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I read a passage in Latin last night, and I found I had a shockingly strong emotion reaction to it.

Not to the passage itself, which was a basic present-tense narrative you'd see for practice in a textbook. But to the process of reading it, and to the discovery that I could. I took two years of Latin in high school from pure love, and one last my senior year of college. I got decently good at it, to my pleasure, as I love the sound of it, the history and the grandeur it conveys. I wanted to know it to include in my writing, which always leaned toward depicting the long ago and far away.

I was pleased I still could read any of it at all, since I have not studied it at all in like eight years. But I did love Latin, and would love to really be good at it. I saved my college textbook specifically so someday I could use it to improve on my own. But I never did. I've been so busy, so focused on things that were more important to me, that I never really had any spare effort to put towards it. As worthy a pursuit as it is, I decided a while ago that I was going to be putting pretty much all foreign language learning aside as something I just couldn't prioritize given all the other things I do and want to be good at.

God knows I'm full up right now. So much so I'm hovering near exhaustion, and it's only going to get heavier from here. But I got such a joy out of reading that little Latin practice passage. And I am working on the Adonis stories. It would be very cool if I could include a little Latin in those. It would be lovely if I could brush up on it and pick it back up again.
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As with the Adonis script, I submitted my Tailor at Loring's End screenplay to the BlueCat Screenwriting Contest at well. I was nervous at first that the feedback on this one was taking so much longer to arrive, but I finally got it the other day. I am pleased to say that it was quite positive as well! Though this is the first screenplay I ever wrote, the story idea was a solid one, and I have revised it many times. It made it to the Quarter Finals of the Big Break contest last year, so I had some confidence in it.

Read more... )

The core of the story, the themes, and the supporting cast are what this reader responded to most strongly, which I'm very happy to hear. They picked up on the purpose of the team drawing together to fix things in the end, as well as how the flashbacks were designed to parallel and compare with the modern-day story. I knew all that, the plot, themes, and setting were the parts I was most confident in, but it pleases me to hear that a reader responded to them.

The negatives were not extremely negative, but they were a bit perplexing to me.

Read more... )

I'm of several minds about this. On one hand, I'm a bit skeptical of the criticism that Tom and Alice are not strongly defined enough, as three of my professors saw this script and none of them found the leads to be too thin. In fact, rather hilariously, Barry Brodsky, the teacher I wrote it with initially, gave me the exact opposite feedback-- he found Tom and Alice compelling, but thought my supporting cast like Della and Crier to be lacking in dimension. An unfortunate feature of making art is that there is no uniform standard by which to grade it, so it's common to get educated opinions formed from two entirely different impressions. On the other hand, defining characters for people who are not in my head has been a problem in another thing I've been working on recently, enough that I'm inclined to worry it's actually a problem.

Because I want to progress in the contest, it probably doesn't make sense not to make the attempt to edit and resubmit to improve my standing, even though I'm not entirely sure I agree with the critique. And I'm not sure how to go about making it clearer. I don't think just sticking in answers to a lot of those questions is the way. "Where's Tom's father?" He's dead, he's not important to this story. (Also I notice you don't mind that Alice's mother's not dealt with, probably because I dealt with her father to your satisfaction. Moms being important is weird, dads being important is normal, amirite? :-P) "Does Alice go to school?" She just got out of school, I'm pretty sure that's mentioned in a line and not that important anymore.

Bleh. I'm probably just being defensive. I am prone to that. I just wish I could more clearly envision way to fix that problem (if it really exists). I find "define this character more" to be particularly hard note to address, for whatever reason. Maybe it's because they seem plenty clear to me, and I don't know why others can't see it. But it's worth making the attempt. The other note, about Kenneth's motivations/knowledge being made a little clear, is a fine one; concrete and easy to take, so no problem addressing that there.

As I said, I'm mostly happy with this feedback, and if it's this positive it's probably got as a good a shot as any in the contest.

