I'm currently teaching a class in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, where the football team (as it turns out) has a university. Last April's tornado left a scar through the place that is about a mile wide and runs from the southwest corner of the city, diagonally across town, to the northeast corner. Even almost a year later, the destruction is breath taking.

Tuscaloosa was known for its druid oaks. Now scores of them are just trunks and shattered limbs. I came across one the other day full of battered aluminum siding. This place will be a very long time getting back to normal -- whatever that is.

I thought I'd take this occasion to update Ray Tatum progress. We're still pressing forward. The pilot script is written, and I'm closing in on the final polish. I think we'll begin courting the networks in June.

It's still a longshot, but it's ALIVE!
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Published on February 22, 2012 10:48 • 266 views
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message 1: by Mark (new)

Mark That is good news about Ray. I do look forward to seeing him on TV with as much of your humor as the netwoek will allow. Are you teaching a writing class in Alabama? How are the people doing after the disaster? Is the Red Cross and FEMA still there or are the citizens mostly left to themselves to try to get back to some sense of normal?

message 2: by T.R. (new)

T.R. Pearson I'm teaching a "how to write stuff you can sell" class rather than a straight writing class. So we've been working on book pitches and proposals, interview technique, TV pitches, outlines and scripts. That kind of thing. It's a graduate level course, and the students are quite good. The MFA program at UA has (I think) 56 students, and the university covers their tuition and pays them a teaching stipend. So everybody is on a free ride, which means the slots are coveted. There's one student in the program from Alabama, and his parents are first-generation immigrants from Pakistan. My guys are from all over the place -- including Canada, England, and Iran.

The city is scarred from the Tornado. Rebuilding is underway, but it looks to be going fairly slowly. The storm passed right through the heart of Tuscaloosa. The damage is monumental. The storm's path is staggering to see, even now. Lots of blue tarps still -- a failure more of insurance than FEMA, I would imagine.

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