Vroooooom…

I’ve had a lot of nightmares about being in the back seat of moving vehicles. Cars, roller coasters…anything, really, that my mind could use to portray a terrifying image of me being out of control. The dreams plagued me all during childhood and into my teens. Often I’d wake soaked with sweat, the image of what I’d dreamt burnt into my memory so deep I still remember those subconscious night-time movies.

These days, I’ve installed a brake system. Or, one’s been installed for me.

Two short conversations with my bro changed things yesterday. One was a bit of feedback on the letter I sent to the journalist who’s request for info was still languishing in the theatre’s inbox (btw, she received it and answered me very politely). The second was a re-think on video backdrops. I have some blue cloth that’ll work just fine. Red would match everything, but my bro used the magic words on me yesterday to pull my head out of the clouds: anything you do is an upgrade. Just making the vids is an upgrade. I don’t have to go 110% and have everything match like some demented housewife let loose on decorating her house.

Put out the pix of my first make-up test on FB. Lots of great comments. One ‘experienced’ twenty-something gave me a few ‘tips’. Just say thanks, Beeps. Let go of reminding people of all your experience. Not the easiest thing for me to do this morning. Guess I feel the need to justify myself. To remind people I’m in my 50s with decades of experience under my belt. Feels an awful lot like people ride over me, and I suppose they do. I don’t crow about myself in public. I’m not the person who’ll sit in a theatre meeting and list out all my albums, all my performances, all my films to every single person. I just say ‘I’ve done a lot on stage and on camera’ and generally leave it at that. I’ve had all sorts of comments come my way, trying to peg me into some square hole. Oh, amateur performances. Sure, we’ve all done those. …Oh, just a little one person show, huh? Nice you had a few people show up. …I’ve never heard of that director or that film. Was it actually released? …You’re a singer? Sing something for us. It’s got to the point I just say I’ve been working in entertainment for over 20 years. Think what you will; no amount of my listing my accomplishments will change your mind. But then, naturally, I have to live thru the disses. The people who tell me how to do something I already know how to do. The well intentioned acquaintances who give me advice about stuff over which they have zero experience or knowledge. *sigh*

It isn’t always easy being a 52 year old whom people treat like a 20 something.

Got to the gym yesterday. Took what I hoped was going to be a great and well deserved shower, but the hot water was a ghost thing in the building and within 2 minutes I was standing under an unheated water supply. Amazing how cold you can get in an unheated shower. The water wasn’t cold, just cool. But it sucked any and all heat off me. Didn’t even bother with conditioner for my hair, just a quick shampoo and get the fuck out of there. Despite it being a less than ideal shower, I felt refreshed afterwards.

Still having problems on my right side. Looking forward to my physio appointment.

Today I’m not going to the gym. Today I’m setting up for video shoots. Pull out and clean up the blue fabric I’ve got. Rearrange my desk area so I can use the backdrop. Mark off my desk with tape so I set up for pictures in the same place each time. Also need to head to the store to seek out blusher and lipstick. I’ve become quite fond of my make-up needs shopping. I’m not there for me, I’m there for the group. I stand in the aisle, looking at my choices, picking up packages to examine them more closely, dithering. It’s the only time I really shop like a normal person. My aim today is to get a cheap color selection for the vids. Still plan on asking for sponsorship for the final make-up for the group; this summer work just allows me to play with colors and figure out what we really need. I have a whopping €10 in my wallet to pay for both blusher and lipstick, so it’s off to the discount shops as usual to look thru the bins.

Made a start on my homework. Need to put in an hour or so defining the words I don’t know. Shouldn’t take long to get it done.

Wondering when and if I’ll have time to write for me. Haven’t gone back to the new script yet. Lots of ideas for it; just haven’t made the time. Hm. Note to self: make the bleeding time! I’ve nine months before the premiere. Plenty of time to make and release vids, update the website, create the playbill, and find sponsors. I can find a day a week to settle down and just write. Great that I have so many ideas on how to market this play, but I also want to move forward as a writer. Spending all my time on marketing is like spinning around in a vehicle: you make a big mark, but you don’t go anywhere.

My vehicle goes. Always has.

Vroooooom…

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Flow

Spent an hour walking a path that usually takes me about 35 minutes. I was slower in my movements than I’d been in a long time. It hurt. Tremendously. And it tired me out. Had to pause and catch my breath while crossing a bridge, then came home and napped.

I do not like that kind of pain. I am, however, used to dragging myself thru it. Once again, I proved my doctors correct: the pain is less today.

*sigh* Golden Rule Number 1: Move.

Obviously, that’s top of my list today. And it should be every day. I shuffle around my Golden Rules, depending on my mood. That one needs to be implacable. Permanently inked onto my eyeballs. Dying? Tough. Move. Wallowing in self pity? Oh, poor you. Now, move. On a roll? Step off it; you know what’s next. It needs to rank up there with sleep and food – not a desire, but a necessity.

