The Writing Life: reflections by a working writer. The Writing Life

Reflections of a working writer, a university screenwriting professor, and the editor of Oregon Literary Review.

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Charles Deemer

Editor,
Oregon Literary Review

MFA, Playwriting, University of Oregon

Writing faculty, Portland State University (part-time)

Retired playwright and screenwriter.
Active novelist, librettist and teacher.

Email: cdeemer(at)yahoo(dot)com

The eagle flies!

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Finalist, Oregon Book Award

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Blogs by (mostly) creative writers:

"Can We Talk About Me For A Change?"
Playwright Debra Neff Nathans

Inkygirl
Debbie Ridpath Ohi, a weblog for writers (resources)

Silliman's Blog
Ron Silliman, contemporary poetry and poetics

Maud Newton
literary links, amusements, politics, rants

Darren Barefoot
Technical and creative writing, theatre, Dublin

Rob's Writing Pains
Journey of a struggling writer.

Mad, Mad World
Cara Swann, fiction writer, journalist, "reflections on humanity, random news & my life."

Writeright
Random musings on a writer's life and times.

Flaskaland
Barbara Flaska's compilation of the best online articles about music and culture.

Write Of Way
Samantha Blackmon's written musings on writing (composition and rhetoric).

Alexander b. Craghead: blog
Writing, photography, and watercolors.

Rodney's Painted Pen
Rodney Bohen's daily commentary "on the wondrous two legged beast we fondly refer to as mankind." His pen runneth over.

Frustrated Writer
This one named Nicole.

scribble, scribble, scribble
Journalist Dale Keiger teaches nonfiction scribbling to undergraduate and graduate students at Johns Hopkins University.

The Unofficial Dave Barry Blog
The very one.

The Hive
The official blog of science fiction / horror author Terence West.

William Gibson Blog
Famed author of Neuromancer and Johnny Mnemonic: The Screenplay.

The Word Foundry
Joe Clifford Faust's "blog of a working writer: tracking writing projects, musings on the creative process, occasional side trips into music, media, politics, religion, etc."

A Writer's Diary
By Cynthia Harrison, who has the good sense to quote Virginia Woolf: "The truth is that writing is the profound pleasure and being read the superficial."

Bow. James Bow.
The journal of James Bow and his writing.

Ravenlike
Michael Montoure's weblog about writing, primarily horror and speculative fiction.

Globemix
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Modem Noise
By Adrian Bedford, a "fledgling Pro SF Writer, living in Perth, Australia."

boynton
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Real Writers Bounce
Holly Lisle's blog, "a novelist's roadmap through the art and ordeal of finding the damned words."

2020 Hindsight
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downWrite creative
Phil Houtz's notes on the writing life.

Vivid: pieces from a writer's notebook
Blog of Canadian poet Erin Noteboom.

The Literary Saloon
The literary weblog at the complete review.

Rabbit Blog
The rabbit writes on popular culture.

This Girl's Calendar
Momoka writes short stories.

Twists & Turns
Musings by writer Michael Gates.

Plays and Musicals -- A Writer's Introspective
A blog by John D. Nugent - Composer, Playwright, and Artistic Director of the Johnson City Independent Theatre Company

The American Sentimentalist
"Never has any people endured its own tragedy with so little sense of the tragic." Essays by Mark W. Anderson.

Screenwriting By Blog
David C. Daniel writes a screenplay online. "I've decided to publish the process as a way to push myself through it. From concept to completion, it'll be here."

SeanAlonzo.com
Official site of occult fiction author Sean-Alonzo, exploring symbolism, alternative history, philosophy, secret societies and other areas of the esoteric tradition.

Crafty Screenwriting
Maunderings of Alex Epstein, tv scribe, about life, politics, and the tv show I'm co-creating.

Letters From The Home Front
The life of a writer, 21, home schooled, rural living.

Venal Scene
The blog of bite-sized plays inspired by the news (by Dan Trujillo).

'Plaint of the Playwright
Rob Matsushita, a playwright from Wisconsin, "whines a lot."

I Pity Da Fool!
Glenn's adventures in screenwriting.

Time In Tel-Aviv
Hebrew modern literature at its best, by Corinna Hasofferett.

Big Window
Robin Reagler's poetry blog.

John Baker's Blog
Author of the Sam Turner and Stone Lewis novels.

The Writing Life With Dorothy Thompson
What goes on during a writer's busy day?

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Not just a housewife!

Barry's Personal Blog
A running commentary on writing and the writing life.

Bonnie Blog
Maintained by Bonnie Burton of grrl.com.

Writer's Blog.
By easywriter. "From the walls of caves to cyberspace."

Flogging the Quill
Pursuing the art and craft of compelling storytelling, by an editor, Ray Rhamey.

Man Bytes Hollywood
Sharing tools, strategies and resources for the screenwriter's journey.

Mad for the smell of paper
A writing journal.

The Writing Life
A blog by Katey Schultz.

It Beats Working 9-5
A screenwriting blog by a young Canadian screenwriter.

Stealing Heaven From The Lips Of God
Writer & Artist, Dee Rimbaud reflects upon politics, religion, art, poetry, the meaning of life, the nature of God and why toast always lands butter side down on carpets.

Robert Peake
Heart and Mind, Fully Engage ... a poet's website.

Sidestepping Real
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The Writing Life...
"An artist's only concern is to shoot for some kind of perfection, and on his own terms, not anyone else's."
J.D. Salinger

"All my best friends are writers and are dead."
A friend over beer, Berkeley, winter, 1959

"And it came to pass that all the stars in the firmament had ceased to shine. But how was anyone to know?"
The Half-Life Conspiracy

After October 31, 2006,
new posts are published at


The Writing Life II

(Posts archived here are from 01/10/03 - 10/31/06)

 
Wednesday, January 05, 2005  
Agents
I've had maybe a dozen agents in my career. Only 2 or 3 were memorable, positive experiences, though none made me a lot of money.

The first handled my stage plays. She was a true believer in my work, even flew out from NY to meet me one summer in Portland. She got me some work, including a commission from the Actors Theatre of Louisville (the center for new plays at the time), but couldn't place my work with any major theater companies. But she never gave up energy or hope. I lost her when she retired to have a kid.

My second memorable agent handled my screenplays. She considered me her most talented client, though she couldn't sell my scripts. She never gave up trying. Then she got stolen away by a larger agency (she was at a boutique agency) and could only take those clients who had made $1 million or more over the past five years (!), and I was not one of them. She wrote me a kind, sad note, saying that she'd love to rep me again after I made my first million. What a world ha ha.

In the 1990s I had another agent for my screenplays, with whom I still sometimes correspond, who thinks my script about Moliere is one of the great screenplays of our time. Nice to hear things like that -- however, he had no luck whatever in selling it. We parted ways when I decided to "retire" as a screenwriter in order to put my energy into non-collaborative writing like fiction.

So I've never had the storybook relationship with an agent that you read about. I guess I should feel lucky to have had these three, who actually gave a shit about my work.

Trying to get an agent for fiction now is entering a new world, rather like a beginning writer. The difference is that rejection rolls off my back now -- in the beginning, it could really hurt.

Thus far I've queried 70 agents regarding the two novellas. 6 no thanks, 3 send sample pages, 1 no but I love the mystery series idea. Silence from the rest. Will query 10 more today, 10 a day till I'm through my list of almost 200.

I sent out sample pages yesterday to two via email, snail mailing the other today.

To be honest, 3 reads is about what I hoped for in my most optimistic estimate of marketing this tough sell ... so anything after this is gravy. Onward.

1/05/2005 08:09:00 AM | 2 comments

Comments:
Today is delurking day and so I thought I would come by to thank you for blogging. :)
 
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