Thursday, December 22, 2011

Winding Down the Year

I think I might have fixed the terrible problem with A DEATH IN THE FAMILY. I have been working on this play for about 5 months now, and I am feeling like I am ready to be done with this round of editing. I know it can still be tighter and work better in a lot of sections, but I feel like it might ready to send out again. I already have a couple theatres and things lined up to send it to before the end of the year.

As I have been looking through the submission opportunities, I am noticing that I don't have much in the way of new work to send out--or even older work that is in better shape to send out. This year was a bit of a blur for me (new job, three huge trips, married, new house, new state) so perhaps 2012 will be my year for new works.

I hope that everyone has a wonderful Holiday of choice and I will see you all next year!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Deus Ex Machina needed

So, I have been working on A DEATH IN THE FAMILY for what feels like forever. If I am going to submit it to Last Frontier, I need to get the darn thing done SOON. So I have been working on it feverishly. Last night I realized that something very important in the script that a large portion of it hangs on doesn't make a damn bit of sense.

This resulted in a small freak out at Panera last night. Bill suggested NINJAS. I guess Ninjas are the new Deus Ex Machina.

I actually think that I might have fixed it. I will have to go back and look. So far, of everyone who has read it, NO ONE caught it. I don't know if anyone would catch it (they will now, now that they know what to look for). So I wonder how much trouble I should take to fix this. It bothers me, so I will fix it.

Ninjas are tempting.

But Ninjas are lazy writing.

So I will continue to work through things on the play. Being involved with the last show at the community theatre really helped me put some things in perspective with A DEATH IN THE FAMILY, specifically, when it comes to cutting things. The show was a good idea in theory, not so much in execution. The actors were great, but there were some parts of the play that just didn't work. There were some really overwritten and over thought jokes that would work better if they weren't so labored over. Sometimes the funniest stuff, at least for me, just comes out of no where and is spontaneous. So working on the light board for the show really assisted my writing, for which I am very glad.

Ninjas. I wish they weren't lazy writing and they actually made sense in the play!

Sunday, November 20, 2011


This is the first time I've done NaPlWriMo where I just have been SO disconnected. I'm not writing anything new this year. I tried, but all that is happening is me rewriting A DEATH IN THE FAMILY. It's not like I'm not working, it's just I'm so disconnected. It's strange. And I did beat myself up over it but now I guess I'm beyond it. I think it's because I'm working on something--just not anything new.

It's just strange. I don't know what happened.

Things are chugging along on A DEATH IN THE FAMILY. I am down to the family dynamics of the play, and this is the part that is going to take a while. So what do I do? Get roped into doing lights for a show locally. *shrug* I'm working on something, anything.

It's also different now being a home owner. There's stuff to do EVERY DAY. and EVERY WEEKEND. Like, I am sick with a sinus infection this weekend, so I am getting behind on not just my writing but my housework as well. Again, I'm working on it.

Winter is getting here too--we've already had our first snowfall (it was pretty and didn't last the day) and the temp is starting to drop into the 20s at night. Whooo! Welcome back to the midwest. :)

Thursday, October 27, 2011


Sometimes, you get breakthroughs with plays that are so freaking OBVIOUS you just DON'T understand how you didn't see if before. I won't go into the details, but I made some connections the other night, and suddenly things started making more sense.

It's funny, because of the two plays I had read this summer, A DEATH IN THE FAMILY is the one I didn't think I would be trying to complete a better draft of. TIME CHANGES is still sitting in a pile somewhere, but A DEATH IN THE FAMILY has already gone through one new draft, and an even NEWER draft is brewing currently (*knock wood*). I need to get this draft finished in the next four days, and somehow get together my play for National Playwriting Month AND learn to write a murder mystery for dinner theatre.

Ahhhh, this all makes me so happy!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Waiting on November

There's nine days before National Playwriting Month ( begins, and just like every year, I have about ten plays I want to write all at the same time. Why this can't happen another time of the year, I don't know, but here we are, knee-deep in ideas, and at least the same amount of plays I am trying to rewrite.

I would like to be at Last Frontier again next year, and I am having trouble figuring out what to work on for that. The play I am going to work on (at this moment anyway) for NaPlWriMo is AUGUSTEND, but I might actually construct a play based on a crazy 48 hour period that happened to me last weekend. Good God, was that last weekend? It seems like a lifetime ago.

