This is an ever-evolving story of a girl writer and her two greatest loves, the movies and travel. As she hikes the trenches of Hollywood, you're brought along for the ride.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Seasons Greetings To One And All

I believe in ribbons and shiny gift wrap. I believe it's the thought that counts. I believe that presentation makes the gift, that personal touches are the most meaningful of all. Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, I wish you a joyous and peaceful day filled with wonder and happiness.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

On Light And Darkness

The most creative of us feel things deeply and passionately and although that's an amazingly beautiful thing, it can also lead us to dark places that we have to find our way out of without a flashlight. It happens to me from time to time. Unpredictably and inconveniently, without warning... It never gets easier, but you learn to manage through it, to let it pass, to keep walking even though you don't know when (or if) you'll find enough light within yourself to escape. But you have to embrace the darkness, to let it pass through you and believe that there is more than just this. There is life waiting for you on the other side. Life and beauty and art and love. ~KLiedle/@cococaffeine

"Once my stepdad asked me, 'What does [depression] feel like?' And I said, 'It feels like I'm desperately homesick, but I'm home.' " --Sarah Silverman

‪#‎SarahSilverman‬ ‪#‎Depression‬ ‪#‎ISmileBack‬ ‪#‎HappinessOnTheOtherSide

 See below to read Sarah Silverman opening up about her own struggles with depression and her role in the film, I Smile Back. 

Sarah Silverman On Battle With Depression

Thursday, October 1, 2015

A Small Act Of Rebellion: A Story

I'm pleased to announce that my short story, "A Small Act Of Rebellion" has been published in The Fiction Issue of Chicago Literati Magazine.  Honored to be a part of this quality publication!  Please enjoy the issue via the link below.


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Glimpse Inside The Muppet Mindset

Here's a rare glimpse inside the "muppet mindset" from behind-the-scenes of the new Muppet show, now airing on ABC.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Baseball's Early Players: A Worthwhile Documentary Project

"Baseball is ballet without music.  Drama without words..." wrote sportscaster Ernie Harwell in his baseball essay, 'The Game For All America' (originally published in the 1955 edition of The Sporting News)

There's a history behind baseball.  A connection to the past.  A tradition to enjoy into the future. It's a sport I've always loved. I can watch 'Field Of Dreams' any day.  I've seen Ken Burns baseball documentary.  Sometimes, I'll listen to a ballgame on AM radio while sitting in traffic just so I can feel like I'm at the ballpark.  And so there's a sadness I feel when autumn rolls around and I hear the beginnings of football being uttered on the airwaves.  Because the next baseball season feels so far away...

Sure, we're well into football season but in Sunday's Los Angeles Times, baseball still reigned.  And I was delighted to see this.  The cover story of the travel section highlighted Cooperstown, New York. Someday, I want to visit Cooperstown, home to Baseball's Hall Of Fame.  As kids, my father talked about taking my brother there.  But never me.  Maybe because I'm a girl and he didn't think I'd be interested.  Although I may not be fanatical about rooting for certain teams, I enjoy baseball for the true sense of it-- for the pure 'love of the game.'


Neftalie Williams, a USC grad student, grew up riding skateboards, not eating hotdogs and watching ballplayers with awe at a local ballpark.  But for the next five years, his life will be all about baseball.  His mission is to document the momentous and rocky beginnings of Major League Baseball's racial integration from 1947 to 1971.  He wants to capitalize on living history by reaching out to each and every living African-American baseball player from that era.  His hope is to interview them on camera, record their thoughts, their stories, their emotions from that time.  By the end, if it all goes well, he'll not only have a comprehensive catalog of baseball's history, but our history as well.  I wish him the best of luck in his mission.  I think it's an absolutely worthwhile cause and a project I feel I'd enjoy researching myself.  Without The Los Angeles Times, I never would've heard of Neftalie Williams nor his baseball project or his passion.  To learn more, read the original article, Living Bridges To History by LA Times writer, Zach Helfand.

Follow this link to read the full content of Ernie Harwell's 1955 baseball essay, 'The Game For All America.'

Copyright © 2015 by KLiedle/@cococaffeine

Thursday, August 27, 2015

2015 California On Location Awards Finalsts Announced

There is no Emmy or Oscar category available for Film and Television Location professionals.  However, once a year, we do get recognized by the California On Location Awards (COLA Awards.)  

Today, nominations for the 2015 COLA Awards were announced and I'm proud to say that our Location Team for "True Detective" is one of the finalists.  I worked on the show for seven months last year.  In that time, we shot all eight episodes of the season like back-to-back feature films.  It was a huge and ambitious undertaking.

