Being a screenwriter is like having a love affair with a narcissist, or an alcoholic, or a gambler, somebody who makes powerful, intoxicating promises and then forgets, doesn’t show up at the appointed time, has an affair, lies. All these moments of disappointment line up like dominoes, their arrival as predictable as the moment the first one falls: they say the movie is definitely getting made; they find a great director but it turns out he doesn’t like your script; they get a star, who had one Oscar nominated performance and will come in with a broken ego and trash the character you wrote; they have to drop the five most important scenes in the movie because they are over budget and running ten minutes long. In the story meetings we talk about the characters as if they exist, forgetting (even me) that I invented them, that before I started writing there was no Fishman and no Maddie and no Jenks. I keep coming back because of that intoxicating, joyful promise: finding characters. Finding story. Finding life.