Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Important things

I'm back in the states for a couple weeks, and the culture shock is significant. Do you realize everyone in this country drives big cars (they don't ride bikes by the tens of thousands)? They live in big houses and apartments by themselves (not with three generations of family) and they work 8 -10 hours a day? (Not 12-18) They rarely say hi to one another -- too preoccupied with their mobile phones (this, both China and US share!) They eat meat and wheat. (This is may be the most noticeable difference (rice, vegetables, and fish)). It's great to be back, don't get me wrong. You can see the sun. You can drink the tap water.

I'm testing out for 2 weeks (Ridley Pearson, RidleyTheWriter) firing off hourly updates of life on a middle school speaking tour (with a commencement and the BEA thrown in). I may get to see S.J. Rozan while briefly in St. Louis -- would be a thrill!

I give a commencement speech at an Alternative School next week where I once taught screenwriting as a six week course. It can't be considered a commencement since these kids "started" (commenced) by deciding to return to high school after dropping out, and now have restarted their lives. It's a "continuum" -- and I'm grappling with how to present that. A special place -- and after 16 years the school board is closing it down and rolling into the school system, which is scary, because it's that very system the kids fled in the first place. Maybe my talk should be about irony.

Noisy hotel rooms, jet lag, very little sleep. The trials of authors that rarely get mentioned. (my hotel "neighbor" was anvil lifting this morning and woke me up in the Orlando Hyatt at 3:30AM, and I'm still up!)[Written Sunday night]

24 has ended (I haven't watched it since the first season, but Dave Barry's 24 blog is priceless!) Idol ends this week -- I'm pulling for Adam. I saw Star Trek -- my first feature film in a theater in many, many months -- and couldn't handle the 2 second camera angles. The style -- you see it all the time these days -- never let's your eye rest so you can enjoy the story line -- or maybe there is no story line. That may be the point.

I have a short story and novel coming out in June. ( and we move the family back to the states from Shanghai. It's going to be a heck of a month. Over in Shanghai, my daughter is buying a pair of black shoes for her recital tonight ( a recital I will miss ) and just the thought of that is a nice anchor. It's nice to remember the important things...


  1. "...couldn't handle the 2 second camera angles. The style -- you see it all the time these days -- never let's your eye rest so you can enjoy the story line..."

    Thanks for mentioning this. I think that editing style is making us all crazy.

    Sorry you're in the throes of sleep deprivation. With your busy schedule, you need all the shut-eye you can get. Welcome home!

  2. I think praise is in order (and prayers) for those students who have returned to school.

    The 2 to 3 second cuts are the hallmark of today's action movies. "The Bourne Ultimatum" is a prime example. I wonder how Omar Sharif's camel ride over the sand dunes to the well in "Lawrence of Arabia" would be shot and edited today.

    Welcome home. And please tell us about the new book in coming weeks.

  3. I know you're missing -- and will continue to miss -- Shanghai, but we're glad to have you back here. You have been missed.