Friday, October 31, 2008

Bernie Angel

The screenplay for Bernie Angel (tentative title) is in progress. I have inked out the plot, trimmed it down considerably so it would fit in one movie, and am in the process of creating the character's histories. I have the plot outlined by scenes, and hopefully in the next few days will begin the actual screenplay.

Something interesting, for science fiction movie buffs- I ordered the screenplays for the original Star Wars trilogy and was fascinated by them. It is amazing to see how the producers, directors, costumers, etc., translated the description of scene, set, characters, costumes, and created the Star Wars World. The scripts also have tidbits of trivia that are equally as interesting, such as characters in the original screenplay, certain "science fiction" terminology that was changed, and the fact that no one would buy George Lucas' original screenplay initially, and he had to modify it a whole lot to get it sold. He wrote it as a kid's morality story, to tell a story about right and wrong. Hard to believe that what he perceived to be a simple life lesson for children turned into such a big deal. I hope to be half as lucky. The movie has also made double in merchandise compared to how much it made in ticket sales, something to think about when creating characters. If you want to make the big bucks, have not just interesting characters, but interesting LOOKING characters.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Publication of Gumbo Justice

I was excited to see my novel listed as a coming attraction on my publisher's website at Oak Tree Press. I was equally as excited to see Gumbo Justice listed on Barnes and Noble's website, available for pre-order. The novel is not scheduled to be published until late summer, but now that it has an ISBN number, it finally seems real to me. I have added a link to the Barnes and Noble page (top right.)

I can already imagine all the work I will be doing as it comes closer to publication- edits, putting together press release kits, discussing the cover concept (hopefully), coming up with a page long description of the novel, which is one of the hardest things to do (imagine trying to sum up your own life in a couple of paragraphs), writing the thank you page, getting the photo taken for the back cover (which is actually in the contract.)

In any event, I am enthused at this point. I am working toward walking and being able to use my left arm, I am working at my job from home again. I am working whenever I can at my kids' school, volunteering when they need me. And soon I will be working full steam ahead at doing all the things for my novel to be published. And all this with trying to keep up with the new television lineup. Things could be a lot worse.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I have seen a lot of television shows recently with individuals "in recovery." For the most part, these characters are alcoholics, drug abusers, with an occasional sex addict thrown in for good measure. I assume writers feel the need to keep up with Hollywood, where anyone who is anyone is in some kind of rehab. For instance, David Duchovny is reported to have just gotten out of a rehab facility for his sexual addiction. Spears and Lohan are currently out of rehab as well. Locklear may be going in.

It's not that I don't sympathize with people who actually have real problems. (Not passing judgment on the rich and infamous, because I only know what the media wants me to know. I'm in no position to determine if these people have real problems are not.) But people with addictions are sad, because they do have a problem they are unable to control, whether it's from weakness or genetics.

I do, however, have my own perspective on "recovery" and "rehab." I am in a wheelchair after being in a head on collision with a drunk driver in early June. Recovery to me isn't trying to figure out why I can't walk; recovery is trying to let my body heal so one day I may be able to walk. Rehab isn't a place I can check in and out of depending upon my mood; rehab is a torturous place where a woman stretches my broken elbow until I scream, and another woman makes my knees bend while I try not to cry.

Recovery and rehab are both agonizing for me. I am in some kind of pain almost constantly. I don't know how long it will be before I am back to normal, if ever, and if I will ever be able to do the things I used to. Simple things like playing ball outside with my kids, or walking the dog seem like a fantasy a hundred years in my future. I've forgotten what it is like to walk into the bathroom, climb in the tub, and take a bath. Or drive myself to Wal Mart to buy a treat for one of my daughters' classes.

So forgive me if I get angry- and yes, jealous- when I see someone who has everything but common sense throwing a perfectly good life away. Poor Hollywood actor can't keep it in his pants. Poor Pop Tarts can't help partying without their panties. I don't feel sorry for myself, so I'm sure as hell not going to feel sorry for them. I wonder what people like that would do if they were faced with problems such as trying to make the mortgage, or trying to feed their kids, or trying to walk after being destroyed in a car wreck, instead of how to control their baser urges.

It seems as if Hollywood writers feel compelled to write a character with an addiction, just as they feel compelled to write a character who is the token gay person. I like good characters if they are well-written, three dimensional characters, whether they are addicted or not, gay or straight, black or white. What I can't stand is when writers create caricatures of addicts, or gay people, or foreigners, or whatever the stereotype, because it is the THING that Hollywood is doing right now.

Maybe that's why I read so much.