Derry, Northern Ireland

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

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

And this helps explain...

TPM talking about how theRight Wing hijacked Religion.

Oh, boy...

I got into a confrontation scene that shot all over the place, to where I'm so confused by it I have no idea what I set out to do. So I put it aside and will look at it, tomorrow. Nothing unusual about that, unfortunately; I plow into the moment and suddenly everybody's pops in with ideas that don't necessarily match up, and I have to take a breather to regain my bearings.

I'm having fun watching the meltdown in Indiana. Mike Spence is twisting himself into a pretzel trying to explain how a bill clearly meant to help Christians discriminate against anyone they damn well want to is not a bill meant to let Christians discriminate against anyone they damn well want to. He's a stupid son-of-a-bitch, but he's also stubborn; not a good combination...because stupid people are almost always stubborn about what they're being stupid about.

It's true religious freedom laws have been passed in 19 other states, and one is being passed in Arkansas even as I write, but what I think's happening here is the old idea about the straw that broke the camel's back. Those other laws were protested, but they were in states where people almost expected this crap to happen. Indiana was supposedly forward thinking. Yet the second the GOP had control they snuck through a bill to kick anyone not a heterosexual WASP male in the teeth.

This was one state too many, and now the full-scale backlash has begun. We'll see how far it goes; I'm still too cynical to think much will change, and I have a good idea once the uproar dies down, all these companies who support equal rights will go back to business as usual with the state. But at least it's an enjoyable spectacle as it happens. And proves, yet again, that the GOP is completely, totally, and absolutely without moral fiber or capability. To paraphrase Paul Krugman, "It's like they enjoy causing pain and suffering to those who are marginalized." That is diseased.

So, my dear despicable Governor Spence, this picture's for you. And since you'd probably need a translation as to what it is I mean, this is the PG-13 version of, "Suck my dick, asshole."

May you and your ilk rot in hell.

Monday, March 30, 2015

That scene...

Nothing more meed be said...

The Big Sleep (1946)

Do NOT watch the 1945 or 1978 versions; the 1946 movie is the definitive telling of Raymond Chandler's crazy-quilt book. I read it, years ago, and it was a lot racier than the move...except for one scene...in a bar...between Bogie and Bacall...as they discuss horse-racing.
Bogart at his peak. Bacall at her most sexy. Doesn't make a hell of a lot of sense, but it works and that's what counts.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

I drink too much...

Tea and Dr. Pepper, that is. I only have the occasional beer or glass of wine. Rarely any mixed drink. And water, now and then. But I can go through 3 pots of hot tea a day...which means I have to pee every ten minutes, it seems. And that also might be the source of a lot of my weight -- overabundance of liquids. I'll have to look into that...sometime. It's just, when I'm writing I like having something to drink at hand. And water just don't hack it.

I'm at that stage in UG where I've started trying to repeat aspects of the story. Not deliberately. Fact is, it's like they're new ideas to me, but then I remember I've already got something like that in an earlier chapter and have to get rid of it. Like two steps forward and one and a half back. Fortunately, I've got a fairly decent outline of the story, this time, so it seems to be moving forward well enough.

Devlin's a bastard, but he keeps revealing aspects of his history that sort of excuse it. His father was physically abusive and may well have killed his mother and buried her somewhere. His older brother is mentally and emotionally scarred from that abuse, so he had to take over the family business. Some people have tried to take advantage of the family situation and, in fact, nearly half a million dollars was scammed out of dear old dad, which nearly sent them into bankruptcy. He's learned he has to be hard, sometimes, to keep things going.

He's also built a nasty vindictive streak that makes him need to take revenge on those who've wronged him or his brother. I can't quite figure if he was headed for a nervous breakdown or into serial killer territory when he collides with Reg. That encounter shatters his whole psyche, sending his mind into chaos and letting him see just how crazed he was becoming.

It's hard to believe I snuck this photo on the London Underground over a year ago, starting this whole story going in my brain. He's become Reg, to me...Reginald Brewster Thornton. I wish I'd followed him off the train, now. Found out who he really is. But for me to do that would be totally opposite of how I usually behave. I barely approach people I know, let alone perfect strangers.

But seeing him really did get the whole process started. His sad eyes and slumped posture. I'm not sure why Dev became the storyteller in this, or why the sex started out so raw and vicious...but that's only at first. I already see it growing gentler and more inclusive as the story progresses...some of it to my surprise.

It'll be interesting to find out how this finally turns out.

BTW...

The more I see of Dean Monroe, the more I think he's the perfect look for Devlin in Underground Guy.
Dean was a porn star, now retired, and lives in London. I guess he's from there, so he's not really Dev's background; Devlin's from New York City. But his features are just right.

And those eyes...

Saturday, March 28, 2015

The New York Book Fair is coming...

I know because I spent all week looking over paperwork associated with it. This is only from our foreign clients; US clients aren't exporting or importing so they don't have to do anything but get picked up and brought here.

Anyway, the foreign dealers send in packing lists of their shipment along with an invoice summarizing the value of each class -- books, artwork, photography, etc. -- and whether they are over or under 100 years of age. As part of our service -- which includes picking them up, handling export from their country and import to the US, and delivery direct to their booth at the fair -- I check their paperwork to make certain it's in order. You'd never believe how often it isn't.

All that's required on the packing list is simple -- title, author, date of publication, and value for each item...though Canada also requires country of origin, when we're doing the Toronto Book Fair. It's been like this for years, but while most of the dealers get it, some just flat never do. And they will argue with you about it, like you've changed the rules without telling them, and nevermind that it's their own damn country's requirements.

This gets even more difficult when an item requires an export license. The EU has a system for this, but each country has its own way of doing it.

In Germany, you have to follow certain procedures and go to a particular magistrate who then passes your request for a license off to an expert who eventually gets around to deciding whether or not the item is too important to be allowed to leave Germany, or if it's okay to release. That can take weeks.

France is worse, as I understand it; I think first you need an authorization from someone to be allowed to apply for the license and then it gets applied for, but I'm honestly not sure; we have an agent there to handle that nonsense. Thank God.

Italy issues blanket licenses for pages of books, and then the dealers just mark off the ones they're sending and mark through the ones they aren't. Which doesn't really make sense to me.

The UK is the easiest to deal with. You fill in the form, provide the correct information, submit it to one particular government agency, and normally within a week you've got an answer. They also follow the general guidelines as regards classification of books. For example, anything printed prior to 1501 is considered incunabula and MUST have a license. No matter what. But if a book's over 100 years of age and not valued at more than 41,000GBP, it's fine.

But with some countries, it all depends on the cultural significance of the item. So even if it's within the normal EU guidelines for not needing a license, it may still need one or even be refused authorization for export. So, if your book is packed away and we have it in our warehouse, ready for shipment, and one book out of the hundred isn't allowed to leave the country, the whole shipment is stuck.

And don't get me started on how Customs a) insists on having the original licenses and b) wound up losing some of them, this week, and c) then refused to release the shipment because "they don't do that off photocopies of the licenses." But if the dealer's books ain't in their booth when they arrive to set up, it's all your fault. Fortunately, after a lot of screaming and ranting and raving, the lost licenses were found and the shipment released.

We've had some lovely headaches, this week.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Feeling a little raw...

I learned a long time ago, if I can't be my characters as I write them, I can't write the story. I churn out fake shit that means nothing. There has to be some event that makes me forget who I am and become the one on the page. Completely. Doesn't matter who the lead is, I have to be him...or her...for a moment.

In HTRASG, probably the book and character that're most unlike me, it was when Curt realizes his half-brother will be all right, despite the fact that the kid grew up under the same circumstances as him. He's going to have a life he can be proud of, with a future and love and acceptance and a willingness to forgive, and it sends Curt into complete meltdown.

