Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Lagging, But Motivated...

All right, I've been lagging a bit on writing Money Shot. I really wish there was some transcription software for Mac (and if anyone knows some, holla!), but it's a bit tough transcribing and writing at the same time. But I'm making a bit of progress. I'll work on the manuscript until about two in the morning. I think I'll get to the four thousand word mark. Tomorrow, I may get up and start writing during the day, but it's so damn hot, that it really kills any motivation I have to write.

BTW, since writing The Yardies Go Boom Boom script, I've been watching pulp films on IFC. I just caught a really good one called Fulltime Killer, a classic Hong Kong assassin film. I watched Layer Cake, The Krays, but this is the best yet. Check it out if you can.

News on Money Shot from Thunder's Mouth. The pub date is May 2007. Great! Just in time for the old "Summer Reads" lists. I'm going to overload my units for the fall, so that I'll only have a 434 advanced screenwriting class for the winter quarter, and then I'll be done. If I don't have to come back to UCLA for the spring quarter, I won't. I will have the units I need for graduation, and if the fiction version of Money Shot comes out before the non-fiction version, then I'll need that free time. BTW, I really need to come up with a name for the fiction Money Shot.

Signed up the munchkin to AYSO soccer. That starts in September.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Growing a Beard...

I can't grow a beard to save my life. My locks are down the middle of my back, and I can grow hair on my chin, but a full beard? Ain't happening. Just once, I want to have a '70 style beard, in the manner of Walt Frazier. Wait, he's still rocking that beard. Maybe not that one. But just once. All I get is a scruffy mess. A bit of hair on the side of the face, making it look like I have dirty on my face, is all I get. But the wife bought me a gift certificate for a shave. This is a chi-chi type deal, where you get shaved by a straight edge, special ointments, etc. Bet. So now I'm letting the hair on my face go. For the next month or so, I'm going with the scraggle look. I'll look unkept and a bit menacing, but I want to make this shave count. I'm getting the shave right before I go to the East Coast next month, so we'll see how it goes. Right now, it's just a bit itchy.

This Week...

Goals For the Week:

MONEY SHOT: Due Date: October 15th.
Currently at 3400 words. At the end of the week: 7000 words.

Continue rewriting and strengthen two characters: Angus the cop and Michelle the love interest.

Start interviewing and start writing story. I am simply TOO excited about writing this script.

We're traveling to Dallas at the end of the week, so I need to get some work done.

I'll be writing more on GETTING PUBLISHED later this week.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

FAQ about Getting Published...

I get an average of two inquiries about getting published each and every day. They don't annoy me, because I remember what it was like to be in that place. But I need to put a FAQ out because I find myself spending time writing the same thing over and over again.

To recap: I've written three books to date. Two are non-fiction and one is a novel. My books have appeared on the Los Angeles Times bestsellers list, and almost twenty times on the Essence Magazine bestsellers list (the main black books list). In 2007, I have two books being published by two different publishers. One will be with my long time publisher Kensington Books, and the other with Thunder's Mouth. I have been a full time writer since 1995, and I've been able to write full time since 2000. Combining lectures/booksignings, I've traveled to nearly 500 different events to sign books and speak on my books. I've signed at the Book Expo, at colleges and universities, in foreign lands, and anywhere else you can imagine. I've had sponsorships with Lifestyle condoms for a six week HBCU tour and I've done a product placement with Suzuki.

So I think I know what I'm talking about. But despite all of this success, I'm pretty much a midlist author, which in the publishing industry, is a working stiff. I'm the guy wearing the hard hat, but the Stephen Kings are the CEOs and upper management. I reliably sell thousands of books, and so I get to write more books each year.

So, as a public service, I give you some words of wisdom about getting published. Some of this is REALLY depressing, but it's reality:

Words of Wisdom #1:

Like everything in writing, there are LONG odds involved in getting published. The publishing industry has various filters to make sure that they can separate the crap from the good. Or good crap. So here's the normal process.

A writer has a great idea for a book. Shazzam! It'll sell billions of books! If I can just find someone to publish it.

