Sunday, December 30, 2007

More movies...

Watched Sherrybaby...unrewarding. Akeelah and the Bee...schmaltzy but uplifting. Art School Confidential...boring. Music & Lyrics...cheesy. The Good Shepherd...liked it.

More movies added to my viewing library...

Watched A History of Violence. Enjoyed it much. Then I watched The Cooler. Pretty good, not great.

Sent the rewritten first act of The Bestsellers to my two boys to see how they liked it. They liked it. So now, I've been carefully, carefully plotting out the second act. I've done an excellent job in the first act making these characters very human. We know what motivates them. Now I need to make sure I understand where the story is going, the motivations of the characters, the choices they're making and how these choices will create conflict. And at the same time, be funny. To be funny, I need to remember that cruelty is humor.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Me be a writing...

So I'm re-reading my novel Slaveryland, which I began before film school and I have to say that I really enjoy it. I'm about three weeks away from finishing it, but I can easily see it as a script at some point. Speaking of scripts, I'm rewriting The Bestsellers yet again. Got some notes, some interest and I think this version will be tighter, more focused and even closer to being a film. Right now, I've finished the first act.

I have to travel at the end of January to our company meeting in Minneapolis. This year, I need to remember to bring some real winter clothing. Last year, I froze my butt off.

Also, I'm rolling with the mantra that 2008 is the year. Everything comes together. BTW, beginning in January, I'm going to go vegetarian every other month. Writing has made me out of shape and I just need to get back in shape. Plus, I actually tried going vegetarian way back and loved how I felt. So January, March, May, etc. are veggie months. The goal: 195lbs and more energy by the end of 2008.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


For me, the one difference in writing a script in film school versus out of film school is that I don't particularly feel the need to hurry up and finish the script. For me, it's much more important to make sure the story is tight, the scenes make sense and the characters are well defined. I found that when I was writing a script every ten weeks, I pumped out the script, but everything was really two dimensional. I'm taking my time on description, feeling my way between being spare and getting a good, rich description on paper. Right now, I'm writing A WOMAN OF GOD and almost finished with the first act. That's cool, but what's different about today is that I'm looking forward to the second act. I think like a lot of young screenwriters, my second acts tend to need the most work. But I'm getting better because I'm taking my time.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The WGA Strike...

I have a funny feeling that this WGA strike is going to last a long time, at least until June. I'm not a member of the WGA yet, but the strike affects me also. It pretty much means that I couldn't sell a script if I wanted to. It would be the equivalent to crossing a picket line and one of the things protecting writers in Hollywood, and what doesn't protect authors, is the power of the union.

But I have been struck by the weirdness within the WGA. My thought is that when you go on strike, you go on strike. You stay together and don't air your beefs in public. But there are some websites where the writers are airing their dirty laundry, and it can't help with the unity within the union. Now, I'm not opposed to speaking out during a strike, but concerns when negotiating a contract, should be done behind closed doors. But alas, with blogs and the Internet allows ego and the need for a voice to reign over the long view. Anyway, I'd like them to get the best deal possible as soon as possible. But my gut says, don't hold my breath.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Back...Sorry for the lack of posts

Sorry for the hiatus, but I was busy writing. Right now, I'm back to writing The Dreaded Beautician. It looks like my evening hours will produce about three thousand words per night. And since we're about to head into the Xmas season, my productivity will get a LOT better.

As for scripts, I'm working on my A WOMAN OF GOD script. This is a slowly but surely script as I swear that I know this script more than I've ever known a script. But I want to take my time.

Been watching a lot of movies. Half Nelson which I half liked. An old school Bad and Beautiful with Kirk Douglas. Elizabethtown, which I really did like, but I think others hated. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Enjoyable, but like cotton candy, not very memorable or long lasting. Tried to watch The Departed, but I was so damn bored that I turned it off. And I have not an iota of curiosity about how that film finished. I think Martin received an Oscar for that in the same way Pacino got an Oscar for Scent of a Woman.

Anyway, I'm still not under any type of deadline, so I'm free to write as much as I like and when I like. So I shall write a lot in the next three weeks.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Clearing out book stock...

Hey all,

I'm clearing out the books I have in stock. If you want to buy a copy of my books, I'll take a PayPal payment and send it to you. I have the following in stock:

1. Hardcover Divine Nine: $33 plus $5 shipping
2. Paperback Skin Game: $14 plus $5 shipping
3. Paperback Money Shot: $16 plus $5 shipping

Email me at and I'll PayPal you a request for payment.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Sorry for the wait...

Nothing much to report. Been writing. That's all.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Computer was down...

My computer was down all week, so I'm terribly behind on work. I'll get a post up before I take off for Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Changing my writing schedule...

Since my wife was on pregnancy bedrest back in '99, I've written from around 9pm until around 3am. The house was quiet and it seemed like the best time to write with a clear brain. No more.

I realized that over the past year, I would stay up and write, but I wasn't productive. I was becoming not tired, but exhausted by keeping that schedule. But I was reluctant to change it because it was a habit. But then, I said too hell with it. I'm going to bed at a normal hour and wake up at 5am. And guess what, it's worked like a charm. I feel more refreshed and I'm getting more stuff done. So the next script/book/etc. will be written in normal hours like a normal person.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Doing a polish...

I'm now working on a script polish for a producer. It should take me around a week or so to finish.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Why I'll never enter another script contest...

In the past two years, I've only entered two script contests. One was at UCLA and the other was the Hollywood Black Film Festival. My UCLA script won honorable mention. Solid. But my script for the HBFF didn't place. Honestly, I'd even forgotten I'd entered the thing because the festival ended about three months ago. But I received the evaluation of my script yesterday. Here's my beef. No one identified the criteria which the script would be judged before submitting. If I'd known, I wouldn't have submitted. Here's the first criteria: Does the script portray a positive portrayal of black life or characters. Out of ten, my script received a two. Why? Because (and I want to yell this like University of Colorado football coach Dan Hawkins) it's a GANGSTER script, brother! The people in the script are nasty, mean and psychotic. Of course they're not positive role models! Who knew this could even be a criteria for judging a script? The ONE note I received talked about how the script "reveled" in violence. Well...uh...yeah. Unfortunately, some folks believe that every black script or film has to be a "positive" depiction of black life. I believe that there needs to be a plurality of scripts depicting black life. But that's an argument for another day.

My 434 teacher Dave Johnson said something at the end of my first year that was the ding dong moment in my film school experience. He said that he had a friend who won every contest and had yet to sell a script. That doesn't mean one can't sell a script after having won a contest, but if you want to be a professional, you should begin to focus on the business versus the contest route asap. I sent my Yardies script in during my last quarter before graduating and I think it's a nice end point for my film school experience. Maybe (after a dozen or so rewrites) someone in Hollywood will like a good, bloody gangster flick that has a bit of violence. They've made a few in the past.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I could feel the flu coming on Sunday and it hit today. I REALLY hit today. Yesterday, I tried to sleep it off, but to no avail. Today, I had waves of nausea that hammered me, along with that eye ache that only comes from the flu. We had a meeting with a client last week who said he had the flu, and I'm sure I caught it there. Anyway, I shut it down early today and I'm hoping things go better tomorrow. I have a bunch of work to do.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Please Vote For Me...

If you get a chance, check out a documentary called Please Vote For Me. It's an absolutely mesmerizing, hilarious and fascinating look at three Chinese third graders who are running for class monitor. Now, you first have to understand that these kids don't know what the heck "democracy" and "voting" means at first, but when they learn, you won't be able to take your eyes away from the screen. You'll be amazed at how fast they learn oppositional research, negative campaigning, debating skills and lobbying (ie bribes). And you'll also wonder if our school system is falling behind when you listen to these eight year olds. You can find it on PBS' Independent Lens series.

Saturday, October 20, 2007


I'm back home from Miami. I got a lot of rest today and that was good. On the writing front, I'm writing my novel THE DREADED BEAUTICIAN (I know, it sounds absolutely crazy, but I swear that it works)right now to the sounds of a This American Life podcast. I've made the decision to concentrate on two writing projects over the next month and two only. I will write the script MISS IRRELEVANT and TDB. Nothing else. I'm trying to de-stress and clarifying my writing goals is the first thing on the list. So, it's 2:10am and I'm writing the first draft of TDB. Talk to you tomorrow because I have a feeling I'll be blogging more often in the next two weeks.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Lost Writing Week...

I didn't really get a lot of writing done this week because of the Miami trip. I leave here this afternoon and get back home late tonight, but for some reason, I was jet lagged for the greater part of the week. And I'm never jet lagged. But combining my bad sleep habits, writing until 3am and no chance for naps meant that I was thrashed at around 10:30p last night.

But my company conference is mad cool and I really do enjoy my colleagues. They're damn smart and every time I go to one of their presentations, I want to start a company. We only meet twice a year, unless you are in the Minneapolis headquarters where about 60% of our employees live, so it's like a family reunion each and every time we get together.

And I can see why our clients like coming. We had chef Anthony Bourdain as our speaker today and Ze Frank yesterday. Both were entertaining as hell and media immersed which provided an added benefit for me.

On the pitching front, after three hit or misses, we're finally going to pitch our shows to BET and A. Smith on the 23rd. I need to find out if another show idea I sent my boy David at William Morris has caught the fancy of this icon I want to attach to it. The icon's agent had been out of the office until the 12th, so we'll see.

That's all until this weekend. In my never ending waffle on what fiction project I'll write next, I finally made a decision. And my agent liked it. Remember, I write about stuff I like, while understanding that there are horses for courses. I think my readership will like this new novel. And by the way, I'm going to have to get in the ass of my publishers because they're supposed to have a publicity plan for my books, but they've been lagging. So it's time for the caustic call.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Gray skies in Miami...

I just landed in Miami for my company's annual Iconosphere conference. For those of you who don't know, for the past year, I've been a senior director for Iconoculture. Iconoculture ID's consumer trends, and we're damn good at what we do. Iconosphere is a conference where we invite clients to hear our latest insights and I must say that I'm always amazed at what I learn. I'm doing a presentation, but I just watched one on eco clothing and it made me want to start a label.

