Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Day 6: Expecting (the Unexpected)

What happened to day 5, you ask? Ask my cat. She ate it.

This isn't a flimsy excuse like "the dog ate my homework". It really was her fault. She kept me up all night Monday night because she wasn't happy with the new food I bought her (you see, Mimi, I had to go to a different pet store because the one near us was going to be closed by the time I got home from my second job, and the new store didn't have your food. It really wasn't because I don't love you anymore). With a day that started at 7am with a brutal workout and didn't end until close to 10pm, all on no sleep, I was more than a little exhausted when I got home. So I left poor Vivian and Angie stranded in the kitchen, mid-argument, for a day and a half. Luckily Frank is hanging out eating ice cream and watching the Rockford Files, so he'll be ok for awhile.

While I didn't get the writing done that I expected yesterday, I got an unexpected blessing/curse today. The curse is that I woke up at 4am with a golfball in my throat (I never did find it, but I swear it was there). Since I didn't want to expose all my Weight Watchers members and voice students to a brand-spanking-new cold, I called in sick today. Though that cost me about $150, money I can scant afford to lose, the blessing is that I got a day at home to slow down a bit and write. (Plus the best-boyfriend-ever came over with juice and wonton soup from my favorite Chinese place, Pig Heaven.)

And write I did. I am happy to report that I resisted the temptation to further tinker with pages 1-4. I have now completed scene 2, between Vivian and Angie (Frank's daughter and granddaughter, respectively), and am up to page 10. Which is how much I'm allotted to bring into playwriting class to be read aloud on Sunday, so I'm very happy about that.

I discovered a few unexpected things while writing. Setting this in 1978-79 is providing both some interesting context and some challenges. For example, a generational women's lib issue came up between mother and daughter today, which was not something I had thought in advance would be part of this play. The challenge is figuring out things like, what TV show was on after Donny and Marie in 1978? (The ABC Friday night movie, according to at least one source -- thank you google). And did people use the expression "take that and shove it" then? (turns out the answer is yes, since the song "Take This Job and Shove It" came out in 1976 -- thank you facebook friends!). In case you can't tell, I really hate inconsistencies/inaccuracies, and go to great lengths to research details like these. If one considers searching google to be "great lengths".

I'm going to let the first two scenes simmer for a bit before I try to tackle scene three. Not in small part because at this point, I have absolutely no idea whatsoever as to what scene three is going to be. I'm sure it will come to me, unexpectedly.


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