Thursday, April 23, 2009


I love walking in New York.

It's not just the city streets that draw me to them, with the 8472 different languages and dialects, but, the deep beauty of New York you find walking through Central Park or along the East River.

I'm fortunate that my friend, K, lives in a beautiful area (Madonna lives 3 blocks away, meh)... at one end of our street is the Met, at the other is Gracie Mansion and the East River. In the morning, we walk around the reservoir, discussing the film... in the late afternoon, we walk over to the east river, then sit and talk about life, making sure we stop at Two Little Red Hens for our daily cupcake.

Thank god for the walking, to offset my red velvet cupcake.

We stopped and chatted with a nice man who was walking a Westie... K's mother has one, and well, so did I... until my mother took her. With the usual Westie charm, he danced around, licking hands and acting as if we were his new best friends. It's what I love about Westies, that cheerful, buoyant personality... I've never seen a sour one. They also tend to have amazing names, like Douglass or Winston or Grumbles. Unique names fit the breed. Should I get another dog, it will be a Westie. I'm hooked on them.

Had wonderful coconut rice for dinner, along with potstickers.... ginger/soy sauce completed the combination. One thing I miss about New York is the entire concept of delivery. You can get everything delivered, from food to clothes to paint to an exercise guru. Where else can you sit with your phone, and have the world come to you?

Tomorrow, I am off to do location scouting, while K goes to meet with the D.P.... the weather has been coolish, which makes getting around comfortable. with any luck, I'll see 'Mary Stuart', whose cast transferred from the Donmar Warehouse in London while I'm here. I have my 'reasons to be pretty' tickets set up, and would like to try to finally see 'Wicked'...

Who knows? Maybe this trip I'll succeed.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Day One

You hear the best conversations in New York.

After a semi delayed flight out of Vegas yesterday, via Virgin (an amazing airline), I finally set down at JFK, and, like the now seasoned traveler I have become, I found my way to the wrong place, and had to phone to find my transportation. Being redirected into the airport, I did find the driver, and discovered I was sharing my ride with, surprisingly, two women from the next town down from me in the Land O'Utes and a woman who was, shall we say, in the entertainment business.

How do I know this? She was on the phone for most of the trip making, um, appointments. Expensive appointments. Very expensive appointments. Appointments so expensive, I considered throwing my morals and values to the wind, and lying on my back to think of England.

How expensive? $800 an hour is what she was quoting. That is when I realised I am in the wrong business.. and sadly, would giggle madly at the idea.

The other two women tried to pretend they weren't listening. Me? I leaned into her space, to catch every word. She drummed her extra long nails on the armrest, adjusted her belly shirt, and flicked the charm in her navel. It was like watching some exotic animal... I was <-> close to a pro.. it was heady.

She flipped her long hair over her shoulder, as she manipulated her phone and a date book... fending calls from back in L.A., chiding one of her, um, friends, for booking the wrong night for a car to pick her up. "Just call one number, and you'll have enough money to pay for a decent hotel until you can catch the right flight tomorrow, girl! We've got that party we are booked for on Friday, and I need you there. Just call a regular, okay?"

I decided it was best not to ask if it was an open invitation party... We did, however, fall into chatting... she told me how she'd raised her daughters in South Carolina, away from her work, and such... she flew to LA and New York when she needed to, and made enough to keep them in private schools and provide what they needed and wanted. She never openly said what she did, but, she did allude to her being 'busy' a lot... and now, she had her own business. I didn't ask for details.

She wiggled her fingers at me when she left the car, mouthing, "Bye!". All that was left were me and the two shocked women, who looked askance when I smiled and said, "Now, THAT was a conversation, wasn't it?"

Twenty minutes later, I was ensconced at K's, the sofa converted to my new bedroom, and yawning, ready for sleep.

It was the perfect first encounter during this trip.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Another Trip

So many things I should be doing right now.

Cleaning the bathroom, changing sheets, sweeping my floor....oh, and packing to leave tomorrow. Yeah, I have that whole, "Going out of town for a bit, need to pack" thing going on. I've totally decided to only bring a carry on as my luggage, with jeans and tshirts. If I need more, I'll buy it, after all, I'm in New York!

I'm looking forward to the sights, the sounds, the energy that is New York... I'm looking forward to seeing K, to working on the film, to seeing a show or two... lets face it, I'm looking forward to being in the city.

Yes, I love my children being here... to being able to see them at any time...but, there is nothing here that I can pull energy from, to find to thrive.

I'm excited to be going...

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday Scribblings~ Flash Fiction

Prompt was 'language'.


The house is quiet, no clock ticks, the cat sleeps silently on the back of the sofa she sits on, focused on learning her new hobby. At her feet is a bag of varied colour yarns, with a few sets of different sized knitting needles extending from the middle of the rainbow maze. She glances to her right, to the "Expert" pattern she's creating, moving her lips over phrases that are new to her, the words contained within presenting as gibberish to her brain. This still new process has become the language of her life.

Scarves are created when her mind is occupied with complex ideas, thoughts, emotions.... the easy casting on and following rows of simple stitches, no pattern...the size of the needles and the weight of the yarn determining the beauty of the product. It allows her to have a sense of accomplishment--far more than just sitting would do. She works out the issues found in those ideas, the thoughts and release the emotions, letting her continue her life without being overwhelmed. She gives these to loved ones, smoothing over the finished work, pleased the weave will keep warmth in and let the owner's breath out, doing the job they were meant to do.

It is later, when she moves on to patterns that read like Hebrew, containing stitches with complicated names like Andalusian and Brioche and Lily of the Valley Cable--beneath the name are complex instructions--P2to, SSK, PFB,Mbob, M1p--each abbreviation relates to what seems to be a complex move to be made with two pieces of bamboo...Pearl 2, toggle over? Make a bobble, K1,P1,K1,P1 to create a bobble. Here is where she creates what she calls her knitting wrinkle, between her eyebrows. Concentrating on the instructions, watching for the dreaded Double Point Needle to appear, all of the jumbled phrases slowly working their way into her memory, into her fingers...slowly they make sense. When they do, she moves on to another complex pattern, so that she has to focus entirely on the work.

These are the pieces she makes when she can't bear to think, when life wraps itself around her soul and mind and memory, knitting it's own complex pattern, not allowing warmth to enter nor her breath to be let out... it is then she bends all of herself to the language contained in those patterns, focusing on what is being made, each stitch, no matter now perfect it becomes...reminders of the days she is swallowed up by the main language of her life. These pieces are given away to charities and shelters and to people she doesn't know very well.

In doing so, she gives away those hours of supressed pain and sorrow, allowing her to re-focus, and to open up the bag, take the needles, and again make a simple scarf.


Friday, April 17, 2009

My Boy

Today is The Investment's 23rd birthday.

I made him his favourite shepherds pie and he had cupcakes. We went to a really horrible film he picked out, along with his J and HRH and the SIL .... then, after supper, he and his friends all went out bowling.

I declined to join them.

I wrote this for him some time ago... a story about my birthday, on his.

Stary, Stary Night

It's 2AM...he wakes me, showing me a town covered in a dark as rich as my slumber.

How easily we shed being mature mother, 20 year old son—we are children, lying wrapped in down comfort, the gently sloped roof our bed, our high mountain Utah town stretched out in the valley beyond, again enveloped in pioneer pre-Edison night.

Orion marches in stately majesty across the crisp skies, with his attending court moving in astral dignity, swirling in colours bold; red, gold, blue, green, white stark against the thick black.

My hand rests in his, reversed from what was, this lanky child who is like me, struggling in a world of stimuli when we long for routine and quiet.

Our breathing is so soft, the sound blends into the movement of the leaves and the smell of my roses and lavender moves upwards in that cold summer air and I wonder if he's drifted off to sleep when his long arm moves languidly to point out a star in what normally would be a vast dark area, it’s blue white light shimmering there.

I can hear his love, so hard for him to voice, wrapping around the words, “I can’t put it in one of those gift bags, but, it’s there, just for you….Happy Birthday, Mom.”

Happy Birthday, my dear son. I love you forever.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Playing Nonni

I've been babysitting the last few days.

I thought I was beyond this point in my life, dealing with brushing teeth and doing chores and all the stuff that goes along with watching two children while their parents are out of town. HRH and the Husband are on a short road trip, and I was asked to live up to the moniker, "Nonni". Apparently, this title means more than just bringing over supersized kites and candy and then leaving the parents to deal with the fall-out.

Sometimes, you have to be responsible.

The kids are easy to get along with, and listen, and are well behaved. I simply don't know what to do with them. We can't go outside because it's cold and it's been snowing, and I hate both of those things. You can go over the alphabet (Ry's work) and the 6 times tables (Lani's) for only so long. We've got videos (I'm an expert on Goosebumps videos now) and they each get one hour of X-Box time a day... still, that leaves me hours to fill in.

