Josephine's Dream Reading

Josephine's Dream Reading
Trying to look like Josephine Baker - and failing miserably!

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls
Conquering the Beast

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

London Here I Come

I'm trying to look on the bright side. Surely I shall wake up on Saturday morning fit and well and ready to take on the world - or at least parts of it. It's been over two weeks now and my sinus infection has not totally disappeared. My ears feel as if they have been stuffed with cotton wool, and when I lie down at night there are sounds inside my left ear that make me think there's a bug inside doing a soft shoe shuffle. I've been told that if I want to avoid a burst ear drum as my plane leaves the tarmac (I do, I do) I should chew like crazy (lucky for me I've become addicted to Glee gum), drink water or suck cough candies. Just to be on the safe side, I think I'll do all three at once.
So, if all goes well, or as near to well as possible, on Sunday I shall be schlepping my one suitcase to a hotel in Bloomsbury (that's right, home of Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Set, the literati etc.)ready for a week of CULTURE. I'm taking my pen and a little notebook on the plane (the old fashioned kind of notebook that you write in) and my musical script (to learn, even though I wrote it) and a novel (to amuse and entertain me when I get sick of looking at cloud formations). I've also got a rather interesting little travel reading lamp which I'm hoping doesn't get confiscated at the airport and blown up by the security guards. It does look a little James Bond-ish.
Are any of you going somewhere different? Don't forget to take a notebook. If you can sketch why not do that instead of only relying on a camera? I'm a terrible artist but I still give it a try, just to get up close and personal and notice details.
Things to think about. What's different or the same about the new place? Does it smell or sound a bit different from your home town? Do people speak a different language or have a different way of speaking English. Do they use their hands more when they speak? And don't forget to mention any little adventures you might have while in the new location.
Bon voyage and remember, 'It's ALL material.'

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

There's No Business Like Show Business, etc.

We had the first read through for the musical that I wrote. What a lovely feeling. We all sat around and read the script, and of course it became clear to me that I needed to make yet more changes - but still, it sounded so good! I have a great cast and two amazing directors (my talented husband, bless him, and a professional actor, dancer, director who has a way of getting her actors to do all kinds of inventive things). You can't imagine how gratifying it is to have my words come to life and then have people make the characters their own! It's as if I've passed the ball to someone and they've run with it. For those of you who are dabbling with playwriting I have to say that even though you create characters, the actors and directors flesh them out in ways you might not have thought possible. I'm surprised at the way I'm willing to let that happen, but it might be because I didn't flesh out the characters as much as I might have when I wrote the show. In this particular show I wanted the actors to help more than usual with the creative process. If I write another play it might not work quite that way, but this is a little like workshopping, even though I've written the entire show already. Oh yes, and yesterday I even wrote another song. Well, not the music, but some rather witty lyrics which I hope will be set to music very soon. And in my key. Because the song is for me. There's a dance rehearsal this weekend and I plan to go, though I'll stay on the back row, because I don't want to distract the real dancers. I'm not very good at following other people's choreography. I'm sure it's because choreography is probably learned on the math side of the brain, and that's the side I don't have.
Anyway, if any of you are toying with the idea of writing for the stage, simply do what I did and take one of your unpublished stories and work it into a one act play. It's worth a try. Oh yes, and write a few songs to go with it. Or find a friend who can and will.
In other news, I've seen some more sketches for my upcoming picture book. They're terrific. I love what the artist is doing. That's a great feeling. Sometimes publishers match up writers and illustrators who seem to be on the same wavelength, and thank goodness it happened with this book. To celebrate I went to Vancouver Kidsbooks and bought an expensive, plush and cuddly puppet to use when I read the book to children. You'll have to wait until next year to see a photo of me with the book and the puppet, but I can assure you it will be well worth the wait.