At any rate, I am once again finding myself changing my mind. I don't know exactly what to write starting 9 days from now, but I am sure I will come up with something at some point. I might actually work on 'Highway to Hades' or 'Mine' and send that for Last Frontier. I just hope that if I go, the Alaska lovelies I met there will be able to return, or it will be a sad time (well, maybe not sad, just not as happy!). I was thinking about Alaska today when I was thinking about how to find a writer's group locally or create my own. I miss having a group like that, and I hope I can find one locally sometime soon.

So the edits on A DEATH IN THE FAMILY are getting a bit out of control. I keep getting all these wild ideas that would require the play to be longer, and the ideas are shiny and fun, but I don't know if they have any place in this play. I don't think longer is bad, but I don't think it should be longer just because I'm amused. Hell, it's already longer than it probably needs to be because I am amused. There was one idea that unites the family in the play in a very good way, that I think would work really well if i could pull it off--and I think I will attempt that. Tomorrow though. My brain is sundowning right now and watching the third season of BREAKING BAD is NOT helping.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Getting ready for November

Things are settling down around these parts--fall is here, and I am so excited to be in a real Midwestern fall. It's exciting to go out for a walk and have GINORMOUS piles of beautiful leaves to crunch around in. I don't recall having that same experience in Arkansas the last four years--mainly because you didn't walk anywhere in that less than pedestrian friendly town I lived in--so I am delighted to be able to experience fall for real. Now, remind me I said that when winter hits and I am whining because I don't have my winter legs anymore!

The real excitement for me is that November is almost here and that means National Playwriting Month is almost here! I am sure that most of you know what this critter is about--I've been doing it for the last four years and moderating for the last three--but in case you are stumbling upon this because you found my site through the National Playwriting Month website--here's the nutshell version of this whole shindig.

Similar in fashion to National Novel Writing Month, NaPlWriMo consists of writing a new play from November 1, at 12:01 a.m. to November 30, 12:59 p.m. (in your time zone). The goal is at least 75 pages in that time. It is a fun, crazy time and I look forward to doing it again this year.  I have been getting ready by making the forums for this year on the site, putting out some adverts on different websites and getting together my quotes for my countdowns and my daily updates. It's funny, every year I think I will not be able to find new quotes--and there are some fun stand bys I always use because they express truths about the writing life that I have yet to find more eloquently expressed--but somehow I always manage to find some new material. I guess it's like ideas--I am always afraid I might not find a new one and then they keep coming. I love that.

Besides NaPlWriMo, I've made some massive changes to A DEATH IN THE FAMILY. The feedback I got from Reston has helped immensely. I had cut about 5 pages from the play so far, and I am sure I will get that bad boy under 100 pages before too long. I have a lot of character work to do and plot work to do and all that good stuff, but things are definitely coming together.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

May the Farce be With Me

After my reading at in Reston, VA, I had a lot of good things to think about for A DEATH IN THE FAMILY. I am working on learning more about farce and how to recraft this play as a farce.

For someone with a theatre degree, I know very little about theatre. I only within the first year of beginning my degree actually started reading plays and information about theatre every day--and that was in 2002. Life has certainly gotten away from me, so that steady stream of theatre and plays kind of slowed down. And I have to often start over again.

I used to feel embarrassed about this--but in some ways, it's good to start at the beginning every time you have to start working on a play or a piece of art. I mean, think about it this way--every time you start writing, you don't have ANYTHING to go on. You are starting from scratch. You are beginning again. Sure, a background helps to give you confidence--confidence can help, especially if you are facing a blank page that doesn't seem to want to give way to your thoughts. But really, you are starting over again--learning to write THIS work.

So starting the research from scratch is not a bad thing. It's a refresher and a new introduction to work you already knew.

So that's where I am right now with A DEATH IN THE FAMILY. I am waiting to hear back if the play will be brought back to Reston for a second round of readings next year. I sure hope it is--I would love to see where the farce takes it.

Friday, August 19, 2011

The summer of insanity is over. I have been to Alaska and back, I have been to a river and been married, I have been to D.C. and back. We moved to Iowa and I have a new job with hours that are more humane, and now I am working toward getting involved in theatre locally, but my writing has stalled out.

