an egg

It was a car accident. Nothing particularly remarkable, but fatal nonetheless. You left behind a wife and two children. It was a painless death. The EMTs tried their best to save you, but to no avail. Your body was so utterly shattered you were better off, trust me.

And that’s when you met me.

“What… what happened?” You asked. “Where am I?”

“You died,” I said, matter-of-factly. No point mincing words.

“There was a… a truck and it was skidding…”

“Yup.” I said

“I… I died?”

“Yup. But don’t feel bad about it. Everyone dies.” I said.

You looked around. There was nothingness. Just you and me. “What is this place?” You asked. “Is this the afterlife?”

“More or less,” I said.

“Are you God?” You asked.

“Yup.” I replied. “I’m God.”

“My kids… my wife,” you said.

“What about them?”

“Will they be alright?”

“That what I like to see,” I said. “You just died and your main concern is for your family. That’s good stuff right there.”

You looked at me with fascination. To you, I didn’t look like God. I just looked like some man. Some vague authority figure. More of a grammar school teacher than the almighty.

“Don’t worry,” I said. “They’ll be fine. Your kids will remember you as perfect in every way. They didn’t have time to grow contempt for you. Your wife will cry on the outside, but will be secretly relieved. To be fair, your marriage was falling apart. If it’s any consolation, she’ll feel very guilty for feeling relieved.”

“Oh,” you said. “So what happens now? Do I go to heaven or hell or something?”

“Neither,” I said. “You’ll be reincarnated.”

“Ah,” you said. “So the Hindus were right.”

“All the religions are right in their own way,” I said. “Walk with me.”

You followed along as we strolled in the void. “Where are we going?” “Nowhere in particular,” I said. “It’s just nice to walk while we talk.”

“So what’s the point, then?” You asked. “When I get reborn, I’ll just be a blank slate, right? A baby. So all my experiences and everything I did in this life won’t matter.”

“Not so!” I said. “You have within you all the knowledge and experiences of all your past lives. You just don’t remember them right now.”

I stopped walking and took you by the shoulders. “Your soul is more magnificent, beautiful, and gigantic than you can possibly imagine. A human mind can only contain a tiny fraction of what you are. It’s like sticking your finger in a glass of water to see if it’s hot or cold. You put a tiny part or yourself into the vessel, and when you bring it back out, you’ve gained all the experiences it had.”

“You’ve been a human for the last 34 years, so you haven’t stretched out yet and felt the rest of your immense consciousness. If we hung out here for longer, you’d start remembering everything. But there’s no point doing that between each life.”

“How many times have I been reincarnated, then?”

“Oh, lots. Lots and lots. And into lots of different lives.” I said. “This time around you’ll be a Chinese peasant girl in 540 A.D.”

“Wait, what?” You stammered. “You’re sending me back in time?”

“Well, I guess technically. Time, as you know it, only exists in your universe. Things are different where I come from.”

“Where do you come from?” You pondered.

“Oh sure!” I explained. “I come from somewhere. Somewhere else. And there are others like me. I know you’ll want to know what it’s like there but you honestly won’t understand.”

“Oh.” you said, a little let down. “But wait. If I get reincarnated to other places in time, could I have interacted with myself at some point?”

“Sure. Happens all the time. And with both lives only aware of their own timespan you don’t even know it’s happening.”

“So what’s the point of it all?”

“Seriously?” I asked. “Seriously? Your asking me for the meaning of life? Isn’t that a little stereotypical?”

“Well it’s a reasonable question,” you persisted.

I looked in your eye. “The meaning of life, the reason I made this whole universe, is for you to mature.”

“You mean mankind? You want us to mature?”

“No. just you. I made this whole universe for you. With each new life you grow and mature, and become a larger and greater intellect.”

“Just me? What about everyone else?”

“There is no one else,” I said. “In this universe, there’s just you, and me.”

You stared blankly at me. “But all the people on earth…”

“All you. Different incarnations of you.”

