Nota Bene at The Catlow Local Shorts Festival

Four years ago, I met two very enthusiastic writers during the TT Patton Summer Writing Camp; Katie and Katie (now known as Kat). At the end of the camp and during the following school year they would stop in and write together. Yes, really together.  They shared a story.  And once they even let me read the rough draft. That was….well…a lot. Little did I know what was really brewing in the minds of these two… until now.

Tomorrow, I will see their first short film Nota Bene on the big screen at The Catlow Local Shorts Festival.  On November 22nd, 2014 at 12:00 pm this festival will feature 12 locally produced short films.  Admission is $5.00 and tickets are available at the door 1 hour before showtime.

Here’s a little about the film, Nota Bene, and the co-writers/co-directors, Katie and Kat. I’m very excited for their debut film!  Hope you can join us.

Nota Bene (11 minutes, 30 seconds, 2014) is a story about the power of words and action. Halcyon, a shy high school girl, can only communicate with Drew, a classmate, through her anonymous writing. When Kristin, an alpha mean girl, sees an opportunity to be a bully, the time for a difficult decision is upon Halcyon. What happens when you’ve been pushed around enough and decide to step out of the shadows?

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Katie O’Brien reading from her journal. Camp, 2010.

Katie O’Brien co-wrote and co-directed Nota Bene. She is a junior at Barrington High School in Illinois. She is an aspiring writer who loves to tear at her friends’ heartstrings.  When she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys playing the flute and studying Latin. She and Kat have known each other for five years, and Nota Bene is their first produced
work.

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Kat Baustert listening attentively at the end of the table. Camp, 2010.

Kat Baustert co-wrote and co-directed Nota Bene. She is a junior at Barrington High School in Illinois. She likes super hero movies and writing, and enjoys Latin, dance and softball. She intends to study engineering in college but first has to get through high school.

A collection of friends, classmates and community members helped put together Nota Bene after Katie and Kat wrote a short story mostly played out in the character Halcyon’s head. What resulted was a “short story film” about teenagers, by teenagers.

Throwback Thursday: A Look into Writing’s Past

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The original Cross logo

Ever wonder where people of the past got their paper and pens? Charles Dickens, Lord Byron, Percy Shelley, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning all wrote on Pineider paper from Italy. And many other brands carry on legacies from the past into today’s future of paper and pens. Two of my favorite old-world brands are Cross pens and Crane paper. Let’s take a step back in time…

Cross is America’s “oldest manufacturer of fine writing instruments,” having been established in 1839. Their original products were gold and silver casings for wooden pencils. Alonzo Townsend Cross, the grandson of the original founder, is credited with many patents in the late 1800s, including the stylographic pen, which revolutionized fountain pens forever. Cross pens are still some of the finest pens on the market, and can be ordered at TT Patton with a free engraving through the end of the year.

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President and Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt’s Christmas card on Crane paper

What good would pens be without paper? Crane began over 200 years ago with the objective of selling paper that is 100 percent cotton. Paul Revere himself used engraved banknotes on Crane paper to help finance the Revolution. In 1799, the mill which still makes Crane paper today was established in Dalton, Massachusetts. One of their first major clients was the US government. U.S. currency is still printed on Crane paper to this day. You can have a piece of this history by ordering personal stationery on Crane’s paper at TT Patton.

We treat art as valued pieces because of the history and story behind the piece, along with its beauty. The same is true for writing. Writing with a Cross pen on Crane paper is inherently an act of participating in the history of the past and present. Today’s hand-crafted products are sure to spur a conversation about their beauty, quality, and rich history. Now how’s that for a Throwback Thursday?

You too could be a novelist!

Nshield-nano-blue-brown-rgb-hiresational Novel Writing Month begins November 1. NaNoWriMo (for short) encourages writers of all ages, including school-age kids, to write a novel in one month. How it works is simple: register your novel idea on the website, keep track of your novel as you write and compare your progress with others taking the challenge, and earn merit badges along the way.

The ultimate goal: write 50,000 words in 30 days.

Think that sounds like a lot? Think you’re too busy? Famous words of a procrastinator.  Excuses have no place in NaNoWriMo. The first draft of anything is going to have flaws. As William Faulkner said, “Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything good.” So forget about the notion that you must have a perfect draft the first time; there is no such thing.

Another benefit of this worldwide program is it’s for anyone; novice writer, experienced writer, first-time writer, everyone is invited! Last year, 310,095 people participated in the challenge. Why can’t one of them be you?

Stop in the store to get your NaNoWriMo bookmark, and to come use our writing space – for those of you who like to hand write your character sketches or plot lines. Find more information, and start your own novel at http://nanowrimo.org/.