Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Gathering Resources and Making Plans

November is getting closer, which means NaNoWriMo is almost here. Yes. I am going for the 50k in 30 days, again.

Do I think I can do it? Yes. And no. Depends on when you're asking and depends on, I don't know, the wind, perhaps. Yes, I know I can reach the 50k. I've done it for the past eight consecutive years. Going for number nine.

Last year was one of my dull years. I crossed the finish line but what I had was a mess and probably won't be going anywhere and I haven't opened that file since November 30, 2015. It was only the second year I'd written all those words and have no intention of ever looking at them again. It was kind of like cleaning out the garage and the attic - a good thing to do but not something to revisit any time soon.

This year I hope to write something I like and feel good about. Do I have a plan? Maybe. So, yes, I guess, I have a maybe plan. An idea that I think I will go with.

But here's the deal: even the dull years where I'm pouring words onto the page and hitting goals and cleaning up head/hand/heart space, I'm writing. For me, that's what NaNo is about: writing. If I get something "good" - yippee! A bonus. I do hope this one goes better.

And by better, I mean that there is a cohesive and complete story. It will need editing because I am a pantser. Yes, I am. I may try to have a minimalistic outline - if I go with the maybe plan - because I have a lot of information about this story already.

No, I'm not telling. Not yet.

NaNo is coming and I am excited. I have my writing retreat booked and tonight I even ordered up a few food supplies for that retreat. I have my schedule planned to include some writing around work and theatre. And some other slots besides the retreat tagged as writing time where I won't let myself add more work. Because, NaNoWriMo.

My plan to get up to daily writing speed hasn't happened. Not yet. It might still be a good idea to get there. Or get to almost every day writing. I'll try. Because, NaNo.

Now I must get to bed because - no, not NaNo - my weekly writing meetup is in the morning and I need some sleep.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

It's Fall. Leaves Falling. Words Falling. Fall Introspection.

Feeling a little, something. A word popped into my head which wasn't the word I'm feeling and not the word I was thinking. That word was "nostalgic" but that isn't what it is.

I'm feeling. Some excitement maybe. After all, NaNoWriMo is coming!

And a Corporeal Writing workshop in November.

October brings me a chance to interpret "Trevor" at Artists Repertory Theatre and then a staged reading of "Hazardous Beauty" at Profile Theatre. And what will be an amazing wonderful experience of a second chance to interpret Profile Theatre's "Antigone Project" - but this time it will be at Oregon School for the Deaf.

I'm also doing a 30-day Lunar Challenge writing experience online. It is day two and I just finished up my intro. I haven't written day one yet, but I will. And then move on to day two writing. But I'm writing here right now instead of doing that. The facilitator is a writer I met in the Corporeal Writing workshops, who is a creative and energetic spirit full of heart. This is part of my increasing my writing time. My writing commitment. Because NaNoWriMo is coming; and I want to do this anyway.

Maybe this will be the year which launches me forward into writing. Maybe.

For now, back to the work and the script. After I write the two daily assignment, I mean.

So what was it I'm feeling? Oh, right, reflective; introspectively reflective. Nice!

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Eve of Another Interpreted Show and NaNo Approacheth


This is about passion. About creative passions and keeping them alive in spite of obstacles of time which may mean money which may mean time which means. Keep on keeping on don't stop don't look back look forward to the vision and keep it going.

Creative passion: theatre/theater and writing/writer/author
Creative passion needs inspiration/input/inflow
Creative passion realization needs time
Creative passion realization needs space

Don't give me the line about the physician author who wrote a ton of books on prescription papers at his desk between patients. Don't tell me about the mother painter/author who locked herself in a room and left all the children to fend for themselves (or each other) for hours while she created. Don't tell me that if it's important enough I will make it happen.

I am making it happen. My way. My time.

Creative passion : theatre     writing     performance interpreting
Creative passion needs financial support
Creative passion needs rest and time down to percolate
Creative passion needs alone-time and community-time; seclusion and connection

My way errs to the side of caution and my way errs to the side of taking my time and it works. It takes longer and I've passed  the age of ever being a young-writer-wow-look-at-her-go and I'm not old enough to be the miracle-senior-genius-writer. I'm me and my pace and get-it-done ways, which I do and pieces are coming together coming to fruition coming into being and I grow we grow it grows.

And my writing calls while I focus more on theatre on theatrical interpreting on the other interpreting work I do which brings in the money for the home and the utilities and the health insurance massage chiropractic new shoes and black shirts black pants black socks needed for work. And the writing workshops of course. Writing calls and I whisper - soon.

The play I am working on right now is inspiring and new and fresh and challenging and worth all of the time we're putting into our preparation. The play I am working on right now is five re-tellings of the Antigone story by modern female writers and they are good. Very good. Inspiring. And because of the short run of the production our preparation is condensed compressed saturating time this week - necessarily.

Just the other day I was ready to toss in the towel on the writing. Or at least on NaNoWriMo this year because I'm not going to make the deadline I set for myself to finish the next draft of the memoir manuscript. At this pace I don't see how I can finish up the draft before NaNoWriMo 2016 begins so how can I start something else new where is the time and energy and what about the X and Y and A and C and....

Wait! An idea strikes about what I might write about. Then another idea comes up in a discussion. Then another resurfaces from the past and I'm on the NaNoWriMo website looking at all of my purple completion bars/stars/numbers from years past.

Wait! An inspiring discussion with an actor and my team interpreters after the show tonight and pieces coming together and hope and possibility and dreaming together, the four of us. Passions.

