Sunday, November 14, 2010

Lipstick's Novel - Jukebox

Hi friends, although we've moved our blog over to Curve's website, I thought I'd post some info about my debut novel, Jukebox here, too.

You can read all about it HERE.

Sign up for the mailing list (click on link above then "subscribe") and I'll be sure to keep you posted on events and readings.

Friday, September 3, 2010

We've Moved Our Blog -- Kind Of

Hi Faithful Friends

Dipstick and I have been pretty lax this summer blogging--our apologies. We've been busy enjoying the sunshine and good friends.

We have some exciting news, though. Our blog is moving over to Curve Magazine's website. We will be posting over there now most of the time.

You can follow us here:
See the arrow for direction.
(You'll also notice Dipstick's purdy mug on there, too, so be sure to watch that video of her from the Olivia cruise on their home page.)

We will continue posting important events and information here, so don't delete us off your RSS or your favorites page.

Our first blog on Curve's page will be up today or tomorrow.

We heart you.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Stopping the National Organization for Marriage

I don't think I've seen a better response to a misleading ad than this one. Thanks Stop8

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Got Plans Tomorrow Night?

If so, cancel them and go see one amazing singer/songwriter: Christine Havrilla. She's not only a great friend, but we also recently collaborated on an original song for the short film Patty and I are doing. The song is called Hightail and you can buy it HERE.

Havrilla will be at Mississippi Pizza's Atlantis Lounge tomorrow night from 6-8pm with special guests The Ragged Word.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Vancouver Queers :: Will You Be at Davie + Howe?

Vancouver is a-talking about what's coming to Davie & Howe in October and it's all the buzz....

Much speculation has been going around about what would be going into the prime intersection in gay-town.

While I was glad to hear it's not going to be a Starbuck's or a BlockBuster or yet another Safeway, I couldn't get the skinny on what was coming to the location exactly. I'm super intrigued, though, as I like the way "whatever-it-is" is flirting with the gay community.

What I Did Find Out
It's going to be a new Canadian brand and that they are launching in Vancouver before going national. Hmm.... a brand of what? We also heard from a very reliable source that this new yet to be named Canadian brand is going to definitely support the LGBT community.

Even though it's quite coy, I'm very curious--curious enough to join the online bandwagon! You should, too.

I'll keep my ear to the ground and let you know what I can uncover between now and Oct. I'm excited to see so many cute faces out and about and online! Join me in the fun.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Portia DeGeneres

Speaking of Ellen, Portia has petitioned the court to legally change her name to Portia Lee James DeGeneres. Apparently, it's her 2nd anniversary gift to El. How sweet is that?

People magazine reports that it won't go into affect until the courts will hold a hearing in Sept.

Love it.

You can read more about it here.

Ellen DeGeneres Sat Here

I was at a garage sale this weekend and came across these chairs. I thought they would be good for my deck. The guy was selling them for $7 each. Way too much. I offered $10 for all four. He countered with $15 and I accepted.

As I was getting ready to load the chairs into my car, he told me Ellen DeGeneres sat in one of them. He said he used to work as a waiter at the Heathman, a high-end hotel in Portland. Ellen and Ann Heche were having drinks on the patio and invited him to come back when his shift was over and have a drink. He said Ellen was very nice.

I was glad to hear that, but I told him he could keep the Ann Heche chair.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Changent Cate Cameron

My friend, amazing photographer Cate Cameron, was selected for an initiative Proctor and Gamble is working on called Children's Safe Drinking Water. She just shipped off to NYC and will then be heading to an area of Haiti within Zone Code 4 (No Travel Advised), where she will be connecting and photographing with some of the world's poorest people in relation to access to clean water.

She is writing a blog about her life altering adventure and you can follow it here:

Monday, August 2, 2010

Lady Ga Ga Speaks her Mind

They asked her to boycott her shows in Arizona to protest SB1070. Instead, Lady Ga Ga activates the crowd. I love Lady Ga Ga.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Elizabeth Hasselbeck Thinks Lesbians Just Can't Find a Man

Have you seen this clip? During a recent episode of The View, Elisabeth Hasselbeck said that she thinks the reason lesbians come out later in life is because they just can't find a man.

Check it out!

