Looks like I may be in California sooner than I expected. Today we learned that big packing job in NYC is off; they couldn't justify the expense for the books that were going to be shipped out to London. I'm still doing a 2-day trip to ship over the cream of the crop, but that's it. Meaning I may be sent to handle the Pasadena Book Fair on the 6th with followup on the 7th. We're discussing that, tomorrow. Thing is, I'll then need to be in San Francisco on the 10th to handle a new deal we're offering...so it's going to be interesting, to say the least. But I may have a couple days to visit family and friends instead of just an evening.
It's going to be bittersweet, being in LA. I've given up on writing screenplays but, like an addict, still have the urge and the dream. Don't get me wrong, I like writing books and love digging into the characters...but some things in my stories can only be done on film to get the full effect. And it pains me to think I wasn't able to do that.
For example: I wrote an update of sorts on the "Beauty and the Beast" story, setting it in a private school in Ann Arbor, Michigan during the winter. Beauty is named Charl (Charlotte), whose father is being driven to bankruptcy, and "the beast" is Mitch, a boy who's mostly deaf and very ill-kempt. Things happen to where Charl is forced to go on five dates with Mitch, even though she doesn't have the time (she's taken over as maid to her older, spoiled brother and sister). Things do NOT go well on the first two and Charl almost breaks the third date (to a Christmas dance) but then her father tells her Mitch is downstairs and she decides to keep her agreement. So she gets dressed in a Princess gown that was rejected by her sister and starts down the stairs and sees Mitch...and he's cleaned up and adorable. And it's this moment...using a one-handed, Sati-like piano rendition of George Auric's elegant melody from Cocteau's "La Belle et La Bete"...as Charl descends the stairs and lets Mitch pin a corsage to her dress and slip a coat over her shoulders and lead her outside to see their chariot is a 1961 Lincoln Continental convertible with a chauffeur as he gently escorts her down to it and makes sure she's comfortable and warm before they drive away, all under her father's gentle gaze...all done in one shot with the camera softly gliding around them and with them and not a word of dialog...I can just see it. I know it would have been magical.
Cocteau did a brilliant version of the story, all elegance and magic and poetry. I'd watch it, now, but I don't have my Criterion copy of "La Belle et la Bete" anymore; I sold it while living in San Antonio because I was broke.
I have to stop this. I'm in a different world now.