…Mmm. Lots to think about lately. And here my bro just left the house, opening up a window for me to write…

Thoughts on names. The names I choose in writing bother me more than anyone else. My names must have hidden meaning. I spend days on sites, culling thru various definitions, finding the right name for the right character and letting them become. In my new piece, I’m choosing “Priam” for the surname of she who is now called ‘Mother’. I think I can get away with that and not feel too heavy handed. A few will get the reference; many will not. Can’t find a reason to give her a first name. She’s the oldest character on stage, and all defer to that seniority. …Want a definite line between the older gen and the younger gen on names. Older gen names are standard stuff: Ann, William, Lucy, etc. Younger gen names have to reflect the world they’re in – a world devoid of growth or water. So far I have ‘Skye’ and ‘Cole’, which I like and may keep. They feel like a Skye and a Cole.

Been watching Twin Peaks again, from the start. And oh! I may not like Lynch’s politics or sexism, but his imagery on screen does make my mind spark. Had a v cool idea for the script. It means taking what I’ve got right now and creating that outline, because I’m about to spin off into The Twilight Zone…

Oh, Hell’s Bells! Just had that stupid notice on my computer to take my injection today. Gods, I hate doing that. I know I should be thankful it’s only once a week. My dad had diabetes and he had to shoot up twice a day. Of course, his syringes were smaller than mine, but still! …And I am thankful it’s only once a week. I’m even more thankful it works. I still can’t like it.

Very excited by the artwork I’m getting in from K. My bro and I have limped along for decades using our own artwork. It works, to an extent. I mean…it’s there. It got us out into the sea of the world. But it’s not crowd appealing. K’s taking some of my bro’s ideas and expanding them, making them into a stylized, professional version of the raw drawings. Hey! Sort of like they do with the Simpson’s drawings. Yeah. Anyway, I’m really jazzed by them. All sorts of marketing ideas.

Feels a bit like the main gush of mania has been capped off, but little streams of it are seeping through…

That would actually be very beneficial. As long as I don’t run myself into the ground.

Special effects for the production: Took a long re-think on my idea and decided against it. Going to go back to the vid of tissue paper, glue, and make-up wounds and study it. Try that technique. I’ll still need to pre-set the area before performance and keep it wrapped up during most of the play. So I’ve got to get something I like, then wrap it up and test it by wearing it around the house all day. Plan similar tests for the squibs: get something I think might work, then strap them on and wear them around the house. Need to find out if normal movement might break them. Can’t have that! The actor has to wear them during Act 3, so they only need to survive for about 35 minutes. We can tape them on during Act 2, when she’s backstage. My wounds, on the other hand, have to survive under gauze for two acts.

Ye Gods! My bro’s been playing his new songs so often that I can still hear them even after the sound is off and he’s left the flat. Talk about making an impression on your ear!

Left myself hanging a bit right now. I have no actual book in Dutch to read before sleep. My heart is set on getting Roald Dahl’s autobiography from the main library and reading it over the summer but I’m in no condition to head down there right now. Instead, I’ve found myself picking up Bridget Jones’ Diary – in Dutch – and randomly opening to a page to read a bit before I turn off the light. I picked the book up ages ago, thinking I’d be able to get thru it. Nope. Too difficult at the time. Last night I read a passage that brought to mind the English equivalent. It was weird. Not just comprehension, but recognition from both sides, both languages. I heard, simultaneously, my English speaking reader voice and my Dutch speaking reader voice reciting the text. And I understood both. Talk about parallel lines of thought!

Time for me to show a little discipline. Eat something, take my shot, and get out for a walk. That doesn’t mean kill myself or overdo it. That means eat a bit, do what I need, and head out for a hopefully pleasant little neighborhood jaunt to come back refreshed and feeling looser.

Follow the Golden Rule. Let everything else flow from there.

Go.

Phone check-in with Dr T today. Both of us agreed to keep me on the low level meds for now, and review again in August.

Told him about sleep, how I’m finally feeling rested when I wake. He laughed, and was pleased, saying that sleeping better will defo help me (obviously). Mentioned my meeting with the group, and that I came back more wound up than usual. He agreed it was a trigger thing; something to watch but not worry about.

Cool.

Something I’ve found stuck in my mind lately: a little snippet of conversation that really didn’t bother me when it occurred but retrospectively is driving me a bit mad. That happens more often to me than I’d like. I am bothered by the subtext of it rather than the words (as is often the case). During the read through, on break, the director’s girlfriend leaned back in her chair and declared rather loudly: I’m interested to find out how you’ll pull off this whole burning scene. As stated, at the time it didn’t bother me. I felt I wrote the scene well, and she was only saying that because she really really doesn’t read the script. But now… Now I see doubt and a bit of disbelief in her body language and words. I still trust my instincts that she won’t purposefully fuck it up, but I don’t think I’ll get a great performance from her. It will be adequate: no reason to fault it, but not really going for it. That’s okay. I accepted when I gave this to the group that I wouldn’t have the best actors in every role. It’s what happens at this level; you have to use what you’ve got if you want to really do it. But I’m concerned over her possible combative attitude. I’ve felt it ooze off her before.

