Busy Busy Theatre Bee

Though I’ve been quiet on here, I’ve been busy. It’s funny how creative things seem to spawn more creative things.

I’ve had a ridiculous number of offers and invitations to audition, participate in a reading of a new play to be presented to a professional theatre company, participate in a staged reading of Macbeth (as Macduff!), to be in a show later this summer . . . even an offer of a role that I had to turn down because of other theatre conflicts.

Being in a position to turn down a role sounds like a pretty fantastic humble-brag – especially when even getting cast just doesn’t happen much – but it’s stupidly stressful.

It’s been more than a little frenetic when I stop to think about it, so I try not to. But I’ve made new friends and new theatre connections. We’ll see where they take me! And it’s also an amazing ego boost to be offered so many opportunities.

At the most frantic point, I did three auditions in a week and a half. Because that’s what everyone does when four months pregnant. (At least first trimester exhaustion had relaxed its grip by then.) One of those an open call for a professional theatre, which is something that has terrified me.

The experience was absolutely terrifying. But now that I’ve done it once, maybe it won’t intimidate me so much to try it again.

It doesn’t feel possible that all this has happened in the span of three months. While attempting to negotiate the reality of a first pregnancy.

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Seasonal Confusion

Seasons cling in Maine. My corner of Maine, anyway. They’re slow to change. They can be subtle and take their time coming in and are often reluctant to go out.

Twice a year I forget which season we’ve left, which we’re in, and which we’re changing into. They come in the spring and fall while the branches have no leaves and weather and temperature change fast enough to cause whiplash.

Maine seasons are stubborn and deliberate. You don’t wake up one spring morning and find everything has suddenly blossomed in the night. (Unless of course you have opened your eyes for a couple weeks.)  I guess our seasons have faith that we can figure them out . . . though sometimes a hint would be nice.

In the fall, after frosty nights and warm sunny days set the trees on fire, when those flames begin to fall, it’s like watching a tapestry unravel one thread at a time until you’re left with only the weft.

Our seasons argue. They don’t get along like the seasons out in Seattle, where they mixed and mingled until I barely had any sense of the passage of time.

A week ago, it felt like winter all over again, and now it feels like summer. I love these stubborn, argumentative seasons.

Except winter in March. Still can’t find much to love there.

Why I Write

I’m currently savoring my way through Jeff Vandermeer’s Wonderbook and came across a section that made me question why I write.

Telling stories seems to have always been a fact of life. Somewhere, I still have notebooks filled with a toddler’s illiterate scrawl in crayon rainbows. My grandmother still tells me I can stop breathing easier than I can stop writing.

How I came to declare writing as my passion and life is a story I’ve told perhaps too many time. The why is something else entirely and, after some thought, I believe I’ve figured it out.

Jeff Vandermeer suggests that are born out of negative experience, whether a terrible tragedy or a minor disappointment. For him, it was his parents’ divorce. Mine was a small child’s constantly disappointed search for magic.

Pretty non-hallucinogenic flower!

Magic is everywhere, if you choose to see it.

I wanted fairies, and unicorns, and talking cats. When I couldn’t find them, I made up my own adventures.

Even better: I found that magic, after all. It’s a conscious choice in how I experience the world, but that makes it no less the magic I searched for as a kid.

So here is a different sort of love for Valentine’s Day. Whatever your love, I hope you take time today to celebrate it.

The Devil’s Puppet Show

Oh, Internet. I have so much to tell you! Potential theatre-related opportunities are cropping up in the strangest (and best) of places. They may amount to nothing, but just the experience of trying will be priceless.

Dracula has been insanely popular. Even our “slow” nights draw decently sized audiences. An iconic story like Dracula performed in a haunted mid-nineteenth century stone fort? Yes. Just, yes.

(It also helps that we’ve had some rather fantastic reviews.)

I can’t quite believe we only have two more performances.

Something I find hilarious: we’ve been nicknamed the Devil’s Puppet Show. And that’s meant seriously. Apparently, by folks who don’t know the story. It makes me laugh. A lot.

My Massachusetts-based sister drove up to surprise me at last night’s show. I figured it out ahead of time because neither she nor our grandmother can lie or misdirect to save her life. Not to me, anyway. When Gram wouldn’t say whom she was meeting at the show, I had a suspicion. When I mentioned the mystery to my sister, she did a lovely brick wall impression. As she does when she doesn’t know what to say or do.

There are some drawbacks to reading people well, but that didn’t diminish how awesome it was to see her when we got to the fort.

And after the show, hanging out with some of the cast, I ended up voluntold into a karaoke rendition of Cell Block Tango. Even Dracula sang karaoke. It was amazing.

How have you been?

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.

The Book List, 2014

The last few years, I’ve kept a list of the books I’ve read. It’s fun to revisit them at the end of the year. But it 2014, I also kept a record of days when I didn’t write.

The grand total of 2014’s non-writing days? 12.

The awesome of that somewhat balances the fact that I only finished 33 books last year.

  1. Angel’s Ink, Jocelynn Drake
  2. The Pattern Scars, Caitlin Sweet
  3. Summoning, Carol Wolf
  4. Alice in Zombieland, Gena Showalter
  5. Seraphina, Rachel Hartman
  6. Vampire Academy, Richelle Mead
  7. Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2)
  8. Shadow Kiss (Vampire Academy #3)
  9. Blood Promise (Vampire Academy #4)
  10. Spirit Bound (Vampire Academy #5)
  11. Last Sacrifice (Vampire Academy #6)
  12. Tortall and Other Lands, Tamora Pierce
  13. Wild Magic
  14. Wolf-Speaker
  15. Emperor Mage
  16. The Realms of the Gods
  17. Protector of the Small: First Test
  18. Protector of the Small: Paige
  19. Protector of the Small: Squire
  20. Protector of the Small: Knight
  21. Throne of Glass, Sarah J. Maas
  22. Written in Red, Anne Bishop
  23. Lives of Tao, Wesley Chu
  24. Fight Like a Girl, edited by April Steenburgh and Christy Lennox
  25. Tiger Burning Bright, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Andre Norton, and Mercedes Lackey
  26. The House of Discarded Dreams, Ekaterina Sedia
  27. Darkbeast, Morgan Keyes
  28. Love in the Time of Metal and Flesh, Jay Lake
  29. The Midnight Queen, Sylvia Izzo Hunter
  30. Urban Green Man, edited by Adria Laycraft and Janice Blaine
  31. Bloody Fabulous: Stories of Fantasy and Fashion, edited by Ekaterina Sedia
  32. Kabu-Kabu, Nnedi Okorafor
  33. The Young Elites, Marie Lu

Waiting for the Plague

Con + show = waiting for the plague to hit.

Con-plague. If you’ve been to a con, you probably have an understanding of what I mean. High energy, no sleep, unhealthy/not enough/strange food, and so many bodies crowded and crammed together. Cons are a petri dish of ick.

(But I love them too much to care!)

Then, remember how my last post talked about canceling our final show due to snow? Well, as I hoped, that got rescheduled. To Sunday.

You know, the day I came home from con.

The show happened. It even happened well, though I was dead – about as close to zombie as a still-living person can get – until the time our stage manager called places.

The recording even worked! Now the show is done with me, and I am done with the show. And sick tends to follow the completion of a stressful thing (even if it’s mostly the good kind of stress).

Which leaves me waiting for the plague.