Wednesday, September 28, 2011

It's Comparable to the Week After the Play Closes

I have a lot of experience with the let down after a play I've been working on closes. Sometimes even when I'm interpreting plays, I go through that withdrawal. That "what do I do with my time."

No, that's not true any more - I no longer wonder what to do with my time. There is always something more to be done.

But on top of the "getting back to reality" without the memoir and without T:BA:11, there were a couple of family issues which were raised. Not my current family - but family of origin. And how funny - since they are included in the memoir. And childhood asthma seems to have resurfaced - which I hope is very temporary, though there were a few times when I was doing all the walking that it was slightly triggered - with speed and a big push, but not to this extent; it is getting better day by day and I hope it goes away soon.

The biggest thing, though, is that "which way do I go" feeling - like Bugs Bunny and the Road Runner. I've completed the big project - and there's another on waiting, and another NaNoWriMo on the horizon. And have the Lit Star Training assignments. And I lost touch with submissions other than working on the memoir for the past nearly three months.

So the question now is "what do I write?"  no worries - probably just need a little bit of "floating" time to let the stories percolate.


UPDATE: I started this post three, no four, days ago. I stalled. I did get some writing done - including following Ariel's permission to "write the worst shit in America" for one of this week's quick write. Okay - no maybe not the worst, I've done worse, but it was bad. I did also manage to write something for last week's assignment, which turned out okay - but it was incomplete and I ran out of time.

But I wrote!

And here I am writing, again. Though.

No, not "though" but writing in spite of. I've been more inwardly focused this week.

The asthma symptoms have cleared almost completely - though not all.  I've been working it from different angles - or layers is more accurate. A holistic approach for a whole-is-me condition. Interesting.

Unraveling and re-raveling. Finding new layers to process and emotions to release. Meanings. Feelings.

Listening. To my life and my body.

Making notes and noting insights or inspirations or sparks. Images. Words. Phrases.

Creativity is still happening.

Words still tumbling into each other.

And after a big push tomorrow to complete another tedious task - totally uncreative (no, students, if you're reading this, it doesn't mean you - although I do owe you some information tomorrow and you will get it; this other thing is really really about as dry and tedious as it gets) - then, writing will happen.

Look! I wrote some more. And I will post before another week passes by.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Catching Up

Last weekend was an incredible event. I will probably write more about my experience at Mike Daisey's 24-hour monologue last weekend - or may end up letting my hourly posting sit as they are.

This week I've been trying to catch up with other parts of my life, which included sleeping. I did not intend to go an entire week without writing here - but I did.

The week started out with sleeping 13 hours. Obviously that's what I needed after a busy work week, completing the memoir in that same week, which also happened to be T:BA:11, capped off by the marathon performance of a master storyteller/monologuist.

And here it is the end of the week.

All is well. This week, in addition to recovering from last week, was spent preparing for the start of the term teaching next week. I only have one class this term, so it should be a little easier to keep up with writing and working and teaching - in addition to regular life events such as: my car's "oil change time!" light just started coming on, laundry (necessary), dealing with a couple of issues which arrived via too-thick envelopes in the mail, and so on.

And writing. Due to an unexpected event on Tuesday, my writing buddy had to cancel that day - and that's okay. Things happen and sometimes it's me. Sometimes it's both of us - like yesterday. I was scheduled to work (I generally try to be off on Fridays) to make up for taking the time off last Sunday for MDaisey, but my friend also had something she had planned. So we missed both of our writing times this week - but will meet up next week. Now that I have things plotted out and typed up and spreadsheets established for the class I'm teaching, I can devote more time to my writing ... after I finish one other major thing I have to do.

Ideas for writing keep coming to me. I file them away - in electronic files, now. Two of them. I've lost inspirations and sparks and beginnings of short stories and such too often with the death of a computer, to trust it all to one file now.

But I needed to post here. Once I post, the flow starts to be restored.

Rather than slinking away because I failed to write something here for a week, I'm standing up and saying - yes, I did. And I'm back.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Mike Daisey : The End #allthehours

This was not a failure. This was a journey and I would not have missed it for anything.

Master storyteller. So much I won't even try to summarize.

