Pamela Harris

Heart Heart August 12, 2013

This freelance gig is at the same publishing house as last year's gig, but the project I'm on is very different. I'm looking at ebook versions of the publishers backlist, i.e. books that have already been on sale in print. There isn't time to read each book so I look for anomalies in patterns, i.e. font changes, style changes, punctuation and spelling errors, credit or title errors, etc.

Skimming books versus reading them means that by the end of day I have all kinds of bits and willies stuttering through my brain. I did a book on Einstein and didn't realize what a pacifist he was; did a book on the Partisans of Vilna, which was where my stepfather was from before he went into the camps. I did a book on chastity and why girls should save it for Jesus until marriage and followed it with a romance novel where basically everyone was giving it up to anyone named Cade or Buck or Chastity or Freelance.

I'm getting a wide view of the bread and butter of publishing, or what makes the presses turn (or used to). Death shows up repeatedly, mostly in how to avoid it, and every few books I do seem to have the word 'Heart' in the title. Though so far there's no 'I Heart Death,' so I'm planting that in my file to use it on a future project. I Heart that title.

I still need my book runs to clear my head when I've been staring too long at the screen and this go around I'm finding hard copies of a lot of the cookbooks I did last time. It means I'm building a kick-ass cookbook collection, which I mindlessly flip through when I miss the dog.

Speaking of the dog, a new run opened and we took her there this weekend. Joe's taken her there during the week, but it was nice to walk the piers and then walk along the water.


Sisters August 5, 2013

We keep in touch with our dog's foster mom. She kept our dog's sister and we occasionally swap pictures. The top pic is our two dogs and their brother when she took care of them all. The bottom is her dog now. It's uncanny how much our dogs look alike.

I love writing about the dog, but I'm eager to write a longer post. This whole working full time out of the house is discombobulating.


Three-Quarter Birthday July 29, 2013

Nine months today.


Fruit Bat July 22, 2013

Canteloupe? Cantaloupe? As God is my witness I will trample a chihuahua for cantaloupe !

I started a freelance gig two weeks ago and am just catching my breath. It's short term, but full time. I write early mornings or late afternoons, so my morning routine with the dog is now an evening routine. Yesterday we did our usual out early dog run and were both the better for it.

Thursday morning she came into the bedroom as I was getting dressed and put her paw on my foot and rested her head on my knee with big sad eyes. I can't even look at her when I leave.


Pool Balls July 14, 2013

Hot weekend. Lots of swimming.

She likes to enter a bench from behind. She's a dog, so I don't ask.

Balls in the pool. It's how we get her in.

The last photo is chasing dragonflies.




Bad Dog July 7, 2013

It's hot. We take her to the dog run early, before the sun gets too high so we can get her home by 9:30 a.m. Other dog owners think the same thing so it was crowded this morning. Twenty dogs running from one end to the other, stopping only for a run through a fountain. Mine chases or gets chased for an hour and a half, then we walk home. She'll chew a toy and sleep for a few hours, and the rest of the day she's mellow from her morning romp. Except for this morning. She came home and slept like a cute little bunny, then woke up, stretched, and from nowhere she grabs my camisole off a chair and rrrrrip - she splits it down the middle.

I'm out of my chair as she grabs the socks out of my sneakers and then she does a drive by where she grazes my knee and waves the sock as she runs across the room. I get the sock from her and she runs down the hall and half leaps onto the bed to grab something off there. I manage to block her and bam! She's back down the hall and swipes a Netflix envelope off the table. It's shredded in four seconds and as I wrestle it away she's back in the kitchen grabbing a sock. Shirt, sock, pants, sock, shirt - we both got a workout. I finally took her outside for a walk around the block and that seemed to do it.



(photo by and miniature set by Charles Brogdon, On the Set)

When I was 22 I had my first revelation that I might have a drug problem. At the time I was trying to kick a coke habit, so I tried crack. After that first hit - I had never felt anything like it - something deep down said this is the drug that will kill me. I made a deal with myself: if I never smoke crack again I can keep snorting cocaine. I never smoked crack again, but a piece of me knew that negotiating one for the other probably wasn't good thinking.

