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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, March 22, 2009

Carnies, More UST and a Cylon Smackdown!

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.

Warning 2: If you plan to see the BSG series finale, DO NOT READ THIS BLOG!! If you do not know what BSG is, you are reasonably safe.

Where are the Clowns?
My life has become a carnival. And no, that’s not a metaphor. Nor is it a Brazilian Carnival. That would be a lot of fun. No, it’s the kind of seedy around the edges carnival where carnies work. It cropped up at the end of our street between Wednesday evening and Thursday morning. It was looming in the pre-dawn darkness when Jon and I were heading for work Thursday. It’s going full tilt right now until 11pm tonight. I assume it will be gone by pre-dawn tomorrow. The music is different from carnivals I remember growing up. It isn’t that kind of circus-y music, it was some hard core wrap. Given that the carnival was sponsored by the police station, Jon and I wondered if the carnies would be nervy enough to play Cop Killer. No one seemed to be paying attention to the lyrics of the song we heard as we passed by. Short segue. In looking up a link for the song, I found that Ice-T had performed it. No, I really never paid any attention to who was doing what in the world of Gansta Rap. Now, I get the irony of Ice-T playing a cop on Law and Order: SVU. Ironic, indeed. Where was I?

The carnival topped off a weird, sometimes painful week. The Friday before last, someone contacted Ralph that was interested in one of our films. It was one we had on a far back burner because of Luv U 4 Ever and The Gunslinger, but it is an attractive project because of its potential to be made on a very low budget. Since we weren’t focused on it, this film didn’t have a complete business plan. Thus, we spent last weekend frantically pulling together the reams of paperwork required for funding. That’s what I was doing last Sunday instead of blogging. We had to figure out if the schedule could be compressed and where. We had to figure out all sorts of minutia by Monday morning for a shoot that could be in Los Angeles or in Michigan. And we needed to do this by Monday. It was finished on time. And we’re waiting to see what happens next. As for Luv U 4 Ever and the Gunslinger, we may have some good news on the horizon. Film attendance in February (a traditionally slow month) was up nearly 20%. That has prompted interest from funding sources that film is still a good place to make money. We’ve been hearing from some that we hadn’t talked to in a while. I hope to have some announcements about those films soon.

For a person who likes to have control over my life and particularly where I may be traveling at any given moment, the past year has been a lesson in great patience. It seems to have served me well. I hardly blinked at the machinations that followed sending off the paperwork. I still had a pilot to finish (more on that below) and Jon had a presentation to edit. Why was the week painful? My back is once again in revolt against me. It didn’t help that the doctor shrugged at me then told me that surgery wouldn’t necessarily help. I plan to take yoga as soon as my schedule stabilizes. If it ever stabilizes.

Friday was particularly grueling. Constant pain puts a pall on everything. I was thinking about how little I really understood what my mother was going through even before she fell ill. Those thoughts were illuminating, but not very helpful. Every effort seems futile while viewed through that prism. As always, Bruce Springsteen provided clarity. Actually it was Bruce via Jon Stewart during his interview on March 19th. I loved that interview. It looked like a date between two people who were so into each other that they were nervous wrecks to be in the same room. Adorable! Anyway, Stewart had been inspired to do what he does by Springsteen’s philosophy that the ride is far more important than the destination. When pressed, I can’t think of anything I would have done differently or anywhere else I’d rather be. My back is still torturing me, but I’m in a far better mood than on Friday.

Blood Oath Revelations

It has never been clearer to me that I really hate putting my characters through pain. It’s quite amusing considering my hobby, but it’s true. My progress on Blink, the two part opener for Blood Oath, was ground to a halt because I hard to put Rik through a long period of deep and painful grief. I knew how it would turn out, and still, I found it tremendously difficult to actually put him through it. Jon thinks that this is a healthy attitude for me. He said he’d worry given how real my characters are in my head to enjoy torturing them. I got through it last night and finished writing the first draft. Mind, I still write drafts in longhand. The script has to be inputed into a scriptwriting program now. Wheee!

Expanding the point of view in the script has been a fun. I’ve spent a lot of time with Vincent, and that’s been interesting. He has quite a mouth on him, dear Vincent, but he is also endearing. I’ve really enjoyed writing the scenes that I didn’t think fit in the first book. All of the peripheral characters from the novels have a lot more to do in this script, especial the women in Rik and Vincent’s lives. I had to make them viable candidates for the guys’ affections to the viewers. That way, they will be seen as a source of tension and possible betrayal later. This is particularly true of Lt. Remak. She is genuinely fond of Vincent and really distraught over his disappearance. Her feelings for Rik are very deep, and she seems to have a reasonable chance of winning his. The relationship between Rik and Vincent comes as a complete and unpleasant shock for her. Spending time with her before the relationship makes her motivation a lot easier to understand later. Vincent’s would-be girl-friend, Jenn, is different. It is clear that Vincent is fond of her as a friend though she exasperates him. She never had a chance with him romantically, thus she comes off as unreasonable from the start. My hope is that at the end of Blink, the audience is happy that the men have finally figured out what is between them even while dreading what the response will be.

Cylon on Cylon Smackdown!
The series finale for Battlestar Galactica was this past week. As with most of season 4, I went into it with grave trepidation and deep misgivings. I’d been hearing from Richard Hatch that the entire season would be more brutal than the other three. Given the early groundwork in BSG that anyone is expendable, I was really worried about having my heart ripped out at any moment during the entire season. Above all else, I abhor unfair ends to characters. Though the series was set in a constant state of war and eminent destruction, I also felt that many of the characters had earned the right to survive the finale. Thus, I went into the two-parter with a different set of expectations than Jon’s. I wasn’t looking for the answers to the Opera House or who the virtual characters were. Or even what Starbuck was. I was reasonably confident that those issues would be worked out in a way consistent with the rest of the series and in keeping with elements of the original. They were. I won’t go into this here save to say that Ron Moore followed the original series fairly closely through to the end (including an Earth that was not Earth and divine intervention). Nothing about the resolution of the plot threads surprised me nor did I find them problematic. What I was worried about whether the endings for the characters would be fair. In my opinion, they were. Do I wish that some of the romances had happier endings? Sure. Would I liked to have seen Brother Cavil torn limb from limb and have his entrails eaten before his eyes? Certainly. But I thought all of the character arcs ended fairly. And it had an old Centurion Cylon vs new Cylon smackdown http://en.battlestarwiki.org/wiki/Centurions! You gotta love that! I think that BSG has raised the bar for what television drama can be. It particularly raised the level of the quality of dialogue. I will be forever grateful for having seen it, because it will surely influence my work. However, unlike many others, I am glad the ride is over. It was a brutal trip for me, especially the last half of the 4th season. I can’t go through that again. Of course, I’ll probably watch Caprica.

Next week – More on Craig and Winnie the Pooh, Juan Epstien and hammers.

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