Thank you, Mike Daisey for your skills and T:BA for being willing to do it.
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Mike Daisey 4p hour #allthehours

"The flat black trajectory of what's come before threatens to crush you."

"...cocaine, magic, and blood - a visceral liquid bubbling up in me..."

"We always knew it - in that dark moment between remembering and forgetting."

Arriving in Disney World - the place which has stolen out imaginations because we let it. So much more. Pieces and parts as he reaches into everything that has come before and the real and other real and the not quite real. Or?

It has been a ride.

Several more boxes of doughnuts at the doors, passed up and down the aisles. A simple one - a plain one for me. Just a little burst of sugar to get to the end. No more caffeine. Not that I think it will keep me awake for very long, but my body said 'nuf. I have now been up for 30 hours.

The final hour approaches.

Would I do this again? Yes.

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Mike Daisey 3p hour #allthehours

"This is allegory. And this is very, very real."

More pieces converging of the tales - 3 primary tales.

Strong imagery, spirits/superstition, characters. Bringing us back to the beginning from all those hours ago.

2 hours remaining.

The house is nearly full again. I realize some of these people have watched some parts of this on streaming. Some haven't.

I try to imagine coming in to this for the last three or four hours. I can't. Totally different experience.

I have no regrets for spending 24 hours with this performance. With the - oh, I don't know - maybe 35 others who've been here all along, too.

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Mike Daisey 2p hour #allthehours

Mike, the self-proclaimed "very reliable narrator" declares that "this story is bullshit." It's the fictional story with real people and ghosts. There was an instigating incident - but you had to be here and out of context, it would be misconstrued.

Then he weaves some pieces together as the threads he's been leading us with since 6pm yesterday get closer together.

And the Tessla coil gets a considerable mention. And Mike's energy and boisterous self (these are good traits) reappear. As we close in on the last 3 hours.

Three hours left of the total twenty-four.

I'm still here. To the end.
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Mike Daisey 1p hour #allthehours

Adjustment of the narrative. As a monologist can do. A realization of something that was right there in front of him.

So he did. Jumped right in to the middle of the action. A gun. A hedge maze. A gunshot.

There was a great quote but by the time I went to write it down I forgot it.

This is what happens when you've been sitting at a performance for nearly 20 hours. Have been up for 26 or 27 hours now.

Things don't fit together quite as well. Such as : what a great quote, I want to remember that. A few minutes later : I should write it down. Paper, pen - uh, too late.

I'm taking far less notes than I was earlier. I'm following the story for the most part although I don't quite see all of his parts - but I do think I caught a hint of something that was slipped in coyly, quietly - but I think I caught it. I have an idea.

20 hours down; 4 hours to go.
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Mike Daisey noon hour #allthehours

"To be free we have to let go of this language ... we have to find our own way."

The tale of JM and DF was interrupted by a fire alarm. The building had to be cleared. We all filed outside and grouped around the flagpole, where Mike Daisey stood. With dogs barking as they played with people and as the rain started coming down more. Rumor had it that last year the fire alarm went off here and it took 1hr45m or 1hr20m for the fire department to get it shut off. At about 20 minutes, Daisey said he was going in and anyone was free to follow him or not. He thought if we went in, the alarm would stop.

He went first and he was at the top of the stairs. The alarm went off.

There is no fire.

We have a longer break. Daisey is back stage making adjustments to his monologue.

I will be here when this ends at 6pm. No way I'd not hang out to the last word now.
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Mike Daisey 11a hour #allthehours

Philip K Dick
Obi-Wan Kanobi
Dan Field

PKD: "what's it like to be self-actualized?"
MD: "it's a bitch"

The curtain between the worlds - spiritual experiences. Sometimes in our culture we try to excuse them away by saying 'I was on peyote' or '...on mesclun' or? Covering it up as if it can't be enough on it's own.

Or, Daisey offers, you can just stay up until the curtain thins and you can see into the pther side.

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Mike Daisey 10a hour #allthehours

Quick update: I'm still awake. Still with him on this journey. A few missing blips of time during the last section.

But JM has now met the same person who tried to bargain with MD - who now tried to bargain with JM. "Stop. You know what I'm talking about."

It's hard to update you if you're not here. Haven't been here. Haven't been here for the last 17 hours.

Spent the break walking, stretching, getting coffee. Yogurt and granola with fruit.


