Story co-written with Christopher Ottinger

“Life is a horizontal fall.” – Jean Cocteau

What: Richard Douglas, formerly the San Francisco Chief of Police, has arrived in Washington DC to take over as the new Chief of the Capitol Police.

Who: Douglas, African American and the new Chief of the Capitol Police is in charge of maintaining order within the environs of the Capitol grounds, a small, but extremely important venue. He must balance the needs of the members of Congress, the locals who roam the area, including a sizable homeless population, lobbyists with their own agendas and manage a small, but entrenched police force on a very limited budget. Oh, and a class action discrimination suit has been filed by the black officers. It’s his first day on the job and DC is in the middle of a heat wave, none of the patrol cars have working air conditioning, and one of his officers, Detective Albie Gerhart is in jail, having been cited for contempt by Judge Kanemoto for using a “visual aid” in court; a hit and run accident has killed a much respected street vendor, a racist, ultra conservative Congressman has demanded a security sweep of his offices, and Marci, his assistant…

…rushes Douglas to his meeting.

Marcie: …At eleven, you got to Dignitary Protective Services, then Witness Protective Services at twelve. At two o’clock, the Capitol Police Board. And, the White House Deputy Communications Director at three, to discuss the possibility of a WTO meeting at the Capitol. (quick beat) I re-scheduled all the other department meetings for tomorrow. Except for Amanda. She called to reschedule.

Chief Douglas: She re-scheduled?

Marcie: (nods) Which I thought was inappropriate considering she reports to you, only she suggested lunch and that freed up your four o’clock slot which is when you’re now going to meet with the Head of the Secret Service so you can coordinate Earth Day.

Chief Douglas: Earth Day?

Marcie: The President’s going to plant a tree.

Chief Douglas: And, he needs my help?

Marcie: He’s planting it on the Capitol. You’re coordinating security with the Secret Service.

Chief Douglas: Okay.

Marcie: Sands in the motor pool called. He wants to talk to you about the new motorcycles.

Chief Douglas: What’s wrong with them?

Marcie: He doesn’t have them. (then) The money earmarked for the motorcycles got held up. He said it’s part of the same fund allocated to fix the air conditioning in the cars. Doesn’t have the money for the parts.

Chief Douglas: I’ll talk to Amanda about it at lunch.

They arrive a the closed door of a conference room.

Marcie: Oh, and Judge Kanemoto called from DC Superior Court. He didn’t say why.

Douglas heads into the conference room and then turns back.

Chief Douglas: What meeting is this?

Marcie: Threats.

Chief Douglas: Right.

What Chief Douglas comes to understand quickly is that the aforementioned Amanda is a well-connected foe who, even though she technically answers to him in hierarchy, has managed to find a way to independently control all the purse strings in her position as Chief of Administration and her main priority isn’t motorcycles or air conditioning but it’s increasing the size and strength of her own department.

And the simple hit and run… Identification of a partial plate has led Detective North straight to the hotel of a visiting lobbyist from Nebraska, Ronald Partridge, and his damaged and bloodstained car. All outward appearances lead the detective to assume Partridge was drunk at the time, but a blood test finds no alcohol, just a massive dose of GHB, the date rape drug. Partridge’s story of passing out in his room and remembering nothing of the evening pans out; no way he was behind the wheel of a car the previous evening. It’s beginning to look like a premeditated crime. So who did it and why?

Further complicating Douglas’s day is the FBI. They demand that Chief Douglas have his police officers transfer a secret witness testifying later in the day at a closed hearing. Although this is clearly within the job description of the FBI, they are refusing the duty as they believe there are no threats involved and it would constitute a waste of their resources – just send a couple of rookies. A milk run.

In a meeting with the Capitol Police Board, his bosses, Douglas is given the first of what, we can only assume, will be a wake up call.

Johnson: We need to handle the class action suit by the black officers. We’d like you to assure your troops that discrimination is not tolerated at the Capitol Police.

Chief Douglas: (nods) I was planning on speaking with each department about this issue.

Johnson: We think it’s important you assuage the black officer’s concerns.

Chief Douglas: Assuage their concerns?

Johnson: Talk to them. Tell them the Capitol Police doesn’t discriminate.

Chief Douglas: (beat) You want me to talk them into dropping the suit.

Johnson: Yes.

Chief Douglas: I wasn’t here when the alleged discrimination took place.

Percy: No.

Chief Douglas: But, you want me to tell them no discrimination took place?

Johnson: We think you are the most qualified to speak to this subject.

