Eric is off this week doing his duty as the parent of a pre-college teen, so everybody can take some time to play with their pages for Right of Way. If you haven't yet jumped in, the extra week makes the perfect moment to try your stuff at writing our script about Los Angeles politics. The story is starting to take shape after five installments, but there's a long way to go. Here's what we know so far: Mayor Russell Napolitano has sketched out a route for his subway to the sea, they love it in Brentwood, and one of the players who's been buying up land along the route was murdered in a NoHo dive. When the police showed up in Malibu to notify the widow, they found His Honor's car in the driveway. What does it all mean? We don't know — you decide! Send in 3-5 pages by next Sunday night and you might take home the very rare and coveted LA Observed Script Project t-shirt. Catch up on Eric Estrin's script notes here.
It's catching on: The L.A. Times has decided to launch its own reader-written project. Theirs is a novel, "Birds of Paradise," that starts next Sunday in Steve Lopez's column. New chapters will be printed daily leading up to the Times' Festival of Books April 26-27. (Yes, the new Sam Zell LAT is diverting the paper's only high-profile news column to promote the paper's festival, complete with sponsors. Lopez will also pen the final chapter.) Lopez promises "any number of lovely prizes" to readers whose chapters get used: "And who knows? If the novel is any good, maybe Round Two will be a screenplay adaptation." [Good idea! — ed.]