Really really?

Wrote and sent off an extended fight scene to the director. Been thinking long and hard about the final scene; it’s more action than dialogue. When I wrote it, I thought I was writing for two male characters. But now, the agent is being played by a woman. …Maybe I’m sexist in this thinking, but I don’t imagine a female character would throw a punch as readily as a male. I imagine female characters might go for containment over physical superiority – less punch drunk and more hold ’em tight so you can lock ’em up. There’s also the inherent physical differences between men and women, because the agent is female but the protagonist is male. While there may be plenty of women out there confident of their ability to punch a guy straight in the face, women just don’t bulk up on muscles the way men do and therefore a punch from a woman is a bit less intimidating. Jabs to the throat: now that, I can get on board with. It’s fast and effective, and something every woman should know how to do.

Used my little toy soldiers, moving them around on my desk like it was a stage. Wrote and wrote and wrote: at this point, so and so should be facing the audience. Turn, now the other character faces the audience. The blocking is vital; throw a fake jab at the wrong angle and no one will believe it. Do it at the correct angle and everyone will gasp.

Per usual, nadda back from the director. I wonder what he thinks. He teases me that I bug him, but I’m getting it as a point of teasing rather than real irritation cloaked in a joking form. I think we’re on the same path, and I’m just providing him the elements he’d ask for if I dragged my feet. But I ain’t sure. I hope he looks on all my messages as helpful. That’s the way they’re intended.

Still trying to amuse myself during evenings with 24. Not easy. I’ve found the entire experience is better by leaving the tv on while we watch it. I tune the tv to something colorful and bright to combat the continual blah look of the series. That works. But…my head wanders. At one point last night my bro turned to me and said: Aha! That’s a vital plot point! – and I’d missed it entirely. Have noticed, by episode 6, the story is turning to something more people may be able to empathize with: the story of the kidnapped maiden. The senator’s story is devolving into a story about his kids; daughter raped and son implicit in the death of the rapist. Ah. Guess they agreed with me: give people something to bloody well care about. …But. And. Points of griping: Did no one think to try and track the daughter’s mobile phone? Keifer keeps harping on how he doesn’t have any leads, but that’s bullshit. His wife told him about one of the boys who kidnapped their daughter. He’s a damned federal agent. Run the fucking name through the system. Find out where he lives, track him down. A cop show would do these things. I don’t understand why 24 isn’t. The portrayal of Keifer’s office looks high-tech. In the background. But that’s it. Once they’re out of that room, it’s all lost. No one uses their smart phone for anything other than talking (with the exception of the grunt teaching Keifer how to scan from his mobile; obviously a sponsored thing). Really? Really really?

It struck me last night how European I’ve become. How I expect good wifi, public transport, certain amenities. I remember those long, unpopulated stretches of the states. I’ve been through and in many of them. But…really really? Last night I heard a character use dial up access on 24. Dial up access. And they were in a hotel in a big city. Really? I’d always heard the US is 10-20 years behind the EU in culture; now, it seems, I have proof. Seventeen years ago, when the series began, I was here in NL on a working holiday. And a highlight at the place I went was a souped up wifi service that was so instantaneous in its connection ability it took my breath away. It was a preview; the country didn’t have (and still doesn’t have) that kind of speed. But, that was the threshold. Dial up was a thing of the past. Not so in states. It just reminded me how poorly the US is constructed. The cities all decay because they’re shit to begin with. Tiny kings buy up tracts of land to build expensive castles on which they can’t maintain. It’s not for me. At all.

Remembered to order my injections from the pharmacy. Made an appointment for delivery on Wednesday. The cotton circles I’m using for wound trials are dry from their tea-staining. Still gotta dig out my old camera and see if I can breathe life into it.

… Been contemplating how, when you do your job really well, the tendency is to only receive negative comments. How everyone thinks you know you’re doing a good job when things are just silently taken care of without fuss or muss. It’s tough. Really tough. Case in point: did some tidying up the other day, and the only thing I heard from my bro was an admonishment not to use a certain shopping bag for recycling. He didn’t acknowledge the dishes I’d done, all the work I’d put in. Just that negative comment. I feel the same about the theatre group: that I’m only hearing the negativity because I’m doing my job so damned well that no one thinks I need to hear what a great job I’m doing. They only open their mouths when something isn’t perfect. I don’t know how to turn this around.

And this. is. life for me. Always has been, which is why I feel like I’ve received more negativity than positivity throughout the past 50 plus years.

But…

Really? Really really?

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Ticking

Spent the afternoon trying out another wound look. It went well. I took pix for the theatre blog. Had to remove it earlier than I planned, tho, because it kept triggering my bro’s gag reflex and we were getting close to dinner… lol! Yeah, getting a gag reflex is a good indication I’m on the right track.

Changes to my method: first, I tore the damned cotton circle in half. It’s made to use for make-up removal (I think; seems useless to me) so it’s kinda thick. Half was better, but I’m really gonna strip it down to the lowest level next time. Also, I pre-dyed the cotton in tea to bring it into a skin tone. Really just dunked it and let it dry. The goal was to rid it of the total nothingness of color, that horrible-to-cover white. Tried coffee, too, but found over time the coffee leached to the edges of the cotton causing a dark ring. Ignored the glue instructions online and did it logically. Had a good seal. I put it on my hand for ease, and flexed my fingers a lot: the seal held. It can stand up to me wearing it under clothes for the first half of the play. Due to the nature of it – bloody, so I’m using lots of red lipstick to make the look – it remains wet and ‘tacky’ to touch. Want to buy some hairspray and see if that will set it like a varnish or artist’s spray. So, I’ll be making my bro gag a few more times this month as I keep testing my methods and their durability.

