Welcome Gentle Readers

This blog tends to wander from its main purpose -- updates on my fiction. I do have updates and excerpts of my work. But I also write about my obsessions -- food, friends and pop culture and my weird life in Los Angeles. Enjoy!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

On the Other Hand

Okay, the fangirl thing is a bummer. But I just spent the last two hours looking at reels of leading men for this western. It's not easy trying to quietly yell 'Whoo hoo' because the hubby is sleeping. Who knew there were so many ways to whip off a shirt. And a really cool thing is I get to ask them to do that in person. Wooo and Hoo again. And the best part is, they can actually act!

I feel better now.

Don't worry, I can't help but share the blow by blow of my film shoots. You'll get to see the choices we make.

There Can Be Only One

Pardon me while I blither hither and yon. My professional life has had me scattered and feeling myriad things that have no proper outlet at the moment. So, dear readers, you get to go on this strange ride for a while. This begins with the reason The Price of Surrender remains in limbo between me and an editor and why I paritally turned from scripts to writing novels.

As some may have noticed, I am well immersed in pop culture -- save for music, where I am an admitted and unrepentent old fogey. I watch almost everything on TV and see a great deal of films. I am, in fact, a fangirl through and through. And for those who do not so indulge, that's fine. My passion for film and TV does not keep me from reading. Au contraire. I still have the taste I developed in Grad school. I am re-working my way through Hemingway and Fitsgerald largely because of the time spent in France last year.

But I digress. Be warned, that may happen a lot. I'm bloddy tired. Being a fangirl, you'd think a lot of my creative satisfaction and my fantasies would be fulfilled by seeing my words made into images and by connecting with actors that I have admired from afar for a very long time. Well, not so much. The creative fulfillment, I'll leave for another time. My views on the creative tensions and contstraints and compromise involved in making a film sometimes make me sound homicidal. I want to talk about being a fangirl and making films. I will name some names but not the project. And some I will name neither the actor or the project. If you look at my websites, you can figure some of it out.

As I mentioned in the last blog, even in my very modest experiences, I have had some close interaction with actors that I can say I admire as a fan. I have been thrilled that one I put my belief in has become an 'A' list actor. Moreover, he still wants to work with us. But it gets weirder when you've written fanfiction about an actor then work with them. That relationship ended my career as a slash writer. I could not look at them through the same fantasy filter once I figured out that they were the same as any other guy I gravitate toward in real life -- charming, yes, but definitely dorky. A few border on wackiness.

Oh, they're still fun alrighty and I look forward to every call or impromptu visit to send my day off kilter and make me laugh hard enough for my sides to ache. And when the actor is a hot guy to boot, there is the flirting they do like breathing. It always makes a gal feel good. But the fantasy is broken once you work with them. And in some ways, that makes me sad.

It gets even harder to enjoy an actor's performance after a negotiation stalls or falls through. And it's the ones that were very close that chafe the most. I've got some wonderful contacts with the talent themselves and definitely some powerful reps, but it still took me a while to want to see a film by an actor that I didn't get to work with.

The hardest part of being a fangirl I discovered only this weekend. I was thrilled that a project that I was hired to re-write and line produce blossomed into a chance to do a film I've wanted to do for nearly 15 years. I had to do a casting call for the elusive 'name' actor and package the project before the end of this week. So I posted this very modest little western online for agents and managers thinking I'd get three or four names that my backers might be interested in. There were dozens to make a mid-life fangirl like me squeee. There was Ben Mruphy and Dirk Benedict and Joe Penny, Gregory Harrison, Mitch Pileggi and Lee Horsley, Chad Everett, and Nick Lea. From the really golden days of my childhood was Hugh O'Brien (how I adored him) and from my teen years, Timothy Bottoms. I haven't even covered the women. I was heartbroken -- especially after some earnest calls from the management of the older actors.

Why? A 'name' must have market value to the foereign markets, particularly Germany. Everything in independent film is geared toward Germany from sound (they set the dolby 5.1 standard) to the level of nudity and violence (you have to be careful with the former, but you can be carefree with the latter). I can olny afford one name -- maybe two if I'm fancy with negotiating -- and those names must fit that standard. The thrill of all those favorites being interested in performing my words was completely tempered by that reality. Fandom for me is not the escape it was.

