California, Here I Cawwwwwww-Wuh-Uhm

This past Monday marked the tenth anniversary of Fox’s The O.C., the increasingly weird and intermittently wonderful teen soap that introduced the world to the questionable charms of Seth Cohen, Ryan Atwood and the ever-troubled Marissa Cooper, a literal girl-next-door gone so horribly, horribly wild. The show’s mix of meta-commentary and achingly sincere emotional melodrama – Ryan loves Marissa but can’t help her as she self-destructs in front of his eyes! – was, for someone like me who sneaked in episodes of Dawson’s Creek like some dirty little secret back in the day, an utterly irresistible combination. Here, finally, was a show that I could embrace and adore, unapologetically.

Well, almost unapologetically.

The start of something for TIME that I started, then abandoned in favor of something else, this week.

“Never Tell Somebody What You’re Writing Because Then You Won’t Write It Down”

This comes from Kai, my wife, who produced the film. She [quotes from] Rio Grande: ‘Get it done, Johnny Reb.’ It’s like, don’t make excuses. There aren’t any anymore. If you’re talking about it, you should be doing it and she doesn’t like to see talent go fallow. She doesn’t like to see people repeat themselves. She likes people to get it done, purely out of love of the person and then joy for the product itself. And that’s the thing: I talked about Much Ado for 10 years and it was Kai who finally said, ‘What if instead of talking about it . . . ’ and I went, ‘What?’ Someone will always tell you that you can’t. One of the things that she delighted in was the fact that, apart from telling the people at Marvel so that they didn’t freak out when they found out that I was directing another movie [while we were in postproduction on The Avengers], we really didn’t tell anybody. It was just our little thing. There’s an old thing they say: Writers never tell somebody what you’re writing because then you won’t write it down, and it’s kind of applied to the production in a way. If we let this get out and balloon into something that mattered to anybody besides us, we might not finish it.

From here. It’s Joss Whedon talking about tips for getting stuff done, which is at the top of my “I should get better at that” list currently.

All Apologies

Okay, so I meant to stay a little bit quiet on here around the time of the San Diego Comic-Con, if only because I was working it for Wired and live-blogging the experience over there. I didn’t, however, mean to stay quite so quiet for so long. Blame the weird two-week mental hangover that followed.

For some reason that I can’t explain, Comic-Con was both better than usual this year – No nights spent awake, working all the way through to the early morning! – and worse, at least in terms of inability to fit back into my regular schedule afterwards. The first week back, I was thinking through sludge; I got to the Tuesday and my brain pretty much locked up with the rest of that week seeing me run on fumes as much as anything else. Last week, too, I found myself curiously overwhelmed by everything that needed doing. Why? I really have no idea. Everything just got to be a little bit much, I guess.

But that is, I hope, over. My new work schedule – I’m now writing for the Hollywood Reporter, Wired and Time – is still something I’m trying to get used to, but I’m getting better at it. I’ll really, seriously, try to write more here now. Honest.