Idea: get one or two make-up sessions in the calendar. Whether or not I find help, I need to design everyone’s make-up and oversee the process. My suggestion, especially to those of us who’ll be getting bloody and bruised, is to plan on using public transport those nights. Go home on the metro, have people gasp and ask you if you’re okay, then hand them a promotional flyer. I think it’s a great idea. Some of the looks will be a bit shocking, and should naturally draw a lot of attention. Use it!

Began watching 24. No, I never saw it before. Remember: I’m old, and have a natural tendency to stay the hell away from current fads because mob mentality bugs me. My bro picked up Season 1 for €1.50 at a second hand shop. And yes, it’s all of Season 1. Anyhoo. Watched the first three episodes last night. My first reaction: it’s very American. My second reaction: no fucking wonder everyone in the states is depressed. What a fucking depressing tv show. I understand the entire concept of the show, trust me. I expected the first 5 or 6 episodes to be ‘night’ and thus, quite dark. But even inside rooms that have lighting, it’s black. Black, dark, shadowed. The rooms (if rooms they are; I’ve seen lots of parking lots and cement walls) are dressed in muted tan/greys. Everyone is dressed in dark or muted colors. It is the single, most colorless thing I’ve seen in recent memory. Ugly, ugly sets. I’m also not a fan of the 60s multi-screen shots. Didn’t like them the first time, don’t ask me to like them the second time ’round. And, naturally, the tick-tick-tick they used as interludes between adverts has been SO parroted I was sick of it before it began. Most of all, I’m left asking: why should I care? I don’t care about any of these characters. I’m just thrown in their lives, with nothing to begin the empathy process; that is supposed to come thru action. Oh, look at the poor, stupid girl who gets herself into trouble. Oh, have empathy for the poor government agent who has national threats to deal with while his wife is harping at him on the phone to do something about his daughter. Oh, feel for the senator under death threat who’s got to protect his family. But that’s the problem: I don’t. Between the split screens and dark environment, I don’t give a damn about anybody. I think they’re all fools. The girl is stupid; plain out, stupid. I was wild in my 20s and NEVER was I that dumb. She’s there only to be the crying maiden that needs saving. *gag reflex* The government agency appears very low tech. I half expected to see boxes of files and cards because I sure as fuck didn’t see many computers. And, for FUCK’S SAKE! Damn the writers or producers or WHOMEVER IT WAS who decided to make poor phone service a plot device. Three episodes and that’s already been used as a plot pusher at least 6 times. Shitty goddamn writing, if you ask me. Lazy and unimaginative.

*sigh* But at €1.50, we’ll watch it. It’s entertaining on the same level that bad films are; we can talk freely over it because it doesn’t need much of our attention and we’re both on board with making fun of it because its flaws are so damned obvious.

Wrote to the theatre member about the camera; sadly, that person is headed off on holiday and taking the camera with them, so I won’t have a chance to get my hands on it for a few weeks. Thinking of trying to resurrect my old camera. It’s very low quality and for years it’s been finicky – sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t – but I might be able to get a few shots for the blog.

Talked to my bro about helping me with fight choreography. Haven’t run into the manager at the gym yet, and I’ve no guarantee he’ll know anyone to help me, anyway. My bro has fight training, he’s right here, and I know the two of us can do it. Began walking thru the scene, talking about where people have to stand in relation to the audience to make the action look real. I do want to talk to the manager at the gym regardless; I’m set on borrowing some of their black yoga mats to lay down on the stage so we minimize knee bruising.

Me, I’m at 6.8. Running faster than normal speed, but able to slow down at night. Shut it off with effort. Three weeks to my appointment with Dr T.

And ticking.

Mindless

Today’s word: squirrelly. Too much energy with no direction. My goal is to find a channel for it. Some outlet that’ll burn it out of me safely and quietly.

Had fun yesterday. Wore my iPod even on short jaunts out, blasting my favorite punk songs. Felt that nervousness I feel before wearing out a new outfit. Warm weather continues and I had an opportunity to wear one of my recent purchases. Happy to say by the time evening came ’round I felt confident and pleased with the way I looked. Had a wonderful conversation with a student during my language lesson; someone new. Sadly, he’s not staying in the group. So I’m back to the typical coffee clutch breaks, talking around me but not including me. Bummed about that. Did my homework, and by the time I was done I felt disappointed I didn’t have more. Read my book, enjoyed it, had good sleep.

Beginning to see a pattern emerge in the people around me. I recognize my trigger: it’s when people begin to brainstorm on their own and tell me things I’ve already thought through that I lose it. And that’s the problem. For the most part, the issues I bring up are new to the people I’m communicating with; they haven’t thought about this aspect of the production. I, on the other hand, have. I’ve been thinking about it for two years. While creating, while writing, while editing, while reading it, while fleshing it out… Two years. Get it? Anything you think of I’ve already thought through, so if you see me get a little impatient it’s because I’m three steps ahead of you. I need to recognize this is the process everyone goes through, and I need to let them do it. I hope I can shorten the process by bringing up the inevitable flaws in their plans that I see after all this time. But then I run the risk of being Negative Nellie, and bringing everybody down.

Fuck! The difficulty in allowing people to fail! It brings me new appreciation of parenthood.