Some time later I went to a party and a friend was there with his girlfriend. Someone offered her a drink and she took water. When someone handed her a mirror with a line on it she casually passed. She didn't smoke cigarettes either; though I had told everyone I quit I was sneaking onto roofs and hanging out windows to steal puffs off a Marlboro Light when I thought I could get away with it. I was intrigued by this girl and tried to imagine what it would be like to not drink or do drugs or smoke cigarettes. I couldn't imagine it, but wanted to.

Over the years if someone mentioned 'spiritual life' or 'higher power' the words would catch in my ear. Same with 'meditation.' For all of it I pictured gurus with long beards and people chanting so I'd cancel the idea of it out. The last ten years of using I was a pothead and every night (and eventually every day) I'd get high and trace figure-eights around my apartment. I'd listen to music and have moments of awareness of how I was getting in my own way, or what patterns I was repeating and how they weren't working for me. Then the next morning would come and the button would reset and I'd start all over again doing what I was doing.

My mind is like a wood chipper in that it takes everything in and frantically chews the shit out of it. I used to grind life up to try to make sense of it. I'm curious about the world around me, so a sense of wonder would pepper the sawdust, too. When I got clean I tried to meditate but my head was a pinball. After a couple years I started going to a once a week meditation group a friend led. It took a year before I could actually quiet my mind for a few minutes out of 20. Now I try to meditate regularly and when I do my head might still monkey around, but I'm sitting.

This morning I was meditating and suddenly realized how powerless I am over what's going on right now. A few months back I wrote about how it doesn't go the way I think it's gonna and at the end that of the post I mentioned that I wrote a new pilot and it had changed everything. It's true - I got the pilot to a production co., a studio came on board and they took the project to a premium cable network. Premium cable loved it, then passed and everyone dropped out. I got the project back and got it to a writer/producer who at the time was with the tv show JUSTIFIED. He loved it, and though he couldn't take it to FX he wanted to help me get a manager, which he did. I love my manager. And the writer/producer.

When I create a show I write the pilot and also create a whole platform for it including ways to maximize the business end of it. The shows I create become very real for me - I see that world in 3D and see how it fits into this one. When I get a pass I get blue and frustrated and pissed, but passes have no effect on how I feel about the project. If anything it makes me more ambitious. Going through that process showed me it isn't personal when I get a pass. Plus, new people read my work and all want to read what I do next.

Recently I finished a new project, a half-hour comedy (the other pilot is a one-hour comedic drama) and my manager is just starting to take it out. I wrote the best pilot I could and I'm so ready to get a show on the air, yet I'm powerless over what happens next. I've done everything I can to try to make this happen, and what I do now is start a new project. Writer/producers keep telling me that's how it's done. Faith tells me the same. So that's what I'm doing.


Cronuts July 1, 2013

The dog goes down for her first walk around 6:30 a.m. and for the last 2 months or so we've noticed a line forming outside the Dominique Ansel bakery on Spring Street. It's mostly a corporate crowd, suits and ties and dresses and heels and they don't look like interns. The bakery opens at 8:00 and what these people are on line for are Cronuts.

We don't take the dog to the basketball court anymore but we spun through there early Friday morning. It was her second walk, the one where she goes and romps for a bit around 7:45. The Cronut line now wraps around the court; it used to wrap the other way and I'm guessing neighbors complained. At a party Saturday someone brought Cronuts for the hosts and I got the lowdown: you're allowed 2 per person; if you're not waiting by 7:30 they'll sell out before you make it inside; the bakery workers don't think they're the best thing they make.

I love donuts from just about anywhere and my favorite croissants come from Francois Payard on West Houston, though I've eaten one from a roadside stand in Ecuador and that was pretty perfect, too. The idea of a mash-up has no appeal. Any Cronut fans out there who say tasting is believing?


The Paw and Bone Pool June 24, 2013

We joined a neighborhood dog run. I was on the fence about having to pay for my dog to play, but it's very clean and they have a pool. No towel service yet or grilled cheese sandwiches with a Hoodsie for dessert, but we're working on it.



Zonked June 17, 2013

Growth spurts are tough on her. Mixed with today's humidity she's barely moving. Kitchen to eat, living room to sleep, downstairs to pee, back up to conk out.