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                       AUTHORS ANONYMOUS

                          Written by

                       David Congalton

                                                       July 14 2012


                                      FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY

    FADE IN:


    North Hayworth Avenue, off Sunset Boulevard. A quiet, tree-
    lined residential street. Note the small apartment complex
    set back from the curb.


    Our narrator is HENRY OBERT (O-BURT)(30).

                           HENRY (V.O.)
               This is where where F. Scott
               Fitzgerald died on December 21, 1940.

    INSERT ARCHIVAL PHOTOS of Fitzgerald.   His work.   His life.

                           HENRY (V.O.) (CONT'D)
               Fitzgerald was one of the truly great
               American writers of the 20th century.
               Tender is the Night. The Last Tycoon.
               This Side of Paradise. And, of course,
               my favorite, The Great Gatsby. But
               Fitzgerald ended up out here. Writing
               movies that never got made. Drinking
               too much. Alienating people. Losing
               his way.


    Henry stands on the sidewalk. Full of promise and hope.
    Wears a pizza delivery outfit as he stares at the apartment,
    more with reverence than curiosity.


                           HENRY (V.O.)
               I stop by here sometimes--out of
               respect. Fitzgerald had this amazing


    Henry crosses the street--heading for his parked Honda.     He
    unlocks the car. Swings open the back door.

                           HENRY (V.O.)
               But he wasted it. He wasted his

    Henry yanks a MAGNETIC SIGN out of the back seat and slaps
    it on the outside of the driver's door: PIZZA STARZ. One
    last glance at the fabled apartment complex.

                          HENRY (V.O.) (CONT'D)
              When I sell my novel, I won't make
              his mistakes.


    The man (40's) and woman (30's) sit on the couch in their
    tastefully-decorated San Fernando Valley home. Expensive
    taste in clothes. Her cleavage a bit too obvious. Both
    seem a little uncomfortable. Uncertain.


    They look off to the side, speaking to someone off-camera.

              We thought this was going to be a
              reality series.

              You know, like the Kardashians.

    They listen.    Here comes the bad news.

              Oh. Really? A documentary? This
              is going to be a documentary about
              our writing group?

              The whole group. Not just us, right?
              Not that it should be just about

    Nervous laugh.


    They look at each other: A documentary? They try to mask
    their disappointment.

              So this is going to be like--like
              what I saw the other night on cable?
              About bees mating.

              Or that, um, that one about the

    Colette nods, remembering.

                          ALAN (CONT'D)


              Powerful.   Yes. Powerful.

              We love documentaries.

              We do.

    They look at each other again: What have we gotten into?

                          COLETTE (V.O.)
              Natasha, the Russian peasant, dressed


    A POSTER BOARD SIGN--someone went to Kinko's--is posted
    prominently reading: QUIET, PLEASE--WRITERS AT WORK.

                          COLETTE (V.O.)
              ...consumed totally, completely,
              absolutely, by endless thoughts of
              Yuri fondling her breast, his other
              hand groping her womanhood, knowing...

    They sit around the dining room table. Colette, convinced
    she's the next Amy Tan, reads aloud from her TYPED PAGES.
    The others all have copies in front of them. We recognize
    Henry, the frog waiting to become a prince, making copious
    notes and Alan, oh-so-proud, hanging on every word. Beaming.

    Three others round out the group:

    Younger MAN (early 30s). Unshaven. Always thinks he's the
    coolest guy in any room. Can't avoid glances at the camera.


    The OLDEST MEMBER of the group (over 60) sits with his arms
    folded as he listens, shifting in his chair. Captain Grumpy.


    Finally, the young (mid-to-late 20s), angelic, WOMAN listening
    intently, the one who probably stopped to rescue a cat on
    her way here.


                          COLETTE (CONT'D)
              ...Any second that she might explode,
              her chastity spraying across the
              ceiling...Spraying across the ceiling
              like passionate graffiti. Natasha
              never thought such a moment possible.
              "Have I satisfied you, Natasha?"
              Yuri had inquired after their fourth
              round of vodka-soaked lovemaking.
              "Nyet, Not yet," Natasha stated,
              exhausted, but grateful.

    Awkward silence around the table as Colette removes her
    reading glasses and waits. Alan clears his throat, looking

              Well?   Comments?

6   INT. HENRY'S APARTMENT - DAY                                       6

    Henry's sparse studio apartment. Minimal furniture. His laptop
    is set up on an old door, stretched across some blue plastic

    There are BOOKS piled everywhere. All sorts of books. And
    PAPER -- pieces of paper, including letters and cards and
    printed emails, dozens of them, are taped throughout the
    small apartment.

    We are introduced to Henry the writer: pondering over his
    battered laptop, pacing up and down the floor, checking his
    nearly empty refrigerator, stretched out on his Goodwill
    couch, watching TV.

    Finally, inspiration. Henry rushes to his desk and taps out
    a sentence or two on his computer, feeling proud for his

                          HENRY (V.O.)
              I graduated from the University of
              Illinois. English major. Taught
              high school for a couple years, but
              hated it. Moved out here to be a

7   EXT. HOUSE - DAY/NIGHT                                             7

    As Henry's voice over continues, we see him in uniform with
    pizza in hand at the front door of a house. Rings doorbell.

                          HENRY (V.O.)
              I work two jobs. Delivering pizzas
              and cleaning carpets. Good jobs for
              a writer.

8    INT. HOUSE - DAY/NIGHT                                             8

     Henry cleaning the carpets as the heavily-tattooed MOTORCYCLE
     DUDE points to a dirty spot: Over here.

                           HENRY (V.O.)
               You meet lots of interesting people.

9    INT. HENRY'S APARTMENT - DAY                                       9

     Henry points to the letters on the wall. C.U. picks up on
     phrases like "We regret to inform you," or "Sorry, but this
     story isn't right for us," or "The Baxter Agency currently
     isn't accepting new clients."

                           HENRY (V.O.)
               I have two unpublished novels.
               Working on my third, Pizza to Go.
               These are my rejection letters.
               Rejected by agents. Rejected by
               publishers. When you think about
               it, it's pretty amazing how many
               ways people can reject you.


     Henry, John, Alan, Colette, Hannah, and William sit around
     the table. Impressive buffet of cold cuts, cheeses, and
     shrimp has been set out.

                           HENRY (V.O.)
               Our writing group meets every Tuesday
               night. Mostly at Alan and Colette's.
               Sometimes we rotate.

     John helps himself to some shrimp.   Then helps himself to
     some more.

                           HENRY (V.O.) (CONT'D)
               I love coming to the group. Everyone
               always has such constructive feedback.
               It's like we're all in this together.

               I really like the way Yuri is
               developing, Colette.

               You do?

               Well, if you ask John K. Butzin...

     Can't help looking at the camera. Making sure it's on him.

                      JOHN (CONT'D)
          You're still going to have to explain
          why this Natasha dame goes AWOL on
          her husband. Still kinda iffy to

Another glance at the camera: Did you get that?

          I was bothered by that, too. Why
          would Natasha betray a reliable,
          dependable husband for a washed-up
          young punk?

All eyes on Colette.    She shifts in her chair.   Uncomfortable.


An uneasy silence. Colette is blocked--nowhere to go
creatively. Her face tightens up. Bites her lip.

                      COLETTE (CONT'D)
          Oh God. I've been rewriting and
          rewriting and rewriting and--

          Poodles.     It's OK.

          No. It's not OK. I still can't
          explain Natasha's motive. What's
          the use? I'm not a writer.

William to the rescue.

          Whoa. Whoa. Time out. The dude's
          good in bed. Trust me, that's all
          the motive she needs.

          Roger that. Torpedo Chapter Three.
          Blow it up. Get the focus back on
          this broad--Natasha.

          --Yes. I was thinking the same thing.

          Make it clear that Natasha wants to
          be closer...

Colette makes notes furiously, nodding in agreement.

                            HENRY (V.O.)
                Writing can be such a solitary
                existence, so it's good to have this
                outlet where you can meet other
                writers and exchange ideas. Here it
                really is all for one and one for


     Later that evening.    Meeting is over.

     Alan, Colette, Hannah, Henry, William, and John are all
     standing up now. William stretches. John reaches for more
     shrimp. Friendly banter. Laughter.

                Who wants coffee?

     Everybody does.    William taps Henry on the shoulder.

                Lend me ten bucks? I'm having cash
                flow issues.


                Thanks, bro'. You're the best.

12   INT. HENRY'S APARTMENT - DAY                                       12

     Henry sits at his desk, staring at the blank computer. Lost
     in thought. Emphasis on lost.

                            HENRY (V.O.)
                This new novel Pizza to Go is about
                Scott, a pizza delivery guy in LA.
                He comes across some interesting
                characters. I like what I have so
                far, but it's only a hundred pages
                and I'm stuck...

13   INT.   HENRY'S APARTMENT - LATER - DAY                             13

     Henry stands in front of the mirror in his apartment, wearing
     the Pizza Starz hat and shirt. Ready for work.

                            HENRY (V.O.)
                ...Haven't written a word in the
                last two weeks. Not one. Hannah
                teases me about having writer's block.


     FLASHBACK to the last group meeting. Focus on Hannah. Her
     smile. Her warmth. She listens and comments. Actively
     engaged in the conversation.

                           HENRY (V.O.)
               ...I keep thinking about her. She's
               all I think about. Really would
               like to ask her out.

15   INT. HANNAH'S APARTMENT - DAY                                      15

     Hannah reaches for a pair of READING GLASSES and slips them
     on. Talks to someone O.S.

               What do you think? On or off? Do
               they make me look smarter? I need a
               new pair.

     She takes the glasses off. Puts them back on. Off again.
     Debating. Hannah prepares herself with a series of quick
     breaths and waves her hands in the air. Then she stares
     directly into the camera.

                           HANNAH (CONT'D)
               Hi. I'm originally from Prescott,
               Arizona. Followed my mom out here
               about four years ago. That's her
               back there.

     Camera picks up a wisp of a WOMAN (over 50)in the background,
     waving, with an equally pleasant smile.


                           HANNAH (CONT'D)
               My parents are divorced. Not her

16   INT. RESTAURANT #1 - DAY                                           16

     William favors jeans and faded tweed jacket. Sits in the
     corner of a Valley restaurant, nursing a cup of coffee and
     talks to the camera.

               What do you want to know about me?
               I'm 27. Single. A virgin.

     He flashes that wicked, seductive smile.

                           WILLIAM (CONT'D)
               Just kidding. I'm actually 28.
               Hometown is Modesto, California, A
               sprawling junk heap of a town without
               a soul. Why did I come to LA? Um,
               because I knew you were here and
               that you'd loan me a hundred bucks
               if I needed it. Right?

     WAITRESS #1 refills his coffee cup. Her reward is that smile.

                           WILLIAM (CONT'D)
               Thanks, babe.

     She walks away.   William admires the view.

                           WILLIAM (CONT'D)
               I already got her number. Maybe I'll
               text her. Maybe I won't.

     Eyes back towards the camera.

                           WILLIAM (CONT'D)
               So 'bout that hundred bucks? What
               d'ya think?

     A hint of desperation in his voice.

                           WILLIAM (CONT'D)
               OK. What about fifty? C'mon, bro'.
               Support the arts.

17   INT. HANNAH'S APARTMENT -- DAY                                    17

     Hannah continues talking to the camera.   Maureen still in

               I've always had this knack for telling
               stories. Ever since I was a kid.

               She's a natural.

               Moved here. Took a couple writing
               classes. Decided to go for it.
               24/7. Total dedication to my craft.
               The writing always comes first. My
               latest effort is called Sleeping on
               the Moon. It's about rejection. And
               pain. Not really about the moon
               itself. More of a...

     She searches for the word that escapes her. Maureen to the



18   INT. RESTAURANT #1 - DAY                                           18

     William continues talking to the camera.

               So. LA? I'm here because of Bukowski.
               Charles Bukowski. Greatest writer
               ever. Period.

     INSERT ARCHIVAL PHOTOS of Charles Bukowski.

                           WILLIAM (CONT'D)
               LA is his town, man. If I'm gonna
               be a writer, then I have to walk in
               Bukowski's shoes. Experience and
               capture the plight of the working

     He waves to WAITRESS #1.

                           WILLIAM (CONT'D)
               I like the people in the group. But
               they can't write worth shit. But,
               man, Hannah is something. She's the
               only reason I keep going. Not because
               I'm learning anything. Hell, no. I
               just think she's hot.

19   INT. HANNAH'S APARTMENT -- DAY                                     19

     Hannah leans forward towards the camera, as if to hear better.

               My favorite writer? Favorite writer.
               Favorite writer...

     Hannah goes blank. The smile disappears as her face goes
     into noticeable contortions. This is worse than Final
     Jeopardy. She turns quiet, squirming.

                           HANNAH (CONT'D)
               Favorite. Wow. Hard to say. I've
               studied Composition more than actual
               Literature. Gee. I know Maureen
               enjoys Jane...

     Searching for a last name, Hannah looks back to Maureen for

               Jane Austen.

               That's the one. I hear she's good.
               But my favorite writer? Let me think
               about that a bit, OK?

     Short beat. Hannah lowers her voice, almost a loud
     confessional whisper.

                           HANNAH (CONT'D)
               I didn't go to college.

20   INT. JOHN'S MOBILE HOME - DAY                                   20

     John is holding court at his mobile home, showcasing the
     finest in furniture from Sears. John stuffs his home with
     various MILITARY ARTIFACTS--photos, equipment, books. He's
     got it all. John talks to the camera.

               Everything John K. Butzin knows
               about writing comes down to two simple
               words: Tom Clancy. Yes, sir. Tom
               Clancy. The man's a genius. Does
               his research. All those nitty-gritty
               technical details. Now that's writing!
               John K. Butzin has one agent very
               interested in Roaring Lion. And a
               publisher up in Oxnard is looking at
               it as we speak. Plus a certain
               cousin's best friend has a neighbor
               who has an in with Clint Eastwood,
               so Hollywood might be calling soon.
               Don't know how the other members of
               the writing group will handle all
               this success by one person. They
               better not be pussies.


     Alan and Colette remain on the couch. Talking to the camera.
     All smiles. Much more comfortable with the camera.

               Well, I'm an optometrist in Glendale.

               And I write full-time.

               Our last name's Mooney. You could
               call us Mooneys. We get that joke
               all the time.

     The couple giggle at the joke. Forced.

                           ALAN (CONT'D)
               Which writer do I admire? Hmmm. How
               about John Grisham? Look at all
               that money he's made! Just teasing,
               John. We know you deserved every
               dime, but, hey, John, could you spread
               it around a bit, pal?

               Alan likes to tease.

     She gives her husband an affectionate squeeze.

               Colette, here, is the real writer.
               I'm more of an idea guy. I come up
               with great ideas, but don't always
               follow through. I'll show you.

     He picks up his mini-digital Olympus RECORDER off the coffee
     table. Thinks for a second.

                           ALAN (CONT'D)
                   (To recorder)
               Idea for romantic novel.

     Alan catches himself.

                           ALAN (CONT'D)
               No. Make that, idea for romantic

     He winks at the camera--showing he's hip to the jargon.

                           ALAN (CONT'D)
               Possible movie option, too: Frovers.
               They couldn't be friends. They
               couldn't be lovers. So they became

     Satisfied, Alan turns off the recorder.

22   EXT. COLETTE'S GARDEN - DAY                                       22

     Colette opens the sliding glass door and steps out into a
     beautiful garden area. Quiet and private. Camera follows
     her over to a solitary BENCH.

