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 29, 2008

Big Updates and Bizarre Conversations

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.

I hardly know where to begin. It has been a wild week full of exciting highs and lows and some really strange conversations. This week hasn’t been a matter of wearing a lot of hats. I’m not doing half a dozen different tasks, I’m juggling a lot of writing projects with their supporting documentation at the same time. It’s more like being a Hydra, and I’m just as cranky at times.

The Gunslinger and Hidden Passions Update

The jitters over the possibility of a Screen Actors Guild strike or walk out has impacted every level of the industry here. My partner’s actor clients have largely bugged out of the city to visit family. This is the beginning of the TV season, shooting wise. One doesn’t take off at this time typically. Big budget films have been stalled awaiting the outcome of the negotiations. And, now it’s impacted us. The Gunslinger backers want to wait until we know what will be happening with the Guild. We can’t really blame them. On the up side, I really wasn’t looking forward to working in triple digit heat. And I got the same feeling from our cast. I’ll make an announcement when we have a firm date. But don’t despair, and keep checking this page. The Hidden Passion cast will turn up in a feature by us soon. So stay tuned.

Meanwhile, I’ve been asked about the film based on The Gift of Surrender. I am working on that as well. I’ve just finished re-reading the novel in preparation of writing the script. The film version presents a number of problems that we need to solve involving locations and Special FX. I know what scenes I absolutely have to have in the film. Now, we have to figure out if there are reasonably priced solutions to those issues in LA or would we have to film in Europe where there are real castles to be had. We’ll still do a trailer between now and the fall. Stay tuned for that as well.

Soldier’s Update

The print version of A Soldier’s Fate is in limbo for a little while longer. Sybaritic Press has changed distributors and it has not gone as smoothly as I’d like. But it is proceeding. It should be live on Amazon.com soon. Meanwhile, I’ve been working on the pitch for Blood Oath, the live action version of the Soldier’s novels. I decided on Blood Oath, because that’s essential what they do when they become soldiers and that they become what they are because of their blood. The books have a whole lot of action that requires wire work and Special FX. We know that the series will not have the budget to go all out. But there are solutions that will look cool and credible and use elements of the origins of the books – Manga and Anime. Rik and Vincent have a whole lot of backstory before the beginning of Soldier’s Choice that has to be covered in a show for it to make sense. We decided to take a cue from the Spiderman films and use comic-ized versions of our leads in a Manga style page to tell their origin stories. We really liked how this technique was used in The Full Metal Alchemist to tell the storylines of all the main characters in 52 episodes in a minute and 45 second. We’ll likely use this style for closing credits and linking action scenes with the drama. We also want a very funky soundtrack like those used in anime series. I got to see Matt Ferraro, our Vincent Greven, this weekend. Jon noticed that he really is built like and anime character, slender and sleekly muscular. I wish my photos could show his big beautiful eyes. He’s looking forward to the part and I’m looking forward to seeing him in it. We will be meeting an actor who has the look I want for Rik Heron. Stay tuned.

The Big Film Update

The full budget feature film is moving along. We seem to have submitted all the documents correctly. We’re awaiting word on when a countdown to pre-production will begin. That’s been unnerving. Most of what we’re working on would have to be put on the back burner in favor of doing a re-write of the original script. We haven’t worked on it since the first draft was finished six years ago. And before anything can be finalized cast-wise, we need a new version. We also have to plan for a film related travel that we have no firm dates for departure. All of this upheaval and suspense makes being a Hydra difficult. I’m investing a lot of energy and time into development of these other projects, it will be a lurch to stop abruptly and focus solely on the script. I’m close to finishing the pitches for the TV shows, so I will do that meeting. We can’t ignore the opportunity. But all of this head switching is making us very tired. And yes, we still have the day jobs. Still, this is a very exciting undertaking. Despite the roller coaster, we’re jazzed about the prospect.


These are some snippets of conversations that are biz related or friend related. I spent an afternoon with a bunch of actors yesterday and had long chats with my more colorful friends. Please note, that having these conversations does not mean that I approve of any of the behavior.

“No I don’t have any lifeguard shifts this summer. The Y frowns on thrusting kids out of the pool onto concrete from below while rescuing them.”

“Yeah, hookers don’t like when you want to examine their mouths with a flashlight, but if they want that ten bucks, they deal with it.”

“But why do you have a Captain Cook costume?”

“I’m getting the yearly physicals, but it’s mainly for STDs. Hate them though. They always want to shove something up my colon.”

“I have a check filled out for the county court with orders to just fill in the bail amount. Not that I’m expecting any problems.”

“Yeah, we’ll need a line item in the budget for graft, but I got a guy with connections in case of real problems.”

“Don’t worry, the part makes sure that he’ll be shirtless.”

“I don’t think it’s possible to Photoshop just David Duchovney’s ass in that show.”

“They should send assassins after Michael Bay’s hateful dogs.”

“And that’s when I found out that Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs and I were doing the same chick.”

I’m exhausted. Up next week, I’m having a gathering of the Border’s Third Street Promenade posse. There may be clips of Conversations with Craig.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Book Announcement and a Favor

Book Announcement
This mid-week blog is to announce the newest of the Demon Under Glass inspired fiction. It's Demonspawn: On the Run. It is now available as an e-Book at:

There are some fabulous stories by authors from Two countries. I have one there as well which is a reprint from Demonpawn 2: More Tales from Demon Under Glass. The print version will be available soon.
A Favor
I'm trying to choose a title for the live action version of the Soldier's books. Jon made a face when I suggested Mutant Soldiers in Love. I'm leaning toward Blood Oath. However, I'm open to suggestions. Please write here or e-mail me privately here.
The tagline will be: Killing is in their blood. Is there room for love?

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Heatwave, Schmoozing, Cookbooks and Film Favs

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.

Doppler-ganger Plus 3000
They’re at it again, the local weather guys. We’re on Heatwatch. That’s a new term all the stations here are using. I’m convinced that they felt left out of the lead-story coverage of their weather brethren in the mid-west. There are no floods here, so their hyberbolic coverage has turned to the heatwave. Since Southern California is essentially a desert, heat is not really news. Somehow they have elevated the need for hydration to a hysterical urgency. There is some seriousness in the coverage this weekend. We’re under a red flag warning here, and in Northern California, the fires have started. It’s still strange for me to live in a place where there is always a possibility that whole neighborhoods or a major interstate can be engulfed in flame. We don’t live in a fire zone, but you do learn to watch the brush while traveling in fire prone areas. It’s like having an earthquake kit and a Tsunami evacuation plan. It’s always there, but you don’t think about it. It is really hot out. Today we’re locked in the apartment with the air conditioner going and hopes that there won’t be a brown out.

The Art of Schmoozing

It is not a cliché in this business. It is fact that how far you get depends, in large part, on who you know. How you get to know people is as varied as the actors, writers and directors trying to make it out here. Clint Eastwood made his first big studio contacts working at a gas station owned by Don Donner, the brother of Jack Donner who played Dr. Bassett in Demon Under Glass. Don tells me that Clint wasn’t that great a gas jockey. He was always chatting up the studio folk. Don finally fired him. The next thing he knew, Clint was on Rawhide. Jon and I got an awful lot of contacts orking retail on the 3rd Street Promenade. Most of those we made there either worked with us or helped us get things made. And since they shop there, opportunities abound to talk to A-list everybodies while they transact their business. We never did that during our retail gigs for much the same reason Jon and I don’t chat up celebs at conventions. We want to be seen as equals, not clerks or fans (no offense to fans as we are fans, but it’s difficult to be taken seriously as a producer or director in that setting). Screenings are great places to make connections. The Marche du Film is the mutha of all schmooze fests. I have had conversations with heavy-duty financial backers over beer at a plastic patio table at the American Pavilion there that I could never meet under any other circumstances. I know this because I asked them if I could have called for an appointment from my home which was only a 15 minute drive. They said no. But being at the Market and the Festival gives access.

Schmoozing for us is like dating. We don’t just look for people with skills or money. We’ve learned that for a connection to work, we have to fit well together. It’s hard to work with someone who can’t be trusted or doesn’t respect your work. When we schmooze, we’re seeking an advocate who can lead us to either funding or to a major actor. Or we’re looking for the major actor. In either case, we have to win their confidence in our material, because we’re usually asking (begging and pleading) for them to either work on something unusual for their careers or to take way less money than usual. They have to be confident that we know what we’re doing and are willing to accept guidance and suggestions. It’s a tough line to walk for us. We know we don’t know nearly everything there is to know about this business. But we don’t want to get steamrolled into turning a film into something we can’t stand because we want an A-list whoever to be involved.

The meeting this week was a meet and greet with some high-powered types who have access to A-list actors we need for various projects. It went very well. First off, they are from New Jersey. East coast folks have a different way of looking at the business from native Angelinos. We were speaking the same language. That made the meeting a lot easier. There were some spirited debates over film styles, but we saw eye to eye where it counted. It looks like a good match. We’ll have access to a far larger pool of actors for the film that just got the distribution commitment, and it puts us in a position to go for some really big names for our dream projects. But that’s for after the two films in the queue. It left us excited about the possibilities. It also increased my anxiety, to be honest. We don’t know which film will get a full green light first, thus I have no idea what part of the country we’ll be in for months at a stretch. I can’t make any kind of plans for months, and these films will likely throw a monkey wrench into the trip to Paris. For a control-freak traveler, that’s not a good state to be in. I’ve found it difficult not to drive everyone crazy. Still, I understand the importance of the connection we’ve made. All of this consternation will be worth the results.

Soldier’s Update
I’m still waiting for ‘A Soldier’s Fate to turn up on amazon.com and other sites. Meanwhile, I think I’ve found a Rik Heron for the live-action pitch. No, I don’t have enough on my plate, why do you ask? :) We have been strongly encouraged to develop everything in our files as far as we can while there is a keen interest in the production company. I’m following orders. Anyway, he is gorgeous, though I haven’t heard his voice yet. That is a huge factor in who Rik Heron is. There must be toe curling every time he speaks. Also, I’ll be working on the cookbook today. I’m hoping to have it up online when the print book turns up.

But Why DO You Like That?
Warning: Possible spoilers for Iron Man, Battlestar Galactica and Eureka. Possible derision of Bones, House, Star Gate, Fantastic Four, and X-Men.

Sometimes, my friends get exasperated at my taste in film. Why do I like one kind of film or TV show and deride something that’s in the same genre. For example, I really liked Spiderman 1, 2 and 3. I adored Iron Man , yet I almost walked out of the first X-Men movie and the second was merely acceptable. I wouldn’t even look at Fantastic Four (Jessica Alba as a scientist, really). I watch two out of three CSIs but want nothing to do with Bones. I loved Scrubs for most of its run, but won’t go near ER or House. And I adore Galactica and Eureka but have no interest in the Star Gate franchise (though I really liked the film). There are reasons for all of these decisions and they are highly subjective and not meant to malign anyone else’s tastes.

Spandex costumes over hot bodies are not enough to make a good super hero film for me. Nor do I think one has to be a fan of the character to enjoy a good super hero film. I never liked Spiderman in the comics. I thought he was a whiner. I really wasn’t interested in seeing the first film, but it won me over. The character work and performances were extraordinary. The drama was so compelling that the action scenes were a relief from the trauma they caused. However, the best scene to illustrate what is really good character work is from Iron Man. The first scene in the film is of Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.) and three US soldiers in a HUMVEE. The scene is less than five minutes long, but it establishes the characters so thoroughly and so cleanly that I cared more about them and their fate in that brief period than I did about the X-Men through two films. The scene was funny and touching and tragic in a very tiny window of time. The film built on that wonderful scene and resulted in an amazing film. Tony Stark even uttered a line from The Thin Man (Give me a scotch, I’m starving). How great is that?

As for the TV shows I watch or don’t watch, it’s the degree of character development for me. I can’t say that I dislike Star Gate: SG1 or Atlantis. There just isn’t enough to interest me. As for Bones, I don’t like Dave Boreanaz’s acting. I never have. And the show’s premise annoys me. I’ve followed the real-life bone-man and author, Kathy Reichs for years. I just don’t think they take her work seriously enough. It’s been TV-ized too much and it didn’t have to be, in my opinion. I’ve had more fun watching her on real-life documentaries than that show. As for House, that is a different story. I don’t watch medical dramas (too much Marcus Welby and Medical Center as a kid). I’ve never seen ER and never want to. However, my reason for not watching House is specifically Hugh Laurie. I adore him, but, for God’s Sake, he’s Bertie Wooster! How can I take that seriously? See the images to the left and right. I’ve included a pic of Jeeves (my Percival prototype as well).

