Friday, August 24, 2012

Bridget Hoida's "So L.A." is so cool!

Okay, here's a late summer read you won't want to miss: Bridget Hoida's So L.A.  This hard-to-put-down book proves my oft-stated point that intelligent, witty writing doesn't have to be a drag...Nor must said writing be pretentious, dull, or just plain depress the poor reader to death.
Hoida has told her tale with great attention to detail in place and setting--and I know, since I was born/raised in L.A. and spent many years there as an adult. She's used super smart pacing, written believable characters, and included plenty of devastatingly witty insights into the current state of American culture. AND she's done all this while striking an enviable balance between lively humor and realistic, heart-felt human tragedy.
On a purely practical note, I loved the way So L.A. was broken into short bite-sized chunks and how the  ironic "chapter headers" were employed. Like I said, it was hard to put down, and I don't recommend starting the book as before-sleep reading...Unless you feel like getting to sleep early the next morning!
Check out an excerpt from the book here. 
You can meet Hoida at the Newport Beach meeting of the Southern California Writer's Conference in September. She's gonna be speaking there, and I can't wait to hear what she's got to say about publishing right now. I'll be there doing the ever-popular "Pitch Witches" workshop with my friend and colleague Marla Miller among other things.
You can also meet me at my "How to Craft a Query Letter" class for San Diego Writers Ink, at the downtown San Diego Ink Spot. It's from 1-4 on Sat Sept 8th...More info on that class can be found right here. We'll talk pitches and queries and proposals and get you writing (or rewriting yours) in the class-- to make it a better tool to sell your work.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

What I'm reading--and doing--this summer

I'm not finding much time to blog...Having taken on the job of producing our first film, Russel and I (and our director-producer partner David) have really learned a lot--it is like a film school education in bits and pieces. But not usually the piece you need when you need it.
I am still editing books, and have been busy planning for upcoming classes. The first class this fall will be at San Diego Writers, Ink on Sat Sept 8th from 1-4 pm.  Check out the class info here -- and, while you are there, check out the rest of SDWI's great website.
And of course later in September, there's the annual SCWC in Newport Beach...Another one is held in San Diego in February.
What I've been read lately--actually re-read--is John Rosenberg's great book on film editing, The Healthy Edit. So much great stuff to learn, for writers of film and TV scripts and, of course, for filmmakers, too. (It is NOT just for film editors)
Also been re-reading some Elizabeth Berg. Including a recent fave referred to me by Diane Shea, Berg's book on writing, Escaping into the Open: the Art of Writing True. Great stuff there...I'm going to bring it to my next writer's group meeting.

Big News: We're going to be filming a short version of our screenplay "El Camino" here in San Diego in mid-September...We have a great director, a superior camerawoman, and the crew just keeps getting better...More on that soon!