Saturday, January 30, 2010

Day 16: Borrowing without asking

It's been a difficult week to get writing done, due mostly to the additional time conflicts of rehearsals for the upcoming performance of my short play next weekend (one of my two original Frank scenes). But I was bound and determined to get another 10 page chunk done to bring to class tomorrow, so yesterday and today I set about finishing the next scene. I was only up to page 16 earlier this evening when my cat apparently wanted to help me out, so she sat at my computer and entered this:

followed by 44 pages of the return key and several paragraphs of "::::::::::P". I really appreciate the effort, though I'm not quite sure what role "Looooppttty" will play in this scene. Perhaps I'll find a function for her later.

One of the most fascinating things to me about this writing process is the culling of details from people and events in my own life. I have yet to actually write a character who is supposed to actually be someone real -- it's just that I steal a few details from this person and that person, from this event and that event, and cook them all up in a stew. For instance, Angie's childhood friend Rachael (whom we meet in scene 3), is named after a dear friend whom I've known since I was 12. But this woman definitely isn't my Rachael, and some of the details of her life are stolen from another childhood friend of mine, and some of her words are borrowed from a current friend. I often wonder if these people from whom I have borrowed little details would recognize themselves in my work, or if the stew has too many ingredients to identify any one thing.

One of the highest compliments I have received on my writing to date was from the actor who plays Frank. He asked me if Frank and Vera were real people. He was surprised when I said no, "because the details are just so rich." Thank you, everyone, for being so interesting and giving me such great material. I hope you'll forgive me for borrowing without asking.


  1. Natalie!! Your blog is an absolute pleasure to read. You write very well and it's not at all a chore, it reads companionably and comfortably. Please please don't mind the lack of comments this early on in the undertaking. If there is anything I know about its the temper of the internet, these things take time to be found. Keep at it, it's an absolutely good and worthwhile endeavor.

  2. Dear Jenn --

    Thank you for the lovely compliments and encouragement. They are so appreciated. I'm loving this process, and am proud of the work I'm producing. I would love to hear any ideas you might have for how to spread the word!



  3. sounds like Mimi is the John Cage of playwrighting ;)