One Film with the King

Friend and director, Michael O. Sajbel, has written a lovely personal remembrance of working with the recently departed Peter O’Toole. It’s so nice whener we find someone in this crazy business, who has every right to be full of themselves, but isn’t. I loved this part: The day finally arrived when he was driven to [Read More...]

ATTN: CHICAGOLAND

I will be speaking at Park Community Church on Monday night in an event that is open to all. My topic will be “A Gospel Spirituality for Artists.” Do come on out if you are free. I’d be grateful if you could let your artist/writer friends know. Click here for all the info. [Read more...]

About Time

About Time – Written and Directed by Richard Curtis; Starring Rachel McAdams, Bill Nighy, Domhnall Gleeson, Lindsay Duncan; Rated R for some profanity. Not quite sure what this film was, but it has some charm in a messy, illogical, meandering kind of way. It isn’t funny enough to be a comedy, and lacks the real [Read More...]

Working Out Your Salvation as an Artist, Part IV: Creative Dilemmas

[Excerpted from the upcoming 2014 book, Little Gems: Better Notes on Story and Screenwriting] Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do, And what is right to do. Potter Stewart From an ethical standpoint, being an artist or storyteller is not like working at Walmart. Chances are, the woman stocking [Read More...]

Artists Working Out Their Salvation: Part III – Rejection

[Excerpted from the upcoming release Little Gems: Better Notes on Story and Screenwriting, by Barbara Nicolosi and Vicki Peterson] Rejection slips, or form letters, however tactfully phrased, are lacerations of the soul, if not quite inventions of the devil – but there is no way around them. – Isaac Asimov Being a professional writer means [Read More...]

Working Out Your Salvation as an Artist/Writer, Part II: Collaboration

(Excerpted from the upcoming book, Little Gems: Better Notes on Story and Screenwriting” by Barbara R Nicolosi and Vicki Peterson) Collaboration There is probably no hell for authors in the next world – they suffer so much from critics and publishers in this one. C. N. Bovee It’s ironic that, after isolation, one of the [Read More...]

Working Out Your Salvation As an Artist/Writer: Pt. I – Isolation

(Excerpted from the upcoming release Little Gems: Better Notes on Story and Screenwriting, By Barbara NIcolosi and Vicki Peterson) The professional writer’s life is marked by its lack of real marks. It is a life without uniform or dress code, without schedule, colleagues or bosses, without regular salary and generally without an office. Of course, [Read More...]

How ‘the Language of Rights’ Has Made Everything Crazy

Student: Why did you take points off here? Me: Because ‘riffles’ isn’t a word. Student: Not yet. I made it up. Me: There are innate problems in individuals making up their own words. Student: I think everyone has a right to make up their own words. Me: Femka. Student: Huh? Me: That’s my word for [Read More...]

Gravity Soars

Gravity – Directed by Alfonso Cuaron; Written by Alfonso Cuaron and Jonas Cuaron; Starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney; PG-13 for intense situations I don’t think I’ve ever been able to say this before, but I have never had a movie experience anything remotely like what Gravity provides. If only because it is the most [Read More...]

Practice Safe Storytelling

The truth is, the tragic note that should be given about many scripts that are on the floors, desks, chairs and trunks in Hollywood is, “This script should never have been written.” Scripts get written that shouldn’t, in the same way unplanned pregnancies happen. People who may or may not be writers have a one [Read More...]

Flannery O’Connor as Disciple/Artist

I admit it. I almost can’t wait for this book to come out and keep wondering how I could get my hands on an advance copy. As far as the significance of Flannery O’Connor as a writer – believer – artist, I think Br. Louis, a.k.a. the very accomplished author of The Seven Storey Mountain, [Read More...]

‘No such thing as a beautiful lie”

Thanks so much to journalist, Michelle Martin for doing this piece for the Chicago Archdiocesan paper, Catholic New World. Rarely have I ever been so pleased with the results of an interview. Usually, I ramble on for an hour talking too fast and throwing in lots of corollaries, which makes it all my fault when [Read More...]

Why Should Christianity Be “Patron of the Arts”?

(Notes from a talk I gave earlier this year which folks asked me to share.) I. What We Have Lost and Why it Matters The sad thing is, if you walked on the street and took a spot survey, asking people to name the Patron of the Arts, few people would say, the Christian Church. [Read More...]

Lens: A Catholic Hollywood Ministry: “Friendship and Creativity”

Just finalizing plans for tomorrow night for the second meeting of Lens. Someone wanted to know what my comments will be on. I will be speaking for a little bit on the topic, “Friendship and Creativity.” I will mainly be using a 12th Century Catholic classic by St. Aelred of Rivaulx called “On Spiritual Friendship.” [Read More...]


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