Thursday, June 30, 2005

Re: Review Copies of Friends With Benefits...

Attention all book club owners. I love you very much and I will be happy to do interviews with your clubs, but I don't have review copies of Friends With Benefits. I'm posting this because I've had a number of book club owners contact me about getting free copies, and I don't have any. What I did have was a limited number of galleys, which have already been sent out. My publisher, Kensington Books, will make review copies available, but I have no clue to how they make their decisions. You have to contact them at 212-407-1500. Thanks!

Harlem Book Fair...

I will be at the Harlem Book Fair for one day (July 23rd) filming segments for BlackCafeLit.


It's 3:31 am, and I'm finally done with Project X. Fifteen days after my initial deadline, but done nonetheless. I feel completely drained, but that's not unusual. Now I need to make sure this thing actually makes sense before I send it to my agent. But I am done, and for that, I'm grateful.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

To Steal is Genius...

My friend and fellow author Danyel from Naked Cartwheels, created a section that lets her readers know where she is signing. So I stole the idea. If you look on the right, you'll see where I'm signing or lecturing. Thanks D!!!

Two Chapters...

I have two chapters left for Project X. After that, I'm done. I'll go back through it over the next few weeks, refining it, editing it, etc. and then sending it off to my agent. But the manuscript will be done. I'm very tired.

Monday, June 27, 2005

Changed Final Word Count...

If you've noticed, I changed the final word count for Project X to 75,000 words. That's not what the final manuscript will actually total, but that's what it will total when I'm initially done. I still use as a barometer what my newspaper editor used to tell us when I'd ask about how long he wanted an assignment to be. He'd tell me to write it until it was done. And with Project X, I know that there's five thousand extra words in the manuscript, but not from this initial manuscript. However, when I get done, it'll be closer to 85,000 than 75,000.

The Bloody Shirt...

George Bush is going to have a speech at Ft. Bragg tomorrow, and I think we will look upon this speech as being the beginning of the end. Bush is hoping that the photo op of him surrounded by troops, looking patriotic as he can be, will boost his poll numbers. It won't. His little American flag will be shiny, and the cheers will be timed and thunderous. And the American people won't buy it. And I'm not talking just about blue state folks like myself. I'm also talking about folks in the red states.

One of the biggest mistakes the Republicans made was failing to realize that the big lie always comes back to haunt you, mainly because it can't be maintained. So as the poll numbers plummet, and Team Bush/Rove try to come up with a strategy to get them back to half way decent, they have to revert back to fearing the American people into submission (via 9/11 memories), dividing those who are true American (according to Rove: Republicans and conservatives) and those who would harbor the enemy (again, according to Rove: Democrats and liberals).

But it's not going to work this time. American service men and women without limbs are now moving back into society. And despite the media fixation on those military amputees who still feel patriotic about America (that helps the guilt the rest of us have for sending them into a war based on false pretenses. It's the same way the media always ask an elderly black person who has been horrendously wronged about whether they are still "bitter", hoping they say no.) there are thousands of American military who are crippled both physically and mentally and who aren't so cheery. And they will begin to affect policy, because flag waving isn't going to be enough.

So as you watch the President, and I will, make sure you understand that this is all political farce. Men and women are still dying, and we'll all look back at this as the moment when Bush's lies fell flat. It is the beginning of the end.

Sunday, June 26, 2005


Well, it is obvious that I didn't finish Project X on June 25th. That sucks because things are starting to pile up. I have gone through the Project X manuscript however, and I've gotten started on the post-finished editing I will do before sending it to my agent. But I want to finish writing this by June 30th, because July 1st is the start of "my get in shape before touring program". Nobody wants to see an ice cream belly on an author, so I need to get my behind in the gym. (Full disclosure: Breyers Ice Cream is evil and I've just eaten a bowl.)

So when the Project X is done and sent off to the agent, I will focus almost exclusively on Friends With Benefits (for all of you The Making of a Bestseller readers) and BlackCafeLit. FWB has a ton of things, so I think most of you will find it fascinating how I put things together. BlackCafeLit is REALLY the killer ap and I can't wait to start shooting.