In LD, the book closest to me, so far, it's when Daniel's in the shower arguing with his own fictional characters and realizes he's lost control of them...that they may have control of him, instead. So he cuts them out, completely...and feels lost and alone without them. It's not until they return that he feels he can handle the situation he's in, completely.

In The Vanishing of Owen Taylor, it's after Jake's been released from arrest and believes his uncle committed suicide and wants to run and hide from the brutality of it all, and Tone shows up to support him without a word...just a mug of hot cocoa. That's when Jake sees that while he can be strong as a rock, it's only if he's standing on granite. The rest of the story is him learning to feel the same way even when he's on shifting sand.

In Carli's Kills, it's when she realizes she's the cause of an innocent being killed. She doesn't shed a tear, just accepts what happened and decides she will never be responsible for something like that, again. She changes from it. Becomes a person who understands that revenge destroys more than just the guilty. Becomes a real hero.

Well...after a lot of back and forth, I finally found it in Underground Guy. Devlin has an idea who might be the story's serial killer but wants to be sure. Reg knows he's up to something and sort of thinks Dev's helping the killer, so is following him. This nearly gets Reg murdered, but Dev saves his life. However, he is so shaken up by how close Reg came to dying, he blames himself and begins to bawl. What he doesn't realize is, he actually helped the Metropolitan Police locate the maniac and, at least, trap him so no one else can be harmed.

I got that, tonight. And I'm wiped out...like I really lived it. I can tell the story, now. It's become important to me, because it's about a man shifting from being an asshole to being human, again.

That's why The Lyons' Den is so close to my heart -- I am just as crazy as Daniel ever could be. In fact, I sort of minimized some of my own psychoses with him. Sort of. Maybe. Or maybe not.

Never trust a maniac to tell you the truth.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

A little bit from Underground Guy

I'm trying to make this as hard-hitting as possible. It's after Devlin's been arrested for attacking a man.
------------------
Just after the beginning of my fourth hour in that pitiless room, a condescending older man entered, tall, brisk and efficient, his uniform as impeccable as his posture. The instant I saw him, I knew he knew he had a big dick, and he planned to smack me around with it. Normally I'd say, "Fine, motherfucker, bring it on." But this man's eyes gleamed with intelligence and anger, which indicated he wasn't going to play word games with me or try any tricks; he was going to hit me head on. The worse kind to meet in a business situation -- the honest type who shoot straight and believe in honor.

He was joined by a younger, darker, pudgier cop with floppy hair whose uniform was still neat but sported a looser collar. His piggy eyes and chubby cheeks made him too damn typical an English lad for me to take any real notice of. They took seats opposite me and set two folders on the table. No tape recorder. No note pads. Nothing. I also noticed the older man's cap and jacket were littered with insignia, which meant, at the very least, he was high-ranking while pudgy boy was lowest of the low. Someone to carry Mr. Insignia's folders and back him up in court, if need be. Oh, this did not bode well.

"So," Mr. Insignia spit out, "Robert Devlin Pope. Junior. It's unusual for the second son to be named after the father."

"I need to take a piss."

He eyed me, for a long moment, then pulled a photograph from one of the folders and lay it on the table. It was of a man's face, twisted in agony, eyes half closed, mouth drawn tight, a wire cutting into his throat, blood dripping from it and foaming around his lips. For a second, I thought it was Reg, he looked so much like him. Man, I was ready for anything but that, so despite my plans to play it Joe Cool to the max...I flinched.

"This happened last night," he said, his voice vicious in its cold hollowness. "Martin Callow. Married. Two children. A business in Feltham, near your hotel. He was raped and stabbed several times in the back as well as being garotted. Was your assault on my constable to help with his murder?"

I was too locked on the horror of the photo to say a word.

He took in an irritated sigh then slapped my cell phone on the table and pointed at the image of Reg; they'd hacked past my security code. "Explain to me how you knew this man was a police officer. How did you know he was a decoy? How long have you been working in tandem with the killer? Is that how this worked? You created a citywide diversion so your other half could have his fun at his leisure?"

I looked at the image of Reg, again. I remembered the worn clothes and unhappy texts. The way he strode down the street. The cops' flashlight shining into the room and saying he'd hate to be Reg. The cop cars rushing around West Hounslow. Now I knew why they were looking for him, and the words slipped right past my censors, "He was undercover..."

"Robert, answer my question."

"I don't answer to Robert," whispered from me, like an afterthought.

"How did you know about Thornton!? Why did you choose him?"

My brain was about to run screaming from the overload of realization, so I gave him a vague shrug and managed to mutter, "I want to speak to someone from the American embassy, please."

"Of course you do." His voice dripped with flat-out hate.

I looked at him. He was pure stone. I knew the answer even before I asked, "You gonna let me?"

"No."

Monday, March 23, 2015

Lion at rest...

Had to go back on Zyrtek to end my sneezing, so I'm close to crashing. I'd stopped on my trip to London, just like I had when going to Portugal, but something about Buffalo makes it a necessity. I take it at night so the worst of the sleepiness side-effects pass when I want to be asleep.

I guess I'm just allergic to the office cats. Nice predicament to be in, since I need the job and chasing the screenwriter dream is close to bankrupting me. Looks like I'll have to take a hiatus from that, for the next year, so I can catch myself up, again.

Of course, I'm owed a couple thousand in expenses for a couple of jobs; that'll pay my American Express and some on my Visa or Mastercard. Still, I never get back as much as I spend for things...like a crepe with Nutella and banana. 5GBP equals $7.50, which is ludicrous. But there's a great little crepe stand under the shadow of Big Ben, by the bridge, and I've had one there every time I've been in London, the last two years...so I blew the money, anyway, even though it put me over my per diem.

That's the kind of thinking that puts you in the poorhouse.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

I wanna go back...

This is the only way you get photos of Westminster Abbey's main chapel -- steal 'em off the internet. When they shot The King's Speech, in here, I wonder if they shut the place down or just did overnights.

I wasn't in London long enough. There were a hundred more things I wanted to do. I still want to get back to Derry, and it's easy from there. I love the city. Damned expensive, but it works.

Today was spent on paperwork for the NY Book Fair -- packing lists and summary invoices. We ask for them in advance, for all European dealers coming to the fair, so we can check to make sure everything's in order for Customs. This is especially important if they require an export license to bring a book or manuscript out of the UK.

So...I spent over 3 hours on just one, it was such a mess. If this had been presented to customs, as is, the shipment would have been held and inspected and maybe even seized. Not cool. Next comes the fun part of getting the dealer to make the necessary changes.

I did get a little more done on UG, and I'm close to connecting two sections. I'm having fun with Devlin, Tafiq, and Reg...and even Sir Monte, the dilettante.

Helps that part of it's very kinky...and Tawfi's so damn cool, it hurts.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Sitting too long...

Not in a good mood, today -- I have to pay a lot more than I expected, in taxes -- so I focused on writing. Did some good snarly stuff that might stay in. Blunt and mean. I'm at that stage in life where I don't have the patience for niceties. Carli's a hard-assed bitch who's going to cause the death of an innocent person, and she sees it as a necessary evil...until it happens and she sees what it does. But by then it's too late. Now I've got a cramp in my leg because I've been sitting for hours.

I will say, this trip was easier than I expected -- and Westminster Abbey did not disappoint, as these windows in a nave show -- but it also messed with me. The flight was an hour late getting away from the gate, then waiting another hour on the tarmac to take off because JFK's shut down one of its runways for improvements. We got dinner at midnight.

I flew over and back on Kuwait Airlines, and they have got the surliest crew imaginable. Half male, half female, none of them wanting to be there, and none of them attractive enough to get away with their attitudes. The food was okay but it gets almost gets tossed at you. And I'd requested vegetarian but got beef. Which is fine; I just didn't want chicken.

