I look back at the past week like it was a long dream, and in fact, it was. A dream come true. A series of dreams, in fact. Dreams delayed, though the dues were paid. Many of my lifelong career ambitions were validated almost simultaneously, and I celebrated the anniversary of the most important day of my life, personally speaking, right before I embarked on possibly the second most significant day of my life, at least from a professional point of view.
And we bought a new car, totally unplanned. But That's Life.
These pictures tell most of the story, and to be honest, I have a screenplay to write, or rather, rewrite. As recently reported, justly celebrated actor Christian Slater contacted me not long ago regarding his planned movie of my novel Love Stories Are Too Violent For Me, which he optioned right before my wedding to Monica, Tiki Goddess. Ironically, we just celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary this past May 31 with delicious dinner and decadent drinks at the Walnut Creek Yacht Club, after which we attended a preview of California Shakespeare Theater's production of The Tempest, for which Monica was cast in the understudy role of Caliban (yes, the character is female in this interpretation!). Hopefully, she'll actually get a chance to perform, but in case, it's a valuable career connection. I'd still like to see a production of The Tempest designed to look like Forbidden Planet, though, with Caliban re-imagined as Robby the Robot.
The day before our anniversary, on Wednesday, May 30, Scott Fulks and I performed our first public reading from our novel It Came from Hangar 18 at Books Inc. in Alameda, which was well attended and a success by most measures. Public thanks to Jerry Thompson for making it all possible.
|Scott Fulks and me, Books Inc., Alameda, 5/30/12|
|A week before my trip to Miami, the engine light went on in our PT Cruiser...meet our new Mini Cooper|
The day after our anniversary, on Friday June 1, I was flown first class to Miami to meet with Christian for what essentially turned out to be a reconnaissance mission, scouting locations for the script, a draft of which had already been sent to me. I have now been drafted to co-write the updated version of the screenplay, which moves my private eye hero Vic Valentine's adventures from his original base of San Francisco to the Art Deco Mecca of Miami. Christian and I hit it off right away, despite the fact that this was our first meeting in person, probably because we'd been sharing this psychic bond for so long, but also because on top of being a gracious host, he is a genuinely good guy, whose passion for this project is both inspirational and unusual. I finally find out the truth of how he discovered my book in the first place: he just noticed it on the shelf at the sadly now-defunct Dutton's in Brentwood, LA, cracked it open, and was immediately drawn in by the voice. My voice, as channeled through Vic Valentine, Private Eye. More irony: my father's wife Paige was the bookstore's manager at the time. In fact, she made sure it was stocked there. But who knew it would lead to the biggest single break of my literary career? Basically, my book had the same impact on Christian as his movie True Romance had on me, meaning I could completely relate to the material, as if it was made just for and about me. (Christian actually opened up the book and read a few of his favorite lines aloud to me. I actually got a chance to hear his voice saying my words, which really helps when envisioning the screenplay.) All in all, this is an amazing case of serendipity, and in fact my entire trip to Miami was a series of cosmically synchronized events. It was magical. And long overdue. But as my friend Mister Lobo put it, "better Slater than never."
|"The Two Vics" finally meet in Miami, 6/1/12|
Thus, a beautiful friendship was born, way back when, against all odds. It felt more like a reunion than a first meeting. After all this time, and given our immediate chemistry, Christian - once just another movie star on the screen, seemingly existing in a parallel universe unaccessible to my kind - really does feel like a long lost brother to me. And now we're creative collaborators. Unbelievable.
Much more to report later. My photojournal will take it from here. Now, back to work. Cheers.
|Reading from "It Came from Hangar 18" at Books Inc., Alameda, 5/30/12|
|Toasting eleven of the best years of our lives at Walnut Creek Yacht Club, 5/31/12|
|My career is finally heating up|
|Christian and me deep sea fishing off the coast of Miami. We actually caught a shark. And let it go.|
|My first Cuban cigar.|
|In "The Deep Throat House," Miami - legendary location of 40 movies. Maybe 41...|
|Reposing in the house where Sinatra shot a scene for "Lady in Cement"|
|Frank in the same room, candidly shot by pinup legend Bunny Yeager - now a framed portrait from my friend Ferenc Dobronyi, whose father Sepy, a famous Miami playboy, owned the house|
|Christian, me, and the original Aston-Martin from "Goldfinger," part of the incredible Dezer Collection, Miami|
|The original Batmobile.|
|Finally made it to the iconic tiki landmark, the Mai Kai in Fort Lauderdale|
|Another friend I met for the first time: fellow author Christopher Pinto|
|Christian and me aboard the actual "African Queen" in Key Largo|
|In Bogey's footsteps...|