Derry, Northern Ireland

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

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Pay no attention

I have a name-tag letting me into this exclusive auction house, with my photo on it, and I have to wear it all times to prove I'm allowed to be there.  A guard at the security station made me hand over my Driver's License and look into a camera so they could have a real-time picture.  Other guards stood by to "sort of" watch, their wary eyes never leaving me.  None of my party was allowed to be alone until we'd all been checked in and ensconced in a room where we were to work.  All very top-drawer security and a strong vibe of "don't even try to mess with us."  I'd be intimidated (well, sort-of) except for one thing -- my name's wrong on the name-tag.

All this fuss and fuddle...and I'm now known as Michael Sullivan.  Not Kyle.  Not Michel.  Not Kyle Michel, as it is on my birth certificate and driver's license and passport and lease and every bill I get.  So legally speaking, it's not me.  I'm a fake.  Shit, I knew that long ago...I'm just amazed it took these folk this long to make use of it.

Oh...and the guard who did the name-tag doesn't like Texas barbeque.  He prefers Chicago style, which apparently is next to sauceless.

San Antonio seems to have calmed down.  My mother apparently took a spill while my brother was out getting some dinner for them both, and then she spent yesterday not wanting to eat.  But today she's feeling better and life is easier.  Or so I'm told.  I'll be down there in a month.

I must be getting used to New York City.  It was its typical busier than hell place, today, and since my hotel's right by the street leading to the Holland Tunnel, I can see how insane traffic still is -- cars blocking intersections so they can sit and wait for cars ahead of them to move even as they don't -- but none of it seemed out of the ordinary to me.  Or impressive.  Not quite a year ago, I sat for over an hour to get into the Lincoln Tunnel to get to Manhattan..and last December did it, again, when I drove down for an interview for "Dining With Strangers", so this line was not that big a deal except we're in the Village part of Manhattan and it looks meaner.  Dunno why anyone owns a car in this part of the city.

Tomorrow night's Indian food...and I hope it's the good spicy kind and not the bland watery type.  I had both when I was living in LA and both claimed to be authentic.  Dunno which is, just know which makes my tummy happy.

I HATE Firefox

It's been acting up, lately, and it just froze up while I was writing a new entry and dumped everything I'd written.  Wouldn't even let Blogger save it.  I just kept getting error messages.

Well, I'm in no mood to rewrite what I did.  It's been a beast of a day, thanks to crap going on in San Antonio.  I'm off to NYC in the morning so I'm going to bed.

When I get back, I'm dumping Firefox.  Safari's given me no trouble at all.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I am large...I contain multiples.

I love that quote by Whitman, shot back at someone who accused him of contradicting himself.  It was a great big "So what?" and done as only a poet could do it.  Of course, small wonder I like it; I contradict myself all the time...and in my work.

Whoo...going through LD this time was a journey in self-discovery.  Especially as regards inconsistencies and being overly explanatory.  Sometimes it's best just to let things reveal themselves as they wish.  So even as I added more words and expanded upon some moments that felt constricted, I cut back on others that felt too explicit.  And wound up with 62,000+ words and 301 pages.  And here I was saying I couldn't add to it without making it crap.  HA!

I wonder if I'm too old to be tested for dyslexia of the thought processes?

Well...I'm in NYC beginning Thursday and staying till Monday, then I have a packing job to pick up and pack and get to a courier service by 5pm Tuesday.  Then comes returning to Buffalo.  I'll be staying in SoHo and meeting with an ex-cop who wants me to make his story into a book.  I'd already written it as a script but no one wants it because they feel it's been done before.  It's all about corruption and drug dealing in the NYPD ("Serpico", anyone?) but in this case it helped drive him to a nervous breakdown.  Which may have been another stumbling block on getting people interested -- the hero doesn't blow away the bad guys in the end; his brain just blows up.  But it'll be interesting to put a face with the script I'd already written.

The recent vote for gay marriage in NY has made me wonder if "Dair's Window" is no longer relevant.  If I should now do it as a period piece of a sort, having it end about three years ago, after Prop 8 is passed.  I don't know.  The story is timeless -- learning to move on after severe loss -- and I can still see there being a huge backlash by the radical homophobes like there was in California, though I think (I hope) the Mormon Church will stay out of this fight.  They got beat up good after the last one.  But you never know with religious fanatics; reality has so little to do with their view of existence.  Michelle Bachmann is proof of that.

Problem is, the freaks're close to taking over the world and leading us to WW3.  What a fun prospect.  Reminds me of a story I heard once, about rats being kept in tight quarters -- when there got to be too many of them to be comfortable, they turned on each other and killed those they'd been sharing space with.  Maybe that's happening now with people.  No place left to go but up and that ain't happening soon, so...CRUSH, KILL, DESTROY!

There's also an old Chinese curse -- May you live in interesting times.  Looks like that's coming to pass, fer sure.

Monday, June 27, 2011

My aching back

Man, I did more walking yesterday than I have in a long time, my satchel slung over my shoulder, and now my lower back is letting me know it was not happy about any of it.  It's been building a nice ache all day and is just now getting back to manageable. wonder they say getting old ain't for sissies.  NOT easy.  Plus crap like this makes me cranky and lowers my tolerance for the bullshit going on in the world.

For example, I'm finding there's a new type of solicitation going on, aimed at screenwriers but may also be hitting on all people working in film and TV.  Somebody puts up an ad on craigslist or InkTip or something like that, seeking scripts...and if you contact them they come up with a line of how they're offering a new screenplay competition (enter for a $100 fee and if we get a thousand entries, we'll make the winner for $100K); or are one type of film company that's now "getting into producing with contacts for money" so will you let them use your script to see if they'll offer up some cash; or submit your script for a new posting on a new website so please fill in all this personal information.  It's irritating.  Just sharks preying on minnows.

I was a minnow, once.  Now I'm more of a every sense of the word.

Off to NYC on Thursday and still need to do laundry and ironing, and now I'm wondering if this job will wind up being anything worthwhile, at all.  It's not promising at the same time that it is.  Rather confusing.  So I may not be there the whole weekend.  Or I may...since there's a possible packing job just up the Hudson from the city.  If the guy's available for me to pick the books up.  And another one in Boston...if the guy's available for me to pick the books up.  All so iffy.

