Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold
International Women’s Day

Yup, here we have it, International Women’s Day. I wish I’d been able to put together a project this year like I did the year my friend Avonne and I set the creation atmosphere for MOON TRIBE TALES. I say “set the creation atmosphere” because the actresses who spent months developing material for the piece are equally a part of it. It was a wonderful experience for both those participating and those who attended, and I wish I’d been set up to seek funding for it to be an ongoing project. When I look back at the script, little has changed in the intervening years. If anything, women’s rights and progress are regressing.

Actress Allison Scagliotti, whose work I throughly enjoy in WAREHOUSE 13, has a great piece up here about looking for role models in her industry. It’s difficult to find strong, complex female characters in media right now, although I think there are more of them on television than in film. Too often, they simply behave like men would, but they’re played by women. While to a point, a strong person is a strong person no matter what the gender, since biology influences a lot of how we deal with things, I’d love to see a wider range of representations in film and television.

I think women are making inroads behind the scenes — although probably not enough. You look at writers like Jane Espenson and directors like Kate Woods, and there’s progress.

I think the rise of urban fantasy in literature has created some great female characters. Look at Diana Bishop in A DISCOVERY OF WITCHES — she doesn’t fit any mold but her own and is fascinating and complex. Look at Camille, Delilah, and Menolly in the Otherworld Series — along with most of the female characters Yasmine Galenorn writes. They don’t fall into cliche, they’re certainly not perfect, but they’re strong, intelligent, and interesting. Or the characters like Ann Aguirre’s Corinne Solomon. These women are all very much women, not girls acting the way men might act in this situation, and they are very resourceful and approach the world with unique viewpoints.

To me, that’s part of what a feminist is — a woman who is strong, intelligent, and interesting, and who won’t keep anyone — male, female, Republican or alien — from allowing her to fulfill her potential to its fullest. Can a man be a feminist? Yes, if he’s willing to support the choices of the women around him to be the best and most they can be, even if it’s inconvenient to him personally! 😉

Got out the write up for Confidential Job #1 and that’s off, and got out my column. Got word this morning that they’ve already sent the next assignment. Caught up on commenting on the student work — some of the comments have been helpful, and they are diving back into the material with fresh enthusiasm, which is what I’d hoped.

MA Dept. of Revenue emailed me my quarterly vouchers, the little dears. Considering the NY State Tax Dept. could never be bothered to provide correct paperwork, nor have they ever posted a payment correctly in the years I lived there, and they generally feel they can remove any money they want from anyone because they don’t have to answer to anyone, the MA attitude is quite refreshing.

Responded to student work. They have a deadline today, so there will be a lot of work on which to comment. Also received materials from a partner for the tele-seminar, so I need to go over that. A big stack of errands to run today, but then they will be done, and I don’t have to worry about them later in the week.

Had a good morning’s work on the play — I’m having fun with it. It wants to have more characters than I’m allowed, so some of the actors may have to double. Or, I just have to keep it lean and cut them in the rewrite. I’ve written for a finite amount of characters before — I know I can do it. Want to do some more work on the play before I switch back to everything else that demands attention. Fortunately, the company wants a piece with high verbal dexterity, and those are the kinds of characters I enjoy writing.

Devon

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Sunny and cold

The water company is coming today to put in a new meter. Supposedly, it will take only 45 minutes. Supposedly.

They are taking down the old water tower down the street. I managed to snap some photos of it yesterday, before they took its little hat off. It’s one of those graceful old designs, with a top that looks like the Tin Man’s hat. The new water tower is as ugly as can be, looking like an oversized golf tee, probably designed by a golf aficionado.

Ran errands, returned books to the library, found some on local history, and a book on Louisa May Alcott and her father that’s new to me, called EDEN’S OUTCASTS. Looking forward to it.

HISTORICAL INFLUENCES is flowing along well. I’m re-writing the chapters I’ve got into the new vision, and it all works much better, thank goodness. The characters are finally free to deal with the situations true to their characters, without having to worry about age-appropriate references, or a lack thereof. I also took some notes for POWER OF WORDS. Another character who will turn out to be a major obstacle for my main ensemble has been poking at me, wanting to join the fray and play. And I’m percolating the play, so that next week, I can sit down and start it.

I’ve decided which book I want to write as part of the year long intensive and pulled those notes out and put them aside.

I’m reading the applications for the intensive. In addition to writing ability and a sense of whether or not they can commit to something as intense as this course, I also have to pick people who I think will meld well together. We’re going to be in close emotional and electronic proximity for 365 days. While I’m responsible for setting the tone, it’s also important to get a mix of people who will both work and play well together. The dynamics are important.

I worked on workshop lectures and the material for Confidential Job #1. The stuff for Job #1 is well-done, but I’m not enjoying the content, so it’s a bit of a slog. But I have to get it finished and out the door tonight.

My back was bothering me badly, but only two more days until my appointment, so I’m just gritting my teeth and hanging in there. Can’t tell you how bored with it all I am. I am looking forward to being in less pain and having my range of motion back.

I’ve got a post up on Gratitude and Growth answering Lori’s question about garden design and my irritation with the lack of envelope information from two of the seed companies.

Thoroughly enjoyed last night’s episode of NCIS:LA. I watch it because I like the character of Deeks, played by Eric Christian Olsen, although I’ve had issues in some episodes with the material he’s been given. But last night, it was a great character development arc for him, showing the character’s humor, intelligence (Olsen is often cast to play dumb, so when he plays smart, he knocks it out of the park), and courage. The balance between the whole ensemble was good, and it was directed by Kate Woods, who is quickly becoming one of my favorite directors. Whenever there’s an episode of something I particularly like (and not just this show) and I look up the director, it tends to be Kate Woods.

I’m going to try to get some writing in before the water company shoots the day’s schedule all to hell.

Devon