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!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Smoke, Vampires and Giant Robots


This week was very difficult, writing wise. I suppose it was difficult all the way around, but the biggest impact was on my writing. Not that I didn’t make progress on the various stories/script that are in the works. I work on them in my head all the time. I even solved some key plot and character issues with the ending of A Soldier’s Fate. And I fleshed out the lead characters in the D/s script tentatively called The Proposal. None of that made it onto any kind of paper. All of that work remains in my head. It may have been the smoke. It wafted south and west to coastal neighborhoods. Unfortunately, we live in one of those and our commuter route took us within minutes of the edge of one evacuation zone. I had burning eyes early in the week. And after that, it was sinus irritation and some wicked headaches. Oh, and then there was the stress over whether or not we’d get a film going only to have a sympathy walkout by our actors. That turned out to be an unfounded worry, but the stress remained.

I spent my off hours staring at the television. I didn’t even have the energy to read last week. Thus, no writing on paper or PC occurred. I was barely answering my e-mails. Yes, I know there are a pile of you awaiting a response. I plan on getting to those after this blog.

But, as I said, writing is happening. I now know how A Soldier’s Fate ends. I mean, I always know how it would end, but now I know precisely how they all get to that end. And, for The Proposal, I figured out what kind of family histories the lead characters have and how their roles in the business world lead them to agree to the roles thy play in their D/s relationship. It’s all tremendously not sexy, but it has to be done for the script to make any sense. I’ll be sharing snippets of that script along with more excerpts from A Soldier’s Fate in the next few weeks. I’ll put warnings on the excerpts.

Vampire Updates

Much to my surprise, there will be another Demonspawn anthology. It’s not completely new. I am including stories from Demonspawn 2 with new stories from a new author, Florence Wall. The original novel continues to have consistent sales. And there is an audience of Vampire readers that found the anthologies but had not known about the film. Sybaritic Press had a consistent number inquires about them and we had the material, so we decided to go ahead with another. There will be an announcement here and on the Sybpress blog and newsgroup when it comes out. That should be late next month.

More on the Fires

I want to thank everyone who sent notes in concern over our safety during the fires last week. We were never in any danger from flames. I can understand why there was a lot of concern. The media maps of the fire used a an outline of the coast with a big flame over Malibu, but the scale of the map was such that the flame also looked like it covered Santa Monica and was really close to Venice and the environs where we live as well as some of our friends. In reality, we were more than 20 miles from the closest fire. Only our friend and former assistant Phil saw any action as we had to help evacuate the very pampered guests at one of those infamous rehab centers. I think he’d rather have run into one of those blazing canyons. What we all needed saving from is the fire coverage on the local media which is still only 48% contained. I know that they had to get information out to the affected areas. And I admit to joining my friends in the pool as to whether or not chuck Henry from Cannel 4 news would burn another newsvan. Here’s a paragraph on that from his Wikipedia article:

Henry was once nearly killed in the field filing a report about California forest fires in October 2003. Although the newspeople were told to leave by the fire department, the NBC team decided to stay longer and were soon surrounded by flames. Their van was completely engulfed and lost to the fire and the team had to be rescued by the LAFD. Chuck Henry was later seen on air crying about the situation referring to the newsvan as a "Stupid truck, full of equipment." This incident was parodied on a 2005 King of the Hill episode Gone with the Windstorm.

Incidentally, that’s one of my favorite King of the Hill episodes. And I didn’t know until today where the inspiration came from.

All of this was intriguing, but the news never told viewers where the shelters were or where the road closures were. They would refer them to websites. How in the heck are they going to do that while on the run? We had to look at the transit websites to figure out if we could get to work via our regular route. In the hours of couverage that we watched, I never saw a list of places or recources for evacuees. Nor did we see a full weather forecast which was supposed to be important to the firefighters. I gave up by day two.

The Joy of Stupidity

Yes, CSI Miami wins again. We have a character going to a crime scene in stilletto heels (and she was always one of the smart ones). And the episode itself was ridiculous. Everyone interviewed needed to be arrested and in any police reality, they would have been. But this week, we’re gonna have Werewolves! Sweet!

Now, I’ve gotten notes from folks who bristle at my ribbing of CSI: Miami. What I saw in my criticisms is true, but it doesn’t keep me from watching. It is one of those inexplicable pleasures (I can’t say guilty pleasure. I don’t feel guilty). I have many inexplicable pleasures. Take the film Cleopatra with Elizabeth Taylor. I will watch that thing every time I find it on TV. Can’t explain why, but it’s fascinating to me. And I do criticize it. I invite people over to help me criticize The Ten Commandments. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy watching it.

So, don’t let a little critical observation take away the enjoyment of viewing.

Summer’s End

My summer finally ended yesterday when I saw the last of the season’s blockbusters on my list. Transformers was not nearly as stupid as I feared it would be. I actually found it amusing as well as exciting. Originally, I had only wanted to see it for the giant robots fighting on the 105 freeway. And that was really bitchin’! But the characterizations were pretty good and the dialogue was quite snappy. I got misty when I heard ‘I am Optimus Prime.’ Of course, I watched the cartoon. Heck, I can’t wait for Thunder Cats. Though I am certain that film will be stupid. Hopefully, it will be joyfully stupid. My only nit with Transformers was that they didn't do the theme from the TV show. So here it is: Click here.

Well, I’m off to do some actual writing.

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