All of these elements make novel writing extremely attractive as an escape. The complexity of the politics in my fictitious realm are far more inviting compared to having to wade through 5000 headshots for six roles in a modest film. And my fictional hot guys never turn out to be just like the guys I knew in college. They are men of fantasy and they don't want per diems or single card credits -- or they better not.

So all of this film work is keeping me from finishing my editing, keeping me up late and getting me up way too early. Thus, I'm cranky. And I'm venting. Thanks for listening.

The prize this week goes to anyone who knows what the subject line means.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Scantily Clad Actor Or What is Your Inspiration?

Two weeks ago, I was interviewed for a Romance website. I'll report on where when the interview turns up. One of the questions asked me about where I draw my inspiration for my stories. Because the interviewer mentioned that I may be reluctant to say because of my mother-in-law reading, I assumed she meant were there any real life hunks in my midsts that I drew my sexy heroes from. I answered honestly that they spring from my imagination - like a DVD starting in my mind. My production co-ordinatior, Phil pointed out that I have so many strange things happening to me involving good looking guys that I forget the incidents within days. Phil is always right. I even wrote a blog about the weird mudanity of coping with actors in a sybpress blog. Go to:

http://sybpress.blogspot.com/2006/01/fan-girl-confidential.html and have a look.

Back to my inspiration. One thing about being a film producer, even at my modest level, is you befriend actors. It's a by product of spending months in close contact and sharing trauma (some call the trauma making a movie, but I stand by the term). And the thing about being friends with actors is that they can phone or turn up at any hour of the day or night. In Philly, I would never answer the door at 4am unless I saw a badge and a warrant. Here, I blearily peer through the peephole, open the door, then pull out an extra pillow and blanket.

One morning several months ago, one of my hunky actors came a calling 'fore day in the morning after many hours of partying. The last leg ended up in my neighborhood, and the poor thing was in no shape to drive all the way home. Somehow he managed to remember my address and hop the security fence in that state. I told hunky actor to make himself comfy on the couch while I explained that to my even more bleary and cranky husband that we didn't have a really loud burglar. Upon my return with the spare linens, I found the hunky actor in his tiny, tighty whities sprawled over the cushions.

After lots of blinking, we had a long talk. He had been at several parties. During the night, at least three women had pleasured him in some incredibly public manner. The fourth one at least took him home to do the deed. Unfortunately, her boyfriend turned up earlier than expected. Did anyone see Sideways? A free pdf of The Price of Surrender for anyone who can explain the scene I've just mentioned. Anyway, after all of this, he was still...amorous. Of course, that was out of the question. I was bloated and having cramps. Oh, and then there's the husband. He left me with the sleeping hunky actor a couple of hours later to go to the day job. I called Phil to chaperone for the day. That was hilarious because Phil is quite gay, and it was more likely that I'd be beating him off sleeping beauty more than the other way around. We spent the day looking at him sleep in the various hues of sunlight. I think things got better when he woke up. Instead of being hung over, he was all husky voiced and sleepy eyed and sort of dreamy. And still in just those tiny underpants to cover all that muscular beauty.

I suppose I did have some of those images in mind when I wrote Armas spending all that time naked in bed all husky voiced and sleepy and dreamy in The Price of Surrender. But I honestly didn't remember it at the time of the interview. I really need to keep a journal.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Curious Girls -- Sluts or Formidable Forces?

I was watching a documentary on the Sundance Channel called Slut. It was a feminist and academic sort of thing, and I'm not sure how I feel about it as a film. However, it did present a topic for a blog. Remember, the excerpt is still unedited.

As I state in my blog description, my Princesses may be virgins, but they aren't necessarily innocent. They are both very curious young women who are fortunate enough to have men sensibile enough to indulge them. One can read all they can on sexual matters and get all the advice available, but nothing tops first hand, guided experience. My Princes are not so foolish that they would let notions ofwho should take the lead keep them from enthusiastic participation -- no matter how inexperienced.

There are many examples of this sort of innocent exploration by Sarianna on Nikulainen in The Gift of Surrender. Some involve instruction on oral satisfaction, but I'm not sharing those. I've given away all I'm willing to give. In The Price of Surrender, Laurila's explorations have to wait for her wedding night. This is particularly surprising to armas who expected to control the course of events for that evening.