Anyway, the skies are gray, but no hurricane in the offing. I'm on PST time right now, so I might get some writing in before the clients come in tomorrow.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Blood Diamond

Just watched Blood Diamond on HBO, and I swear it made me go into my son's room and thank God he won't have that experience. As a little black boy in this country, I know the terrors he has to navigate, and most of it revolves around the abnormal closeness of death in my community. It's what every black father at his Catholic school and his martial arts school talk about. Getting them through childhood unhurt. My job is to prepare him for those possible experiences and make sure he doesn't fall victim to it. But the pure terror in Sierra Leone is just hard to imagine. When I was in Ghana, I talked to an African American woman who'd lived in Liberia during their civil war, and she was just as calm about the situation. But it's a damn shame that war is such a constant presence on the continent. Away, I'm rambling because I haven't slept.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

On a roll...

My son Langston is on a roll. He just got his progress report and everything is outstanding. From religion (no thanks to this lapsed Catholic) to math, he's knocking everything out. And he's also been excelling at his martial arts class. He goes three times a week and this is not some suburban style kids class. This is hardcore inner city martial arts and he's been putting in a great effort. He sparred today and fought some really great matches.

Okay, tonight I'll write a bit on my Black College Days novel. It's 1am and I'm tired, but I'll see if I can write about one thousand words. My chapters tend to be around 3000 words each (I don't know why, I think it goes back to when I wrote feature articles for Rap Sheet and those would be around 3K), so this will finish the first chapter.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Busy Week...

We're prepping for our big confab for Iconoculture, so I've been working on that mostly. Decided to kill some of the dead links on the blog. Also, I have lecture dates and appearances coming up, so I updated those.

Decided to update the progress bars of the scripts and novels I'm working on. You can check out their titles.

I'll write more later.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Second Act...

I was writing the vomit draft, got to the second act and got stuck. And I'm glad I did because my second act was beginning to suck. Like most folks, my first act tends to be well thought out and my second act less so. But the second act is the entree to the first act's appetizer. The second act is the meat of the story and if you don't have a solid second act, really what do you have? So I stopped and reexamined my second act to make the conflicts stronger, more drastic and I think I've made my characters make harder decisions. So even though I have to go back thirty pages, I think it's for the better.

Speaking of meat, I watched Fast Food Nation and I swear, it's made me think twice about eating meat. But the movie itself was a bore to me. It was all over the place trying to tell too many stories.

Sunday, September 30, 2007


I'm continuing to vomit out my script pages. Right now, I'm in the middle of the second act of my sports script. For some reason, I have the Black Dahlia on television. Don't know what that means. Anyway, I'm going to see if I can write ten more pages before going to sleep.

Served nachos at my kid's school last Friday. Fun as hell. The principal learned that I wrote books and so I got the obligatory 'how can I write one' question. But she's so sweet, I'm thinking about offering a basic class on becoming an author, but only if it will kill some of my Catholic school community service hours for the year.

Okay, back to the script.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Vomit Draft...

The best thing film school did was completely erase the notion that writing a script was simply about getting a draft complete, spell checked, and then sent out to be read. It's almost ridiculous to even think a first draft can be anywhere near ready, but most film school students think in that manner, mainly because of what I call the brilliance factor. If you get into a top film school over other applicants, you like to think of yourself as being pretty brilliant. Well, you ain't. And if you don't know that, you'll send out crap that shouldn't be read by your significant other, not to mention someone who will judge you.

That all said, I hadn't been inspired to write much lately. Yeah, I started work on my book proposal, but that's more drudge work than anything. But then I thought about the very first script I started writing at UCLA. I sat down and thought about the story, adn suddenly it became completely clear. Where two years ago, the plot was so damn complicated that it didn't make sense, now I made it very simple and it works. Now I'm writing what I call, and probably others call, my vomit draft. I'm not worrying about whether things work, I'm just vomiting out scenes and dialogue. After I finish, I see what I have. It's like a crazy man babbling about something and someone transcribing everything being said. Maybe it'll make sense at the end or maybe not. But you have to get it out. So this is my sports script and with a few crucial changes, I think it works. I've written twenty pages and I'm going to keep flowing until I'm done. After that, I'll see if I can use this draft as the basis for my real script.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Money Shot is Pornolicious according to reviewers...

Here's a new review of Money Shot, which is officially in stores on Friday.

From Booklist
Although pornography is pretty mainstream nowadays, there's been little serious popular inquiry into it generally, less into its subgenres. Enter Ross with this investigation of blacks in American porn that, he warns, isn't the "sanitized version" but doesn't aim to titillate, either. Aside from describing the hydraulics of what happens onscreen in pornographic movies featuring black performers, Ross considers the broader implications of race in this form of entertainment. Early on "there weren't a lot of black men doing interracial; interracial was a fetish," says one industry vet, who cites Sean Michaels as one of the first prolific black smut actors. And race cuts differently for porn actors than for porn actresses, as Ross notes and discusses. Vitally augmented for the benefit of neophytes by a handy and lengthy "Porn Dictionary" of such terms as the book's title and fluffer (one may never again casually mention fluffing a pillow), this is essential for thoroughgoing pop-culture collections. Tribby, Mike

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Reading other scripts...

In film school, you read a lot of scripts. From other students, from movies that you admire, etc. But I'm not a natural script reader. I have to force myself to read, mainly because I've had to force myself to watch movies. But I've learned to really like movies, and sometimes reading script is fun. Right now, I'm reading a film school buddy's script and it's a delight. For one, I get out of my narcissistic need to work on my own stuff and give back a bit. Anyway, I read the first act and I could see the movie. That still amazes me. The script is written in a professional manner that allows me to imagine the movie. Still nothing like it. Anyway, that little bit of reading has now made me stay awake and get back to work on my latest script. Oh that narcissism.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Note about The Bestsellers...

We got a great note from one of the big time producers looking at The Bestsellers. He liked my writing, which is a blast to read. Not a buy, but not a pass either. We're going to get his notes, adjust the script, and then resubmit it to him.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

All dressed up...

Well, the BET pitch meeting was moved not once, but twice yesterday. The 3pm was moved to 5pm, which was then canceled. That was probably the best because I wasn't too thrilled about pitching at 5pm on a Friday. Not many enthusiastic brain cells left in most execs brains by that time. Anyway, we're supposed to pitch in about ten days, but who knows? We might just pitch it somewhere else in that time.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Feel Terrible...

Sorry Tim, but I got up today and felt absolutely terrible. Getting a bit better, but when the kid goes back to school, it's like sickness central. Anyway, writing a bit more on the sports book. Met with Ted Frank from NBC, and man, what a cool guy. Really supportive of African American writers. Money Shot shot up the Amazon rankings for some reason, and at one point was #7 on books about pornography. My mom will be proud. I will be speaking at my alma mater on October 10th as part Berkeley Distinguished Speakers series. That's pretty cool. Maybe Blondie's pizza will give me an honorary slice. Interview for Skin Game on Sunday with a Vancouver, WA radio station. Pitch meeting with BET tomorrow. More later...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

BET pitch postponed...

As you know, I'm pitching two shows to BET, and we were supposed to meet last Tuesday. Didn't happen. The exec got pulled out for another meeting, so we meet next week. I know I thought up these shows, but I have to say that they're exactly what BET needs. They're entertaining without being stereotypical or derogatory. Reginald Hudlin has BET moving in the right direction, but they still stub their toes when it comes to some shows. We'll see how they react to my shows.

I know I was supposed to start work on my non-fiction sports book proposal, but I haven't. This weekend, I'm going to knuckle down and knock it out, mainly because the focus of the book, which I can't say now, is continuing to happen over and over, and I know someone else is going to think of writing about it. I hate writing book proposals, and I can't wait until I get to the point where I can simply say I want to write about so and so, and folks just give the okay from there. But that day is not here now, so I need to not only sketch everything out, but also write a sample chapter. Sample chapters are always tricky because you haven't done any interviews. You're writing what you think will be said, just to give the editor a flavor for the book. But I need to get started.

I also need to get back to speed on Slaveryland, but I'm also wondering if I should write another book in the vein of Friends With Benefits/Skin Game. Those books are fun to write, a lot bit naughty, and are popular with black women readers. But they're not my main thrust. However, I believe in horses for courses, and so if my readers like those books, I need to keep the pipeline filled. I have an idea for a novel based on the experiences of some of my mates during our college years. Rich, lonely housewives in the Bay Area used to post summer jobs for young, poor Berkeley students. You'd clear a lot of brush, clean pools, break up concrete (that job sucked) for a few dollars. And sometimes, those housewives couldn't find their robes or clothes in some cases, when bringing you lunch. I think that can be a nice little novel. A little Desperate Housewives ish.

When we attended a wedding last month in the Bay Area, a lot of the women asked me if the characters in Friends With Benefits were based on real life. Nothing is ever exactly real, but I did base one character on a woman who attend the wedding. She has a bit of a freaky past, and it played nicely in the book. But it's not an exact match, so no one could ever point her out.

On the promotion front, I noted earlier that I'm not interested in doing a book tour this year. I hate book tours. They're time consuming, not very effective, and tiring. However, SKIN GAME is on the main page of Doubleday's Black Expressions book club, the nation's largest book club in the country, with about 600,000 members. So that's good. MONEY SHOT comes out later this month, so we'll see what happens there. I need to get my agent to put a fire in the asses of the publicists of Kensington and Thunder's Mouth. I like radio interviews, so we need to get those scheduled.

On the script front, I'm writing an original television pilot script called THE HOLY TRINITY. I'm halfway through, and next week, I meet with my mentor Ted Frank from NBC about it. I've thought about specking a series, but the problem is that I honestly haven't found a television show that I'm truly interested in. At first, I thought about doing a spec for the New Adventure of Old Christine, but after watching three eps, I just couldn't take it. CSI, the same. I think I'm more HBO oriented, so The Holy Trinity is written in that style. I'm going to show it to Ted first, but I'd ultimately like to shop it to HBO. Think Entourage meets the church.

