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, August 10, 2008

Freaks, Fabio and Twists of 'Fate'

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.

This Blog is relatively short for reasons that will become apparent below. There is much brewing, so stay tuned.

Staycations vs World Travel

It’s been a beautiful week in LA, weather wise. It has been postcard perfect. Having a ‘staycation’ (geez, I hate made up news media buzz words) sounds like a wonderful idea. However, other countries have very strong currencies and think that the stretch of beach adjacent to our ‘hood is really keen. I was reminded that Venice Beach, CA is a world destination. I believe that the world went on vacation last week. Quite a few of them were on our bus home. Mostly, it was entertaining. I was particularly fond of the fellow who curtsied to our bus driver. The usually surly driver found it amusing as well. The only time we get annoyed is when they crowd the front of the bus for the relative safety of being near the driver. If they knew what we know about that cantankerous woman, they’d be sitting where we do – near the back door. The weekend commute was filled with wide-eyed visitors as well. I had to talk a group of slap-happy New Englanders out of walking from the edge of Culver City to Venice Beach. Everything looks close on a map, but almost nothing in LA is close to anything else. It wasn’t blazing hot out, but they’d be so wiped after that haul of a walk, they’d have nothing left to enjoy the Freak Show. Besides, there is a lot of entertainment to be had on the Culver City Bus number 1 on the weekend. That’s how the freaks get to the Freak Show. I enjoyed watching their horrified yet fascinated expressions before popping off for my errands. I admit that staying home during summer in LA has its advantages. I don’t know how many amazing, near naked men I saw jogging or cycling or skateboarding past. And they were all local lovelies.

Hitting a Wall

Last week wasn’t all fun and oogling. My schedule and deadlines finally put me down for a couple of days. I’m still really tired. As Always when I’m over taxed, I injured something. This time it’s the back and one knee. I spent Friday flat on my back with only enough brain power to ponder such things as how I found yet another Hawaii 5-0 that I’d never seen and why is that guy called The Green Hornet (there was a logical reason, turns out)? The Hawaii 5-0 episode was really bold. It had a upstanding citizen being blackmailed into killing someone to avoid being outted as a drag queen. Fortunately, we’ve fulfilled most of our current commitments. I get rid of a really big one today. I don’t plan to push as hard on the remaining tasks until we’ve got a shoot date. The idea of being carried about the set on a litter by oiled, muscular men really appeals to me, but it isn’t very practical. It’s best that I take care of myself a little better.

Writing Questions

I’ve had some interesting questions (and a bit of yelling) about the twist in ‘A Soldier’s Fate.’ I can’t speak about the specifics of the ending, but I can answer the question that came up most. No, I didn’t know that I would end the book the way I did at the time I started it. There were scenes that I had in my head from the time I finished ‘A Soldier’s Choice.’ Most of those ended up in the final version of the novel. I could see the whole border crossing sequence very clearly. I knew that I would have the work and personnel at the Foundation put a strain on their relationship. However, I also thought I spend more time in Bobby’s head. Rik and Vincent were having none of that. Staying with them and having to really develop the goings on at the Foundation was the better choice. That gave me the underpinnings for a third novel. I was also able to develop Rik and Vincent into something other than soldiers. While I wasn’t making the whole story up as I went along, I’ve learned that the fastest way for me to get writer’s block is trying to force characters to conform to a rigid outline. Of course, that does mean that some things have to be adjusted in the beginning of the story, but I believe in re-writes. That flexibility is essential in script writing as well. There is no such thing as a final draft script. Changes are made even after the last scenes are shot. Books aren’t that fluid, but work is done on them even after galleys are generated. I got to evaluate a galley for Fabio when I worked for him (don’t ask). They weren’t willing to take my suggestions. Granted, they involved lighter fluid and a bonfire, but I still think it was worth considering. Where was I? Oh, the other element of the book that I hadn’t planned and turned out to be my favorite thing to write, were the references to Rik’s and Vincent’s days in the squad and how those events were still impacting their present life.

The other questions were about more contests and giveaways for A Soldier’s Fate. I haven’t decided yet. I plan on some sort of giveaway. We’re working on a t-shirt through the very cool company that does our magnets and postcards. Right now, I can’t really think about anything but a nap. I’m off to take one. Then, I shall crack open Bourdain’s lovely and profane cookbook and give Cassoulet and onion soup a try.

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