I read Adrian McKinty's second Belfast mystery, I Hear The Sirens, and read a great article on Gerry Addams in The New Yorker, but got no writing done till the flight home. Then all I had the interest to work on was Underground Guy. I'd come up with the story when I was in London in January, last year, and got a fair amount done before I shifted to OT and CK...but being there and taking the tube slammed it back to the foreground and now it's rocking along.

I'm letting Carli sit for a while till I get this done. UG's more fun, anyway, with a hero who's a criminal being changed by an encounter with someone who is completely innocent, and a murder mystery in it all.

Plus, it's got the kind of sex I like.

Friday, March 20, 2015

Some wanderings and musings...

Went to see Buckingham Palace for the first time since I was 9. Not as impressive to me now, like it was then, but still not shabby.

This is St. James's Park, across the way from the palace.It's starting to come alive, including geese hatching goslings and buds on the trees.

The new double-decker buses are very intense. They're mainly in use in the center of town; I didn't see a one out by my hotel in Swiss Cottage, I almost rode one just to see what it's like, but I decided to wander over to the Thames, instead.

To get this shot, I set my camera on the bridge railing and held it as steady as I could. I thought about riding up the Eye just to see what the city looked like, at night...but by this point I was nearly falling over, I was so sleepy. I'd been up for just under 48 hours, not counting a nap I took on the plane.
I took this from just under the London Eye, and had to do it nearly a dozen times to get it this sharp. My camera was timing the shot for nearly a second and the wind was cold and brisk, to put it mildly.

Next time I'm in London, I'm going to St. Paul's Cathedral. When I was eight my class climbed up to the top and looked across the city. It'd be a lot different, today.

A hell of a lot different.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Lacking in WiFi on this trip

I had all sorts of fun on this trip, trying to get online. Delta's Terminal 4 does not offer free WiFi. You have to do Boingo, which I've never liked. And my hotel had WiFi for about 10 minutes, then never again. I was only there last night and left this morning, but it would have been nice to be able to check e-mails and such. I'm now in Terminal 5 and using Jet Blue's service. It's a bit slow, at times, but it works.

The joy of travel these days s that you can leave London at 3:30 for a 7 hour trip and get to JFK 3 hours later. And the good thing about Terminal 4 is that Customs was a breeze. They have automated check-through to start, which takes a god-awful photo of you, then two agents to go through to get out. I was able to do carry-on for the trip back (I had a blade in my luggage going over to London so had to check my bag), so I'm doing stand-by on an earlier flight to Buffalo and hoping I make it.

I did get down to Westminster Abbey and made use of the senior discount. Saved me 3 pounds. It is an amazing place, but you can't take your own photos of it. I tried. They politely ask you not to so you don't get tossed out. Man, I'd loved to have done my own thing in there.

Look close at this photo and you can see Big Ben and the London Eye in the background, behind the tree.

I found Chaucer's marker, noting they don't know exactly where he's buried but it's close by. And a marker for Charles Darwin and Sir Isaac Newton. I need to check and make certain they're buried there. I did without the audio guide and now think that may have been a mistake; I could have found out right then. This is what comes from thinking you'll do fine without assistance.

I took a short nap on the plane over (got a whole row to myself!) so dropped off my package, checked into my hotel and headed straight to the Abbey. I pretty much stayed in Westminster, but did a fair amount of walking around and had some decent, if a bit soggy, fish and chips. Used a fair amount of malt vinegar on them. And while the sky was blue, the wind was brisk and cutting. Very March.

More photos to come...including one of the new busses.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Off to the home of the Bard...

I'm only in London Wednesday and Thursday morning, so I won't have much time to do anything, so I've decided to go to Westminster Abbey. I haven't been there since I was a child and it just seems appropriate. I made the trek to Sherlock Holmes' Museum on Baker Street and toodled out to Stonehenge, the two previous times I was in London; it's only right I visit the resting place of Chaucer and Dickens, not to mention memorials to Shakespeare and Robert Burns and the Coronation Chair.

It's not cheap to get in -- 20GBP -- and the place closes at 6pm on Wednesdays. But it's straight down the Jubilee Line on the Underground from my hotel, so it's like I HAVE to go, now.

I went to the Writer's Museum in Dublin. Never could find my way to the one in Edinburgh, but I wasn't looking very hard. It was more interesting finding the Forth Railway Bridge (like in Hitchcock's The 39 Steps) and climbing up to Arthur's seat and looking out over the city...9 years ago. Damn.

Time seems to be dissolving around me. The weeks between weekends last forever, but then you look around and it's months later. I still haven't done my taxes. I just set up an appointment with my CPA, today, for Friday, after I'm back. May as well find out how bad it's going to be, again.

But that'll be something to worry about later. It's funny, but I feel like I'm going home. Just because I lived there for 3 years as a child? I guess so. I feel comfortable there, unlike I ever felt in Texas and like I almost felt in California...and like I just cannot feel in Buffalo.

Maybe I should have moved there years ago.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Rebuilding the foundation

Today was work on the structure of Carli's Kills, adding in things that needed to be added, taking out redundancies and parts that no longer mattered, and trying to make the story seem natural and real. It's not quite there, yet, but it's closer.

Of course, I'm doing this both in the script and in the outline, trying to keep my focus consistent. One character I thought I'd be losing wound up being important in another way, so he stayed in. And the ending changed in ways that worked a lot better for the meaning. I'd put in some foreshadowing I didn't mean to be foreshadowing but then at the end decided to use it.

And the storyboards I'd started doing no longer work for the script. I guess I'd better wait till it's in a reasonable shape before I get back in on those. The images I'd come up with actually made it harder for me to change the action around.

Tuesday I'm headed for London to carry some books to a dealer, there. They're expensive, so I get to pick them up, pack them in a box and carry them across, then a car will pick me up and take me to the client's address. I'm returning the next afternoon. A bit like what Adam's doing in The Alice '65. Who knows? Maybe I'll run into Russell Tovey, over there, and be able to tell him about the script...

Yeah, right, I still dream.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Women drive me crazy...

Carli's being difficult. And as crazy as Jake used to make me, that's nothing in comparison to what she's doing. To my brain. To my plans. To the story.

She's rearranged everything, so that none of what I've done, so far, fits where I have it. Her meeting with someone who's helping her. Zeke finding out who she is. Her still pushing forward on her quest for revenge, putting his life in danger. She's taken it away from the horror/thriller genre and dug into her warped need for death, so now it's closer to a character study than an action/suspense piece.

I don't want a fucking character study, right now. I'd been pulling back from her being an ex-Marine and she's told me, "Uh-uh. I'm a psycho who's on a path of destruction, and I want people to know why. And why not?" A simple script meant to be shot for nothing and sold without thought has become another one of my "in-your-face" tales, where everything means a hundred things and nothing. Where the hero...well, heroine is a bitch and the one you care about most...except for Zeke.

I want him to be innocent but he won't be. He's after his own demons, and is using them to his own ends. Jesus, I think I need a six-pack of Shiner Bock, because this is how I feel, right now.
And I could not tell you which one I am.

Friday, March 13, 2015

A foggy day in London town...

Headed for London for a whole day, next week. It's going to be too fast to really enjoy anything, but I don't care. I love being there. It's one of those cities where I feel at home.

No writing done, today. I stayed late to get things finished at the job. Monday's going to be busy, too, and Tuesday I'm off. Returning on Thursday. I will be somewhat exhausted.

Thinking about it...it's been just over a year since I was there last.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

The indians attack the fort...

That's a famous line of direction from a John Ford screenplay. Which one, I'm not sure; maybe Drums along the Mohawk. But it led to a 10 minute action sequence of...an indian attack on a fort. And that's what Ford liked in his scripts -- the minimum necessary to set up the story, with the details left up to him.

John Ford was infamous for exercising control over his scripts and his films. Producers tried to run him; they couldn't. Actors were no match for his viciousness; he's reported to be the only man who made John Wayne cry. But he also directed Shirley Temple, more than once, and she thought he was a lovely man; four actors got supporting Oscars under his direction.