What else? My doc is on hold until a meeting on September 27th. I'm still optimistic, but you just never know. I just finished paying for the biz license for my Afroboho production company. My little play brother MK Asante sent me an email talking about gaining funding for some indie projects, so I think we're going to work together on one script. So thangs are thangs.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Blog...

Hey all,

I'm thinking about shutting the blog down. One, I'm not sure how many people are actually reading the blog, and second, I'm not sure how interesting my life is to everyone out there. So do me a favor and let me know how often you read the blog. Do you find it interesting, useful, or just something to do? What do you like best and what do you like least? Depending on how many people answer and the answers themselves, I'll make a final decision later this month.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Finally Cooled Down...

Well, it's finally under 100 degrees, and I can think straight. I'm all over the place with my writing, so last week, I tried to figure out some sort of schedule. Unlike my time at UCLA, and the past nine months, I'm not going to keep myself to a hard schedule. I will instead classify my writing projects by their importance to either being sold (typically my novels and non-fiction books) and long term projects (scripts). In that vein, here are my projects (and just assume my regular Iconoculture work).


Sports non-fiction book proposal: As you may know, I hate writing book proposals, but you must. Right now, I'm sketching out what is to be in the book, and in the next two weeks, I'll start filling in the blanks for the proposal.

Slaveryland: I looked at my notes on Slaveryland, and was very surprised to see that I started this novel over two years ago. My editor is very excited about the completion of this novel, and so I need to sit back down and re-read it, and then complete it. I'm about 50,000 words in, but I remember not being satisfied with where it was going when I stopped. I was getting a bit confused with characters, so I need to go back and revisit them. I think I might just hit the Magic Johnson's Starbucks for a week and concentrate on this story. It's a really good story, and I think I can execute it well if I take my time.

The Dreaded Detective: I'm only about a third into it, and I'm thinking of doing two things with it. I intended on creating a hip hop detective series, which I think would go over well, but I'm also considering writing it as a script. My only issue when it comes to the detective series is that the black male reading market is much, much smaller than the black female reading market. And my fiction slots right into the black female reading market. Spending time on developing that detective market would be a risk, unless my publisher made a specific choice to cross me over. Good luck with that.

Tomorrow...Television and Film scripts...

Monday, September 03, 2007

On second thought...

"Once you stop the run it's going to be pretty much easy," Hefney said. "They can't do too much if we're stopping the run because we know they can only pass then. And we'll have people set up for that." Tennessee Volunteer safety, Johnathan Hefney before the Tennessee versus Cal game. Below is Jahvid "The Jet" Best running over Hefney as he unsuccessfully stops the Cal running game.

I may have said this before...

But it's hotter than three hoes in church in Los Angeles. I mean four in the morning hot. Kick it in your drawls all day hot. I just went to the store and bought the biggest bag of ice possible and now I'm sitting on it. We don't have air conditioning, and for the first time in two years, I'm lamenting selling our house. But I still pat my sweaty back for knowing the ole housing crisis would happen, so I'm not that regretful.

Anyway, my Cal Golden Bears showed Tennessee what West Coast football is all about, and so I'm happy. I love college football more than anything, so this Labor Day weekend has been great, plus Time Warner has the ESPN College Football game plan (which I had back with Directv in the house), so life is good.

But y'all, it's too hot to write a thing. So nothing on that front.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Who in the world did we f*ck over?

Okay, so we took a weekend trip to the Bay Area to go to a wedding. One of my wife's sorors, and one of my play little sisters, got married in a beautiful ceremony. You've never seen two newlyweds more happy. All was well.

We get back, and everything's going fine. Then yesterday, April's driving through the Fox Hills Mall and absolutely barrels into a parking lot pillar. I mean the front end is smashed. She's okay, not a scratch, but shaken. The body shop has the car, and they're about to figure out whether they can fix it. Thank god for State Farm.

Anyway, the running total for car stuff this summer: My Jeep: Window smashed, radio taken, window repaired, iPod stolen at the window repair shop, front window shield smashed at car wash.

April Jeep: Sideswiped while parked, knocking off plastic fender guard, smashed front end.

In eighteen years, we've had nary a scratch on our cars, and now it pours.

On the writing front, the Divine Nine update is now gone and Hallelujah for that. Now I can get back to writing. I'm going to try to stay ahead of my Iconoculture work, just to give myself a bit more time. So that means a few hours on the weekend.

I have a pitch before BET in two weeks. I'm working with a frat brother of mine, and he's an in-house producer at BET. We really, really vibe, and I think we'll work well together.

I'm going to clean up my progress bars, and focus the blog on my writing. The past six months were a cavalcade of projects. Now, I'm free to concentrate on what I want, at my own pace. I need to get my next two books (fiction and non-fiction book proposal) done in the next four weeks, but nothing happens if I don't get them in that fast. I'll take my time.

In the meantime, SKIN GAME is now shipping, and next month, MONEY SHOT will ship. So I'll do a bit of booksignings, but I'm not doing any huge tour. More likely, I'll do a radio tour from home, which I think is more effective anyway. I'll let you know my strat for that.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

The Best Meal Ever...

I'm going to make Shrimp Grits tonight, and I have to say it's my favorite meal by far. And the best shrimp and grits I've eaten are at Clemson University's campus restaurant. So good, I had the executive chef send me the recipe so I could make them myself. In my family, we'd say their slap your momma good.

Recipe: Portion size 1-2 people adjust quantity accordingly!

(Add in the following order)
1 oz Olive oil in a pan/ heat until sizzle
1 tsp garlic minced
1 tsp shallots minced
1/4 cup Cajun seasoned Tasso Ham (1/2 inch diced)
1 tsp scallions chopped
1 tbsp diced tomatoes
6-8 shrimp
Sauté until shrimp begins to change color
Deglaze with 1/4 cup sherry
Simmer for 1-2 mins
Add 1/3 cup heavy cream
Simmer the mixture to reduce the sauce
Sauce is ready when it has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon, and it have a slightly shiny appearance

Also, here's the link to my appearance in the Los Angeles Times:

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I'm back to Kajukenbo class, and I swear I haven't sweat so much since my mom said Michael Jackson was going to be my babysitter. Seriously, I lost two pounds during the workout. But I feel good and I'll be there three days a week. Going with whole fruits and vegetables, and rolling about 1500 calories a day, which surprisingly is keeping me quite full.

Nothing much else to blog about. Continuing to work on the Divine Nine update, which will be done on Friday. Other than that, pretty calm.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Very Interesting Weekend...

On Friday, I did an interview for this adult internet show run by Vanessa Blue and Kaylani Cream, two subjects in Money Shot. Very interesting, but a pretty good discussion about some of the findings I made studying their industry. They couldn't have been nicer. BTW, want to find incentive to make it to the gym? See yourself on a monitor.

So the next day, 45 minutes on the lifecycle. Felt real good. Today, I took pictures for the LA Times article. I think it will come out on Thursday or Friday in the Weekend Calendar section. I'm one of four people they profiled, and we're on the cover. Hopefully, my pictures aren't Glamour shotish. Cool experience all the way though.

Finished another part of my Divine Nine update, and I''m that much closer to finishing. This week, I'm done.

I was in the weeds with stuff to do at Iconoculture, but I feel better now. Going to the Bay Area for a wedding next weekend, and then after that, COLLEGE FOOTBALL! Oh, Manchester United is f*cking up.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Finishing Update...

Alright, I'm close to finishing my Divine Nine update. And I take a pix for the LA Times article on Sunday. Cool couple of guys from the Times interviewed me on Friday. Oh, as my list of car calamities grow, before the interview I went to one of those self serve car washes at a Shell station. After the car washed, I let the blower dry it off. There's a big rubber thing that hangs over everything, and as you drive through, it rolls over your car. Well, this thing smashed into my windshield and shattered it. What a wonderful start to the weekend.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

In the Los Angeles Times...

Hey all,

I've been asked to be in a Los Angeles Times article on things to do in Inglewood and the surrounding areas. That's pretty cool, so I'll let you know when it happens.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


The Bestsellers, the clean and corrected version, is now in the hands of a big time producer. We'll see where it goes, but for now, all you can do is wait.

I'm rapidly trying to finish the Divine Nine update this week. Once that's done, I have no deadlines. Looks like I'll be done by the 22nd.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


Just got back from Vegas, and I've got to say that I've never been impressed with Vegas. I'm not a gambler, don't really like going to clubs anymore (with their ten dollar Heinekens) and I just don't get a thrill while there. Honestly, as soon as I get there, I want to leave. Maybe I just need to go with a bunch of my boys, get mad drunk, and then see what I think, but I think that was a decade ago. Now, I'd much rather wrestle with my son to start the day.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

I'm Back...

Ah, a week vacation. I swear, you can't beat it. The wife's feet are getting better, but I was still Mr. Mom for the week. We have another week of this, and then she's back on her feet and spending cash. Now, to the writing front...

I'm cool with articles for Iconoculture, and the week off has done wonders for me. I was like a computer that needed to be defraged over the past three weeks. My hard drive was slow and stuttering. But now, I'm ready to go.

Ben has sent my The Bestsellers out to a producer, and it's going up the ladder. Story editor first, and now to one of the producers. So far, so good. I'm guess that it was given a second read over the weekend. We're in the waiting to see period. But hey, you've got to get out there some time, so time to see how the script is received.

This week, I MUST finish the Divine Nine update. It's more than two months over due, and I've never been so behind. But I need to get this millstone from around my neck and simply get it done. I have to say, Kensington has been pretty good about this. But time to just roll with it.

Started work on the Woman of God Script, but changed the name. I'm not thinking too much about the script, just writing a first draft to see where it goes.

Also, I decided to work on a one-hour television drama script about the black church. I can see it being on HBO, rather than network television. I'm gonna buy Alex Epstein's Crafty Television book since we didn't do a lot (read, almost nothing) of television writing at UCLA. The pilot I wrote for the USC student was a'right, but definitely not my best work. More like throwing darts at the page and hoping it all tied together. But I like this story and the characters, more than that story. A lot of it harkens back to my grandfather and my grand uncle who both led churches in the 70s. Lots of draaaaaama with them, and I think my modern story will be very interesting.

