Friday, October 23, 2009


I've been shamefully absent (still) from the blog scene and at the rate I'm going I'll be lucky to blog once a week. This poor blog has degenerated to a journal-style update of what's going on in my life, mostly because all of my deep thought-provoking thoughts are going into my school work. After I drain my mind there, I just don't have anything left for here!'s what's going on in my writing life:

I finished the story summary for my screenplay and turned it in to my mentor. He thinks it's good material. He made suggestions, some of which I agree with, and otherwise turned me loose to write the outline. Whew. I was worried the story sucked, so it's good to have some affirmation! Now, on to the work of outlining....

The rest of my MFA classes consist of drowning in reading I can't possibly keep up with and trying to write meaningful, or at least coherent, responses to said reading. I'm not having a lot of luck with the reading or the coherent responses right now. I kind of feel like a college freshman asking, "okay, now why exactly do I have to read this again?"

I've got the first draft of my romance novel out to a couple of people to read and hopefully get some useful suggestions for revisions. I'd like to get those underway. I don't want the poor book to fall by the wayside. My evil plan is to get it (and the 2 subsequent sequels) published in order to pay for my student loans. *crosses fingers*

I'm also gearing up for NaNoWriMo in November. Because I don't have enough stuff crammed into my life, I thought it would be awesome to ratchet up the pressure on myself and try to write 50,000 words in a month. That's in addition to working full time and going to school full time. On the one hand, I could get the second romance novel in my trilogy written in a month. On the other hand in some circles they would call that masochistic. Glutton for punishment in others. We'll see if I survive November.

And, on top of it all, I'm presenting a paper at the Women's Studies conference at University of North Dakota in November.

I must be crazy.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Blog Award

So I received the "Kreativ Blogger" award from Fran at Fran Caldwell's Notebook, a site I enjoy very much. I love keeping up with other writers and sharing the ups and downs of the writing life! So, thank you Fran.

The requirements of receiving this aware include unburdening myself of 7 things that you would most likely not know about me. Believe me, for the most part I'm just not that interesting, but here are those 7 things:

1. When asked if you could go back in time and change anything about your life, many people are self-deprecating and say no, they wouldn't. I would.
2. I want to write romance novels, fiction, screenplays, and stage plays.
3. According to my mother, I'm a late bloomer. Whatever that means.
4. I'm not religious, but I am spiritual.
5. My primary ethnicities are: Swedish, Hungarian, English, Scottish.
6. I don't like dogs. I'm a cat person.
7. I wish I had more money (I'm sick of being broke) because I think money can, if not buy happiness, at least relieve a lot of stress so that you can allow happiness to flourish.

So there you go. Seven things about my you probably didn't already know, or for that matter even want to know, but now do. I'm now supposed to pass this award on to 7 more people, but because I love all the blogs I follow equally, I can't pick just 7. If you read this and feel so moved, please copy it to your site and inform all your readers of 7 things they don't know about you!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

24-Hr Play Redemption

So, last night kicked off this year's 24-hr play festival wherein five short plays are written, produced, and performed within, well, 24 hours.

We showed up at 7:30 p.m., introduced ourselves and contributed our costume piece and props which were to act as inspiration for those of us writing (but often aren't very useful). After introductions, actors and directors go home and sleep while writers draw actor's names from a hat to use as our cast, then we have until 6:00 a.m. to write a coherent short play - not an easy task when you're sleep deprived in the wee hours of the night/morning.

The five writers (me included) wrote until about 1:30 a.m. at which point, surprisingly, we all had a first draft ready so we decided to do a preliminary read-through. We already had a read-through scheduled for 3:00 a.m. with the show's producer, but since we had drafts we decided to do one early. I'm glad we did because it allowed me to do some edits. It's amazing how something sounds just awesome in your head and you snicker as you type it, but when it's read out loud it falls completely flat.

I edited and then decided I couldn't function anymore because of the fatigue. Plus I was facing a half hour drive home on dark country highways and I didn't want to fall asleep at the wheel. So I skipped the second read through. I finally got home about 4:00 a.m. then, even though I was exhausted, I didn't sleep well because I was hopped up on adrenalin and sleep deprivation.

So, I woke up at 9:00 a.m., showered, and drove an hour to watch two of my kids run a cross country meet in the most miserably icy, drizzly conditions you could possibly imagine. The good news is both of them cut significant time off their previous bests.

This evening we went back to the theater for performance. Let me take a moment to explain how badly last year's festival went for me. I'll admit it wasn't the best play I've ever written, but I drew the worst actors in the bunch, and they didn't memorize the play. In fact, they got lost about 2 minutes in and completely made it up as they went along. And they sucked at improv. I've never been so embarrassed. You could hear the crickets chirping the theatre was so silent. So I was slightly apprehensive coming into the theatre tonight, hoping it wouldn't be a rerun of last year.

I shouldn't have worried, though, because I drew really good actors this year and they nailed it. They didn't forget or drop any lines, they were professional, and overall it was full of awesome. I was so relieved and really, really pleased. The other plays on the program were all funny and went well, too. It's a testament to the quality of the actors this year that even when they forgot lines they covered really well and actually added to the humor in some cases as a result.

So anyway, that's my experience with the 24-Hr play festival this year. It's a really amazing experience for writers, actors, and directors, and I'm very lucky to have been involved in it for three years running.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Writing News and Other Stuff

It's been almost a month since I posted anything. I feel terrible. My poor little blog must feel so lonely and abandoned. I will hereby renew my efforts to post at least every couple of days. Life's been seriously busy, but I can't let that be an excuse.

Tonight is the annual 24-Hr Play Festival at the local university where we'll be writing, producing, and performing 4-6 ten minute plays within a 24-hour period. As a writer, I have about nine hours to write a ten minute play. This is my third year participating. The first year went quite well; in fact, the play I wrote has been produced a couple of times since then. The second year was a major bomb. I drew the worst actors of the bunch and they really messed up the play. My face was red. So this year I need to redeem myself...wish me luck!

I'm also plowing through the MFA classes. Lots of reading and writing. I'm working on outlining my screenplay but have recently hit some roadblocks....mainly, I'm not sure where the story goes from here. So I guess I need to do some brainstorming. On the upside, I finished the first draft of my romance novel and I've got it out being read by someone who I hope can give me some constructive suggestions! Then I'll start working on revisions.

Any writers out there planning on participating in NaNoWriMo this year? Believe it or not I'm going to try to cram it into my schedule. I want to get the first draft of the second novel in my three novel series done during the NaNoWriMo. We'll see how that goes. I need to get some basic outlining done before it starts.

Well, I'm off. I'll try to keep up with posting, and get back to following my fave blogs. I've missed all my bloggy friends and reading what everyone else is up to!

Take care!