Moving on…

Have next week off from class. It’s some autumnal holiday that I didn’t have marked on my calendar. Color me disappointed. I am thrilled my teachers have upped our homework and given us more difficult assignments and reading. But…I’m just about the only person who does them. Once in a while someone else will do a bit, but for the most part it’s just me and everyone else claiming they can’t find 30 minutes in their week to sit down and do it. I can tell my teachers are disappointed in this, too. And it makes class difficult; everyone is asked the questions and given a chance to answer. They stumble, give some incorrect answers, they give answers that prove they don’t even understand the directions, and then the teacher looks to me for the answer. Do you understand what this assignment asks you to do? asks the teacher. Yes, they all nod (like sheep) while the entire time both I and my teacher knows they don’t get it. *sigh* This is the last year we can do this. I can’t ask my teachers to keep pushing the others just because I’m ready for more.

Good news: we’ve finally saved up enough money that my bro can buy his new computer and needed software. Whew! That was really hanging over my head. I now know we can get all the recordings I want. Experienced that he’s-behind-me-in-thinking with my bro. I told him we need to set a specific date, probably in the first week of December, to bring everyone in and do the recordings. He didn’t listen, and went off on coming to various rehearsals. I then had to slow down, and take several steps back. I’ve already culled through the entire script for the lines I want for the teaser trailer. I’ve also been making notes of everything we need for all three acts: foreign languages, screaming, etc. You can come to rehearsals, but understand their focus will be on the scenes they’re working on – which may or may not include the lines of dialogue I want recorded. Finally I got him to agree it would be best to just set a date and stagger the actors; 20 minutes each should do it. Come in, do your lines, scream a bit, maybe I’ll ask for something else. In and out; everything in one night. It minimizes the stress of carrying the computer and mic down to rehearsals several times. It gets everything I want or need in one go. It minimizes the actors’ time. Best option. But I felt I had to fight for it. I had to slow down and explain my reasoning. And…if you really respect me, if I really have authority, why is it I feel I must always explain myself so bleeding thoroughly? Is there no one on this planet who’ll just take me at my word?

…Hm. Well, that paragraph meandered off into a rant.

Had a message to write today. My work on the theatre website has upped its status so much that I’m now receiving requests from people who want to send me their CVs even tho it’s stated very clearly that we’re totally amateur. I feel bad. I’d love to be able to say yes, come work with us, but that’s just not possible. I didn’t close it down totally, just reminded the person we can’t pay anything but I’d love their help. I don’t expect to hear from them again, but, you never know!

*sigh* Once again, from down the hall, I hear a smoke alarm go off. It’s on my bro’s SIM game. But how smart is it to include that sound in the game when the effect is (at least on me) to ignore it when I hear it? Not very, in my book.

Yeesh! I’m all over the place. Fine. There’s plenty of things I need to do that don’t take any brain power.

Mindless it is.

Pressure off

Lucky 13. Just got the rehearsal schedule in, and we’ve 13 rehearsals blocked out before December. That’s it. Holidays are still an unknown with this group, and the director can’t make more plans until everyone settles down with what parties they’re going to and where they’ll be on holiday. That won’t be an issue with me. …Not too bad, tho I’ll have some heavy weeks with 3 nights on (whether or not I’m in the scene), taking pix and notes for the blog.

But…it asks a lot. This schedule is asking the actors to begin going off script within 2 weeks of now. I can do it; but then, I did it last time. First to memorize her lines, first to get the blocking down. Others in the group are notorious for needing their script right up to the week before curtain up. He’s left me room to try and schedule in fight practice and make-up work. In truth, I might be down there more often than the director. He doesn’t have to be present if I work with backstage people on make-up looks. He doesn’t even have to be there for the physical fight prep. Me…I gotta be there. I’ll either be doing it myself or supervising the process.

Took my Dutch homework to bed last night. Propped myself up with my pillows, laid my stuff out on the mattress and just did it like some teenager with her legs crossed. It was fun. A childhood scenario I never got to experience. The room I had as a kid wasn’t insulated. In the winter it would get so cold I could see the nails in the drywall frost over. In the summer it was an oven. So I just didn’t spend a lot of time in my bedroom. I still don’t. Sleep, cleaning it up, getting dressed (and storing my clothes)…that’s about all I use that room for. Sitting there last night, with my colored lights on…I was comfortable and relaxed. Homework became a fun exercise, not some boring task. I’m gonna do it again, as soon as I can.

Must do’s: Must write to the person with the camera and ask for it. Gotta get some practice in. Must make the trek to the theatrical supply shop for a look-see. Must get on recording the roughs we need for Act 1. Must attempt wounds again and see if my new idea is better than the last. Most importantly, I MUST get back on taking care of myself: regular exercise, specific times for eating, everything I can do to keep myself healthy balanced.

One thing I’m very pleased about. The schedule includes a night for each act, going thru the whole thing and my motivational analyses. The director took my writing seriously. Couldn’t tell from his short messages, so I was feeling a bit anxious. Have I been overstepping my bounds? No. Obviously not. He wants the actors clear on the story, and I couldn’t be happier about it. Wherever it goes from here, at least I know we started with my story.

Took the time to explain to my bro Dr T’s philosophy of bipolar: depression periods always follow manic periods; it’s the pattern. Stop the highs and the prevent the lows from happening. Apparently, I didn’t get that across to him before this. It’s definitely a push me/pull me thing for me. I don’t want the depression, and I don’t want to burn out. I want steady so I can keep going. But I’m not sure what life will be like sans obsessive mania. That insecurity makes me cautious. If we get rid of the manic highs, will I have the oomph to keep doing this? I don’t want to get blasé about my own work. Too often I discount what I’ve done. I don’t need a medication that’s gonna make me do that more!

