Thursday, March 31, 2011

Auel In

Clan of the Cave Bear author Jean M. Auel talks writing and night hours. (Could be a role model for certain nocturnal writing friends of mine.)

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Via Geek O System, all women needed were a chance to launch their own Geek site. I salute them for their desire to serve a neglected niche. ('Neglected Niche' would, I think, also be a good name for a blog.)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Had lunch with an old Warner Bros. friend Amy yesterday. Amy works for a big network. We talked buzz words and running and finally parted to return to our... marketing.

I have a little break today so I'm using my new-found speed-typing to try and finish a draft on a short story. I'm thinking Monday I'll They want lots of stuff written in a short time, but they pay exactly when they say they will. Even animation never managed that consistently.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

80 Years of Shatner

That's what we have as of today. The Rocket Man himself has cracked eight zero. Screen Rant has a look back at the History of Bill.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Animation Pitches Dispatched

These chores were finished today and sent out. Only the book outline was a little light on heft, but that's because I'm a stranger to the Young Adult 'hood and need a little agenty advice on whether my story is original enough.

Fortunately the marketing storm held off until I could finish. But that will probably change today or tomorrow morning. Good. Me catchee all same same dollar. Sorry, I forgot to mention this is international Speak Pidgin English Day. You catchee, sailor man?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Runners Rock in Rainy Marathon

Way to go, LA Marathoners! On a stormy day with 2 inches of rain and winds gusting up to 20 mph, when, according to the LA Times, thousands of runners were checked for hypothermia and 26 hospitalized, you guys rocked it. Gail, Inez, Lindsey, Tiffany, Coach Chris and everyone else, outstanding job.

Special shout out to Kate Freeman for a 3:11:57. That's an average of 7:19 a mile for 26.2 miles. (The last time I ran 7:19 there were cops after me.) Out of 7,406 chick finishers, Kate was the 34th woman to cross the finish line.

Kate's speedy husband Jimmy waddled in at 2:56:38. That's 6:45 a mile, 100th dude overall out of 11,531 guy finishers. (I think it takes me almost 3 hours to get out of my robe.) Nice to see a pair of former TNT coaches get after it.

Outstanding job runners, especially Team in Training!

Those of you so inclined, have a beer on the person next to you.
(Image: AP via NBC Sports.)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Review: Battle: Los Angeles

This bittersweet romance set before the backdrop of an alien invasion promises much but delivers little. The "battle" is metaphorical, fought between a retiring Marine Staff Sergeant (Aaron Eckhardt) and a Hispanic woman (Michelle Rodriguez) who has come to America to be CFO of a large corporation. She grows bitter after her dream is foiled by a lack of education, knowledge of standard accounting practices, and the inability to speak English. Blaming Eckhardt, Rodriguez shuns him as we watch Los Angeles bombarded by alien war craft. The city's destruction represents the implosion of a relationship collapsing under the weight of failed expectations and unfulfilled desire.

Director Jonathan Liebesman turned often to static master shots followed by long slow pans of LA, letting the camera demonstrate that the search for understanding and passion are endless and futile. In the climatic scene, Liebesman used a locked medium shot of the two characters eating flan. Without touching the camera, Liebesman let the actors convey with action—the pensive holding of a spoon or the irritated sip of espresso—that all was finished—except for the flan, which the Staff Sergeant took back to his unit.

In the end we're left to wonder how the characters met, what they needed, and why they were eating dessert and breaking up in the middle of an invasion. I would rate this two stars out of five for the patient, unhurried pace of the film and the excellent use of flan in a supporting role. (Image: IMDb)

Another Life in D.C.

Nate Ruegger's film continues to draw attention in a positive way.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A Day for Green Activism

Don Rickles once described the Irish as "a wonderful people. Their lives consist of beer and parades." Ah, but he forgot poetry and grumbling. Happy St. Patrick's Day to all!
Image: Caplan Miller

Friday, March 11, 2011

Pitch Fest 2011

Nice long meeting today with the agent as we caucused over my ten ideas for animated TV shows. Several candidates were discarded because they did not fit the current industry meme. (Shows must contain "wish fulfillment" or "bowel empowerment"...something.) These TV animation memes are adopted by executives and often seem artificial and contrived yet have the unofficial force of law—like dress codes among teenage girls. Minus the current meme, you have little chance of even setting a meeting to pitch, let alone getting a development deal for your weird memeless idea.

Eventually, we settled on two ideas for kids' TV animation, one concept for adult animation and one idea we decided worked better as a book. (Another stinking book!) Except for the book, which I need to outline, I'll have to flesh out the animation ideas such as describing the rules of each world. (King of the Hill or "Spongebob?") In keeping with our newest tradition, my agent chose a deadline in which I must deliver her back the updated material. (Ten days from now.)

This means I must up my game a notch. The marketing writing leaves me really weary and not wanting to WRITE ANYTHING including emails and Facebook posts. But if I want to start something rolling again I either need to push myself at day's end or arise earlier and put in two hours or so on my own stuff then buckle up and crank out the ads.

It's like training for a marathon. Not always fun, but you suck it up and go. And so I will.

Prayers and best wishes to the Japanese as they struggle through a jumbo catastrophe.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Preparing to Pitch the TV Animation Industry

With my marketing side-job and assembling a host of animated TV series ideas for my agent. ("Host" in this case being 10.) After a few years on the shelf, I'll be reengaging with the animation industry in a more systematic way than resenting not having a job. Next week or the week after, the pitch meetings begin. Meanwhile, the marketing copy sings out its non-siren call, but a strong call nonetheless.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

My Roger Eschbacher Plug

We used to work together back at Warner Bros. Now Roger and I have become bookish fellows, with literary wares to market. (Mine are still theoretical. Roger has actually completed something.) Stop by Roger's blog and find out more about his books. In addition, his site The Novel Project has good general info for writers in all stages of their careers.