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, July 17, 2011

Bunda Shaking, Creative Baking, and Deadline Mayhem

After watching Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations Cuba episode (I highly recommend it, if you haven't seen it), there was a special called Dance the World with Jaycee Gossett, a New Jersey ballroom dancer out to learn the dances of the world. She was in Brazil to learn the real way of dancing the Samba. See the explanation of the dance's origin HERE. Key to the dance is shaking the bunda which is Brazilian for booty or groove thing. I think. I'm still not completely sure what a groove thing is, but I am guessing it's the same as the booty. The show was a lot of fun. Hopefully, the Travel Channel will bring it back. At any rate, I was reminded of something that Kirstie Alley said recently about getting into great physical shape. I believe she said when in doubt shake your butt. I remembered that I have my Bollywood Dance Workout. This was good as I've been looking to vary my physical activity. I want to swim, but I just haven't gotten to it yet. I've been taking dance classes off and on since I was in grade school, so this was a natural way for me to work out. I managed to do a thirty minute workout at half time. The steps were fun and most likely funny looking to anyone passing by my living room window. I really felt it the next day, but I'm going to keep at it. I'm also going to order a yoga for beginners DVD. It's clear that I need a lot more stretching and flexibility.


I found a really neat recipe for honey white bread last week. Then Jon suggests that I make raisin bread with the same recipe. I'm not much for adlibs with my baking, Theoretically, it's just a matter of rolling the dough into a rectangle, spread cinnamon sugar and pre-plumped raisins over it. Then, roll the dough into a tight tube, let it rise in a loaf pan and bake. So, I gave it a try. Let's just say that baking raisin bread smells insanely good. The bread turned out very nicely – though I should have rolled the final dough just a bit tighter. But this section is called extrapolation for a reason. I next took that raisin bread and made French toast! Yowza!! The other extrapolation I tried this week was via a recipe by a finalist on Food Network Star. He is from Brooklyn originally and now lives in Las Vegas. He came up with a wrap sandwich called the Philly-rito. It's a Philly cheesesteak burrito. I told the chef that I found the whole notion was an abomination. However, it also looked pretty tasty. I love a good burrito after all. So, I gave it a try. It had onions and smashed avocado and roasted red peppers along with melted cheese. There was a sauce on the side made with sour cream, garlic and finely chopped cilantro. I have to admit that it was very, very tasty abomination.

Organized Mayhem

I have a lot of writing projects on my plate. Most are mine or the production company's. They are all creative. And they now have hard deadlines. One thing writers get asked over and over – and I still do – is how do you get that muse to work on demand? The very simple answer is practice. The muse doesn't have to be in gear to structure a plot or figure out character arcs. I have found that the inspiration comes far more easily when the structures are in place. Sometimes, I'll give the broadest strokes to a scene or even a chapter to just keep moving the story or the script along. This method makes Jon a little crazy when we're doing a script. He likes to solve everything before he types FADE IN. I believe in getting the storyline basically in place then adding detail or modify during the first re-write. In my novels, I fill in new details before I give it to the proofreaders. Strangely, I often leave the fine details of the love scenes for the second pass. Contrary to popular opinion, I'm not thinking of wildly imaginative sensual acrobatics all the time. I do not. Furthermore, I find it difficult to write those scenes straight away because I don't really know my characters when I'm early in the process. Love scenes are an expression of character for me. I have to know them well at each stage of their arcs to effectively write great love scenes. I do confess that, like authors throughout time, I always seem to be working with my back against deadlines – no matter how much lead time I have. I'm not sure why that is. I suspect it is an expression of creative flakiness. Thus, I often look like Usagi-sensei to my right here when I finish a manuscript. He is my favorite author character in anime. As you can see, he captures the nuttiness of an author quite well. Thus, my readers here will hear me bemoaning my progress or lack thereof frequently in weeks to come.


Film updates are scarce. Everyone attached to my projects is book with other things. I suspect I will have to chase them down soon for updates. I have a major update for the Cancer documentary that I will announce tomorrow on that blog. I will also cross post here.

Stay tuned.

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