Why I Haven’t Posted

Confidence. Once upon a time, I had none.

High school theatre helped. It gave me the courage to explore, to try on different personas until I found a combination that fit right. College for me was more about the people and the experience than the academics. Funny, since I went so deeply in debt for it.

But much as I loved theatre in high school, I didn’t pursue it after. I knew the limits of my talent: I was dedicated, but mediocre. I wasn’t confident enough in myself to get out of my own head.

I auditioned for a couple shows in college and was cut each time. I would stare at the theatre class descriptions in the course catalog, but only signed up for one in my senior year.

 

Only a few years ago did I start auditioning for community theatre productions. And I was cut. A lot.

I managed to get a part as Cecily in a staged reading of the Importance of Being Ernest. Not many auditioned. That was in 2011.

Then last summer, I got an ensemble role in Julius Caesar. A few months later, I ended up in what might be the most challenging role I will ever play as the governess in Turn of the Screw: a two-person show with a scant month to learn all my lines. For 90 minutes, I never left the stage. It was dark, and intense, and wonderful. I still can’t quite believe I did it.

After that? I auditioned for another show. And got cut. (There’s a metaphor for writer rejection somewhere in here.) I was ecstatic to make the ensemble for Dracula.

Then about a month into rehearsals and a month before opening night, I got a call from the director. One of the actresses had to drop out for personal reasons, and would I be willing to play Mina?

I have been buzzing. This cast is amazing and awesomely talented, and I can’t quite believe that I have this opportunity.

Even if opening night is only two and a half weeks away.

And that is why I haven’t posted lately.

Father’s Day

Father’s Day . . . brings a whole mess of feelings. This weekend turns me into a bit of a wreck.

This weekend five years ago, I’d just lost my dad. And maybe I’d have better associations with the day if those two events hadn’t come so close together.

I hate the ads. There should be a way to filter them out. Which probably already exists and I just haven’t discovered it yet. Whenever there are store displays, I hurry by. They’re hard to look at directly – not just because the rampant capitalism and commodification is beyond ludicrous.

But my dislike of the day shouldn’t color anyone else’s experience. I have an amazing father-in-law and a pretty great stepfather. They deserve the special recognition of Father’s Day.

I love them.

But I still hate this day.

Maybe in another five years we’ll be on speaking terms. I can hope.

Writing Again

You know what’s awesome?

Writing.

Apparently, I write short stories, but I am not a short story writer. My brain does not acknowledge short stories as actual writing. Go figure.

And I have not worked on a novel since the end of October. Plenty of short stories, but no novel.

Earlier this month, I started a new novel project and it feels like I can breathe again. Just in time to start rehearsals for Dracula. Naturally.

Boston Travel Thoughts

So I spent a chunk of my weekend in Boston for a friend’s wedding-type thing. Boston reminded me of all the things I love and miss about living in a city, as well as the reasons I love living where I am.

There’s just no winning with me.

Being in Boston – even as briefly as I was – made me realize that a story in my head has been migrating there from NYC. Partly because Boston is much more practical for me to visit both in proximity and in the number of my friends in the area, and partly because the story doesn’t particularly care which city she’s in

Basically, Boston made me think about stories and story settings, and traveling as a writer.

The place that has provided the most setting-fodder?

Ecuador.

More than Seattle, or Japan, or Turkey, or anywhere else I’ve been (not counting Maine, because the place I’ve lived most of my life has an unfair advantage in that department), my experiences in Ecuador have directly shaped the greatest number of stories. Weird.

Maybe it’s because I went with a specific story in mind that I knew would be set there.

Or maybe I just need to approach every place I go with an eye to how it could be used as an arena for a kind of magical Fight Club.

I think I’ll try that . . .

Sun

Lady slippers

Sun makes everything better.

Lilacs and apple trees are finally blooming. The lady slippers are beautiful!

do more when the days are longer. Things that have been sitting on the to-do list for months are finally getting crossed off. I’m going more places and hanging out with friends more often. The extrovert hat is out and having a blast.

Best of all, more writing is happening. Productivity is not what I would like it to be. It’s not what it was this time last year, but I’m working towards that – baby steps.

Sun makes me happy.

Note To Self

Dear Self,

Maybe three blog posts in a week is too much. I’m not saying I don’t want you to have fun, or a space to vent, or whatever – I’m just saying that making three posts in a week, then disappearing for three weeks, does not a consistent schedule make.

Consider this your reminder that you want consistency. It’s a goal. You made it.

Love, Me

Dear A$$hat, An Exchange

On my way to lunch, I passed this particular asshat on his way in.

AH: What’re you, leaving?

MJ: Running away; I saw you coming.

AH: Better run faster.

. . . On the whole, this would have been significantly less disturbing without our last meeting:

AH: *in a voice and manner that reminds me why young children should not talk to strangers* Do you want a piece of candy, little girl?

*Entire office freezes in horrified silence.*

MJ: Well, that’s creepy.

You found that funny. Huh.