Sunday, September 11, 2016

Tuesday Tales - Word Prompt - Paper

Welcome to this weeks edition of Tuesday Tales. This is one of my works in progress. Enjoy!

They sat around the medium sized mahogany table. In front of each of them were a binder, a pad of paper, a yellow highlight pen, a bottle of Perrier water and a white square dish. The center of the table had platters of fresh fruit and assorted breakfast pastries.

The night before Robbie had brought her to see the lofts in Williamsburg, Brooklyn before driving out to his home in Long Island City. The moment Jill stepped foot into the cottage, she had already made her decision. After spending over twenty years in Los Angeles, she was ready for country living.

His house was on at least seven acres of land.  Beyond his house, the in the ground pool and tennis courts was the cottage neatly tucked away behind the trees and shrubs. The rooms were over-sized, but it was the sun room with built in bookcases that sold her. She just hoped that she was making the right decision mixing business with pleasure.

Lou Shapeman, executive producer sat at the head of the table. When he opened his binder, the room became silent. “I’d like to start by thanking everyone for being on time. I’m hoping this will be a habit that we’ll all become accustomed too.”

Everyone laughed breaking the tension in the room. Robbie had forewarned her that at times these meeting became quite intense. His advice had been for her to just sit back and not say anything unless it was related to her.

After close to four hours, they had the script for episode one completed. Jill didn’t need to say much. Lou loved the script. What he changed was some small dialogue and instead of the scene, taking place in a restaurant he moved it to a coffee house, saying that they would need less extras.

 After the meeting, Robbie took her out for lunch and then stopped at the studio in Williamsburg on the way home. From the outside, the building looked like an old warehouse.
Inside the studio had been set up for the taping in two days.

Jill walked around the room. “I love it. I can’t believe that the design team captured my description of the setting so vibrantly.” Walking over to the set of the café, she shook her head up and down. “I have to agree with him on his decision to change the setting from a restaurant to a café.”

“That’s why I told you earlier not to say anything.”

“I wouldn’t have, anyway.”

“Lou is a stickler for people disagreeing with him. He always wants to be right even when he’s wrong. Everyone just appeases him.  I have a way of talking to him making him think he’s the one who came up with the idea.”

“That was me when I was working on the soap. Ricky Lewis hated when people disagreed with him.  I’m glad that you’re the go between man on this set.”

“I’m not thrilled with the job, but I’ve been working with Lou for a long time.  It takes a while to get to know a person. Their likes and dislikes.”

“I agree with you.”

“I’m hoping to find those things about you.”

Jill followed Robbie outside.   One thing about Lou’s office, his secretary makes horrible coffee.”
“We need to stop at Starbucks so I can get us a good cup of coffee.

They sat down on the bench across from the parking garage. Despite the cold weather, Jill felt warm inside. The meeting was a success. Lou complimented her time and time again on how much he loved the episodes she wrote. She loved the boost to her confidence, however, felt bad for the other people around the table who all had a hand in creating the story. She just took the plot and ran with it.

“I want to talk about you,” Robbie pointed at her. “I want to get to know everything there is to know about you.”

“There isn’t much to tell.”

“I know there is a lot going on inside your head. And I’m sure you want to know what’s going on in mine.”  He stood up, taking her hand in his and led her across the street to the parking garage. He handed the gentleman in the garage his ticket and they waited for the car to arrive. “And tonight there’s no getting around it. I’m going to cook you a wonderful dinner. We’re putting work on the back burner and we’re going to talk about us.”


Sunday, September 04, 2016

Tuesday Tales Word Prompt - Spider

Welcome to this weeks Tuesday Tales to the word prompt Spider. This story is about starting over.

Throughout dinner, Robbie talked about his shoot two years ago in Italy. He said after being in Rome, Venice, Naples and Sicily, his favorite place was Sicily. Besides that most of the people in the small town they shot in spoke Sicilian dialect, they were the warmest
and most generous people in the small fishing town.  After dinner they went down the street to an exquisite coffee shop where coffee and shots of Sambuca cost more than fifteen dollars a cup. Kim couldn’t decipher if he brought her there to impress her, or to bring her up to speed on the last trends in New York City.

“Tomorrow, we have an off day. But for the rest of the week we have meetings regarding the television show.  The executive producer is shooting for starting in two weeks.  We have the actors lined up and have decided to shoot in a studio in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.”

“I have no trouble with that.  My car is arriving tomorrow. I’m going to drive to my friend’s house and then start looking for a place to live.”

