give them your money! – dealt

Since I was a kid, I’ve always been fascinated by magic – both fictional (we all know how much I love Harry Potter, but also The Adventures of Kavalier & Clay) and historical, like Harry Houdini. I think a lot of this comes from my father, who is a history of magic geek, but it has over the years become a personal passion of mine. Getting to visit the Magic Castle various times over the last couple of years was an amazing experience that always left me exhilarated, as did seeing a production of Nothing to Hide. There’s nothing quite like live magic shows – there’s a real element of suspense that fails to translate to film or television, heightened by the knowledge that anything can and might go wrong at any moment.

That said, I was really excited to find Dealt, a documentary-in-the-making about Richard Turner, one of the most legendary card magicians in the history of live magic. His talent is overwhelming and brilliant – and that’s before you realize that he happens to be completely blind. I can’t wait to see this film once it’s completed!

They’re currently raising money to travel and capture some of his shows abroad, as well as to pay the crazy expensive footage licensing fees. Though what they’re asking for seems like a lot, they’re using Indiegogo and get to keep every little bit they raise.

If you want to help contribute to Dealt, check it out here.

tuesday links


  1. Now that it’s finally getting cooler, I’m excited to bake a little more. How awesome would some of these boozy cupcakes be? I really want to try the honey whiskey ones!
  2. I am seriously OBSESSED with Serial, a spin-off of the ever popular and always enlightening This American Life. Every week they release a new episode having to do with the same case and I’m at the edge of my seat, waiting to see what happens next. This article from the New Yorker captures why it’s so amazing.
  3. I never cease to be amazed by Emmanuel Lubezki’s cinematography. Between rewatching Y Tu Mamá Tambien and Birdman this weekend, I’m obsessed with trying to find the beauty in the world the way he sees it.
  4. Speaking of Birdman, which I really loved, check out this piece from Vulture.
  5. This piece about being quarantined with tuberculosis was heartbreaking and illuminating. Definitely one of the most riveting pieces of journalism I’ve come across in awhile.

P.S. – Check out this album from Lily & Madeline on NPR Music. I’m loving it and have had it on repeat for hours!



weekly writing update


What I’m Reading & Watching

Currently finishing up Summer Knight, book 4 of The Dresden Files as well as reading Tales of the Bounty HuntersI also read a couple of things written by friends and gave notes, which

On top of my usual weekly shows, I finally finished Gilmore Girls (!) and am debating what to watch next: The Bridge, The Good Wife, Hannibal, Nurse Jackie, Transparent…there are so many things to watch! I also went a little spend-happy with the last Criterion flash sale, so I plan on watching all of those soon.

What I’m Writing

After a couple of weeks of playing around with other projects, I’m back to my script # 1 rewrite. I’m determined to finish this script if it kills me, haha. I’m also developing my next feature – I have a great premise, so I’m playing around with the plotting and characters. So fun!

What Inspires Me Right Now

1970s fonts (see: above) and smart puns that make me want to write. I can’t say anything else!

What Else I’ve Been Up To

Lots of family stuff, personal stuff, wine stuff, shopping stuff, concert stuff. But, I’m not letting it get in way of my writing, which feels good. It feels right.

Writing Quote Of The Week

From Maya Angelou:

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

Happy Friday, folks.




Spanish Breakfast Pizza

Some days, I get inspired to create something new. It’s not always ground-breaking but it does usually end up delicious. I like the challenge of digging up whatever I can find in my fridge and putting it together to see what happens. Last Saturday I skipped my usual yoga class to attempt to nap after an unexpectedly early wake-up call, but after tossing and turning for about an hour, I decided to play around in the kitchen instead. This pizza featured mini heirloom tomatoes, baby fingerling potatoes, garlic olive oil, garlic, parmesan, manchego, basil, and an egg. Pro-tip for those looking to experiment with an egg on pizza: don’t put it on until about 4 minutes before you want to take the pizza out of the oven. That seemed to be the right amount of time to cook the white but leave the yolk runny. It’s the perfect brunch pizza – just add mimosas and good company.

give them your money! – cartography


Of all the board games, my favorites are probably those that are easy to learn, but complex once you start getting into the strategy. This would include games like Rummikub and Qwirkle – simple games that involve patterns/colors – but start to get really competitive once everyone knows the basics.

I’m pretty intrigued by Cartography, a game that promises to be a more-challenging version of tabletop favorite Carcassonne by combining it with Go. From their page: “Cartography builds on the ancient territory claiming game “Go” by adding a map-making mechanic. The map is made up of interlocking triangular tiles, with walls that divide the map, allowing territory to be defended or captured. Players create and claim territory, and capture opponents, in an effort to control the map. The map changes as you play so you must keep your wits about you. Strategy is key and chance doesn’t determine the winner. Cartography is easy to learn and challenging to master!”

First of all, I like that it’s an affordable game at $35 (that’s including shipping). There’s a lot to be said for that – I can’t always (or ever…) afford to spend $50+ on a game, especially one that I’ll only play a few times. I really like that it’s a game that will vary each time you play it, giving it a high replayability score – giving you more bang for your buck. I LOVE that the design is simple and clean, because as much as I love good game art, it can sometimes get a little overwhelming. This Kickstarter is a pre-order – meaning that all the “rewards” are the game itself. I can respect that. The money they’re raising is for the production of the games, and there is a line by line description of how the money will be dispersed on the page. I think the biggest downside is that it’s limited to a two player game – but hey, so is Stratego and I love that game.