I got a new version of the cover for LD.  The cabin's the same, but something's been added that makes it all okay.  I can not only live with this one...I can be happy with it.  I'm feeling good about this book, now.  I just got done with chapter 12 and have 2 chapters left to rework.  Then I'll let it sit till I'm back from NYC and go over it, again, to make sure I haven't screwed anything up.  I do that sometimes.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


I spent the day in Toronto with my nephew, who's an architect currently teaching architecture.  He's heading a class of students working on a project in Montreal and they'd come to Canada's largest city to view the massive construction going on.  And you'd never know there was an economic situation anywhere if you judged by Toronto.  New condos, new office towers, road repairs, the place was working it.  Seems Canada missed the nastiest part of the housing bubble because they have regulations on their banks.  Their government also pushed through a stimulus just when it was needed and proved helpful in keeping the recession from getting bad.  Unlike the US where the GOP hates government and wants to drown it in a sea of red ink and the Democrats are letting them do it.

Obama may get another term...which I am NOT happy about since he's little more than a liberal Republican (talk about an oxymoron)...but it's getting to be just as possible that a Republican will take the Presidency, which would be a catastrophe for the country, especially if the GOP keeps the House.  If the Democrats don't stop trying to pet the rabid attack dogs, it's even possible they'll take the Senate.  And then it will be time to get the hell out of Dodge.

Anyway, said nephew wants to go for an advanced Masters in Architecture at Columbia, and I'm going to do everything I can to help make that happen.  He's worried about the cost and he's got a new baby and he's still paying for his student loans from his own schooling...but I told him about how I turned down NYU's Graduate School in Film and have been kicking myself ever since, so he needs to stop thinking about the negative and just focus on what is best for his future.

So...does anybody know anything about grants and scholarships (NOT loans) for Graduate work in Architecture? regards LD, I'm at the point where Van goes for help and feel like the whole budding relationship between Daniel and Van is more organic, now.  It still felt a bit forced in the earlier draft; now Daniel has more of an unspoken need for support.  He's been handling a lot of hell all on his own and it's worn him down to the point where getting back with Tad is a way of just relaxing and letting himself be himself, since Tad already knows about his crazy family and how Ace and Carmen are in his head.  But now Van is an alternative.

Hm...does that make Daniel too needy?  He's strong in so many ways...but does him needing being with someone make him less of a person?  Gotta think about that.

If this makes any sense, good for you.  I had a beer with lunch and it's made me fuzzy-brained.  One friggin' beer.

I'm getting old.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Deviled eggs

You want to know my problem?  I don't just listen to people, I listen to their off-handed comments and take them to heart in ways that are close to stupid.  Which, as I rewrite "The Lyons' Den" for the umpteenth time, I realize I added as a characteristic to Daniel without realizing it.  What finally brought this home to me?  Making deviled eggs.

Now I like deviled eggs.  They're simple -- some mustard and mayo mixed in with a well-cooked yolk and a dash of pepper, slop it back into the white and you're done.  All nice and neat and a good snack.

Well, a couple weeks ago, just before they headed off to London, two of the women I work with mentioned they liked deviled eggs.  And one of them gave me a coupon for free eggs from Target (they had a promotion going where you get a dozen for just coming in to see that they now offer a very limited range).  I'd already gotten one free coupon but was going to ignore it half because I'm boycotting Target and half because I've found I really like the organic eggs at Wegman's, even though they cost more.  But I figured any eggs are good for deviling, so I got 2 dozen for free and waited till everyone was back then deviled away.  I made 18 -- that's 36 halves, enough for everyone in the office to have them as lunch.

I even used a recipe that called for a dash of vinegar, touch of onion and some sweet relish, and I bought a container of Oregano to sprinkle over then.  I was feeling very full of myself.  It would be a nice welcome home meal for everyone.  Just one problem -- no one ate them.  I told them they were available in the fridge...and not one person in the office even looked at them.  I had deviled eggs Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday...and when I go in on Monday, I'll still be throwing out 10 halves, because no way will I trust them for lunch.

Did anyone ASK me to do this?  No.  I took it upon myself.  And I've realized I KEEP doing that in way too many ways.  Which segues into me expecting things of people that they, in all likelihood, don't even know are expected even though they've hinted at doing or being exactly what I expected them to do or be.  That's silly...and maybe psychotic.

What's wild is, I unconsciously added that to Daniel.  He can see what people are really up to, but he blinds himself to it.  Why?  Because, as Ace puts it, he's got a servant mentality.  He'll do things that he THINKS Tad wants, for instance, even though during the course of the evening at the cabin he comes to realize Tad never gave a damn one way or the other.  Because the fact is, nobody gives a damn if you do  what you think they want; in fact, they don't even notice.

I got a lot of thinking to do about this...sometime.  Tomorrow I'm heading to toronto to meet up with my architect nephew for lunch.  But one thing's for sure, right now.

I HATE deviled eggs.

Here we go again

The State Assembly of NY just made it all right for gay men and women to marry members of their own sex.  Of course, NOM and their scumsucking followers are threatening to derail it, if they can.  I feel such a sense of deja vu, all over again.  I was in California when the courts extended marriage rights to gays and look what happened there -- the Mormon church funded a ballot initiative that used lies and distortions to scare people into voting to end those rights, which then had to be overturned by the courts, again...and is still ongoing 3 years later.  I hope it doesn't happen in New York...but people thought it wouldn't happen in California and it did.  So we'll see.

I, personally, don't believe in marriage, no matter who it's between.  My father had five of them, my mother...four.  I have a brother and sister each on their second, and of all my friends I only know one couple who are still, two.  All the rest are divorced and remarried or seeing new people.  Most of the "defenders" of marriage -- like Newt Gingrich, John McCain and John Hagee -- are RE-married, and Newt's divorces were especially nasty.  Hell, I even knew one guy who'd been divorced and married four times before he was twenty-three, and that's not mentioning the marriage he broke up.

So my experience with marriage has been that it's a dismal failure, so I can't even begin to understand why anyone cares about it.  Yes, it comes with certain legal guarantees...but that'll only count in states that recognize the marriage, and the IRS and immigration STILL will not automatically accept gay marriage for anything they have jurisdiction over nor will they until all the Bushies are driven out.  So if you have a gay marriage and go to Florida and your partner gets sick and may even be dying, you won't be allowed to see them or make any decisions on their behalf, not like you would with a heterosexual marriage.  And good luck getting that to change, even through the state courts.  Even if you have documentation proving you have the right to do it.  They won't give a shit.  Same goes for marrying someone from another country; immigration'll make your life hell when you try to get that past them.

On top of this...very few people are like geese or wolves; the vast majority cannot mate for life unless forced to (which is how it used to be in the US and still is in some Catholic countries).  So why DO they try?  Why do people buy into the idea that marriage is great and wonderful and the perfect ideal?  It's not like you need it to have sex, anymore.  To me, it's surrendering your freedom.  Like having kids is surrendering your freedom...until they're grown.  Usually.  Yet our world is set up to emphasize how everyone ought to do they HAVE to do it to gain certain rights and privileges.

