Sunday, September 09, 2007

Checking in, at last

Hey, and happy September, only 9 days late! I thought I'd let you know what was going on with me, b/c it's been a while. On the great news front, I got promoted at work to Director of Student Placement. That means I make more money and get more responsibility. I still report to Richard (now in Admissions), and that works out just well for me. A key member of the staff is leaving at the end of the month, and I'm very sad about that, but I hope it works out for her. We got through Registration and almost the first week of classes (b/c of Labor Day) relatively unscathed, and I think the second week will be the same or, just maybe, a bit less hectic. We'll see. I've done drop-in advising a couple of times, but happily that will end next Monday. It's not that I dislike seeing students; I love it, but not at night in someone else's office when I'm beat, b/c I'm not doing anyone any favors when I'm not clear headed. I hope I can continue to serve students to the best of my ability, even with new stuff to do; I think it won't be a problem.

Okay, on the non-work front, not so great news. I hurt my sciatic never, and I've been in a lot of pain for, what, four weeks? Lots of ice, advil, rest, and little activity, walking excluded, has helped somewhat, but not nearly enough. I finally got in to see a specialist (a psychiatrist, and yes, that's a real word) and I had an x-ray and will have an MRI this week and see her the following week. I've had all sorts of knee and hip pay, and this just compounds the problem. Man, I love working out, and I haven't been able to, frustrating at best. But I've been watching my weight like crazy, so at least I'm not gaining weight (no bingeing, not much to eat in the house). I was given the okay to go back to the gym to the elliptical machine, so I'll go tomorrow after work. And I'll take it one day at a time, b/c what else can I do?

My Red Sox have been kicking it, last night's painful loss to the Orioles, the worst team in the league, not withstanding, and it looks good, fingers cross, for them to get into the playoffs, maybe as the winner of the AL East. I rarely miss a game, and with the Patriots beginning their season today against the evil Jets, I'm in sports bliss. If I can't work out, I can exercise vicariously through these teams. Funny thing (odd, really): I've been rewatching SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE shows on my DVR over and over (Neil and Danny rocked my world). It's sort of like I felt about Blake, along with Phil and Chris, on AMERICAN IDOL: I can't get enough of them. The dancing kicked ass, and I learned a lot, but it's also sort of obsessive, and I kind of think it's due to not being able to move the way I'd like. I'd actually be into taking a hip hop class when I'm back to feeling normal, but we'll see. My 4-year-old niece started a class, but she's kind of young for it, and gymnastics makes more sense for her. But I'd love to watch her take a class; too bad she lives in Florida (sigh). I can't go to see the tour, b/c tickets have been sold out in Boston for weeks. My 10-year-old niece and my mom are going to see the tour in Springfield late in September or early October. I'm really jealous, which is ridiculous, but there you go. I'm 44 in age, but maybe not so much in emotional years. I guess there are worse things. I had my hair streaked last week with dark red/purple streaks. It looks subtle but cool. I could go a little more extreme next week, but for now I'm happy (it needs cutting, but I can wait). I need to dress a bit more cool (I know, the GAP isn't really where I should be shopping), and it will happen. But at least the hair's in a good place.

Okay, so on the writing front, which is why I'm supposed to be writing in the first place. Aside from revising and sending off a one-minute play, I haven't done ANYONE all summer. No shock. But there is good news on that front. First, I rewised (tweaked, really) my hair play, REMEMBERING, and am sending it off to a festival in MD tomorrow. It might be a good fit. Anyway, I am giving it a chance, which is the most important thing. I hated seeing this play languish--it's not perfect, but I think it has a lot of strong qualities, and my writing friend Shirley (a great writer and editor/critic) thinks so, too. I haven't sent it anywhere else, and I have other plays I think are better fits for most festivals, but at least this one is an alternate. The binge started on my listserv, so I'm actively sending out plays again, or e-submitting them. I'm trying not to get my hopes up, and one way to do that is to send off the play, put the information in my playwright folder on my computer, and then promptly forget about it. I know most of the plays will be rejected, and it's the only way to get through it. If I forgot I sent a play somewhere, the sting is a lot less (it's often the ones I forget about that come through, and the ones I want or really want almost never happen).

More importantly, however, is that I'm taking a playwrighting class! Since the one at Emerson fell through, and I'd been counting on it (it's not being offered), I decided to look elsewhere. I found one at Harvard Extension School, which has a reputation for offering strong work (I have someone at work who got her bachelor's there, and strongly recommends them), by an instructor named Ken Urban (lots of plays produced or directed), so I signed up. It's $900 plus a $50 reg fee, and that makes me cringe. It's a helluva lot of money, and while I have it now, I could buy a lot of things for $950 (the chair I dream about for one). But this is really important to me at this juncture of my writing (or not writing) process. I'll have to write, b/c there are assignments and writing exercises, and you need to submit 20-30pp at the end of the class to pass. I'm not worried about it--I have a lot more than 30pp written already (more like 100 at the least)--but I am more concerned about pushing through and *enjoying* the process. I think being in a creative environment with others--workshops are much more helpful to me than writing groups, which are more like hearing other plays and giving mere feedback--ought to be inspiring. And if the class isn't, and it doesn't teach me a fair amount about the craft of writing, then I guess I won't be writing again for a long time (I am completely blocked right now, and have lost my love of the process). My sister Laural insists that I was meant to write, as I've been doing it since I was five (that's true; the minute I learned to write, I did, most of the time, especially as I was growing up, and it wasn't as hard for me as nearly everything else was). It's not about rejection anymore, at least not external rejection; it's all about internal interest/pushing through.

So I'm taking the leap, and we'll see where it goes. I have so much vacation time it isn't funny, so I can definitely take days off, one or two at a time, through the fall (not Fridays, b/c I can't, but Wednesdays and Thursdays are fine, b/c they are after the class, so I should still be jived to write). I want them to be writing days, especially b/c it will be nice out (one hopes) in New England in the fall, but not beach-nice days, so it will be great to sit by the window and write but not feel like I need to be outside, at least not all day. The class starts a week from Tuesday, and I'm psyched and a bit tentative to begin it, just b/c I want it to work for me--I want to make it work for me--so much. But I hate watching others do creative things while I envy them and beat myself up for not writing, and I don't want to beat myself up anymore. Nigel on SYTYCD kept saying, Just dance, and I want to Just write. I'll keep you posted.