“That’s been taken care of for you.  The studio has a few lofts not far from the studio. I was thinking that tomorrow we can take a ride over there and you can see which one you would be interested in.”

“I was thinking about buying a house or an apartment.  I’m just not sure.”

“The loft is your to rent, lease or buy.  Or if you want, you can come stay with me for a few weeks until you decide what you want to do.  I have a big house and a cottage in the back that isn’t being used.  You can stay there until you decide. All I have to do is have the cleaning service come in to dust and get rid of the spider webs by the front door.”

“Spiders and dust balls?  When was the last time someone used the cottage?”

Robbie rested his index finger on his cheek.  After a few moments he answered. “I would have to say when my sister came to stay with me a few years ago.”

“Oh.” Jill knew she was floating on uncharted territory. This was getting a little too close for comfort.  Or was it?

Jill lifted her coffee mug to her lips. Throughout her whole career she always had a grip on her life. Sure men always approached her, however, being married always kept her on the straight and narrow.  She would have never cheated on her husband; not that he respected his wedding vows.

“Think about it. I’m just throwing a few options out there for you. I hate to see you rush to buy something you aren’t going to be happy with.”

“Thanks. But somehow I feel as though you have an ulterior motive.”

Robbie sat back in the tall bistro chair. He poured more Sambuca into the crystal shot glass and drank it down in one shot.

“You better believe I do.   I don’t plan on letting you out of my sight.”

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Tuesday Tales - Word Prompt Fly

Welcome to this weeks Tuesday Tales. The story picks up where Jill and Robbie are at Strawberry Fields, in Central Park in New York City. This is a work in progress and has get to be titled.

Their afternoon in Central Park was flawless. They spent an hour at Strawberry Fields listening to different musicians perform their rendition of their favorite Beatle's songs. The slow ones they danced as a couple, the fast ones they sang along with the crowd. Jill couldn’t be more pleased with the way the afternoon had gone.
The only thing missing, to make it a perfect afternoon was feeling Robbie’s lips pressed against hers. As the sun started to set, Robbie took her hand and led her to the fountain where they sat in silence watching the orange colored sky turn into darkness.

Robbie stood first before reaching his hand out to Jill.  “After all that singing and dancing, I worked up a hell of an appetite.”

“To be honest, now that we stopped dancing, I am starting to feel the cold drive through my bones. A cup of coffee would be the perfect antidote,” she said walking along side him.

“Yes it would be, but it’s going to be a challenge keeping you warm until we get there. I know this place down in Little Italy that will serve us espresso before we order our meal.  How does that sound?”

“Sounds great.”

“But for the problem at hand…” Robbie placed his hands on her waist, and leaned into her tenderly kissing her lips.

Jill slid her hands up his leather jacket and rested them on his shoulders. The softness of his lips against hers drove her crazy. After a few minutes, Jill backed out of his embrace.  What was she doing? How could she let herself mix business with pleasure? She wished she could get on the next plane and fly back home to California. But, her life had ended there. All that was left was her broken marriage and a career that went belly up because the network went bankrupt.

“Hey, I thought it would take longer than that to warm you up.”

“I’m still cold.”

Robbie walked over to a street vendor and bought a wool scarf, which he tied around her neck and a woolen hat. “There you go.  That should keep you warm until we get downtown.”

Sticking his hand out, he flagged down a cab.  He opened the door and Jill slid in rubbing her gloved hands together. “Mulberry Street,” he told the cab driver.

“I forgot how cold New York City gets in the winter. I guess that’s the only thing I really miss about California is the hot weather.”

“What would the holidays be without the cold weather or snow?”

 “That’s the one thing I hated about being California in the winter. The last Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I spent sitting out at the pool dangling my feet in the water by myself.”

“You won’t be having anymore holidays like that. We’ll be too busy working on the show. Time doesn’t come to a standstill in New York City. We work on Christmas Eve, and on Christmas Day, for the people on staff who aren’t flying home to be with family or friends, the producers put out a lavish spread on the set. The men you met earlier are family oriented.  They are good people. As long as you’re a part of this set, they take care of you.”

“Wow. I wouldn’t expect that.”

“You’re part of a unique family. I’m a so happy, in more ways than one that we met.”

“Me too.”

The cab pulled up in front of Angelo’s Italian Restaurant. Robbie paid the driver before sliding out of the cab and taking Jill’s hand in his, leading her into the restaurant. The hostess led them to an intimate table against the wall where a beautifully painted picture of Sicily lined the wall.

“Are you ready for a cup of espresso or would you like to have a glass of the best red Italian wine you have ever drank?”

