Hiatus is upon me. And it couldn’t have come soon enough. Finally, a much-needed break from being cooped up in my Bridge Studio office, stuck behind a desk, agonizing over dialogue and plot developments while the world outside passed me by. And so today, I took advantage of my newfound freedom by remaining cooped up in my home office, stuck behind a desk, agonizing over dialogue and plot developments while the world outside passed me by. On the bright side, I did complete Act The First of The Kindred Part I (formerly Rise of the Googlions Part I), and am pretty happy with what I’ve got so far. If all goes according to plan, I should get Paul a first draft by mid first week of July at the latest. He’ll have a good week and a half to do his pass (you know, correcting spelling oversights, adding adjectives to the action descriptions to make them all the more exciting to read) which should be plenty of time as we’re scheduled to have the concept meeting on our first day back.
But that seems a long way off. Right now, I’m in vacation/work mode – which is as easygoing as it gets for a writer – and besides working on this script, I have a few books to get through. I brought home 11 titles from library at work, some random selections, some (Scalzi’s Ghost Brigades, Abercrombie’s Before They Are Hanged, Pratchett’s Reaper Man, Banks’s Consider Phelbas) not so random. I’m assuming they should tide me over but I think I’ll swing by the bookstore later this week just in case.
I ran into Walter Harriman aka Norman aka Gary Jones this week who was in shooting a scene for Miller’s Crossing. We chatted a bit, talked Comic Con, and I snapped a couple of pics of him on-set and a few of him in front of this striking wall of plastic water storage containers. He also helped me out with a little something I’ll be telling you all about in tomorrow’s blog entry.
Finally, I know you’re all dying to know, so here’s the writers’ room consensus on the four Zotter chocolate bars I brought into the office yesterday –
Almonds with Grappa Raisins: Given the grappa is, in my opinion, the closest you can get to drinking actual rubbing alcohol, this bar was surprisingly good. To be perfectly honest, I don’t know what grappa raisins are as I’d always assumed that Grappa was a peasant drink made from distilled twigs, stones, and old tires. Nevertheless, thumbs up all around.
Rowanberry or Mountain Ash: Still confused by the “OR“. At first blush, I did say I’d opt for the former over the latter but, after being overwhelmed this bar’s berry component, I’d like to revise that statement.
Mare’s Milk with Oats: Turns out it wasn’t the mare’s milk everyone ended up having problems with but the oats which lent the bar a neutral flavor but wet paper consistency. Twice I had to check to make sure I hadn’t mistakenly chewed off a piece of the wrapper.
Hot Chicken Ensemble: Once you get past the initial disappointment that this bar does not contain any actual chicken, it’s actually quite an enjoyable mix of homemade advokaat (an eggnog liqueur I often incorporate into my ice crams), white chocolate cream, chili, and milk chocolate.
Some of the more intriguing-sounding flavors I plan on checking out in the coming weeks include: coffee-plum with caramelized bacon, date-shiitake, paradise apple-liquid olives, and saffron rice.
And speaking of chocolates, thanks to Amy for the package that included my favorite 3400 Phinney Bread and Chocolate and the Vosges Red Fire Bar among many others. Regarding the slight request – you won’t know/not know until we get back from hiatus.
Finally, thanks for the thanks. As it turns out, some of the people involved in the production check out the blog every now and then (presumably to make sure I’m not libeling them), so they’ll be pleased to read it.
Today’s pics: My to-read selection, Gary shoots his scene, Gary looking sassy, Carl enjoys the competing flavors of rowanberry and chocolate.
PG15 writes: “Are you planning to go on another cuisine-y trip, or are you going to be too busy?”
Answer: That remains to be seen. I have a script to write and Fondy is opening up her doggy spa on August 1st. If anything, we may go away for a couple of days, maybe to L.A. so that Fondy can check out some of the high-end dog boutiques down south.
Anonymous #1 writes: “I have a question about Hong Kong, Im going there next week for two weeks and a lot of the time Im gonna be wondering around by myself while my dad’s at work. do you have any particular recommendations for interesting things to do or places to go in the daytime?”
Answer: Take a day tour to one of the outlying islands. Check out my late 2006 blog entries and see if any of the outings I mentioned interest you.
Majorsal writes: “ Is it 100 percent settled that jack/rda won’t be making an appearance on atlantis’ season 4?”
Answer: While I can’t say with 100 percent certainty that he won’t be making an appearance (especially since we’ll still have three scripts to break when we get back to the offices in mid-July), at present we have no plans for his character on Atlantis.
Jen Kirk writes: “Could The Princess Bridge possibly be the Princess Bride????”
Answer: Sort of. The Princess Bridge was a terrific movie. However, it would have been perfect with the inclusion of a bridge.
Seahen writes: “1.) Did O’Neill only resign and kiss Carter the one loop we saw or did he do it more than that? 2.) Have you read anything by David Eddings?”
Answer: 1) It’s safe to assume that the kiss we saw was only the tip of the iceberg. 2) Haven’t.
Mackenzie’smomma writes: “I keep hearing the phrase the “Nobody really dies in Sci Fi” is that true?”
Answer: Depends who died.
Crh writes: “I was wondering about recurring guests like Gary Jones on SG-1 or Chuck Campbell on Atlantis. How does that work, schedule-wise? Do you know way in advance how often you’ll plan on using them? Are (or, were, for SG-1 *sniff*) they beholden to the show schedules or were you guys limited by theirs?”
Answer: Once we break a story and we know we’ll need a character, we’ll tell John Lenic who will put a hold on the actors for the shooting dates. If an actor is unavailable, we can either write them out, write around them, or reschedule the episode (highly unlikely).
Valerie writes: “Could the fact that Atlantis and McKay won Spaceys influence the chances of the series continuing to season 5?”
Answer: Although winning the Spaceys was great, the fact that we won won’t enter into the mix when the time comes for Sci Fi to make a decision on the show’s future.
KGX2001 writes: “Joe, if you could make a chocolate bar, with any combination in the world, what would it be?”
Answer: Dark chocolate, marzipan, avokaat, butter, and a touch of salt.
Mags writes: “I’m spending a month in La Napoule (the south of France) and my last question to you (til Aug.) is have you ever been to that area (Nice, Cannes, etc)?”
Answer: I haven’t but I hear it’s beautiful and that the south of France blows Paris away in terms of food and friendly natives.
Paula writes: “I was thrilled to see the announcement that we’re getting Season 4 in September!!!”
Answer: Good news for us as well since it means we’ll be airing a number of episodes before a decision on the show’s fate is ultimately made.
Anonymous #1 writes: “JM, the thing with you saying the plan was never to have the character leave permanently might be believable if the actress herself hadn’t said that she’d been told she could “do some recurring work or walk away.” The fact that you would offer her the walking away option shows that you would have been perfectly happy to lose the character altogether.”
Answer: We have general plans for the characters before we begin writing the season (nothing is set in stone). If, for any reason a obstacle arises (ie. Pregnancy, availability issues, the ACTOR DECIDES they’d rather not participate), then plans change. In this case, plans weren’t changed.
Anonymous #2 writes: “Had Amanda Tapping said “No”, they would’ve choosen one of the other actresses they were considering.”
Answer: Or “actors”.
Crazymom writes: “Where were the Athosians? Did they leave them behind, or did I miss something?”
Answer: The Athosia…?…oh dear God NOOOOOO! No, check that. Yes, you did miss something. The Return I and II in which Atlantis’s new high and mighty landlords relocated the Athosians to another planet.