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Showing posts from November, 2011

Happy Devember! (The Elf Train Song)

Hudson, Paradise, Charong and I are fortunate enough to have two Elf Friends,  Elgouin and Cargouin , who live in Golden Tunnels deep beneath the Earth,  and who have been a part of our family for four years or more. Every year, we hold a  Woodland Winter Fair  in celebration of them, of their part in the month leading up to the Holidays , and of the magic of Winter itself. A big part of the Winter Fair is singing The Elf Train Song (written by our magical friend, Camila Arnold, and me), heard in the YouTube video above. But Hudson has added an extra element to the legend of the Elves: the month of Devember, a one-day month that spans part of the last day of November and the first day of December - and is the official beginning of the Holiday Season for us. So tonight is Devember Night...and you can be sure Elgouin and Cargouin will be busy!

Elgouin and Cargouin

Photograph by Alexander Chow-Stuart. Here, for those of you wondering what Elgouin and Cargouin look like, is a very rare and ancient photograph of them, captured around Christmastime.

Free Parking at the Sonora Days Inn for My Writers Workshop on Saturday

Thanks to the kindness and generosity of Merrilie Reed, General Manager of the Sonora Days Inn at 160 South Washington Street, Sonora, CA 95370, anyone coming to my 2nd Sonora Writing Workshop this Saturday, December 3 2011, may park for free in the Sonora Days Inn parking lot across the road from the workshop's location at the Central Sierra Arts Council   (and opposite the Bank of America building at the intersection of Stockton Street and Washington). This is particularly helpful, since Washington and the surrounding neighborhood can be very busy on a Saturday (or any day of the week!), and since the writing workshop is three hours, it means that participants don't have to worry about feeding parking meters. The workshop runs from 10:00am-1:00pm and is $20 for adults and $10 for students. The address is: Central Sierra Arts Council, 193 South Washington Street, Sonora. Please call 310-383-7562 or email: Full details are in my post below. Please

GATE: Jim Carrey, Eckhart Tolle and John Raatz

I was thinking about the amazing Eckhart Tolle   today and remembering an event at which I met him and listened - mesmerized - to him speak, a little over two years ago, on Thursday, June 4 2009, at 20th Century Fox Studios. This is a brief blog piece I wrote for my Loving The Wolf blog (still around on the web but superseded by this one) on Friday, June 5 2009. I hope you enjoy it: Friday, June 5 2009 I attended an astonishing event last night at 20th Century Fox Studios: the first gathering of GATE, the Global Alliance for Transformational Entertainment, a creation of John Raatz, Jim Carrey , Eckhart Tolle and others - including the phenomenal Melissa Etheridge and Donovan - dedicated to raising the bar among those of us who create entertainment, so that we think about the impact our work has on people and try to make that impact as positive, meaningful and, ultimately, transcendent as possible. It doesn't mean avoiding the dark side - that can be addressed intell

Hudson's Photo of Me

Alexander Chow-Stuart by Hudson Chow-Stuart. Like most writers, I do not especially like being photographed - in fact, usually, I do all I can to avoid it, unless it is a family snap with our children, when I feel totally relaxed. I do not have a natural love affair with the camera - unless behind it (I love taking pictures) - but Hudson (seven) has had his own camera, and one of our old iPhones, since he was three, and is quite the accomplished photographer - not only taking pictures, but using various apps of his own discovery to enhance them, colorize them, and otherwise have fun with them. I would not usually post a photograph of me here, but this picture - which Hudson took completely unexpectedly, when I was sitting at my desk writing - captures more of who I think I am (which may or may not be close to other people's perceptions:) than most photographs of me that I have ever seen. I think the reason is that when I look at Hudson, I "see" love - or see with

UPDATE: Next Writing Workshop in Sonora - Saturday December 3 from10am-1pm

I am very excited to announce that my next Creative Writing and Screenwriting Workshop  will take place in the very hospitable space of the Central Sierra Arts Council at 193 South Washington Street, Sonora, CA 95370 (directly opposite the Bank of America building at the intersection of West Stockton Street/Highway 49). The date is Saturday December 3rd from 10:00am-1:00pm. The price for the workshop is $20 on the door - or $10 if you're a student. Following the very enthusiastic response to my workshop on Saturday November 19, I will be exploring the excitement and challenges of writing books and screenplays, with a structured approach that examines the birth of an idea, the absolute need to focus on both character and plot, the essential elements of the three act narrative structure (and its variations), the "ticking clock" required even for comedies or non-fiction, the interweaving of protagonist, antagonist and plot lines - and much more. I have always enjoye

Online Writing Webinar this Saturday November 26 from 10:30am-11:30am PACIFIC

Please note, this is not to be confused with the live writing workshop in Sonora, the following Saturday, December 3 (please see post above for details of that). This is late notice, I know, but I am hosting another WRITING WEBINAR (webinar only this time, so that I can focus on and interact with people online) this Saturday November 26 from 10:30am-11:30am Pacific (or your equivalent time zone). It's free to those who took part in last Saturday's webinar but didn't have a chance to talk with me (and those who did talk, as well:) - for everyone else, it's $10 in the US and £10 in Europe and elsewhere, payments via PayPal, please. We'll be exploring screenwriting and creative writing from the first spark of an idea, through character development, narrative structure and more. For those of you who are not entirely sure what a webinar is, it is a live streaming online interactive event. In this case, you can see and hear me talking onscreen and, if you have a webc

Sonora's Beautiful Red Church

Photograph: Alexander Chow-Stuart. This is a photograph I took of Sonora's stunning "Red Church," St James Anglican Church , which was built in 1859, in the Carpenter Gothic style, and consecrated in 1870. I took the picture last Sunday, on a beautiful, chilly afternoon, when the light was changing dramatically by the moment. The tree in front could not be more perfectly placed.

Next Writing Workshop in Sonora - Saturday December 3, 2011 from 10am-1pm

Photograph: Azucena Sandoval. A HUGE thanks to everyone who came to my writing workshop and webinar at Starbucks in Sonora today.  I was really thrilled by the turnout and the reaction and interaction - we are already planning our next workshop (no webinar this time, I will do those separately:) for Saturday December 3, probably from 10am-1pm this time (with a break) and in a larger meeting room (please see new post above for details) . We will make Starbucks coffee and a selection of teas available. The price will be the same: $20 - or $10 if you're a student. I will get down to more of the "nuts and bolts" of writing, now that I know the response and where people's interests and questions lie. Also, any s uggestions and questions regarding specific topics are welcome in advance.  Please email them to: Thanks again to everyone, not least Lenore Rutherford at the Union Democrat , who was largely responsible for such an en