Last night, Paul and I met up with Aaron Abrams (aka Kano from SGA episodes “The Lost Boys” and “The Hive”, and Marty G.’s writing partner on YPF) and had dinner at Hatfield’s, a restaurant Paul described as “L.A.’s Fuel.” We enjoyed a spectacular 7 course meal that included pork belly served with a surprisingly nice vanilla-based sauce, squash agnolotti, and a chocolate and peanut butter dessert that so impressed Aaron I feared he would break down in tears. Alas, no pics. In the end, I didn’t bring my camera because I didn’t want to be mistaken for the guy desperately looking to snap a pic of Mario Lopez out on the town. Next time I’m in town, I’ll definitely make a return visit to Hatfield’s. And I will make it a point to bring my camera.

This morning, we had our fifth and final pitch meeting at a studio that, in my opinion, would be the perfect fit for this project. We should find out if any of these meetings yields positive results in the next few weeks. In the meantime…

It’s back to the office tomorrow for a Day 1 Mix of Identity. The beat sheet for the SGA movie is in Paul’s hands and he has promised to work on it this weekend and put it out on Monday. As for that super, secret project…well, I haven’t had a chance to work on it since leaving for L.A., so I’m still stuck on page 5, top of scene 4. On November 10th, we all reconvene to start spinning stories for SGU’s first season.

Well, we’re finally homeward bound. Which is just as well since we were running out of tipping money for the valet who brings our car up from the hotel parking lot. It was a might pricey after awhile but, in my opinion, well worth the expense for the hilarious “delivery of the day” we were treated to on Tuesday. The on-duty valet approached Paul and, I assume, meant to ask him either “What’s your last name?” or “Do you remember your room number?”, but ended up asking: “Do you remember your last name?” Fortunately for Paul on this day, he did. And we got our car.

Some discussion on The Traveler:

Sylvia writes: “The book is sooo contemporary – given the “big brother”, RFID, so many security reasons to eavesdrop on the populace; local and global. It was very erie to think of the similarities of the book to our own society.”

Answer: Yes. This was one aspect that really stood out for me. The author does a terrific job of blurring the line between the fantasy and reality of contemporary surveillance technology. I wouldn’t be surprised to discover the Twelve Hawks has merely scratched the surface of what is actually out there.

Sylvia also writes: “Michael – did not expect him to become such an opportunist and ready to be selfish, greedy, and basically – sell out his brother.”

Answer: Their ability to turn Michael bumped me a bit given that they were responsible for the (seeming) death of his father.

Sylvia writes: “Thus, it was appalling that Nash wanted to pursue and was directing efforts to communicate with the intelligence found in the super computer. They had no idea or guarantee that the entities would not end up destroying earth or the live they had.”

Answer: Hell, yes. This was my thought exactly. Those technologically advanced entities seeking access to our reality are going to be trouble. The Tabula better have a plan to deal with them if the need arises. And the fact that, like I said, they are technologically advanced could make dealing with them easier said than done.

AntiSocialButterflie writes: “ I read the last half of this book on an airplane. The whole trip I kept spotting security cameras and thinking that I was being watched.”

Answer: That’s funny. As I was heading through the airport screener today, I was flagged for a secondary screening in which I was patted down and my bag thoroughly searched. My first thought was “I wonder if they know I’ve been reading The Traveler.”

NarellefromAus writes: “Now hearing about my upbringing you all think I’m a Froot Loop? That’s if you didn’t beforehand.”

Answer: I prefer “delightfully wacky”.

Thronyrose writes: “I was, however, put off by the Bretheren/Vast Machine conspiracy, though not enough to put the book aside. Too many conspiracy theories, too many improbable stories and claims about centuries old Secret Societies invisibly manipulating mankind has jaded me on this sort of tale.”

Answer: I really enjoyed this aspect of the book. In some ways, it reminded me of Umbert Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum – a very different novel with a similar theme.

Drldeboer writes: “. I also believe ALL people have the potential to catalyze change, generate new ideas and make different things happen. It doesn’t take anyone *special* and I’m distrustful of people who think that they are better than everyone else. “

Answer: I agree. I’ll always remember an interview with Harlan Ellison in which he described coming to L.A. for the first time, a virtual nobody. He watched the movers and shakers around him and distilled their success to one trait: confidence. Ellison cultivated this trait in himself and, well, there’s no denying the guy has done pretty well for himself. In short – if you’re confident in yourself and your abilities, the world is your oyster. Or, if you’re my wife, the world is your clam.

