Too Big To Fail (or Write, in This Case)

This week’s Time piece is all about Twitter, and storytelling on it. For some strange reason, I didn’t want to write it when it finally came time to do it; I found countless other things to do instead, putting it off until the very last possible moment; even the rewrites yesterday after getting notes from my editor, I was very “Oh, I’ll save that until last because, oh God” for some reason. It’s not that I didn’t know what to write, but that I just found myself entirely daunted by the idea of writing a long piece this week. Strange but true.

He’s Been Here For Years

This week’s Time piece is something that still feels a little unfinished, as if I’m writing around the subject as opposed to about the subject, if that makes sense? I didn’t quite find the magic bullet that allowed me to put everything together properly in time before the deadline (I am mixing metaphors there, I know), and as a result, I’m somewhat frustrated with myself. Still, the nature of the Internet beast: This time tomorrow, no-one will remember it and I’ll already be at work on the next one…

It’s a piece about the seeming revival for Peanuts and Charlie Brown, and how it’s not exactly what it seems. At least I got to marryPeanuts and LL Cool J in the headline, and create this wonderful piece of Google dissonance:

Post Script

Another day of just outright exhaustion – I’m wrapping things up now, but I’ve been working for almost 12 hours on and off, thanks to insomnia brought on by stress about how much I had to do (Hello, irony) and I’ve reached the point where my fingers aren’t always typing the letters that I want them to, which isn’t helping matters at all – but I shouldn’t miss the traditional linking to my Time Entertainment essay; this week’s is here, and is all about the greatness that is the Hallmark Channel’s Christmas movie line-up. As with last week’s, it was one that didn’t quite come together the way I’d hoped, in part because I couldn’t get my brain into the right gear to write it the way I wanted to (I wrote before about my exhaustion, right…?). Hopefully, after this almost entirely holiday weekend – I should be working a little on Friday, but that’s it – I’ll be recharged and more ready to handle the next one.

The Story That Never Ended

Somehow, I forgot today was Wednesday, which means I almost didn’t link you to my Time Entertainment piece for the week: High (Concept) Anxiety: Are Big Ideas Bad for TV?

This was the piece I was complaining about yesterday, the one that just felt as if it coming together on Monday; ironically, this ended up being a weird week for my editor at Time, leading to the rewrite process going all the way up to 8pm last night, which is unusually late for this kind of thing (There actually weren’t a lot of rewrites, it was just all happening later than usual), giving me a feeling of the whole thing just never, ever ending. Normally, I try to finish writing by 6 or 7pm at the latest (Hey, I start at 7am or so, don’t look at me that way) but this piece had ended up running past that two nights in a row, with me doing drafts and rewrites while on the couch in the living room with my laptop just because I couldn’t bear to be in my office any longer that day. I’m not sure if something you end up creating yourself can actually feel oppressive, but this definitely came close.

(For those curious: It was written with all the “fuck”s in there, and then had to be edited because that’s apparently a verboten word on Time.com. I can never quite understand language restrictions and what’s cool and what’s not; I don’t get why “shit” is allowed, but “fuck” isn’t, for example, but these are just the ways of the Internet world…)

Two For The Price of One

This is a screenshot from the front page of Time.com as I write these very words. Those two un-pixelated stories? They’re both by me; weirdly and somewhat wonderfully, I ended up doing two stories for Time this week (Yes, the Lucasfilm/Disney thing was a last-minute thing, because I journalist well at times, thank you very much) and they both ended up on the front page of Time.com. I swear, I’m almost getting good at this writer thing.

The stories can be found here (Disney/Lucasfilm) and here (Horror on Broadcast TV), respectively.

Twilight and True-Life Writing Stories

Time.com has had a facelift, which means that the Top 10 Most Popular Entertainment Stories box is gone – gone! – and replaced by a less-visually interesting Top 5, so I doubt I’ll see my stories appear there (and take a screencap for here) as often. Nonetheless, here’s this week’s story, all about the fact that The Twilight Saga movies are rumored to be continuing past the original novel series, and why that’s a bad idea. Watch as I skillfully weave in Planet of The Apes, Before Watchmen and Frasier!

Strange but true fact about the writing of this week’s story: It happened on Monday, but Monday was a very, very odd day for reasons which I shall share shortly (Spoiler: Canada was involved), and I had next-to-no time to actually write the story. I’d done all the research already – that’s usually done before Monday begins, no matter what – and I had a vague through-line of what I wanted to write, but whereas other Time pieces have taken the best part of a day (and sometimes more) to put together, various circumstances conspired to give me, at best, three or four hours or so. Knowing that I didn’t have time to worry about it, I just sat down and wrote, and sped through it, convinced that I’d get far more edits than usual but would have the time to re-write the next day anyway. And then… the least amount of edits ever requested for a Time piece of mine*.

There’s a lesson in there, somewhere.

(* Of course, the pitching process for this week was unusually hard, so maybe there’s a karma thing going on there.)

A Change Is As Good As A Rest, Except A Rest Is Easier

And here I am at Time again, writing about the Robert Kirkman/Tony Moore legal tussle over authorship of The Walking Dead ahead of the television show’s return this weekend. I don’t normally write straight “This happened, and then this happened” pieces for Time – normally it’s more op-ed and conjecture – so this was a nice change, in terms of ease of writing (The structure was already in place!). We’ll see if people dig it, I guess.

Best Response Ever?

If Andy Williams hadn’t died, my Time piece would’ve been the most popular article on the Entertainment vertical today. Another reason to be sad about Mr. Williams’ passing, dammit! As it is, it did generate this spectacular response: “I really enjoyed your ST:TNG piece. It could have been shorter.” Thanks, I guess?

Here it is, for those of you know need convincing that Star Trek: The Next Generation actually predicted the future.