                This is where I come for inspiration.
                I believe a writer must have quiet
                and solitude. I'll meditate. Write
                in my journal. Set out my creative
                path for the day. This is my Walden

     Colette sits down on the bench. Takes in the environment.

                            COLETTE (CONT'D)
                Favorite author? I'd have to say
                Joan Didion. Her writing sends
                shivers down my spine. Though Joyce
                Carol Oates has been known to bring
                me to actual orgasm.

23   EXT. COLETTE'S GARDEN - DAY                                       23

     Colette sits on her bench, reading a BOOK. C.U. reveals
     that it is a novel by Joyce Carol Oates. Colette appears to
     be getting into the story just a bit too much.

24   EXT.   COLETTE'S GARDEN - DAY                                     24

     POOL GUY and GARDENER hear Colette's sensual cries drifting
     over the hedge. What the hell? They exchange puzzled looks.

25   EXT. COLETTE'S GARDEN - DAY                                       25

     Back to the present. Camera picks up a FRAMED PHOTO OF OPRAH
     from a corner of the bench. Holds it up for camera.

                Oh, this? I keep Oprah out here for
                luck. She's done so much to help
                writers. I know I'm going to be on
                her television show one day. I just
                know it.

     Colette can already see the moment in her mind. Short beat.
     Then she looks off-camera--listening to someone.

                           COLETTE (CONT'D)
                What? Oprah doesn't have a TV show
                anymore? Really? Since when?

     Short beat as she hears the answer.

                            COLETTE (CONT'D)

     Short beat as she tries to cover.

                           COLETTE (CONT'D)
               I knew that. I did. I-I knew.

26   INT. HENRY'S APARTMENT - NIGHT                                       26

     Henry stands in front of his mirror. Checks his appearance.
     Again. Talks to the camera.

               Tonight's the night. I'm going to
               ask Hannah out.

     Henry becomes lost in thought.   Regroups.

                           HENRY (CONT'D)
               It's time. I like her. She likes me--
               I think. I've got to take action.
               Still stuck on Page 100. So I'm
               asking Hannah out on a date tonight.
               It'll be great. And I'll put this
               writer's block behind me.

     Checks his appearance one last time in the mirror.

                           HENRY (CONT'D)
               Wish me luck.

27   INT. ALAN AND COLETTE'S HOUSE -- LIVING ROOM - NIGHT                 27

     Alan sits in his favorite chair, talking directly to the

               I'm the group leader. After all,
               getting together was my idea. They're
               all my patients. That's how we met.
               First one published gets a free eye

     Alan cackles a bit too hard at that joke.    He listens to a
     question being asked.

                           ALAN (CONT'D)
               Why did I form the group? To help
               Colette. Oh, I certainly enjoy the
               creative process, but Colette?
               Writing is her dream. I'd do anything
               for her because...because she's my
               dream. So there you have it.

     Alan reaches for his tape recorder.

                           ALAN (CONT'D)
               Possible names for future characters.

                           ALAN (CONT'D)
               Anthony Gilmore. No, wait. Make
               that Anthony T. Gilmore. Much
               better. Slate McCoy. Fletcher Peck.
               Fiona Foxx. And...a man known simply
               as Banjo.

     Satisfied, Alan turns off the recorder.

28   INT. RESTAURANT #1 - NIGHT                                        28

     Place is empty. Alan, Colette, William, John, and Henry
     gather around the center table.

     The WRITERS AT WORK poster is propped up against a nearby
     empty chair. Hard not to notice the EMPTY CHAIR at the table.
     Hannah is missing.

     Waitress #1 pours coffee all around. Henry fidgets in his
     chair, focused on the empty chair.

                   (To William)
               How come we never chow down at your

               This is my place. Close to the working

     John rolls his eyes.

               Where's Hannah? Anyone know?

     Nobody responds. Alan checks his watch.

               Time to get started.

               Shouldn't we wait for Hannah?

               Let's go, people. I'm ready to read.

               William's right. We'll start. She'll
               show up.

     William starts passing out pages. Henry eyes the empty chair.
     Colette looks over William's pages. There are only three.
     She has a puzzled look.

               William, aren't these the same pages
               you read last time?

               Nope, they're different.

               They look the same.

               They're different. I changed a word.

               One word?

               That's it?

               Writing is rewriting, Colette.
               Bukowski said, "Write five words.
               Rewrite seven."

               No. Dorothy Parker said that.

               One word?    Jesus H. Christ.

               It's my creative vision, John.

                   (Jumping in)
               Which we are here to support. This
               is William's decision.

               Let me just read. See if you can
               pick out the word. Tell me if it's
               better, or worse.

               One goddamn word.

     Henry continues staring at the empty chair.

29   INT. RESTAURANT #1 - NIGHT                                      29

     The evening meeting is winding to an end. John stands up to
     stretch. Alan slides papers into his leather satchel.

     HANNAH'S CHAIR remains empty. Henry remains concerned.

          I wonder what happened to Hannah.

          It's not like her to miss.

The mystery is quickly solved. Front door opens. In rushes
Hannah, dashing directly towards the others, looking harried.

          I'm so sorry. I'm so sorry for missing
          the meeting.

          What happened? Your car break down?

          You oversleep?

          Maureen. Is Maureen OK?

          People. C'mon. Look at her. That
          glow. Hannah met a guy. She got

Hannah gives William a playful smack on the back.

          As a matter of fact, I did meet a

          Told ya.

          His name's Brian.

Check out Henry. He looks absolutely horrified. No!

Hannah takes a deep breath and flashes a smile the size of
the Grand Canyon.

                      HANNAH (CONT'D)
          He's my new agent!

She remembers the camera.

                      HANNAH (CONT'D)
              (Directly to camera)
          An agent. I've got an agent!

Surprise and silence. The writers look at each other and
then back at Hannah. Not quite sure how to react.

     Stunned as Hannah turns her attention back to the group.

                            HANNAH (CONT'D)
                That writing class I took? Well,
                for the final project, I turned in
                the first chapter of Sleeping on the
                Moon. I guess the teacher liked it.
                Then he gave it to his friend who's
                an agent. Brian. He called. Had to
                see me right away. Brian wants to
                sign me.

                Bet Brian wants more than that.

     Playful smack from Colette to William on the shoulder: Behave.

                That's so great, Hannah.

                I salute you, young lady.

     And he does.

                Yes.   Fantastic. Fanntasstic.

     Henry takes it all in quietly, unable to speak.

     Alan bounces up and gives Hannah a big hug as the others
     immediately start peppering her with questions.

30   INT.   RESTAURANT #1 - NIGHT                                      30

     Colette, Alan, John, William and Henry encircle a beaming
     Hannah as Waitress #1 snaps their PHOTO.

31   INT. RESTAURANT #1 - NIGHT                                        31

     Alan pops the drugstore CHAMPAGNE and pours into the cheap
     plastic cups, as Colette passes them around to Hannah, Henry,
     John, and William.

                    (Raising cup)
                To Hannah!

     Everyone clinks their cups together.

                Thank you. But I just want to remind
                everyone that we're all in this
                together. I couldn't have come this
                far without the group.

               All for one . . . .

     But our camera picks up on the individual writers and
     something is amiss. Everything seems a beat off. People
     appear happy, but a little subdued. The joy seems a bit too

               I'm merely the first one to get
               signed. But we're all going to have
               an agent soon.

               Well, as a matter of fact, there's
               an agent in Santa Monica very
               interested in John K. Butzin. He's
               reading the manuscript as we speak.

     The others let John's remark pass without comment.   William
     taps Henry on the shoulder.

                   (Lower voice)
               Hey, can you lend me ten bucks?

     Henry is still a bit dazed by this unexpected turn of events.


               Thanks, bro'. You're the best.

     Henry's eyes can't leave Hannah.

32   EXT. RESTAURANT #1 - NIGHT                                       32

     The front door to the restaurant swings open and the writing
     group members tumble out into the evening. Alan carries his
     WRITERS AT WORK sign.

     William makes a move towards Hannah, but the the ever-
     protective Henry grabs her gently by her elbow, cutting
     William off. They start walking in one direction. William
     and John head out in the other. Meanwhile, Alan and Colette
     wave enthusiastically to Hannah.

               Congratulations again, Hannah!

               Yes, yes.   Way to go, Hannah!

                   (Calling back)
               Thank you! 'Night.

     Alan and Colette continue to smile and wave until Hannah is
     out of ear shot.

               Well, Hannah's got an agent.

     Short beat.

               She must have slept with him.

               Of course she did.

33   EXT. CITY STREET - NIGHT                                          33

     Henry and Hannah arrive at her car. She unlocks the front
     door of her clunker-of-a-Ford as Henry waits.

               I'm so proud of you, Hannah.

               Your turn will come, Henry. You're a
               better writer than I am. So much
               better. You went to college.

     Hannah looks directly into the camera, pointing to Henry.

                           HANNAH (CONT'D)
               He's a great writer. Henry Obert. I
               knew him when.

     Henry, clearly embarrassed, puts his hand up to block the
     camera. Tries to change the subject.

               Listen. Maybe some afternoon we
               could go for a drive. There are
               some special places I'd like to show

               Sure. I can't believe I've lived out
               here four years and haven't seen --

     She stops in mid-sentence.   A light goes on in her head.

                           HANNAH (CONT'D)
               Oh, my.


               Four years. It's been four years
               since I moved here. And now I have
               an agent. It's the number four again.
               My lucky number. I should have known
               this was going to happen.

               There is no one more deserving.

     Hannah rewards Henry's praise with a peck on the lips.    And
     a warm hug.

     Hannah steps in her car, starts it up and rolls down the

               I'm going to dedicate my novel to

     A final wave and Henry watches as she disappears into the
     night. He sighs.

34   INT. MONTAGE OF SHOTS - DAY                                        34

     A series of shots featuring the writers writing--or, at least,
     trying: Alan pauses between eye appointments to record an

     William continues scribbling at the restaurant, this time
     eyeing WAITRESS #2.

     Hannah, sitting cross-legged on her bed, types away on her
     laptop computer.

     Colette sits on her private bench, seeking inspiration.

     John sits at his keyboard. Vintage black-and-white war movie
     plays on the TV. John appears more interested in the movie.

     Henry stares at his laptop. The screen is blank. Henry
     surrenders yet again and flips off the computer.

35   INT. HENRY'S APARTMENT - DAY                                       35

     Henry, sitting in his studio apartment, wears his pizza
     delivery outfit. Ready for work. Talks to the camera.

               I'm happy for Hannah.

                           HENRY (CONT'D)
               Still, her getting an agent sort of
               ruins my plans, doesn't it? I mean,
               Hannah has an agent. I don't. That
               won't work for dating. I can't ask
               her out until I get an agent.

     Henry gestures at a PHOTOGRAPH taped to the wall among his
     rejection letters.

                           HENRY (CONT'D)
               That's Richard Benedict. He's written
               seven novels. Fantastic writer.

     INSERT ARCHIVAL PHOTOS of Richard Benedict.

                           HENRY (CONT'D)
               The Fitzgerald of his generation.
               Richard Benedict made me want to be
               a writer.

36   INT. ALAN AND COLETTE'S HOUSE -- LIVING ROOM - DAY                 36

     Colette dressed in a leotard, practices basic yoga on a mat
     in her living room. Chanting. Overly dramatic, as always.

     Takes a break and talks to the camera.

               My novel is called Nyet, Not Yet.
               It's about a Russian woman who comes
               to this country in search of love.
               It was inspired by a story I heard
               from one of my massage clients, Yuri.
               Yes, it's true--I used to do massage.
               In fact, that's how I met Alan, though
               I certainly didn't give him the kind
               of massage he really wanted. At least
               not the first time.

     Colette allows herself a slight smile at the memory.

                           COLETTE (CONT'D)
               I will get an agent. It comes down
               to this: if Hannah can get an agent,
               I can get an agent. After all, I am
               a graduate of Mills College.

37   INT. HANNAH'S APARTMENT - DAY                                      37

     Plopped down in her rocking chair, Hannah talks to someone
     O.S. Maureen goes about her day in the background.

          Have I thought of my favorite author
          yet? No. Not yet. There are so
          many, you know?

The deep breaths and waving of hands begin again. Here comes
that smile as she looks directly into the camera.

                      HANNAH (CONT'D)
          So. I am somewhat superstitious.
          Yes. Guilty. I'm drawn to the number
          4. I was born at exactly 4:04 p.m.
          on April 4th. 4-4-4-4. That wasn't
          an accident. No way.

She's dead serious.

                      HANNAH (CONT'D)
          Certain things I've learned to avoid.
          Black cats. Cracked mirrors. Oh.
          And the number 13 especially. I hate
          the number 13. Hate it.

Conversation interrupted by RINGING DOORBELL. Hannah frowns
at the interruption as Maureen scurries to the door and opens
it, revealing Colette hiding behind a HUGE GIFT BASKET. She
breezes in. Takes over. Over the top.

          Hi...Hi...Hello everyone. I was
          just in the neighborhood and--

Colette freezes when she notices the camera.

                      COLETTE (CONT'D)
          Oh, Hannah. I'm so sorry. I didn't
          know they'd be here--

Yeah, right. Hannah springs up. Follows Colette as she sets
the basket down for all to admire.

          Colette.    What a lovely surprise!

Hugs all around between Hannah and Maureen and Colette.
Hannah looks blown away by the gift basket.

                      HANNAH (CONT'D)
          My, what's this?

          Oh. It's nothing. I just had to
          say "Congratulations" to my new
          favorite author.

Hannah is truly touched.    Maureen notices a CARD attached to
the basket.

          "For Poodles...Now may we have sex
          again? Love, Alan."

What? Embarrassed, Colette snatches the card from Maureen.
Hannah is more focused on the gift. Doesn't really hear.

          So sweet of you, Colette.

          My pleasure.     Say, Hannah...about
          your agent?

Hannah looks over at Colette: What?

                      COLETTE (CONT'D)
          Is he--Is he taking on new clients?

          Gee.   I don't really know.

Colette blurts out without thinking.

          Think you could ask?

Awkward situation for Hannah.      How best to respond?

          I guess so.     Maybe.

          Because if he is...

          Let's talk about this at group
          meeting, OK?

          Oh. Of course. Of course.

Long beat. Conversation over. The three women wait for one
another to speak. Colette checks her watch.

                         COLETTE (CONT'D)

A hug for both Maureen and Hannah.

                           COLETTE (CONT'D)
               I've got to go. Talk soon. By the
               way, everything in the basket--gluten

     A final wave to the camera and Colette disappears.

               Colette Mooney. My, that woman is
               something else.

     A light goes off in Hannah's head.

                   (To herself; counting
                    on her fingers)
               Colette Mooney. C-o-l-e-t-t-e M-o-o-

     She can't finish the count. The ugly truth is staring her in
     the face.

                             HANNAH (CONT'D)
               13 letters.    Oh, dear...

     Hannah and Maureen exchange concerned looks.

38   INT. ALAN'S OFFICE   DAY                                          38

     Hannah and Henry sit together in the reception area. Alan
     breezes in, ever-smiling, greeting both enthusiastically.

39   INT. ALAN'S OFFICE - DAY                                          39

     Rows of EYE GLASSES on display as Alan guides Hannah over to
     the fitting table. Henry tags along.

               Thanks for seeing me today, Alan.

               No problemo. Let's get you some new
               eye wear.

               Something that makes me look smart.

               You're already smart, Hannah.

