Thursday, January 06, 2005

Thursday, January 6, 2005
Waning Moon
Saturn Retrograde

Twelfth Night/Epiphany

It’s treacherous
outside. The temperature fluctuates. It warms up, starts to melt, cools down and refreezes. What is usually a five minute walk to get the paper took twenty minutes this morning – but I’d rather cautiously place my weight than slip and break something. Plus, once the treads in my boots fill with slush, I don’t have any traction, so I had to stop and clean them out with a twig every block or so. Looked a bit silly walking into the store carrying a twig, but they’re used to me not quite fitting the mold.

With all the wonderful aid collected to help tsunami victims, unfortunately, the predators are also out and about. Please investigate any group coming to collect money. While there are many well-meaning individuals who are setting up funds, some are not.

And it sickens me that newly orphaned children are being abducted by predators. It is not enough to want them to get their due in some Cosmic time frame – these predators need to be hunted and punished by humans NOW.

Slowly, I’m starting to socialize again. When I lived in Manhattan, I went out A LOT. Out after the show, out to parties, out to clubs, to art openings, to other shows, to film screenings – basically, I made sure that I took full advantage of being a New York City Woman.

Since I’ve moved outside of New York City, I socialize much less. For one thing, I can’t socialize after shows because the trains stop running so darned early. For another, I’m pouring as much of my energy into my own work as I can, and that means less energy on other people. Not in a mean way, but I have to prioritize my time.

I’ve always been bad at parties. I’m too shy to function well in large groups of people. I don’t have a store of small talk. I work with performers – some celebrities, some not – and have no interest in gossiping about them. I’m not big on “dishing the dirt” anyway. It’s not that I believe I only have Deep, Meaningful Thoughts and all conversation should be Intense. I babble and ramble as much as anyone. But it’s very hard for me to be around strangers.

The time I’ve spent in research at the race track and the hockey rink’s helped a lot. Especially the research I did for the hockey novel. Hockey people are the best and most interesting people around. I tend to be prepared when I interview players, coaches, et al – and yet, they always also have interesting questions for me that start lively discussions. Besides, that’s work, and I’m fine in work situations.

I still feel like an awkward teenager in social situations, unless it’s one on one or with people I know well. Since I’m reasonably well-versed in ice hockey and horse racing, I can talk about those subjects, but otherwise . . .

I can’t say I’ve missed cutting down on socializing. I still go out and see friends. It’s just much more low key. And since I did so much for so many years, I don’t feel as though I’ve missed anything.

But I’ve reconnected with some old friends recently who are involved in artistic endeavors, and I plan to attend performances, openings, and – oh, horrors! – social events, etc. in support of them. I know I’ll be glad once I get to these events, but the getting there – somehow, I have to figure out a way to make it more palatable.

If there’s too much exterior noise, I can’t hear what’s going on inside. It doesn’t mean that the interior life is all that fascinating at every moment, but from what goes on within comes the writing. Sure, situations and reactions come from observing people’s outer behavior – but the inner life of a character comes from a deeper, quieter place.

I indulged myself last night in a rare night of television, watching new episodes of Lost and The West Wing. I like the ensemble work and the writing on both shows. I’m probably the only one who doesn’t like the flashbacks in Lost – I figured out the structure after the first three episodes, so in a flashback, I’ve got it down in three minutes or less where it’s going, I’m ahead of it the whole time and impatient for it to get there, so, for me, it’s always spun out too long. I hope Rescue Me starts up again – that’s another favorite. I catch Kevin Hill whenever I can because I know people on the show and I like it. But that’s pretty much it.

When I write in the format or am interviewing to write in the format, I make myself watch a lot, in order to be able to discuss it coherently, but right now, there’s not much on that I like. There’s a lot of bad writing which leads to forced performances. I hope, with shows like Rescue Me and Lost gaining in popularity, that the pendulum is swinging back. It usually takes a few years.

Bradley Whitford wrote last night's episode of The West Wing, and I loved its verbal dexterity. Just wonderful.

I’m dosing on my own medicine. I keep counseling my fellow writers to be patient once they’ve made a submission, and here I am on pins and needles about the script outlines. I run a bit short on Virtues anyway, and Patience has never been kind to me.

It will be what it is, and I have other deadlines to meet. I still have several more episodes of Charlotte (3? 5? I don’t even know at this point) and I have to come up with FOURTEEN episodes of The Widow’s Chamber THIS WEEK to be caught up. At 1000 words per episode, you do the math.

So what the hell am I doing yapping on the blog? Get writing, girl! There are stories to be told!

Today I have to take down all the decorations. I should bake a King Cake, and I’m not. If I was in New Orleans – where I should be, had the trip not been cancelled – I would be joining in the Twelfth Night partying and the first parade of Carnivale.

No news on the “incident” I witnessed in the parking lot yesterday. Whatever really happened, the sights and especially the smells will be fodder for future work.

Now, to engage in a staring contest with the Blank Page. And I will win. I will defeat the Blank Page, and by the end of the writing day, it will be a Blank Page no more, but many pages filled with squiggles which hopefully make sense.


(Can you tell I’m still reading Will in the World)? :)



At 12:16 PM, Blogger Diana said...

So many intriguing thoughts here. Like walking down a path and seeing many appealing offshoots and wanting to try them all...


At 12:47 PM, Blogger Michelle Miles said...

I'm shy in big crowds too. I dislike having to small talk with people I don't know so I avoid it at all costs. :)


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