When I write, “until the day I found a way to speak with Mr. Screenwriter on the phone,” you must remember that I worked from home with a four-year-old tugging at my pant leg every ten minutes.
Therefore, if I wanted my impulsive plan to work (and by impulsive, I mean impulsive—I’d only come up with the idea a half hour before, when my clever four-year-old suggested in a matter-of-fact-tone, “If you want to speak to him, you should call him.”), it was imperative for the Flickering Babysitter to hold her clever attention for at least 10 minutes.
The fact that I also absent-mindedly poured her a bowl of Cheetos bigger than her little blond head while he and I were conversing is not one of my proudest parenting moments. But it did give Mr. Screenwriter and I something else to talk about.
“I just put on Rocky and Bullwinkle for my daughter, so I can get a quiet moment to speak with you. I don’t even know what Rocky and Bullwinkle’s about. Working from home doesn’t always work out for me,” I laughed.
“How old is she again?” he asked.
“She might be a little young, but try Pinky and the Brain,” he said, and he went on to explain why he and his daughter liked the show. We were having a regular conversation. I didn’t think I sounded like a stalker or a bimbo, but apparently I did sound Canadian, because he made a joke about my o’s. I laughed and relaxed a little, catching my breath so I could ask him my next question.
“So, I guess you’re really answering my emails?”
“Yes, Heather, you’re not being punked.”
That’s what it took for me to finally believe. Yes, Virgina, he really was Mr. Screenwriter! I could finally let go and start enjoying my time on his Mr. Screenwriter & The Facebook Movie discussion board. Maybe I’d even stretch my legs a little. Or a lot. It was the best thing that could have happened.
Posting on a public discussion board for the first time helped me find my funny, and reading about his work (and how much he seemed to love doing what he did) inspired me to try to write a screenplay of my own—something I’d never dreamed of trying until I happened upon that discussion board in December 2008.
I suppose my journalism training has made me overly suspicious of everything I read—especially items I read on the Internet—plus, I’ve probably watched Conspiracy Theory a few too many times. But if I weren’t an over-thinking-paranoid-yet-impulsive frosted flake, I wouldn’t have these great stories to share. There is a method to my madness.
I don’t regret much in my life, but I do regret deleting Mr. Screenwriter’s blog comment because, well, it was damn funny. And who doesn’t want to drive traffic to their blog? Who cares how it happens, as long as the readers get there?
Apparently, me. Apparently, I am the freak of nature who cares a little too much about pretty much everything. I wish I’d had Cher near my computer that day, smacking me silly, “Snap out of it, Blondie!” Why did I have to be so perfectly principled? It’s not like I’d posted photos of me pole dancing— “More of this at heathergracestewart.com!” (Besides, I couldn’t possibly have any photos like that, in case you’re wondering).
Luckily, my fits of over-thinking and panic have miraculously failed to scare Mr. Screenwriter out of my life, so I am still treated to his brand of funny from time to time.
Read how this story started:
Read the NEXT chapter: “You Should Write A Movie”