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Mike Daisey 9a hour #allthehours

Break a little earlier. May try to get a power nap - though I'm not good at those.

This section: radiation - different types.

Lost data - lost stories - art/books are burning - due to technology.

Philip K Dick enters.

Mike is struggling with coherence. Was distracted by a woman stirring tea or something in a ceramic mug - asked the person doing it to stop until a break.

Which raised an interesting thing - I'd already noticed with this woman. She's sitting down the row from me. She recently came in from some sleep. Hasn't been here all along and she inserted herself into the middle of things. Different energy, different sense of space, on a different train so to speak. And she's sitting down there coughing and sneezing and sniffling. Ooops. Glad I had some Emergen-C earlier. I have another packet with me. Think I'll have that instead of Viso.

It's hard to sleep when people are tossing around beach balls and there's very loud peppy music with disco side lights. Oh, well. I'll sleep after 6 pm.
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Daisey break at end of 8a hour #allthehours

Yes - nice. The audience led in 5 min or so of yoga.

Community. Sharing space.
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Mike Daisey 8a hour #allthehours

Oh boy - Voodoo donut tasted good but, woo, too much sweet and dough for me. Three bites and done. Haven't opened the Viso.

Anyway, more of her. Her trip, her meeting a celebrity with instructions.

He started this section with talking about if we all left en masse, he'd stop - he doesn't rehearse. But he knows we won't - he wouldn't.

More mystery laid out before us.

Fifteen hours. Wow.
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Mike Daisey 7a hour #allthehours

Train travel. Better in Europe than America and we laugh, we know that. He's on a train in Europe and has that feeling. Someone/something important is near. He follows that feeling and finds... I'll save it. In case he does this again, somewhere, someday, and if he leaves this part in.

Bargaining, again.

I faded. Have a few missing moments. Some people are leaving. Some people are sleeping, seriously, heavily, sleeping.

This break someone provided Voodoo doughnuts. Yes, I'm eating one. With some chocolate on it (caffeine, right?) and peanut butter (protein). And someone was giving away some Viso - more caffeine that isn't coffee. Too much sugar - but caffeine. I'll add a few nuts, protein. Next break will be vege tray from Elephant Deli snacks. If there's some left. I hope.

Waiting for that 3rd wind. It may be a little longer.

I saw a bunch of people leaving. Giving up. Vowing to come back later. Curious how many will be left. Some others coming back later. There is some familiarity (minimal) of those of us who've been here all along. Someone handed out chocolate covered espresso beans.

And an orange. I have another orange.

This is a very long time to perform. He's doing well. We got to the Red Forest. Must be about time for the next section.
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Mike Daisey 6a hour #allthehours

The thirteenth hour started with a status update. Of Mike. The crew, the technology.

And a review of the statement: "you can't cheat fatigue after a certain point."

But we try.

He is working from notes. Tweaking during the breaks, adding more. This is the first time this has been done, the first time these words have been spoken.

And may never be again.

He led us outside to show us something. The 100 or so people here followed. Stood in the gently falling rain. Listening. He talked of corporations. Of not being asleep in our lives.

In revival preacher manner he called on us to see the rising sun and, like now when the sun isn't visible to watch the lightening sky, to listen to the wind, to look around. To be present and awake.

It was good to be outside, to be called to wake up.

Then a young woman led us all in Amazing Grace (I just listened), and read a little. Then we had the opportunity to buy bagels or vegan bfst sandwiches from Sweet Pea Bakery Cafe.

Now awaiting the 14th hour. We're over halfway.
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Mike Daisey 5a hour #allthehours

"I hate going to sleep. Sleep feels like death."

Being a night person, and a night person with insomnia. This is the time when one might naturally go to sleep if nothing is done about it. And slowly moving up the going to bed time until you resemble normalcy. Until something happens, which draws you out and you slip.

He talks about film (in the context of the German female whore and in the context of the male self). How film comes out of the creator and never returns. So different than theater where it is from and to the performer every time. Different than art which lives and breathe through the artist.

And corporations. What we cede. What we bargain. How they've changed how we view and value art.

And Peter Falk's backup glass eye.

We are at the midway point. Twelve hours of twenty-four.

This break's snack was marshmallows and hot cocoa. And oranges. I forgot that the last break's snack was bacon. And oranges.

At the next break, Sweet Pea Bakery will have some breakfast snacks available for purchase.


I, too, am a night person. Who battles insomnia at times. Though I'm doing better, but I go down that slope easily - like with the final push to finish the draft of the memoir. Which is on it's way to Ariel.

Twelve hours of Daisey's monologue; 314 pages of my memoir.

Life is good.
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Mike Daisey 4a hour #allthehours

"The thing you are called to do and the thing you have to do are not necessarily the same." (Maybe I reversed the two from his order.)

He opened with talk about Battlestar Gallactica. About TV pilots and the work and being in the place that is being discussed/filmed/written about and how what is real changes when it becomes the place of a story. How it changes what people know about you when you're from that place.

Fatigue. Talking about fatigue and what happens. Drifting. Thinking you're not or saying you're not.

A return to the story. Which is and isn't real.

And I drifted as I fought sleep. I leaned forward as the seats in front of me were empty. (Someone new has occupied them now - two huddling under a blanket, heads together, will block my view.)

I fought sleep. Just a nap, I thought. As someone who is hunkered down in a sleeping bag on the side space is snoring. Loudly. No, I won't sleep. But I did drift a little in consciousness - I did lose some details of the story. Not really asleep? Maybe. Drifted. Lost words.

Coffee. I now have coffee. Walked around. And we'll start for the twelfth hour in one minute. Then we'll be halfway through.

Yes, I'm here for the duration.
I wonder how many uncaught errors are in this post? *grin* It is 5:00 AM.
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Mike Daisey 3a hour #allthehours

Passions and poetry. Dreams nearly realized and then list to unexpected circumstances.


Change always results in transformation - but not always positive.

He continues to hold our attention. To take us on this journey. Dropping in bits from other sections. Weaving. A word, a phrase, and idea. A "remember I told you before."

Volume, modulation, pacing. Holding our attention, leaving space for thought but not too much so he doesn't lose us.

But really he doesn't give a f*#k - right? If you don't like it, if you don't want to take the ride, there's the door.

If you're with him, then you're with him.

I'm with him.

Water as healer, as isolation, as redeemer, as a place of transformation.

Poetry lost. Theater found - another being saved by theater. Yes, in the ranks of those whose lives altered forever by theater.

He is a master storyteller - and it's working. Even now, as we head into the tenth hour.
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Mike Daisey's 2:00a hour #allthehours

Sex, flesh, and bacon.

Gender - and cooking bacon.

Transexual transition - and cooking bacon.

Really - on stage - two "young, fit, dressed to the nines vegans" cooking bacon during this installation of the monologue.

Discovering another part of yourself except it's all real, it's all there. It's a different place and time and it's you and it's not.

The numbers have dwindled some, although a few have returned or just arrived. Or maybe moved.

Awake. I'm awake. I'm paying attention. Though I will admit that the smell and sound of cooking bacon is a little deliciously distracting. But Daisey's monologue delivery style is a match for even cooking bacon.

Sex and bacon.

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Mike Daisey 1:00a hour #allthehours

Another installation of the JM story. More details revealed. Setting heavy - detailed - narrative. Emotions.

Streets I know, areas I have familiarity with in NYC - where I've been. Nice to have the references even though I don't live there.

Entertaining. Intriguing, still. Yes.

We are on a journey and even the context isn't known. To us. The audience.

He knows.

This is good. Very good.

One third of the way through and I'm not bored. I'm not distracted (there were a couple of times in the last section, just briefly - due to my lack of context).

I'm very glad I'm here.

And I'm very glad my manuscript is in the mail to Ariel. Though I did realize a page of information I need to send to her - I will. And I will ask her the legalities and possibility of including what it relates to.

And I'm here. At T:BA11 - at All The Hours In The Day.

Still and til the end at 6pm.
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Mike Daisey - the midnight hour

Numbers dwindling a little more - but still a good crowd.

It's warmer. I don't know if it's really warmer or if I'm getting used to it. Or if the collective heat in the room has raised the temp. It doesn't matter. Don't need my hoodie right now. It's comfortable. Some people are bundled, so maybe it's me. Maybe it's me - my body generating heat with the realization that it's 7 hours into a 24-hour performance.

