Sometimes I just have to start.
There are days that I can't think what to add to a conversation or a blog, for that matter. Perhaps those are the days to be silent and just listen. And yet I haven't posted a blog entry in months. So, I ask myself, "Do you have absolutely nothing to say? What have you been thinking about?" I think about conversations I've recently had, such as yesterday when I had a three hour conversation with an old friend of mine. (Not that she's old). I had a conversation with a grown son. We didn't run out of opinions and thoughts the whole time he was on the phone. In spite of a sore throat, I talk and talk and talk with my husband when we're together. That could be one of the reasons I can't get rid of my laryngitis. If it's the right conversation, ideas will spark, thoughts will fly and conversations will flow. Same goes for writing. Sometimes I have to just get started and ideas will spark, thoughts will fly, and the typing gets going. Sometimes it's not waiting to be inspired and then going to the computer to type. Sometimes it's going to the computer first and just starting. The same thing happens when I'm trying to make up a mime skit. I have to be moving before the routine will actually show itself completely.
Sometimes I just have to start.
Today I passed a quote in a middle school hallway: "You can do it!" it encouraged. I've seen many a quote, meme, poster and inspirational people on YouTube whose basic message is "You can do it!" I've seen the message geared for elementary students on up to centenarians.
When I ask "must I be reminded?" I don't mean, "Puh-lease, I never want to see that saying again!" I mean, "I wonder how many times I have to see it before I believe it. And when will I be able to believe it without seeing it?"
WHO KEEPS TAKING THE ADVENTUROUS "LET ME TRY THAT" SPIRIT OUT OF PEOPLE? Well, I suppose there will always be detractors. I could listen to them if I wanted. Sometimes my own worst critique is me. I suppose there are times I shouldn't listen to me either.
But if there are detractors then there must also be CHEER TEAMS who encourage us forward, even when we're stumbling. There might be times when I'm my only cheer squad. I don't want to cheer myself into doing something stupid, such as going 95 mph on a slick road, but I SHOULD listen to the encouraging cheers (from self and others) who get me going in the right direction.
I CAN DO THIS!
When I do, no matter how long it takes, I will celebrate.
Just in case you need a reminder to move in a positive direction: You can do this. You got it. GO YOU!
A couple of years ago, I thought we were going to shut down our theater business, or at least let it ease out of existence, like the air in an air mattress when two not-thin people lie on it all night. (heehee). Well, dang it. The theater business has not disappeared. I've got after-school classes I'm teaching; classes for a home school group; a production I'll be directing; scripts I'm writing; and performances. Well then OKAY. I LOVE MY JOB! There's something wonderful going on in the universe when you get to work at what you got a degree in decades ago.
The other day while spending time on WasteBook--I mean, Facebook, I realized all I was doing was scrolling mindlessly, looking at beautiful photos and wishing I could see something like that, and watching videos that were tidbits of nothing (unless they were of family). And I had to ask myself:
Where would you like to live? In the virtual world* or in the real one? If you lived in the real one, what kind of real fun could you have? What kind of real people could you meet or help or enjoy? What real dawns and sunsets would you see vs. other people’s pictures? If you take yourself out of the virtual world, what could you really accomplish?**
*Virtual world by definition would be UNREAL. That would not be a good place to live.
**I love books and I don't find that reading them is a waste of time but time well-spent, even though the books may be fiction.
I blogged about when not to use cell phones (gasp! Horrors! Not use cell phones! As if!) here. But I was reminded yesterday of another place in which one should not answer a cell phones:
THE LIBRARY. Yeah, don't answer it there. Please remember that it's okay to call someone back later and not be interrupted by every "ding" that goes off.
And don't answer it in a FUNERAL HOME either, unless it's a family member or special friend who's on their way.
Speaking of the interminable *ding* of cell phones, it reminds me of the little bells that the masters would ring for their servants, and the servants would have to DROP EVERYTHING, including emotions, just to respond to the *ding*. I suppose the bell sound could have been *ringalingaling*. Midnight and the Lord and Lady of the manor just returned home? *Ding* Come get the horses, stable boy. *Ringalingaling* Bring me a petit-four, cook. *Ding* You may take my jacket, shoes, socks, hat and tie, valet.
*ding. Ding. DING. Ringalingaling! dingdingdingdingding!*
Or perhaps it works as a better example this way (I know my kid can relate to this):
MOM/ME: Have you taken care of the dogs?
MOM: Have you finished your school work?
MOM: Unload the dishwasher.
MOM: Load the dishwasher
MOM: Set the table. Do your laundry. Make your bed. Get a job. Finish your classwork. Pick up your shoes. Did you return the library book? Have you called the manager back? What are you doing?
Annoying, isn't it? Whether it's Lord and Lady Smith--Ding--or Mom--"did you...", it's constant interruption. Kind of like the notifications on cell phones, eh?