Step #1: Buy the Writers Digest for 2006 or whatever year it is. That book will explain to you many parts of the book industry. It has listings for agents, publishers, etc. It'll show you how to write a query letter (I know some of you are saying, what the hell is a query letter?). And then it'll get to the odds of getting published, which are--

Tiny. Miniscule. Microscopic.

Typically, a new writer sends a query to a literary agent asking them to represent you. The letter talks about your book idea and your writing experience. A typical lit agent gets a bunch a day. Every writer thinking their book idea is wonderful, and is the next bestseller. Well, agents tend to have differing opinions. Lit agents reject about 95% of the stuff they receive. Since they only make money with writers who can write and books that can sell, they have little time to roll with writers missing either one of those attributes. Cruel, but true. Are they always right? Of course not. But they are in this game to make casholo, not hold the hands of someone not ready. Make sure you're ready and then send them your query.

More later...

Hoodie Tees Photo Shoot...

One of the beautiful things about UCLA, is that if you're smart, it's sort of a swiss knife. It's useful for a lot of things, and a lot of those things are free (or at least sort of). For example, I needed a place for a photo shoot. I needed a place with visual interest and in an outdoor area where people wouldn't mess with us. What about the Murphy Sculpture Garden on the UCLA campus? Nothing like millions of dollars worth of sculpture (which normally only get passing students and rampaging dogs as visitors) as a backdrop for my models.

So we're at the Sculpture Garden and my models are simply great. Great attitude, and nice people. Craigslist works again. It takes up about two hours to get stuff done (using the expert skills of my frat brother photographer and LA Angels photog Jeff Lewis) and I think it will add a lot to my coming Hoodie Tees website.

I even think I found a publicist at the shoot. One of the models mentioned that her publicist was interested in our t-shirts, and I think I can go beyond that with her. I'll set up a session within the next few weeks.

On the exercise front, I need to find a yoga class. Playing softball every week has made me more and more stiff. I try to stretch, but it's not working.

Money Shot is moseying along. I'll work on it a bit more this weekend, passing the 5000 word mark. i'll call Lex to see what's happening next week.

The changes to the Yardies script have been stewing in my brain, so I've been working on that script too, although I won't change the progress bar. What I'm doing is introing a character a lot earlier, killing off another character, and making Biko's love interest more, well, interesting.

I also have an idea. Nearly everyday, I receive an email asking basic questions about getting a book published. So I'm going to write a FAQ for book publishing that should answer most, if not all, questions. Most new writers think that their situation is unique, when in reality, it's not. Not by a long shot. The publishing industry relies on making the process routine, but I'll try to clarify it step by step.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Ahh...the mighty hand of Karl Rove...

I'm a Democrat, and boy, sometimes I think my party leadership LIKES getting their asses handed to them. I'm serious. See, I have a theory, and although it works for sports, it goes to politics too. In sports, if I'm accurately predicting the plays of a team, then the coach needs to be fired. Immediately. Same with politics. The Democratic leadership is about to fall apart before the same Karl Rove tactics. I mean, the man hasn't changed his stripes since GWB was downing Jim Beam in Midland. Okay, for those of you not following along (that means you John Kerry, Hillary Clinton, and the rest of you milquetoast Dems).

1. Karl Rove goes playground on the Democrats, calling them Cut and Runners. The media, like lemmings (hey, that's you Chris Matthews and your sidekick stand in Norah "I'm just a giggly little girl" O'Donnell) repeat it ad nauseum. Do the Democrats come back with anything tough? How about Goddamn Cowards? No, that probably didn't test well in Democratic polling. The best someone could come up with? Liars and dyers. Yeps, trash talk by committee. We could have come up with something better in the fourth grade. Karl wins again.

2. Karl Rove and his Congressional lackeys, put together an Orwellian resolution whose wording reminds me of all of those failed commie states that would have "Democratic" in their official names. Do the Democrats vote against it and then flood the market with commercials ridiculing the Republicans and their shamocracy? Nope. The Dems are so frightened about being "cut and runner" (I don't want to get all Art of War on you, but never let your enemy define you. If you do, you're dead before you open your mouth) that they vote for it. Karl wins again.

