by Mel Gilden
All kinds of small but relevant publishing news has come to me this week.
I am told that an important person at Newline Cinema is reading a script written by a friend of mine and I a few years ago. The story concerns a new take on Santa Claus, and we're hoping that it will become a perennial, like Miracle on 34th Street. Of course, we have to sell the sucker first. Even so, the fact that somebody is reading it is encouraging.
Because I sometimes have trouble sleeping, I listen to the radio in the middle of the night. I know that under the same circumstances some people watch TV, but at that hour I find the light coming from a TV screen to be intrusive. Radio is much more personal and intimate.
One of the programs I enjoy listening to most is the call-in program of George Noory on local station KFI. George is a protégé of Art Bell, and their interests seem to be similar. Their guests usually come from various fringes; they are experts on big foot, on UFOs and alien visitations, on crop circles, on life after death, on numerology, and so on. I don't necessarily believe everything I hear, but I generally find the talk pretty entertaining.
One of the subjects that comes up again and again on George's show is something called remote viewing. What I glean from listening to the expert guests is that remote viewing is a technique that allows the viewer to predict the future, and see what is going on inside boxes on the other side of the world. Courses are offered, but I've never taken one.
I am not changing the subject when I tell you that once a month the YMCA where I exercise holds a book sale — 33 cents a book. One of the books offered last month was a fundamental text on remote viewing. I haven't read it yet, but the back cover tells me that I can learn everything I need to know by studying what's inside. I figured for 33 cents I could be a sport. I'll let you know if and when my mind is expanded.
Because of a cutback in the budget, the LA Times Kids' Page is no longer buying original stories. However, they are still publishing reprints. My one part story, "A Box Full of Fun" will be printed again on Sunday, February 19th.
After having a kid's book rejected because "the plot was too deeply buried in the whimsicallity," I sent my agent another unsold novel, one I believe has an unburied plot. The book is all written, but because I hope it will be the first in a series, I need to come up with some ideas for further volumes. This is not always easy. The subconscious is a lazy beast, and if Damon Knight was right about this sort of thing, I must convince it that I am serious about the work or it will refuse to generate any ideas. Damon has been right so far, but I keep pounding away.