Category Archives: Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences

And the Oscar goes to…

The year was 1968. If I’m not mistaken, they still said, “The winner is…” back then.

It was a year that would set a record that to this day has yet to be broken:

A tie.

The category was Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role…

Barbra Streisand, Funny Girl.

The kiss that almost launched (another) war.

Everything was going smoothly until a publicity photo of Omar Sharif and Barbra Streisand kissing was released to the newspapers. With the emotions of the Six Day War still running high, the Egyptian press began a campaign to get Sharif’s citizenship revoked over the kiss. The Egyptian headline read: “Omar Kisses Barbra, Egypt Angry.” When asked to respond to the controversy, Barbra Streisand tried to make light of it. “Egypt angry!” she said. “You should hear what my Aunt Sarah said!”  Behind the Camera on Funny Girl

At one point, the studios considered replacing Sharif.

Oy. What a loss that would have been.

And the other winner?

Katharine Hepburn, The Lion in Winter.

My very favorite movie ever.

The most dysfunctional family ever during the most dysfunctional family holiday ever, and my two most favorite actors in the world. Hepburn and O’Toole.

Oh, what an embarrassment of riches we had that year. Did we know it? We must have.

A tie.


A tie.

And the winners were… us.



Filed under Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, Film

Another small digression.

What Wild EcstasyWhat Wild Ecstasy by Patricia Burroughs

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I wrote it. The adaptation I wrote was awarded a $30,000 Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting (presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences). I hope I can be forgiven for giving it five stars, understanding that ymmv! (Obviously the story had a lot more going for it than the bodice-ripper that the cover presents.)

View all my reviews >>

I may someday figure out how to scan it in and convert it and make it available as an e-book.  Unfortunately right now I haven’t the time or patience for it.

It’s so funny, I expected this book cover to be all desert-toned and dusty, and instead it was pink.

Pink? OMG, what on earth?  (Of course this was the 80s and pink and blue were the hottest color combo around, so it was hard to complain. Too much.)  And then I opened it–my first published book, oh my god, my baby… and reread the opening of the first chapter, first sentence of second paragraph:

Within minutes the peaks of the rugged mountains to the west appeared, bathed in pink and orange and magenta, honored by the sun’s first rays.

I’m just lucky they didn’t toss in orange.


Filed under Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, Books, Goodreads, Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, Romance, Writers, Writing


Today is the memorial service for Gee Nicholl, the wonderful woman who endowed the Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting.

The writers who have benefited from her benevolence include some dear friends, and also include some amazing writers–two groups that are not mutually exclusive.

Jeffrey Eugenides was named a Fellow in its inaugural year. I hope you’ll forgive me for that bit of name-dropping, but it’s as close as I’ll ever get to a Pulitzer Prize.

Other notable Fellows are listed here.

But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Every year, thousands of screenwriters plan their lives around the Nicholl deadline. Thousands of writers are fueled by Nicholl dreams. Thousands of writers create new worlds, new universes, and many go onto success without ever achieving that goal of becoming a Nicholl Fellow, yet achieve goals that surpass it.

Mrs. Nicholl was an amazing woman. She wanted to carry on her husband’s dream by nurturing writers. Despite his successes as creator/producer of some of the most loved television series in the US and UK, Don Nicholl always considered himself a writer first, and when he left this world, she decided to honour him by creating these fellowships.

I like to think that they’re together again, and that he is very, very pleased.

May light eternal shine upon them.

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Filed under Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, Screenwriting, Writers, Writing

Oscar moments.

For some odd reason, I’ve decided to include some favorite Oscar moments from time to time. I hope you enjoy them. Feel free to snark or drool or bask in the shared moment.

To launch this feature, I think we can snark (what WAS she wearing?), drool (oh my, that Victorian splendour) and bask (Dublin! I wish I’d been there!).

This one is about five minutes long because it includes the nominees and film clips, which I rather like.

There were people there who may not get many nods (Cruise and Williams) but having seen My Left Foot that year, I couldn’t deny the masterful performance. However, I’d never seen DDL before and had NO idea what he looked like/spoke like so seeing him collect his golden boy was a revelation in more ways than one.


Filed under Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, Film, Movies

Eight Things

It’s a meme, thanks to Candace.

1. We have to post these rules beore we give you the facts.

2. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.

3. People who are tagged need to write on their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.

4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.

Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Here are eight random facts about me. I’m including some that some of you know, because some of you don’t know them.

1. I once made a pumpkin pie from scratch, meaning, from taking a whole pumpkin and cutting it up and baking it and scraping the pumpkin stuff out instead of using canned pumpkin — and I don’t even like pumpkin pie.

2. I am the only person in the history of the Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting who was a finalist twice with two different scripts, and won.

3. An early version of the script that won once had Sissy Spacek, Gary Oldman and Alfred Molina attached with Melanie Mayron to direct, and still didn’t get produced. Sigh.

4. If someone has a few million to toss our way, we could rectify that error. Ahem.

5. My favorite Cowboys are Harvey Martin (may he R.I.P.) and Michael Irvin.

6. My father was at Dealey Plaza when President Kennedy was shot.

7. I have an older sister.

8. I married my high school sweetheart.


I don’t know 8 people who would want to be tagged or wouldn’t mind being tagged, so I won’t tag anybody. But if you want to be tagged, please respond here and let me know and then do the meme!

Tagging Nick!


Filed under Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, Blogging, Dallas, Dallas Cowboys, History, Meme, NFL, Nicholl Fellowships in Screenwriting, Screenwriting, Sports