Stay tuned! A major Book announcement to come!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Good Neighbors, Cookbooks and TV Romance

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.

I’m writing this blog on Saturday. We’ve had to shift our schedules about because of film-related meetings. I am loathed to give up my Sundays (even while filming). I have to get dressed and put on make-up and act civilized. Very annoying. Yes, I’ve been writing the blog in my pajamas!!

Before I begin, I must insist that readers go to The Writer’s Almanac for June 7, 2008 and enjoy the marvelous voice of Garrison Keillor reading City of Tonawanda Softball Championship by Sarah Freligh. Just click on 'play' on the top of the page in the left corner.

The Kindness of Strangers

I know that I’ve complained often about the singular aself-absorption of Angelinos. And it’s still true that they are largely, hugely self-absorbed. We still face the possibility of death by car from people with no concept of what right of way or cross walks or traffic lights mean (these near misses often occur in front of the police station near our home). We’ve even been in dire peril on the sidewalk when a motorist decides to peel into a driveway because of an opening in oncoming traffic despite the people walking there. However, I must admit, that I’ve been surprised and moved by the kindness of our neighbors and of service people we encounter daily.

In our building, most residents work the day shift and have departed long before we’re even awake. However, there is a lady who is around all day because of a disability. She’s our complex’s alarm system. I notice her notcing everything that happens in our courtyard and at the entrances. It means a lot to me to have such sharp eyes about. I know if a nefarious deed ever happened here, there would be no getting away with it. We are provided with further surveyllance and security from our bus drivers to and from work (You may choose to think we are green if you’d like). Our morning driver is hooked on choclate eclairs from the Korean doughnut shop and has recently become obsessed with an antique store at the end of his route where we catch him. He knows his regulars and will stop for them even if they haven’t reached the stop or wait a little if he knows they’re due. He also notices if Jon or I are missing from the bus and inquires after our health. Our evening driver was a very cranky lady who reminded me of my cousin the cop. We call my cousin Officer Friendly – she really isn’t. Neither was this driver, but she tickled me anyway. I like the replacement even more. He’s a more mellow Chris Rock sort of guy who has lots of women chasing him. His bus is the last one running to our neighborhood. Thus, he’s careful to pick up befuddled tourists at the wrong stop and makes sure they know where they want to go (all of the Santa Monica Blue Bus - the one from Speed are amazing with tourists). The night driver really makes sure his regulars make the bus. When Jon was down with that cold after the Gunslinger Trailer, the driver made sure I got off and across the street to the cab stand before moving on. One night during that stretch, he kept a noisy drunk from getting off with me. LA doesn’t seem like such a big, anonymous place with these folks around. Speaking of cabs, we have regular drivers there as well. We don’t take them often (too pricey save for when we’re toting groceries), but they see us pass by the stand every night. On one trip, Jon thought he’d drop $20 in the cab. We thought that would be the last we’d see of that. However, the passenger after us gave the bill to the driver, who gave it to us the next time we passed by. We were flummoxed. The neighborliness is just like Mount Airy in Philly though not nearly as beautiful. Though the cab money thing wouldn't have happened there. That's more of a Mayberry thing. Incidentally, to figure out a lot about who I am socially and politcally, read up on Mt. Airy, offically recognized as the most successfully integrated neighborhood in America.

Soldier’s Fate Update

Thanks to those who bought the e-book version of the book. I’m really plased by the early reactions. I am missing Rik and Vincent already and can’t wait to start the third one. Though if I don’t do this script re-write there are people who may harm me bodily. Anway, about the cookbook. There will be a free e-book version in a couple of weeks. I have been making the recipes mentioned in the book. Jon isn’t an Altered, but he does require stealthy use of fruits and vegetables to keep him healthy. He’d live on baguettes and butter with an occasional pastry chaser if I let him. The recipes are all road tasted for tastiness and cooking ease.

