Yes! I am still alive!

I was just away on vacation and had little to no online access. Alaska, folks. That’s where you go to really get away.

And I saw bears! A momma black bear and her two cubs, in fact. And bald eagles, and salmon (hence the bears), and orca and humpback whales (also with calfs). Quite lovely.

Alaska is not new to me; my grandparents lived there, so I’d been in both summer and at Christmas. I much prefer summer! Moose used to walk through my grandparents’ yard and eat Grandma Jo’s lilacs. It made her so mad. I’d go out and try to pet them because I thought they were really big horses.

Alas, saw no moose this trip. But had a lovely time, and now I really must get back to work and routine. The kids start school in two weeks; I registered them this morning to be sure they get a classroom assignment. And as vacation always ends with a pile of laundry + an empty cupboard and ice box . . . Plenty to do!

But so good to be home. To walk in and smell your house, and have your water—it’s funny, isn’t it, how the water is always different everywhere else? I mean, it stands to reason, but we’re adaptive creatures. We’re used to the way our water feels and smells and everywhere else, no matter how clean and nice the water is, it’s wrong to us.

And I came into my office and the scent of my last candle still lingered, and it was so wonderful . . . I love to travel, oh yes, I was born with itchy feet. But this time I am so, so glad to be home.

Now back to work.

Halfway Point

So 2015 is half over, which makes it a fine time to check in with those goals I’d set at the start of the year.

1. Get an agent for The Fall and Rise of Peter Stoller.

Okay, so I didn’t land an agent (though there was lots of great feedback, yet somehow I kept being told, “but I just don’t feel strongly enough . . .”), but I did get a publisher for it, and so far they’ve been great to work with. So I’ll count this one as accomplished, and I’m super excited about it being published by Tirgearr in January!

2. Finish Changers.

Actually, now I’m going to be querying Changers and hoping to get an agent for it.

3. Get Hunting Victor Frankenstein picked up.

This one seems far-fetched, I’ll admit, and I haven’t even been actively pitching it. But I do still hope at some point to find an interested party. Feedback has been encouraging, though one agent told me that because FOX has a Frankenstein TV project, mine would be harder to sell. Sigh.

As for my wish to return to London this year, I’m going in late September to see Hamlet at the Barbican. Won’t be in town very long, but I’ll take what I can get.

The rom-com has been optioned but remains in flux as the production company that optioned it looks for others to come on board. I’m also co-writing a sci-fi feature that has a producer already attached and looks hopeful to actually go somewhere. Adverse Possession has been sent off to at least one film festival, though I think we won’t even know if it gets in until October.

All told, though, I’m pretty happy with the direction of 2015. There has been definite progress, and I’ve got some great trips coming up: DFW Con at the end of this month, the Alaskan cruise at the start of August, and that trip to London in September. Much to be pleased with in looking back, and much more to look forward to.

A lot of things happening, and I’m feeling buzzy, which makes it difficult to sit and write.

Press releases are being drawn up (and I’m being asked for quotes!), and tickets to see Hamlet in London in September (and we all know how I do love Hamlet) . . . And then the little things in life like trying to recover from pneumonia, and trying to keep the kids busy during spring break . . . Makes for a very unsettled kind of week, in both good ways and bad. I hope the good things continue to happen, but I also hope I can get back to a normal routine and back to work, too. Because the good things can’t happen if I don’t put forth some effort.

I’ll call it a break. I mean, we were going all out through Monday on the film treatment, so a little down time is not uncalled for. But still, kids go back to school on Tuesday, so I need to be ready to get back to work by then. In the meantime, I’ll try to relax, though it’s proving difficult; I’m very restless and keyed up. All this excitement can’t be good for me.