Chief Douglas: Because I’m black.

Percy: (fake friendly smile) Because you’re the chief.

Douglas stares at them, incredulous.

But his incredulity has just begun with this board.

Percy: I think that covers everything.

Everyone stands except Chief Douglas.

Chief Douglas: If I may… I wanted to confirm that I have final authority over the budget.

Percy: After we fired Chief Frankel, we gave Amanda authority over all admin, including the budget.

Chief Douglas: I can’t control the department if I don’t control the budget.

Percy: Think of it as the separation between church and state.

Chief Douglas: Church and State?

Percy: You control the police force, Amanda controls administration.

Chief Douglas: On the org chart, Amanda reports to me.

Percy: She still does.

Chief Douglas: But I have no control over how she allocates funds under the budget.

Percy: No.

Chief Douglas: And, I cannot review her work.

Percy: Absolutely not.

Chief Douglas: I cannot discipline or fire her if she fails to adequately perform her duties or is insubordinate.

Percy: Correct.

Chief Douglas: But, she reports to me.

Percy: Yes.

Oh.. and that milk run? Douglas can add attempted political assassination to his busy day – an attempt that was made feasible due to the lack of air conditioning in the patrol car. Chief Douglas… welcome to the neighborhood.

No Meaner Place: “The Capitol Police” was a script that I had read many years ago and had stayed with me. Simi and Ottinger created a complete world from page one. A hybrid procedural before there was such a thing, and a premise pilot without a premise – A double whammy that was, apparently, before its time. Politics and police – they were made for each other and Simi and Ottinger found a great way in, laying the ground work for character and conflict to come. And the hook – the hit and run of a street vendor so that an assassin could take the victim’s place at an ideally located corner for a thoroughly researched hit – I never saw it coming. They even discovered a new way in to the politics of Capitol Hill politics. Good guys and bad guys where some of the bad guys are supposed to be on our side. Was this project too ahead of the curve or, once again, did a fear of an original take on the traditional cop show scare off the buyers? Too bad – I’d have like to have seen this one.

Life Lessons for Writers:  It’s not who wins or loses but how you play the game. Sure it is.

Conversation with the Writer:

Neely: I read this script quite some time ago and it stayed with me. You combined so many genres so skillfully. I know your husband Chris collaborated on the story, but where did this idea come from?

Kimberly: The idea was completely Chris’s. He was interested in finding a way to marry a drama with a procedural and he wanted to find a way to do that in a unique world. The Capitol Police is a unique world because you get to see high levels of government from the point of view of a policeman.

Neely: Does this police force actually exist?

Kimberly: Oh, yeah…yeah. We both did quite a bit of research on the internet. There’s just a wealth of information out there.

Neely: Anything you discovered that wasn’t apparent in the resultant script?

Kimberly: There was so much. We have file drawers full of research. I think one thing that I didn’t realize was that Capitol police officers can travel with Congressmen. They can actually leave the premises, even the country, if they’re protecting a congress person. The dynamics were fascinating and would have made for interesting stories.

Neely: Did you make contact with anybody in the police force and talk to them?

Kimberly: We didn’t. We weren’t sure how they would react to a drama set in their world, so we thought it would be better to just write the script and then, if it went somewhere, we would look for a friendly force to ally with.

Neely: Do either of you have a political background?

Kimberly: No… I did when I was in college. I did an internship in DC in foreign relations. I was near the Capitol, but not actually on it. But I found the whole system interesting and perplexing at the same time – just fascinating to watch how things get done in DC and to see the amount of power that some people can wield.

Neely: The script was so complex and layered. You must have noticed that I only covered the bare bones. One of the things I loved was the duplicity of the Amanda character and how she was sleeping her way to job security. Was the Chief ever going to make headway?

Kimberly: Amanda was definitely one of Chief Douglas’s nemeses. While we would have let him make some headway in certain situations, we would have kept their relationship antagonistic to maximize the drama. He was just going to be stuck with her.

Neely: What a deft touch you put in there by having the lack of air conditioning in the police cars actually facilitate the assassination plan.

Kimberly: We wanted the police work and the procedure to tie into the political world. Creating that deep intersection between these two worlds was Chris’s central idea behind the script.

Neely: I take it you were going to divulge why the Chief left San Francisco in the first place, which was definitely friendlier waters. What was the reason?

Kimberly: His marriage is … how can I say this?

Neely: …clearly on the rocks.

