Wednesday, May 21, 2008

the writing life

Been thinking a lot about the writer's life, since Fatboy keeps getting productions and the only real money I've made recently has been commissions from the EIF and the Belfast Festival.

Nabakov recommends the "much abused ivory tower" as the best place to write from, but points out that "...before building oneself an ivory tower one must take the unavoidable trouble of killing quite a few elephants."

Now that boy was genius.

Overlord is pretty much done, I think, after five drafts. Gathering notes and scribbling down ideas for the next big one, my re-write of Woyzeck. And I've pretty much got the outline and half the jokes for The Zen Masters of the Midwest, a young man's journey through Ohio after dropping out of Oberlin College, meeting janitors and auto mechanics and postal workers, all of whom are secretly Buddhist monks, living the dharma and dealing the karma out in the Heartland.

Whacking away at screenplays with Boyhood Friend and writing partner Dave Weems.

And this here electronic daily diary/news flash/confession/love letter, this blog is a way of whetting the knife every morning, sharpening the blade like a morning meditation. Even if it's 300 words, it's words from the mind to the fingers to the world.

So thanks for reading.

Writing is a lot of fun when it's done.

Sort of a strange, self-imposed burden and gut-check when you're doing it, especially if you don't really know what you're doing or writing about when you start.

But when it's done and polished and you leave it for awhile and go on to something else and then someone talks to you about a thing you wrote years ago and says something nice about it, well, that's just an amazingly good feeling.

You feel like you left a signpost pointing towards something useful or important or just funny and then someone wandering the road years later noticed it and looked in the same direction you did when you were walking the road and maybe saw the same thing.

It's a good feeling.

Reading tomorrow of Stephen Culp's 13 Hallucinations of Julio Rivera at New York Theater Workshop. Come one, come all.

And if you're stuck in town on Memorial Day weekend, come here me yak and blather after Mike Daisy's How Theater Failed America on Saturday at Barrow Street Theater. Mike's doing a panel thing every Saturday and on the 24th I'm talking with him.

I'll try to overcome my natural shyness and innate sense of propriety.

And circle the date, May 30th. Matt Oberg climbs into the ring and gives the first public performance of The Event at the PIT. Much hilarity and magic tricks for those who stay.

Me and the girls are starting up a radio show, apparently. And a band and a T-shirt and candy company.

Now that's where the money is.


Ken Armstrong said...

Even nicer when someone talks to you about something you wrote and they don't even know you wrote it.

It's only happened to me once but we live in hope.

Enjoyed the read! Can I come back?

John said...

Hey, Ken.

Just going through old posts, sorry I missed your comment.

Come back, by all means.