Saturday, December 25, 2004

Dec. 25 Part II

Today could be a milestone.

If I don’t get a last minute call to go in to one of the shows, this will be the first Christmas Day in twenty four years that I have not worked.

Even last year, when I knew I was going to transition out of the theatre, I worked on Rent on Christmas Eve and on Gypsy on Christmas Day.

People forget that, when they over-glamorize life in the business. Movie stars often don’t work on holidays, but theatre people do. That’s when audience members have the time off and want to see a show.

Every time the phone rings, I jump, hoping that it’s not a call to come in.

I want to reclaim my holidays.

Over the last few years, I started to do just that. I don’t work on Halloween – it’s too important a day for me, and I no longer compromise on it. It’s spelled out in my contracts. Most of the time (except for the past two years), I don’t work on Thanksgiving, because that’s when we’re summoned to Maine.

Because of that, I always agreed to work on Christmas so other people could have it off.

And, as of last year, I now refuse to work on New Year’s Eve. I do not go into Manhattan on that crazy day. I put in my time fighting my way through that hell, and I’m not a big New Year’s Eve fan anyway. So I don’t do it.

Wrestling the 20-pound turkey into the oven was quite a feat. For some reason, the preparers had embedded plastic into it to tie the legs together. I don’t want anything plastic in my turkey. So I had to dig into it with sanitized pliers to get it out, then stuff it, and it’s so big the top barely fits on the pan. But it smells good.

I wrote a few more episodes of Tapestry this morning, revised eight episodes and sent them all off. I’m caught up – until the next Tapestry week. Angel Hunt week begins Monday and I’m still behind on Cutthroat Charlotte and, especially, on The Widow’s Chamber.

Someday I’ll be caught up – for maybe 24 hours.

I burned my forearm badly taking the turkey out of the oven. It’s a combination of steam and grease burn, and I’m surprised by how much it hurt. Had the hospital up the street not closed – YESTERDAY – I might have gone up there to get treated; however, I wasn’t about to lose the rest of the day in a hospital emergency room. And what’s the use of herbal studies if I don’t make use of them? So I used a combination of aloe from the plant in the kitchen and some Pennsylvania Dutch Folk Remedies – and they worked. It stings a bit, but it barely shows. Instead of the entire forearm blistered and swollen, I have a bit of a raised area of about 4 inches just above the wrist. I will continue to work on it tonight, tomorrow, and Monday, and perhaps I won’t need to wrap it to go to work on Tuesday.

I fretted terribly about my downstairs neighbor. She has her television on constantly when she’s home, and always cracks her door so she knows who’s coming and going. She’s difficult and intrusive and off-putting, but I still worried about her being alone for Christmas. I was admonished by the family in no uncertain terms NOT to invite her upstairs – she would have gone through drawers and cupboards, read personal papers and, in general, upset everyone – but I was trying to figure out a way to make her feel someone thought of her while still protecting my family’s privacy and holiday spirit. Fortunately, someone came to pick her up to go somewhere, so she’s not alone and I’m off the hook. I would have felt horrible leaving her alone down there, yet had I brought her up here, everyone else would have been miserable. There was no way to win.

But the dinner was good and the clean-up, though complicated, went well. What was that saying they made us copy over and over in third grade penmanship lessons for the letter “M”: “Many hands make light work.” My penmanship is still lousy, but the saying stuck.

I’ve got the turkey bones cooking in a pot to make stock, and had a quiet bit of afternoon re-reading books I’ll use in my “Writers and Journals” intensive.

The books have me thinking about a question that I share with you:

Who are you spiritual ancestors?

I don’t mean your blood relatives, nor do I mean icons of your religious faith. But who has had enormous influence on you, for good or bad, and been a guiding force in your life?

I’m going to ponder that question for a few days. As I considered it, I realized that not all of my spiritual ancestors were a positive influence.

Must do some more tidying up tonight. The friends who bailed yesterday are going to stop by tomorrow around noon – which means more like three. So I’ll tidy up a bit and keep my morning free to write.

Both Charlotte and The Widow’s Chamber need my attention tomorrow – two issues of each would be a good day’s work. And I want to work on the article for and the Lindisfarne article, as well as spinning out my storylines for Hereafter.

Tapestry took an interesting twist right before I folded in the New Year’s story, with a bizarre new character named Zack Grendl. Tom has proven himself to be less than stellar, though not as much of a jerk as I originally thought he’d be. He’s got room to grow, and either he’ll grow up a bit and earn Nina, or she’ll outgrow him first. Honestly, I have no idea which way it will go. I’m as curious to find out as I hope my readers are.

I think I may have to insert one more short arc before sending Nina to Chicago and then on to Edinburgh. I got an interesting idea. Which has to be put aside for a month – but hopefully not lost – while I concentrate on all the other serials. Part of me wonders if maybe I should write three months’ worth at a time instead of one month, in order to stay longer in the world of each piece.

So much contemplation is necessary this week to prepare for a clean-slated New Year!

Plus, I have to finish the Update Newsletter.

But first, another chocolate truffle.

And later tonight, I’ll burn a candle for The Lost – those we love who have died, those we may not know who died (such as soldiers we don’t know personally but have lost collectively as a country). Today is about peace and love, and part of that is remembrance, and hopefully learning how to create more peace and love and less unnecessary loss.



At 6:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found you through BlogExplosion and I find that not too many people actually sit and read the blogs that they're surfing, so when I find one that I really like I like to tell that person, just so they know. Anyways, I hope you and your family had a very Merry Christmas and that based on what you said, your neighbor sounds like Gladys Kravitz from Bewitched and it was very nice of you to think of her. So many people don't get into the holiday spirit, so I'm glad that you wanted to do something for her. Even though it worked out for the best of everyone, the thought was still there and that's what the holidays are supposed to be about.

Happy Holidays :)



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