Wednesday, March 18, 2015
Day before Dark Moon
Sunny and cold
Busy few days. It was Pie for Pi Day at the library on Saturday, and lots of people stopped by for pie. We also had a storyteller, so it was a busy day, and there was putting together and getting out information on some upcoming events.
Ran errands on Saturday morning, before going to work, because the weather on Sunday was supposed to be vile. By the time I got to work, it felt like I’d put in a full day.
The weather degenerated during the day, so we had a nice fire in the fireplace and settled in for the afternoon and evening.
William Goldman’s THE SEASON is a mean-spirited book. I realize Broadway in the late 1960s is, in many ways, different from Broadway today. But he’s approaching theatre as a film person, with a film person’s perspective on each position (even though he had two shows on Broadway). Even though he did a lot of interviews, interviewing someone about a show is very different than being backstage on that show, and he can’t capture the true experience of Broadway without being backstage night after night on a production. I think he’s an amazing novelist and screenwriter, and I’ve learned a lot about the politics of screenwriting from him, but I LIVED Broadway for many years, and he missed the magic of it completely. I feel sorry for him, because, even on its most frustrating day, Broadway is exhilerating, in a way that I’ve certainly never experienced in film or television.
Starting to work my way through the books for the contest. The quality has a much wider range this year than in previous years. What’s good is very good, and what’s bad is pretty darn awful. Some of these books — did anyone even run it through spell check? I’ve noticed that the books weakest in story and character are also the ones with the worst proofreading/copyediting. The good ones, though — it’ll be hard to narrow them down. I’m reading everything, and then I’ll go back and re-read my top choices. It will come down to liveliness and elegance of the writing and the immediacy of the characters in the end.
Finished watching WEST WING. I’d forgotten how much I loved that show. Re=watching it, I also learned a lot about how structure supports good characters and story telling.
Planted sweet peas and four o’clocks — inside, of course.
Monday, up early. Got work done, and then got in the car to head north of Boston. The traffic, was, of course, a nightmare. But we reached Georgetown right on time. The microfiche machine was much larger (and heavier) than I expected. The microfilm machine was pretty much was I thought it would be. Loaded them into the car. Went to Ipswich for lunch — 5 Corners Deli — very good. What a lively town!
Very different vibe north of Boston than south of it.
I laughed when I saw how close to Maine we were — 40 miles from Kittery!
I had a bad feeling about 93 coming back down, so we went 128 instead. Good call, because 93 was a mess. 128 wasn’t bad, although it took a little longer. Less stressful, though.
I’d gripped the steering wheel so tightly that my tendons hurt. When I relaxed, I wondered why the steering wheel was wet and sticky. Turns out I’d cut my fingers moving the microfiche machine, hadn’t realized it, and had gripped the steering wheel so tightly it was the “pressure on the wound.” Every try getting blood off a steering wheel? Not fun.
However, when we got back, the table I’d put aside for the microfiche reader wasn’t strong enough to hold the machine’s weight. So I had to go out and buy another table. Which meant I had to rearrange the office. Which meant I was also moving some stuff around in the back bedroom. Which didn’t work, and meant I had to put everything back together.
And then I looked up and it was 7:30, and I was supposed to go to a panel a friend was doing from 6-8 PM. I didn’t make it, and I felt badly about it.
But the machines are all set up properly in the office.
Watched SAVING MR. BANKS, which I found disappointing. Emma Thompson was very good. Bradley Whitford was underused, and I thought his character was underwritten. I was irritated by the tone of the piece. A wonderful biography of P.L. Travers came out a few years ago (it’s in a box somewhere). She was definitely protective of her work (with good reason), but I certainly didn’t get, from the biography, that she was the miserable, neurotic, mean-spirited mess that this script portrays. Of course, it is a movie by Disney about a Disney project. The tone is bound to be: Disney — good; anyone who questions Disney – crazy and wrong.
Yesterday, I was up at 5:30 AM and out the door by 7. Marine Life Center Board Meeting at 8. Went pretty well. Our new board members are lively and enthusiastic, they have good ideas. I need to get some writing done for them this week.
Since I was on that side of the bridge anyway, I went to Target. The weather was dreadful, the blender I want is twice what I want to pay for it, but I found some other stuff I needed. I was going to go to Lowe’s, too, but it was pouring and the thought of getting soaked going to and from the car was no attractive, so I came home.
Unloaded, worked on the contest, worked on student manuscripts.
Put together some talking points for the other contest, ran off the minutes, headed to Cotuit Library for the Cape Cod Writers Center meetings — executive committee first, then Board. We got a lot done. I need to get some material up on Google Docs for them later this week.
We were sitting in the meeting room, with big windows, and, suddenly, the storm comes exploding around us. As one of the members said, it was like the end of the world.
Missing WEST WING a lot. We watched seven years’ worth since the blizzard in January.
This was not a good writing weekend, and that frustrates me. I look at my notes for the next radio play and for the screenplay that has to get done and feel completely disconnected. I look at the notes for the next novel, and am not happy with what I’ve written so far. I still have the thread of the hour-long TV pilot, but I have to finish my research on-site in Maine for that in May. I’m looking forward to diving into the microfilm research for the historical play. But my writing is not at the pace or the level it needs to be at right now, and I’m unhappy about it. I haven’t quite figured out how to fix it yet, but I have to do it soon.
I have a Reference Committee meeting this morning in Hyannis, then play catch-up at the library, and then we have a program on the weather this evening. Long day. I’ve got a training session tomorrow (also in Hyannis, also for the library), then afternoon at the library, then milonga in the evening. Friday, I’m just at the library all day — I’m hoping that will be a good catch-up day.
Hope you all had a good St. Patrick’s Day — so nice NOT to be in New York, dealing with the drunks. And hope you’re having a great week.
Today is Hilaria Day, so — laugh a lot!