I've discovered Nick cartoons, and board games. I find myself asked questions about everything from Ry, they discuss the Goosebumps with great seriousness, and I've developed a way to cheat at board games.

Now, here's the tough part... I am very competetive... very. With a little one, though, you have to let them win on occasion. So, I send Ry to the bathroom to get tissue for me to blow my nose, and while he's gone, I stack the Sorry cards to allow him to win. Otherwise, we'd be there for hours... this way, 20 minutes and we are done.

Then, I'm stuck for another event. We build highways out of books, I make Ry huge books so he can draw in them, and I listen to his jokes:

"What is purple and blind?
"An eggplant?"
"Is it purple?"
"Does it have eyes?"
"That's it then!"
(peals of 5 year old laughter)

I won't even get into the responses he has for the dinosaur joke book he has. I read out the joke question, and he comes up with convoluted replies.

You can't help but laugh.

Along with Ry and Lani, I have Loki, the massive dog HRH swears is a Lab mix... I know a pit bull mix when I see one! However, since HRH rescued poor starving Loki, fed and nursed her to health, this dog thinks the sun rises and sets in my daughter... and, she passes on that love to anyone who is in the house. Her way of loving you is to lean... watching her slobber over Ry when he gets home from pre-school is a hoot.

So, here I sit, watching "Wolfman of the Swamp" and answering questions.... "Why do werewolves like the moon?" ... lunch is next, then games, Lani home, more games, homework, dinner and bed.

I'll be glad to go back to kites and candy... it's easier.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Three Word Wednesday~Flash Fiction

This week's word prompts are: allure, perch and vivid.


For her family, the allure of the open space of water had been the chance to catch sunfish; a pretty fish with a yellow spot near it's tail that made for excellent fish fry. They'd pile into the station wagon, and follow the neighbors to the spit of land that extended into the expanse of run-off from the lake, an area that allowed the fish to settle and grow large. It was there she learned to bait, cast so it dropped without a splash, and give a quick jerk to set the hook before she reeled in her fish. In spite of her present aversion to the Great Outdoors, the memory of these trips held laughter, picnics, and both parents in a genial mood. The heat of the Southern sun, the cool breeze from the lake and the excitement when you caught a large perch stayed vivid in her mind, allowing the dark stretches of her family's usual existence to fade, reminding her hope is always there.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Curse You Sale

Who has the smart idea to reduce Easter candy prices?

My freezer is no longer a place to store chicken breasticles or bags of broccoli... oh, no! Now it contains bags of M&M's in all flavours, malted milk eggs, jelly beans (nothing is as tasty as frozen jelly beans)... a plethora of sweet goodies that will expand both my ass and my dental bill.

Yes, I know it's all about my self control...but, please! When faced with boxes of bags of M&M's in ALL flavours... self control was smart enough to keep it's mouth shut.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Sunday Scribblings~Flash Fiction

The prompt was: What scares you most?


"It's not the end of the world that scares me." Kit announced to her therapy group. "I used to worry about that, you know, some cosmic piece of debris hitting the earth and we all blow up."

Mrs. Tuttle attempted to break in, "Well, I've always..."

A withering glance from Kit silenced her and anyone else who thought to express their fears in their little group.

"Then, I moved on to some huge epidemic...what are those called, pandemics or something? I'd be all shriveled up and choking on my own puke. Can you imagine?" Glancing around the faces in the circle around her, she silently dared them to disagree. Not a one picked up the gauntlet.

"Finally, I knew the one thing that scared me the most was to die at home, and have my cats eat my face. Starting with my eyes, because they are tasty even when your body is ready to explode from gasses. Still soft and yummy. Now, every day, I practice falling forward so they can't reach my face should I die, you know, at home." Looking around again, she sought approval for her ingenious plan to thwart the cats future dining pleasure.

Dr. Mason broke in to make the salient points that a)Kit didn't own any cats and that b)she lived in an asylum because c)she was found next to her husbands body, purring with the remains of his chewed upon eyes in her curled hands.

She got the last word, "See?"... her bit of word play making her laugh to herself as she walked back to her room, to practice her falling once again.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Small Town Living.

I'm going mad here.

Just thought I'd put that out there.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Shameless Self Promotion

I'm nominated for something!

As in, nominated, may win, could win, possibility of winning, although I'm against some excellent competition.

My writing homebase, SixSentences, has put me up for the Best Six of March. You can read all six entries there, and voting is here.