It's always a mystery when things like this happen. I mean, I have some ideas of why my writing is not going, but they are personal and it's not needed to go into them on the blog (I am still married, and things are fine, so no worries on that front!).

So, let's talk about local theatre. is the home of Cedar Falls Community Theatre. I am hoping I am going to be doing costuming work with them. They do pretty traditional theatre fare (currently they are about to post their casting for ARSENIC AND OLD LACE). The group seems very nice so far, so we will see how things pan out. It will be really nice to be working in a theatre again--I've really missed it. is the home of University of Northern Iowa's theatre department's productions. From the 'about' page:
Currently, Strayer-Wood Theatre is thrilled to announce “Renewal: Emerging Beyond Struggles.”  In our next two seasons, we’re committed to producing theatre that addresses political issues. Beyond hatred and war, beyond government control, beyond tyranny… we’ll explore the human connections that allow us to discover the strength of individuals, relationships, and communities.   How can the arts inspire conversation on our community’s most pressing political issues?  Connect with us. See live theatre. Let’s find out.
Sounds good to me! They are doing MAD CITY by Caryl Churchill, which thrills me to no end, and in the spring, they are going to be doing BAT BOY: THE MUSICAL, which makes me incredibly happy. All the shows look really great and I am very excited to see all of them. Again, I am hoping to work in costumes and perhaps ushering--whatever is going to get me back into the theatre.

I have some starts in mind about doing a playwriting group at UNI--something that I might look more into next year--I don't know what they have going on there, so I want to hang around a bit before I jump straight in.

Actually, a big part of why I am having trouble writing could be because I am having trouble finding a place to write. Usually, Panera is my go to place. I would go there in the morning, having their version of a bagel, drink tons of coffee and write for like 3 hours. Sometimes I would go after work if I could as well. There is a Panera here, and really, there's nothing wrong with it, but it's not the place I should be writing. It doesn't have the right vibe--Cedar Falls doesn't have a ton of food options and I think Panera is the go to place. And it's small--very small--and the staff feels overwhelmed. I have given it several tries--but i give. I am going to give some other local places some love--Cup of Joe and The Lampost are on my list for next week, and a trip to the public library is on the list as well. I just need a writing home away from home--I think that might make the difference.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

And I have Returned to the land of normal sun

It is going to take me some time to really tease out what going to the Last Frontier Theatre Conference has meant for me personally and professionally. I have made some AMAZING new friends, laughed more than I thought possible, saw more amazing plays than I ever thought I could in one week, had a wonderful reading with generous amazing actors and commentary from the panel and attendees. Really, I feel slightly unworthy by this--but at the same time I am SO GRATEFUL for this chance. What a great way to exit my day job and enter into my two months of insanity.

And on top of that, Alaska is probably the most beautiful place I have ever been. Mountains and ocean and glaciers and bears that wouldn't appear and hug any of us, and such clean fresh air, and holy crap, the water is really that blue!

So, now I have new friends I hope I can work with in the future and we all want to meet in Valdez again next year--I hope I can.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Today, I leave for Alaska and the Last Frontier Theatre Conference. I will be back in a week or so, the 19th. I hope I have lots of tales to tell on my adventures north and to my first theatre conference!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Few and Far Between

I figured that I should make another post this month. It's been a long month of things coming together in my other life. We bought a house, are working on moving back to Iowa (packing FOREVER!) and getting me ready to go to Alaska for the Last Frontier Theatre Conference and getting our wedding together and then going to another reading in Reston, VA, in July (July 30 to be exact).

Needless to say, there hasn't been much time for writing, let along blog updating.

It's been a strange couple days. I had a good friend from way back in the day pass away from a traumatic brain injury yesterday. It was coming, we all knew it, and his amazingly strong wife, Sarah, chronicled it all in her blog here, from when he suffered the brain injury way back in November to his series of strokes that eventually led him to hospice and yesterday. There are no words in any language that can come close to describing what Sarah has gone through, but she's done a damn good job on her blog relating the situation. If I could be half the wife she is/was and convey half of the emotion she does/did, then I would be satisfied. Curtis was a very special person and my heart goes out to them, especially his two year old, Clara.

So there was that. That was something, let me tell you.

Then I started working on a new project. I don't yet want to reveal what it is--mostly because I don't know WHAT it is yet. I do know it involves a LOT of living celebrities, and part of me is worried about writing these people as characters in the play. What if I get sued? I am trying to just relax about it, and realize that the celebrities are in the main characters fantasy world, so hopefully if they say and do things they wouldn't do in real life, I won't get my butt sued.

And that's the last time I am going to officially worry about that until I get a draft of the play done (secretly I will worry, but you know...worrywart!).

What else? I have pulled the plug on submitting theatre related items until I get moved. I just can't do it all anymore, so I am going to take a small break and focus on what I am working on and what I already have out there. My writing time is few and far between, so I have to use my time carefully.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Hollins Playwright's lab posted this on facebook and I am going to be printing out each of the black and white pictures and will put it in my new office when I get to Iowa. Great things for artists of all stripes.

It is looking like the ABC/Disney Writing Fellowship was a go this morning, but after reading the rules more specifically, it turns out I have to have two letters of recommendation from industry professionals.

D'oh, stupid sexy Flanders.

I am a very lucky writer, I have many friends who can help me, but I am not sure if it will happen this time. So we will see.

Going back to the above link, there's this image:

That's my mantra for this, if I am able to attempt it. I just need to get the letters and then be confident!

It's amazing how that's better said than done.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Packing is a Good Thing

With a move back to Iowa on the Horizon, I've been doing a LOT of packing recently. And organizing. It's been quite a job for a person with pack-ratty tendencies, and if there's anything I've learned from watching 'Hoarders', other than I want to clean the whole house every time I watch it, is that you can't get rid of a bunch of junk that took you a long time to accumulate over a period of time. Once you get overwhelmed, you have to stop.

It's a lot like rewriting in a lot of ways. Your work accumulates all this excess junk and you have to dejunk it. Sometimes it's hard because you come across stuff from college and birthday cards and a great monologue that just don't really belong anymore. And you have to pick and choose what stays and what goes. Sometimes all the cards will go in the recycling bin (literally) and the monologue will too (figuratively). But the stuff from college begins to get collected into a box to keep--sometimes you have to keep it to weed it out later. And you have to know when to stop and when to go again.

Aside from that, it made me update and prune my submissions book. I have elaborate ways of doing everything--making a submissions book is not exempt. I keep all the submissions I am going to make or have made, in a program called Debrief, and then I keep a running list in Excel of what I have already in my physical notebook and Debrief, and then there's the physical notebook of loose leaf pages with check lists for each theatre. It has taken a LONG time to get it together, and I went through all the months so far but stopped at November--there were a lot of theatres that still had their information up from last year, with a promise of new information in coming months. My primary concern is that I get everything from now until the end of August done as much as I can before June.

Yep, I'm a bit crazy, but that's me.

Writing is coming along...strangely. I have officially recycled (literally) the second draft of 'Mine' and printed out the 3rd draft, which is residing in my writing bag, still in backwards order, with all my notes from the second draft. There's still a lot to do, and I frequently think I want to work on it (and I do think about it frequently) but I don't work on it. No reason--just not ready I think.

On the upcoming workshops front--all my stuff is in for Valdez except my final edits. I just need to take a day, get my computer, go to Panera, and work until I'm done. Then email it back to Dawson. I got the contract for Reston and need to mail that back by the end of the week.

So things are coming along...part of me is sad to leave Arkansas. I love the weather here, and I know that I am going to be cursing everything and anything starting about November, but I am going to be so happy to be back to my family and the land of my heart--and to be married!

Enough personal stuff--time to write, or at least think about 'Mine'.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Loving my Play to Death

'Mine' is coming along slowly but surely. I am mostly okay with that. I really love this play, so I am enjoying working on it. I have two characters whose stories I must redo (they don't really work and/or don't really have a story at all) and at least one character who doesn't really have a change happen to her by the end, but for the most part right now I am focusing on the transition from Spanish to Classical Latin and working on the backstory to the world that this play is in. There's a lot going on in the play, and I am hoping it's not too much. And I am still thinking of adding in a chorus at some point. Not in this draft, but maybe eventually.

I am trying to not love this play to death. I am concerned about my objectivity regarding the play. I am editing along just fine, cutting and burning as I go along, so maybe I don't need to be that concerned about it, but I think it's a good idea to think about it at least, and keep it in the back of my mind to keep me on track with this play.