Don’t they have a self-confidence pill yet? I mean…tap into 45; he’s got enough ego juice for the entire world…

And wouldn’t that be great? To be able to go to the supermarket and pick up a can of Ego Boost: self confidence in a can. Lacking that drive to see your project through to completion? Seeking a source of inspiration and confidence? Try Ego Boost! Self assuredness and the confidence to see your ideas come to fruition. Ego Boost; self confidence in a can. Yeah. I’d buy some.

I have a very strong sense of the now. Yes, I’ve a lot to be anxious about. There’s a lot to do. But today, I’m still sitting in my pjs. I’m here, at home. My bro is tinkering with an old computer, loading up a zone-free DVD player so we can watch some old disks. The sun is shining and the most worrying thing I’ve got is an afternoon in the company of people, some of whom I actually like. Current stress level: 0.5 (10 being maxed out). Very chilled. Brushing my teeth might take 20 minutes ’cause I be so chilled. No reason to hurry today.

Thank you, Goddess. I prayed; you answered. I don’t know when. I don’t know what tipped the scale for me. But the calm is here, and today I feel like I can proceed. Thank you.

I suppose there’s a good lesson in the last 24 hours for me. That small thing of setting myself up to have fun while I did my homework… THAT’S the type of thing I need to concentrate on. Not big events. Not things that try too hard to be fun. I need small, every day things to be fun right now. Colored lights on in my room makes homework fun. Good music on when I clean makes it fun. Up that stuff. Too often we rely on big events to bring fun into our lives, and when things don’t go well we feel disappointed.

But how can you feel disappointed when you’re constantly having fun? When so many things bring you little bits of pleasure, you don’t rely so much on the big things.

Pressure off.

I still don’t know

I heaved a sigh of relief when my computer connected with WP. A sigh of relief! ‘I’m getting sick of hearing about shit that those people should hear, that’s all.’ Mild statement from my brother. Yeah, I’m trippin’ out.

Struggling with doubt. Maybe I’ve been inactive too long and my endorphin rushes have all been used up. Maybe replaying the negative statements I’ve heard has just taken its toll. Don’t know. All I do know is that I’m full of doubts. Doubt that the theatre group will do my script, doubt that the production will go ahead, doubt that they’ll ever understand my reasoning behind the story. What began as a chink in my armor has led to a full-out attack in my head.

Told my bro, once again, that I must at times verbalize my frustration in order to get it out of me. Even apologized that he’s the one who has to hear it. He acknowledged the apology, but he’s still unhappy.

Does not help my feeling of isolation.

Still…T took the time to reassure me of the sound and the work load ahead. He’ll be there, helping. I won’t have to do it all alone.

He’s off now, down to the library to print some things up and stop by MediaMarkt to pick up Seasons 2 and 3 of The Magicians, a series we’ve both gotten into. The tv is off, the internet connection is working, and I can (hopefully) get this out of me before he returns.

Received one rather cryptic message from the director. He acknowledged the motivational analyses I did, and said he’s ‘sending rehearsals tonight’ – though I didn’t receive a link to a calendar. Must have meant on their phone app they all share (but me, naturally). One more thing that keeps me out of the loop.

*sigh* So, no idea. Still don’t have my hands on the camera I’m gonna use. Still don’t know when rehearsals are. Still don’t have answers on the scant half-dozen queries I sent out. Just sitting here, spinning my wheels and re-hearing ad infinitum in my brain the negativity I feel I’ve received.

NL is still in a warm spell, so I’m staying off wound creation. Wanted to do it today, but last time I used the hair dryer on a warm day I blew out the fuses to half the flat. So…wait for cooler weather, just to be safe. Took a shower to wash off the dust and grime; spent a few hours yesterday cleaning the house (and made SURE my bro knew about all the work I put in). Have to put in 30 minutes on Dutch homework today. Other than that, I’m twiddling my thumbs…

Interesting perspective my bro brought to my attention yesterday. I was griping, naturally, about the theatre group. He said that they may be very intimidated by my approach, and mentioned the possibility that they really want to keep this group low key. Have to admit he’s got a point; they certainly haven’t stretched themselves trying to advertise their stuff. I’ve been going on the idea that they just can’t put what they know into practice. Maybe I’m wrong. Made the executive decision that I just won’t overload them. Ideas about hidden codes, press coverage, reviewers – I should keep all that under my hat and not tell them. Do what I do, bring in the audience I know I can, but keep silent.

Gods, this is tough stuff! More than ever I’m aware of my verbalization during these manic periods. The continual line of thought I spew out. I need that, on some level, to organize. But I see how it’s intimidating and tiring, and others don’t really want it from me. Really need to talk to Dr T about this! I’ve done my best, turning this unending flow into writing, but obviously I’m still verbalizing the spew. I’m hearing the backlash. And seeing it. Feeling it. …Shit.

Deep breath.

My head has begun working on the book version of the script. Or, should I say, books. In the plural. Because each act is gonna get its own. That’s the plan, anyway. Learn from the production, keep fleshing things out, write from there. Starting to get a handle on the teenager who commits suicide and the side characters not really in the play. …By the time I get around to writing the book version, it’s gonna be more an ordering of my notes than creation.

… … Ugh. I just want the people in the play to be happy. To look forward to some fun. For the most part, that’s what’s happening. I shouldn’t let one or two comments bug me so much. Experience has taught me how one or two comments can spiral out of control, though, so I’m cautious. I’d like to address people’s concerns and feel like we reach an understanding. That may not be possible with everyone, and I’ve got to accept that. I’ve got to step back and let the director handle it. If I feel too under attack and that I’m continually looked to for answers, I’ll mention it to him. I feel I’m being clear, and restating the same thing ad infinitum. If I’m saying it in a manner that’s not being understood, someone else (ie, the director) has to step in and handle it. I don’t know how to rephrase myself or say it any differently.

