Friday, April 30, 2010

Opening Night

Last night the fifth annual Orcas Ten Minute Playfest opened. I continue to be amazed at the process.

Idea to words
Words to play
Play to performance

A performance is born.

I know the actors and director have put a tremendous amount of effort into this, and I am very proud of them all. We are like a sports team winning a championship; we are all involved in the creation.

My interest in plays and theater began long ago.

The play is still the thing.


When I write a story, my reader connects with the experience, but it is a private experience. I am not in the room with my readers. I may receive a note or kind words about my writing, but the experience occurs in solitude. On stage, the experience is public. It’s exposed and vulnerable. I get nervous along with the actors. The actors speak, and the audience watches as the story unfolds. They react. I react. We laugh, cry, and cheer. The experience becomes a community. From this common experience, a bond is born.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Blogging Anniversary!

“Don’t intentions count for anything?”

This question came from a grad school professor. We debated the strength of the main character in literary postmodern book (the title escapes me now). Most of the students and I complained we didn’t much like the main character because he didn’t do anything. Yes, we realized the postmodern novel could break the traditional plot and the quest and all those literary devices, but that didn’t mean we had to like it.

This is my first year anniversary of blogging. I’m still not sure what I am doing, but I will continue to do write. In this case, action replaces intention, even if the direction isn’t entirely clear yet.

The journey continues . . .

This summer I will be coming up on my sixth anniversary of living in the house I live in now. When we moved in, we faced a yard full of construction trash and blasted rock. I was determined to create a garden. With little time or finances, it has been a frustrating process, and my garden is still far from what I envision it to be one day. I read The Secret Garden enough times as a child to know what I want. So, over the past six years, I’ve moved and dug up many rocks, created flowerbeds, planted, and composted. Certain plants have been more successful than others, and certain areas have surprised me with gorgeous fecundity.

Now, in this glorious time of year, I steal outside and take a few minutes to enjoy. I wish I had a before picture (trust me, it was ugly), but here is the process so far. My work in progress.

Intentions are not enough. Maybe that’s why I forgot the name of that book.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

No Time

This is the list I brainstormed on the things I do (and can do more of) to get my writing done:

I sit down at my desk and open my laptop.

I write before I begin work in the morning.

I write after my sons go to bed at night.

I don't watch television
I don't play computer games.
(The last two are easy because I've never been a fan of either activity).

I read books as a reward for a good writing session. If I didn't do this I would be reading more than writing.

I limit the amount of time I can use the Internet to read my favorite sites and blogs. I give myself five minutes and get back to work.

This one is new: I use my voice activation program in the car while I drive. I hope this is legal! This works best with rough drafts. I can get quite a few pages of text from a single trip to Eastsound. Of course, people see me talking to myself, but this is Orcas Island and crazy is considered normal.

If I don't have my laptop, I have a notebook and a pen to write down ideas (but not when I'm driving).

I write down my dreams if they seem fruitful; I've found several plots in my dreams.

I think about stories, characters, and pacing when I take walks with my dog.

I drink coffee and tea.

I eat chocolate.

I would love to hear what others do to stay focused and working.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Outlining Spring

I'm working on an outline for a new project. The story that came to me in a dream a few months back.

I do have to wonder about my dreams.

This is the first time I've written a detailed outline before the rough draft. It's a challenging experience. I tend to like to see where my writing takes me instead of being led by a guide. Obviously, there's always room for change and revision.

Outside the weather is shifting. Tonight a storm moves in. Tomorrow, we're supposed to have a strong windstorm. I hope my pretty white plum blossoms and delicate tulip stems survive.

In my writing, I like the shifts. I like to create conflict and set the windstorms on my characters when things are looking settled. Sometimes I feel sorry for my characters, but conflict must happen. Conflict creates change, and change creates transformation.