God willing, Tom, Diana, Alice, and Aidan will take this contest by storm! ;-)
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It’s residency week for my grad school, and as alums are allowed to attend certain seminars, I’ve been back a bit. I also wanted to be there to hear the readings of some of my colleagues’ plays. I was particularly struck this time around by “The Deep Purple,” by Andy Landis, because even without any tech and just words, she utilized effects like light, sound, and music, as well as a non-literal dreamlike quality to portray a very internal, emotional experience. Most people in my program, myself included, tend to take a really intellectual approach to writing, so it was very striking and special to see somebody create something that worked on an almost purely visceral level. I was very impressed. It’s actually pretty to neat to see how varied our strengths and weaknesses as writers are across the program. It got me thinking about my personal strengths and weaknesses as a writer. I think I’ll go over what I think they are here.

Let’s start with the positives for a change. My strengths:

Plot. I am quite good, I think, at coming up with engaging and logical series of events to drive the story. Interesting stuff happens in my pieces, and it tends to make sense! Nobody ever says, "Nothing happens in this story!"

Characters. Everybody thinks they're good at creating characters, but I would say I come up with interesting people with complexities who behave in consistent, understandable ways. I also think I'm pretty good at balancing flaws and strengths in genuinely human ways.

Unity of theme. I pick compelling themes for my stories to explore and interweave them into the happenings with decent skill.

Active protagonists. My characters have clear desires and take definite action to achieve them, which moves the story and keeps the conflict high.

Narrative integrity. My stories make dramatic choices rather than taking the easy way out. My actions have consequences. My characters stay in character. I never I work very hard to never cop out in these ways just to be more comfortable or serve personal pleasure.

And now for my weaknesses:

Subtext. I am pretty lousy at conveying my meaning non-literally; I can never do those conversations where they’re talking about one thing but the audience can tell they really mean another thing. I tend to have people come out and say the things they mean, which can make things inelegant. This is currently the thing I'm working on.

Efficiency. In scriptwriting terms, this means using words of dialogue economically and making them serve the story in as many ways as possible—to move the plot, to develop the characters, to express the theme, etc. That’s very hard for me.

Balance. I struggle with interweaving multiple important developmental story elements together. I tend to only be able to make one thing happen at a time-- all plot in this scene, all character in this scene, that sort of thing.

Subtlety. I am so afraid that if people don't pick up on the themes/ideas in my piece, they'll think there was nothing really there. So in fear of being too subtle and having my points missed, I tend to hammer them too hard. When I do try to be subtle, I think it tends not to come through at all. This is related to my inability to make subtext come through.

Diversity. I write about white straight people way too fucking much. Working on doing better. Puzzle House Blues is my current effort toward making progress in that direction, and it's coming out well.

Now for things I'm not sure about:

Pacing. When it comes to plot movement, I think those aforementioned interesting events unfold at the right rate to keep you both hungry for more but without giving away the goods too early. But, related to the balance issue, I'm shit at picking the right moments to step away from the plot and focus on character development instead. Like, the plot alone unfolds at the right speed, but it tends to be all plot, without really any breath for pure character, and if I don't manage to weave enough character in incidentally, it feels less fleshed-out.

Dialogue. I feel like my ability to make dialogue sound natural, like something somebody would actually say, is variable. I'm good at dialects and voice, though. But, related to the efficiency and subtext things, I know people don't always come out and say the things they mean/want to talk about, and it increases the drama if they don't, but I am bad at representing that.

Trope use/avoidance. I make an effort to be aware of narrative tropes-- particularly ones about gender roles --in order to not fall into limiting traps. Ideally I would avoid problematic implications from avoiding them at certain times, and at other times deploying them to serve a purpose. But I think I fall into them without realizing more than I know. And I probably don't always use them to best effect.

Interesting to think about! There's probably more, but those are the ones that jump out at me. 

Sheepskin

Sep. 26th, 2013 10:17 am
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Look what came in the mail this week!


My diploma from Lesley!

Though I officially graduated several months ago, and had the ceremony months before that, but now I've got the piece of paper. Proof of higher education, wheeee!

breakinglight11: (Bowing Fool)
Yesterday on June 29th, 2013, I received my Masters in Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing for the Stage and Screen from Lesley University. After two years of work and obstacle and improvement and self-doubt and self-confidence and everything else, I convinced some pretty smart people that I kind of knew something about this whole writing thing.

I'm glad I did it. I think I learned a ton-- both about writing, and about dealing with difficulty and struggle, both personally and creatively. I think both will serve me well in my future. And I guess I kind of hope that having the piece of paper that says Masters on it will help me out in the real, non-artist world a little bit as well.

Before you ask, I'm not exactly sure what's next. I at least need to finish up the show I'm working so that my schedule is open enough to accommodate something new. I have to figure a number of things out. But I am sure as hell going to keep writing. I've had some small success even amid a ton of frustration, and it means enough to me that I'm going to keep working at it. I even have some ideas about where I'm going with that writing at least, if not necessary in the larger sense of my life yet. :-)

I am educated. Congratulate me!
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It's only just now really occurring to me how depressed I was. How much better I feel now is throwing into sharp relief just how bad it's been for the last several years. It's not like everything is suddenly good and easy, but I have so much more wherewithal to deal when things are a struggle. So it doesn't feel so insurmountable and doesn't knock me down as hard.

This week is my fifth and final residency for my graduate program. The residency process has never been ideally suited to me-- mostly due to the fact that they want you to get into the whole "family" feeling quickly even as you may be dealing with painful emotional struggles over your work, which my introvert instincts make me want to deal with by withdrawing rather than pushing myself to make connections that may be work for me to make already.

But this time around its been a little easier. Part of that is that, as a graduating student, there's less stressful stuff for me to do, I don't even have to workshop any work. Part of that is that I've gotten to know the people around me a bit better and it's no longer as taxing to my introvert self to put myself out there with them. They're all nice, cool people, but I struggle when I don't know necessarily know what to say to a given somebody. But I think the biggest thing is that since my wherewithal to deal with challenging things isn't been sapped by feeling generally bad.

It's a nice change. I wish it could have happened years ago. Turns out that would have been totally doable, if I'd made certain choices a long time ago. But I'm trying not to dwell on the bad past, and just keep moving forward. Forward feels good these days. :-)

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Merchant of Venice's run has been finished, and I have completed my piece of it as dancer/choreographer, one of the most difficult theatrical challenges I've ever undertaken. It still didn't come out at all how I wanted, but it wasn't going to under the messed-up circumstances, and I guess I made it work satisfactorily. Still, it was high-stress for me, so I'm glad to be finished with it.

Having the several part-time jobs suits me in lots of ways, but in other ways they've been a struggle. I have to travel straight from one to the next fairly often, and having to get from one place to another makes any situation more stressful to me. My schedule's been fairly strange lately, as I have some work-related things to do during the day, but more often lately I've had to be at my obligations at night. It's been a real shift, and makes socializing with most people a lot harder.

This week isn't so bad, it's going to be a nice little break. But the week after I have my final residency for grad school before I graduate. And after that I go into tech for the show I'm doing costumes for, and a major part of that obligation is to run wardrobe at the dress rehearsals and shows. That means that I've crammed a lot of my own stuff that I need to get done in this week and evening commitments in the rare free moments around the show. It's not an ideal schedule, but I'm making it work as best I can.

But hey, if anybody else is flexible during the daytime hours normal people are occupied, I'm probably free. 
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Today I submitted my thesis to my reader. That means it is technically complete. After I receive her comments, I will get a couple more days to revise before it gets bound up in its final form on Lesley's record, but that is the last time any of my teachers will read it. I confess I am a little disappointed it will basically still be in first-draft form by that point, as the majority of it was written for the last submission, but I am happy it's done. I do believe it has potential. I will just have to work on it in my post-Lesley career. I'm thinking of scheduling a reading of it with just my friends to hear how it sounds. I know it needs revision, but at the moment I'm too close to it to really know what it needs, and I'm hoping that a reading will provide a better understanding. Still needs a name. I submitted it under the name of "Mrs. Loring," which is probably right, but I still don't like how similar it is to Mrs. Hawking. Eh, maybe it would only matter to my biographers.

Also I got a cool assignment at work. I'm going to be choreographing some pre-show dancing for Merchant of Venice, which is set in a New Orleans speakeasy, as put on by Zero Point Theater. It's going to be a fun challenge, I think, and I've always wanted the chance to do more work in dance. I will likely also be one of the dancers myself, which would be cool. I dream someday of getting to dance ballet in performance, as that is the form of dance that interests me most right now, but I am excited to have this opportunity. Here's to another point of variance on my theatrical resume, and a chance I probably wouldn't have had if I didn't have this job at Zero Point. 
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You may remember my decision to scrap my original plan for my thesis play halfway through and start an entirely new on instead. When I decided that, I wrote the first scene for my teacher to see if she thought it was a good idea. I only wrote the one scene in case she didn't like it, I didn't want to go too far with an idea I couldn't make work. But once I got the go ahead, that meant I had to write most of a complete draft in the time I was originally supposed to writing the final quarter of one. I have been feverishly working the last couple of weeks to make up for that last time, and I am relieved to say I finished the draft last night in time for when I was supposed to submit.

You know, I will never worry about whether writing game material is a waste of time. Because my games have informed my playwriting to such a huge extent. When my first thesis play idea wasn't working, the only idea I could come up with was... wait for it... a plot for a game I'd just written. A story in the backstory of that game became the basis for my piece. I am SO GLAD I wrote it, because it saved me from crashing and burning. And what do you know, I kind of like the story.

Funnily enough, this makes a good point about you never know what you can do with an idea. The protagonist of my play is Mrs. Elizabeth Loring, the wife of society gentleman and WWI hero Rowan Loring, and the mother of Alice, one of the two protagonists in Tailor of Riddling Way. Elizabeth only exists because to have a child you have to have a mother, so I slapped a name on Rowan's wife. The character had like one line, and then I said she died young because there was no room for her to factor into the story.

Then I needed to write a one-shot tabletop game. I wanted to set it in the same timeline as The Tailor of Riddling Way. And what jumped out at me was a possible story for Elizabeth, for what happened to her when she stepped out of the trajectory of the story featured in Tailor. For the game, this was backstory, the mysterious events of the past that needed to be discovered in order to understand what was going on in the present. But it turned out to be suited to being depicted dramatically. It's also not an unmanageable cast, full of women, and has a pretty produceable set of properties. Not a bad addition to my repertoire!

It doesn't have a last scene, technically. I wasn't sure how to close it. But hopefully my teacher will have a suggestion. And I don't know what to call it. I suck at titles. I've tentatively reused "The Bloom of May," but that's not totally accurate for just this part of the story. I also thought about "Mrs. Loring," as that is a very significant concept, but do I really want my two first full length pieces to have titles as similar as "Mrs. Hawking" and "Mrs. Loring"? 
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I am feverishly working away on finishing my thesis, as the due date looms. I actually don't hate what I have now, and hopefully it will turn out okay to hand in. But to keep my brain from glazing over, I took occasional breaks from writing to finish up the alterations on the knockoff Atonement dress.

Based on some research and the suggestions of my more knowledgeable friends, it seemed like a rolled hem was the right technique to use when taking up the dress. For most of it I just folded it up, sewed it down, and cut away the excess material. I did the same thing to raise the hem of the inner lining. But for finishing up the newly shortened sash coming down from the hip swag, I dug out my rolled hem sewing machine foot and tried it for the first time. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be and I need more practice, but it came out neat enough. That was the last detail that needed fixing up. Today I got the chance to try it on [livejournal.com profile] niobien and I was pleased to see it came out fitting very nicely!

greendressaltering6

It fits in the bodice, the trunk, and the front, and the hem worked out well. It hangs straight and is the right length that she could wear it with either flats or heels. It transitions smoothly from the even front to the train in the back. She can walk, sit, and stand comfortably in it, and the zipper goes up smoothly. She is both comfortable as well as lovely in it. I am really happy to have done a good job on it, and I'm really happy that Carolyn likes it. :-) 
breakinglight11: (Crawling Dromio)
I have one more packet of assignments due for this my last semester of grad school before I can get my Masters. My more-generous-than-I-deserve adviser let me scrap my previous project and start something new that I was feeling a bit more. She reacted pretty positively to that, though she does want me to do a fourth revision of my ten-minute play. Grumble. Ah, well, I should just be grateful. Now what I need to do is shoot to get a complete draft of the new play I started just to have a substantive piece to call my thesis. That is a TON of work to do in two weeks, but she basically wants me to just get a first draft into existence, one that works on my weaknesses and doesn't worry so much about the stuff I'm strong on. And I'd be pretty unhappy if I didn't have at least that out of a thesis semester. So I am not going to worry so much about plot, which she says I usually do very well with, probably because I spend so much time working them out. Instead I am going to work on keeping high-stakes conflict going in there, and working more subtext in. Thinking about it, it occurs to me that I tend to like writing conflicts where one person forces another person to talk about something they don't want to talk about. This can be interesting, and can lead to strong conflict, but as my teacher says, it usually results in a very unsubtle, nuance-free interaction. Everybody says exactly what they mean, exactly what they think the truth is. That can come off as heavy-handed. So I guess I should push myself to do something that's hard for me, something that my writing lacks. I'm still a bit nervous about how much I have to do, but at least I'm not as screwed as I thought I was. At least this way, I stand a chance of having a first draft that isn't complete garbage. 
breakinglight11: (Sad Fool)
Struggling a lot with my thesis writing. I took many of your suggestion and told my adviser about some of the mess in my life (specifically the stress of my mother's illness), who was understanding in the extreme, and has practically let me out of all obligation to do any decent work. But I couldn't live with myself if I punked on this. Still, I'm having a hard time. My confidence has really been shaken. I knew the new stuff I'd handed in wasn't great, but my teacher didn't seem to think much of my Tailor of Riddling Way screenplay either, calling it "a Hallmark movie." That really cut me, and I'm still reeling. I knew it wasn't perfect, but I thought it was pretty good. One thing I've really been worrying about is my seeming inability to gauge my own work, as my teachers' opinions rarely seem to match up with mine. What am I going to do in the future when I don't have someone to tell me when something is no good?

But I'm having a lot of trouble figuring out what to do. I have no idea how to rescue the work I've already done. She's offered to let me start something new, but I don't know what that could even be, and I'm terrified it's going to be just as bad. Especially since I can't seem to tell good from bad! And just throwing something onto the page backfired in the last couple of submissions. I just can't hand in something that lame again. But I'm getting paralyzed, and I'm running out of time.
breakinglight11: (Pleading Fool)
Thanks so much to everyone who offered supportive words the other day, I'm really grateful to everyone for reaching out. I'm still feeling discouraged about my thesis, but I'm taking a little mental break from it to see if I can buck myself up. Still, always plenty of writing-related chores.

Besides my thesis, which I will return to in some form shortly, I also have to outline my seminar. It's about taking the practical concerns of theatrical production in mind when you're writing a play, or, in other words, being aware that actors can't change clothes in zero seconds and if somebody carries a prop on, somebody's going to have to carry it off again if you don't want it to stay onstage. These things are less obvious than you might think if you're not thinking too hard about it while writing.

I need to finish the character sheets for the two new PCs in Break a Leg. Also I need to add in references to those characters in the other sheets. Then they need to get sent out. Castings and costuming hints have already gone out, so people have plenty of time to prepare, but sheets need to get done too.

I'm also going to be helping run The Prince Comes of Age at Festival, so I'm reading the sheets to familiarize myself with the game. I've gotten through a few, and they are fun to read, but I've got a lot left.

I've also scheduled the second run of The Bloom of May. I've got to cast it and get the sheets out for that too. Shouldn't be too hard with only five players and just using my best judgment rather than questionnaires. I also want to write out a complete GM's guide for this at some point, but of course there's no rush on that so it's not a big priority.
breakinglight11: (Crawling Dromio)
Well, exactly what I was afraid would happen has occurred. I just got my second assignment packet for school back and just as I feared, my teacher was not impressed. I knew it wasn't any good. It's been so hard to focus when I'm so screwed up from everything that's gone wrong in the last few months. I'm not sure how to fix this. It could just be my upset talking, but I'm not even sure I believe in the piece anymore. I know it's no good but I don't know how to make it any better. This is my thesis, the last semester I need to complete in order to get my masters, and I'm terrified it's going to end up being garbage. I need to finish this, write a good piece and get my degree-- every other important thing in my life is a mess right now, work, love, family, so I can't screw this up too. It was suggested to me that I tell my adviser at least something about what's going on with me, so I did just now, but it feels like such an excuse. What's she going to do, give me a pity degree? Her knowing my life is a mess isn't going to make my writing any better.

I feel so discouraged right now.
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thespianproductionpublicenemy

I just got alerted that the information for the ten-minute play festival that includes my piece Public Enemy just went live. Thespian Production will be producing it as part of their Theatre Madness event this coming March, and the info just got posted on the website. I had a bit of a bad moment when I first looked and saw every piece but mine had a director listed. I shot a not-quite-panicked email to the organizer to make sure that finding one was not my responsibility-- because if it was, nobody had told me --but fortunately it was just an oversight, and the director's name was shortly added. Weird as hell oversight, though, I have to say, since literally every other featured piece had theirs included except mine. Whatever, it's fixed now, just glad I don't have to worry about it.

I do like this piece quite a bit, so I'm glad it's getting produced. Especially since it's not my responsibility to get together. I'm including it as part of my new full-length play that I'm writing for my thesis. It tells the story of a couple of famous outlaws from The Stand, which is a cool story I think but very large. Right now I'm trying to figure out how much of it I can tell in a single play, and how to do so efficiently. One of my biggest concerns is that since it spans so much time and space, it included a ton of characters, which might make it unwieldy for production. Also have to make all those life events connect in a complete arc in a way that doesn't feel excessively episodic. It'll be a challenge. I owe the first quarter of the piece by the 5th, so I think I'll just toss out everything I can possibly think of and edit it later.
breakinglight11: (Crawling Dromio)
theaterwritingchallenge

This is the ten-minute play I'm working on for school this semester. I just finished the first draft. It's based on an idea I've been turning over in my mind-- I've been referring to it as "Vitality" because the vitality of the human spirit is a major theme --but is a big enough project that will take some time to work out. The character of Sariel, the guardian angel, has appeared before in this scene I scribbled down a while ago. The character of Max is one I thought up based on trying to get some of the bad things in my head right now out in any constructive way possible. My present biggest disappointment with the current state of the piece is that I want Sariel to be extremely cheeky and funny normally, but with turns into a profound serious intensity when it really matters, and I'm not sure it hits that enough. Will have to revise for that. This piece is for school, but I think I can repurpose it to use in the larger Vitality piece.

You know. Just turning my pain into gold. Or something.

What Everybody Living Gets
by Phoebe Roberts
MAX TAN, a terminal cancer patient
SARIEL, his guardian angel

"Is that all you think I care about? Your death?" )
breakinglight11: (Crawling Dromio)
I've not been posting as regularly as I once was. I used to at least once every weekday, sometimes more, but lately I've had more and more days where I couldn't think of anything, or couldn't find the time. I chalk both of these occurrences up to being so busy-- it eats my time and it eats my brainpower to get everything done. But my blog is important to me, it keeps me writing, and I want to build my readership, so I have to make sure it stays a priority. I'm making up for a week of it that I missed because of residency now.

I have a lot on my plate. The fourth and final semester of my grad program, the thesis semester which I'm just entering now, is going to be intense. The workload is pretty heavy for just four months. This is going to eat a lot of time, so I think I need to keep my schedule relatively open and commitment-free. Low-key social stuff has been kind of getting lost lately, so I want to have things like that back in my life, but I think anything more responsible or regimented has to be foregone. This may prove difficult if responsibility becomes necessary to get a production put on or something, but I, for example, won't be auditioning for any plays in the immediate future.

Writing is my biggest priority. New work, of course. But I also want to shape my current writing. It occurs to me that Lame Swans could probably be rewritten to make a full-length play. That could be interesting. Might be a bit difficult to cast actors who were also skilled ballet dancers, but it would be visually very powerful. And Mrs. Hawking could be converted into a screenplay. I have to finish editing it first, to get the play into the best possible shape it can be, but there are a lot of details about it that I could include on the screen that I can't really onstage. Like, I've always imagined Mrs. Hawking being an expert knife-thrower, and lots of cool fight and action scenes. These things are percolating in my head.

I also want to post my comic book, Lame Swans. I know it's not edited as perfectly as I wanted it to be, but I'm not going to have a lot of time to do it up in the near future, and I want to share it. I just need to figure out the best way to "publish" it on the web, so to speak. It's a series of pages. Should I post it scene by scene on the blog? Should I put it on DeviantArt and share the link? I'm really not sure, I'll have to figure it out.