This hour: warren zevon. More tales - a card game, bargaining but not remembering what for.

Mike a little tired - surprisingly, he said. Is that true? That he's tired, I mean. He looks a little tired. Not a lot. Far to go.

We'll get there together.

Elephant Deli has arrived with the snacks and caffeine. Outside beer garden and food vendors closing soon. Still trays of oranges left. Yum.

Still enthralled.

Still on the journey.

I need to find out who this music is. I know it. I remember hearing it. I forget who it is. It's not The Doors.

Found myself thinking more about writing. Want to write. Must be getting time to start again. Yes - lights down.

Til next time - an hour.

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Saturday, September 17, 2011

Mike Daisey 11:00p Hour

Disney and Burning Man.

Being a participant by showing up, by opening up, by being present.

Weaving in more pieces from earlier. Parts fiction, parts real. Woven so it's unclear (deliberately) where that line is.

But isn't that our life? What is real? Where are the lines? Where my reality exists and we share space but maybe our experiences, perspectives, past and present, alter the events so that what was, is or isn't.

Oh - a master storyteller - yes. Six hours into this; 18 to go. I'm still present and wanting more.

The audience is down to less than half. That's alright. In line before the show some people were talking of leaving about 9:00 and coming back at midnight.

People will come and go.

Some of us are here for it all.

This is very very good.
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Mike Daisey 10pm hour

Hard to explain. Fiction. Weaving in an earlier piece. Thought-provoking - good storytelling.

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Mike Daisey 9:00 hour

Beautiful hour. About theater, creator and audience. His words were about theater/actor and audience - but I feel he's also talking about (or it applies to, at least) authors. Because writers create the words the actors say. Becaus writers-authors also have an audience.

Because creator and observer/listener/audience have a relationship. An understanding.

Fascinating - all of it. Very strong.

At one point he left the theater - with the mic. He kept talking. We were rapt, responding. Eye gaze of audience was an experience to observe.

He started this section with personal, deliberate, pointed at us dialogue. Humor - true but very funny. And ended with a hard truth. A hard personal experience. With a point. About relationship.

About creator and audience.

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3rd hour update

The author: Philip K Dick.

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Mike Daisey 3rd Hour

After reading from a science fiction author's bio (help me someone, whose was it!?), who wrote to not become a writer for a living, instead sell shoelaces, Mike Daisey went on to talk of ghosts and wondering about dissolving at the moment of death. About awareness at the moment of death.

And a poor man's speedball: coffee and vodka.

Ghosts and the secrets they have for the living.

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Mike Daisey, 2nd break

Second installment: warren zevon, bars for mercenaries, dragons, and civil war.

We're with you, Mike.

Creativity, failure, seeking greatness. We're listening.

#allthehours, #tba11
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In just Two Minutes

This adventure will begin. The house is filling - some people will packs stuffed to the brim, a blue Ikea bag with pillow and blanket and what-all, coolers, layers. Some you can tell are here for a peek but not the whole trip. Some of us going to be here until the end.
Soon. Seconds. The adventure of Mike Daisey's "all the hours in a day" is on the brink of starting.

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Epic Weekend

I'm planning to keep this post short, since I have much to do before the big event.

Big Event? Mike Daisey's "All The Hours In The Day" at PICA's T:BA11 - the premiere of his 24-hour monologue. I banked in a little bit of sleep last night (I know, it doesn't really work that way - but one can hope - right?). I have some Starbucks VIA packets (just add water and shake that bottle). I'm going to Trader Joe's to pick up a few protein and nutrient snacks (buffalo jerky, marcona almonds with rosemary, crispy seaweed snacks, apples, blueberries) - T:BA will have some food there and I just saw an announcement today that Elephant Deli will be providing some grab-n-go food after the food carts have closed. I'll take a pillow (the seats are old and hard) and my NaNoWriMo hoodie and a lightweight small fleece blankey - er, blanket. Altoids. Whatever flavor Orbit gum we have left in the drawer from my last mondo Costco box I bought.

... hmmm ... that is sure a brand name laden paragraph ... maybe I should go for endorsements, make the event pay ...

Just kidding.

