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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Finalist, Oregon Book Award

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

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."

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
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
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scribble, scribble, scribble
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The Unofficial Dave Barry Blog
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The Hive
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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.

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

By David Henry, "a poet's weblog from Aberdeen, Scotland."

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

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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
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This Girl's Calendar
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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
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Official site of occult fiction author Sean-Alonzo, exploring symbolism, alternative history, philosophy, secret societies and other areas of the esoteric tradition.

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
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The Writing Life With Dorothy Thompson
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Barry's Personal Blog
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Maintained by Bonnie Burton of

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

Flogging the Quill
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Man Bytes Hollywood
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It Beats Working 9-5
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Stealing Heaven From The Lips Of God
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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

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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?"
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After October 31, 2006,
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The Writing Life II

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

Sunday, February 19, 2006  
Deja vu all over again
Up and out at 6am, off for coffee, I was struck by the magnificent bright beauty of Venus, the morning star, a diamond rising in the east. Been a while since I've seen it looking so good. A cold clear chilly morning.

Back at home, on TV I encountered another memory, a story of a murder set in Columbia, Missouri, the town where I began my playwriting career. The first play I wrote, a one-act called "Above the Fire," which later got published in Dramatics magazine, was produced in Columbia, one of three national finalists for the Tennessee Williams Playwriting Award, not bad for a first effort. I came in third but no matter, I liked being flown to Columbia, put up in the Daniel Boone Hotel, and treated like a big shot. After struggling to get a novel published, I took to success readily and "became" a playwright, though it would be a few years before I knew what I was doing, despite the prize. I would have to start acting before I really learned stagecraft. But Columbia was great -- and what a wonderful mix the three playwrights were, a guy from NY who came with his boy toy, a bispeckled academic, and myself in my Paul Bunyan phase, with a beard halfway down my chest. Great contrast for students to contemplate when we visited classes at the university. The winning play was pure fluff, by the NY guy, a light comedy; second was a moving tragedy about environmental disaster; and mine about a man losing it after years of working alone in a fire watch tower. I had great fun.

I had even more fun in Greensboro, NC, some years later, flown to a production of Christmas at the Juniper Tavern, because it was basketball season and I watched UCLA-NC play a great game, drinking with the actors, a fun party indeed. UCLA lost, as I recall. Playwrights get treated with such respect compared to screenwriters! Different worlds, the artist v. the janitor. Why write screenplays then? So much fun. And the possibility, always, of considerable remuneration, even for a project that doesn't make it to the screen. I've actually made more money with six optioned and various developed screenplays than with all the productions and awards of dozens of plays, if (with plays) you don't consider selling the TV and film rights. The screen, large or small, is where the money is. Alas, unfortunately, even immorally, but there you are.

Into the 70s on the script, the end closer all the time. Should finish the draft this month, rewrite in March, and I know the one I want to do next. Going to keep at it a while, I think, it's good for the attitude to work on something one can draft in a matter of weeks instead of many months.

2/19/2006 07:52:00 AM | 1 comments

I too have fond memories of good times in Columbia, MO, Charles.
Best regards.
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