Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Two pages? That's it?

Yes, it has been weeks since I started this blog, and the only original material I've managed to compose is this two-page scene. Is it a play?  Maybe.  Is it idiotic?  Certainly. For now, just deal until I hit my stride, okay?

And now, I present:

Baby Einstein

(Remember, click on it then download)

Monday, January 11, 2010

PLAY #1: "The Perfect Craft -or- The True Meaning of Advent -or- Waiting for Adam"

Actually, I wrote it the week before X-mas, so it's technically the last play of 2009.  But I needed something to hold over you ravenous readers, until I can give you something fresh to chew on.  And I'm pretty sure you're all just reading to watch me fail.

The Perfect Craft

(How this is going to work: click on the link, which will take you to my Adobe Acrobat account.  You cannot preview the document, but the site will prompt you to download the PDF so it can be read--but not copied, printed, or commented upon.  This is my intellectual property, and I am very protective of it, no matter how inane, absurd, or outright ridiculous it may be.  Thank you for cooperating and respecting the integrity of my work.  Should any difficulties arise with this process, please notify me.)

Extemporaneous Remarks on the Origins of the Project

Three weeks ago, in those pre-holiday days of anticipation, I was so keyed up about this project I could have written an angry, ranting manifesto—my proclamations and vocabulary growing more vague and grandiose with each line. Rather, I took a more subdued approach. I mulled the project for the entire day at my job. While it occupied my interest and helped pass the usually mind-numbing hours of work, I arrived at no specific ideas or concepts. I merely visualized the project in general: the plays written, the posts completed, and the satisfying sense of accomplishment. Day dreams of the aspiring. I could only see the surface of the project, could not or would not delve within. But, that sort of thing cannot be predicted at this early date, and nor should it. Only the writing will determine that, and I would not want to deprive myself of the arduous journey. Although, my mind’s eye often steals a glimpse of the destination, as perhaps it should.

Which returns me to the subject of these discursive remarks: my current hesitation and stagnation. Initially, I had a burst of energy, a motivating dose of excitement which naturally appears with every new project. I was so sure of the idea: I would write angry, topical plays satirizing or exposing or examining the issues and absurdities of our contemporary world. Now, the motivation is lacking and to get me writing, I look back on the idea's conception.

This idea for an epic play writing frenzy resulted from a cocktail of thoughts and circumstances, which mixed, mulled, brewed, and steeped during a good night’s sleep. The next morning, inspiration struck while in the shower—where all good ideas come. The night before, I read an article by Glenn Greenwald (my new favorite civil liberties watchdog) on the closing of the prison at the U.S. base Guantanamo Bay and the near-replica being designed at a prison in Illinois to hold the transferred inmates. I was incensed and disappointed. Not only was the United States continuing its blatant violation of civil rights at this institution, but the Obama administration is apparently set on continuing most of Bush’s policies in this arena. Not only did I go to bed pissed off, but with thoughts of the glory days of publishing dancing in my head. You see, I’d discussed the golden age of pamphlets, broadsheets, and newspapers—the Seventeenth and Eighteenth centuries—with my uncle, a writer/illustrator. As he sketched, I suggested that he belonged in that era as an engraver of political illustrations. While engraving and lithography suit his meticulous nature as an artist, their use as tools of commentary and criticism in conjunction with the printed word got me thinking. Where is this public forum today?  Why the Internets, of course!  And who is our Enlightened author chastising social ills? Anyone and everyone … even me.

These ideas settled into my fertile mind overnight, and took root the very next morning. Now, it remains to be seen whether this concept—just sprouting today with this very post—will grow and bear fruit. Ah, and I believe I left out one not so minor contextual factor. In the week before my epiphany, I wrote a ten-minute scene for my family to read aloud at the table after our Christmas dinner. Thus, I figured if I could write one play in a week, once, then I could probably pull it off again. And I was so excited by the prospect that I even declared that in 2010 I would “get my war on” at last. Let’s hope I will be eating a hearty bowl of soup in the near future rather than my words.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Mission Statement

To write a play (of no set length) each week, for 52 weeks. Each play will be finished by Friday of each week. On that day, as well, the play will be posted as a read-only PDF to a blog that will track the progress of the project.

To drastically increase my writing productivity, to produce completed projects, to focus on and practice the art of dramatic writing, and to dedicate myself to that craft. If I am a writer, then I must write; if I write plays, then I am a playwright.