After a long spell of ignoring this website, I find it may be beneficial to start posting again. Family matters aside, my time has been focused on learning a different style of communication — screenwriting.
Maybe I’ve done this the wrong way around. First I turned four of my novels (the trilogy and Waln) into six scripts, and a short story (Trail Fall) into a TV pilot.
My novel Senders actually started as my first screenplay years ago — I have a letter from Donie Nelson about it dated around the year 2000. After that screenplay didn’t make it out of the second round of the Monterey Film Commission’s contest, I used it as the outline for the novel Senders of Shaula, then later rewrote the novel as another screenplay.
Last year I enrolled in screenwriting classes at ScreenwritingU.com. The classes are great. I’ve learned so much in a year’s time (plenty more than enough to know those six scripts need to be rewritten) and restructured the pilot into something I can actually show to people who know something about the industry. In addition I’m in the middle of a new project, the first script I’ve written that didn’t start from a novel or short story I wrote.
On second thought, maybe this was the correct sequence for learning screenwriting. One’s first attempts are usually “learning scripts” destined for the dust files. This way I got the learning scripts out of the way before getting the professional view of how to approach screenwriting.
For anyone wondering about the Insurgent Oak infant forest, it’s thriving! Each year my front yard has had a different look. The first few years were all about protecting the tender sprouts from too much heat by setting up shade structures, so the yard at times looked like a junkyard. One year it was the location for a vegetable garden grown in old garbage cans (providing both shade and water for the little trees).
Last year was their first summer as independent growers. I did have to water several times, but did nothing to provide additional shade. Many of the littlest crisped out before the end of summer, but the forest needed thinning anyway. The strong survived. Now I have two saplings taller than I am, and a multitude of others providing low shade in their own right. The birds love it. It’s perfect habitat to let the fledglings hop around in while Ma and Pa Bird keep watch from a high perch nearby.