"While you were healing, I longed to really touch your skin," she murmured transfixed by what was before her. "You shoulder was so warm and smooth, yet you body seemed so hard. 'Tis still a puzzle, I must admit. You seem to be smooth and soft and hard and warm all at once. I would touch more of you."

"I will bear myself for you gladly, but I must have fair return," he replied huskily. "I have longed to touch you unfettered since I first woke to your kind regard."

"Help me with my gown," she breathed.

"That I can do," Armas chuckled gently turning her back to him. It did not take his nimble fingers long to have that beautiful fabric pooled about her knees. Laurila looked about in dismay.

"It took both Sarianna and Hannah to help me get into this gown!" She sputtered.

Armas smirked. During the searing kiss that followed, he deftly and smoothly removed the delicate undergarments then pushed the mass of opulent fabric off the bed. By the time he freed her from the kiss, Laurila lay dazed trying to catch her breath. Thus, the Price had a moment to remove his boots and leggings.

Laurila started when Armas lay next to her pulling her against him.

"When did you undress?" She demanded.

The smirk returned, but Armas said nothing. Slowly, deliberately, he tangled one hand in her hair and pulled her head towards his. The kiss began slowly, almost lazily. Armas felt his bride's heart racing against his chest. She was near panic despite her bravado. She knew how to kiss him and was comfortable with that. Armas let her lose herself in a kiss.

For a time, Laurila's kisses were tentative. She received his gentle exploration, but did little of her own. Armas was patient. He held her only by the hand in her hair and a hand resting gently on her waist. Armas let Laurila set the pace of the kiss. It would have been easy to overwhelm her untried body and seduce her. But he had done that so many times before with women who meant nothing to him. Thus, his behavior with her would be far different. Armas savored her gently questing tongue moaning when the kiss deepened at last and became more heated.

Laurila pulled back with a gasp. Her eyes were nearly black with desire. Before Armas thought to move, she swooped down to kiss and suck at the curve of his neck. Armas cried out arching into her touch. He was stunned speechless as his bride caressed the contours of his body with her slender, elegant fingers. Her face was intent through the long, smooth caresses. Armas was determined to stay still and let her take from him what she would, and his acquiescence emboldened her. She played with his nipples until he had to clutch the blankets hard to keep from seizing her.

When she gazed upon his face again, something caught her eye that cooled her ardor somewhat. She gently reached over to trace the arrow scar on his shoulder. Then, she kissed it reverently. Her eyes carefully roamed his body to find the next scar. Once again, she carefully traced it then kissed it. She even moved lower to the scar on his thigh. Armas' legs seemed to fascinate her. She ran her hands down the entire length of them and even caressed his feet.

"You are beautiful, Armas," she breathed. "You are beautiful everywhere."

"Please, Laurila," Armas moaned not knowing what he was pleading about. All he knew was that his control was reaching its limits.

The Princess gazed back a little wild eyed.

"What must I do?" She asked in dismay. Her voice was low and throaty. The sound of it sent a tremor through his body, hardening him further.

He could not voice any commands, so he grasped her hand then gently guided it to wrap around his throbbing shaft. Laurila gasped at the feel of him, but she did not recoil. She watched in fascination as he guided her hand up and down his hardness until his hand fell away and he arched into her touch. Laurila gasped at the tableau before her. She covered his lips with her in a kiss that grew hungry and deep immediately. That kiss along with everything else, pushed Armas over the edge. He tore away from her sweet mouth to cry out his release.

For a long moment, Armas was not capable of anything more than lying with his eyes closed breathing deeply. He opened his eyes when he felt a warm, wet cloth gently moving over his abdomen.

"This is not the way a wedding night is to happen," Armas rumbled with a soft chuckle.

"How many wedding nights have you had, dear husband?" Laurila quipped merrily.

"This is my first," he replied archly. "But I imagine that the first time a man sees his beautiful bride unclothed in his bed, he would move to claim her as quickly as possible. I am unique in having a bride with wonderfully curious hands."

Laurila's curisoity continues after the wedding night when she demands to learn for herself why the maids in the castle still call armas the wildest lover they've ever know. And that you'll have to purchase the novel to read.

And now for the contest. Tell me of some brazen female characters in books or films who turned the tables on their lovers to find out what all those stories and songs were about. A free andvanced copy of The Price of Surrender awaits.