Saturday, June 30, 2007

The House on Salem Hill

Scribblescratch is having a small writing competition based on your choice of four gorgeous photos. Here's my entry:

Amy came outside of the old house for some fresh air. The house had been standing since the days of the Salem witch trials. Amy had discovered it in her genealogy research and it had proven to be a goldmine. Abandoned for decades, the attic still had some trunks and boxes with photos and letters and discarded knick knacks, mostly belonging to her ancestors. It was a genealogist's dream come true. But it was dusty musty work and Amy needed to clear her head and her lungs.

The wind picked up and Amy looked at the sky, at the dark clouds converging in a swirling mass above the house. Amy's skin prickled and it wasn't with cold. The sky reminded Amy of something. What was it? Something that she'd just read. Then she remembered. The very last entry of one of the diaries she had read described a sky just like that. The diary of Abigail Helme, her 7th great-grandaunt. The woman who had disappeared on the night of that last entry.

Amy shivered and went back inside, unaware of the flash of light in the grove of trees behind the house. Something shimmered in the darkness under the trees, trying desperately to take form. Then it was gone. For now.

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Saturday, June 23, 2007

Biography of an Elusive Man

I came across this interesting review of Ralph Ellison: A Biography by Arnold Rampersad. Considered by some to be major literary figure of the last century and by others to be a one-hit wonder with Invisible Man, Ellison is definitely a controversial figure. I, for one, think this book will be an intriguing read.

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Thursday, June 21, 2007

Harlem Writer

I'm always on the lookout for interesting blogs about writing or language or literature. The Harlem Writer is such a blog that recently came to my attention. The author is the founder, moderator and a participant of the Morningside Writers Group in Manhattan, a very interesting looking writers group that makes me wish I lived in New York City. (Mind you, a lot of things make me wish I lived in NYC!)

But back to the blog. It's a combination of posts about writing, writing events and writing groups mixed in with personal musings written in a literary way and a way-too-funny Family Guy clip. If you haven't checked it out yet, I recommend taking a peek.

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Friday, June 15, 2007

Writing Dialogue

First of all, I promise that once Script Frenzy is over I'll talk about more styles of writing than just screenplays, but in the meantime...

I was just reading an article over at Script Frenzy entitled: 5 Tips for Dialogue That Make Strong Men Weep (I'll admit that it wasn't just the topic that made me click on the link, the title was a big draw). It's not so much that there's anything NEW in the article, but it's well written and I liked the author's approach. And I find the thing with books and articles about writing (like so many other crafts), many authors write the same basic content... but it's HOW they write it that determines whether it will work for you or not. And this article worked for me. Hopefully, it will work for you, too.

The author of the article also has an interesting blog called everything comes together at 2 a.m. about scratch fiction and photographs. What is scratch fiction, you might ask. Well, this author defines it as short fiction written for the internet. I just wish he listed categories because, as gorgeous as his photos are, I'm really just there for the articles and the scratch fiction.

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Scriptapalooza Script Coverage

As I mentioned previously, I'm participating in Script Frenzy during the three month break from my screenwriting. Of course, Script Frenzy is just one month (June) and I'm not aiming to complete the 20,000 words in the allotted month since my screenwriting instructor specifically said not to, but I still think it's a good jumping off point. But what do we do after we've finished our scripts? Assuming we're not planning on making them ourselves (although I'm seriously considering that, my health willing).

Well, there are competitions and agents and studios, oh my... but chances are a Script Frenzy draft isn't ready for any of them yet. Which leads me to this post. For those who aren't familiar with it, Scriptapalooza is an annual international screenplay competition. Well, they've recently added a script coverage service to help you improve your script. As their tagline says: "The industry is ready for your script. Make sure your script is ready for the industry."

If you don't have access to an industry professional who can give you thorough and unbiased feedback on your script, then you should seriously consider a service like this. I'm sure there are other services like this out there, so don't feel like it's this or nothing. But this one was recommended by Movie Maker Magazine, so I thought it was worth mentioning. For more screenwriting links from Movie Maker Magazine, check out their Screenwriting Listings.

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Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Write Wild

There's this fantastic site for screenwriters and filmmakers called WildSound. They currently have a three part article on How to Write a Screenplay, as well as a weekly column entitled The Writer's Way that has various articles written by Jen Frankel (a Toronto screenwriter and novelist) along with guest authors. I particularly enjoyed Write From Your Dreams, since that's what I do a lot of the time. What made the article interesting to me were the practical examples she gave of a dream that she had, the story that she wrote from it and some commentary on that story. Definitely a site worth checking out.

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Monday, June 4, 2007

Writing for TV

I've made a number of posts related to screenwriting, since that's my main focus at the moment. But I thought I would take an opportunity to branch out a bit here and talk about writing for television... a very different animal.

Two of my favourite TV shows of all time are "Buffy" and the new "Battlestar Galactica." One writer that has worked on both shows is Jane Espenson. And she has a blog. And she dispenses writing advice on her blog: Jane in Progress.

Her advice is doled out in bite size tidbits which are easily digestible. It's not like reading some great big tome with chapters of advice. This is where you go to unblock that pesky writer's block or jump start yourself out of that rut. (Plus you can find out what she had for lunch. )

It's fun and informative. And even though she's a TV writer, her advice often applies to writing in general. What more could you ask for?

P.S. Anyone know if Aaron Sorkin has a blog? Because that's another TV writer that I'd love to get tips from.

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Film Screenings

Coda in G Minor

July 22, 2009
CSIF presents ImagineNATIVE
The Plaza Theatre
1133 Kensington Rd. NW
7:00 p.m.
Calgary, AB

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Weirdgrrl

Calgary, Canada

1 part shy intellectual, 1 part edgy chick, 1 part sophisticated woman, 1 part mental patient (after all, sanity is a type of conformity)... what's your mix?