Saturday, June 28, 2014

Due Dates and Wandering around in Research

As the due date for both the book I am ploughing through from the library and my twins rapidly approach, I am trying to stay on course with research for my play. The holocaust is not exactly the best reading for an expectant mother, but considering that the play I am working with deals with children on a very specific level, maybe this the best time to do this reading and this work.

Regardless of why I am here, I am here, and I am getting down to the last two chapters of Staging theHolocaust: The Shoah in Drama and Performance. This book has been a godsend. I have learned about plays and writers I never knew existed, one at least of which I actually have in a Holocaust Theatre anthology I picked up somewhere along the way.

Here's the problem (which is a nice problem to have, actually): I cannot stop finding plays and writers to read through this book, all of which I want to see performed (or just simply direct myself). This is a huge undertaking, and there's a nagging voice in the back of my head saying, hey! You're supposed to be writing your own play about the Holocaust, not dredging up old plays and directing them.

But so many of these plays are just so fascinating. Loads of them were written directly by survivors, giving them an extra something that would just be amazing to see staged. But then I think about how little experience I have directing. But then I think of how much experience I have had directing and how much Greg has encouraged me to take that leap into the directing seat. Perhaps right before having twins and taking a sabbatical from local theatre is not the best time to discover these plays, but maybe it might be the best time ever.

So I am still working on the play, I just might be taking a longer detour to get there than I thought.

Saturday, June 14, 2014

You Can't Hurry Love

Or the Muse. But continuing to work your way through back story and research will certainly help.

I am reading a wonderful scholarly text, STAGING THE HOLOCAUST: THE SHOAH IN DRAMA AND PERFORMANCE, edited by Claude Schumacher, and there's a particular article in it that is proving extra helpful.

Freddie Rokem wrote the third article in the book, called 'On the Fantastic in Holocaust Performances' and it's a fascinating examination of Holocaust plays I was not familiar with, including GHETTO by Joshua Sobol. This particular play has a lot of very interesting elements and when I was looking to see if I could find the text somewhere online, I discovered I already have it in a compilation.

Once again, how can I look this gift horse in the mouth?

It's clear I should be working on this play right now. And with 6-9 weeks of pregnancy left, it's almost foolish to work on this sort of thing. But what can I do? It's here and calling for me.

Lots of good thinking going on for me these days--hopefully something good will come of this for my writing.

Monday, May 26, 2014

A Brand New Me

I had a realization that stuck with me from a couple weeks ago--what if my problem with writing isn't so much that I can't write like I used to but that I need to try and write in a different way?

Now, this realization seems so obvious, so elementary, that I can't believe I didn't realize it before. Right, I'm not writing like I used to. I am not the same writer I was when I was on a different drug. I am new kind of writer--so much so that I feel like I need to start over again.

Toss out all feelings of inadequacy--I have nothing I can compare this new experience to.

Stop feeling like a failure because I am so far behind my peers.

Of course, those things are easier said than done, and when it comes to not writing, I just sort of lock up and lock down.

When I don't write, I feel like I am just treading water, like I am just wasting my time. Why shouldn't I be able to write? I feel like a failure--after having such a bright beginning, and such a dedication to making that bright beginning continue to burn. I burnt out.

And now things are changing--in 12 weeks, give or take, I will be the mother of twins, and I will be taking time off local theatre and won't be out there as much. I will just need to keep myself on the radar--hopefully I can do that much.

So why is it I just can't adjust to being a new person with new responsibilities and new priorities? It's honestly because I have allowed my depression to get a good root hold on my mind and my heart and that I have allowed it to take me down.

Clearly, I need to work on that.

This morning, I went to the grocery store and I caught a bit of Charity Nebbe on TALK OF IOWA in IPR talking to Sue Kidd Monk, the author of THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES and a new book, which I cannot remember the name, which has been chosen to be an Oprah book club book. And she talked about how she would not write for five years. And how she was not writing now because she's promoting the book. And the thing that struck me about the interview was how calm and collected she sounded about it. I hadn't written for five years--just like that. No qualifiers about how she sucked, or felt defeated or terrible about things. I am sure she might have felt that way--but the calm of her voice and demeanor talking about that made me realize that if it can happen to her, it can happen to me, and I can come out on the other side in one piece.

So I am going to continue to struggle against my writing--THE KING OF CHILDREN has popped back up and so has a new project, BEST FRIENDS. We will see where it leads me and how I do with it.

This is my brand new me, and I am not going to let depression define me anymore. I am ready to try, really try, and my first step is to write, and my second step is to write in this blog more often. No matter how whiny and petty it sounds, the only way to diffuse the power that depression has over me is to talk about it.

Saturday, January 25, 2014


It's been an extremely long time since I've updated. Part of it is writer's block, depression and pregnancy.  Part of it is that my laptop died a bit.

It's been a rough few months, and I am taking a fallow time. This year is going to be personally amazing, and will be good for my writing eventually.