I’m almost at the end of the play-a-day project. I’m going to finish, but it’s been a slog. Something that’s complicating matters is that I got a temporary job as an election official, and that entails some very long days, but this project was a slog before I got the job. I have “something that counts” for every day, but many of them are just placeholders. And I remember that a few times I published complete first drafts on the blog—including one year when I was an election official in October—and I wonder how that ever happened.
I’m making a serious push to have a set of 31 complete scenes in some form in the first week of November even if they’re not terribly well polished, but I can’t escape the annoyance of the fact that I used to be at that stage on Halloween in previous years…
The play-a-day project lumbers along and while there have been a few flights of fancy and slices of life that have proven fairly easy and fun to capture into play format, the project continues to be a slog overall.
One thing I decided by necessity one evening around 11:45 was that it “counted” as far as the goal was concerned if I had a bare bones sketch of who the characters of a “play” were along with some shorthand to remind me what the general action would be so that I could fill it in at some later time when I’m “feeling” writing dialogue better than I have been recently.
I decided it counted because I’m making the rules, but the fact remains that I haven’t needed to resort to rule-redefinings like this in the last 9 years doing this project. I’ve found some other exercises that I hope will make writing fun again, and once I get there I’m sure putting some meat on this skeleton will be a breeze, but I’m sure not there yet…
Time for the 3rd of my status updates on the play-a-day project. Well, I’m still going. There have been a few of my “plays” that have been fun to write, and that is a step up from where I was last week, but a step out of the 9th circle of Hades is still a quite a ways below ground.
One of the things I really enjoyed about doing this project—especially in the first year—was watching webs of interconnection form completely organically between the plays as I was writing them. It was part of the reason I decided to publish the sets largely unedited, that even some of the weaker plays might not stand up on their own but still worked in context with the others.
As I’m sure you can guess from my fairly pessimistic tone, while I have a play every day (and some spares to boot), I do not have any of that web forming, which means that even once I’ve generated the material, I’m going to have a lot of work ahead of me, ’cause there are some real stinkers right now and they are not pulling their weight.
As I feared, the writing has not been fun and writing my daily plays has been a chore. So much so that I considered making myself do two plays in a sitting when I could in the hope that at least one of them would be good. I’m not at a point where I’m going to judge them (that’s what November is for) but right now it astonishes me that I was ever able to do this project and be happy to share what I had written that same day on the blog.
The good news is that I have more than eight “plays.” The bad news is I can tell they’re going to take a lot more work…
Yes, once again it’s October, and so for anyone who’s following this blog, I’m sure you’re probably curious to know if I’m going to do the playwriting challenge again. Well, I am, but I’m not going to be sharing… at least not yet.
I am finding myself unusually unhappy with my writing recently, and I know from past experience that what I have to do is barrel through anyways. And the write-something-every-day-no-matter-how-crappy format of the play-a-day challenge might be just the balm I’m looking for. But, the fact remains that if I’m not enjoying the writing at some level, I have very little reason to think you’ll enjoy reading it.
So, if I prove myself wrong and find something I come up with during the month is an absolute gem, I’ll make an exception and post that. Otherwise, expect me to check in every Monday with a status update. Love and peace and thanks for your support!
Naturally, my heart goes out to the victims of the tragedy in Santa Fe, Texas. Despite the lethargy and numbness such events have had on me recently, I was inspired to write a little something in the style of one of my October plays.
Two PEOPLE are watching television. Or, not so much watching as looking at it numbly.
1: Another shooting.
1: Thoughts and prayers?
2: Already out there.
1: Why not do more than just thoughts and prayers?
2: Heard that too.
1: Well, what are they going to do?
2: The genius Lieutenant Governor has a plan.
2: Schools need fewer entrances.
1: Oh, dear god.
2: And we’re back to thoughts and prayers.
2: You know what I’m really dreading?
2: You already know the survivors are going to get attacked again. By the gun nuts. They can’t just get attacked once and be allowed to pull their lives back together somehow, but if they don’t throw themselves on the altar of the almighty gun and say exactly what the cult of the almighty gun demands of them, they’re going to be attacked again.
1: Have you seen anything like that yet?
2: This time, not so far. But it’s going to happen. It’s as predictable as
1 and 2: Thoughts and prayers.
So, I’ve been putting off sharing these since the first, but I wrote about how I made a month-long project of embracing failure in experimenting with visual arts. And I am happy to say that not only did I learn quite a bit from my failures, but even that some of my experiments were not failures. So, here is a representative sample of the 31: