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The first thing I did, once I set up my new Hollywood apartment, was enroll in Screenwriting classes at UCLA night school. I attended weekend workshops conducted by Robert McKee and all the other screenwriting gurus. I found the local Samuel French stores and bought 3 dozen books on every aspect of screenwriting. Although I've written all my life, including quite a few scripts, I had never written a feature film, and I knew it was a special kind of writing, with requirements different from anything I'd ever done.
I started writing scripts, and for 3 years I did nothing but write and make new friends and get acquainted with my new city. Hollywood was quite an adjustment. I had recently joined AARP and had a damn good routine worked out for the days of my life in Manhattan. All that order and comfort was demolished by the new chapter of my life.
My son and I lived together for the first two years, and most nights he was out on the streets of Hollywood, an LAPD officer serving and protecting, while I was at my computer writing and re-writing -- shuddering each time I heard a siren. I met some amazing people, started learning the business and setting up projects.
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