Have a read, enjoy the amazing work, and please, vote for the best one. Then, have a try yourself at a six...

They are addicting.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Flash Fiction~Three Word Wednesday

Word prompts-flirt, ploy, stunning

Knowing What You Want

Miranda's world consisted of her sofa, the fridge and her little laptop, and in a stunning revelation, she discovered that she preferred the films of TCM far more than those shown on AMC. She ignored the marketing ploys that touted the American Movie Channel as the next best thing to film lover's heaven, as she found their commercials took away from her movie watching pleasure. Sure, she'd taken time to flirt with HBO and Showtime, but, her heart always brought her back to Ted Turner's little format of classic film perfection. Between the offerings and Robert Osborne, she could find no reason to change...not her closed existence, her beige emotions nor the programming that was the closest thing to a lover she'd ever known.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

New York Bound

New York, New York...

Long ago and far away in a town I lived in for a bit along with 8 million of my closest friends, I worked in the film industry. I started as a script supervisor, moved to continuity and did my last film as an AD (assistant director). Never anything from the studios, all of them were independent films of varying sizes.

One will be released soon, I'll put a link to 'The Apostles of Park Slope' (you can find it on youtube) when it's out and ready. A few were put forth as projects that went no where... and one, my first film, is ready to finish up filming.

I was fortunate that I became friends with the director, KB... she's talented, driven and a sweetheart. When I first talked to her, she'd just sent me her script to be 'timed'... Timing is when the script supervisor takes the script and her trusty stopwatch, and times how long she thinks the film will run. You have to figure out action sequences, dialogue, simple shot of silence and a static camera. I'd also taken on another script I didn't like...but, had agreed to time.

KB called me, all light voice and laughter and asked how long her film timed out to be...and I said, "I have it at 90 minutes."

You could hear crickets.

"90 MINUTES?? For a SHORT??" I've never heard a woman's voice crack before that time. I realised I'd given the wrong time to the wrong director, and quickly backtracked to a rough 22 minutes. Her sigh of relief was audible for six blocks around me.

We shot in Greenpoint in one of the hottest weeks in the early summer of 2007. We were miserable. We shot in stairwells, in the street at night, in an airless room that was pivotal to the plot.

We worried about budgets, feeding the crew and finding the Terrier a comfortable place to stay. She went to every shoot, and never made a sound. She's to be listed as 'Crew Dog' on the credits, proving her worth.

It's a tight little film, well written, well acted... and the crew was tight, all of us giving our time to make this short one that can go to festivals in the fall and winter of this year.

I've been bumped up to Assistant Director, which is swell for me. I like the calling out of my shots, of keeping the call sheet tight, and working with a director who never stops smiling. She is excited about our new shots, how we'll tie it all together. The film in existence is rockin' she said.

So, Quin Browne of Hard Cold Cash Productions (a division of Nepotism, LLC) will be back on the set the 22nd of April and will follow up with the editing and final paper and wrap-up work until the 5th of May. Quiet on the set. Action. Oh, I love those words!!

After that, festival season, where I get part of the swag.

And, I could use a pair of Uggs.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Desert to Snow

Three rental cars to get me to L.A. and back.

Thankfully, they didn't charge me for the full trip, knocking it down to just 2 days of rental fees... it almost paid for the headache from the cigarette smoke in the last one. I left California using my air conditioner, and arrived here to inches of snow.

Sophie is tickled with her new toy--a crinkle tube. I thought it was a great idea when I bought it, and, after 47 trips through it, I'm ready to toss it outside and burn it. Silent it isn't.

Thoughts settled, and acceptance made of some things that went from sterling memories to rotten egg smelling ones. This, too, shall pass... with the bonus of making a friend who is pretty amazing. That friend joins those already in my nightly prayers to God and the Universe, wishing contentment, peace, joy and love to wash over them.

I left my tarot cards in LA, blargh!

I am working on the Neville story, I promise all three of his fans! I spent my LA time reading, knitting and enjoying TheBrother and the SIL. Thus, it was time well spent.

Well spent, indeed.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Last night was....odd.

I spent a long time on the phone with someone, both of us opening up and discussing things that needed discussion. Both of us cried. Both of us laughed. We formed an odd bond.

I cried myself to sleep. I imagine their pain was considerable, too. In fact, I know it was... nothing we did to the other, just the facts of what is and was.

I appreciate the time and bravery it took to reach out... and, I think that feeling is reciprocated.

In the end, that's all you really can have, is respect...

...I have that for my caller.