Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Short Stories

The tall, gray-haired man in the tan trench coat made his way up the elevator and stopped at the fourth floor. The receptionist said "hello". The man didn't look up. Something was wrong. He didn't belong there. It was clear by his demeanor.

An uneasy silence came over the room. All the people looked downward, trying to avoid eye contact. Then the man pulled out a shotgun and killed everyone in the room.

To be continued...

A lot of people have been wondering what I've been up to lately. I'm writing a light-hearted book of short stories about life in the San Fernando Valley, the area known for tract homes laid out on asphalt grids which make up part of the northern edge of Los Angeles, where the smog settles in like cheap hairspray and you can fry an egg on the streets during the summer.

My blog disappeared for longer than I had anticipated, as I realized that I didn't enjoy writing every day, and instead preferred to sit around the house eating Cheez Doodles and watching "Law and Order" reruns.

I did find the time to finish my third screenplay, written with my friend and colleague Vincent Blanco. I'm trying to get financing for my current script, a low-to-mid-budget romantic comedy, but the economic climate isn't so good right now. There is some hope, however.

"The age of movie stars is over," according to this week's Time magazine. The stars just aren't needed any more to sell a movie. The comedy "The Hangover" was a hit, but with no stars it cost just $35 million, yet grossed $270 million domestically.

I remember when $35 million was a lot of money. I figure I can produce my movie for under $35 million, especially when washed-up stars like Christian Slater become available, or if Dylan McDermott wants to work during his hiatus from the cable TV series "Dark Blue". My first choice, Mario Lopez, was turned down by my co-producers because he can't play Jewish.

It's apparent that my daily blog is no more. I will, however, be writing one or two articles a week about anything that pops into my head. My days as a journalist, from my stint as the obituary writer at The Los Angeles Daily News, to my controversial work as an op-ed writer at, are apparently over. What's left is a life free of obligations and a new start as a writer of important works. In addition, my new title of executive producer means that I'm only a little over $34 million short of financing for my movie.

I'm tired of waiting for Christian Slater to return my call. I've decided on Shia LaBeouf. Oh well...There goes my budget.


  1. Welcome back! I love to read your blog. At least twice a week? Just a suggestion: Can you send an email notice when you write something new? Thanks.

  2. That's our loss. Your blog is always awesome. :-)

    Good luck on all your future projects!

  3. Does this mean you're quitting your blog and will still write articles for Digital Journal, or vice-versa? Anyway, keep us informed.

  4. Welcome back, Paul. I know you'll land on your feet, 'cuz you're a cool cat!

  5. You raised some interesting points about movie financing. No wonder all we get are remakes and nothing original. It's just too expensive. $35 million is low budget?

  6. You went from one blog a day to one a month? Paul, you're getting lazy. I sure hope your screenplay sells, but I miss your blog. How about shortening the blogs and writing more often. Or copying old things that you wrote years ago and have in your file cabinet. Anyway, I miss reading your daily blog, but I'll keep checking for new posts, just in case you get inspired. I'm your biggest fan, by the way.

  7. When are you coming back. I miss your daily blog, and your article about Dr. Joseph Biederman was amazing.

  8. Hey I got your name from twitter, you are following me as I am now too, don't stop writing you seem alot like me very relax, say whats on your mind and its real!!! I love it.
    I do agree about the economy, I had no job and collecting EI benefits just finished my first book and it is ready for publishing, sad i found out yesterday i have to pay for my first proof!! So i have to wait for cash, and most of these sites want credit cards which I don't there's another dilemma, I don't mind spending money on something I believe in...but Im at a low this morning...i want this book out there its great and will touch alot of people.
    have a great day I have added you in my favs on blog as well.xoxo