What DO You Like - Adult Content (not what you think)
Warning: There be spoilers for Battlestar Galactica, possible grammatical liberties as well as multiple and odd pop culture references.

Another installment in answer to often asked questions about my TV rants. I don’t know why I give spoiler warnings. First off, there’s some program out there that will immediately link the site to some spoiler TV page. Last week, there were a lot of very confused and consequently hostile soap opera fans reading the blog then writing me despite the warnings. But I have to give the warning in this case, because almost any comment I make about BSG this season will give a lot away. Those who don’t watch the show can still follow the theme of adult or mature romance in genre television.

I read a comment by the writers of Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine a long time ago that romance and mysteries don’t mix. There are similar notions about romance and science fiction. Now, admittedly, both genres have done romance badly. As sophisticated as the science fiction was in the various Trek shows, they seldom got intimate, ongoing adult relationships right. I know there are exceptions, but usually when two crewmen who are attractive and have a lot in common finally look at each other in other than a strictly professional manner, it’s an anomaly. Frankly, I think the problem has been a lack of female writers on the writing staff. Forgive me, but men are oblivious to the obvious. I recall the first time I saw The Matrix was with a bunch of guys. None of them could figure out why one of the team would betray the rebels to the agents and many wild theories ensued. I commented that the traitor had been in love with Trinity and all Trinity could see was Neo. They hadn’t noticed. They didn’t believe me until the two characters were making out at the end. Geez. I had another male friend who never noticed the romance growing between Mulder and Scully, for goodness sake. Jon thinks many male writers look at female cast though the Madonna/whore prism. Either they are untouchable or an easy piece. I’m very glad to see that it’s changing. Women are being written better and there are some amazing ongoing relationships in hour long dramas like The Closer (Brenda Leigh Johnson is light years away from Pepper Anderson – no hate mail, I liked the show), Eureka (but that’s for another blog) and the best of them all right now, Battlestar Galactica.

The crew men and women on BSG are very aware that there are some attractive folks on board. And there has been lust running rampant even at times when professionalism is demanded. And there are consequences for indescretions. The sexual tension of the show is well played. But there are more than hot, 20-somethings with amazing bodies. There are attractive characters of every age, even post- 60 (Edward James Olmos is still smokin’ hot, thank you). On a side note, I met him and most of the cast when Gabriel Koerner took me to the premier of the pilot/mini-series. I was very good with meeting the young hotties and was able to discuss their performances quite professionally. But all that left me when I approached Mr. Olmos. I think he knew by the look in my eyes what I wanted. So he hugged me. It was fabulous. He’s very cuddly for such a tough guy. Where was I? Ah yes, His Admiral Adama has been at odds with Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell ) in early episodes, but slowly a rapport built. Grudging respect became admiration and that grew into an amazing love. Mind you, there’s been no hanky panky. She’s extremely ill and they have a lot on their plates with trying to save what remains of the human race. But the relationship is flirty and funny and solid and complex. Adama adores Laura enough to throw away everything (his commission, the fleet, his safety) in order to find her when she disappears. Yet, he will still fight her when he thinks she’s made a bad decision as president – as she will fight him on occasion. It’s so thoroughly mature. They manage to make me cry every week. I need a break from the trauma, actually. Anyway, all of this romance and lust is integrated with ease amdist the killer robots and star fighter dogfights. Anyway, that is something I really like.

Well, I have to give myself a manicure and a facial. Stay tuned.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Soldier's Choice Site Update

The website has been updated to include links to A Soldier's Fate e-books along with a new, heretofore unseen sample chapter.


Now we have finish with the print version!

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Fate, Actor Bits and Actors in Crates

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.

State of Soldier's Fate

I must attend to business first. The new uploads for A Soldier’s Fate e-books (Acrobat and Microsoft Reader) are online. The website will be updated later today (when I finish with the blog and answering e-mails). The website will have an as yet unseen chapter sample. I’ll make an announcement here when it goes up.

The new upload took longer than expected in part because of our schedules (I just love those early morning or late night calls for business plans and character breakdowns for scripts that don’t exists). But the delay was also because of the writer in me having a chance to tweak my material. While I have often fussed at our authors for the same transgression (especially when the tweaks changed page count or affected page layout), there were some places at the end of the novel that I thought needed a sentence or two more. I added a scene as well.