What do you guys think?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Love is Love

I've seen a lot of ads for marriage equality, but for some reason this one got to me. It's from Basic Rights Oregon, our state-wide gay rights organization. They're raising money to put gay marriage up for a vote in Oregon, probably in 2012, to overturn anti-gay amendment. But first they're running campaigns like this one on cable TV stations. If all works out as we plan, Oregon could be the first state to legalize gay marriage by a popular vote.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Our Friend Kristin Wants to Be Top Guru

Ever want to quit your job, sell your house and travel? Who hasn’t? Our friend Kristin Flickinger, did just that. Now she’s in the running for a dream job with And she needs your help.

GayTravel is looking for a North American Gay Travel Guru. Kristin is hot. Don’t believe me? Go check her out. Then vote for her.

You must be signed in to vote, so make sure you create a profile and then activate it by checking your email. To vote for Kristin, Click "Guru" in the upper right hand corner, then "VOTE!" on the left side, then look for her bikini and click on her application. Then click "vote for Kristin" at the top and rate her "5" to show the love. Finally, make sure to "share" and "retweet" at the top. All of these things will help make her the GayTravel Guru!

Here’s the best part: Vote, and then let Kristin know you did and you're entered to win a "tag along" trip with her if she becomes the Guru. She gets the gig, and someone gets to go along for part of it. Spread the word! Checkout for details.

Thank you all!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Help Curve Keep Publishing!

We know these are tough economic times. And print media is struggling to figure out its place in the wide world of instant internet gratification. If you value Curve magazine, the place that gave Lipstick & Dipstick it's start and the place that continues to publish our monthly column, please do what you can to help out.

This year Curve is celebrating it's 20th year. But unless the community comes out to support it, Curve will not make it to its 21st birthday. Curve is struggling financially. There are a few ways you can help.

Subscribe. And when you do, you're entered to win a trip to Cozumel with Sweet Vacations. Unlike most magazines that rely on advertising dollars to sustain them, Curve relies on its subscribers. So don't just pick an issue up at the newsstand. Become a regular subscriber.

Advertise. If you own a business, consider advertising in Curve magazine.

Buy your tickets to the 20th anniversary gala in San Francisco.

We love Curve and we know you do too. So please, do what you can. If you already subscribe, consider buying one for a friend.

Where would our community be without Curve?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Kate McKinnon is ****ing Hilarious!

The comical genius Kate McKinnon is at it again--making us laugh our asses off. Recently, she was part of a skit about the BP oil spill (with the UBC Theater). The skit made its way to the Rachel Maddow Show. If you haven't seen it, you must! Go Kate! Keep on keeping on. We need humor in light of the unstoppable awfulness that is happening down south.

SF Pride 2010

It's been almost a week since SF Pride and I think I'm just recovering now. Wow, what a fun and fantastic time. For the first time since we've been writing for them, Curve magazine had a float in the San Francisco Pride parade. I was so excited when I got the call. Did I want to ride on the float? Are you kidding me? I wouldn't miss it!

But before Sunday and the parade began, I had a lot of other partying to get through. I arrived in SF Friday morning. I spend the afternoon with my friends, before heading over to the Olivia/Curve comedy night show with Dana Goldberg, Julie Goldman, Sandra Valls and Gina Yashere. I ran into many friends from past Olivia trips and laughed my little a** off. Then it was off to Tease to dance the night away. Perhaps I should have started pacing myself earlier.

I had to be up early the next morning to join my friends over in Delores Park because I was helping out on stage at the Dyke March. My good friend Retts is stage manager and I volunteered to help out with stage crew. From noon until 7pm or so, we hustled ladies and dykes on and off the stage. Drummers and poets and politicians and singers and drag kings. What a lot of fun! I got to say hi to old friend Alix Dobkin and meet one of my butch Role Models, Phranc. The only bummer is we were wrapping things up at the stage and I missed the beginning of the march. The Dykes on Bikes. You know how Dipstick loves the Dykes on Bikes.

After a quick dinner and outfit change, it was time to head out for more dancing with Curve and Olivia. This time over at the Olivia headquarters where I got to hang out with new friends: Mikey from The Real L Word and Top Chef Josie. But the big thrill of the night was when a tall woman came up to me and said, "Hi, I'm Sheri Sam." As in, Sheri Sam, the amazing WNBA star. If there's one thing Dipstick likes better than Dykes on Bikes, it's women's basketball. What an amazing day this was turning out to be.

Lord knows what time it was by the time I got home to bed. And we had to meet at some corner at 10:15 am for the float. When I finally found the corner, I found the Curve ladies frantically gluing tissue paper and glitter to the Curve float. I grabbed a staple gun and got right to work.

