Monday, March 26, 2012

Ramble On Ye Doggies

Contrary to appearances, I did not give up one day in to my newest effort. I spent a fair amount of time out and about doing some writing at a local wine/espresso bar on Saturday and got close enough to my 1,000 words for government work. Sunday I took off, which I intend to do weekly. The rules, which I failed to be clear enough about are as follows: 

-       I will write 1,000 words a day, six days a week.
-       I can write anything I want, in any form. Multiple forms for the same day are acceptable.
-       Preferably in one sitting, but not required. 

That’s it. Rules should be simple and clear. We can all see what happens when laws have laws governing how laws should be governed. It makes for terrible sentences, for one, and pretty crappy government as well. Not something I intend to rant about today, however. 

If you’re lucky, I’ll spend some time and type out my writing from Saturday. I talked about the play I was in the last couple weekends and, of course, incorporated a few segues. Perhaps someday my writing won’t have more of them than the Microsoft campus. Or maybe that will just be part of my voice, (much like my tendency to toss in parenthetical asides). If you can’t see what I did there, I highly recommend glasses. Or remedial literacy classes. I jest . . . Ok. Not really. 

Leaving my obsession with my own cleverness behind, I had a pretty good weekend. We had our final local performances of the first run of Separate Checks, a brand new play written and directed by a friend of mine from high school. We had a lot of local acclaim for the work and we’re going to travel with it a bit. We’re shooting for the “stars”. Or at least more theatres in the surrounding area. We have a weekend booked in a small town north of here and if that goes well, we’ll start heading south toward bigger pastures. Yee ha, get down little doggy, get down.  

. . . Don’t ask. 

We went out after our performances, to a place that’s both “hoighty and toighty” on Friday night and out to one of the local dives on Saturday for our cast party. I didn’t drink on Friday. I haven’t been drinking as much in general the last couple of weeks. I’ve only had a few beers a week instead of half a bottle of wine (or more) just about every night. It’s part of my anti-gut initiative. Not to mention that even with cheap wine, that adds up pretty fast and -all- my vices are like that. I like wine and coffee. Paired up, that’s a lot of money I pour down my throat and literally piss away. I’d really like my wallet to be fatter and my belly trimmer. I weigh more now than I ever have. Plenty of it is muscle. Plenty of it is a half-inch to inch thick layer of bleh. The most I’ve seen on the scale is 183, but that’s thirty pounds more than I weighed when I graduated high school and 15-20 more than I want.

A note about that, however. The scale is a terrible invention. I don’t like them and in all honesty, I don’t actually care what my weight is. If I weighed 183 and looked like Adonis or Hercules, I’d be content. Scratch Hercules. I imagine Adonis toned and not steroid-chiseled. That’s the look that I would prefer.

Back to the weekend. We had a day of spring on Sunday! After getting up and heading to a local coffee shop for a mocha and a breakfast burrito while I settled in to re-read Heinlein’sGlory Road, I filled up a few spare moments with Kingdom’s of Amalur before hitting the theatre to watch Disney’s John Carter. If you’ve read Heinlein, you know that he drew plenty of inspiration from Burrough’s stories of Barsoom. Glory Road refers to Dejah Thoris, Princess of Mars within the first 20-40 pages. While I’ve known the names and source since my childhood, I hadn’t read any of the books until this fall. I remedied that and started looking forward to the movie. Apparently it was a flop but I might actually buy it when it’s available on DVD. (Yes, I still buy DVDs.) I really enjoyed the movie, it was a lot of fun and while it was the standard “based, loosely, on the books” it still had a lot of the important elements. The romance was even toned down some, I think.

When I left the theatre I had to take off my pea coat. I don’t honestly remember the last time that happened. The sun was warm on my face and what had been a fierce wind in the morning had calmed to a light breeze. I had nothing to do outside, but I knew I wanted to be there. I was inspired by the movie and my knowledge of the books and started to sing a new song as I walked to my car. The afternoon found me downtown in an quiet, empty park where the farmer’s market is usually held, laying against the curl of a decorative brick wall playing my guitar and writing “Dejah Thoris,” (working title).

It’s still a work in progress. So far it goes like this:

Princess, are you waiting there on Mars
watching from the stars
I’m on my way to you
I’ll leave the world behind for you

Dejah, are you looking for a hero
when everything seems lost
I’m looking for a cause
I’ll leave the world behind for you

The chord progression for the repeated line is giving me nightmares. I exaggerate, but I can’t find chords to fit what I’m singing that also fit the chords I’m already playing. It may be worth noting that my songs tend to be simple and the chords in this particular song are more variations on a theme than distinct chords. I’m also trying out a plucking pattern that is difficult for me to play and sing at the same time. This is pretty standard for me, most of my improvements in my playing have come from writing songs that I can’t physically play at first. If you’re a music person, the chords so far are Cmaj7 with my pinky on the B string, 3rd fret; C, and Cmaj7. I’m open to suggestions.

In spite of that minor frustration, it was good afternoon, marred only by the approach of a guy who looked like he was inclined to mug people in dark alleys who asked me for change to help out with the fact that he’s two months behind on rent. All I had was a guitar pick, so I couldn’t have helped had I wanted to. (Nor did I particularly believe him, but that’s neither here nor there.)

The rest of the evening was fun too. Instead of playing 4e D&D, since our session was cancelled, three of us sat around and broke out the old Magic cards and played til midnight. I had a good time.

All in all, a good evening. Now I just have to look forward to a slow week. I’ve got three days booked, but free time on tonight and Friday. After weeks of rehearsals and performances I’m already feeling a little antsy. I’m already looking forward to taking part in the upcoming auditions for Music Man and playing whatever part I’m given. I know the woman who runs the production company wants me to have a bigger part this time around, but that’s up to the director. I don’t mind small parts that much, really. Less stress, less to memorize and there’s always a chance to steal the show. But a lead role would be fun. A new experience, for certain. And I’ve never had a stage kiss. I’m nervous for that first one!

One good thing about this project. I can work on my endings. I’m terrible at ending things. Whether it’s telling an anecdote to friends or writing a journal entry, it’s tough for me. I always feel like there’s a giant AND? sitting at the end right by his buddy, awkward silence.

Oh well. The End.

And a thousand words, goodnight.


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