En Route

Friday, January 22, 2010
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Who knows what the weather is? I’m scheduling this to post

I’m headed to Philly this morning for a weekend gig. I’ll be enroute when most of you read this. And I’m looking forward to some fun flirtation tonight.

Did the proofs for the anthology essay. Only found one mistake and sent in the correction. I’m satisfied with it — I said what I wanted to say, even though, in the early drafts, it took me awhile to figure out exactly for what that was. That’s what “drafts” are for, though, isn’t it? Overall, the anthology is very different than the initial concept that was pitched when I first signed on — focuses on a single topic of the writer’s work instead of the body of work.

Which doesn’t really matter; it’s simply an observation.

One of the things my friend and I discussed on Wednesday was whether or not I miss the work — on Broadway or on TV. I don’t miss the way things are run, the politics of the places, people who aren’t in the trenches of the work making decisions which make it harder to run the production well, the hierarchy, especially in the TV world. I miss some of the actual physicality of quick changes on Broadway — especially working with actors with whom I have a good rapport. I don’t miss the 8 show/week schedule and working nights, weekends, holidays, and the dreadful commute. I don’t miss the long hours on TV or the “hurry up and wait”. I miss the camaraderie backstage — the jokes no one else would ever get unless they worked on that actual production, the way you sometimes even miss people you don’t particularly like. I don’t care how many reality shows like AMERICAN IDOL pretend to show what goes on behind the scenes — each production is totally unique, has its own energy and rhythm, and relationships are formed with a closeness that, if you don’t work in the business, you can’t understand. Yes, a lot of them are transient — if you’re not working together, you don’t see each other. And sometimes, you work together again, and it’s like you picked up a conversation that stopped only moments before, even if years have passed.

As a writer, I miss being in the rehearsal room with actors — that’s always one of my favorite parts of the process. I’m not involved in the rehearsal or production process with Cloverleaf at all, but I hope at some point, to develop a piece with a director, producer, and cast along the lines of a more collaborative working process, which I enjoy, and which I’ve had in the past. That energy of creation, working on a common goal to make all the elements of it shine — it’s a wonderful feeling.

Provided, of course, you have the right mix of people. Put the wrong mix together — even if they’re talented — and it can turn into a nightmare. Been on a few of those. Where people’s personal agendas and power trips become more important than the work.

Got a good amount of writing done in the morning, less in the afternoon. But I got all the laundry and other crap done, so I can leave town with a clear conscience (and clean lingerie).

Should be connected in Philly — will try to check in over weekend.



Published in: on January 22, 2010 at 5:02 am  Comments (5)  
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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Thursday, January 21, 2010
Waxing Moon
Mars Retrograde
Sunny and mild

Just another quick checkin, because the writing is going very well and I want to keep as much momentum going as possible. I’m eating, sleeping, dreaming this WIP. It’s put the steampunk behind a bit, but, fortunately, I’ve got time and space before that deadline, and can roll with this piece, since it’s on fire. I had to work out the logic of the piece within the WIP, but now that that’s figured out, the characters are chattering, several unexpected ones have come forward to demand attention, and they’re all surprising me in the best possible way. So I’m running with it. I’ve used up two entire ink pens in two days.

I need to accept that fact that most first drafts still work better for me in longhand.

Yesterday was good. I drove up county, picked up my friend. We visited a disappointing store, but had lunch at a great little restaurant, and caught up on life, the universe, and everything. It was good to see each other again.

Came home, took a nap, did some more writing. Didn’t watch much TV — I want to like HUMAN TARGET (I have a weakness for a good action show, my guilty pleasure) but, in both episodes that aired so far, I’ve gotten ahead of the story far too early, and spotted the villain in the character’s first shot. It’s a little heavy-handed for me. I keep watching because I like Jackie Earle Haley’s work in it. He’s taken what could easily be a two-dimensional cardboard cutout character, and given him detail and elegance. The costume designer also served him very well — the elegantly, expensive casual costume choices perfectly ironed, the matte shine on the boots, etc., support the character. But the writing and the direction is off for me, especially the pace of the direction. There’s a heaviness and too many pauses in the dialogue scenes (except for Haley’s work — he stays true to his own character’s rhythms). They don’t need that much weight to counter the action.

The final proofs for the anthology essay arrived — I’ll try to turn them around today, so it’s not hanging over me this weekend. They’re due Tuesday, but I’d rather get them finished earlier rather than later.

Although pulling myself out of my own WIP to proof an essay on someone else’s work will be difficult. I’m in the headspace of only being passionate about my own work at the moment.

But a deadline is a deadline, so I better get over it.

The weekend’s work is cut out for me — I’ve got the work that needs to get done on site in Philly, I”m taking the WIP, the steampunk, and the notes for the new play. I’ve got to get started on that. It’ll be interesting to see if I can switch between contemporary realism to steampunk to comic noir mystery over the course of the weekend.

Or maybe my head will just explode and the cat will lick my brains off the floor.

Going to CT this afternoon to take care of the laundry, throw the last few things in my suitcase. The backpack will be easier to take than the big writing bag, so I have to pack the backpack this evening with the computer, the iPod, the writing files, the book for the bus, and I have to throw the travel yoga mat into the suitcase. I’ve got my bus ticket, and I’ll pick up my train ticket this morning. I’ve got to travel into the city during rush hour, which means I’ll have to stand in the vestibule with my luggage for the nearly-hour long train ride in. Ick. But then I sit on the bus for a few hours, so it all works out.

The books from Strand arrived: FRANCIS BACON: THE TEMPER OF A MAN (about Shakespeare’s contemporary, not the painter), and SHAKESPEARE AND CO.: CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE, THOMAS DEKKER, BEN JONSON, THOMAS MIDDLETON, JOHN FLETCHER, AND OTHER PLAYERS IN HIS STORY. Yes, I’m back to feeding my Shakespeare obsession, even though I doubt I’ll actually get to write that book this year.

The Deanna Rabyourn books have not yet arrived; I was hoping to read them on the trip. Oh, well. Time to pull some others from the TBR pile.

Got to get some housework done before I head out to do laundry. I’m sure my head will remain filled with the WIP. What’s that expresson? “Chop wood, carry water.” It’s amazing how the mundane tasks feed the creative juices.

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