And I am very excited about this. Last year I went to Daisey's presentation which was notes about doing a 24-hour monologue and I knew at that time that I would be "in" - whenever it premiered. I wanted to be there. Then the announcement that he would be doing it this year at T:BA11 - and I knew I would be there. Be here. And so I shall.

For all 24 hours.

And the second big announcement for this week - which I maybe should have listed first - is that I completed this draft of the memoir manuscript. Yes. Done. All of the chapter edits. All of the "list" inserts. Updated the chapter list with page numbers. Then I printed it (in 50-page chunks, since Word refused to print all 314 pages in reverse order; so I had a chat with Word and we agreed on 50-page chunks; set up a chunk to print, eat a little bento, set up the next chunk, eat a little bento, load paper into the tray, set up ... like that.).

After going to T:BA performances last night, I came home and watched a couple episodes of LOST (stop laughing - I got hooked on it via streaming Netflix a while ago, the first few espisodes were entertaining, then it got silly and outrageous but I am intrigued what they will pull in next, what or who will drop out of the sky/ocean/trees, how are they going to get out of various situations -- it's a Gilligan's Island soap opera for adults)... Anyway, I watched a couple episodes of LOST and punched holes in the pages to put into the notebook. But my home hole punch is wimpy and says it'll do 8 pages at a time - but only if you want it to jam - so I do 6 pages.

But - yesterday afternoon, an hour before my chiropractor appointment (to clean up my shoulders and upper back from three days of Deaf-Blind interpreting), I had a minor incident getting into my car. My hand slipped as I was closing the door and I had a bag in that hand and I strained my - left, fortunately, since I'm right handed - wrist and ring finger. It's minor but a little stiff and sore and - yep - I couldn't do the hole punch the way I normally do it. I usually hold the paper in my right and squeeze the punch with my left. Oops.

I got the holes punched - it just took longer. The pages are in order in the book. I made a little cover insert for the binder. It's in a package and now all I have to do is get to the post office to mail it to Ariel for this round of editing.

I know there are some errors. Some inconsistencies. Some things which need tightening. And I'm sure there are some holes or places to clarify. But this round of the manuscript is completely done. It was beginning to feel like I would never get there. But I did.

So - a busy work week (but good work). And the memoir manuscript is done. And I'm going to see Mike Daisey's 24-hour monologue.


And I'm excited! Can you tell?


Friday, September 16, 2011

Razor's Edge for 9/16/11

Today's prompt is a video of a performance by Carla Mann and Jim McGinn. The video is about 15 minutes in length.

Watch the performance. Then select one of the following and write for 10  minutes:

- who are these two characters and how did they meet?
- what was their conversation, if they had been talking? let it flow freely from your senses, don't go back and watch it scene by scene - capture the essence of their relationship, their movement, the discourse of the dance.
- start with "If you had told me ______" and write.
from In The Can Productions on Vimeo.


Thursday, September 15, 2011

Monologue Notes from PICA

 In 72 hours I will be sitting in The Works space at Washington High School - halfway through the T:BA11 performance by Mike Daisey. Halfway through the 24-hour monologue. All the Hours of the Day.

from: Portland Institute for Contemporary Art

Dear Mike Daisey ticket holders,

We wanted to give you some tips about how to make the most of your audience experience at the upcoming 24-hour Mike Daisey performance, All the Hours in the Day.

You will be taken care of.

There will be interludes in the performance, during which you will be able to freely move around, exit the theater, and come back.

We will have food, coffee, and water available for purchase at all times. The TBA Closing Night Dinner will be served after the show at 6:30 pm Sunday. We will be sharing Neopolitan-style pizza, salad, and wine. Tickets are $15 for members and $20 general. You must purchase a ticket to the dinner in advance. Please join us!

We will have the bars open starting at 5pm on Saturday, so you can come early and have a drink with us in the beer garden and buy some food. Alcohol will not be allowed in the theater.

Audience members who are under the age of 21 must watch the performance from the balcony due to OLCC policy (until at least 2am). The balcony has some great views to the stage.

The theater is very old and the seats are made of wood. Don’t forget your pillow, cushion, neck pillow, and blankets.

Other necessities that you might want to bring: contact solution, toothbrush and toothpaste, a sweater…think of what you might take with you on an international flight. We’ll be crossing time zones!

This is going to be an adventure. We will be there with you through it all. See you at the theater!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Another Reason to Follow Your Heart

I've been a little busy and realize I missed posting a Razor's Edge. And when I checked in here I see it has been a week tomorrow since I posted anything.

Too long.

And I have all the edits written for the memoir and am in the process of getting them into the electronic version because they're all written by hand. For a variety of reasons, that's how it's gone - and it's a good thing - but it's taking a little longer than I projected to get all of the edits in place. Coupled with computer issues, it's been really too long. But there it is. And I wrote an entirely new story, unrelated to the memoir for my Wayward Writers assignment last week. (Truthfully, it could go into the memoir with some additions and edits - but it won't. At least not for now. But it wasn't from the memoir.)

And PICA's TBA11 started and I've been hanging out at dance and music and theatrical performances whenever I can (which is one reason some edits are written by hand - when I was in line for a performance).

And work - busy and with many attached non-billable hours for many things I'm doing. Which is fine - those hours are for causes I believe in and worth it for the community and for my spirit.

So - too long since I've posted. Focusing inward on the memoir and all that it takes to get that written - emotionally and spiritually and even physically. And focusing on exciting new theatrical projects. Not excuses - but reasons and acknowledging that I have been absent from posts.

Today there was a quote that struck me in a post from Jessica Morrell's blog, which I wanted to share. And here I am, having written a post for today. Writing begets writing!

The quote - and thank you, Jessica!
Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart. — Steve Jobs

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Following The Energy

I have selected the poems for the additional surrealist sections in the memoir. I've identified where to put them in. And I have handwritten notes about what was a chapter but is not inserts between chapters, which need to be typed up and then figure out where they go.

So close to The End.

Again. Or is it "still" - no it's "again" because I thought I was there, but wasn't quite.

I've also identified a new situation I have to figure out what to do with. Because I've expanded the time period covered in the memoir, it changes perspectives a bit. Originally, I had two time periods - the past with its influencing incidents and the present about the journey with the wedding and the next morning. Then I started adding scenes from later - after the wedding, after the next morning, after moving. So now I have past and present and - future? No. Okay. Thinking about tenses.

Today - on my second work drive - I realized that I felt energetic. When I arrived at the second location there was that cliche "spring in my step" and I was happy and smiling.

That wouldn't be all that strange, except that I only had just over five hours of sleep last night. When I got home from work I set up my computer to do a little editing. With the inserts selected, I wanted to get started. Then, when I realized the tense issue and that there were some sections of the book that weren't in my notebook, and sections which were really outdated, I decided to print it all out. It's easier to make some notes - for me - on the paper and I have tons of one-sided printout sheets to recycle. So I started. One thing and then another and then it was 4:30 AM and I had a meeting at 11 AM and I was shutting down my computer to go to bed.

Going to bed with all 300 pages printed and in the working notebook, in order, with copies of the poems.

So I was surprised I wasn't at all tired at my second work situation today. Not one bit. And here I am hours later and still doing fine.

Curious, I thought.

Then considered. I have so much energy (and I may still crash, I realize; I'll take a nap before my VRS shift tonight). Where did it come from?

The energy came from progress on the book. From having it truly at the final stage before sending off to Ariel for editing, feedback. The energy came from being excited about some new developments at the theater where I coordinate interpreting teams and interpret plays - from meeting with my liason today and discussing new events.

I have energy and am smiling today because I've been focusing a lot on my writing. On completing the book and bringing it to a whole piece and I can see it with the 300 pages right here beside me. And I've been focusing on theatrical interpreting - the season ahead, how to develop audience and interpreters and sign coaches.

Creating and being involved in creative pursuits gives me energy.

Creativity. That's where my energy comes from. That and that I was able to go for a walk a couple of  days ago which was completely pain-free - I'd like more of those, too.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Just A Few More Keystrokes

I do believe I am finally bumping up against the final words of the memoir. Yes, I am.

All of the chapters are written. The order a little revised. Some shortened (or even cut in half). They are a little uneven in their states of revision at this point - I feel like some are polished and ready to go and some may need a little more attention.

Then, today, I had an insight. No, more than an insight - it was an illumination.