3. What do the Dems do then? Well, John Kerry decides that he wants the microphone again. God no. Please. Stay away from the mike. What does he do? Well, he says the troops should pull out in December. AND THEN, he decides the next day to back away from that date, and move it to next July. What does that make him? Yep, Karl Rove wins again, and he didn't even have to say flip flopper. Kerry said it for him. Anyway, Kerry's amendment dies a quick death (again Kerry, please go away). Karl Rove wins again.

4. Now, there's today's story that Black Muslims are planning a terrorist plot, and the media orgasms in their coverage. Now, not to be cynical, but don't you find it strange that this comes out now? I mean, haven't we seen this before? Continue to ramp up the fear factor and then trot out the President so that he can say that we're fighting them over... Don't you think Rove made a call to the FBI and asked what case could be closed today? Do you think any Democrat will have the balls to question it? Not on your life. The Democrats are a thousand people on a conference call, making a ton of noise, but no sense.

Game, set and match for Rove. You see, Rove doesn't care about defining the Republicans. Why should he? Most people either like or despise them. Nope, he's going to define the Democrats. You see, this is going to be a codliver oil election. People who don't want to vote Republican will, because the Dems just can't get their act together. Ah, maybe things will change in 2008

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Please Take My Survey Please...

Hey all,

I've created a survey (at the bottom of my links section). Please take about three minutes to fill it out. Thanks!

Final 434 Meeting With Dave...

Today I had my final 434 meeting with Dave. We went over the script and he made great notes. For me, as I continue to learn about writing scripts, little lights continue to come on. In the first quarter at UCLA, I simply experimented. I needed to know what worked and what didn't when it came to dialogue. Cause I didn't know. I didn't know "on the nose" from the tip of my own nose. After ten weeks, I was straight. I'd had some UGLY dialogue in getting there, but my ears were getting attuned.

Next was structure, and my 434 teacher Hal drilled structure into me. Before, I thought I knew where to put the muscle on the skeleton, but this allowed me to feel the pressure points in the script. After that, I watched every film known to man and began recognizing the points of emphasis. Remember, I'm not a film guy, so I didn't pay attention to it before. But now, I know.

So I walked into Dave's class with the notion that I can pretty much write an interesting script, with the beats set up correctly, and with dialogue that is not on the nose. Dave was cool for a couple of things. He gave us the industry prespective about writing scripts that sell versus just writing scripts for contests and the such. Second, he gave great notes. We had fun, but the notes were on point.

Today, the light that went off in my head was how to write the arcs of characters other than the protag and antag. We were talking about two characters, a UK police officer and my main character Biko's love interest, and I was realizing that I need to plot out there own script within the main story so that they're not just inserted in whenever I feel like it. I need to integrate them in. Again, maybe that's something everyone else knows, but I hadn't thought about it. Now, I feel like I can do it and make them much more three dimensional. So I'm going to do a rewrite of The Yardies, and make those adjustments.

Dave said my second rewrite will probably make the script fat, and I agree. I'll probably add too much to the script. But that's what a third rewrite is all about. I can honestly say that for the first time, I KNOW that three passes over this script, it'll be ready to be shown. I can feel it in my bones.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Change in Word Count...

Just found out that the publisher does want Money Shot to come in around 80,000 words, so it doesn't make sense to strive for 100,000 words. So I changed the progress bar. I'll write a bit tonight and get the meter up to around 3,500 words. I'm rolling along pretty good. The way it looks right now, I'll definitely be done around mid August. I can edit during September.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

First Life Story...

So I know what my first 434 for the next quarter will be. I've just acquired the rights to a story that I think is inspirational. Sorry, but that's all I'll say. I'm going to start writing the story, fleshing out the characters, and then do a scene-o-gram by September. I'm really excited about this story and I can't wait to start writing it. But now, back to the book.

On a personal note, today is our 14th wedding anniversary, and we had a great meal at an Italian restaurant on the Third Street Promonade. She's still the most beautiful woman in the world and I'm still the luckiest cat in the world.

