My pug Bubba has impeccable timing. Every morning, at exactly 6:30 a.m., he wakes me up, barking to get at my attention or, failing that, jumping up on his hind legs to bat at my face. He’s like a furry little alarm clock with no snooze button. I try to ignore him but his persistence eventually wears me down. I’ll crawl out of bed, brush my teeth, take the pugs out, and feed them. By the time I’ve finished my green tea and head downstairs for my morning work-out, he’s usually lying stretched out on one of the theater room chairs – fast asleep. What amazes me is his astounding punctuality. The second he starts barking, I’ll glance over at my clock radio. Always, 6:30 exactly. Not a minute sooner. Not a minute later. What gives? He’s smart enough to tell the time yet, yet not smart enough to know that every time he rolls his rubber ball into the living room, it’s going to end up under the couch. Not smart enough to realize that the dogs he sees on t.v. are inaccessible, yet smart enough to recognize the first few bars of a dog food commercial that will send him charging into the family room, barking and howling. Smart enough to avoid the pill I put in his treat, but not smart enough to know that eating a bag of milk chocolate covered almonds will give him explosive diarrhea. Originally intended as a gift for Fondy’s brother, his impish little personality grew on me. After two few weeks, I decided to keep him and gave my brother-in-law a toaster oven instead.
A little heads-up to those sending questions. I will post everything that comes my way unless: 1) They’re rude or insulting to fans, the actors, anyone involved in the production or, in a couple of instances, certain religious groups, 2) They’re a repeat of a question already asked, 3) They’re questions designed to elicit spoilers for Atlantis season four that I‘d rather avoid, 4) They’re longer than the posts they’re commenting on, 5) They’re a double post, 6) I accidentally press REJECT instead of PUBLISH.
Speaking of questions and comments…
Anonymous writes: “Is Asian food really so popular in Vancouver that you guys eat it every day? No pizza?”
Answer: There are more Vietnamese, Korean, Chinese, and Japanese restaurants in Vancouver than anywhere else in Canada. Given the choice, I’d choose any of the aforementioned before I’d hit a pizza joint.
Jenny Robin writes: “Will you accept the challenge of writing an episode entirely in iambic pentameter or in haiku format?”
Answer: To write a script in verse is surely mad.
Stargate in haiku
is sure to leave the fans in wont
of other writers.
Melantha writes: “Bless your mum, she’s obviously very proud of her son! Aw. Does she tell you what she thinks of your work?”
Answer: She doesn’t like anything with “monsters” and likes “the stories that finish nice”. Often, I suspect she watches until she sees my name flash up on screen and then, satisfied, switches over to American Idol.
Arctic Goddess writes: “If you were given unlimited time and an unlimited budget with any guests that you wanted and no recommendations from a network to alter any details of a story, what kind of episode for Stargate or Atlantis would you write?”
Answer: To be honest, I’m telling a number of the stories I’ve wanted to tell in season four of Atlantis. Check out Reunion, Travelers, and the late-season two-parter.
Anonymous #3 writes: “Joe, can you tell us anything about Sanctuary?”
Answer: Absolutely nothing.
Arctic Goddess also writes: “Have you ever mentored a beginning writer? If so, what did you tell them? What would you give for advice for a beginning writer?”
Answer: Alas, I don’t have time for mentoring. I have, however, offered the following advice to novice writers: Write a spec (sample) script of a show you enjoy. Query agents and find out if they’d be willing to read your spec. Hopefully, your writing will impress, you’ll acquire an agent, and he/she will help you get your foot in the door. That’s the longshot way of going about it. A much easier way: Write a spec (sample) of an animation series you enjoy. Query animation studios – where the demand for writers is greater – and ask them if you can pitch for one of their shows. Send them your spec. If you’re invited to pitch, do your homework, come up with no more than 3-5 great pitches, and see how it goes. Breaking into animation is a lot easier than breaking into live action. It offers the novice writer an opportunity to make money, hone his/her craft, and hopefully make the leap to action eventually.
Anonymous #2 writes: “…I was wondering if maybe you guys had considered writing a big, huge, enormous crossover episode with SG-1?”
Answer: We have. The only thing holding us back isn’t creative but financial.
Miho writes: “…Does that mean less Wraith stories than in season 3? And are they actually still a serious threat?”
Answer: Our relationship with the wraith will take an interesting/alarming/unexpected turn. And, yes, they’ll continue to prove themselves a very serious threat.