Funny stories are funnier when they're true:
A department store employee was helping frantic customers on Thanksgiving Day (Black Friday came on a Thursday this year). One upset woman confronted him.
"You shouldn't be open on Thanksgiving Day!"
Um, thinks employee.
"If you weren't open I wouldn't have to be here!"
"I could be at home, having dinner with my family!"
Um, wonders this writer.
It never occurred to me that people believe that Black Friday Events must be attended. Is it because of that kind of mindset that many people think Christmas is so commercial? Um. Just in case this changes anyone--YOU HAVE THE POWER IN YOU! Yes, indeed. You can CHOOSE not to go to sales events. You can CHOOSE to have a simpler Christmas. We do, have for years. Anyone have some tips for a less-commercialized Christmas? Share them!
I finished writing my fantasy novel White Fire. I finished formatting it for ebook-hood. I got it uploaded to Smashwords and Amazon. I set the date for it's premier opening (I do theater; it's hard not to associate things in theater terms. For instance, I had job auditions, not interviews. I digress). I told family and friends about the pre-order time period. Then it went live yesterday.
What the heck have I been doing with my writing since then?!
I'm supposed to be working on:
a book I'm adapting into a musical. (Distant Serenade by Michael McLean)
editing White Fire's sequel. (The Search for Sethrum's Children, tentative title)
a humorous contemporary book I want to finish asap. (Bertie's Lasting Legacy)
So, it's time to start writing - diligently, industriously, daily - again, again!
And next time, in fear of having to recall the Teletubbies, maybe I won't "rest" for a month before plunging into the next project! May you all learn from my sad experience and keep at whatever you're supposed to be keeping at, rather than having to start ranting, "Again, again!"
I'd rather not get lost in the woods, so I stay on well-marked trails. I sometimes get a little disoriented when I'm driving to a location I've never been before but a GPS tends to be a fairly accurate guide.
I love to get lost in what I'm doing. Yesterday, I spent all day formatting my e-book. I didn't mean to. I started at 8 and figured I'd be done by noon; I've formatted before, not that hard, just a bit tedious. When I wasn't done by noon, I thought I'd be done shortly thereafter. At 3 pm, I wondered if I could get finished by 5 pm. At 11 pm, everything was complete, including uploading the cover and information (blurbs, pricing, isbn, etc) for pre-orders on Smashwords and Amazon. I almost forgot to eat. I didn't notice the comedy my daughter was watching in the other room. It would startle me every time the phone rang. It surprised when I realized I'd worked from 8 am - 11 pm without many breaks.
But I've done that before -- lost in a craft project, directing project, cleaning project, or a really good book! (The really good book is generally a graveyard shift schedule, such as 9 pm - 3 am). That lost thing helps me get something accomplished. I suppose that's being "In the Zone" or "In the Flow". I'll start calling it "Lost in a Good Way," "Lost" for short, or "LIAGW" because we all love acronyms, right?
How do you get LIAGW?
Does children's theater deserve less regard than real theater? I think I need to define and get more specific:
~When I say "deserves less regard," I mean less respect or less attention from the audience. Basically, does the audience get to ignore or, perhaps, make fun of performers if it's just a children's show? Is it alright if the audience becomes disruptive - such as yelling out to the performers, talking out loud or even whispering - if it's a children's show?
~When I say "real theater" I'm talking about going to a building that's got a stage and lights and props and costumes and there's an admissions charge.
~Now to get specific about the show:
What if the show is a group of children who are performing in the living room for their family?
What if the show is a group of children performing in a classroom?
What if the show is a group of children performing in front of their whole school and parents?
Does it matter if they're performing on the floor or on a stage? Should it matter?
What if the costumes or the set aren't fancy?
What if it's an adult troupe performing on the gym floor at a school?
What if it's an adult troupe performing on the grass at a park?
What if it's an adult troupe performing a children's show on a stage in a building that seats 500?
Here's what I think: The quality of the shows are definitely going to change but the quality of the audience behavior should not. I have seen the lack of regard by families who are attending a school production. "It's just the kids," they seem to think as they answer or play with cell phones or allow their younger children to run around. I have seen teachers stand in the back of the gym and carry on not-as-quiet-as-they-think conversations during a children's show put on by adults. For some reason, we've gotten the idea that it's okay to act differently if we're watching just a children's play than if we are dressed up and paying for a seat at the the-uh-tah. It's not okay. Audience members: act like you're dressed up; act like you paid a pretty penny to be able to watch a children's play, no matter where it's being performed or by whom.
Marian, that's me!
I love stories! I love to read fairy tales, fables, stories from around the world. I especially love scifi and fantasy. And I like to write. And watch movies. And play board games. And do theatre things.