Live from Hollywood, it’s…

Well, what a week! The Shadowkeeper was not a winner on the big night, prize-wise (small pout) but, by the end of the night, I had one definite lunch for this week, two requests for the script and tentative lunches (to be confirmed after they’d read the script) which is, after all the main point. It’s not a bad start considering that most of the industry folk dashed out the door pretty quickly this year, taking request forms to be sent to Script Pimp Friday and Monday, instead of facing the wide-eyed scribes congregating round the bar! It was a great night (though the comedy unfortunately left much to be desired) and it was so good to experience that very rare thing for writers: professional camaraderie (we are a lonely lot!) Friday and Saturday were spent interspersing sight-seeing with the hunt for printing and faxing capabilities to get release forms to the right people. We have done a few “Hollywood” things: We spent a magical, balmy night at the Hollywood Bowl picnicking as Etta James sang after which we walked halfway home and wandered down Hollywood Bvde, past the Kodak and Mann’s Theatres (I highly recommend doing this at quarter to midnight, when the crowds are gone;) and we’ve strolled Rodeo Drive, though we arrived late in the day and were distracted in an antique jewelry store in Beverley for over an hour which curtailed our time and so, unfortunately, we will have to return to walk the other side of the street. Not very Hollywood but spectacular nevertheless was the Tutankhamun exhibition. To stand in the same room with artifacts I have studied since I was a child was quite breathtaking, particularly the two Akhenaten pieces – I spent a long time with them. The main joy was that they were mounted in such a way that one could walk right around each artifact and see them from side and rear angles which are rarely presented in books. My very favourite discovery was on a statue of Tuthmose and his mother Tiaa sitting with their middle arms disappearing around each other. I had seen the front view so many times in print and, not only was it much smaller than I imagined but, when walking around it, you can see that the scupltor has carved their hands reaching round and resting on the back of the shoulder of each figure. Tuthmose’s fingers are long and strong and reach almost right round his mother’s shoulder but Tiaa’s hand is small and slim and barely reaches the back of her son’s arm. Jenny and I have explored West Hollywood, where we are based, and I’m starting to feel almost at home on Santa Monica Boulevard – especially now we are in a friend’s apartment instead of the hotel (of course that could just be the full range of communications at hand. I now have to admit that I am an accessibility addict – I hated not having the net on tap.) The architecture, of homes and buildings alike, is striking here. The sheer variety, creativity and unashamed romanticism is a contrast to Australia that I didn’t expect. No one merely copying the next door neighbours, nor fretting over an extra corner here and there because of the cost – design seems to rule here, even in the smallest, humblest of buildings. Still, that doesn’t stop me being homesick already! Most surprisingly of all, we have discovered that LA does, indeed, have a fantastic public transport system! Buses criss-crossing the city from the Hollywood Bowl to Venice Beach to Downtown to Westwood which, for $3 a day, you can jump on and off until 3a.m. though it does highlight the racial divide here, which is shockingly accute. Well that’s my ramble for today. We are starting the pavement pounding work in earnest this week, so keep your fingers crossed for us…

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