Ah, well. Always knew she and I couldn’t really be friends.

Back into the rabbit hole. That’s always what it feels like: down a tight tunnel, into the world of my words and ideas. Time is strange there, and yesterday was no exception. Came up for air around 2 in the afternoon with no idea how long I’d been at it. Had to ask my bro. Short conversation about dinner, and back to writing. Came out of it around 4 with Act 1 written.

Spent the rest of the evening deconstructing my work in my brain and finding less than I’d hoped to be excited about it. It’s a good set-up, and fascinating in what it reveals, but I know what thread I really need to hang everything on, and a few references are heavy handed and need some better sculpting. Plus, it’s a bit aggravating to not have my names worked out. I’ve got ?? and XX, Mother and a couple of names I’m not entirely pleased by. Hoping to get that in fine tuning stage rather than right now. Feels like I’m gonna write this out, then come up with the outline and go back and tighten everything. And…I did work out a great ending that I like. That’s good. Wasn’t sure where I was going with this.

My back seized up yesterday. Felt that muscle spasm in my side and it was pain, pain, pain the rest of the night. Pushed myself to do my exercises (which I haven’t been doing), and walk around the house for 20 minutes (something else I haven’t been doing). Better today, but still spasming. Have to kick myself in the ass for this; 100% my fault, sitting here typing away on a story and smoking up a storm. Now that my phone call with the doc is done, I’m ready to clear my head and my agenda: finish this, and head out for a decent walk. *sigh* Can’t keep making excuses for myself.

Have to be a bit of a drill sergeant with myself right now: Get up! Get your ass moving, soldier! Do you want to sit there in pain all day? Do you want to get fat and sluggish? Move it, move it, move it!

Meh. She’s right, but that doesn’t make me like her.

Time to get my shoes on and go.

So far, so good

Nine hours. Wake up. This medication is like the gentlest alarm clock in the world. I just wake-up. No dragging myself into consciousness, no yawning or stumbling, just open my eyes and be awake. Don’t even need coffee in the a.m. Still enjoy the taste of it, but I in no way need it to get going in the morning. Effing unbelievable, people.

Cleaned the house. Took a shower. Fiddled with make-up effects. Dragged my ass thru my Dutch homework. Even finished (last night) my latest Roald Dahl book. Did not get back on exercise, but I still feel it’s a drop the mic situation. Took care of loads.

Writing is temporarily on pause. I want my routine back. Asking myself for an hour here, and hour there. I don’t need every minute of every day to write this, and pushing myself – while productive in some ways – is ultimately the wrong thing to do. Not concerned about it; whatever this world is I’m creating, it’s so strong it just birthed itself. I don’t have to do much other than sop up the afterbirth.

I am comfortable these days. Comfortable in what I’m doing and how I’m doing it. My hair reflects my mood; I am, truly, a being whose lives in her hair. If I feel tight and constricted, my hair is pulled back into a tight knot. If I feel loose and easy, I’ll wear it down. These days I’ve adopted a half and half look: a loose knot with curly strands near my face. It’s soft and gently, easy and sexy – and not something I can do in front of the mirror. I can only get it correct by doing it by feel. Put me in front of a mirror and I pull a Mom: pulling my hair back severely. It’s functional, but not at all sexy. Let me do it by feel, tho, and it’s perfect every time. Soft, magical, inviting. I don’t know why it works that way.

Got a few more drawings in from my artist friend. They are AMAZING. Not only are they great for what we wanted them for, they’re so great I think they’ll have a lively market plastered on the front of T-shirts. Adding the idea of searching all that out into my ‘list of things to do’ in my brain. Really should start putting that stuff in writing; I’m gonna forget something sooner or later…

Been hearing a revamped version of one of my old songs. My brother is doing a cover of it for his next release. The original was instrumental; he’s adding words. The original was all keys; he’s writing parts for guitar and bass. So it’s a big re-do. And exciting. He’s trying different tempos, different drums. I’m hearing my work in a whole, new way.

My RA has been quiet. The temp has been in the comfortable range, so I’m good in that way. My pustular psoriasis is another matter. All over both feet and hands. Screwed up, I know. Official summer holiday begins next week and I don’t have any more creme for my condition. Shoulda called the doc earlier. Hope a nurse will take pity on me and issue a refill for summer even if I can’t get in to see the doc ’til later. Meanwhile, it’s ugly and, in some places, painful. Mostly it’s an embarrassment. I feel terrible exposing it to the world. Always feel like I have to say ‘It’s not contagious’.

…Just trying to get used to this new feeling. A bit worried we don’t have the night-time med high enough. I’m still obsessing. If not the production, the new idea. If not the new idea, an old song over and over in my head. I can stop it, tho it takes a few attempts and somehow keeps creeping back up on me. On the other hand, I feel like I’m resting at night for the first time in many years. But just yesterday my bro told me to sit down and roll up because I was goin’ too fast… I suppose this is a question for the Doc. Let it go.

