I create context. I also write blog posts:

Every Once In A While You Meet One Of The Good Guys

Posted: August 31st, 2010 | Author: | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment »

The emails kept coming. “I’m really sorry to do this to you, but I have to push our phone call back again. Check with me in about an hour.” Two, three, four of them showed up. Each time, my day was put on hold that much longer.

It couldn’t last all day, though. I had to go to work later in the afternoon. And like a kid waiting for Christmas to come, I didn’t want to put this off another day.

In May 2008, I finished grad school, packed everything I owned into my Chevy Cobalt and drove almost 5,000 miles to the other coast with my girlfriend, Kelsey. (Why 5,000 miles, you ask? Because we took our time and drove all over the place.) And though I had walked across a stage and worn a cap and gown and drank champagne, I hadn’t actually finished school; we all had to complete a 3 credit internship during the summer, and mine was going to be a writing “mentorship” with a Syracuse alumnus whose name I’m not going to mention… because he blew me off for a month and a half and then, upon finally meeting me for lunch at a vegan hole-in-the-wall (the first sign of the meeting going badly was when I asked for ranch dressing), promptly told me that he was too good to be working with me (or that I wasn’t good enough to work with him, I don’t remember…). But fortunately, I had a backup plan, and it worked out faaaaaaar better than it could have with the other guy. (At this point, at the risk of this becoming way longwinded, I should point out that I don’t really hold a grudge against the first guy; in fact, I totally see his point and don’t disagree with what he did. I just wish I hadn’t moved to California before it happened. But as I’m about to tell you, it all worked out anyways, so I’m ok with the fact that I moved out to California. All right, back to the story…)
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You Don't Know Jack.

Posted: August 29th, 2010 | Author: | No Comments »

(This post might sound pretty self-indulgent; I don’t mean for it to be that way…)
Today, for the first time in my life, I texted someone to wish them well at the Emmy’s tonight. That was a pretty big deal for me.

And it’s a pretty big deal for my mentor, Adam Mazer, who has been nominated for Outstanding Writing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special, for You Don’t Know Jack. The movie is also up for awards in the Outstanding Supporting Actress (Brenda Vaccaro & Susan Sarandon), Outstanding Supporting Actor (John Goodman), Outstanding Directing (Barry Levinson), and Outstanding Lead Actor (Al Pacino) categories. Those are some big-time names to be honored among, and he certainly deserves it.

I don’t know, maybe it’ll be the last time I get to do this. I tend to hope not, but if it is, it’s been fun just having that connection with one person. And it certainly doesn’t make the year I spent drinking coffee and discussing storylines and plot points any less meaningful.

One thing I know I’m crossing my fingers for: I want to send my first “Congratulations on winning an Emmy” text tonight.

Going To The Hockey Game

Posted: August 26th, 2010 | Author: | Tags: , , , | No Comments »

This is my submission to the Rochester Story Walk.

We had a plan, and it was a good one.

We rehearsed it on the drive in. Everybody knew their roles, and we ran through our lines flawlessly. Our scheme was simple, our preparation thorough; it was foolproof, it had to work.

Heading downtown following a blurry parade of brake lights and hustling pedestrians, we parked in the Midtown Garage and walked the tunnel under Exchange Boulevard, nothing amiss about our foursome among the crush of other hockey fans. Red, white, and blue jerseys and hats and signs painted the scene; there was a buzz, an excitement in the air.

But there was one problem: I was six years old.

“When the usher asks you how old you are, what are you going to say?” my aunt asked me.
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This About Sums Up (Part Of) Long Island

Posted: August 23rd, 2010 | Author: | 1 Comment »

I moved down to Long Island last January, and I’m really enjoying it. I’m here with my beautiful girlfriend and I work in a fun shop out in Southampton, and I’ve met some pretty great people — also, my favorite restaurant in the world is down here! Overall, the last eight months have had an outrageously positive impact on my life.

But there are still elements of living on Long Island that I’m trying to get used to. The out-of-control traffic (it’s worse than L.A.), the accents that crack me up, and the sheer number of Ed Hardy shirts around. That, and a good number of people out here think they’re “real” New Yorkers (like 95% of them).

So, if I had to sum up the part of Long Island I don’t like in one sentence, it would have to be the punchline of the following story:
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Excursion Around The Bay!

Posted: August 19th, 2010 | Author: | 1 Comment »

A professor of mine always used to use the phrase, “passing like two ships in the night.” I can’t remember what he was referring to, but I always liked the imagery. Darkness on the water, a darkness deep enough that two beings chugging along can pass one another unnoticed. Friday night, I got an even deeper appreciation of the phrase.

And on a night that started out in a manner much the same as the last time I went sailing, I couldn’t come back with better reviews.
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Nautical Disaster

Posted: August 13th, 2010 | Author: | 5 Comments »

[My First Adventure On The (Not-So) High Seas]

“I think we’re sinking.”


“We need to turn around. I think we’re sinking.”

Now, I’m not much of a sailor, but I know you don’t make jokes about sinking when you’re on a boat, especially a seventeen-foot, barebones fiberglass shell of a boat. And up until now, my entire sailing career being 45 minutes afloat (apparently barely) on this raft with a mast. I’ve been out on the ocean in a kayak, and I’ve been out on a whale-watch before… and on the Port Jefferson Ferry once too. So you’ll forgive me if I don’t give this barely-seaworthy vessel the respect it commands.

Not when my day started out like this, after all.
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Thought Of The Day!

Posted: August 12th, 2010 | Author: | No Comments »


Creamy peanut butter:

What’s the point?

To Live For

Posted: August 8th, 2010 | Author: | Tags: , | No Comments »

What if your life goal was something absolutely outrageous, something so ludicrous it literally could never be done?

But you’d stick to your guns and just not die until you accomplished it?


“I’m going to live to be 137 years old,” he said.

“That’s sad,” she said.


“Because I won’t be around to celebrate it with you.”


Moving On

Posted: August 6th, 2010 | Author: | Tags: , | 1 Comment »

I had a day off today, so I took the time to rework an old short that I wrote in January.

Moving On
a play
by Peter C. Shelly

GUY, somewhere in his 20s
FRIEND, also in his 20s

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You Don't Have It

Posted: August 3rd, 2010 | Author: | Tags: , , | 2 Comments »

About a week and a half ago, I received one of those soul-crushing, heart-wrenching, cliche-enticing rejection letters that come so frequently when you enter things you’ve poured blood, sweat, and tears — or, in my case, over a year of hard work — into something you’re proud of. Not so much with the blood or sweat or tears for me, I’ll grant you, but quite a bit of red wine and concentration, and hey, maybe even a little sweat (I wrote quite a few pages sitting in my boxers in a hot apartment in Los Angeles). And it was a fairly personal script. I don’t know how anybody else writes, but I write about my own experiences, blanketed in the veil of another world, of course (to avoid offending nearly everyone I know), and for those experiences to be outright rejected hurt quite a bit.

And it was tough, and I’ve gone through some ups and downs since then — throwing away whole pages of dialogue, reworking entire acts, and even an erection lasting more than four hours; basically, just the stuff everyone goes through — and I’m still grappling with the “what does this mean” question that needs to be answered soon. Does it mean I suck and I should try selling insurance for a bit? Hopefully not. Does it mean that the reader was just the one asshole in the world that didn’t like my rose-smelling shit? Eh, as much as I’d like to believe it, probably not that either. It’s been a long week and a half for me, I won’t lie, and at points I’ve considered myself to be in a sort of “fragile” place when it comes to confidence and my ability to write and even my desire to write.
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