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, June 01, 2008

Flowers, Fun and Fates

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. If you stay, click on highlighted links for further information.

This was a better week than last week, but still the mishaps and near disasters continue. I have a lot of divergent matters to cover including some mea culpas and the TV season finale rant. So strap in. You may want to wear protective headgear as well.


It’s fabulous to have talented friends. I have a couple with big doings in their creative endeavors to report. Click on highlighted text for further information. First up, my co-editrix, Marie Lecrivain has a new chapbook, Misericordes (copyright
2008 Off World Publications) available by e-mailing Marie. Here are some reviews:

Marie can paint very ornate and beautiful poems, with a rich and complex
vocabulary, but she can also express a desperation and vertigo in the face
of the void, the void is clear in these poems behind the often very
beautiful tapestry of words. – David McLean, A Hunger for Mourning

Lecrivain's dark and deadpan humor is at its height, blending the brilliance
of The Day of the Locust and Lost in Translation into a dichotomous frenetic
ennui that is all too real..." - Nelson Gary, author of *Cinema, XXX, *and
* A Wonderful Life in Our Lives*.

Sarah Freligh’s Poem, City of Tonawanda Softball Championship from the book, Sort of Gone will be read aloud on The Writer's Almanac by Garrison Keillor on June 7. The poem is archived on TWA’s website. Click on the link to find the podcast. I’ll remind everyone next week.

Spring In Los Angeles

It’s that magical time of year that happens between the mudslide season and brushfire season. The weather has been especially flaky this year. Last week, the local newscasts Doppler-gangers lost their minds when we were hit by a truly freaky storm front that brought golf ball sized hail, snow in the mountains, unusually heavy rains and two tornados. I couldn’t blame forecasters for going crazy. The rain, hail and snow were totally weird for this time of year, and southern California almost never has tornados – let alone two. Typically, spring here is lovely. I was surprised how lovely it was when we moved here. There are a lot of trees in LA. That something TV viewers or film-goers don’t really see. Among the vast array of trees are the incomparable Jacarandas. They are vibrant and gorgeous like the flowers that bloom here in the spring. There are flowers everywhere – a riot of them, one could day. The flora in LA is not just a visual treat. They are and olfactory as well. Honeysuckle and later, night blooming jasmine make for wonderfully scented evening breezes. I was surprised at how pretty a city with a reputation for smog can smell. Spring as been a sensory delight thus far – save for the tornados.

Conversations with Craig – Spring Edition

Ultimately, he opted against the webcam for his yard. He feels that if he sees what he thinks he’ll see, he’d never leave his apartment. It’s a pity. One of the things we all could have seen is Craig’s father’s dog, Hamish (last seen cavorting with a pot bellied pig and growling at Cardinal Mahoney during the blessing of the animals), trying to bite Tom Hanks. The latest strangeness to befall Craig is hearing someone tunelessly whistling the title theme from the film Exodus. One of the occurrences was in his local super market. He followed the sound and discovered a former co-worker from the Borders we all worked at. ‘Mark’ went a little crazy while working at Borders. He began to believe that he was Stephen King. There was once a vague resemblance to the author. Craig reports that an extra hundred pounds has erased that resemblance. ‘Mark’ so believed he was King that there were tourists visiting the store swearing that King was doing karaoke in the bar on the next block. He was banned from attending a signing at the bookstore by actual Stephen King. Sometime after that, ‘Mark’ truly blew a gasket and had to be let go. It took a lot to get canned from that place. Where was I? Ah yes, Exodus. Craig found ‘Mark’ staring into space, wearing a bloody apron behind the meat counter tunelessly whistling the movie theme. That wigged Craig out. Though, overall, he still finds running into Catherine Zeta-Jones in the market more annoying.