This year is going to be a strange one. Moving, getting married, going to see two of my plays get put up as readings, getting a new doesn't leave a lot of time to submit, but I am trying to get my submission guide in shape and submit to as many as I can because that's the only way I am going to keep going in the business for now.

I am wondering if I should still be shopping the two scripts around to places at this point. I mean, I am assuming there are going to be massive re-writes in both of these plays' futures, and I am really looking forward to making both plays even better, and I could always submit again later with the new drafts, but I don't know if there is protocol to this sort of thing. This is just such new territory for me that I don't know what I am doing!

For now, I will work on 'Mine' and my 'Wizards of Waverly Place' script for the Disney/ABC Fellowship and see what happens.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What a Headache...

...that I had on Sunday. Vomity migraine = calling in sick to day job. That stunk, but when you can't see straight, it's hard to work in a kitchen.

I think that this migraine and it's aftershocks were probably brought on by a combination of stress and allergies. The allergies are easier to control than the stress, with drugs and all.

I think I need to learn to say no.

I have so much going on in my personal and theatre professional life that adding anything else to it at this point might just kill me. I dropped Script Frenzy before it even started and I actually bailed on National PlayREwriting Month. I feel terrible, especially about NaPlREWriMo, but it was a necessary evil. As I plan my move, my two theatre related trips, my wedding and still write and submit, all while working as much as I can, I need to focus my energies on these things. I don't think there's anything left for anything else.

So I guess in some ways this is a general apology to everyone and no one. I don't like to shirk my responsibilities, but I have some things I need to really focus on right now.

Now that I got that personal confession out of the way, let's talk about writing.

I have been continuing to edit 'Mine'. I think I said it before, but I really love this play. I don't often say that about my own work, but I am happy with the gist of the play so far. It needs a lot of work, and there's a few characters that need fleshing out, but generally I am happy with it. Does that mean I can be objective? I sure hope so because I was slashing and burning parts of the play yesterday while doing character work. I do feel, however, that it might be time for me to put the play aside soon to let it sit until Alaska.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

When it Rains...

This summer is going to be off the hook crazy.

Let's get the personal stuff out of the way first--I am moving back to Iowa in July. My Future Husband got a job in Cedar Falls, and away we go! We are also going to be getting married in July. It is going to be a civil ceremony in a beautiful site by the Rock River in Moline, Illinois, where my father and I used to go and spend time together. We are planning on just having family there and a few close friends. This has to happen before July 30.

Why you may ask? We are planning on spending a few days in D.C. because I have a reading of 'A Death in the Family' at the theatre nearby, on July 30. More details to follow on that when I get them.

So let's see what we got going on now....

Alaska in June, move, get married in July, reading also in July, and sometime I will have to find a day job and start my new life in Iowa.

Honestly, I couldn't be happier about this. The only exception is that the play that was supposed to be in a reading in April has been postponed. I am still having issues with it. The problem is not that I don't care--it's that I have a character who is little more than a place holder for another character who should be in the play and I cannot for the life of me figure out who that character is holding a place for. It's annoying and I can't get this guy to reveal ANYTHING. What a pain...

But things are GREAT otherwise. I am working on more submissions and revisions because it's important that I ride in on this momentum.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Becoming a Night Owl to Give a Hoot

It's 4:30 in the morning, and I don't have to be to work until 6:30 and I've been up for an hour.

There's too many exciting things going on in my life to be sleeping through it!

Some of them I can't talk about (yet). But I think I can talk about this one:

If you scroll down, you will find me all the way near the bottom, with my state erroneously put as Arizona (note to self--email them regarding that), but I am completely planning on being in Alaska for a week in June! Even more exciting is that I actually don't have to struggle with work because it just so happens that the week was free. June is usually a hard month to get time off, but I guess it was meant to be.

So that is wonderful. I am very excited to to the Last Frontier Conference and to visit Alaska. I have never been there, so this will be quite the experience.

AND, finally, a year and a half later, something good has happened with my work, without my direct doing (other than sending a play to them!). 'Time Changes' is probably my most polished of my unpublished, unproduced work, so this is great. I am really looking forward to this!