Kimberly: That’s right… it’s on the rocks. He’d been spending so much time at work that his wife was demanding that he spend more time at home. He really thought that this was going to be an easy job. He thought he was just going to be babysitting Congressmen. Going forward, he would have discovered that his job was a lot more complicated and difficult and his marriage would have fallen apart as a result.

Neely: I may have missed something, but how, in the end, did the Chief get his motorcycles and, presumably, the air conditioning?

Kimberly: By the end of the pilot, the Chief finally learns that he has to play politics and this is the example where he actually starts to play the game. He used the President’s desire to host the WTO on the Capitol as an excuse to get new motorcycles. He takes the position that the city can’t host the WTO with the CP riding on their current fleet of foreign motorcycles. Why further inflame the WTO protesters by showing up on motorcycles that weren’t made in the USA?

Neely: Then presumably he didn’t get his air conditioning.

Kimberly: No, he actually did get it. He triumphed over Amanda by getting the White House on his side; but this only made Amanda more determined to consolidate her power and plan a new attack against the Chief.

Neely: What are some of the other directions you were going to take this?

Kimberly: Hathaway, the beautiful young sniper – we both thought she was really interesting and we wanted to have her develop as a strong, capable, independent woman. She starts out a little girlish with a crush on North, and then she starts to come into her own. I think that character arc over the course of a series would have been really fun to do. As for North, who’s a bit of a mystery, we would have parceled out bits of information about him.

Neely: And what about Winston, the African American rookie officer?

Kimberly: Ah… there were a lot of complicated issues and stories that would have come up with him. The conflict we set up between him and the racist California congressman he needed to protect would have led in lots of interesting directions. The Congressman derisively accused Winston of getting into Yale based on affirmative action only to find out that Winston was a 2nd or 3rd generation Yale scholar; so instead he was then accused of being a privileged elitist. Winston is just a really talented and smart guy. We wanted to confront the stereotypes and have him deal with them while he’s trying to make it as a police officer.

Then there was the racial discrimination suit against the Capital Police which was the primary reason Chief Douglas was originally hired. The politicians brought in Chief Douglas, a really competent guy, for all the wrong reasons.. So that would have been a long running issue in the series and would have been really interesting to explore.

Neely: I definitely liked the conflicts that you set up. Did you write this on spec?

Kimberly: We did. Chris was between jobs at the time when he developed the idea and wrote a treatment. We then worked on the story together; I then did some more research and wrote it. Then he rewrote me and I did another pass, after which we went out with it as a spec. I’m pretty sure it went to the main networks and some EPs. Everyone passed. It got favorable reviews, but ultimately everyone passed. And that was the end of that.

Neely: Why do you think they passed? Was it the wrong time? The writing is really good, so what were some of the reasons, as lame as they might have been?

Kimberly: I honestly don’t remember. I do recall at the time that networks thought they were going to be moving away from procedurals. Our idea of course was to try to marry procedure with drama and personal stories, but that genre had not yet arrived, or more specifically, I suppose, had not yet made a comeback.

Neely: Timing is everything and what goes around comes around, I guess.

I’m particularly intrigued by your start in the business. You also wrote a spec screenplay entitled “Casanova” that eventually made it to the big screen starring Heath Ledger. I remember reading your screenplay and loving it.

Kimberly: I had just graduated from film school and had been reading up on European history. I came across a reference to Casanova. I thought he’d be an interesting subject for a movie. I decided the story couldn’t be about all the women he seduced, but it had to be about the one woman he couldn’t. My logline was: “He can seduce any woman in the world except for the woman he loves.” His character arc was learning how to love and how to express that love.

Neely: So you researched the subject. You wrote it. But how did you get it out there? Did you already have an agent?

Kimberly: I didn’t. I went to UCLA film school in the screenwriting program and at graduation UCLA matches you with an executive in the business who can give you some guidance.  (laughs) You’re not going to believe this, but at the time, I was matched with Sherry Lansing.

Neely: Really??!!

Kimberly: Yeah. I have Lew Hunter, the head of the screenwriting program, to thank for that. Sherry had this really nice executive working for her at Paramount named Brad Kessel. At the time, I had a very small, really small script that I’d written - it was a low budget, character driven, almost no action script that could only have been an independent film. I gave it to him thinking that it was going to get a poor review (laughing) because it was so not what they were looking for. But he really liked it and he asked me to give him my next script. That was when I started writing “Casanova,” really working on it. When I was ready, I gave it to him and he liked it. He went to his boss and said he really wanted to buy this script. He told me that I needed an agent and was nice enough to introduce me to some folks. And from those meetings, I got an agent. Then a couple of studios were interested and Disney ended up buying the script.