Man...I'm rambling.  Gotta stop.  But I just got done with the psychotic break part of LD and am still in Daniel's freaked out state. And then I got the first idea for the book's cover from the publisher...and it's nice enough, but I don't think the art department read the book; they just glanced at the synopsis I sent for the back cover.  I mean, I love the isolated feel of the cabin, but the building is just too damn small.  It needs to look more like a ski lodge, not a one-room shack; it's owned by people who have MONEY.  And the title should read "The Lyons' Den".  Oh, and I find it especially funny that the man's tits are over my name.  Too bad he's not somebody I'd bother to look at twice.

Hm...I wonder if they'd add a pistol to the cover?  Maybe under "...Den"?

See?  I'm being a bitch.  I'd probably be working on divorce number fourteen if I'd been married.  Hell, I'm hard enough to deal with when we're just friends or co-workers...and that's with me trying to be nice for the short time we're together.  Imagine me having to do that for 16 hours a day.  I'd go nuts.

Not that I'm not already.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

It's the end of the world...

Or close to it.  The GOP has decided to play chicken with the Democrats over the budget ceiling, threatening to not let the nation borrow more money unless Social Security and Medicare are slashed and there are no tax hikes.  This despite even the Chamber of Commerce saying, "Don't do it."  The problem is, you can't negotiate with a rabid dog...and the Republican party has, quite seriously, gone completely insane.  So how to you get a organization run by madmen and maniacs to do what is right?  You can't, not unless they want to...and they don't.  And you can thank the idiots who supported the Tea Party for this.  People let themselves get stampeded into believing a pack of lies put out by the GOP and the attack dogs of the Koch Brothers, and now they're reaping the whirlwind.  The bastards.

So how do you prepare for the chaos soon to follow?  I honestly do not know.  I may wind up living with my sister in San Antonio and eking out a living doing God knows what, since I make my way in a field that will be hit hard by any economic turmoil. My youngest brother will be in even worse shape.  And the fucking Democrats, lead by our wuss-in-chief, aren't doing a damned thing more than they have to in trying to combat it.  It's sort of like watching two ships gliding along on a collision course and neither one seems to be changing course as they pass the point where they can maneuver to avoid crashing, even though it might mean both will sink.

Robert Reich has it right.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Slowly I march...

Step by step, inch by almost sounds like  the "Slowly I turned" skit from "The Three Stooges" -- or Abbot and Costello or God knows who actually first came up with it.  The best version I've ever seen is this one, off "I Love Lucy."
What's even more hysterical is, later in the show she actually does the whole routine in pantomime as Ricky is leading his band in the song, "Martha."  Watch the video; imagine the hysteria.

Thinking about it, Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett can make me roll on the floor with laughter, over and over.  The closest male who's done that to me is Donald O'Connor, and that was during his "Make 'Em Laugh" bit in "Singin' In The Rain".  It seems female comedians are funnier than male ones.  I wonder why?  Is it because we expect men to be idiots while women are the prim and proper ones or just scatterbrains?  Then Carol Burnett appears at the top of the stairs in a green velvet dress while doing a send-up of "Gone With the Wind" and has a curtain rod atop her shoulders, and you nearly die laughing.

I think the funniest skit I ever saw was when Carol Burnett was playing an escape artist for whom nothing ever went right.  The set-up was that a trunk she's supposed to escape from while underwater collapses the moment she sits on it, showing how flimsy it is, and her handcuffs won't stay closed.  But apparently the producers got the idea of fixing it so the trunk did NOT collapse like it's supposed to and the cuffs stayed locked.  Jesus, her reactions as she tried to get everything to work like it did during rehearsal...I was choking and barely able to breathe, I was laughing so hard.

Damn, I wish I could add something like that to my writing...but I think comedy like this works because of the performance.  I mean, I DID do something like it in a goofy little script called "The Lavender Curse" -- where a butch cop's mind winds up in his less-than-beloved mother-in-law's body, and vise versa, just as he's about to make a huge arrest and she's about to be in a senior lady beauty pageant.  The comments back were -- "Needs to be funnier."  So tell me -- what's funnier than having the mother-in-law's estranged husband show up in her bedroom and rather obnoxiously wanting to get amorous with his wife while the cop's mind is in her body?

I'm sounding like a pissed-off writer, again.  Gotta quit that habit.

More done on LD in steps and stages, as well.  I redid chapter 7 because the timing was wrong for about 20% of the interaction between Daniel, Ace and Van.  It just didn't work completely.  Now it's a lot happier...and the book is now up to 300 pages.  Seems that I AM channeling Tolstoy.  Or Dickens.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Want one...

Have you seen this?
 It's a 21st century Winnebago, basically.  You can go camping in long as you're not doing off-road in uneven terrain.  Hell, you can live in it, if you want, it's the fold-out kind of set-up.
These diagrams show you how it works, and the bed is over the driver's seat.  Plus it's electric and runs off the sun; there are solar panels on the roof.  Talk about a tiny carbon footprint.  Me want.
Of course, I could just win the lottery and buy a little Renault Kangaroo Mini, fix that up to be a sleeper in the back and toodle all over Europe in it, like a modern day hippie.  No apartment needed, just a drop box for mail that I'd have to go to every so often.  I'm sure I'd get sick of it after a while...but then again, you never know; I may be a gypsy at heart.

Monday, June 20, 2011

What Would Tolstoy Do?

Well...I seriously doubt he would pore over his manuscripts, all written in longhand with a quill pen, and make non-stop changes and corrections.  I have this image of writers like him and Dickens and Jane Austen and Henry James forming their works complete on a page and making minimal adjustments once written.  It's like they had to think about every word before committing it to ink because to rework the story meant rewriting every damned page and that would have been ten kinds of chore.

But now we have operating systems and programs that make changes so damned easy, it's like nothing you write can be considered permanent until you decide to give up on it or get so sick of going over and over and over it that you send it off, in disgust.  A stroke of a keypad and BAM -- this paragraph vanishes into that chapter.  This word becomes that phrase.  This moment of tenderness and grace becomes a comedy of misunderstanding and ill-mannered numbskulls.  It takes a whole new kind of discipline to write, these days -- one that reminds you sometimes you can rewrite a story into the ground.  Which I have done with a couple of scripts.

But...and this is not a positive admission...this is the part of the process I most love.  Which is why I keep rewriting and rewriting and rewriting my work.  Every time I find something that can be clarified or better said or shifted just a bit to gain deeper meaning.  I also find inconsistencies, even after a dozen passes through the story.  But eventually it gets to the point where you wonder if you're losing the essence of the characters and over-explaining the plot to the point of confusion...and you lose sight of what you were trying to say.