Still little to no appetite. Doing my best to remember to take my vitamins at night, have a juice or fresh fruit, and eat when I can. But…food just isn’t on my mind. I reminded myself yesterday at 11 that I still hadn’t had breakfast, then proceeded to go off and work for another 2 hours only to remind myself again at 1 in the afternoon that I was still going on nothing. I can eat, if I remember to sit down and do it. I’m just having problems remembering to do it.

*sigh* Can feel that look on my face. That intense staring. I don’t like to let that out often because it has power. What exactly it does, I can’t say. But it does have an effect. Things happen. My bro would say I’m tapping into the other realm, creating things on the astral plane – and I’ve come to think, reluctantly, that he’s correct. Our thoughts have power over this reality, and it would be blatantly irresponsible of me to let my thoughts wander too much. Nevertheless, it’s there – and I know it well. I’ve learned to put it into my art. Use that deep concentrating trance to my advantage. I call it my ‘sponge’ mode. I am totally open, not just accepting but grasping to hold everything coming in. The sights, the sounds, the smells, the words, the actions – no judgement, just receptiveness. In that receptiveness, there is creation. A free-form association that happens in my brain, tying all sorts of strange ideas together.

I only want the medication to allow me to rest. Stop when needed. Sleep, eat, take care of myself during these times of intense concentration.

Not too bad. I do feel awkward and ungainly in my new schedule, but that always happens when I flips my schedule around. Similarly, I usually have little appetite in summer due to the heat.

So…so far, so good.

Checking In

Time to check-in.

A short note to the director elicited not only a meet-up tonight, but also an audition tomorrow with two actors. Just like that, my evenings are busy. Seems the occasional reminder isn’t a point of contention but a needed thing.

Meanwhile, my head is finally flipping into Dutch. Had a thought that I needed to contact some friends via email, and the first words that popped into my head were in Dutch: Hoe is it met jou? Took me a minute before I realized I was forming the email in Dutch, and the people I needed to write to didn’t speak Dutch. lol! I’m thrilled about it.

Yesterday’s class was good. Real good. Getting up to the 98% correct range. My teacher gave us some reading and questions to do in class, and I was the first done. She began a conversation with me over the heads of the others: I really think you’re ready for more. Have you thought about taking a real language lesson? I replied that I wanted to know the basics so well I had to move on. A child has years in this mid-range, honing their grammar and word usage. I need more time to do that. When I consistently score 100% on everything, when I consistently finish first in our lessons, when I can write a full letter without any mistakes, then I’ll move on. I want the language so cemented in my brain it’s second nature.

I want to write my plays in Dutch. I’m here, and with a bit more work I can write in two languages. Translate my English work, and write purely Dutch stories. Speak (at least on a casual basis) fluently. Full comprehension when spoken to or on any written material.

And yeah, when I finally take the Dutch citizenship test I want to blow the scores out of the water. Score so high, do so well, it’s impossible for me NOT to find real paying work.

…Must admit to a few high level flights of fancy. I’m hanging a lot of hope on my thriller trilogy. More than I want. Doing my best to keep myself in check, but it’s hard not to imagine the audience giving me a standing ovation and yelling ‘Brava!’ as I take a bow as the author. I want that. I want the audience to be excited, to chatter lively, to tell me they’ve never seen another story like it. It doesn’t help that I’ve experienced just that type of thing in the past. And holding an audience captive, drawing them in even against their will… Oh! That’s heady and powerful stuff.

Been actively seeking out creepy stuff on the ‘net. Searching for unexplained mysteries, strange occurrences. I want to feel afraid. Find that skin-crawling feeling, and write from there. Have a list in front of me of serial killers and strange phenomena. Much of what I want to do is too film oriented; fast cuts, shock scenes, special effects needed. But I keep mulling over how I can accomplish these things on stage. Live, and with very little funding. It’s a very tough nut to crack.

Thinking ahead: Must put some time in on wardrobe. Learned over the last two years that dark clothing isn’t good on stage. The lighting tends to end up dark, and most theatres have dark curtains or backdrops, so wearing black makes you kind of disappear. Also, some roles will need two sets of clothing because one set will get ripped up or full of blood. So cheap, identical stuff that isn’t black. And some people should have a few changes of clothes; days are supposed to pass, especially in Act 2. Must take stock of make-up, too. Most needed: brushes and sponges to use on actors. Black, grey, purple, and a full shading set. Must test make-up, too, and take pix to keep for reminders. Not too worried about props; most are easy. Hardest: an old short wave radio, or something that we can turn into something that looks like an old short wave radio.

Hm… I think I’ll take some time today and write this out.

Humidity is high right now, and my RA feels it. Staying away from the gym right now both because of that and I don’t want to tire myself out before two busy nights. Six to ten is my chill time with telly, and without it, I’ll end up excited and off my natural sleep schedule. Have kept my ice cream consumption to a minimum. Surprised at that; usually I eat ice cream until my lactose intolerance kicks in. But it’s too humid to want to gain weight right now.