I love coming down to San Francisco for Curve events, because I get to meet other Curve contributors, like the amazing photographer Cheryl Mazak and blogger Queerie Bradshaw. And of course, any time I get to hang out with Curve publisher Franco Stevens, it's a good day. Once the float was together, we relaxed a bit, practiced our butchest parade wave and watched all the beautiful people stroll by.

After about two hours of waiting, finally it was our turn! Our big cupcake float pulled out onto the street and the crowds were deafening. Our onboard DJ spun some old school Michael Jackson and of course, Pussy Cat Dolls. I waved and blew bubbles and looked for people I knew in the crowd while the ground crew handed out magazines to the crowd. The sun was out. We were happy and gay. And too quickly, it was over.

I headed back to my hotel room to rest up, because, no, oh no, there was still much more partying to be done. Met some new friends for Happy Hour, old friends for dinner and then we all went to see Red Hot Blues Sisters play in a small club downtown.

I stayed in San Francisco an extra day. I planned on spending some time hanging out and seeing the city. Instead, I got a late check-out from my hotel, met a friend for lunch and took the shuttle to the airport.

You can see why it took me so long to recover. I'm not as young as I once was. But still, Pride in San Francisco never gets old.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Sweet: My Sister is a Star!

In the Life was aboard the Sweet Cruise that Lipstick & I were on in November. They made an awesome video and Dipstick's sister Mary Belge is interviewed. Check it out!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Happy Canada Day!

It's Canada's Independence Day today and although it's cloudy out--boo!--it's sure to be a fabulous day. Here's hoping it burns off before my afternoon run.

We had a fantastic time in Portland last week visiting with friends and shooting the music video for Toby. Thanks again to everyone who came out for the fun. The sun was out, the voices were perfectly pitched and a great time was had by all, I think.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Come Be a Part of Til Death Do Us Toby!


We are coming to town this week to film a portion of the short film Til Death Do Us Toby and want YOU to be a part of it.

Saturday, June 26, 2010
5 - 6pm
Laurelhurst Park*

*meet at the bathroom area (click on map embedded here)

We will be filming Christine Havrilla singing a song called Hightail, co-written by Gina Daggett and Patricia McKenny. With her jammin' acoustic guitar, we are going to film Havrilla in front of all of you, who will sing along with the chorus, which is super duper catchy...

Gotta break free
Gotta survive
Gotta find a way to stay alive

I just wanna run
I just wanna scream
I just wanna hightail out of this dream

What is this Til Death Do Us Toby movie anyway?

It's a short film about a girl named Sam and a neurotic dog named Toby, who are both trying to find freedom. In Sam's case, she's trying to break free from her controlling mother, Mimi, who doesn't like Sam's best friend who's quite the edgy dyke. In Toby's case, he misunderstands a conversation between Mimi and Sam and thinks they're out to kill him, so he's just trying to hightail out of electric chair (aka their house).


It's going to be a ton of fun and won't take up a bunch of time, so come on out and be in the short film, which will be making the queer festival rounds next year. Lipstick would be forever grateful!

Portland Pride This Weekend

Boy do I wish I was going to be in Portland this weekend!

Two of my favorite performers are singing or strutting their stuff on the Community Stage for the Portland Pride 2010.

First up: Christine Havrilla plays at 3pm on Saturday. Right after: Bang Bang Betty's Big Beautiful Bombshells (which includes our Executive Editor from Curve, Diane Anderson-Minshall) at 4:30.

Portland Peeps: get your pride on this weekend and go check out these fantabulous performances!

Be sure to check out the full lineup of great performers coming to Portland Pride this weekend. It's quite the talent draw:

* Kina Williams Photography for Bang Bang Betty

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lesbian Commercials

My friend Kelly sent these great commercials to me recently and I thought you'd all appreciate them...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lucy Jane Bledsoe Coming to the NW

Get excited bibliophiles! Lucy Jane Bledsoe is coming to Portland, Seattle and Bellingham soon. If you're a lesbian and don't know Lucy Jane Bledsoe, you've been living under a rock or your idea of reading is scanning your friend's Facebook updates.

Lucy is a prophetic writer who's written some real jewels, including Biting the Apple (which is sitting to the left of where I'm typing right now).

If you live in or near these fabulous NW towns, go check out Lucy and her new book: The Big Bang Symphony.