     Hannah gives Henry's hand a playful squeeze: Thank you.
     Alan and Hannah sit down opposite from each other. Henry
     pulls up a chair to the side. Alan selects a pair. Puts them
     on Hannah.

          How about...

Hannah shrugs her blase reaction.


Alan removes the brown-colored frames.   Studies them for a
second. Then -- inspiration arrives.

          Excuse me.   One sec.

He reaches inside his coat pocket for his RECORDER. Speaks
into it.

                      ALAN (CONT'D)
          Ah. Name for character. Alexander
          Brown. Wears brown-colored glasses.

          Of course he would.

Henry nods, agreeing. Satisfied, Alan puts the recorder
away and reaches for another pair of glasses.

          You know this great idea for a novel
          hit me this morning. It's called

Alan tries the second pair on Hannah. She checks herself in
the mirror. Then she shows Henry. They both shake their head:
No. It is a funny moment between friends. They laugh as Alan
reaches for pair #3.

                      ALAN (CONT'D)
          It's about a dog who becomes human
          for 24 hours in order to rescue his
          kidnapped owner. I love this idea,

          Could be a winner.

Alan puts the third pair of glasses on Hannah. She checks
herself in the mirror, finally liking what she sees. She
looks over towards Henry.

                      HANNAH (CONT'D)
          What do you think?

Poor Henry. She does look good. He's falling even harder for
her by the moment.

               You look great, Hannah.

     Hannah can't decide. She studies herself in the mirror as
     Henry studies her. Henry reaches for his ANDROID and snaps
     a photo of her. Alan brings them back to real time.

               Question: You think your agent might
               be interested in this idea? Does he
               have a dog?

               Oh. I don't know--

               How about a cat? It could be a cat.

               Um. Sure.   Probably could be.

               Think about mentioning it to your
               agent, OK? Unleashed. Dog -- or cat --
               becomes human.

     Alan beams with pride at his imagination on display. Hannah
     fidgets. Avoids Alan. Henry jumps in to save the moment.

               I'll help you develop the idea, Alan.

     Alan looks pleased. Hannah looks grateful.

40   INT. RESTAURANT #1 - DAY                                        40

     across from each other in the nearly-deserted restaurant.

     Body language suggests an intense, passionate, personal chat.

                           WILLIAM (V.O.)
               A writer has to hear everything. On
               the streets. In the restaurants.

     But something's amiss. Customer #1 stops abruptly, glancing
     at the table next to them: William has suddenly materialized.
     Sitting with a cup of coffee and a legal pad, scribbling.

                           WILLIAM (V.O.) (CONT'D)
               My dialogue has to be real so I'm
               everywhere. Standing behind you at
               the checkout stand.

Customer #1 resumes conversation, but looks sharply back at
William. His head is tilted towards them. Listening.

                      WILLIAM (V.O.) (CONT'D)
          Peeing next to you at the urinal. I
          watch. I listen.

Customer #1 says something to Customer #2. Looks back at
William. His head is still cocked as he makes notes.

                      WILLIAM (V.O.) (CONT'D)
          Writing down scraps of conversation.

Customer #1 grows more agitated. Customer #2 tries to calm
her down. Finally, Customer #1 shoots up and marches over
to William, her finger jabbing in the air towards the
notebook. William shrugs, playing dumb.

                      WILLIAM (V.O.) (CONT'D)
          That's right. I eavesdrop.

Customer #1 reaches down and grabs the notebook from William.
He tries to stop her, but too late.

                      WILLIAM (V.O.) (CONT'D)
          How else do you accurately capture
          the misery of the human condition?

She reads the page and shows it to Cutomer #2 who reads the
notes and is equally shocked.

                      WILLIAM (V.O.) (CONT'D)
          Now Bukowski says "An intellectual
          says a simple thing in a hard way."

The two women start yelling at William. He keeps shaking his
head. Customer #1 tears the page into shreds.

                       WILLIAM (V.O.) (CONT'D)
          "An artist says a hard thing in a
          simple way."

Waitress #2 comes over. The women talk to her and she starts
yelling at William. Customer #1 poking her finger in his
chest. Escalates to a push. The COOK comes out and starts
yelling at William.

                      WILLIAM (V.O.) (CONT'D)
          Gotta love it. That's me. Simple.

Surrounded by yelling people, William breaks through the
circle and moves towards the door. The BUS BOY yells, too.

                            WILLIAM (V.O.) (CONT'D)
               Powerful.   An artist.

41   EXT. JOHN'S MOBILE HOME - DAY                                      41

     John grins for the camera. The reason why sits next to him
     in the matching LAWN CHAIRS.

     The WOMAN is clearly younger than John. Plainly dressed in a
     faded sweat shirt. Little makeup. Nervous in front of the
     camera, but she looks more at us than she does at John. He
     can't keep his eyes off her.


               Meet someone very s-p-e-c-i-e-l.
               Here with us today all the way from...

     Coaxing Sigrid to finish the thought.


               Oh! That accent! Found her    working
               at the hardware store. Went   in for a
               drill bit. Came out with a    prime
               candidate for Mrs. John K.    Butzin.

42   INT. HARDWARE STORE - DAY                                          42

     Watch Sigrid work. Hard. Uber hard. Stocking shelves. Running
     cash register. Consulting HER BOSS -- an older man.
     Assisting customers. Moving boxes. Always wearing a red
     employee vest. She does speak with a thick accent. Sincere,
     if naive.

                   (Starts speaking
                    German. Stops. In
               Apologies. American only. I come
               from Dusseldorf, yes? Came to this
               great country 90 years ago -- no, 90
               days ago. Apologies. Took job in
               store as cleaning lady. Promoted to
               cashier. Now assistant, assistant

43   INT. JOHN'S MOBILE HOME - DAY                                      43

     Sigrid stands next to a wall display. Everything and anything
     to do with the U.S. is hanging on this wall: Magazine covers
     of Obama. A U.S. flag. Burger King logo. Photo of Jay Leno.

     N.Y. Yankees pennant. Whatever comes to mind for the U.S.
     seems to be taped, tacked, glued or whatever to that wall.

                This my 'Wall of America' tribute,
                yes? To my new country. And in the
                center, of course, the three men I
                admire most in America.

     First we see the FRAMED PHOTO of a certain business mogul.

                              SIGRID (CONT'D)
                Herr Trump.    Very rich. Very famous.
                Very sexy.

     Then we move on to the second PHOTO of a certain TV celebrity.

                            SIGRID (CONT'D)
                Herr Simon Cowell. Very rich. Very
                famous. Very sexy.

     Move on to the third PHOTO.     Hey, we know this person:

                            SIGRID (CONT'D)
                Ja. My special guy. Herr Bootzin.
                About to become very rich. Very
                famous. Already very sexy.
                Then maybe Sigrid Hagenguth becomes
                Mrs. John K. Bootzin, ja?

44   EXT.   COLETTE'S GARDEN - DAY                                      44

     Colette sits. Focused on the WHITE ENVELOPE in one hand.
     Alan sits next to her, squeezing her other hand. Photo of
     Oprah on the other side.

                I know this is a rejection letter.
                I can't open this. I can't be
                rejected today. I take rejection so

                I bet it's good news.

     She opens the envelope. Peeks inside. No letter. Just the
     SMALLEST POST-IT NOTE flutters out on to the ground. Colette
     picks it up.

                "Sorry. Not interested." I knew it.
                How can such a big rejection come
                from such a small piece of paper?

     Colette folds the Post-It Note in half--and then in quarters.
     Holding it in her hand, she begins to chant. Alan holds on
     to her hand and pats her on the back. Good husband.

45   INT. HANNAH'S APARTMENT - DAY                                      45

     Hannah and Maureen watch with interest and obvious
     appreciation as Henry, dutifully wearing his uniform, cleans
     their living room carpet.

     Open PIZZA STARZ ÍBOX on the breakfast bar. Looks like Henry
     has brought dinner, as well. Hannah's iPhone goes off. As a
     courtesy, Henry stops the machine.

                   (On phone)
               Hello? Yes. Oh, hi, Brian.
               (LISTENING) Really? (LISTENING) Oh
               my god! Oh my god! Oh my god!

     Hannah starts jumping up and down like a little girl while
     Maureen and Henry look on in bewildered anticipation.

                           HANNAH (CONT'D)
                   (On phone)
               Oh my god!

               What's he saying?

               He sold my novel.


                   (Nodding excitedly)
               Brian sold Sleeping on the Moon!

     Now Maureen starts jumping up and down. Henry can't hide his

               Oh my god!   Oh my god!

                   (On telephone)
               Yes, Brian. I will. Thank you.
               Thank you. Thank you. I will.
               Promise. Thank you!

     Hannah turns off her iPhone. Mother and daughter can't
     believe the news. Jumping up and down. Warm embrace.

     In turn, they both embrace Henry, who also shares the
     genuine, sincere moment.

               You did it, Hannah!   You did it!

               I'm so proud of you, dear!

               Thank you.

     Another embrace between mother and daughter.   This could go
     on all night.

               We need to tell the group!

     The smile disappears from Hannah's face.

               The group. Oh, dear. The group. No,
               no, I can't tell them about this.

               Why not?


     She looks to Maureen for support.

                           HANNAH (CONT'D)
               It will seem like I'm bragging or
               something. I mean I'm the one with
               an agent. Now this. It could be
               too much, too soon, don't you think?

     Henry understands.   He wants to help.

               Suppose I tell them? They could hear
               the news from me.

     Hannah lights up at the suggestion. She goes to Henry and
     gives him a tight hug. So very tight. Blesses him with another
     friendly peck on the lips.

               Thank you, my friend. I can always
               depend on you, can't I?

46   INT. JOHN'S MOBILE HOME - DAY                                    46

     John talks to the camera.

               That's great for Hannah, her little
               book deal, and all. But John K.
               Butzin has some news to announce, as

     John holds up a BROCHURE.

                           JOHN (CONT'D)
               I've just inked a deal with U R the
               Publisher, a reputable company based
               in New Delhi. They publish 5000 titles
               internationally every year. Paying
               'em two hundred dollars and they're
               going to format and publish my novel
               Roaring Lion. I've waited for this
               moment forever. Finally, a Butzin
               is going to be a published author.

     A voice drifts in from another room.

                           SIGRID (O.S.)
               Yoo-hoo. Mr. Published-Author-to-Be.
               Sigrid would like you to come in for
               personal, private autograph. Please.

     John gulps. Then he remembers the camera.    Makes a "cut"
     motion with his finger across the neck.

47   INT. HENRY'S APARTMENT - NIGHT                                     47

     Henry's turn to host the group meeting. Alan, William,
     Colette, and John share the lumpy couch and the folding metal
     chairs. Open PIZZA STARZ BOXES in the background.

     Everyone is enjoying a single slice of pizza off a paper
     plate--except for John, who is inhaling two pieces at once.
     The mood is somber. Quiet.

               Hannah's just lucky. That's all.

     John tries to agree, but his mouth is too stuffed with pizza.
     Cheap FLOWERS from Ralph's and BALLOONS in full display on
     the coffee table. Henry stands--listening--by the front

               Here she comes!

     Henry opens the door. Hannah floats in.

     The serious expressions suddenly, magically, turn to broad
     smiles. Henry is the first to offer a hug.

Alan, William, Colette, John give her a standing ovation.
Hannah notices the balloons and flowers.

          Ohhhhhh.    For me? You shouldn't have.

          Way to go, Ms. Published Author!

Everyone gets a hug from Hannah. William gives Hannah an
extra long hug.

          We're all jealous, Hannah. Just

          No.   Seriously. We're all jealous.

Nervous laughter around the room.

          You're all making too much of a
          spectacle here.

          When will your book come out, Hannah?

          A year.    Takes about a year.

          So how much did you get?

          Don't ask her that.

          Why not? How much did you get?

          I did OK. Leave it at that. What's
          important is that I owe this success
          to all of you. I would be lost without
          this writing group.

              (Louder than normal)
          I don't know if anyone heard.

All eyes turn to John, still inhaling pizza.

                           JOHN (CONT'D)
               But U.R. the Publisher has agreed to
               publish Roaring Lion by John K.

     Puzzled looks are the reaction.

               U.R. the Publisher?

               They self-publish. E-books. Print on

               That's right, Obert. But I'll have
               my book in two weeks. None of this
               B.S. waiting around. John K. Butzin
               will be a published author. And be
               published first.

               Well, John. Congratulations.

     She leans over and gives him the briefest of hugs. There are
     other congratulatory murmurs coming from the group.

               My, two published authors in the
               group. The rest of us are going to
               have to catch up.

48   INT. HENRY'S APARTMENT - NIGHT                                  48

     The meeting gets down to business. Alan, Colette, Henry,
     William and Hannah, wearing her new glasses, listen as John
     reads from Roaring Lion.

               Gunner stared out over the bleak
               horizon, seeing one dead Viet Cong
               after another lay scattered on the
               bloody hillside. He had won this
               time, but Gunner knew Charlie would
               be back in the morning. By god, he
               would be ready. So would his M60
               General Purpose Machine Gun and Mark
               2 Fragmentation/Hand Rifle Grenade.

     John finishes and sits back in his chair, quite pleased with

          OK, John. Nicely done. Let's get
          some feedback.

Henry, as always, has been making notes.

          Well.   In terms of the characters--

               (Jumping in)
          --Hold on, Obert. I wanna hear from

John points towards Hannah.

          We'll hear from everybody.

          I don't want to hear from everybody.
          She has a book coming out. John K.
          Butzin has a book coming out. I want
          to hear from Hannah, author to author.

          Oh, screw you.

          This is really going against the
          spirit of the group, John. Everyone's
          opinion is valid.

          Hers is more valid. What'd you think,
          Hannah? Tell me.

Hannah struggles to speak. Clearly uncomfortable.

          I-I . . .

The words freeze in her mouth. Awkward silence. Finally.

              (Standing up)
          Going outside for a smoke.

William thunders away from the group. Colette watches him

          I'll go talk to him.

Colette follows, calling after William.

               Let's take a fifteen minute break,
               shall we?

     Embarrassed, Hannah excuses herself. Henry trails along after
     her, leaving a muttering John and calm Alan alone. Alan
     reaches for his recorder. Talks into it.

                           ALAN (CONT'D)
               Ahhh, idea for Michael Crichton-type
               novel. Members of Antarctic research
               station attacked by mutant penguins.

     Satisfied, Alan turns off the recorder while John reaches
     for more pizza.

49   EXT. COLETTE'S GARDEN - DAY                                        49

     Colette is back on her bench. Standing behind her is a
     mysterious MAN (Over 40) who favors black clothes and dark


               I want you to meet someone special.
               This is my spiritual adviser. Doctor
               Xiroman has taken a vow of silence
               for one full year to protest climate
               change. What an amazing man. Dr.
               Xiroman is going to cleanse the air
               of all this rejection.

     Camera goes to Dr. Xiroman. Somber, expressionless. Does he
     even have a pulse?

     Dr. Xiroman walks over to small fire pit and meditates as he
     places his hands over the rising flames. Colette begins a
     New Age chant for added support.

50   INT. RESTAURANT #2 - DAY                                           50

     THREE YOUNG MEN in the corner booth. Jeans and baseball caps.
     Very animated conversation. Loud, punctuated by laughter.
     They think they're the only people in the joint. The WAITRESS--
     EUDORA (20's)--with the purple streaks in her hair and
     matching purple glasses, refills their cups.

     William sits alone at the counter, impossible to hide his
     disdain. He talks to the camera with the three men in the

               See those jokers back there?