Case in point was what I almost did to "Desert Land."  This is a 4000 word short story that I rewrote 20 times to get right and then stopped.  And sent it out.  And got a couple of rejections.  So I decided to revisit it...and wound up changing the ending.  For the worse.  I actually sent it out with the new ending before realizing it was wrong, wrong, wrong and totally at odds with the rest of the story.  Fortunately, the literary magazine that liked it had the original ending so I can now dismiss the others should anyone be fool enough to want it.

I'm close to falling into the pattern with "Lyons' Den", so I've deliberately made myself do only 1-2 chapters a day to keep from getting swept up in the story and "trying to make it even better" without any real thought.  Yet somehow, being only halfway through this polish, I've still managed to add nearly a thousand words and 6 pages to the book.  This makes me nervous.  When I'm done with this draft I'll have to let it sit for a while to cool down then go through it with a fine-tooth comb to make sure I haven't ruined it.

I may even jump back to "Hunter" for a while just to jolt my brain out of the mindset it's trying to settle into.  Nothing like a pair of pissed off queers to clarify things in your brain.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

I'm confused

I just watched "I Love You, Phillip Morris" and cannot understand why this movie did not get a decent release in the US...aside from flat out homophobia on the part of distribution companies and theaters.  It's a well-done film about a man so busy lying to everyone, when he finds his one true love he can't stop lying because that's all he knows...and damn near destroys that love.  Jim Carrey was good in it but you never forget he's Jim Carrey...and to be honest, you never forget that he's a straight man playing a gay one whereas Rodrigo Santoro, who played Jimmy, is straight but he's very gay in the movie.  Same for Ewan McGregor, who could play a bunny-killing serial murderer and make you both believe him and care about him.  He definitely deserves an Oscar, at some point.

But that aside, the story was fun and honest, funny and sad, a bit too slick for its own good, sometimes, yet still true to its characters.  So why was it only released on 6 screens in America?  And then only after being kicked around like a second-rate piece of filth for years?  The only answer I can think of is, they didn't think American audiences would accept it...and there's some truth in that.  Just reading the comments on the movie's IMDb page shows straight guys were uncomfortable with the movie.  But the 14-24 year olds are becoming a minimal part of the audience for films; they're busier with video games.  And there are 15-30 million gay people in this country, depending on whose estimates you use, yet they barely get served by films outside of gay porn and indies that are all about pretty boiz having easily solved problems.  "Brokeback Mountain" is proving more and more to be an aberration.

Of course, members of the gay community were also up in arms about it because they felt it showed gay men in a bad light, and considering how long a history there is of making queers victims or villains of sexless sidekicks (Ruppert Everett in "My Best Friend's Wedding", for example, though he damn near snuck around that nonsense just by the force of his screen presence), I can see their point.  But as a writer, I bristle at anything that minimizes the true human experience.  And Steven Russell WAS a gay con man who ruined people's lives but still was lovable enough to have them care about him.  In that, the movie did a fine job.

What's interesting is, ILYPM made 1.5 times its budget in the overseas markets, including Russia.  So it could have done well if Hollywood had wanted it to.  They just didn't really try.  And that's sad.

Worked through a couple more chapters of LD.  Nothing much else to say.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Death to the AARP

Turns out some stealth Republican at AARP, a guy named John Rother, has agreed to consider cuts to Social Security because it needs to be fixed.  Never mind that it doesn't, that Social Security has enough cash to pay full benefits for the next 20+ years and that it could be made even healthier if they'd just raise the cap on income that pays into the program.  Never mind that the economy is teetering on collapse and unemployment is still over 9%.  Never mind the criminality of the Banksters and Wall Street scum who looted people's life savings and no one's doing anything about.  Never mind the union-busting and the shredding of personal rights as we approach police statehood and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and now Libya (thank you so fucking much W for setting it up so that Obama feels he does not need Congress' approval to attack another country) and the crumbling infrastructure in the US and the millions of homes being foreclosed upon and the more than 50 million, we need to cut Social Security benefits now, now, now and destroy Medicare as we know it.

I joined the Association for Retired Americans, in response.  I'm old enough, now.   And I told AARP they can go to hell.

And then I got down to what's important in my life -- working on LD.  I've worked through 3 chapters and found a few typos as well as spots where I could make things clearer.  I'm also cleaning up Tad's use of English a bit.  He probably went to prep schools his whole life, so he'd never use "gotta."  That's an Ace word.  It's also fun to emphasize how, despite the fact that Daniel shifted Ace's looks to reflect Tad's, he still had him talk like he never finished high school English.

I couldn't keep at it too long; I hopped over to the office to feed the cats for the last time (I was taking care of them while everyone was out of town) and had a so-so enchilada meal at Elmwood Tacos (whose rice is pathetic, however, and tasteless and the whole meal is WAY overpriced) then got a haircut and went for a walk around the lake, so I'm feeling tired, now.  I'll work on LD more tomorrow and through the week.  I have until the end of July to get them a final, final draft.  By the time I'm done, it'll be diamonds.

I also got a new camera.  That thing I bought from Vivitar is crap when you try to shoot close-ups, so I went with a CoolPix, again.  I know how to work that one and I found out it was only $50 more than the Vivtar was.  Serves me right for looking for price instead of quality.

I want some tea...and I think I'll watch a Hitchcock movie.  I've had two online buddies reference "The Birds" in the last week, so maybe it's time to view it, again.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Back to LD

I need to go through "The Lyons' Den" a few more times before sending it off to the publisher as my "last, final version" so they can put it into their lineup for Spring, 2012.  Meaning head follows heart and nothing is to be accomplished by sitting here...therefore I offer a photo that fascinates me.
Something about this composition and lighting is so tender and mysterious and rich and innocent, I've got it on my desktop.  I could see a story building around the idea of such an image, something shifting and experimental and open to discovery, and I don't know why.  It just feels that way.  Of course, the only way I can discover the touchstone it's slipped into my palm is by following it...and I ain't got the time right now, baby.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

America the psychotic

I am getting so fucking sick of how this country is going.  It's been building for years...hell, ever since the GOP impeached Clinton for lying about cheating on his wife when 25% of the sanctimonious bastards and bitches pushing that impeachment were found to have done far worse, and 75% of the country said, "Don't do it."  Then Bush 2 stole the election thanks to his buddies on the Supreme Court, in direct violation of the Constitution.  Then 9/11 and the hysteria that followed, as if no one else in the world had ever been hit by terrorism before.  Ireland?  Israel?  Italy?  Germany?  France?  England?  Japan?  Spain?  Australia?  Who cares they've been through stuff that's just as bad and behaved like adults afterwards?

