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 20, 2010

Turkey, Therapy, Demons and Serious Matters

I continue being contrary in my appetites this week. There were huge shrimp on sale this week along with all sorts of steaks – presumably for Father's Day. There were even some nice, firm fleshed fish on sale. All items aimed at grilling, I'm sure. What do I crave for Sunday dinner? Turkey! Thus, I splurged on a turkey breasts and some wings. Jon wondered if I was creating a Franken-Turkey. No, not at all. I need the wings to make some stock for the gravy and the dressing. Jon's a silly billy. Mind, I did buy the shrimp and the steak as well. The sale was too good and those shrimp were enormous. I have plans for them as well. So the apartment is filled with the scent of roasting turkey and Herbs de Provence. I managed to get everything in the oven before 8am. I was pretty pleased with myself until I noticed Alex Guarnascelli making butter from scratch. Jon noticed as well. I wish I'd noticed before we ate the pancakes. Ah well. That will be for next week's breakfast. The recipe even yields enough buttermilk for another recipe. Sweet!

It may seem that I am very industrious, but this week has not gone well as far as clearing the pile of work off my plate. I was thrown off by an ongoing bureaucratic nightmare that managed to get more frustrating in the last several days. I am an infamous worrier, so this hasn't helped my focus or my sleeping habits at all. And in this state of mind, it would have been unwise to tackle that film editing program I've never used. I can't afford the new PC I'd need after I got really frustrated. I didn't manage any writing until late in the week. Some of that is the worrying. Some of that was the latest rejection slip (more on that later). Some of it was physical – no doubt a side effect of worrying. Surprisingly, I'm not worrying about the pilot we're shooting next week. I've been delegating 90 percent of that and it's a far simpler shoot that we typically attempt. At least, that's how it looks on paper. Still, I'm refusing to worry about it.

I'm certain that I need some serious cooking therapy to get things off my mind that shouldn't be churning up in there, but it's been difficult with my slim energy reserves. My goal this week is to get more activity into my day. Perhaps by the end of next week I'll be slicing and dicing more routinely. I now have two food channels to provide inspiration. I've even organized all of the recipes that I've saved from my favorite shows into folders by subject. That file had gotten out of hand. Still, it wasn't as crazy as when I would print them out. That pile was at five to six inches thick and never in any particular order. It was crazy, and it drove the Hubs nuts.

I'm actually whipping something up now. The turkey breast is resting on the counter. So, I've put the shrimp, some thin asparagus and some Vidalia onions on a baking tray covered lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper. I'm going to make a salad with a champagne vinegar vinaigrette dressing. Surprisingly, I was able to get a photos of this dish. I do try to get photos for the blog, but often I'm eating while I'm plating. That which remains is not very pretty. This is really yummy.

Serious Writing

I look upon that term with great derision. I doubt that the even the worst writers that ever lived were writing for giggles. I put a lot of work into this blog when it's not something I plan to have appear anywhere but the internet. I sweat the details in all of my fiction. Yet somehow, I let the seriousness of the topic cause me to treat the memoir differently than my other work. The first time it happened, I was blocked from finishing the first chapter for months. This time, I've been hamstrung from even starting the second chapter waiting for responses from the journals that have the first one. I've had three rejections thus far, but two were personal notes which meant a lot. At some point after the second personal note, I was talking to my brother about family holidays of yore. He asked why I haven't been working on the memoir. Then, I heard my Mom yelling at me to just tell the story and stop worrying about the rest. She gave me the same advice when I got all frozen writing my thesis novel. I realized that I was being an idiot again. It's hard enough getting the writing out on a page without letting all of this other baggage get in the way.

Embracing the Demon

Strangely, it was not the memoir that I opted to work on when I finally started writing this week. I opted to clear something major off my plate and lob it down the pipeline. We were going to do something completely new for the Demon Under Glass series now in development that would be augmented with flashbacks to get viewers up to speed. However, to explain who a number of characters were and their relationship to Joe McKay or Simon Molinar and hadn't been in the first film was proving to be difficult. These relationships were crucial in explaining why Joe would end up on the run with a being who was terrifying him at the end of the film. We have to show the extreme personal betrayal that Joe suffered through that pushed him to the point where Simon became his only option for survival. Thus, my writing life got a little easier. I had lumbered through a first draft script of the second half of the novelization long ago. Unfortunately, it didn't have a number of scenes that ended up in the book. And the script has a number of things that aren't in the book.

So I had windows open for the current script, the original film script and the book building a hybrid over the last couple of days. It helped to have the performances from the film as a baseline. That made it easy to pick and shape the added dialogue to fit the new script. Despite the dangerous edge in Simon and the horrible things he does in this script, I have to show clearly that he is someone that Joe can live with under the right circumstances. And despite our viewers' knowledge of the film and the fiction, it has to be clear that there is a lot more to learn about the vampire. In fact, I found an outright statement by Simon where he says that Joe, and the FBI and Delphi only know what he told them about himself. And he makes it clear to Joe later that he may not tell him whether or not something is true. But Joe is also capable of profound surprises. Simon's behavior and Joe's must be different and unexpected to keep from being caught. All of this has to be put in the existing script and make sure that it makes sense with what was already written. I think it does though I won't know for sure until I look it over in a few days. I meed some distance before I attempt to read it again.

Once this is done to my satisfaction, I may be ready to take on some other writing. It's sort of a creative warm up for the fiction or the memoir. Oh, I know I still have video editing ahead of me this week, but that's more mechanical than creative for me at this stage.

I must be off to finish making Sunday dinner then get back to work.

Stay tuned.

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