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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, April 19, 2009

Updates, Lit Crit, and Twisted Humor

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.

In addition to doing a lot more writing lately, I’ve been reading this week as well. This may prove to be a more literary blog than my norm. Worry not, I haven’t gone completely legit, as you’ll see below.

Rays of Warmth

We don’t have anything like a spring fall in LA. Nothing gets that close to freezing. However, this past winter into early spring, it has been colder than the norm. We’ve been leaving our house in the morning in 40 degree temps for weeks. Not that I’m anxious to see the blazing heat that will get here inevitably, but I’m tired of carrying all those layers home at the end of the day when the temperature is close to normal. Mid-week got really weird when LA was having really strong, cold winds. We’re used to the hot Santa Anas, but there are apparently cold ones as well. Friday broke the cycle. It was still cool in the morning, but not as cool. And the day itself was a beautiful, vintage LA, spring day. That meant that there was a shirts vs skins game at the Frat house near the Archive and that the young, well-toned athletes were jogging nearly naked. The vibrant colors and floral scents were delightful as well. I was a happy camper. Not even the bomb scare re-routing our commute fazed me. We scooted out of work a little early and made it home on time. The weekend promised to be lovely as well despite an appointment for the annual physical and the Costco march of doom of Saturday.

Lit Crit On My Terms

In general, I loathe Literary Criticism. I had been leery of it in high school and undergraduate school, but I came to despise most of it in college. I won’t go into the reasons here. Thinking about it in any depth brings back a great deal of anger and resentment that I’m not willing to dredge up right now. Suffice it to say, that those who know me well would be quite shock to know that I had actually purchased a book of lit crit this week. But all is not what it seems. I processed the book for the archive this week, and as we do while at our trusty scribes, I got to read a few paragraphs here and there and was intrigued. You see, it was a book about homosexuality in literature through the 20th century. It even had a section on women who write erotic fiction about gay men – at least one woman, Anna Rheinsberg (I found very littel about her on the net, unfortuantely). The book was from the early 80s. I had never seen any papers on female writers and homoerotica that wasn’t a study on slash fiction. Furthermore, it had a story that purported to be gay themed by Earnest Hemmingway. Given what I knew his attitudes were on such a subject, I was really interested in reading the story and the theory on why he wrote it. The book was well worth the purchase, particularly for the Hemingway story, A Simple Enquiry, from the 1927 collection Men Without Women. The story and the commentary gave me a bit more insight into Hemingway and furthered my research for the script quite a bit. As for the female writer, that section was insightful. I don’t need any validation for my writing, particularly from literary critics. However, it was quite interesting to note that my interest in homoerotica is not unique and does have some understandable underpinnings. I even talked lit crit with one of my talented friends though that was mainly about Hemingway and Fitzgerald. It was intellectual and titillating – just the way I roll. Geesh.

Updates Fun with Flashbacks

I have finished those pesky flashbacks in the Blood Oath pilot and can now begin inputing the final pages of the first draft. Jon and I believe we have a solution to the equipment issue that had delayed post on the Blood Oath pilot presentation and his work on the web series, 15%. At least, we think he have. We’ll know for sure on Tuesday.

So, what’s with all the flashbacks in Blood Oath? There isn’t any internal monologue in film (unless it’s a narrator, and I really don’t like using them throughout a whole film). And I need to show the reasons characters react the way they do in the present by showing a scene from the past. For instance, Vincent reacts strongly to Rik when he gets to Rik’s home, because he has never seen the man in anything other than his uniform. I needed a scene in which everyone else in the squad is in civies except for Rik. The scene draws a pine point on the fact that Rik has a house outside of base that he rarely visits. It also covers the growing interest in Vincent among certain squad members and other ranking officers and that there are groupies for Altereds among both sexes. Vincent is oblivious to all of this. The scene also gives a baseline for Rik and Vincent’s body language before they become lovers. This is important, because some members of the squad and the brass notice that this body language has changed in the wake of Vincent coming to live with Rik. Basically, the audience has to be aware of the situation before to notice the change in the situation after. This is important for the viewer, because there will be no dialogue about the changes between Rik and Vincent or Vincent’s reactions to Rik at home. It will all be in the reactions from the actors. And since I had a flashback in the base bistro, I have a scene in the present in the bistro just before Vincent’s return. There, Rik gets the first hints that the intrigue amongst the generals is far from over and he may still be in danger. Jon likes the flashback motif in this script enough to suggest we use it in the rest of the scripts. In A Solder’s Fate, the central theme is that their past is informing their present. We think the occasional flashback in the episodes for the series would be better than a lot of expositional dialogue. And the actors will enjoy doing two versions of the same characters.

We’ll be updating the website sometime this week with music and voice tracks from the pilot presentation. I’ll also be putting up some more stills from the footage. They may be up as early as this evening. I’ll post another note if that’s the case.

In other updates, SAG and the studios have a tentative deal. They are meeting today to determine whether or not it will go to a vote. Beyond that, the leveling out of the downturn has caused our funding sources to start calling again. There is a meeting today about one of the ongoing projects. I may have some substantial updates for next week. As things have slowed from most of my actors (it’s the end of the TV season right now), they are all anxious to get to work on one of the features. We’re really hoping to oblige them.

When Worlds Collide

No, it’s not another instance of my colleagues at the day job finding out about my fiction. This is far more entertaining. Last week’s Episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation (or the Las Vegas one), A Space Oddity, was a brilliant collision of CSI, Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica (there even be Cylons in the episode). It was a hilarious, twisted episode that became one of my favorites the series has produced (and I have liked a number of them). Bascially, a producer who had just screened a re-imagining of a Sci-fi Show, Astro Quest (a very thinly veiled Star Trek) called Astro Quest Redux, is killed at a convention. Among the suspects are enraged fans of the original series that are insensed about the changes. ‘Questers’ Hodges and Wendy, two CSI lab rats, ultimately solve the case through knowledge only a die-hard fan would have. Along the way, Hodges has numerous fantasies about Wendy as various Astro Quest vixens. In Trek speak, the slave girl in the Gamesters of Triskelion, an Orion Slave girl, and Yeoman Rand. Throughout, the Astro Quest captain always appears with his uniform strategically ripped at the shoulder, and then there is the really big hair. Classic. Of course, this episode is really about the Battlestar Galactica redux and the vitriolic initial reaction of fans of the original series. Whether the brutally negative reaction continue through the length of the series or not or whether it rose to the level of threats of violence, I can’t say. I left the BSG forums shortly after the mini-series aired. I found the response of the fans of the original series tedious and annoying in short order. But, it’s clear from the appearance of Ron Moore in this episode that he enjoyed venting his spleen on the matter. I know I had a great time. Check it out online by clicking HERE.

I’m off to enjoy a beautiful Sunday. Though I doubt that I’m getting further than the kitchen and the PC.

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