Jon finally rendered his verdict on A Soldier’s Fate. His critiques can be a touchy matter, because Jon has no guile whatsoever. In fact, I’ve had to go to great lengths at film screenings he didn’t like to keep him away from the principles involved. We made a deal while at the Cannes Film Market to not talk about any film we saw until we were well out of the building where the screening took place. You never know who might be standing behind you in an elevator. At any rate, I knew he would be honest – really honest. He was fascinated by the way my novels are constructed. Jon writes fiction and screenplays with a specific theme in mind and a goal that has to be attained. He said I have a group of characters that I like to hang out with and construct a plot that gives me a lot of time with them under various circumstances. The plot seems to be about Bobby and his transformation, but he is part of the device I use to spend time with Rik and Vincent. He said that the Surrender books and even my Demon Under Glass fiction is like that. I tend not to analyze what I’m doing. It reminds me too much of grad school. He is correct. I love being with these characters, so I construct spaces and time and situations to maximize the experience of being with Rik and Vincent. My romances are a fun diversion. My other fiction is more difficult because I’m examining life and relationships. It’s not entirely comfortable reading – even when it’s amusing. Little wonder, it’s taking a very long time to finish the first story. There’s all the crying. I’m much rather wallow in erotica.

Actor Bits
Warning: The be spoilers ahead

Speaking of characters that are fun to hang out around, I’ve received some e-mails inquiring specifics on why I liked Speed Racer aside from being a fan of the original anime series. The reviews, it has been correctly pointed out, were largely unfavorable. First, I am seldom influenced by reviews. There have been many occasions where I don’t know what planet a critic was on when they saw a film that I loved and they didn’t. Critics aside, there was a lot for me to enjoy in Speed Racer. There was brilliant chemistry between both sets of brothers (Nicholas Elia and Scott Porter as the young Speed and Rex Racer and Emile Hirsch and Matthew Fox as the adult Speed and Racer X). These characters really enjoyed being together and I enjoyed watching them. They had a natural connection and great humor between them. This chemistry made the jeopardy they faced all the more tense and compelling to watch. The supporting cast were not slouches either. Susan Sarandon had two scenes where she was able to convey everything a viewer need to know about Moms Racer with no lines. But then, she’s an Oscar winner. Even Spritle and Chim Chim managed not to be annoying. And the Asian singing sensation, Rain, was compelling as racer Taejo Togokahn (he learned English for the role). And there is just no picture of him where he isn’t adorable. I must also note that Speed Racer had a nice amount of well-built men going about shirtless. It’s always lovely to see such men in just pajama bottoms while fighting ninjas. What compounded my enjoyment was the John Goodman was not in just pajama bottoms. The only thing I found missing from the film that was in the series often was speed tied up – sometimes spread-eagle. That would have been fun.

More Gunslinger Questions

The questions keep coming. Most I can’t answer, because I don’t know Travis well enough to get him to go into a shipping crate – no matter how many air holes there are. Thus, I can only answer questions relating to the trailer and the feature (though I can’t give away spoilers). To follow along, you can read the film’s set up on the Hidden Passions Website. So, here are the most frequently asked of late.

Does Matt Know KD is impersonating Shadow during the dinner scene?
He knows before he even reaches the ranch. First, he’s been hearing about Shadow Smith being hired to protect KD and the Lazy D and knows he’s never been there. In investigating the situation, he actually sees KD dressed as Shadow (this is in the set-up thus not a spoiler).

Does KD know that Matt is Shadow? Is that why she is asking about life on the trail?
No, she doesn’t know who Matt really is. She just knows that he has spent a lot of time in the wilderness alone and has first-hand information.

Why is Matt worried about KD’s uncles?
They have a reputation in town as being on the wild and dangerous side. They taught their niece to shoot with deadly accuracy. And he has been spending a lot of time alone with their niece. That’s a recipe for a lot of family tension and likely gunplay.

When will the full-length film come out?
If all goes according to plan, sometime early next year.

Keep those questions coming!

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 .