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Progress, or: Lack Thereof

I’m supposed to be participating in NaNoWriMo, but as things stand, I haven’t even started. I’m too busy trying to finish a play that I thought was going to be 10 minutes long but . . . Now I’m not sure. I’m on page nine and don’t see it finishing in one more. Fifteen? Twenty? No idea. I really just want to finish it, but I also don’t want to rush it . . . I think I’m just eager to have something new to submit, since “Warm Bodies” has found some love. Gotta ride that wave!

Hallowe’en

Yes, I do prefer it with the apostrophe, thank you. The apostrophe shows a letter has been removed. That is the function of apostrophes.

I like Hallowe’en, I suppose, though I find the roots of the holiday more interesting than its current incarnation. My minor was ancient and classical history, after all; I’m designed to find old things interesting. (And yet I also study pop culture . . . So I guess I find some modern things interesting, too.)

I enjoy dressing up, and I like having an excuse for it at least one day out of 365. (When I modeled in college, I had more excuses to dress up but also never got to pick my own clothes, so that didn’t really count, I don’t think.) I’d be more excited about the whole candy aspect if I were a kid, but once you’re grown up and can have candy whenever you like, that part of Hallowe’en loses its shine. We’ll take the kids trick-or-treating tonight, though, and we’ll probably eat a fair amount of the candy that is collected if only to keep the kids from having too much of it.

On the other side of the holiday, I don’t like gory things. I find psychological thrillers are more to my taste. So while I’m happy to read Stephen King–and he can be graphic, but he does also have a relatively subtle touch and doesn’t tend toward gore for its own sake–I don’t go see movies like Saw or whatever. Just not at all my thing.

And tomorrow is All Saints’ Day. I will make a gris gris, probably out of the dried rose on my desk.

NaNoWriMo

For those of you not in the know, that’s short for National Novel Writing Month. Takes place every November. I’ve participated on and off since 2003. Have even “won” three times (meaning I made the 50k word count).

Now, I write year round, as much as possible. And a lot of what I write doesn’t lend itself to so high a word count (stage plays, screenplays). But I do also write some prose, and after taking a couple years off, I’m thinking of trying NaNoWriMo again.

Of course, right now I do already have a lot of projects on my plate, but . . . What’s one more? Right? As if my family didn’t already feel like I’ve abandoned them . . .

Being a writer is hard work. Sometimes it’s fun, but not as much fun as so many people seem to think. Sometimes it’s a tough slog, trying to get where I and the characters and the story want to be. Sometimes it’s like having multiple personality disorder because you have to know all your characters as if you were them: how they’d react to something, what they’d say. (This is especially true when writing for television, but it’s true in general for all fiction.) Sometimes it’s an out and out fight with your characters or a plot twist.

Funny thing is, though, that my family is much happier when I’m writing than when I’m suffering a dry spell. Because I’m even more difficult to live with–more cranky and unpleasant–when I’m not actively “employed.” So participating in NaNoWriMo may only ensure that we all come out more content at the end of it.

Moving Up in the World?

Today I got an unsolicited e-mail from JustFiction saying they were interested in publishing “The K-Pro.” Flattering as it sounds, all my red alert signals went off. It’s a writer’s dream to have a publisher waltz up and ask to publish them, but any writer worth his or her salt knows the reality is, it’s never that easy.

First I looked at the JustFiction site. Not a lot there, and (though they admit to being new) their catalogue of books was very small. Nothing I’d ever heard of, and the covers were stock, not individually designed. Hmm.

So then I did the general Google search for information, and thank goodness for sites like the Writer Beware blogs. Need to add them to my blogroll . . .

So yes, I’m kind of sad that JustFiction doesn’t appear to be a legitimate, viable option for my getting published. But I’m glad to know that now instead of finding out to my detriment later.

Playwriting Opportunity (in English and Welsh)

Launch of DAW’s One Act Playwriting Competition 2012

Monday 17th October 2011. Today, DAW launched its annual Playwriting Competition. The competition aims to encourage the writing of plays for theatre in English and Welsh. Previous prizewinners have been published and performed as a result of promotion through our New Writing Scheme.

THE WINNING PLAY IN EACH CATEGORY
WILL RECEIVE A CASH PRIZE OF £250
AND WILL BE PUBLISHED

PLAYING TIME: 20-50 MINS – A MINIMUM CAST OF TWO

An Adjudicating Panel appointed by the Drama Association of Wales will read and consider the plays entered into the Competition and will award the following prizes:

• Best Play for a Youth Cast (16-25 years) – £250
• Best Play in the Open Category – £250
• Best Play in the Welsh Language – £250
• plus commemorative Prizewinners Medals
• The above plays will also be published by DAW Publications

Also:
• The Best Play from a Wales Based Playwright will be awarded a bursary to Tŷ Newydd, the National Writers’ Centre for Wales

TO CONTINUE THE SUCCESS OF LAST YEARS SERVICE…
If you would like to make use of DAW’s Script Reading Service whilst your play is with us, please send £37.50 as the combined price of both competition entry – £17.50 and Script Reading Service – £20.00

For a hard copy of the application form, please contact Teresa on Cardiff +44 (0) 29 2045 2200 or
email: teresa@dramawales.org.uk

For a downloadable entry form by pdf or word format, visit our website

Closing date: 31st January 2012

THE COMPETITION IS OPEN TO EVERYONE. DON’T BE DISCOURAGED FROM ENTERING IF YOU LIVE OUTSIDE WALES – WE RECEIVE ENTRIES FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD.

With special thanks this year to Christchurch Theatre Club, Dorset

And in Welsh, for the curious, if not for those who actually read and speak it . . .

LAWNSIAD CYSTADLEUAETH YSGRIFENNU DRAMA UN ACT CDdC 2012

Yr wythnos hon, fydd CDdC yn lawnsio’r gystadleuaeth ysgrifennu drama un act 2012. Bwriad y gystadleuaeth yw annog ysgrifennu dramau ar gyfer theatr yn y Gymraeg ar Saesneg. Yn ogystal a gwobr ariannol byddem yn ystyried cyhoeddi rai o’r dramau buddugol. Yn y gorffennol maer dramau buddugol wedi cael ei cyhoeddi a’i perfformio o ganlyniad i gynllun hyrwyddo ysgrifennu newydd CDdC.

MI FYDD ENNILLYDD POB CATEGORI YN ENNILL GWOBR ARIANNOL O £250 AC YSTYRIR GYHOEDDI RHAI O’R DRAMAU BUDDUGOL!

HYD Y DDRAMA: 20-50 MUNUD – CAST O DDAU NEU FWY YN UNIG.

Penodir panel o feirniaid gan Gymdeithas Ddrama Cymru i ddarllen, dadansoddi dramau ar gyfer dewis ennillwyr yr gwborwyon canlynol:

• Drama orau ar gyfer cast ieuenctid (15-25mlwydd oed) – £250
• Drama orau yn yr gystadleuaeth Agored – £250
• Drama cyfrwng Gymraeg orau – £250
• Medalau i’r ennillwyr cofiannol.
• Bydd CDdC y ystyried gyhoeddi’r dramau uchod

Yn ogystal:
• Mi fydd yr ddrama orau gan ddramodydd o Gymru yn ennill bwrsariaeth i Ty Newydd, Canolfan Ysgrifennu Cenedlaethol Cymru.

GWASANAETH DARLLEN SGRIPTIAU

Os hoffech wneud defnydd o wasanaeth darllen sgriptiau Cymdeithas Ddrama Cymru tra bod eich drama gyda ni y pris gyfunedig yw £37.50 sef £17.50 i gystadlu yn y gystadleuaeth ysgrifennu a £20.00 am ein gwasanaeth darllen sgript.

Am ffurflen gais ar gyfer y gystadleuaeth, cysylltwch â Teresa, Swyddfa Cymdeithas Ddrama Cymru (CDdC) drwy ffonio +44 (0) 29 2045 2200 neu ebost: teresa@dramawales.org.uk neu www.dramawales.org.uk/pages/playwritingcompetition.html am ffurflen gais pdf neu word

Dyddiad cau: 31ain o fis Ionawr, 2012

CYSTADLEUAETH YN AGORED I BAWB. PEIDIWCH A DI-GALONNI OS YDYCH YN BYW TU ALLAN I GYMRU- RYDYM YN DERBYN CEISIADAU GAN GYSTADLEUWYR AR DRAWS Y BYD!

www.dramacymru.org.uk/tudalen/cystadleuaeth.html

Diolch yn fawr iawn i Christchurch Theatre Club, Dorset