Neely: I know that you ended up sharing story and screenplay credit.  Was this a typical big screen scenario where they bought your script and then handed it off to a multitude of rewrite artists? You know, “slam, bam, thank you ma’am?”

Kimberly: I was rewritten. That happens a lot in features.

Neely: It happens all the time. This isn’t a question of it only happening to you. This is what typically happens in features.

Kimberly: I was so lucky. I wrote this right out of film school and I was just happy to get an agent. It was so great to be in the game. It was a great first start.

Neely: Are you kidding? What happened to you never happens – that’s only a slight exaggeration. Not everyone gets a film produced right out of film school and certainly not one that ends up directed by Lasse Hallström and starring Heath Ledger. I really sensed something theatrical in your writing. Have you ever written for the stage?

Kimberly: No, but I think it would be a lot of fun. I thought the dialogue in “Casanova” felt theatrical. So it would depend on the kind of story I’m writing; but I think it would be so great to write for the stage.

Neely: In terms of writing, which medium do you prefer – film or television, and why?

Kimberly: I like both, but TV has the advantage of being collaborative, which I really like. I think it’s really fun to work with other people. In features, you’re in a room all alone all day.

Neely: Getting a little personal, as you noted earlier, your husband, Chris Ottinger, co-wrote the story on “Capitol Police.” Were you married at the time?

Kimberly: Yes, we were.

Neely: How did you meet?

Kimberly: We met in law school.

Neely: (laughs) That’s opening a…

Kimberly: …whole new avenue of questions?

Neely: Absolutely. I wasn’t aware of the fact that you were a lawyer-writer.

Kimberly: Yes (laughs) I am. We both went to USC Law School and we both practiced. I just wanted something a bit more artistic in my life, so I ended up at UCLA film school. I really really fell in love with writing. Chris was a business affairs attorney at a studio and then he segued to the business side doing business development and then became a creative exec while still working in international.

I loved working with him. We actually did a project for Laura Ziskin together when he was between jobs. It was such a great experience. We worked really well with Pam Williams who heads Laura’s office. I think both Chris and I would say that Pam is the best executive we’ve ever worked with. She’s so smart and polite; a joy to work with. She’s direct with her notes; there’s no guessing what she wants, she’s really clear. After we wrote “CP,” we worked with Pam on an idea that Laura had, her passion project. It was a medical procedural about a man with whom she had become friends and gotten to know as she was developing the project. We pitched her our take on the project and they really liked it. We worked together on the pitch. It was a great experience.

Neely: What happened with that project?

Kimberly: It was a few years ago, so my memory is hazy, but I think we pitched it to CBS and they passed because they had just made a pilot on almost the same subject – different character, but it was a medical procedural. We had a really big character, based on this real life guy, and there was no way they could have two of the same type project. For that kind of procedural, you either went to CBS, but they were out, or NBC which had a lot of Dick Wolf procedurals; so I don’t think there was a lot of room for this type of show at that time. But it was really fun working with them; it was a great experience.

Neely: Maybe this is the one they’ll revisit.

Kimberly: Maybe. I still think there’s a way to tell that story differently by using the character and taking him out of the medical procedural, creating a drama around the character. The real person has very strong character traits. When we pitched to him in order to get his approval, we had accentuated his traits – but they were still true to him. We didn’t know how he would respond because not all the traits were necessarily positive, so we were definitely nervous. Making it worse, he unexpectedly brought his 17 year old daughter in the room. At the end of the pitch, I thought she was going to say, “Oh my god. How could you portray my dad that way?” And instead, literally within a second of the end of our pitch, she said, “Oh my god! You nailed my dad. You got him exactly! That is exactly who he is!”

Neely: Well if this didn’t go out to too many people, there is always the remote possibility that it can be revisited. As you can see, I’m still railing against the limited shelf life of TV projects. And that includes “Capitol Police,” which is still a great idea.

Kimberly: Thanks. I thought so too. When Chris told me about it, I just could see all the exciting stories that could be told in a unique world. I was so excited when he started talking about it.

Neely: So what is Chris doing now at MGM?

Kimberly: Chris is EVP of Worldwide TV. He does international television distribution and TV development and production. Right now he’s overseeing “Teen Wolf.”

Neely: I’d like to go back to what started you writing. Let’s go even further back. I think you mentioned that you went to Berkeley. What were your plans at that point?

