Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Yesterday I pulled into a parking lot and when I got out of the car, there were broken pieces of green glass neatly piled on the perimeter of the parking space.  It appeared that some kind-hearted person didn't want anyone driving over broken glass and puncturing the tires of the car. Thank you, kind-hearted person.

But here is the interesting part:  I didn't immediately think, "Oh no...broken I'm gonna get a flat tire..."  I thought, " beautiful...look at all the lovely emerald gemstones on the ground."

It was a very childish was a very idealistic thought...but spotting all that shattered green glass made me feel very happy for some unknown reason.  My attitude toward the glass surprised me.  My perspective had changed.  I wasn't thinking I was staring at some broken Heineken bottle...I was thinking..."that is quite enchanting!"

No, I did not stoop down and fill my pockets with broken green glass.  But I did let my gaze linger awhile, noticing and appreciating its beauty.  More importantly, I surprised myself and I love when that happens. It's a rare thing!

It's not that big a deal, this seemingly meaningless incident.  But to a writer, we have to notice everything.  And small occurrences such as this one are gold.  Or in this case...emerald!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Interview with Samuel French

Just a quick post to let everyone know my interview with Samuel French went up today. 

The festival is only three weeks away...anticipation grows but I'm doing my best to hold it in check.

The judges were announced the other day on Playbill. Lots of impressive heavy hitters on that list.  This opportunity is enormous.  I take a breath, give thanks to the Universe, and move forward.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Speak the Speech, I Pray You....OUT LOUD!

Writing is such a solitary occupation, and typically a quiet one. But I talk out loud to myself all the time. It's becoming pervasive...branching out into all areas of my life, and not just when I'm sitting at my desk working on a piece. I have been known to carry on full-length conversations with myself in public places like Target.

Here I am…in the toilet tissue aisle…talking. To no one…!

As I examine various rolls of toilet paper the conversation goes something like this:

"Hmmm…should I get the Northern bathroom tissue, or is the Angel Soft a better deal?"

No…that doesn’t really sound right. Actually, in reality the conversation probably goes something like this:

"Why have I been standing in front of the toilet paper for 10 minutes trying to figure out how to get the most for my money? Just pick one already, will you Deb?"

Yeah, that sounds more like me. I'm sure many people in Target have noticed my toilet paper diatribe and steered away from the odd woman who is obviously a bit tweaked in the head.

Ah well...occupational hazard.

As a playwright, it's essential that I read my work out loud. I need to hear the rhythm of the dialogue. I need to hear if the writing sounds natural; if it truly sounds like a conversation and not just words on a page. But I also think it’s useful to read any piece of writing out loud. It doesn’t have to be a play or a speech. Short stories, articles, advertising copy, even blog posts! I think it works to the writer’s benefit to hear the words spoken out loud and outside of their head.

If nothing else, it helps give me a sharper eye when proofreading. I’m more apt to spot an error if I hear it…sometimes my eye is lazy and doesn’t see a mistake, but I’ll hear if a sentence sounds weird, or a comma needs to be placed. You get the idea, right?

So whatever you happen to be working on…a press release, a journal entry, a poem, a blog, a memoir….sing out Louise! Let the words of your writing reverberate back to you…out loud…it’s kinda fun. I just wouldn’t recommend doing it in the middle of Target.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

And now a few words from Carl Jung...

"The artist's life cannot be otherwise than full of conflicts, for two forces are at war within him—on the one hand, the common longing for happiness, satisfaction and security in life, and on the other a ruthless passion for creation which may go so far as to override every personal desire. There are hardly any exceptions to the rule that a person must pay dearly for the divine gift of creative fire."
 - carl jung

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Time Management

I am working on so many projects simultaneously, I feel a bit overwhelmed.  In order to be as efficient as possible, I'm needing to write "to do" lists and set priorities...but sometimes, when my brain goes into overdrive, it simply a deer in the headlights.  And then of course, I freeze, and feel like I can't move forward.

My projects are creative ones...lots and lots of writing.  Because I am a writer.  That's what I do.  Some of the stuff I'm working on is actually more creative than other stuff, so I am definitely using two different parts of my brain.   But at the end of the day, all I'm doing is dealing with the art of crafting words.  Plays, articles, blog posts, course outlines, cover's all words, words, words.  And as much as I love words...instead of having this constant running stream of words flowing through my brain, I sure could use a brief bit of quiet. There's so much noise in my head these days...I need to turn down the volume.

I truly believe that we create our own lives, and I have definitely created my life as a writer.  I welcome all the opportunities that are coming my way, but I also treasure the moments when I can put down the dictionary and the thesaurus, close my eyes, and see images rather than words.  I am a pretty cerebral gal, and usually think in terms of words and phrases---that in itself is not a good thing or a bad thing, it's just who I am. 

But I do wish I thought more in images...I wish my brain were more cinematic...sometimes it my dreams it is...I see movies in my mind from time to time, and that actually helps me a lot when I'm constructing plays or short stories. But mostly I think in terms of ideas and concepts...sounds kinda boring, but actually if you were inside my head, you'd realize it's not boring at all. Trust me on that one!

Wow...I have really gotten off topic here...but I guess it's okay for my mind to wander like this.  After all, it's 3AM and I've got the rest of the day to prioritize and utilize my fabulous time management skills.  Yes, I'm writing a blog post at 3AM so I can write other stuff later in the day.  On a Sunday.  Freelancers never have a weekend.  I don't mind...I like what I do...but it would be nice to spend a Sunday flitting away the day looking at pretty pictures....

Please tell me--how do you organize your time?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Technical Assistance Please...

This post is specifically for my fellow SOS if you will.  I put out a cry for help on Facebook, but unfortunately to no avail. 

