So I received an email from a web buddy (a real friend- a guy who asked that I don't use his real name in my books and articles) telling me that after reading singer/songwriter/blogger JASON MRAZ's www.freshnessfactorfivethousand.blogspot.com yesterday, he got all turned-on to "The Four Agreements, asking if I was I familiar with the book.
What The Hell---
I don't re-write this blog, it comes, as the song goes, 'Straight From the Heart.' My novels take me forever, but I just bang-out this blog. That's the point: to provide a peek inside my head. Some cats wanna do the couch and a buck fifty an hour Doctor-Patient thing. Me? I'm not that patient.
I wrote, FROM MEMORY, the FOUR AGREEMENTS in my March 1 blog, "An Axe for the Frozen Sea Within Us (another quote from memory). You see, I am kinda proud of www.houseofh2o.blogspot.com, that is, of my respect for free association (and not like the "And Along Comes Mary" Association, either, although I did grow up near Glendale's Ice House, was the youngest contestant on 'Name That Tune,' and so, that reference-off the top of my head (AS ARE ALL THINGS HERE AT WATER HOUSE) was an easy one.
***Shit...I can't even think of another song by The Association... so, let's get back to Miguel Ruiz's book, 'The Four Agreements.
The book The Four Agreements CHANGED MY LIFE (well, actually? Reading it changed my life) and I have referenced it so many times to so very many of my peeps these past few years and, six weeks before MR A-Z mentioned it on his blog, I wrote about it-about The Agreements-on MY blog.s
One of the women working on getting my novel "The King of Diamonds" up and online this summer prior to my Hollywood friends hustling the screenplay based on my little book, well, she tells me that I've had thousands of "hits' checking out my profile, which, she says means many times that number reading the blog. We re-started the counter in February on all three sites and are getting hundreds of hits per week here at BLOGSPOT (partly, I'm told, because I
reference www.houseofh2o.blogspot.com on my other sites and in radio and pod interviews).
So why am I sweating getting 'The King of Diamonds' out there? Well, mostly it is because I know the way Hollywood works. Or I thinks I do. My story-about an "impossibly handsome" pop singer who incorporates original illusions in his show- has already been messed with. In fact, the "Draft Screenplay" I started to read made me wanna vomit. These geniuses took a 22-year old singer, who grew up in LA with a superstar father (Danny Diamond starred in the hit sitcom 'The King of Diamonds,' playing the kinda-dumb husband to the first female Governor of the State of California), a kid who gets his great looks from his savvy mother who was known as "the prettiest showgirl in Vegas" back in the day. Young Darin writes his own songs, idolizes performers like Jackson Browne, and finally finds a partner-Matt White- with whom he can share his career.
And his onstage female assistant- Mystina- is his off stage girlfriend, Tina.
So the weirdo who wrote this first script said he wanted to make it more "Gay friendly." What a dumbass. The book, while pure fiction, is based on my very real experiences in show business. My book, like my life, (if one needs a definition) is 'Hetro friendly.'
Back to the battle of the blogs-
As for Jason Mraz and his freshness factor? Let's see? What can I say?
You see, Mraz is such a talent, such an incredible musician, such a fine artist that I really have nothing critical to say. How dare I? He's a guy who makes me weep (Bela Luna) makes me smile (Curbside Prophet) and makes me proud to be a friend (You and I Both) He's that good...I hate him that much! Or probably the opposite. Those emotions are two sides of the same coin, no?
In the studio? After a great take? The producer turns to the artist ( be it Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Kenny Rankin, Kenny Loggins, whomever) and says "Good," or "That's a take." They don't go on and on and on and on- (Down in Jamaica, they got, lots a pretty women. Steal your money then they break your heart) So I won't, either.
So after I cooled-down, I assured my famous phone friend that I completely understood his wanting to check out the Four Agreements because of Mraz and not me. And, I told him that all was forgiven, that I was pulling into the bookstore and had to go. But then (and by 'then' I mean like 20 minutes ago, as I entered my favorite Barnes and Noble in Las Vegas) I freaked-out. On display was Dan Millman's 'The Way of the Peaceful Warrior,' a book I gave AS A GIFT to my celebrity cel phone web buddy last year, a book I just now remembered that he, after seeing it listed in MRAZOPRAH's reading list, asked if I had read it.
I stepped over to the Starbucks section, drank-down a latte and thumbed my ChuckBerry's green 'call back' button.
He answered after one ring. "What?"
"I'm at Barnes & Noble. You know that Barnes is cool..."
"Right, but word on the street is Noble is a real prick." He remembered the line.
"So, why is it that if I blog about books..., even when I BUYS you books, Jason Mraz gets the credit." I must have been kinda pissed. The pretty-much deaf guy had looked-up from his morning paper, squinted in my direction and shook his head.
"Will--- the only reason I even know about Mraz is because of you. Well, that's not true, but you always have him blaring in the car whenever we go anywhere. YOU are the one who loves the guy. I just like the song where he tells his chick to: Take off her makeup. Or shoes. or corkscrew..."
I cooled-down right away. So what if a 'two-pump chump' can't last?
"So you DO remember the Nick Nolte story I told you? How he went to Westside High School with my friend's older brother, and how I always saw Nolte in the role of Soc as I was reading "Peaceful Warrior?"
"You do remember that my character, Darin Diamond, in my novel, sings along to Mraz in the shower, right? I had you read that part, remember? "I Melt With You," remember?
Silence. Then breathing, nose exhaling. I hate that. Sounds like a Shuttle launch.
"In the book I'm writing now, the character Roy Richards, is super-tuned into what everyone else is thinking. He's able to get laid all of the time, ever since he was a kid, is totally focused on the present, and actually hears the voice of Lady Luck when he's inside casinos, making him THE MOST 'in the moment' character ever. Do you recall us talking about that?"
"Is that the guy who gets 86'ed from Caesars because they think he's cheating?" Oh, snap!
"That's the one." I was starting to feel better about my famous phone friend, about our friendship.
"Hey, Will? You know I love you, right? And not in a gay way. Well, maybe a little gay, like when you do your hair and wear that pink-ish shirt...''
"OK, OK. Yes. What?"
"It's just... you are so easy to piss off, man. You are just too easy."
"Ish." I'd like to think that I pushed the little red, receiver- shaped "hang-up" button before he hung up on me.
I promised him years ago that I'd never use his name in anything that I wrote. The guy is pretty famous, and it's cool that he speaks freely with me. Besides, if I did use his name, it could change the way people might read what I've written.
OK, now it's weird... like you are trying to guess who it is. He is a very famous guy. But fame? It exists in YOUR head... and rarely in the head of the one you think of as famous.
OK, OK. He's a really great actor. And yeah, he probably IS a little gay for me, which is a little weird as he is surrounded by beautiful peeps all of the time. 100% straight but gay in a "I love ya, bro" kinda way. I wrote the 'Bromance' King of Diamonds based on our strong feelings.
Oh, man... I just thought of some more 'Association' music!
"Who's looking out the streets of the city? Armpits stink in the burnin' sun? Everyone knows it's Windy!" (OK, I may have re-written part of that lyric).
As for my friend who is the only one I allow to see my novels as I'm working on them? The guy who quotes Jason Mraz and not me? The one who doesn't want me to
use his name (but loves it when I use our real situations in my novels)? Will I ever write his name?
"Never My Love."
(Now that's a song, no?)
Note: If you have not gotten it yet, please understand that this blog- houseofh20- it is a FIRST DRAFT, just-off -the- top -of -my- head -type-thing, (and I mean that not in the way you do when you say that phrase to a hooker or your barber), and I am actually thrilled when people take the time to check-in to see if I am out of my mind.
I CAN write... and some think I'm getting pretty good at it. The King of Diamonds, while completed in just 90 days, turned out to be a nice young novel about an interesting young performer. I SO hope that you will read it, even if you just do so online. If a film is made, I'll bet they totally mess it up, making everyone older and stupid (In my mind, Darin Diamond is played by Speed Racer himself, EMILE HIRSCH, or even the real magician, DARREN ROMEO. His dad, Danny Diamond is Joe Montegna and singer/dancer Matt White is Dancing With the Stars' DEREK HOUGH.
The truth is that I would be thrilled if a film is made, no matter how much they change things round.