Saturday, September 21, 2013

I'm giving away BLONDE LIGHTNING for free for the next few days to honor the late, great Karen Black. Karen was gracious and fun loving enough to allow me to include her in a fictional cameo in this book. It was a lot of fun to write and she got a kick out of it when it was published. Now you can read it for free!

I'm also dropping the prices of EARTHQUAKE WEATHER (which precedes BLONDE LIGHTNING plot wise) and the unrelated novel SHOOTERS to $.99 for the duration of the giveaway. We're having a fire sale! Everything must go.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Chapter 4 of:

Odd (but true!) tales from the past! (TM)

Today will be more of a series of fun facts than a long winded story. Deadlines are pressing so I have to be brief.

Fastest thing I've ever been hit with: Lightning.

Heaviest thing I've ever been hit with: An 18 wheeler (but it was going sideways so it's okay).

Flattest thing I've ever been hit with: A 4 X 8 wooden sign that blew off a rooftop (very fast) because a helicopter got behind it (improperly) while I was directing 2nd unit on a movie. Luckily my head cushioned part of the blow or my collarbone would have shattered.

The oddest moving thing I've ever been hit with: A D cell battery thrown (with astounding accuracy) at my face by my cousin when we were teenagers. It spun and rotated in the weirdest way before striking my forehead. And left a bump on it bigger than the battery itself.

Sharpest thing(s) I've ever been hit with: Butcher knife (glancing blow), switchblade, butter knife, #2 pencil, machete (but it was the dull side so it doesn't really count - no blood).

Softest thing I've ever been hit with: kittens. And they were tossed gently.

Best thing(s) I'm glad I wasn't hit with: This one's a three way tie:

1) A car battery that flew out of an exploding car on the set of a movie I wrote that managed to fly about five hundred feet into the air and land fifteen feet away from all of us who thought we were standing at a very safe distance or:

2) A car going the wrong way at about 80 miles an hour on a one way street in Lake Worth, Florida about 25 years ago. I was just in town visiting and was about to drive across what I thought was a deserted street in the middle of the night. I looked to my right, the direction any oncoming cars should have been traveling, started across the road, then had an odd feeling and looked to the left. A car with no lights on was doing 80 the wrong way. I stopped inches short of what would have been a fatal collision and watched him head on up the road, obviously trying to make last call somewhere.

3) The ground. While returning from a film festival in Vancouver our airplane lost power and dropped more than 5,000 feet before getting its shit together. Luckily we were 25,000 feet in the air so we had plenty of room to spare. When you see the Flight Attendants start crying, that's when your heart really begins to race.

Thing I never, ever want to be hit with again: baseball bat.

Hottest thing I've ever been hit with: fire. (The lightning was probably hotter, but I don't remember it very well.)

Most immovable thing I ever hit my own self: A doorknob on a closed door when I was 4 years old. For some reason I decided to ram it with the top of my skull. I remember doing it very deliberately, just to see what would happen. I received a number of stitches. And never tried to do that again.

The worst thing I've ever been hit with: Subpoenas.

Now, please buy a DVD:

Friday, July 26, 2013

Chapter 3 of:

Odd (but true!) tales from the past! (TM)

Today's story is not just about the (recent) past, but the immediate future. Due to a security leak of Eddie Snowden-like proportions (Scott Bradley, I'm looking at you!) I'm going to reveal a little tidbit about Christmas with the Dead that I wasn't going to discuss until next month.

A few months ago Paul Schrader (yes, THAT Paul Schrader) announced on the FB page of his movie-in-production The Canyons that they were looking for some fresh footage from a new movie (or short film) that could be used on a cell phone in their movie. Many people sent in footage. I cut a quick reel from our flick and sent it in myself. The next morning I received a message from Mr. Schrader saying "This may work!" We went through the process of giving footage to his various collaborators and eventually a scene ended up in the movie. I think. I still haven't seen THE CANYONS, but I'm looking forward to it. And I had to sign a release form a few weeks ago, so I guess it's still in the flick.

