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DAYS: Dena Higley posted a new blog!

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Sorry for that unfortunate thread title. There wasn't enough room for "talentless hack."

Dena's Blog

"The freshmen fifteen"

December 2, 2008

Know what I've discovered? Sons who come home from college for the first time from a great distance get treated like movie stars. Sons who come home from college who have autism get treated like royalty.

I was throwing a birthday party for my youngest son, Helio, Friday night. He's so popular, the party place was bursting to the gills with both 7th grade girls and boys. I did my usual balancing act between trying to be a cool mom and a drill sergeant. But part of my mind wasn' t there at all. Connor was heading home that night from Florida. Would he find the right terminal at the giant Orlando Airport? Would he find the right gate? Would he even attempt to board the correct airline?

He's flown a lot with his family but kind of cruised through the whole airport thing and you have to TEACH Connor the vocabulary for everything. He won't pick it up by osmosis. So the language of air travel-- we just weren't sure he was fluent.

We'd tutored him, of course. We pointing things out the last couple of times we vacationed. But when I talked to him on the phone Thursday night, it seemed like all that preparation had gone somewhere in his brain that no one (including himself) could access.

So, after a very confusing and somewhat troubling phone conversation the night before, I just gave up and told him good luck and I would see him tomorrow night. (Maybe.)

Of course he did just fine. Proving once again he doesn't need me or his father to guide him through life EVERY step. There are still some things... but I have to become increasingly more picky about when I get in his soup and when I back off.

So he's home. And he is so happy. This is a guy who never really loved going to camp when he was little, or sleepovers . He liked family vacations but always breathed a sigh of relief when he came home. Home is safe for him. Home is comfort in a challenging and stressful world. He doesn't have to try so hard at home. He doesn't have to manage chaos at home. He quickly put his warm, comfy robe and slippers on and I fully expect he won't take them off until it's time for him to head back to college.

He's thin. Too thin. He says he doesn't like the cafeteria food at his college. He has a kitchen in his apartment and he knows how to cook a few things but he's certainly not getting three squares a day. As I recall, most first year kids put on weight. "The freshmen fifteen" we used to call it. Not Connor. He's not starving so I'm not going to freak out but maybe we'll learn to make a few more easy things in the kitchen before he heads back.

It's been a crazy fall with all the changes at work. As much Soap Opera on screen as off. Change is upon us. Nothing I can really do about it. So many new challenges in our business. There are meetings and memos and budgets and lists and numbers being crunched... and the leadership of the show is doing their best. No matter what you think of what's going on, you have to know that.

But the sands are still running through the hourglass. That's a very good thing. And my son is home. That is a very, very good thing.

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LOL! Her blogs are as boring as her stories.

I can't believe that NBC/Corday are paying this woman to write a blog for them about her personal life. Talk about horrible financial mismanagement.

If she wants to write a persona blog, that's her choice. However, stop targeting it to DAYS fans.

And I highly doubt anyone is forcing her to do this blog.

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*sigh*. I can't believe I'm about to post this. I don't like Dena. AT ALL. PERIOD. And I've never been a fan of her blogs. I don't even know why I'm writing this, why I already posted it someplace else, and why I'm copying it again here. Maybe it's just because I'm in a good mood tonight, I don't know. Because this woman stands for everything I'm against. Yet... I just have to say this...

However badly she's doing it, she's at least writing something she believes is an effort at reaching out to the fans in this time of insanity. YOU don't think it's worth anything, and *I* don't think it's worth anything. But man, she really believes that in some way, she's bridging the gap. It's not like she's writing this to piss anybody off. She really believes it's doing some kind of good, in some way, in some small section of the fandom.

Still not saying I like it, but I gotta at least point that out.

Now I need a shower. LOL!

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I need to take a cynicism pill.

(Full disclosure: I don't approach her with particular anger, because she didn't ruin my show. I'd likely feel differently if I watched OLTL or DOOL. I do watch Y&R, though, and I don't have that level of outrageous anger at LML either).

So, from my detached perspective, I find these blogs just humanize her. She's an ordinary person, with an extraordinary family.

What seems unfortunate to me is that some of the stuff she describes (adoption, living a full life with developmentally delayed children, balancing work and family, coping with office politics, etc.) all seem to me like they'd make GENUINELY interesting soap stories if written right. Far better than some of the outlandish stunts that make it to air.

It is a shame that she can't channel her life (and I'm not talking about the autism story as it is currently written!) and tell a story that really engages the viewer.

I'm sorry to keep going to Y&R...but this week they even made me care about NEWBIES by linking three characters (Ana, Tyra, Karen) to the show's ongoing "Foster Care" storyline. Suddenly, everyone in that story has a shared experience (being shuttled away without parents), and it was used as a bonding and a way of heightening the emotional stakes. That is what soap writing should be, IMO. (I realize that may not fit with DOOL's identity).

I wish she could plumb the depths of her life and use to "save Days". Hell, even the intrigue of having a group of corporate employees fired so you can take over...could make a good story.

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It's obvious how much her family means to her, but she's not the first woman to write meaningfully about the children she cares about.

I still cannot understand how this (at best) mid-level breakdown writer wheedled her way to becoming HW -- three times -- in the space of 10 years? Seriously, how did that happen? Higley has nothing to say in her soap writing. I'll give her props for giving Bree Williamson material on OLTL that changed my perception of her from bimbo hair model to actress. But that's about it.

And at the risk of being sued by the WGA or something, I still think she should have gone instead of Ed Scott. JMO, obviously.

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