So I’m settled in a new apartment and doing my best to begin a new life, with as much time spent writing and creating as is humanly possible. Over the last few years, I admit that I’ve slacked off–a lot–mainly because I had so many internal and circumstantial factors to distract me from what I really wanted to do. That’s all over now. It’s good to be home.
In August of 2015, my play Closing Night was produced by the same local theatre group that mounted Dot’s Journey in 2013. Everyone involved did a superior job, and the play received a very positive response. As a spectator of some rehearsals and all performances, I was able to discern what needed to be fixed and changed before it faces an audience again. And so, even with the problems which made themselves apparent during the run, I count the whole experience as a success.
As I begin 2016 and dive into the creative projects that I’ve outlined, I find myself taking a much more mature, serene approach to my work than I have in the past. No longer will I apply stultifying pressure on myself to produce material that will sell, that will please others, that will solidify my reputation–even in the immediate area–as a respected man of letters. I now do my work for myself before anyone else. If others like it and want to buy it, that is the ultimate compliment…but not the driving momentum. Not anymore. I’m getting too old.
The projects that I want to pursue in the coming year are ones that I have described in much more detail in other blog postings. Namely, I have decided to realize my long-held yen to make something out of the concept for the Eerie Series–the stories within stories about a fictional director and the films he makes, which I’ve had in the trunk for almost twelve years. The first, The Horrible Hand!, is proceeding rather well for being the premiere project of its kind in my repertoire, calling as it does for bogus backgrounds on the people/actors involved in the film, as well as behind-the-scenes history and details of mishaps, feuds, and what-have-you. The finished product will be a medium-sized hard-backed book (similar in design to Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events) with a novelization of the “film” by the fictional director, Tony Miles, and supplemented by background information, “interviews”, and illustrations, which are a particular thrill to do, as they require me to be ultra creative in selecting backgrounds and settings against which to place public domain photographs of real people mixed with my own sketches, to create movie “stills”. I know it’s hard to really grasp what I’m talking about in mere words, but those who actually read the book will have no problem understanding the concept.
My other project, with which I plan to alternate intervals of working on The Horrible Hand, is What a World, What a World, a memoir/testimony which will detail the whole arc of my life through the last few years, through the filter of a highly skeptical gay Christian sensibility. Deep? Nah. Some parts might be, but essentially, the tone will be sardonic, brutally honest, and funny. I’ve made many false starts and stabs at this volume, but I wind up reworking it every time I sit down to move it forward. My inspiration for this writing is humorist David Sedaris, and to a greater degree, memoirist Augusten Burroughs, who knows how to season his tales with just enough laughs to alleviate the bitterness…of which I’ve got plenty, honey.
Aside from that, I’ll be hitting the blogging hard–here and in my film essay column, Recommendations by Retroman, as well as other personal, autobiographical writing which very likely will never see the light of day. I plan to reach out to local and online writers, and share some of my work. I also want to stay in touch (through social media) with local film writers and directors who might be interested in taking on my plays and such.
Acting? Only God knows.
If it seems that I’m rushing along perfunctorily here, it’s because I am. For one thing, I have been as tired as I have ever been in my whole life since the move, and am not sure why, other than that I may have just “crashed” after functioning for so long in extremely challenging circumstances on sheer force of will and adrenaline, along with a liberal shot of God’s own brand of Red Bull.
In addition, I hunger to get back to work, not to talk about it. It’s been a very long two years, and there’s much to be done.