“Wait. I’m everyone!?”

“Now you’re getting it.” I said, with a congratulatory slap on the back.

“I’m every human who ever lived?”

“Or who will ever live, yes.”

“I’m Abraham Lincoln?”

“And you’re John Wilkes Booth, too.” I added.

“I’m Hitler?” you said, appalled.

“And you’re the millions he killed.”

“I’m Jesus?”

“And you’re everyone who followed him.”

You fell silent.

“Every time you victimized someone,” I said, “You were victimizing yourself. Every act of kindness you’ve done, you’ve done to yourself. Every happy and sad moment ever experienced by any human was, or will be, experienced by you.”

“Why?” You asked me. “Why do all this?”

“Because someday, you will become like me. Because that’s what you are. You’re one of my kind. You’re my child.”

“Whoa.” you said, incredulous. “You mean I’m a god?”

“No. Not yet. You’re a fetus. You’re still growing. Once you’ve lived every human life throughout all time, you will have grown enough to be born.”

“So the whole universe,” you said. “It’s just…”

“An egg of sorts.” I answered. “Now it’s time for you to move on to your next life.”

And with that, I sent you on your way.


Credited to Andy Weir 

Hallow-E’en 1915

Will you come back to us, men of our hearts, to-night

In the misty close of the brief October day?

Will you leave the alien graves where you sleep and steal away

To see the gables and eaves of home grow dark in the evening light?

O men of the manor and moated hall and farm,

Come back to-night, treading softly over the grass;

The dew of the autumn dusk will not betray where you pass;

The watchful dog may stir in his sleep but he’ll raise no hoarse alarm.

Then you will stand, not strangers, but wishful to look

At the kindly lamplight shed from the open door,

And the fire-lit casement where one, having wept you sore,

Sits dreaming alone with her sorrow, not heeding her open book.

Forgotten awhile the weary trenches, the dome

Of pitiless Eastern sky, in this quiet hour

When no sound breaks the hush but the chimes from the old church tower,

And the river’s song at the weir,—ah! then we will welcome you home.

You will come back to us just as the robin sings

Nunc Dimittis from the larch to a sun late set

In purple woodlands; when caught like silver fish in a net

The stars gleam out through the orchard boughs and the church owl flaps his wings.

We have no fear of you, silent shadows, who tread

The leaf-bestrewn paths, the dew-wet lawns. Draw near

To the glowing fire, the empty chair,—we shall not fear,

Being but ghosts for the lack of you, ghosts of our well-beloved dead.

a general update

a. My kid turned 18. I wish I’d been there for every day of it, but I’ll settle for whatever we have left.


C. I still think my wife is great.

d. working on ‘Magic’. I don’t think anyone has ever written anything like this before. Will it be too new or too something else for the marketplace? I don’t know. I just do the best I can with the tools God gave me; that, and I pray that that will be enough someday.

So I am 52.

and I feel it, at the moment. I should not have eaten what I ate for lunch.

Still, a new car yesterday that I really like and I am the kind of person who can buy something and NOT have regrets for weeks. Yes, the Toyota Highlander does look cool. It also costs a lot more and uses twice as much gas and what am I, a soccer coach?

School: is going well. I have good kids, better than the last two years (I’m talking about attitude, not intelligence) and our new principal seems to be keeping up a charm offensive.

Magic: I am stalled, a little. I can see the story. I can see the characters. I am worried about it being seen as sexist. I need to think; I need time with it.

Genetti: keeps running in my head. I see a new opening with the truth about Edison and more contention between the brothers – brothers shouldn’t get along that well, not in a movie.

Body: woo, I am eating whatever I want. Sheesh.

Reader comments from the Nicholl. Uh, so why didn’t it go to the next round again?

Screenplay Title: How the Genetti Brothers Invented Hollywood

Screenplay #: 5912

Round 1 – Read 1 Comments:
This was a fascinating and original story. The premise of the plot was unique. We were curious to see what would happen. The quality of the writing was better than average as was the level of screenwriting skill. The story had structure and the basic scene execution was crafted well especially the action scenes. However, the approach to the subject matter was slightly romantized and theatrical. There were hints of the early twentieth century in the way the physical environment was described. But the attitudes and point of view of the characters had a contemporary sensibility. The pacing was good. There was conflict not only in the inherent situaton of the plot but on a deeper level in the relationships between the characters. The subpot that involved the older brother and mob boss provided a compelling source of conflict. The big dramatic finale was a little contrived but we didn’t mind.

The characters were done well. We liked our duo. Each brother had a distinct personality. Although there were times when we weren’t sure why the older brother wanted to make movies in the first place. The mob boss was true to the stereotype but had dimension. We liked the “Colonel” at the wild west show. The dialogue was good. But as stated didn’t sound appropriate for the era. There were some magical moments throughout. The meaning in the message at the end was satifying.

Round 1 – Read 2 Comments:
The story of this script is a slight twist on the gangster genre. Here, two brothers escape Edison for Los Angeles in the early days of film. They have a lens system that lets them project big screen images and know that it’s the future of cinema. In order to launch their project, they borrow money from the Black Hand.

The story is fairly clever in how it weaves in early Western performers and builds to a confrontation between various organized crime gangs over the brother’s apparatus. It’s a good premise with an effective beginning, middle, and end.

The story has a professional structure. Scenes build on each other and escalate to a true climax with reversals in the expected places. The brothers drive the story with their decisions.

It’s well-written. Description is clear. Format is professional. The writing is polished.

The characters are functional. They work well for the story but they’re not memorable standouts. The same is true of their dialog. It works. It fits them and the time. It’s not quotable.

I liked the early Los Angeles setting. The way the period is portrayed was convincing.

real estate idea

“Rayni and Branden Williams spent months lining up a director, cast and crew for their “lifestyle film.”

The plot line: A husband takes off for a business trip in his Corvette, leaving his wife to invite friends to hang out in their wine room, gym, massage space, movie theater and infinity-edge pool overlooking the city.

But the actors are only a supporting cast to the real star — the $33-million house at 9133 Oriole Way, a modernist mansion with 12,530 square feet of sun-drenched living space nestled in the hills near neighbors such as Keanu Reeves and Leonardo DiCaprio.

And the Williamses are not movie producers; they’re real estate agents. They spent more than $40,000 on the production, just one example of the outlandish lengths today’s high-end agents are willing to go to in pursuit of that big commission. For the Oriole house, the Williamses’ cut could exceed $1 million.

“Regular marketing doesn’t work anymore. We’re appealing to a more sophisticated and savvy group of buyers,” Rayni Williams said. “We’re taking it to a whole other level.”

For some agents, that includes aerial home viewings via helicopter, elaborate parties with elite guest lists and hors d’oeuvres whipped up on demand by award-winning chefs.

The high competition among agents reflects the rapid and global rise of extreme wealth. The number of billionaires worldwide is at a record high: 1,826 total, with 290 newcomers, according to Forbes’ annual list. Many are foreign; more of them than ever before are under age 40.

They’re increasingly likely to buy a property based solely on what they see online, especially if they’re from outside the U.S. So upscale homes are often advertised via glossy websites stocked with detailed floor plans, Hollywood-caliber videos and aerial photos taken by drones.


okay. so you’re a young associate at one of these firms, young and attractve and being successful in this field in So Cal is THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN YOUR LIFE. You are basically delegated to selling this property and your evil boss will throw you under the bus if it doesn’t work. Huge place =huge commission that might trickle down to you (boss might rip you off, you think in the back of your mind)

You’re there at night and find out two things.

1. You boss or someone close to your boss is using the place as a sex-pad OR renting it out for kinky parties


the previous owner still lives there, coming out only at night, using her knowledge of the layout to hide during the day. She is sabotaging the sale behind the scenes because the longer the place stays on the market, the longer she can stay.