Back from Santa Cruz, and I’m sure Sherl will have plenty to say about it all at some point (in fact, he has a lot to say about a lot of things; he’s been busy but plans to update his blog soon). Meanwhile, feel it’s as good a time as any to say the romantic comedy script I’ve co-written made the preliminary cut in the Creative World Awards. They should announce Quarterfinalists next week, so . . . They gave us really good feedback on the script, but I know competition is fierce. A lot of good writers and good scripts out there. I hope ours is one!

Santa Cruz! And Scripts!

Sad to say, but I’ve never been to a boardwalk. I’ve been to beaches plenty of times, but never to a boardwalk. But this weekend I intend to rectify that.

First, though, sustenance. We drive down tomorrow and will eat, drink, and be merry tomorrow night in order to be ready for a Grand Day Out on Saturday.

And Sunday, before returning home: Mystery Spot. Gravitational anomalies, anyone? Hooray!

(We were going to zip line through the Redwoods, but (a) I wasn’t convinced I could stomach the height, and (b) once I decided to give it a go, it turned out there were no available times anyway. Maybe next visit!)

In other, writing-related news: I’ve begun getting requests for the 20 August script. Fingers crossed it finds the right home! And Adverse Possession has about four more sound editing tweaks, and then it should be ready to send to festivals. It’s hard for me—someone always eager to be moving and making progress—to settle to the slower pace of “the biz,” where deals and the movie-making process take forever and then, all at once, are suddenly finished. In the meantime, I’ve written a couple more short plays, and each of them could potentially be turned into longer plays. That’s the key: stay busy. ‘Cuz if you’re just sitting around and waiting to hear back about something, well . . . Watched pot and all that.


Looks to be the busiest month for me this year, at least on weekends. This coming weekend, I’ll be at an A’s game. The following weekend is a trip to Santa Cruz. The weekend after that is my youngest son’s birthday. And after that, a writing retreat to Paso Robles . . . Then the kids start school again and we’ll have to get into a whole new routine. Which means somewhere in all this, we need to shop for clothes and school supplies, too. Should be an interesting, action-packed month.

TBT: My Only World Cup Memory

In 1998 I was traversing Europe largely in the company of a pack of Australians, and we landed in Paris the night of the World Cup match between Brazil and Scotland.

It was an interesting evening to say the least.

If I remember correctly, Scotland lost. But I’m inclined to believe all the Scottish people in the bars would have been pissing drunk either way. Many were in kilts. And yes, I and my friends were treated to glimpses of what was and wasn’t under those kilts. But I decline to elaborate.

The strangest moment came when we were accosted by a group of Brazilians while walking through the city. Four of them threw themselves to their knees at my feet and folded their hands in front of them. They were speaking rapid Portuguese, which luckily one of my group also spoke. My unofficial translator explained they were saying I was an angel, come to grace them and give them good luck, and please would I go with them. One of them tried to pick me up and carry me off. But somehow my friends managed to untangle me, and with many laughing and good-natured regrets we parted ways. (This happens remarkably often; in Mexico two men tried to take me from a market while saying I was “the daughter of the sun god,” and in Greece a man tried to abduct me after calling me “Athene” and saying I would bring him good luck. So if you’re ever wondering where my ideas for The K-Pro come from . . . )

Anyway, as football (aka soccer) festivities get under way in Brazil, I have fond memories of one night in Paris, my only brush with the World Cup.

I.T. Crowd courtesy of imgur
I.T. Crowd courtesy of imgur

Summer Travels

It appears I’ll be doing a fair share of traveling this summer. Since I love to travel, this makes me pretty happy.

First off, in a couple weeks we fly down to Houston to see my parents. One day will be spent in Austin to visit friends. Then there will be a drive out to the New Orleans area for a family reunion. I haven’t seen some of these people in 10–15 years.

Then, the second weekend in August is Santa Cruz. I’ve always wanted to visit a boardwalk but never have.

And later in August (22–24) a writing retreat! With two dear friends down at Bianchi Winery in Paso Robles. Not sure if I’ll do more writing or tasting, but either way it will be a blast.

Anyone else have fun stuff planned for summer?