Tuesday, February 28, 2006

It was bound to happen...

There stands the actor who is me...

How long have I been saying it? "I’m going to act again." It's usually followed by a list of projects I have to get done first. For instance, "I'm going to act again just as soon as I get With Eyes To See sold and start selling No More Blue Roses and start writing Wormfood. I will. Honestly."

For two years, I've been saying this. Sure, I've finished a lot of other projects but I've been ignoring my acting for some time.

So, last night, I decided to get off my rump (both literal and metaphoric) and go audition - for something! Anything! I went to the Huntington Beach Playhouse to audition for Moon Over Buffalo. (For those of you who haven't heard of it, all you need to know is that it starred Carol Burnett on Broadway. You gotta love that!)

The first thing that happened was good. I ran into Bob Purcell, one of my friends from my last play, Something to Hide. He was auditioning, too. The first bad thing I realized shortly thereafter: we were both auditioning for the same part.

He realized it, too.

And he became visibly nervous. Nice of him to do that.

But what he didn't know was that I didn't care if I got cast or not - it wasn't that kind of audition. I just wanted to get some practice in, since it had been so long since my last one. (You don't wanna know how long!)

We didn't get a chance to catch up with one another, though. Within minutes of my arrival, the director's assistant (a pudgy, young man with far too much enthusiasm) called us all into the room where the auditions are normally held. Normally, the director calls in groups at a time - here was the twist, we'd all sit in there. Within seconds, the room became dank and stuffy from too many people and their damp clothes. (It was raining outside.)

Soon, though, the director looked up from whatever he was doing and began to speak... and I began to get a bad feeling. He was doddery... he wasn't just old. He was a lame gazelle, ready for the hyenas. Truth be told, I got a bad feeling about him the minute I walked in.

He called us all up in teams, to audition for the whole group. I was called up almost immediately, to audition for George Hay. The audition notice had put him between the ages of 40 and 55. Being 40, I knew that meant I stood a snowflakes chance, but, again, the practice is what I needed.

He called, "Ken La - La - Salle?"

I walked up to him. "Hello," I said.

"You're Ken La Salle?" he asked.


"You're auditioning for George?" His incredulity was more entertaining that some shows I've seen.

I smiled. "Yep."

He looked around, announced, "I think I'd like to suggest to anyone in general who might be auditioning for the part of George that you might want to consider other roles as well."

Okay, old timer. I got the point.

And if that hadn't done it, the all over-50 group of possible leading ladies would have!

I read two, different scenes. How did I do? Well, I wasn't impressed, though I rarely am. Compared to the others, however... oh my god.

I'd forgotten that local theaters can attract some rather... shitty... crappy... well, you know.

One guy of no more than 18 thought that running from one side of the room to the other was the way to impress the director. Another, even younger and the side of a bus, tried to affect a Woody Allen impersonation... it hurt.

But the director didn't notice them.

In fact, I turned my attention from the bad actors to the bad director. And he was - he was a bad director, the way you might say a dog is a bad dog. He didn't just not notice the actors, he wasn't even looking at them. He alternated between talking with his assistant and reading something. This is one of the hallmarks of a bad director, the kind who pays no attention to their actors. They usually have their own ideas of what they want and, rather than finding it in the actor, they just make the actor do it. He was even telling one young man to sound like David Hyde Pierce (who, sadly, the guy hadn't heard of) - line readings at an audition.

Okay, I was nearly done. Bob Purcell was doing a fantastic job and I had never meant to give him competition. I slinked back to the door. He looked at me. I gave him a mock salute, which he returned. Then, I pointed to him and gave him a thumbs-up. The director didn't notice us. I don't think he would have had we yelled.

Time for another audition.

Monday, February 27, 2006

"D" for Dead...

Three more greats have passed into the great wormfeast.

Darren McGavin - whose Carl Kolchak taught me what you can do with horror more than anything by that King guy.

Don Knotts - one of the greatest comic actors of all time.


Dennis Weaver - who taught me "cool" as a child in McCloud and starred in one of the scariest pictures of all time, Duel.

Here's to you guys. Many thanks.

Everything is everything and everything else is nothing...

One is tempted to call this the "Modesto Adventure"...

