Stand Up

Enjoyed a stand up moment this week with ReelLadies Script Club online chat about CHERNYY PEARL.

We talked about process.

We talked about production co. vs. festival breakin.

We talked about foreign language format.

We talked about life rights contracts.

I felt washed in a stream of creativity and want to again thank ReelLadies. So many great suggestions! They even gave me the germ for another screenplay, many many thanks!! I want to discuss quickly some of the exchange here!

Process: With a first screenplay do you star with an outline, beat sheet or character’s journey?

Well, for me I start with a character and story. But the second screenplay may be another germination. Killing Immortal started with a character, journey and then I watered it with an outline/plot beat sheet/brief synopsis, which is still in flux.

More on process:  TEDxEast – Nancy Duarte uncovers common structure of greatest com

Note: During my latest writing adventure, Screenwriter Shape-Up  discovered that my style is different from others, I handwrite in a blue screenwriter pad that has blue guidemarks like a blueprint and then type into format. Others journalized this way, which I infact use electronic aides for that (iPhone).

Find your voice, write every day and stand up.

We talked about production co. vs festivals. Think circle. If you go to a production company, they want representation. To get representation you need contests shows and wins. So, first step-contests. But wait, be patient all in good time. Strike while the iron is hot and then show, send, promote.

I think the best step is to hash your script with writing groups — taking all critiques to heart until the script is bare bones, then submit. Festivals and contests first, get some recognition and then look for representation and let them actual sell your work.

Network too!

We talked about foreign language format. My scripts tend to be international. CHERNYY PEARL is Russian/ American and KILLING IMMORTAL is Asian/American. It was suggested that the Russian dialogue is a mention and let the actors/directors finalize.

I think it can go both ways, as was also discussed. Good language translations show authenticity. Language evolution, so that accents are mapped out can demonstrate character arc.

This was not discussed, I thought about this later!

We talked about life right contracts. This is a legal matter and I refer to a great article I found online: tMatt Galor Q&A.

I promised I would update the Ladies on the second screenplay, as soon as it was finished, or ready for review at least!

By the By, one lady asked about how many rewrites? Well, rewrites should be about three before the work is critiqued by positive, knowledgeable colleagues. But it is a fluid process, always tweaking and trekking.

Ladies, thank you for your hard work! If there is anything I can help you promote, plz, just HOLLA!








As I downed by last advil, I heroically answered the phone.

“Your lab tests are clear, but you need to discuss the results with your gyn.”

sunflowers 011 So -there it is – deep sigh – pet the dog – smile – a bit – YEAHHHHH yell!

But going through the surgery and post op days, not so much.

How do you ask for help?

In my anesthiastic fog I remember my husband saying, “The only thing you are NOT doing….”

“Did you get ME any lunch?”

(to the nurse) “are colonoscopies really necessary…”

Jeez. I went shopping for father’s day the next morning and got the response when I got back, “Did you get me any lunch?”

I so feel like the lucky one, why can’t I ask for help?

Strained myself, doing housework the second day. I did get royally pissed, got sunflowers three days after surgery.

One week after all danger passed.

So let’s turn the page here, this is a blog about writing scripts for heaven sakes.

So I turn our focus to a web page by Roger Avary, entitled, ‘Avary‘. You know, the auteur of Pulp Fiction, etc. or only that. It lists that he made 196 mil on his last endeavor, Beowulf; yeah, but also he includes the charity of helping kids whose parents are incarcerated. Jeez. I jus’ thinks that’s class.

**Note: when I checked the webpage link, I found that in 2008 he was charged with manslaughter, what is with these hollywood “successes.” Changed my tune a bit.**

So, I’m thinking, maybe I should get a heating pad and gift it forward to the next lady that has to get a d & c, cervexoscopy, LEEP and uteral polyp removed.

Maybe I should thank the dr who helped me along — we did bond during the post op appt talking about “Mind Game” i.e. computer game?

And, maybe I should be kinder to the receptionist of his office for, or not, although she neglected to tell me I needed a referral and that one of the office procedures was on my nickel. maybe not.

Thanks for the sunflowers, though I have to hint my way to a gift, telling my husband, “You can buy me flowers.”

