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, July 27, 2008

Strange Days and Mutant Kittens

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.

Strange and Off-Putting

It’s been an odd week with an undercurrent of stress born of keen anticipation. It’s made all the more frustrating by not being free to talk about the underlying reasons for the stress. I don’t know if I ever will be. Even in this day of director commentaries and DVD extras, there are certain elements of a production that are never discussed with the public. They can become widely known in the industry, but never actually acknowledged. Kinda sucks, but what can you do? Right now, Jon and I are awaiting the green light on a really big film for us. We’re trying to get a re-write treatment finished before the official word. Once that word is given, the pressure will be extraordinary to produce a new script as a shoot in the fall in dependent on it. Thus, Jon and I hash over the new plot and characters during the commute to and from the Archive. Meanwhile, we have two titles due out for Sybaritic Press (in addition to A Soldier’s Fate). And then there are the pitches that came out of nowhere. Remarkably, those are almost finished. We should be sending them out by the week’s end. The real horror on that is if they are accepted. I’m not how we’d find to do them in a timely fashion with all that’s on our plates. Jon said that we may have to look at hiring writers. That’s a really odd and daunting thought for me. I’d been reluctant to hire a writer for the novelization of ‘The Gunslinger.’ But now I know that I’ll have to at some point.

Don’t get me wrong. With this green light, a lot of breathtaking, wonderful things happen for us. And I allow myself to think them from time to time and get extremely happy. But at heart, I can be as squirrelly as any of my beloved actors (incidentally, never call an actor for sympathy. All I got for the heartfelt call yesterday was ‘will you become a mogul already. I need to work.' Ah, friends.) One thing I am most wiggy about is traveling. I am infamous for my travel lists. For travel that involves months away from home, the lists are numerous and ponderous. However, it’s hard for me to truly prepared when I don’t know my travel dates – especially for the scouting trip. I understand that Jon and I may be in the air within a day of the go ahead being given. I can’t begin to describe how unpleasant a travel companion I am with that kind of notice. I need six hours to get properly smashed for the flight. Yes, it really is prudent that I’m smashed before a flight. Otherwise, I get very anxious and opening the cabin door becomes a good idea. When one of my actor friends went with us to Cannes, He was really alarmed at how much I imbibed before the 16-hour flight. Then, he was amazed that I was stone, cold sober by the time we landed. Where was I? Poor Jon. Fear not, I think all the anxiety will be overridden by all the fabulous things this shoot will bring.

Craig Again
Among those fabulous things will be working with Craig once again. He’s marvelous at keeping my on an even keel on set, but he is invaluable in dealing with New Jersey. He’s got a lot of connections. And most of them do not operate out of places like Bada Bing. The governor of New Jersey decided that the Garden State did not need a film commission. Though one can make films without ever contacting a state’s film commission (we’ve yet to use the one here), it’s helpful when a company is from out of state to get guidance for permits, security and such. Craig had some calls made. He informed me that there will be a film commission at our disposal upon arrival. It hadn’t been reinstated, mind you, but someone will be there to ‘get us all you need.’ I think his name is Al. I don’t want to ask. As long as the set runs smoothly, I’m a happy woman. Craig also made me happy by regaling me with a tale of Anthony Bourdain. Seems that he did a signing at Book Soup while Craig worked there. He was not looking forward to another celebrity chef being fawned over by the wealthy denizens of the Entitlement Zone. But the first thing Tony did after the gushing introduction was tear into the LA restaurant scene for it’s emphasis on the hip and famous instead of the food and the restaurant patrons for the attention span of a gnat. A bunch of people left. Craig said he felt like applauding. The rest of the talk reminded him more of Hunter S. Thompson than Wolgang Puck. Craig was impressed, and that is hard to do. He was as impressed as I was that Bourdain visited Saudi Arabia, a country where alcoholic beverages are forbidden, and had a great time. One last thing about Craig. He hasn’t run into anymore one-legged crickets, but he managed to come across five kittens that had eight toes on each paw (is toe the right term for a cat?). He had cell phone photos. The kittens looked like their paws were drawn by a cartoonist. They were huge, and they were adorable. Luckily, his animal loving Ohio girl wasn’t with him, or he’d have custody of at least one.

Soldier’s Fate Print Debut

I was elated to receive the proof from the distributor. The book turned out beautifully. And I’m very pleased to find that it is already selling well. The support and great patience of my readers is gratifying. I think you’ll find it was worth the wait. Meanwhile, I am almost finished the backstory of the characters for the web site. The cookbook is almost finished as well. I’m cooking a lot today despite the heat. I find that I need the soothing aromas for my jangled nerves. It’s helpful to do something that is familiar and comforting. I can now comfortably write up recipes having done them over and over with the results I expect. Yes, there were a number of times that the results were quite unexpected though not terrifying. But I digress. It was great fun hanging out with Rik and Vincent. I’m really pleased that this pitch has kept me working in their world. I have very strong ideas about the third book, but work on that won’t begin for some time to come.

Meanwhile, I am off to make more food and hang out on my sofa. There will be more refining of my many lists. Maybe I can set up a suitcase complete with a flagon of booze to go for a quick departure without making Jon crazy. Who am I kidding? I’m going to drive him crazy.

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