Thursday, February 14, 2008
Sunny and cold
First of all, I want to take this opportunity to express my gratitude to all of you for being in my life.
See, I don’t think we need to be sucked into the commercial pressures of Valentine’s Day. What this day is good for is to remind us to let the people around us know that they matter.
All of you MATTER.
I’d have added a cute little graphic, but, honestly, yesterday was too exhausting.
I managed to get the work out to Confidential Job #1 before I had to catch the train for the city. It was pouring. I fought my way across Times Square to what used to be the Royale Theatre, what will always be to me the Royale Theatre, to join the friend who invited me to the open dress rehearsal for the new Tom Stoppard play ROCK ‘N’ ROLL.
It was brilliant and butt-numbing all at once. Let’s face it, we’re not used to sitting in a theatre for three hours, even when the seats are padded. As usual, Stoppard makes no compromises in his theatricality. We’re sitting in a theatre, dammit, and he is not going to pretend it’s anywhere else, while still enveloping us in his world. And his words. He is a master wordsmith. His verbal aerobics are astonishing, but he is a playwright to whom you have to LISTEN. If you’ve not willing to give yourself over, toss yourself into the cauldron of language completely, and you aren’t well-versed in classical literature and politics – you’re going to miss a good bit of it, including some of the funniest bits. On the other hand, he reminds me, with this play, of a handful of British men of a certain age, many of whom I’ve dated, who are obsessed with rock and roll and their memories of the sixties and seventies, and there’s a point where you just want to roll your eyes. However, when he loses himself in the social issues and the verbal pyrotechnics, if you actually pay attention to what he’s saying, he’s both brilliant and relevant. And he’s uncompromising in how he feels society, as a whole, is failing (and I agree) and he reminded me why I write. And that to write with CONVICTION instead of worrying about the marketing crap is how you’re going to find your true voice. He reminds me why I write, and he reminds me why I devoted over twenty years of my life to the theatre, and THAT is the greatest gift he could give me, especially right now. This is the type of piece where, if you come open, you will find what you need at this moment within it. If you’re going to sit and sigh and pose, you’re shutting out its reason for being, and, frankly, you don’t deserve the gifts he’s offering. Because, in spite of some annoyances along the way, this piece truly is a gift. I left with a reminder to follow MY path, not the path set out by an agent or editor or publisher. MY path.
And that’s something I needed to hear right now.
Also, the latter part of the play, from 1987 onwards, had deep personal resonance with me because of the way those events directly affected my family.
So, it gave me a lot to think about.
There was a bit too much set for me, beautiful as it was. It was necessary to ground the words, but still too much. Costumes were great expect for the character Eleanor’s first dress, which wrinkles too easily, and I don’t feel that character would have that. LOTS of work for the hair department. Sound too loud, even though it covered massive set changes. But, you know? It’s a dress. They’re still tweaking. The performances were stellar from the entire ensemble, but especially from Rufus Sewell, Sinead Cusack, and Brian Cox. One of the actors is someone with whom I worked a million years ago off-Broadway – I’m so proud of him!
And I came home, thankfully, to minor instead of major flooding. The car is safe, the electricity is on, so I’m content.
I’m spending far too much time trying to track down books I need for a project and not being able to get my hands on them without paying more than it’s worth. I have to find a new approach. I am majorly pissed off that the booksellers who work through both Alibris and Amazon do not consolidate shipping. The shipping often costs more than the book. Uh, no. Strand doesn’t have the books, or I’d just go to them. It’s made me realize how much they really spoil me. I hovered up some of the books on eBay and BookMooch, but I lost out on a lot that would have completed everything I need, and everything else currently up duplicates what’s on its way. Frustration! The library sales shelves and used bookstores don’t have any of them, and, frankly, if I bought them all new, it would wind up being more than my advance. So I’ll just keep looking.
And now I get to read my friend’s novel and comment on it. I can’t wait – I love her work, and am so looking forward to this!
Back to Old-Fashioned Detective Work today, polish and send off some guest blogs, and work on a few pieces necessary for building crap. I have to make good use of my time this morning, because I’m working in the city tonight. And my shoulder’s very bad today – not sure why.
Found another huge logic lapse in TRACKING MEDUSA. I can fix it with a few lines towards the end – thank goodness it’s not in the partial that’s out. But I’ll have to write it up and send it to my readers as an insert.
I’m packed for the weekend – just have to put together the writing bag, and find out what time I have to be there tomorrow.
5 in 10: Create 5 Short Stories in Ten Weeks by Devon Ellington. This ebooklet takes you from inspiration to writing to revision to marketing. By the end of ten weeks, you will have either 5 short stories or a good chunk of a novella complete. And it’s only 50 cents, USD. Here.
Writing Rituals: Ideas to Support Creativity by Cerridwen Iris Shea. This ebooklet contains several rituals to help you start writing, get you through writer’s block, and help send your work on its way. It’s only 39 cents USD. (Note: Cerridwen Iris Shea is one of the six names under which I publish). Here.
Full Circle: An Ars Concordia Anthology. Edited by Colin Galbraith. This is a collection of short stories, poems, and other pieces by a writers’ group of which I am a member. My story is “Pauvre Bob”, set at Arlington Race Track in Illinois. You can download it free here: