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, May 15, 2011

Birthdays and Curses and Updates

Jon and I inadvertently avoided a politician canvassing for votes on our block on Saturday. I'm counting that as a treat to myself. I'm not pleased at politicians turning up in my e-mail inbox. I really wouldn't react well to one showing up at my door. This past week was a tiring one that began with a six and a half hour ordeal to see my surgeon for a follow up. The actual encounter with the doctor lasted literally five minutes. One might even say we got the bum's rush out of the office. And that was during rush hour. And then, there were the two production meetings. I remembered why I really don't like production meetings (and why Jon really does). But more on that later (I promise).

Month of Fun – Birthday Week

Despite my grumbling, last week was really good on a number of levels. The weather was absolutely lovely, so I got out a lot. We had a long walk with Craig and my hat on Tuesday. Craig asked us to read his script and tell him how to trim it from over three hours to under two. Typically, such a request is daunting and really boring. But this is a voyage through what Craig considers entertaining. Oh boy, was that entertaining. It was so much fun to read that we want to read the version that is TWICE as long as this one. I was laughing out loud in the wee small hours of the morning. His use of dialogue is profane and artistic and hilarious. I told him to keep the length and go for an HBO mini-series. It's a plumb leading part for some A-lister. Craig wanted to know who as there were ways of getting the script on their bedroom nightstands. We didn't ask. Deniability is sometimes a very important thing. Did I mention that some ancient panhandler out a curse on Craig? Yeah, that happened. I've never been present when an actual curse was put on someone. Craig yelled back that aliens had stolen his camels. A good time was had by all.

On the birthday itself, there was the second production meeting. That was not loads of fun (they never are for me), but considering that I couldn't have sat through one last year, things are pretty good for me. Last year, I was barely out of the hospital from what the other Appendix Cancer patients call the Mother Of All Surgeries (MOAS). I recall being full of staples. I'm certain I was resentful of the tube still hanging out of me. IV Chemo was a notion that hung over my head like an Acme Anvil. Being cancer free this year is a reason to howl at the moon. I still have a lot of healing to do(I should remember, I get nagged enough about that), but I am well on the way. I have new and exciting work that fulfills me creatively. I even have a cause to fight for. As for the birthday, it was good overall. I spent time time with Marguerite Lliteras, one of our partners, who has a desert dry sense of humor. And then we had time with her wonderful grandson. He is six and a very, very funny, witty child who can spin lengthy tales from thin air that are full of whimsy and wonder during a relatively short ride home. Intelligent children like him are joyful and delightful and a treat to listen to. My darling nephew and my adorable little cousins could brighten my darkest moods at that age by just showing up and telling me about their days. Thus, a little ride with him was a wonderful treat. Beyond that, I roasted a lobster tail and made some pasta with a little olive oil and garlic with a side of lightly sauteed spinach. We bought a slice of fudge cake from the Cheesecake Factory to share. I had a little bubbly. The was really simple to prepare and very, very lovely. I was not in the South of France or even in the South of Philly, but I had a wonderful birthday. Thanks again for all the well wishes!

But there is way more of the month to go. There are recipes to try. This week's were a chocolate birthday cake a la Marcus Samuelsson and stuffed olives a la Chuck Hughes. Both were delicious. Will this be the month I try to bake croissants? Who knows? There are a whole lot of interesting things in my bookmarks. And there are the lovely lunches. I've had two this month, so far. One was with Craig after the lovely walk and curse. Second, was a delightful lunch with dear friend and wonderful actor, Ray Proscia. He has a brutal yet hilarious way of cutting through the crap of any situation which helps when dealing with a sometimes crazy person with a serious illness. He has seen the worst that this particular cancer can dish out with another friend, thus he was the ideal person to deal with me. He has seen me at my worst and could still make me laugh. Lunch was a celebration of victory. And, as always, there was tasty industry gossip!

Updates – Many and Varied

Blast from the Past

Walter Koenig was at Lucy's studio for a shoot last week. I don't think Ralph saw him since Dragoncon nearly ten years ago. Anyway, it was really cool that he remembered working on The Privateers with us all those years ago and remembered us very fondly. that made Jon and I feel really good. We haven't been able to offer much in the way of money to actors, but they always manage to have a good time on our sets.

The Films

The production meeting blog is on the new page for Octodemon: The Alcamagod. There are even photos of some of the locations. My plan is to do as much photo documentation as I can and put them up in a timely fashion. Jon and I plan to be the videographers for this shoot. That footage will be on draggontv.com. We'll probably post that weekly. That will depend on the mayhem going on.

For Demon on the Run, I'm still working a script to fit the resources we have available. It's coming along, but I am admittedly going slowly. I want to make sure that we can shoot everything that I write. Thus, I have to research each scene to make sure I have assets in place to make it work. This is the opposite way line producing usually works. However, this is normal for web series. Those are almost always written around resources and not just around an idea.

The Books

Insomnia has been a good thing for my writing. When I finally get tired of watching late night true crime shows or reruns of Hawaii Five-O, I listen to music and work through character arcs. Despite having a clear plan for my novels, I sometimes find that the arcs of any given character weren't what I expected. A Soldier's Destiny is going very well. It's been difficult to pull an excerpt to put in the blog because there are some serious spoilers before or after any given love scene. Silly me. I need to write more gratuitous love scenes! There is a lovely moment that is developing in my head. I will try to share it soon. The dynamic has shifted between Rik and Vincent where the younger man has become the protector in the relationship. He no longer needs the nurturing he required as a young soldier. He matured through all the experiences on his own and with Rik. The shift is timely as Rik needs to be emotionally protected to do the kind of training the newest and most volatile recruits to date require. That's been interesting as the story remains from Rik's point of view. Hopefully, there will be a scene I feel safe in putting up soon.

Ensnared has been a fascinating trip. It is the first time I've broken up a couple once I put them together. This has been a challenge to deepen a relationship without physical intimacy. There have been a lot of near misses and longing. My leading man, Darius, is the most arrogant character I've ever written, yet I find him amusing and endearing as well as extremely dangerous. Andreas is amazed by his once and future lover's behavior. Andreas believes that Darius has arrogant handwriting. He is amused and befuddled at being blamed for the erotic dreams Darius has while they are apart. It's been a delightful dance for the characters as they make their way back toward each other. I will share a scene from this book soon as well.

Stay tuned.

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