Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Waning Moon
Jupiter Retrograde
Pluto Retrograde
Chiron Retrograde
Neptune Retrograde
Celtic Tree Month of Hawthorn
Stormy and cold

The Preakness Wrap-Up is printing late; my editor/publisher has an illness in the family – she’s forwarded the article to her webmaster, and it should be up today or tomorrow.

Of course, today, I’m already working on next week’s article!

Against my better judgment, I agreed to work three weeks full-time on the show, from June 14 to July 3. The writing will suffer, and it will mean discipline in maintaining the daily yoga practice no matter how tired I am.

The most difficult part will be shielding myself from the negativity surrounding the track I’m doing for the first two weeks.

I’m going to try to get ahead on deadlines between now and then, so that I can focus for two hours every day on the writing without stressing. It also means not taking on any new projects due during that time, although pitching for projects due AFTER July 3.

Belmont weekend is still sacred, but it means turning down most of the other invitations for the month. I still might do the Women in Film & Television event – although it is on my only night off, and will I truly want to go back into the city? I’ll make my decision this weekend.

Finished and sent the rest of the comments to my mentee yesterday before I left.

Day work was fine. Show was a scramble. There are new cast members, but no new notes yet, because yet another major cast change happens next week Unfortunately just enough details changed – and I didn’t have those changes – to really screw me up. Nobody went out there without clothes or in the wrong clothes, but it was tight. And the elevator was broken, which means the freight elevator was used to bring up the rolling racks. That elevator is slower, so the timing was yet again thrown off. But I got to say my goodbyes to departing cast members, which was nice. They are lovely, both on and off stage, and will be missed.

I’m rescheduling the fall trip to Paris until spring. There’s too much going on, family-wise, for me to feel comfortable about going overseas in the fall. However, around my birthday . . .I think Paris for my birthday would be a nice treat.

The house I was interested in a few weeks ago turns out to have a termite problem. The sellers are not interested in either fixing the problem before the sale or knocking off what I feel is a fair amount. So no go on that one. It had the space and outbuildings I wanted, and a nice big yard, but it jutted out into a main road (how many times would I end up with the cab of a pick-up truck through my living room window?) AND with a termite problem – I’ll pass.

I liked it, but, deep down, I didn’t have the feeling of “knowing” it was my house when I stepped inside, so it’s a minor setback, not a tragedy.

Paid some bills, sent off payments for the last set of books won on eBay. I’ve got a dozen books coming in, for both the Salt Marsh stories and the whaling saga. I think I’ll pause for awhile and catch up.

I need to catalogue my books. When I was a teenager, I hired myself out to several people to catalogue their libraries. It used to be done by hand (or typewriter) on index cards. I’m going to see if I can figure out how to set up a data base where I can pull the info by Title, Author, and Subject and arrange the info so I can have it all in the computer and then print out the cards.

Yes, when I have my library set up in the house (which is the room in which I will write), I will also have a card catalogue of the books.

I still think I should invest in an IBM Selectric Typewriter. I miss them. I once rented one for a month, as a teenager, and wrote a novel. It’s a novel which will never see the light of day, but at least I proved I could do it.

I’ve been reading Laurie Stone’s blog. She’s one of the participants in the Flux Factory’s living installation called “Novel”. I posted the link to a rather smug New Yorker article about it a few days ago. Reading the entries made me uncomfortable, and I had to poke around my psyche to find out why. I admire what they’re doing – I think it’s a fascinating project. But, putting myself in the sensory realm of the experience through Stone’s entries – seeing it through her eyes, but feeling it as myself – I couldn’t do it. More power to her for being able to, but I think it would stifle my process, instead of enhance it.

And not because it’s a living art exhibit. But because Flux Factory is an artists’ communal living experience (as far as I can tell from what I’ve read). And I know, from my own experience, that doesn’t work for me.

I love being around other creative people. My time at Palenville Interarts Colony a few years back was fantastic. But there were six of us scattered in cabins over 146 acres of land. We could flow together or apart. And we could choose not to see each other at all. My time at Dorset, while interesting, was less productive – we were all in the same house. I spent my week there cooking for the entire household in between writing a page here and there. I liked and admired the people, but the proximity was too close – it was almost as though I could hear their thought processes during the course of the day, and it interfered with my own – even though everyone respected the rules of silence. I was jittery and the only way I could calm down was to cook. Plus, it was a magnificent farmhouse kitchen.

Most people go to artist retreats to get away from their daily lives and have uninterrupted work time. Except for the occasional weeks of full-time Broadway work, most of my time is uninterrupted work time, and my schedule is my own, which is the way I like it. So I got to an artist retreat for a change of scenery, to get me to think in a new direction. And I need a lot of physical space to do that – probably because I lived in shoebox-sized apartments for so many years.

Once I’m in the house and have my library set up, will I ever feel the need to travel again? Or will I become an eccentric, eclectic hermit?

I suspect I will always have “itchy feet” as a friend terms it, but I also know that, by setting up my sanctuary the way I want it, my productivity will rise – which means the income will, too.

I need a habitat of solitude and quiet, from which I can choose to venture for companionship.

Even an art-centric living space doesn’t work for me, if the quarters are too close.

But I have to be close enough to like-minded people. By like minded I mean: intelligent (which doesn’t always mean university degrees), inquisitive, creative, and tolerant. People who believe in peaceful co-existence. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I can’t and won’t live in any area, no matter how beautiful, where the residents wave a bible in one hand and a shotgun in the other. They’re more than welcome to do so, but I will live elsewhere.

I also thought it was interesting that reading about a living installation could trigger not only an emotional response, but a physical one. That shows the depth of Stone’s writing.

I’ve been waiting for Godot (also known as the exterminator) all morning. So much for the regular monthly appointment. Must get on with my day, or nothing will get done. And tomorrow, I’ll be at an art exhibit almost all day, so . . .there are articles to write today. And I’ll go back to the serials on Friday.

Devon
www.devonellingtonwork.com
http://www.keepitcoming.net/widows-chamber.html
http://www.keepitcoming.net/tapestry.html
http://keepitcoming.net/angel-hunt.html
http://www.keepitcoming.net/cutthroat-charlotte.html
For a free issue of any of the above serials, click the appropriate link and download.

4 Comments:

At 11:55 AM, Blogger Debra Young said...

In 1993, I was privileged to spend 3 weeks at Hedgebrook on Whidbey Island in Washington state. It's six cottages on spacious forest acreage and they only accept 6 applicants at a time. It was wonderful--the best 3 weeks of my writing life. It was my first time at a retreat and the solitude rejuvenated me. I made more progess on the novel I was writing then than I had in the many years before, and healed myself from an experience of despair. I must hear my thoughts and that contemplative voice that shows me a story, thus I prefer space, quiet, and solitude for writing. Hedgebrook provided all three.

 
At 2:08 PM, Blogger Sue said...

I miss typewriters. There is something somehow satisfying about that clickety-clack and return sound!

 
At 4:26 PM, Blogger B. K. Birch said...

I have an old Selectric. I love it, but I'd hate to write a book on it. Where's the cut and paste?

I wish I had your energy.

 
At 8:22 AM, Blogger Green-Eyed Lady(GEL) said...

Ah, I passed down that Selectric to a family member when I graduated college. Typing was one way that helped fund two college degrees for me.

I understand the need for space & solitutde plus artistic stimulation in ways akin to you.
I, too, have ideas for projects, reorganization, changes, improvements, and the lists in my mind go on. Thinking of such seems to go hand in hand with creativity. Good luck in your ventures! (Your link is up. ;)

Would you mind emailing me about the woman bloggers group with your thoughts? Thanks

 

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