Okay.  I’m posting from the airport lounge.  Tomorrow afternoon, I’ll be writing from the comfort of my home – which means I’ll finally be able to get around to that mailbag!

45 thoughts on “October 29, 2008: Homeward Bound!

  1. I hope there’ll be some all new characters for SGU. Cloned kinda personalities (like sheppard/mitchell and Daniel/Quinn) don’t sit well with me for some reason, I can’t really accept them as personalities of their own somehow.

  2. Safe travels to you and Paul. Hang in there, something is bound to happen to all those pitches.

  3. dear Joe,

    1. Will the Daganian Zpm, The Tria or The Phoenix ever surface up before the end of season 5?

    Thanks

  4. So how long are you going to torture us about the Secret Project? Can you at least let us know how many pages you think it will run, so that we can speculate on its subject? Hope the trip home was safe, uneventful,and provided an in flight movie that didn’t leave you reaching for an air sickness bag.
    Politico, I’m not suprised that someone ended up doing a word count. I believe I predicted such an event some time ago. I’d be interested in seeing the same person taking say, the first half of season three and doing the word counts on the regular characters in that. Just to get a point of comparison between She who Shall not be Named, and a certain Scotsman in Space.
    I’ve been enjoying everyone’s reviews on the Traveller. The book definitely provokes both intense thought and opinion, given how close our real world resembles that in the novel. The question I find myself asking is how dystopian a society would such a world actually be? Minus the mystic dimension travelling elements, would such a society inevitably evolve into Orwell’s 1984? Or would it in fact permit sufficient individuality while offering the not inconsequential benefits of security and improved justice? Every time I consider the options, I come up with a different answer. In doing that John Twelve Hawks has done us a service in writing this book.

  5. Hi Joe,

    So you guys are all going to be working on SGU? I’m happy you guys have jobs. So, what can you tell us about SGU..will it be more character driven or action driven or are you guys trying to balance it out somehow. The one thing I wish SGA had more of is more insights into the characters. I just feel for most of the time we see them they never really just talk about themselves (except for McKay 🙂 ) It is mostly always about the mission. I have felt that some of the best moments (to me) are the little interactions we’ve seen with them that has nothing to do with the mission..perfect example was the epi Sunday and I forgot the name of the epi..but the scene with McKay asking them about saving a group of people or a baby from a Train. There has been others but I don’t think I need to list everyone one..you see my point..right? Maybe this is something I missed but did Ronon have any siblings, did he loose his parents to the Wraith the same time Sateda was destroyed or before? Little things like that would be interesting to know.

    I know it is hard to work in little character moments like those because of time and trying to give us as much info on the mission. But just in case you were taking requests for SGU I would like to submit mine now. Please more character moments that tells us something about the character. 🙂

  6. JM and Sylvia wrote:

    Sylvia writes: “Thus, it was appalling that Nash wanted to pursue and was directing efforts to communicate with the intelligence found in the super computer. They had no idea or guarantee that the entities would not end up destroying earth or the live they had.”

    Answer: Hell, yes. This was my thought exactly. Those technologically advanced entities seeking access to our reality are going to be trouble. The Tabula better have a plan to deal with them if the need arises. And the fact that, like I said, they are technologically advanced could make dealing with them easier said than done.

    Yes, and that critical little detail was mentioned in such an offhand manner by General Nash that I nearly missed it. I agree; you’d think that warning bells would be going off in the Tabula’s minds. Can you say “hostile takeover”? It’s possible that General Nash has such delusions of grandeur that he hasn’t actually considered the possibility that there is a force out there that he can’t best in a fight. But he certainly underestimated Maya, Gabriel, Dr. Richardson and the rest, and you would think that he would learn from that. Maybe he does have a plan. I haven’t read book 2, so I don’t where that little piece of the plot is headed.

  7. will the atlantis conference table return for the sga movie? Its a sga movie right? when can I post questions for marty g.?

  8. Thanks for all the LA stories, Joe. You didn’t tell us your sartorial choices for the pitches. Did you go with your usual 3-piece or a more LA-style tee-shirt and $500 torn jeans?

