This blog will not be anywhere near as long as last week’s. I have other writing I have to finish today. Warning, there is a lengthy discussion on writing graphic love scenes for camera, Isadora Duncan and other disjointed topics.
Blog vs Facebook
I've been on Facebook for a month or two now. It's certainly been interesting to have people in touch with me that I haven't heard from in decades. My joining and searching for friends of old is largely due to Harry's passing. It's been a lot of fun to share some quick thoughts or images with folks who are otherwise really hard to pin down. However, there is a bit of a conflict for me. There is an entry for your status at any given time. People write what they are doing or thinking or feeling. They are entertaining for me to read but difficult for me to write. The problem is that I my random thoughts often become subjects in the blog. Today, for example, I was going to post a note about how I was struggling to write a tasteful love scene. But that lead me to thoughts about tasty love scenes which brought me to chocolate sauce. I realized that my problems with that scenes weren't suitable for a two line post. It should be part of the blog. More on that below. In fact, I don't but status reports on my facebook page everyday out of fear that I won't have any thoughts left to spin into the blog. That is also why I will not be tweeting on Twitter. I don't believe I'm doing anything that interesting from one moment to the next for that service. And if I am doing something really interesting, I'm too into the moment to tweet about it. I'd rather revel in it later on the blog. Or if it's really juicy, I just tell my friends and cohorts on the phone. At any rate, that's how I roll.
Month of Fun vs Fatigue
The whole point of the month of fun is to give oneself small presents throughout the month. Sometimes, presents take a bit of effort. Our schedule was designed and refined for maximum efficiency. That sort of inflexibility makes it hard to grant small indulgences even to oneself. But I feel that it's important to make the effort. Sometimes, it's quite an effort. Seeing the WGA talk with Ron Moore threw our work schedule off for two days. The change reverberated until the end of the week, because of the stuff we weren't doing on the days our routine was altered. The event was completely worth it, but it costs us. I also have to guard against getting obsessive about doing a big thing every day. I can get a little neurotic and cause myself stress when I'm trying to do something positive for myself. Yes, deep down, I am a wacky artist. With that in mind, I am adding, giving myself a break metaphorically and literally into the mix this year. Tomorrow, is a bit of hair care and a chocolate mousse. One would think that would be really easy. Oh, no. If I’m not awake by 9 am at the latest, there is a strong chance that a number of my plans will unravel. It takes me all of the 12 hours of Sunday to get done my usual list of chores and have the weekly chats with family members and some friends.
Meanwhile, the month of fun is still full of good fun. A very generous birthday gift from my brother enabled us to get some wonderful treats for the pantry and still pick up a desperately needed external hard drive for the humongous video files Jon is editing. We’ll be making mousse and chocolate chip cookies today. And on Tuesday, we’ll be having dinner with two of my favorite actor lovelies at one of my favorite restaurants here. And next weekend, aside from three days off, there will be the seafood feast (including the long delayed oysters) and I’m breaking out the grill. Perhaps, this time, I can lure some of my former Borders peeps here for food and fun.
Tasteful vs Tawdry
Despite my personal reputation for naughtiness, I am known for very tasteful and often elegant love scenes. I do not use coarse language to detail the actions. Sometimes the characters talk dirty (Vincent, from the Soldiers novels, has quite a potty mouth). But I don't use profanity in depicting the intimate acts. I'm not saying that there isn't great detail. There is. Those here brave enough to read my excerpts know that. The problem in writing a love scene for the big or small screen is that every detail is made more powerful when it is visual. If I cut and pasted one of the love scenes from A Soldier's Choice into a script, it would be porn of the triple X variety. I can't put all the interior monologue between the lovers into the scene description. All that the script requires is the actual action. Even the premium cable network considering this project doesn't go that far in its love scenes. Thus, I have to throttle back the details in the action and give more latitude for the actors to convey the emotion in the scene by the way they touch and hold each other and how they look at each other. Incidentally, the actors will be a lot more comfortable with a subtler scene. Not only are they not showing all of their goodies to millions of subscribers, they get to shape the intensity of the scene through their performances. Don't get me wrong, there will be plenty of their lovely skin on those well-formed bodies to enjoy. It just won't be something that one buys from the back room of a video store in WeHo (the photo is from a Gay Pride weekend. The neighborhood isn't typically so packed with the shirtless). The actors have such a strong chemistry between them on screen, it would be foolish not to let them use it. It had to make myself put in the full-blown love scene.
I had been focusing so much on the intrigue and building of suspense, that I had only an abbreviated love scene in Homecoming, the episode after the pilot. It's truncated, because I have Vincent arriving at Rik's home the same day that they are cleared by the military tribunal instead of three days later. That is a very long day for both men. They had just been released from the hospital, a place that is never very restful. They'd had a long hearing before the tribunal. Rik then went grocery shopping before putting his long neglected house in order for a lengthy stay while Vincent is dealing with his brother and all the well-wishers who want to hear about his adventures. They would be nearly exhausted by the time they went to bed. Thus, I wrote a tender scene where there is moving physical intimacy, but not a full-blown love scene. From there, I went straight back to the intrigue. There is a lot of that part of the plot to cover, but I was having trouble finishing the script. It just felt like something was missing. It was Jon and one of my readers that pointed out that there needed to be a payoff for all of the build-up between Rik and Vincent. From the characters' perspective, the first morning after would be too much for the men to resist. They're healthy guys, after all. And they are in love and in lust with each other. Rik has been desperate in Vincent's absence. The real and underlying fear that Vincent could be wrenched from him once again, would compel Rik to act.
Still, the writing isn't easy. I now have a lot of director stuff in my head from Jon. As I am writing this scene, camera angles and editing issues are mulling around in my brain along with what I have to convey. This isn't a bad thing. After my disastrous debut as a director during a Radio/TV and Film class while in journalism school (there was a great deal in the way of screaming and crying in the control booth during the shoot about my whole family including my Grandma from Georgia expecting to see me walk down the aisle in a few weeks), I hadn't given a thought to how a scene would be directed. For the record, I was directing a three-camera video of a dance performance originally performed by Isadora Duncan in a booth like it was live TV. I got a great grade for pulling it off despite the screaming and graduated on time. Where was I? Oh, yes. I've been watching Jon work for so long that something seeped through. It makes his life easier if I'm writing scenes with his direction in mind. It just takes me a while.
At this writing, mid-day on Sunday, I have finished the love scene and will finish the episode tonight. I’ve also gotten most of my food prep under way. Thus, I will have time for my hair.
And finally, next week I'll likely be ranting about the various series finales that have assaulted my brain during the past couple of weeks. Chief among them is CSI: Miami whose finale is tomorrow night.