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 13, 2010

Ladybugs, Summer Eats and Updates

The skunk lives on in Craig's Corleone garden. Despite the continued thievery, the tomatoes have been planted. Craig is forbidden from dispatching the critter because all of the ladies in his complex deem it cute. Meanwhile, he's missing the 1,000 ladybugs he released into the garden last week. The skunk is not the suspect though. Craig believes it's Murphy the Crow and his murder. Craig rescued the bird when it was young and now regrets it. No word on whether or not he'll replace the ladybugs.

Some of these critters don't seem to go for tomatoes. I know that the squirrels and gophers didn't in my Dad's garden. I'm rooting for the tomatoes. When they come in right, they come in like crazy. I'm hoping to make some fresh marinara. I've picked up a bunch of new pizza and pasta from David Rocco on the brand new Cooking Channel. Of course, I won't wait until the harvest to try these new dishes. The local farmer's market is full of really beautiful tomatoes. None of them are Jersey tomatoes, but I'm sure the sauces will be lovely. I can always roast the tomatoes first if they are not to my liking even if it's a bit warm to have the oven blazing.

Seasonal Eats

It's funny about summer and cooking for me. Most of the food shows are talking about getting outside and grilling or making things that don't need an oven. Everything is geared towards the super light foods because of the heat. I remember adhering to that in my cooking and eating habits when I lived in Philadelphia. But save for odd years like this one, it's hot in the middle of winter here. So if I want to have a pot pie in February when it's 80 degrees in the shade here, I have one. Likewise, If I want hot noodle soup in August, it's the same thing. That's a round about way of saying that I'm making a pot roast today. I am having a cold starch as my obsession with potato salad continues. I think I've finally achieved the right balance of ingredients.


Last week was odd, because I'm still under the take it easy edict; however, I'm now being encouraged to have more activity. Thus, I'm letting my body be my guide. I do what I can until I get a bit tired then I stop. The good news is that I've been able to do a little more each day without a setback. This week is relatively free of appointments. My plan is to finish the rough edit on the interviews and the promos we shot a couple of weeks ago while finalizing the details on the fitness pilot we're helping to produce. No, we aren't changing the focus of the production company. This is just a solid for our partner Ralph Lliteras and a very cool client of his, Dr. Paul Drew. It's also a good things to exercise that producing skill set on a relatively simple shoot. We haven't shot anything in over a year. It's easy to get rusty, so any practice is welcome. We have a few more Demon Under Glass interviews to complete. Strangely, it's all the production team. I've held off on those as I wanted to hear what the actors would focus on in their answers. That and I wanted to look at other behind the scenes interviews of directors and producers. I've been particularly interested in how they pull off talking about the things that went awry without sounding bitter. Not that I'm bitter about anything...not really. It's just that some of the travails that befell our production don't make for amusing stories to my own ears. A few people I've relayed these tales to have laughed their asses off over them. Maybe it's my delivery. I may have to test run them before the interviews from us go live.

I must interrupt myself to say that it is always a thrill to hear my characters come to life. Often when I've done casting, I have closed my eyes to listen to the performance to see if I can hear the character truly speaking to me. I've had the thrill of hearing two great versions of Rik Heron and Vincent Greven in A Soldier's Choice, but I've now heard a wonderful version of Nikulainen and Sarianna from The Gift of Surrender. Matty Ferrrao does a wonderful job with Vincent, but he also did a lovely job with Nikulainen. I could listen to him for hours. It was also fabulous to hear Joe McKay from Demon Under Glass come to life once again. And then there is the intriguing twist on hearing the vampire, Simon Molinar this time. The tones were dulcet and provocative, but a bit different. My thanks again to Owen Szabo.

I've been reviewing a lot of Demon Under Glass stuff of late. That's been a necessity because of the series development and the sequel to Soldier's Fate. We've finally written a Writer's Guide for Demon Under Glass for the fiction and the scripts. We wrote a first version. It's already apparent that I'll have to teak some things. I've has a really interesting experience talking and sometimes debating the finer points of our writing with the fans and authors of the fiction. I generally refrain from participating in these discussions. As far as the fiction based on the film or the novel, I stay out of the fray because I don't want to put a damper on the ideas. We have very few rules for the fiction, I tend to only answer questions that I'm asked directly. I'm very jazzed that something we created has inspired so much consideration and discussion. However, the scripts are another matter. The plots and the rendering of the characters has to match what we consider canon. Thus, we have to really put our foot down on what we'll accept. The guide isn't meant to hamper ideas, but to prevent a writer from spending a lot of time or energy creating something that we can't film. It was also good to finally put this all in writing. As I finished, I was able to construct a character profile list for when we do the casting for this thing. And I was actually writing something other than the blog. I've been constructing a lot of fiction in my head, but none of it was making its way through a keyboard. The writer's guide isn't fiction, but it got me to write on a day other than Sunday. Now, I just have to find that 'one true sentence' 1 in any of the things running around my brain and I'm off to the races. I'm getting close with a couple of the novels. Now that I'm feeling better for longer in the day, I expect to get a whole lot of work done.

Stay Tuned!

1Earnest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast (New York, Touchstone, Simon & Schuster, 1964) p. 12.

No comments: