Thursday, July 15, 2004
Sunny and muggy
These last few days have been busy.
The best part is that, after days of feeling frustrated and uncreative, I had a major breakthrough. Yes, it was a semi-new project, but it’s actually the coalescing of ideas that have been whirling around my head for awhile.
How often is it that the plots and characters for six young adult novels explode inside one’s head? That’s what happened on Tuesday, and I frantically wrote it all down. There’s no way I’ll risk losing it the way I lost the BTP play.
I wrote on the train; I wrote on my break during daywork; I wrote during dinner. I wrote on the train home. I wrote on the train to work yesterday. I wrote over the dinner break.
I have all six in rough outline. I have titles for the first three, which will be set in Scotland. Finally, I’m writing about Scotland – and writing about my Scotland, not the Scotland that some of my writer friends depict. Reading the writing that friends have done about Scotland created an obstacle in my writing about Scotland. “My” Scotland is so different from anything they portray. But that’s what so incredible about the place – it’s very personal, and each person’s experience is so unique it’s difficult to accept that we’re all writing about the same area.
Tuesday I wrote the outlines and started Chapter 1 of the first book. Yesterday I finished Chapter One and started Chapter Two. Today I finished Chapter Two and started Chapter Three.
Life at the show the past few days has been okay. People are getting sick – that stomach bug I had last week is going around. Also, several performers are injured. Management is splitting tracks, but can’t seem to comprehend that we need to know the details of the split so that we can figure out where to set the costumes for the swings. There are put-in rehearsals all week for the new people – four new performers start next Tuesday. So everyone is overtired, overworked, and getting hurt.
Tuesday night, my co-worker nearly snapped my ankle when it got caught between two rolling racks of clothes. I called out for her to stop and she just kept yanking on the rack, thinking it was caught on a doorjamb or something, chatting away with someone else, not paying attention. The ankle is only badly bruised, with the ligaments/tendons – whatever it is that keeps the foot attached to the leg and flexible -- traumatized, but it’s not as bad as it could have been. I was more than mildly annoyed. So sorry you’re tired, so sorry you’re bored, but don’t put me (or anyone else) in physical danger. She felt badly about it, and my intent is not to make her feel bad, but she needs to pay attention.
I’m in pain and keeping it wrapped at work, but doing PT exercises and icing and using poultices while I’m home. It hurts less if I don’t favor it by limping – if I keep the weight evenly distributed over the two legs, then the injured ankle is okay, although tired, and the other leg doesn’t start to hurt because I’m overcompensating.
Hopefully, I won’t be in for eight shows next week, and I can really rest it and do slow PT on it to keep it limber, let it heal properly, yet also not let it stiffen or atrophy.
One performer has a rotator cuff injury; another banged up her wrist pretty badly climbing the tower as a monkey; another is fighting a losing battle with bronchitis; another has the flu. The entire company really needs a week off.
Audiences don’t realize what a physical toll shows take, especially when it’s a raked stage.
I outlined the next few episodes of Angel Hunt. Now I have to sit down and write them.
I’m arguing with MSN, who is not dealing with the e-mail problems. It’s about time consumers stopped allowing poor customer service. When I pay for a service, I expect that service.
AOL offered me a sweet deal, so I’m in the process of switching over. If I hate them, I’ll move on, but it’s worth a shot. The changeover will take at least two months. I’m keeping my yahoo address consistent. That seems to be the best way for people to reach me.
Means designing yet another new business card. Here I thought MSN would be the final address, and, obviously, it’s not.
I ordered cookbooks for research (Civil War, American Revolution, Shakespeare) and they arrived within a day. That’s why I love Jessica’s Biscuit. Great service and great quality (hey, they should hire me as a copy writer -- this paragraph reads like a commercial).
The storm yesterday was fantastic. I’d just settled into an Indian restaurant on W. 53rd Street and ordered dinner. I was trying to write about a storm off the coast of Scotland in the YA book. With the atmosphere and music of the Indian restaurant, I was struggling, and thought I’d have to pause until after the meal, then find a coffeehouse in which to write.
There was a groan of thunder that sounded like a series of trucks rolling over metal plates during street construction and a rapid succession of lightening flashes. The skies opened – it was like hundreds of sky janitors all emptied their buckets at the same time.
I thought, “This’ll work” and opened the notebook.
Yes, I’m writing the first draft of the YA novel in longhand. This way I can carry it with me and work on it all the time.
Read another guidebook on Paris that makes it sound like a dirty, corporate, unpleasant, mainstream city. I wonder if maybe I should spend only a few days there and then go to Nice or Marseilles. Or if the person writing this guide was simply cranky.
They’re mowing the asphalt again. I need to take a nap, try to get some work done on Angel Hunt and then cook a good meal before heading back to the theatre.