Today in My History

2000:  Beans in My Ears
2001:  Take Me Out to the Ball Game
Gynecology Can Be Fun
Gone, All Gone
I Don't Do Perky
Slingshot: the Pros and Cons

2006: Catching Up

The Martian Child (feature story)
Whistle Down the Wind

Books Read in 2007
Updated: 10/20
"Celebrity Detox"


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We Reap What We Sow
The Beatles Do Shakespeare
Garden Wedding
Mother reads "The Martian Child"
The Martian Child (trailer)

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(updated 10/2/07)

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2 November 2007

Gosh.  I feel like such a....writer! 

This morning I started writing my next abominable novel.  This one is going to take more work, because the first one just came flowing out.  I knew where it would start and where it would end and most of what went on in the middle long before November 1.

At midnight last night, I was still struggling with which of three very sketchy plots I was going to use.

But I chose a plot and started writing and got a whole half page -- about 250 words (only 49,750 to go!) -- written when I had to leave.

This time I'm going to try to let the characters lead me, because while it's somewhat autobiographical, only a very little bit and so it's going to take inventing characters and situations to tell the story I've decided to tell.  It will be interesting.  I've never done anything quite like this before.  My last experience wasn't anywhere near what this one will be.

But I was leaving to go do an interview.  I was interviewing a man named Jules Aaron, who is directing an upcoming university production of Noises Off .  I always approach these interviews with well known people in their field with butterflies in my stomach, certain I'm going to screw it up.

This time, however, I had a great opening line:  "I hear you know some friends of mine -- Jim Brochu and Steve Schalchlin."  I had contacted Steve earlier in the day when I found out Aaron had directed a play at the theatre complex Jimmy was running at the time.  Steve acknowledged that they knew him and that he was "a very nice man...and very sweet."  (I had the same impression after spending an hour with him.)

The first 5-10 minutes of our interview consisted in talking about Jimmy and Steve and their shows.  It was an easy transition to talking about Noises Off, a show I have seen several times so felt on fairly firm footing in discussing.

I wrapped up the interview and started home to transcribe it, so I can start writing the article, and so I can call designer John Iacovelli in New York.  The university is using Iacovelli's set for Noises Off and I've heard there is an interesting story about other productions in which it has been used.

I'm always torn about whether to do these interviews over the phone (when I can transcribe as I go), or face to face, which essentially doubles the work.  But I find I really like the personal interaction with the subjects and I think I do a better job when we are face to face.

On the way home, I stopped by a news stand to see if today's Davis Enterprise was on the stand yet.  I was actually across the street from the office and could have gone in and gotten a copy for free, but instead I bought a copy because I wanted to read my feature article.

This was my long-discussed, long-planned "exclusive" about David Gerrold and The Martian Child movie (the review by my editor will come out next week).  I'm very happy with the article (which you can read here, if you want) and I hope that David will like it.

David is such an easy interview.  He's been interviewed enough that all you really have to say is "hello" and he practically dictates the article for you, so I'm not sure how much credit I should take for "writing" this article, but I did add my own creative touches, so I'll accept any accolades anyone wants to throw at me.

Elsewhere in today's copy of the paper is my review of Whistle Down the Wind, the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical we saw last night.

That review is on line too, if you want to read it.

I have to admit that bad reviews are more fun to write than good reviews, especially when you really hate the show.  My problem with this show is that the performances were wonderful, but the show itself was abominable.

The pre-release press said that this is "Andrew Lloyd Webber's best musical since Phantom of the Opera, which then begs the question:  why do they let this man still produce musicals???

You'll have to read my article to see all the horrible things that were wrong with it.  I gave a pretty bad review recently to a local production of La Traviata.   That production was bad, mostly because of lack of organization and lack of funding, but with the name of Andrew Lloyd Webber behind you, the production values were superb.  And people who worship at the feet of ALW, just because he's...well...Andrew Lloyd Webber might kid themselves into thinking that this is a good show, but it very definitely is not.

So now that I've started my novel, conducted my interview and read the last two things I  wrote for publication, I guess I'll go back and continue working on my novel.

I'm a writer, you know.

Taco Bell follow up:  I had a call from some local executive at Taco Bell, who apologized for the mix-up, said that the manager had been told the rules, and that the free taco give-away had happened (eventually) and kept running 2 hrs longer than posted because of the mix-up.  She also offered me "lots of free tacos" to make up for my disappointment.  So it appears they are willing to make good on their promises after all.


Sean (the adult Martian child), Bobby Coleman (Dennis in the movie)
and David Gerrold, at The Martian Child premiere.


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