(This entry includes the dreaded "R" word. Vicky hates when I mention the "R" word. But I tried to write this without it and realized that I couldn't. It feels like lying - and I'm not a big fan of that.)

Just so you know, I saw this coming. Weeks ago, I told Vicky that something was coming. And between my recent rash of sleepwalking and the insomnia Friday night, I should have realized...

Friday night was my last night at home. Vicky and I knew that. So, we decided to have a nice evening together before I drove up to Modesto. Sure, I'd only be gone for a couple of days but I knew I'd miss Vic. I love her so much and I know she loves me - sometimes it's hard for us to make it through the day without calling each other a few times.

We had dinner together at El Torito - not exactly a nice evening out but we were together, which is what mattered. Then, we went home. At around 9pm, I went up to the bedroom, ready for a proper send-off... Vicky was playing Sudoku. (This game is the DEVIL! Don't play it unless you want to become an addict! It's worse than heroin!) I knew she was in the middle of the game but I started talking to her - disturbing her - anyway. Next thing I knew, my head was being cleanly severed at the shoulders.

And, after she got mad, I got mad.

So much for a proper send-off...

In fact, I couldn't stand to be in the same room with her. I went downstairs, watched some TV, played some World of Warcraft... didn't sleep. Couldn't sleep.

By 4am, I decided to get an early start. I packed up my car, went up to say goodbye and apologize to Vicky but she was deeply asleep, and I was off.

I hate driving in the dark because I might as well be tucked in for all the help I get staying awake. I get very sleepy. The sun didn't even start to poke its head over the mountains until, well, until I was in the mountains! I was going through the grapevine!

And that's when the first hallucination came.

Now, this is where I begin to worry. Some of Vicky's friends may read this. They know me as this boring guy who considers himself a failure - which is my way of saying their opinion of me is low enough already, you know? Why should I make it worse? They don't know the guy who nearly killed himself or the guy who crashed a funeral... and on and on. But the older I get, the more I realize that's part of who I am today.

All I can ask them is "Be gentle", which is good advice the world over.

So, there I was, on the grapevine.

And I look over.

And there she is, sitting by my side just like she used to: Rosa. And I realize that I'm driving somewhere with her. I say, "I didn't expect to see you." And she begins to talk.

Her words are old, familiar. She's telling me about how my love is like a freight train. It's over powering, indomitable, terrifying. That's how she thinks of me.

And by the time she's gone, and I'm taking the 99 north to Modesto, I realize why Vicky snapped my head off, why she needs time away from me sometimes. I am over powering. I'm coming on like a freight train. And I need to stop that - or I'll turn her into Rosa - and I couldn't bear that.

Which is when I start to cry.

Now, it doesn't help that I'm listening to "The Time Traveler's Wife", which is this incredible book that reduces me to blubbering without the assistance of any hallucinations! I'm wiping tears from my face, not because of Rosa but because of Vicky and how I don't dare risk screwing that up.

My mind is an interesting place. Thankfully, it's not as interesting as it used to be - things get too interesting and you're fitted for a white coat. After my nervous breakdown, I was talking to people who weren't there for over a year. Now, it only happens rarely, which is a very good thing.

Saturday morning, it happened more than rarely.

I say this because, very shortly, my tears were met by another visitor: Sean Roberson. He and I were heading to Las Vegas to visit Tim Murphy. This was years ago... many, many years ago. But there we were. And when I say "there we were", it's not hyperbole. It's kind of like what happens when you zone off. But I don't freak out about it, I try to think of these things happening for a reason my conscious mind doesn't know about, as if my subconscious is trying to tell me something. So, I had told Sean to shut up at the beginning of our trip and we're nearing the end of our trip and I'm just figuring out why he wasn't talking and, soon, we were laughing our asses off. (The lengths that he went through for that one joke!)

And then, no more tears.

Seconds later, I'm lying in bed, several nights ago, and Vicky is kissing the back of my neck. And it made me feel so secure, so happy, and so loved.

And here come those tears again.

But then, it's over. I drive past Pixley, Fresno, and on and on. And I'm fine.

When the last hallucination hits, it's like a hammer. It's like one of those falling dreams... but I'm awake, right? One second I'm driving... and the next... I'm in my living room. I'm laughing. Two, little girls are running around and they are laughing. Vicky is looking at us like we're idiots.