Although this past season was widely panned by critics and audiences for varying reasons, that in no way detracts from the immense effort that all of us put forth in scouting far and wide for gritty and unique locations for the show.  Scouting took place all over Southern California and points North and once those locations were secured, coordination to make filming happen was an immense task all its own.  Congrats to everyone nominated for the COLAs. Because more often, we aren't noticed at all, but on-location filming is an important component to giving life to film and television productions.

©2015 by K.Liede/@cococaffeine

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Best Days Of Mabel Gordon (A Novella)

Sometimes your best days are ahead of you...

This is what I've been working on for the better part of a year. Check it out!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Banging The Keys: Vintage Typewriters Of The Famous And Infamous

I've always loved the design and feel of a good old-fashioned typewriter.  When I was little, my mom had an electric typewriter and it was always a thrill for me to bang away on the keys and see the letters imprint onto the paper.  That electric typewriter would also sometimes shock my fingers as I typed.  That was always a surprising jolt. In the age of increasingly advancing technology where everyone's laptop looks the same and we're all staring at our phones, I find myself missing the uniqueness of the typewriter.

The other day, I made a long overdue visit to The Paley Center For Media here in Los Angeles.  With locations in New York and Los Angeles, The Paley Center is a nonprofit agency that showcases the importance of media in society.  They have unparalleled archives of television shows, advertising, and news clips that anyone from the public can access from their library.   They also host exhibits and special events throughout the year.

To my sheer delight, the Soboroff Typewriter Collection is the latest exhibit in Los Angeles.  Steve Soboroff has compiled a private collection of 28 original vintage typewriters once owned by the likes of Greta Garbo, Ernest Hemingway, Jack London, Truman Capote, George Burns, Joe Dimaggio and Marilyn Monroe.  As a writer and lover of classy vintage typewriters, I was in awe...

I'll share a few highlights here, but I urge anyone with an interest to go see these in person.  I was blown away by how much I enjoyed it! 

Copyright © 2015 by KLiedle/@cococaffeine

[Above] Hemingway's vintage typewriter, a 1929 Underwood Standard. He was known to write descriptive elements longhand, but he always typed out his dialogue, often standing at the typewriter.  

Truman Capote's personal typewriter near the end of his life -- A Smith Corona Electra 110.
— at The Paley Center for Media.

Orson Welles Underwood Standard Portable 4B73700 which he used to type out "Citizen Kane."
The infamous Montgomery Ward Signature Portable F067033 used by Ted Kaczynski (aka The Unabomber.) This is one of two typewriters the FBI confiscated during the investigation.
Follow @PaleyCenter
Exhibit is FREE to the public
Available for viewing Wed-Sun from Noon-5PM
(Closed Mon and Tues) 


Friday, June 12, 2015

Where Are You Going, Where Have You Been?

It's been awhile since I've written here but that's primarily because I've been living my life instead of documenting it.  After 7 solid months working on an episodic TV series, I've been taking a much needed break.  Stress, long hours, minimal sleep and nonexistent weekends.  You forget your friends, they forget you, and often you forget yourself because the show saps all your time and energy and you still gotta do your laundry.

Any TV show presents its challenges due to intense scheduling and frantic pacing.  To put this into
perspective: Six months is the amount of time usually allotted to complete shooting of a feature film.  The average finished film is about 2 hours (from a script of about 120 pages)  In TV, you don't get the luxury of that much time.  Every day, TV productions shoot more than double the amount of script pages as films.  Everyone's gotta be on their toes at all times and the finish line always feels so far away. We only shot an 8 episode season for the TV show I worked on but that equates to roughly eight hours of footage by the time the public sees it on screen.  And each script is 60-70 pages long.

My cat lounging on the sofa
So what have I been doing with my time? I've been reading (currently: Amy Poehler's 'Yes Please.') I'm co-writing another screenplay and working on my next short story collection, 'The Best Days Of Mabel Gordon.' Excerpts from the upcoming book can be found here.   I've been hanging out with my two cats (one of whom is pictured here), getting dressed up and going out for a change, taking long walks, exploring the world around me...  Essentially, enjoying everything I can during the time I have before the next job takes over.

And that last job?  I met some terrific people, many of whom I miss seeing on a daily basis. 
I'll also miss the purple blossoms on the tree outside my office window at the studio.  Whenever I was at my most stressed, I would take a deep breath, stretch out my arms and gaze at that tree for a few moments-- it reminded of the simplicity and beauty of life--- the exact things I'm able to enjoy up close now that I have the time for them.
The soothing purple blossoms outside my window.

