A Quick Update

by Mel Gilden

I'm back again at last. You'd be amazed, or maybe you wouldn't, how easy it is to put off keeping this sort of log when there are more pressing things to do, things that have to do with making money or keeping the cats healthy. But here's a quick update:

After thinking for some months about dumping my agent, she finally dumped me. She noticed, as I did, that we weren't doing much for each other. Certainly, each of us has thoughts on why this might be, but the bottom line is that the marriage just wasn't working. I made contact with other agents, but have not yet signed on with any of them. I'm hoping that the agent question will be resolved by the end of January, but who knows?

A five-part story of mine was the Christmas story on the Kid's Reading Room page of the Los Angeles Times. It was called "It's A Wonderful Elf."

It's a Wonderful Elf

Well, you just knew someone else had to have the same thought...

To bring in some extra cash I've taken on a transcribing job. I will be given a movie or a TV episode on DVD, and transcribe all the dialog, or as my boss says it, "every sound that comes out of a human mouth." The transcription will be sent to foreign countries where it will be translated into the local language, and actors will dub in the words. You may wonder why the producer of the show can't just send over a script. That's because the transcription needs to be exact, and the actors rarely say exactly what is on the page. They will say something close, or something that means the same thing, but part of being an actor is interpreting the script and saying what feels good in your mouth — not always exactly what is on the page.

I finished my current novel. It is called Dr. Big, and it is sort of a middle grade James Bond type novel. I'm pretty pleased with it, but so far even I haven't read it through without stopping — that's one of the things I look forward to doing in the next few weeks.

I am also thinking about what to write next. I have ideas for a sequel to Dr. Big, but other series of mine are under consideration at publishers. If one of the publishers should bite, the series they are interested in would, of course, be the one I worked on. I'm thinking I'll just leap in with what I want to write, and change projects as necessary.

Anyway, after I finish reading Dr. Big, my trusted readers will read it, I will do whatever fixing seems good to me, and I will pass it on to whoever is my agent.

Speaking of James Bond, I saw Casino Royale. It is an entertaining movie, if a little long. But the big problem is that I am an unreconstructed Sean Connery fan. And though Daniel Craig is a fine actor, he doesn't look like or act like James Bond as I picture him. I am surrounded by people who think Mr. Craig is the best Bond ever, so I may be in a minority here. And my opinion may be fed by the fact that Mr. Connery was the first Bond I saw, and that was back in college, when I was young and impressionable. So the opinion may be a flawed, but it is my own.

And has anyone else noticed that the current year is 007?

On the last day of the old year, The Sweetie took me to the new Griffith Observatory. It has been spruced up considerably, and the exhibit space is almost twice as large as it was. It is loads of fun, and all quite interesting. Don't miss the planetarium show. Spectacular! One problem is that some of the exhibits talk, and they cannot be heard if the exhibit room is full of visitors, as it was the Sunday I was there. What is the solution? Louder loudspeakers? Earphones? Baffles?