And POW!

Children have always frightened me. They make me very uncomfortable. Vicky and I are supposed to start "trying" for a child in March. As it gets closer, I've been wondering how the hell I got myself into this and...

I realized I want children. Lots of children. I want lots and lots of children. And I know this because I have enough love for more than one person and Vicky is just the right person to be the mother. And everything...

Everything is going to be all right.

It hit me like a hammer to the back of the head.

Everything is going to be all right. I can do this. I don't need to be afraid.

Can you imagine me thinking that?

The weekend flew by, of course. I was visiting Keith and Julie and we had a lot of fun. I started working on the re-writes for "No More Blue Roses". I had a great dream about Vicky when I finally slept. Julie fixed me breakfast before I left Sunday morning and then... I was on my way...

I picked up some fig newtons at a gas station - god, those are good!

The car gobbled up miles of the 99 as I drove south, passing miles of homes. This region is no longer such a breadbasket. But then, I began passing trees - miles of blossoms - were they almonds? What were they? I don't know.

I just saw the blossoms.

Millions of them.

Showering down.

On me.

In the front yard of my old house. There I stood, with my favorite tree, a cherry tree. And then, more came down, and I was under the tree in front of the house where Vicky and I live, sitting with our little girl, drinking from a juice box.

That was the last solid hallucination. After that, they only brushed up against my face. Vicky. Ocean Beach. My old study. I was driving through them but they had no hold. I was feeling great. No cares. Just looking forward to seeing Vicky. Looking forward to March. Knowing where our lives might lead. Boy or girl, it didn't matter. It was going to be okay. Rosa thought of it as a freight train - but now I realized that this also meant that I have enough love for a child. I'll be okay as a dad. I actually might not fuck it up.

Which is when I felt it peel off me like a film, like Elmer's Glue... the failures of my family, the failures with children. Of course, I'd been afraid! My dad wasn't a great parent. My mom was left without support. My brother and sister sucked at it. I realized what it was... and it seemed so silly.

It also distracted me from my driving at the worst time. I was on the 210, in the worst possible lane, just as I saw the lane where it deviated to the right... and I was going the wrong way!

And it made me laugh.

I took a random turn. Then, another.

And I found myself on "Historical Route 66", which brought a smile to my face. After all, I was doing the re-writes on "No More Blue Roses", a book that takes place on "Historical Route 66". And I remembered the trip Vicky and I took out there - and she felt very close.

So, I headed home.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


... please?

Some of you may know this new show on TV. It's called "Love Monkey", a little show about people you'd probably like if you knew them... well, most people would. It's a nice, little show... it's too nice... it's been cancelled.


Vicky loves that show!

Now, I'm not normally the guy who posts petitions on this site but we gotta get the word out. Everyone! Spread the word - sign this petition - save "Love Monkey"!

Vicky'd be very happy if you did.

Edit: Here's another one! Please sign!

For those of you not in the know...

Tea is a drink with jam and bread.

... which brings us back to DO!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Hell is other people... winning things...

I should open this with a couple of disclaimers.

1. Vicky wins a lot of shit. She's amazing. Her luck is like a river of butterscotch pudding in which I can dip my tongue and... wait... now it's becoming pornographic... I'll just save that for later...

2. I had nothing else to write about... and this whole entry may end up making me sound a bit petty...
blow me.

Sean Deyo won a TV the other day. Actually, it's a big-ass plasma TV. Actually, it's a whole, damn entertainment center with TV and speakers and stereo and sexual attachment... with lube! The bastard!

Sure, Vicky and I won that trip to Hawaii... and those trips to Dizzyland... and money... and God's left nut... but I wanted a TV!

So, of course, I started looking for ways to win one of my own. I did that thing online where you have to hit the whack-em-mole to win, but then you have to do other things as well, including this whole "contract in blood to our unholy Lord of the Depths" and I asked, "Who's blood, exactly?" They never wrote back.

Then, I got this email that said, I swear, "Claim your 42" Plasma TV!" So, I opened it. Sure enough, I had won one! But then, the fine print said I had to buy a certain amount of products from their site. Now, I don't know if they sold virgins or DVDs but the whole point of "winning" is that you don't have to "buy" anything, you know?

So, there you go.

Now, I'm sure this is going to be followed by comments about what you've won and how cool it was. Meanwhile, I'm going to suggest to Vicky that she win us a TV... COME ON, WOMAN! GET TO THE WINNING!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Fucked up things I read today...

So, there's this article on Yahoo about how poor kids aren't getting the help they need in school. I'm hoping we are all on the same page here as far as children being our future, no child being left behind, etc. etc. etc.

... sure.

And it's not the article itself that bugs me so much. It's this paragraph:

Low-income parents are supposed to get a free tutor for any child who goes to a school that gets federal poverty aid but has not made steady progress for three straight years.

Three YEARS without progress? That kid is fucked!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Which is why I never claim normality...

Lunchtime. Today.

The plan was that I’d hit Taco Bell for some absolutely repugnant food. (Taco Bell never fails to please.) The problem was that I was down to my last buck, and even TB that won’t buy you squat any more. So, I stopped by my local atm.

It wasn’t working… of course.

So, I figured I needed to buy something and get cash back… but where?... where?

There’s a Target nearby. Why not? So, I called Vicky and asked if she needed anything picked up at Target. I just wanted the cash back – to get lunch. Vicky had to think for a minute. Then, she replied, “Pick up some Quilted Northern, double roll.” Setting aside the fact that my wife scares me with her specificity for the moment, I didn’t want to buy toilet paper? I didn’t want to be the guy who went to Target just for toilet paper. Listen, being sent to the store for toilet paper is one step down from being sent to the store for tampons – and there isn’t a man alive who doesn’t cringe at the thought.

“So, your woman’s on the rag, huh?”

When you go just for toilet paper, you’re sending a message. “I gotta shit and I gotta shit bad. I gotta shit so bad, I’m buying extra toilet paper during my lunch hour to get ready.”

So, there I was. And I didn’t want to just get toilet paper. So, I started looking around. Target sells these multipacks of Cheetos that are pretty damned bad for me… that I love, so… but they were out. Bastards! No problem, though. I went to the DVD/Videogame/CD/Book… the “guy” section…. And didn’t find a damned thing. Bastards! Fine, I thought. I’ll buy clothes! That’s right! I sank down to the point where I was going to buy myself some fucking clothes from Target!!!!

… nothing.

Son of a bitch!

Resigned, I approached the register.

There was a guy there who grew a worse beard than me (no kidding) and had a worse haircut that me (seriously) and he had this look. The look said, “Gotta shit, huh? Yeah, I bet you really gotta shit.” It was a look that laughed… and it made me want to punch him in the face.

So, I’m repressed. So what?! Listen, I was raised in a time and place where people didn’t refer to bodily functions, they referred to toilet paper as “TP”, they ran the water when they went. Listen, I didn’t even know there were words for it until I got older! In my home, they were numbers, okay?!

I waited behind this woman with her child. “Can I pay part of this with cash?” she asked.

Say NO, I thought. Say NO.

She did, and all the while this child (baby, really) fought and screamed. Why? She wanted to put the atm card in the machine. This kid of no more than one or two years old was having a tantrum over economics. Tell me we don’t live in a society that worships money – TELL ME!

As this woman fought with her purse and her child, I was finding relief… wait… wrong word. I found other things I could buy, so I wasn’t buying only toilet paper. Oh, thank heaven for impulse aisles! (And 7-11…) I grabbed some chips and some cookies and put them on the counter. “Before… and after,” I thought.

When the guy looked back at me, after the woman and her nutjob baby were done, the smirk was gone. It worked!

I got my cash back and headed to TB. (TB… TP… I should have gone to Wendy’s!) As I placed my order, I mentioned, “By the way, your hot sauce container is almost empty.” Suddenly, the woman at the register started screaming at the guy beside her. His name was Thomas… and he HATED his job. He screamed back about how much he hated the place and how he didn’t need this job and how he should just walk…

… until she asked how he was going to have his mom pick him up in the middle of the day.

I felt bad for the guy. We’re all such fucking sheep; it was nice to see a little rebellion. But, no. He went and filled the hot sauce – smashing the packets in with a force sure to rupture several, or several dozen, of them.

And I went back to my own job. It was a goofy lunch but there it was. I’m not Thomas. I’m not Mr. Smirk at Target. I get to write for a living, even if it is mostly garbage. Sometimes, I have to go buy toilet paper… but I got a bag of chips and some cookies in my car. Sometimes, the small victories are just the ones you get.

Stupid Things I Hear at the Gym (another in a continuing series)...

So, I'm on the treadmill, next to this woman.

Physical Trainer walks up to her.

PT. So, what's in the news?
Woman. Oh, that guy who got shot by Cheney's had a heart attack. Bet they're going to blame that on him, too!

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

And just like that, the world changes...

By all rights, this should be fiction.

But it ain't!

Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have developed a tabletop accelerator that produces nuclear fusion at room temperature, providing confirmation of an earlier experiment conducted at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), while offering substantial improvements over the original design.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

No More Blue Roses!

No more!

Which is to say (drumroll please) IT'S DONE!

That's right. I finished the initial draft of my (wait for it) ELEVENTH novel today and I couldn't be happier. This is not only the funniest book I think I've written but it's also the most moving and most caring, I think.

There's something else about this book, though. This is the only book I've ever written that I'm completely unsure about. I like that. It makes it like a person - suspect but sympathetic.

Mind you, I still have plenty of rewrites to do - but I'm sure I'll be able to do that by March.

Yeah. Then the real fun begins.

But as I mentioned, I'm not completely sure about this book. So, I'm having people read it. Now, I already promised (matron-of-honor) Trish that she'd get first dibs. That said, who would like seconds or thirds? I figure I can send out a copy a few weeks after Trish gets hers. Any takers? Would anyone like to read No More Blue Roses?

I feel so good about this book, as I probably mentioned, that I'm going to let Vicky off the hook on this one. While she works on With Eyes to See, I'll take over sales duties on this bad boy. Maybe, between the two of us, we can turn things about..... maybe.....

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Embarrassment comes to us all…

But for today, in particular, myself especially.

As readers of this blog know, I’ve never been the most successful person in life. Sure, I’ve had some highs but they’ve never been especially high… they’re more like “mids”. (And you can’t count my marriage – either one – because those aren’t personal accomplishments.) There have been many, many more lows. And I’ve accepted that. I’m not the most accomplished, the best looking, the funniest, the smartest. I am distinctively average.

But I’ve tried. I really have. I’ve written ten novels. I’ve written three plays. They’ve all been on stage. I’ve acted. I’ve directed.

And have been unsuccessful at all of these things.

… but today, it got worse.

Today, while out to lunch with Sean (who some of you may remember from the wedding), he informed me that people from high school – from my high school – people I went to high with – people I knew in high school – yes, those people – he told me that some of them read my blog.

My response? Complete emotional breakdown.

Those were the people who expected me to win a Pulitzer, to win an Oscar, to win a Tony, a Frank, a Jimmy, a Ralph…. Something! It’s not bad enough that I’ve done nothing, but now I know that they all know it! Remaining anonymous wasn’t good enough. It’s not enough that I know what a failure I am – now I know that they know, too.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

I work for nice people… nice LUNATICS!

I suppose it had to happen… I guess. But I didn’t want it to happen so soon.

I started this new job hopeful that things would be different. And they are. The people are nice. My boss treats me well. So far, so good. Right?

But when I say things are different… there’s a dark side as well.

We’re horribly understaffed. Now, I knew this going in but I was in the same boat when I started at Linksys many years ago. We built that company and the marketing department slowly but surely. We didn’t start acting like we had a million dollar budget (the marketing department, that is) until we did. And this made sense – scary as that might sound. But after a while at my new job, I’m finding out that they want everything from our marketing department that Linksys has – with ten times the people and many more times the budget. So, what’s this mean to me? It means my workload is so astronomical that I not only have a pile of work so high I don’t know what’s in it but that I have work outside that pile that I don’t know about that is past due.

But it gets better.

I tried to talk to my boss about workflow today. My question: How do I know when something is due? Around and around we went – the final answer is that there’s no way to know when something is due. The only way I’ll find out is after the CEO finds out I didn’t do my job and comes screaming at me. (Yeah, I’ve been treated to that joy already…)

Oh, but it gets better still.

