2014: From Venice to Xanadu

By | January 7, 2014
Happy 2014 and welcome to my blog.

jfWith all of the travel I’ll be doing, starting this week, I had to ask myself: what would Marco Polo do if he had today’s technology out there on the Silk Road? Surely, the creator of the world’s first travelogue would be Tweeting and have a travel-blog, reporting on his adventures from Kashgar and Tabriz and @Xanadu with #KublaiKhan . So, in the spirit of the global traveler, I look forward to blogging from the set of Marco Polo’ as we begin filming in Venice in March, then move to the jungles of Malaysia and Borneo, and finally to the steppe of Kazakhstan.

It’s going to be a busy year, and for this I am grateful.

Along with the TV series, I have several movies going into production: “Last Train to Memphis” directed by Kevin MacDonald and produced by Mick Jagger. “The Highwaymen” directed by John Lee Hancock and starring Liam Neeson and Woody Harrelson. “The Alchemist” produced by Harvey Weinstein, and the sequel to “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” helmed by legendary action director Master Yuen Woo-Ping. That one begins shooting in China and New Zealand in May.

snowy-riverI also have a new novel hitting bookshelves in September, a thriller from Simon & Schuster’s Touchstone imprint called “Dog Beach.” Maybe I’m making up for a few quiet years, but now you know what I was doing, locked in the woodshed.

Which gets me to this new year and why I’m so pleased that it’s the Year of the Horse, the seventh sign in the Chinese Zodiac. For those who know me as a mustanger, the appeal is obvious. But this is not only a Horse year, it’s a Wood’ year. The Year of the Horse in Chinese astrology is a propitious time for travel and ambitious undertakings that require great energy. But this fiery, hot-blooded sign is tempered by the Wood element which bodes well for inner-calm, good decisionmaking skills, and philosophical ballast. The Wood Horse can be wildly driven and calmly focused at the same time. “Like iron wrapped in silk,” my kung fu sifu might say.

fusco-1This is a good thing. Shooting a TV series for 9 months in peninsular Malaysia is going to be an endurance race. We will be shooting with three units, overlapping schedules, epic horse battles, and working in jungle heat that can hit 110 degrees and render mist machines useless. As a cowgirl friend in Texas likes to say, “take a deep seat, Partner. It’s gonna be a wild ride.” In any case, it’s a good time for a Horse Year. Better still, a Wood Horse Year.

So I wish you all a bountiful 2014. May you head into this clean slate with both unbridled energy and inner-calm, and achieve all that you set out to accomplish. May you and your families be safe and healthy and see all your dreams realized. I hope you’ll come back and check out this blog from the Silk Road once in a while. It will be fun to share the journey from afar.

Happy New Year.

Long may you run…