Saturday, August 12, 2017

Hi! I'm Josh, I'm Thirty-Eight, and I Am Below Average...

I read somewhere that the average professional Hollywood screenwriter sold his/her first script at the age of thirty-seven. I am now thirty-eight, with no sale. This means I've passed my Mozart year (he was twelve when he wrote his first opera), my Michelangelo year (he carved his "David" when he was twenty-six), my Jesus year (he saved the entire universe when he was thirty-three), and finally my "you are an average Hollywood screenwriter" year. Le sigh.


Of course, since I'm now older than thirty-seven, the argument could be made that I am above average. Right? Right?!

Yes, I can say with almost complete confidence that I haven't yet crafted a masterpiece that will last through the ages, nor saved the entire universe with my super-potent blood. Still, in my short thirty-eight years of outside-my-mom life, I have accomplished the following, possibly-not-entirely-but-at-least-partly-true list of things (settle in):

  1. Traveled by tricycle, mule, and then Llama to the Amazon basin of Peru, South America at the age of six months with absolutely no help from anyone at all.
  2. Got my first machete at age five, at which point I was already an accomplished swimmer and dolphin-whisperer. And none of that Flipper crap, I'm talking the freshwater, pink-eyed Amazonian beasts that local legend said were baby-snatching spirits from the Underworld. 
  3. Became an expert fisherman with not just a bamboo pole but also a reel and hand-net, and only lost two fingers and a pinkie toe to piranhas.
  4. Started the Cult of the Great Potato (fifty thousand global adherents and counting).
  5. Spent one of the coldest winters on record in Calgary, Alberta, where I rode a tauntaun through the snow to school and learned to ice skate backwards with only minor gluteal bruising.
  6. Figured out how to work the system so that the last math class I ever took was Algebra One in eighth grade. That one's one hundred percent true and seriously... who else do you know who's pulled that kinda thing off?
  7. Learned to draw like a freakin' photocopy machine to the point where I was hired at the age of I think fourteen to illustrate a bunch of literacy books which are probably even now being used as fire-starters by remote Amazonian headhunters.
  8. For my grad trip I went from five hundred feet above sea level to ten thousand feet in Cusco and the next day hiked the Inca trail in two days (max altitude: fourteen-and-a-half thousand feet) with two broken legs and an obese, asthmatic German tourist on my back. Then hopped another train to the end of the tracks and a truck to the end of the road, at which point I whitewater kayaked for four days through often class-4 rapids to our pickup at an oil field, with no sat phone and no hope of rescue in an emergency.
  9. Reversed the trip from Peru to Canada by Llama, mule, and then tricycle to live in a dank, riverbank cave for the next four years while getting a Bachelor's in English and applied philosophy (the latter focusing primarily on political assassinations).
  10. Mastered the art of snow sliding and won the Vans Triple Crown Amateur Half-Pipe competition two yeas in a row (that one might've been my riding buddy, Joe... but still).
  11. Hand-planted seven million (give or take) baby pine trees on the cut blocks of British Columbia and Alberta. Naked. In the snow. 
  12. Produced a child the United Nations has unanimously declared to be the Most Attractive Human Being, Inside and Out, in the History of the World.
  13. Penned three full-length novels a year for the past ten years while also writing thousands of short stories and several full-color books of Art, the best of which are available on my Amazon page.
  14. Wrote and produced hundreds of short films, the best of which are available in the sidebar of this very website.
  15. Wrote and produced a feature film, PINK, which is in the final stretch of post-production and is simultaneously so funny, poignant, thrilling, and beautiful that many theater-owners to whom we've shown the film have made plans to post professional counselors outside screenings to help people deal with the emotional fallout.
  16. Practically won practically every major screenwriting contest on the planet and was courteously rejected by all the others.
  17. Marked myself for Death and Siberia by calling out a homegrown, dictatorial psychopath in waaay too many blog posts to be anything other than annoying.
  18. Married the most delightful and well-suited-to-me woman in the history of the known Universe, who built me the most delicious stir-fry squirrel burrito the world has ever seen for my birthday.

Amazing list, right? 

Happy above-average birthday to me!

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