Surf Report: California Dreamin’ On A Winter’s Day – Series To Binge, Books To Revisit, and Photos for That Inevitable Surf Memoir


Santa Monica, CA — I never realized just how much writing I did at my local coffee shop on Main Street, which has been closed for two months, and that’s exactly how long it’s been since my last Post.  Yikes.

I sure do miss Peets Coffee and the Dawn Patrol gang of locals, but I have made do with Home Brew, grinding my own beans, and attempting to froth whole milk and to create a Latte that is acceptable. Still, it’s not the same.

Meanwhile, it’s Winter here in So Cali and that means it’s chilly and cold at the beach in the mornings but sunny by midday. Ya gotta bundle up, wear a scarf, etc.!

California and the US are plagued by a deadly Flu virus, which I have successfully avoided thus far. Also, I am in Week 17 of growing a beard prompting lots of taunts from friends who tell me I resemble slightly younger versions of either Kris Kringle or Gandalf.

The dreaded Drought looks likely to return to these parched parts at any moment if we do not get some much-need Rain throughout the month of March, which is traditionally the last month of The Rainy Season.

I have been binge-watching Westworld (S1) and The Crown (S1). Thumbs up to both series, however, Westworld kinda unravels by its season finale after such a promising start, reminding me a bit of the disappointment I felt with Lost a few years back on ABC. One feels as if the writers don’t really know where they’re going. Presumably, HBO does.

Jonathan Nolan & Lisa Joy’s series also brings to mind Battlestar Galactica as well as Blade Runner, evoking that familiar premise: Who is more human, the robots or their creators? Credit author Philip K. Dick for being such an Influencer. Am not sure I will return for S2. Still, I love seeing Anthony Hopkins commanding every scene he’s in portraying an Uber-Walt Disney with quite the ruthless streak. Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, and Ed Harris really score, as well.

Meanwhile, The Crown is just sumptuous Television. I feel so sorry for those poor Windsors! Bravo, Netflix.


Reading-wise, the recent passing of author Ursula K. Le Guin prompted me to re-visit her Earthsea series of books, which I have thoroughly enjoyed (and highly recommend): A Wizard of Earthsea and its three sequels as well as Tales from Earthsea, which I found to be quite remarkable and reminiscent of Tolkien’s The Silmarillion.

I picked up these books during my stint as VP of Development for SyFy (then known as Sci-Fi Channel) in the 2000s. One of the first things I did back then was to meet everyone at the network and ask them what favorite books they recommended for development. The Earthsea books were at the top of the list, but beyond Sci-Fi’s grasp (and still now, I think).  I would love to see The BBC take on these adaptations as they would make winning miniseries.

Surfing in Santa Monica has been kinda poor all Winter, so I have ventured North to Malibu to Nicholas Canyon State Park, aka, Zeroes. It’s a great break, very consistently going right, and just lovely to behold. Funny I should surf there whilst reading Le Guin’s Earthsea books because the topography is quite similar to how I imagine the Archipelago and the Isle of Roke, where The Old Powers and Magic are strongest: Lots of big, ancient rocks for boats to crash onto and beautiful sandy beaches flanked by green verdant hills awaiting your arrival.

A good Book is a wonder. I love writing that fuels my internal projector and ignites my own imagination enabling the story to really come alive in Time and Space. Thanks, Ursula K. Le Guin. #RIP

N E X T   U P:

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About Surfing Hollywood

Steve La Rue is an internationally recognized leader in Film & Television with 20+ years experience as a Development Executive championing such series as Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The X-Files, The Simpsons, King of the Hill, Battlestar Galactica, and Farscape. He writes, blogs, and consults on All Things Entertainment from his home at the beach in Santa Monica, CA, where he balances his life by surfing every damn day.
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