Kimberly: I had always planned on going to law school. I really liked studying foreign languages, having spent some time in France, and was hoping to do something in the international field. When I started law school, I really liked it a lot. It opens you up to a whole new world and a new way of thinking, but I found practicing the law to be quite dull. I didn’t take me long to figure out that I needed to tunnel my way to freedom.

Neely: What kind of law did you practice?

Kimberly: I did some Civil Rights litigation when I was in law school; and then I did corporate and copyright law when I got into practice here in LA.

Neely: How long did you practice?

Kimberly: I’m guessing maybe 4 years.

Neely: You got bored pretty quickly. What made you decide that it was going to be film school? What led you there since there are other places to find an artistic path? What was it about film school that was attractive and made you feel you might be able to wend your way in to a writing career?

Kimberly: I’m not sure I felt that I was going to be able to find a way in. I think I just really enjoyed writing. I had tried it on my own, so I thought I’d make a real effort to see where it could go. It’s so hard to know whether you’ll have any success in writing because… Look, it’s not like law school where you get a degree and get a job as a lawyer. It’s a bit more complicated. It was just that I really enjoyed writing. I think the process is interesting; you get to spend time with different characters and different stories. You get to think about things in different ways. That’s what I think of as the greatest advantage of writing. Being a lawyer for me… I was a corporate lawyer and it’s really… what can I say. You’re looking at contract after contract and I found it mind numbing.

Neely: Why film school?

Kimberly: I wanted to become a writer and I lived in LA – it just seemed to make sense.

Neely: The rate of success isn’t very high, so what was your backup plan?

Kimberly: I don’t know. I suppose I could have gone back to being a lawyer. I was a lawyer the first year I was in film school because I went to film school at night that first year. I guess I could have continued to be a lawyer because the film school MFA is only two years.

Neely: What made you think that writing was for you? When did you get started writing?

Kimberly: I suppose it was here in LA and I just started writing. But my mother had always said I was going to be a writer.

Neely: Really?!

Kimberly: I always told her, “You’re crazy. I’m not a writer.” I guess the moral of this story is to always listen to your mother.

Neely: (loud laughing) I don’t know. Maybe we can find a different moral to the story.

Kimberly: (laughs) Okay. I don’t know. She saw something I didn’t. I was always looking for a creative outlet. I did a lot of black and white photography in college, but I didn’t want to do it as a profession. I think writing really marries the things I enjoyed about the law – you have to puzzle through story problems and character arcs. I think it’s interesting if you like to logically unfold and unwind a story – it’s very similar to law school in that way.

Neely: There are so many lawyer-writers in this town (I worked with one, well actually several), many of whom are extremely successful because law school teaches you to write. You’re taught to write in a very specific way, but you can’t get through law school without becoming a good writer. How can you write a brief otherwise? It has to be logical; it has to be thoughtful. I think the best legal writers are creative. As far as television is concerned, a law degree definitely opens a lot of doors. The fact that you chose to write something that had nothing to do with the law whatsoever, “Casanova,” does make you rather interesting and unique. But the writing part – that I get. In terms of the need for creativity? I’ve met so many lawyers, both during my time in business affairs and in development, and very few of them wanted to stay lawyers. That makes sense to me.

Have you had any mentors in the business? What about helpful advice?

Kimberly: Probably not mentors to speak of. UCLA film school was great and I learned a lot from the teachers there. Lou Hunter, the head of the program, was an incredible teacher and really guided his students. I learned so much from him and from Dan Pine – he’s a professional screenwriter who teaches one course a year. He just imparts so much knowledge to all of his students. I was really lucky that I got the opportunity to study with both of them.

Neely: Did you have any hands-on experience with Sherry Lansing?

Kimberly: No, it was a quick meeting. But, come to think of it, she did say one thing in the meeting that I thought was really interesting, and in some ways it was the opposite of what you learn in film school. She said, “Just think really long and hard before you choose your story because it all goes back to the story. And if you’re going to spend all this time writing a project, just make sure that the story is worth writing.” I know that sounds really basic, but sometimes the natural tendency is to jump the gun in order to start writing that you can cut the creative process at the beginning. It was such an important lesson.

Neely: What do you read? Any writers from whom you’ve taken particular inspiration?

Kimberly: Right now I’m just reading parenting books (laughs). One of my favorite novels is The Life of Pi by Yann Martel. I loved The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, that’s another favorite. I love David Milch; I thought “Deadwood” was pure poetry. Then there’s David Kelley, your old boss. I thought “Boston Legal” was brilliant; I loved how he combined social issues with such bold and funny characters that you really cared about. Those two TV writers are very inspirational.