“Since you put it that way, I would have to go with the wine.”

“Perfect choice, for the perfect lady.”

Perfect? He has no idea.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Tuesday Tales - Word Prompt - Write

Welcome to this weeks Tuesday Tales to the Word Prompt - Write. This is a Contemporary Romance which is untitled. Thanks for stopping by.

Robbie stepped out of the elevator first, holding his hand out to Jill. She slid her hand into his as he led her outside into the blast of cold air. Despite the ice cold weather, Jill forgot how beautiful Manhattan looked with a fresh layer of snow hanging off the trees. As a teen her parents had brought her to Rockefeller Center to go ice-skating.  She always loved the freedom she felt skating around, in and out of the crowds.

“Are you up for a short walk?” he asked squeezing her hand.

Jill lifted up her left foot and pointed at her Uggs boots.  “I am good to go.”

“Perfect because I love walking around in…”he trailed off.

“Are you going to tell me where you’re taking me?”

“I’m going to share with you the one place that sooths my soul.”

Jill had no idea where he was taking her.  Not that it matter.  She looked forward to seeing the place that Robbie wanted to share with her. He slid his hand into her wool gloves.  She wondered if this was friendly or if she should read something more into it.  However, after writing on the soap, she knew questioned if true love was even possible, especially since she couldn’t keep her marriage together.

“I look forward to sharing this with you. I could use going to a place to sooth my soul, since it seems that I have a lot of writing ahead of me.”

“If you can write the next few episodes like you wrote the first three, than I don’t think you are going to have a problem at all. And I will give you the time you need to get your work done.  I just feel that after signing the contract, we need to celebrate.”

“I agree. I just can’t believe how fast things are going.  I never expected to be working.  I thought I would be sending resume after resume looking for something.”

“That’s why like is so unexpected.  You never know what’s going to happen from one minute to another.  Finding you was pure luck in more ways than one,” Robbie said squeezing her hand.  “Just a little further.”

They walked along the outside of Central Park. The last time Jill was here was right before   She would sit on the Great Lawn with her writing pad writing out scenes for a book she wanted to write. Funny, how writing a book turned into a long raining stunt writing for a soap opera.
she left
for California. She always loved Central Park, especially during the summer when all the trees where bloomed.

Robbie led her into the park. She held his hand tightly as the walkway was filled with snow and ice.

Robbie stopped walking and faced Jill. “I come here all the time. I hope you appreciate this as much as I do.”

“I’m sure I will. Hopefully I get enough inspiration to spend the night writing away.”

“I have no doubt that you will. Come on, follow me.”

As they walked further onto the path, the sign “Strawberry Field”
was a few feet before they hit the circle. Jill was familiar with this spot as she sat down on the bench many a day listening to amateur musicians playing John Lennon’s songs.

“I’ve been here many times, Robbie. In fact I always sit on the bench over there,” she pointed. “Can we sit there?”

Robbie’s eyebrows flew up.  “That’s the same bench I sit in when I come here. This has always been my place before I moved to California.”

Robbie didn’t answer.  Instead, when a musician starting playing John Lennon’s music on his guitar, Robbie pulled her up against him and started dancing with her, dancing for the duration while the middle aged hippy played his acoustic guitar. 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Tuesday Tales - Word Prompt Smudge

Welcome to this week's edition of Tuesday Tales to the word prompt Smudge. This is a WIP and is untitled.

Jill followed the blonde haired secretary into the long oval office. In the center of the room was a long table with only five chairs occupied.  Her eyes immediately scoped the room until her gaze met Robbie’s, who sat grinning at her.

“Can I get you a cup of coffee, tea or a cold drink?” she asked.

“No, thank you.”

A tall young man dressed in jeans and shirt and tie, stood. “Come in Ms. Reed. Please take a seat next to Robbie. I’m Mr. Nelson. But you can call me Gary. We are informal here.”

Jill shook his hand. “Please, call me Jill.”

“I planned on.”

Jill sat, turning her chair sideways so she could see everyone sitting at the table. As Gary introduced the producer, director and head writer, Jill made a mental note to remember each man’s name and title.

In front of each of them were a binder, highlighter, pen and two pencils. This setup reminded her of meetings when she worked on the soap, except that she was the one sitting in the head writer seat.  

Gary opened spent the next ten minutes telling the staff about her background and awards she had won through the years. He then proceeded to ask everyone to open their binder.  The first few pages were excerpts of the work she had on the soap. Gary went into detail about her work and about how he spoke to the network head that had nothing but wonderful things to say about Jill, causing her cheeks to heat up.

