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Winning a classy chunk of crystal

Local author Suzan Noyes recently won the 2012 Best Screenplay award for her screenplay ‘Boarders’

by: CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Suzan Noyes

Faye Taylor
   For many creative people, the road to success never seems to reach its destination. When it does, it is not without wrong turns, road blocks, and a few skinned knees.
   Suzan Noyes, an Alaskan transplant now living in Prineville since 2006, is one of those creative people who have hit her stride and is enjoying the ride.
   In early May this year, she sat in a Bend restaurant with two friends as she awaited news about a screenplay she helped write.
   “It was a joint project with Skip Clark of Captnskipper Productions in Bend and also Denice Hughes Lewis of Bend,” Noyes explained.
   The news Noyes was waiting for was the announcement of the winner of the 2012 Best Screenplay in the Santa Catalina Film Festival.
   “There were at least 300 entries. The award itself is a classy chunk of crystal in a blue velvet box. You just want to pat it as you walk by,” she said.
   She didn’t find out until returning home from the restaurant, when Clark called to tell her their screenplay entitled “Boarders” had been awarded first place.
   “There was a panel of judges from Southern California’s film industry judging the screenplay award. It was also a finalist in the 2012 Mexican International Film Festival,” said Noyes. “It’s a family dramatic comedy — dramedy.”
   She explained that it is about an insecure newlywed and stepmom who battles her stressed husband and his spoiled teenager, while searching for a lost claim to a Santa Catalina hacienda. She must survive a 200-year-old ghost, and cope with treasure seekers, ghost hunters, and illegal Mexican children to end up with the true family she craves.
   “Picture a stressed family, each parent having lost their jobs, their nice home, and car. The wife can put claim to an ancient Spanish land grant and hacienda, but she must find the missing deed. The original owner, though deceased, is still in residence along with his peg-legged parrot,” she begins. “A smarmy con man pursues the deed for himself, but his team of gold-hunters plan to double-cross him.
   “A reality-show team of paranormal investigators want a new notch in their belts, and the poor wife is beside herself alienating all and sundry when she stumbles upon a couple of kids squatting upstairs.”
   The project took the trio two and a half years to complete due to each of them having to stop periodically to take care of family or health issues.
   One screenplay is not all there is to Noyes’ creative side.
   “I've been a professional and commercial artist all my life, but I always liked to write. So I did chatty articles for local papers in Los Angeles area, short stories in creative writing classes,” Noyes said.
   She has also written three novels — yet unpublished, and is presently penning articles for the Northwest Boomer and Senior News, Central Oregon Edition.
   “Boarders” has not been picked up for production yet, but Noyes and her fellow co-authors are hopeful that it will be soon.
   Noyes is not sitting around waiting. She had so much fun writing the screenplay that she decided to write two of her very own stage plays as well. One is called “Crazy About Me,” the other is called “Moving Daze,” and she will be producing one of them herself for performances at the 2nd Street Theater, in Bend, in April 2013.
   Noyes, Skip Clark, and Denice Hughes Lewis all belong to High Desert Writers Guild. Patricia West Del-Ruth, Cricket Daniels, and Tom Sims are also members.