And, after my last post, and a pep talk from my dramaturg buddy, Robert, I might have had a breakthrough with 'Saving Ryan's Pumpkins'. I wasn't sure I was ever going to care about the play, but the characters are developing more quickly now--thank the gods too, because April is coming right up here!

And in the next couple weeks, I have another announcement as well. This is a personal one, rather than a playwriting one, but I know it will change my writing (again) for the better!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Giving a Hoot

So the good news is, I have a reading in April.

The bad news is, I could give a rat's about the play itself.

I tried to choose another play, but I couldn't find one that fit the parameters. So I am stuck with the one I think is a yawn-fest and that I don't care about.

I don't know how I got to this point with this play. I started out thinking it was pretty great, but I just can't stand it now. I suppose this happens to writers at some point, but this has never happened to me. I have never written a play that I didn't care about on some level.

Luckily, I have a couple weeks where I can revise it, and get moving on it. But it's hard to motivate myself with it. Right now, I think it's the adults in the play that I am having a hard time with. The kids--yah, I think I got them figured out. The adults are a snorefest and I can't see how anyone will care.

And I don't want to bore my audience. This would be bad. I kind of feel like this is going to be the first reading that a lot of people who attend will go to, and I don't want them to think that all readings are this terrible. I mean, if I can't care about the play, how can I expect the audience to?

I better get back to work on this thing--one way or another, I have a reading--I need to make it count.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I want to be the living example of this, on and off stage

Risk more than others think is safe. Care more than others think is wise. Dream more than others think is practical. Expect more than others think is possible. "
~ Cadet Maxim

Monday, February 14, 2011

Holding Pattern

Being in a holding pattern, waiting to find out where we are going to end up in six months, is a bit of an emotion and energy suck. This year, I am going to do it differently.

Thankfully, I have a lot of projects and things to do, so I am going to keep busy and try to not think about things.

I have done some work with National PlayREwriting month. I think that we are going to be doing it a lot more loosely than we do November's run. I am going to be editing a play for a reading I have in April over the next couple days I have off, and I am going to take pictures and document my rewriting process. It's very Adrian Monk-like, so I think it would be funny to take pictures and describe it.

Other than that, I am not sure what I am going to do. Perhaps I need to find more quotes and suggestions about rewriting, but I am not sure. I've never done this before, and while I don't want to do it wrong, I don't see how I can, because I haven't done it before! I just want to give the NaPlWriMo people a place to come and talk about the process and get some rewriting done. And I have been itching to work on 'Mine' so this is good.

As far as my reading goes at the library, I have decided to change the play we were going to do and then I changed back. I don't know why, but I am having a hard time finding myself caring about 'Smashing Ryan's Pumpkins'. I think it's a cute play, but I don't know. I'm ambivalent about it. I don't think that's a good place to be, but I think rewriting it and doing a reading of it will confirm if I should continue with it or just ditch it for now. I wish I could do 'A Death in the Family'. I want to see that play up and on its feet so badly. But I will have to wait.

And then there's Script Frenzy. I am very excited to work on 'Human Girl'. After we visited the abandoned elementary school in Transylvania, LA, on the way to NOLA, I felt as though I finally found the setting for the play. I hope that it comes out this time. It's been YEARS since I started work on this play and I think that devoting a month of work to it might just coax it out of its shell.

And I think I have my idea for my 'Wizards of Waverly Place' script. Funny enough, I am going to be scrapping almost all of 'Szyzgy' in order to have it work out. That's fine--I think that it will work well for 'Wizards' if I change it for them. So that's good. Things aren't due until June I don't think, so we will see. I am creating a show bible and taking notes on things I notice instead of writing down the plot and such. It helps free me and watch the show for what I need to watch it for: understanding the characters and their motivations and getting their vocal patterns down.

Lots of work to do and always in the background is this holding pattern. I am surprised that I am keeping as busy as I have been--last year I was not nearly as productive. So we will see.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Some Much to Do, So Little Time

January was filled with not a lot of work for me to do. I was doing a lot of crocheting, cleaning and dreaming of new jobs for my fiance (not creating them for him--ha! I wish!--but thinking of ones that he's interviewing for--could use some good karma in our direction!). But February. Oh, February, my old short friend, you always sneak up on me and the next thing I know, I have a million things to do!

Like what?

