Writing quote

Sure, it's simple writing for kids...Just as simple as raising them.
— Ursula K. LeGuin

Thursday, June 21, 2007


As if I don't already suffer from sleep deprivation, I've been crazy enough to sign up for the WAD (Writers, Actors, Directors) fest, otherwise known as the 24 hour play festival this weekend. WAD comprises several teams, consisting of a director, a writer or two, and two to four actors. Everyone meets at 8 pm. on Friday night, June 22, and each team gets to throw a theme into the hat. A theme is then drawn, and writers have to write their plays based on that theme. Writers have 12 hours from 8 pm. Friday, to 8 am. Saturday to write their script, then the directors and actors will have 12 hours, from 8 am. to 8 pm., Saturday, to learn their lines, stage the play, and perform in front of a live audience Saturday night at the Ukiah Players Theater

This is the second year it's been done in Ukiah. Last year, I was intrigued, but too chicken to try it -- I didn't think I could write under that kind of pressure. But this year, I'm collaborating with my fellow playwright and writers' group member, Paul Kubin, so there's someone else to share the load. WAD promises to be one big adrenaline-rush, and I'm looking forward to the friendly, albeit intense, competition.

Monday, June 18, 2007


Yikes, my computer has been hit with some blog disease!  If you go to my blog through my home page, it's the blog page I designed, but if you go to View Blog through the Dashboard on blogspot.com, the template changes. Plus, I can't seem to find more than one or two blogs listed, so I can't go in and make the edits I want to my blogs. Weird! Marc, my programmer, will look into it next week.
So, if you see duplicate blogs or blogs that just say "Testing", they aren't meant to be there. I apologize for any confusion, but this problem will get fixed soon -- I hope.

Monday, June 11, 2007


On my last two visits to Chicago, I was pleasantly surprised to find that it's not a dark, shadowy city, riddled with crime and teeming with mobsters that I had envisioned from watching too many film noir movies in my youth. In fact, it's a city of spectacular skyscrapers, picturesque parks, the daunting expanse of Lake Michigan, and fantastic museums.

You can't come to Chicago without going to the Field Museum, home of Sue the Tyrannosaurus Rex, the most complete fossil of T-Rex ever found. This is our second visit to the Field, and we still haven't made it beyond the first floor! There's just so much to see. And my girls love the Ancient Egypt exhibit -- all those mummies and hidden treasures. You can also have sleepovers there now, but those dates book fast. Unfortunately for us, the sleepover dates did not coincide with the time that we were there.

Next to the Field Museum is the equally amazing Shedd Aquarium with different rooms devoted to different geographical locations. Our favorite is the Amazon where you can find gargantuan fish, colorful tree frogs, and an anaconda.

We also visited Lincoln Park Zoo where the kids had fun with the paddle boats on the lake, and the animals. In the midst of it all, we celebrated my sister's birthday (41!). Shhh, I won't give her name away. Oh, all right. It's Shirin Bridges, author of Ruby's Wish (Chronicle Books). And met up with our London cousins who I haven't seen in 10 or 20 years.

Chicago is a city worth re-visiting. And next time, we'll start with the second floor of the Field Museum.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


The first annual Mendo Lit. Fest was a great success, thanks to the hard work and vision of my friend and fellow Ukiah Writers Salonnette, Dot Brovarney! We had a really decent turnout, and it was gratifying to see so many people take the time on a beautiful Saturday morning to come out and share their love of books, writing, and all things literary.

The Mendo. Lit. Fest kicked off with a keynote presentation by bestselling author, Gary Soto, on Friday, June !st. The free activities on Saturday, June 2nd, included panel discussions, book readings, poetry readings, play performances, and wonderful booths by local booksellers.

I began the day with a reading of my book, "Otto's Rainy Day" at the Children's Tent. The children's book readings, unfortunately, had a fairly low turn-out. I only had 3 in mine, and I think the numbers never rose beyond 7. However, the book making activity drew quite a crowd with 17 kids. The writing workshops, though, were very well attended. I co-led "Discovering the Children's Writer in You -- from Idea to Submission"; with Gretchen Maurer, also a Ukiah Writers' Salonette. We initially had 6 people registered. When I arrived at the Lit. Fest, there were 11 on the list. By 1:30 pm., the list had jumped to 20. Eventually, 25 people came to the workshop! Our workshop was at the end of a long day, so thank you to all who came out and participated.

After my workshop, I headed to the Little Theater on the Mendocino College campus to watch the Hot Shorts -- an encore performance of 3 of the ten minute plays that were performed at the New Plays Festival. After a long day, I was ready to sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. However, after the performances, all the directors and writers of the plays at the New Plays Festival, even though they were not performed as part of the Hot Shorts, were called up on stage for a Q & A session with the audience. Great questions, and great fun!

Finally, my day ended with an Author's Reception at a local store where we could sip wine, nosh on pizza, chips and guacamole, and other yummy hor d'ouevres, and hobnob with other writers, and all the volunteers who made this day possible. I'm truly looking forward to next year's Lit. Fest!

Saturday, June 9, 2007


I know, I know, it's only a ten minute play at a local community College, but it could have been on Broadway the way the butterflies fluttered and somersaulted in my stomach. The problem with comedy is that the timing and pacing is crucial if you want the audience to laugh at all the right places. So, this Friday and Saturday, May 18 & 19, as I took my seat in a packed theater (we had sold-out performances both nights!), I was half-wishing I had something a little stronger in my cup of coffee. But the cast was AWESOME! Talk about rising to the occasion! Though Friday night's performance was good, Saturday's was even better. They were so ON Target with their comedic timing, it was absolutely gratifying to hear peals of laughter from the audience. Even my husband, who can sometimes be my toughest critic, laughed uproariously, and without my planned cues of digging him in the ribs at the appropriate moments. "Oh, Baby!" will be posted under the Plays section on my website when the video becomes available. So, keep an eye out for it.