Then came the lies about Iraq and the invasion and the governmental intrusions and the Democrats playing the part of a battered wife, over and over and over, and the election of Obama (who was anything BUT a progressive, if you paid any real attention to what he was saying).  And then the fake scandals and the doctored videos aimed at destroying liberal organizations and true progressives, all aided and abetted by the Democowards.  And the GOP blaming everyone but themselves and Wall Street for collapsing the economy and exploding the deficit.  Now unions are being destroyed and the press...that great and liberal institution...cares more about a congressman's dick than it does about anything else in the world.

So...another progressive has been run out of office, NOT because he did anything illegal but because he got caught being a skank.  The right wing thugs have another victory thanks to the Democrats, lead by Nancy Pelosi.  And if anyone thinks this is the end of it, they're crazy as hell.  The GOP now sees a way to destroy anyone they disagree with -- find one little thing that person has done that someone somewhere might not like and scream about it as if it's the worst thing in the world.  They'll fall down and kick and hold their breath and then people will give in just to shut them up.  The GOP's doing that with the debt ceiling, even as we speak...and they flat out won't listen to the Chamber of Commerce and Moody's insist to them it's a big, big mistake.

But what's worse is...the American people put up with it.  75% of Americans like the health care reform act, but they won't make their congressmen pay attention.  75% of Americans think raising taxes on the wealthy is a good idea, but they won't make their congressmen pay attention.  They're like parents who have a 5 year old tossing a fit and are trying to ignore him, even as he wreaks havoc on everyone around him.  The GOP is completely out of control, and Americans won't do a damn thing about it before it's too late.

In Greece, they have protests and near riots and let their government know they'll pay a price if they protect the bankers at the expense of the people.  Iceland's citizens flat out said, "No" to demands they take on the debts of stupid banks who helped cause an explosion in property values and bad loans.  In Morocco they're still demonstrating to force real democracy on their government instead of this pseudo-sort-of-kind-of thing those in power are trying to get away with.  In Syria they're dying trying to overthrow a dictatorship.  In America, it's all a big shrug as the country is destroyed around us.  And you can see it all in exactly how Anthony Weiner was driven from office -- over sexting -- while those who've helped Wall Street and the banksters loot the country are given free passes because it's not as interesting or titillating and besides, who cares?

We're shallow fucking people.  And our country is dying.  And we don't care.  All that matters is, a Weiner showed his wiener.  Disgusting.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pricey Broadway

Damn, tickets to Broadway shows are ridiculous, even when discounted.  $75 for something OFF-Broadway, even?  And none of the shows really interested me enough to even consider shelling out six or seven times the price of a movie ticket to sit near the back and listen to tiny people on a stage yell at me.  But then, I've never been all that much into plays; I guess it's just not part of my temperament.

So maybe I'll go see some indie films while I'm down there over 4th of July weekend.  That city does get everything in the way of movies that are released.  Plus it won't be as long-term a commitment, just two hours instead of nearly 3 and not starting till after 8pm.

I discussed the contract with Star Books Press and they allayed my concerns to an extent, so I signed the contract and will send it to them tomorrow since my scanner isn't willing to scan.  Probably because I don't have it connected for that, for some dumb reason, and can't find the cable for it.  I can print so I thought that was all I needed.  Wrong.  I be no tech savvy.

"Hunter" has settled into purr mode, sitting in a window full of sun and letting me scratch its ears as the story unfolds in this appallingly brutal fashion.  It helps to have an idea of where events are heading, and about halfway through the story things will shift, dramatically.  But don't anyone think I'm doing one of those infamous shifts like "Dallas" did with Bobby suddenly appearing in the shower after a year of everyone thinking he was dead, and the previous year turning out to have been just his wife's nightmare.  That was dumb.

Of course, what this story is headed for may be just as dumb, I don't know.  I guess I'll find out when it happens.  And I got a feeling if I like it, I won't care if it DOES seem dumb.

It's my story and I can screw-it-up if I want to...and that doesn't even begin to fit the rhythm of the song I'm paraphrasing. be no singer, either.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Devil in the Details

I'm not crazy about the contract I was sent for LD.  It's not bad...but they want the right to change my work without my permission and if I sign this thing, the only way I can tell them not to is to kill the deal.  So I've asked them to change that part of the contract...and we'll see how that goes over.

A bigger problem may stem from how they want it set up for final submission.  The story's just about 60,000 words long which works fine for most novels...but they want it to be a 200-280 pages in this particular format, and when I switched it to that format, it came out at 147, including the title page.  Not great.

You see, I just plain do not want to add anything to the story.  It'll come across as padding and will throw the whole rhythm of the piece off.  So...unless these two issues can be resolved, I may have jumped the gun in thinking I was getting published by someone more mainstream.  And I'm at that stage of life where I ain't compromising.  Been there.  Tried that.  All you wind up with is crap, and that does nobody any good.

So I took a walk and wrote some on "Hunter"...actually, just went through and reworked some of what I'd already done before adding a bit more...and I now see what the story is about.  And why it's doing what it's doing.  This is going to be closer in temperament to "How To rape A Straight Guy" than anything else I've done, since.  But at least Vermin's being both funny and scary while Hunter, himself, though trying to prove he knows what he's doing...and not succeeding very rearranging his world, a bit, and getting kookily paranoid as the story goes along.

35 pages...8000+ words...and it's just getting going.  Another marathon.  At least my brain's getting a workout.

Monday, June 13, 2011

We are not impressed

I watched "The King's Speech" this evening since I've got some buzzing going on in my brain and need it to sort itself out before I continue work on "Hunter."  Seems the beast of a story is now doing a one-eighty on me and I'm rather taken aback.  Especially after the ninety degree turn it took just a couple days ago.  If I make it though this story without whiplash, it'll be a miracle.

Anyway...the movie.  Well...Colin Firth was predictably good and the script was very tightly structured, but Best Picture?  Best Director?  Seriously?  For this journeyman work where you could see every beat in the story coming fifteen minutes prior to arrival and the camera was so badly placed half the time, I nearly screamed?  I guess the Academy had to take a breather after the cinematic intensity of "Slumdog Millionaire" and Hurt Locker".  But if I'd paid $12 to see this, I'd have felt cheated.

In that vein...I happened onto a festival in Toronto, where you submit the first 10 pages of your script and if you get selected, you get a staged reading.  It's backed by WILDsound and the Toronto Film Board and happens 4 times a year, if I understand this right.  For the hell of it, I sent in "Find Ray Tarkovsky"...and it's one of the finalists, out of how many, I don't know, but there there were over 200 submissions overall.  The top 4 are announced July 5th, when I'm in NYC. Then comes the last stage on July 30th...about the time I'd be leaving for Texas.  But since I'm driving, I can wait to leave.  Be a nice birthday present.

Oh...and I do have my own page with a short interview of sorts...well, more of a questions and answers kind of thing.  Makes me happy...and feeling a bit irreverent.

This just in...Star Books Press wants to publish "The Lyons' Den".  They sent me a contract.  I haven't really read over it, yet -- hell, I only got it half an hour ago -- but it sounds more promising.  Now I need to talk to my current publisher and let him know.  This will prove interesting.

Oh, for God's sake, Kyle.  LIFE is interesting.  At least, that's what they tell me.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Distractions galore

I watched the Tony Awards, tonight, and I'm in love with Neil Patrick Harris.  He can do everything -- sing, dance, act, rap -- and still look cool, calm and collected...even when he jumbles the lyrics.  If he won't marry me, maybe I'll chase after Daniel Radcliffe, he's so adorable.  I'm glad Frances McDormand won because her speech was funny, but I really wanted Vanessa to.

I don't really know what the plays were -- except for "Normal Heart"; I've read that one.  And I'm familiar with "Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" and "Brief Encounter" because I've seen the movies...but something about the staging just doesn't work in my head, for those two.  I guess because I loved the cinema versions and can't see them working properly on a stage and the bits I saw looked like bastardizations of both formats.  It was the same for "La Cage Aux Folles," which was a play before it was a movie before it was a musical...though I may just go ahead and see it over the 4th of July weekend to see if I'm wrong, if I can afford tickets.

"Hunter" is coming along...and messing with me.  What initially looked like a very dark, disturbing story of erotica has taken a twist I wasn't expecting...and don't know how I feel about. But it's that very fear that's making me think I ought to just take the leap and let it run.  Who am I kidding?  I've finally caught on to the fact that I HAVE to let it run; otherwise things get really nasty.

The lead character, Hunter, is still disturbing, as is his cohort, Vermin.  I have images for them but I'm not going to post them, this time.  I halfway think that casts something of a jinx on the story and I want this one to be done ASAP.  I'm already close to 8000 words and can easily figure it being 7 times that many long.  It'll be interesting to see if I can pull this off and not alienate my few fans. know that feeling you have when you're on a roller-coaster and it's near the top of the first drop and you're trying not to scream before everyone else on the damned thing and the edge is getting closer and closer and closer and closer and closer....?

Too late; I'm on the downhill slide!  AAAAAAIAIIIIIIIEEEEEEEE!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

A form of coma

When I sit at my Mac and try to write, I find myself wasting time...for the most part.  I surf the web.  Look at interesting sites I've bookmarked.  Check the news (as nasty as it is, lately).  Comment on blogs.  Have flame wars with right-wing-nuts.  Get berated.  Get praised.  Listen to music.  Watch videos on YouTube.  And just wander.  Sometimes for days.

But suddenly the world can vanish as this wave rolls over me...and I never know where it's coming from or what it means until it's done.  I have fifteen different projects I want to write or rework into books.  I've been working on "Place of Safety" for years, trying to get at least a first draft completed.  I have others I've been able to get myself to do quick rewrites on.  And I manage to move ahead in steps and stages.  But the flicking of a light switch...I turn into coma-guy and nothing else matters.

I eat less, and I drink too many DPs and OD on hot tea.  I sit at the keyboard for hours at a time, breaking only when my bladder can't hold another minute (I think that's why I focus on the fluids instead of the solids; takes less time to pee than shit).  I'll take short breaks when things get too intense...but then I'm drawn back to the project that's taken over my life.

Today is the first time I actually can acknowledge that I tend to work this way.  It's not so much a case of waiting for the muse to strike or birthing characters who then snap at me like drill sergeants out to mold my will to theirs.  It's more a low-key psychosis that boils up from within and explodes into my world...and I become brutally resentful of anything that takes me away from it.

I've had moments of this on POS...and on BC and LD.  I'm having one, again, and it's taking all my will power to write this instead of continuing with the story I'm channeling.  Since in the space of 3 days, since I can only write at night during the week...I've written 30 pages.

I have no idea where this one is going, but it's already taken a turn for the vicious and has become a bit scary to me.  And it's left "Dair's Window" crushed on the side of my life's road, for the moment, as POS waits calmly around the corner.  Brendan always was the survivor.

I guess I don't know me and never will.  That or I'm crazy as hell and am just now catching onto the fact.  Whichever it is, I'm off to do battle with words and grammar, again.  Tally-ho!

Okay, that last word definitely means I'm nuts!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Brain block

I worked late today and I'm on my own all next week, so no telling what's going to happen.  I've already got two problem shipments driving me nuts so I guess I'll do my best to keep from letting them crash and burn.

Problem is, I can't think, right now.  I got the perfect images for "Hunter" but I'm in a serious phase of dyslexia and have to keep going back and correcting typos because I'll hit the wrong damn key...and it's all because I had boiled eggs and powdered potatoes with gravy for dinner.  I know it.  Too many carbs and too much cholesterol and not enough awareness of reality...and for some reason I feel stoned even though I don't.

Hmmmmmmmmmmm..what can this mean?  Is it post-patrum concussion?  I start giving birth to a new story and it's now messing with my hormones...or testosterone...or LDL or Triglycerides or something.  I wouldn't mind it if I'd actually had something to drink.

Oh...maybe it's Patsy withdrawal.  I do need a nice big glass of Cabernet.

Of course, it could just be a brain tumor or a stroke or something mundane like that.  Who knows?  I have too much going on to be so full of nothing going on.

Okay...I've stopped making sense.  Time to put down the typewriter, take a nice, long, hot shower and kick back.

Oh, fuck -- there goes the fucking fire alarm!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Never been so bored at dinner

I like the Orange Peel Beef at PF Chang's.  It's spicy and even tastes good warmed up over rice, one of the few Chinese foods I actually look forward to.  The Mandarin Beef at Panda Express is another.  Well, I was at the grocer's, recently, and saw PF Chang's has frozen meals available.  One was called Shanghai Style Beef, so I bought it and yesterday I tried it out.  Cooked it just like they said.  And it was AWFUL.  Tasteless, practically, and a little bit slimy.  Not at all what I expected.  I mean, they SAY on the package it's a "savory sauce".  Yeah, if you drown it in Soy Sauce.

Now I've got leftovers and can't throw them out; there's something in my makeup that refuses to toss food unless it's spoiled.  So I guess I'll have to figure out how to make this meal tasty enough to get down.  But no way am I going anywhere near that crap, again.

Of course, it could be me.  I mean, I also like TGI Friday's potato skins (NOT good for you but VERY tasty).  So I tried their name brand potato skin chips in bacon and cheddar.  Again, nothing to the taste.  I had to use Picante sauce to liven 'em up because not even a good Guacamole helped.

So...I guess I'll just have the real deal at the place it's made at or cook my own at home.