Monday, June 19, 2006


I'm not really big on entering screenwriting contests, for the same reason I'm not interested in entering literary contests. I write scripts and books for market, not for contests. My philosophy is that the art happens when I'm writing the script or book, but as soon as I turn it in, the marketing starts, so I put on my business hat. But I have entered two different contests. One, is the Final Draft screenplay contest. I don't know why, but I just thought I'd do it. It was cheap and easy, just like me. The other is an ABC Diversity Contest, where the prize is a year at ABC and fifty thousand schmackolas. Just as I write fiction and non-fiction, I want to write for both film and television. So a paid internship at ABC is nothing to sniff at. I'm still waiting, and waiting, on who won the NBC/NAACP Fellowship, but it doesn't look like the news is going to come quickly. I'll cross that bridge when I come to it.

BTW: World Cup update: Loved the Ghana win. England looked a bit better, but still not great. My favorite player of the World Cup? The Brazilian player named FRED. You've just got to love a player whose one name is FRED, on a team of Ronaldiho, Ronaldos, Kakas, Cafus, etc.

Goals for the week...

This Week:

1. I meet with Dave to go The Yardies Go Boom Boom on Wednesday. We'll go over all of the issues in the script and it will give me a starting point for my rewrite. I try to get three people to read my scripts so I have three different viewpoints. I sent it to my friend Michelle who graduated from Tisch, and I think I'll shoot it to another classmate. I think I have something with script.

2. Last night, I wrote until 2:30am, but not on Money Shot. I was working on the story for my next 434 in the Fall. It's going to be a comedy, and I think it's funny.

3. This week, I'll meet with Howard Suber, who taught our film structure course. A great guy, and it'll be cool to listen to him talk about film. I may have an opportunity to TA for him next year, which would be kind of cool. I've never TA'ed for anyone, so I don't know what's involved, but I'm interested.

4. Money Shot: The goal is to get to about 7500 words by the end of the week. I think I can do that before having to do more interviews. Chapter One is flowing well, and I think it's a good start to the book. I missed going to the Lex' shoot last week, but I have plenty of shoots.

5. We're shooting Hoodietees models in my t-shirts next Saturday. We're probably about a week or so away from going live.

6. Father's Day was great. We went to the best Mexican food restaurant in LA, and I'm stuffed. But now, I'm back on the wagon. Getting to the gym as soon as I finish this post.

7. My Friends With Benefits royalty from William Morris is on its way. The amount was a nice surprise.

8. Just keep plowing along...

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Ouzo and Belly Dancing!

Last night, we did the daily double. First, we attended the graduation dinner for my boy MK Asante. It was really cool to see everyone honor my boy because he's the LeBron of the academic world. We had a great time, eating rice and peas, fried fish, and plantains. After that, we hustled to Orange County to kick it with my boy Tony, who was celebrating his 40th. Our destination was a Mediterranean restaurant, complete with ouzo, olives, sausages, kebabs, the most fragrant rice you could imagine, and beautiful belly dancers! It was a great party, everyone was dancing, including me, as I tried to shake my hips the Persian way. We've gotta go back soon.

It's Father's Day right now, and I'm kicking it. I may write, or I may not. We're going to a Mexican restaurant later, and then I'm going to sleep. lol So Happy Father's Day to everyone.

BTW, we got Langston's report card: OUTSTANDING in every catagory. It's the best Father's Day gift I could receive.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Producers Showcase...

I decided to go to the Producers Showcase, and I'm glad I did. The producers basically pitched their projects in front of an audience and in front of three producing execs. One indie, one from the Weinstein Company, and another from a production company I can't recall. All were damn good, and made me proud. My boy Nick won, but I must say that they all were excellent.

It's important to go to Showcases other than your own. Not because of the schmooze factor, but because your classmates are working just as hard as you, and you should get off your self centered ass and support them. I'm kind of bummed that I missed the short films from the directors.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

UCLA Film School Softball Team...

Again, with Dave Whelan and me on the team, the UCLA Film School Softball Team aka the Bad News Bruins, defeated our opponents in a rout. Of course that make Dave and I 3-0. We're basically available to play whenever someone else can't make it, but I think we're the reason we win. lol

Bout to start flowing on Money Shot, watch England play Trinnie, and then send off a bunch of contracts and faxes I've been lagging on. Tonight, I'm going to roll to the Producers Showcase and check them out. The finalists in their competition have to pitch shows before execs.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Money Shot Restart...

