I’ve worked on some exciting special projects in the last few years.
Miracle’s Boys, the mini-series
In the last few years, I’ve worked on some exciting projects. One of them was Miracle’s Boys, the mini-series. Basically, some people thought the book would make a good show so they got three fabulous actors together—Julito McCullum, (Lafayette), Sean Nelson, (Charlie) and Pooch Hall (Ty’ree). They also brought in some cool directors—Neema Barnette, Bill Duke, Ernest Dickerson, Spike Lee and Levar Burton (who, coincidentally, at the same time was working on another book of mine—Visiting Day—for Reading Rainbow!) Then, to totally make my day, they got Tiki Barber (former RB for the New York Giants) and Jorge Pasada (Catcher for the New York Yankees), to play coaches on the show!
These are some of the photos from filming Miracle’s Boys:
That’s Tiki and me hanging on the set.
Dr. Dre pointing out cds to Julito and his boys.
Pooch giving his million dollar grin before heading into the building…
Sean Nelsen (Charlie) with Essie Chambers (one of the Producers). Wild! That’s the only word that comes to mind right now. It was Wild!
The musician, Nas, came along and did the theme song. Dr Dre played a guy selling cds on the street. Harlem (one of my favorite spots in Manhattan) was the backdrop for it all.
Of course, I ended up spending far too much time on the set instead of being at home writing but I got to sit in one of those fancy Director’s chairs (It didn’t have my name on the back though.) Some days, I took my family with me.
The making of Miracle’s Boys was definitely a high point in my summer.
All kinds of theater (a play, a musical and an opera!) and movies
I also, when I got my senses back, worked on a couple of books that will be out in the next few years. One is a picture book called This Is The Rope. James Ransome illustrated it. He’s the one who did Visiting Day and I think he’s just an amazingly talented illustrated and a great guy. Check out his website if you get a chance.
I wrote a play based on my book, Locomotion. It premiered at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC then went on a national tour. That was pretty awesome. Then I wrote another play about the life of Clementine Hunter. This one is going to be an opera! My first! Clementine Hunter was an amazing painter who lived for more than a hundred years. My friend Toshi Reagon and her mom, Bernice Johnson Reagon did the music. A pretty amazing artist named Robert Wilson is directing it and doing the set. And yeah, I’m writing some more books.
A cool person is making a movie out of Beneath A Meth Moon. I can’t talk about it much right now but you’ll hear more about it soon. Like, Spike Lee, the person doing it is another of my all time favorite directors. And there’s a really cool actress playing the lead!
Travel, and other stuff
I’m going to India in February to visit the American School of Bombay. Taking the whole family and my kids are bummed because they’re going to have to attend school there. (I think they’ll love it.)
Other things I’m up to: Think I might try to write a screenplay one day. A couple of other books in various stages. But as I’m typing this, I realize it’s almost dinnertime so I should get into the kitchen and start cooking.
(Pet) Trouble at home
Oh — Toffee and Fred. They hate each other. Fred stays downstairs and Toffee stays upstairs. My hope is that by the time I update my website again, they’ll be friends. Doubtful. Here’s a pic of Toffee. Doesn’t she look like she can run forever?