Wednesday, June 16, 7 pm
THIRD PLACE BOOKS -- Ravenna store
6504 20th Ave. NE
Seattle, WA 98115

Thursday, June 17, 7:30 pm
POWELL'S BOOKS -- Hawthorne store
3723 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Portland, OR
I love Powell's and I love Portland, my hometown. Come on out and say hi.

Tuesday, June 22, 7:00 pmVILLAGE BOOKS
1200 Eleventh Street
Bellingham, WA 98225

This reading with Carol Guess and Elizabeth Colen! Please come.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pretty Airplanes

Jes from Dayton Ohio recently contacted me to tell me about an art project she completed. She was invited by the city to cover this model F16 jet with art. Since she is a mosaic artist, this is what she came up with.

Jess said:

I covered the Jet with stained glass because glass is the most beautiful media in the world ;)
I wanted to show a larger range of color and knew that a rainbow would be perfect. The plane is meant to be beautiful more than anything else. I wanted people to want to know what she is all about. A beautiful sculpture that says I'm proud to be gay and in the military. I hope this Rainbow F16 serves as a reminder that we need to defeat the BAN on gay men and women serving our country. Equality is beautiful.

Jes's plane will be on display in a bank in Dayton, Ohio. Thanks for sharing Jes!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Curve Auction :: Dani Campbell + the Real L Word Ladies

FW: Curve Magazine Auction: Lunch with Dani Campbell ++ EDEN Party with THE REAL L WORLD CAST!Exclusive eBay Curve Auction....

This is a chance of a lifetime!

Hang out with the smoking hot Curve magazine cover girl... lesbian firefighter DANI CAMPBELL from MTV's A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila!
Now's your chance to hang out with Dani Campbell in San Francisco during Pride Weekend (June 26-27, 2010)

If you are the highest bidder, you and a friend will party with Dani Campbell and the Curve magazine editors in San Francisco during Pride Weekend!

Here's what's included:

Lunch for you and a friend with Dani Campbell (Saturday, June 26th) in San Francisco

• Two (2) ALL-ACCESS general admission passes to EDEN - All Women, All Weekend.
EDEN: The official women's events at San Francisco Pride: with Dani Campbell and cast members from Showtime's new series, The Real L Word.
Include general admission passes to:
EDEN Welcome Party (Thursday, June 24th)
Lesbian Comedy Show (Friday, June 25th)
Tease Dance Party (Friday, June 25th)
EDEN Signature Dance party (Saturday, June 26th)
Good Times after party in Oakland (Sunday, June 27th)

• One (1) autographed copy of Dani's Curve magazine cover

• One (1) official limited edition Curve magazine 20th Anniversary Tee Shirt

• Two (2) Grandstand tickets for at San Francisco’s Pride Parade (Saturday, June 26th)

FW: Curve Magazine Auction: Lunch with Dani Campbell ++ EDEN Party with THE REAL L WORLD CAST!
*** NOTE: This package does not include hotel, air travel or transportation.
ABOUT EDEN:SIX MONTHS in the making...
Movement Productions and Curve Magazine present in conjunction with Olivia Travel, BoiBlue Events and FullCircle Events
The 1st ANNUAL All Women, All Weekend Pride Event

EDEN is the 1st Annual All Women, All Weekend San Francisco Pride Event co-produced by Movement Productions and Curve Magazine in conjunction with Olivia Travel, BoiBlue Events and FullCircle Events. Welcome to four days of non-stop parties, women and more. For information on ticket prices please click here (
THURSDAY - June 24tn
EDEN Welcome Party
Parc55, SF
Only available to ALL ACCESS and ALL ACCESS VIP Ticket Holders

FRIDAY - June 25th
EDEN Comedy Show co-sponsored by Olivia Travel
Parc55, SF

Featured Comedians: Dana Goldberg, Sandra Valls, Julie Goldman, Gina Yashere

FRIDAY - June 25th
Suite 181
181 Eddy, SF

Featured DJs: DJ Olga T, DJ C-L.A. DJ Calalo, DJ Campbell, DJ Rockaway

Hosted by: Aysha of Flourish and Miranda of Afterglow

2 Floors
3 Dancefloors
5 DJs
Gorgeous, Hosted VIP areas
Bottle Service (VIP only)
Hot Go-Gos
Hotter Celesbians

SATURDAY - June 26th
Taste the Forbidden Fruit
434 Brannan, SF
Inside the historic Olivia Travel Building, 3rd Floor

Featured DJs: DJ Olga T, DJ Ms. Jackson, DJ Rockaway

Be transported into the Garden of Eden with 180 degree views overlooking the city, Movement Productions and FullCircle Events have created San Francisco's very own Eden inside the historic Olivia Travel building. Come taste of the Forbidden Fruit.

