Saturday, September 30, 2006

Just Another Saturday Night...Or, Why I Love L.A. So Much

So it's Saturday evening, and my hubby and I are off to dinner and a movie -- as usual. We hit Daphne's in Culver City and order our food, when my hubby sees a man sitting with his four (gorgeous) children.

The hub turns to me and says, "That guy. Picture him with dreadlocks." I try, but no bells go off, so we go about our business and eat our food. While eating I notice a lot of patrons staring at that man. Still, nothing comes to mind. He does look familiar, but I just can't place him. We eat. People stare, and he's oblivious, having a great time with those beautiful children of his.

So, we finish our meal and get up to leave. I'm halfway out the restaurant before I notice my hub isn't following me. I turn to hear, "Actor, right?"

The man graciously answers my husband's query, "Yes."
Then my hub asks the man's name.
"Mario", he answers.

That's when the bells go off. The man everyone has been staring at is Mario Van Peebles.

We exchange pleasantries. I see he's wearing a Slamdance t-shirt and make the comment I'm a screenwriter, not expecting anything other than the usual, "Oh" comment.

He surprises me by asking my name. I give it. We shake hands. We make a connection, albeit brief.

We leave the restaurant thinking how great it is to live here.


Wednesday, September 27, 2006


I was always a big believer that if you studied hard and worked harder you would get great things from this life.

Now, I'm not so sure.

I'm finding more and more that good old-fashioned luck -- or Serendipity -- may have a great deal to do with success. At least in terms of making it in Hollywood.

Let me explain.

I have written a lot of screenplays. Some, to be sure, were total crap, but some were very marketable and film-worthy. Those that were film-worthy were taken to the next level and brought to the attention of producers.

That's usually where the road ended for my babies. Boo hoo. Cry for me. This has never happened to anyone else, right? Right.

Anyway, I got to thinking that even the best writers out there -- and, again there are TONS of them -- are getting the same treatment from those same "Hollywood people". They have to, otherwise there would be a glut of mind-bogglingly great films in the works/in the can/in distribution at this very moment.

We all know that ain't so. So...?

It's luck. Pure and simple. Luck. Gotta be.

Don't get me wrong. While searching my backyard for the ever-illusive four-leaf clover I will continue working my ass off with my writing.

After all, I could be wrong.

Monday, September 25, 2006


I have ADD.

It's not something I brag about, it's just there, sort of like having a birthmark. Only you can have a birthmark removed.

Not so ADD. It's always with you; a part of your very being.

Of course, there are medications to treat it. There are innumerable books about it. There are entire websites devoted to the discussion of it.

The one thing that almost everyone can agree upon is that IT is a pain in the ass!

It controls your every waking hour. Don't believe me? Go on and ask any one of the millions of adults that also have this fabulous condition.

Go take a pill.

I've tried that route. It works. I could actually focus for longer periods of time on a single goal.

That was the good part.

The bad part was that I was a walking zombie; no emotions, no creativity. And for someone who calls themself a writer...that's BAD.

And so I do not take meds any longer.

Who else out there has this...shall we say, interference with their life?

How has it effected your life and/or writing?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Short Shrift

For as long as I can remember, my son has gotten the short end of the stick. His being born second means there are fewer photographs of him, and a little less awe when he comes home with that Mother's Day present he made himself.

Fortunately, he has never been subjected to hand-me-downs. His older sibling is a sister. Besides, pink just ain't his color!

The latest - in a long succession of disappointments - for him (probably mostly for me) is that due to unforseen circumstances, he has not gotten a birthday party for the past two years. That might not seem like much to you nad me, but this kid has only just turned nine, so it's a BIG deal.

When he was two, his dad was away on business, and I (literally) started a new job on his birthday. The celebration that evening was two candles in a pound cake. Do I still feel guilty about that. You bet.

When he was in pre-school, we invited everyone from his class, along with a slew of kids from our neighborhood.

A total of two other children showed up for his party.

Is it any wonder my heart bleeds for this kid? Yours would, too.

By now, you're asking what's the problem?

It's AD/HD.

Yeah, I know, everyone and their cousin says their kid has it, but unless you've lived with a child who's got it, you can NEVER understand just how devastating it can be. It takes a toll on the parent and child in ways you never imagined; self-esteem, outlook, and confidence to name just a few. I have no doubt that my son's AD/HD is THE reason he's had such little success with friendships.

Does it make things easier knowing that? No.

In three day's time, my son will be having another birthday party. I have invited over 23 kids to join us. To date, six have accepted our invitation.


I can only hope that as he grows my son will be able to hold onto his self-confidence and keep a positive outlook.

Unlike his mother, who's fingernails are bitten to the quick.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

A Little Sleaze, Please?

This afternoon, sitting at the local ice-skating rink watching my son and his friend having a playdate, I hit upon an idea for a comedy I'd like to flesh out.

I need some help from you guys out there in blogland.

When I write, I like to come up with two things right off the bat: A title, and names for the lead characters.

I've always felt that the right title helps with the "feel" of the film. Names of characters (for me) give me insights into that person's psyche.

Now for the part where you come in.

I need to give a name to one of my characters, who's a real slimeball. He's a soft-porn producer, who's helping a town out by supplying an "all nude review".

