Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I finished proofing "Bobby Carapisi-1" and sent my corrections off to the publisher. I'm still waiting to see what their artwork will be for the cover...and if I have to be an obnoxious jerk about it. I sent then a mock-up of what I wanted -- very low-key in comparison to their other titles -- and told them up front I wanted the cover to look as much like what I'd done as possible. We'll see how it goes.

Right now I'm prepping for a trip to Seattle. I'm helping load out the Seattle Book Fair this weekend, which means a paid jaunt to one of my favorite cities. If I could get a job there, I'd move in an instant. I may still try, once my sister's able to take over handling our mother...which will be in January.

More good news on the competition front came in yesterday -- my gentle updating of "Beauty and the Beast" into a teen romance is a Quarter-finalist in this year's Screenwriting Expo in LA. I've gotten as far as Semi-finalist with them but no further, so I'm not expecting this year to be different. My work doesn't conform to the Syd Field school as much as they like, and my characters tend to be too deep and real -- and it's not me saying this. I was told this by several actors who've read my screenplays. They like that I give them plenty to work with.

Hmm...perhaps I should also note this was from when I was part of The Playwright's Kitchen Ensemble at the Coronet Theatre in LA. It was a wonderfully beneficial set-up for writers, where you bring in 25-30 pages of a script or play and actors who are members of the group do cold readings. You get to hear your words interpreted and spoken by fresh voices (instead of just the ones in your head) and get feedback on how the work comes across by the other writers in the group. My writing improved exponentially while a part of this.

I think my favorite moment in the whole time I was there was when I was having the third part of "Find Ray Tarkovsky" read. A young actor named Paul, whose last name I wish I could remember, was playing Damon (the lead), and he came out with a reading of a line that totally upended the story. It's when Damon's explaining to Tara, his ex-wife, why he was desperate to make sure their son was all right, and he finally convinces her he's being forced to help the Russian mob find a snitch hiding in the witness protection program. She explodes with, "You got our SON involved in this?!" to which Damon responds, "Oh, they threatened you, too." To me, the line was like a warning. But Paul read it as if Damon was just reassuring Tara she hadn't been left out of the danger, that she got a death threat, too, so nothing to worry about. Got a HUGE laugh -- and I actually shifted the line a bit to indicate that's how it should be read...then went through the whole script and flipped as many other lines as I could to be read in an off-beat manner. Made the script a LOT funnier and WAY more fun.

God, I miss that.

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