The Flyest Music
Hot Go-Gos
Drink Specials
Meet our Comedians
Special Guest Celesbians from THE REAL L WORD
Hosted VIP section
Hosted Bottle Service
Red Carpet
Valet Parking

SUNDAY - June 27th
The Den, Oakland

Featured DJs: DJ Olga T, DJ Rapture, DJ Ryan, DJ Trinity, DJ Jacatac

End your party weekend right at one of the most popular All Women's event in the Bay, GOOD TIMES in the city with the largest lesbian population in the country, Oakland! GOOD TIMES is hosted at one of the most beautifully appointed venues in Oakland, The Den. Right across from the 17th street Bart, it takes less than 20 minutes to Bart over from the city and trust it is well worth the trip!

To bid, go here:

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hello Faithful Friends

Hey, remember when Dipstick and I used to post stuff here? For those of you who haven't given up on us, THANK YOU!

Have you ever felt caught up in a vortex, where things are spinning so fast around you that you actually see colors and bright shiny things in the clouds (no hallucinogenics involved)? That is how I've been feeling and it's been hard to hold onto the reigns. Beyond basking in glee and drinking packets of EmergenC, that also means any free time I've had has been dedicated to sleep, so sincere apologies for being MIA.

Anyhoodle, for now, I'll fill you in on all things Lipstick since I last wrote.

A little over a week ago, we shot our first short film Til Death To Us Toby. For Patty (who was an awesome Assistant Director) and I, it was a 22 hour day. We got up at 3:45am, crew call was at 5:45 and we were rolling by 6:30. We shot until 11:11pm non-stop, save 15 minutes for lunch and 15 minutes for dinner. I thought it was killer that I said "that's a wrap" at 11:11 (I'm superstitious that way). We partied with the cast + crew until nearly 1am. The cast and crew were beyond AMAZING! Seriously, what a stellar team we had, who never complained or ran out of energy. Can't wait for the big wrap party!

If you're out of the loop, you can follow the thread the Hot Pink Shorts HERE.

It's been an amazing journey with OUTtv and this Hot Pink Shorts program. I'm gushing with gratitude and spinning at the sight of exciting things on the horizon, finally truly within grasp. I told the folks at OUTtv that I felt like a caterpillar who'd transformed into butterfly throughout this process. Week One, I was a furry little larvae and slowly, as we ate all the mentors had to offer, and set out on our own journey into the sticks and leaves, my wings actually began to take shape and I could eventually lift off the ground. And now, well, there's no stopping me as I fly around this wonderful world of opportunity.

More to come soon, for sure, as there are some really cool things simmering on the TV front.

**Small caveat for you Portland peeps: in the upcoming month, we'll be filming a little music video for the original song Christine Havrilla and I are co-writing for Toby. It's called Hightail and it's addictive. Think Jack Black meets Melissa Etheridge. For the video, which will also be part of the credits for the film, we'll need people to come out and help us, so stay tuned. We'll need as many people as we can get for the shoot, which is slated to happen at Laurelhurst Park.

Enjoy the little slideshow below of our shoot, both of the action and behind the scenes. Cate Cameron captured these amazing moments. Be sure to check her out online. She rocks!

*photos by Cate Cameron

Monday, May 24, 2010


Have you been following Dipstick in Cancun? Her daily blog posts can be found over at Curve magazine.

Friday, May 14, 2010

My Bags are Packed and I'm Ready to Go...

I think I've got everything. I head out tomorrow morning for my wonderful trip to Cancun with the ladies of Olivia.

On Monday, I'll be hosting a lesbian dating game. Later we'll have a Curve themed party and I'll do a book signing at some point during the week.

Mostly, though, I hope to be sunning it up by the pool, dancing the night away and snorkeling in clear and warm waters. While I'm there, I'll be blogging daily for Be sure to stop over and read about all the excitement. Since I'll be writing for Curve this week, I won't be posting much over here, except maybe some links to those articles. So have a good week. I know I sure will!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Do You Want to Star in "Til Death Do Us Toby"?

Call for auditions!

If you live in Vancouver and fit any of the below criteria, send us your resume and headshot. You can read a full listing for the call for auditions here. Remember, we have a super small budget...


