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Interview

Head over to Christine Rains’s blog for an interview with me + a freebie!

I should add that I originally conceived of “St. Peter in Chains” as a stage play but wrote it in novella form first, then adapted a stage version and a screenplay. I was told by a couple theatre directors that it would be difficult to do on stage but might be ideal for film.

It’s funny, but I do find it easier (faster, really) to write in prose and then adapt to other media. Sitting down to write something flat out as a screenplay is more difficult for me, though I have done and can do it. For stage work, I can go either way. My reasons for doing “St. Peter” in prose first was to work through Peter’s range of emotions so I’d be able to give the actors enough to work with later.

I don’t direct in my writing. Some directors love that, and some hate it, and some are just confused by it. But we were taught in screenwriting class not to call the shots—literally. That’s the director’s job, and later the editor’s job: to make it look right in the end. As a screenwriter (and playwright), I feel it’s my job to tell a good story, and to give the actors/characters enough material to make it work. So I guess I do direct the actors in a subversive way, though I only dictate actions that are key to the plot; mostly my goal is to give them a toolbox of emotions and motivations to help them build and understand their characters.

The result is I sometimes (often, actually) get actors who are very excited by my scripts and directors who have a lot of questions about “how [I] picture” this or that, what I was seeing as I was writing, I suppose. But as a screenwriter it isn’t only my vision that counts, I don’t think, and if I’ve written something well enough, a good director will have a vision of his own as he reads the script. Though I always appreciate collaboration.

The Love Note

I love you . . . I love you . . . I love you . . .

I send the thought up like balloons, flash it like a firefly signaling its mate or a lighthouse beckoning the far-off ships to lead them safely home. But I cannot know how far I reach, if or when you receive this.

I once read about a postcard that was sixty years too late. In sixty years you and I will have become the sand on the beach before the bottle bearing its note ever washes ashore. So please do not take sixty years. Do not take forty years. Do not take twenty or ten. Do not take even ONE YEAR, because I am impatient and hate to wait.

I love you.
I love you.
I love you.

Swim

Spent the better part of the morning in a lap pool for the first time in—no hyperbole here—years. I do love to swim, so I was glad for the chance to do so. I went back and forth until my body ached, and then for good measure I swam some more. I love that tired feeling your limbs get after you climb out of the pool. It’s my favorite kind of workout.

It’s nice to finally live somewhere I can swim most of the year. I think I’ll want a pool of my own before long, but for now the pools at the sports club will suffice. There are four, very resort like. Makes me want to go back to Greece. I love to travel as much as I love to swim. When I can combine the two, so much the better.

But for now, home is my oasis. I’m enjoying having one.

A Torch for Torchwood

I finally got around to watching that Torchwood: Children of Earth series. I had enjoyed Miracle Day, but I think Russell T. Davies does best when writing more tightly; at five episodes, Children of Earth was definitely more intense than Miracle Day.

I have to also say, I think Russell T. Davies has it all over Stephen Moffat, hands down. Davies can sell the horror and the pathos in a way that works. Children of Earth was honestly scary at moments. And touching at others, too, without it feeling manipulative and forced. Moffat likes to go on Twitter and into interviews with this idea that he’s so clever. He promises people will be frightened by this or crying at that. I’ve yet to have that happen with anything he’s written or produced. He has talent, I suppose, but Davies wins for sensibilities.

I would like to see more Torchwood, but Davies is dealing with personal issues at the moment, and I wish him well on that front. His work is worth waiting for in any case.

Happy Independence Day!

. . . For those celebrating, that is. As an Anglophile, I sometimes wonder how different it would be if we were still part of the UK. Maybe we’d have a better educational system? Better diction? One never knows, and this has been the conjecture of many an alternate-universe fantasy novel/series, so I don’t plan to add my voice to that particular crowd of second-guessers.

I do plan to spend some time outdoors in the sun, eating a heady mixture of homemade gumbo, my special Cajun potato salad, and whatever we end up throwing on the grill, braving the pool (because the kids will surely splash me). A holiday is a holiday regardless of its reason for being.

Gonna do some of this today.