Okay, so I decided to start over with Money Shot. Clean the slate. Get rid of old starts and editions. Just a blank page and me. I'm meeting up with Lex on the 16th for a porn shoot, which is where I think I will start the book. He's just a real cool cat. You guys should meet him.

For the next three months, I'll be hanging with Lex about three to four days a week. I sort of hover, listening and writing. One of the things you figure out is that porn gets as mundane as any other business. They just do a lot of their stuff naked.

I cleaned up the Money Shot status bar so that it's now at zero. My actual contract says I just need to get to 80,000 words, but I don't know. I think I'm going to roll to 100,000. There's a lot of info.

The due date for the manuscript is October 15th, which is exactly 124 days away. Dividing 100,000 by 124 days means that I need to write at a clip of 800 words a day. I should be able to do that in my SLEEP. But if you see me slipping, get on my ass. I need that from time to time.

The main thing is changing my brain from writing screenplays to writing a book. Where spare was good in the screenplay, spare is not so good in a book. Folks tend to want you to paint a picture for them. So get ready for some mad description!

I still haven't heard from the NBC/NAACP Fellowship. Someone sent me info about the ABC Diversity Fellowship, and I think I'm going to apply for that one too.

MK is working on the ole t-shirt website, and it's close to being done. Time to get these t-shirts a moving. That also means that I need to send out a press release. Generally, you want to send out a press release about ten days before your go live. Give reporters a couple of editing sessions to pitch your story. I'll start working on that now.

Oh, got new business cards. I'm the LAZIEST business card person, and for years, I would do a gig and people would want a business card. I'd never have them. But I need them now because everyone pretty much demands them. Mine are pretty cool, red, black and green. Only one thing: I forgot to put my email address on them. So I need to do another order.

Good News...Bad News...

So I get to the Showcase last night and had a great time. Got a nice plaque for getting an Honorable Mention. Cool. So here's the good news: The publicist for UCLA comes up and tells me that we all got a mention in Variety. Wow. Cool. Bet. Now here's the bad news: They fucked up the title of our scripts. See below...
Showcase for UCLA scribes
'Return,' 'Flying,' 'Swamp' among winners


Five grad students have been selected as winners of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television's annual Screenwriters Showcase.
Winners are Eyal Alony for "Return," Andrew Cypiot for "Flying Start," Phil Guidry for "Home Sweet Swamp," Brian Larsen for "Saga" and Dan Mazeau for "Sirens."

Honorable mentions went to Yule Caise for "Snake Trails," (WRONG! It's called Snail Trails) Fred Hess for "Okisumo," (WRONG! It's called Muchos Problemos) Lori Palm for "Little Green," Lawrence C. Ross Jr. for "Superstar" (WRONG! MEN OF THEIR TIMES) and David Whelan for "The Thinking Tanks." (WRONG! PRICELESS)

Screenplays will be showcased June 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the Writers Guild of America West. Screenwriter Mike Werb ("Face/Off") will host.

Now look, getting anything, any notice in Variety is a nice thing. Not gonna get your script bought, but hey, it's still a good thing. To get your script title fucked up like this, and to not double check, is really inexcusable. But hey, c'est la vie.

Back to the Showcase. It was a great time. We gave an award to an alumnus, Scott Kosar, (The Machinist, Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Amityville Horror) who was genuinely choked up at the award. The screenings sounded great and were entertaining. We had a packed house. Passed out a few cards, but in reality, just was glad the quarter was over.

Monday, June 12, 2006

What's Goin' On...

Over the weekend, I went back over my first draft of The Yardies Go Boom Boom. Cleaned it up a bit and I'm having it printed as we speak. BTW, if you want to get your scripts done fast and cheaply, there's only one place to go: Digital Express on Wilshire. There's my plug. Anyway, I've got to turn in my draft today.

Tonight, we have our Showcase, and I'm going to help haul stuff from UCLA to the WGA this morning.

Tomorrow, I will work on chapter one of Money Shot. I dreamt about the book for the first time in a while, so I think my brain has released all of the screenwriting and is getting ready to write a book.

