and became a …well, you’re already a star.

  42. Raise High the Roof Beam and Congratulations! What a REAL great way to start the year! I’m so happy for you! And I’m happy that BetsyWorld is still intact and that we all have the same thing to look forward to — the REAL to reel story.

  43. Congratulations and thanks, all together.

  44. Well thanks be! Congrats!
    I wrote a blog post.
    I need to aim higher.

  45. Hmmmm…I just had a thought, from the “Nutmeg State” are you a fellow CTer?

  46. Can I be jealous and still think you’re amazing?

  47. Great news, Betsy. Oo-fucking-rah, as we said in The Suck. Sometimes a retreat is but an advance in another direction.

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