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!

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Year End Rant!!

I saw the squirrel the other day. He was just as crazy as ever, so I wasn’t sure if all the fumes and dust were really affecting him. He used to fall out of the trees before the renovations began. We’ve already started packing. I wonder if the little critter will ever move on.

Many things are on my mind at the end of the year. And there is a lot going on personally and professionally. There is so much on all fronts that I am not even attempting to cook the festive New Year’s Eve buffet. I just don’t have the time or energy to spare. Oh, don’t think the Eve won’t be festive (as long as there is champagne, I could eat mayonnaise sandwiches). I’m just taking it easy on the cooking, save for two very traditional soul food dishes. To do what those Food Network peeps do without a shopper and interns takes too many hours. I want to relax with a glass in my hand and a vague smile on my face as 2007 rings in.

My first observation for this year is that I prefer years when traveling to France is a part of the equation. We did some fun traveling this year, don’t get me wrong. But there is something about that country that makes everything else more bearable.

2006 was interesting professionally because I was largely a gun for hire instead of working on producing my own scripts. I did a lot of budgeting and scheduling for other small film-makers. That was strange because I really hate doing all that detail-oriented paperwork, but it pays really well. I was surprised to have reached the point where I know how many days and how much a film will cost from just reading the script. The script doctoring happened once. That was really strange, because that film was something I would have never written on my own. It was kind of cool to fix it and keep the spirit the writers intended. I’ll know whether or not the fixes worked when the reviews come in.

But it wasn’t all working for other producers. We started the process on one of the biggest projects of our modest careers. I’ve been playing footsie with the A-list, baby. A hundred dollars for coffee and toast for four in Beverly Hills (that only happened once), hob nobbing with some intense agents and managers (I don’t see how anyone that tightly wound can be enjoying their work). We may be in Europe as early as next month to continue development of the film. I have no idea what the next two weeks will bring. This is not a fun state for someone who hates limbo and really hates to travel on short notice. But I can never turn down a shot at an adventure. This one looks to be a huge one. And in that vein, I've had more than my fair share of fangirl fun. I've met and even befriended some long admired actors. That's been a hoot and a half.

The research Jon and I have been doing all year for the Hemmingway thing has made my grad school paper jones kick in(there are those who believe we’re only doing this to shoot a film in France for six months, but we really put a lot of time into that script). I know I’ll have to write one for all that research and the central thesis of that script, but there are other papers that I’d like to write if I had the time. Some of the serious and whimsical are:

The Juliet Complex: Character Death in Fanfiction. And yes, the complex can apply to men.

Homoeroticism in the Sword and Sandal Movie. I know that Spartacus and Alexander are no-brainers, but it was howling apparent in the Robe, for goodness sake. All that moaning and gnashing of teeth by Richard Burton over Victor Mature was hard to ignore – even at 4a.m.

Book ‘Em Delko: Comparing and contrasting CSI: Miami and Hawaii Five-0. There are more similarities than one might think.

On the novel writing front, this was a very odd year. I had a very difficult time finishing The Price of Surrender despite loving all the characters. Everything else I was doing seemed to get in the way of that novel. I was very depressed about continuing as a novelist when it was all over. I began to think that the toiling I was doing in film had disconnected me from writing prose. But then I was at Dragon*Con and the first sentence for A Soldier’s Choice (the back blurb is now up on the temp site. You can read it by clicking the title) popped into my head. I had written three chapters before we touched down at LAX. It felt so good to have characters interacting in my head instead of budgets and flow charts and day out of days schedules. Mind you, I was still doing those things and then some, but I was also writing that novel every chance I got. That story has spawn other ideas for next year. I am very happy about that.

On the personal front, it was a great year. Jon and I got to go home for a while and reconnect with family and friends(and stuff our faces with proper steak sandwiches and soft pretzels). I got to know my wonderfully eclectic in-laws better. I find them to be extraordinary. And it was nice to forge new bonds with my brother and my father. We had a great time at Dragon*Con, and Jon got to know my wonderfully sharp-witted grandmother. I was glad to get to know her again.

All in all for 2006, to quote the song, ‘regrets, I’ve had a few but too few to mention.’ I bid a sad farewell to my naked rugby guys of Dieux de Stade 2006. I have the new batch on order.

Next year, we’ll be living in a new place and undoubtedly doing something new. As long as I’m learning something, creating something, cooking something and making new friends(especially the actor boys), loving and laughing 2007 will be a great year.

Next week, I’ll have e-books of A Soldier’s Choice for giveaways, and more strange rants to share.

Now, I’m going to put my glad rags on, pop a cork on some nice bubbly and enjoy the company of my friends. I’m hoping that you and yours will have a great time, too.


Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas!

The trees are up at last. We have a regulation sized one and a little, artificial one from our first year here. The little tree is the Todd Manning tree, named after my favorite soap character at the time -- more than ten years ago, I think. The Hanuka bonfire is ablaze and threatening the Christmas Stockings. It's a melancholy holiday because of the impending move, but I think everyone will have their usual good time. At our next place, we may add Festivus to the celebration.

We don't know who from the film part of our lives will be coming by. We never do. Word spreads that we have an open house, and whoever shows up, shows up. I'll get photos of them in my happy holiday hat (santa hat with mistleto attached). And they all know that any misbehavior will be in my blog and elsewhere.

So I'm off for last minute stocking stuffers and later, the buffet cooking frenzy. I hope all of you have a great holiday, whatever you celebrate. Look for the mega year-end wrap up next week!

May you all have a very sybaritic holiday!