And somehow, it’s become the 19th of June. How the hell -? I mean, I know time moves on, but somehow it’s just been…odd lately. I feel like I sit outside of time. I do things, days and nights pass, yet I’m left feeling that no time has passed at all. I suppose part of that is the sameness of what I do: the housework, the telly, the sitting in front of my computer writing or watching strange things on-line. There are unique things that occur, but they’re sporadic and, other than my language lesson, not tied to any particular day of the week. Soon I’ll lose my language lesson for six weeks. Then I’ll get really unstuck in time.

Even writing this blog has become… I don’t know. Maybe I feel like I don’t need to do it. I have this strange sort of focus on the production, of what I need to do, yet simultaneously a weird un-focus on life itself.

If this is me slipping into some semi-manic episode, it’s the weirdest episode I’ve ever experienced. I’m sleeping well. Eating well. Managing to take care of myself. But I’ve got some sort of schism occurring in me, and I don’t know what the fuck it is.

So I’ll keep writing.

I’ll keep checking in.

Pineapple and ice cream

I pulled the old diet coke with a piece of cake trick yesterday. Except in my case, I did it with pineapple and ice cream. I’m not proud of myself. But oh! Ice cream! Real ice cream! It does a number on my stomach, and I can only have a little bit at a time or my lactose intolerance kicks in but DAMN!!! It’s good.

Plus, I put on some clothes that were tight on me last November and found them very roomy. So I guess I can take a small scoop of ice cream once in a while.

Got back on the cross trainer. Didn’t try for anything other than to keep going for 30 minutes. Did pretty well. Gasped for air, naturally, and my heart rate was faster than I’ve seen it in awhile, but I kept on. Did my stretches, my abdominals, my weight lifting, and walking, too. Thought to myself: yeah, now I’m getting back on track.

Came home to my brother, who suggested we go out to eat for a biryani. I stood there in the hallway, sweaty, disheveled, and still red in the face, while he said this to me. Oh, man! So I took a break, cleaned up, had a cold soda, and headed out with him. It was a great meal – chicken biryani, garlic nan, tarka dahl, and mixed veg. I ate and ate and ate.

Saw my very cute physiotherapist. Did my bendy trick for him; I can bend straight over and put both hands flat on the ground. He said: Ah! No wonder you have back problems. It’s great you’re so flexible, but it also means your muscles have to work twice as hard as mine to keep you upright. Ding, ding, ding! So that’s why my back hurts so much when I stand for too long. He pushed at the sore spots, apologizing. I reminded him we’re the perfect pair; he’s a bit of a sadist on the physio and I’m a bit of a masochist, so push away. Pretty obvious he doesn’t get a lot of patients saying that.

Have heard nothing more from the theatre group, and if it goes the way it’s been going it’ll take me messaging the director before an actual meeting date is set. I’ve no problem being the Mom in this situation if he needs me to be, reminding him of dates and time lines. I just don’t want to be an unwanted Mom. Must remember to ask him about it (some people, unlike myself [pat on the back] have problems asking for what they need from others).

Still can’t quite get over the fact that I’m not falling into a horrible depression this summer. I’m actually feeling good, both physically and mentally. Good enough to contemplate getting out of the house more, doing more, going to a few free festivals or music events. It’s very strange. Been years since I felt good enough in summer to go out and enjoy it. But I’ve actually been thinking how pleasant it might be to go to the beach for a day. Lay in the sand, swim in the cool water, buy an iced treat from a near-by stand. Maybe wind the day up with a meal in a beach-side restaurant. I haven’t had that urge for 30 years.

Today is Saturday, meaning my bro is headed out to the comic shop. I have the day to myself. There’s cleaning to do, and the gym. That’s my daily pineapple. Sweet in their own right, and good for you. Dicking around with writing or just playing games…now, that’s my ice cream. Sweeter by far, easier to take, not really good for you, and far too easy to overindulge in. And just like that urge the other day in the supermarket when I picked up the ice cream in the first place, it’s difficult to ignore.

…We-e-e-ell, a little ice cream never hurt anybody. Right? Besides, soon I must face the pineapple of writing: the production notes, the script changes, the accommodations of this or that for the actors. I know what’s coming.

Don’t get me wrong. I like pineapple. A lot. I just like ice cream more.

But the pineapple is piling up. Still haven’t called for an appointment with the dietician. Still need to get back to the dentist for a check-up. Have to get over to my doc about a clogged hair follicle on my head. Must finish my homework for Monday. Need to call the dermatologist at the hospital and ask for more creme for my feet. Pineapple chunks litter my path: left here and there, easy enough on their own to pick up and eat but put all together and you’ve got one big assed pineapple to munch down.

Like any pineapple, you’ve got to slash off the prickly bits and cut out the core. The prickly bits are mostly made of up my language anxiety. The core is that I just don’t care enough about myself to do these things in a timely fashion. So I’ll do my best. I’ll try to take care of one thing on Tuesday morning, after I’ve had my language class. That’s when my ear is most attuned to Dutch. Monday is out of the way with its catch-up from the weekend and weekly meetings. Do one thing. If it’s easier than I imagined, I can try another. But no pressure. This is a big pineapple, and it’s not quite ripe.