Working in high-tech shit, I’m in the fiber-optics business. For those who don’t know, fiber-optics transmit a light wave down a fiber – simplistically speaking. Well, our CEO has announced that we’re going to put all of our energy into what he has decided will be the next big thing: Power Over Fiber! There’s just one problem with this. It is impossible. Mind you, every engineer at the company told him this. Fiber-optics transmit light, not power. Power lines transmit power, you see.

So, I find myself in a place where I have an impossible workload, in a company determined to produce an product that cannot possibly work.

The difference between the new place and Linksys? Well, my boss is nice…..

(Stay tuned for the day when he quits…)

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Another petition...

I also got this one, that I signed, and am letting all of you in on...

In order for our votes to matter, they must be counted accurately. We need paper-ballot voting. Unfortunately, the Republican leadership has resisted every call for real reform from Democrats like Rush Holt and John Conyers. Well, we can`t wait any longer for the Republicans in Congress to act. The only way to protect our elections is to go right to the source by reaching out to town and county election officials. In most areas, these officials have the power to ensure fair and accurate voting systems even if our elected officials in Washington won`t act.
Today I`m joining thousands of other Americans and calling on our county election officials to demonstrate that their systems allow voters to verify their choices and officials to conduct recounts. Please join me and add your name to the call for accountability:

Voting reform petition

Both the Government Accountability Office and the bi-partisan Carter/Baker Commission have resoundingly condemned touchscreen electronic voting systems as lacking even the most basic security and reliability. In one test after another, electronic voting systems are failing at rates of 30% or higher. Both reports recommend paper-ballot voting as the gold standard. Please join me and call for accountability:

Voting reform petition
Our friend Gail sent me an email today to sign a petition, which I did, and I am now letting all of you in on...

President Bush admitted to personally authorizing thousands of allegedly illegal wiretaps, and he doesn't plan to stop. Circumventing the Constitution is serious business.This is a big moment. People from across the political spectrum are standing together to protect the rule of law and the principles that are core to our identity as Americans.Can you sign this petition to show Congress that Americans want a thorough investigation of the president's secret wiretapping program? http://political.moveon.org/ruleoflaw/

If you believe as I do...that no one is above the law...then please sign the petition and do your part to make this administration accountable for its actions.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

On the Moral Authority of Repugs...

The one (and only) defense I've heard so far for Shrub breaking the law and illegally wire-tapping the phones of law-abiding American citizens is, "If they did nothing wrong, they should have nothing to hide." This completely ignores the fact that privacy is a RIGHT - written in a little handbook called the Constitution. You know, the thing Repugnicans have so much fun SHITTING all over.

As much as I've never liked that defense, I've never come out with just the right answer at just the right time.

Tom Tomorrow has done just that. Read. Learn. Enjoy.

(The only thing he left out is A.G. Gonzales refusing to be under oath while lying to Congress yesterday... today... and far too many tomorrows...)

Friday, February 03, 2006

This is what happens when you have a whole country afraid of the BOOGEYMAN…

Terrorists around every corner?

Weapons of Mass Destruction?

A president who fear-mongers during the state of the union address?

How about satan?

Parents in Colorado are certain their elementary school teachers are servants of the devil because they showed their children…. Gasp!... OPERA!

Yep, looks like the whole country has a real problem with reality. They would rather surrender their rights than risk a TERRORIST ATTACK. They would rather send their children to die than risk imaginary WMDs. They would rather have a president who breaks the law, violates the constitution, and sends our economy down the crapper than face reality. And they would also rather believe in a spooky religious figure than allow their children to see the opera, Faust.

And what’s worse, the teacher didn’t show the opera Faust – she showed a 33-year old children’s program in which they mentioned the opera, Faust. Oh no! We can’t mention music! We can’t talk about art!

Face it, folks. This is about as far removed from the real world as you can get. It’s not just in Colorado, either. And we tolerate this complete hijacking of common sense. We should all be very ashamed.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

On books, exes, and phones…

Yes, this is one of those “catch all” kinds of posts. Ready?


I’m closing in on the ending of No More Blue Roses, only 17,000 words to go and I couldn’t be happier. With luck, I should be finishing up the first draft by the end of the month. Yippie!

This book has really taken on a life of its own and, as a writer, which makes things even more enjoyable. As I’ve been writing, I’ve been planting the seeds of things later on in the book. Now that I’ve reached “later on”, I’m seeing all the ramifications of these things, which just makes the journey more interesting.

It also makes things more difficult, of course.

Here’s an example. This book began as kind of an extrapolation on my own life. I posited that in my journey to the Grand Canyon, to kill myself, my dad came out of nowhere to try to stop me. In this imaginary world, my dad had been incommunicado throughout my life, that my mom had never gotten over the hurt he had caused, and that my brother and sister were jealous, even vengeful. Tracks like that provide power to the train – a good premise can provide power to a story. Of course, a story’s power is only as good as its characters. And I quickly learned that the story wanted the character of the brother to be someone else – not my own brother. The character actually turned out better than real life – “better” meaning more twisted, more bizarre. Fine. Great. But that means I’ll have to go back to when I thought I knew who the character was and rewrite him to who he actually turned out to be.

Now, this might all sound kind of weird but, long story short, finishing this book will be only the beginning. I’ll have some serious rewriting to do.

Trish isn’t going to like that very much. Trish is a friend of Vicky’s and I offered her the chance to read this book first (as Vicky and Billie were busy at the time helping me with the rewrites and proofs of With Eyes To See, my last book). (Programs! Get your programs here!) So, she read the beginning and, thankfully, loved it. And I told her she’d see the final draft as soon as I was done. Now, I realize that won’t actually happen. She’ll see it when I’m done… after I finish what I’ve finished… when I’m done with what I’m done with…

I’m not stalling, really.


She was my ex-girlfriend before she was my ex-wife before she was my ex-mistress before I was killed by my wife and before she bore my child… yes, Stephanie and I have had a relationship that can only come from the stage.

You see, she was my ex-girlfriend in my play, Atheists. A year later, she appeared in the role of my ex-wife in my play, Whatever Happened To Me. And, a year later, she performed with me in Something To Hide at the Newport Theatre Arts Center; she played my mistress who turned out to be pregnant with my child, born after my wife in that play killed me. Stephanie is three, three, three exes in one.

She’s a very talented actress and now appearing in A Doll’s House at the Newport Theatre Arts Center, which runs until February 26th. You should treat yourself and go to this – those who can. Vicky and I plan to go.

I was going to audition for this play, by the way, but I got caught up in a book idea – a book I am now 17,000 words away from finishing. So, see Stephanie, I’m doing something with my time.

All my actor friends (of which there are fewer every day) want me to return to the stage and, honestly, I plan to do that this year before I go back to school in the fall. As much as I enjoy writing, I am extremely jealous of Stephanie and all my actor friends. So, go! See her in this. Treat yourself.


And, on an off note, Vicky sent me some info that I told her to post on One Path but I’m doing it instead. Vicky’s very busy these days, you see. She’s practicing a piece called To A Wild Rose, which she will be playing this weekend at Audrey’s funeral. I can’t wait to hear it. Vicky plays the piano beautifully and not NEARLY enough.

Oh, but what does this have to do with phones?

Turns out that, starting February 5th, telemarketers will have access to cell phone numbers. Yes, it’s another opportunity for you to be offered a cheaper calling plan, insurance, a better mortgage rate, etc. etc. etc.

Or, you can put yourself on the new, cell, do not call list. You can either call 888-382-1222 to put yourself on the list or go online to put yourself on the national do not call registry. I think you’ll be glad you did.

So, there you go. A little service along with some shameless plugs. All part of the tapestry we call One Path.

Keep reading. Maybe one day Vicky will write again… (Love you, Vic!)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Taking the day off…

I’m sure you’ll expecting some wittitude, wittisnarkism, witti – ah, something witty after last night’s FEAST OF DISGRACE some call the State of the Union Address but I just can’t. There’s too much shame. I feel dirty just knowing his approval rating is over 2% (with the exception of how he polls amongst black Americans, which is exactly 2%).

Instead, let me hook you up with this. While it’s not overtly about the (burning) Bush, there’s something going on there