Thursday, April 21, 2016

Originally written on April 9th:

Perhaps it's the rainy weather today mixed with the ambient indie rock that Priscilla's Coffee Shop is playing, but I'm feeling the need to emote today.

Across the street tonight, the MTV Movie awards will be held for the first time at Warner Bros Studios. Should be interesting. Fireworks and loud music will be involved. I'm down with that. Get down with your bad selves, Hollywood.

I've had a new job for about five weeks and really like it as well as the folks I work with. Interestingly enough, it's not really a writing job, but more of a research, proofreading and content quality job. When I interviewed for it, I was ambivalent about this kind of a role, not being creative or copywriting. However, it has two things going for it. It pays incredibly well. And I mean, a lot. And, it's an 18-month contract. Most important, even more so than the money and stability, is that when I spoke to the person I'd be working for, he was smart, pop-culture savvy and funny. Then, the interview went well and I got the call that they wanted me for the job. So, I put my feet into third position and took a glissade of faith.

And, I've landed well. So, here's the great thing about it that was a pleasant surprise. I've gotten further on the actual story plotting of my book in this last five weeks than I have in years. And, good story plotting.

Because the job is in the business district of downtown Los Angeles, every comfort is provided. Along with luxe buildings, great food courts, every convenience imaginable, it's steps from the Metropolitan Museum of Contemporary Art, The Broad, and Disney Symphony Hall, and top restaurants. And, a choice of lively, yet secluded places that I can write during my lunch hour. Including, the MOCA plaza where I took this selfie. Like my patterns?

Since my job is not a writing one, per se, yet uses the same muscles, once I sit down to write I'm primed like a dancer who has just properly warmed up for class. (Yes, I'm all about the dance metaphors today. Got a problem with that?) And, because I'm limited to an hour, I'm incredibly focused on the task. Another perk I did not see coming. It's made me excited and happy about writing again. Even better, the three novel classes I'd taken last year laid down a fantastic foundation from which to build.

One more thing, is that I can take the LA Metro to and from work, which means my commute is stress free. Though I'm a chill driver, I like the freedom of being carless. Don't have to worry about parking, timing, or be at the whim of traffic. I have a ten-minute drive through my pretty neighborhood, park in Metro parking, and walk a nice walk to what I call the Hogwarts Express. Why? Because my stop is also the stop for Universal Studios, which just opened the The Wizarding World of Harry Potter theme park this week. However, if a zombie apocalypse breaks out, I have a feeling that those of us on the Metro are going to be pretty screwed.

Speaking of Hollywood, before I started this job, I worked at a great event with my friend Brian Kramer, a top photographer in Los Angeles. One of his services is event photography, mostly for high-end entertainment or chichi corporate events. In this case, it was for the show "Scandal," where the entire cast, in costume, poses for pictures with the crew on the set of the oval office. Brian photographs, and on site in real-time, we printed four hundred 8x10 glossy photos and put them in nice folders to give to the cast and crew. It's something they do every year, courtesy of one of the main producers of the show. I've worked several events with Brian, because they are fun and he's fun. And, you end up with things like this:

Yes, that's me in the middle of the cast of "Scandal" on the oval office set, standing with the entire cast and next to the gorgeous Kerry Washington. The woman in the maroon shirt is Justine, who was also part of the photo booth crew. Talk about someone who is smart as a whip and calm as can be under pressure. Brian, standing to Justine's right in the black shirt, is the photographer and owner of the booth.

Another wonderful experience was that I got to go all House Stark. I met a real, live 100% wolf. One of the crew members had a pet wolf that also served as his therapy animal. He was kind enough to take my photo with him. He and friends had rescued wild cubs along with the mother. I can't remember what the circumstances were, but apparently they were not in a good situation. For those of you who think that wolves are just like dogs, just look at the size of this magnificent animal, who was the runt of the litter. Look at his feet, and look at my feet. That should tell you something. He was fascinating to watch as he loped around the set.

Well, I keep putting off hitting the "publish" button, so now is as good a time as any.