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, November 02, 2008

Updates, Mud Watch and Riots

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 been a busy week, but Jon and I are coming off really nasty colds. This will likely be a brief blog.

The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

No, I don’t mean The Sergio Leone film. I actually didn’t like that one as much as High Plains Drifter. I know that wasn’t a Sergio Leone film, but it had the Man with No Name, and the plot was more coherent. Where was I? Oh, yeah. The World Series. I managed to not get emotionally involved until the First game in Philly. There, Tim McGraw threw out the ceremonial first pitch. Philly isn’t necessarily a big country western town. All things being equal, they’d prefer to have Springsteen – if anyone at all. Tim McGraw is the son of the much loved Tug McGraw, the winning pitcher in the last series the Phillies won – 28 years ago! I always liked Tug. He had a lot of personality on the mound. That is a touching story in itself, but later I read that Tim had secretly left some of Tug’s ashes behind on the mound. Of course, I burst into tears. Then, I was really invested in them winning and winning in Philadelphia. Bet we never do anything easily in that town. I’m not saying that the 45and a half hour rain delay was the fault of the city. It’s just that if this unprecedented kind of thing is going to happen, it’s most likely to happen in Philadelphia. I happened to be home for the final out after being sidelined by the office cold for half a shift. I heard from friends here which was nice. I was really pleased to hear from Gideon and my former co-workers in Philly that night. I haven’t heard from them since they reported that cars were being flipped and things were on fire. They were off to find tequila at the time. I’ll start worrying if they don’t turn up in a day or two. My favorite comment about the aftermath of the game came from my very dry humored father. His e-mail read: As you know, the city is going crazy. I’ll send you a newspaper. That, too, is the way of our people there. It was familiar and heartwarming to see them trying to tip over a news van. Good times for all. I can finally let go of 1993. It turns out, to our deep surprise, Philly already had. At least, they’d forgiven enough to let Mitch Williams back within city limits to be a sportscaster. We have truly turned a page as well as overturning some cars.

Chance of Lightning and Threat of Mud

Surprisingly, LA is on Stormwatch! once again. I say surprise, because despite the numerous Doppler weather systems in HD with numeric suffixes, the weather guy was surprised that it had rained over night on Thursday. Since the skies were really overcast on Friday, I paid close attention to the forecast on the noon report. They said there would be ‘sprinkles’ through the weekend. Saturday we woke to find ourselves on Stormwatch. There had been torrential downpours, movie FX level lightning and mudslides in the burn areas. Either these weather forecasters have a warped sense of what sprinkles means or they need to go back to technology of 20 years ago. Accu-weather radar sans Doppler or HD worked just fine. So does looking out the window in a pinch. At least fire season has been put on hold for the time being.

Various Updates

Jon is slogging away on Luv U 4 Ever while fighting cold medicine fuzziness. I often find him blinking very slowly at the PC monitor. That film is proceeding at a far more leisurely pace, so the fuzziness isn’t a problem. Meanwhile, I’ve been involved in some odd kinds of scriptwriting this week. I’ve been trying to figure out how to put back scenes removed from the current draft of The Gunslinger without losing the pace of the film. It’s interesting to re-write when you have an actor in your head for the part. Typically, we don’t. Now that we have our leads and a strong indication of who almost everyone will be, it’s affecting how I write dialogue. It’s not that I write to make the character sound more like the actor. It’s more that I’m familiar with the actors’ strengths tend to play them up. It’s fun and much more easy to write lines when I have an idea of who will be performing them.

Along with The Gunslinger re-write, I am getting into the development of the Blood Oath short. Yep, there is a website. I’ll be loading up the character dossiers later tonight. I’m not going to put up photos of the actors on the website until I have them in full make-up and costumes. The short will only have three actors in it, but we have people in mind for the proposed series. I surprised myself by writing the ten-page short in just two days. In it, I distilled the major themes of both Soldiers books. Jon was impressed, but I’ve been living with these guys for a couple of years now. Once I figured out a set up for the action, hitting all the important notes with the dialogue was relatively easy. Jon thinks I could trim some stuff and still keep all that I have to cover. We’ll know for sure after a table read with the actors. It’s hard for me, as primarily a novelist, to hear that dialogue is running too long. I have a lot of interior monologues in my fiction. My characters are yakking all the time. It usually takes hearing the lines performed to realize that there are too many words coming out of their mouths. And this is why a writer should never put the words final draft on a script they are shopping around. That’s a mark of a novice. A script isn’t considered final until the DVD extras are wrapped(in the case of Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, the last scene recorded happened after it won best picture). We always do adjustments after an actor is attached, because their performance choices may change how we view the part. At any rate, I have a script. Now, I just have to figure out how to shoot all the elements before we’re pulled away to start Luv U 4 Ever. And the holidays are coming.

Alas, this will be a shorter blog than usual. I am very tired from cold meds, and I have a lot of work to do and actors to call. But next week will be filled with rants and other fun stuff. Stay tuned.

No comments: