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, September 14, 2008

Jitters, Puppies and Re-Writes

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 cloudy in Los Angeles. It’s been that kind of gray that makes the summer colors really pop. It’s a nice change of pace. They may be autumn colors, but since they are not the oranges, reds and yellows I associate with that season, I still think of them as summer. And it’s still freaking hot here. I’m more scatter brained than usual today. We were exiled from our apartment for the second time is six weeks. Thus, we had an unexpected six hour tour of Culver City and Marina del Rey while our building endured another landlord action. Then, we spent the evening putting the apartment back together. I’m really, really tired and punchy.

White Knuckles, Actors and the Re-write

This week was really crazy. We had a 24 hour period where we received some extremely important contracts just after noon. We had to get them singed and notarized ASAP. Of course our lawyer was in meetings, then we had to get the language corrected and have new contracts sent. Then the printer died while generating the document to sign. I think aliens briefly abducted the messenger. The documents were returned in a timely fashion by all accounts, but I was left feeling jittery – 20 cups of coffee in an hour jittery. Shortly after that, we were contacted by our New Jersey partners about hiring key crew (art director, costume desisgner, etc). Things are moving along.

Meanwhile, the re-write continues. We now know how many original tunes we’ll need for the film, and we’ve started generating a list of existing songs that we’d like to license. If anyone out there has some suggestions for dance music from the early 70s (pre-disco), send me your list at deborahlwarner@gmail.com. We’re now looking at the flow of the story and where each character arc ends. Ideally, each of the main characters will go through an experience that makes them different people from when the film began. We had to move around some scenes, because the arcs were over a while before the ending credits roll. That’s not good. Also, in comedies, there have to be funny bits scattered throughout the film, but not in a predictable fashion. It takes some trail and error to get the scenes to flow in a natural manner. After this version is complete, we’ll likely stage a table read with some of the cast and some substitutes to figure out if the jokes and timing work as well as judge the film’s length.

We’ve been having a lot of fun with one aspect of the re-write. We have worked with some of the actors that are to be cast in the film. It’s a lot of fun writing dialogue for someone familiar. It’s easy to know what will sound good coming from them. And we know to give them some wiggle room for adlibs and changes. There is a new character that is omni-present in the B&B as it is being renovated. The character, Carl Yablonski, was inspired by Eldin Bernecky from Murphy Brown and Carl Brutananadilewski from Aqua Teen Hunger Force, a show set in Red Bank, New Jersey, ironically enough. I know it sounds disparate and weird, but the character works and the actor is really funny. Though he is way cuter than either of the characters that inspired Carl. The casting of the leads has caused slight problems with the re-write. The prospective Michaels and Lindas are different enough that we will have to do a little more refinement of the character arcs depending on who is ultimately cast. I know it’s maddening not to know, but I can’t blab yet. It’s driving me crazy.

No Time for Fun

Not fun like going out to dinner and having fabulous clam chowder and a big hunk of warm crusty bread. Hmmm, that sounds really good. Where was I? Oh, I have no time for following up on some really cool ideas for the next Soldiers sequel. I actually have enough ideas for a couple more books. All of these tantalizing notions are coming to me when I have no time to follow up on them. I have jotted them down. After all, I have to come up with enough storylines for a full series run in the live action version. That meeting should take place very soon. It has to bee soon as I’ll be traveling a great deal in the next several weeks. The other profound distraction is an erotic romance script that has been tugging at my mind for months. I am working on that in very short bursts when I have a rare lull in the action. I may have an opportunity to get the script to the actor I really want in the lead role this February. I’m doing a long treatment that I’ll work into a draft after the shoot wraps. I suspect I’ll find moments to work on it as a diversion during the shoot. Yes, I am quite pleased to say that I still write as a pleasant diversion. It has yet to become a chore. Also, for those who have inquired, I am still working on Vincent Greven’s Cookbook. Cookbook writing is a new skill set, so it’s slow going. I also keep getting distracted by testing the recipes. I plan to put up the free e-book next month.

Concho and Craig
As the days wind down for us at the Archive, we have a new addition to the staff that has caused much happiness for all. One of the librarians has been bringing her puppy, Concho, to hang out on the patio outside the breakroom. He’s a mix breed, shelter dog with floppy ears and a wonderful personality. He bounces while frolicking in the grass, and his tail is almost always wagging. He’s adorable when taking a nap while stretched out in the sun. Everyone looks for him as they come in for their shifts or breaks. He gets loads of attention. We’re planning on buying him a chew toy. And Concho loves Craig to pieces. Of late, my conversations with Craig consists mainly of listening him say ‘Who’s a good dog? Who’s my best buddy?’ It’s been highly entertaining to see such a gruff, acerbic guy turn all cuddly and silly around this very happy critter. It’s making these last days at the Archive a lot of fun even with the white knuckle moments.

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