This week is also pitch week. BET, and then tying up loose ends with TV-One, and then tightening a one-sheet for Arthur Smith's production company. At the end of the week, I'm driving to Vegas to go to the National Association of Black Journalists convention.

The Crips books is on hold. Manie says that my subject has fired a manager, so we're waiting to see how this shakes out. More than likely, if I do write it, it'll start around September, which is cool by me.

For the next few weeks, I need to set up my book signings/Divine Nine lectures, and publicity, for MONEY SHOT and SKIN GAME. Kemp, I haven't forgotten about you. I'll email you tomorrow. I always have the philosophy that your publisher's not going to do anything (not true, but helps get you in the right mindset) so I'm going to do everything to get the word out about the books. Also, I'm going to move from signings at bookstores, so to First Fridays style signings with drinks. Standing behind the podium can be mindnumbing for both the author and readers. I'll be doing one in the Inland Empire and then one in LA in October.

Workout: Did Kajukenbo last week. Damn near passed out. But it was fun as hell, and I'll definitely get in shape this way. BTW, Langston passed his test and moved from white belt to yellow belt. I was sooooo proud. He did a great job. Now he wants to get his orange. I need to step up.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Old School Favorite...

While I like all of the cinematic classics, Raging Bull, The Godfather, etc. I firmly believe that you must remember where you come from. And where I come from, this man was a star. He was the first Kung Fu/rapping/comedian/action star/indie filmmaker, in the world. And watching his movies is like taking a trip through my 1970s LA childhood. Here's a clip to explain who he is, because I couldn't do him justice.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Taking the week off...

Been working for Iconoculture for almost a full year now, and I'm going to take my first vacation. Found my brain slowing down a bit over the past three weeks, and so I thought it was time. Plus, the wifey just had foot surgery on both feet, so she's down and out for about a week or so.

On the writing front, the Crips founder book may be a no go. Complications with the contract means that we might have come to an impasse. Too bad, because I think I could have done a great job with it.

THE BESTSELLERS is finally done. Now, only a polish is required, and then it's time to be sent out.

I'm overdue with my Divine Nine update. Next week will be devoted to getting it done.

Went to my martial arts class on Wednesday and have been sore for three days straight. But if I keep it up, and stick to a sensible food plan, I'll lose ten pounds this month, easy.

Right now, I'm setting up my production company for film and television projects. I've decided against the RudeBoyFilmWorks name (still have it, but not going to use it) for AfroBoHo. I just like the sound of it, plus it describes the general themes of my film and television projects.

Speaking of film and television, I have a pitch meeting with BET. We were supposed to meet today, but got our wires crossed. Looks like Monday is the day. Have to say that the BET LA office is pretty nice, and only five minutes away from me.

My TV-One documentary on black fraternities and sororities has hit a snag, but according to my advisors, it's not something that should prevent the production of the doc, as long as it's crafted right.

Didn't get a sponsorship I wanted for my Fall SKIN GAME/MONEY SHOT book tour. So that's a bummer. However, I'm going to sketch out my pub strategy. One transition is that my Money Shot publisher has been absorbed by the larger main company, Perseus. My editor was laid off, so the publicist has just gotten back to me. From my friend at Vibe, I know that galleys for Money Shot have been sent out, because he read one, but I haven't seen a thing. I received both galleys and real copies of SKIN GAME.

So look for more posts in the coming week. I'll be well rested.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

My Weekus Horriblus...

Had a great July 4th and weekend. Check the bank account on that Monday, you know, just too see if checks cleared. Hey...what the hell? Why are there three maximum transactions and a BIG point of purchase transaction from some perfume shop? Ask the wife. Nothing, especially since one of the last transactions is taking place while were both in our house. Sooo,we find out that someone has taken her ATM card, and has tried to ransack our account. Four days worth. Bad start for the week. Change of bank accounts, ten days to get our money back, yada, yada, yada.

Skip to this week. Yesterday, I go outside and find the drivers side window to my Jeep smashed. Glass all over. Stereo? Gone. Smoke coming from my ears. Take the Jeep to the window place, a place I patronize because it's in the hood and I like patronizing hood businesses. Window fixed, go to stereo shop for new sounds. Alpine all ready to go, where's the iPod the tech asks? In the glove compartment, I say. No, it ain't, he says. Go back to the glove compartment, nada. Window guy stole my iPod. Cherry on shit sandwich day. Auto insurance doesn't cover stereo by the way. Renters insurance does, but high deduct.

Just another week in LA...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Writing Fatigue...

I don't know about you, but from time to time, my brain just shuts down. I call it writers fatigue, and I had it for the past couple of days. So, I decided to go to bed early, wake up late, and I feel absolutely refreshed. What's on the menu?

1. Knocked out some really good calls for the job. Have a new senior editor, and he's really sharpened my writing. Getting back to writing with a true voice. Actually made my work a bit easier.

2. Doc issues. I'll talk about that later, but I have a slight problem. But the key to remembers, filmmakers have a nice set of rights too.

3. Divine Nine update continues to trudge on.

4. Gave myself a week off from The Bestsellers, but I'm going to get at it tonight and through the weekend. The key word for my characters: choices. more choices. Also, I changed up a few things with my protagonist, making her go through a divorce while going on the book tour. That should put some pressure on her from all angles.

5. Waiting to do the book on the former Crips member. Slight issue with the contract, but those things happen. Still looking forward to working with him.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Graduation Pix...

Just realized I never posted a pix of graduation. Here you go:

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Getting stuff done...

Finished sending out permissions for Divine Nine doc.
Almost done with proposal for Skin Game/Money Shot book tour.
I have Icono work to do before noon tomorrow, and then a ton of stuff for the upcoming week.
Ben has sent me notes for THE BESTSELLERS, but I haven't gotten to them yet. I'll start reading them tomorrow and then make changes either tomorrow night or Monday morning.

Feeling pretty relaxed. Might go skating around UCLA on Monday morning.

Monday, July 02, 2007


Next week, I'm going to join my son and start taking Kajukenbo lessons. For those of you not in the know, Kajukenbo is a mixture of karate, judo/jujitsu, kenpo and Kung Fu/Chinese Boxing. One, I like the diversion. And two, I can use it to get in shape. But three, I've got to make sure I don't get f*ed up. This is real deal martial arts, and broken jaws affects my speaking engagements, so I'm getting the best head gear possible.

On the writing front, I'm close to finishing the Divine Nine update; we're about two weeks away from finishing THE BESTSELLERS, and in a sec, I'll start work on the Batman book. But this week, I've got a lot of Iconoculture to do. I'm going to try to knock it out tomorrow, so I can cruise into the 4th.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Publishers Weekly Review of Money Shot

Money Shot: Wild Days and Lonely Nights Inside the Black Porn Industry
Lawrence C. Ross Jr. Thunder's Mouth, $15.99 paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-56025-913-8

In this intriguing account, Ross offers closeups on the lives and dreams of black porn actors. Combining interviews with personal observations and some theoretical gloss, Ross travels to the San Fernando Valley (center of the porn industry), an Adult Entertainment Expo in Vegas and a swinger's party in Oakland. The African-American niche commands about 10% of the multibillion-dollar porn market, and performers with names like Lexington Steele, Sinnamon Love and Sledge Hammer discuss their schemes to carve out a piece of it (as with the mainstream movie business, many actors hope to produce and direct). Ross gets good interviews and his straightforward prose suits the material: “Just like hog butchers who use every part of the pig 'from the rooter to the tooter,' porn exploits every part of the body to make a profit.” The most graphic and disturbing episode is that of a female performer who prides herself on not doing anal (“I think I'm too cute for that”) but then allows herself to be beaten and humiliated in a scene by white men. There are many subgenres, writes Ross, but “white men overtly degrading black women are some of the most popular.” (Oct.)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Week one of the old lifestyle change went horribly average. Gained about four pounds, and did not an iota of exercise. Been feeling sluggish all the way around. I've really got to watch that because not being in school means not walking around campus. And that means less exercise each day. SOOOOOO... I've just got to take my ass to the gym at 7am. Do one hour of Lifecycle. After July 4th, I don't have any eating holidays until Thanksgiving, so I have a real chance to drop weight. May even experiment with going veggie for the rest of the summer.

On the writing front, need to finish the Divine Nine update and start the Crips book. Finished the sixth draft of The Bestsellers, and now Ben is reading it. Hopefully it's cool because I think I've done all I can with it. Still needs to be cleaned up, but yikes, I'm at my wits end with it.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Stepping back...

Okay, I made the changes in the first act, and I love them. This is rewrite #5 for THE BESTSELLERS, and man, I really do like my first act. But this second act, you know, where the magic happens, is really fucking with me. So what to do? Plough ahead and hope things work out? Be satisfied with what I have and just hope it works out in the end? Nope, I'm just going to relax. I'm going to spend all night writing Icono articles, and take my mind off of the script. After that, I'm going to think about my characters. I'll listen to music that I think would be appropriate for the film. But most importantly, I'll think about one question: What is the script really about. And by Monday, I will send Ben a script that I like. I'm close, but it's not there yet. I'll get it there.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Bestsellers...

This week, I'm going to finish the sixth rewrite of THE BESTSELLERS. The idea is to send it to my boy Ben on Wednesday for more notes. After that, I'm going to do something I heard Al Pacino talk about on Larry King. He would have actors read his script and tape it, so he could visualize the film. That's what I'm going to do. Listen for the flaws in dialogue, description, and format. After that, I'll clean up everything, send it to my professor Tim, Ben, and a couple of other people to get a verdict. If they give the okay, then I'm going to send it to two agents who want to read it. I'll let you know what they say.

Weight Loss...for real....

All right, now that school is done, I have no more excuses. Time to get my ass in shape. So I'm going back to the whole change the diet and exercise. Watched Celebrity Fit Club, didn't really follow it this year, and besides deciding that I would kick Dustin Diamond's ass if I were on his team, I looked at Warren G and realized that his pre-weight loss weight and height are approx to me. I'm 6'1 and rolling 222lbs. Only dif is that Warren is two inches taller. So...

I'm going to start on Monday. The goal: lose 32lbs in 90 days, just like Celebrity Fit Club. That will get me to 190lbs, which I haven't seen in nearly a decade. So here we go again: My target weight loss for the next weigh in: 5 lbs.

Saturday, June 16, 2007


Ah, the cap and gown have been worn. The speeches have been given. The pictures taken. The food and drink eaten (damn good chocolate chip cookies TFT!). And now, I'm done, chilling on my couch, listening to Amy Winehouse's Rehab for the tenth time, and thinking of chilling tomorrow as I split time between watching 24 Hours of LeMans and the US Fucking Too Fucking (Sorry David)Hard Open. I'm done, and boy is my brain happy. Now, I have a ton of writing to get to beginning next week, but suddenly, I have a lot of time.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Today is Graduation Day....

So it's finally here. Graduation day. I can really say that I had a wonderful time at the UCLA film school, and I wouldn't trade it for the world. Okay, maybe for a five picture deal, but that's pretty self-evident. Now, I will drink a lot and try not to bake in the sun.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

One down...

Showcase was last night, and I had a great time. It was nice to see my friend David Whelan get read on stage. Like all of my friends, he's a really cool and funny guy. As for the program itself, it wasn't as tight as I remembered it in the past. One, we had a nice turnout, but the place wasn't full, and I seem to remember it being full the past two years. There were some glitches with the video presentations. None of this was big, but they're things that I noticed. Anyway, a great time was had by all. Oh, and I got to talk to Felicia Henderson, the sister who exec prod. and wrote for Soul Food and a bunch of other shows. She's mad cool and has the career I'd like to emulate. I'm going to interview her for The Divine Nine update and hopefully get a word of advice about moving forward.

Speaking of that, I'm working on my paper right now. Hopefully, by the end of the night, I'll be done. After that, the only thing I have left to do is turn in a signature form, pick up my cap and gown, and wait for graduation on Friday.

My weekend will consist of me lying on my ass, watching high speed cars drive around in the 24 Hours of LeMans. Because you know that in my alternative life, I'm an international race car driver who speaks French, appears in movies for five minute cameos that are acclaimed as brilliant, all the while being the most lauded humanitarian in the world.

Or I'm just a writer with another deadline over the horizon.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


I hope I'm not turning into those once a week bloggers! I've got to start picking it up. So this week...

We were getting the winning and honorable mention scripts to our judges, and I forgot to include the thank you letter. It was right there on my computer desktop, but I forgot to include it. That is a major faux pas, and I'm pissed that I made it. This contest producer job really took way too much of my time, and the last thing I need is an unenjoyable Showcase because I have to deal with angry judges. So I'll call them all on Monday and hopefully they'll be understanding.

This Friday, I took a quick trip to the Berkeley (I was there and back by noon) where I completed a nice order of HoodieTees. We're now going to be in Rasputin's and a bunch of other stores in the Bay. The guy who owns the store is MAD COOL, and I appreciated the order.

As for writing, I'm doing Icono stuff tonight. I have a twenty pager due this week, and I'm going to try to get it done tomorrow. I have the Showcase on Monday night. On Friday, I graduate.

I'm going to continue working on THE BESTSELLERS this week, and hopefully get it tight for a final rewrite during the week of the 17th.

I'm still finishing my DIVINE NINE update, so the faster I do that, the more time I'll have by the end of June.

UPCOMING SUMMER WRITING PROJECTS (in no particular order):

1. Ghostwriting a memoir about a founding Crip gang member
2. Working on a rewrite of SECRETS & LIVES
3. Finishing SLAVERYLAND
4. Working on the TV-ONE doc development deal stuff
5. Finishing new sports book proposal
6. Start a new script.
7. Keep working on THE DREADED DETECTIVE

No grad school means more time for everything. So no worries about overwork. Except for the doc and Secrets & Lives, and the gang book, I'm under no pressing deadlines. So I'm as relaxed as I've been in two years.

Hopefully, I'll post mid week.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Home Stretch...

I have two Icono calls this week, and a twenty page paper at the end of the week. It's my last paper I'll ever write in school. On June 7th, the school is having an award breakfast, and I'll be there. I have to fly up to the Bay Area to deliver some HoodieTees to a store up there. I'm going through THE BESTSELLERS for another rewrite via the notes I received from Ben, and I'm finishing the Divine Nine update. We have the Screenwriters Showcase on the 11th, and then graduation on the 15th. After that, I will chill for about two weeks, doing nothing. I will reacquaint myself with my golf clubs, which have stared at me for two years. Vacation for at least one whole week.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Time to declutter...

We've lived in this apartment for just under two years, and boy can you start collecting stuff. But now, it's starting to get on my nerve. So I'm going to starting working to declutter. Goodwill donations, tossing other things, etc. are on the agenda.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Finished my rewrite...

I finished part one of my rewrite of THE BESTSELLERS. I started at page one and completely tore it apart. What's funny is that it SO doesn't resemble the first draft I wrote in my 434. When I read that draft, it's almost like I was trying to not make the script work. I had reality show elements, gimmicks like chaining the two protags together, yada yada. All of that was completely unnecessary to the story I wanted to tell, which was two women who learn and grow while on the road.

I've been writing full time since 1995, and I've always been able to recognize a piece of writing that was valuable. Whether it is a magazine article, or a book idea, or something else, I recognize that this is the script that will accomplish post film school goal number one: get representation. Yes, I think this script should be produced, but who knows if someone is interested in my spec. That said, like my boy in Layer Cake says, create a plan and stick to it. My plan is to send this script out on June 18th to two of my contacts. We'll see their reaction.

In the meantime, I'm going to let my brain rest for about a week. Then, I will go back through the second and third acts and clean up formatting, dialogue, mistakes, typos, etc. Then I'll let me brain relax again and then tackle it again.

In the meantime, tonight I'm writing my observation articles for Iconoculture, completing a brief article on Mixed Martial Arts and inner city youth for Icono, and then prepping for a late week advisory call.

Also, I'm completing a very nice sized order for A Berkeley t-shirt store has ordered a bunch of t-shirts and the owner is mad cool. A few more like his and I may be able to fund a film project or two during the summer.

Lastly, I'm going to start my next book proposal, and then complete Divine Nine update. I have a very special and famous person doing the forward to my update, and I can't tell you how grateful I am. She's just the best.

I'm just starting to plot out my fall book tour. It'll be a mix of Divine Nine lectures, Money Shot lectures, and regular book signings. With Skin Game and Money Shot coming out a month a part, I may just wait until October to start my tour. I have our cool Iconosphere convention in Miami, so I have to schedule around that, but with school done, I will have a lot more time.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Ah man...

Michael Jordan used to say that when he was in a rhythm, the basket looked huge and he couldn't miss. Well, I ain't Michael Jordan, but I am in a complete flow with my rewrite of THE BESTSELLERS. For the first time in two years, I know that my script is reading like a film. I'm not hitting plot points just for the hell of plot points, because I know my characters, and the character objectives and actions are driving the story. No other script I've written has flowed like this. I'm on page 62, and I'm quite sure that this script will come in around 110 pages. The last two scripts, I was gutting my scripts TOO much, and losing a lot. I think 110 is the right length.

I think working on the never ending Showcase rested my brain, and allowed the characters to introduce themselves to subconscious. I had enough time to hear their voices, figure out how they'd interact, and why they were in this universe in the first place. So when I sat down to write them, I could look at my first draft and understand where things went to hell.

I'm betting that I get to the end of the second act tonight, and not because I have to, but because I feel like it. And that's a great feeling.

About twenty days til graduation.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Honey's Kettle Fried Chicken...

I grew up in Inglewood, hence the title of this blog. And way back in the day, there was this little fried chicken franchise called Golden Bird. It was a batter fried concept sort of like another chicken shack called Pioneer. But Golden Bird was special because it was black owned, at least that's what my family told. Anyway, Golden Bird has gone the way of the dodo, but there is this guy who used to run one, and now he has opened his own chicken place. It's in Culver City and it's called Honey's Kettle Fried Chicken.

Now, I've had a taste for Golden Bird, so I decided to take a trip to Culver City to try his chicken. Here are a few things to note:

1. When you go to an ethnic restaurant, and you don't see any ethnics, turn around and leave. Seriously. I walked into Honey's and there wasn't a black person in sight. That is not a good sign. It's okay to have a mix of folks, but if you go into a Mexican food restaurant, and Mexicans are buying, you've to think this might be a bit suspect.

2. I look at the menu and I notice something else. The prices. Now I'm sympathetic to black businesses having higher prices, mainly because we pay higher rates, get less financing, etc. But these prices were HIGH. But I bought it anyway.

3. The wait. Now the restaurant looks great, but they were obviously down two staff. That explains why it took twenty minutes to get a three piece. TWENTY MINUTES. It was three piece of chicken. Six minutes per chicken. The chicken was just sitting there, waiting to be placed in the paper basket.

4. Finally, I ordered a peach pie which looked better than it actually was.

The verdict on the chicken? It was good, but not great. Tasted just like Golden Bird, but maybe that was the problem. What my taste buds liked at ten is different than today. Maybe you can't go back home again.

Friday, May 18, 2007


I'll announce the Showcase scores this evening, and that's going to be funny. It's always nice to see people happy about their writing. On Monday, I'm going to spend the day visiting all of the judges who helped us. Our showcase judges were absolute troopers.

Now, I can get back to writing. The Divine Nine update is in a month, and I need to finish the page edit for Money Shot. In fact, that's overdue. The Showcase pretty much took me out of my regular work. I'm itching to write.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

This week...

Alright, a bunch o' stuff.

1. The Showcase contest is in its death throes. I'm just waiting for the final score sheets which should be in on Wednesday. After that, it's meet with the producers, have them go over the sheets and my inputs, calculate the winners and honorable mentions, and then announce on Thursday or Friday. Did I mention that we're three weeks from graduation?

2. I have to write a paper for my crit studies course. It will be the last paper I ever write in college, so it better be good.

3. Still waiting on my check for my Divine Nine update. The way it looks now, I'll receive my front end check right when the back end is due. C'est la vie.