See, I've been feeling overall good about this project. And as the missing pieces were completed, I was happy but there was something missing. I thought that maybe I was nervous about completing it, or hesitant to fly it out there into the world any further than I have, or something along that line. But that didn't seem to quite answer what I was feeling.

And as I looked at the chapter outlines, made a few notes, looked at what was there - it came to me.

Problem #1 was that I had this surreal event which is written into one scene (chapter). The scene is totally real and I used it as a base for a Wayward Writers assignment. It turned out really well and, with incorporation of some of the feedback from my fellow Wayward Writers and Ariel, it became perfect. So I left the surreal touches.

One thing which wasn't sitting well with me, I realized today, is that the surreal episode only happened at that one place in the whole book. That wasn't going to work. I needed to either edit it out and take it back to "just the facts" and just the here-on-planet-earth details - or add more surreal episodes in other places.

I chose to add more episodes. I did a preliminary search for potential quotes, poems, and such from around those years and came up with some great people. Then I decided to go with the writer theme. The original surreal scene involved an appearance by Adrienne Rich. So the writer theme was easy to incorporate. I found some other places with a similar energy and tension to the Adrienne Rich scene and picked just a few more to insert some surrealism. So far, the two people I've explained this to liked my idea. One was my partner, who wasn't too thrilled about it at first. But, as I explained what and how I was doing it - and then the why - she likes it now and thinks it's a good idea.

The second thing is that I realized the memoir needed a boost of energy here and there. Not that it's all heavy stuff - but some is, and there needed to be some variety. Adding in the surrealism will add some levity and more sense-feelings to it.

And I also realized that the one remaining unwritten chapter would be better broken into bits of a list - with minimal or no explanation/expansion - inserted throughout the book. There is a reason for that and I think it will help carry the message and story through.

I have found the missing energy in the process of finding missing pieced.

And that's all that's left: typing and inserting the lists pieces, and weaving in the suddenly appearing authors.

Then print and off to for fresh eyes!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Let The Countdown Begin

No, it's not too early to start talking about NaNoWriMo.

Two months from today, at this time, I will have already written at least 2,000 words of my 2011 NaNoWriMo novel.

Yes, I am that confident.

No, I don't have a plot. Nor a title. Nor even a setting or a character. Will I? I don't know.

What I do know is that I will have my laptop open and a new word document open, waiting for our lovely ML (Municipal Liason, in NaNoWriMo world) to count us down from Halloween to ...5, 4, 3, 2, 1 - GO! And my fingers will begin typing, whether or not I have even a glimmer of an idea. I will type and something will appear.

And for the next 30 days I will follow my characters where they lead me, to that magical 50,000 words in 30 days, signalling that I am, again, a Winner. See, I've learned to not force my characters to take me somewhere in particular during NaNoWriMo. That is the duty of my inner editor, of revision. But NaNoWriMo is to get it out and see what they have to say. I can't control them - really I can't. It failed dismally the one year I tried. Yes, I still passed the finish line with about 51k words. But I never did finish that novel and I didn't like it.

So. Why now?

Because I have been officially accepted as one of the 250 writers who will be participating in the 2011 Night of Writing Dangerously in San Francisco on November 20th. I will be heading down with my writing buddy to be there in time for the Saturday night special activity, too - the founder, Chris Baty, announced that he will be leaving after this NaNoWriMo to become a full-time writer, so there is something special planned for the night before NOWD, as we in the know call it.

NOWD is fun and crazy and a seven-hour writing marathon. It is also a significant fundrasier for the Office of Letters and Light (OLL), the organization which runs NaNoWriMo, Script Frenzy, and the Young Writers Program. Second only to Write Around Portland, OLL is one of my favorite non-profits to support.

So - I'm asking you to help me meet my fundraising goal of $350 for NOWD - OLL. Again, I am already a confirmed participant. And I want to raise more funds for OLL. This year I have a trusty Toyota, which I will adorn with inclement weather apparel just in case, which will carry me and my friend to San Francisco.

Consider donating even just $5. Every bit counts and every bit helps them provides lessons and incentives and programs for writers of all ages.

"Ghost Island" by Bonnie Hearn Hill

Bonnie Hearn Hill's newest YA novel, "Ghost Island," debuts today. Below is a trailer for Bonnie's newest publication.

Congratulations, Bonnie!