If you’re curious, support Cartography today!

tuesday links


A television-themed set of Tuesday links for your clicking enjoyment:

  1. I’m really curious to check out The Affair, especially after this review from Vulture.
  2. Who else wants a “Commie Con” shirt?! Sigh. I can’t wait for The Americans to come back.
  3. Apparently Matt Weiner doesn’t believe in the “Golden Age of Television.”
  4. 7 reasons why Sex and the City hasn’t aged well.
  5. Transparent is looking for a trans-woman writer for their show. As writer/creator Jill Soloway noted, “No matter what we did, we were always going to be otherizing Maura in some way. And in the same way where I wouldn’t want a man to say, ‘I can have a writers’ room full of men and we can write women just fine.’ I can’t say that I can create a show about a trans woman and not have a trans woman writing for me. It’s absolutely necessary, and it’s gonna change the show.”

P.S. – An interview with John Francis Daley that mentions how he’s trying to sneak in a Freaks & Geeks reunion into the Vacation reboot. Warning, there are spoilers for Bones in the interview (but really, who watches that show anymore?!)


hardly strictly birthday


I spent my twenty-fifth birthday up in San Francisco, listening to bluegrass in Golden Gate Park and grabbing drinks in the Mission with my college girlfriends. My best friend came up with me, putting up with a 12 mile walk to get my favorite pizza and my eternal college nostalgia and just generally being the best. It was one of my favorite birthdays to date, full of laughter, music, and love. Oh, and tequila….a LOT of tequila. Oops. Surprisingly (and thankfully), the next day did not involve a hangover. But, as with all birthdays, I was struck with a need to re-evaluate.

Milestones typically occur at different points for different people, because surprise! – not everyone moves at the same pace. I know that I’m not in a place where I want to get married, or have kids, though many people my age are. I don’t have a book deal or an agent, I haven’t traveled as much as I’d like, I haven’t made any movies or sold any TV shows, and I still live at home with my parents in an attempt to save as much money as possible before I ultimately leave the nest for good*. I don’t plan on going to graduate school – at least, while the degree I want continues to cost over $100k – and I’m still figuring out how to navigate the two career paths I have in front of me, one far more realistic than the other. Navigating the waters of adulthood gets more difficult on a daily basis, and as much as I like the benefits of being an adult, it’s easy to long for the days of being a kid.

I haven’t accomplished a lot of what I’d like to have done by 25, though not necessarily for lack of trying. I was looking over my resolutions the other day and I realized I haven’t met a lot of the goals I set. Why? Because, quite simply, life happens. Sometimes you need to spend two grand fixing your car instead of putting it in your savings account, sometimes you get sick (multiple times in a row…), sometimes you need to forget about yourself for a bit in order to help someone else out, or sometimes you need to live at home for awhile longer than expected. However, despite failing to reach a lot of goals I set, I’ve also managed to accomplish several things that weren’t on that list. At the end of the day it all adds up — and while it matters to me that I don’t have a finished rewrite I can start selling, I’ve been able to take care of people I love when they needed it, and that means a lot.

The most difficult lesson I’m still in the process of learning is how to find balance: between my needs and my wants, between my realities and my dreams. I need to be able to account for both the things I want to do (see: resolutions) and the day-to-day stuff that needs to be dealt with. I’m really proud of where I am, but I know I’ve got a long ways to go. There are so many things I want to do: stories I want to write, foods I want to try, places I want to explore, people I want to meet and I know there’s got to be a way to have it all. Or, maybe not have it all, but have enough of each so that I can feel balanced.

The last couple of months I’ve become a lot more strict about how I manage my budget. I mapped out all of my spending and split it up so that I’m putting at least one full paycheck straight into my savings account. I’ve been able to save more since I started doing that than I have in several previous months, and the best part is – I don’t even feel like I’m depriving myself of anything. I don’t need another pair of jeans or a new bag, and the sense of accomplishment I feel when I put away a chunk of money is far more satisfying that the instant gratification of buying something I ultimately won’t care about. That said, it’s not as though I’m depriving myself – if I see something I want and it fits into my budget, I’ll get it. If I want something expensive (like a leather jacket or a new computer), I’ll put it into my budget so that I can save up for it. Most importantly, I’ve been reminded of how good I can be at something if I’m disciplined at it.

All of that to say: I need to be better about focusing on what I really want, and how to accomplish that. It’s simple: I want to write, so I need to dedicate more time to it. I want to be healthier, so I need to figure out how to fit in a daily workout and talk to my doctor about improving my general health. I want to deal with my stress in a healthy manner, so I should go to yoga more than once a week. If I want to make something, I need to go ahead and actually make it. I need to help myself get what I want, because no one else is going to do it for me. I’ve always been someone who thrives on lists and schedules, and while I think the idea of scheduling every moment of my day is ridiculous, I do think that starting to block out time for the things that are important to me will be really helpful.

I’m using this birthday as an excuse to jumpstart some serious changes. I’m not getting any younger, and until I’m able to Dorian Gray my way to eternal youth I’m gonna try to make the most of my time. I’m ready to take control so that even when life does get in the way, I’m still able to get my shit done and then be able to sit back with a glass of wine and relax.



*This alone will be a whole other post, involving fear of living alone and/or finding the perfect roommate, the economy, graduating in a recession, cost of living in LA and the ever-changing job market. Oh boy! 



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