Again, do me a favor, I check stat counter so I can see where folks are coming from (we've got a few people from Finland!), but I'd like to see some names. So do me a favor and leave a comment, letting me know where you are located and what you do.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Today's Plan...

1. Play games of Yahoo Dominoes.

2. Write five thousand words for Project X

3. Solidify book signing dates with as many bookstores as possible.

4. Work on second script.

That is all.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Over 60,000...

I'm done for the night and I've got to stop eating Breyers Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream. For one, I'm getting dangerously close to getting really out of shape. I go on the road in September, so I've got to be in some sort of good shape. Because if you go on the road out of shape, you risk gaining even more because being on the road makes you gain lots of weight.

When I lecture at college campuses, I've had the worst diet known to man. Did you see that doc "SuperSize Me"? I lived five years of that. Flying into a city, driving five to eight hours to a campus, going to the lecture, ordering the Hardee's Thickburger and three Snickers at midnight. And then, sleeping all day in the hotel room. Repeat. I started my first lecture/booksigning tour at 205lbs in 2000. Right now, I'm 225lb. At 6'1", that's not too bad, meaning that I look cool in my clothes. But I feel like bloato when flying. So I need to get down to around 205-210lbs by September. I may be looking at my last bit of chocolate for the next sixty days. But like smokers who need a cig after a meal (or sex), I associate chocolate with writing. And I'm thinking that the endorphins released with chocolate allow me to write freely. Don't know, but that's my theory. So I've gotta dilemma. Grow to epic proportions, or kick the habit. I think I'll go get another bowl.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Project X very close to completion...

When I write books, there's a point in the process where the only hold up is how fast I can type. The dialogue is there. The storyline is so solid that I can become very dexterous with the twist and turns. That is where I'm at now with Project X. I gave myself a break and now it is flowing smoothly. I'm at 58,000 words and I'll probably write through the night, getting to over 60,000 words.

On the FWB front, didn't do much today. Will do more later.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Back To Work...

I'm back to work on Project X. I stopped working on it at a sex scene because I was tired. And writing a sex scene when tired gives you a tired sex scene. So I had to re-energize and then come back to it. Wrote it and now I'm on the downward slide for the rest of the book.

I did a little marketing work with FWB today. I solidified a booksigning at Houston's Shrine of the Black Madonna for Sept. 11. That's going to be a tricky one because that's a Sunday, and of course, the anniversary of 9/11. But I should have a pretty nice sized crowd. I'm looking at my September schedule, and it is going to be madness. For the past four years, I've been mainly on college campuses, so I haven't signed in bookstores for a while. So this is going to be fun again, meeting readers outside of my normal demo.

My wife has picked up the galley and is about to read FWB for the first time, so that'll be interesting.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Stop with Project X...On with FWB Marketing...

I'm stopping for the next couple of days with Project X, and starting some FWB marketing. One place where my books have done well is on college campuses, and I will be contacting some about carrying Friends With Benefits.

Monday, June 20, 2005


I received the galleys for Friends With Benefits today. Galleys are uncorrected proofs that sort of look like your book, but without the art work. The publisher sent about eight of them, and I will send them out to a select group of folks I know, hoping they'll give it a positive review. But ya never know.


In the strange and absurd...why does my son stop everything to sign-a-long with the NFL Sunday Ticket commercial? Doesn't he understand that he's about to start a lifelong addiction to football? Doesn't he know that this makes for unproductive Fall and Winter seasons? I wish I could stop him, but...I'm too busy reading my Sporting News NFL/College Football preview magazine.

Hustle & Flow...

I was having a discussion with my wife last night (by the way, today is our thirteen wedding anniversary), and we were talking about the Sundance sensation, Hustle & Flow. If you don't know, Hustle & Flow is produced by John Singleton with $3 mil of his own cash, and stars Terrence Howard, an actor who if he'd decided to marry Tom Cruise, would have been given the publicity he deserved. Instead, he simply does excellent work without the publicity machine less deserving actors receive.

