Thursday, April 28, 2005
Rainy and cool
Survival was about the best I could do on the show yesterday. There’s far too much ingratitude right now within the company towards the fact it’s a hit show and these people are making a living in their chosen profession. There a few people who are being negative and vile and it’s inappropriate to the context of the piece. There are also a few people who simply don’t think before speaking or acting. It takes a toll on everyone. It’s a shame, because it’s a wonderful show, and, in spite of a rocky patch right now (which every long run hits numerous times), the majority of people involved are great. It’s just more difficult, on many levels, than it needs to be.
Went to Island Burger for dinner and then to the Coffee Pot to try and write. Nothing. New York, which has been an inspiration and a driving force for most of my life, drains me instead of energizes me now. And it makes me sad. There’s a real sense of loss.
Change is good, and I’m glad that my life is moving in new directions, but I miss the sense of anything-is-possible that fuels the city. Economics have gotten so rough – thanks to both the Federal and State governments, who are determined to take as much from New Yorkers as possible without giving them anything in return – it’s no longer a livable city unless you have a Trust Fund. The problems in Albany that directly affect our lives are appalling. The Albany-based problems aren’t just awful for people in the city – the entire state is in a mess, and if it’s not fixed soon, I think the state’s just going to implode.
I miss “my” city – the city of Tapestry. And that city no longer exists.
On a personal level, no matter how difficult it is to survive in New York (and it’s always difficult – that’s why there’s the saying, “If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere” -- it’s true), New York always felt limitless and it made me feel limitless. Now, it feels limiting.
And that triggers both the call to action and the sense of grief for the loss of the part of my life that defined me for so many years. That friction between the need to move forward and the sense of what’s left behind . . .
Being in the throes of a transition is always painful. You can’t get a true sense of the entire experience until living through it, digesting it, and then looking back. So I’m somewhere in the middle of the murk right now, trying to find a flashlight or a rope or something that will give me a clue.
My life in New York and my career in the theatre – for which I’m grateful and for which I realize many people would kill for – have set a firm foundation for the next phase of my life. Or, to borrow from Mary Catherine Bateson’s Composing a Life, for the next movement in my life’s symphony.
I’m still writing it, though, and will be for awhile. And, as in any writing process, sometimes it doesn’t go so smoothly.
Read another light-hearted chick lit yesterday. Won’t mention title or author, because I wasn’t that thrilled with it. It fell into many of the clichés that annoy me in the genre. The level of self –loathing was awful. To physically describe the first-person narrator twice in the first seven pages – instead of letting us discover the physical details through dialogue or action – put me off at the get-go. To continue to batter the self-loathing of the protagonist into the reader for the entire book didn’t work at all for me. I don’t find self-loathing amusing, and it certainly wasn’t handled with clever satire in this case. Some of the plot was good, though predictable. Much of the dialogue was excellent. But . . .I don’t think I’ll be reading any more by this author. While I understand what was being communicated, I feel it could have been done in a much more clever and unique way.
The writer’s got a half dozen books out in this genre, and is listed as a “best-selling author” (without details of which list or lists). Good for her. But it’s not something I enjoy as a reader or a writer. Reading about her – I think we’d get along well as people. But I don’t like her work.
Thank goodness there are so many different tastes and room for so many different writers and writing!
I’ve got to do some more housecleaning, and I’ve got to do more work on Widow’s Chamber and Charlotte. Along with a million other things to get ready for the show and the coming week. My back is spasming. Oh, well. I have to do some work with a yoga teacher to find specific poses for precisely what’s bothering me.
I’ll get to see my friends who recently moved to Maine and opened a café when I go to see the family in a few weeks. I can’t wait – I miss them!
I heard back from one of the Cape Cod research centers – they are happy to continue answering questions for however many stories I write about the “Impressions” characters.
For a free issue of any of the above serials, click the appropriate link and download.