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

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

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Playwright Debra Neff Nathans

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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.

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

Random musings on a writer's life and times.

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

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

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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.

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

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Modem Noise
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"A wry writerly blog named in honour of a minor character in a minor Shirley Temple film."

Real Writers Bounce
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2020 Hindsight
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downWrite creative
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Vivid: pieces from a writer's notebook
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Momoka writes short stories.

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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.

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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."
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Crafty Screenwriting
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Venal Scene
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'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
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Barry's Personal Blog
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By easywriter. "From the walls of caves to cyberspace."

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Man Bytes Hollywood
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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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plagiarism blog

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

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The Writing Life II

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

Wednesday, June 15, 2005  
Josephine Hart
This English novelist continues to amaze me. Her third novel, Oblivion, is the tale of a widower struggling to free himself from the memory of Laura, his deceased wife, and to move on with his life and a new relationship with young Sarah. It's a rich, complex, layered novel (in only 202 pages!, verbose authors take note) that includes first person narration by the widower, excerpts from a diary by the deceased wife's mother, excerpts from a new play in rehearsal (covered by the narrator, a TV producer). Excerpts:

From the diary:

And when it happened, at your friend Maria's house, as luck would have it, you sobbed to me over the phone to come and take you home. You would not let me ask Maria's mother, Pamela, to give you sanitary towels, crying "No, no, take me home." Then whispering, "I don't want anyone to know." And though I think Pamela guessed, poor little Maria looked puzzled and upset. We stopped on the way home and I bought you small-size pads. I was grateful that you did not need the hideous belts I wore when I was young to hold the pad in place. Now, a strip of adhesive could position the pad in your knickers. Crying, you went to the bathroom and emerged a bleeding young female with the anguished face of a child of five. And my heart felt broken in some way, knowing your childhood was gone forever. I kept your secret. In the beginning, you were certain your father could not possibly know of such things. And you refused to explain the sudden way you grabbed your stomach when the cramps came. And he, being m so many ways a very nice man, Laura, never said a word. He never acknowledged in all your teenage years that you had ever had a period. I loved you so desperately that sodden day. Where, oh where have you gone, child?

Interviewing the playwright:

"Not quite, Mr Bolton. You could say the subject is death, but really the subject is oblivion. I believe death is a double dealer: first, he deals us our mortal death, and then our real death -- oblivion -- when we are forgotten. Life to death, death to oblivion, both are short journeys, Mr Bolton. Yet we journey on, not in blissful ignorance -- for this knowledge is universal -- but in wilful blindness, or in childish terror, or in insane activity and accumulation of what we perceive as emblems of protection . . . Fame, 'surely if so many know me' . . . Money, 'surely if I can count me' . . . Power, 'surely, since I give orders'. Perhaps Epicurus was only half-right. Most of what we do in life may not be to try to defeat death but perhaps to defeat that dimly-glimpsed oblivion.

The playwright to her actors:
"Ladies and gentlemen, you are speakers of the Word. Yours is the art of generosity and surrender. You slip the chains of self and slide into otherness. The integrity of personality is under assault each time your surrender is witnessed. That is why your art is little understood and sometimes feared. Remember, actors were once thought blasphemous because they presumed to do the work of God in creating new persons. You transform yourselves; sometimes you become the dead and are then resurrected. Have you noticed the extra intensity of the applause given to the resurrected actor when after his dramatic death he steps forward to take his bow?"

The narrator about the playwright:

She then said something about literature which provoked an enraged response from a well-known contemporary of hers. "I begin to wonder," she said, "whether literature is not in fact as much an opiate as religion. Lives examined and explained, matters resolved or particular meaning found in the lack of resolution. We witness little; people drift in and out of our lives; much is only overheard; and setting our lands in order is no more than a valiant act of defiance."


However, it's something she said at our lunch which comes back to me most often. "Happiness is a decision. Make it. And don't cry."

6/15/2005 10:01:00 AM | 0 comments

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Sketch says, "Happiness is sunshine and a bone." Posted by Hello

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