And a reminder to myself that I’m walking a thin line here. Remember: be careful what you write. The deeper I delve into this semi-conscious thing I’m writing about, the more likely it is that I see the effects of it in my own life. It’s a double edged sword: it’s both what makes a good story, and what drives some writers to a paranoid edge. Have I already experienced that odd glitch or shift I sometimes see in groups of people around me? Yes. I’ve never known if this was me, or something else. I still don’t know.

I still don’t know.

Can I do it?

A flurry of work on my part; a wall of silence from the group…

Social interaction is not my strong suit. As a child, I was either berated or left on my own and I have very little experience with cooperation. There comes a time in any group when leaders emerge, and usually that’s preceded by a tipping point – something that sets them apart from the pack. These are the people who offer ideas, who break down tasks, who become the cheerleaders and backbone of the project.

As for the theatre production, I feel very isolated in this respect. The director has not responded to any of my messages. The Board has not answered my questions. The old PR person hasn’t got back to me on anything.

Worst of all, my head keeps replaying the negative comments I’ve heard. Spinning the tales out into negative consequences. I’m now imagining certain actors demanding I change their roles to fit their perspectives of the characters. My brother has told me: Be prepared to walk away if they give you too much shit. And he’s right; Blue Whale is being produced in the States, and I’ve little doubt that the entire trilogy will end up doing well overall. I don’t need this. I want it; I think it will be immensely beneficial to me both as a learning tool and to fine tune the script. But I sure as hell don’t need it.

Now I’m caught in my head, imagining walking away because the group just disses me that much. This is something I want to break. Subconsciously, I know it’s putting me on the defensive and I know that’s the wrong way to approach this. So I’m smiling. Overriding the negativity in my brain with laughter and thoughts of all the fun we’ll have creating this play.

Win them over with positivity.

This is not my strong suit. I have problems staying positive day to day, dealing with my own triggers and issues. Now I feel I need to take everyone in the production under my wing, assuring them, boosting them up, staying positive because no one else is. It’s very taxing on me. I’ve got it, sure. I’m more than enthused enough about my work to carry it. But it wears me down like nothing else.

Thinking Dr T may want to up my nighttime med. That’s the one that’s supposed to keep me from going too manic. I’ve warned him that as the production proceeds we may need to do that because I’ll just get more and more wound up. Actually looking forward to my next appointment with him. To say all the things on my mind, to verbalize everything – and get some support.

You know…kudos to me. At least I’m at the point where I can ask for help. I recognize I’m getting in over my head. I couldn’t admit to that for decades and my history shows it: manic years of untold work followed by shutting down completely. Dr T and I are trying to avoid the overload because my deep depressive periods are always preceded by manic overload. Avoid the first, avoid the second. I’m glad I’m seeing him.

Today I’ll run down to the smoke shop. Just rolled up the last in the house. I’ve prepped up some of the cotton rounds I use for wound creation. They’re white, naturally. I found that too stark a contrast the first time I used them, so I dyed a few with tea and coffee to bring them into my skin tone. Want to try them out today and see how they look. Take a few pix and post on the theatre blog. The weather has grown warm again, and I feel like I should get out for a walk. Fresh air, movement…seems the thing to do.

…*sigh* I just can’t stop my head. Even when I say I’ll walk away from it, I’m working on it. Ideas pop up out of nowhere. Agendas and strategies pounce on me, full blown, and I have to work my ass off just to get my plans down for me to remember. I only half-hear, half-see life right now. That part of my head doesn’t ever shut down, and the effect is kind of blinding. Yesterday my bro chided me for not reminding him to pay some bill he told me to remind him about. I never even heard him say that. He’s getting annoyed with me, because I have to keep asking ‘When is it? What are we doing?’ But to give myself a break here, 85-90% of the conversation coming from my bro right now is about his online SIM game. I don’t play it, I can’t relate, and I certainly don’t need to know about every in and out of the game. So, yeah. I tune out when he goes off on long discussions about the game and the characters. I can hardly blame myself for that; honestly, I’ve bigger things on my mind. And if once a week he slips in something actually important in those discussions my ears discount, well… Learn brevity. Make sure my eyes don’t have that glossed-over look I know they get when I’m not quite in the room.

I feel fat, and torpid. That’s a good word I rarely get to use: torpid. Sums me up to a tee. It is more than lethargy; I feel clogged. Like I have to burn something out of my body before it runs correctly again.

Goddess, help me get clean. Help me re-establish the flow. Help me through this; I am so frightened! I don’t know that I have the strength to see this through.

Is this leadership? This burden? This responsibility?

Can I do it?

Titch

Please, brother… I can’t write anymore today!

I was only partially kidding. I was at it for four? six? hours yesterday. Working on the motivational analyses for the characters. In two short days I’ve probably churned out more than 12,000 words. It’s a testament to how long my brain’s been working on this; that’s a lot of writing in 48 hours. I can only write at this speed if I’ve mulled things over from every perspective.

The MAs provide me nothing new; I wrote these people. I know why they do what they do. They are a solid background to help writing my script(s) into book form, tho. So I continue.

Updated the theatre website. Changed references from an April 2019 premiere to just 2019. Took down the ‘we’re on break’ notices and said we’re securing venues and preparing agendas. Need to regularly sign in to the website to check for newsletter subscriptions. Seem to get someone new every day now.

Have heard ad infinitum how I need to let things go. My bro is very concerned over my mania. He keeps telling me it’s not my problem how the actors interpret the roles, it’s the director’s. But…I’ve sat at the table. The questions come up, and everyone – including the director – looks to me for the answers. And yes, the director came here one afternoon and we went thru the script with a fine toothed comb, but…that was months ago, and I honestly don’t know how ditzy the director is. Does he remember all the back history I told him? I can’t count on it. And having everything on one sheet, geared to each character…well. I think it’s handy.

Had a notice from Celtx yesterday that they thought my account was inactive and if I didn’t sign in within 30 days it would be erased. PANIC! Went right out and signed in to keep it active. Do not touch! I’ve still got the trilogy scripts out there, in case they need some major re-writes.

Feeling better. Had a couple of very bad nights after my flu shot. I coughed and coughed so much I was surprised I still had my voice in the morning. Last night was solid sleep. Good. I can start to go back out into the world this weekend; my system has recovered. Did not get to the theatrical supply shop the other day; just too damned worn down. Now, I can plan it in without worrying that the long ride there and back will somehow make me more ill. Also need to get to the gym and talk to the manager about fight choreography. I really think it will benefit the actors to spend one or two nights at a gym, under instruction, learning how to throw punches and fall. If I really can’t find anyone who’s willing to help me, I’ll do it myself. Take the actors into a gym so we can use the mats and work a few nights. Hell! The University has a gym on-site; it’s a five minute jaunt from where we rehearse. I’ve done a bit of on-stage fighting, and have some training in judo and tai chi, so it’s not like I can’t supervise. I’m just trying to NOT be the wunderkind here.

…lol. You know, I always wondered about writers who said things like: this character represents this or that. They go off into archetypes and symbolism, and half the time I think it’s all a crock to make their work seem better than it is. But yesterday I caught myself at it. Yep. I guess two years working on the same story line leads to this sort of thing:

Jane’s name is actually an homage to the character John Smith from The Matrix, and a nod to the duality of realism and surrealism in the play. It is, in essence, a silent question to the audience: did you take the red pill, or the blue pill? What is real? What constitutes reality? Jane is the embodiment of these questions.

Even as I wrote it, I realized how true it was. But it’s not something I set out to do. I didn’t begin writing the character with this in mind. It’s just what happened, and how I see it now after long soul searching and reflection.

Not sure how I feel about saying something like that. It sounds so fucking pretentious…

Hoorah; they’ve made me administrator on FB. That means I can automatically post updates from the site, which is what I wanted.

Found a free QRcode generator online. Trying it out; my bro has to print up a 6 to a page teaser flyer I designed. Have to make sure the code works and takes you to the correct page. Then, print. Drop them everywhere. I used my graphic, which emphasizes the mystery of the script, the titles of all three acts because I feel they spark curiosity, and the tag line: “We are not in control.” That’s it. A lot of people are going to think it’s a music event, with bands playing – and that’s what I want. I want those people who wouldn’t normally consider going to a play. I’ll only snag 1-3% of them; I know that. But I’ve got to get them IN first, and I think this is a good way to do it. I also think, using this technology, that we could create prize flyers that take you to a secret page on our website that gives you a discounted ticket price. Hide 10 of them around the city, among a drop of several hundred, and announce it on FB and our website. Make it into a treasure hunt.

…Yeah. I just can’t stop, can I?

Can’t seem to stay off my computer. Can’t seem to stop writing; if I do manage to wrench myself off this thing, I immediately pick up paper and pencil to begin writing that way. Thinking I should try to edit The Grove today. It’ll give my brain a lateral way of thinking. Not creating, or pulling it out of my head, just correcting. Titching.

Good word for me today: titch, or titching in the verb mode. Small bits. A little this, a little that. Let’s face it: titching is all I have left after I’m done writing.

Titch.

Muse

It began around 3 p.m. Words began haunting me. It got so bad my head tried to flip it into Dutch. Finally I just gave in and opened up a blank sheet on my computer. One, two, three words and then I was off running, or typing, at an alarming speed. No thought, no stopping to mull over the action or words, just straight drive. For over 3 hours.

After thinking about it and talking about it for almost a year, I’ve got a short story titled ‘The Grove’. Haven’t read through it yet. Saving that for a quiet time today. But I put everything in it: what happened when I went down there for a smoke, the fear, the sounds, the fact that I once saw it cut down to the ground and then only a few weeks later saw it regrown to the exact way it was the first time I saw it. I added some embellishments, too. Obviously; this is where fact separates from fiction. Technically, I left someone alive at the end. I didn’t just close the story off with everyone dead. But I didn’t make it easy, either. Plenty of death in it.

About a month ago I stumbled on a tv interview with an artist who complained that everyone she met wanted to know how she ‘channeled’ her art. I’m the artist, she whined, I’m creating it. Boy, do she and I need to swap friends! I get just the opposite: How do you come up with this stuff? And I always say there’s something else at work, something that takes me over when I write. It’s bigger than me, I say, I’m just tapping into it.

How can I say otherwise? I go into auto-mode when I write. Barely aware of who’s in the room or what’s going on. I say ‘uh-huh’ a lot if I think a question is coming my way, but I don’t think or really speak. My hands have to write. The words have to escape me. Yesterday, my brother came home, went shopping, and made dinner all the while chatting with me – and I didn’t stop writing. The tv was droning on and on in the corner, and I didn’t turn it off. I’ve never felt such a strong connection with the muse.