I will do it, the writing, the November thing. It seems a little early but not too. NaNoWriMo is coming. And more plays. And my other interpreting work which keeps me on my toes and busy and keeps me financially in the flow and I'm still in the flow.

Creative passion needs recommitment and inspiration and time. And patience.

Deal. I'm in.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Writing is/is not a Solitary Activity

I've heard a lot of people - ordinary people on the street; published authors; editors; writing facilitators/professors/teachers/mentors; others - say that "writing is a solitary activity." Which I think is true, in some ways. Not true always. And while I do think that the act of writing is a thing we can do alone, we may often do alone, the process of creativity and writing is not something we do alone. It takes a bunch of people to make this writing thing we do move from our brain and hands onto the page, be it electronic or printed.

The writer alone in the room writing.

Does it happen? Yes, absolutely. And, no. Is that the everything of writing? Sitting alone and putting words onto the page/screen?

For those who may think of, or actually do, their writing entirely alone, cool. Good. Do what works.

But I think, like the photos below which I took from the balcony in LACMA on our visit last March, to get the writing out into the world it takes more than just the person doing the writing. Each process may look different for different writers; I'm sure it does.

But, like these people carrying the long tube/rolled up something/whatever it is up the stairs, it would be a nearly impossible task for one person. But together they were talking, laughing, serious, and it was smooth and easy and they nearly glided up the steps.

A few days ago I applied to another Writing By Writers conference taking place later next year. And I was accepted. It is a different group, in general, from my tribe of writers, but it's a good group and there is overlap. It was a life altering experience last spring and I want to do it again. I was among writers and I felt like a writer; I was - and am - a writer.

But my tribe of writers is bigger than that. There are two other groups which have been huge supporters in this writing process and continue to be. Several individuals in particular - but even the groups as a whole, because they are led by two people who attract good people to them. They lead by example and believe in all of us and hold space for use to create and develop. Without these two groups, I wouldn't have the manuscript I'm editing right now. I wouldn't have the short story collection in process, or the guts and energy to tackle NaNoWriMo again this year, even though I'm still editing the manuscript (I hoped to have it done before November, but unless I get a supercharge of writing time and energy, I'm not sure I'll make it). I still have moments of doubt about whether I should be writing, if my writing is "any good," if the story is worth putting out there, and so on.

Some days I'm the "tube" and I'm being buoyed by my fellow Corporeal Writing writers, and the authors I've met through Lidia Yuknavitch's workshop series, gliding along knowing that I am one of them. Some days I am one of the "tube bearers" and supporting and lifting up other writers with feedback or head nods and encouragement, or just being witness. My years of workshops in the Literary Kitchen with Ariel Gore and fabulous Wayward Writers was similar, although that tribe is online, and it is a solid foundation I carry with me now.

I am also fortunate to have a writer friend who I get to meet with on a pretty regular basis for shared writing time and feedback. See? Again, not alone. Sometimes we are writing simultaneously. We are not working on the same project - but we are sharing space and mutual accountability for showing up - and writing. I've had a few writing groups off and on; I think I'd like one of those, too, but am waiting and open for the right configuration of writers with compatible time and space to come along. Or maybe I'm waiting for me to make the time and space so it can happen; which I think I'm on the right track and am in the process of opening up some space in my schedule for more writing.

The tube. The tube carriers. Writing is solitary activity. Writing is a community activity.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Reading Suggestions? Road Trips!

What are your favorite road trip books?

If I asked you - and I am asking you - what are the essential road trip books I should read? I'm not talking about books one should take with them while on a road trip (although those suggestions are also welcome).

For you, here, now, today - what makes up a good road trip book?

Who and what should I read and why?

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Summer Heat Eros or What I Did Today

EROS            THANATOS

survival           survival
instinct            instinct
physical          physical
love                anger
life                 death
creativity        violence
   passion         aggression
preservation    destruction
 -satisfaction   sadism

   each inside the other

Sometimes to create, do we not have to destroy? To destroy what has been placed over our Self and our Desire and what constricts us. And don't we, in our creative process, destroy something - make something different than it was before. And in destruction aren't we also creating something new, because taking something away leaves space and time for something new, a replacement, a creative opportunity.

Audre Lorde: "Erotic moves us toward personal and political change." and "Our erotic power becomes a lens to see the world."

Re-examining what "eros" means. Places where its power might exist and the knowledge. How we suppress the expression of "eros" and what if we didn't?

Lidia Yuknavitch: "Eros as activism."

Friday, August 5, 2016

Corporeal Writing Summer Session

heat words eros, breaking through timidity, first time second time many times returning to self to the body, speaking from the body breaking down personal limitations, being present in our messedupness not alone sharing space sharing wine whiskey beer soda water sharing breath and air and stories. standing swimming floating in pools of water cold hot. we. are. here. because words. 

Saturday, July 30, 2016

On the Cusp of August

Where am I? Who am I?

Oh, me. Hello, again. Yes. Things have been busy. Good busy, but busy is busy. You know?

Yes, I know.

Hey - you know the coolest thing that happened to me today?

No, What?

The workshop I'm attending next week? They sent "this is the final email before the workshop ... important information ..." all relevant and all good. But. The coolest thing? They made a mix tape to listen to on the way to the workshop! How super awesome is that? I sampled a couple of the songs but am saving the full Listen for the drive next Friday.

Super cool.

Yeah. It is. They are. Super cool. Like that. Words and revolution. With its own mix tape.

August. The place to be.

Good night.