It’s Thursday morning and I’m riding the L Muni car into work. Sitting about five rows in front of me is a teenage boy with headphones on, the volume on his music pumped so high I can hear it from where I’m sitting. I am fighting a nearly unbearable urge to go up to him, lift one side of the headset and yell, “CAN YOU HEAR ME? BECAUSE YOU WON’T BE ABLE TO IN A FEW YEARS, YOU IDIOT!” But that would involve getting out of my seat and having to stand the rest of the long, crowded ride to Embarcadero Station, so I’ll continue to resist the urge. But jeez Louise, isn’t the point of headsets, iPods and Mp3s so you can enjoy whatever you’re listening to without inflicting it on other people? And wait a sec…nope, teenage boy with headset, I impugned you falsely. It’s actually a pre-teen girl with an iPod, her earplugs dangling off her shoulders so she can share her music with her friend. And the rest of us. Now I’m thinking more along the lines of earplugs as garrote. Does this make me a bad person? No, just the antithesis of a morning person who resents having to listen to crappy music before I’ve had my first cup of coffee. It takes my nerve endings a while to crawl back into their sheathes in the mornings. I don’t wake up bright and chipper when I’m forced to leave my bed at the command of an alarm clock. And while I’m not what I’d consider homicidal as a rule, infringing on my personal space (and yes, this includes auditory assault) makes me think bad things. The voices tell me it’s a GOOD thing.
And boy, am I off track for my post today! Yes, it’s Bookish Factoid #5 time!
When thinking of ideas for stories and books for Ravenous Romance, I went through a suitcase full of my old writing. We’re talking stories and partial novels from grade school (including my epic one paragraph short story THE END OF THE SUN) through my ’20, back when everything was either handwritten or typed on my handy IBM Selectric. I used to stay after work at the IRS (yes, I worked at the IRS back in the day) and type up our Murder for Hire scripts, short stories, and whatever else Maureen and I were trying to sell/produce, including two spec Moonlighting scripts. As a side note, we didn’t sell the Moonlighting scripts, but we did get invited to the wrap party. We had good food and drink and were treated to the sight of a young, drunk Bruce Willis boogying on the dance floor and periodically pumping his fist in the air, shouting “Fuckin’ A!”
Maureen and I also had a bunch of outlines for original TV series, movies of the week, and other projects. I have all of them, including a completed script for a romantic comedy heavily influenced by Romancing the Stone and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. We originally wrote this for an independent producer in San Diego who wanted to make an erotic romance with a decent script. Not quite porn, but certainly not the light headed fluff we turned out. He wasn’t interested in the script, so Maureen and I came up with the bright idea of filming it ourselves. One video camera, no lights, and a group of gung-ho actors later, we actually filmed a decent portion of the script, filling up three 6-hour videotapes. We even went on location, spending a day at the Strawberry Creek Inn (thank you, Jim and Diane!), which was owned by my ex parents-in-law.
I don’t remember why we stopped filming, but it’s probably just as well. The results were about as amateurish as you’d expect given our ‘let’s put on a show’ mentality. I have a camera! We can use your barn…’
But as embarrassing as it is to watch some of this (I cringe whenever I’m on screen), I’m still proud of the moxy it took to fill those three tapes and the fact we had actors willing to give us their time because they liked our script and enjoyed (I hope) working with us. Plus we fed them lots of home baked chocolate chip cookies.
I still have these tapes and I still have the script. And when I got an email from Ravenous saying they were looking for serialized novels, I pulled out the script, scanned and sent them the first 25 pages with explanation, and received a positive response. So it looks like it’s going to finally fulfill its original purpose as a more adult romantic comedy. And I’ll have a chance to take out some of the truly sophomoric jokes originally we originally put in that now make us wince, especially when we think of how funny we thought they were at the time.