I still need to finish that damned questionaire. They're probably pretty pissed right about now.

The US is getting Rice Czeched in the World Cup right now. Too slow, too boring, and too damn unambitious to win regularly on the international stage.

Mo' later...

Friday, June 09, 2006


Ah, finally done. Finished. The last essay done. To celebrate, I took the fam to Harold & Belles for a fried fish, shrimp, oysters and creole potato salad feast. So much for the gym. Oh, by the way, the scale was off. Not 217, but 214lb. Still need to get my behind in the gym. But I'se done. Quarter ova. The World Cup has started and I watched Paulo Wanchope, my boy MK's cousin, score two goals. This, of course, reminds me that I need to contact MK. My brain is fried however, so I'll do it tomorrow. Speaking of tomorrow, I'm getting up at the crack of dawn (5am) to go watch England play at the Egyptian theater. I'm kicking it with some of my best buds from the film school. They're serving breakfast and football, so add sleep deprivation (to substitute for jet lag) and you have a real UK experience. Did I mention that the quarter is over?

On Monday, we have our Screenwriters Showcase. I volunteered to haul stuff all day before the showcase, which should make me nice and thirsty for as much beer as I can drink during the evening. After Monday, I shut down UCLA and concentrate on my book. I'm actually looking forward to getting back to my old friend, the manuscript. I talked with my fiction editor, Kensington/Dafina editor Karen Thomas, and she told me that she'll get to my manuscript in late July, which works for me. Fixing any problems, correcting the copyedit, etc. will be due in mid-September. For my non-fiction manuscript, the due date is still October 15th, which should be plenty time. I'm REALLY interested in when these two books are going to be released. Normally, books take about nine months to publication, so that means they'll be released at the same time. That means I'll have double duties promoting them. That should be interesting, and it reinforces my belief that I need to do a telephone tour rather than a book tour. Still looking for a publicist, but I think I may have a lead.

Did I mention I'm done for the quarter?

Thursday, June 08, 2006


1. I got on the scale this morning: 217lbs. NOT GOOD. But that's what happens when you slip for the past week and eat a few donuts, some ice cream, and other carbs. I'm on that slippery slope, and as soon as I finish writing this post, I'm off to the Wooden Center for the lifecycle.

2. Meeting with MK today. This summer, we're working on a really exciting documentary.

3. Need to finish writing a six page paper for Guber's class and then a two pager for Suber's. After that, I'll be done for the quarter.

4. Need to pick up new business cards. They're red, black and green, ya know what I mean?

5. I need to set my airline travel to NYC and the DC for this July.

6. Later tonight, I'm volunteering to mock interview eighth graders who are looking to enter some of LA's best high schools.

7. Play Call of Duty until I get to the next level.

8. Go BACK to the gym and work out another 45 minutes.

9. Contact Lex about next week. I'm going to shadow him pretty much for the rest of the summer.

10. Get ad done for my Fraternity Convention Journal.

Monday, June 05, 2006

The Washington Post State of the Black Man...

The Washington Post is embarking on a "State of the Black Man" year long series of articles and I'm not sure of what I think about them. On the one hand, there are serious issues to deal with. There's the whole pathology issue with everything from jail, drugs, alcohol, HIV, absentee fathers etc. that needs to be talked about. On the other hand, I HATE being some "species" of man that needs studying. If you talk to educated black men, you'll find that they have the same interests, same ambition, same desires as every other man in the world. But there are things in this society that can derail us from our goals, and as long as the articles balance the concept of personal responsibilty and merit (yeah, as though Paris Hilton needs that) with the systemic and institutional failure of the educational system, legal system, etc. when it comes to African American men, then I'm okay with it.

Script #2 Done...

Well, The Yardies Go Boom Boom is finally done. It came out to 113 pages and a lot of the third act is WP, which is short hand for writers problem. I gave the story a bit of a twist, a bit of mystery, and a bit of a surprise ending. But if there's one thing I've learned at UCLA is that a first draft is horrible. And this is a first draft. In reality, this the skeleton of the body. The muscle comes from many, many, many, many drafts. This draft of The Yardies stands up like a skeleton in a doctor's office. A bit limp, a bit scary looking, but the bones are in the right places. Over the next week, I'll try to clean it up before turning it in to my 434 teacher Dave.