Copyright © 2015 by KLiedle/ @cococaffeine

Friday, May 15, 2015

Meeting B.B. King - A True Legend

When I was 22, I had the immense honor of meeting B.B. King thanks to my mom, a fellow musician.  After a performance, we met up with him in the green room and he spent a few minutes chatting with us.  He seemed to thoroughly enjoy connecting with us, but maybe that was just his style.  As I left, he handed me an autographed photo.  At the time, I didn't fully understand the enormity of his legacy.  What I saw that day was a mega-talented gentleman who was beautifully generous with his time and someone who had lots of stories to tell beyond those eyes of his.  I wish I'd been able to hear more of them.  A true legend.

 Blues Legend B.B. King Passes Away

Copyright © 2015 by K. Liedle/ @cococaffeine

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Life's too short. Pay attention, Appreciate and Look Up Once In Awhile.

Last week, I took a bad spill on the stairs and fractured my scapula.  Not ideal.  Immensely painful. And my first thought was, "I don't have time for this." I knew I was hurt, and I should've been more concerned about that, but instead it was just that nagging thought that I don't have time for this.  Instead I was angry with my body for breaking on me...even just that tiny bit of bone that I've discovered does a whole lot more for me than I ever thought.  And I was angry with myself for being so selfish, for taking my own body and bones for granted.

We're all in a hurry these days, aren't we?  But it shouldn't be that way.  There's no reason for it to be that way.  Because our own well-being is worth far more than that.  Living our lives and appreciating beauty is worth far more than that.  Experiencing love and giving love and writing about life and talking to people, even strangers, is worth more than that.  Instead, many of us spend much of our lives glued to our computers, chained to our email and entranced by our smartphones-- as though these gadgets are our friends.

A friend posted this video today and it made me think of all this.  I'm officially on-the-mend, but last week was not an example of good luck.  The only good thing is that it's allowed me to take things slower and really appreciate the small things.

© 2015 by KLiedle
#TakeItSlow #LifesTooShort #FracturedScapula #LookUp

Posted by 李金雄 on Sunday, April 19, 2015

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Hollywood Running Out Of Pixie Dust

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Friday, March 20, 2015

Monday, March 16, 2015

Long Live Books--The Physical Word On A Printed Page Kind!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Finding Vivian Maier: Add To The Doc List Of Must Sees

Through a friend, I recently became aware of this documentary about photographer Vivian Maier.  It looks completely fascinating-- the woman, her photographs, the story behind it all.  Can't wait to see it for myself.


Saturday, March 7, 2015

It's Maddening How Little Time I Have To Function (In The Real World)

I've been absent, but I'm very much still here.  I'm currently working on a TV show and have been for the last several months.  The thing about working in TV (and film) is that it leaves little time for much else.  Luckily, I don't have children.  If I did, I don't have any idea of when I'd see them.  Hell, my cats barely recognize me.  Sometimes when I leave in the morning, I wish I could just tell the cats to help themselves to the leftovers in the fridge.  But I know that's absurd.  There are no leftovers in the fridge. Oh, and they're cats.  That poses a problem.

It's maddening how little time I have.  I don't even have the time to scroll through my Netflix queue.  Because that's what we all do, isn't it?  Just scroll, add shit to the list, scroll some more, watch a few minutes of something, delete it.  Add five more movies to the queue.  Scroll some more.  Check Facebook.  Re-tweet something that somebody else said.  All of that takes time.  That I do not have right now.

I barely saw any of the Oscar nominated films this year.  It's sad how detached I felt from the whole thing.  The last movie I saw in the theater was Chris Rock's Top Five.  I really want to see Still Alice, but I haven't gotten around to it.  I've seen thirty minutes  of Birdman and then I realized I'd rather be sleeping in a quiet room with no one shouting at me.  Because sleep is a precious thing and I get so little of it as it is.  And I just... I'll be honest.  I didn't like Birdman.

Every year, I've religiously watched the Academy Awards from start to finish.  I skip all the pre-shows and the red carpet and all of that.  I tune in for the show and the show alone to get inspired by creative professionals at the top of their game.  Even though I know it's political.  And most of the Academy members are old white men.  So they say.   But working in the entertainment business is what I've chosen for my career path.  It's what I'm passionate about, what I've loved since before I can remember.  But for the first time ever, I was only mildly interested in the Academy Awards.  Part of my apathy was due to the host, Neil Patrick Harris, whom I found to be trying way too hard to be funny.  Which means I found him to be completely unfunny in a painfully awkward way.  The other reason I felt so detached was because I wasn't nearly as informed about this year's nominees as I usually am and that made me feel a slight twinge of guilt.  Because if there's anyone who should be informed about film and television, it's somebody like me who works in the business.