When the flow finally stopped, I made sure to talk with my bro. Apologized to him if I sounded bitchy and snappish in the morning. He nodded but said nothing. After that, his smile and laugh returned. Don’t know if he felt I was in the wrong, or if he felt ashamed over his snapping at me, but my words healed the breach and returned us to normalcy.

My head is another thing altogether…

Can honestly say the meds are helping. Helping. It’s easier to break that incessant train of thought that makes me miss everything going on around me. But I still have to concentrate on breaking it, keep my attention on what’s being said, focus on the people in the room.

Was riled up last night. Don’t know why. Every time I turned the light off in my room, I thought I heard shouting. It would go on for a while until I got out of bed to open my door and listen. Silence, every time. Not a peep or whisper while I was out of bed. But, go back to bed and snuggle under the covers and – yep, there it is again.

My brother calls me the bionic woman because the bionic woman had a bionic ear and could hear everything. My ear isn’t mechanical, but it’s excellent. And I hear things no one else seems to hear. I was kept awake but what I thought was loud music when my bro and I were touring thru Canada. Went into his room at one in the morning, loaded for bear, yelling at him to stop playing the radio or CDs or whatever it was. He was quietly reading, no music on at all. I stomped around his room, sure that somewhere he had something on that was making noise – and then I saw it, out the window: the Northern Lights. I went outside and…and that’s where the ‘music’ was coming from. I was hearing the bleeding aurora borealis. Somehow. There’s a lot of ‘music’ in the Universe that no one else seems to hear but me, and I hear it all the time. Always have. Voices, too. Not a voice, but voices. And yeah, yeah. I know I’m verging on psychotic right now, but I’m not talking about psychosis (or, if I am, I’m so deep in it I can’t tell the difference). I can never tell what the voices are saying; they are too faint, too far away. I never hear – oops! correction: almost never hear – a singular voice saying anything comprehensible. I once did, so I have to be honest. It was 30 years ago, and I’ve never heard anything like it since. But crowds or choirs of voices just on the edge of hearing…now that I hear a lot.

But, you know…say that to the average person and you’re in La-La land. Nuts. A part of me would like to work with a hearing specialist and a team of doctors. Sort this shit out. They already did a standard hearing test on me. Give me subsonic sounds. Sounds that should be outside of the human hearing range. Try them on me. Because if that’s what I’m hearing, if my hearing truly is unique and different from most, I shouldn’t feel like it’s part of some undiagnosed weirdness on my part. Then again… *sigh* That sets me up for being a real freak. Spending the rest of my life getting tested by this doctor or that, in labs, trying to figure out why or what makes me hear what I can hear. My bro has always – always! – warned me about this possibility. And he’s always cautioned me against it.

I trust his judgement.

More words just there. More to say, obviously. Let my fingers have reign: I will write.

I submit, and allow it to take me.

All hail the Muse.

Whatever that is

Yeah. I bought the popsicles to balance out the cake. I can have a treat if I’m feeling good and I can have a treat if I’m feeling bad.

I felt bad, and had the cake.

My stomach shows my time off from the gym (as do my butt and thighs) and my sighs are that tell-tale sign of me knowing I have to get back into my routine while simultaneously not feeling ready to start.

Amazing at how fat you can get. And so quickly. My shortened summer holiday is almost at an end.

NL has still been in drought, despite the occasional shower. One of the big growers in the area is losing all their tomatoes. Drought hit at the wrong time and none of their crop developed ‘correctly’ (which means perfectly shaped fruit), so they’ve been giving away the misshapen crops. I’m grabbing tomatoes to dry in the oven. For a few euro I can buy a ton of fruit, slice them up, and dry them at home. Been thinking of buying a few long term storage jars to can up some good tomatoes. We use a lot in the house, so why not? It’s a hell of a lot cheaper than buying what you need when you need it.

In between racks of dried tomatoes, I’ve been sitting on my arse. Literally. Going thru Desperate Housewives again because our system has it for free. Playing hours of solitaire with the tv on. It’s wonderfully relaxing. My mind can hover between a simple game on my computer and the narrative on tv. Telling myself it’s okay to take a few more days like this. I rarely just chill on this level.

Was contacted by a Board member of an international women’s group here in Rotterdam. She wants a talk on the theatre group, and the email was passed on to me. Guess I’ve become the public face of the group. The go-to person to take care of this or that. Personally, I find that a bit intimidating. I’m not a founding member and haven’t been involved that long. But I’m the ‘writer’ now – even the board member who sent the email my way said that: ‘…since you’re the writer…’. Yeah. Okay. Guess that’s the jack of all trades in the theatre world. But what the hell. It gives me a chance to talk up the production, which I can do like no one else. The women’s group is on top of things and said my talk would be taking place next year. Wow! They’re scheduled that far in advance. I don’t even know when I should expect the first email from the director saying it’s time to start rehearsals.

Sketchy weather has meant I haven’t had full sunlight to shoot any vids, so the backdrop remains up, the furniture is moved, and I’m waiting for the damned sun to come back. Still haven’t figured out what I’m doing for the wounds. Found a couple more do-it-yourself suggestions online. Thinking more and more that I should just take that field trip to the theatre supply shop and look around. Thinking even more that I should take the time to talk while I’m there. I mean…I could run the October meeting and offer up my meager make-up skills. Or I could ask some of the professionals to come in for a demonstration. Three guesses where my head is at.

Saw my shrink, Dr. T. Staying on the levels we’ve got right now, but he’s watching me for higher levels of mania. Good. Everyone is on the same page with me. Watch me! When I go it takes me a while to realize I’m there. And by then, it’s too late. I’m in it and need a flipping sedative.