A couple of stories come to mind about John Ford, specifically dealing with screenplays. The first was when Dudley Nichols was writing what would be Stagecoach. Ford was finishing up Submarine Patrol and had no time to waste, so when Nichols showed him the pages he'd written, Ford would go through with a china marker and "X" out huge sections of some carefully-crafted dialogue, saying, "You don't need this" and "This should go here" as he read through it. So what might be 10 pages wound up being 2. And Dudley would slink off and make the changes.

Another is when some producer came up to Ford in the middle of a shoot to complain that he was behind schedule. Ford asked him how far behind was he? "Ten pages of script," said the producer. So Ford grabbed help up his own copy of the script, tore out 10 pages at random and said, "Now we're back on schedule." The producer was horrified but Ford refused to put those pages back in. I have no idea which film this supposedly happened to.

When I think of something like either of those actions being taken against one of my scripts, I think about getting a gun and an open carry permit and double-dog-daring anybody to even try it. Which may be part of the reason I didn't get very far in screenwriting; deep down I was afraid I might've killed a director...because I came damned close to doing that on the one script of mine that was shot as a feature. But now I'm trying to do it, myself, by stripping out everything not absolutely necessary to Carli's Kills to tell the story.

I am not succeeding...thank god.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wow...Carli's mean...

Is it possible for a hero to love causing death and destruction? I watched the first season of Dexter, the series about a serial killer who only kills other serial killers...of which Miami apparently had more then enough to keep him happy...but it didn't hit me right, so I didn't watch any more seasons' worth. But now I've got Carli whispering, in a moment with Zeke, that she liked killing Grady. And what that means is, it gave her a sexual charge.

She's getting that with Zeke, too, because when they finally hit the bed, she all but rapes him. I made a joking reference to her being an Amazon in the first draft of this script; looks like it got taken to heart. She's gonna be as good as any warrior, no matter what.

This is something that makes me happy about being a writer -- and freaks me out -- and confuses me. I know in my head and heart that what's going on the page are aspects from within me...but at the same time, deep in my soul I know that can't be true.

For example, I've never been to prison or sold drugs or raped anyone, like Curt does in How To Rape A Straight Guy. Plus Curt's married and talks about sex with his wife, while I've never even been with a woman. Came close once...but that's it. Yet his story is told in the first person.

So where does this come from -- Carli loving the idea of death to the point it gives her a thrill? That's a serial killer's attitude. A sociopath's. And yet, she's the hero...or heroine, whichever.

Maybe I should watch the rest of Dexter...or go into therapy.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Next bit of Carli's Kills...

I know I said I was done posting CK, but...this is after Zeke closes the cantina and sits with Loki.
--------------------------
EXT. NARROW CANYON - DAY

Tall and winding. Carli follows the sound of a GUITAR playing “Romance de Amor”. She finally finds a cool college kid -- PAMELA MARTINEZ, 20’s, the epitome of a budding punk-rock star -- in a corner. Beside her -- a tablet and mike.

She stops and takes a hit off a joint.

CARLI
Is that necessary?

PAMELA
-- Sometimes.

CARLI
That melody -- something you wrote?

PAMELA
Naw, it’s one of Charo’s staples.

CARLI
Charo?

PAMELA
Guchi-guchi-girl? Married Xavier Cugat when she was seventeen? Or sixteen. Or fifteen.
(off Carli’s look)
My music techniques professor brought her up as an example of image versus ability. She comes across as a dumb-ass blond goof, but when she plays -- perfection. Electronics work okay?

CARLI
Yep. Dax owns the Sheriff.

PAMELA
Or the other way around.

Carli shrugs in agreement.

CARLI
Something else. Zeke Lindstrom wasn’t involved in Lara’s rape.

PAMELA
You so sure?

CARLI
He’s missing a leg, and none of the guys on the video are. So we have Dax, JJ, Spit and Grady. Who was number five?

Pamela looks in a notebook.

PAMELA
There was a guy who used to be part of the gang. Word is, he quit before...before Lara. Maybe my dates’re wrong.

CARLI
Could there be another bartender?

PAMELA
Dunno. The campus queens only moon over big, bad, beautiful Zeke.

CARLI
College girls who go to that bar are your sources?

PAMELA
What’m I supposed to do? Walk up to Mr. Hot Tatts and say, Hi, I’m Pamela. Did you help your buddies gang-rape my girlfriend on your pool table?

CARLI
Okay, okay.

PAMELA
-- Did you know Anastasia Greene killed herself?

CARLI
-- Karma’s a bitch.

PAMELA
How bad’s it gonna get, Carli?

Carli just looks at her. Pamela takes another hit on the joint. Her hand shakes.

CARLI
Does that really help?

PAMELA
Sometimes.

She offers the joint to Carli.

CARLI
I have other ways of channeling my grief.

PAMELA
Yeah. I thought you’d say that. I, uh...I’ll do some more digging. See if I can find out who else might’ve been there. That night.

CARLI
You’ve already done enough, Pam.

PAMELA
No, I haven’t. If I had, Lara’d still be alive.

CARLI
We’re going to get them, Pam. Every one of those bastards.

PAMELA
I know. I know. Bit...

She takes another hit. Her hand still shakes.

Monday, March 9, 2015

PETITION -- 47 US Senators violated the Logan Act...

Tom Cotton, of Arkansas, got 46 other Republican senators to sign a letter to the leaders of Iran, saying that the treaty would not be ratified and would not be honored after Obama is out of office, in a deliberate attempt to sabotage negotiations with them over their nuclear capability.

That is sedition, if not outright treason, That motherfucker belongs in jail. I started a petition to the White House to charge him with violation of the Logan Act, but this one already has more than 4000 signatures so has a good headstart.

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/file-charges-against-47-us-senators-violation-logan-act-attempting-undermine-nuclear-agreement/NKQnpJS9

Please sign it and remind the jerks in Congress there are 3 branches of government, and it's the president who sets foreign policy, not some junior Senator from a backwoods state.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Last bit of CK

This is only to page 20, even though it feels like the end of Act 1. I updated the previous postings to reflect changes made in the story, so far, including the addition of a new opening.
-----
INT. CANTINA MADRIZA - NIGHT

Zeke shoves crates of beer up through a trap door behind the bar. Rhonda peeks over.

RHONDA
I can do that.

ZEKE
Thanks, Rho. Almost done. See you, Thursday.

RHONDA
-- Same bat time, same bat channel.

She leaves. He fills the cooler with beer.

SIMULTANEOUSLY

Dax, JJ and Rat still in their booth. Dax is on his cell phone.

DAX
I’m tellin’ ya, I don’t know why he wasn’t there. ... Yeah -- no, no, I got plenty. Same place, tomorrow. ... You remember JJ? ... I’ll be there, with him. ... You want the shit or not? ... Fuckin’ right. Shit.

JJ and Rat count stacks of bills.

Dax ends the call.

DAX (CONT’D)
Fuckin’ Grady even missed a meet-up with our college connection.

RAT
I begin to fear for our Grady’s well-being, not to mention his health...

DAX
You sound like a fuckin’ dictionary.

RAT
I believe Thesaurus would be a better reference.

Dax glares at him. JJ smiles.

The DOOR OPENS. Anson strolls in.

ANSON
Too late for a drink?

Zeke pours Anson a whiskey. He downs it. Pulls up a chair at Dax’s booth. Takes one stack of bills.

ANSON (CONT’D)
You boys’re workin’ late.

DAX
You ain’t seen Grady, have ya?

ANSON
I did. Couple days back. Headed into Bellamere’s.

JJ
And he left, with a blond.

ANSON
Male or female?

The bills go in his pocket. The other stacks are put in baggies.

RAT
I seriously doubt Grady would appreciate the joviality of your observation.

