Leslie Knope is My Life Coach
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I have a huge project that needs to get done in a short amount of time. When I thought about who I'd ask for advice, my mind went to Leslie Knope, Deputy Director of the Parks and Recreation Department in Pawnee, Indiana. This is my attempt at embracing the awesomeness of Leslie to make me get my shit together. (Also, AP=Amy Poehler's and my initials. We could totes be in a gang together. I already have the gang sign.)

theamypascale.com

Links to order
Joss Whedon Biography:
Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk
Barnes and Noble
Indiebound

I took a redeye flight back from San Diego Comic Con Sunday night (if you came by the Teen Wolf booth — thank you! I hope you had an awesome time!). When I got home at 7:30am, the house was super hot and muggy and soon after I tried to put the air conditioner on, I learned that we’d lost power… so that was fun. Then today, I could barely get up because everything literally hurt, even if it was questionable if I was dying or not. I went to my chiropractor this afternoon who pretty much confirmed that I am a physical mess and everything really does hurt for so many reasons. 
BUT! I, LIKE LESLIE KNOPE IN HER PURSUIT OF COUNCILWOMANSHIP, DO NOT HAVE THE LUXURY OF REST! I HAVE A BOOK COMING OUT ON FRIDAY THAT I MUST PROMOTE! (And I do not have Tom and Jean-Ralphio of Entertainment 720 to work their magic. Although, on second thought, maybe that’s a good thing.)
Would you like to win a copy of said book? Ask me a question on the #JossTalk Twitter Chat on Thursday night!


I’d also like to do something here for all you super awesome people who have been following me and my attempts to stay motivated and accomplished through the guidance of Leslie Knope. Q&A? A giveaway? More deleted scenes that didn’t make it in? Send me a message and let me know what you’d be interested in!

I took a redeye flight back from San Diego Comic Con Sunday night (if you came by the Teen Wolf booth — thank you! I hope you had an awesome time!). When I got home at 7:30am, the house was super hot and muggy and soon after I tried to put the air conditioner on, I learned that we’d lost power… so that was fun. Then today, I could barely get up because everything literally hurt, even if it was questionable if I was dying or not. I went to my chiropractor this afternoon who pretty much confirmed that I am a physical mess and everything really does hurt for so many reasons. 

BUT! I, LIKE LESLIE KNOPE IN HER PURSUIT OF COUNCILWOMANSHIP, DO NOT HAVE THE LUXURY OF REST! I HAVE A BOOK COMING OUT ON FRIDAY THAT I MUST PROMOTE! (And I do not have Tom and Jean-Ralphio of Entertainment 720 to work their magic. Although, on second thought, maybe that’s a good thing.)

Would you like to win a copy of said book? Ask me a question on the #JossTalk Twitter Chat on Thursday night!

I’d also like to do something here for all you super awesome people who have been following me and my attempts to stay motivated and accomplished through the guidance of Leslie Knope. Q&A? A giveaway? More deleted scenes that didn’t make it in? Send me a message and let me know what you’d be interested in!

5 “Deleted Scenes” from “Joss Whedon: The Biography” by Amy Pascale

whedonesque:

Amy has very kindly provided Whedonesque with five deleted scenes from her soon to be released biography of Joss Whedon.

1. Joss doesn’t drink coffee, he drinks Typhoo tea and is very particular about how it is served: with half and half, and three little, little teaspoons of sugar.

2. Joss was frustrated that people were not responding to Oz at first (“Possibly because he was usurping Xander’s rightful place as Willow’s paramour,” he says.”). He decided to add the scene in which Willow tries to make out with Oz in order to make Xander jealous in “Innocence.” (Oz declines, fully aware of the situation, and describes how he daydreams about her in class: “I’ll think about kissing you and then everything stops. It’s like, freeze frame. Willow kissage.” He wants to wait because “in my fantasy, when I’m kissing you… you’re kissing me.”) “I actually wrote that to make people fall in love with him. Literally [thought that] this scene will take care of the problem,” he explains. “That was the entirely cynical design of that scene.”

3. In the fifth season, the Buffy writers finally found the right story to take advantage of the fact that Nicholas Brendon, who played Xander, had a twin brother. Many ideas were pitched but “we would never just do evil twin, you know?,” Joss says. “I was thinking of Russian absurdist short stories, like Gogol’s ‘The Double’ and ‘The Nose.’ But what I was really trying to evoke was the time in your life when people start treating you like a grown-up and you didn’t realize that you were one. That’s what that was about.”

4. During construction on Joss and Kai’s home, the house was robbed and their computers and Joss’ guitars were taken. The biggest crime story in their Brentwood neighborhood, however, was when Nicole Brown Simpson, football star O.J.’s ex-wife, was killed in June 1994. The area was inundated with press covering the story, and after, Joss was often asked directions to the home by tourists. The media ascended once again in 1998 as the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke. The father of the White House intern who had an affair with President Bill Clinton lived a few blocks down and reporters were camped out to get a quote from him about the national drama.

5. Jay Hunter, Much Ado About Nothing cinematographer, says that it’s possible to out-nerd Joss. “We were shooting a night exterior scene on Much Ado, and I was just chatting with AD and the gaffer and someone brought up Lord of the Rings. I started talking about these scenes that weren’t put in the movie and kind of going into this obscene amount of detail of my knowledge of The Lord of the Rings. Meanwhile, he walked out in the middle of it and stumbled on to the nerdiest conversation of all time. He said, ‘Oh, I can’t do this,’ then had to turn around and walk away.”

Joss Whedon: The Biography is out in the UK on the 24th (Amazon UK link) and will be out in the US on August 1st (Amazon.com link). An eBook version of the book is available at the publisher’s site.

I interrupt your Leslie Knope Life Coach updates to share this post I wrote for Whedonesque. 

All of these Leslies are me. In fact, all of these Leslies have been me for the past two months, maybe longer. I am, as always, terribly behind in everything that I need to do for the book — except now, it’s about promotion and it’s much more urgent as the book is out in one week in the UK and two weeks in the US. And I’ll be at San Diego Comic Con in about five days and should really do my best to connect with as many Joss fans as I can. 

I basically have two dueling Leslies on my shoulder — maybe not dueling, more like one is freaking out on a particular theme and the other one keeps yelling at me, reminding me that I’m in this situation due to my own stupidity. Which is true. Mostly true — as some of it is due to stupid decisions that I’ve made and the rest is due to my vicious cycle of exhaustion and anxiety, which leads to no productivity, which leads to more anxiety, which takes such a toll on my body that I can barely do anything aside from lay on the couch and try not to cry. 

I’m going to make today’s Leslie Knope Life Coach Lesson be both a matter-of-fact come-to-Jesus (you’re in trouble because of your own stupidity) and a reminder that even the most awesome, productive ladies have breakdowns of different kinds. That doesn’t doesn’t mean we’re all broken permanently or unable to get things done in the long run — just that we have to get through that moment and gently move into a healthier and more productive headspace. We’ll all get there, just like Leslie Knope.

Today is Joss Whedon’s Birthday.

This was waiting on my stoop when I got home. 

(It’s the British version of the biography that comes out on July 24.)

It’s so surreal. It’s so real. My mind is still blown. I’ve been rapidly vacillating between these three reactions:

I just. I feel like I just got an A-shaped eclair.

(i’m still in shock)

(and how is it that i can’t find better gifs of this moment?)

Leslie: I stayed up all night last night making these!
Tom: You stayed up all night, the night before an all night telethon?

I have been doing so many things between the final stages of book writing/editing and the first stages of publicity, in addition to my actual, fulltime job which has been incredibly busy and stressful with a whole bunch of new shows that need their own publicity. I’m tired, burnt out, and, what seems to be the running theme in my life, so so very behind on everything. 

A few lovely people have sent me questions/message and I was so excited by them! I will definitely respond to them here this week :)

It’s still surprising to me that other people read this blog, as I literally started it to keep myself motivated when everything felt so overwhelming and too impossible to ever get done. I hope Leslie and I have helped remind some of you that we can all get our own Lot 48s made into a park… eventually.

I posted this before, but it’s very pertinent right now. I’m reviewing and making final edits and then the book goes off to do what books do once the manuscript is set.
I did quite a bit yesterday, but I’ve been powering through since midnight. I wish I knew what it was in my brain that makes the hours between 11:30p-4a so productive. It’s like a switch is flipped and I can focus with such pinpoint precision and I immediately know exactly what is right, what is wrong and what needs to be added. 
And now, back to ALL NIGHT WORK! I wish my hair was long enough to put in pigtails (but only to reenact this Leslie gif — I look terrible with long hair), so I’ll just bounce my imaginary ones as I finish before my hard morning deadline. Wish me monsters!

I posted this before, but it’s very pertinent right now. I’m reviewing and making final edits and then the book goes off to do what books do once the manuscript is set.

I did quite a bit yesterday, but I’ve been powering through since midnight. I wish I knew what it was in my brain that makes the hours between 11:30p-4a so productive. It’s like a switch is flipped and I can focus with such pinpoint precision and I immediately know exactly what is right, what is wrong and what needs to be added. 

And now, back to ALL NIGHT WORK! I wish my hair was long enough to put in pigtails (but only to reenact this Leslie gif — I look terrible with long hair), so I’ll just bounce my imaginary ones as I finish before my hard morning deadline. Wish me monsters!