My uncle is obviously feeling better these days. Have received several right-wing messages from him. The latest is about kneeling during the anthem. I’ve just been hitting the delete button. What else is there to do? Reply? To him? He’s so stuck in his ways it would be like talking to a brick wall. That’s the way my family gets. And they’ve no experience with ‘the other side’. They know no people of color, they know no Muslims, they’re friends are not disabled. They may all be on heavy prescription medication for various ‘ills’, but they’re not disabled. Nor mentally unbalanced. Everyone drinks. A lot. But no one has a drinking problem. And anyone who has an alternate view on life is a liar, a loser, and someone to be vilified.

Wish they would just leave me alone.

There’s still a second piece of tempting cake in the fridge. Hm. Suppose it’s no surprise that my mind moves to food the moment I begin thinking of those people related to me via DNA. That’s an old habit and defense mechanism.

As is sitting on my ass getting fat during summer.

Well. All good things come to an end, and this weird fat-inducing summer holiday of mine is no exception. When I’m done with all of Desperate Housewives, I’m back to the real world.

Whatever that is.

Get shrunk

Time to get shrunk.

Yeah, Dr. T…doing fine. No more crying first thing in the morning. Concentrating on the production. My Dutch is for shit because all I’m doing is thinking about the play, which is in English. But having loads of fun. Taking my meds. Need a bit more exercise, but other than that…can’t complain.

Boom. Five minutes, mic drop, walk out. It’s really all I need.

The director managed to call a read thru without me nagging him. Looking like it’ll be Monday. We’ll be missing 2 people, but none of the dates can be made by everyone, so we’ll need to compromise. Again (get used to it, spotty!). Not thrilled that the 2 that will miss Monday are newbies; they’re the most important to get into the group right away. The rest of us have history with each other. I want the newbies involved, connecting, feeling comfortable with everyone.

Not. my. problem.

Ran the bruised look past the director. Don’t know if I fooled him for a second or two; he didn’t say. But I sent it out with the title ‘had a fall’, then followed up with a ‘Shit! Does it look bad?’ and the pic I took. Left the ‘reveal’ it was just make-up ’til the end. He did think it looked pretty realistic, so maybe I caught him out for a moment. 🙂 I hope so.

Fiddled with gaunt and exhausted looks yesterday. Counted; need 3 progressions in the act. Realized a couple of things. First, I can practice on myself but I won’t really know about the other actors until I work with them. We don’t all have the same skin tones, so making notes that I’m using this shade or that on my pale skin is just plain silly. I’ll have to customize the look to each actor. Second, due to the progressive nature of the make-up, the first look won’t be very noticeable. It’s just a bit of shading around the eyes. I can see it in my before and after pics, but I don’t notice it if I just look at the after pic. Figure that’s okay, and I’m probably on the right track. The first signs of exhaustion are subtle.

Decided the easiest thing will probably be to make a few ‘how-to’ vids and post them to the group. Here’s how to do this look, here’s how to do that one. We’ll need one or two practice sessions, too, but that won’t take much. Fifteen extra minutes before or after scene rehearsal should do it.

Thinking, too, on playbills. It’s not something the group has used in the past, and I think that’s a mistake. Give people something to take with them. Give them our names, give them our web links, give them the play info. Even if it ends up in the trash after the performance, it’s an hour or two of them looking at it – and they will look at it. Figuring on a half-sheet of paper. Small, easy to take with you. And cheap to create.

…Yeah, I know. Obsessed, aren’t I? Can’t help it. This is the way my mind works: it runs out in divergent lines, hundreds of them stemming from one bleeding idea. I don’t just get the idea of a story, I get the idea of a production, of special effects, of marketing, of the whole shebang. I think I’d be happy if I came up with a small idea that was limited to one flipping thing. It would be refreshing. Instead, I create an effect. Last time I did this I exhausted myself so much it took me years to recoup. My only limits are money and how much I can fit into one day. Creativity is never limited with me.

Managed to look at my Dutch homework and do the reading and simple Q&A’s. Read thru the needs for the letters, too, but I haven’t begun writing them. Finding it difficult to slow down enough to tackle the language. I’m irritated with it right now because I can’t move at lightening speed and that’s my tempo. BOOM! New idea. Flesh it out, start to finish, in five minutes. Watching tv: WHAM! That’s how I should do that. Think about it, and miss a portion of the program because I’m not paying attention. It’s too fast to slow down. Too much to mull over, decide, work out.

And I don’t want it to stop.

Doesn’t everyone *POP* run around with neurons *POP* firing off at this *POP* speed? Gods, you people are slow!

My computer says: Alert! Alert! Dr. T at 13:45. Yeah, I know (she says as she rolls her second J of the morning).

How do I even begin to communicate this to him?

… … … Sigh, ugh, and groan. An explosive outpouring of irritated confusion. Because I don’t know how to communicate this. I’m used to being cut off, told not to talk about this or that. I’m not used to someone sitting across from me and really being interested in exactly what I’m experiencing.

Trust him, Beeps. Maybe this is nothing. Maybe it’s just normal excitement; you don’t know. If you have to use English, use English. Tell him about the obsessive thoughts. Tell him about tossing and turning while your mind churns. Tell him you can’t concentrate on Dutch right now. This is what he needs to know. – And, bleeding hell, woman! Tell him you don’t want it to stop completely if you don’t want it to stop. We both know you need a bit of this to see the project thru. But we also both know you’re perfectly capable of killing yourself with work, and this is a prime example you’re setting up. You want Dr. T. to visit you in hospital in four months? No? Then talk to him, and take care of yourself.

*sigh* Okay. I’ll get shrunk.