It's been almost six months since my last post. What have I been doing for six months, dear reader? Why, writing a screenplay. In my last post I had just won a screenplay development grant from the Sloan Foudnation, through the Tribeca Film Institute. Well, they wanted a rewrite (it's a screenplay development grant, after all) and so I wrote one. And another. And another. But FINALLY I can say...well, not that we're done, but we're literally a couple of weeks away from being done. Which is a good thing, since the Tribeca Film Festival is at the end of this month and they're having an awards ceremony and everything.
(I have the dress...I bought it even before I knew I'd gotten the award. I saw it in June at Lord and Taylor as I was shopping for a dress for my brother's wedding. It was beautiful...and way too expensive. So I watched it. It wasn't going anywhere; it was a dry summer for sales. I waited. I stalked the dress. I visited it weekly. Sometimes they changed location to try to sell more of the dresses and I would panic, thinking it was gone, and run through the floors to find it again. Always there, and never on sale. Until October, when it was about half off. I opened a Lord & Taylor account to get an additional 15% off (I know, such bad financial sense!) and got another 15% off because I told the saleslady my summerlong stalking story. So it was affordable. And two weeks later I got the news. It was as if the universe had said, "If you buy it, you will get the fellowship!" And now I need to lose 10 pounds. I've been telling myself this since February. Hmm. Maybe this will just be an opportunity to purchase Spanx.)
Anyway. Marie Curie has occupied me since then, just about exclusively. Every so often I get ideas for future stories--both screenplays and books--and say, okay, jot that down for later. When is "later"? After Marie Curie sells! Optimistically speaking, of course; one never knows what will happen. I remain optimistic, just because it's a darn good script (if I do say so myself) and we've gotten such great feedback from so many people.
I actually just got back from a trip to LA, where we had a reading. We got 8 professional theater actors to donate their time (we paid them in sandwiches, literally) and we had one rehearsal and one performance. A "reading" is different from a real performance, fyi: actors sit in chairs and don't actually walk around or do anything they're supposed to do; they just read the lines from the script (no memorization) and put the proper vocal inflection in. But if someone slaps Marie (as does happen...juicy science stories!), the actor doesn't actually get slapped; the narrator literally says, "Jeanne slaps Marie." So there's some imagination involved for the audience, but it's so great for the writers to hear their words aloud. See, it always works in the writer's head; the eternal question is, does it work for anyone else?
So. I apologize if anyone has checked this blog in the last six months and not gotten anything. I've been busy -- you know, writing.
Just read and highly recommend: THE STORY OF EDGAR SAWTELLE