The last few weeks have been odd, even by my standards. In California, Malibu burned one week then needed snow ploughs the next. I actually saw snow on the hoods and roofs of cars. That pretty much summed things up. Amidst the good news is that A Soldier’s Choice is getting a favorable response, and we haven’t really started the heavy ad campaign. I’m really pleased about that. My bout of the flu or whatever that was has stalled finishing the bonus chapter, but it is now nearly complete. The writing thing is good. I have ideas for two more novels. That makes me very happy. The last week has been full of little and timely victories.
The film thing continues in its weirdness. It turns out that the oft mentioned $100 breakfast was worth the price. Our script and vision impressed that actor. We have our President for The Privateers largely because he wanted it to happen. He is already a royal from an extremely successful trilogy. We hope this will be another. And that is good news amidst the spirit numbing morass that is this business. In this same week that we scored a genuine A List actor for our film, we discovered that in order to even talk to any more of them, we needed an A List casting director. How do you get to talk to one without 20 grand in hand and an A-list writer or director? You happen to be partners with a mid-level manager who has a former 80s b-movie queen who loves corsets in your stable, and said b-movie queen is key to a scene in a major horror film involving werewolves, nazis Rob Zombie and Robert Rodriguez (Grind House). Coming through on a Sunday makes for one grateful a-list casting director. This all sounds very glib and fun over drinks, but the reality is quite scary when you think about the odds of those circumstances happening. We were in the middle of it and didn’t believe it.
Every day has been up and down with making in roads and hitting incredibly dense, arbitrary and stupid walls. It’s often extremely difficult to keep that positive attitude going. We’re managing. It keeps me in limbo, which I really hate, but we have to keep pressing. Now, we are really close to the big project. And there are some nice little ones finally taking shape as well. We’re hanging in there with each little victory.
The other things keeping us sane on the path to our goals are our friends here. Of course, my publishing maven Marie is always ready with keen inisghts and endless patience with me. There is the imported friend, Randy, who is our major set elf when we are in production. Set elves get things done. They build apartments or pirate pubs from scrap wood and a single rusty nail. Doesn’t matter the hardship, they get ‘er done! Lately, he’s been driving me around so I can maintain a livelihood and he’s been helping us look for a place. Then there is my wonderfully literate, talented and insane friend Craig. He was part of the 3rd street promenade Borders posse, and he keeps me from being homicidal on set. He lends be the most wonderful books to read, and never fails to make me laugh. We had the most wonderful conversation about the benefit of preserving an 1890 book on hemorrhoids (with drawings). I didn’t even question why he was calling me from a cave in the Santa Monica Mountains. That just happens with Craig. I was more amazed that he could get a signal there and not in my apartment. And then there are the Koerners. They came over to have Jon teach Gabriel about Speed Racer. This isn’t strange because Jon would try to teach any guest we have about Speed Racer if I’d let him. But this was business. Gabriel is lead FX modler on the big budget film version with Keanu Reeves as Racer X. Any reason is great to see this lovely couple. I’ve known Gabriel since Trekkies (he’s that over the top kid with the mullet). And I adore his beautiful and brainy wife. We talked French food while the boys watched 60’s anime. Next week, she and I will make Boef Bourguignon and work with puff pastry!
The hunt for a new home has been harrowing. We are usually competing with eight couples who have wild looks in their eyes as we race toward the manager's office. I had been really worried, but I think it will all work out somehow. We may not even be in the country in a couple of months. And if all else fails, one of my darling actor boys offered me camping space in his yard. Hopefully, the canals won't flood.
I promised a contest question. Let me see... Does anyone out there know what a roller stroller is and who made it a fashion statement? And or name the Canadian band who first sung the hit Lenny Kravitz made famous in the 90's.