Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!
Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?

If we were having coffee, I’d first say that I have reduced my Starbucks purchases. It’s pricey and my new job has a machine which provides free lattes and such. It’s not the greatest, but it saves money and I use my own mug so that helps the environment. (I often use my own mug at Starbucks to get that 10¢ discount and to help the environment.)

I’d tell you how I had my first time out on the library floor shadowing an ace librarian in the audio visual section. Boy does this library have an outstanding collection. Most libraries I’ve used have one or two of the latest hits on DVD, this one seems to have 5 or more. I learned about Common Sense Media, a website that offers parents detailed information about what’s in a film or TV show so they can decide if it’s appropriate for their children. It’s not perfect and parents will differ, but it’s so detailed as it describes the violence, sex, drug use or whatever very clearly. The site also has articles on social media and computer games.

I went to a Meet Up for playwrights on Thursday at the Skokie Public Library where I’m working. This month there were just three of us, the married couple that started the group and me. Both of the founders have acted as well as written plays. Since I was the only writer, they read my first act and offered some feedback. It was so helpful to hear other people reading my work to see how it sounds. I’ll return.

I’m moving along with the online course I’m designing. I’ve learned the fine points of Rise and like how everything’s shaping up. I’m designing a refresher course on how to use the downloadable apps for ebooks, films, and music. One cool thing I learned is that on Overdrive, you can set the font to one of two fonts that’s designed for people with dyslexia. The letters are thicker on the bottom and that’s believed to be easier for them to read. Check it out or share that information.

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Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!
Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?

If we were having coffee, I’d first say that since Starbucks is raising its prices, I’m going to lessen the number of times I go there. I’m branching out to Dunkin Donuts to economize. I realize prices go up but Starbucks doesn’t offer as nice a service in the US as you get overseas so I already felt that I was paying the same, but getting less than when I went to their outlets in Asia.

I’d mention that we had a big storm last night and when I woke up we had no electricity. So much depends on electricity. It was too gray to read. There was no cooking, internet, or laundry.  What was I going to do with my day? Luckily power was restored.

I’d also say I’m delighted with my new job. I’m working at a library and have only done orientation tasks, but it was a positive week. One highlight was a tour of the community. It’s a diverse village with a nice sculpture park, a new technology center for start ups, several synagogues, churches and mosques. There are a few Jewish schools and an Islamic school. Lots of business and industry add to the generous funding to this library. New week I’ll roll up my sleeves and begin to develop an online learning course.

I’m reading too many books, and need to finish a few. I am reading a biography of François Truffaut. It’s heartbreaking how tough his childhood was. His mother didn’t want him and did the minimum for him. It’s amazing how he was able to contribute so much to the world of film. I’m also chugging through Henry James’ The Wings of the Dove, which I’m going to discuss online with a friend who lives in Washington. We read and discuss novels online and are proceeding chronologically. It’s slow going and partly because James has a reputation, well-earned I’d say, for dense prose. I’m also reading a graphic memoir of a trip to North Korea and the novel Radium Girls. More on those another time.

 

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Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Weekend Coffee Share is a time for us to take a break out of our lives and enjoy some time catching up with friends (old and new)!
Grab a cup of coffee and share with us! What’s been going on in your life? What are your weekend plans? Is there a topic you’ve just been ruminating on that you want to talk about?

It’s a bit late for coffee, but I got mine because on this gray day, I’m feeling drowsy though I want to perk up and do some reading. I’ve just started The Wings of the Dove and it’s making me doze off. My friend Bill, who lives in Washington state, and I have been reading classic novels and discussing them online. Bill’s insights any book I read and I hope mine are at least half as good as his. We choose books more or less chronologically. Last time we read Germinal, which was my choice and now it’s his. I have heard that Henry James is rather dense and that reputation makes it harder to get into the story. By next week I do hope I report that I’ve gotten to say page 60.

Tuesday I found time for lunch with a friend from high school that I don’t get to see as often as I’d like. She discovered she had breast cancer in September and I’m in awe of her strength and commitment to stay positive. She’s now almost done with all the treatments. So happy that she’s out of the woods.

On Wednesday I was stunned to learn that WordPress was suddenly quitting their popular Daily Post prompts. I would think they’d at least keep the Weekly Photo Challenge going, but despite the community’s sadness, they’ve dropped it.

I spent much of the week writing. Last week I mentioned that a theater agreed to read my play. I thought I could quickly polish a couple scenes and send it off, but one thing led to another between new ideas and more in depth editing. Anyhow, it was submitted on Tuesday. Then yesterday right before midnight was the deadline for the Disney/ABC Writing Fellowship program. I had one pilot done and polished (though it’s envisioned as a two hour special so that may not be taken well) and then I had to finish two act of a spec script. (A spec script is when you write an episode of an existing TV show as an example of your ability.) I chose to write a Madam Secretary as if there’s nothing good on PBS (like Poldark or Victoria) then I’ll watch that. I have quite a bit of experience working overseas and try to keep up on world events that aren’t widely reported. I did get my entry submitted in time. Hooray! However, I realize this is a super-competitive. I think only 8 or 10 writers are chosen.

I’m also glad to report that my mom’s back home after two weeks in rehab after knee replacement surgery. She’s still got a ways to go to be as good as new, but I’m thankful for the good care she received.

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Weekend Coffee Share

wordswag_15073188796611453091488Inspired by Colline, I’m trying out a new blogging challenge, Weekend Coffee Share. It’s a simple writing prompt asking participants to share a few experiences or thoughts from the past week.

This week my mom had knee replacement surgery and it went well. We were impressed with the level of care and hospital facilities. (Still whenever I’m in a nice hospital, I can’t help but compare to other countries’ nice hospitals that manage to give good care less expensively. A lot less expensively.)

If we were having coffee this weekend it would have to be on Saturday afternoon since my morning, starting at 3:30 am was dedicated to watching the Royal Wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Merkle, now the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. I’m a sucker for the elegance and beauty of a royal wedding.

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It’s a nice break from the ordinary. It’s a rare occasion that brings people together. The bride was stunning in her elegant dress and the groom so dapper in his military regalia. Oh, and those adorable children who served as bridesmaids and page boys. American bride, Meghan got to put her imprint on the ceremony by having an American clergyman give an impassioned sermon on the power of love and by choosing to walk partially up the aisle on her own before her new father-in-law took her arm.  The guest list included people who’ve started and run charities rather than heads of state. A gospel choir performed “Stand By Me.”

I heard back from a good theater near me that they’re interested in reading the full script of the lay I’ve just finished. It takes them about six months to make a decision and it’s a long shot, but I’s an exciting opportunity.

I had a job interview for a Learning Design job. I liked the peopleI met. The work nicely relates to what I’ve done before. I’ll find out next week.

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Tip for Writers

A friend posted this tip on Facebook and I thought I’d share it. My friend, who’s been a screenwriting for years and has been paid as a script doctor, advises writers to keep their notes and information used in a writing project. In addition to a Writers’ Guild registration or copyright document, these notes are good evidence should you run into the problem of someone plagiarizing your work.

Harry Courlander sued Alex Haley for infringing on his copyright and won. Presenting  his notes and outlines as evidence helped him prevail in this case.

Of course, we hope no one steals our work, it’s important have good evidence if we need it. Such documentation probably only takes up a few files in a cabinet or you could keep online documents, though I fear they can get lost easily.

Writing Progress

I’m on page 72 of what I plan to be a 100 page play. If it’s a bit longer, great, but it should have at least 90 pages and I think that’s attainable.

At this stage I’ve struggled. I’d hoped to get to page 85 last week, but the characters are eluding me. I’ve hopped around from Act I to Act II waiting for inspiration for scenes that belong in the middle of Act I. I do hope to get to page 80 today, but I’m already procrastinating by blogging, though I hoped writing a blog post could get my juices flowing.

Time to stop blogging and start writing. Wish me luck.

Wish Me Luck

fingers-crossed

I’m in Los Angeles now preparing for Act One Writers’ Upfronts event where I will pitch three different story idea to three different producers. I admit I’m a trifle nervous. Today I’m preparing for these meetings by printing up some handouts to leave behind and protect me from verbal stumbling, watching some how to videos on persuasion and pitching.

Later today I’ll pick up a friend who’s also presenting for lunch and practice time. Then I’ll get my printing done, practice some more before going to a reception for the event this evening.

Prayers for success are most welcome.