4. Oh, big news. The imprint Thunder's Mouth, which is publishing my non-fiction Money Shot, is being dissolved by the parent publisher Perseus. On the surface, it doesn't have an affect on my book, since Perseus says that it will publish all of Thunder's Mouth fall books (mine). But I do feel sad that it looks like my editor Anita Diggs will lose her job. I'm not sure if she's going to take another position with the company, so I need to give her a call.

5. Doing a re-write of The Bestsellers. Killed a lot of gimmicky things in the scripts, like a reality show angle, and made it more into a women bonding script. I like it. Been watching Capote and The Devil in... for structure, character development. Writing scripts without vomiting them in a 434 is kind of nice. Your brain relaxes if you know where the story is going, versus having to pound it out as fast as you can.

6. Did I mention that I will sing Hallelujah when the Showcase is over?

7. As for the diet, still the best damn diet on earth. Eating about 1500-1750 calories a day and dropping about two pounds a week without moving an inch. If I could only get to the gym, I would be amazing.

8. Took the wifey and son to Aunt Kizzy's for Mother's Day brunch. Met Lou Gossett, who engaged Langston for a bit of banter. If Lou had been wearing a Fairly Odd Parents hat, Langston would have been excited, but he wasn't. April and I were thrilled, although I wish I would have had the guts to have accompanied him to the Aunt Kizzy buffet, where when the server asked him what he wanted, I would have jump up and said, "Grits DUMMY!"

More later.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Being Contest Producer...

for the UCLA Screenwriters Showcase sucks big time. I have judges on their way to Cannes, dealing with pilots, upfronts, moving offices and turning off their phones, etc. and they all have to be found in order to get their scores. We're a week overdue, and I've been working at this for ten straight days. I can't wait until this is over and done with. Three weeks until graduation.

Monday, May 07, 2007

What's Up...

April and I took Langston to UCLA so that he could learn how to roller skate. Yeah, I know he's eight and normally this would have happened years before, but when you're mostly an urban family living on a street where people like to drive 70 mph in a 35 mph zone, well, you don't tend to take the kid out to skate out there. Plus, for two years I've been doing nothing but writing and then fitting in everyone else in the few down times, so as I rolling into my final four weeks, I'm now getting back to normal. Or what passes for normal for me. Anyway, skating was fun. I got to test out my new inlines, and no one broke any bones. After that was a trip to Farmers Market where Langston and I scarfed down a Po Boy, and April rolled a Johnny Rockets hamburger.

Speaking of food, still loving this diet, but it's time for me to get on the exercise bike. Lost six pounds, and cheated once with some Popeyes fried chicken (and it wasn't good), and so I'm back on the caloric count. As we rolled through the Farmers Market, I felt nice and light, but the storefront reflection still said, get my ass to the gym.

Oh, and last week at Langston's martial arts school, they sparred. Sparring is always the best and watching these kids fight is not only fun, but instructive. For the most part, they don't get hurt, but some really have issues at home that manifests itself in sparring. At the last class, one eight or nine year old decided to roll his eyes at his grandmother, and was taken to task. He found himself on the mat with a kid who was good, but eye rolling kid seemed to be paralyzed by a sense that being wrong wouldn't allow him to fight back. And so he cried while the other kid pounded him. It was really a powerful demonstration about how karma can hold you back when you do wrong. And also, for this kid, it also demonstrated to him that the world doesn't stop pounding you just because you start crying. So you either have to man up or take the ass whipping. Personally, I vote for manning up.

As for writing, I've got a bunch of it. Divine Nine, a paper for my critical studies course, observations, three advisory briefs for work, and more work on the first act of THE BESTSELLERS. Ah, stuff to do.

Lastly, has really started to pick up. Two of my boys, David Whelan and Phil Guidry, are working with me now, so they'll be able to take over some of the things I do for the website. We're going to start doing some Saturday and Sunday programming. After that, we'll expand out.

Meeting with the USC producing student to see what happened with the pilot script I wrote over the past six months.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Manchester United...

are champs. You have to know me to understand how much joy that brings me.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

One more thing...

Been on a diet, cutting my caloric intake to around 1500 per day. Let me say this as clearly as possible: THIS IS THE GREATEST DIET EVER. I'm eating more food now than I ever did eating horribly. In two weeks, I've lost six pounds and haven't lifted a finger to exercise. Ya gotta love that. My secret? Watching all of my calories, eating Lean Cuisines, which taste great, and adding fruits and vegetables to my diet. Also, Lipton's diet Peach Ice Tea is the lick, Dasani water, and Breyers Rocky Road ice cream bars at 180 calories per are a God send. Bought some new skates and look to skate around UCLA this weekend. If I don't fall on my ass, I should burn off another 300 cals each time I skate. By graduation, I should be back to my real weight. What a diet!


I just realized that I hadn't been talking about writing for a bit on the blog. That's because I haven't done a bunch. I still have the Divine Nine update to do; Slaveryland to complete; a second draft of my script The Bestsellers to get to my boy Ben; and now I'm waiting to see what happens with a book deal my agent is working on. But so far, I'm just chilling. I did a few observation articles for Icono, and I have an advisory call tomorrow to prep for. BTW, I think I'm going to do all of my articles on Mondays. I'd like to kick it on the weekend, and knocking them out at the start of the week would allow me to focus on writing trends for the company.

So right now, I'm pretty much chilling. I hope that's okay. Five weeks until graduation.

Oh, one last thing. My contest producing gig for the Showcase ends next week. Yoo HOO!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Nobody Knows Nothing...

I was thinking about the fact that I have five more weeks left at UCLA. It was a twenty four large investment that came out of my pocket, and I don't think I could have made a better choice. But as I sit here pondering the second act of a rewrite, I have the feeling that in the end, nobody knows nothing.

When you walk into film school, you tend to feel that you don't know anything, but your brain is ready to take things in. And you do. You take in theories, processes, methods, examples, criticisms, peer reviews, workshops, and suggestions, and hope that you can make something out of all this. And then you think you do, so you feel a bit superior. The tools are in your brain, so you feel like you've got a handle on things. So it's full speed ahead, toward writing that great script. But then, as you work on making things work, you realize that none of all these classes can make that script work. You've got to internalize the tools and then recognize for yourself, the best way to write the best script possible.

That takes a balls and ovaries, and a bunch of self confidence. Part of what makes a good script will be luck, perseverance, skill, more luck, and commitment. And now, five weeks from graduation, with a fresh MFA degree, it's sort of pleasant to know that no matter what, it's still all in my hands despite the fact that nobody knows nothing.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Festival of Books...

Tomorrow, I will be exhibiting at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, so if you're in the area, feel free to stop by. I almost didn't have power for my display, which would have meant my money was wasted. But after many an angry call, a few kind words on my behalf, and my belief that "yes" exists somewhere for everything, it just takes someone to find it, I was able to overcome a whole bunch of "no's". So I'll be out there at 6am. Check you later at!

Saturday, April 21, 2007


I had a great conversation with my editor at Kensington, Selena James. We were talking about my updated Divine Nine, but I also floated SLAVERYLAND by her. She loved it. So that's a good sign. I didn't write as much this week as I planned, but c'est la vie. Sometimes it goes like that. I'll write more this week.

Friday, April 20, 2007

New Logo...

My boy MK Asante, who is rapidly finishing his first book, did me a favor and put my logo on the website. I have a guy named Dan who actually designed the logo, and I've always liked it. He had to change it so that it reflected my new filmworks versus media, but I think it works. My philosophy: find good people and then stick with them for all of your projects.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


I'd registered some of my domains at instead of godaddy, so when a few of them lapsed, I didn't notice. Well, one of them was the domain for the production company I'm setting up post graduation. I was pretty, pretty pissed. So instead of RudeBoyMedia, my production company will be named RudeBoyFilmWorks. I registered that domain, and my accountant/lawyer will incorporate it next month.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Stuff to do...

Final stuff for my two books. For the non-fiction, I'm waiting for my subjects to send in their permissions. That is frustrating. I'm hoping my editor gives me a further extension to Monday. And then lastly, I received proofs for my fiction manuscript. If I see any issues, I have to fax them those corrections by April 27.

BTW, what happened at VT was just terrible. I've been to that campus four times over the past seven years. Two times, I lectured on the Divine Nine, once I was there for a conference, and the third time, I kicked it with Nikki Giovanni and her family, as I profiled her for my second book, The Ways of Black Folks. If there's a nicer, stronger person in the world than Nikki, I don't know her. Anyway, she gave the powerful speech at the convocation today and I was just awed. She is a master writer.

Day one of the diet went well. I decided to go about it differently. This time, I'm counting calories. If I eat about 2880 calories a day, then I'll maintain my weight. I ate only 1300 calories today and I felt stuffed. It was WHAT I ate that made the difference. Bought some inline skates to get some different exercise. That'll burn another 200 calories a day. We'll see how this works out.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Getting in Shape...

With most of my deadlines gone, I have no excuse for not getting in shape. The belly is swelly, and although I pride myself for having written five books lying on the couch, it ain't the most health way to stay in shape. So yeah, I know I've talked about staying in shape before, but now I'm doing it. I'm going to drop twenty pounds by June 15th so that my graduation pictures look good. It worked when I was losing weight for my birthday a year ago, so why not now. That will get me to 205lbs. Being 6'1, and 225lbs, stretches the "looking good in your clothes" delusion. So tomorrow it is. No more 7-up cakes, Phillips barbecue, Papa Johns pizza, Snicker bars, Fanta orange soda, and pollyseeds. 500 crunches and 500 pushups a day. Six small meals a day to get the metabolism up. Cut carbs and fat. Maybe even run around the block to get the day started. I am going to get some inline skates. I'll skate around the Federal building just so I don't fall on my fool head.

Project: Slaveryland

This week, I'm going to concentrate on finishing one of two fiction projects that have been hanging around. I started SLAVERYLAND two years ago, and stopped writing it when I started UCLA. But I really like the story and I think it's time to put it back on the front burner.

So this week, I'm going to see if I can knock out an average of 1000 words per day. Right now, I'm at 33,000 words, and the first thing I'll do is read through it and add as I go. The final target word count will probably be between 80,000 to 100,000 words.

This weekend...