    Hope you hear good news and that the project moves more quickly than, say, Rage of Angels. 🙂

  9. Spinning stories for SGU?

    I guess that means you guys are part of the writing staff now (or again, depending on how you look at it), or is it still too early to tell who the crew are going to be on this one yet?

    BYE

  10. Hey Joe,

    Hope you your trip to LA will bear fruit (figuratively speaking of course). Since the mailbag looks to be making a comeback, I’ll ask, hopefully, eagerly, expectantly, optimistically, with anticipation: could we get an update of the spoiler poem? Also, is Vegas a “stand-alone” episode or will it tie into the season (and series) finale?

    Thanks!

    Jean

  11. Sounds like you had an interesting trip. I hope something works out for you regarding your horror movie. Although I am not a big fan of horror I will probably watch it because I know it will be good story line.

    Joe writes: On November 10th, we all reconvene to start spinning stories for SGU’s first season.

    Does that mean you and Paul are writing for SGU? If so I will be watching. Which do you prefer to write for movies or television? Or does it not matter as long as you are writing.

    I rented Season 10 of SG1 and saw Morpheus the other day. I loved it. It had the same feel as Whispers. Very creative. I could have done without the Vala scenes however. Other than that it was great. I also noticed the guy who played Rimer is the same one who played the archealogist (sp) in Window of Oppurtonity (another one of my favorites).

    Looking forward to the mailbag. Yeah!

  12. Hi Joe

    Glad you had a nice trip to LA. At least you didn’t have to worry about any fires this year.

    My question since we may have the return of the mail bag.

    Any hope of a promotion for Sheppard in the movie ? Both Carter and Mitchell have been promoted to a full bird and our Sheppard has done a great job and should be rewarded. I also think he has enough time in grade at this point.

    Also just wanted to comment how I just love Woolsey. You guys did a great job making me love a character I had just tolerated.

  13. Haha, the valet story is brilliant. With my job at quitline, I sometime mix up “do you have an email address?” with other questions and come out with things like “do you have a name? Do you have a home address?”

    When I was in high school I worked at KFC for a year. We were underpaid and understaffed, so we were often doing 2 or 3 jobs at once. One day I was assembling burgers with the drive-through head set on and greeted someone with “welcome to KFC, you’re speaking to Eileen. Can I take your money?” Now, normal protocol would be asking for their order, then taking their money. Good thing it was a car full of drunk guys on their way to the rugby, they found it hilarious.

  14. Regarding yesterday’s blog…

    Seriously, the guy left the door opened and peed while you were giving a presentation?! I don’t think I’d want to work for him if produced Lord of the Rings (or any other massive grossing movie). What a jerk.

    Glad the agent dinner went well.

    And wow, you guys had quite the trip didn’t you? Poor things without decent navigation!

    Hope it all works out!

    Regarding today’s blog…

    Sounds like you’ve got a busy schedule ahead of you. And that poor valet–how embarrassing! Then again, I make stupid little mistakes like that all the time. LOL

    For Twelve Hawks…

    1) Is there a reason for the pen name? One you’d be willing to share, I suppose. As in, is it because you’re actually a secret CIA agent and/or Russian spy, or merely because you don’t ever want your mother knowing what you’ve written?

    2) Have you ever “overhead” a conversation on your book, or a pen name (either online, in print, or in the bookstore) and kind of laugh or smile because they have no idea? What is your general reaction to that kind of situation?

    3) Does the name have a specific meaning? Was there a specific reason you chose it? You needn’t answer why if you don’t want, I’m just wondering about the history behind it.

    Thanks to you, Joe, and to John Twelve Hawks!

  15. Glad you made it out alive… although hate to jinx your plane flight!

    I sympathise with your valet attendant. I think we all have those days where our mouths and brains are not connected, yet so often our mouths and a foot are connected. A client emailed me yesterday with “I think with my bust schedule, I sometimes get forgetful”. I asked him if his wife was aware of his very extracurricular activities.

    In my strange little universe here I take “delightfully wacky” as a compliment, but then I read the Possibly Related Posts: Why I Hate Australia and maybe I need to rethink my interpretation.

    Sylvia writes: “Thus, it was appalling that Nash wanted to pursue and was directing efforts to communicate with the intelligence found in the super computer. They had no idea or guarantee that the entities would not end up destroying earth or the live they had.”

