Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes...In case anyone is actually out there and planning on traveling to the campus of NH Technical Institute next weekend for the evening (or afternoon) of short plays, the times on the Friday/Saturday evening performances have changed from a previous post. They are now 7:30 PM. Here's the corrected text:

"An Evening of Short Plays" CONCORD, NH--New Hampshire Technical Institute Drama Club Presents eight short plays by local playwrights. Sweeney Auditorium. Friday/Saturday Dec. 7 & 8, 7:30 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 9, 4 p.m. Admission by donation. Included among the works is "Safety Deposit Boxes" by Dana Biscotti Myskowski.

I hope to attend both the Friday evening and Sunday afternoon performances. Hope to see you there!


(No animal was harmed in the above picture. No, really....)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Stairway to locked doors...A nice day today, prompting us to hike the path to the Fire Tower. A good view between the naked trees. Too bad the tower was closed, which led to this silly photo....

Closed. Cut off. Halted.

I'm trying not to focus on the writer's strike, which has cut off my access to my producer. I have edited my creative thesis screenplay, NIKI SWEET TALK MOVES, since sending a former version to her, but the strike has meant that I can't send her the revisions. And I'm only an associate member of the Guild. It's painful...wondering what might be and if my opportunity will dry up should this strike continue too long.

But the Guild is heading back to the table tomorrow for talks. So here's hoping everyone will be willing to work together.

Are you up for an evening of live entertainment? If so, I have a short play being presented among the works at NH Technical Institute (next to the Planetarium) in Concord, NH in two weeks:

"An Evening of Short Plays" CONCORD, NH--New Hampshire Technical Institute Drama Club Presents eight short plays by local playwrights. Sweeney Auditorium. Friday/Saturday Dec. 7 & 8, 7 p.m., Sunday, Dec. 9, 4 p.m. Admission by donation. Included among the works is "Safety Deposit Boxes" by Dana Biscotti Myskowski.

I'm hoping to catch the Friday and Sunday performances; would love to see you there!


Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!It’s on this day more than any other that I miss my father; Thanksgiving was his favorite holiday.

Sure, he liked the football and the food, but what made it special for him was that family gathered simply to be together and to give thanks for all their blessings, even in the slim years. No presents were ever exchanged and any past wrongs were generally forgotten and forgiven. The holiday elicited the best from people simply because of its focus on gratitude.

I have much to be thankful for this year. I recently received word that my fifth packet material will serve as my FINAL packet of my Goddard graduate career. The 40 pages contained 37 pages of a rewrite to my creative thesis NIKI SWEET TALK MOVES and a three-page process letter, thanking my advisor for her astute notes and filling her in on other changes that could not be slipped into the slim packet.

I am ecstatic that I made it. But more than that, I am thankful.

This journey began more than a few years ago when, after receiving my Professional Certificate in Screenwriting from UCLA and having won a few screenplay competitions, the film and documentary professor at UNH-Manchester invited me to teach scriptwriting for the Communication Arts Department. Once inside the classroom I was hooked. I love working with the students of UNH.

“How do I do this full-time?” I asked the then chairperson of the department. No guarantees that it would lead to full-time work, of course, but my first task was to enroll in an MFA program and secure that advanced degree.

It was my mother who helped me next.

After she flew from California to hang out with my children so I could travel to Providence to run the ScriptBiz Screenwriting Seminar of the Rhode Island International Film Festival, my daughter and I took my mother on a thank you trip up north to Hero Island, Vermont to see the summer training grounds of the famous Lipizzaner stallions.

On the drive home on Interstate 89 South I saw a sign for Goddard College. I took the exit and we walked the grounds of the school. No doubt between summer sessions, it was quiet, peaceful, and inspiring. “This is where I want to get my master’s someday,” I told my mom and my daughter.

“Why aren’t you here now?” my mom asked.

Good question. In the next couple weeks I applied, was accepted, and began my incredible journey.

In all honesty I attended primarily to get that piece of paper—my diploma—that would allow me the opportunity to possibly spin a part-time teaching gig into a full-time one. But I received far more than the promise of parchment.

I quickly realized that while UCLA had prepared me well for the world of scriptwriting, I had much more to learn. Yesterday as I met with a director who lives nearby, I told him how amazed I was by the process of my education. I learned how much I didn’t know. And how to recognize and fill-in the gaps in my education as I proceed on my own.

I will always be thankful to Goddard for equipping me to face my journey. The rigorous assignments of the countless critical papers have helped me to study films, plays, scripts, poetry, novels, and stories in a more in-depth way than I had ever before known. And that has helped me—and will continue to help me—as I approach my own writing and rewriting.

Goddard has taught me to fish.

So, thank you. Goddard. Mom. Husband. Kids. Fellow classmates. Students. Friends. Family. Colleagues. Writer’s Group. Neighbors. Internet. Post Office Employees. And more.

And Dad. For not only helping me to appreciate this holiday above all others, but for instilling in me a sense of excellence and hard work that I hope to never outgrow.

Photos above taken by my husband on our Summer, 2007 vacation to Cliff Island, Maine. Top photo: lobster boats at dawn. Center photo: he took for me since “107” has become the number that signifies my father; it was his caddie number when he was a kid in Cleveland; it is also the title of a short screenplay I wrote that tells one of his incredible brush with the mob stories. Bottom photo: taken on the ferry as we left Cliff Island. Sad when you consider how many months it will be before we return. Happy when we realize how many memories we made there and for which we can be thankful.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Just a quick note...I've gone underground again after having received my Packet Four notes on my Creative Thesis screenplay from my Advisor yesterday (am still awaiting notes from my Second Reader). Many astute revision suggestions have me scrambling to complete a rewrite of NIKI SWEET TALK MOVES by Packet Five, which is due next week. It should be the final packet of my Goddard career.

So if you'll excuse me for a couple more weeks, I shall remain as underground (in my basement office) as possible, popping up only to retrieve my daughter from school and to teach at UNH. Perhaps to glimpse my shadow now and then, too.


Photo above taken at the tree farm where we harvest our Christmas tree each year. It's tagged there somewhere in the photo....