Thursday, October 21, 2004
Cloudy and cool
I have a reason to watch the World Series this year, because the Red Sox beat the Yankees last night for the pennant!
Now, baseball is not one of my sports of choice. I’m an ice hockey and thoroughbred racing fan. And as a New Yorker, I should root for the Yankees. But I was born outside of Boston, I think Fenway Park is one of the most wonderful and unique stadiums in the country, and I’ve always had a soft spot for the Red Sox. So I’m excited that they won, finally, and I wish them well in the World Series.
I ended up staying past day work and working the matinee yesterday. The actors are so lovely on the show. I truly enjoy them. And several of them have said they wished I was on the show full-time (along with the regular crew, not instead of the crew). It’s nice to work in that sort of welcoming, creative atmosphere.
The house I like in Dover Plains won’t work. The trains to New York only run every two hours. For a matinee day, the latest train I could take is at 8:30 in the morning for a 12:30 call. The 10:30 train doesn’t get there in time. To get home, my only option is the 11:52 PM, getting in at 1:51 AM. If I’m going to stay in New York, I’ll continue to work on Broadway at least part-time, and I have to be within a reasonable commuting distance. If I’m going to be out of range of the theatre, I want to be in Plymouth, MA.
Did two revisions on “Dream Layers” yesterday and another one this morning. I’ve submitted it. We’ll see. I’m worried that the last revision might have made it too tight. I was trying to make sure I fit it within the five-page guidelines and then, when I got ready to actually send it, I re-read the guidelines and it was five pages single-spaced. But I didn’t really want to put back anything that I cut. The story, as it stands, makes the point I wanted to make, about a coincidental meeting being a turning point directly for one character, indirectly for the other. I could fluff it out with more atmospheric description, but I think the sprinkles I put in are enough. I cut awkward wording and bits that were too heavy-handed. Let the characters, their words, what they’re not saying and their gestures tell the story. The last paragraph still isn’t perfect, but the last sentence reinforces the theme.
It’s not up to me any more. It’s up to the editor to decide if it fits in to the vision of the magazine.
Meanwhile, I did five or six pages on “Giving and Thanks”. I’m very pleased with what it’s doing. Some of the information was helpful in the revisions of “Dream Layers” and, should this editor like “Dream Layers”, I have an idea for next month’s issue that would also incorporate characters from this fictional town of Congress Corners, NY. It’s definitely a New York suburb, but it’s a mix of Rye and smaller towns further upstate. In other words, I’ve stretched the Long Island Sound shoreline a bit to fit it in. I don’t want to be constricted by this town. Originally, I thought about moving it across the county and sticking it on the Hudson River, but the beach imagery is important to many of the storylines involving the characters in this community, so I had to put it back here.
Maybe I’ll even incorporate Playland Amusement Park.
Am I going to have to put up pages on the website with historical/actual information the way I do with Widow’s Chamber and Cutthroat Charlotte? We’ll see.
It feels good to write some short stories again. As much as I try to craft the serial episodes so they are both satisfying on their own and parts of a larger whole, I miss the feeling of completion that actually finishing a submitting a short story gives me.
But the short form is much more difficult for me than the novel. I like the development process of both character and story, and I like the characters to be able to take tangents instead of driving hard towards a single resolution. While that is comforting and tidy, I don’t find it realistic. People are more complex, most of the time, and it’s their complexity and the variance within a single personality that I find interesting. Again, it’s a difference between character and caricature.
A friend who spent a day at a wool/sheep/yarn fair upstate brought back a large manila envelope of information. Some of it contains info on events I’d like to attend. Some of it inspires me to write articles. A lot of it inspires me to put together a direct mail piece to see if a few of them will hire me to re-write their information. There are some innovative, creative ideas out there and if they are communicated well, I think everyone’s business will increase. I have to let that percolate for awhile.
Today needs to be primarily about Charlotte, but also with some attention to Widow’s Chamber. And then some more work on The Other Project.
I also realized I haven’t missed the deadline for the pre-Breeders’ Cup article. That’s this Saturday. The BC is next Saturday.
Somewhere, I lost a week. Perhaps at sea with Charlotte.
So I better get offline and back into the 1700s. Liza O’Brien, the Aunts, and Congress Corners will just have to wait.