This is the last week of the quarter, so I have a class with Peter Guber tonight. Then I have my last class with Howard Suber. Suber's class has been great. As I always talk about, I'm not a film guy. So it was a revelation.

I think I'll give myself about a week of non-writing and then get into Money Shot.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

The daVinci Code...

is really just an episode of Scooby Do. I swear.

My iTunes Writing Playlist When Writing a Gangster Film...

Someone emailed me privately, asking what I listen to when I write. The answer: different music for different works. Here's my iTunes playlist that for the Yardies script. Obviously, I think the golden era of Hip Hop occurred between 1988-1995. lol

Guru Freestyle Funkmaster Flex
Work Part II Gangstarr f Big L
It's My Turn Steezo
Fat Joe feat. Grand Puba & Diamond D - Watch The Sound(1) Fat Joe
Who Got Da Props Black Moon
You Gots To Chill (Original) EPMD
Punks jump up to get beat down Brand Nubians
I Got Cha Open black moon
biz is goin' off Biz Markie
Ill Street Blues Kool G Rap & DJ Polo
Take it Easy Mad Lion
Rampage EPMD feat. LL Cool J
The Symphony Marley Marl - Feat. Masta Ace, Craig G, Kool G Rap, Big Daddy Kane
Best Kept Secret Diamond D
My Melody Eric B. & Rakim
Who's Gonna Take The Weight Gang Starr
So Whatcha Sayin? EPMD
Road To The Riches Kool G. Rap
My Philosophy KRS-One
How I Could Just Kill A Man? Cypress Hill
Ghetto Rock Mos Def
Straighten It Out Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth
Off the Books Big Pun and the Beatnuts
Let Me Clear Me Throat DJ Kool
I Ain't No Joke Rakim
Microphone Fiend Erik B and Rakim
What's Up Doc (Can We Rock-) Fu-Schnickens with Shaquille O'Neal
Black Trump Mobb Deep
Hostile Erick Sermon
My Name is D- Nice D-Nice
Gravel Pit Wu Tang Clan
Luchini Camp Lo
Ghetto Red Hot [Hip Hot Remix] Super Cat
I Get The Job Done Big Daddy Kane
Ain't No Half Steppin' Big Daddy Kane
Soul Clap Showbiz and AG
Connected Stereo MCs
Funky 4 You Nice & Smooth
Dialated Peoples Dialated Peoples
Mr Big dick Schooly D
Mass Appeal Gangstarr
Here come the lords Lords of the underground
LL Cool J - Booming System LL Cool J
Fakin the Funk Main Source
Dolly my baby (bad boy remix) Supercat ft. puff daddy & notorious big
Bad Boy Sean Combs
Big Ol' Butt LL Cool J
Code Of The Streets Gang Starr
When The East Is In The House (Dj Premier remix) Blazay Blazay
Le Bien, Le Mal Guru and MC Solaar
Vivrant Thing Q-Tip
Take It Personal Gangstarr
The Most Beautifullest Thing in this World Keith Murray
Going Back To Cali LL Cool J
Get lifted Keith Murray
H To The Izzo Jay Z
EX Girl To Next Girl Gangstarr
Made You Look Nas
Rock The Bells Ll Cool J
Bridging The Gap (LP Version) Nas
RE: DEFinition Mos Def & Talib Kweli
Change The Game Jay Z
Umi Says Mos Def
Bring the Pain Method Man
Lookin' At The Front Door Main Source
South Bronx KRS-ONE
Wonderful Night (feat Lateef) Fatboy Slim
Funkmaster Flex How I Could Just Kill A Man Funkmaster Flex
The Big Payback EPMD
Just to get a rep Gang Starr
LL Cool J - Jack the Ripper (Kool Moe Dee Diss) LL cool j
I'm Housin' EPMD
Full Clip GangStarr
Crossover EPMD
_Chief Rocka Lords of the Underground
KRS-One Speech Funkmaster Flex
Ring The Alarm Fu-Schnickens
You're a Customer EPMD
Rockafella Skank Fatboy Slim
This or That Black Sheep
Keith Murray Freestyle... Funkmaster Flex
I Know You Got Soul Eric B. and Rakim
Funky Piano EPMD
Who Shot Ya? Biggie Smalls
Poetry B.D.P.
Funky Enough The DOC
Strictly Business EPMD
Joints and Jams Black Eyed Peas
Gimme The Loot Biggie Smalls
Cause I Can Do It Right Big Daddy Kane
buddy (w/q-tip & jungle brothe De La Soul
Warning Biggie Smalls
Never Seen Before EPMD
say no go De La Soul
Raw Big Daddy Kane
Sure Shot Beastie Boys
Ready To Die Biggie Smalls
Off the Books Big Pun and the Beatnuts
Brass Monkey Beastie Boys
Criminal Minded B.D.P.
Ghetto Story Baby Cham
Tease Me Chaka Demus & Pliers
Murder She Wrote Chaka Demus & Pliers
Funky Dividends Three Times Dope
The Greatest Man Alive Three Times Dope