My muse has pulled a little trick on me and taken me into a story that's now pouring out.  I don't know what it is, yet -- a novel or a short or something in-between -- but the main character's voice is very vivid and his buddy is just as wild.  Hunter and Vermin.  Don't ask me where those names came from; these guys arrived fully formed and ready to talk.  I may be a whiny little shit, much of the time, but I know to shut up and listen when it's this loud.  Got 11, I hit 12.

And no headache.  I wonder if what I was really going through was birth pangs.  Wouldn't that be just like me?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

No dancin' tonight

I just don't feel like it.  I'd rather just post some photos of my trip to Utah...give a taste of how it looks as opposed to how it feels.
I found this along the south shore of the Great Salt Lake, not far from a marina and just the other side of the access road to I-80.  Not sure what it was about but it brought so many ideas to mind -- a one-time railroad stop abandoned in the middle of the Depression...a spa where people went to take in the waters of Salt Lake, thinking they were medicinal instead of just rank...or the rail car was a last-ditch effort to revitalize this stop, thinking people would come just to dine in it.  All broken dreams.
I was feeling kind of Frederick Remington when I toyed with this shot of the Colorado River...and sensed hints of the shadows of the Johns Ford and Wayne.  Seems they used this area as well as Monument Valley (150 miles to the south) to shoot their westerns.
Here is the actual coloring of the rocks that stretch for miles and miles and miles along the river.  A billion years of history exposed and tumbling down to be crushed slowly, slowly by the non-stop waters.  I was in awe of the Grand Canyon when I visited there...but this was like traveling back in time to see the beginnings of creation.
This is the view from the house where I did part of my packing job.  These cliffs keep running for miles past where I was standing...almost to forever.  Supposedly, there are cracks in them that are wide enough to walk through, so you could travel by foot from this spot to Moab, which is on the other side of the mountain.  Probably a day's journey...but something I'd like to try, sometime.  Hell, I climbed Arthur's Seat in Edinburgh just so I could see what it was like; why not this, too?

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Nasty headache

Actually a pain on the left side of my neck so I think I pinched a nerve.  I've always been prone to problems there, and these beasts take forever to go away.  Advil and Icy Hot are just beginning to work after 5 hours of use.  Ugh.

Problem is, I can't think very well during moments like this so I just coast and get nothing done.  I just want to sleep till it goes away.


I think I'm going down to San Antonio for the month of August.  Things are not going well, down there, and apparently I'm the only one who feels enough responsibility to try and do something about it.  Texas in August...God, I so look forward to that.

I'll be in New york City over the Fourth of July weekend on a packing job for an auction house.  Did I already mention that?

Brain dead.  Maybe more tomorrow. Or not.

Monday, June 6, 2011

It begins...again...

I've found the images I want for my characters.

This is Adair Llewellyn.  Making "Dair's Window" a novel has already altered many aspects of how I see him...and using Gentle Ben Cohen (British Rugby star) for his personification adds to it all.
I'm using Charlie David, an out actor, for Adam Barrault.  Doesn't hurt both of them are Canadian and have the same type smile.
 I have always thought Neil Patrick Harris would be perfect as Wallace Carruthers, very neat and sure of himself, a take-charge guy.
 Susan Sarandon would be the ideal Marion Adelle Carter Llewellyn Santini Briscoe Talke...and back to Llewellyn because that's how her name is on the deed to her ski lodge.
And this is Thiago Rufinelli, who works beautifully as Jacob Messner -- attractive in an off-beat way, not the neatest of guys or even the sweetest...but he's brutally honest.

I've already begun shifting the story and am sensing new ways into the hearts and souls of the characters.  So first comes solidifying the spine of it, then comes the bones, then comes the flesh, then comes the life.

Oh...and the humor.  I hope.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

I'm not abandoning Place Of Safety...

I'm just in a very unsure place, right now, and want to give my inner workings time to realign themselves.  Having someone who actually lived through the events I'm trying to relate tell me I'd not be able to do it right for the people who know...but it might work out well enough for those who knew nothing...well, gave me a nice kick in the creative balls.  And I need to heal.  I've always been wary of POS and gone through times where I could not picture not completing it to where I seriously think I should ask around for someone else to do it because I'm unworthy.

It's just...I can't give it up.  It's something I'm meant to do.  I know that deep in my soul...and it's slowly working its way through the questions and uncertainties deep in my own dark shadows.  But consider this -- it took God, himself, years to get Moses to go back to Egypt to release the Jews...and I got nobody like God backing me up with his superpowers.  If I did, I'd be living in Derry, right now, letting the life of it permeate through me and into the story instead of doing all my research in books, websites and movies that always disappoint.

Returning to a project where I've already completed one version...well, I've found it rejuvinates my self-confidence to a surprising extent when I shift the story from one form into another that is totally different.  "Lyons' Den" did that, to my surprise.  I actually think I made it stronger, tenfold, than it was in script format, because I let it dig and grow and be as dark and chaotic and light as it wanted by giving Daniel and Tad and Van and the others room to explore.  Granted, it's a relatively easy story based on a published book and play so I didn't have to do a lot to get the storyline going, so I did start from a better place.  That's why I want to practice with "Dair's Window", which is a darker story and one that is completely original with me.

DW has some humor, already, but of the character-type.  Marion, Dair's mother, is a pistol and half.  Jacob has an off-kilter view of life.  Even Wallace's preciseness is a bit funny, at times.  But Dair is dour.  Well, not so much dour as too limited to his own pain.  In LD, I found letting Daniel have his moments of JOY with Tad made it more believable that he'd want to get back together with the SOB, despite the pain he'd been caused.  It made him more sympathetic and real, something missing in the script and play versions I wrote.  I want Dair to grow in the same way.  And I want to build up the darkness of Adam and how he may be using Dair while still loving and needing him.

God, I hope this doesn't sound like I'm trying to justify my shifting focus.  It does still boil down to me not being sure enough of myself to get deeper into the story, just yet...because I'm at the point where things have to match up and make sense and be true.  And it'll be just me taking the hits if I don't succeed, so you can factor in some fear, as well.

But I won't give up.  I hope Brendan understands that.  I know full well..."When the stones weep, so will I..."

I'm seeing hints of their tears already.  Perhaps by August they'll be in full flow.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Why Hotmail Rocks

When I order things or make queries online, I always give my address and my landline phone number because it's reached the point where online and sales companies buy and sell your information left and right.  With my landline, calls go straight to voicemail and nine times out of ten, sales callers hang up.  With Hotmail, unless you're okay'd by me you go straight to junk, and I clear it out every couple of days.  Just now, I got rid of 240 offers to make money or get free Subway sandwiches for a week or meet single girls (obviously not much research going on there) or buy cheaper insurance.  Then all I have to do is click one box and "delete" and they vanish 35 at a time.

SBCGlobal is almost as easy to get rid of crap, but they're impossible to get hold of.  I got an e-mail from someone saying they were a friend of mine claiming they were trapped in Edinburgh due to a robbery and needed cash to get home.  They'd hacked a e-mail address but then switched two letters around in the name to open a new account.  If you just glance at it, everything looks fine, so I have to wonder how many people thinking a friend was in trouble wired cash off to some scum in God knows where before learning it was a scam?

Fortunately for me, the first time it happened to me was on Hotmail using someone whose phone number I had, so I called them and, sure enough, he was still at home and was warning people his account had been hacked.  He'd notified Hotmail, so I tried to notify SBCGlobal...and do you think I could find any way to get hold of anyone?  I finally found a phone number and got caught in this recording where they would not pass me along unless I had an AT&T phone number to reference.  I gave in and let them know about it through their "feedback" system...which no one will pay attention to.  Especially since the little feedback choices I made on the site were VERY negative.

Technology's no good if you can't deal with the nonsense that comes up, and some of these companies go out of their way to see to it that you cannot contact anyone human anywhere near them.

Today was get the car serviced day and groceries and such.  I had my laptop so reread the script for "Dair's Window" as I waited, and I actually do think I'm going to work on that.  I want to see if I can add some real humor to it; right now it's got some okay moments of lightness but it'll help the story immeasurably if I can balance the darkness even more.

I don't know how Brendan feels about this, and Dair is hesitant about stepping in...but I feel it's right for me to do.  Apparently I'm still a bit spooked, deep down, by the comment someone from NI said about me not being able to truly capture the place for any but an audience that knows little about it, and I need to let that settle down more and rebuild my confidence. 

Again.  I am crazy; I keep doing the same crap over and over and achieve little more than baby steps in my movement forward.  Of course, that's better than going backwards.  Isn't it?

Friday, June 3, 2011

I'm maddening

I got the Season Two AbFab disk and can think of nothing else except watching Patsy and Edina be the self-centered, stupidly stylish bitches that they are.  Patsy getting that high school boy's given me a greater appreciation for her, while Edina's immaturity is both sad and silly.  And their answer to everything is Champagne and cigarettes, sweetie.  I think this is where my recent urge for red wine is coming from...and not a burgundy, like I usually go for, while white doesn't even begin to interest me.  I may pick some up tomorrow as my car's being serviced (and wicked little commenter in my head says, "And you ain't, sweetie").

I'm also a bit ticked off.  I haven't weighed myself in months, thinking I'd been cutting back on the food and DP (I'm down to an average of 2 a day) and had a doctor's appointment for a general checkup...and I've gained 6 pounds!  Shit, I've actually been hungry more in the last couple months than I had in my entire life, and I've eaten more salads and less red meat...and I'm STILL getting fatter?  Fuck that.  From now on, I eat whatever I want.

Except I actually DID like the salads because Wegman's (a local grocer that's like your one-stop shopping center for worldwide food) makes some killer ones for cheap, and I usually toss a can of tuna in with it.  They also have excellent fish and chips (though their coleslaw is merely so-so).

Fact is, I wasn't at ALL active over the winter, just sat at my desk at work or in my apartment and worked on LD and POS.  Small wonder I'm turning into a later-stage Orson Welles.

Okay...I'll go walking...tomorrow, darling.  Tonight is AbFab.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Here we go again

I'm getting the urge to work another script of mine into a novel -- "Dair's Window".  It's a drama about a gay man (Dair) finally coming to terms with the accidental death of his lover and the viciousness of the man's family.  He's won the lawsuit against him and is about to enter into a commitment ceremony with a man he doesn't really love but feels comfortable with when the married best man comes into town with his very pregnant wife and upsets everything.

I set it in a small town in the mountains of Washington state because they offer civil unions and, despite the state's reputation for liberalism, has some serious pockets of right wing nuttery.  And Dair became a stained glass artist from a well-to-do family while Adam, his late lover, is in the US illegally from Canada.  There are hints the man was using Dair...but it's also suggested Adam is the reason Dair was becoming successful in his art.  The new man in Dair's life is Wallace, who was also his lawyer and who is a political animal, while the best man is named Jacob, who used to be involved with Wallace when they both lived in Tokyo and does extreme IT work.  His wife is Setsuko.  Dair's got a mother I based on Lauren Bacall at her feistiest and an Episcopal reverend of a grandfather who marched with Martin Luther King in Selma.

I workshopped the script at Film Independent and am damned proud of it.  It also got into the top ten of a couple of competitions.  However, it looks like it will never see the light of day on a movie screen and I honestly do not understand why.  But I can't get people in the gay productions houses to even read it...and I've tried a number of ways to make that happen.  Nothing.

So it looks like the only way this story will become part of the world is if I work it into a book.  It may not sell extremely well, but at least it will be seen by a few people instead of none.

It's funny...but I posted a first draft on to speed up the feedback process.  The nice thing about that site is you get honest responses, for the most part.  Some people are out to slaughter for no good reason...and I've had them hit me on there, before...still, you can get a good idea of whether or not the story's working.  And I got some very solid response.  What I remember most, however, was just after gay marriage had been legalized in the state of California, not by law but by judicial decision.  One bit of feedback said the script was a bit passe, now that gays could get married there.  My immediate response was, "We'll see."  I had no idea how vicious the fight over it would become and how easily Prop 8 would pass, but I knew gay men and women are still the minority everyone is allowed to despise...and by God, it got proven in spades, thanks to the Mormon Church.

So the story is still valid and current.  For now.  Isn't that disgusting?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

So this was funny...

I blew off anything tonight and watched "My Favorite Brunette" with Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour...and boy has humor changed.  I can't say we've gotten better because 1934's "Twentieth Century" has moments that are just plain hysterical and which have yet to be matched.  But Bob, he's been better, like in "The Paleface" and "Seven Little Foys".  When he's got a good script that follows the format and a director that bothers to block the action.  But this movie...the funniest parts of it are the cameos by Alan Ladd and Bing Crosby and a bit by Lon Chaney Junior concerning walnut cracking.

Bob's a baby photographer who winds up investigating a kidnapping at the behest of beautiful Dorothy who may or may not be crazy...until she isn't and he knows what's really going on but can't even stumble into doing the right thing against the villains.  He winds up convicted of murder and on death row (I'm not doing a spoiler, here; that's where the movie starts from and he tells everything in flashback, even things he couldn't possibly have known).  What's really sad is how the ending is a cop-out.  Very disappointing.  The only reason I finished it is I was ironing.

Nothing else to say, really.  I'm letting my batteries recharge and trying to get all the mundane crap of life done so I can focus on what's important -- POS.  But I can't do that till know the next stage of LD.

I think I'm just lazy.  Always have been.  And that's a hard habit to break.