    Answer: Hell, yes. This was my thought exactly. Those technologically advanced entities seeking access to our reality are going to be trouble. The Tabula better have a plan to deal with them if the need arises. And the fact that, like I said, they are technologically advanced could make dealing with them easier said than done.

    I was thinking along the lines of the Ophiuchi Hotline but it seemed to have a much more sinister feel about it.

  16. Nice to see you’re back safe.

    And…the Phillies won the World Series! W00T! The Delaware valley is celebrating tonight!!!

    das

  17. Joe,

    I was wondering if I could ask you some advice? I have decided to enter nanowrimo this year, I think it will be a lot of fun even if I don’t finish on time or get the desired word count. Anyway I was wondering, have you ever participated in any kind of competition such as nanowrimo or anything else like it? If yes, how did you feel about it? I only have a very vague plot at the moment and two days until I can start writing proper. What are your thoughts on developing a good plot? Thanks for your time.

    Jessica

  18. How did you like L.A…born on the east coast I have never been to that part of the states. But in the last 10 years I have been to Vancouver so many times my sister is married to a Canadian,. I have good friends there.

  19. Hi Joe,

    Thanks for finding time to still give us updates during your travels. It’s a joy to hear from you everyday, I love your sense of humour!

    As for mailbag questions…yes please, I have a major one that’s I’m terribly worried about.

    (Spoiler alert: please skip if you don’t want to know about the last two episodes of SGA S5)

    Why is the “Alternate Universe” Todd in Vegas wearing the same clothes as our wonderful, gorgeous, brilliant and humorous Todd, that we know and love dearly, in Enemy At The Gate?

    If it’s not an AU Todd in Vegas but a lead up to the next episode (EatG) then why is he in a cage? What will that do to him psychologically? You’re not going to hurt Todd are you?

    I am, however extremely happy that Todd’s in 3 more episodes and the movie to boot (“pallid one?”)! I’ve been ending all of my sentences with that same phrase and some people I live with are starting to strangle me 🙂

    Thanks again!

  20. Coucou Joseph!!! sa va???

    Moi oui^^! C’est cette aprés midi que je serais dans un Podcast^^! J’espert que tout va bien ce passer!!
    Alalal impatiente de voir stargate atlantis le film!! j’espert ne pas être déçu^^!!!
    Donc voila^^!! Passer une trés bonne journée!!!
    Big Bisou, je vous adore♥

  21. Hi again Mr M!

    Hope you had a pleasant flight back from LALA land. Those pitching stories are very funny. I recently (on your recommendation) read Plague Year which is a fab read…Any chance you could develop this into a Screen Play? I think it has great movie material!

    Delighted to hear that the old team is spinning for SGU!

    Just caught the Lost Tribe…What a great ep!! Dark side Asgard…Love it!

    Best to all

    S’n’T

  22. Vanilla sauce or no, I wouldn’t eat pork belly.

    Safe home.

    And fingers crossed for good news in the week(s) to come.

  23. Ellison cultivated this trait in himself and, well, there’s no denying the guy has done pretty well for himself. In short – if you’re confident in yourself and your abilities, the world is your oyster. Or, if you’re my wife, the world is your clam.
    Agreed. I think you’ve done ok too.

    The Curse is OVER!! Been waiting 28 years to say it again
    PHILLIES WIN THE WORLD SERIES!!
    DD

  24. Yes, well, you never know, when people will forget their last name. I guess it depends on the time of day and the condition you are in when asked.

  25. Hey Joe!

    I hope to hear great news about your horror film then in the next few weeks! 😀

    Mailbag returns? HORRAY! I have a question. Do you think you might write for Amanda’s *Sanctuary*? I see many SG people are involved in her show. Sorry if you’ve already had this question.

    Do you need a *I survived L.A.* shirt? 😉

    Hope the flight home was safe and pretty much uneventful. BTW, my mom wants me tell you that she was carded in the Tampa airport in September. 😯 She’s north of 60 and a grandmother 9 times over. She wants you to know she feels your pain.

    Trish 😀

  26. YPF, for the record, is one of the funniest movies I have ever seen. I went and saw it by accident having never heard of it before showing up at the cinema. imagine my surprise when I saw a list of names I recognized get shown on the screen. I was pretty excited at the connection with my favourite show and the amazing movie that I had just seen.
    Please pass on congratulations and thanks for that gem. It’s about time Canada churned out some good stuff. No more depressing movies and between those guys and Paul Gross we’re getting way better.

