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, April 27, 2008

Hot Times, Wild Musings and CSI Gets Personal

Warning: If you find yourself here via a google search for such things as TV shows or films, recipes or cities, this blog has some facts. However, this blog is one author’s very twisted musing on many weird things. It is sometimes graphic in content. If you read on, don’t write to yell at me.

It’s 91 degrees F (32.5 C) at the beach and it’s not the heat of the day. I didn’t catch Jon’s cold, but the Santa Ana winds or devil winds have all the pollen blown up. Thus, I’m on heavy antihistamines. I’m not responsible for what follows. Or maybe, I’m just less responsible than usual. And the blog will be shorter.

Warning – a somewhat lucid literary discussion below.

Literary Lingo

Jon asked a question about current literature that is considered a ‘great work.’ He postulated books present lit critics consider great works have characters and situations so removed from everyday life that they may as well be genre (fantasy, horror). But lit crits rarely consider genre works great. I informed him that he was preaching to the choir. My friends who teach college lit inform me that the lauded and the hyped meta fiction writers we studied in the 80s are no longer lauded or hyped. I was relieved for the sake of the students who would be spared reading impenetrable prose (Nope, I won’t name names lest I dis a writer that one you wonderful readers considers important. The ensuing fight would be protracted and ugly). But ultimately who is the flavor of the month in literary crit circles is and always has been irrelevant for me. That made me a galling and admittedly difficult grad student. As a writer, all I’ve ever been concerned with was finding a better way to have the voice in my work heard. And that’s what I told Jon to focus on. Writers can be aware of where the market is for their work and generally know how it will be received (Contrary to everything I was taught about them from high school on, Hemingway and Fitzgerald were really aware of their sales numbers). But as artists, it’s always about the work itself. What bad habits can I break? How can I push my craft to a new level? Of course, there are writers who only care about cashing in on the current hot thing. They don’t last past their own lifetime, for the most part (Believe me, they don’t survive. I’ve been processing hundreds of authors who were prolific and apparently sold well in their era. I have never heard of any of these people. And from the sampling of the text, there was good reason that they disappeared). Most of my work is in genre, and I have no issue with how it’s categorized. These are the stories I enjoy telling. I really enjoy them. I know that the memoir will have stories that will be more easily published in mainstream media. And it has all the notes that make for a popular book. But I’m writing it only because I feel it has to be written. Whatever comes from it is irrelevant to the writing of it.

We now return to lunacy.

Conversations with Craig - Animal Edition

Last weekend, there was a story all over the news and the internet about a man who found a lost dog and a sheep near a highway. A good Samaritan stopped and tried to lure the dog in the back of his vehicle to take it to a shelter. The sheep jumped in first. Craig wanted to know why everyone he knew or ever knew him thought he was that man. First, he’s the type that would rescue a stranded dog. And he has an incident with a misplaced sheep. The roommate that he had to buy back from the Mexican Police had left a sheep in the hallway of their dorm. Seems that a huge binge of drinking made stealing a sheep and putting it in the hall very amusing. Craig discovered that sheep really don’t like going down stairs. I think Craig was annoyed that people thought of him as a good Samaritan. He likes to think he has a black soul especially compared to his Ohio born girlfriend. I disagree though the mood ring he wears is always the color black. I didn’t know they were still being made. His is way cooler than the original rings. Anyway, Craig is as kind hearted and generous as my Ohio friends, Bruce and Randy. They’re all good to their mamas. They are wonderfully considerate and loyal friends. And they won’t stand by and let an innocent suffer – not even a stray. Craig hates cats and they generally hate him, yet he liberated a cat named Jello from satanic neighbors (they admitted that) who kept musing about sacrificing the kitty. He thought the neighbors were posers, but didn’t want to take the chance. Thus, he and Jello lived together for over a year hating each other until Craig moved out. The hippie girl moving in loved Jello, so they parted company. He even took the insane terrier, Hamish, to be blessed by the Cardinal. He didn’t want to do it, but his Mom asked. Yep, Craig’s a softie. He’s taken, but my Ohio boys are on the market, ladies.

When Worlds Collide

Spoiler Alert for CSI: Miami

Well, not worlds, my world and CSI: Miami. An actor friend of mine, Garett Maggart, landed a guest spot on the show. I was tickled beyond words. I told him I would be blogging about him. Somehow, he thought I meant writing slash about his character on the show. Geez, you slash a guy’s character a few dozen times and they never let you forget it. Though I did enjoy him reciting his renditions of my slash in a falsetto voice, presumably mine. I’d never want to think about Horatio Cain having sex with anyone. He’s almost the last man I’d want to see naked. Almost. I want to see Gov. Ed Rendell naked even less. I have seen him shirtless when he was Mayor of Philly. He insisted on opening the public pools by diving into one. Looked like he was wearing a black sweater. Where was I? Oh, Garett. Of course, he’d never seen the show. Most actors I know never watch the things they audition for, nor did he read the script beyond his own pages. Much of what he was hearing while being a corpse was new and rather improbable given what he told me of the rest of the show. I told him that was not unusual. He didn’t get any of the hot women of forensics leaning over him with plunging necklines, tight pants an stiletto heels. All he got was Horatio Cain and the balding cop talking over him. But he did get the sunglass scene. But Garett didn’t see it, because he was a corpse at the time. It will air during the Month of Fun for me. I can’t wait. This time, the rant will be personal.


I was processing a book at the archive that included a reproduction of the Egyptian Book of the Dead. My mind generally wanders while processing books at work. It’s a process that works best when on auto-pilot. Thus, I write scenes from novels or scripts in my head. That’s been very helpful lately, because it allowed me to finish A Soldier’s Fate even while pressed for time. That day, I was wondering if the Book of the Dead would bring up raging scarabs or Mummy minions. I didn’t even get Ardeth Bay riding through to save me from whatever. Those fanciful thoughts led me to wonder about what may be lurking on the floors below the main floor where we work. We work in a bunker of sorts that has seven stories below the first. They stretch on and on in a same-ness that reminds me of the Umbrella Corp labs in Resident Evil. And with all of those really old tomes, there’s no telling what may have been loosed down there. Jon votes for a Balrog. I think it’s monsters from the id (Forbidden Planet). It’s easy to see that our heads aren’t entirely at work. I get like this before traveling or a shoot. My head isn’t really where I am. I wish I knew where it was. I need it for other things.


More of the same. I’m pushing on getting the book out. Jon’s finishing the Gunslinger Trailer. Stay tuned.

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