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Just Saw Layer Cake...

Just decided to get a six pack and spend the night working on my Yardies script to get it close to Layer Cake.

Friday, June 02, 2006

The World Cup is Coming...

And I can't wait. I don't think folks really understand how much I love football. I say football, not to be smarmy or because "soccer" sounds so ridiculous, but because I love football. College football, NFL, and yes, the original football (soccer). And with games beginning at 6am, my wife knows to not mess with me during this period. Who do I root for? I have to go in order:

1. Team: England/USA... For the twenty or so years that I've watched soccer, USA were crap. Utter crap. I could have given a better performance than some of the US players in the past. So England developed as my surrogate team. I've been a Manchester United fanatic since '92, and so it's the league I know. I can tell you about clubs in the Football Conference, as well as players in the English Premiere League. The style of play is appealing to the American sensibility of toughness, attack, attack, attack, and heart. So I will root for England too. But now, the USA has finally developed players who can compete on the international stage. Their manager, Bruce Arena, has put the US in the best position possible to win games. And even though I'm not big on the counterattack strategy, it works for the US. So I will root for the Red, White and Blue too.

2. Players: I root for all Manchester United players, no matter which country they play for. Ji-Sung Park for South Korea. Gabriel Heinze for Argentina. Gary Neville, Wayne Rooney, Rio (why the hell do you get nutmegged all of the time) Ferdinand for England. Ruud Van Niesteroy (sp) for Holland. Cristiano Ronaldo for Portugal. All of them, and anyone I missed. Next, I root for the playmakers, no matter their club team: Ronaldiniho, Thierry Henry (my favorite non-Red Devil player), Ronaldo (if he's not fat), Steven Gerrard (although I hate that he plays for Liverpool and he can never be bought by United).

3. The Underdog: I used to always root for Nigeria because they just didn't give a damn about defense. They'd let in 4 goals and score 5. That's my type of underdog team! This year, my underdog team are the Ivory Coast. Didier Drogba (sp) is someone I can't stand when he plays for Chelsea, but I'd like to see the Ivory Coast get some good news.

If you've always wanted to "get into" soccer, but never could, watch the World Cup. Most of the international stars will be there. Just wake up and enjoy!

Writing The Yardies...Watching The Krays...

I'm watching a 1990 movie about the notorious British gangsters The Krays. The Krays were East London (same place my characters are from) twins who pretty anti-social to say the least. They murdered, extorted, yada, yada. But that's not what interests me. I'm interested in the dynamic between the brothers. I need to strengthen the conflict between my brothers, Biko and Tambo, to ratchet up the tension. Right now, they're WAY too cool with each other.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Another T-Shirt...

Obviously, I'm not a model. But I play one on my website. lol

As for this t-shirt, let me explain: This t-shirt speaks to one of those pet peeves a lot of educated black folks have. In describing us, people will inevitably say, "He/She's articulate" as though folks are surprised that black folks can actually speak English. Whenever that word is spoken about a black person, I can mentally hear fingernails on the blackboard. I shouldn't get a special cookie for being able to put together a coherent thought. And it shouldn't be a surprise that I can speak both the Queen's English and my own special black dialect (when around other black folks).