In the meantime, pardon me if I eat some ice cream.

When the Universe Gives me Closure

Bitch and Ye Shall Receive. Or, Doubt and Ye Shall Be Proved a Moron.

It wasn’t long after posting my whinging yesterday that I received an email from the director. We’ve two interested parties in the last role. All I read was NO, YOUR DREAMS AREN’T DEAD YET. Sweet. Looking for a meeting next week to discuss the production and performance dates. I’m there. Need me two nights because not everyone can make it on one? Great. I’ll be there. I’ll be there every night of rehearsal, if you want.

Still feeling a bit apprehensive. Like if I go off the deep end with anticipation it’s bound to fall apart. So I’m keeping a lid on it. Distracting myself.

Did not make it to the gym yesterday, and I’m glad of it. For the first time in a week I woke up after only 7 hours of sleep feeling refreshed and really ready to start the day. Must remember to just let myself rest when I’m that tired. No pushing.

Today I’ve an appointment with my very cute physiotherapist. We’ve fallen into a regular thing, he and I, and I sometimes wonder if he encourages me to continue regular visits for the same reason I’m so eager to keep going: we like each other. Oh, I know my back will always need attention. It always has. But we’ve an easy back and forth, a real interest in seeing each other, a real enjoyment in our talks (and yes, he’s told me as much). Ah, whatever. If I have to pay for a bit of male bonding, I’ll pay. He’s worth it. And he knows exactly where to put his finger on my back to make me laugh or say ‘ow’. Thirty minutes in his company and I just feel better all around, like I’ve had physical and mental therapy in one go.

Hm. Crushes are lovely, aren’t they? Even if they end up breaking your heart in the long run, that high octane rush is a lovely thing. A smile, a soft reply, can lighten your entire day, lift you up above the shit, and make you feel like there’s a reason to keep fighting. I don’t kid myself that there’s anything on his side other than friendly feelings, I’m just enjoying the tingling sensation. Seems like once every ten years or so I meet someone I’m actually attracted to sexually. Was beginning to think that was all over, then there he was – smiling, a touch of grey at the temples, that easy manner. I’d love to kiss him. To taste his mouth. I think I’d even love to make love to this man. But I recognize what he is to me: an obsession waiting to take hold. I’d lose myself, like I always lose myself. Put my wants second in order to spend time with him. Put everything in my life on the back burner, and make time with him my number one priority.

I’m willing to lose myself like that in my writing. Not in a relationship.

*sigh* Still, it’s nice. Nice to feel this way again.

Four more weeks before Dutch summer kicks in for real. Hm. This time always seems difficult for students. I hear and see it everywhere, and feel it myself. We won’t get a break from school lessons until the third week of July. Trust me, it’s tough. That learning mindset just flies out the window when the weather gets nice. Still, I’ve been in the American system as well, and I don’t think that’s much better. Summer break is too long, and you get too far out of studying and forget too much between school years. Determined to find a language cafe this summer and go every week. I need to keep talking and working with Dutch. Reading is the one area I don’t have to push myself. Dahl is still sustaining me, feeding me new words and ideas, making me work to understand his story. I love grasping the unique turns of phrase the Dutch have. I love reading something and having a light turn on in my brain. It’s nothing you have to make me do. Not like writing, or talking. Writing is less of a chore than talking, even tho I sit with multiple books open and look up every other word while writing. But that’s true in English, as well. I prefer to write.

These posts, or anything else I write, take time. They rarely fly out of me, unless I’m on some hot-headed rant and just go with it. I go deep. Search for the perfect word. Think through all the psychological aspects of what I’m saying. And I prefer the perfect circle writing, coming back to the beginning to wrap things up into a neat package that brings you right back to my original statement (you may have noticed that in my posts).

I like closure.

Hm. Interesting! Did not know that about myself.

But now that I think about it, it makes sense.

In real life, stories rarely have a beginning or end. They are part of the continuous flow. We tell stories, or shoot videos, and they are only a snippet of what really occurs. A small snapshot that moves for a short duration. I believe the best artists see patterns in these small snippets. They see the sign posts, they draw the circle, they create a tiny, perfect bubble of emotion that the audience can sip from time and time again because it never runs dry. This is what I hope to achieve with my own work.

I have nothing to bitch about, and on this early sunny morning I’ve already proven to be a moron. Such is the aftermath when the Universe gives me closure.

Shoot for the stars

Backlash. My rheumatologist said my RA would probably get worse after the sinus infection. She was right. This is the week of wrist pain. Started as it always does: a bit of pain when I moved wrist. That was a day or two ago. I’m now wishing I had wrist splints to wrap my hands in.

The third round of auditions has been called. For next week. Ach! Less than a week’s notice. No difference in the damn picture used, so it looks precisely like the last three posts on the page and is very easy to miss. We are NOT gonna find the people we need in this manner. I feel like a runner in the start position. I get in the mind-set of being just the writer and helper, then I get worried and start to think I’ll have to stand up and be part of the production, then I’m told to crouch down again and just be ready to do whatever. Refusing to move forward on much until I know we’ve got the people we need. I’m not putting in hours of hard work on production notes or searching for props when I’m not even certain we can do this yet. Hoping the director has a few people up his sleeve. He always seems to; people have dropped out in the past and he’s magically found bodies to occupy the roles.

Gender flips. I’ve two characters that can swap genders, no problem. I wrote men into the roles because I was told more men usually audition than women. But there’s no reason for Ted not to be Tina, or Gabe not to be Gabriella – other than changing he to she (and taking a walk on the wild side).

Here it is, June, and we don’t even have the cast chosen. Ooooooh! This really will push the production back to late in the year. Please don’t have them try to do it during the Xmas season. That’s a guaranteed death.

Managed to put some time in on my homework. Still have to finish it off, but I’ve a good start. The word puzzles I was given were too easy. Completed them in a few minutes. The letters I need to write are short and simple. Fell back into a comfortable reading pace last night. Now I’ve just got to wrap my mouth around those sounds…

And maybe this is the week to sit in on that harder lesson.

My bro is all for me resting. Yesterday I got as far as saying I felt I should get up and do something. His response? Why? It often falls this way, he telling me to rest and me feeling like I should be doing a million things. These days, tho, I hear him saying ‘take care of yourself a little better’. It’s no longer a nag, no longer a negative on me. It’s a ‘I’m seeing those signs in you, sis, and you promised me you wouldn’t go off into la-la land again’. Finding that balance is always the tricky bit. He knows I’ve got devils on my shoulder, whipping me into action, telling me I can never do enough. He plays the angel, telling me to rest.

…But do I sometimes wonder if my bro holds me back? Not consciously, naturally. Just…do I think he feels strong taking care of me? Yes. Do I think he sometimes grows afraid I’ll get to some point of health or success and leave? Yes. I can see that, and understand it. I also know he only wants me to be happy. It’s just that basic fear we all have from time to time: will the people we love stick around? Both of us have been abandoned in so many ways, by so many people. It’s one of the things that ties us together: the determination to always have each other’s backs. And it’s always been like that, ever since we were kids. Doesn’t matter what we face. If we do it together, we’ll get thru it.

I think I need to remind my brother of that. Remind him I won’t leave. No matter what.

Spent some time lately investigating sites and methods for earning money from podcasts. The plan is to do my radio script once the play is over. Now, there’s a long road. From what I’ve seen, it takes loads of podcasts to really earn money. And I’m the only writer in this; I just don’t have enough material. I do feel capable of doing short stories, simply read aloud to a static pic (tho it would still take time to flesh those ideas out). But full on scripts? I’ve got a backlog for stage, but they’re not all horror/thriller.

Still. Even those big sites had to start with the first one.

Have a strange, bubbling energy going on… Perhaps I’ll say to hell with the wrist pain, and write today.

What scares you? That’s the question I’ve been mulling over for days. Years, if you want to get into the psychological aspect of it, which I wasn’t really talking about, just the literary aspect; these days I feel I’ve good handle on what scares me. What scares you, the audience? And what film tricks can I take to stage? Began following an FX master, who suggested a simple trick to successfully cut off a limb on stage. Want to try it over the summer; just need to get the supplies. Anything I can learn, I can incorporate into my scripts.

But I want more than simple slasher stuff. More than just gore. I want to use gore selectively (unless we do a splat, which would be fun). Looking up phobias. Common nightmares. Tricks old mediums used to use.

Okay, own up to it: I’ve set myself the task of becoming known as a horror writer for stage. That’s about as tall an order as saying I’ll become a proficient writer in Dutch.

Shoot for the stars.

All the world’s a stage

Someone who sees 5 a.m. as a regular thing shouldn’t have to set an alarm.

Yeah, I replied, but it’s been a long time since I woke up at 5 a.m….

And so I cursed myself. Hello, 5 a.m. You’re as grey and quiet as I remember.

Leaving the house today before my brother even gets out of bed. Have to be downtown at my rheumatology appointment by 8:45. Ho-hum. Go there, wait, see my doctor, get a new prescription for my meds, leave. Figure I’ll nap this afternoon.

Tonight’s the first audition. Don’t really expect many people; they called it quick and their advertising leaves loads to be desired. Had a message from the director. He’d like to meet early, to discuss the roles and go over things. Cool; I was thinking the same thing. And, thanks, because he assured me he really wants to do this by saying if we don’t get enough people with the first two auditions, he’ll call a third. My plan is to print up some notices and get them around to the libraries for the second audition. Been scouring the web for some sort of theatre call site. Found stuff for films, stuff for Dutch productions – all in Amsterdam. Nothing I felt was appropriate for putting out an English notice for a non-paid role. Haven’t heard from my film buddies, other than getting a thumbs up on the post. So far: two people have said on FB that they’re coming tonight. Two. I expect more to show, but…two. It might be a very early evening.

