That First Dreaded Day As A Parent

I am a relatively new parent. My daughter will be two in September, but let’s be honest – being a parent means learning a lot of new things in a quick amount of time. It isn’t an easy gig, but probably the most joyful, rewarding thing I can think about doing.

My daughter and wife on a chilly Spring morning.

There are a lot of moments, planned and unplanned, that you dread as a parent. There are a lot of moments that you don’t look forward to and when it finally comes, it was just as upsetting and saddening as you thought it would be.

For instance, I knew the first tough day for my wife as a mother was going to be the day she had to go back to work after her maternity leave. She’d been home with our daughter, loving every minute of putting her career to the side and just being…mom.

For me, I was lucky that my employer gave me ten paid days to stay home for paternity leave, so I was sad when that leave ended and I had to go back to work, but at that point, our daughter was still so attached to mommy that she needed her more than she needed me.

There are also unplanned scares that are going to come.

One night, early on, we put our daughter to bed but were awoken a few hours later to her coughing, screaming, and choking. We rushed her to the hospital to discover she had RSV, a horrible respiratory infection that takes over pretty quickly. I had to hold her down while the nurse placed the breathing mask over her face. It is still probably the hardest night I’ve had of being a parent.

But, putting those unplanned sick nights and accidents to the side. I’ve learned today what one of the hardest things as a parent to do is…

To say goodbye that first day you drop your son or daughter off at daycare.

We were so lucky to have my mom to watch her the first year and a half, but my mom moved back to Arizona, and now it was time to get her into daycare. It was time. We knew that. She had an opportunity to play with new friends and enjoy the perks of child development.

I wasn’t even worried that she was going to get hurt, or sad, or anything like that. I am sure she will get a cut or scrape from time to time, and she is going to be sad during this transition phase – I got all that.

So, why was I worried? Because I was just going to miss her. My wife and I were spending every single day with our daughter and because of COVID and the pandemic, it was more time than we originally thought it would be. So, because of quarantining and everything being closed, we spent over five months at home every day with our little one, so when the day came for us to drop her off…it was rough.

There was maybe a two minute period when tears fell from my eyes. Let me tell you this – I AM A CRYER…but today I didn’t cry much at all. But I felt numb. I felt empty. I wanted to go back and get her so many times and just hang out with her, read books, and play games. I wanted to watch the AWFUL things on Youtube and Netflix that she loves. I missed the crap out of her.

But we made it through day one…hopefully, it will get easier for me tomorrow…I fear it won’t though because she did “50/50” today at daycare. She was happy and then sad that mommy wasn’t there, and then happy again, and then said (she never mentioned daddy). So, when we take her tomorrow, I’m sure she’s aware we are going to leave her there and she’s going to have a tough time.

But such is life. We will get through it, and learn to cherish (more than we already do) every second we have with our daughter and our family.

Such is life.

My Screenwriting Journey

I will start this by letting you know I am 32-years-old living in Central Indiana. When I was 23, I published my first book through Ring of Fire Publishing out of Washington. It was my first attempt at writing anything and I was so lucky to find a publisher that wanted to publish the book. I will say that I don’t think it was a great book. (3 books actually). It was a great STORY, but it wasn’t well written. I know that now after having several other books published. But I was 23 and it was my first attempt at writing.

I’ve since pulled all of my books from my publishers and am focusing on rewriting them and self publishing. I love writing and I learned quickly how much goes into it and the process can be daunting at times if you really want 100% creative control over something. I know that if I do ever deal with another publisher, I’ll have to bend on some things, but these first two stories for me, Abilities and Dead Last, were my first two “babies” and I wanted them to be 100% the way I saw it.

So, what have I been doing since then? Well, coaching basketball and teaching. Those are my day jobs, but writing is still something I am so passionate about and I’ve decided I want to take things back to my roots. What roots?

I attended/graduated from Ball State University with a passion for filmmaking, directing, acting, and…WAIT FOR IT…writing. But screenwriting. I wanted to write movies.

So, I am back at it trying to accomplish that dream. I started writing Spec Scripts – a spec script is taking a current (real) show (or former show) and writing a “fake episode.” This way, if produces or agents or managers come across it, they can see that the writer can take created characters that people already know and love (or hate) and craft a good story out of it.