Month of Fun – Wrap Up and a Beginning

It was a more subdued month of fun than last year, but it was quite satisfying. I finished things off last night by trying to make Anthony Bourdain’s Sope du Poisson (fish soup). It looks and tastes good, but somehow it’s not as thick as he’d described. I’ll try again when I finally get to the specialty fish place to get the oysters. Nope, I haven’t tried them yet. There is only one place around here that I trust buying them from and getting there has not been in the cards lately. It’s been a fun month. I’ve cooked a lot of new recipes that Jon and I have enjoyed. And I had champagne and seafood as much as I could. That’s always a good time. On the professional front a lot has happened. A Soldier’s Fate is sort of up (more on that below). We’ve been offered a full theatrical distribution contract for one film. I expect to make an announcement on what that one is and when it will begin within the next couple weeks. This is really thrilling, because we’ve never had a company of this size interested in a film of ours based solely on the script and one actor (and he hasn’t been a-list since the early 70s and that was only on TV). And we’re closer than ever with The Gunslinger. It’s a most exciting time, and it began during the Month of Fun.

Soldier’s Fate Accompli

Here is the mishap part of my trying week. We finally got the file up last Monday only to find that I’d uploaded one of the drafts. And being a draft, it was riddled with errors. Again, I apologize. Though I was exhausted, I should have been more careful. I’m putting up the correct file at some point tonight or tomorrow. The links will be on the updated Soldier’s website and I’m sending new files to those who purchased the draft. I really appreciate the patience and wonderful feedback I received from the first readers. I really loved writing this book, but it was much more difficult to finish than A Soldier’s Choice. The reason for my difficulty eluded me until Jon read it during formatting. He pointed out that I had a great deal of exposition on the Foundation, Altered technology and the political environment to cover on top of introducing a half dozen major new characters. Somehow, I had to cover all of that while keeping the pace moving and not neglecting Rik and Vincent’s relationship. The balance seems to work from the early reviews. I’m happy with the results, and look forward to the next one. And as my early readers discovered, there is a real need for a third book. (evil laughter) Next up, I’m doing a treatment for a pitch to the producers of Lair for the Soldiers books to be a series.

Cliff Hangover
Warning CSI: Miami Spoilers, run on sentences and hysteria.

And I had that phrase in my blog before TV Guide came up with it. Eighteen shows ended with cliffhangers this season. That’s just crazy. There was the ethnic cleansing of black actors on CSI, and possibly Criminal Minds while on Law and Order and CSI: Miami the black actors left for various lame-assed reasons. All of the Bruckheimer shows save for Cold Case have ended with the apparent death of a major cast member. That is really a bit much. Were the writers on strike for so long that they forgot how to generate genuine drama? I’m, particularly disappointed with Criminal Minds, a show that is surprisingly intelligent for a Bruckheimer vehicle. It gets a lot right about hunting serial killers, and the drama is often riveting and the plots surprising (something extremely hard to do with us). To end the season with a car being blown up and we know not who was inside, is annoying and unworthy of them. The CSI: Miami season ender did not really surprise me. We’d been looking at the sunglasses with a bullet hole in them all season. It was time for a payoff. As a character who is channeling Steve McGarrett, it was time that Horatio Cain got shot. Steve was shot all the time usually in the shoulder (he shouldn’t have had a shoulder left by the end of the series). But I digress. The ep didn’t annoy me because of Horatio being shot or the cliffhanger. Why not have one, everyone else is. It was because the ep should have been called ‘All My Nemises or Nemisi.’ All that was missing was Wo Fat, for Pete’s sake. No Lieutenant should have that many dangerous enemies. Of course, he isn’t dead. In fact, I’m certain he’s faking his death as his brother did, to hunt down his would-be killer unfettered by the law. Why he needs to be unfettered by the law when he’s killed at least a dozen people this season without being worried about the law. What in the heck will he do now? Use Rocket launchers? I’m glad the season’s over. I can now look at shows that don’t make me crazy (The Closer, Eureka, Deadliest Catch). Battlestar Galactica makes me quite crazy but for other reasons. I continue to wait for the 5th Cylon. Jon and I will go out on a limb and say we believe it’s Tom Zarek .

No comments: