For My Next Trick…

My blog entries have become rather scarce of late.  Yeah, sorry about that.  Things like work and children and a thousand-dollar-a-day coke habit tend to wreak havoc on my writing schedule.  The other main distraction has been, well…writing.

Quick backstory: I’m a failed screenwriter.  Okay, that’s harsh.  I guess I could say that I’m a successful screenwriter, as I penned two screenplays and entered them into the Project: Greenlight competition around the turn of the century.  One of ’em made the Top-100 (out of over 4,000 entries) but it still wasn’t enough to garner any interest from studios or, just as importantly, from agents.  Agents that COULD potentially get interest from studios.  In other words, I never became a professional screenwriter.  The scripts sat there for a while before a couple of different friends mentioned that I should turn them into novels.  So, that’s what I’ve been doing with my spare time.  Transforming what I now know to be very amateurish screenplays into (hopefully) readable and sell-able book manuscripts.

Will I run into the same difficulties getting published as I did trying to get the stories optioned for films?  Probably.  Will I decide to e-publish them, hoping that people will shell out $2.99 at Amazon or Barnes & Noble for a Kindle or Nook version?  Truthfully, I’m still working that all out as I strive to polish this baby into something resembling a presentable final draft.  But I thought I’d let you read a little sample, since you’ve read all my other silly stuff.  This excerpt is from the opening of Chapter Seven of my novel “Dead Air.”  It’s a fun little murder-mystery set in the good ol’ days (the best days) of radio: the Mid-90’s.  The main character’s name is Trey, and he’s pretty much me.  (But you probably would’ve figured that out.)  Please excuse the formatting.  WordPress is great, until you want something to read like an actual “book.”

Thanks for reading, guys.


 

Night-shift jocks keep bachelor hours.  Into the station around five for production duties, checking voicemail, show prep.  Staying after, sometimes as late as one or two in the morning for additional prod or putting together show elements for the next night.  A solid five hours of actual on-air time.  All told, it makes for some lengthy worknights.  Of course, when the jock is done at work, the party is just getting started in his or her favorite haunts.  Dancing, karaoke, live music; they’re all on tap until last call.  Then there are after-parties, breakfast at IHOP, etc.  The point is that sometimes a night jock doesn’t crawl into bed until near sunrise.

That’s why the digital, birdlike scream of my phone at 7:38 a.m. was so damned cruel.

Trust me, I realize that the simple thing to do would’ve been to turn the ringer off. Permanently.  Doing so would’ve saved me all kinds of heartache.  But as much as I resisted being a responsible adult, the fact of the matter was that most real-life decisions are done during the day.  If I was going to be fired or promoted or there was an emergency staff meeting or my mom had finally left dad for that old sailor buddy of his or whatever, I would have to hear about it during the bright, clear sunshine of midday.

7:38 in the morning?  That’s early even by the standards of real, God-fearin’ people.

Alarming.  That’s what it was, no pun intended.  By the same logic I employed in keeping the ringer on, I knew that if the stupid thing rang, it  meant trouble.  It meant that something mighty important was going down, or better damned well be; otherwise my ass was staying in bed.  I yanked the cordless handset out of the cradle and barked a non-standard ‘good morning.’

“WHAT?” I demanded of the caller.  It was Jim, who wanted to know if I had been listening to Doc’s show.  He knew damn well I was doing no such thing.

“No, Jim, I sleep.  Now.  I mean, I sleep in the day.  I was asleep.”  My brain slowly came online and my words started making more sense.   “Did he play that ‘Wheel of Scrotum’ bit again?  He knows what he’s doing.  I wouldn’t worry—“

I stopped.  My spine became rebar.  I sat upright on the edge of my broken-in old futon.  The expression on my face must’ve been classic: the look of someone who has mistakenly backed over their girlfriend’s cat.  On Christmas.

“Jesus fucking Christ…”  I muttered.

“Yeah.  Yeah. I’ll be right there.”  I hung up without saying goodbye.  It had always annoyed me when people did that in the movies, yet I didn’t even give it a second thought.  Not that day.

“God damn it.  No.  Please.  Not Janice.”  That was as close to a prayer as I think I’d ever gotten.

 

 

Hollywood Scuttlebeat!

I’m running out of clever names for these fake celebrity news blogs, so sorry for the lame header.  But goddammit, these are so much fun.  Let’s dive right in to the fake movie stuff…

Royal Reboot for Kiwi!

The non-stop runaway success story that is New Zealand’s wunderkind Lorde doesn’t show any signs of slowing down!  The teenage pop sensation recently signed on for the long-rumored reboot of 80’s teen flick  “Say Anything.”  Of course, curious readers would assume that Lorde would be recreating the role of Diane Court, originally made famous by Ione Skye in the original 1989 classic.  Not so fast!

lorde

Lorde models the prototype GHEToBlstr mp3 player (designed by Beats by Dre) that plays a key role in the film.

“Well, that was the original idear, but when they came to me and offered me the paht, I toold ’em straight away that it was the lead or nuthin’!”  Yes, movie buffs, it’s the ol’ gender switch-a-roo, with Lorde playing the part of Layne Dobler, a troubled young skate rat who desperately tries to woo the out-of-her league male love interest (rumored to be Josh Hutcherson.)  “I figger I’m almost Australian, so should be right spry enough a catty-wampus to dinkum’ up a todger all owly-like!”  Amen to that, sister!  Shooting for the newly-titled #NEthing begins this summer.

 

Ryan Reynolds Racing Reprise!

ryan goofy

It’s been a hit-or-miss few years for heartthrob and abdominal muscle Ryan Reynolds.  But it looks like that luck is changing, as Ry-Ry has signed to lend his voice to a sequel to the Netflix hit kid’s movie “Turbo.”  The project got the go-ahead when Dreamworks purchased iPhone game maker Republic of Fun after their recent bankruptcy.  The game studio had a modest hit of sorts with ‘Slug Wars’ for mobile devices and tablets.  Could that be a hint of things to come for America’s favorite gastropod and his pals?

“Well, obviously we’re taking Turbo in a bold new direction.  The initial thought was to do it as a prequel, show all the snails as babies.  Then we realized that they would all be terribly slow babies.  And it just got weird,” Reynolds recently told reporters.  “But with the recent rights to the title [Slug Wars] we’re going to have the wacky bunch of slimy molluscs actually join the War on Terror.  There’ll be a lot of NSA-style commentary and the Patriot Act gets sort of scrutinized and it’s just a great way for kids to learn about how the government really does have their best interests at stake.  I mean, the shell, right?  The shell on Turbo’s back is a great analogy for personal privacy or something.  I don’t know, really.  I haven’t read the script, but hey…freedom, right?”  We couldn’t have said it better!

Jurassic Sam?

One voice from the first film that will likely be missing from Turbo 2:  Slug Wars [working title] will be that of veteran actor Samuel L. Jackson.  Of course, Jackson is no novice when it comes to voice-acting, and has been featured in numerous animated flicks.  No, the real reason why the classy Sammy J might miss out on the fun this time around is due to a crazy busy schedule that has the actor moving…and might just have him running from prehistoric monsters!

"This is how I imagine Mr. Arnold looks now.  See, he ain't got time for yo' sh*t."  - Sam Jackson

“This is how I imagine Mr. Arnold looks now. See, he ain’t got time for yo’ sh*t.” – Sam Jackson

That’s right, you heard it here first:  20th Century Fox is working on a super-big super-secret project that is rumored to involve a return to Jurassic Park!  Jackson has been fairly tight-lipped, but let the following slip during the Red Carpet during the London premiere of Captain America: Winter Soldier…

“I mean, here’s Mr. Arnold, right?  Smokin’ cigarettes and sh*t right there at the computer.  G*d d*amn, that’s some hard-core sh*t right there.  You know right away that he’s a bad mother f*cker, maybe the baddest on that motherf*ckin’ island.  So he goes to turn on the power, and it’s like ‘a skinny-a*s velociraptor gonna take him out?’  H*ll, no!  You know he’s out there somewhere, waitin’ to pop a cap in some dino’s a*s.”

But what about the fact that Mr. Arnold has obviously lost an arm to the dangerous dinos?

“Did you see this motherf*ckin’ movie right here? [CA:TWS]  Bucky got him a motherf*ckin’ robot arm.  That’s some serious sh*t right there.  I mean, motherf*cker catches Cap’s f*ckin’ SHIELD with that thing!  Now, here’s Mr. Arnold, right?  He’s lost an arm, but they got all kinds of science sh*t on that island.  Who’s to say he didn’t grow it back?  Clone it or some sh*t?  Or maybe he’s just that bad-a*s that he only needs one arm.  H*ll, Nick Fury only got one eye, right?  You gonna f*ck with Fury?  Didn’t think so.  Nah, Arnold is out there.  Maybe he swims to Costa Rica or some god d*amn place.  All’s I know is that they wanna make a movie, and I aim to be in that mother f*cker.”

Sounds like we’re all taking a welcome return to Jurassic Park sooner than we think!

 

[NEXT WEEK IN CELBRI-NOOZ: SPIELBERG DISHES ON HIS LATEST PROJECT! “IT’S NOT GODD*AM JURASSIC PARK, SO QUIT ASKING.”]