(This was first posted on Facebook)
Thanks for the good wishes, all. You send me out into this new phase of my life fortified. Retirement isn’t really in my nature, so I prefer to think of this as my second plot point. If you know anything of 3-act screenwriting structure, and of course you do, you’ll know that the second plot point comes just before Act 3. And Act 3 is when the good stuff happens. For one thing, I look forward to continuing to work with Western Edge Theatre, as it grows and evolves. For another, after roughly 50 years of writing, I can nearly do what I want to do when I set out to write something. I look forward to continuing to work on nearly being able to do it.
I will, however, miss the students. The persistent presence of young people in my life has been a great gift. Each generation of young people seems to get slagged by the previous ones. (My generation was told, “Cut your hair.” The advice should have been, “Lose those big collars.”) But I found them all bracing. Overwhelmingly good-hearted, eager to learn, supportive of one another as they entered Act 2 of their lives (which, if you know anything of screenwriting structure, and of course you do, you’ll know is the hard part), and resourceful in dealing with challenges.
So thanks in particular to them. I have learned a lot from them. All I have to offer in return are the only two notes I can really give about writing: The most valuable thing you have to offer as a writer is your way of seeing the world and writing about it (unless it’s journalism, in which case the most important thing is to get the facts right). And, if it works, it works.
And with that, I’ll return to the script I’m trying to get nearly right. Speaking of big collars, the picture below is of me in 1969. The collars may have been too big, but we got the ties just right.