Thursday, September 23, 2010

Full Moon

I've been feeling all bleh and blocky with my writing, and then I realized it was the autumn equinox.

A lot of people find the full moon to be the time of intense creativity, but for me, it signals a huge upheaval. Stuff just don't want to stick. I keep tossing the spaghetti of my thoughts to the wall and it doesn't stick.

I can't even do figure of speech right.

But then I came along this on my twitter feed, from my newly subscribed to twitter page, advice to writers:

Sometimes writer's block means you haven't yet figured out what to say, not a problem with how to say it. (via @susanorlean)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Time Changes

I am working on getting a lot of submissions out for the rest of the year due to starting up strong next month for me. It's funny to think a month long project starts the month before, but hey, that's how it works. I have lost count of how many packages I have put together at this point, but I think I got about 7 going out tomorrow, thanks to the fiance going to the post office. It's telling when the postal workers are starting to get to know me by first name.

One of the plays I am submitting now is called 'Time Changes'. I don't think I've talked much about this play on here. It's been in a 'finished' state for a while now, since before I started the blog. But I've been thinking about this play a lot recently because I am submitting it, and I'm realizing it's a problem play. The synopsis is as follows:

There is no 'Peace in the Valley' for DEBBIE WALKER, the organist and music director for New Faith Church. Her family is growing apart as her husband, HOLLIS, becomes more and more obsessed with saving his father’s--and now his--church, and as her 16 year old daughter, ELLIOT becomes more sullen, angry and rebellious as Hollis forbids her from seeing her boyfriend, TRAVIS, and his ‘devil’s music and ways’.

A difficult and painful choice from her past comes back to haunt her as she discovers she and HOLLIS have one week to turn things around for the church before it might be closed down.

When an opportunity to save New Faith rises out of the crisis of her secrets being revealed, DEBBIE must decide what to do. She thought that time would bury the past, but she's come to realize that time changes everything--hearts, memories and lives.

Funny enough, this play started out inspired by '1985' by A Simple Plan. Then my experiences growing up in a Fundamentalist Christian household where my love for hair metal was discouraged in varied and sundry ways by my mother as 'devil music' wrapped up in it, and then I had this play.

I think this play is going to have a hard time finding a world premiere because it's too religious possibly for mainstream theatres, but it contains too much swearing and bad stuff for churches. It straddled this line that I think is going to be a hard one for theatres and churches to deal with. Frankly, I don't think I wrote a 'Christian' play. I just wrote the play I was given. It has Christian themes to it, but I don't think it's mutually exclusive.

Someone remind me of this when I keep getting rejections.

The possibility of the 'it's too Christian/it's too secular' argument is one that has been bothering me for a while. It hasn't come up directly yet, and maybe I'm borrowing trouble and the reason the play hasn't been produced yet is because it actually sucks, but it's something to be thought of. I just continue to think about it, and wonder if this is really something I should be concerned with.

Any other playwrights out there have similar issues? Chris Leyva, I'm looking at you!

Sunday, September 12, 2010


After August, two things happen for me.

1. Things get a little stagnant. No reason why exactly, but everything seems to stall out. It's like summer is hanging on and then it's September and it should start getting cooler, because HELLO, the leaves are starting to fall in the backyard, but it's still almost 100 degrees. Southern weather is weird. And then I start getting a longing for wearing sweaters and skirts with tights and hot chocolate, but the weather isn't cooperating with my cravings, so I just have to wait. And waiting is hard.

2. Things start steamrolling toward the end of the year. The last four months of the year always take me by surprise with everything I have to do. This is true for most people but foremost in my mind are two things that usually are, submissions and National Playwriting Month, but this year, I have an additionally poorly scheduled trip home.

I am trying to get my submissions done for the rest of the year if I can. I have a lot of snail mail packages but some of them are email packages and I am going to try and get all of them taken care of in the next month. There will be more submissions, but after work, my Excel class, planning for NaPlWriMo and having a home life somewhat, all submissions for me sort of stop from the middle of October to the end of November.

I will be forums moderator for NaPlWriMo again this year and I am very excited about it and my own project for it. I haven't gotten with Elizabeth, the new person running NaPlWriMo, about what to do with the site yet, so I haven't posted my information about my project, but I can here, so here it is.

"30 Days of Wright"--in the spirit of Suzan-Lori Parks 365 Days/365 Plays, I am going to write a new scene or short play everything day for the 30 days of November. This is going to be an extra challenge considering that I will be on vacation for ten days of the month, but i am going to do what I can with it. I am going to do at least the page minimum for the month and everything will be brand new. I'm a Rebel Rhino, yeah, but I am hoping that this will work out to give me some new beginnings for myself to use in the future. I started a similar project a couple years ago, and it definitely gave me a lot of work with and think about.

So if I'm quiet the rest of the year, you now know why.