Larry Brody: Live! From Paradise! #67 – “There’s Something Wrong with Sebastion”

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THE USUAL NOTE FROM LB: From the summer of 2002 to  the spring of 2010, Gwen the Beautiful and I were the proud and often exhausted owners of a beautiful Ozarks property we called Cloud Creek Ranch.

In many ways, the ranch was paradise. But it was a paradise with a price that started going up before we even knew it existed. Here’s another Monday musing about our adventure and the lessons we learned.

Oh, and if y’all detect any irony, please believe me when I say it comes straight from the universe and not your kindly Uncle Larry B.

by Larry Brody

A couple of months ago, when Gwen the Beautiful and I were over at Doug the Dog Breeder’s house, he and his wife Anita introduced us to Dora, a young woman with a month old baby.

Dora and her husband, who wasn’t there, were renting a trailer on the property next door. They were new in Paradise and, “We love it here,” Dora said.

After Dora and her baby left, Doug filled me in a little.

“Dora’s husband’s name is Sebastian,” he said. “Hails from Texas. Dora’s from Oklahoma. They moved in last week. Sebastian’s a carpenter. Not good enough to do finish work, but he’s a decent framer. He’s already got himself a home remodeling job.”

“Sounds industrious,” I said. “Like a man making a good start.”

“Yep, sounds that way.”

But I could see from the look on Doug’s face that he wasn’t all that sure. A couple of minutes later, after Anita and Gwen went outside, I found out I was right.

“There’s something wrong with Sebastian,” he said. “I can’t put my finger on it, but I know it’s there. He’s twice as old as Dora is. Won’t talk about his past. I don’t trust a man with no stories.”

Doug’s an ex-lawman. A former federal marshal. When he says he doesn’t trust someone, I listen. This time, though, there wasn’t anything more to listen to. Not until last week, when I stopped by to see Doug’s latest litter. Six round, fat, little golden retriever pups.

Across the yard, through the fence, I saw Anita and a middle-aged woman I didn’t know come out of the trailer with Dora and the baby. They walked over to a beat-up old Dodge with boxes piled up inside and a U-Haul trailer attached to the back.

After a last hug from Anita, Dora and the baby got into the car. The other woman took her place at the wheel, and they drove off. “That’s Dora’s mother,” Doug said. “Taking her daughter and granddaughter home.”

“I thought they were happy here,” I said.

Doug looked out at the road. “Remember what I said about the husband? Sebastian? Turns out he was a convicted felon in Texas.

“Dora met him on the internet,” Doug continued. “He came to see her in Oklahoma, and sparks flew. They got married without Sebastian ever telling his bride what he was. Mama didn’t like him and kicked him out right after the baby was born. Dora chose to stand by her man.

“Things went pretty well for awhile. Then, a couple of weeks ago, two Deputy Sheriffs came by and arrested Sebastian for violating parole, and for not registering as a sex offender, which is what he really is. Dora’s been crying ever since.

I thought about what Doug was saying. “How do you suppose the law knew to find the guy here?”

Doug shrugged. “Could have to do with the fact that somebody who knew what he was doing dug into Sebastian’s past. And that same somebody also learned that the people whose house Sebastian was working at everyday had a young son, same age as the boy who figured in his conviction.”

We left the puppies. Walked over to the run where Doug keeps Boomer, their hundred and twenty-five pound daddy.

Doug was still talking: “It could even have to do with the fact that it’s one thing for a man to try to mend himself and another for him to welcome back an old pattern guaranteed to cause misery to everybody around him–”

Doug looked like he had more on his mind, but Boomer’s happy barking as he saw his favorite human interrupted him. The dog high-tailed it over to our end of his run, barking and wagging and leaping excitedly.

Like all folks who are good with dogs, Doug had a pocketful of treats. “Hey, Boomer! Here you go, boy!” He reached over the fence and fed his big friend.

Boomer chowed down. Barked for more. “Know what I love most about dogs?” Doug said. “We can change their patterns. All it takes is a little work. And they can’t lie or hold back about it. All they can be is honest and open and true.”

He scrounged a few more liver snaps from his pocket. As Boomer gulped them down, Doug’s face squinched up into a look I couldn’t quite identify but was either ineffable sadness or radiant joy.

