Archive | February, 2008

Writer’s Flood

28 Feb

So the reason I have been so remiss in posting is simply because work has been very hectic, which is good. But the reality of writing this book is really kicking in for me. I signed up with my friend Sonya for the TX Writers League Agents and Editors Conference here in Austin in June and I am both thrilled and horrified. I feel like my synopsis is pretty good, and my first chapters read quite well. But now I actually have to get some serious character work done and finish the outline for the next two books of the trilogy so I’ll have something solid for an agent to look at. I think I might also dust off an old screenplay and make that into a novel as well, though certainly not in time for this conference. I have a lot of ideas, but nothing in ready to read shape. That said, I have put myself on hiatus from writing for my beloved e-zine Shuffleboil until after the conference. That is, however, after I finish the two final episodes of “Pop Candy.” And this blog will only be populated maybe once or twice a month, probably. I’m trying to get rid of writing distractions and this is sort of my way of doing that. I think I will still try to regularly post my business blog at www.hooplamedia.wordpress.com because it’s more less part of my job. But other than that, I’m saying “adios” to a lot of other writing for the moment.

Oh, but I have to say that I just say “The Last Mimzy” and I really loved it. Check it out.

Shuffleboil: The Price of Pain in Hollywood

13 Feb

Check out my latest installment of “My Next Top Reality” on Shuffleboil.com!

Pop Candy – Episode 4

10 Feb

The first time Alex saw Ava it was in an ad for a Co-op Radio benefit. There was a photo of her and three guys– all hosts of the most popular shows. The foursome looked very bummed out because it was a benefit for the station which had burned to the ground just a week before. No one knew the hows or the whys of why it went up in flames. It was a mystery. Co-op was still was sharing space with the college radio station for the time being, and they had cut their programming by almost seventy per cent until they could raise enough money to buy a new, small studio.

When Alex saw Ava, he felt as though he had hit the mother lode. She was petite with light-haired pony tails. She had perfect, straight Bettie Page bangs and wore black-framed glasses with rhinestones. The photo was in black and white, and he wished he knew what the true color of her eyes and hair really were. In the picture, Ava wore an argyle cardigan over a concert t-shirt which Alex finally made out to be from U2’s Joshua Tree tour. He wondered where she scored the shirt since she must have been in kindergarten at the time. Maybe she had a cool aunt or uncle who passed it down to her. Or maybe she had bought it online. She didn’t seem like the kind of person who buy something like that online, so Alex concluded that it came to her in some wonderful, serendipitous way– like she had come to him. And although she was frowning for the camera, her eyes had a hint of a smile that calmed Alex to the bones.

With the cutback in the schedule, Alex had temporarily panicked thinking that “Pop Candy” would be off the air indefinitely. But Ava wasn’t cut. She was popular. Alex was relieved and disturbed by this fact. “Hey,” he thought. “Who else is listening to her? There can’t be someone out there who loves the show as much as I do.”

Alex had been doing pretty well since discovering “Pop Candy” and he looked forward to it every night. On the weekends, when Ava wasn’t on air, he would line up one album for Sat. night and one for Sun. night– recordings that Ava had talked about or recommended on air. He would sink into his bean bag, put on his garage sale headphones that made him look like a rusty robot and would listen to the entire CD from beginning to end, eyes closed. Sometimes he didn’t have any pot or beer, so it would take him nearly three songs before his mind would stop racing. But for the nights that he did score some weed or had enough for a twelve pack, he would barely make it halfway through before falling into a deep, dreamproof sleep.

He would imagine Ava sitting in a bean bag right next to him, her headphones plugged into the same stereo. Every now and then they would look up at each other, smiling and nodding to the music. Their hands would be clasped and they would tap rhythms on the back of them to keep time. Maybe she would squeeze his hand every now and then at some particularly sentimental lyric.

Tonight, he was listening to The Bends by Radiohead. When Fake Plastic Trees came on, tears began to quietly flow down his face in a torrent of salty, stinging pain. Soon, his face was hot and soaked through like a sponge. He ran the palms of his hands roughly over his eyes and pulled the tears through his dirty hair making it shine in the moonlight streaming in. He could feel the wounds of the years bursting through his skin, ravaging his body with the bold, ruthless pain of regret and fear. He didn’t quite understand what the song meant, but he cared about the person who could write something like that and lamented his own lack of ingenuity when it came to expressing such longing for something better.

At that moment, Alex’s father burst into the room, flung on the lights and took what looked to Alex like a war stance.

“Enough is enough, Alex,” Mr. Whitney said. “You’ve drained the liquor cabinet and you haven’t been out of this house for two weeks. Now you’re sitting in the dark crying like a little girl. What the hell is wrong with you?”

“What? Nothing. What?” Alex’s tears dried up like drops of water on a 400 degree skillet in summertime.

“Tomorrow, I’m locking you out of the house. And there’s nothing you or your mother can do about it. When you get a plan, a job, anything, you let me know and you can get the rest of your things. I’ll pay your first month’s rent, and then you are on your own.”

Before Alex could jump up and say “Hey, Dad. I do have a plan. I mean I have an idea, and it’s slowly getting better. I mean, I’m getting better– just give me some more time…” Mr. Whitney slammed the door shut so hard, Alex’s shelves came crashing down and his CDs fell like tarot cards across the dusty rug. His heart began to race and his eyes darted toward all of his belongings as though he had to make a split second decision on what to keep and what to let burn. He felt his world had suddenly exploded into flames and he had no idea where he was going to go once the sun came up.

Making Up for Lost Time

4 Feb

juno.jpg 

To the people who actually read this blog:

I’m sorry I’ve been so lame in providing interesting and entertaining entries lately. My household has just emerged from a month-long battle with the plague and now we’re feeling pretty damn good. Over the weekend, Tenancious B spent Saturday night with Mimi and PawPaw (not their real names) and Fritz and I decided to basically kick the crap out of Stress and Sickness. So how did I spend my Saturday? First, I had to fight, and I mean fight hard, the urge to clean my bedroom closet and organize the garage for a garage sale. Instead, I went for coffee and read my Entertainment Weekly… for HALF AN HOUR. Then I went to get my eyebrows waxed (which was not an act of relaxation, but more an act of self care). Then I made my to Borders to see if I could find a copy of Austin Woman Magazine in which my article, “Exposing Silent Racism: What Well-Meaning White People Need to Know” just came out. I really had a fascinating discussion with Dr. Barbara Trepagnier who wrote the book. She says that it’s not a matter of whether or not you are racist but, rather, to what extent. Very interesting.

Speaking of interesting, during my trip to Borders, I met an author who was doing a booksigning and basically just telling people what his book and his revolutionary political movement was about. His name was Tim Cox and he wrote a book called Goooh! (Get Out Of Our House) which is pronounced “go.” Anyway, here’s what the website says:

It is a NON-PARTISAN plan to evict the 435 career politicians in the U.S. House of Representatives and replace them with everyday Americans just like you.

GOOOH enables you to do four things you can’t do today:

1) Run for Congress without raising millions of dollars
2) Truly participate in the selection of your Congressman
3) Replace career politicians with true representatives
4) Eliminate the influence of special interest groups in the election process

So of course the first question I asked was “Well, I think a big reason some people don’t run for office (even on a small local scale) is just because we all pretty much have some skeletons in our closet, you know? But according to Tim, if you go by Goooh rules, you have a free pass for anything you did before your 25th birthday. Good news! Well, actually, not for me… but good news for lots of other people! Yeah!

The concept is far-fetched, but so darn American. Makes me want to watch Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. And Tim’s no dummy. He’s the guy that invented credit card machines at the gas pump. So I really hope it works, and give him big props for starting a revolution. Go Tim.

After seeing my byline and talking to Tim, I splurged on a hazelnut gelato, got a 15 minute chair massage and then went to a Restorative Yoga class. Aaaaahhhhh. It’s basically just guided napping, and it felt so, so good. After that, I was completely blissed out and also excited that my husband had asked me to go on an actual date. I went home, got ready and we went to Alamo Drafthouse and saw Juno which my fabulous neighbors highly recommended. It was fantastic. Like Fritz said, there is just something to be said for flowy, smart, snarky dialogue delivered by really talented actors. I’m not going to do a whole review here (because that would be work) but I will say that there was a scene between the main character, Juno, and her Dad that summed it all up. He said something to the effect of– sure, you can love someone forever and be together… you just have to find someone who will love you for exactly who you are– not what you want he/she to be. This is the challenge in relationships and in marriage. When you’re with someone day in and day out for years and years, it’s almost impossible to not want to change that person to fit your needs or what you think that person should be. I saw two 16-year olds playing guitar together and being hopelessly in love (in the movie) and it looked and felt so much like me and Fritz when we first met. Just young, carefree and with simple dreams. We are still those people and much better in some ways. Juno made me feel good.

So that was my Saturday. I did not get one practical thing done. And that’s fine by me. And Tenacious B? He came home with a tattoo and a sinister look in his eye, but other than that…

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