Sunday, December 31, 2017

Another Year Ahead

I don't do a big celebration on New Year's Eve any more. When I was younger, yes. I went out, went clubbing (though we didn't call it that), went to parties, sometimes drank too much, sometimes not. Music, dancing, friends and strangers, fun.

Then it became smaller gatherings, much less drinking (there's a story in how that came about, something about a van and my partner's purse, which I will write someday), a lot more staying home.

For the past several years I am often working on New Year's Eve and it's fun. At my part-time job it can be fun and those of us working past midnight take a little break to acknowledge and toast the change of numbers (with sparkling cider because, duh, we're at work - really, it is sparkling cider).

This New Year's Eve I am working. Looking forward to it. It will be the usual night crew and we'll have fun. We have snacks and a couple of us are going to order pizza since our lunch/dinner breaks are around the same time.

And my writing. I am writing. I just posted my final story in the Winter Intensive online workshop with Ariel Gore last night. I still have to do feedback for three other writers' stories, then that one wraps up. (After I copy all of the feedback on my pieces.)

Next week I start with the Winter Manuscript class with Ariel. I volunteered to be in the first group, so I have to get 10,000 words of the memoir ready to post by the 7th. They're almost ready, but not quite. With the holidays and the Winter Intensive workshop, and being down with the crud for two days, I lost momentum on the manuscript excerpt preparation. But I still have a week left with a few good chunks of time for writing within that week. In March/April I get to do the spring seasonal workshop at Corporeal Writing with Lidia Yuknavitch.

NaNo17 Coast Retreat, Oceanside OR
And. Yes. The end of 2017. It's been a rough year on many fronts. Many frustrations and outrages (due to outrageous events), many changes (some for the good in my personal life and others not so good in the bigger picture).

While I am happy to see the backside of 2017, for many reasons on a larger, national and international scale, 2018 doesn't look any better.

On a local and personal level, 2018 looks spectacular. I am writing more and this project may actually come to completion. This year? I don't know; but that would be nice. The second half of the theatre seasons (and the beginning of a new one for Profile Theatre) have awesome productions ahead and I am looking forward to those.

I have no profound words and I don't write New Year Resolutions. I make decisions and "resolutions" throughout the year and see no need to do it only this one time, so I don't.  I do hope that 2018 is a better year, even though I know there are so many challenges for so many of us still out there, so much left to defend and be vigilant. I hope that we can support and honor each other and keep that vigilance on our communities and the people, places, beings who are important. We are important.

Be strong. Be safe. Enjoy however it makes sense to you to usher 2017 out the door and welcome 2018. Keep writing and making art and dancing, creating in your own unique way.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

One week later

It has been a week plus a day since the end of NaNoWriMo. Another year of writing more than 50,000 words in a month (10th consecutive year) and this year I did write every day. I had two plays in November, and still managed to make write every day and meet the goal.

So, what's next?

I did have my regular writing Tuesday date this week - although we moved it to Monday because Tuesday was my birthday and I had breakfast plans before I started work. I did not write new work on Monday, but I did identify the next section for editing. Which is a big accomplishment; the even bigger accomplishment will be editing those sections.

I signed up for Ariel Gore's Winter Manuscript Class, which is a good thing. That gives me an external goal to edit and keep moving forward with the project. Which is one reason I signed up to do it! That and the fabulous feedback from Ariel and the other participants. And the deadlines. I will have to submit three 10,000 work chunks of writing for feedback. I requested to be in the first group, because I have a draft of the manuscript done and I am in the editing phase; I am not starting from scratch. So - I have now identified the sections I will be submitting and am working on revisions.

Or, I will be working on revisions. Soon. Actually, I do have a writing date next week, too, and have committed that time to writing even if that's all I can squeeze out next week.

This week has also been full of wonderful theatre as I prepare to interpret a classic production of "A Christmas Carol" by Portland Playhouse. Portland Playhouse has earned the awards they've won for this production: it is fun, colorful, visual, full of the holiday spirit, the cast works as an ensemble - it is a pleasure to be able to work with them to make *two* performances accessible (a plug: Wed 12/13 at 7:00 pm and Fri 12/22 at 2:00 pm; if you want access to the interpreters, choose yellow seats). This production is family friendly set in the traditional period.

I am also preparing to interpret "Twist Your Dickens" at Portland Center Stage at The Armory on Thu 12/21. This is the fifth year I've interpreted the production and the third time with the same  interpreter, Jayodin Mosher. We have fun with the show and work well together, never knowing exactly what we'll be interpreting because there is improv in this production, as well. This is not your traditional Christmas Carol (hence the name, *Twist* Your Dickens!) and PCS recommends this for ages 14+.  There is still a Scrooge and Bob Cratchit and a few other familiar characters, plus a whole lot more!

So, this last week, theater was back in the front seat with me and writing in the back. But soon, that seating arrangement will switch.

No complaints, just noticing the lovely seesaw of my creativity.