Sunday, February 12, 2006

Ahh, sweet memories from last year's New Hampshire Writers' Day Conference.

For information on this year's event, scheduled for Saturday, March 25, 2006, surf over to the New Hampshire Writers' Project website:

Maybe I'll see you there....

Had to add the Cold Cuts flyer--on Monday, February 27, at 7 pm, at 229 W. 49th Street, NYC, the staged reading will feature pages from "Keep Your Distance" by playwright Lawrence Goodman, a fellow Goddard-ite and new friend. For more information, surf over to
Giggling God

I had to laugh myself when I read how "easy" packet number one came off (blog entry below). Best laid plans....

Not this one. Not because the content is any more difficult, it's simply that this is a rigorous program. Twenty-six hours a week, minimum, is what we've committed to our Goddard full-time, low-residency studies. Unfortunately, squeezing that kind of time into my schedule in the midst of a family crisis that erupted this past week has become a nearly unbearable, unachievable goal.

Yet, it is with the strength, encouragement, and support of my fellow Goddard-ites that I soldier on (thanks guys--I couldn't survive this without you!).

That much I had to share, lest anyone think this program is a cake walk. It's designed to challenge and to stimulate. It's doing both those things and more - helping me to reach the next level in my writing and critical reading abilities. I just have to accept that at times it may be more difficult than at others.

Family comes first. After that Goddard and my own students at UNH. If there's anything left, perhaps I'll take a jog. Or a nap.

Perhaps best laid plans would be best laid to rest. :)

Thanks for stopping in.


Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Grad School, Take Two

So, packet number one's off. I'm officially on my way to completing the first semester requirements. It wasn't that difficult, really. The hardest part is that I have found that I miss the camaraderie of the residency. But some of that has continued. A couple people and I have stayed in constant communication via e-mail as we write and procrastinate from writing.

What is a packet you non-Goddard-ites may wonder....

Basically our semester is broken into six segments. Segment one is the Residency Requirement. Nine days on campus. Great food (kudos to the chef and his staff!), excellent workshops (the professors are top notch!), and fun times with fellow classmates (let's not reveal just how much fun we had...yet!).

The next five parts are broken down by the five packets we mail off to our advisor every three weeks. Up to forty pages is sent off for critique, analysis, grading, and review. My first packet consisted of the following:

- A five-page Process Letter in which I spent the first four pages talking about the process I went through in studying and writing over the course of my first three weeks at home. I also brought up questions that I have about where I am going in my creative work; things I am seeking specific feed-back on from my advisor. The last page I used as a simple table of contents. I'm guessing it was unnecessary, but it made me feel better to include it. I'm anal about these things; what can I say?

- Two two-page Annotations. These are short critical papers analyzing a detailed item that I picked up on close-read of a novel and of a poem.

- One five-page critical paper. I was pretty critical of the lack of depth Neil Simon used in his female version of "The Odd Couple" play. Sorry, Mr. Simon. No disrespect meant. I simply needed a thesis, and I decided to explore the use of humor not as a method for dealing with the underlying pain, but of skirting the real issues. I think I proved my point. Perhaps someone else may have chosen to prove the opposite.

- One one-page plot line sketch that I used as a teaching tool in my Advanced Screenwriting Class that I am teaching at the University of New Hampshire as part of my teaching requirement.

- And twenty-five pages of Creative Work. Most of those pages are character breakdowns for my protagonist, antagonist, pivotal character, and for two minor pivotal characters in my new feature-length screenplay that I am writing for the program.

While it's off, I have begun working on Packet # 2 requirements. I began my scene cards for my screenplay today. I will type those up into outline fashion (script outline, not academic outline) for submission. I have also started an annotation on the movie "Gypsy" (the original movie from 1962 with Natalie Wood and Karl Malden, not the Bette Midler TV re-make). And, of course, I am still teaching.

And while I am blogging it may have occurred to folks that I am procrastinating from my other duties. In particular, I have about forty more pages of grading ahead of me--as my Advanced Screenwriting students begin their feature length scripts with me in another week or so....

Thanks for stopping in. And, hey, if you think of one, please leave a joke for me. I hardly come up for air these days, and when I do, I find I most need a good laugh. And no, it does not have to mask underlying pain; but if it does, let's simply skirt the issue rather than deal with it.


I just had to add this one little tid bit: I recently found Metallica's "Garage Inc." and am soooo excited to be loading the songs on my laptop now. I have been looking for this album forever. One of these days I'm going to have to dig out that free iPod that came with my iBook and load this stuff onto it. I wish I understood technology better. Okay, that's enough procrastination for one day....