                           WILLIAM (CONT'D)
               They "write" for TV. Town's full of
               them. Creative vultures. Anything
               for a paycheck. Fade in. Fade out.
               C.S.I. 24. Who Wants to Suck My --

     William scoffs as the disdain drips from his mouth.

                           WILLIAM (CONT'D)
               Gimme a break. Television. Telecrap.
               They've sold their souls to the devil.
               For what? A house in Malibu? A tennis

     William glances over his shoulder, shaking his head in
     disgust. Another table catches his eye. TWO ATTRACTIVE WOMEN
     engage in friendly banter over coffee. William stares them
     down, making friendly eye contact.

     The woman facing him returns eye contact. She smiles.   William
     smiles, watching them as he continues.

                           WILLIAM (CONT'D)
               That will never be me. I will never
               compromise my vision for financial
               gain. I'd rather borrow money from
               friends than sell out for a quick

     The two women stand up. William is stoked. This is too easy.
     But the women instead go to the three TV writers. Immediately
     invited to sit down with them.

     William can't believe it.   What the...

                           HENRY (V.O.)
               "...Gatsby had an extraordinary gift
               for hope, a romantic readiness...

51   INT. HENRY'S APARTMENT - DAY                                      51

     Henry reads from The Great Gatsby.

               "...such as I have never found in
               any other person and which it is not
               likely I shall ever find again..."

     Henry is always moved whenever he reads Fitzgerald.   Putting
     down the book, he talks to the camera.

                           HENRY (CONT'D)
               You know, the year before he died,

                            HENRY (CONT'D)
                Scott Fitzgerald made a grand total
                of $13.13 in royalties from his
                writing. I guess Hannah's right
                about 13 being unlucky.

     A question is asked O.S. Henry listens.

                            HENRY (CONT'D)
                Sure. Sure. I know that. Gatsby
                does end tragically. But that's
                fiction. Hannah...She's real. Our
                story will have a happy ending.

     Pause.   Henry rethinks.

                             HENRY (CONT'D)
                Maybe.   Maybe a happy ending.

     His confidence flies out the door.

                            HENRY (CONT'D)
                Hope. Hope we have a happy ending.
                Fingers crossed.

52   INT. ALAN & COLETTE'S HOUSE -- LIVING ROOM - DAY                52

     Alan and Colette hold court on their living room couch,
     talking to the camera.

                There's been one rule in this house.
                Whatever Colette wants, Colette gets.

                Thank you, Alan.

     They look at each other adoringly.   Real or fake?

                She wants a Mercedes? No problem.
                Credit cards? How many? Her own
                business? Done. An agent?

     Colette eats it up.

                            ALAN (CONT'D)
                Call it karma or serendipity or
                kismet. Whatever. But it just so
                happens that very well-known literary
                agent David Keller--

                --Very well-known. He's so known.

               Exactly. Well, guess who is coming
               in tomorrow to see Dr. Alan Mooney
               for an eye examination and new

     Colette starts squealing in anticipation. Alan nods with
     confidence and flashes a "thumbs up."

               I love you, Poodles.

               Love you more, Poodles.

53   INT. ALAN'S OFFICE - DAY                                           53

     The casually dressed MAN (40's) sits in the waiting area for
     Alan Mooney, spending time on his iPhone, conducting business
     as he waits.


     He doesn't have to wait long. Alan personally comes out
     into the waiting area to fetch him. Big grin. Hand extended.

               Dr. Alan Mooney.

     David, caught off guard by the doctor's sudden appearance,
     winds up his phone conversation.

                   (on phone)
               Let me call you back.

     David stands up.

                           DAVID (CONT'D)
               David Keller.

     They shake hands.

               I know. Big fan. Big fan.

     David can't help but notice the camera.

                           ALAN (CONT'D)
               Oh, that. They're doing a little
               documentary about my writing group.


               Just act natural.

     Lowering his voice.

                           ALAN (CONT'D)
               It was supposed to be a reality

54   INT. ALAN'S OFFICE -- EXAMINATION ROOM - DAY                       54

     Standard examination room. Alan guides David into the chair.

               Great. Let's start out with a basic
               eye examination.

     Alan flips a couple SWITCHES. Eye reading CHART appears on
     the wall. Alan turns off the lights.

                           ALAN (CONT'D)
               OK, David. See if you can read that
               first line for me, please.


               Very good, David. Would you like to
               try for what's behind Door Number
               Three? Try this one, please.

     Alan brings up a different line on the screen.


               20/25. Looking good, David. But
               anyone can identify simple letters
               and numbers. Let's see how you do
               reading a more challenging text.

     Alan brings up a different page. Several paragraphs on a
     printed page.

                           ALAN (CONT'D)
               See that?


          Good. Read me the first paragraph,

              (Reading; monotone)
          Natasha, the Russian peasant, dressed
          oh-so-slowly, consumed totally,
          completely, absolutely, by endless
          thoughts of Yuri.

          Oh. Very nice. Very nice. Now the
          next paragraph, please.

David looks rather puzzled, but complies.

              (Reading; monotone)
          "I never, ever thought I could feel
          this way," Natasha said excitedly.
          "Nor could I," Yuri said happily,
          his body dripping with enormous beads
          of sweat.

          Man. Wow. Gee. Isn't that great
          writing? My wife Colette wrote that.
          The patients just love reading her
          stuff. It's from her new novel,
          Nyet, Not Yet.

A loud KNOCK on the examination room door. David is saved by
the bell.

                      ALAN (CONT'D)
          My, I wonder who that could be.

He walks over to the door, opens it and feigns surprise to
see Colette. She moves right in.

          Hi, honey.   So sorry to intrude.

          Colette? Gee, this is an incredible
          coincidence. We were just talking
          about you. And here you are!

Colette is locked like a laser beam on David Keller.


               Oh, where are my manners? Colette,
               this is David Keller. David, this is
               my wife, Colette Mooney. The writer.


               Pleasure to meet you, David.

               Actually, Colette wrote this beautiful
               prose you've been reading, David.
               Honey, I can't believe this

               Well, I was just dropping off--

               Oh, of course. Thanks for bringing
               it by. Say, honey, David's been
               reading that first page of yours.
               You don't happen to have any more of
               that opening chapter, do you?

     Colette thinks for a second.

               As a matter of fact, I think I do. I
               think I do.

     Colette searches her large PURSE and produces a manila folder.

               Say, how about that?

     Colette hands the manila folder to David, who accepts it
     reluctantly. He's been had.

               How about that?

55   INT. ALAN'S OFFICE -- EXAMINATION ROOM - DAY                     55

     Colette sits in the chair, Alan stands behind her, massaging
     her shoulders. Both share that smirk of satisfaction.

               That went very well.

               Oh, yes, Poodles.    Very.

               Though David Keller did seem in a
               hurry to leave.

               The sooner he can begin reading.

     Colette buys that.    Of course.

               I bet he calls tomorrow with an offer.

               I bet he calls tonight.

     Alan's left hand starts to slide down towards Colette's chest.
     She doesn't notice--her mind is elsewhere.

56   EXT. OUTSIDE ALAN'S OFFICE - DAY                                   56

     DAVID takes Colette's pages and tosses them in city TRASH
     CAN, muttering to himself as he walks away.

                           COLETTE (V.O.)
                   (Overlapping Alan)
               I did it.

                           ALAN (V.O.)
                   (Overlapping Colette)
               We did it.

57   INT. HANNAH'S APARTMENT - DAY                                      57

     Hannah sits cross-legged on her living room floor, wearing
     her new glasses, reading typed pages. Henry sits close to
     her. Not too close. Waiting. Hannah finishes. Impressed.

               Henry.     This is good.   So good.


     Hannah nods.   Really.

                           HENRY (CONT'D)
               But I've only got 100 pages.      Can't
               seem to move forward.

               I'm dying to know more about Scott
               and Christy. What great characters.

               Yeah. Sure wish I knew what was going
               to happen with them.

     Hannah gives Henry a friendly tap on the knee for

               You'll figure it out, Henry. It'll
               pass. Focus on your writing. No
               distractions. The writing comes first.

     Henry lets it sink in.   Changes the subject.

               Say, um, remember I offered to drive
               you around and show you a couple
               special places?

58   EXT. RICHARD BENEDICT HOME - DAY                                   58

     The imposing house screams success.     Henry and Hannah sit in
     Henry's parked car, taking it in.

               Who lives here?

               Richard Benedict.

               Oh.   That writer you like?

               Like? No. It's much more than that.
               Wow. He...He...

     Henry struggles to put it into words.

                           HENRY (CONT'D)
               ...Reading Richard Benedict...made
               me want to be a better writer. He's
               that good, Hannah.

               Can't say I've read his stuff.     Nice
               house, though.

59   EXT. FITZGERALD/GRAHAM HOME - DAY                                  59

     Henry and Hannah stand on the sidewalk in front of the North
     Hayworth home. Henry seems barely able to contain his

          Here we are.

Hannah stares blankly at the house.

                      HENRY (CONT'D)
          North Hayworth Avenue. Hollywood,

Hannah smiles politely, but it's clear she doesn't recognize
the house.

                      HENRY (CONT'D)
          Big clue time. Sheila Graham.

Still nothing registers with Hannah.

                      HENRY (CONT'D)
          OK. Give up? Writer Sheila Graham
          lived here. Fitzgerald was her lover.
          This is where he died on December
          21, 1940.

Hannah lets it all sink in.

          Fitzgerald? He's the one who shot
          himself, right?

          No. Fitzgerald. F. Scott Fitzgerald.
          He wrote The Great Gatsby.

The name doesn't register with Hannah.

                      HENRY (CONT'D)
              (Reciting from heart)
          Gatsby believed in the green light,
          the orgiastic future that year by
          year recedes before us. It eluded us
          then, but that's--

          I've never read it.

Henry can't hide his surprise.


Hannah stops, cognizant of the ever-present camera.

              (To camera)
          Could you turn that off for a few
          minutes, please?

          You know they can't. What's wrong?

Hannah hesitates.   Counts to three. Lowers her voice.

          I've never read The Great Gatsby.

          You're kidding.

          Henry. I never went to college.
          I've heard of Hemingway. A little.
          Fitzgerald. Somewhere. But I don't
          have your education. Your smarts. I
          haven't read all these great novels.
          My stories come from my heart.

Henry lets it all sink in.    Hannah looks at the house.

                      HANNAH (CONT'D)
          Tell me about the book.

          Gatsby is about social position and
          the American Dream and . . .

Henry stops. Rethinks his explanation.

                      HENRY (CONT'D)
          Actually, it's quite simple. Boy
          meets girl. Boy loses girl. Boy
          moves heaven and earth to win the
          girl back.

          And it's your favorite?

Henry nods with his heart.

                      HANNAH (CONT'D)
          So how does it end? Does boy get the

Long beat. Then Henry reaches into the back seat of his car
for his KNAPSACK. Puts it on his lap, unzips it. Pulls out
his personal copy of Gatsby.

               Here. Take my copy.

     He hands the well-read book to Hannah.

                           HENRY (CONT'D)
               Now you can find out for yourself.

60   INT. JOHN'S MOBILE HOME - DAY                                      60

     John is on the telephone, clutching a copy of Roaring Lion.
     He does not look happy.

                   (On telephone)
               Yes. I'm still holding. Where are
               you again? New Dehli? Oh.

     John stares at his book, shaking his head. Waits for a few

     Sigrid is in the background, doing light housekeeping, trying
     not to listen, but obviously can't avoid it.

                           JOHN (CONT'D)
                   (On telephone)
               Butzin. John K. Butzin. Right. That's
               me. Roaring Lion. Yes. Well, I
               have a copy of my book you sent, but
               there must be some mistake...Well,
               you put a dog on the cover. Not a
               lion like we agreed.

     John holds the book up for the camera to catch the
     unmistakable dog barking on the front cover.

                           JOHN (CONT'D)
                   (On telephone)
               Plus the back cover is written in
               Chinese. Chinese...Yes, I know
               Chinese when I see it. One of those
               Chinese assault rifles almost cost
               me an eye at Hamburger Hill...

     John listens--trying to remain calm.

                           JOHN (CONT'D)
               I seem to be missing pages 1-0-7 to
               1-1-2...Yes, I'm sure. And what in
               blazes is this Chapter Eight?

     Sigrid keeps cleaning.   Stoic expression.

                           JOHN (CONT'D)
                   (On telephone)
               This Chapter Eight isn't mine. It's
               about hormone replacement for women.
               Do you think John K. Butzin would
               write that? Must be from another
               goddamn book. So what the hell you
               going to do about this? You, sir,
               are dealing with a decorated veteran--
               a combat veteran--of the United States

     John waits for an explanation.

                           JOHN (CONT'D)
               Yes. I'll hold.

     John looks again at his book in disbelief. Then he remembers
     the camera. Forces a faint smile.

                           JOHN (CONT'D)
                   (To camera)
               Minor details. That's all. All that
               truly matters is that John K. Butzin
               is finally a published author.

     But catch Sigrid's expression. She is quiet.     More than a
     little concerned at what she is hearing.

61   INT. RESTAURANT #2 - DAY                                             61

     Henry and Hannah at a table, sharing coffee. Eudora the
     waitress swings by with a refill, hair purple as ever. Hannah
     thumbs through her copy of Gatsby, looking interested. And
     pleased. Eudora notices the book.

               Great book.    Classic.

     Henry nods in agreement.   Eudora moves on.

               Oh, I needed this break. Thank you,

               You're welcome.

               It's just that I'm starting to feel
               the pressure, you know? There is so
               much riding on this first book.

               Don't be silly. Sleeping on the
               Moon will hit the bestseller list.
               You'll be the toast of the literary
               world. And I'll come over to Beverly
               Hills and deliver a pizza to you.

               Beverly Hills, ah...


62   EXT. HANNAH'S APARTMENT / CITY STREET - DAY                       62

     Parked on the street in front of Hannah's apartment. Henry
     and Hannah, this mutual admiration society, stand by the
     car. Hannah still has her copy of Gatsby. Short beat.

               What a dear, sweet friend you are.

     Hannah graces Henry with another hug. Another quick peck on
     the lips. But wait--Henry wants more. He kisses her back.
     More than a peck. Too much more. Hannah, surprised, pulls
     back--her hand on his chest: Stop.

                            HANNAH (CONT'D)
               No distractions. The writing comes
               first, 'kay?

     Henry nods reluctantly: Understood. One last hug from Hannah
     before she heads for her front door, smiling back over her
     shoulder at Henry. Henry watches her leave, knowing that
     this was absolutely, positively, the best day of his life.

63   INT. HANNAH'S APARTMENT -- LIVING ROOM - NIGHT                    63

     The writing group meets. Hannah, Henry, John, William, Alan
     and Colette sit around the living room, pages in front of

     WRITERS AT WORK sign on display.

     Maureen, trying not to be in the way, goes from writer to
     writer, carrying a large TRAY OF VEGGIES.

               Alright.   Whose turn is it to read?

     All eyes on Henry. He shifts uncomfortably in his chair.

          Oh. Um. Someone else go. I don't
          have anything new ready tonight.

Concerned looks all around.

          It's been weeks, Henry.

          I know.   Still can't focus.

          Don't be a pussy, Obert. Get writing.
          Complete the mission.

          Writer's block can be very serious,

John scoffs in disbelief. Maureen offers William some veggies.
He helps himself and checks out Maureen as she moves on to

          What's so hard, bro'? I mean, you've
          got Scott and Christy. Two friends.
          Tell their story.

          That's the problem. I think the
          story's changing.

          Changing?   How so?