;D onward crazy life!

Well, next week, induction into VSF< Virginia Screenwriting Forum> important stuff!

Send somebody some flowers: A link to a BBC recording of Sylvia Plath reading her own poem: Tulips.



give Me A Break!

umbrella book girlI don’t know how many of you keep up with your dr. appts and such. Well,  I finally got around to my yearly with the female dr. after 5 yrs lapse. The dreaded phone call came, “You have an abnormal pap test.”

“NOOOOOOOoooo!” echoed through the house, it can’t be.

But it was something I had to face, like it or not. The specialist visit was friendly and upbeat. It was a lesson in ornithology, no I mean oncology. The supposed HPV cell supposedly caused my nuclei to enlarge. Hmmm. The body takes care of most of the abnormality, as we went over these facts, still stunned, all I heard was:

A. Colposcoiy

B. Biopsy

C. LEEP (Loop electrosurgical excision)


I do eat healthy, supplements and all; with extreme amounts of caffeine and little exercise, I am a writer, after all.

So Here I Go, next week surgery.

The best book and author I have found on the subject is a nice lady who spoke on BookTV on a Saturday recently. Something like, Vagina Monologues, first name Eve.

She was hesitant about her experience to give chemo a try and her counselor guided her by explaining that she should look upon the extreme medication treatment as a purge and a cleanse of all the dastardly inconveniences we have suffered as woman. Let yourself be cleansed and healed. Hmmm.

Sounds goood. I’m ready. Heh, it’s all stuff for writing, eh?

Reunion second con’t or unintended Schadenfreude

Now I don’t advocate Schadenfreude, but going to a N.C. Reunion, visa vie Homecoming with Dr. Dombray, here – well let’s just say observation is one of my hobbies.

Several children evacuated the church doors as we entered. (And no, I had not allowed Dr. Phil Dombray in my hotel room the night before, just wasn’t in the mood!) The service was quaint and filling – and we were introduced as if we were dignitaries.

Now I may have been reading way too much Poe for my own good, bit it appeared the church ladies looked me up and down a little too long with introductions. Friendly, yet approvingly.

“Would you like to look at the grave sites?” Phil inquired. “Come, let’s go.” He pleaded through his homemade fixings scooping from a plate full of auntie’s favorite recipe delights.

“No,” I shied, “you go.”

“But I want you to stand by grandmother’s grave.” Phil insisted, “While its still fresh.”

I none the less, declined.

I fanned getting my high heels muddied.

On the way home it seemed we had come to a crossroads. He spoke about portals on mesa’s in AZ as he neglected to fill the gas tank till we were driving on fumes. I sat quiet. He said that, in an irritating voice, he shouldn’t be speaking to me.

I agreed.


Reunion, con’t

As we arrived at the hotel in N.C., our car turned swiftly towards an hotel entrance overhang.

I peeked into the lobby.

“Heh,” I remarked, “I’ll wait. Two rooms, right?”

“You come too.” Phil coaxed.

The lobby revealed the same hotel smell and coffee station I had seen relentlessly as a flight attendant. Grab, the key, find out restaurant recommendations and the hours of free breakfast.

“See you at the pool?”

He looked at me inquiringly, as if to say, you really don’t want two rooms, right?

I nodded and turned to go, followed by my roller-bag.

“Thanks, see you in a 1/2.”

When we arrived at the pool, the gate was closed.

“No,” I lamented, “forgot to check the hours. Guess we can go for dinner.”

At the Red Lobster, I ordered my regular, particular bend on New England tastes. Phil surprisingly ordered exactly the same nuances, including desert.

“Do you always order just that meal?”

“Yes, believe it or not, I do. When I come here with my nephews, that’s exactly what I get!”

“Will I meet your nephews tomorrow at the reunion?”

“Yes, let’s go so we can get some rest.”

Phil saw me to my door of the hotel room.

“May I come in? My TV isn’t working, we can watch the fights.”




short story 4.25.13


Who knows where inspiration lurks?

Having my bi-weekly therapeutic massage to keep the ‘chi’ flowing – getting ALL those toxins expelled…

Yeah and the thought hits me as Tana is jabbing her elbow between my spine and rib cage – ah brain says:

“Why don’t yo write about that psycho guy you met on E-Harmony or was it; anyway yeah the Phd?”

