Sunday, November 19, 2006

Miscellaneous: Shoptalk

Regular readers – hoo, that’s a good one – may have noticed that I don’t talk about work much. At some point in the inception of this site, I decided to focus on subjects that interested parties could check out for themselves. Which is why I’m happy to steer you toward my flash fiction or letters to the New York Times, but generally reserve comment on my current writing projects. I’m not sure why I made this decision; I’m a fan of several blogs where writers provide updates on novels and screenplays that may never see the light of day. Maybe I think going into that kind of detail on my own work is too personal.

Today, I’m making an exception.

John August is a successful screenwriter. His website is essential reading for anyone interested in the movie business. He regularly takes questions on all aspects of the industry from the writer’s perspective. Recently, he started a follow-up feature in which he asks those questioners to report in on what has happened to them since.

Two years ago, what I then laughingly called my career had stalled. (Actually, it had slipped into reverse, but through sheer force of will I convinced myself otherwise.) I started reaching out to anyone I could think of for guidance, including John August. He was kind enough to take my question seriously, and responded with some thoughtful advice.

Which I then proceeded to ignore. Still, things have worked out OK, as I report to him here.

I sent this update in for two reasons. One, I felt I owed it to Mr. August for taking the time to answer me. And two, I know if I were still in the position I was in two years ago, it would do me a world of good to hear that if I kept writing perhaps my fortunes would turn. So for the sad and curious few who have ever wondered what I do when I’m not watching monster movies and infomercials, this will tell you. And now back to the usual.

Miscellaneous: Links

All my regular stops – Ed Gorman, Bill Crider, Arts & Letters Daily – have linked to this fine 2 Blowhards piece on Gold Medal paperbacks and their continuing influence on film and fiction, so I will, too. I’ll also toss in a link to the Onion A.V. Club interview it mentions with my spiritual uncle Donald E. Westlake.

Here’s a great, heartbreaking New York Times article on the demise of a classic film buff’s video store.