  • ABC/Disney Fellowship--still watching Wizards of Waverly Place and doing some reading from their suggested reading list. Luckily, I have a couple of the books, and a sweet Groupon hook-up, my B&N memberships and coupon assisted me in scoring Story for a mere $13 new. Awesome. Also, I don't think I need to have the script ready until June, so I got some time.
  • A reading. Of what, I'm not sure. It's going to be at the Faulkner County Library in April for National Library Week, but the play I originally wanted to do was too long for the presentation. So I need to either choose a different play or do selections from the play. Gotta figure that out soon.
  • Another library thing in April--doing write-ins for Script Frenzy. I was thinking that maybe doing a write-in once a week for any kind of writer who wants to come would be good. This will probably be Wednesdays in April. Again, gotta figure that out soon.
  • April = Script Frenzy = Human Girl.
  • March = National Play REWriting Month. I have to set up the forums and get that all ready. I'm really excited to dig back into 'Mine' and get it all straightened up. I got it printed out right now, and it's sitting on the shelf behind me, taunting me.
As usual, I ended up with some kind of blockage right here at the beginning of the year. Some of it is personal life upheaval and being in a holding pattern, but some of it is also just the beginning of the year. It seems to happen ever year--I just need to crochet and update my submissions notebook and do some reading of other stuff. I made it through, although during it, it seems like I might never write again and that I have to jump off a building.

Yeah, well, I'm still here.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Brain Reset

A lot of really good things happened yesterday after I got that rejection for Syzygy. Some of them I can't talk about right at the moment, mostly because they aren't writing related, but I just had to say, the differences in the first post of this year, and the last post of last year is startling.

I watched two episodes of The Wizards of Waverly Place yesterday, the first two episodes of season 1. Of course, season 1 is always going to have that shiny new show smell and be a little tentative. I think I enjoyed the second episode better--the characters felt more relaxed and natural. I have completely fallen in love with the parents on the show and can see a real chemistry with them and they have some really fun quirks that I enjoyed. The older brother feels more developed and the younger brother seems there for comic relief. The daughter could be more developed, but I think that will come with time. I could definitely see how I could make Syzygy work as a spec script.

The thing is, part of me feels insulted that THIS is what my writing might come down to. I guess in a way it feels like being a great actress stuck on a frakking soap opera. But this is no reason to end a career.

So the Disney shows are squeaky clean, and I am good with that. I actually like this show because it's a bit more daring than Disney might do. I think Harry Potter carries the wonderful blame for that, although Disney does have a witch reputation (Bedknobs and Broomsticks being one of my favorite movies of all time, and now I want to go watch it!). I like the fact that while the characters, at least this early in the show, seem very 2D, the girls are not portrayed as sex objects, and while they are stereotypical, I think it's a good show for the tween set. There's plenty of things to laugh at and I think that while I mostly write serious stuff, I think I could fit myself in with this show well.

It's just funny because I NEVER would have thought in a million years that I would be writing these sentences, let alone adding The Wizards of Waverly Place and Hannah Montana to my Netflix queue. But I could totally get behind writing on a show like this.

I am just so thankful that someone got a fire lit under my butt. Things were looking frakking dire there for a moment.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Three Rejections and Two Responses

So far this year, I have been rejected from three theatres. The last one was this morning, and at first, I was bummed. I went in the living room and told the fiance, and I said also that I was getting to the point where I didn't want to look at my email anymore because of the rejections. Then I looked at the email, and realized this one was different.

I got not one, but two responses from readers of the plays for the competition.

This is a rare thing, I have heard, and, in my experience, this is the first time I have gotten this kind of in depth analysis of something I have written.

Both responses didn't tell me anything I didn't already know. This play is desperate for character development and there's a lot of stereotyping, and not always in a good way. Then I was told several things I wasn't aware of.  

I really struggled with the dialogue and at the end found it too Disney for my taste. I think that this play would make a perfect episode of the Wizards of Waverly Place.

The same responder also suggested I get a copyright on the play and send it to The Wizards of Waverly Place.

I might just do that.

Here's the funny part--I've never watched any of those Disney tween shows, or at least that's what I am assuming this Wizards of Waverly Place is. Crazy. Part of me feels like I should  be insulted, but these shows are popular for a reason. I never expected such in depth analysis from a rejection.

It does give me hope that I might be able to get my writing out there yet. It might just be in a different way.