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.