          Lately I'm feeling something much
          deeper, much richer. Scott and
          Christy, um, growing closer.

The other group members appear puzzled.

          Christy's a beautiful, wealthy author
          in Beverly Hills. How close can they

          Follow me. Something happens.
          Christy has an epiphany. She-She
          realizes her feelings run much deeper
          now for Scott.

Henry does everything he can not to look at Hannah. Short

          Nah.    Don't buy it.

          They're friends. Why muck it up?
          Don't put 'em in the same foxhole.

          Is this Scott wanting to go beyond
          the friendship? There's no way
          Christy would suggest it. What do
          you think, Hannah?

          Yes. Hannah, what do you think?

All eyes go back to Hannah.     She does not want to answer.

          Gee, I-I guess...I really never
          thought of them that way.


Hannah shakes her head.   Chooses her words carefully.

          No. It's always been a friendship.

Henry takes a moment.   Thinking.

          You don't see anything possibly
          happening between them?

          No.    Friends. Nothing more.


          I'd be uncomfortable with any changes
          in the relationship.

Message received. All eyes on Henry. Defeated.

          OK. Thanks, everyone. I'll try to
          have something on paper next time.

               Remember, Obert. Complete the mission.

64   INT. HANNAH'S APARTMENT -- LIVING ROOM - NIGHT                     64

     Meeting over. Writing group starts breaking up. William
     leans in close by Hannah.

                   (Lowered voice)
               Got a sec?

     William motions Hannah over to the corner of the living room,
     away from the others. She follows, looking puzzled. Henry
     watches with curiosity. William starts speaking to Hannah in
     hushed tones, trying not to let anyone else overhear the

               How much?

     More hushed tones from William. Hannah shakes her head.

                           HANNAH (CONT'D)
               But if I loaned you money, then I
               wouldn't have it.

               Hey, I just figured, you know. You
               got that big advance. Help out a
               fellow writer. I'm good for it,

               Sorry. It's bad luck to loan money.

               OK, then, just give it to me.

     Henry makes a point of moving in and standing directly by
     Hannah, staring William down. Henry and Hannah make eye
     contact. Henry looks to her: Are we OK? Hannah looks away.

     Colette comes up next to William.

               How much do you need?

     William looks surprised.

65   INT. JOHN'S MOBILE HOME - DAY                                      65

     John sits in his comfortable chair. Sigrid is nearby, at the
     computer. John talks to the camera.

               This is a big moment. Roaring Lion
               has been posted on Now
               all books. Your fiction. Your
               nonfiction. They're ranked on Amazon
               by sales. Obviously everyone wants
               to be number one. They say a book
               is selling well on Amazon if it's in
               the top 5000. Time to run it up the
               flag pole. Sigrid?

     Nervous, Sigrid takes a deep breath and taps away on the
     computer keys. She waits, focused intently on the screen.

                   (Reading slowly aloud)
               2,472,899 . . .

     Silence. Long silence as it all sinks in. John seems suddenly
     uncomfortable. Sigrid types away on the computer keys again.
     Reads off the screen.

                             SIGRID (CONT'D)
               Tom Clancy.    32.

     John discovers a new interest in the ceiling.

66   INT. HANNAH'S APARTMENT - DAY                                     66

     Hannah plops in her chair, upscale SHOPPING BAGS at her feet.
     Maureen hovers in the background.

               How am I doing? OK. Sort of. Brian
               called. Looks like there's real
               interest in movie rights for Sleeping
               on the Moon. Yeah, thanks.

     Heavy sigh.   Not excited in the least. Matter-of-fact.

                           HANNAH (CONT'D)
               But I don't dare say anything to the
               group. They find out I've got a
               movie deal--I don't know. I'm sensing
               enough jealousy as it is, you know?
               Could be awkward if they found out.
               It's a real--what's that word?


               That's it.    I'm in one.

67   EXT. JOHN'S MOBILE HOME - NIGHT                                     67

     WRITERS AT WORK poster taped to the front door.

68   INT. JOHN'S MOBILE HOME - NIGHT                                     68

     Full meeting of the writing group, all crammed around the
     dining table. Henry and Hannah sit apart.

     A single BOWL OF PRETZELS has been placed before them. Hannah
     reads from her typed pages. Alan, William, Colette, and Henry
     hang on her every word.

     John is half-listening at best, more interested in the
     MAGAZINE he's thumbing through.

     William REACHES UNDER THE TABLE and gently squeezes Colette's
     hand. Surprised, she pulls her hand away.

                   (Reading; with feeling)
               "Please come home, Michael." "Why
               would you want to marry me, Kyra? I
               barely graduated high school."
               "Michael, I don't care about some
               silly college degree. You're the
               most intelligent person I've ever
               known. You are my shining star."

     Then Colette puts it back and squeezes William's hand. It's
     his turn to be surprised.

     Hannah slides off her new reading glasses, waiting for someone
     to react. The room falls silent. Alan steps in.

               OK.   Comments. Anyone?

     No response. Group members look at the pages.      At each other.
     No one steps forward.

               I value your feedback.    We're all in
               this together, right?

     Nobody bites.

                           HANNAH (CONT'D)
               Colette--Did the new scene work for

     Colette seems thrown by the direct question.

          Oh...Gee...Hannah. What? I mean,
          you're being published. This is
          being published.

          But my editor wants rewrites.      Am I
          on track?

Colette punts.   Alan jumps in to save his wife.

          Of course you are, Hannah.

          You got the deal. You got the check.
          First one to be published.

John CLEARS HIS THROAT rather loudly: What about me, butthead?
William ignores him.

          I think what I'm hearing from the
          group're fine. We all
          love it. Nothing here to critique.
          You don't need us--well, it's not
          that you don't need us, but, you

Alan's voice trails off before he can dig himself any deeper.
More silence as Hannah wrestles with this unexpected reaction.
Finally looks to Henry for help.

          What do you think, Henry?

All eyes on Henry. He hesitates.   Then --

          Yes. Actually, it is really good,
          but there are a couple things--little
          things--I'd point out. For example--

          Holy Douglas MacArthur --

All eyes on John. Finally holds up magazine to reveal that
he's been reading VARIETY.

                      JOHN (CONT'D)
          "Hollywood decides to go sleeping on
          the moon.

                           JOHN (CONT'D)
               First-time scribe Hannah Rinaldi,
               repped by Brian Barkley of SoHo,
               scores six-figure movie deal. Ink is
               still fresh, but Barkley boasts keen
               interest by..."

     John keeps reading. Various reactions, mostly muted, around
     the table. Can Hannah's face turn any redder?

69   INT. MONTAGE OF SHOTS - NIGHT                                      69

     Members of the writing group struggle to deal with Hannah's
     latest success:

     Alan and Colette sit on their living room couch together,
     wearing matching pajamas, staring straight ahead like zombies.
     His tape recorder sits on the coffee table. Alan reaches
     for it. She grabs it from his hand and throws it.

     William sits at the counter of Restaurant #2, drumming his
     fingers on the legal pad, half-heartedly trying to write.
     WAITRESS #3 pours him some more coffee, trying to make eye
     contact with him. William ignores her.

     John sits in front of his computer screen, but he can't
     concentrate. Gives up. Shuts down computer. Flips on TV.
     Another war movie.

     Henry stares absent-mindedly at his wall of rejection letters.

     Hannah sits at her computer--the only one actually working
     at the moment--but she stops long enough to take a deep,
     deep sigh. A lot weighs on her mind.

70   EXT. ALAN AND COLETTE'S HOUSE -- DRIVEWAY - DAY                    70

     Alan arrives home. Steps out of his Lexus. Whistling. Happy-
     go-lucky. Pauses in the driveway to record another idea.

               Idea for novel. Perhaps screenplay.
               The Amazing Doctor Eckleburg. An eye
               doctor turned crime fighter. Ladies

71   INT. ALAN AND COLETTE'S HOUSE -- LIVING ROOM - DAY                 71

     Alan sails through the front door. His smile disappears.
     William is plopped on the living room couch. Shirt half
     unbuttoned. Smoking. He freezes mid-puff.


                Hey.   Alan.

     the house. Alan turns quiet as he makes the connection.

                            WILLIAM (CONT'D)
                Just, um. Just stopped by
                some pages for Colette. Yeah.

     There are no pages on the coffee table in front of William.

72   EXT. COLETTE'S GARDEN - MOMENTS LATER                            72

     Alan steps outside. Somber. Focused. Acts like the
     Terminator in his scanning of the area. Man on a mission.
     What is he looking for? He finds it almost immediately,
     zeroing in on Colette's bench. Alan marches over and grabs
     Colette's prized framed photo of Oprah. Clutching it in his
     hand, Alan looks at Oprah's smiling face, then back towards
     the house. Then he takes the frame and smashes it down on
     the ground as hard as he can. Next he jumps up and down on
     the smashed frame multiple times. Not satisfied, Alan bends
     down, picks up the photo and rips it to shreds with his hands.
     There. That felt good.

     Pool Guy and Gardener have witnessed the whole scene.    What
     the hell? They exchange puzzled looks.

73   INT. HENRY'S APARTMENT - DAY                                     73

     Henry talks to the camera.

                Hannah's avoiding me. She doesn't
                respond to emails or voice messages.
                She's "busy." Always an excuse.

74   INT.   HENRY'S APARTMENT - DAY                                   74

     Henry talks to the camera--his concern unmistakable.

                Things have definitely changed between
                us. I did get to go to her place
                for dinner last night.

75   INT. HANNAH'S APARTMENT - EVENING                                75

     A spruced-up Henry sits down for dinner.   All smiles.

                            HENRY (V.O.)
                Hannah wasn't there. She was in New
                York with her publisher. But Maureen
                and I had a lovely time.

     Maureen passes Henry more vegetables.

76   EXT. COLETTE'S GARDEN - DAY                                      76

     Colette sits on her private bench. Note the NEW PHOTO OF
     OPRAH in a new frame. Colette talks to the camera.

               Yes. You noticed. I replaced the
               photo. I may be replacing other
               things around here soon...I was just
               using William...for research.

     She holds up THREE MORE LETTERS.

                           COLETTE (CONT'D)
               Speaking of rejection...three more
               letters saying Nyet, including one
               from David Keller. I should have
               offered him a massage. How much
               more rejection can I take?

     Colette stares at the letters, focusing on remaining strong.

                           COLETTE (CONT'D)
               "We keep going back, stronger, not
               weaker, because we will not allow--

     Her voice cracks.   She stops.   Fighting for composure

                           COLETTE (CONT'D)
               --Rejection to beat us down--

     Colette's frustration is boiling into anger as she struggles
     to keep it under control.

                           COLETTE (CONT'D)
               --It will only strengthen our resolve.
               To be successful there is no other
               way." Mr. Henry D. Thoreau.

     Short beat.

                           COLETTE (CONT'D)
               Rejection sucks.

77   EXT. COLETTE'S GARDEN - DAY                                      77

     Smoke rises from the fire pit, burning what's left of the
     letters. Colette sits cross-legged, devoting her full energy
     to chanting and beating her hands on a small DRUM.

     It isn't enough today. Watch as Colette's solemn chant
     dissolves into tears of frustration.

     Dr. Xiroman places a comforting hand on her shoulder, trying
     to calm Colette down.

78   EXT. JOHN'S MOBILE HOME - DAY                                      78

     Sitting outside in the cheap lawn chairs with Sigrid, John
     addresses the camera. He cleans up pretty good.

               This is going to be a great day for
               John K. Butzin. Yes, sir. First
               official book signing.

     Sigrid holds up a copy of Roaring Lion. The dog on the cover
     has had an image of a lion slapped over it. Sigrid beams
     with pride.

                           JOHN (CONT'D)
               Ready and raring to go. Of course,
               it would have been better to do this
               in an actual bookstore, but, hell,
               they're dropping faster than Charlie
               at Dak To. Not to worry. Since Sigrid
               works at the hardware store, they're
               going to let her favorite author
               sign a few books there.

               More than a few books. Many, many
               books, Ja?

               Ja, my Strudel. Many books.

79   EXT. HARDWARE STORE - DAY                                          79

     SIGNS in front window announcing hammers, ladders, paint on
     sale. Also a handwritten PIECE OF PAPER taped to the window
     with masking tape, announcing AUTHOR SIGNING.

80   INT. HARDWARE STORE - DAY                                          80

     John sits at his card table in the corner. Alone. A stack of
     books sit piled in front of him. CUSTOMERS walk all around,
     ignoring John completely. John tries to stay relaxed, smiling
     and nodding at people, not being too forceful.

     Sigrid, wearing her little red work vest and glasses, stands
     off to the side, beaming with pride. She hurries over to a
     cash register, takes the telephone out of her surprised boss'
     hand, and jumps on the store's PA SYSTEM, blasting throughout
     the store.

                   (On PA system)
               Attention shoppers. Famous author,
               Mr. John K. Bootzin, signing new
               best seller. Up front of store.
               John K. Bootzin. Also, special
               today in plumbing department.
               Ballcocks. Two for one. All
               customers guaranteed will be
               satisfied. Ja.

81   INT. HARDWARE STORE -- DAY                                       81

     The PILE OF BOOKS seems untouched.

82   INT. HARDWARE STORE - DAY                                        82

     Still no takers.    Sigrid comes over to console him.

               Sorry, Strudel. Seem to be shooting
               blanks today.

     John looks past Sigrid. His face brightens. A smiling Alan
     has arrived, flanked by Colette, Henry and Hannah. Hannah
     holds a cupcake. Alan has a bottle of champagne and some
     plastic cups. But there is no touching, no direct
     interaction, between Colette and Alan.

               Author!    Author!

     John stands up.    Clearly touched.

               Hey-Hey. The cavalry's arrived.
               Look who's here.

               Hello, everyone!

               Wouldn't miss your signing, John.

     Hannah presents John with the cupcake and leans in for a
     friendly peck on the cheek. Colette aims her cell phone
     camera at John.

               Smile, John!

     John half-smiles in response. Henry reaches over and shakes
     his hand.

               Congratulations, John.

               Thanks, Obert. Where's the Bukowski

     Awkward silence as the group members exchange puzzled looks.

               William said he'd meet us here.

               What a turd.     Never liked that punk

               Maybe he's still at our house.

               Maybe he is.     Maybe I should go see.

               Maybe you should.

     What's that about? Henry studies John's book.       Flips to the
     back cover. Surprised.

               This is in Chinese.

     All eyes on John. Squirming, he looks over to Sigrid: Help
     me. She thinks for a second.

               International edition!

     John nods convincingly in agreement.

                   (Except John and Sigrid)

83   INT. JOHN'S MOBILE HOME - DAY                                       83

     Sigrid sits alone on the couch as John floats in and out of
     camera, humming to himself, dancing like Fred Astaire. John
     is happy. Sigrid seems more subdued. Marked contrast.
     John addresses the camera.

               Know what the hardware store manager
               said? He said today was their most
               successful book signing. Ever.

     A question is asked.    John listens.

                           JOHN (CONT'D)
               This was their first book signing?

     Think, John.   Think.

                           JOHN (CONT'D)
               Well, John K. Butzin set the bar
               pretty high for the next writer, let
               me tell ya. That's right: 1-2-3-4-5-
               6-7-8-9-10-11. Eleven books sold.

     Sigrid clears her throat and flashes ten fingers in the air.

                           JOHN (CONT'D)
               Oh, that's right, Strudel. You
               borrowed one at the store to help
               prop open the side door. I forgot.


               Ten books. But there are now at
               least ten homes in California where
               folks have books by Melville.
               Hemingway. Clancy. And now Butzin.
               It's a humbling thought.

     John goes back to his routine. Sigrid offers up a supportive
     smile, but she doesn't seem quite as impressed.


     Alan sits at the writers' table. Alone. Talks to the camera
     in whispered tones.

               I've made an important decision as
               group leader. I've decided to ask
               William to leave the group. Now it
               has absolutely nothing to do with
               that incident at our house. It has
               nothing to do with the fact that I'm
               now sleeping in the guest room. But
               let's face it--the kid's a slacker.
               No contribution to the group. Zero.
               Zip. Nada. I'm sure he'll be fine
               with it.


     William kicks his CHAIR over. Alan, Colette, John, Henry and
     Hannah sit calmly around the table. Henry and Hannah apart.

               There's no need to get so upset.

               Fine. I was going to quit anyway.
               Leave this bunch of losers.

     William makes eye contact with Colette: You too? She looks
     away: Sorry. Only fuels William more. He points to Alan.

                           WILLIAM (CONT'D)
               Christ. You and your stupid recorder.
               And your stupid ideas. And your stupid
               character names.

     William clenches his fist and pretends it's a microphone.

                           WILLIAM (CONT'D)
               Name for character. Bobby Blow Me.
               Gimme a break.

     Alan sits stone-faced.    William turns to John.

                           WILLIAM (CONT'D)
               And G.I. Joe over here with that
               piece-of-crap, self-published tripe.
               Who are you kidding?

     Flustered, John starts to stand up.    Alan grabs John's arm,
     pulls him back down.

               Just ignore him.

     William continues on his rant with Colette.

               Colette, Colette, my pet. News Flash
               for you: Oprah's not calling--unless
               she needs a massage. Get real!

               Oprah?   She's not on TV anymore.

               I know that.

      William turns his attention to Henry.

           The great Henry O. Man, you got the
           gift, bro'. But your head is up
           your ass over poor, sweet, successful
           Hannah here.

Hannah and Henry avoid looking at each other as William smiles
at Hannah.

                       WILLIAM (CONT'D)
           Hannah. Hannah. Hannah. We could
           have been so hot together. I'm just
           as good a writer as you are, but you
           sure look better in a skirt --

               (Voice rising)
           That's enough.

           I don't need any of you. I don't
           need any of your pointless, pedestrian
           feedback. I'm a writer.

           You've got goddamn three pages.

           They're a great three pages! You
           just don't appreciate my dedication.

           You're a pretend writer, William.

Silence.   William is surprised that Hannah speaks out.

           She's right. You act the part. You
           like the lifestyle. You hit on women.
           You quote Bukowski. But Bukowski did
           the work. Each and every day he
           wrote. That's your problem, William.
           You don't do the work.

           I don't do the work? Man, that sounds
           frickin' hilarious coming from you.
           When's the last time you wrote

That hits a nerve. William and Henry stare each other down.
Enough. William flips off the group with his middle finger.
Mumbling, grumbling under his breath, he starts to leave.
Pauses at the WRITERS AT WORK sign. Picks it up.

               Not the sign!

     Too late. William RIPS it in two. And a second time for
     good measure. Throwing the pieces on the ground. Stomps out
     of the house, slamming the front door.

     The group turns quiet for a long beat. Everyone calming down.

     Alan takes control again -- eyes still darting over to what's
     left of his beloved sign.

                           ALAN (CONT'D)
               Let's move on. Next item. Richard
               Benedict is going to be doing a
               signing at Wordsmith next week.

     Alan looks directly at Henry.

                           ALAN (CONT'D)
               Who wants to go?

86   INT. BOOKSTORE - DAY                                              86

     Large bookstore. Long line. Why? Because Richard Benedict
     is in the building, doing a signing of his new novel The
     Pineapple Man.

     Hannah, Henry, Alan, and Colette stand in line together,
     waiting. Colette is holding one copy of the BOOK. Hannah
     has one. Henry has one.

     Alan reaches inside his coat pocket for his RECORDER. Snaps
     it on.

               Idea for novel. Jealous husband
               murders his tramp-of-a-wife and buries
               her chopped-up body in the back yard.

     Colette pretends not to hear. Line inches forward. Alan cranes
     his neck to see what's happening.

                   (To himself)
               Mr. Benedict, I just want to thank
               you. No. You've inspired my writing--
               No. Hi. I'm Henry. I just think you're
               the greatest...

     Colette puts a friendly hand on Henry's shoulder.

               Let me tell you something, Henry.

     Henry looks to her, expecting words of comfort.

                           COLETTE (CONT'D)
               One day, I'll have a signing like

     Colette looks around, already imagining the event.

87   INT. JOHN'S MOBILE HOME - DAY                                    87

     John is bent over his PRINTER, jiggling the front end, trying
     to open it. Tapping it on the side. No luck.

               Nope. Not going to see Richard
               whatever-his-name-is. John K.
               Butzin, author, doesn't need to stand
               in line anymore. No, sir. This soon-
               to-be best-selling writer is spending
               every minute, every dollar, on
               promoting Roaring Lion.

     Try as he might, John can't open up his printer. Sigrid
     appears. Leans in. Effortlessly opens up the printer. Takes
     the cartridge from John. Snaps it in. Shuts the lid. Done.
     John grunts his thanks.

                           JOHN (CONT'D)
               Strudel, check my sales ranking again.

     Sigrid steps to the computer and taps a couple keys. Stares
     at the screen.

                   (Reading out loud)
               1,644,973 . . .

     Not quite the hoped-for response. Turns quiet inside the
     mobile home. John clears his throat.

               Wow. Look how far I've moved up

     Sigrid types again. Reads off the screen.

               John Grisham. 12.

     Forget about John for the moment. Watch Sigrid as her eyes
     dart around--from the screen, to John in the chair, out the
     window. Back again. This is the moment. Sigrid gets it
     now: John K. Butzin is not the author he pretends to be.
     Very quiet in the mobile home.

88   INT. BOOKSTORE - DAY                                               88

     The AUTHOR (50's) sits at the signing table, obliging, but
     not outgoing, grunting hello to people and smiling (somewhat)
     for photos as he signs BOOKS. He is not here by choice today.


     The young CLERK hovers nearby, assisting with books and trying
     to keep the line moving.

     Henry is first, followed by Alan and Colette, then Hannah.
     Henry clutches his copy. Good luck trying to rip it from
     his hands. The four get nearer to Benedict.

               He's older than I thought.

               I've never seen him before.

                   (To himself)
               Pleasure to meet you. No. Honor to
               meet you. He She They is my favorite

     Closer...Closer...Closer they get to the table. Richard signs
     away. Henry seems transfixed by him. Now it's his turn to
     have his book signed.

               Next, please.

     The moment has arrived. Henry stands directly in front of
     Richard Benedict. Henry seems nervous. Too nervous to speak.
     Richard looks up and for the slightest, milli-second their
     eyes meet.

     At that exact moment, RICHARD'S CELL PHONE GOES OFF. He

                   (On phone)

     Henry stands there, unable to move, staring at Richard while
     he speaks on the phone.

                      (To Henry)

     No response.   Alan nudges Henry. No good.

                      CLERK (CONT'D)
          Sir? We need to keep the line moving.

Alan intervenes. He takes Henry's copy of the novel and slides
it over to Benedict. Benedict scribbles his name quickly and
slides it back with no eye contact, yelling on the phone.

              (On phone)
          Absolutely not! I'll sue that bastard

Alan grabs the book and gives it back to Henry, nudging him

          We need to move, Henry.

Alan and Colette slide their book over to Richard.

          Hi there.

Richard looks up at her for a split second and decides to
ignore her. Another scribbled signature as he remains on
the phone.

Colette takes the book, trying not to look hurt. Alan grabs
Henry and they leave the area. Hannah is next up. She puts
her book down on the table.

              (On phone)
          Damn it! That simply won't--

Richard glances up. Sees Hannah standing there. He stops in
mid-sentence. Smiles.

                      RICHARD (CONT'D)


Richard hangs up the phone.

The two start chatting. Camera goes over to the shell-shocked
Henry, still clutching his book, watching as Hannah and
Richard carry on. Henry is so disconcerted by what he sees
that he fails to notice Eudora, still with purple hair and
matching glasses, the very next person in line behind Hannah,
waving at him.

89   EXT. BOOKSTORE - DAY                                            89

     Outside bookstore. After the signing. Alan and Colette walk
     ahead. Henry and Hannah follow. Colette, Henry and Hannah
     each carry book bags.

               So what did he say?


               Who!?!? Richard Benedict. You know,
               the guy who just held up the line
               for five minutes talking to you?

                   (Over his shoulder)
               Ten. It was closer to ten minutes.

               I don't know. We just talked.

               He sure liked you.

               We just talked, Henry. I mentioned
               my book. He started asking about it.
               Writer to writer. No big deal.

               No big deal? Talking to Richard
               Benedict. No big deal!

     Colette keeps walking. Biting her lip. Very quiet.

               You gave him your phone number.

               Look, a guy like that reads more
               books in a week than I ever have.
               Why would he bother call--

     Just then, Hannah's iPhone goes off. She answers. The other
     three stop in their tracks.

                           HANNAH (CONT'D)
                   (On telephone)
               Hello? Who? Richard? Oh. Richard.


Henry inches closer to Hannah, forcing Hannah to move back,
creating an uneasy dance between the two. She turns her
back on Henry.

              (On telephone)
          Coffee? Oh, God. I don't know,
          Richard. I really appreciate the
          invitation, but--

She listens. Her face is anguished. Finally --

                      HANNAH (CONT'D)
          This isn't a good time. Call me later.
          Yes. I'll think about it. Yes. Bye.

Hannah turns off her phone. Alan, Colette, Henry stand there,
gaping jaws wide open.


          This isn't fair. This just isn't


          First, you get an agent. Then you
          sell your book. Then the big movie

          Please don't.

          No. This isn't fair. And now Richard
          Benedict wants to have coffee with
          you? All this is happening to you.
          And only you. Isn't there anything --
          I don't know--some kind of cosmic
          creative crumb for the rest of us to
          nibble on?

          I don't like what you're suggesting,
          Colette. You know how hard I work.
          How devoted I am. And I have been
          totally supportive of your writing.
          I've encouraged you all along.

               You wouldn't introduce me to your

               Brian didn't want to meet you. I

               Hannah has earned her success.

               Butt out Mr. Idea Man.

               Hannah is a writer. She devotes
               herself one hundred percent to
               writing. Not one hundred percent to
               sleeping with writers.

     Henry steps in.    Finally.

               Why don't you two just go on ahead?

               It's not fair that she be the only


               C'mon.    Let's go.

     Colette marches off in a huff; Alan in pursuit. She looks
     over her shoulder, shouting back at Hannah.

               13! 13!    13!     13!

90   EXT. CITY BENCH - DAY                                              90

     Henry and Hannah sit on opposite ends of the bench. Hannah
     looks distraught, lost in thought, simmering.

     Henry knows to keep his distance. Waits.

91   EXT. COLETTE'S GARDEN - DAY                                        91

     Colette looks frazzled. Pondering. Plotting. She finally
     notices the camera.

               I know. I'm a shit for exploding at
               Hannah, aren't I?

     Runs her hands through her hair.

                           COLETTE (CONT'D)
               Poor, sweet, superstitious, everybody-

     Starts massaging forehead--trying to reduce stress.

                           COLETTE (CONT'D)
               If she can succeed, so can I. "We
               were born to succeed, not to fail."

     Hears a question O.S.

                           COLETTE (CONT'D)
               Who said that? I don't know.
               Somebody famous. Somebody with an

     Now come the deep breaths.      More stress control.

                           COLETTE (CONT'D)
               I can't accomplish anything without
               an agent. They won't come to me.
               Fine. I'll go to them. I'll make it

92   EXT. CITY BENCH - DAY                                               92

     Hannah and Henry remain on the bench.      Hannah takes a breath
     and finally breaks her silence.

               Your writer's block?


               It's because your focus is always on
               everything else. Gatsby. Fitzgerald.

     Whoa. Henry isn't about to argue.

                           HANNAH (CONT'D)
               Listen to me, Henry Obert. Your
               writing must come first. Take this
               passion you have. Put it on the page.
               Forget everything else. All you're
               doing is wasting...

     Hannah continues the lecture, speaking from the heart.

                           HENRY (V.O.)
               She's right. But I know what's really
               happening here. Hannah's telling me
               she has every intention of talking
               to Richard Benedict. She has every
               intention of seeing him.

93   INT. HARDWARE STORE - DAY                                         93

     There. On the discount table up by the cash register lies a
     pile of Roaring Lion books under another handmade SIGN: 50%
     OFF! Sigrid stares at the pile of unwanted books in quiet
     contemplation. Heavy sigh.

     Sigrid glances up. Her boss watches her from the cash
     register with a certain longing. He smiles. Sigrid returns
     the smile.

     Back to business. Sigrid pulls a wad of DOLLAR BILLS from
     her hip pocket. Counts quickly. Then picks up John's books,
     one by one.

94   INT. JOHN'S MOBILE HOME - DAY                                     94

     John looks like the proverbial kid in a candy store.   In
     total shock as he clutches a handful of TWENTIES.

               Wow! All the books sold at the
               hardware store?

               Ja.   Every one.

     John claps his hands together. There is a certain spring in
     his feet.

               Didn't I tell you, Strudel?   Write
               it and they will read.

     John can't contain his enthusiasm as he paces the mobile
     home, his mind racing. Sigrid is more composed.

                           JOHN (CONT'D)
               Get some more copies down there.
               Maybe do another signing. Yeah.
               No. Time for a real tour. Fresno.
               Bakersfield. Stockton. Call a few
               bookstores. Let 'em know John K.
               Butzin is coming. Lock and load.

     And he's off, leaving the frame, already planning his big
     adventure, leaving Sigrid alone.

     Facing the camera, she nods slightly. Then offers us a small

               Bye.   Bye.

95   INT. LOIS PIPER AGENCY - DAY                                      95

     The small reception area for The Lois Piper Agency. Tastefully
     decorated. PHONES constantly chirping.

     The young MALE ASSISTANT behind the counter, obviously paid
     to be patient, points to the framed sign on the counter, in

     Colette and Dr. Xiroman will not be deterred. She holds a

               I have to see Ms. Piper. We just
               need five minutes. 1-2-3-4-5 minutes
               of her time.

     The assistant points back to the sign.

                           COLETTE (CONT'D)
               Can you just please stick your head
               in her office, tell her that Colette
               Mooney is here. I know she's busy,
               but she'll certainly want to see my

     The assistant ignores her.

                           COLETTE (CONT'D)
               I'm a graduate of Mills College.

     Behind them, coming from the inner office, we hear LOIS PIPER

                           LOIS (O.S.)
               If I have to read one more vampire
               story, I swear I'll drive a stake
               through my own goddamn heart.

     MANUSCRIPT comes flying out of her office. Loose pages
     splatter everywhere in the main office. Lois Piper quickly
     follows. Older. Tired. Needs a drink. Now.


                           LOIS (CONT'D)
               Vampires! Zombies! Harry Potter
               knock-offs! People writing about
               their dogs! Just shoot me now!

     It is at that moment when Lois first notices the camera.
     Caught off-guard. What the hell??? Colette cranes her neck
     over the assistant.

               Ms. Piper?   Ms. Piper?

     Lois turns her attention to Colette. Who are you? Then--
     magically--Lois changes. A big smile replaces the scowl.
     She marches towards Colette, who is clearly not expecting a
     warm reception.