I feel like I keep saying the same thing over and over again lately: i have so much to do, i just need to get organized and do it. But i’m not. I make plans to — I make lists, I decide that I’ll get home and eat something and then start doing everything i’ve been pushing off. Or just one thing I’ve been pushing off. Because it’s really just that first thing that NEEDS to be done. Once I get that done, I can keep running on that momentum.

But I can’t seem to get that first thing done. My head is swimming — drowning, really — with everything I need to do for the book, for my proper job, and general real life things like doctor appointments, answering overdue emails, paying bills and mailing out packages. 

I’m in various states of being paralyzed — sometimes a complete mental paralyzation, sometimes I can’t focus, and sometimes my chest hurts so badly and my vision is blurry because i’m so overwhelmed. I’ve been having a lot of anxiety attacks over the past few weeks and I know it’s all due to my inability to accomplish the things I need to do. 

I’m trying to just do it. I’m trying.

Happy Galentines Day! 
When I think about all the people who have helped me with the book, most of them are ladies. Which is probably not all that surprising as most of us were drawn to the Joss’s original source material — a girl trying to get through high school, suddenly bestowed with a destiny to protect the world. She didn’t want it, she tried to run from it, but she accepted it and kicked ass while doing it. She didn’t win every fight, and she had her heart broken a lot, but she got up each day and kept going — and most importantly, she had more success than the Slayers that came before her because of the friends that became her family.
My friends are my family, and I have such wonderful friends who have kept me propped up both literally and metaphorically. Who have been there for me for three straight years, or who have come in and did one small thing, said one kind word at the time i needed it and all of them have truly helped me beyond any proper thanks I could express.
I need to write my acknowledgements for the book — I’ll do that tomorrow on my flight. They’ve been in my head for a long time, i’ve just been stalling since I have some more consideration to do about a few people. But I just need to make a decision and get it done. And then I move on to the next overdue thing that’s been overwhelming my brain.

My lovely followers! Is there anything I can do for you this Galentines Day? 

Happy Galentines Day! 

When I think about all the people who have helped me with the book, most of them are ladies. Which is probably not all that surprising as most of us were drawn to the Joss’s original source material — a girl trying to get through high school, suddenly bestowed with a destiny to protect the world. She didn’t want it, she tried to run from it, but she accepted it and kicked ass while doing it. She didn’t win every fight, and she had her heart broken a lot, but she got up each day and kept going — and most importantly, she had more success than the Slayers that came before her because of the friends that became her family.

My friends are my family, and I have such wonderful friends who have kept me propped up both literally and metaphorically. Who have been there for me for three straight years, or who have come in and did one small thing, said one kind word at the time i needed it and all of them have truly helped me beyond any proper thanks I could express.

I need to write my acknowledgements for the book — I’ll do that tomorrow on my flight. They’ve been in my head for a long time, i’ve just been stalling since I have some more consideration to do about a few people. But I just need to make a decision and get it done. And then I move on to the next overdue thing that’s been overwhelming my brain.

My lovely followers! Is there anything I can do for you this Galentines Day? 

How does taking risks make me feel? Amazing. Tingling sensation throughout my whole body. I feel flushed. My muscles are relaxed yet I feel awake. Just waves of pleasure. I wish there was something physical that could make me feel this way.
— Leslie Knope, “Kaboom”

Last weekend, I took a storytelling workshop with this guy who’s an amazing storyteller. I’d always hoped that he’d teach a class outside of the programs he does with The Moth, so when he announced it, I jumped on it quick.

We all had about 8 minutes to tell our stories and I told the one that would always be my “Moth Story” — it’s evolved from the tale of the night a guy broke into my house to the moment years later when i realized i had run said guy who i hadn’t seen since that night. It’s a good story, but I’m haven’t been able to condense it down to something shorter than 12 minutes. I had a minor epiphany with it a couple of weeks ago and found a new way to structure it to both shorten the story and yet still deliver the backstory to make the moments impactful.

It went really well — I mean, I stumbled in the beginning and lost my way for about 15 seconds, but the moments that i wanted to hit got the reactions I was hoping for, and there were other parts that I hadn’t thought much of going into it that resonated with people. I got fantastic feedback and great constructive criticism, and it makes me excited to work on it more and actually get up in front of people who don’t know me and tell this story. And then tell more stories. 

I so very much enjoyed the experience and it was the first class (in ANY subject) in a long time where I felt like I was good at the subject matter, and my feedback to others was worthwhile and helpful. I left smiling and just really reengergized. like, I realized i was grinning the whole walk back to my car. I think I’ve been in a state of numb-to-sad for so many months that it’s almost jarring to feel good about something.

That inspiration has kept me buoyant this whole week. New fictional stories are popping in my head — stories that I want to dive into and write. And as much as I’ve been saying that I’m going to get myself organized and clean up loose ends, I finally feel clear-headed and full of the right kind of energy to do it. 

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