Finished doing the copy edit for my non-fiction book. God bless my copy editor. She is good. Finished my observations.

My writing schedule is starting to make sense, and is taking some stress off. Although I didn't finish until about thirty minutes ago, it still feels good to know that I'll have time tomorrow to do my trends.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Mass Market...

Manie just told me that Friends With Benefit is now going mass market. That's pretty cool.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

My Writing Schedule...

I've been lagging on creating a new weekly writing schedule, but here it is:


I've been doing a lot of calls lately, and while I like to do them, I need to work with the client liaisons to make sure that my writing time is not taken. They're pretty good about it, but I need to set up some straight up writing time.

5-1am (minus Langston's martial arts):

I'm going to pull out these different projects:

SLAVERYLAND: Still @ 30,000 words. Fiction. I would love to get it done because it's really good.

THE YARDIES GO BOOM BOOM: Page one rewrite. It's not really important to get it done in the next ten weeks like a 434 script, but Tim's time is valuable so I want to get as much out of it as possible. I think it'll be about four drafts before it's ready. Maybe the end of the summer.

NEW NON-FICTION BOOK PROPOSAL: I will do this one at a leisurely pace. I hate writing book proposals in the first place, so I'm going to whittle this one over the next two months.

POSSIBLE MANIE PROJECT: I'll know on Friday if we're doing it. If so, then my weekends get busy.


No more than eight hours of work per day.


I have pledged to let none of this stress me out. I'm going to schedule everything, but I'm also going to relax and do other things. I'm buying some new skates tomorrow so I can get my exercise on. After that, I'm tossing my old mountain bike and getting a new one. De-stress through exercise and relaxation.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


I met with Tim Albaugh and he's going to guide me through my rewrite of The Yardies. Tim is cool because he give you the unvarnished truth about your shit. If your characters are flat (mine) then he tells you. If the second act is crap (mine) then he tells you. But more importantly, Tim is not only a writer, but also a producer. I've said this film school is divided between those who write scripts for contests and those who write to make films. There's big difference. Dave Johnson told me this last spring, and I took it straight to heart. From that point on, I stopped patting myself on the back on being a film student and started prepping to make writing scripts a revenue producing activity. Writing books produces revenue, and that's why I explore various topics in book form. Since last year, I've been working to make scripts the same thing.

Since we don't have an official rewrite course at the film school, I made one myself. It is very important that I understand what a script that is ready look like. Tim made a good suggestion. Find three people who you trust, folks without an agenda, and have them read your stuff. Then take or leave their suggestions. I'm going to do that. Folks who know what a good screenplay looks like, and will give honest opinions.

Speaking of writing...

I've got to turn in my copyedit for the non-fiction project, and then get the photos in by next week.

After that, I need to begin on my Divine Nine update. One other thing, my agent Manie Barron told me about a possible book project that has me pretty excited. I'll find out on Friday.

On Imus: proud to be a National Association of Black Journalist member. The NABJ was in front in putting pressure on MSNBC to get rid of Imus and his moldy act. When people tell me to get over stuff like Imus, or they use modifiers like "jerk" "idiot" etc, instead of saying that he is a racist, then I ask them to tell me what they think is the physical equivalent of racism. Rape? Assault? Stealing candy from the story? To me, racism is like having someone come into your house, slap your wife, and you can't do anything about it. And not only that, he keeps doing it and people who like him tell you that "oh, that just what he does". The powerlessness would piss you off, and then you'd try to react. That's what NABJ did. It reacted. No more slapping around our Rutgers sisters.

Friday, April 06, 2007

The Karate Kid...

So Langston has started a martial arts class, and we never miss it. One, it's run by a great family. And two, this is a world where little boys don't get a chance to test themselves via fighting (without the obligatory guns), and so you need controlled places where they gain the confidence to go into combat to protect themselves, but also the discipline to know when to walk away. So on each Thursday, the kids spar.

The kids spar, and they can be as young as four years old, or as old as teenagers. They wear protection, and they get used to being in the arena. Langston has taken four classes so far, so he was just getting used to spar. But yesterday, it all clicked. Yesterday, he won his first match, using the ole one, two, ball kick to surprise a kid who'd beaten him previously. What's wonderful about being eight is that when you lose to someone you've beaten before, you don't act like an adult and get all mad. Nope. You want to be friends. And that's what happened. Langston's opponent suddenly wanted to talk to Langston and Langston back at him. It's respect that comes from a real place versus one that is manufactured. It would be great if more of our little black boys had the opportunity to learn that. Perhaps they wouldn't look for it when they were grown men and pledging a fraternity.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Next Ten Weeks...

It's time to start create a writing schedule for the next ten weeks. Thank God, but I'm not really under any deadline pressures.

1. The Divine Nine update will be due in June, and I'll start gathering material next week. This shouldn't be that hard to do. It's pretty plotted out and I know what I'm doing. I'm thinking that Monday mornings will be devoted to contacting subjects about the info I need, and then I'll do interviews on Saturdays.

2. My editor needs the photos for my non-fiction manuscript. Still waiting on permissions.

3. Tim and I will meet every couple of weeks to go over my rewrite for The Yardies. That means I only have one class at UCLA this quarter.

More later...

Sunday, April 01, 2007



The numbers to the safe. I should actually name a script 10-17-30-45-60-75-90-WP. Okay, I'm up at 2:30am, writing on my script and I'm pretty giddy. And I think I'm addicted to SoBe drinks.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Yes, I know...

Look, I know I've been talking about getting in shape for as long as I've had my blog. I did it last year, and killed off about ten pounds. Felt good. About one hundred Ben & Jerry's later, that ten pounds is back, bringing about five more of his friends. So it's time to get back in shape, yet again. But this time it'll work. Why you ask? Well, I tend to stress eat. I really don't have many deadlines in the next two months, so I can get my ass up and get to the gym each morning. There's a commercial where a woman talks about having to really diet in order to lose weight, but her husband only has to stop doing something and starts losing immediately? That's me. I just need to eliminate bread, sugar, chocolate, and add movement, three solidly balanced meals and water. I will drop ten pounds before the month is over. So April 2nd is that day. Forty-five on the life cycle, four times a week, and a couple of games of basketball.

As for the writing, we have some minor issues with the development deal sent to us for the doc. Waiting for my boy from William Morris to get back from India. Don't think it should be an issue, but you never know. Remember in life, always have a backup plan. The quarter starts on Monday, so it looks like my only class will be on Wednesdays. I'm stifling a desire to take a playwrighting class. Focus, focus, focus.

Met with an exciting young publicist named Amy. She just decided to go freelance after working at Edelman. She appears hungry and professional, and as long as she's reasonable with her costs, I think I'll add her to my TEAM LAWRENCE. Yep, I'm building a team of folks who can take my writing career to the next level. Everyone you give a percentage to has to move your career forward. I have a great agent in Manie, I'll look for a great agent for my scripts, and now I'm looking for a great publicist. Hopefully, Amy will be that person.

Holla at y'all later.

Friday, March 30, 2007

The Next Ten Weeks...

So I'm feeling pretty refreshed. I felt like I had a brick hanging around my neck for the past nine months, but that's pretty much gone. The quarter begins next week, and this weekend, I'll start consolidating the Showcase stuff. My job is about half way done with the Showcase. I need to get a full list of the confirmed judges, get a fax line put in, and then get the scripts boxed and sent out. One little issue is Easter and Passover in April, but we'll get through that.

As for my writing, I will be doing an update of The Divine Nine. Seven years after it first being published, my editor asked for a small update, so I'll get that done by June 15th, which happens to be my graduation day. So now that I think of it, I have set it up so that I will have writing projects with momentum of their own. Two new books published in fall 2007, and an updated Divine Nine published in early 2008 (I guess).

For my finished non-fiction project, I need to get photos in to my editor, who has been mad patient. This quarter at UCLA, I'm taking an independent study rewrite course with Tim Albaugh, who is also mad cool, and a critical studies course on American television history. Any history is fun for me. The BA is in history and I've never taken a history course that bored me. However, I'm not letting any other courses seduce me. I will miss UCLA a LOT, mainly because you can literally take courses about every aspect of the television and film industry, but there comes a time when you have to concentrate. This is that time for me.

Recently, one of the women in the program asked to see some of my scripts. The production company she works for is looking for ideas. When people dog film school, I point to things like this. When you go to UCLA, it may sound corny, but you really do want to help everyone succeed, and when opportunities come around, you make sure to look out for each other. Hollywood is nothing but relationships matched to excellence resulting in mutual big dollars and success. If you can create enough circles have that equation, you're going to be good. But that's the same if you're in any business. It's what make capitalism the best worst system.

I was filling out applications for a slew of fellowships, and I wrote down that I started UCLA in 2005, I was dumbstruck. Had it been that long ago? It feels like yesterday that I entered, and now I'm ten weeks from graduating. Just in time, but still a bit sad. You rarely get a chance to write in an incubator setting, and I can't point to one negative experience. Yeah, you bitch and moan about various UCLA things, but nothing but gnats on a elephant's...trunk.

BTW, Langston started karate this week and it is kick ass! The martial arts they teach is sort of an amalg of a bunch of different ones. Mixed Martial arts for the eight year old. But Langston had his first fight after two classes. Scored a punch too. It's going to be fun.

All right, time to chill now.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

First Writer I'm Hiring...

When I start developing comedies via my RudeBoyMedia company, the first writer I'm hiring is a brother named Leon, who runs the blog Yeah...I Said It. He is consistently laugh out loud funny, and that's a talent.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


I like gray days, mainly because they're so rare in Los Angeles. But today was pretty nice. After a bit of cajoling from the wife, we went to Doughboys in West Hollywood. It's a restaurant that specializes in soups. LA is like that. You have all of these trendy restaurants that specialize in one comfort food or the other. Hyper price cupcakes, a trend that will die pretty soon, soup places, mac and cheese establishments. All will gain some popularity for a bit of time, get a write up in the LA Weekly, and then die a timely death after people realize that the food was bullshit. But the wife likes these places, so I indulge her. I've eaten bland omelets, giant pancakes, and other hipster food products over the past decade. If there's an hour wait and a line going out the door, we've been there.