The complete irony is that working in this business has left me with little time to indulge in the entertainment that inspired me to choose this career path in the first place, especially lately.  But I still love films and I love TV and that will never change.  But for now, my life is the TV show I'm currently working on.  I have very little personal time.  And it's funny how certain things that have become part of my job seem ridiculous to anyone else.  If there's one thing that demonstrates this more than anything else, it's this:  On my laptop right now is a Post-It note to remind me to pay a fictional character's monthly rent for her real apartment.  The apartment exists, the girl does not.  Not in real life.   And now, not only do I have to remember to pay my own rent, but I have to make sure that we pay the apartment rent for someone who does not actually exist, except in a writer's mind.

Copyright © 2015 by KLiedle

Friday, February 6, 2015

Kumiko The Treasure Hunter

When I was in 7th grade I had a Japanese pen pal.  Her name was Kumiko and we corresponded with each other until I graduated from high school.  Then, she simply disappeared.  In her last letter to me, she'd been stressed out, intensely studying for her college entrance exams and then nothing.  Gone...

Maybe she didn't want to write me anymore.  Maybe she didn't want to be friends afterall.  No hard feelings, but I was worried.  I wrote to her parents.  I asked them to send a note just to tell me that Kumiko was okay, but I never heard anything.  A couple of years ago I messaged the only Kumiko I thought "might" be her on Facebook, but again there was no response.  Not even a whisper.  She had simply vanished.

Although it's been years now, I like to think that maybe she's a treasure hunter, out there on some vast adventure.  That makes me smile, thinking that Kumiko is out there living her life with adventure.  Perhaps that's one reason why I intrigued to see the indie film, Kumiko The Treasure Hunter about  a Japanese girl that ventures to America on an unusual quest to find treasure.

I initially heard about the film back in 2012, shortly after we'd wrapped filming the movie, Nebraska.  It was just before Christmastime, in the dead of winter, colder than anything in Omaha.  A few of us from the crew went out for drinks, a final farewell before many of us ventured back home after months away on-location.  Growing up in Nebraska, I was looking forward to escaping and going back to Los Angeles where I've been living for the past decade or so.  In the course of that evening, however, a girl I'd met on the crew mentioned that she was leaving to do another movie for the next several months in a place even colder and harsher than Nebraska in winter.  God, I couldn't even imagine it.  The place was Minnesota.  The movie was Kumiko The Treasure Hunter.

And from the moment on, I was intrigued.  I've been looking forward to seeing it ever since and I hope that I'm able to catch the film's run here in Los Angeles.

Copyright © 2015 by Kendra Liedle/@cococaffeine

#Kumikothetreasurehunter #Japanesefilm #Fargo #Upcomingfilms2015

Check out the trailer:

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Revisiting My Favorite Films Of The Past Year

The year 2014.  Number of movies watched: 107

This past year has been a busy one, but I still managed to keep up with as much of my movie-viewing habits as I possibly could.  Like many of you, I don't always have the opportunity (nor the inclination) to catch everything while it's playing in theaters.  More often than ever before, I'm watching my entertainment via Netflix or on my iPad.  Rarely do I resort to watching entertainment on my phone, however.  I just can't bring myself to do that-- not on a regular basis.  Call me old-fashioned or just plain stubborn, but I feel I have a moral obligation to myself as well as the filmmaker to watch films on a properly-sized screen.  

Below are my favorite films (and discoveries) from my personal 2014 movie-viewing.  There are many great films here and some that aren't necessarily astonishing as much as they are interesting, provocative, moving, and memorable.


(In no particular order)

*ALIVE INSIDE (Documentary)
Music is magic.  It can take us out of ourselves and create us at the same time.  It's linked to moments in our lives, memories we thought were long forgotten.  Alive Inside aims to show how personalized music can be used to salvage people from the brink of ailments such as Alzheimers and dementia and make them come to life again in ways you'll have to see to believe.  Directed by Michael Rossato-Bennett.  Featuring Dan Cohen, founder of Music & Memory.

A psychological thriller directed by Kevin and Michael Goetz.  Written by Kyle Killen.

