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.