• Erin Spineto

The Furlough

My journey with diabetes has been a varied one. I was diagnosed in 1996 while at University of California at San Diego and for the next twelve years I didn't know another person with this damned disease.

In 2008, I ran into the guys at Insulindependence and spent the next few years reveling in the fellowship that comes from finally meeting people of my tribe. In 2011, encouraged by the relationships I'd built and the knowledge that not everyone has them, I took off on a 100-mile solo sail to show the world (and my myopic doctors) that anything was possible with diabetes.

The following year, I finished writing and publishing my memoir of that trip and my life with diabetes titled, Islands and Insulin: A Diabetic Sailor's Memoir.

The next five years were spent on a series of adventures with other diapeople. We were the first ever, all type 1 team to complete the Swim Around Key West, stand up paddled 100 miles up the Intracoastal Waterway in North and South Carolina, and a multi-sport adventure in Turks and Caicos.

I usually start planning next year's adventure before I even go on this year's. But before One Drop Caicos trip in the summer of 2018, I couldn't come up with a challenge that I was excited about. That lack of motivation and excitement is usually a good sign that you need a break or a change in direction. I didn't know which direction I was headed, but I knew I couldn't do all of the planning and training necessary for adventures of this size unless I was fully committed.

I decided, instead of jumping into something, I would take the next six months as a furlough. I spent the time doing all of the creative things, I usually put on the back burner for my adventures. I read, I built things, I actually spent whole days where I achieved absolutely nothing.

And it was freakin' fantastic.

About three months into my furlough I began really enjoying spending most of my time finishing up some scripts that I had written over the past four years. For me, screenwriting was always what I considered "Junk food writing," the stuff that wasn't achieving any of my current goals, but I just really enjoyed it.

I decided to take it from the back burner and put it front and center.

I had been working on several feature length film scripts, but realized that the chances of having someone come in and buy one was slim. If I wanted to see these scripts as movies, I would have to make one myself.

A feature film is a huge undertaking. That's ninety minutes of film, but it takes at least a year to produce, much longer if the big studios are involved.

So I've chosen as my first project something a little more reasonable. A six-episode, comedy web series. It's a dark humorous look at the world of diabetes. The script has been written, the locations have been scouted, the sets are being designed. Next up is the process of casting.

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