What name would you give this guy?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

It's Schnau, or Never

I did it. I just couldn't leave it alone. It's like eating potato chips; I just couldn't stop at one.

His name is Bandit. He's a Miniature Schnauzer that I located (on of all places) Craig's List!

He's small -- much smaller that my other Mini (Barkley), and is black and white with great markings. Barkley is all black, and therefore frequently mistaken for a Scottish Terrier.

My hubby wasn't too terribly thrilled at the aspect of us aquiring yet another animal. With this latest addition, we now have two dogs, two parakeets, one "slider" turtle, and one guinea pig. That, on top of the four humans that reside here.

Our is quite the menagerie.

Between all the feedings, cage and terrarium cleanings, and grooming, I'm ATTEMPTING to get some actual writing into my day.

It ain't easy.

But it is fun.

Monday, September 11, 2006


Let us never forget.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

"Experiment" Update #1

Okay. Here's what I've gotten so far:

Date script listed on InkTip: August 19, 2006
Number of requests for screenplay - ZERO
Number of views: August 19 - 3
August 20 - 4
August 21 - 5
August 22 - 3
August 23 thru September 7 - NADA; ZILCH; ZIP; NOT-A-ONE

Normally I'd drown my bitterness and sorrow in a tall glass of something highly alcoholic, but I 1) knew this would be an experiment, and 2) also know that toward the end of Summer NOBODY is at home in Hollywood.

Besides, I just stumbled upon (yet) another way to market my piece: it's vivid, colorful, straight to the point, shouldn't be overlooked by those "front-office" people, and - best of all - it's practically FREE!


Have you ever heard of those "free" business cards they sell online? I'm sure you have. Well, they're offering the same deal on postcards now. Big, beautiful, colorful ones that catch the eye. I like this idea because it's different. In this town different is good.

I also like it because it's free. I love anything free.

For just the price of postage, I'll be sending my story idea in a totally unique way.

As with the InkTip listing, I'll keep you posted.

No pun intended.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Juggling Act


Every year, just before school starts, I go to Costco (or some other store) and purchase what's known as a "Mom's calendar". These are nifty things that help keep us organized. Duh.

I knew this year was going to be different because my eldest is starting middle school, and my youngest started in a new private school. And, before you say, "Rich snob!", no, I'm not. My son has AD/HD, and processing issues, thus the special school.

Anyway, the first day of school came and went - without a hitch - thank God. When the kids got home they presented me with what seems the thickness of Moby Dick in paperwork, school notices, volunteer sign-ups, and rules and regulations. There were also lots of envelopes looking to be filled with money for family dinner nights, PTSA, and "school contributions".

Egads, I'm drowning! Can one actually drown in paper? Hmmm...I'll need to research that one.

I digress.

So, faced with this ocean of paperwork, I carefully prepared my worksurface; pencils and pens at the ready, that "Mom's calendar" sitting open, and, finally, a glass of H2O at my side. I then dove in.


After just a few minutes I realized I had filled in almost the entire calendar! There was hardly a free space. Between the school activities, parent/teacher conferences, and doctor and dentist visits, there was nary an open day in which to just BE.


My friends - the ones who were wise; got married and bore their offspring at a much younger age than I did - tell me "it only gets worse".

Gee, thanks. I'll remember that for my next life.

Monday, September 04, 2006

RIP Steve Irwin

I never met the man. I would have loved to, but that's obviously not going to happen, now.

Steve was also nuts.

He took more chances with his own safety that any other indivdual I can think of. And, you know what? I admired him for that!

Steve lived they way most of us only dream of; balls to the wall!

We can all take a lesson from Steve Irwin; don't just dream it - DO IT!

I fully intend to.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Is That a Light I See???

Today is September 1st. For those of you without kids, this day has no special meaning, other than the fact that you can:

1) Not wear white shoes again until Spring (how's THAT for a throwback?)
2) Have a really great BBQ to celebrate...who the hell remembers what for, anyway?
3) It's Friday.

No. September 1st, to me, represents closure.

Of the Summer, that is.

My kids (gotta love 'em) start back to school in exactly 3 days, 19 hours, and 30 minutes - give or take a minute or two.

As I've stated before, I love my kids. I wanted them. I gave birth to them. I nurture them.

I also can't stand them.

This has been one very interesting summer. It's the first one that neither of them (I have two - Nick, who is turning 9, and Sarah, who just turned 11) has been in some kind of "situation", or Summer Camp. Roughly translated, that means my two beautiful offspring have been with me 24/7 for the last 3 months.

Okay. Before you go off on how "I wanted kids", or "I don't know what you've got to complain about", or even, "don't you realize that kids are a blessing", I've heard all that before.

Ask yourself this: when was the last time you spent THAT much time alone with two pre-teens, who can't seem to get along for thirty seconds on-end???

Between breaking up the knock-down drag-out fights, and chauffering Nick and Sarah to wherever they needed to be, I (believe) I wrote a grand total of two (&%*&^%#) pages the whole summer!

Now, you get my point.

School is definitely this writing mother's best friend.

I swear, by all that is holy, that next summer my kids will be in camp, even if I have to take on multiple jobs to pay for them!

In the meantime, come by my kids' school this Tuesday morning, and you should be able to instantly recognize me. I'll be the one in the parking lot doing the Back to School Boogie.