I say Ok. Here it is: of course modified to be most like that guy and turned into a short story.

The phone rang as I finished my last “touch” email.

“Yes,” I coyly answered, “its me, Kathleen.”

“Hi,” Phil answered, “Dr. Dombray.” He spoke firmly, and a little distant.

“I know this may sound forward,” He mused, “but would you like to go with me on a weekend trip to North Carolina to accompany me to my family reunion for our first date?”

“Sure,” I had been reading his emails for a week and was familiar with his “edited” profile. I felt confident that that I could “read” his sentiments. He was okay.

We met an exquisite Saturday morning in May ready to drive a three and a half hour romantic drive, followed up by a nice weekend. He placed my luggage, or as I normally called it my Crew Bag. What a southern gentleman.

We were off.

“So what do you do when you are not evaluating?” I started the conversation.

He interrupted, “Analyze.”

“OK, ANALYZE.” I said finitely.

He began:

Well, I analyze. He looked briefly at me and back to his driving. Children who have been flagged to be counseled. I have my Phd.

“Jamming,” I adjusted my sunglasses. I had to wear them no matter what in any sunlight. I had been diagnosed with ‘Photosensitive Eyes’ early on. Severe headaches immediately once out in the sun, Winter or Fall. I flicked them saying, “But what do you do after your workday?”

I just wanted to try to delve into his past time life. Just a little probe, I swear, just a little probe.

“Well,” he smirked, “that’s a good question.”

I smirked too, oh boy.

He continued, “I set up a cage near my office, in the supply room and put my skins in there. I bang as hard and and as loud as possible, no one hears.”

“But the janitor.” I conjectured.

“OK, the janitor, he don’t care,” Dr. Dombray said dismissively. “And, anyway, its my outlet.”

I could just picture him with an unknotted tie – beating his brains out like Buddy Rich or something.

“And then I can get out all the tension.” He postured. “Out of my system, systematically.”

“H.m.” I rubbed my chin like I thought Freud, or well maybe Miss Freud would.

He went on. “You should come over there sometime with me and bang.”

“Well,” I didn’t want to say yes or no yet, I really wanted to gain nsight.

“Look,” he pointed with his hand practically in my face, “there’s a great place I’ve always wanted to stop, ‘Ole Mill Mansion’, for lunch.”

“Go got it.” I said moving his hand back to 10 and two. “So, where was your drum set before?”

“Well,” he deftly turned the rented car towards the exit to the restaurant. I had the set at my apartment, but the neighbors complained, so my landlord said.”

I didn’t want to seem like a dating detective looking, but not really wanting to find, “Deadly Dude.” But dating online can be perilous these days.







‘All a writer needs is money and a room,’ paraphrased from Va Woolf.

This is how you can find me most mornings, that room Va spoke about is merely that wonderful space in my roving mind. Would like to recommend a book to y’all, “An Alchemy of Mind,” by Diane Ackerman. Just thoughts about the brain and its journeys. So long ago and not so far away I came to the conclusion that my mind worked differently than others around me, yes, its true. Not only do I have a room and money (thank the lord) I have a desktop-image memory.     desk dreamer

It seemed that  I remembered things like a picture.  More like a  moving 3 D film with smell-o-graphy and all. I even dreamed in text, with correct typeface and formatting. It seemed slightly reversed from others’ recollection processes.

For instance, vacation pictures in a shoe box. Why? Take out the old ball jar with air pickled sea grass, shells, feather, sprigs of lavender and sand. Open the lid. Ahh, Cape Cod. I can hear the crashing of the surf, see the azure waves with foam and feel the sand between my toes.  Then the gentle  whiff of lavender is  carried on the  daylight  sea  breeze  to  my nostrils. The feather emits a sea gull’s squawk. Did he just dive bomb me? Good old trusty stick have I here to decoy the top of my head. Sorry Mr. Gull, I promise I won’t step on your sand nestled eggs.

Close the lid.

So, next month when I travel to Hilton Head, you can be sure I’ll memorize a pristine sunset for my mind’s desk dreamer.