Why the WGA-ATA Showdown Matters

by Larry Brody

Here’s the latest official news on the WGA-ATA Battle of the Writing & Writers’ Agent Stars, direct from the WGA Negotiating Committee.

Here’s how Deadline.Com has reported it:

WGA Makes Its Case For Requiring Agencies To Turn Over Writers’ Contracts and Invoices

Here’s how Deadline.Com has reported the ATA’s response:

Association Of Talent Agents Calls Out WGA Over Demand That Agencies Turn Over Writers’ Contracts

I find the phrase “calls out,” which by its very definition is a statement that what’s being “called out” is a lie, insulting to the Guild and its members. And I know I’m not the only one.

More to come, of course.

In Solidarity,


10 Most Viewed TVWriter™ Posts of the Week – Oct. 14, 2019

Happy Monday morning everybody!

Hope your weekend has been a great one. Time now for TVWriter™’s latest look at our most popular blog posts and resource pages during the week ending yesterday. They are, in order:

How To Write The Perfect TV Series Review To Captivate Your Readers

‘The Following’ Season 4 was Cancelled by Fox Because the TV Series Became a Victim of Lazy Writing!

Writing the Dreaded Outline

Modern Vikings Dining with Ancient Vikings

Tyler Perry Tells Us How to Become a Famous Writer

PEOPLE’S PILOT 2019 Writing Contest

Corporal Punishment and Primetime TV

8 Tips for Writing for Children’s TV Shows

The Outline/Story


Big thanks to everybody for helping us have another terrific week at TVWriter™. Don’t forget to click above and read what you missed and re-read what you loved!

Stephanie Bourbon on How to Make MONEY As A CREATIVE

One of the best things we have to say about Stephanie Bourbon is that she doesn’t hesitate to tackle the tough issues. And right here, right now, she’s taking on one of the toughest – making a living as a writer, artist, or other creative.

Click below, gang, so you too can learn the answer to your parents’ biggest question when you told them your creative dreams: “But…but…but, why can’t you get a real job?”

Stephanie’s YouTube Channel is HERE

And her Story Concierge website chock full of further instruction is HERE

Former Larry Brody student Stephanie Olivieri Bourbon has found great success as a writer and illustrator. Now she’s branching out into video with a series of extremely helpful ones about – surprise! – writing and illustrating.

Living the Creative Life in the Real World

Sometimes it seems as though reality is constantly trying to close in on our creativity, that the world is fighting an unending battle with our creative wills.

And sometimes, if you live in a place like TVWriter™’s home base of Port Townsend, WA, you find a reality that lets you live and breathe free and true. For example:

‘Lose your mind and come to your senses’
by Chris McDaniel

Whether on a street corner in Europe, a ferry crossing Puget Sound or in the Port Townsend Post Office, harpist David Michael lives to serenade strangers with his angelic melodies.

“I occasionally bring it to the post office and play there by the main entrance and there are marble floors,” Michael said. “People on the third floor on the far end of the building can hear every note. It is like a castle in there.”

Some passersby tend to lose themselves in the music, Michael said.

“The last time I was in the post office, two people left their stuff behind. One person had just picked up a package and then walked out the door without it. Another person had set their wallet down. It does sort of transport people.”

And transporting people to a realm of peacefulness is something Michael said drives him to busk.

“It is a centuries-old time-honored tradition and nobody conflates it with panhandling.”

However, the term “busker” is not well known in America, Michael said.

“In Europe, it doesn’t matter if you are French, German, Italian, Danish or Swedish. Everyone knows the word ‘busker.’”

Also understood is that busking is an auditory gift, Michael said.

“I always thought of myself as a busker, a cultural ambassador and not a beggar. I always dress nice and when I played a street in Europe I put a rug down. I have a gift for everybody right here.”

Michael’s music has been featured on syndicated radio shows, network television and in nature films. A producer and multi-instrumentalist, he has run his independent record label Purnima Productions from Port Townsend for 30 years and has released 25 albums of original music.

Now, Michael is bringing his gift to the stage.

David Michael will be joined by Grammy Award-winner Nancy Rumbel (best 2002 New Age Album) and musician Benjy Wertheimer for a concert Sunday in Port Townsend. The concert will celebrate their debut CD release as a trio, CONFLUENCE, a collection of World Fusion featuring oboe, Celtic harp, tablas and other instruments….

Read it all at