Monday, April 28, 2008

Monday, April 28, 2008
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Rainy and cool

The new issue of The Scruffy Dog Review is out, which means my latest installment of “The Literary Athlete” is up. It’s called “In Between” and gives suggestions what to do while your manuscript makes the rounds. You can find it here.

The Pre-Derby article is off, and should be up in a couple of days. The monologue went off, the actor read it via web-cam, I did a rewrite, sent it off, we worked via webcam, I tweaked. I think it’s in good shape. I sent him one final tweak when I got home last night; if he’s comfortable, he can memorize it (his audition is tomorrow).

I didn’t get the script doctoring job. They decided to go with someone else (who has no published credits and has never written in play or screenplay format) who was willing to do it for the “experience” rather than pay. Now, they asked me for a quote when they approached me about the job, presented it as a paying job, and told me the scope of the project and the overall budget. I gave them a fair price, and, as far as I knew, this was a paying job, or I would have refused outright. Suddenly, they gave me the “option” of “we really want you to do this, but we decided we’re not paying anyone to punch up dialogue.” I don’t think so. You guys have no track record, I have no personal reason to work with you other than the actor who recommended me, you wouldn’t let me read the whole script, you’d only send me the few scenes you wanted punched up if I took the job (even after I explained why reading the whole script would be useful in punching up the dialogue of the specific scenes), and have been through six (count ‘em) writers so far. Usually, at least the courtesy of a deferred payment agreement is offered. Or, if you really don’t/can’t pay, you pull in favors from people you know really well, not strangers who have no reason to do anything for you. Their parting volley was amusing: “I’d bet you’d do this for free for a friend” to which I responded, “Probably. For a friend.” Whatever, it’s not my film, I’m not invested in any way. I feel badly for the actor who suggested me for the gig, who’s very unhappy with the scripts thus far. He only agreed to do it because he knew the first writer on the film – who was subsequently “replaced.” Honestly, it sounds like a nightmare-in-embryo to me.

The timing’s good, because I really don’t see how I could have taken it on this week while I’m in shows and doing a three hour daily commute and still have done my best work. I would have, but not landing it takes pressure off me, and that’s always welcome. I’m also enough of an optimist to believe it simply means some other opportunity to which I am better suited will come down the pike.

Besides, I have a Kentucky Derby for which to prep! After all, I’m in shows through Friday night and the Derby is on Saturday! I’m cutting it a little close this year.

Worked on the adaptation some more. I think I can add in one of the scenes I was sad to cut out of the screenplay due to time and space issues – it could be lots of fun here, and shore up the relationships among the secondary characters.

The trip to and from the city sucked, and there were far too many SFT’s to climb over (no, it’s not a venereal disease, it’s “stupid fucking tourists” and I don’t care what anyone says, THEY do not pay MY bills, so I can call them as I see them).

Show was fine, went smoothly, we had lots of fun. Once I’m in the building, it’s fine, but it’s getting to and from the theatre that makes it such a hassle.

Caught up with a colleague I hadn’t seen in ages, who’s very excited that Dreamworks is starting to produce on Broadway. He thinks they’ll be really good producers. They trust that the people they hire know what they’re doing and are honest with them, they let them do their jobs, and they don’t nickel and dime them to death. They’re willing to spend the money; in return, they want honest quotes, honest work, and that things are delivered on time, which seems perfectly fair to me. They seem to be thinking ahead so that there will be a minimum of scrambling at the last minute. That’s the kind of producers we need on Broadway, and there’s been a dearth of them with the corporate bean counters taking over instead of actual producers. So, let’s see if they come through as well as they’re starting, and, if so, it’ll be great for Broadway, and theatre in general.

Caught up with another colleague who I just think is one of our most exciting emerging artists; she’s getting ready to spend time in Europe again this summer, at an artists’ colony in Germany, working on a project. I’m delighted for her.

I have a friend visiting for a couple of days; he arrived yesterday and will be here until tomorrow. He’s been working in Canada and is on his way back home to Europe for the summer; it’ll be great to spend a few days together. He’s had a rough year, and he’s certainly been a life raft in stormy seas for me enough times, so I’m happy to return the favor.

Off to get some writing done. I want to finish at least one, maybe two short stories today so I can give them a polish tomorrow and get them out. And there was a very funny little incident on the train coming home last night that’s the seed of another story. I don’t want to relate it here, because it will dilute it – you’ll have to wait and read the story. I’m going to take what actually happened and then push its boundaries.

It’s a rainy, gloomy day, but we need the water after 13 days with no rain; as long as it’s steady and not so hard the brook breaks its banks, I’ll be happy.

Getting ready for a busy week at the show, and trying to balance it with the writing.


Adaptation: 20,808 words out of est. 90,000

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
20 / 90

Devon’s Bookstore:

5 in 10: Create 5 Short Stories in Ten Weeks
by Devon Ellington. This ebooklet takes you from inspiration to writing to revision to marketing. By the end of ten weeks, you will have either 5 short stories or a good chunk of a novella complete. And it’s only 50 cents, USD. Here.

Writing Rituals: Ideas to Support Creativity by Cerridwen Iris Shea. This ebooklet contains several rituals to help you start writing, get you through writer’s block, and help send your work on its way. It’s only 39 cents USD. (Note: Cerridwen Iris Shea is one of the six names under which I publish). Here.

Full Circle: An Ars Concordia Anthology
. Edited by Colin Galbraith. This is a collection of short stories, poems, and other pieces by a writers’ group of which I am a member. My story is “Pauvre Bob”, set at Arlington Race Track in Illinois. You can download it free here:


  1. Good on you for not doing that job for free. That’s the only way writers will ever get the (financial) respect we deserve–to stop volunteering! It’s one thing for a friend, as you say, but hello…we gotta eat too.

  2. I have a feeling you’ll do an excellent job of balancing your shows with your writing – you are the queen of balance! 🙂

  3. I don’t understand people how they could contact you for a qoute, then ask for you to do it for free when you only know the actor that recommended you. AND they woulnd’t let you read through the script? What the HECK?
    Sorry to hear travel to and from the show was so hard. I think I’m going to make it a point to never visit NY because I don’t want to be one of the SFT who tick you off. *g*
    I send you good wishes for the week ahead!

  4. They actually SAID that? My gawd, what amateurs. It’s like hiring Brad Pitt, telling him they’ve decided not to pay him because his acting approach wasn’t jibing with their ideas, and then saying as he walked away, “I bet you’d stick around if it was Clooney asking.” Yea, he would. But Clooney wouldn’t expect him to work for free.


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