For some reason, I’m at my most prolific while driving. Forget sitting in an office, parked in front of a laptop. Give me my Q7 and a nice long drive. Case in point – after agonizing over this script for days, I wrote five pages today while motoring around the city. No phone calls or errands or Ecuadoran 72% dark chocolate to distract me. Just my thoughts, the whipping wipers, and the occasional street light that happened to catch my attention. At this point in the scripting process, it’s 85% dialogue (as the story structure has already been set), and I’ve discovered that nothing helps me write better than self-imposed isolation. Instead of listening to the radio or checking out the scenery, I’ll focus on the story and ask myself: What does this scene need to accomplish? What information needs to be relayed? Who should deliver this piece of information and when? I usually like to start a scene already in progress, allowing for a more natural “in“ free of any annoying preliminaries or exposition. We pick things up with our characters already talking or working on something. At this point, I imagine the scene, who is where doing what, and the pieces begin to fall into place. Humor will evolve from the dialogue be it a simple turn-of-phrase or an outright gag and I will work it into the run or file it away until the conversation reaches the point where I can massage it in. I’ll sit behind the wheel, running dialogue in my head in much the same way that I write scripts: Getting the first part down, then moving onto the second, after which I go back and polish the first and second parts before moving onto the third, then going back and re-polishing the first two parts and polishing the third part before moving onto the fourth, and so on. Each speech plays off the one preceding it and segues into the one following, establishing a nice little rhythm that, if done right, stays with you long after it’s been written – and proves maddeningly difficult to fiddle with when you receive those network notes.

Aside from writing, I did manage to get out and do some shopping. Whereas Paul has decided to go executive eggshell and metallic grey for his office redo, I’ve opted for super villain resin and porcelain (pictured). Still haven’t found the right Christmas gift for Fondy (though I’m thinking if worse comes to worse, that Mysterio bust would look pretty nice in her office), but I do appreciate all of the suggestions offered and will get on them tomorrow.

Finally, we had a fantastic dinner tonight at a Singaporean restaurant called, oddly enough, Prima Taste (570 Robson Street). We had actually intended to go somewhere else and were walking by when the menu caught our eye. Well, I’m glad it did because the food here was really, really, REALLY good. I started with six perfectly grilled, nicely seasoned, juicy chicken satays. I defy you to find better in Vancouver. They were served with a very nice, deep peanuty satay sauce topped with minced ginger and garlic. Fondy had the mango salad: mango strips, shredded iceberg lettuce, purple cabbage, and cucumbers in a slightly sweet dressing that packed a surprising kick. I’m not a salad man (considering it little more than a distraction from the main event) but found this particular salad very hard to stop eating. My main course was the Hainanese chicken – steamed chicken served with a surprisingly flavorful bowl of rice (cooked in chicken stock) and accompanied by three types of sauces (soy, sweet chili, and minced ginger and garlic), and a bowl of equally flavorful chicken broth. Fondy loved her curry chicken, but the highlight of the night for her was the coconut rice. Holy smokes! I have to say, I’ve never tasted rice this good! All in all, a terrific meal. And since I forgot my camera at home tonight, we’ll be going back tomorrow so that I can post some pics for you all.

2 thoughts on “December 20, 2006

  1. Hi Joe,
    If you’re still looking for books for my sis, I’d recommend books by Mitch Albom, they are short but have made me cry a river. You may have to see if she has read any books by him. These are fictional but not certainly not romance novels. They fall more along the line of life reflection and appreciation of life.
    Hope this helps.
    Your sis in law

  2. Hmmm … garlic and ginger on peanut sauce? My guess would be minced pineapple. Minced pineapple in satay dip is OLD recipe, very nice and almost impossible to find in Singapore nowadays. Chef must be very particular about the authencity of food to add that in. Will definitely give it a try.

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