Title: 'Til Death Do Us Toby

: Short film

: A film about freedom, the need to break out of the chains that keep us in our usual place and a mother’s propensity to put unrealistic demands/expectations on a child. It’s also a story about survival. The protagonist, Toby, is the family’s pug, who misunderstands a conversation between his owners—Mimi, the mom, and her daughter, Sam. The neurotic Toby thinks that they’re trying to kill him so he tries to escape. Sam, Mimi’s teenage daughter, has a friend that Mimi doesn’t like: Megan. Mimi thinks Megan is a bad influence on Sam because Megan is edgy/alternative/gayish. Financially, times are tough for the newly-divorced Mimi, who is trying to keep up with the lifestyle she and Sam have grown accustomed. To supplement her income, Mimi leads a double life as a business woman/high-priced dominatrix. (Role info below.)


Name Mimi Brennan
Gender Female
Age Range 42
Description Mimi is a controlling mother who is confident, sexy, image conscious. Her daughter, Sam, bares the brunt of Mimi’s controlling ways. Mimi wants to keep Sam on the straight and narrow. Mimi, who was recently divorced, has had a hard time making financial ends meet, so she leads a double life to supplement her income by being a high-priced dominatrix. Actor must be willing and comfortable to playfully wear dominatrix outfit for funny, brief flashback scene. (Age range: 35-45) Height: 5’5 – 6’0

Name Samantha Brennan
Gender Female
Age Range 15
Description Sam is a precocious, impressionable teen who is feminine, but also naturally a tomboy. Sam may or may not be gay, but she can’t stand her mom’s controlling ways, loves to break the rules and is completely smitten with her best friend, Megan. (Age range: young-looking 17 - 19) Height: 5’4 – 5’7

Name Megan Ross
Gender Female
Age Range 15
Description Megan is a cool, alternative, edgy dyke, who is pretty hardcore for a teenager. Megan is confident, comfortable in her own skin and enjoys that Sam, her questioning best friend, has a crush on her. (Age range: young-looking 17 - 19) Height: 5’4 – 5’7

Auditions are this Saturday! Check out Vancouver Actors Guide for details on casting.

Also, we're looking for a local queer photographer and an art director/wardrobe specialist, to email me at for info on that.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Spellcheck is your Fiend

A friend shared this video with me. As a writer who relies heavily on spellcheck, I found it priceless.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Hot Pink Shorts - Day 3 + 4 (Pre-Production + Location Mentor)

Things are really cranking over here! So fast that I've had to get my oil out twice to keep the parts moving. (Interpret that how you'd like.)

On Saturday, we had our first pre-production meeting with our team at OUTtv's offices. It was yours truly, Patty (who's wearing the Assistant Director hat, among other things) and Ryan, our Director of Photography. We talked about some important preliminary stuff: where we were at with the script, casting thoughts, logistics around filming, crew update, equipment needed, etc. At that point on Saturday, we'd yet to lock the script, so that was priority 1.

P and I went to lunch afterward--a little Caribbean food at The Reef on Main--and worked on the script and than did another couple hours of brainstorming later. We finally locked the script on Sunday! There will be little tweaks along the way, but we're truly off and running now.

On Sunday, we met with our Locations Mentor, Mike Cates. It was a great meeting where we discussed:
- scouting locations
- permits needed
- effective scouting strategies
- the need to be flexible and resourceful and not to get sold on one location
- how to protect the place you're shooting at (laying down cardboard or rubberback carpets, tennis balls on the bases of lights, etc)
- the importance of prioritizing when you first start scouting (what is the hardest location to nail down, what is the most important location with the most scenes)
- he told us about the BC Film Commission and said they are an incredible resource for location scouting and have thousands and thousands of digitized photos of locations submitted by filmmakers through the years of locations that have been used or scouted

He was a great guy and very resourceful! Thanks Mike.

We've also been on the hunt for the perfect pug to play Toby and have been in touch with some animal talent agencies. We decided to throw up a post on Craigslist and whatya know?

[Drum roll................. ]

That is where we found our star! We met "Juno" on Tuesday and immediately fell in love. He's "big boned" and we think that adds to the humor that we're going for in the film. Also, Juno is one of our favorite movies and we thought that was a sign. This is coupled with the fact we loved his owner, Peter, and his son Adam. We thought we'd give you a sneak peek at "Toby" here. Juno is a retired show dog and a former Canadian champion. If he could talk, Juno would tell you why he's a champ: his perfect placed ears and perfectly round melon. He did lose a few points because his hind chops aren't as curved as they should be.

