Monday, August 30, 2010

What Happens in Vegas, Even if You're Not in Vegas

I feel like a movie set stalker. Today, I drove through Kittanning, a small river town north of Pittsburgh where Janet Evanovich's One for the Money is being filmed. I walked along the river and listened to the glorious calls.


"Background!" (And cars start moving along the bridge).

And finally, "Action!"

If I didn't have to drive up to Indiana University of Pennsylvania today to reserve a study space in the library, as they all go within hours of the first day of classes, I could have been driving one of those cars.


But instead, I listened from the sidelines as the cool breeze blew through the trees in the riverside park and the morning sun reflected off the water. For people who live in New York City or Los Angeles, movie sets may be common place. Pittsburgh has played host to several film crews, especially recently, but it's still fresh and exciting to see the trailers, actors, and cameras in town.

And seeing all of that in Kittanning this morning reminded me of last week. Point of information: production companies make background actors (aka extras) sign confidentiality agreements that specify the actors will not talk or publish pertinent information about shooting. This includes locations and plot points.

They might say something like what happens on the set stays on the set. But they might also say when the movie comes out, feel free to blog, tweet, and Facebook all you like.

If you're following me, good. If not, rewind, and read between the lines.

In other words, I've taken some notes about my experience in "Vegas", and when a certain movie hits theaters, I will post more details about filming.

In the meantime, it's back to IUP for me (classes start tomorrow) and more work on my revisions (which are going well) of THESE WALLS CAN TALK.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Very exciting Monday morning

After several emails, I have finally managed to get hired as an extra on a movie set.

I'm not saying much just yet because I want to be a good extra. But later, I will blog and let you know anything I can. Hopefully I'll have a few photos as well - not of the set. Cameras and phones are strictly prohibited on set. But I'll see what I can do!

Happy Monday, everyone!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Jackie Evancho - wow

The city of Pittsburgh is a buzz over the 10-year-old singing sensation Jackie Evancho. Jackie wowed audiences on America's Got Talent, but she has been making a name for herself in the city for some time now, even being compared to another Pittsburgh native, Christina Aguilera.

There are several YouTube videos of Jackie, including this one:

Monday, August 16, 2010

How very (and depressingly) true...

Hard at work today, so it won't take years...

"It can take years. With the first draft, I just write everything. With the second draft, it becomes so depressing for me, because I realize that I was fooled into thinking I’d written the story. I hadn’t—I had just typed for a long time. So then I have to carve out a story from the 25 or so pages. It’s in there somewhere—but I have to find it. I’ll then write a third, fourth, and fifth draft, and so on."


Get more Advice for Writers.
P.S. This is definitely not a Rainy Days and Mondays post!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

I Survived Summer School

I hate to be such a drama queen, but I did, in fact, survive summer school. Good to hear, right?

Although the reading and writing seemed tortuous at times, I actually enjoyed my classes and especially enjoyed the company. I'm on a break now until Aug. 30, but a break from school is not a break from work.

In the fall, I have an amazing opportunity waiting for me. I will be the graduate assistant to Dr. Lynne Alvine who teaches a Literature for Adolescents course. My assignment will be to read YA literature and discuss it with the students in the class among other duties assisting Dr. Alvine. I've already started reading the books on the list.

The first was Chris Lynch's Inexcusable in which a teenage girl makes an allegation against a teenage boy. Unlike so many YA books on the shelves, this story is told through the perspective of the boy. His view of the world could be considered naive and/or twisted. I won't divulge the surprises, but I would recommend the book. I think it will make for some great class discussion this fall.

Now, I'm rereading Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak. It's been years since I read it the first time. The voice is surprisingly funny, especially the way Melinda names the people around her. The voice is so candid and surprisingly aware. This book is one of the top recommendations in YA literature. If you haven't read it, you really should.

Other than reading ahead for the Literature for Adolescents course, I am back to revising my manuscript, THESE WALLS CAN TALK. I've been hoping to submit it to agents since July, but it's not ready. I want to send them my best work, so I've found a way to be patient. Hopefully, I will have it ready soon.

Hope everyone's enjoying the last days of summer...