On the writing front, I've let the brain relax. But I've started making lists. Right now, I'm thinking of different ways to rewrite my Yardies script. I'm thinking a page 1 rewrite. More Reservoir Dogs and less mundane gangster film. Got time to work on it. Need to print out multiple scripts for various UCLA contests. I didn't enter a single script into the contests last year, and that was a mistake. These contests have a few bucks attached, so I might as well try to get some too.

On the writing that pays the bills, I still have Slaveryland and The Dreaded Detective at various stages of undoneness (is that a word?). I'm going to re-read each and figure out which one to concentrate on. I think it'll be Slaveryland, because I'm looking to make The Dreaded Detective a series. Got time to work on that.

All right, time for some Ben & Jerry's. It's 3:30am in the morning.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Relaxing the brain...

So I've been doing nothing but Iconowork. Kinda nice to chill and look for trends. I'm going to do more of that throughout Spring Break.

More about what I'm writing next week.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Time Warner Cable...

Okay, so it's 12:45sm in the morning, and I'm on hold with Time Warner cable. I've been on hold since 12:20am, which makes me wonder, who are all these people that need assistance at this time in the morning? Time Warner, which just fired its So Cal head because of lousy service, is proving that it can top its bad service at all hours. When we had Direct TV, the longest I stayed on hold was five minutes. Seriously. The calls were almost instantaneous and they almost always solved my problems. Why am I calling TW now? Well, a couple of days ago, I complained that although I've paid for them, some of my channels aren't showing up. I was assured they'd show up eventually. Can I say, natch?

So let's see how long it will actually take for me to get my problem solved. It's 12:48am now. okay, it's now 12:54am. As I listen to the weird Time Warner hold music and their repetitive announcements, I'm more and more convinced that they've hired a company to find out what combination would cause callers to get off the line before getting to a representative. It's 12:56am now. ALL REPRESENTATIVES ARE BUSY SERVICING OTHER CUSTOMERS...I wonder if there's a script written about someone who goes insane while listening to the on hold announcer say that line over and over? Wow, it is officially 1am! Time Warner has kept me on hold for 40 minutes in the dead of the night. I feel like you could run a numbers operation simply based on how long you think Time Warner will keep you on hold. Yeah, I know it's illegal, but it could be done. BTW, I'm watching a Rolling Stones doc on PBS. After that, it'll be "paid programming". Okay, I'm on the phone with a person who...can't fix the problem. They'll send someone out. End of call..1:12am. He said that the long wait was because they're training four hundred new reps. My lucky night.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


When I went to Loyola High in Los Angeles, we had to take four years of Spanish. It was great. We learned in the immersion method, and that was supplimented by the fact that Loyola is in a rich Latino neighborhood. So we had to use our Spanish in practical everyday situations. So by the time I graduated, I wasn't fluent, but I was about two years of continuous use from being so. But when I got to Berkeley, I'd fulfilled my requirement, so I let Spanish slip.

Now at the same time as Spanish was slipping from my brain, my sister was mastering it. So much so that she became a translator for the Inglewood police dept. while at UCLA. She so fluent that native speakers think she's Domincan and is rejecting her heritage.

Being competitive, I said to hell with my sister being fluent, I'm going to starting learning again. But I think I may be a bit too old. I can pretty much read any spanish in a newspaper, but in terms of speaking or conjugating, I think it's a bit hopeless. Which reminds me that opportunities are only available for short periods of time. When given those opportunities, you need to master what you need to master, and then exploit the opportunity as much as possible. I try to hold no regrets, but not mastering Spanish is one.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

What I'm doing now...

1. Finishing non-fiction manuscript. It'll be done hell or high water by Thursday.
2. I have a 20 pager to knock out for a class at UCLA. Writing it on the movie Shaft. The first one. The second one doesn't exist in my brain.
3. Getting ready for a trip to North Carolina. I'm speaking at North Carolina State.

After that, SPRING BREAK!! I'm going to write, but all of the deadlines will have faded away. I'm going to play my first round of golf in over a year. Hell, I may even pop open one of the beers I bought six weeks ago. But I'm going to be chillin' for about two weeks. I can't wait.

Saturday, March 17, 2007


I have gone one week without posting and damn that felt good. I had been ordered by the wife to relax and relax I did. I let the brain take a week off and boy did I need it. Had stuff to do at UCLA for the Showcase, met with my 434 prof about my script, did Icono work, got a massage (where the masseuse said I was a walking muscle spasm. My neck muscles were so damn rock hard that I can still feel her fingers trying to break up the tension. In other words, I was tense.

But back to the real world. I have Icono work to get done tonight, a trend article I need to write, and I need to finish the non-fiction work by March 22nd. I have a twenty page paper on Shaft due on the 22nd, and I will be speaking at NC State on the same day. I will be exhibiting at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books ( in late April. But from March 23 to April 2, I will do nothing. I bought some running shoes, so I may do some running, but other than that, I'll chillin'.

Sunday, March 11, 2007


I've gotten over the fact that I'm dropping 5G's for one class (not really, but hey). So I'm going to make the best of it. Over the next week or so, I'll finish my non-fiction book, write a paper for my film class, and then begin to start rewriting two of my scripts. In fact, I think the final requirement for UCLA should be that every student has to do a rewrite during their last quarter. That would help to possibly get at least one of their first drafts in decent shape.

Now, it's time to do my observations, and I have some good ones, and then write about a trend I've been following.

Ten Days...

So I have ten days to finish my last writing project. I'll get it done, but I'm going to start relaxing a bit more. I'm under orders from the wife to enjoy life a bit, and so I may take out the clubs and hit a little white ball this week. I haven't played golf in EONS, and I wasn't good back then. So I should shoot in triple figures. But it's the walk that's the thing.

Took the fam to Fred 62 in Los Feliz on Saturday. I'm not normally a breakfast person, but they have a Santa Fe fritatta that is off the hook. I guess I had Mexican flavors in my head, so I later took a trip to Boyle Heights and bought some tamales from a bakery. Delicious. I hadn't been there in EONS, my favorite word for today, but it looked pretty much the same. They were out of pork, but the chicken tamales were great. You can even get a nice pineapple tamale if you like. Tomorrow may be taco al pastor day.

My son is getting so LONG and more boy than little baby child. Still a handful, he's really growing up. He, of course, drew pretty much all day. He keeps asking me when summer is coming, because when he got suspended, I decided that there wouldn't be any television until summer. Great move on my part. Benefits all around.

I just saw a commercial where you wear gloves to peel potatoes. Who the hell figured that out?

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Free Love Done...

Okay, so Free Love in Utopia is done. It's a rough, strange script. But it's a first draft that I could see working. Now, the eyeballs go to the non-fiction manuscript. After that, I will drink and drink heavily.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

One Class...

Do you know how pissed I am today? DO YOU REALLY KNOW???? In order to graduate from the UCLA Film School, you need 72 units, four quarters of advanced screenwriting, and two critical studies classes. I have the 72 units, the four quarters of screenwriting, and I'm taking one crit studies course this quarter. It didn't dawn on me, in the ninth week of a ten week quarter, that I could have taken a second and have been DONE!!! Right now, I could be taking my last class at UCLA, but instead, I will spend $4500 for ONE FUCKING CLASS next quarter. I should be on the Keith Obermann's Worst Person in the World for that bonehead move. If I had an axe, I would chop down a tree I'm so pissed. Now, another option is to say screw next quarter and take the class during the summer. Well, one: I don't feel like taking any classes after I walk across the stage with my Masters. Two, I have the development deal that will go into production this summer. And three, I SHOULD BE ABLE TO GET THE FUCK OUT NOW!!!!! I am rapidly becoming dumber by the minute.

So, I could try to petition, but from what I've heard, that shit ain't gonna fly. I'm just so pissed. Did I mention that before????

Friday, March 02, 2007

I am an INSANE Idiot...

The definition of insanity, someone once said, is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. To date, I've written five books. And I keep forgetting, even though my editors keep telling me what to do. When your editor/copyeditor sends your manuscript back to you, it's full of editorial marks. Being a former managing editor, I know those marks like the back of my hand. Now here's the critical part. Those editorial marks are NOT for the author to fix. They are for the folks in production as they typeset your manuscript. What you as the author have to do is answer the story questions she asks, and insert those sentences or paragraphs into the manuscript with post it notes. It's pretty basic, but for THREE straight books, I've forgotten and have made ALL of the corrections to my manuscript. Something that should have taken a few hours took me DAYS to finish. DAY that were wasted. And I didn't even realize it until my editor looked at my manuscript and wondered why I'd made all of those changes. Each book, I make the same mistake. I could really kick myself for wasting so much time. Anyway, maybe I'll learn ten books in?

Fiction Manuscript...

Okay, my day started at 4am. I had been in Little Rock to speak at Philander Smith, and had a great time seeing my boy, Dr. Walter Kimbrough. He's the prez of the college and one of the coolest brothers (frat or otherwise) that I know. I was taking a Southwest flight to San Francisco so that I could go to a conference I'd committed to last year, but Southwest did something it never does. It had a delay. An hour and a half delay before flying out. Seven years of flying the LUV airline, and I can count on my fingers how many times they've been late out of the gate. Anyway, that left me on the plane all day.

Tonight, I finished my second big thing, which was correcting all of the issues my copyeditor found in my manuscript. That is probably THE most tedious thing one can give me as an assignment. With my previous books, I'd take my manuscript over to the Magic Johnson's Starbucks in Ladera and chill all day making corrections. Can't do that now because I just have too much to do. And boy, you never understand how annoying it is to have to correct your comma usage when you do it a thousand times. Grrrrrr. Anyway, that's completed.

Tomorrow, I teach workshops all day to black Greeks. Then Saturday, they want me to do some other things, I think be on a panel. So what's left?

I have a couple of advisory calls to prep for next week. I have my normal articles to write. As for my script, it's due on March 9th, and I'm about forty pages away from being done. And I need to finish making the changes my editor asked for with my non-fiction manscript. So the beat goes on. When I complete all of this in two weeks, I again will relax and chill for about two weeks, doing absolutely nothing.