INTERCUT WITH

INT. ISOLATED HOUSE - NIGHT

Carli lies on her bed. Listens on her cell phone.

DAX (O.S.)
Fucker missed two meet-ups, didn’t do his collections, and we can’t find the little shits he handles. What the fuck’s goin’ on?

FLASHBACK TO CARLI

Taping a tiny mike under the pool table when she picks up her chalk.

ANSON (O.S.)
Nobody seen him since Bellamere’s? Anybody know who this blond is?

IN BED

Carli smirks.

DAX (O.S.)
If I did, I’d of asked her what the fuck she did with him.

INTERCUT WITH THE BAR

JJ takes the baggies of cash to Zeke.

ANSON
JJ, you share digs with him, right?

JJ
Sometimes. He’s got a bunch of places he drops at.

DAX
Paranoid fuck.

ZEKE
It’s PTSD, Dax. Cut him some slack.

Zeke opens a trap door behind the bar and climbs down.

A CELLAR

Small and tight, like a cave. A couple of coolers run off extension cords plugged in upstairs. He pulls a duffel bag from one cooler. Dumps the baggies in with more stacks of bills just like them. Sets it back in. Piles bottles of beer over it.

ANSON (O.S.)
You hear ‘bout the body we found?

RAT (O.S.)
My source declared it to be some hopeful dreamer who died in the crossing.

ANSON (O.S.)
Your source is for crap.

DAX (O.S.)
You understood what he said?

ANSON (O.S.)
I still remember some English from school.

JJ (O.S.)
Anson....you...you don’t think that body’s -- ?

ANSON (O.S.)
You remember Anastasia Greene?

Zeke freezes. Listens.

IN THE BAR

Dax pours the last of the beer.

DAX
Fuck, wish I could forget the crazy little bitch.

JJ
But she is a blond.

RAT
Albeit, of the peroxide variety.

ANSON
Not no more. I need some DNA. Think Grady brushed his teeth, once or twice, in that rat-trap of yours?

DAX
Shit -- you do think it’s his body.

ANSON
Dunno, yet. But it’s pretty damn coincidental a dead woman’s car winds up next to a man who was about Grady’s size, and who was staked to the ground and chewed up by ants and vultures and coyotes. Alive.

JJ
That -- that’s what Comanches did to prisoners.

ANSON
Once upon a time.

JJ gives him a key. Anson exits. Rat goes online on his phone.

Zeke climbs back upstairs with another case of beer.

RAT
Here.

He shows Dax and JJ a news story headlined -- LA WOMAN KILLS MARRIED BOYFRIEND; JUMPS TO DEATH.

JJ
Shit. She was crazy.

RAT
I believe the sheriff means us to know that she was murdered, and not by herself.

Dax rises and pulls his things together.

DAX
Rat, you handle tomorrow’s meetin’. Get Spit to back you up. I’ll cool it with Chase. JJ, you do Grady’s collections, over by the college. Zeke, you know Madrigo and Luna, right?

ZEKE
-- Yeah.

DAX
I’ll need your help in the mornin’.

Zeke nods his OK.

JJ
What do you think’s goin’ on, Dax?

DAX
I think somebody’s tryin’ to fuck with us. I just need to figure out who.

Dax, JJ and Rat exit. Zeke pops a long-neck and closes down.

EXT. CANTINA MADRIZA - NIGHT

Zeke goes to the shack behind the cantina, beer in hand. Loki gives him a happy WOOF.

ZEKE
Loki, puppy. Here you go.

He unchains Loki, who runs around. Zeke sits, removes his bionic leg, drinks the beer.

Zeke checks the number written on his chest. Takes a photo of it with his cell phone. Reads it. Remembers --

IN THE CANTINA

Carli shows Zeke her California Driver’s License. Her finger obscures most of the last name...but he can read “VINCEN...”

ON THE SHACK’S PORCH

Loki lies beside Zeke. Gets scratched behind the ears. But Zeke’s mind is a million miles away.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

And why not?

Some more of CK -- just for the hell of it...
---------------------------------------------
Carli bends over the table for a shot, sexy as hell.

Rat notices, nudges JJ.

RAT
Tell me, does yon female caress your memory cells to the same degree she does mine?

DAX
English, motherfucker.

JJ
Never seen her before.

DAX
That what he’s askin’?
(off JJ’s nod)
Shit, Rat, you oughta know by now all them stuck-up college bitches look the same.

Carli sinks the 8-ball. Puts away her cue.

Dax slams his phone on the table.

DAX (CONT’D)
Shit, no answer on the land line and Grady’s phone still goes straight to voice-mail.

A microwave dings. Zeke pours the melted cheese over the plate of nachos, plops a fistful of jalapenos on top.

ZEKE
Dax -- want me to makes some calls?

DAX
Who the fuck you know that I don’t?

ZEKE
Bartender at Bellamere’s and I were friends in basic. Maybe he worked, the other night.

DAX
-- Couldn’t hurt. Hey, Rhonda, where’s my fuckin’ pitcher?

Zeke puts the nachos on Rhonda’s tray, with the pitcher and a bottle of Jack Daniels. They share a grimace.

RHONDA
Comin’ up.

ZEKE
I’ll give my buddy a call.

He grabs his cell phone but Dax stops him.

DAX
No, use mine. Don’t need you tied into this shit.

Zeke heads for Dax’s table. He has a bionic leg.

Carli notices, waylays him, slips a twenty in his shirt pocket and pulls him into a kiss.

Rhonda glares at them.

ZEKE
What was that?

CARLI
Pay my tab, and thank you for your service.

She casts a glance back at Dax then strides out the door.

Dax glares after her.

DAX
That fuckin’ bitch. She’s fuckin’ with me! Bring her back.

They head after Carli. Zeke stops them.

ZEKE
No, no, no, guys, c’mon, c’mon, lemme talk to her. No need for trouble, Dax. Okay? Okay?

Dax finally nods. Zeke follows Carli out. Rhonda huffs.

EXT. CANTINA MADRIZA - NIGHT

Zeke finds Carli about to get into her car.

ZEKE
Hey, lady, are you crazy?

CARLI
A little. Why?

ZEKE
That guy in there -- you don't wanna mess with him. Not all the way out here.

She looks him over like he’s dinner.

CARLI
You’re right, I don't. He knows it.

ZEKE
Then why’d you spit in his face? You think he’ll laugh about that?

CARLI
So I should kiss his ass, too?

ZEKE
Wow, so now you’re spittin’ on me. Listen, why don’t you stick with the wine bars in Phoenix or LA? Stop touring the low-rent joints.

He starts inside. She grabs his belt.

CARLI
Your name’s Zeke, right? I’ll come back in, if you invite me -- for yourself.

ZEKE
Yeah, right. More thanks to the gimp for his service?

CARLI
That’s not -- .

ZEKE
Just...keep it, okay? Now if you’ll excuse me, I gotta go in and clean up the mess you left behind.

She yanks his shirt up -- uses a Sharpie to write her phone number around his left tit.

CARLI
Here. Tell Dax to call me, if you want. Or don’t.

She caresses his chin then gets in her car and drives away.

He watches her. Pulls his shirt open. Looks at the number.

ZEKE
Wow. Uh...sorry, Dax, but you know how girls get, once a month.
(mimics Dax)
Oh, shit, do I ever. Rhonda, more beer! Double the J-D. Gonna be a long night. Fuck.
(mimics JJ)
Don’t forget more nachos. Gotta feed the steroid munchies.
(mimics Rat)
Indubitably.

A sharp-looking dog, LOKI, watches him around the corner. He’s chained to the shack’s porch.

ZEKE (CONT’D)
What? Ruff. Ruff.

Loki woofs back. Zeke heads into the bar, smiling.

Friday, March 6, 2015

I may keep posting...