A comedy directed by Wes Anderson.  Written by Stefan Zweig.  Truth: At best, I'm a lukewarm fan of Wes Anderson.  While I appreciate his visual style and the fairy-tale qualities of his films, sometimes these elements prove to be so visible that it takes me out of the story (which isn't necessarily a good thing.)  However, I loved Fantastic Mr. Fox and The Grand Budapest Hotel made me a believer again in the uniqueness that Mr. Anderson brings to the constantly evolving mosaic of modern filmmaking.

Directed by Jean-Marc Vallee.  Written by Craig Borten and Melisa Wallack
Yes, this is so last year, but I finally got around to seeing it and if you haven't, you should!  It's a heartbreaking tale yet it's a beautiful example of how a small independent film can make a huge impact when all the creative elements align in perfect fashion.

Written and directed by Woody Allen.  In my opinion, Cate Blanchett is one of the most underrated and brilliant actresses working today.  To see her perfectly melted into the persona of a New York socialite undergoing massive personal turmoil in a script penned by Woody Allen is in a word: exquisite.

*STORIES WE TELL (Documentary)
Written and directed by Sarah Polley.  We all harbor secrets, some of which are hidden within families for generations.  Sarah Polley is someone I hope to hear more and more about as years go by.  In what seems to be a relatively short period of time by filmmaking standards, she's proven herself as a blossoming talent with impressive potential.  If you see her feature film, Take This Waltz prior to seeing  Stories We Tell, it'll give you a different perspective on this very personal documentary about Sarah's family.  Raw, inspiring and altogether powerful.

 A film about the history of rap featuring Ice-T and Dr. Dre? This is not a film I thought I'd be highlighting.  However, it's a surprisingly well-done documentary about the creative process of writing music and poetry as it relates to rap.  Additionally, it tells of how rap came to become a prominent music genre and why rap is both culturally and artistically important in society.

I love baseball and I like any good underdog story especially a true one, as this one is.  The Battered Bastards Of Baseball tells the story of the surprising, yet short-lived success of the Portland Mavericks, an independent baseball team functioning outside Major League Baseball in the mid '70s.  Fascinating and inspiring for anyone, especially if your heart is filled with good old-fashioned independent spirit.

With a name like Rupert Pupkin, it has to be good.  1982.  Robert DeNiro.  Jerry Lewis.  Nothing more to say.  If you haven't seen it, watch it now.  If you've seen it before, watch it again.  Directed by Martin Scorsese.  Written by Paul D. Zimmerman.

A romantic comedy about sex addiction.  Funny, honest and entertaining, it covers a subject rarely addressed in feature films beyond the occasional punch-line.  Directed by Stuart Blumberg.  Written by Stuart Blumberg and Matt Winston.  Featuring Mark Ruffalo and Gwyneth Paltrow.

A dramatic thriller about a Danish cargo ship hijacked by Somali Pirates.  In Danish with English subtitles.  Written and directed by Tobias Lindholm.

Showcasing the very best of Robin William's talents, he stars as a DJ who shakes things up at a US Armed Forces radio station in Vietnam.  A film worth revisiting-- especially as a tribute to the supremely talented and unique force that is Robin Williams captured on film.  Directed by Barry Levinson.  Written by Mitch Markowitz

An independent comedy about a failed writer who moves in with his ailing parents in Florida.  For anyone who has lovable parents that have the capacity to annoy the hell out of them, this is for you.  And really, isn't that all of us?  Written and directed by Michael Maren.

Written and directed by Dan Gilroy.  Jake Gyllenhaal at his creepiest-best playing Lou Bloom, a low-life who hustles his way into the underworld of seedy crime journalism.  Also featuring an outstanding acting turn for Rene Russo as Nina, a veteran local news anchor.

Reese Witherspoon portrays Cheyl Strayed, a young woman who tries to shed her own personal demons by partaking in the insurmountable: a solo hike along the 1,100 mile Pacific Crest Trail.  Directed by Jean-Marc Vallee.  Written by Nick Hornby.  Adapted from Cheryl Strayed's memoir, "Wild: From Lost To Found On The Pacific Crest Trail."  Powerful and inspiring, this film proves that even when we think we've reached our lowest point, nature can soothe us, become our companion, and  allow us trust that everything will be okay again if we simply put one foot in front of the other and believe in ourselves with every ounce of our being.

Copyright © 2015 by Kendra Liedle/@cococaffeine

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Happy New Year: Start It Off With A Cheery Attitude

Start the year off with a spunky attitude.  Take risks, live life on your own terms and don't take shit from anyone.  I'll drink to that. -KL

Artistic Perfection