Derry, Northern Ireland

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

Saturday, December 17, 2011


That's the number of words in my first draft of "Inherent Flaws." 275 typed pages. Probably doesn't make a damn bit of sense, and I already know of one bit I want to move to earlier in the story so it'll need to be smoothed over, but I have the beginnings done. And I have no mind left, at the moment.

To let said mind wander...on the bulletin board over my desk is a semi-shrine to a script I wrote, one I was hoping would be the sale I finally got. It's an erotic-horror-romance titled "Blood Angel" about an 800 year-old vampire queen named Gabrielle who decides to make a young jazz musician in post-Katrina New Orleans her consort. His name is Tristan, and to do that, she must convince him to give up everything he loves and become a vampire like her. That's where the erotic part comes in; seems the way to every man's heart is through his dick, be he gay or straight.

The shrine is basically a printout of this photo of Jonathan Togo, who looks exactly like Tristan, in my mind. (My ideal Gabrielle would be Christina Ricci.) Long before Katrina, I was in New Orleans and was given a gold and a hot pink tin medal, so  pasted each one to it, Then I hung a couple of cheap crosses (sent to me by some Catholic group begging for money) from the pins that hold it on the board. It's tacky and a bit like the shrine Antoine Doinel builds to Balzac in "The 400 blows"...just without the candle and accompanying fire.

I set it up five years ago, just as I was starting to send the script out. I did well in a few competitions, including coming in second in one based in Chicago that led to a writing job. I even worked up a $5m budget to shoot in New Orleans and was pulling together a plan to start seeking money to make the movie. I knew if I got Brad Rushing to help me, it would come out perfect. But then life happened and now it's years later...and I still have that shrine on my board. And there are so many vampire movies and TV shows out there, they've become trite.

Of course, mine would still be relevant because it's not one of those "vampires are people, too" kinds of stories meant to symbolically mean gays or Latinos or African-Americans or whatever minority is being jumped on by the right-wing establishment. Yes, it's erotic and romantic and horrifying -- I have a moment where Gabrielle coldly throws a man off a roof to his death because he interfered with her, being true to her character -- but it's also a tragedy. I used Wagner's "Tristan und Isolde" as my guideline for the story, with Jan Garabarek's exquisite "Parce Mihi Domine" as its modern musical influence. It's a elegy to New Orleans, which is now dead...and yet undead.

Perhaps it would work better as a book. Perhaps chasing film was worse than a was a distraction from what I was meant to do. I dunno. I just know...I just know Jonathan Togo's haunted eyes and Christina Ricci's calm control would have added so damned much to the story. Sometimes visuals are best to work with. Sometimes.

No comments: