Monday, February 28, 2011


I simply hate rewriting.  It's the most difficult part of the job, as far as I'm concerned.  When I write I know the gist of what I want to say and put it on the computer.  It seems to me that it should be fine, just the way it is.  Unfortunately I do re-read what I've written and notice all sorts of things that must be changed.  Perhaps it's some spelling and grammar.  Sometimes I tend to ramble.  It might even dawn on me that a particular sentence, or god forbid an entire paragraph, doesn't make sense.

Whatever the problem, I just don't want to fix it.  I don't want to do the drudgery of the all-important rewrite.  That's not to say that I don't do it, because most of the time I do. A brilliant friend of mine is kind enough to read the work I'm currently doing on my memoirs.  I sit and wait for her reaction each time I send it.  When it finally arrives the notations for corrections instill a sinking feeling in my gut from realizing that I must fix it.

OK, I've spent enough time writing this blog and now I have to get back to my latest rewrite.  Maybe I could just go have something to eat instead.......

Saturday, February 19, 2011


It's so very sad that bookstores are closing around this country.  I did a couple of seminars and book signings at Borders Books in Sherman Oaks and had another two scheduled.  The events were well attended and we sold some of my books.  It was fun for me and I believe that my audiences had a great time too.

I was booked to speak again today, however, on Friday (yesterday) I received an email from the store that because they were going bankrupt and closing their store, they were told by the head office to cancel all events. Naturally I was disappointed, but more than that, it is a very telling moment in our lifetimes to see the closings of so many bookstores.  Have we lost the ability to read all those wonderful books that have been available to us?  It seems to me that because of the advent of computer bytes and television's immediacy that Americans have lost the exquisite pleasure of simply sitting quietly and turning those rustling pages of stories and characters. I mourn this loss as I'm sure you do.  It speaks to a change in our lives that will never repair itself. 

The imaginations of so many writers and their ability to inform and entertain us must not be allowed to leave without a salute and a tear.  Let us all keep trying to share the wonderful treasure of reading with those who we love and raise and continue to try and cherish the blessings of good books.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


As a script and novel doctor and former agent I've always been very sympathetic to writers.  I understand how hard it is to write.  When I was a kid I wanted to write and as an adult spent over 20 years working with screenwriters and novelists. 

It's not just that the writing itself is difficult, it's also dealing with finding the right time and place and mood and inspiration all at the same time.  I find it difficult myself.  When I was writing my first book and now when I'm in the throes of writing two others, I find that I seem to finally get in the groove just before my husband comes home.  When he walks in the door all writing work has to cease.  We don't have a big place so there isn't a quiet, private space for me to go.  I like working in the living room.  Gregg (the husband) likes to talk after a day of teaching school.  He likes to catch the sports data on TV and he is soon hungry for dinner.  I think my timing is my own way of slightly sabotaging myself. 

I'm really going to have to work on getting started much earlier in the day.  Then maybe someday I'll manage to give up smoking.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


OK, this is what I want to know from you:  What are your expectations for your writing career.  If you are a new writer who is just trying to break into the Biz, do you think that you can write one script and then magically sell it to a Hollywood movie studio for big bucks, within a few weeks????

I wish that could happen, but it doesn't.  It takes lots of dedication, work and some smart movies on your part.  There are quite a few decisions that you will have to make and hopefully you will make more right ones than wrong ones.  We all make poor decisions at different crossroads of our lives.  That's just the way life goes.  If we make some really good decisions along the way then we are ahead of the game.

Go to professionals, listen to panel discussions, go to seminars that are given by pros.  There are so many of them available to you all over the world.  My friend and colleague Rona Edwards is teaching writing in Singapore, my friend and colleague, Kathie Yoneda will be giving writing classes in Marseilles.  These are only a couple of great teachers who can answer your questions and give you priceless information. This year I will be speaking at The Writers Store in Burbank, at the Big Bear International Film Festival, at the Ink Tip Pitch Summit and Borders Books in Sherman Oaks.

Check my web site ( for dates and times and come to these events.  Ask me questions, here on my blog.  Reach out and you will get lots of help.