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Writer Went From West Coast to Weston

Weston writer Deirdre Doran doesn't dare dabble in dreary alliteration. Or maybe she does. "A writer writes," she said, quoting an adage that is a staple of her profession. "My mother was a playwright. My father was a psychoanalyst," she said, as she erupted in laughter. "What do playwrights do? They write stories. What do psychoanalysts do? They listen to people's stories. My parents were cool."

One of her four screenplays, "Maggie's Table," is based on a small town facing an environmental crisis. Her script earned second round honors at the Austin Film Festival's competitive screenwriting contest. She's also working on a memoir, and she spends many hours tutoring students in English and helping college applicants with essays.

Doran's optimistic energy hinges on her every word, and her smile rarely leaves her face. Her passion for the written word is rivaled only by her love for family and her concern for the environment.

"I always yearned to be in nature," she said. She grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from Berkeley in 1971, witnessing first-hand the conflict between student activists and the National Guard.

"I can still smell the pepper gas," she said. After earning her degree in English and a master's in teaching, she moved to Westport with her husband before settling in Weston, where she's been for 14 years.

The eclectic West Coast atmosphere instilled in her the value of community and the importance of civic participation. Doran serves as chairperson of the recently established Sustainability Committee, which is planning projects such as storm water management, community gardening, pedestrian and bicycling access, recycling, energy conservation and education initiatives.

"Weston is really special," she said. "We have a real opportunity to launch initiatives that will be a model for the rest of Connecticut. ... That's what I think this committee can do."

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