The door to the office opened and his secretary walked in with a dish of muffins, placing it in the center of the table between them. She proceeded to place a coffee mug in front of Jill and filled it with coffee. Jill looked up to thank her and noticed that her lipstick was smudged on her lips.
Nodding her head in thanks, Jill poured milk into her mug and held it between her hands.

“I’d like you to all go to section two.” Gary turned the plastic covered sheet in his binder before helping himself to a muffin.

Section two consisted of the episode she had written. Robbie reached over and squeezed her shoulder. Jill let out a nervous giggle when she saw her name listed as writing the script. Even though she had written thousands of scenes for the soap, seeing her name as writer of a new series sent chills down her spine.

“Everyone has had a chance to review the next two episodes Jill wrote. I’m hoping to get some feedback on the script,” Gary said, breaking off a piece of muffins and eating it.

“I’m really excited at where the sitcom is going,” Darren, the head writer said.  “Jill took a pilot episode and created characters that the audience is going to care about.  She took my idea and ran with it.”

“I like how she was able to develop characters without seeing the initial character sketches I created,” Blake, the sitcom producer added. “Jill is going to be a valuable part of the staff.”

“It’s hard to believe that I had the luck to meet her on the plane.  It’s something how luck has a lot to do with things. “

“Well you found a gem here.”  Gary patted Robbie on his shoulder. “You did an excellent job. I think we are going to have a winner here. Jill?”


“Would it be possible for you to continue working on the next few episodes? I’d like to get this back into production in the next few weeks.”

“Sure. I’ll start working it.”

“Before we do anything, I need for you to go to section four in your binder where you will find your contract. You will see we offer a comprehensive package as well as salary. Look it over and have your attorney send it over to me after you sign.”

“I will. Thank you Gary.”

For the rest of the meeting they talked about the sitcom and where they wanted to see it go and
determine if there were enough characters to keep the plot fresh. After working years on the soap, when the characters went dry, Jill would pull someone from there past out or would create a new situation, love interest or secret baby. But writing a sitcom, opened up so much more than the usual drama.

When Gary stood, so did everyone else.  “We’ll meet back here next Tuesday at 8:30 AM for a breakfast meeting.  Be prepared to work on episode two.  The set designer will also be attending. The pilot only had three scene changes. I was hoping to get some scenes taking place on location throughout Manhattan.  Jill had introduced an on location exchange between two of the characters at the park. So put your thinking caps on and be ready to work.”

Robbie led her out of the office.  Once they were alone on the elevator, Jill shouted out, “Yes.”

“I knew they loved your work.”

“I don’t know how to thank you.”

Robbie grinned. “I can think of a way.”

“Tell me,” she flirted back.

He leaned into her, raised her chin with his thumb and kissed her lips.  “Let me show you my special place in Manhattan.  What do you say?”

Before she could answer the doors to the elevator opened in the lobby.


Sunday, June 12, 2016

Tuesday Tales - Word Prompt - Candy

Welcome to this weeks edition of Tuesday Tales to the word prompt Candy. This is my untitled WIP.

Just when Jill thought things were going well, things seemed to take a detour. The first thing going through her mind was that he hated what she had written. Jill slid onto the loveseat across from Robbie, crossed her legs and held her arms tightly to her chest.

Robbie closed the top of her laptop and turned to face her.  “I’d like to talk about the episode you wrote.”

“No good?” she asked, trying her best not to catch his gaze.

“No, it isn’t good at all.  It’s great.”

Jill’s heart continued to palpitate for a few more seconds. She touched her chest. “You’re kidding me?”

“Not at all. I can’t believe how well you crafted the characters in the second episode. I think you opened up the door to a wonderful series. I especially like how you are developing the potential love interest and his infatuation with his overzealous next door neighbor.”

“Thank you. I took the lead from the characters you created and just ran with it.”

“We’re going into Manhattan for you to see my the producer. He already went to the network executives. They loved the pilot. Now they want to see more before they put it into the fall lineup.”

“I don’t know…”

“Jill I saw the outline and character sketches you drew up. You turned a two scene show into a multi dimensional show. Of course we can’t have all the sets like on a soap, but what you have written, we can tape on location. The network executives are going to love this. Believe me.”

“I’m glad you have so much faith in me. You might wind up being my only fan. I’m not used to writing for primetime television.”

“Get used to it.” Robbie reached his hand out.  “Come on, get up. “We’re going to Manhattan. I’ll give you a few minutes to change, while I call ahead to let them know we’re on our way. I’ll meet you in the lobby in a half hour.”