To make me get done with it in a timely fashion...so here's more of CK, in order...
----------------------------------
EXT. CANTINA MADRIZA - NIGHT

Junkyard cool. Right by a two-lane blacktop. Cars park on the desert. A shack behind it. A mock shooting-range behind that.

A TRIO OF BIKERS roar up -- DAX CASTOR, 40, a junkyard-dog covered with tattoos; JJ HOWITH, 30, burn scars, Dax's backup and ideological twin; and SPIT, 35, chunky with a beard. SUSAN, 30, spiky hair and mousey everything else, sits behind Spit.

Carli sits in her car. Watches them enter the bar.

INT. CANTINA MADRIZA - NIGHT

The perfect reflection of its outside, all neon beer signs, crap music and linoleum floor cracked to within a inch of being useless.

ZEKE LINDSTROM, 28, elaborate tattoos of Nordic symbols over his arms, tends bar. RHONDA, total cowgirl, handles the tables and booths.

Dax, JJ, Spit and Susan roar in. Dax hits the bar.

DAX
Zeke, you seen Grady?

ZEKE
Not in couple days.

DAX
Shit. Rhonda, pitcher and some J-D.

RHONDA
Be right over, Dax.

Zeke starts the pitcher. Dax joins JJ in a booth near the pool table.

Spit and Susan grab long-necks and sit in another booth.

Carli enters, stops at the bar.

ZEKE
Hi.

CARLI
Corona.

ZEKE
Got it. But first...

Carli shows him her ID. He finally nods, hands her the beer.

She crosses to play a solitary game of pool. Nice and casual.

Spit watches her...leers. Susan notices and swats him. He swats her back.

SIMULTANEOUSLY

Dax and JJ make calls on their cell phones.

DAX
It’s Dax. Grady been ‘round? ... Today, yesterday? ... You sure? ... Shit.
(another call)
It’s Dax. You seen Grady, today? ... When? ... You sure? ... Yeah, thanks. Fuck.

JJ
Hey, Priss, it’s JJ. HAve you seen Grady, recently? ... When was that? ... Thank you.
(another call)
Hey, Bobby, it’s JJ. Has Grady been around? ... Last day or two. ... Thanks. Bye.

DAX
Izzy says he picked up, Friday.

JJ
He hasn’t been to Priss’s in two weeks, and Bobby said he’s a no-show, last night.

Carli’s chalk drops. She squats to pick it up, returns to playing.

Spit gets up, swaggers over to Carli and gropes her ass, giggling. Susan glares at him.

SPIT
Why you playin’ alone, sweet-cheeks? I’m up for a game. If you give me some of this.

Some patrons chuckle. Zeke is not behind the bar.

MALE PATRON
Shit, Spit, give it up.

FEMALE PATRON
Ride him, honey; he’s just your style.

Susan holds up her pinkie.

SUSAN
Yeah -- big. Real big.

More patrons laugh. Zeke notices what Spit’s doing and starts over.

Carli twists her fingers in Spit’s beard. Forces him to the table.

CARLI
Touch me, again, and I’ll rip those peanuts you call balls off and shove ‘em up your nose. And don’t think I can’t...

She hisses sharp red nails at him. Releases him.

He snaps up, snarling. She whips her cue into his crotch then on his instep. He yelps and falls on his ass. Cries out.

SPIT
Shit, my back! Bitch! Shit!

The whole bar laughs. Zeke stays behind the bar. Builds an ice pack.

Susan comes to help Spit up. Guides him to the booth, his back wrecked. She gets the ice pack from Zeke.

Dax saw it all.

DAX
Way to go, baby; you gone and hurt Spit’s back, an’ he’s gotta work, tomorrow.

She looks him over, like a jackal eyes its meat. Chalks her cue.

CARLI
Spit? The name fits.

DAX
What name fits you?

CARLI
Depends on who’s asking.

DAX
Me.

CARLI
Doesn’t tell me much.

DAX
Dax.

CARLI
Dax? What kind of name is that?

DAX
Mine. Yours?

CARLI
Not interested.

DAX
That ain’t what your ass is sayin’.

She just turns back to the pool table.

Dax starts to get up but Zeke calls over.

ZEKE
Say, Dax, how ‘bout some nachos?

DAX
... Fresh made?
(off Zeke’s nod)
Extra jalepenos?

JJ
Chili con queso?

ZEKE
Got it.

He puts a jar of cheese in a microwave.

Another Harley roars up, outside. RAT, 20’s, missing an eye, enters and goes to Dax.

DAX
And?

RAT
Our charming compatriot, Grady, granted Bellamere’s the pleasure of his company, night before last.

DAX
Shit, Rat, talk English.

JJ
He was at Bellamere’s!? Who told you that?

RAT
A lovely young waitress, with eyes of amber, who thinks my eloquent usage of the English language is fascinating. She informed me he made all the right moves with an amazingly attractive blond, and they departed. Together.

JJ
Amazingly attractive?

RAT
And I quote -- Tits to here; hips to there; and an ass to die for. This, from a woman, so I doubt she exaggerated.

DAX
If that fuck’s dissed us for a fuck, he better have some fuckin’ selfies.

JJ
What about the kids he works?

Rat slaps a wad of bills on the table.

RAT
Tribute from the Southside group. I’ve yet to locate Luna or Madrigo.

DAX
Grady didn’t even pick up, Sunday?! Aw, this is bullshit...

He dials a number on his cell phone. JJ lights a doobie.

JJ
Hey, Zeke.

ZEKE
Yeah?

JJ
Double up on those nachos. Gonna be here reeeaaal late.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Continuation...

More from Carli's Kills. Cut 20 pages down to 13, so far.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
EXT. DESERT - DAY

Buzzards circle two Bureau of Land Management SUVs and a convertible Mercedes. Two BLM AGENTS stand near a small plateau in the middle of nowhere.

A sheriff’s cruiser rolls up and SHERIFF ANSON PARRIDGE gets out -- 50s, tall, completely at home in the desert. With him is a young, beefy deputy, REYMON.

BLM AGENT
Hey, Anson.

ANSON
Anybody touch anything?

BLM AGENT
My agent didn’t go all the way up on the plateau. The second he saw it, he came down and called it in.

ANSON
Why’s he over here lookin’?

BLM AGENT
The car. The buzzards.

REYMON
How’d they get that flash ride up there? It’s a city car, not for backroadin’.

ANSON
Reymon...just call in the license plate. See if we can get a name.

Reymon scurries back to the cruiser.

Anson climbs up the plateau to find --

Grady’s body staked to the ground...crawling with ants. Pieces of flesh pulled away. The empty honey bear is nearby, crawling with ants.

Anson looks at the buzzards. Heads back down to the cruiser.

ANSON (CONT’D)
Been there a couple days, at least. Ain’t gettin’ no prints, that’s for sure. Got an ID on that car yet?

REYMON
Belongs to Anastasia Greene, over in L-A.

ANSON
What?! You sure ‘bout that?

REYMON
That’s who comes up.

BY SOME DISTANT ROCKS

Carli watches the men through the sniper scope of a NEMO Omen .300 Rifle. Their voices come from her iPhone.

BLM AGENT (O.S.)
Anastasia Greene? I heard that name someplace...

ANSON (O.S.)
Killed her married boyfriend then herself, few days back. In LA. But nobody said nothin’ ‘bout her car bein’ missin’.

Carli smirks.

A van approaches.

ANSON (CONT’D)
Here’s the coroner. Seal the area off.

Reymon pulls police tape from the cruiser’s trunk.

REYMON
You think that might be her, up there?

ANSON
Reymon -- that wasn’t no girl them buzzards was pickin’ at.

REYMON
Oh? Oh. OH!

Anson heads to meet the van.

Carli quietly sneaks away, smirking.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

I give up...

First 2 scenes from Carli's Kills:
-----------------------------
FADE IN:

INT. HIGH-RISE BEDROOM - NIGHT

MIKIE, 40 going on 30, and beautiful, blond STASI, 24, have sex. The bed thumps the wall. MOANS of ecstacy get louder -- louder -- then finish. Whoosh...

MIKIE
Oh, Stasi...baby...that was good. That was great.

STASI
It always is.

MIKIE
Shit, if my wife could...

STASI
Keep her out of this.

MIKIE
First girl I met who didn’t give a shit I’m married.

STASI
You screw around with other girls!?

MIKIE
No, no, no, that’s not what I meant.

She gets out of bed. Goes to the balcony. He follows. Caresses her.

MIKIE (CONT’D)
Stasi, baby, I haven’t been with anybody but you since I met you.

STASI
Not even your wife?

MIKIE
That’s not screwing. It’s more like using her pussy to masturbate. But you -- you got muscles where I didn’t know girls had muscles.

STASI
(smirks)
Cocksucker.

MIKIE
That’s your job, bitch. And you could teach fags a thing or two about it.

She grabs his hair and pulls him half over the balcony railing.

STASI
Mikie...have you been comparison shopping?

He laughs.

MIKIE
Never gonna do that to -- .

SCHWICK! A KNIFE STABS INTO HIS HEART! He gasps. Collapses.

Stasi SCREAMS -- is shoved over the railing. She falls 40 stories, SHRIEKING.

INT. ISOLATED HOUSE - NIGHT

The front door smashes open and two people -- GRADY (32, biker) and CARLI (28, pretty, as tough as any man and ready to prove it) -- crash in, tearing at each others’ clothes. Hungry kisses. She’s blond; his hair is on his face, not his head.

Outside is desert. Inside, cheap-ass furnishings are just visible.

They laugh, grab, kiss some more till Carli breaks away. She backs into a kitchen that was new in 1950, pulls a couple of beers from the ancient fridge.

Grady paces her, hungry. Grabbing. She shoves an open beer in his right hand. His left hand lost three fingers.

CARLI
What’s your rush, bitch?

GRADY
Got places to be by midnight.

She grabs his tee-shirt. Pulls him close. He drinks.

CARLI
You just gonna dump and run?

GRADY
Careful, this is my saint shirt.

CARLI
Saint shirt?

GRADY
All holey.

They kiss. He nuzzles her breasts.

CARLI
Grady’s hungry.

She tears off his shirt. Reveals an elaborate tattoo on his chest.

CARLI (CONT’D)
Any more tatts?

GRADY
Stasi’s gonna see -- real soon.

He downs more beer. Unbuckles his belt and the buttons of his jeans. She pinches his tits. He grinds against her. Kisses her. She dribbles beer down her front. He licks it up -- then grunts and tries to keep his balance.

CARLI
Problem?

GRADY
Just feel weird and -- and -- what the fuck? That beer...

CARLI
Grady -- have roofies been used on you, before?

GRADY
Roofies? Me? Fuckin’ bitch -- what you -- what you doin’ -- ?

He falls on his ass. Tries to talk but his words dribble into nothingness.

She pulls off the blond wig then her top. She’s now brunette. A bustier pushes her breasts up and accentuates her curves. Off it comes.

She stretches. Towers before him. Smiles.

He passes out.

EXT. DESERT - NIGHT

Grady wakes, bound spread-eagle to the ground, a ball-gag in his mouth. Wearing nothing. He fights to get free.

Carli straddles him. Makes him look at her. Smacks his face with a stack of twenties.

CARLI
Hi, Grady. Nice wad. Nearly twenty thousand. Thank you so much.

GRADY
(grunts)
What the fuck? Don’t you fuckin’ steal from me, you fuckin’ bitch! I’ll cut your tits off.

CARLI
I’m not stealing from you.

She holds up a Smart Phone.

VIDEO PLAYS — shows a drugged college girl held down on a pool table by four men as Grady rapes her. The man holding the girl’s head and shoulders is not completely visible.

CARLI (CONT’D)
That’s you doing your thing.

GRADY
(grunts)
I dunno what you’re talkin’ about. You got the wrong guy. I ain’t done nothin’ to you. I don’t even know you. What do you want?

CARLI
You don’t know me? Okay. My name’s Carli. Last name -- Vincenzo. Fire up any memory cells?

It does. He breathes faster. Pulls harder at his bindings.

Carli ends the video. Pulls a full honey bear from her purse.

CARLI (CONT’D)
Yes. This girl you’re raping -- she’s Lara Vincenzo -- my sister. This video was posted on her college’s web-site. A week later, she killed herself.

Next comes a buck knife. She licks her lips. Caresses his chest with it. Trails down his belly to his pubes.

CARLI (CONT’D)
I think that’s a crime, Grady, and where there’s a crime, there should be punishment. Here’s yours. Hope it was worth it.

She slices the knife into his skin, cutting around the tattoo.

Grady’s CHOKING SHRIEKS fill the dark, empty desert.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Warning...writer venting to come...

It's been a nice rough and tumble couple of days, working and fighting and wrestling with Carli's Kills. The damn story doesn't want to be a book; it wants to be a screenplay. I'm trying to get it told and it's refusing to let me even consider a way to adjust it into novel format.

Problem is, no one wants my screenplays. I've got thousands of rejection notes -- both printed and e-mailed. Here's just the latest:
Thanks for your query. This isn't quite what I am looking for.Good luck with your writing.Sincerely,
Jay Rodriguez
Itchy House Films

I got it while I was in Lisbon (and also found out The Cowboy King of Texas did not make the final cut in Emerging Screenwriters).

I've hit people seeking screenplays and screenwriters on Mandy.com and through ISA and using Craigslist (that's a laugh) and via InkTip and on and on...and they all say pretty much the same thing: "Thanks but not what we're looking for." Ever. At all. Can't even get an agent to do the selling for me (though I am waiting to hear back from one who was willing to read a script of mine to see if they're willing to rep me).

That's why I'm shifting to novels; I don't want to die with my stories unseen or unread or unavailable once I'm gone. But this little bitch of a story won't work with me, and is driving me nuts. Not the same kind of nuts as with ...Owen Taylor; that was a seeking the story kind of craziness. No, this one...I know the story now. But it won't let me tell it in a narrative form. It wants me to do a script. And storyboard it. All the way through.

WTF is that all about -- my own private madness?

Monday, March 2, 2015

Kurosawa's 100 favorite films...

To mark my 5th year in Buffalo. I've seen a bit more than half of them (as noted in red)...

1Broken Blossoms or The Yellow Man and the Girl (Griffith, 1919) USA
2. Das Cabinet des Dr. Caligari [The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari] (Wiene, 1920) Germany
3. Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler – Ein Bild der Zeit [Dr. Mabuse, the Gambler] (Lang, 1922) Germany
4. The Gold Rush (Chaplin, 1925) USA
5. La Chute de la Maison Usher [The Fall of the House of Usher] (Jean Epstein, 1928) France
6. Un Chien Andalou [An Andalusian Dog] (Bunuel, 1928) France
7. Morocco (von Sternberg, 1930) USA
8. Der Kongress Tanzt (Charell, 1931) Germany
9. Die 3groschenoper [The Threepenny Opera] (Pabst, 1931) Germany
10. Leise Flehen Meine Lieder [Lover Divine] (Forst, 1933) Austria/Germany
11. The Thin Man (Dyke, 1934) USA
12. Tonari no Yae-chan [My Little Neighbour, Yae] (Shimazu, 1934) Japan
13. Tange Sazen yowa: Hyakuman ryo no tsubo [Sazen Tange and the Pot Worth a Million Ryo] (Yamanaka, 1935) Japan
14. Akanishi Kakita [Capricious Young Men] (Itami, 1936) Japan
15. La Grande Illusion [The Grand Illusion] (Renoir, 1937) France
16. Stella Dallas (Vidor, 1937) USA
17. Tsuzurikata Kyoshitsu [Lessons in Essay] (Yamamoto, 1938) Japan
18. Tsuchi [Earth] (Uchida, 1939) Japan
19. Ninotchka (Lubitsch, 1939) USA
20. Ivan Groznyy I, Ivan Groznyy II: Boyarsky Zagovor [Ivan the Terrible Parts I and II] (Eisenstein, 1944-46) Soviet Union
21. My Darling Clementine (Ford, 1946) USA
22. It’s a Wonderful Life (Capra, 1946) USA
23. The Big Sleep (Hawks, 1946) USA
24. Ladri di Biciclette [The Bicycle Thief] [Bicycle Thieves] (De Sica, 1948) Italy
25. Aoi sanmyaku [The Green Mountains] (Imai, 1949) Japan
26. The Third Man (Reed, 1949) UK
27. Banshun [Late Spring] (Ozu, 1949) Japan
28. Orpheus (Cocteau, 1949) France
29. Karumen kokyo ni kaeru [Carmen Comes Home] (Kinoshita, 1951) Japan
30. A Streetcar Named Desire (Kazan, 1951) USA
31. Thérèse Raquin [The Adultress] (Carne 1953) France
32. Saikaku ichidai onna [The Life of Oharu] (Mizoguchi, 1952) Japan
33. Viaggio in Italia [Journey to Italy] (Rossellini, 1953) Italy
34. Gojira [Godzilla] (Honda, 1954) Japan
35. La Strada (Fellini, 1954) Italy
36. Ukigumo [Floating Clouds] (Naruse, 1955) Japan
37. Pather Panchali [Song of the Road] (Ray, 1955) India
38. Daddy Long Legs (Negulesco, 1955) USA
39. The Proud Ones (Webb, 1956) USA
40. Bakumatsu taiyoden [Sun in the Last Days of the Shogunate] (Kawashima, 1957) Japan
41. The Young Lions (Dmytryk, 1957) USA
42. Les Cousins [The Cousins] (Chabrol, 1959) France
43. Les Quarte Cents Coups [The 400 Blows] (Truffaut, 1959) France
44. A bout de Souffle [Breathless] (Godard, 1959) France
45. Ben-Hur (Wyler, 1959) USA
46. Ototo [Her Brother] (Ichikawa, 1960) Japan
47. Une aussi longue absence [The Long Absence] (Colpi, 1960) France/Italy
48. Le Voyage en Ballon [Stowaway in the Sky] (Lamorisse, 1960) France
49. Plein Soleil [Purple Noon] (Clement, 1960) France/Italy
50. Zazie dans le métro [Zazie on the Subway](Malle, 1960) France/Italy
51. L’Annee derniere a Marienbad [Last Year in Marienbad] (Resnais, 1960) France/Italy
52. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (Aldrich, 1962) USA
53. Lawrence of Arabia (Lean, 1962) UK
54. Melodie en sous-sol [Any Number Can Win] (Verneuil, 1963) France/Italy
55. The Birds (Hitchcock, 1963) USA
56. Il Deserto Rosso [The Red Desert](Antonioni, 1964) Italy/France
57. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Nichols, 1966) USA
58. Bonnie and Clyde (Penn, 1967) USA
59. In the Heat of the Night (Jewison, 1967) USA
60. The Charge of the Light Brigade (Richardson, 1968) UK
61. Midnight Cowboy (Schlesinger, 1969) USA
62. MASH (Altman, 1970) USA
63. Johnny Got His Gun (Trumbo, 1971) USA
64. The French Connection (Friedkin, 1971) USA
65. El espíritu de la colmena [Spirit of the Beehive] (Erice, 1973) Spain
66. Solyaris [Solaris] (Tarkovsky, 1972) Soviet Union
67. The Day of the Jackal (Zinneman, 1973) UK/France
68. Gruppo di famiglia in un interno [Conversation Piece] (Visconti, 1974) Italy/France
69. The Godfather Part II (Coppola, 1974) USA
70. Sandakan hachibanshokan bohkyo [Sandakan 8] (Kumai, 1974) Japan
71. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Forman, 1975) USA
72. O, Thiassos [The Travelling Players] (Angelopoulos, 1975) Greece
73. Barry Lyndon (Kubrick, 1975) UK
74. Daichi no komoriuta [Lullaby of the Earth] (Masumura, 1976) Japan
75. Annie Hall (Allen, 1977) USA
76. Neokonchennaya pyesa dlya mekhanicheskogo pianino [Unfinished Piece for Mechanical Piano] (Mikhalkov, 1977) Soviet Union
77. Padre Padrone [My Father My Master] (P. & V. Taviani, 1977) Italy
78. Gloria (Cassavetes, 1980) USA
79. Harukanaru yama no yobigoe [A Distant Cry From Spring] (Yamada, 1980) Japan
80. La Traviata (Zeffirelli, 1982) Italy
81. Fanny och Alexander [Fanny and Alexander] (Bergman, 1982) Sweden/France/West Germany
82. Fitzcarraldo (Herzog, 1982) Peru/West Germany
83. The King of Comedy (Scorsese, 1983) USA
84. Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence (Oshima, 1983) UK/Japan/New Zealand
85. The Killing Fields (Joffe 1984) UK
86. Stranger Than Paradise (Jarmusch, 1984) USA/ West Germany
87. Dongdong de Jiaqi [A Summer at Grandpa’s] (Hou, 1984) Taiwan
88. Paris, Texas (Wenders, 1984) France/ West Germany
89. Witness (Weir, 1985) USA
90. The Trip to Bountiful (Masterson, 1985) USA
91. Otac na sluzbenom putu [When Father was Away on Business] (Kusturica, 1985) Yugoslavia
92. The Dead (Huston, 1987) UK/Ireland/USA
93. Khane-ye doust kodjast? [Where is the Friend’s Home] (Kiarostami, 1987) Iran
94. Baghdad Cafe [Out of Rosenheim] (Adlon, 1987) West Germany/USA
95. The Whales of August (Anderson, 1987) USA
96. Running on Empty (Lumet, 1988) USA
97. Tonari no totoro [My Neighbour Totoro] (Miyazaki, 1988) Japan
98. A un [Buddies] (Furuhata, 1989) Japan
99. La Belle Noiseuse [The Beautiful Troublemaker] (Rivette, 1991) France/Switzerland
100. Hana-bi [Fireworks] (Kitano, 1997) Japan

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Back to normal...for me...

Carli's Kills has simplified its meaning into my usual one -- Revenge destroys the innocent as well as the guilty...as Carli finds out. A bad guy named Spit has developed a girlfriend who's kind of mousy and hints at being one of those abused people who never think they're being abused...and she winds up in the middle of the death and destruction at the end. Trying to protect her man...or something like that. I'm not clear exactly how that's going to work, yet.

I'm still working on the outline, but it's made me switch the positions of a couple of scenes -- where Carli realizes Zeke couldn't have helped hurt her sister, and when she connects with him on a more...oh, let's just say...carnal level. And that's when he admits he knows who she is and has a good idea why she's come. And while he understands, he owes too much to the guys he's with to take her side.

Maybe.

I did this while my laundry was underway. Then I did lots of grocery shopping. 4 different stores to get what I want and need -- Wegman's (for general groceries), CVS (to use a 20% discount on some druggie stuff), Dollar Store (for the DP I want), and NoCo gas station (for windshield wiper fluid; mine's out). Tomorrow, I need to hit Tops for a couple things I forgot and something only they seem to carry -- Sandwich Spread; I use that to make my quickie tuna salad.

Tomorrow it's back to work. Hopefully, everything will be okay, again, but I never know. This marks 5 years in Buffalo, now. I landed here at the end of February 2010. God knows where I'll wind up, next.

If I wind up somewhere else; that's not a given.