Hustle & Flow is about a Memphis pimp who has a midlife crisis and ultimately decides to become a rapper. Badabing, people were clamoring to get attached to it, and eventually Singleton sold it for $9 mil, tripling his money. But here's my problem. The movie comes out in about two weeks. But don't care if it is good, I don't want anymore black pimp, hoes, and gangster films. I'm not going to write them, see them, or eventually produce them. To me, Hollywood and the music industry loves to view Black life as a sort of perverse fetish, where the deviant people live and survive, without the constraints of morals or common decency. White America, in particular, gets a perverse sense that they are seeing the "real" black community when they watch films like Hustle & Flow, just like they think they're getting a "ghetto commentary" when they listen to Jay-Z. That would be fine if there was some balance to what people saw of blacks on film. If you were able to see upper, middle, and lower class black on screen, then proper perspective could happen. But instead, there are only a few ways for black films to get on wide release, and celebrating perversion is one of them. I think Italians are another group that has a similar beef as black folks with the constant depictions of them as Mafia members.

So the question is what do we gain when a Hustle & Flow gets made, praised and released. Do we get an onslaught of similar films? Probably, because Hollywood loves to copy, no matter what the genre. And some will say that that provides ops for black writers. That's probably true too. But count me out. I look at writing as a beautiful choice I've been given, and a wonderful opportunity to provide art (and get paid as a commodity). But none of that is worth having work on my resume that makes me cringe, not because I knew how it would turn out after I started, but because I knew I shouldn't have taken the job in the first place. I want to build a legacy. And legacies come in two flavors: good and bad.

Productive Day...

I don't know how much I wrote today, but it was close to around three thousand words. Project X is moving right along. More later...

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Grip it and rip it...

Absolutely rolling on Project X. Absolutely rolling. The way I'm writing, I think the first draft will be done by the end of the week, meeting my second deadline of June 25th. Target for tomorrow: 5000 words.

Project X...

Project X is rolling right along. My goal is to write about 12,000 words between yesterday and Monday. When I get in this mode, I tend to write constantly, with a few backyard SuperSoaker fights with my six year old as breaks. The story is perfectly outlined in my brain, the US Open is on the television, and the yard work is already complete. Plus, I have a single Heineken in the fridge that is calling me after a hard day of writing. Nothing like incentive.

Had a great meeting with MK about our documentary. We're moving right along. And it looks like I'll be filming BlackCafeLit segments at the Harlem Book Fair in July. NYC in July? Should be sweltering. I think I'm going to join my friend Paul Guyot in his quest to lose a few pounds. I'm going to be on camera, so I need to lose about ten pounds for the ten pounds the camera is going to put on. I think I can do it in four weeks.

Friday, June 17, 2005

ABC Disney Fellowship 2006

ABC Disney Fellowship 2006

For the sixteenth year year, The Walt Disney Studios and ABC Entertainment are continuing the search to discover and employ creative talent and to employ culturally and ethnically diverse writers. We are looking for up to fifteen writers to work full-time developing their craft at The Walt Disney Studios and ABC Entertainment.

We will be offering Fellowships in the feature film and television areas through The Walt Disney Studios and ABC Entertainment, respectively. No previous experience is necessary; however, writing samples are required. Fellows will each be provided a salary of $50,000 for a one-year period tentatively scheduled to begin in January 2006.

For consideration, the application, the Writing Fellowship Program Letter Agreement, writing sample, with proof of current registration with either Writers Guild of America, west or East and/or the Library of Congress, resume and biography, must be submitted together between May 3, 2005 and June 30, 2005 to the contact mailing address listed. There is no application fee.

Big Day Today...

For the first time in about two week, my brain could really focus on Project X, and so the words have flowed. The progress bar has inched up, but that's not an indication of where it will eventually end up this weekend. The story is right there in my brain now, and most importantly, the dialogue is there. I'd reached a temporary stop with the story, and when that occurs, I tend to just keep looking at the story, trying to work it out. Gotta get this book up and out asap.

Meeting with MK this afternoon. We're continuing to work on our documentary.

Started another script. Surprisingly, it has the tone of "Lost in Translation", a movie I didn't particularly like. However, it fits my script.

But everything has to go on the backburner. Get Project X to my agent. Finish soldifying book signing dates Friends With Benefits. Finish production for BlackCafeLit. Finish documentary proposal. Prep three scripts by the end of 2006.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Great News!

One: I got up early, and with the help of my six year old trooper of a son, mowed and cleaned up the backyard. But the real news is the email I received from my editor. Friends With Benefits has been chosen by Black Expressions as their Fall Main Selection. That is big news folks, because Black Expressions is the largest black book club on Earth. Sort of like Columbia House for music. That means thousands of copies sold from the minute Friends With Benefits is published in September, and great momentum for continued sales. Plus, it means a nice little book club check for me. Not a bad Wednesday at all!

Not a bad day...

Got back on the porn book today. As you can see, the progress bar moved a bit, perhaps about one thousand words. On the agenda for tomorrow? Get up at the crack of dawn, cut the jungle that is my backyard, and then get back in the house before it gets blazing hot. Then, write from 9am until the evening. That should mean about three to four thousand words.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Just Got Back...

It's about eleven and I've just got back from UCLA's Screenwriters Showcase. BTW, something is up with the "v" on my Powerbook. For some reason, it's not working consistently. Anyway, it was cool seeing five screenplays read. I met MFA students Yule Caise (who had his screenplay read), Dave Garber (who won honorable mention) and a fellow Loyola High alum and screenwriter named Jango Sircus. Good folks.

Nothing but writing tomorrow. I've been in a rut for some reason, but I think my agent is going to start asking questions if I don't get my Project X done soon.

I should be receiving galleys for Friends With Benefits any time now. After that, I'll talk to my publisher and see what their plans are for publicity. I have some definite questions based on my first two books. Enough. It's time to get some sleep.


Normally, I'm pretty focused on my writing, but between the things I need to do for the house, and my writing projects, I've been pretty scatterbrained. For the past two weeks, my writing has been like eating tapas...a little bit of that, a little bit of this. Tonight, I'm going to my first UCLA film school event. It should be nice. But in the meantime, I'm going to try to either write ten pages of script or two thousand words for the manuscript. I'm not in a writing mood, but I've got to fight through it. I have deadlines.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Movie Clubs?

African American literature has taken off as a growth area within the publishing business. A lot of that has to do with the organization of African American readers as book club members. I was wondering if the same thing could happen with black movie goers? Could small groups of black movie goers start buying tickets for a wider variety of black films (and not just the broad comedies), propelling them so that the numbers show an audience is out there? What do you think?


Why am I getting addicted to the 1950s version of "What's My Line?" In a world where Paris Hilton defines "class" in the media, it is kind of nice to watch people in tuxedos and pearls ask questions. I don't know what it is, but it would be nice to have this sort of clean fun today. But it wouldn't happen. It would be considered boring.

The Front Yard...

More selling house stuff...

Yesterday was one of those days where I got up at that break of dawn, determined to get stuff done. Around 7am, I opened the garage, pulled out the hedge trimmers, and got to work on my front yard. The hedges in front yard were starting to resemble the French hedge rows of World War II, and I half expected a German soldier to ambush me.

As I trimmed and trimmed, I opened the doors to my truck and turned up the music (EPMD-Strictly Business got me hyped to cut everything in sight). I live in a very, very pleasant neighborhood in Inglewood, where folks manicure their lawns (actually, they pay for others to do that for them), grow their roses, etc. We're a "waving and smile" neighborhood, where our neighbors will always wave and smile at you if they drive by. I grew up about five blocks away from my house, and I'm definitely going to miss the sense of community. Everyone who saw me in the yard stopped to say hello, and were sad we were selling.

After the yard work (front yard only. The backyard azelea bush growing to the size of a alien comes later), I had a construction crew come over to give me an estimate on painting the house. The house looks fine right now, but an exterior painting would spruce it up. Dealing with anyone who you want to work on your house is fascinating to me. Absolutely fascinating. You have to somehow gain the customers confidence (without being a con man), and also close the deal as soon as possible so another guy won't come by and steal your customer. The guy was good, and as we walked around, he pointed out what he'd do. "I'll sand that, replace that, caukle that..." Then it was time for the estimate...

My friend went for the hard sell, trying to get me to sign a work order right then and there. I kept telling him that I was going to have three other contractors come in to give estimates, but of course, that just made him want to do the deal even more. He tried pulling out the paint color card and schmoozing with the wife (so he could go after her emotional response, therefore getting me to make a decision faster. Car dealers try to do this too by focusing on the stereotype that women buy on emotion (I like the color, the stereo) and men buy on price (I find that true, unless you're talking about a Ferrari. I want one, no matter the price). My wife wasn't biting.

After thirty minutes, I was finally able to get him to leave. But the guy IS good, so I think I'll go with him.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Ten Days of Nothing...

Okay, I pretty much had ten days of no writing. It was all fixin' and finnin', as in I was fixin' to write and finnin' to write. As you can see, I have a spankin' new progress meter on the side, so I will be updating it on a day to day basis. Beginning tomorrow, I need to get back to a minimum three thousand words per day regiment. I'm getting tired of working on the porn novel, and I want to move on. So keep looking at that meter and beat me over the head if I don't add to it.

Back to Julie Dash. Today, we sat at Magic Johnson's Starbucks in Ladera sipping Jamba Juices. First, I appreciated that she'd bought a copy of The Divine Nine (that keeps my son in Catholic school!), and that she was so generous with her time. During my summer "listening" tour of former UCLA film school alums, and working Hollywood writers and directors, I've been astounded by the kindness and encouragement I've received.

We talked about some of the obstacles black writers have to deal with in today's Hollywood. For those of you who don't know, I want to write screenplays that are African American/diaspora versions of Mike Leigh films. Quiet stories, not full of stereotypes, chuckles, and humiliating versions of "black" life. But we live in an era of "Soul Plane" (which I wrote on my UCLA application as an example of what is bad in Hollywood) and other stereotypes that are derivative of old racist silent movies.

It's hard enough to be a screenwriter, but it has to be even harder to be a minority screenwriter. Now, don't take that as any sort of self defeating fatalism because it's not. This is nothing new for anyone who is black, Latino, or any other minority. You get used to facing these hurdles throughout education (for me: prep school and undergraduate) and in whatever field you choose. What you have to have is a plan, a sledgeahammer mentality to breakthrough barriers, and tenacity beyond measure. And most importantly, you've got to be excellent in what you do. Speaking with Julie showed me a black woman who has those attributes.

My next meeting is going to be with Julie's agent. I want to get her perspective on the market for the scripts I'm writing, and also her perspective on how to guide a writers career.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Julie Dash!

I just spent over two hours with writer/director (and UCLA film school alum) Julie Dash and man, what a great woman! It was like kicking it with a REALLY good friend that you hadn't seen in eons, but the convo flows like you talk everyday. She went over some of the obstacles black writers have to face in Hollywood, and different strategies for getting things sold. More later...

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Small Change to BlackCafeLit...

I decided to make one small change to BlackCafeLit. While I'm excited about producing this, I don't want to be constrained by an artificial deadline. So instead of having my DVD magazine work as a bimonthly, I'm simply going to dub them Vol.1, Vol. 2 etc. On one hand, I sacrifice the consistency. On the other hand, I can still produce the same amount of issue per year, but if UCLA gets too hectic, I can simply push back a release date without penalty. That's more important. Small point, but very important.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Loose Ends...

This is the time to complete things and tie up loose ends.

1. My fiction porn book deadline is being moved to June 25th. I'm at 40,000 words and should have no problem finishing. But I need to spend some time landscaping the house, so I'll lose some days. I want to get it finished, and then I want to go back and edit it, before sending it to my editor. After that, he can send it to my editor (since they have an option).

2. Frustrated: Still waiting on the Suzuki from my sponsorship. And I thought I was getting paid this week for a magazine article I wrote. Nope, not until July.

3. Need to make the tentative Friends With Benefits booksigning dates concrete.

After I get these three things done, I'll feel a lot better.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Kindergarten Graduation...

I just attended my son's kindergarten graduation, and there's nothing more cute than shiny little faces looking optimistically into the future. My son won a class award as the "Master of Puzzles", which goes a long way to explaining why we have countless jigsaw puzzles on our dining room table. Gotta love kindergarten!

Monday, June 06, 2005

The Killer AP: BlackCafeLit...

There is a fundamental problem for all writers and authors. There are too many books being published and not enough money spent on promoting them, AND the methods used to promote books tend to be archaic. Generally, most authors have six weeks to sink or swim. So what do we do? We go on television (if we're lucky), do a radio tour via telephone interviews (if we're lucky), and then there's the old booksigning. As I've explained before, booksignings are crucial but very inefficient. You have to do them so that you meet the booksellers and also meet the beautiful people who buy your books. But in terms of time spent versus books sold, booksignings are a very slow way to sell a lot of books.

And when you're talking about African American books and authors, you are talking about an even more limited opportunity to get your books in front of your potential customer. The African American consumer of books, dominated by African American women, are dedicated to supporting authors and black books. That's why African American books are one of the only sectors in publishing that continues to grow. But when you are looking for national television coverage, Thomas Wolfe will get it and E. Lynn Harris won't.

I've thought about how can I improve the marketing for not only my books, but other African American authors and their books. To date, I've lectured at over 250 colleges and universities, and I've done countless booksignings, and while I enjoy meeting people, there has to be a better way for us to market ourselves. Enter BlackCafeLit.

Last year, I approached NPR about doing a radio program called BlackCafeLit. It was going to spotlight the AA market. They were initially excited, but then nothing. So I put it on the shelf. But then, I met first year UCLA film student MK Asante, and he was producing a GREAT DVD magazine called Focused. I instantly knew that I wanted to do the same with my BlackCafeLit idea.

BlackCafeLit Digizine is a bimonthly DVD magazine that features and profiles African American books, authors, agents and editors. It's debuting in September 2005 and it'll be in black bookstores nationwide, while also having displays in alternative retail sites like black beauty salons and barber shops. I want the African American reader to see and listen to their favorite African American authors, while also getting a guide to what's new in the bookstores. And what's great, there's an advertising section called The Author's Corner, where any author can pay for advertising. A self published author stands on the same footing as a midlist author in this section, allowing the reader to seek out a book they may have missed. It's the single most effective way to market books for the money.

So that's it. That's the killer ap. After BlackCafeLit, I will then do one for the mainstream audience. Now, let's see if we can move books.

The Killer Ap Revealed...

Remember I was saying that I'd created a killer ap for marketing African American books and authors? I'll reveal it later tonight.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

re: New First Script...

Okay, so I'm working on my revised script, and I'm realizing that I've created a completely different screenplay. Soooo, I'm going to see if I can fix the mediocre first script, and then work on the second script as a completely different animal. Confused? Yeah, so am I. But I have a vision. lol

Friday, June 03, 2005

My First Script...

About a year ago, I started playing with the script form. And I wrote two scripts. My first impression was DAMN, this is hella easy! You mean that it only takes about 100 or so pages and I'm done? Compare that with writing my first book, which was a damn 150,000 words. Or my second book, which was 125,000 words. Writing scripts was like a vacation. Or so I thought.

As I said, I wrote two scripts. I'd never picked up a book on screenplays (and that's not a positive thing, but simply a fact), but I got a lot of the elements right. One of the scripts I wrote is more of a sketch, and I'll come back to that one later. But the first script is the one I liked the most, and the one I've concentrated on the most.

For the past six months, I've had an NYU film grad break it down my script, and she showed me how elements in a script worked. My brain is starting to move from prose to more visual. Grasping the showing not tell adage is probably one of the more difficult things for me to get used to. After working with my NYU friend, she encouraged me to show it to others. I had a good story, but it needed more.

