Citizen of the Month Neil Kramer is hosting a new Great Interview Experiment. I signed up the minute I saw it. A couple days later, raring to go, Jayne Martin of injaynesworld contacted me to let me know she was "ready for her close-up, Mr. DeMille." As soon as I read her profile, I knew she would call it how she sees it. And I was right about that. If you haven't signed up for Neil's project, I highly recommend it. It's a great way to meet new people and find new blogs to love. Last time, I found Chrisy!
The first were Stepford Stories, Mommy’s Space, and Confessions of an Army Wife. I’d met these gals over on the Divine Caroline website and we quickly became mutual fans and friends. Tawnia from Mommy’s Space was the first to suggest I start a blog.
You are a relative newbie at blogging, though not to writing. What inspired you to start your own blog?
I started reading the blogs of my Divine Caroline friends. Kristi and Tawnia especially were very encouraging and extremely helpful in getting me set up. I had never really thought of a blog of my own. I couldn’t imagine what I’d write. Now, of course, you can’t shut me up.
Your blogging tends toward the, pardon me, smart-ass side, and can be very funny. Yet your writing credits look more like dramas. Is there a comic in there, trying to get out?
While I’ve always been a smart-ass with my own skewed view of the world, I never thought I was particularly funny and would never have thought of myself as a “comedy writer” per se. I think I always associated that with being able to write jokes and just never pursued it. Also, in TV, once you became known as a dramatic writer, you were pretty much pigeon-holed as such. Even now, I don’t think of myself as funny so much as “twisted,” and when others find that funny it’s a delicious surprise.
You describe yourself as “an unapologetic, bleeding-heart liberal.” First, thank you for that, and second, how do you respond to people who think of “liberal” as an insult?
When someone hurls “liberal” at me as an intended insult my response is always, “If the worst someone ever accuses me of is being too compassionate, I can live with that.” I strongly believe that those of us with liberal or progressives leanings are just, in general, more caring people. Conversely, I believe that conservatives are, by and large, selfish, greedy, mother-fucking bastards who are responsible for all that is wrong with the world.
You used to write for TV. What did you love about that, and what made you crazy about it?
Okay, well… The truth is what I liked best was the money and the health care and pension benefits. God bless the Writer’s Guild. It didn’t start out that way. I was all altruistic and artistic in the beginning, but the reality of the business soon kicks the crap out of that, especially if you’re sensitive as most artists are. I would always say, “Enjoy your first draft because that’s when you get to be a writer. After that you become damage-control officer.” Executives would fawn all over you in the beginning of the process, but as soon as you turned in that first draft they’d be on it like vultures on road kill. The challenge then was to try to preserve the integrity of the story while addressing all the “notes” from those who thought they knew more about how to write a script that you did. Ultimately, you acquiesced to their demands for changes because if you didn’t they’d just fire you and hire someone else to come in and fuck up the script. Occasionally, I’d be blessed with a producer whose suggestions actually did improve the script and who would fight for me, but not often enough to prevent me from becoming cynical and jaded and eventually it became time for me to move on to other endeavors.
Who comes up with those movie titles on Lifetime?
Mostly, that would be me. Although, a couple of times my title wasn’t sucky enough and the network would re-name it.
What job would you love to try for a week, not for the money (said a fellow freelancer) just for the experience?
I’d love to be an environmental attorney for a group like “Earth Justice,” or inhabit Gail Collins’ brain and get to experience her writing brilliance. She’d have a helluva a time getting me to leave though.
I get the impression that you like horses. I know your Grandpa introduced you to them at three, but describe the first time you felt that connection.
I’ve never known a time in my life when I did not feel that connection. Being with a horse is when I am most at peace.
Any “Pearls of Wisdom” you’d like to share? Like your favorite kind of pie?
“The Stop On By Café & Laundromat” was an idea I had for a humorous advice-column-type of blog and I created the character of “Pearl” --
“Uh-oh… Sorry, Pearl,” Jayne sheepishly replied.
“Cain’t hardly get me a word in edgewise anymore!,” Pearl huffed. “The truth is, I’m the real person here and Jayne is just front for my more cantankerous side. In a small town like Wisdom, you just cain’t be lobbin’ F-bombs and such whenever you feel like it, so it was necessary for an outspoken gal like me to create herself one of them alter-egos. I have to say though, it bothers me some to see how much more popular she is than I am and I’m thinkin’ that if more people don’t start stoppin’ by the Stop On By Café for my delicious pie and heartfelt advice, I may just have to eliminate Jayne altogether.”
How did you train the cows to give beer???
You can’t train them. Some cows are just more gifted than others.