web analytics

25 Things . . .

  1. I talk in my sleep, sometimes in French.
  2. My bedroom and/or office windows have to face west so I can watch the sun set.
  3. I pick up accents and languages really quickly. Sometimes I don’t even realize I’m mimicking another person’s accent; it’s a really embarrassing habit!
  4. I lose my voice at least once a year, sometimes more.
  5. I’m addicted to awards shows red carpet coverage. I love to see what people are wearing.
  6. I won’t eat meat off a bone.
  7. I’m allergic to raw tomatoes and red berries.
  8. My eyes were blue until I was in ninth grade, then changed to the blue-green-gold they are now.
  9. I don’t like the taste of poultry. I can’t eat it unless it’s slathered in some kind of sauce that covers the flavor.
  10. My go-to karaoke song is “Kiss Me” by Sixpence None the Richer.
  11. I love to travel but hate to fly. It makes me anxious.
  12. My least favorite parts of my body are my hands. I wish I had longer fingers.
  13. I get ridiculously happy about receiving mail.
  14. I can’t stand to leave the house if I don’t feel like I look good (not even to get the mail).
  15. I love to wear chunky, oversized sweaters.
  16. To unwind I drive around by myself and listen to music.
  17. I like beaches but can’t stay very long because I get bored really quickly. I’m just not a lounger.
  18. I keep a griffin on my desk. His name is Harvey and he holds my computer cords for me.
  19. I collect scented candles.
  20. BUT . . . I can’t stand the ones that smell like cookies or vanilla or any kind of food. I think it’s unfair for things to make me want to eat them if I can’t.
  21. I get periodic bouts of vertigo, particularly on slow-moving boats.
  22. I am definitely not a morning person.
  23. I can’t write unless I’m the only person in the house.
  24. I have a crush on Benedict Carlton Cumberbatch.
  25. When I was growing up, Miss Piggy was one of my role models. It IS possible to be sexy, feminine, and tough. And it’s no sin to know what you want and go after it.

Bonus: I never listen to DVD commentaries because I feel a work should speak for itself.

Progress Report

Yesterday I got a lot of work done on the spec script I’m writing, and I’m hoping to get lots more done today and over the weekend.

I also have four plays out at 15 different places for consideration. And then, of course, the one being produced in three weeks. And again in late spring/early summer.

And St. Peter in Chains has been submitted to four different publishers. I’ll begin turning it into either a stage play or screenplay soon.

Meanwhile, today Neptune moves into its home sign of Pisces. This only happens about every 160 years, so it’s no small thing. Neptune will stay in its sign for about 13 or so years. And do you know, my horoscope said that under this influence I should consider living near water? Well, guess what?

I’m moving to California.

The Bay Area to be exact. So . . . Water? Check. Better weather? Check. Bigger theatre and entertainment industry scene? Check.

Life is about to get a whole lot more interesting.

Dueling Sherlocks

I was asked the other night, in light of fans of BBC One’s Sherlock frothing at the mouth over CBS’ Elementary, why there isn’t room for more than one [in this case modern] reinterpretation of Sherlock Holmes. That is to say: the question was why fans of one couldn’t be fans of the other as well.

Potential infringement issues aside (Sherlock Holmes is a public domain character and this subject is touchy), I have to say, although there isn’t any reason a person couldn’t like both programs, it seems unlikely. In my response I reminded the person that “fan” is short for “fanatic” and then likened the whole issue to churches. People join a church. They really like it there, try to persuade others to visit in the hopes those people will join too. And if another group comes along and builds a new church just up the street, the adherents to the first church are generally not very welcoming. In fact, they’re angry at the encroachment. Their church is the best. There is no need for another.

And people don’t typically join more than one church. A few might, but those people are rare and are generally looking for something else entirely. For example, they are the people who find God in numerous places and are willing to worship Him wherever and whenever. In this instance, they are the core fans of Sherlock Holmes as a character, not just fans of a particular take. (Yes, I did just, in fact, make Sherlock Holmes analogous to God; he’d be pleased.) Even still, these people are likely to prefer one house of worship over another, though they’ll make the rounds regularly to get their fill.

Meanwhile, purists will already have taken issue with modernizing Holmes. Further removing him from London to New York may rankle even more. Who can tell?

To summarize: there is room for more churches, provided one has the cash to purchase the real estate and the resources to build. But attendance is not guaranteed, not for any show. As for me, I’ll see who and what gets delivered before passing judgment.

More Work

I have a lot of projects stacked in front of me right now. But then this guy who is trying to get his first film off the ground came to me and asked if I’d give his script a look, give him some notes. And I thought, “Why not?” That’s the thing about this business: you never know who the people you meet today will be tomorrow.

So I read some of the script, and I’ve sent him some early notes on what I’ve read (about a third of it so far). And he was grateful, which is more than a lot of writers/directors are. And he asked if maybe I’d help polish the script? Well, he really asked what it would take to get me to do it. And I told him I’d do it for the credit. Because you know what? Good things can come of being good to others, helping them. I believe that. And although I’m crazy swamped . . . I don’t know. It seems like the right thing to do, helping this guy out a little.

The business is so much give and take, and a lot of that is people asking, “What can you do for me?” And a lot of it is like betting on a horse and hoping it places. But sometimes, in some places, there’s honest-to-goodness kindness to be found. I’ve had people be good to me—without their trying to get something in return—and I’ve had people treat me badly. But we have to perpetuate the behaviors we want to see grow. And that means holding out a hand to others every now and then.

I’m not trying to sound like a saint. I’m far from that. But I do try to be cognizant of the ripple effect, karma, however you prefer to look at it. I like to believe (though in my lowest moments I’m skeptical) that it all comes back in some way. Or maybe, at the very least, at the end of it there will be a decent film out there with my name attached to it.

Q & A Journal

I have this 5-year journal in which I answer a question each day. Today’s question is: What is your resolution for tomorrow? This seems like an odd question to ask on 1 February. And why “tomorrow”? And why use the word “resolution” as opposed to, say, asking what I hope to accomplish? It’s just odd.

I replied that my resolution is “not to get caught in a dimensional loop that forces me to relive the day repeatedly.” I resolve not to allow that to happen. As an aside, I also resolve to get more work on this script done, but the dimensional loop is the main thing.

Teaser Tuesday: Stories I Only Tell My Friends

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Should Be Reading. The idea is to pick up your current read, go to a page at random, and post two teaser sentences. I’m reading Rob Lowe’s autobiography . . . Maybe more like skimming it . . . It’s due back at the library in a couple days and I doubt I’ll finish before then. Not sure I’ll risk the fine, but anyway.

From page 142:

Through take after take I have poured my heart out, cried my eyes dry for the last hour. I have nothing left, and I’m terrified.

I’ve seen this happen to actors on movie sets and backstage in theatres; the amount of energy one is required to expend is phenomenal and, without care, can eventually be depleted before the take or show is done. And there isn’t always an option for a break (especially in theatre), so it really can be like trying to get blood from a stone. It’s not pretty. In general the only answer is to find a soft spot, the tender underbelly, and rip it open. Hardly an elegant job, but sometimes the only way to get the actor to feel and tap in again.

Slow & Steady Wins the Race

Is that true? I hope so.

I’ve written another short play titled “The Apple or the Cigarette” and sent that off to a few places. And now I’m back to hammering away at this spec script. It’s extremely slow going, mostly because I’m a perfectionist. Also, I’ve started over from the beginning and am re-crafting large swaths of the work, so . . .

I’m an impatient person by nature. Writing is good for me because it requires me to slow down (at least if and when I want to write well). But this is also very frustrating for me. Makes me restless even as it forces me to focus.

Meanwhile, Mars is in retrograde, which isn’t helping matters.

Don’t know that I’ll be posting very often as I attempt to concentrate on my work, so to tide you over, here’s a little Q&A:

Are you guilty of drunk dialing?
No. Drinking makes me silly then sleepy, so I usually fall asleep before I can do anything truly stupid.

Do you believe in love at first sight?
Lust maybe. Attraction. Not sure about love. I’m not even convinced it exists in the traditionally understood sense.