Neely: What about going further back in terms of writers that you found particularly inspiring – not necessarily for television or theater. You had life before Pi didn’t you? (Yes, I know that was really stupid and obvious)

Kimberly: Let’s see. I’ve always loved to read so there are lots of books in which I’ve found sustenance. Besides The Life of Pi and The Historian, another of my favorite books in the past few years was The History of Love by Nicole Krauss.  Both The Life of Pi and The History of Love play with reality while spinning an engaging story and emotionally accessible characters.  The Historian brilliantly blends fiction with historical periods and masterfully crafts suspense.  All of these stories had an emotional core to them that allows the reader to connect with the characters.
I also really enjoyed Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (another great novel that blends a historical period with magical realism), and anything by Alan Furst (historical novels set on the eve of or during World War Two.  All of his work is so meticulously researched, it feels authentic and because of the subject matter, the stakes are high.  I love the novels by Italian author Graziella Deledda who wrote primarily about her homeland Sardinia. I discovered her while I was researching Sardinia for a screenplay and fell in love with her spare writing and its powerful emotional impact. I loved the  The Golden Compass, The Amber Spyglass, and The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman- all three books are so original and suspenseful.  I was blown away by "A Heart Breaking Work Of Staggering Genius" by Dave Eggers.  He has such a quirky sense of humor even while discussing the hardest, most gut wrenching aspects of his life, such as what to do with his mother's remains.  I love Zadie Smith's writing (On Beauty and White Teeth) and I also really enjoyed the Seville Communion and The Nautical Chart by Arturo Perez-Reverte. I think I’m drawn to stories where you feel the emotion.

Neely: What do you watch in your spare time?

Kimberly: I really like “Parenthood” a lot. I’m from the Bay area and I’m a new parent, so I’m probably the target audience. I really really like how they’re in the mud grappling with all their parenting decisions and the complexities of human relationships. I really enjoy that show.

Neely: Do you get out to the movies anymore?

Kimberly: I don’t (laughs)

Neely: I have to say, at this point, that you weren’t all that easy to track down because I’d gotten the impression from your manager that you were out of the business temporarily. We’ve been alluding to your new found job, so why don’t you elaborate.

Kimberly: I’ve definitely taken time off to be a mom to our daughter who will start pre-school in the fall. But I have been working on a feature and am just finishing it. My agent has already read a draft. I’m doing some revisions and then I’ll turn it in and we’ll go out with it as a spec script.

Neely: When your daughter goes to preschool, are you at all interested in staffing?

Kimberly: Oh yeah! I think it would be fun.

Neely: If you had a choice of what’s out there (and I think I already know the answer to this one), ideally what would be a show that you’d like to work on?

Kimberly: “Parenthood” definitely.

Neely: (laughs) I saw that one coming.

Kimberly: (laughs) You answered your own question. I also think I could learn so much from your old boss, David Kelley. I love his dramedies; I love how he confronts social issues. I think he has a really interesting and unique voice. I also think anything David Milch does is amazing.

Neely: So you are plotting a return. You’ve got your spec. Can you talk about it?

Kimberly: I would except that it’s a high concept dramedy, so the minute I talk about it, you’ll know everything it’s about just because of the title. I’d like it to be a surprise.

Neely: I think that’s probably very wise.

What’s your daughter doing right now?

Kimberly: My husband is trying to put her down for her nap. She’s been fighting her nap – she needs them but she’s not quite ready give in to them.

Neely: I remember the fighting part but there comes a point when we all give into naps.

Kimberly: There’s definitely a drama unfolding in the other part of the house.

Neely: I really appreciate that you carved out time from you parenting schedule. A two year old can be a handful (actually 2 ¾ is still a handful). I remember hoping to get through the “terrible twos” and arrive at what were then called the “tranquil threes,” only to discover they weren’t so tranquil. When I asked my son’s pediatrician (a wonderful, wonderful doctor named Larry Harwell) when our son would reach the “tranquil threes,” he laughed and said, “Tranquil threes? The woman who came up with that name was a woman on drugs!” So, good luck, but enjoy every moment of it!

Kimberly: It’s really fun. The time goes so quickly that you do have to enjoy every minute of it.

Neely: We’ve all said the same thing, and now we’ve got grown kids and regret the moments we wasted. It really is precious. Thanks so much for your time.


"Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision."

- Salvador Dali