Los Angeles Dec 29 2008 – a set on Flickr

subject: Re: greetings from california!
date: Mon, Dec 29, 2008 at 16:54

I’m putting stuff up on flickr right now. My camera battery died before I got home from my walk around Echo Park, the neighbourhood, and the little lake (Lost Lagoon-like) in the park Echo Park.

We had breakfast at Megan’s favourite diner, the Brite Spot. Burrito with eggs, bacon, refried beans, hashbrowns (inside) and Spanish rice on the outside, on the side. Definitely didn’t need that much. Chinese checkers boards on the wall.

It’s so hot here, I can’t even believe it.

you won't make it past second base

I remember I was reading a memoir of an FBI serial killer profiler when I created this show. 2006, obviously. I was also still enamoured of my first names dictionary. It had to be set in Scotland Yard, I figured, for the sense of history, but also, continuity. New building, new Scotland Yard with each new generation.

The text file is called Three Views of a Murder, but I don’t think that was meant to be the title. More like the slugline, because the conceit is one family, three generations, and a single unsolved murder.

1886:
+ newspaper: The Illustrated Police Budget
+ Ezekial: recent widower; young son: 6/7; housekeeper/nanny; intense; brilliant; reads a lot; “god gives strength;” losing his faith
+ William: higher class; university educated; first year on streets; idealist; tries to hide money; overcompensates

1956:
+ newspaper: Daily Dispatch
+ Zeke: veteran; inherited great grandfather’s intensity; son born while he was at war; wife has job; doesn’t work well with others
+ Seamus: veteran; helicopter pilot; quiet; organised; knows system

2006:
+ newspaper: The Job
+ Harry Ezekial: prodigy; this close to his PhD; same intensity; more book smarts; works alone
+ Bram: best friend; finished PhD; psych consult; gay; persistent; more about cause than effect; Harry convinced him to take this job
+ Tabitha: criminalist; chemistry major; DNA and computer specialist; grew up with boys; recently engaged

I’m not sure, but I think this was born before I watched a single episode of The Wire. A lifetime of watching procedurals, of course, but before The Wire married cops to the other institutions, in particular, the paper. I spent just as much time naming my newspapers as I did my characters. You have to know I meant to make this a multi-media venture. They all are.

1. I have two old stories (remember The O.C. season 1 hiatus?) that I’ve been poking at all month, and now that we’re almost at the end of the year, I’m ready to just let them go. It’s not exactly murdering your darlings, but knowing when you’re darlings are not going to grow up to be what you want them to be. They have to be their own selves.

1. I hadn’t watched yet the last two episodes of Atlantis, then the last last two leaked, so I made a night of it. Infection, Identity, Vegas, Enemy at the Gate–I liked one of these episodes. Go on, guess.

2.
jess: i think, in the history of atlantis, i’ll really only need the defiant one, the shrine, and vegas
jess: maybe trinity
megan: DAMN
megan: those are FIGHTING WORDS
jess: well, i don’t know
jess: if i can’t remember it off the top of my head, the episode didn’t mean much, did it?
megan: those are AWESOME WORDS
megan: THE MINIMALIST ATLANTIS REVISIONS
jess: ARE MY TROPES SHOWING?
jess: oh, i’ll put 38 minutes on the list
megan: YES
jess: bottle show!
jess: maybe some jeannie eps
jess: outcast
jess: hmm, maybe
jess: oh, and that one with the amnesia
jess: tabula rasa?

3. That’s not even 10, so I decided to make it 10, by airdate: Thirty-Eight Minutes, The Defiant One, Trinity, Aurora, McKay and Mrs. Miller, Tabula Rasa, Miller’s Crossing, Harmony, The Shrine, Vegas.

4. ARE MY TROPES SHOWING?

these clumsy fingers

I’ve been taking some time to go through my box of notebooks, eight years of them, the one I carry everywhere, as well as others project specific. Everything goes into those notebooks: phone numbers, class schedules, overheard lines, page numbers, daydreams, business names, logos, and, of course, stories. They’re all sizes. Some cheap Mead spirals from Staples, Korean stationery from the night market, and one chunky little block book. That might be my favourite.

It started as a kind of sketchbook, when I was doing a craft fair, Christmas 2004. I had a regular notebook at the time, but kept this for offhand, one page sketches. I went through it so fast, but that was kinda the point. There are the notes in here from the very first time I got to interview a musician for a magazine, then the setlist for his show, later. I named and designed my first website on these tiny pages.

I’ve never had much success keeping a dayplanner. I still have the square zippered case from one long ago failed attempt. But it perfectly fits a chunky little block book, like the one from 2004.

I’m doing the extended writing on my laptop, online even, much more than I ever did before. But the ideas still come when least expected. One page, one idea. I want to try that again.