Sunday, December 27, 2009

Play Pictures (Finally)

Scenes from Still Life, April 2009. Ron Herman and Nichole Proffitt. Pictures by Chris Thomerson.

I'm thinking about the Ten Minute Playfest, which will most likely take place in April 2010. Last year's work was magical. The actors brought so much to the parts.

For next year (this year...whatever...) I'm contemplating whether or not I want to do comedy or tragedy. I have a play in mind for both. The comedy is harder, but the tragedy is closer to my heart.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Starting with an image that comes together to words is how I begin. The beginning is always the hardest part. How do I start? Where do I start? Then, the pieces start coming together, and the images come into focus. The sharpness, the narrowing down is like looking through a telescope. Then, I find my way through the colors, shapes, and sizes of possibility.

This is how it begins.

There once was a time when I would need to know exactly how each word was going to fit in. I had to know the whole story first. Then, I found that I didn't need to know everything. Instead, I needed to have an outline of sorts, an image. It's kind of like a ghost shifting, but still there is a form somehow, not solid but existing.

I can move forward with this ghost before me.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sense of Space

I've been thinking about setting this week. It's kind of like deciding where to live. Can you handle the weather? Are the schools good? Is it affordable? (Because, alas, the beach house in Carmel is a tad out of my budget at the moment).

Making a decision about setting forces the characters to interact and react to the surroundings. Gretta responds to the seasons on Orcas Island like I do. The winter scares her inside. The violence of the windstorms and the hidden dangers of the snow storms play into plot. The lilacs in the spring are not to missed... All true.

Yet, the place could be the beach in Malibu with a Santa Ana wind whipping the sand up in stinging sprays, or watching the easy flow of the River Arno in Firenze under an overcast sky. Or it could be in another made up realm--a dreamlike place or another planet.

Each place has seasons and moods, safety or fear, happiness or oppression.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The Blog is a Lonely Hunter

This is an experiment to see if anyone is even reading my blog. Well?

It's a lonely landscape here and so many blogs to read.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Getting Better

I am the worst person to know what done means. I keep wanting to fix things. A metaphor for my life it seems.

So, I finished my work in progress, which happens to be a rather silly young adult novel. I mean silly in a good way. Funny. Quirky.... This is difficult to write!

Here's what I know about myself so far with my writing:

I'm a hopeless romantic. A love interest is crucial.
My main character has some very intrinsic part of myself expressed in her thoughts or actions. I don't mean to do this, but it just happens.
Strong plots make me happy. This is significant; at one time, the thought of creating a plot terrified me.
I still make a few embarrassing grammar errors. Yes, I do my best to catch these, but a few get past my proofreading. This probably happens because I start thinking about something else like using a better word or having my character say something else.
I'm getting better.

I'm getting better. And, truly, that's the most important element of writing, getting better.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Coho Watching

My sons and I discovered Coho Salmon in a stream at Moran State Park. My youngest son in particular was mesmerized by the fish positioned against the current pushing their way upstream to spawn.

As we stood along the side of the creek watching the fish wriggle and sometimes leap, I knew I was witness to something bigger than the obvious. Something I could not fully understand. The strange, unknown inside of all living creatures to recreate over and over again. The salmon struggling upstream will die soon, yet they fight for a chance to leave behind viable eggs that hold their DNA for the next generation.

We struggle ourselves in that seemingly impossible task of swimming against a strong current hoping we can find a way to leave behind something significant, something stronger than our own fragile bodies.

After we watched the fish, I wanted to hold my boys safe, protect them, so they to could be strong for their journey ahead.