visit to famous screenwriter’s house in Hancock Park

1

When a reader sends you a message asking, “Is your blog dead?” you know you’ve gone waaaaaay too long without a post. I slap myself.

I have an excuse. I’ve been writing. I sold a zombie story to an anthology called, appropriately enough, ZOMBIE, which comes out in October, and (I believe) includes writers like Joe Lansdale, Neil Gaiman, Poppy Z Brite. My story is called “Best Served Cold” and is about a dinner party in Bel Air that goes, shall we say, awry.

I’ve been thinking and working toward the new website, which will include a new blog, possibly called Pop Angel: The Creative Life in the Digital Age. There will also be a free ebook — I mean c’mon, you gotta have a free ebook — about how I got published and the advice I would give to other writers and wish someone had given me way back when, etc. This past year has been a time of reflection and transition for me, and the ebook is partly my way of clearing my own mental decks — if hopefully in a way that will be of interest to others — taking a look at where I am, how I got here, and where I want to go next.

One of the things I realized is this: I want to build something cool online. The Internet is an exciting place, and this is a great time to be a writer.

2

Sunday night I went to a screening at a screenwriter’s house in Hancock Park. I get to Hancock Park so rarely that the place is a novelty for me: the old-ish mansions and sprawling manicured yards and no hills anywhere. I was pleased to meet the screenwriter: two of his movies are on my list of favorites. I was also pleased to meet his dogs — three lab/malamute/pitbull type mixes who went, I thought, very well with the hardwood floors — and to check out some of his book collection. Rows of books — I saw Caitlin R Kiernan’s among them — in almost every room. There were donuts and pizza, much conversation, and red wine in plastic cups: maybe ten of us grouped round the table in the dining room, shelves of books to either side, the dogs padding around and looking hopeful. We trooped upstairs to the screening room and watched the movie SILK, a Japanese ghost story.

And there was also Harley, the teacup yorkie. She is fierce and cute and darts around like a hyperactive hamster. Harley came along with my friend Tina — the three of us drove together — although she belongs to a man named Frank. “That is so very Beverly Hills,” I said, when Tina produced a Louis Vuitton dog carrier and plunked Harley inside. “Frank bought it,” Tina said. Frank is a guy’s guy. The fact that he went to such effort and expense to get the kind of creature you usually see cradled in the arms of skinny blonde socialites — not to mention the Louis Vuitton carrier — is something I’m still trying to reconcile with my understanding of the universe.

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