Sunday, December 4, 2011

November: the month where I wrote a book.

I believe I've been a bit AWOL lately, but I promise I have a few relatively decent excuses.
In the month of November:

I spent five days a week in rehearsal for Owen Meany's Christmas Pageant, which opened on December 2nd. It runs through the 23rd, by the way, if you're free you should check it out. And let me know if you're coming so I can see you before/after the show! The show is based on an excerpt from the novel A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving. I intend to at some point read this book, because I hear it gets even more hilarious. As it is, the audience can barely contain themselves they are laughing so hard. Watch me transform from the sweater girl Aunt Martha to a bratty, giggling child that gets dragged offstage kicking and screaming by the end!
Come see the show and then perhaps afterwards we can all dedicate several weeks to reading the novel.

In the middle of the month, the group I write and direct for, The Spirit Singers, performed Unofficially Decided. This is the second play I've written for them and the third I've directed. I wrote this play based on an idea, as opposed to a plot, which made it incredibly difficult for me to finish. It took me around three months to write the script, which we cast and began blocking before I had finished (boy do I need to change that scheduling). Some day perhaps I will tell you more about that...

but the thing I am most excited about is that I finished National Novel Writing Month! Instead of reading books this month, I spent an entire month writing one. How do you win, you ask? In just one month you have to write 50,000 words. In addition, they urge you to actually finish the novel, which requires having a beginning, a middle, and an end - not just 50,000 words. I manged to have both! It is a rough draft - very rough - but a few of my friends have read it, and they seemed to want to finish it at least! Adina is the only reason I was really able to finish though. She started reading my novel one week in and just kept begging me for what happens next. Without her, I don't think I would have had the drive to finish, because when those vampires come knocking (see last blog post for an explanation, or just watch Die, Vampire, Die!) I had a real person to tell them to shut up and urge me to finish. So thank you, Adina, for also caring about what happened to Paul, Sara, and Paige.

But now? Now it is December and I have to decide what I'm going to do with my month. Do I edit the novel I so rapidly wrote? Do I start work on the next Spirit Singers project? Or do I frantically audition for every single thing I see posted on TPS until I get cast in another show?

I have this habit, once I go from being too busy to having some time on my hands, where I want to do EVERYTHING, I start out spending my time being so productive - cleaning, playing guitar, knitting, reading, everything! Then, slowly, I become lazier and lazier until I'm sitting around playing the Sims for 8 hours a day, or Stumbling, or whatever.

So, here's what I propose to myself: find something each month to focus on. Ok, you know me, I'll want to do at least three, but if I make one my most important goal then I'll procrastinate on cleaning and sleeping and what have you by focusing on that goal first.

Goal One: finish projects! I currently have approximately 11/12ths of a scarf knitted (on the left), and most of a hat, goal one is to finish these projects.
Goal Two: similar to goal one - edit what I've already done. I have written three plays. Three! Can you imagine? All three of them have been performed. If these opportunities have just fallen in my lap, maybe I should take this as a sign and keep up the work? So I need to edit one of these three plays and/or one novel before I get too excited about other projects.
Goal Three: Keep up with the Spirit Singers! Hopefully we'll be able to crank out another show by June, so it's time to figure out what, exactly, they're going to be doing. This requires either finding a script or making one happen. Now, of course, this is difficult to maintain if I'm going to accomplish goal perhaps this will become my new goal two. I'll let you know how it goes.

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