Friday, April 28, 2006

Happy End of the Semester!

No trumpets blaring, no big party, not even a high five...just one last trip to the post office to mail off my fifth and last packet of my first graduate semester at Goddard. Grin. [DRAGON picture above by my daughter, Abby, BTW]

And soon to sleep. I was up till midnight last night, writing only till about ten or so, but adrenaline kept me going far beyond my normal bedtime. This morning I was up by five and at only a few minutes after eleven I was at the post office and mailing off my forty pages.

Okay, so I'll confess that after cleaning the main living area in the house (you can't even imagine how dirty this place gets while I'm working, studying, writing, and taking care of my kids!) I did play hooky for the afternoon with my hubby. We drove to a nursery and day dreamed. It's too early to plant yet, so instead we spent about a half hour shooting the shit with the farmer who owns the small farm in Antrim. And then we drove a bit, walked the dog along the river, grilled out, and are now listening to the losing Sox. Oh well. Can't have everything perfect, can we?

So what was in my last packet? Three annotations, a process letter, and thirty pages of my latest outline.

The annotations:

1) Three pages on Cars as a Vehicle for Plot Movement in the novel "Mothers and Daughters" by Carolyn See.

2) Two pages on Taking a Break as an Answer to All Problems in the Film PRIMAL FEAR directed by Gregory Hoblit.

3) Two pages on Fences as the Visual Reminder of the Tenuous Barrier Between What's Remembered and Forgotten in the Film THE FORGOTTEN directed by Joseph Ruben.

The Process Letter was three pages long, and mostly addressed my changes to my outline, as well as the major beats.

The outline is my FOURTH this semester. I have written three forty-plus outlines and thrown every single one of them out. I even wrote 59 pages of script, confident my third outline was finally on track. Tossed those pages, too.

What began as a drama/fantasy has turned into a thriller. My new Protagonist, still "Cat Woods" in my outline, bears a few similarities to my original Cat Woods, but she lost eleven years in age, and gained a deep, dark, haunting, tragic secret that she MUST overcome to begin living her own life. Of course the Antagonist has completely changed, is a brand spanking new character who has EVERYTHING to lose if his secret is discovered. And there are two brand new Pivotal Characters that have not appeared in any of the first three outlines.

It was fun to write. And I can't wait to dive into the script. It was also extremely taxing. So I'm looking forward to reading the comments from my advisor.

I have to say that I have never worked so hard, nor grown so much as a writer. I am incredibly thankful for this opportunity, and will be forever grateful to my advisor for pushing me harder than anyone's ever done before. I have had to dig deeper than I knew I could. And what I found astounded me, and impressed my advisor in my last packet.

What's next? I have a week to complete an end of the semester review. I still have two weeks left in my teaching residency (and my adjunct teaching job) at UNH-Manchester where I am teaching Feature Scriptwriting as part of my Goddard teaching requirement (and introductory short scriptwriting because I teach it almost every semester there). I'll have to write up my notes from that, and have an intern for the summer who will edit my portfolio before I turn it in.

I also have a couple major writing deals heating up. Looks like one will be greenlit in the next few weeks. Dream come true kind of stuff. But I'm signed to a confidentiality agreement, so I'll have to wait till the Producers choose to disclose news of the project.

And since my intern is an established editor (at a local newspaper group) I will rely upon her to help me edit my book proposal--which goes by the name of my blog. It's long overdue, and almost complete. I had one editor interested, though it looks like her company may not be publishing another scriptwriting book for a while. So I'll seek the advice of my agent before I send it out.

I will use my Advisor's notes and the notes from students seeking extra credit and from one of my grad school friends as I start penning the screenplay to my thriller outline that I just completed. That will be a fun project, even though I made myself jump out of my skin as I wrote Act III. I have to move upstairs - the basement office is no place to pen a thriller. Or maybe it's the perfect place....

And of course I'll still be taking care of my kiddos. The three of us jet off to California at the end of June. I'm dropping them off with my family and two days later flying back to New England so I can drive up to Vermont to attend the next Goddard Residency.

Well, that's waaaaaayyyyyy too many details. But, hey, you're the one who's still reading. And a couple people have actually let me know that they WANT to know some of this stuff. (You know who you are: will I see you in Plainfield in June? I hope so! It's fun. You'll love it.)

Thanks for stopping by.


Saturday, April 22, 2006


No catchy wording or phrasing. Just a quick note to replace the extremely outdated Irish holiday greeting.

And to point you to the Rhode Island Film Festival Website for updates on this year's plans and competitions (see the link in the sidebar: RIIFF/ScriptBiz). In particular - check out all things ScriptBiz. That's my former "baby." While I'm on hiatus from it as I take two years out of my life to attend graduate school (and still teach at UNH and raise my kiddos) the show is still going on. It's very gratifying to see one's hard work continuing on. Hopefully a couple summers from now I can step back in and lend a hand....

For now, I need sleep.

'Night. Thanks for stopping by.