Before Jill could answer, her hotel door closed behind him.
                                                * * *
Jill sat in the office reception area along side Robbie holding copy of the script. Her nerves drove her crazy. Robbie seemed to have such faith in what she had written, but Jill was starting to have second thoughts. The male character didn’t seem to be strong enough.  She could have developed him a lot more. And if the network executives didn’t like it, then she was back in the same position she had been in when she arrived back to New York.

The door to the office opened, and out came a tall, thin blonde headed woman with a clip board in her hand and bifocals hanging from a silver chain around her neck.  

“Mr. Rossitilo, Mr. Nelson is ready to see you.” Jill and Robbie stood up. But the blonde held out her hand to stop them. “Mr. Nelson wants to see Mr. Rossitilo alone.”

“That’s not a good sign,” Jill whispered.

“It’s all right. Let me go in first with the script and talk to them. I promise I won’t be long.”

Jill lifted a magazine off the table and flipped through it without looking at it. Lots of thoughts ran through her mind. At least she had a place to say for the time being and money to keep her afloat until she found a job.

The more time passed by the more Jill knew that Robbie must be in there trying his best to sell the show. One thing was telling the executives about her, but another was them looking at the script she had created.

Standing up, she walked around the reception area.  The long black lacquer desk in front of the office Robbie sat in was unattended.  On the desk was a dish full of Baci Chocolate Candies. She took one, slid the silver wrapper off as she looked at the movie and sitcom posters of some of her favorite movie and television shows on the walls.  After what seemed like hours, turned out to only be twenty minutes when the office door opened.

“Mr. Nelson is ready for you to join the meeting.”


Monday, June 06, 2016

Tuesday Tales - Word Prompt Pencil

Welcome to this weeks edition of Tuesday Tales to the word prompt pencil.  I'm continuing with my untitled WIP about a woman starting over.

The second the door of her hotel room closed, Jill plopped down on the bed and touched her lips. His kiss did more than electrify her; it sent her to a dimension she hadn’t visited in a very long time. No. I’m not going to go there. This was strictly to be a professional relationship.

Jill stood up and walked to the table in her hotel room that she had been using as a desk. As she went through the script, she made notes about the main characters adding more depth to them. 

Reaching into her handbag, she took out a pencil and jotted notes in the margin on the script.  She wanted to keep going because she was in the zone. Taking a notebook out of her messenger bag she managed to jot down an outline for the third and forth episodes before taking a shower.
Ideas were flowing out of her. A couple of hours later, she had already written the next episode.

Instead of calling, Robbie showed up at her hotel room. “Give me a minute,” she said, pulling up the zipper on her jeans. She opened the door to a bouquet of white lilies.  “Thank you. They are beautiful.”

“Your welcome.” Holding out his other hand he held a bottle of champagne. “We have a lot to celebrate.”

“We do?”

“Yes. I spoke to my people at the network and they want to see you first thing tomorrow morning to sign a contract.”

“Sight unseen?” she questioned, taking a step back from him.

“Yes. As soon as I told them who you were, they knew you by name.”

“They did?” she questioned even more surprised.

“Your work on the soap was flawless, as per the creator of the show. He gave you the highest recommendation that I have ever heard in all my years."

Her eyebrows shot up. “Oh my God.”

“I don’t know why you seem so surprised. You have created characters that have been household names for two decades. ”

Jill had always been humble when it came to her work. Not many people recognized her, usually just people in the industry. She had always been a behind the scene kind of girl. Her main objective had always been to creative characters and plots that people would be excited about and then come home to do school projects with her kids.

“I just see it as a job that I love doing.”

“Now that you know what I did today, why don’t you share with me what you did?  I bet you went shopping.”

“Nope.” She smiled and tapped her finger on her laptop. “I didn’t leave the hotel. One minute I was working on the characters and the next I wrote the second episode of the pilot.”

“You’re kidding me,” he said, walking over to her laptop. “Can I see?”

“Sure. But keep in mind it is unedited. It’s just a rough draft.”

Robbie sat down and began reading. Jill walked, arms crossed back and forth in front of the window, keeping her eyes on Robbie who had no expression on his face. After quite some time, Robbie closed the top of the laptop before turning around to face her.

Jill stopped walking, leaned against the windowsill with her full attention on Robbie. The expression on his face was still emotionless. Her heart began to palpitate. This wasn’t good. Why couldn’t he give her some sort of sign?

After a few moments of silence, she asked, “What do you think?”

“I think, we need to talk.”