Things are rough right now. I might post about why in the near future. But I'm trying to keep things going in spite of it. And make things as easy on myself as possible right now as I'm trying to get through.
breakinglight11: (Cavalier Fool)
I met with my teacher today to discuss this semester. I'm pretty happy with this plan, and my adviser seems to have good impressions of all my  projects. They are, in the fulfillment of my thesis requirements:

- a new full-length project. This will focus on two famous outlaws featured in The Stand. I've got lots of bits and pieces telling this story, but now I will see what sort of complete narrative I can make out of them.

- a revision of a full-length project. I will be going back over the screenplay of The Tailor of Riddling Way. I love this story, and I did a pretty decent job with this project, but I'm excited to have the chance to make it stronger. It's got some definite problems right now that I want to fix.

- a new ten-minute play. Don't know what this will be yet, but I'm sure I can figure it out. I've been pretty good at generating ten-minute plays lately.

- a seminar to be presented to fellows students at the next residency. My teacher liked the idea of my idea to talk about "writing taking the practicalities of theatrical production into consideration." Stuff like "actors can't change clothes in zero seconds" or "keep track of where the props are" and the sort of things you don't necessarily realize if you've never experienced how theater is put together. 

It'll be a lot of work, but I'm pretty excited about it. I think I can do some good work. 

Tonight is my reading. I'm a little nervous, not sure why. But this is a very cool thing that's happening for my writing, so I need to just enjoy it. Thanks to everybody who comes to support me and make me feel less adrift. 
breakinglight11: (Bowing Fool)
My residency period for my fourth and final semester of graduate school began this week. Things seem to be going okay so far. I had my ten-minute Stand-inspired play Wildflowers workshopped yesterday, and the response was positive and the criticism useful. I always wait to see if my teacher has any amount to say about it, because I think it's an indicator that they're becoming engaged, and fortunately that seemed to be the case. The fourth semester is the thesis semester for my program, which means I have to revise an old full-length piece, write a new full-length piece, write a new ten-minute play, and design a seminar for my fellow students on some aspect of craft. My teacher said she'd be happy to work on the larger story Wildflowers is part of as my thesis, which would be cool. It makes me feel good to hear she likes it.

Also regarding that larger story, I was fortunate enough to get another ten-minute play accepted for performance. This one is Public Enemy, which happens to be another piece of the story that Wildflowers helps to tell. It is spoilery for The Stand, and was written as part of 31 Plays in 31 Days. This one will also be happening in New York, produced by a group called Thespian Production as part of the 2013 Winter "Theatre Madness" at Joria Main Stage Theater at 260 West 36th Street, 3rd Floor, New York, NY. The production dates will be from March 7-9th. This is cool because it's the first piece of this story to see performance, which will be great if I'm going to develop it this semester for my thesis. Also, perhaps best of all, I need do nothing at all to put the production together. As much as I like putting shows together, personally getting things together to go up in New York is a little tough, and lately I don't have a lot of extra time and energy. I'm hoping for more of this in the future, so I can have lots of production without driving myself insane. :-)

So this brings the tally up to four performances of three plays-- The Late Mrs. Chadwick, Work-Life Balance, and Public Enemy --and two readings-- of Mrs. Hawking and The Triumph of Law. Here's hoping things continue in this vein!
breakinglight11: (Ponderous Fool)
mrshawkingicon

I got an email regarding organizing my reading for Mrs. Hawking as part of my winter residency. Lesley has engaged six actors to read the various parts, and I have to arrange a conversation with the director to make sure we're on the same page. They're expecting the script by a week from today, so I have until then to edit it into the shape I want read. I'm pretty proud of this piece, so it's a good first step to actually getting it performed to have a professional reading.

I created a Facebook event recently inviting people to the reading. Quite a few of you lovely people have RSVPed that you will be attending, and I want you to know how grateful I am. It means a lot to me that there will be people at this reading. I think because I've been a loner during residencies it's given some of my teachers a weird impression of me. I'd like to have my people present to show, if nothing else, that I've got them. I think it would strike my teachers and classmates favorably. And I have so many insecurities and hangups about this whole process anyway, I think it would be helpful in boosting my confidence.

If you are interested, it will be happening at 6PM on Tuesday, January 8th in the Marran Theater. It can be found in the Student Center on Doble Campus of Lesley University, at 29 Everett Street, Cambridge, MA. It would mean a lot to me to see you there.

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