We had another production meeting on Tuesday night and met our Camera guy (although he is and will be way more than that). His name is Mic and he's from Australia. He's a super smart guy and is putting our script into a digital 3D storyboard program which makes me so excited I yelp and snort--like Toby--little when I talk about it. Not sure if that is something I can upload here, but hopefully I can share some of that, too. The program he's using is called Frame Forge.

All right, more soon. We've got to check some things off our "To Do" list.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Which Top Can Dipstick Pull Off?

Okay, Girls Dipstick needs your opinion. As you know, I'm getting ready to head to Cancun with the wonderful ladies of Olivia in just a few week. I'm still working on that bathing suit body, but what about the suit?

I've got plenty of board shorts, but what to wear on top? Can a handsome butch like Dipstick pull off a girly bathing suit top like the one on the left? Or should I stick to my standard sports bra type attire, like the one on the right?

Give your opinion in the comments section and add if you're butch, femme or neither. Thanks for helping me out!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Mouse in the House

I used to have this awesome cat named Chicken. She was kind of clumsy and sort of lazy, but that damn cat was such a hunter. Every Spring she'd bring moles, voles, mice and birds into the house, let them loose and chase them around for a few hours. She was a great cat.

I now have a new cat. Herbie. Herbie also loves to bring mice into the house. Only thing is, she lets them go, they run behind a bookcase or the stove and then she forgets about them.

I knew there was a mouse in the house when I got up Friday morning because Herbie was camped out in front of the bookcase. I know she wasn't contemplating which of Tiger's collection of Stephanie Meyer's books to read next. She was waiting. Waiting for the vermin to reappear. Problem is, vermin is patient. And Herbie is not. Soon she was curled up and sleeping on her favorite green chair.

The mouse must have tried to make it's escape some time on Saturday because I heard the scramble of cat paws, followed by the scramble of dog paws on the floor. By the time I got to the living room, both the dog and the cat were sitting and staring at the book case. I moved it, but no mouse showed it's face.

Yesterday I was working out on my Nordic track when I saw a tiny flash out of the corner of my eye that let me know, indeed, the mouse was still lurking in the living room. At least it hadn't made it's way to the kitchen.

After I finished working out, I noticed the dog was sitting and staring up at the window. Somehow the mouse had snuck out from behind the bookcase and crawled up the curtain. It was just hanging out there, near the top. The cat was no where to be seen.

So, I grabbed an old rag, scooped the mouse up in it and brought it outside. Is it wrong that I deposited in front of my neighbor's house? It looked stunned for a moment and then it took off across the lawn. Herbie, of course, has forgotten all about it.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Hot Pink Shorts - Day 2 (Directing + Mentoring)

Our second day in our Hot Pink Shorts learning journey--it's more of a kick ass filmmaker's boot camp--was very exciting and jam-packed. The other winner, the amazing Kevin Kostal (picture here with Aerlyn and I), was also there with me this time. We were separated last week, but it was more fun this way, as we could talk about our projects, help each other, in-between the various documentary set ups.

I met with director extraordinaire, Aerlyn Weissman. She was an unbelievable well of information and I wanted to keep on dipping my bucket, but we only had an hour. Here are some of the major points I learned from Aerlyn:
-- I need to find a central metaphor in my film that inspires
-- I need to be deliberate about framing
-- I shouldn't focus on trying to get artistic shots, as most of the time, those end up on the cutting room floor and take a ton of time to capture
-- There are many "tools" for a director, one being the color palette
-- Different shots: 1 or 2 frame, master shot
-- I need to get close to my characters, need to find their beating hearts
-- Script breakdown: create a storyboard which is the essential communication tool between my DP and I
-- I need to inspire my actors, give them a backstory for each character and let them know it's okay to fail
-- The importance of wardrobe and set dressing

There was SO much more I learned, but I didn't want to go overboard here. Like all the mentors, Aerlyn has graciously left her door open for me to ask addition questions as the process moves along.

Next up: powerhouse producer Morris Chapdelaine. Coincidentally, I met Morris two weeks prior by chance. We have a mutual friend, Ken Coolen, and both sat at his table for the Out in School breakfast. I loved him immediately. Beyond producing, Morris also co-hosted a compelling show for OUTtv during the Olympics called "Pride at the Podium." It was a successful, quirky LGBT look at the Olympics. You can watch one of his latest episodes HERE.

Morris, too, was full of extremely important information. I joked he was like a lemon I wanted to keep squeezing. He answered so many of my questions that you can't find in books and really broke down the "illusive" producer role. Here are some nuggets I learned from Morris:
-- A successful movie is 90% business, %10 show.
-- "The Line" in filmmaking (who is below the line, who is above the line)
-- Dealing with the budget (We have $2500 to spend)
-- I need to create a "production binder" (done, see "Toby Book" below)
-- If I know what's good for me, I ought not skimp on camera and sound because at the end of the day, that is the movie
-- What to expect when casting
-- Insurance, releases and all that good stuff
-- How to fund-raise for a feature film

Morris rocked! And we're going to have a follow up meeting soon with my better half, Patty, who will be the Assistant Director and Script Supervisor for Til Death Do Us Toby.

Where I'm at with the script: I completely rewrote it and took the story in a whole new direction. The feedback I got from my mentors: they liked the direction of the first script better, so now I'm just reworking draft1 and am feeling good about how it's coming together. I need to lock it by Thursday, so wish me luck!

As the script takes shape, I've been drawing inspiration from a place my scripting mentor, SB Edwards, sent me online. It's called "Shorts Bay" and it's a platform where some of the best short films can be seen. My two favorites: Gridlock and The Parlor. Amazing work!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

This Will Remind You There is Good In the World

My mom sent this to me and it totally made my day--it washed away all the stress and negativity the sometimes seeps into daily life.

Happy Earth Day!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Operated by Invisible Hands

Check out this great short film trailer about two antique female dolls who have a one night stand and work out their feelings for each other. I love it! Great work. Inventive and fresh.

Operated by Invisible Hands
By Nicole Brending

To see the whole 7-minute film, go here.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hot Pink Shorts - Day 1 (Meet the Filmmakers + Scripting)

Let the games begin....

On Sunday, we began the making of my first short film with OUTtv. (Background: In March, my short film pitch was selected by OUTtv for their Hot Pink Shorts contest. As a winner, they are not only funding my first short film--titled 'Til Death Do Us Toby--but also they are making a documentary out of the process. We began the creative work and filming Sunday).

First task: THE SCRIPT! I met with the amazing S.B. Edwards (pictured above), a writer who's been in the film industry for years and recently optioned 2 film scripts and 1 for TV. She kicked ass and I walked away with an awesome arsenal of knowledge and feedback for my little short film. She was like a wise old sage (although she's not old at all--we're the same age--but seasoned deliciously). Some things I learned from S.B.:

- Before you begin writing your script, you must know the ending, as it will be your guiding force. As a novelist, my process was opposite for my debut novel, Jukebox (coming out in the fall). Many times, after I had the characters good and fleshed out and the story underway, I'd let the characters lead me. I'd just show up and I'd let my muse write through me, let them do what they wanted (like a Ouija board). I got some of my best scenes that way. In prose, characters can take on a life of their own and lead you (may seem strange to a non-writer). In film, you have to be much more deliberate it seems.

- There needs to be a surprise or twist, and a big payoff at the end. It needs to be something viewers aren't expecting, but after it happens it makes logical sense.

- I need to hone in on 1 protagonist and make them a sympathetic character viewers like.

- I only have 7 minutes, which equals 7 pages. Eeeek. There is no way I can pull off what I'd intended in 7 minutes. Time to turn up the heat and reduce the story.

- A short film needs to play on viewers emotions and be able to say much in just 1 scene. The short format is very economical and you must push the story forward (similar to the novel, but in an even more concentrated way) with each scene/each word. Nothing is wasted.

- I only get 3 actors, 2 locations and 1 day to film. Eeek again.

There was much more, but clearly, I've got to get to work!!! A big THANKS to S.B. for her advice and offer of continued support. She has been a great mentor so far!

Thanks, also, to Nicky (superhero/Director), Rylan (Mixer), Jonny (DP), Meagan (editor), and Philip (Producer/PM). I'm anxious to talk to Kevin Kostal, the other winner, to see if his day was just as fruitful!

OUTtv will be launching an interactive feature to the HPS website this week, where Kevin and I will be blogging about our experiences, uploading video and photos, too. Once that kicks off, I'll just put the link here for those interested in following.

Wish me luck!!

In case you didn't see my pitch, I embedded it below.