write, drink, and be merry

The lovely Emon Hassan contacted me today to inform me that the previous entry in this blog was listed in today’s Screenwriters Network bulletin, a daily email bulletin that Emon edits and distributes for the American version of the subscription-based online service, Shooting People. (Emon informs me that you can sign up just for the bulletin for free.) I’m delighted the entry was considered worthy of inclusion.

On Wednesday night I wrote an entire short story. I’ve been so focused on screenwriting of late that it was a wonderful change to return to prose. It was like being reunited with an old and dear friend.

The fancy struck me to write it in longhand. I know some writers prefer this method, but generally I use longhand when I want to brainstorm ideas, take notes, or doodle fabulous beasties. Otherwise I write directly onto the computer, and have done so ever since I learned to touch-type in college.

I had no concrete idea when I began writing, but I did have a style and a genre in mind. I sat down and started thus:

In the woods
Love will perish
With the frost.

And from that the story, now dubbed “In the Woods”, flowed.

It’s a short piece, under 1,000 words, but it’s complete and I’m happy with it. I typed it up the following day, and modified it in places. I’m no genius; everything requires a re-write.

I have a market in mind. I’ll kiss the dice, roll them fast, and hope I score well in the submission crap shoot.

I’m plugging away at my current script as well. I was creatively floored by a head cold in early December, but I’ve recovered and am back crafting scenes and making life difficult for my characters.

Irish screenwriters might be interested to know that Screen Training Ireland is offering a course in Script Analysis during late January, which a number of mutual friends have recommended. On first sight the 500 euro price tag might look steep, but that’s for six days, which makes it damn fine value.

My only concern is with the following requirements for application: “Irish professionals involved in writing, development and directing in the film industry. Participants must be involved in current development projects.”

Which means that I probably can’t apply. Sure, I’m in the development process (what writer isn’t?), but I’m not being paid to develop my work (although in the Irish industry that’s often the case too!).

However, for those of you who can apply it looks like an excellent opportunity to develop and hone your skills.

Tonight, I’m off to my screenwriters’ booze-up. I expect robust conversations about cinema, the industry, and writing, all lubricated by liberal doses of alcohol, and fuelled by different varieties of potato dishes (yes, we Irish do adore the spud – to hell with the carbs!).


  • chris soth

    Hello — first time poster, blog lover……I say go ahead and apply, what’s the worst that can happen? They say “No”? Then you don’t go to the seminar, which is definitely what will happen if you don’t apply anyway. I see the course is being taught by Bobette Buster, who I knew at USC — she’s really sharp, all the students I know raved about her classes, and I briefly was in a writing group with her. So give it a whirl, if you can afford the price. ChrisMillionDollarScreenwriting.com

  • Maura

    Hi Chris, thanks for the comment. Yes, Bobette comes highly praised from friends of mine. I’m going to put out some feelers about the requirements for the course. I’m sure many people will apply, so there’s no guarantee I’d get in anyway, but it would be nice to know if my application stands any chance.

  • chris soth

    PS. I see you just added me to your blog roll — THANKS!!PPS. Not to be a crank…it’s not “Christ”, just Chris… this happens a lot, sometimes to hilarious result — native Spanish speakers, many of whom are devout Catholics, are very likely to make this mistake — most absurdly, on the ET ride at Universal theme park……they would take your name and put it in a computer at the start of the ride. The ecologically themed “thru-line” of the ride was to help ET save The Green Planet…which apparently happened successfully just about every time — and ET would thank each rider by name as the ride ended…and of course, the person taking names, not necessarily a native English speaker…so I got to see ET hold out his glowing finger, point it at me and say:”Thank you, Christ…”Well worth it…now that I think of it, no need to change the typo…happy weekend.Chris

  • Maura

    Christ, that made me laugh. 😉 I’ve corrected the typo. You’ll see by my next post why it may have happened. 🙂