Thurs. April 26, 2012: Working through a mini Dark Night of the Soul

Thursday, April 26, 2012
Waxing Moon
Saturn Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Sunny and cool


Yesterday just sucked. No two ways about it. Too many unpleasant things to be dealt with, all at once. By dinnertime, I just wanted to throw in the towel on just about everything and stay in bed for the next few weeks.

Not an option.

It was heartening to get into the workshops and see the leaps that some of my students have made in their work. There’s some outstanding stuff going on, and that brightened my mood enormously. I WANT them to succeed and achieve their writing dreams. They need to understand there’s no magic “Easy” button, that it takes work, commitment, persistence (because, really, if you can’t commit to a class of a week, a month, et al, how do you expect to commit to a career?). And if you quit every time it’s hard — it’s only going to get harder. When you triumph over a “hard” assignment, it’s that much more satisfying. And getting into the mindset of finishing what you start does more, in the long run, than anything other than writing steadily. Finish what you start until the end. See it through. It still might not sell. But the act of finishing gives you momentum into the next project. If you keep starting things and not finishing them, you sabotage yourself. You drain your energy on “maybes” instead of “dones.”

I still can’t completely shake this whatever-it-is. Yesterday, it was stomach bug and migraine. Today, my throat’s scratchy again. Time to get down to the stillroom and mix up some vile-tasting herbal concoction that’s going to blast it out.

My mom’s next surgery is today. She has a follow-up tomorrow, and the next few days are crazy busy.

I had a nightmare for the first time in months, too — set back in the old apartment.

But the sun is shining and the yard looks lovely, so I’m going to spend some time outside, too (although it’s kind of cold).

Devon

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Monday, June 14, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Cloudy and humid

Pretty decent weekend, actually. Elsa made solid progress, both Saturday and Sunday. I’m trying to ease up on some of the medications as she steadies. I think part of the reason she backslid was she was being overmedicated. As we clear up certain symptoms (and, hopefully, the causes), I’m changing dosages, stopping cycles, and adding different things to fight the other problems. Eventually, I want her symptom-free, so then we can rebuild her immune system and she won’t get sick again. The antibiotics really caused serious damage to her system. Imagine what it’s doing to humans, all this over=prescribing of antibiotics, if this is what happens to cats! I had a vet in the city who said you could predict human illness by watching which illnesses grew prevalent among the companion animal population.

Saturday sucked as far as being a writing day, but I soldiered on. I watched the US-England World Cup Soccer game on Saturday afternoon, which I thought was kind of “eh” although I think our goalie, Tim Howard, is pretty awesome. I still find ice hockey more exciting. I’m not well enough versed on it all to write intelligently about it, so maybe in four years, if the US gets into it again, I’ll be positioned so to do. This time, I’m just watching to watch. Saturday night, there was nothing on TV and my hip was giving me a lot of trouble, so I did two hours of yoga and a good, long meditation.

Sunday, I spent some time at the farmer’s market, getting in good stuff, and had a much better writing day. The radishes, the cilantro, the strawberries — heaven!

I read a book by someone who’s work I’ve read for more than twenty years. I used to love her writing and her quirky, off-the-wall characters, but hadn’t read anything of hers in a long time. The writing’s still often beautiful, but the characters aren’t as interesting. And, she tried to write a politically astute book without doing the research and getting the solid facts on which to base it, so it didn’t work. If you’re going to write that kind of book, you need to know the facts inside out, whether the point of view condones or refutes those facts. But if there aren’t any facts on which to build it, you just look lazy and ignorant, and that’s how it came across. I was very disappointed, and expected more from her — certainly more intelligence. The characters don’t have to come across as rocket scientists, but the author shouldn’t come across as not very bright. When you want to put across your point of view, you have to have a delicate touch, not ram it down your readers’ throats. When you’re trying to explore an opposing point of view, you have to be even more thorough in research and fact-checking than when it’s a viewpoint with which you’re familiar and support.

Decent writing day yesterday — finished Chapter 14 of POWER OF WORDS. it’s weak, but at least there’s something there to work on.
Elsa was well enough so I could attend a Tony Awards party last night. For the most part, i thought it was well done, although there were sound problems in the first section that were simply unacceptable. The mix was bad, the wrong mics were on and off — either the sound guy really screwed up OR (and this is a strong possibility) the PSM was calling cues wrong, and it was the sound guy who wound looking like the jerk. I was happy to see that, in one of the categories, I had worked with four of the five nominees. I also got to see friends of mine perform a number from a show I hope to see in the coming weeks. I vehemently disagreed with some of the choice of winners, but it’s an exciting night and I’m not going to publicly trash anyone in my industry here, no matter what I think, especially not on a night that’s filled with so much joy. And, every year, the Tony Awards reminds me how proud I am of the work we do on Broadway, and how grateful I am for the years I’ve spent there. And I can say I’m thrilled for all the awards won by RED — it’s a fantastic play.

Home late, up early, out for a run a little after five. It was so humid I had a tough time. Oh, well, at least I was out and moving. Now, it’s back to the page. I want to start Chapter 15 of POWER OF WORDS, finish an article, and work on transforming Act I of BEHIND THE MAN from interactive to proscenium. I also need to figure out where to put the act break. As an interactive piece, it’s a three act. For proscenium production, it needs to be a two act. Which means I have to create a cliffhanger somewhere in what is currently the middle of the second act.

Back to the page.

Devon

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