Thursday, December 06, 2007

Look outside...What? Snow. It's the great white north of New Hampshire...and there's snow. Lots of it. (Remember the McKenzie Brother's rendition of the Twelve Days of Christmas where their true loves brought them lots of lovely stuff...and a beer? You can check out the lyrics here. Have fun!)

This photo's actually from last year; this year's photos are still sitting in the camera. (Oh well!) I just learned that the two companions to this picture will appear in the next issue of the Pitkin Review. I'll post the link as soon as it's ready. You're welcome....

For those of you who have been keeping tabs on my progress through Goddard, it's official: I will graduate on January 6th. Yesterday I faxed my diploma form that lists my really long writer's name, which is how I'd like the official document to read. (Hey, I earned the right to be listed as Dana Biscotti Myskowski; right?)

So what have I been doing in all my "free time" since Packet Five? I edited my screenplay again, of course. And I've been prepping to step in and teach the gen ed course Image & Sound next semester for a professor on sabbatical. I've had to dig back to my undergraduate days and even into high school days as I recall all the material. I know the students and I will have fun with the course, but I'm nervous I won't be able to prep enough in time....

And I'm finishing up this semester with my Media Writing and Intro to Screenwriting students. I have awesome students! Always do. UNH-M has the best, hardest working, most giving, supportive students I've ever met; it is a pleasure and a privilege to work with everyone there. (Hi there, Media Writing students who are visiting my site as part of this week's homework assignment! I really do mean every word I just wrote. Really!)

I'm also working with a director on a short that is coming together great. Fast, too. And I'll be working with another director soon so we can put the finishing touches on a script that I wrote for him a few years ago. I'm also getting ready if the call comes in to write for a TV show that I've been attached to for the past three years; it looks like this may be it: the time that it is picked up by a production company. It's a fabulous storyline with great characters, but I can't tell you more than that. Yet. Sorry.

I'm still working on my short scripts that together comprise my full-length stage play JOINT ACCOUNTS. It's something I began working on at Goddard and knew I'd still be writing and editing long after graduation. One of those shorts, Safety Deposit Boxes, is being performed this weekend at the New Hampshire Technical Institute (information in my blog entry below).

Plus I've started combing through my screenplay pages looking for the perfect ten-minute excerpt to read at graduation weekend. And I've thought about starting to pull together my graduation speech. Goddard: where every grad is the valedictorian. (Cool, huh?)

Alright, back to my work. Blogging is too much fun to even make my to do list.

Thanks for stopping by. Cheers!


Ernesto said...

Sounds like an awesome amount of work with great payoff. And thanks for the snow pictures! Looks like our backyard! Reading your post makes me want to focus intently on my writing again (as opposed to letting it drift in and out as I attend to the million other things that are demanding attention right now). Been mulling trying a screenplay ... any recommendations on starting places, tutorials, etc.?

Dana said...

Great to hear from you, Ernesto!

Serendipitous, too. Next Thursday I'll be taking my Media Writing students through the steps of setting up their own blog on blogger dot com. I'm structuring the lesson much like the workshop I took with you a couple years ago via the NH Writers' Project.

Ah, yes, screenplay tutorials:

For reference, you must have a copy of Paul Argentini's "Elements of Style for Screenwriters."

For a nice scriptwriting course within a text, pick-up "Write Screenplays That Sell: The Ackerman Way" by Hal Ackerman. Don't just read it, also make sure you complete the exercises at the end of each chapter.

For just good storytelling, re-read your copy of Christopher Vogler's "The Writers Journey:Mythic Structure for Writers."

You can always take a screenwriting course. I'm teaching an introductory course during the Summer I session at UNH-M, three days a week for a handful of weeks. And I'd like to offer another one-day screenwriting seminar through the NH Writers' Project again and/or at the NH Film Festival next October.

Hope this helps get you started! Thanks for dropping in. Cheers!

Ernesto said...

Awesome, thanks for the tips! Still time to add those books to my Christmas wish list. By that, congrats on your son's academic success! We (or maybe I should say Kristen) are on the other end of homeschooling - we started our five year old this year. We're open for tips on that as well!

Dana said...

Congratulations on your decision to homeschool! And good luck (to your wife!). I homeschooled my kiddos at the tender younger ages, too. (We returned to public school, which didn't work out so well, especially for my son....)

At the beginning stages you can find excellent workbook resources from your favorite bookseller. I found taking my kids with me to help pick out their "back to school" supplies, including books, helped get them excited about the process.

I also utilized computer learning games for math and typing. And I feathered in trips to museums, businesses, theatres, anyplace that would welcome us, actually! Plus there are a number of fantastic educational videos that make the kids think they're just having fun.

Okay, that's the skinny version. I actually have a very thick file for each of my kids. We lived in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts at the time; then the state required extremely detailed lesson plans.

When it came time to homeschool in New Hampshire, all that was required was a note to our superintendent and a year-end test to show our son's educational strides. His GED served for that; he nearly aced several sections of it. Even received an academic scholarship based on his high test scores. It was very cool. Thanks for the kudos!

Glad I could help with your Christmas wish list. My list is short this year: all I want is some freetime with family and friends.


Ernesto said...

Great Christmas list. And your experience with homeschooling is an inspiration.