Sunday, November 28, 2010

How I'm spending my winter vacation

There is no perfect crime. We live in an imperfect world. But Gerald Applethorpe thought he could come close (but not too close, or there'd be no story).

A gun would be too obvious; an axe too uncommon for contemporary mayhem. No, it would be something easily available, perhaps a shovel. A large one. The gardener comes on Wednesday.

So begins my novel.

I will be taking my annual winter break from writing this blog. For the next month I will be working on my other writing projects.

In addition to my novel, I'm currently working on a rewrite of a screenplay with my writing partner Vincent Blanco. I can't disclose the details of it right now, other than the fact that it's a romantic comedy set in the worlds of advertising and coffeehouses. It will be low budget, similar to all the crap that Tyler Perry puts out, only funnier - and with Jewish people. Don't expect any car chases or explosions. Here's a rundown of my other projects:

I’m producing a reality show that I hope will be picked up for the 2010-2011 season. Because the television networks have been cutting costs, I’m putting my detective show on hold. All the networks have passed on my crime show about an alcoholic bipolar homicide detective and his sexy young female partner who work the streets of South Central L.A. looking for murdered tourists. Even filming in Vancouver would be too expensive, so even though CBS likes the pilot script, it’s just too expensive to film, especially if I get my first choice, Christian Slater, who commands a high salary. ABC was initially interested. They wanted Pauly Shore for the lead, but he wanted too much money and his own trailer, so they passed.

It’s all about the budget, so that’s why I’m switching to reality shows. I’m pitching my new show, called “Dumb Factor,” a remake of “Fear Factor,” which ran on NBC from 2001-2006. For $5,000, contestants will bungee-jump off a freeway overpass with an extremely frayed rope. The cars will run over the contestants until someone is stupid enough to get out and help, also getting splattered onto the pavement in slow-motion. This scenario will keep repeating until the commercial break. All that we’ll see after the commercial will be a bunch of dead bodies and a massive pile-up of Camrys. The winners will now compete for the second stunt, jumping out of an airplane with a placebo parachute, after which an Internet poll will be taken for the viewer to guess the winner. For those wanting to be a contestant, sign-ups will be on our website at . This show will be perfect for ABC’s schedule, because they’re in the process of cancelling all scripted shows.

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...

I'm also 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.

As you can see, I have a very busy schedule. When I return from my break, this blog will continue on an as needed basis, so that I can devote time to my other projects. I look forward to your comments and feedback on my articles.

My blog, started in April 2009, originally appeared daily, until 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.

Thank you for the unprecedented support for my blog. Many readers have asked for more information about me. I graduated from Hudson University in New York with a B.A. in criminal justice. I started my writing career at the Los Angeles Daily News where I honed my skills writing obituaries and getting coffee for the city desk editor. I was fired for making fliers for my band on the company copying machine.

After many years in the music business playing trumpet and keyboards, I quit to work full time as a freelance journalist. After that, I became a consultant and news commentator. I then took off a year to try to sell my television scripts and reality show ideas. Now I'm concentrating on my screenwriting career. The media can contact me through my representatives.

Parts of this article were reprinted from my July 20, 2009 and September 2, 2009 blogs at It's not just that I'm lazy. I want my new readers to catch up on my earlier works. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I'll steal from myself.