If you read this blog regularly, you may have noticed that I recently changed my template.  Blogger is now offering new designer templates.  I'm very happy with the look of the blog, but ever since I changed to the new template, I'm having some difficulties with a couple of the features.

First, I used to be able to click on my gadgets in the sidebar and they would immediately link  to their respective websites.  For some reason, it's not doing that anymore.  The URL addresses are all correctly written, and I've tried numerous times, but it won't link! I'M SO FRUSTRATED!

Second, some of the images I use start off centered in the center of the post, and then, for some reason, they move over and there's this extra white area surrounding and adding to the photo! I hate it.  It's driving my Virgo sensibilities crazy!

Can anyone help?  I've posted on the Google Blogger Help forum and no one has come to my aid.  Infuriating!  I don't really want to go back to the old template, but I may have to if I can't get these features to work properly. 

Hoping to hear from you kind-hearted souls out there!  Thank you in advance for your help!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Write On!

I submitted a proposal to teach a playwrighting course online and it was accepted!  I'm excited.  Now the work begins...I need to submit the curriculum and an outlined lesson plan by the end of the week.  When all of that is approved, and I know for certain the class will occur, I will post all the specifics here on the blog.

If there are any budding playwrights out there who may want to try their hand at this, I hope you'll stop by and sign up! It's a lot of fun. Even if you only have a tiny shred of theatricality coursing through your veins, you should give playwrighting a whirl.  It's a lot different than writing fiction, but equally rewarding.

I will let you know when I have all the details.  You may just be the next Tennessee Williams and not even know it!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Rest in Peace Sweet Friend...

Yesterday a dear friend of mine from days gone by passed away.  I hadn't seen or spoken to her in many years, but she lived in my heart.  Reading the tributes to her on her Facebook page, I realized she lived in many people's hearts.  She was a magical person.  I always thought so then...I know so now.

What is interesting to me, is my own grief.  We were no longer in each other's lives, yet my emotions run deep and my sadness is profound.  I suppose, with her passing, I am aware of the passing of time, and how things slip away from us before we even know it. 

She was a very bright light and loved life to its fullest.  So it does seem (I won't say unfair but maybe ironic) that one who embraced life with such gusto should be taken so young.  No one can understand these things.  We find ways to console ourselves and one another, and we move on. 

I spent a lot of time today mourning, and saying goodbye to her in my own private way.  And though I debated whether or not to blog about this very personal subject, I decided it was the least I could do to pay tribute to her.

So I send out to the Universe, my deepest gratitude for having known her, and my hope that she is truly at peace and out of pain. Rest in peace sweet friend.  You touched the lives of so many and you will be sorely missed.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Fruit and the BP Spill

I don't think it's irresponsible of me to NOT talk about the BP spill.  Discussions regarding that topic are all over the internet. Photographs abound of the wild life that is being destroyed because they can't seem to figure out how to PLUG IT UP!  So...I'm not going to talk about it.  If you want to talk about it, go to another blog.

I will change the topic dramatically by discussing WATERMELON!  I once wrote a monologue about watermelon being my favorite food. I think it may very well be the ideal fruit--second only to the banana.  I had a huge bowl of watermelon today for breakfast!  Wow! Talk about summer in my mouth.  It was delish.  I have no idea what I'm doing when I pick melons....but leave it to my beloved Trader Joe's to stock fantastic, ripe, red, juicy seedless mini melons.  Nectar of the Gods.

If it seems like I'm in denial over the bigger issues and wanting to write about something as mundane as're wrong.  First of all, watermelon is NOT mundane; and second, I'm not denying all the pain and suffering that is occurring as I write these words...but frankly, I needed a breather.  It's all too much sometimes, don't you think?

I am continually trying to make my life simpler and that includes the constant influx of information that bombards my brain every single second of the day.  It's not's survival. I breathe.  I acknowledge.  I do what I can.  And I move forward. 

Talking about fruit makes me feel better.  Don't ask me why.  Watermelon and bananas.  How simple can you get?

Sunday, June 6, 2010


photo by psyberartist
The images of what I want to say are swirling around in my head but the words don't come. I won't give into calling this "writer's block," because I'm not blocked. Not exactly. I'm just having difficulty finding a through-line. Finding my voice. Finding my character's voice. Telling the story!

Ok...well, that might indeed be a block. It's just that everything is very chaotic these days, up there in that old attic head of mine. Lots of cobwebs, lots of clutter. And I have tales to tell and plays that want to be written, but they're hiding in the corner, collecting dust and reluctant to be found.
How do I begin to clean out the jumbled mess up there? Where do I start? I need to sidestep the frustration, roll up my sleeves and dig in.

I'd take a deep breath, but all this dust is giving me an asthma attack...
"Word Fall" by psyberartist

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Late, Great Dorothy Parker

I turn to her when I need to be inspired and amazed...she never lets me down.  Here's two from the incomparable Mrs. Parker:

"Symptom Recital"
I do not like my state of mind;
I'm bitter, querulous, unkind.
I hate my legs, I hate my hands,
I do not yearn for lovelier lands.
I dread the dawn's recurrent light;
I hate to go to bed at night.
I snoot at simple, earnest folk.
I cannot take the gentlest joke.
I find no peace in paint or type.
My world is but a lot of tripe.
I'm disillusioned, empty-breasted.
For what I think, I'd be arrested.
I am not sick, I am not well.
My quondam dreams are shot to hell.
My soul is crushed, my spirit sore;
I do not like me any more.
I cavil, quarrel, grumble, grouse.
I ponder on the narrow house.
I shudder at the thought of men....
I'm due to fall in love again."

The two most beautiful words in the English language are 'cheque enclosed."

Some things never change, eh?