Fact about the person you fell hardest for?
He’s the only person whose happiness has ever meant more to me than my own.

What kind of backpack/purse do you use?
A brown leather Fossil bag with black trim (so it can go with anything), large enough to carry a notebook and/or Sherlock when we travel.

Is it good if the person you’re dating is sexually experienced or not?
There are pros and cons to either their being experienced or needing some instruction.

Are you scared of spiders?
Not sure if “scared” is the word, but I dislike them intensely.

Do you miss anyone?
Yes.

Do you curse a lot?
Not by today’s general standards, I don’t think. In fact, I’d say I probably curse less than the average.

Where is the person you have feelings for right now?
I don’t know.

Do you have trust issues?
Yes.

If someone liked you right now, would you want them to tell you?
Yes. Might make me feel better about myself in general to know I’m liked. And I like to have the option and/or opportunity to reciprocate.

Have you ever sung in front of a lot of people?
Yes.

Do people tell you that you have a nice voice?
Yes.

What scares you the most in life?
Failure.

Something That Came to Me Upon Waking

He was hot and she was willing,
or she was hot and he was willing;
it didn’t matter much between them.
He knew her touch would both sting and heal,
was surprised to find it soft and smooth and cool
upon his cheek
though it delivered fever and desire,
all the side effects of lust.
He leaned his forehead against her shoulder,
lay it against his longing
for a stranger on a street corner.

Chad

For some reason I’ve had old friends on my mind lately, and just the last couple days one in particular. I knew him in high school and he committed suicide some years ago. I’m not sure why I’m thinking of him.

I don’t know that Chad and I would have been friends if not for the fact we had so many other friends in common. Both of us were smart and shy, though while I was intermittently unhappy (in the way of teenagers), Chad was consistently so. This is the burden of truly brilliant minds: they cannot be satisfied, not with themselves, nor with anything or anyone outside of themselves. They are driven, and they see and know too much, taking everything in until it turns on them and consumes them, swallows them like a black hole.

Chad used to come over to my house and just sit. He was always polite but mostly quiet. Sometimes we watched television, sometimes we sat out on the patio with my dad, sometimes we just sat on the sofa and did and said nothing. That probably seems strange, and in retrospect I might even agree, but it suited us. We were strange people. (I still am, I suppose.)

He came to escape his parents, I think. I never met them, never met Chad’s little brother, but I knew that Chad wanted to be an artist and his parents were insisting he become an engineer of some kind. Being brilliant, Chad could have done anything he chose and done it well, but he had a real gift and talent for art. In my industry there are so many artists, so many people who are good and even great at what they do, but I’ve still never known anyone who could draw or paint like Chad could. He once made for me a sort of booklet from artfully cut and decorated construction paper that featured famous quotes about love on every page, the first page being that line from Twelfth Night: “If music be the food of love, play on.”

It wasn’t that Chad had any romantic interest in me, of that I’m fairly certain (in fact, my guess is he might have been gay). It was more that he knew me as a girl who desperately needed to feel wanted and loved. It occurs to me now it must have taken a bit of courage for such a shy young man to go to such effort for me.

I don’t know the exact circumstances of his death; it’s not the kind of thing you go around asking about. After I left for university, I lost touch with Chad and just assumed he’d gone off somewhere too—in fact, I’m almost positive he did go to college, at least for a while, though I don’t know whether he finished. A few years ago some of those mutual high school friends were the ones to inform me that Chad had committed suicide, and I wasn’t surprised in the least, sadly enough; in fact, it felt like something I had always known. Maybe when one’s spirit dies, tossing the body after it becomes a technicality. That sounds terrible. I know it does. But that’s exactly what happened to Chad. Something had blocked him; he was left with no other outlet. He had nothing but the pull of that black hole, the mass and quantity of his life and knowledge and experience, and he made the decision to let it absorb his light.

So why am I thinking about him? I don’t know. Maybe there is a lesson to be learned in all this and my subconscious is trying to prod me to attention. Or maybe it’s just that someone mentioned Twelfth Night a couple days ago. Whatever the reason, though, I can’t seem to shake it. I must probe the edges of my own black hole and see what I can discover, all the while working not to be sucked in.