     Lois walks right past Colette and instead warmly shakes hands
     with Dr. Xiroman.

               Dr. Xiroman. I can't believe you're
               here. How lovely to see you again.

     Dr. Xiroman nods his head in greeting.

                           LOIS (CONT'D)
               Just in the neighborhood? Please
               come in for a minute.

     Another glance at the camera. Then, taking Dr. Xiroman by
     the elbow, Lois guides him back towards her office, completely
     snubbing a bewildered Colette.

                           LOIS (CONT'D)
               My family talks about you all the
               time. You were so helpful to my
               sister. She's doing much better.

     Colette stands there helplessly, watching her future walk
     away. The assistant points in their direction: Get in there!

96   INT. PIPER OFFICE - DAY                                          96

     Lois plops down behind her desk. Stacks of MANUSCRIPTS cover
     her desk. Dr. Xiroman sits quietly in one chair. Colette
     sits next to him.

                   (Sighing; Distraught)
               Look at my desk, Dr. Xiroman. Look
               at all this. Do you know what it is?
               Crap. It's all crap. Crap. Crap.
               Crap. I hate my job. I hate my life.

Dr. Xiroman nods: I understand.

                      LOIS (CONT'D)
          Know what I feel like doing?

She looks at the camera.

                      LOIS (CONT'D)
          Come in closer. I want you to get
          this. Closer. C'mon. More. Closer.

Satisfied, Lois takes her free hand and SHOVES ALL THE
MANUSCRIPTS off her desk, sending them flying on the floor.

                        LOIS (CONT'D)

Colette looks aghast.   Lois seems free at last.

                      LOIS (CONT'D)
          That was so...liberating. I haven't
          felt this good since that night in
          Paris with Salman Rushdie.

Lois growls like a tiger at the memory.

                      LOIS (CONT'D)
          I envy you, Dr. Xiroman. Know that?
          Look at your life. Your work. You
          helped my sister. You've helped so
          many people. You have such a positive
          message to share.

The camera picks up on Lois as the light goes on, the wheels
start turning in her head.

                      LOIS (CONT'D)
          Wait a minute. Wait a minute. Wait a
          minute. A positive message to share.
          Helping people. That's it!


          Of course. Dr. Xiroman, you should
          write a book. This could be a whole


               --It's perfect! Television. Your
               own blog. Personal appearances.


     Dr. Xiroman has no reaction. Colette can't believe what she
     is hearing.

               Getting from Xiro to One by Doctor
               Xiroman. Oh, I like that.


               --In fact, as long as you're here
               today, why don't we just get you
               under contract? I know just who to
               call in New York.

               But--But.   What about me?

     Lois shoots her a look: What about you? Colette backs down--
     not wanting to spoil the moment. Lois yells for her assistant.
     Finally a slight smile crosses Dr. Xiroman's face.

97   INT. PIPER OFFICE - DAY                                            97

     Dr. Xiroman beams as he signs the standard agency contract
     so quickly drawn up for him. Lois and her Assistant appear
     equally excited.

     COLETTE fidgets off to the side. Then Lois hands her the pen
     and points her towards the contract.

                           COLETTE (V.O.)
               Co-Authors. Actually I'll be listed
               as junior author. It's not exactly
               what I wanted, but at least now I
               finally have an agent. And a book

98   INT. PIPER OFFICE - DAY                                            98

     Lois and the Assistant wave goodbye as Colette and Dr.
     Xiroman leave.

                           COLETTE (V.O.)
               My novel will have to wait a while
               longer. Nyet, Colette. Not Yet. But

99    EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET - NIGHT                                    99

      Henry delivers another pizza. Pockets the money as he walks
      back to his car, whistling. Checks his delivery list. Stares
      at the next address in sudden disbelief.


100   EXT. RICHARD BENEDICT'S HOUSE - NIGHT                              100

      Henry stands in the doorway, glumly clutching the PIZZA BOX.
      Hesitates. Finally rings doorbell. Pause. Followed by LOUD
      LAUGHTER. Door swings open. Richard stands there, wearing
      only his jeans. His hair is a mess.

                You're late, Pizza Boy.

      Richard finally notices the camera.

                              RICHARD (CONT'D)
                What the --

                They're with me. Your total comes to
                nineteen dollars and sixty-five cents.

      Richard pulls a crumpled twenty from his jean pocket. He
      hands it to Henry. Then reconsiders, calling inside.

                Babe, I need a single.

      No response.

                            RICHARD (CONT'D)
                C'mon, babe. Got a dollar for Pizza

                              WOMAN'S VOICE

      Richard gives a last glance to the camera. He's got better
      things to do. Off he goes.

      Short beat. Hannah comes to the door wearing Richard's shirt
      and little else, carrying a single dollar bill.

                Here you--

      Her words freeze up as she recognizes Henry. Henry and Hannah
      lock eyes for a long beat. Poor kid. This is the moment.

Reality smacks him in the face. Hard.

Hannah starts to hand Henry the money. He puts his hands up:
No thanks. Hannah doesn't press. Henry can't hold back any

          No distractions. The writing comes

          He's making me a better writer.

          Yeah.    I bet he is.

Quietly seething, Henry nods towards the camera.

                      HENRY (CONT'D)
          How much better are you, Hannah?
          Show us. Who wrote Slaughterhouse
          Five? D'ya know?

          Henry.    Don't.

          No, No. This could be quite
          educational. How about Native Son?

          Why isn't it enough that I'm your

          Lord of the Flies? Portnoy's
          Complaint? Do you know any author?
          Harry Potter--You must know Harry

          Why isn't it enough that I believe
          in your writing?

          --Sophie's Choice? Anything published
          in the English language.

          --That I believe in you?

          You didn't read Gatsby, did you?
          Never even opened it, I bet.


                I'm not--

      She hesitates.   Not for long.

                            HANNAH (CONT'D)
                I'm not the one delivering pizzas
                for a living.

      Score one for Hannah.

                            HANNAH (CONT'D)
                I'm not the one wasting my talent.
                You've read all those books, sure,
                but my book is being published. Is

      Henry has no comeback. Hannah stares him down. The dollar
      bill drops from her hand on to the ground. She retreats
      back inside the house, firmly closing the front door, leaving
      Henry alone.

      Only then do we notice the number of the house: 4441.

101   INT. HENRY'S APARTMENT - NIGHT                                   101

      We've never seen Henry like this. He rips down all his Richard
      Benedict photos from the wall. Collects all his Benedict
      books. Stuffs everything in a CARDBOARD BOX. Next he turns
      his attention to all the rejection letters on the wall. Lot
      of rejection. Gives them a long look. Then he snaps up the
      photo of Hannah from near his computer. He takes the photo
      and tacks it dead center in the middle of all his rejection

      Henry stares at the photo, oblivious to the camera, consumed
      by Hannah's radiant smile. His latest, and most painful,
      rejection. It's over.

      Henry understands what must be done. He goes over to his
      desk. Sits down at his laptop. One last glance over at
      Hannah's photo as he turns the computer on.

      He contemplates for a second. Then begins typing.

102   INT. JOHN'S MOBILE HOME - DAY                                    102

      Sigrid's Wall of America has been taken down. A few nail
      holes and tape marks are all that remain--except for the
      single PHOTO of John still hanging in the center.

103   EXT. JOHN'S MOBILE HOME - DAY                                      103

      Back to the two lawn chairs--with one prime difference.
      Sigrid's chair is empty. John sits by himself. This is a
      softer, more reflective, John talking to the camera.

                 Well, Strudel shipped out.

      A side glance to the empty chair.

                             JOHN (CONT'D)
                 Oh, she wanted to stay, but... I
                 didn't have time for a relationship.
                 Not with my book selling like it is.
                 She, well, she became collateral
                 damage. Hated to end it. What a
                 dame. I mean...Sigrid. She had the
                 smarts of my first wife. The body
                 of my second wife. Thank god she
                 wasn't anything like my third wife.
                 I did the right thing. Yes, sir.

      Good acting, John. He looks back to the empty chair. Can't
      avoid reaching over and giving the arm rest a little love

104   INT.   JOHN'S MOBILE HOME - DAY                                    104

      John packs COPIES OF HIS BOOK ever-so-carefully into an old
      standard issue military DUFFEL BAG.

                             JOHN (V.O.)
                 What matters now is that the Roaring
                 Lion book tour is about to begin.
                 Can't wait to hit the road and meet
                 the good people of this nation.
                 Good American people.

      John gazes over at his photo on the wall. Salutes himself.

105   INT. ALAN AND COLETTE'S HOUSE -- DINING ROOM - NIGHT               105

      Meeting of the writing group. Not yet started. John, Alan,
      and Hannah sit around the table. No refreshments being
      served. No small talk. Everyone is quiet.

      Hannah looks fantastic. More makeup. Nicer clothes. Fidgets
      in her chair. Seems anxious. Stares at her new KINDLE.

      FRONT DOOR opens and closes. FOOTSTEPS approaching. It's
      Henry. Looks determined. Man on a mission. Carries a satchel.

                 Sorry I'm late.

John grunts something. Hannah remains quiet. Avoids eye
contact with Henry. Henry reaches into his satchel and pulls
out stapled, typed pages. Multiple copies. Hands one to
each of the three group members. Puts another down where
Colette will sit.

          Wutch you got here, Obert?

          New pages.   I'm ready to read.

          Way to go, Henry.

Even Hannah looks surprised. She and Alan thumb through their
copies. John sniffs at the front page. Henry slides in across
from Hannah. Looks satisfied. FRONT DOOR opens again. MORE
FOOTSTEPS. Colette arrives with Dr. Xiroman in tow. Xiroman?
The others exchange puzzled glances.

          Christ.   What's he doing here?

          I've invited Doctor Xiroman to join
          our writing group.

          You must be joking, Colette.

          I am not joking. And, as a matter
          of fact, I'll have all of you know
          that the doctor and I are soon to be
          published authors. We've signed with
          The Lois Piper Agency.

Colette stands there, waiting for the applause and
congratulations, but all she receives is stunned silence.

          You can't do this.

          Why not? With William gone, we have
          an opening.

          Henry's right. We all have to agree
          on new members.

          I don't care about your silly rules.

          I am the leader of the group--

          --Oh, please. Alan.

              (Voice rising)
          I am the leader of the group.

          And Dr. Xiroman is my co-author and
          he is joining "the group."

          He is not.

          He is.

          Is not.


          Is n--

Hannah can't take it any longer. She throws up her hands.


The room turns quiet. All eyes on Hannah. She composes

                         HANNAH (CONT'D)
          I'm leaving.

Surprise all around.    Hannah avoids looking at Henry.

                      HANNAH (CONT'D)
          It's time. Richard is going to mentor
          me. Today's the 22nd. Two plus two
          equals four and we all know four's...

Her voice trails off.    Why bother explaining.   Just do it.

                      HANNAH (CONT'D)
          Anyway, I'm quitting.

There. She said it. Hannah looks so relieved. She's done.
Indignant, Colette stares her up and down.

Points to Dr.    Xiroman.

          Well, in this case one plus one equals
          one very successful writing team. I
          can't believe you, Hannah. You're
          doing this just to upstage our news
          about landing an agent.

          Stop it...

          No, this is what it's all about.
          The spotlight always has to be on
          Little Miss Sunshine. Her agent. Her
          book deal. Her movie deal.

John shoots to his feet.

          News flash for you all. John K.
          Butzin is also saying Sayonara.
          Heading off on my international book


          Damn straight. Tijuana.
          I'm done with you pussies.

John snatches up his folder and marches out of the house.
Silence. Colette starts to sit down at the table--motions
for Xiroman to join her. Final straw for Alan. Stares
directly at Colette.

          Get out.    Now.

Colette can't believe what she's hearing.

                      ALAN (CONT'D)
          As the leader of this writing group,
          I've determined your actions are
          contrary to our stated purpose. Get

          You can't kick me out.    I live here.

She's right.    Alan considers his options.

          Fine.   Then go to your room.

Points to Xiroman.

                      ALAN (CONT'D)
          And take him with you. Won't be the
          first guy.

Alan means business.   Colette stands up straight.   Gathers
up her materials.

          We'll certainly have plenty to discuss
          in therapy.

          Go by yourself. I'm done.

          Oh. Just like always--Alan finishes

She grabs Dr. Xiroman's arm.

                      COLETTE (CONT'D)
          Come, Dr. Xiroman. I'm looking forward
          to working with a real doctor. On
          our new book.

Colette and Dr. Xiroman disappear. Frustrated, Alan takes a
deep breath. Reaches inside his coat pocket for his recorder.
Turns it on.

          Idea for novel.

Alan hesitates. Thinks for a second. Turns off the recorder.
Slides it across the table to Henry.

                      ALAN (CONT'D)
          Here. Take it. Maybe you can use
          some of my ideas in your novel.

Alan flashes a "thumbs up" sign to Henry and to Hannah.    He
starts to leave, but remembers the camera.

                      ALAN (CONT'D)
              (To camera)
          This was supposed to be a reality

That's off his chest. Alan leaves Henry and Hannah alone at
the table. Awkward silence.

      He stands up. Calmly puts his typed pages back in his
      satchel. Leaves Alan's recorder on the table, walks away
      without looking back.

                Henry . . .

      Don't waste your breath. He's gone.

106   INT. BOOKSTORE - DAY                                              106

      Hannah's book release party. Great turnout. Her professional
      PHOTO adorns a POSTER announcing the publication of Sleeping
      on the Moon. Boy, Hannah looks terrific in that photo.
      Richard hovers around the makeshift bar, drink in hand.
      Maureen, looking radiant, accepts the congratulations of
      well-wishers. TABLE prominently centered has piles of Hannah's
      novel, waiting to be signed.

      Hannah talks to the camera, looking especially radiant. This
      is her day and she is more than ready for her close-up.
      Totally different in wardrobe and appearance.

                Exciting, isn't it? I'm so nervous.
                I don't know half these people. Most
                of them are Richard's friends.

      Hannah waves to Richard. He waves back. Hannah glances around
      the room, as if looking for someone in particular.

                            HANNAH (CONT'D)
                Nobody's showed up from my old writing
                group. Not one. Probably shouldn't
                be surprised. Haven't really heard
                from anyone in months.

      She is asked a question.

                            HANNAH (CONT'D)
                Favorite writer? You keep asking me
                that. Too funny. Sorry. Still can't
                think of one.

107   INT. BOOKSTORE - DAY                                              107

      Hannah sits behind the table, signing books. Maureen stands
      behind her helping to orchestrate the line of people.

      Hannah acts very gracious. Signing a book, smiling and
      chatting up the guests. She seems at ease. Everything is
      going her way. She looks past the line. Her eyes light up
      and she jumps to her feet.

          Oh my God!

Hannah bolts from the table, cuts through the line and finds
Henry standing alone.

          Hi, Hannah.

          Henry. Ohhhhh. Thank you. Thank
          you. Thank you so much for coming.

Hannah throws her arms around Henry, giving him a long
heartfelt hug, almost smothering the poor guy--not that he
complains. She lets go and gives Henry a friendly once-over.

                      HANNAH (CONT'D)
          You're the only one from the group
          who showed up.

Still awkward for them to be around each other.

                      HANNAH (CONT'D)
          I can't believe you remembered my

          Well, pretty hard to miss that article
          about you in People magazine. Just
          wanted to say hi. And congratulations.

Maureen comes up behind Hannah. Beams at Henry, and waves.

          Hello, Henry.
              (To Hannah)
          Hannah, come back. Your public awaits.