After crafting a couple of drafts, I sent it to MK Asante, the first year UCLA film student, and he gave me some of the best notes. And it was a combination of their notes that allows me to do something completely different than when I write fiction or non-fiction. I'm tearing up major parts of the screenplay and refocusing the plot so that it's more clear and narrow. Now to most screenwriters, that may be a regular thing. But for me, it is exceedingly refreshing. Because I'll be damned if I re-write my fiction. lol Either you like it, or you don't. It sells or it doesn't.

One of the problems with my script was that it was still more of a good idea, with a pieced together story, but it didn't come together well in terms of the conflicts within the story, or the motivations of the characters. Honestly, I could have used what I had, and created a mediocre script. But I'm not sacrificing to go to UCLA film school to be mediocre or write bullshit. And so, while making tacos, the changes became exceedingly clear. Now, I'm going to start re-writing.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Back Started...

You know how you get tired when riding a bike, and you decide to stop? It takes a second for the lactic acid to subside, and then you get on the bike and start pedaling again. Well, that's how I feel now. My brain had reached that lactic acid level, and I needed about three days to get over it. Today, I put in about one thousand words, and I have about another two thousand in me by the end of the night. More porn to be written...

On the Friends With Benefits booksigning front, here's the tentative schedule. I can't say which bookstores will be hosting, because I'm still trying to do the off-site signings. Some of these will be off site, and others on-site. I'll spend three days in NYC doing the signings, and meet and greets.

Sept. 8th: Los Angeles
Sept. 9th: Oakland
Sept. 10th: Dallas
Sept. 11th: Houston
Sept. 12th: Nashville
Sept. 13th: Chicago
Sept. 15th: Lecture at Cal State Dominguez Hills
Sept. 16th: Atlanta
Sept. 18th: Miami
Sept. 20th: Washington DC
Sept. 21-24th: New York

I'm probably going to space them out a bit to give me some room. But I have to get this done before school starts.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Didn't Write a Word...

I didn't write a word today, and I don't feel a bit guilty. Nope, just Yahoo dominoes and laying on the couch. But back at it tomorrow. I have a self imposed June 15th deadline.

My Soccer Rant...

Look, I understand that everyone doesn't get soccer (as it's called here in America). And I'm not trying to convert everyone, because I could give a damn if most people can understand how the 1999 Champions League match between Manchester United and Bayern Munich was one of the greatest sporting experiences you could ever have. Or how even the recent Liverpool vs. AC Milan match (and I don't like Liverpool) was one of the best matches ever. But what I do hate is this: Sportscasters on ESPN, sports writers in newspapers, and sports pundits everywhere, reveling in their ignorance of the game. I mean, broadcasters who supposedly are "experts" in their field, routinely mispronounce player names and teams, as they smile and laugh at their lack of interest. For this you're proud? Maybe I have different standards, but if I knew my station or newspaper covered lacrosse, and I knew nothing of lacrosse, I would do my damndest to know the history, the current stars, and what was happening because I was a professional. Apparently, being a professional is secondary to appearing to be a joke.



Winner to Receive $15,000 in Cash and Prizes plus Meetings with Industry Professionals Final Draft’s 6th Annual Big Break! International Screenwriting Contest is nearing its deadline! The regular deadline of June 1 is approaching (fast), but don’t forget, we also have the extended deadline of June 15 for late entries. The winner will be awarded $10,000 cash and meetings with industry professionals. In addition, Premier Sponsor Microsoft Corporation is donating a Tablet PC, loaded with software, to each of the top three finalists. Plus, the top ten finalists will receive a copy of Final Draft scriptwriting software, a Microsoft software package, Ink Tip script and logline web placement, a screenwriting course from Gotham Writers’ Workshop, one-year subscriptions to Fade In and scr(i)pt magazines and a gift certificate from The Writers Store.

2004’s Big Break! winner Rylend Grant quickly signed with CAA. Rylend’s winning script, DRIVE, has just landed him a six-figure deal to write for an A-list actress and an Oscar®-winning director! Many of the previous years’ winning scripts have been produced or optioned.

Big Break! is an annual, global screenwriting competition designed to promote emerging creative talent. For more information about the Big Break! Contest, visit: