Thursday, May 24, 2007

The Art of Rewriting
So here we are, my son and me: I’m rewriting my screenplay; he’s rewriting his life.

What’s already been recorded is unimportant. It’s what we’re working on now that counts. As I strip away my excessive characters and plots, he removes that which in the past has weighed him down.

My son, who just this month turned sixteen, has already learned an invaluable lesson in life: no matter what your age or place, you must forge your own path to survive.

After an unconventional school year of studying at home, working with a private art teacher three times a week, and taking continuing ed courses at the New Hampshire Institute of Art (NHIA), he met Tuesday with the NHIA admissions staff for his portfolio interview. As we left the building, he smiled and commented, “that went well, I think.”

It was an understatement, I believe (and hope), and has served as a great boost to his self-confidence, something he needs as he dives into his GED next week. He handily passed the pre-GED, a short-form exam of the real deal that our state requires of the underage set, so we have high hopes for him. Still, we haven’t let his work schedule slack. Tomorrow he will finish two more GED prep books, bringing his year of home study to a close and filling three shelves with texts from which he has worked, not including the numerous magazine and newspaper articles, and library books and DVDs that he has devoured this past year.

And so the rewriting will continue. As he carves out his next chapter in life, I just might see the way to the new ending in my current version of my screenplay—my creative thesis that I hope to use as my final graduation project. Then I’ll begin penning the next chapter in my own life.

Anyone else rewriting these days? If so, enjoy the journey….

(NOTE: The image above is a tile created by my daughter in art class.)

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Ode to a Cat
Written on the fly/improv-style
By the members of the Advanced Short Scriptwriting/Television Writing Class at the University of New Hampshire-Manchester. Their names held anonymously until they either check in with me or post a comment in response to this silly, silly “poem.”

Ode to a Cat

I like brushing my fat black cat.
Cats have fur and some people
are allergic to them.
My cat likes to drink from the toilet.

My cat has a cyst in her throat
So when she purrs and breathes
All the neighborhood hears is
A high pitched squeal. She likes
To purr, so there’s a lot of squealing.

I once got scratched by a cat and started bleeding.

You were my mom’s cat,
Yet you nipped at my mother’s
Heels when I cried in my crib so that
she’d fetch me and feed me and hold me.
Thank you, Cat.

I’ve never had a cat;
I hear they’re swell.

Pretty little Kitty,
You can play with a ball
Better than the Phillie’s
Third baseman: Mike Schmitty.

You know you like cats
When you’re willing to
Pluck the dingle-berries
From your cat’s long-haired

The above served as a silly closing to a rocking performance of Omnium Gatherum, in which each student had five minutes to present and/or perform to the greater university and Manchester community during our final class of the semester. Bravo, class. It’s been a an honor and a privilege to have worked with each of you once again….


Friday, May 04, 2007

Workshop Intensive: Crafting the Short Script
Dana Biscotti Myskowski

Create your own mini-masterpiece. From proper formatting to screenplay terminology, this workshop will introduce participants to the art of crafting a short script, which is a good first step to writing that perfect feature project. Discover what fuels a story and how to create compelling characters. Draw on your hidden talents to sketch your ideas in storyboard fashion. Learn why all the work is in the outlining process. Listen to your inner protagonist, antagonist, and supporting cast as your script comes to life in a reading with workshop participants.

Award-winning screenwriter Dana Biscotti Myskowski has written a short film, an artist’s video, a planetarium-show script, corporate videos, children’s plays, and short and feature-length spec scripts. She has written for such publications as The SNReview, The Pitkin Review, and Hollywood Scriptwriter. She teaches workshops at colleges, conferences, businesses, and film festivals. She is currently studying in the low-residency MFA at Goddard College, where she is working on her latest screenplay.

Sponsored by: NH Writers' Project
Date and Time: Saturday, June 16, 2007, 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m.
Location: Southern New Hampshire University, Manchester, NH
Cost: $125 NHWP members; $140 nonmembers
Class limit: 15
Register/More info: Writers' Project Workshops
Recommended level: Beginning to Intermediate