Well, I’m used to working hard on productions. Can’t quite figure out why the group doesn’t have certain things in place, like automatic notifications about auditions. But maybe they’ve been waiting for someone like me. Someone with the drive and the interest, someone who just does it. And I get it! I wasn’t willing to do this last year, for someone else’s script. But mine? Oh, honey! I’ll walk over hot coals to get this done – or close enough. Besides, it’s a labor of love.

Began working on a LinkedIn page. I don’t really expect to get anything from it. LinkedIn is for computer programmers and shit, not playwrights. Still. It’s my legit social page. Got stumped on the ‘summary’ section. Summary? I’ve only been at this for…what, a year and a half? Two years, max. As far as the theatre industry is concerned, I’m a bloody virgin. Not sure what to say yet. Hey, yeah, I’ve got loads of stuff the industry has rejected. Finally getting a production done; look at me! Ugh.

I’ll figure it out.

Meanwhile, I’m just happy. Happy to know my words are appreciated. Happy to say I’m a real playwright. Gotta keep reminding myself of it.

*sigh* Thinking I might have to go and get my eyes checked. Told my bro I think it might be time for bifocals. Not happy about the idea of spending more money – again. But these headaches are a bitch, and I can tell eye strain is part of it.

…My bro made a comment the other day about me hating men. Didn’t know what to say to that. My first impulse was to defend myself. But I just stopped, and thought about that. Thought about what my feminists rants sound like from the outside. I can see why someone might think that. I am very angry at men as a whole. I am very upset over the way women are treated like second class citizens (if even that well). And I am vocal about it because, baby, there’s plenty to be vocal about. But if push comes to shove I’ll choose men over women almost every time. I’m more comfortable in the company of men. I can just be me – the scruffy tomboy. The woman who’s ‘not like any other woman’. I feel more judged in the company of women. I see them look at my clothes, or my hair, or my lack of make-up or hangnails, and I feel it. It’s a combination of pity and disgust. If only she’d take some time with herself, try a little harder. She could be so pretty. Men, on the whole, don’t care. If you’re in a place with lots of people, men might care. They might want you to be attractive so other men get jealous of what they’ve “got”. But I have never met a man who confessed to liking to kiss a face full of make-up. Most men I’ve known (friends and lovers) have professed to preferring a woman in no make-up. It’s the women who think I should be doing my eyes, wearing lipstick, high heels, whatever. That’s where the real judgement comes from. Underneath it all: compete. Compete with me for men’s attention. Try and get the most desirable mate. Dude, I don’t want to compete with you. And I don’t think women have to be that way.

Yeah, yeah. I know. Show us the way. Be the model for it. Don’t think about it; just do it. No problem. This is my nature. It’s the prejudice and judgment I don’t like. So I keep pointing those things out. That’s sexist because… or Gee, they’re acting like that’s something new just because it’s a man saying it… All of it true. All of it building this reputation for me as a man-hater. Problem is, I do have a lot of anger over this. I am frustrated that so many people don’t see the same things I do. That comes out, over and over, in my statements.

…Why is all this coming out this morning?

Maybe it all has to do with the roles we play. The roles I’ve written, the roles I’ve played myself – and yes, I’ll admit to (in my 20s) playing the damsel in distress in order to get some guy to do something for me, like change a flat tyre.

I’m not a fan of Shakespeare. But he did get some things right.

All the world’s a stage.

WHOOHOO!!!

WHOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

My script was chosen to take to the 2019 Washington DC Fringe Festival. My work will be done a theatre troupe I have nothing to do with, and the show’s gonna be seen by thousands of people. OMG. I gotta make that playwright LinkedIn page. I’m a real flipping playwright!!

Also got an email from my theatre group, saying that maybe we should call for auditions. Yep. Cool! You guys nudge the director. I agree. Let’s get this going.

And hallelujah; today’s the first day I don’t have a migraine when waking up. I can move my head and eyes without pain. Blowing out really disgusting stuff from my nose, and still coughing like crazy, but no pain. I can deal with the rest.

Plus, the lift in the building finally got fixed.

The weather has cooled down.

Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised if I’d lost a kilo or two lately. Not that I did anything to that end, but…good stuff is just happening.

Is this my reward for slowing down and taking care of myself?

Haven’t done much. Somehow I’ve managed to sleep every afternoon even though I sleep every night, too. Still healing. Eating well; my bro has been stacking the house with fresh fruit and veg. Loads to do: unanswered emails, organizing, cleaning. Telling myself that stuff always seems to be there for me, so I shouldn’t sweat it.

Next week is the big baddie. An appointment with my rheumatologist AND an appointment with my psychiatrist. Need to get over to hospital for blood tests this week; hoping to do so on Thursday after my physio appointment.

I feel so jazzed I just want to get up DO things again. Dangerous. I’m still not healthy, and now I REALLY don’t want to prolong this illness.

So from my sick chair in front of the tv: WHOOOHOOO!