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, November 18, 2007

WGA Strike, Frat Boys and New Trailer

Buckle up, this is a strange one

LA Journeys

Our errands took us past a lot of LA oddities. Actually, one LA oddity and one that is probably typical of many college campuses though I’d never witnessed anything quite like it. We saw picket lines in front of Sony Studio’s gates. I didn’t know that picket signs came in child sizes. The pickets were orderly. So orderly that they didn’t block the entrance to the gate unless they had a green light. We didn’t see any actors we recognized. There were a lot of baseball caps and sunglasses obscuring faces. Not that we were looking at hard. We were running errands not star gazing. As I’ve said in previous blogs, most Angelenos aren’t looking for actors, we’re usually trying to get around them to get everyday things done. The strikes trickle down impact is beginning to be felt all over LA. This story about support services was typical. For more details, here’s a link to the LA Times Business Section coverage. Yes, entertainment here is covered by the business section. The TV and film season slowdown or meltdown is viewed with extreme concern over an economic disaster.

The other incident we witnessed on our way home from UCLA. I really wished I had a video camera, it could have been a Youtube classic. A pair of young men with backpacks wearing UCLA hoodies was walking past a frat house. On the staircase to the building where a raucous party was happening, a frat boy was upbraiding the young men for not being as incredibly drunk as he was. “What, you don’t have the balls to party? Where are your balls!” He yelled at them while swaying slightly. His volume increased with the level of profanity as the young men ignored them. I have never seen such indignation over not getting drunk. It may be a reflection upon my age, but the level of partying we see during the week on that street is far beyond my experience. And I haven’t been exactly living like a nun.

Holi-daze Part Deux

The big excitement for me this week was the re-opening of a local supermarket. Yes, that does sound really dull, I suppose. But every artist I know has some sort of quirk – or several sorts of quirks. I readily admit to being food obsessed. This market makes shopping a lot more convenient for us at a time of the year when everyone is a bit food obsessed. I’ve already made my turkey stock for the Big Dinner. All the fixin’s are in the fridge, and my schedule is in motion. But beyond Thanksgiving, there is the huge cookie bake that begins in early December. We’ve added to the repertoire of goodies, and the list has grown to include authors and vendors and film contacts along with family and friends. It will be so many cookies and treats that the list looks like I’m going into a new business. It’s lucky that I really enjoy the process. Cooking and baking have become a therapeutic and meditative process for me. And it’s helped with my writing of the Soldiers novels. I have defined Vincent as a cook, and food looms large in a lot of character exposition.

Writing Updates and New Soldiers Trailer

Speaking of Vincent and company. We received word from our book distributor that unless a title is ready for distribution by the end of next week, they cannot guarantee delivery by the end of the year. Thus, the pressure is off on finishing Soldier’s Fate and the other titles we were working on. I’ll put up another excerpt or two in the meanwhile. I’m actually relieved. I felt that some of the scenes were being rushed, so I’m glad that I’m forced to take more time with the characters. I won’t set a new date for release until after the New Year. I have some December surprises planned for my fans, so stay tuned.

I made a trailer out of the last audio clip Travis Willingham did for A Soldier’s Choice. It’s on Youtube. Click this link. Yes, my trailers are very simple, but when a voice like Travis’ is reading, there is no need for a distracting image. Enjoy the deep, dulcet tones of Colonel Heron.

TV Rant

No, it’s not about CSI: Miami. I’ll likely re-visit that next week as this week’s episode is messing with our favorite character Calleigh Duquesne, or as we call her, spooky girl. This time my rant is about CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and the leaving of Sara Sidle. I’m pleased that she left, though it was not in a box as I would have preferred. But it was a ridiculous episode in a show that had managed to become less silly over time. They played fast and loose with the law to bend the plot for maximum melodrama. She was devastated by the suicide of a character she knew had gotten away with one murder years ago, and felt sorry for the sociopathic sibling who had committed the current murder. The one on screen kiss she has with her lover did not involve participation by said character. Gil Grissom has more chemistry with his perserved pig in a jar than with Sara. And their parting reflected that. It was if the whole show shrugged at the departure. Next week, is a funny episode (they do those well). Sara has been deservedly forgotten. I still think it was a waste of a great mystery to have not made her the minature killer. Meahwhile, Criminal Minds has recovered nicely from the loss of Mandy Patinkin. In fact Joe Mantegna, has provided a twist the characters interaction and some badly needed black humor that would be natural in such a unit. But then they mess with one of our favorite characters there. It was silly and completely sloppy for someone in the background like Garcia to get shot especially after two front line agents had been attacked. So disappointed, and she had better not be dead!

Caption Contest

No new caption contest this week. I’ve had no time to go through the files. Since I have a very long weekend next week, look for one then.

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