Thursday, May 1, 2014

Moving away to get close.

It is hard to write when you can distract yourself. I've said this before. There are things that want your attention everywhere!

Curse you rock!
I sit down to write and then I can see that the top of the plant stand is a bit dusty and I know I can't write when there is dust! I sit down to write and I need a cup of tea, or the washing should be hung out, or Gabriel sets out on a duologue for one, or I have to work, or I just... don't feel like it.

And there are things to write. Believe me. Plays and blogs and monologues and short plays and press releases and grant applications, oh yes, there are things to write.

So I went away. I went north this time. Some of you, who read this blog, and that is about 16 people, may recall that I went to the beach about 2 years ago and wrote there. This time I went to spa country, Kyneton. This is what small town life is like for the gentrified and well off. There are food stores that sell 15 types of artisanal honey, everyone is a barrista, and if they aren't a barrista then they are just up here at their weekend place. Or, like my charming hosts, they own a beautiful property and easily distracted writers stay in it. 

Don't get me wrong, I am perfectly able to be distracted in Kyneton too, there are things there as well. Just not as many things as there are at my house.

I had set myself the task of finishing the first draft of 1 AZ - the zombie comedy.Yes, I'm still working on that. It is pretty funny, if I do say so myself. I sent it off to Playwriting Australia and although they
declined to develop it, they did ring me up and talk to me about the play which I thought was very decent of them. Their main concern was they weren't sure where it was going. I can understand their qualms. Where does a zombie comedy go? In my case, it goes blacker and blacker until - you know - it's pretty damn dark.

I have had the shorter play performed about 4 times now, it's been quite successful with Short and Sweet. In a coincidence of fairly high proportions one of the dramaturgs for Playwriting Australia (Brenden Hooke) ended up directing it for the Sydney version of S&S.  He was very complimentary regarding the longer version.

So I was in Kyneton to write that first draft. Which I did. Pretty anticlimactic right? I spent a bit of time thinking about which people die and which people live and then how they live and die respectively. And then I wrote it all down.

The thing about finishing something - like a first draft, is that you just have to make a whole bunch of decisions and then stick to them. If it is any consolation to other writers trying to finish a first draft - there are many mistakes made and I also have a few gaping holes where characters are alive and then dead. But the first draft is done.

So many funny memes about zombies....
I have sent the whole thing off to the RE Ross Trust and I am hoping that they might consent to give me about 8k so that I can develop the play to a second draft. That would be a fine thing. If not, then I'll no doubt develop the thing myself - for no money - as I usually do.

The other play that I am meant to be writing is Fury. My other child. Here is what happened to Fury. I wrote the play with a group pf extraordinary actors and a brilliant director. I had an amazing time, a time of great learning and fun. And then we put the reading on for the first draft and it was received really well. And then I completely changed my mind about the ending. Not only that, I completely changed my frame of reference regarding the nature of bullying.

I still want to use the 3D projection for the show, I still want to have it be about young women and the way that technology has changed the nature of bullying. But I need my character to live, at the moment she dies. It's a big change. So I have stalled on the play. I wish that I hadn't, for lots of reasons. I know that I will go back to it.

Probably I need to go away again. This time I think that I'll head to the high country. So that I can horseride. NO, I mean, so that I can write.

That is a good looking horse.
That's what I've been doing. Writing. And I went to San Diego too. Didn't write a word whilst I was there.