Saturday, December 30, 2006
Sunday, December 17, 2006
GreenLAGirl tagged me with this meme: 5 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Me.
As I’m not sure who reads FastFiction, I’ll just go with some obscure things:
1. My nickname in my family when I was a kid was Bill.
2. I rode a camel once, in Tunisia.
3. I haven’t ridden a horse since I was thrown when I was six.
4. I had only three wisdom teeth, not the usual four. All have been removed.
5. I didn’t learn to swim until I was 11 years old, but three years later I joined the high school swim team when I was a freshman.
I’m not tagging anyone.
Monday, December 04, 2006
Sometime late in 2003 I sent my rather successful collection of one act plays, The Parking Lot Plays, to “my publisher” for consideration.
Today, approximately three years later I got a reply:
At first I was irritated that it was taking so long, especially since those writers who were already published by them were given “priority”, but then I thought it was pretty funny.
I admit that I am disappointed, mostly because I believe that they are ideal for the college market, which was what I was led to believe Playscripts was angling themselves for: modest staging requirements, flexible casting and interesting parts.
I kept hoping that they would pick them up so I didn’t post them on my new website as I had with The Redeemer. Now that I no longer have to worry about pulling them, I’m seriously considering self-publishing (via LuLu.com or something) or just some sort of Creative Commons license that allows folks to read them and distribute them all they want and they only have to pay a royalty if they produce them.
I’ve been so out of it in the theatre world for the past few years I have no idea of folks are already doing it. But it’s a goal for the New Year.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
This year I had no idea. I had confidence that I could craft something as the month went along. I’d never really done that before, I’ve always had rather fully-formed ideas in my head before I sit down to write.
In September I went to Oakland for a staff meeting for NaNoWriMo and in the car from the airport I asked Chris Baty what I should write this year, as I was pretty much stumped. He said, “I should be about candy.”
It sounded like a solid idea.
I came up with the idea for a character who liked all the candy. Really all I knew about her was that she had a normal, low-key job and she liked the kinds of candy that I don’t like, just so people wouldn’t think it was autobiographical.
I came up with an opening line: Natalie woke up with a lollipop stuck in her hair.
That was about it. I went into November with those two things and just went for it.
The plot was slow, not that there wasn’t stuff going on in the novel, none of it had much of an overarching point.
Then I found a groove and started crafting a story that could not only make a worthy novel (I felt) but in my super-human confidence, I’m convinced I’ve created a new genre: Confectionery Fiction.
The reason that I mention all this is that I’ve been writing these novels for six years now. Each novel is different, different styles, different genres and POVs, different plots and characters explored. But they were all stories that were already in me.
The Exchange (‘01) was an idea I’d been trying to figure out a format for earlier that year, but set it aside after about 16 pages of a screenplay. It wasn’t visual so I abandoned it, only to find that it was perfect to explore as a novel.
The Russian Watercolors (‘02) was a great idea I’d been mulling as a screenplay as well, and thought I was never going to get around the screenplay so I should at least write it in novel form. I diverged from my original plot rather early on, but was actually pleased with some of the things I created.
The Saint of Runaways (‘03) was a grand attempt at a feminist thesis sort of novel. It was a play idea I’d been toying with for about 10 years. I wanted to explore the life of an obscure saint that I’d decided was the basis of one of the Grimm’s fairy tales. It didn’t exactly do that, but I was glad I worked on it.
An Alphabetical Order (‘04) was the first novel I went into without a plot but a pretty strong idea of themes. I started with the title and the simple idea of a woman detained by airport security and held for 72 days because of some really contentious argument she gets into. I was so pleased that I was able to get so much out of such a scant idea that I adapted it into an unfinished play.
Heap (‘05) was based on another screenplay idea I’d failed to do anything with for almost ten years. It’s nothing like the movie it would have made and I consider it one of the worst things I’ve ever written.
This year was different because I wrote a novel that I didn’t know I had in me. All the others were there for years. It was really surprising to find ideas that hadn’t been “thought to death” and it gives me hope that I can keep doing this, that I will always have stories to tell if I just look.
During November it's all about me writing a novel. Sometimes it's about whalewatching. You know, and then there's other stuff.