Tuesday, November 29

The Faith of a Writer

" 'An affinity for risk, danger, mystery, a certain derangement of the soul; a craving for distress... the predilection for insomnia' - these are some of the ingredients in the personalities of writers. Such are the people who create what Joyce Carol Oates calls 'the highest expression of the human spirits,' art. Oates writes that it requires solitude to create a counterworld, seeming to agree with Virginia Woolf, whom she quotes: ' A book should be unwriteable.' In other words, one can't lay it all out ahead. The writer is damned. While some used alcohol to rest, Oates admits an addiction to running. But Oates gives us something larger, something worthy of faith. She reminds us of the irrelevance of the writer's ego: 'The "artist" can inhabit any individual,' she writes, 'for the individual is irrelevant to "art." "


Californio query letters went out last week. So far we have received about 4 rejections, all from agents, two return to senders, from production companies, and one request for our resumes and a copy of the script from actor Sal Lopez (Sleeping Giant Productions). We've had an in with him for a while since the music producer for Nick's thesis film is Sal's nephew. We're hoping to hear from Edward James Olmos and a few other big guns soon.

Blood Bond has been polished and sent out to director Kirk, who in turn is supposed to send it out to Hyde Park, who in turn are supposed to get it out to Fox in hopes of securing some financing.

Beyond the Mat is going through its 8th draft and director Van is hoping to have a finished draft in the next few days, by me, to get out to a potential investor/co-producer who may be able to fund the entire thing himself. We shall see.

Monday, November 21

400 Horse Power

...Abro la puerta y camino fuera de mi mundo, el tiempo despliega para dar la bienvenidame, y el aire de la noche descanse en mis hombros como una chaqueta fresca. Empiezo el motor envuelto en la nostalgia. Es un maneja largo y lluvioso al pasado. Tiro mi colcha de la memoria alrededor de mí tibio, en momentos calientes, cruza cosido juntos. Y entonces recuerdo...

Monday, November 14

My mouth tastes like envelope glue

I crave your mouth, your voice, your hair.
Silent and starving, I prowl through the streets.
Bread does not nourish me, dawn disrupts me, all day
I hunt for the liquid measure of your steps.

I hunger for your sleek laugh,
your hands the color of a savage harvest,
hunger for the pale stones of your fingernails,
I want to eat your skin like a whole almond.

I want to eat the sunbeam flaring in your lovely body,
the sovereign nose of your arrogant face,
I want to eat the fleeting shade of your lashes,

and I pace around hungry, sniffing the twilight,
hunting for you, for your hot heart,
like a puma in the barrens of Quitratue.

--Pablo Neruda

An amazing poet and writer, Neruda wrote a play about the life of Joaquin Murrieta. It's an interesting take, to say the least.

Query letters for Californio go out this week. Were going out to about 30 agents, producers and companies, including personal letters/requests from our actress to Moctezuma Esparza, Gregory Nava and Edward James Olmos.

Let the anxiety begin.

Friday, November 11

The definition of Chicano exists somewhere between Mexican and American

I've been racking my brain for a new idea. Something to slowly research off and on that I can work up to. The last few days The Braceros have been on my mind and I'm considering working on, at the very least, a treatment of their story. This ties into my own childhood, growing up in a migrant labor camp, the son of migrant parents - it's close to home.

"...the emergence of a demand in manual labor in the U.S. brought about by World War II. On August 4, 1942, the U.S. and the Mexican government instituted the Bracero program. Thousands of impoverished Mexicans abandoned their rural communities and headed north to work as braceros.

The majority of the braceros were experienced farm laborers who came from places such as "la Comarca Lagunera," Coahuila, and other important agricultural regions of Mexico. They stopped working their land and growing food for their families with the illusion that they would be able to earn a vast amount of money on the other side of the border.

Huge numbers of bracero candidates arrived by train to the northern border. Their arrival altered the social environment and economy of many border towns. Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua, across from El Paso, Texas, became a historic recruitment site and substantial gathering point for the agricultural labor force.

The bracero contracts were controlled by independent farmers associations and the "Farm Bureau." The contracts were in English and the braceros would sign them without understanding their full rights and the conditions of employment. When the contracts expired, the braceros were required to turn in their permits and return to Mexico. The braceros could return to their native lands in case of an emergency, only with written permission from their boss.

Despite their enormous contribution to the American economy, the braceros suffered harassment and oppression from extremist groups and racist authorities."

Wednesday, November 9

Cha cha cha

I think I'm the only writer in the area I know NOT going to the Screenwriting Expo this weekend.

I've got a potential new job/ collaboration lined up with a commercial director (a ten year vet), who is trying to break into features. He's got his first one lined up and is looking to develop more ideas with a Chicano/Latino screenwriter. That'd be me. I sent some samples and I'll hopefully meet up with him next week to discuss this further. Could be cool and exciting. We shall see.

Friday, November 4

Paper Throwing Stars

I'm in writing limbo. Actually I'm just taking a break from Beyond the Mat and Blood Bond as they enter their next stages of development/pre-production/hell. Been keeping kind of 'lax the last few days, toying around with the outline of Coyotes and slowly getting things for the rewrite on that one going. I feel a rewrite on that script right now could really make it a MUCH better script, especially with Nick's help.

I meet with the Beyond the Mat producers to finalize the script for the most part, or at least I think so. They're having a BIG investor meeting the first week of December, so things are starting to pick up pace in many areas.

Blood Bond, still no word. But the little fucker has a way of staying alive just when you thinks its been shot dead and buried. I'm hopeful. I have to be. It's a damn fun little script and with the slew of other horror hybrids out there, this one is easily a cut above. Kirk and I have been playing phone tag the last few days. Maybe he'll actually call me with some good news when I pick up next.

Nick and I are going the query letter route with Californio in hopes of landing an agent. We pulled out a friend's copy of The Hollywood Representation Directory, we compiled a list, we're checking it twice and gonna send out those letters and see what kind of response we get. The main plan is to circulate the script, to get as many eyes reading it as possible. So if any of you out there are up for a little western/Mexican-American Braveheart action let me know I'd be happy for the read/feedback/help and would gladly read something of yours as well.

Day jobs suck. I need to write more.

Any of ya'll know ANYTHING about the writer's training program as linked over at the WGA?