          Go on. They need you.

          Please stay.

          Can't.   Sorry.


          Yeah. Hot date. You know. Can't keep
          her waiting. A flight attendant.

              (Buying the obvious
          A flight attendant?

Henry nods.

                         HANNAH (CONT'D)
          Well, then.     Guess you can't stay.


          One sec.   Wait here.

Hannah runs back to the signing table, pulls out a book and
scribbles something inside. She brings the book back over to

                      HANNAH (CONT'D)
          This is for you.

          Hannah . . .

          Take it.

Henry accepts the book. Hannah gives him another long hug.

                      HANNAH (CONT'D)
          Do you want to say hello to Richard?

          No. No, thanks.

          C'mon. It will take just a minute.

          I can't.   Really.

          Dear, sweet Hannah. Please!

          Just say hi.

Henry tries to back away. Hannah leans forward, grabs his
hand and tugs him in the other direction.

          I've really got to --

                Oh, c'mon.   You'll --

      Then -- BAM, Henry, not looking where he's going, slams into
      Richard accidentally, spilling Richard's drink all over the
      author. Horrified looks all around.

108   EXT. OUTSIDE BOOKSTORE - DAY                                       108

      Outside the bookstore, Henry stands on the sidewalk, talking
      to the camera as he clutches Hannah's book.

                Well, I did it. I showed up to
                Hannah's signing. I congratulated
                her. I supported her, writer to
                writer. And I finally got introduced
                to Richard Benedict--formally. Sort

      Henry opens up his copy of Hannah's novel. He turns quiet,
      obviously moved. He holds the book up for the camera to

                           HENRY (CONT'D)
                Look. Hannah dedicated her novel to
                me. Just like she promised.

      Right beneath the printed dedication For Henry Obert, Hannah
      has written, For Henry, My Forever Friend xoxoxo Hannah.

      Henry studies the book for a second. Snaps it shut.

109   INT. KELLER OFFICE - DAY                                           109

      Literary agent David Keller being interviewed for the camera
      in his office. Stacks of MANUSCRIPTS on his desk. David
      pulls one out.

                This is why I love LA. True story.
                This guy delivers a pizza to my house
                one night. Then the very next week,
                my wife has someone come in and clean
                the carpets. Guess what? Same guy.
                Small world, isn't it? So we get
                talking. He tells me his name's
                Henry. He's a writer. He's just
                finished a manuscript. Offers us a
                discount on the carpets if I'll read
                ten pages. I like that thinking.
                So I read ten pages. Wow. I want to
                read ten more. Before I know it,
                I've read the entire book.

                            DAVID (CONT'D)
                Just loved it. Fresh voice.
                Interesting characters. And that

      David thumbs through the manuscript.

                            DAVID (CONT'D)
                The washed-up, impotent novelist
                getting gunned down by Scott, the
                jealous, underemployed, pizza delivery
                man. This kid nailed it. It's on the
                page, know what I mean? So I intend
                to sign Mr. Henry Obert and get Pizza
                to Go out there. I predict a best
                seller. Probably a movie, too.
                I'll call him with the good news. Or
                maybe I'll just order a pizza.

110   INT. HENRY'S APARTMENT - DAY                                       110

      Henry taking down the rejection letters from his walls and
      packing them in a cardboard BOX.

                            HENRY (V.O.)
                David Keller did call me. One week
                later, he sold Pizza to Go to a New
                York publisher. They decided to
                rename it A Slice of LA. I did it.
                I sold my novel.

      Henry puts the last of the rejection letters away. Finally,
      he picks up a FRAMED PHOTO. INSERT shows the six members of
      the writing group from happier times--the photo snapped in
      the restaurant. Full of hope and promise.

                            HENRY (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                I miss the Tuesday night group.
                They made me a better writer. They
                taught me how to handle rejection.

      Henry lingers on the photo before packing it away, as well.

111   INT. RESTAURANT #2 - DAY                                           111

      Mostly empty. Henry sits at a booth, alone, a new copy of
      Gatsby in his hands. He talks to the camera. CUP OF COFFEE
      in front of him.

                Hannah was right. The writing must
                always come first. Everything else
                waits. Everything. That's what I
                did finally. Finished my novel.

                      HENRY (CONT'D)
          Sold it. Now? Now I'm open. Ready
          for whatever--

WAITRESS stops by the table, refilling Henry's cup. Then
setting the pot on the table, she reaches over and snatches
the copy of Gatsby.

Surprised, Henry glances up.

                      HENRY (CONT'D)
          --happens next...

It's her again. That young waitress with purple streaks in
her hair and matching purple glasses thumbs through the book.
Henry finally checks out her name tag: Eudora.

Clutching the book, Eudora recites from memory:

          Gatsby believed in the green light,
          the orgiastic future that year by
          year recedes before us. It eluded us
          then, but that's no matter--

          --Tomorrow we will run faster, stretch
          out our arms further...

Eudora nods. Henry is amazed.

                      HENRY (CONT'D)
          You know Fitzgerald?

          Not intimately. He died here, you

          December 21, 1940.

          I go by there sometimes.

          The place on Hayworth.

          Is that weird. That I do that?

          No. No. Not at all.

Eudora smiles, glad for the positive reinforcement.

                OK. Good. Because, you know, I don't
                want people to think I'm weird.

                Of course not. Do you write?

                Kinda, sort of. But I'm thinking of
                joining a writing group.

      Henry bites his tongue.   Eudora nods towards the camera.

                            EUDORA (CONT'D)
                So what's this? Some kind of reality
                show, or something?

      Henry smiles. The two continue their idle chatter.


112   EXT. MOBILE HOME PARK, PHOENIX -- DAY                             112

      Caption reads: PHOENIX, ARIZONA.

                            JOHN (V.O.)
                After a very successful book tour,
                John K. Butzin heard the Grand Canyon
                State calling. This is home now.

113   EXT. MOBILE HOME PARK (ARIZONA) -- DAY                            113

      John's trailer. COSTUMED CHILDREN knock on the door while
      holding their trick or treat bags.

                            JOHN (V.O.)
                Real God-fearing Americans live here.
                Good people. Not those La La pussies.

      John opens the front door.

                Trick or Treat!

      John responds by dropping a BOOK in the first bag.

                Look at this treat you get. A copy
                of Roaring Lion by John K. Butzin.
                Happy Halloween.

      The children are dumbfounded. John moves on to the next child.

114   INT. RESTAURANT #2 - DAY                                          114

      William is back at the counter, looking as scruffy as ever.
      Off to the side stands a GEEKY KID, gripping a FLIP PHONE
      aimed directly at William. William talks to our camera.

                  C'mon. Admit it. You missed me.
                  It wasn't as interesting once I left,

      He winks.   The Kid doesn't move.

                              WILLIAM (CONT'D)
                  I knew the group wouldn't last without
                  me. No way. Losers.

      He nods towards his companion.

                              WILLIAM (CONT'D)
                  Him? Oh. It's my new project. A
                  reality TV show based on my life.
                  You know...women I meet...thoughts
                  that pop into my head. Kid follows
                  me all around. 24/7. Actually I got
                  the idea from you guys. Same concept--
                  just better characters.

      A question is asked.

                              WILLIAM (CONT'D)
                  Which network? Um,'s
        's P-P-A...Pasadena Public
                  Access. Oh, people watch. Yeah.
                  We're on right after that pet psychic.

      A waitress's HAND reaches in and refills William's coffee
      cup. He likes what he sees.

                              WILLIAM (CONT'D)
                  Thanks, babe.

      He looks over to Geeky Kid.

                              WILLIAM (CONT'D)
                  Get a close-up on her. Nice and

      William will never change.

                              WILLIAM (CONT'D)
                  And, hey, Kid. Lend me five bucks.
                  I want to leave an extra special

115   INT. SCHOOL HALLWAY (LOS ANGELES) -- DAY                           115

      TWO POSTERS ON EASEL in the hallway. First poster announcing:

                            ALAN (V.O.)
                After I sent Colette packing, I was
                ready for a new chapter in my life...


      PUPPET MAKING meets in Room 22, and QUILTING is in Room 24.
      WRITING 20/20 is in Room 26.

      And DOG OBEDIENCE is out in the courtyard, but we already
      know that--the loud sound of BARKING DOGS and PEOPLE YELLING
      "SIT" is heard in the background.

      Second poster is a new version of QUIET, PLEASE--WRITERS AT

                            ALAN (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                I found it teaching Adult Ed. "Writing
                20/20" is the class. Helping writers
                to see. Inspired by my new self-
                published e-book of the same title.

116   INT. SCHOOL CLASSROOM - DAY                                        116

      STUDENTS scattered around the classroom. All adult. Ethnic
      and demographic mix. Listening attentively. Taking notes.
      The DOGS continue barking outside.

      Alan stands in front of the class. Beaming. Excited, He CLAPS
      his hands once.

                OK. You've got ten seconds. Write
                down the name of your character.
                First name that pops into mind. C'mon.
                Tell me your character.

      Students think for a second. Start scribbling a name.

                            ALAN (CONT'D)
                1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-9.5-9.75-10 seconds.
                OK. Pass your names up front here.
                Let's see what you came up with.

      Students hand their papers forward. Alan starts collecting

                            ALAN (CONT'D)
                The right name is so important for
                your character. OK. What do we have?

      He looks at the first piece of paper.

                            ALAN (CONT'D)
                Here's one I haven't heard. Heywood

      That's not it.   Alan tries again.

                            ALAN (CONT'D)
                Or is it Jablom? Maybe Jablowme.
                Heywood Jablowme?

      Laughter and guffaws from the students.    Alan looks puzzled.

                            ALAN (CONT'D)
                What's so funny? Heywood Jablowme?
                Am I missing something? Heywood

      The students continue to laugh. Poor Alan.

117   EXT. ALAN AND COLETTE'S HOUSE - DAY                               117

      Catch the FOR SALE sign posted on the front lawn.

118   EXT. COLETTE'S GARDEN - DAY                                       118

      Colette engages in intense meditation on her bench. The garden
      around her is now dead.

                            COLETTE (V.O.)
                Dr. Xiroman and I wrote our book. It
                actually did fairly well.

      INSERT BOOK. Title in large letters: Getting from Xiro to
      One by Dr. Xiroman in equally large letters. At the bottom
      of the book, in very tiny letters, reads With Colette Mooney.

                            COLETTE (V.O.) (CONT'D)
                Dr. Phil turned us down. But we had
                a lovely time on Anderson.

      INSERT PHOTO of smiling Anderson Cooper.

                            COLETTE (CONT'D)
                Anderson actually wanted us back,
                but Dr. Xiroman and Lois Piper started
                dating. They eloped to Vegas last
                month. Off on a world cruise.

      INSERT PHOTO of Dr. Xiroman and Lois being married in Vegas
      by ELVIS.

                            COLETTE (CONT'D)
                So in less than a year, I've lost my
                husband, my co-author, and my agent.
                But I still have Nyet, Not Yet. And
                I will find an agent to sell my novel.
                Look. I bought an ad in the trades.

      Colette reaches for her reading glasses and shares the ad
      copy with us, reading aloud:

                            COLETTE (CONT'D)
                "The magic fingers that just typed
                the publishing world's next best
                selling novel are now waiting to
                provide free massage to interested
                literary agents. Experienced.
                Sensitive. Discreet. Memorable. No
                Junior Agents, please."

      Looking quite pleased with herself, Colette lets the copy
      fall away.

                            COLETTE (CONT'D)
                It's how I met my last husband. I
                think it can work again. No worries.
                After all, I am a graduate of --

      Her iPhone starts playing music, signaling a phone call.
      Colette smiles in knowing satisfaction--publication is just
      a touch away

119   EXT. MOVIE SET -- DAY                                             119

      The MOVIE CREW, on location, scurries about, trying to line
      up their next shot.

                            HANNAH (V.O.)
                Welcome to Sleeping on the Moon: The
                Movie! It's so exciting!

120   EXT. MOVIE SET -- DAY                                             120

      Hannah, looking good, sits in a chair, a BOOK on her lap.
      She is talking to the camera. CREW in the background.

                Let's see. My book ended up on the
                best sellers list. Stopping at Number

      She crinkles her nose in obvious disappointment.

                            HANNAH (CONT'D)
                Then Richard left me.

                         HANNAH (CONT'D)
             I'm sure the two were connected. No
             loss. Such an ego. But guess what?
             I've gone back to school!

To underscore the point, she holds up a the book--it's The
Great Gatsby.

                         HANNAH (CONT'D)
             Look what I'm reading for class.
             Isn't that pretty, you know, what do
             they call it? What's that word?

She hears an answer.

                         HANNAH (CONT'D)
             Ironic. That's it. Pretty ironic.
             But I'm going to get my degree.
             Then I'll be smart. Really smart.

Short beat

                         HANNAH (CONT'D)
             You know how you kept asking me that
             question. Who's my favorite writer?

Short beat.

                         HANNAH (CONT'D)
             Turns out I do have one. Mr. Henry
             Obert. He's become a great writer.
             A published author.

She smiles.

                         HANNAH (CONT'D)
             I knew him when.

She likes her answer.    But then hesitates.

                         HANNAH (CONT'D)
             Probably shouldn't tell him I said
             that, 'kay?

She winks.

                         HANNAH (CONT'D)
             Keep it between us.

Goodbye Hannah.    Good luck.

121   EXT. FITZGERALD/GRAHAM HOME -- HOLLYWOOD - DAY                     121

                            HENRY (V.O.)
                Well, my novel finally came out.
                Seems to be doing OK.

122   EXT. FITZGERALD/GRAHAM HOME/SIDEWALK -- DAY                        122

      Henry looks more confident. More poised. Better clothes.
      The frog has become the prince.

      He glances back at the building.

                You know Fitzgerald said that all
                good writing is swimming under water
                and holding your breath. He was right.
                But after all I've been through, I
                think I'm finally ready to exhale.

      He looks at his watch.

                            HENRY (CONT'D)
                Oops. I'm late. Gotta go.

123   EXT. BOOKSTORE -- DAY                                              123

      SHOPPERS coming in and out of the store. POSTER in front
      window announces book signing for Henry Obert, author of
      Slice of LA.

      Right next to BANNER announcing GOING OUT OF BUSINESS. And
      next to the banner--a YOUNG MAN leans up against the wall,
      waiting, passing time reading his KINDLE.

124   INT. BOOKSTORE - DAY                                               124

      We jump to the woman clutching FOUR COPIES of Henry's novel.
      Wait a minute--we recognize those trendy glasses. It's Eudora,
      a rather pregnant Eudora.

                Yes, I'm totally busted. I'm buying
                four copies of A Slice of LA. One
                for each member of my writing group.
                Also because I think Henry Wayne
                Obert is the greatest new writer of
                the decade! Sexiest, too!

      Eudora is having way too much fun.

                            EUDORA (CONT'D)
                OK. So he's my husband. I'm biased.
                But I still think the kid can write.

125   INT. BOOKSTORE - DAY                                               125

      Henry sits at the table in the bookstore, graciously and
      happily signing copies of his book for the SHORT LINE OF
      PEOPLE waiting.

      This is his moment, the one that brought him all the way
      from Illinois. He has arrived. As a person. As a writer.

      Henry looks up. Eudora is nestled comfortably in a nearby
      leather chair, reading away. She looks up.

      They make eye contact. Her smile is all the encouragement
      Henry needs. All that he will ever need.

      He reaches for the next book to sign.

                                                          FADE OUT:

Authors Anonymous

Writers :   David Congalton
Genres :   Comedy

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