  27. Since you’re finally around to answer my burning questions…

    1) So, what’s up with the Genii? Thought they were allies when Ladon took over, but seeing what they did in last week’s ep en how the team spoke about them, kinda not anymore?

    2) Will there be any open arcs wrapped up before the series’ end, or is that something for the movie(s)?

    3) Ever had a ‘damn, with I’d put that in the episode’ moment, right after the episode was shot?

  28. Here’s some hyper-space related questions for the mailbag:

    1.How come we haven’t seen a F-302 jump into hyperspace. In season 6, the other fighter was able to make short jumps just fine.

    2. How come the Daedalus never exits hyperspace next to Atlantis? Is it just protocol to exit in orbit?

    3. How come enemies can’t exit hyperspace inside Atlantis shield?

    4. How come we haven’t seen any Wraith telepathy in recent episodes/seasons?

  29. I have finally managed to lay my hands on Varese Sarabande, a 30th Anniversary Celebration – A Chronicle of Great Film Music 2003-2008.

    The interesting thing is this – Song No18 on Disc 3 is ‘Stargate Atlantis Main Title’.

    Now, reading above, we deduce that this is a 4 X CD collection of FILM Music. Therefore THERE IS ALREADY A STARGATE ATLANTIS MOVIE OUT THERE! 😯

    Joe has obviously been holding out on us.

    I refuse to believe the good people at Varese Sarabande are wrong. 🙂

  30. No more David Tennant as Doctor Who…double damn…I don’t know who could take over after him=(

    So I just finished book 2 of the Night Angel Trilogy by Brent Weeks…wow…this guy rocks.

    Did I miss the next BTOM picks?

    All my cats are sick right now so I have not been able to do much of anything other than give them medicine, go to the vets, and try to sleep sometime.

  31. Jessica,
    I am doing nanowrimo for the first time this year…let me know how you do…

    Jessica
    Joe,

    I was wondering if I could ask you some advice? I have decided to enter nanowrimo this year, I think it will be a lot of fun even if I don’t finish on time or get the desired word count. Anyway I was wondering, have you ever participated in any kind of competition such as nanowrimo or anything else like it? If yes, how did you feel about it? I only have a very vague plot at the moment and two days until I can start writing proper. What are your thoughts on developing a good plot? Thanks for your time.

  32. 1. Will there be anything in the remaining episodes that will make fans go “I didn’t expect to see that happening” (I’m hoping you can answer with one of the following: yes, no, maybe or no comment)?

    2. What is the total number of episodes that Keller will be in this season?

    3. What is the total number of episodes that Teyla will be in this season?

    4. Will you be dressing up the pugs for Halloween?

  33. Hi there Joe

    Mailbag coming up huh, well better pull out some wraith questions in the hopes of answers.

    *come on tell us what the deal was with those smooth haired pics of Todd. Was it a look they tried and didn’t like or was it from a cut scene that will be on the dvd?

    *when will we know for absolute sure that Todd will be in the movie? Don’t suppose you’ll tell us how big a role he’ll play will you?

    *do you know if there will be an interview or something on the dvd with Chris H.

    *general wraith question- do they sleep (not hibernation) and is it lying down or standing up?

    *don’t suppose you want to tell us about their grooming habits, if it’s more bug like or such. ( it would have been hilarious if there was a moment in ‘the queen’ when one of the team had walked in on Kenny brushing out Todds hair, Todd complaining he was being too rough and Kenny snarking back he wouldn’t have this problem if only he brushed it more often) sorry for that image but it cracks me up

    *in ‘common ground’ Todd said that the gift was given to their brothers but, ‘broken ties’ wraith tells us no sympathy for the fallen. So, what’s the deal with that then? Speaking of brotherhood we haven’t really seen much of it, they seem so ready to turn on each other how can there be a sense of brotherhood when there is no trust?

    that’s all i can remember from the last time i asked questions. now to cross fingers and toes and hope for answers.

  34. Dyginc said,

    “No more David Tennant as Doctor Who…double damn…I don’t know who could take over after him=( “

    What? Huh? 🙁 Guess I’ll have to savor my Series 4 DVDs when I get them in November.

    Kinda like savoring the last eps of SGA – til the movie, that is. Mmmmm….savory SGA goooodnessssss….

    eddy

    P.S. Hi Joe!

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