So, I’ve written several spec scripts and put them on my website (plug – marcquaranta.com) in hopes that one day I’ll be called and offered a job as showrunner or a writer haha.

The Office, What We Do In The Shadows, Single Parents, A Million Little Things, and Kingdom are the ones I’ve worked on now and have published and I’m also writing some original scripts.

Ron Howard’s Imagine Studios partnered with Netflix and is having a year long competition for aspiring writers to be able to submit original scripts for production. I’ve submitted/submitting two of them – the first didn’t really fit the genre (I didn’t read all the directions haha) but the second one I am working on right now that I think could be really good.

The first competition was for an action adventure for the entire family – this was the contest in which I forgot to read the instructions carefully. I did not write an action adventure film but instead submitted my TV show that I’ve been planning for such a long time. But this second round of submissions is about a lifestyle show with a competition element so of course I went with a small town baseball movie.

If you have a passion for writing I highly recommend checking out this Netflix/Imagine-Impact contest. It really does seem like a great way to get involved as a screenwriter.

So, that’s my journey to being a screenwriter right now. For anybody thinking about becoming a writer, I hope you are okay with the word No…well, don’t be okay with it – but make sure you are able to use rejection as motivation to constantly get better. Don’t take it personally, there are a million producers/agents/companies out there and they all have individual likes and dislikes and most of the time it is all about timing and fit.

So, if you are looking to become an author – I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments and let’s network and try and help each other out!

Fighting Water Weight

Let me start first with plugging a show that I think is so good that everyone should watch it – Kingdom. Frank Grillo, Jonathon Tucker, and YES Nick Jonas. It began several years ago on Direct TV, but nobody had ever watched it. Well, it came to Netflix on July 1st and my wife and I watched all three seasons (4o episodes) in three weeks. It was great.

It is a dark, gritty show about MMA fighters and one thing that really stuck with me was the training and nutrition programs they followed the week leading up to a fight. The episodes were so real and interesting that I had to research more about it.

For a fighter, they have to be under a certain weight. If you fight at 175 pounts, it means you have to be less than 175 pounds on the weigh in. The weigh in happens the night before the fight. So, fighters have “Cut Day.”

These guys that weight 190, 195, even 200 pounds will spend ALL DAY cutting weight – water weight. They will wear sauna suits, exercise in them, drink no water and eat no food all day – and train, train, train.

These episodes had the guys dropping 20-25 pounds in 24 hours, weigh in, make weight, and then they would eat nonstop for the next 24 hours leading up to the fight.

A fighter that had to weigh less than 175 pounds in the show, started the morning at 195. He made weight at 174.8, and then the next night for the fight was 200. All in a day. That’s insane.

So, I’m that insane. I love experimenting with new diets, exercise routines, etc.

On Monday, I bought a few gallons of water. I drank a gallon the first day. Tuesday, another gallon. On Wednesday, I drank half a gallon, and then on Thursday, I finished that Gallon.

Now, I’m not training for a fight, so I wasn’t going to go all out, because let’s be honest, this is so not safe without a nutritionist or a physician. I just wanted to test it out. I didn’t go all day and I didn’t train in the suit.

But, I did buy the suit. I put it on for three increments of time in the morning.

I wore it for 20 minutes to get used to it, then a little while later, I put it on for an hour and then the third time I put it on for another 45 minutes. I didn’t drink anything and I didn’t eat anything.

When I woke up that morning, I weighed myself at 197.4 pounds. After the first 20 minutes, I was already down to 195.4. I lowered to 194.6 and then finally at 192.6 pounds.

I love almost five pounds in roughly three hours. From about nine in the morning and then stopping at noon – FIVE POUNDS!!

That wasn’t the insane part. I drank some water when it was all over, and had some lunch with my daughter. I went upstairs and weighed myself and I was 198 pounds. I gained a pound back of my original starting weight.

Fighters will do some crazy things, but I guess for men and women that voluntarily choose a profession where they get punched in the face – cutting weight isn’t that crazy.

Don’t do this. Don’t do this for permanent weight loss because you’ll just simply get it back. But, hey, if you have a hot date Friday night or a photoshoot or a day at the beach planned – do this and look awesome for the day haha – but seriously, don’t do this!