Thursday, April 12, 2012

Anybody here?

Well, I moved over to WordPress, and guess what's happening over there? Nothing. I guess I'll give it another week or so, but if you won't follow me to my new neighborhood, I'll call the movers and come back. I moved over there so I could invite in other writers, guest bloggers I thought you'd enjoy. But oh well. Blogger may make it easier to bring them here one day. Here's what I wrote today at WordPress, and here's the new address : It’s lonely out here. I feel like I’ve moved to the tundra. I can feel the wind whistling by … According to the stats, not one person has read one post since I moved my blog to WordPress. Hm. I moved over here because SUPPOSEDLY I would increase my readership. I thought (obviously I was mistaken) that my readers were coming here from twitter by clicking on a link there and would simply click on whatever link was in the tweet. Not so. All righty then. I will post on dehelensbits and see if anyone is still looking for me over there. Meanwhile, if anyone does wander by, looking for a sandwich or something, say howdy, will ya? Leave me a note. Take whatever you can find in the cupboard. I’ll be back soon.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Moving ... to

For a few reasons, I am starting a new blog on WordPress. Please book mark me at and come visit me over there. One of the main reasons is that I will be able to guest blog and have guests on my blog easily via Another reason has to do with links and other tech items. I will keep this blog for awhile and may try doing two blogs, as I know that many writers do.

Happy Easter, Happy Passover! Passover means I can buy Coke at the grocery store without corn products, it comes in bottles with a yellow cap, for a week. One week out of a year. I'm off to Albertson's. Then, on Monday it means 1/2 price chocolate at Walgreen's. That's what I learned from my friend Ginny several years ago. She always bought chocolate after Easter and after Halloween. I like those little individually wrapped Dove dark chocolates, and never buy them ... except after Easter and Halloween. I keep them in the freezer and have one after dinner. Now to write!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Had a table reading of my newest full length play last night. I belong to PDX Playwrights group which meets twice a month to read new plays by its members. The reads are cold, and parts are handed out on the spot to whomever is available at the time. After the reading, feedback is given to the playwright in the following way: 1) popcorn response (one or two words), 2) what worked in the play, 3) the playwright gets to ask for specific feedback.
Here's the synopsis: An astronomer overcomes agoraphobia and travels to Korea with her adoptive mother, bi-racial daughter, and lesbian lover to find her biological parents. Her daughter disappears, her mother dies, she suffers relapse. Only her true ancestors – the stars – can save her now.
Usually after a table read, I just come away ready for work. This time, the positive feedback overwhelmingly outweighed the things that need fixing, however. I came away feeling terrific. There are definitely a few places that I need to tweak, a couple of problems to solve. The playwrights in the group are so helpful and generous that I'm really glad I joined this group last September.
Do you have a good writers' group? Do you have rules for giving and receiving criticism of your work in that group? How does that work for you?

Thursday, March 29, 2012


All that reading and re-reading of THE HOUNDING as I revised and edited it, not only led me to fall back in love with Shirley Combs and Dr. Mary Watson and the original story, but it made me downright itchy to write the next adventure in the series. I promised myself that as soon as I had all my deadlines met I would launch right into The Illustrious Client, and so I have. I'm having a great time. The game is afoot: I'm lining up the characters, beginning with Colonel James Damery who made an appearance right at the end of The Hounding. Next I had to choose who the illustrious client would be, of course, and begin building a story from the dust motes of the Sherlock Holmes's story "The Adventure of the Illustrious Client." As history is picked up, shaken out, and put back down, only the dust motes remain in the room, and from them I build a story for Shirley and Mary to share with their readers.
I've written character backgrounds for Oceane Chartré [Beaudet] a 20 year old pop star from France, and for her fiance Lucas F. Hansen, a Danish playboy/businessman who looks 30, and is about to have his looks ruined by an ex-girlfriend Borbála (Bori) Eszti whose background I wrote today. She's a beauty with a Lipizzaner farm from Bana, Hungary who is going to throw acid in his face here in Portland on a yacht where he and Oceane are moored for the Rose Festival. Bori is stalking him and plans to make a quick getaway.
Unfortunately, nobody is going to get what s/he wants for awhile. This is a murder mystery. Shirley, Mary and I will be the ones having all the fun, and that only because we are working and enjoying what we do. Stay tuned if you want to read about the process. Feel free to ask questions too. And, please! Share your own process. I'd love to hear it.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Hounding, Second Edition

My friend the filmmaker, Gabriel Darling, is at work on a teaser/trailer for the new edition of "The Hounding" but it is already up on if you want to go buy it and read it. (If you click on the title above, it will take you straight to amazon.) I've reduced the price to $2.99, and if you are a Prime member, you can read it for FREE. Also, if you have a book blog and want to review it, contact me and I'll send you a review copy for your Kindle. As an editor myself, I am appalled by the number of errors I see every day, not only in books, but in everything I read. If you find an error of any kind in my writings, please point them out to me so I can correct them. I will consider it a great favor. I paid $17.95 for a book of poetry that I ordered from, and when it arrived, I saw the back first. The first thing I saw was a typo. Argh. Then when I opened it to try to find my friend's poem, the contents listed only the names of the poems, not the names of the poets! There is no index. These people needed an editor, and not only a proofreader, but a developmental editor (I do both). But I digress. Please buy my book. Ha!
Read my work. If you find a mistake, please tell me and allow me to fix it. If you want your own work edited or proofread, my fees are reasonable. See my site at

Monday, March 12, 2012

Video is up: Singer Clashes with Cougar

Everyone did a brilliant job, and now you can see for yourself. I'm so pleased with everyone's work, the production crew, director, the actors were just brilliant ... they make me look good.
Please feel free to leave any comments here, or at youtube. I'm sure the actors and crew especially would love to hear what you think of their work.
If you have feedback about the script, come back and tell me. I'm always open to feedback, to doing better. Also, to hearing about YOUR work.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Performance last night SINGER CLASHES WITH COUGAR

Brilliant. My first full production in *ahem* let's just say awhile. Readings, yes. FULL productions, harder to come by. The SINGER set was so simple it contained only one black chair. Three actors, one mask, and the props were a guitar, a guitar stand, and a bottle of water. Backstage there was a crash bag. I hired a professional director and three professional actors myself when I was offered the opportunity for a staged reading on live TV. I decided I'd rather have a full production with professionals, and just went for it. So glad I did. My short script was brought to full life by lovely people that I hope to work with again and again. The singer in question, Nelda Reyes, is truly from Mexico and used her accent to provide the character with authenticity and vulnerability. Her youth and beauty didn't hurt either. Jennifer Lanier is amazing. She's tall, athletic, exotic looking because of her Native American genetics, and brought so much sensuality to the cougar, and yet was able to instantly transform herself into an aged human woman with just a kiss. David Loftus himself has exotic looks, a gorgeous man who always brings full skills to even a small role. He managed to show us a concerned, yet opportunistic theater manager in a few lines. You can catch all three of these actors on national TV, including NBC's Grimm. Jennifer has recurring roles on both Leverage and Grimm. They are all seen about town in local playhouses as well. All the time. Check out their Facebook pages for details. Director Karen Alexander-Brown is also a playwright. I was exceedingly lucky to get this ensemble together for my play.