Saturday, June 27, 2004
Hot, humid, rainy and then sunny and gorgeous
The train ride in to the city was interesting from a writer’s standpoint, but annoying from a human standpoint. The couple sitting opposite me was just hateful. They were having a tiff. I guess they’d spent some time with his friends. First of all, the woman treated the conductor like a servant: “Fetch me water”. Secondly, she whined like the spoiled, gold-digging brat she was, complaining about his friends, calling them racist (she was from India or Pakistan, I think), saying how dare they treat her like a “regular” person, and he owed her a lot of jewelry for agreeing to spend time with them. She didn’t want the guy to retain any friendships with any other female, saying it was inappropriate and an insult to their relationship for him to have conversations with other women – including cousins and friends he’s had all his life. My first reaction was to say to him, “dump the spoiled bitch”, but to hear his condescending responses made me dislike him as much as I disliked her. At least if they’re creating drama between them, the rest of the world doesn’t have to put up with their crap. And they were obviously exhibitionistic to some degree or they wouldn’t have had such a personal conversation on the train.
They are added to my file of characters to get murdered some day in some story.
The show went well, with only the usual little glitches that happen in live theatre. But, by the end of the night, I’m exhausted. I twisted my ankle during the show yesterday, and it bothered me a lot.
The train back was full of kids returning from an Incubus concert. Actually, they were much nicer, friendlier, and more positive than those returning from the Madonna concert the previous night. They were in genuinely friendly high spirits instead of being rude and nasty to people.
Overslept this morning – so tired I could barely drag myself to the kitchen to make coffee. Did four loads of laundry, caught up on e-mail, got the info to the Luna Jensen faction so that press release can go out. I have to run off masters for the blog postcard and update the serial cards in order for those mailings to go out.
I don’t know how I’m going to survive the next few weeks of eight shows/week and still keep up the writing. Somehow, I have to figure out a way to do it. But I haven’t quite figured it out yet.
The BTP play is torturing me like an abscess. If I can just hold it off until I get back from the matinee tomorrow, it can have my full attention all the way through Monday, and I can get a first draft on paper.
I managed to catch what would have been a major error, and herein lies another lesson about not trusting Internet research without fact checking. I used to be pretty savvy about dates, places, etc., having to do with the American Revolution. In the fifth grade, I did an enormous project on the Boston Massacre. I remembered it happening before the Boston Tea Party. Well, as the BTP characters grew and I had the idea of making a trilogy, I decided to hop on the internet and check dates. I hit the search engine, typed in what I wanted and hit “I feel lucky”. Guess the site paid the engine lots of $$, because it came right up – and had the Boston Massacre happening a year after the Tea Party. For the purposes of my play, this was wonderful – I didn’t remember it that way, but it worked. Anna and Stephen would meet in the BTP; Henry would get killed in the Massacre; and, after the war was over, Anna and Stephen would cross paths again.
Only, something niggled at me about the dates. And I checked them again, today. The Boston Tea Party happened three years after the Boston Massacre. The Massacre took place in March of 1770, and the Tea Party in December of 1773. So much for the internet site.
Now, I’d much rather have my history straight, but it screws up the character arcs of Anna and Stephen. It can’t be Henry who’s killed in the Massacre because I need him for the Tea Party. And I don’t want BTP to be the middle play of the cycle; I want it to be the first. So I won’t write a play about the Massacre, and have to come up with something else that happened – Paul Revere’s ride – no, too clichéd, been done too often – I’ll find something else interesting. So it’ll have to be Anna’s brother killed in the Massacre, not her husband, which will help fuel her hatred of the Redcoats, and raise the stakes between her and Stephen. I still haven’t figured out how to dispose of Henry, but since he’ll be alive for the entire BTP play, I don’t think I need to worry about it. Yet.
Always check internet information against an encyclopedia, dictionary, etc.!
In his book, Paul Collins scoffs at writers who claim their characters take over the book. He says it’s not possible. I must write to him and correct it – perhaps it is not possible in his process, but it most certainly is possible. I know because it happens to me. His book is fun, but he has no right to proclaim his views as the views of The True Writer. They are the views of One Writer. As my views are the views of One Writer (or is it Another Writer?). I must be doing something right, because I’m gaining publishing credits up the ying yang. And while I’m overtired enough to want to cut to the chase and simply say, “Bite me”, that’s really not what I want to communicate. The challenge of being a Writer: finding the best words to fit one’s meaning, in life as well as in work.
Got the press info out, fixed the masters for the blog postcard and The Widow’s Chamber new bookmarks and the The Widow’s Chamber cards. Also did a flyer for all the serials plus the blog on one piece. Those can go to the printer on Monday. Also got out a query for a project in which I’m interested.
The first three rounds of the NHL Draft were interesting. Most of the guys on my list have been picked; some guys who didn’t catch my interest on paper and on whom I previously hadn’t seen tape in my research impressed me in their interviews. I was annoyed that Robbie Schremp was picked so low in the first round, but I’m glad he’s going to Edmonton. I can see him as a future teammate of Raffi Torres (providing Raffi’s still there by the time Schremp makes the Big Club). I have a ton of information from my article that will have to be sorted and then fact checked.
This week will bring many long nights and/or early mornings, and very little sleep.
Con Ed may go on strike at midnight, which means I won’t be able to post for awhile. The actors may go on strike tomorrow night, which means I won’t be paid for awhile.
But I’ll still be writing.