Now this probably doesn't seem like a big deal to most of you, but for me it has been a real blast. I've been a fan of Paul Schrader's since 1974 and his first movie, The Yakusa. Then he made a string of films I have also loved, Taxi Driver, Obsession, Rolling Thunder, Blue Collar, Raging Bull, Cat People (written by my buddy Alan Ormsby), Mishima, The Comfort of Strangers... the list goes on and on. So, as a movie fan, having something I worked on chosen to be included in a film by Paul Schrader is kind of a big deal to me. We probably only have a few seconds of screen time in The Canyons, and they may not even be complementary seconds, but wow. Paul Schrader!

Now please buy a DVD (and check out The Canyons when it comes out next week as well):

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Chapter Two of Odd (but true!) tales from the past! (TM)

I once encountered Tony Curtis in line at the Arby's in Westwood (which is now long gone). He was wearing cutoff shorts and sandals. He was behind me in line, tapped me on the shoulder, and in his best Tony Curtis accent said, "Pardon me, but could you possibly loan me a quarter for a newspaper?"

I blinked in amazement and said, "Are you Tony Curtis?"

He smiled and replied, "Why, yes!"

I said, "Of course I'll loan you a quarter for a newspaper!"

I gave him the quarter. He said, "Thank you very much." Then he walked outside, bought a newspaper from one of the vending machines in front of the building and left. He had never had any intention of eating at Arby's.

Or of ever returning my quarter!

Now, please buy a DVD:

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Odd (but true!) tales from the past! (TM)

In my ongoing quest to flog our little DVD I've decided to share strange and intimate information with you, my dear friends, in the hopes that dancing for my supper will alleviate some of the pain you must feel every time I link to that Amazon page. Some of these stories may involve the making of the film, others just personal anecdotes from my past that I've never made public before. Our opening chapter involves a strange wound I have carried with me since 1984:

In the summer of 1984* I was attempting my first detox. I was living at health guru Patricia Bragg's peacock farm. I had my own little house next to her house and an outdoor shower. By day I surfed, read, listened to KTYD on the radio, fed the peacocks (mean bastards they are), tended to some of the crops and sometimes worked in the warehouse down the hill shipping amino acids, books and assorted health foods all over the country. The only thing I absolutely had to do was avoid all booze and meat. That part, at that time, was the hardest work I've ever done in my life. And while it didn't take permanently (Joe Akerman at New World Pictures tracked me down and eventually dragged me back to a life of sin in Hollywood) it did lay the bedrock for a gradual change in my life for the better. (Thanks Patricia!)

But the one thing I carry with me even more tangibly than the memories of that clean summer is an odd growth on my right forearm. I woke up one morning feeling an itch in this one spot. There was a single black dot there. Patricia Bragg said I had obviously been bitten by something in the night. We removed the dot which did not necessarily look like a fang or a stinger of any sort. The area continued to itch and it eventually grew a mole-like dead skin covering. I had it cut out by dermatologists - twice - and biopsied. They could not determine its origin, but said it wasn't cancerous. And it always grew back no matter how deeply they dug. I still have it on my arm and it seems to go through cycles. Sometimes it is dormant, just like a small growth of skin you wouldn't notice, like a mole. Other times it grows red and angry and must be sliced off with a sharp object. Then it calms down and starts it's slow growth again. A few days ago something seemed to be growing right next to it. Like a sibling was showing up. Not wanting to wait, I performed a home surgery and now, two days later, that area is completely healed with no trace of there ever being a problem. This may all seem odd to you, but I have grown accustomed to whatever the hell is living in my arm.

(*I know this this all took place 1984 because at one point the Olympic torch went right by the warehouse at the bottom of the hill and we all went out to greet it. I've got the pics somewhere, but finding the Ark of the Covenant in that government warehouse would probably be easier.)

And now, please purchase a DVD:

Friday, July 19, 2013

Now available for your DVD player!