Friday, February 22, 2008

Yep, still here

I'm completely embarrassed at not having posted for over a month. *slapping wrist* Some of this, I have to be honest, is attributed to my back, which is getting worse rather than better. I have another doctor's appointment at New England Baptist on Tuesday, and I can't say I feel very optimistic, but I'm back at the gym, doing light workouts on the bike and several exercises from physical therapy, along with frequent icing, so I'm doing all that I can. We'll see what the doctor says on Tuesday. I realize this is going to take a long time. I just wish I knew how long. I also spent nine days in Florida with my parents. They are renting a wonderful condo on the water, and you can have the waves from every room in the condo. It's amazing. We had a very nice together, and it was *much* needed respite. The cold, the snow (we're in the middle of a snowstorm in Boston right now, like *that's* a surprise), my back, getting through Registration and the beginning of classes: all took a toll on me, mentally and physically. I can't remember ever needing a break as much as I needed this one. The only problem was that I was in pain so much of the time. I can't really sit comfortably anymore, and that is, of course, a huge issue. But I ended staying there a few days longer, when I realized I just wasn't ready to come home (two days of high winds, rain, and tornado watches were in effect, and I needed more sun and more time there), and my dad generously paid for me to stay longer. I am incredibly grateful.

That being said, I need to keep on top of this thing, and I am simply not doing it. I will try harder. There have been only two items on the writing agenda. The first is that I didn't get into the Turnip Festival (the American Globe) in NYC, and I desperately wanted to. It's so prestigous, and I had a director for my piece ONE LAST FIGHT, Jack from NYC and SD, and he and I were so helpful. But it wasn't meant to be, and that hurt. A lot. This play is the one that had a three-week run, favorable, I was told, in San Diego by the Candy Shoppe producers, Jeff and Summer, so I know it's a sound play (they thought so, at any rate), and the rejection was very disheartening. Debbie got in with her really strong play ONE MORE TO GO, and I was so pleased for her, but I wished we had been able to celebrate together. Then while I was in Florida, I received another rejection (though I didn't send the right piece, so I can't say I was very upset about it). It made me think, Geez, why do this when the rejection is so great? Doesn't it feel better NOT to get any? I pondered this while I continued to rest in Florida.

And happens so often...when I am just about to give up (for a little while, at any rate), I got news that the Heartland Theatre in Normal, IL put it through to the next round (I'm a semi-finalist for their national festival). This play is a complete revision of SHOOT. Changing it up with the help of Debbie and Anna (moving it from a convenience store to a cafe and completely changing the focus from a homeless man to the 20-something photographer; I had meant this to be the case from the beginning) allowed me to create a new, much stronger piece, and it meant so much for me to 1) do the work I needed to in order to get the piece to work, and 2) have a festival satisfied enough with it to keep the reading going. I may not get in (please, please, say yes), and it would feel WONDERFUL for them to say yes (Debbie got her piece, one of only eight, in two years ago, and said they treated her with tremendous respect), but in any case, I know that with due diligence, and some faith, I can keep going.

Of course, the issue is, do I really want to, the timeless battle. What I *will* say is that I want to think of writing as *my* dance. I am completely obsessed with dancing at the moment, and have been ever since SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE began last summer and my sister Stephanie and my niece Jami got me hooked on it. I went to see the tour, taped all of the episodes (and then the ones from S2 that were on MTV), constantly check Blogging SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE several times a day (it's worth it), and am now watching the current season of the show in Australia on the web. But I can't dance, I can barely walk without discomfort, and I think some of my interest comes from a desire to do something I wish I could but can't. I never had any interest in hip hop dance until I began watching SYTYCD (and am now a devotee of America's Best Dance Crew on MTV), but started wanting to take a class around the time my back gave out on me, so I have to think there is a connection. But this evening I started thinking: Well, I can't dance, but I *can* still write. I can sit down and type, and if gets too uncomfortable, I can get up, stretch, ice the upper or lower back, and then begin again. I saw one contestant who had a serious back operation in her teens, but continued to dance with a greater passion afterwards. That's the way you go; if you're passionate, you don't stop, but you accept your limitations (that is what a co-worker told me today, in fact; he has back problems, and had to readjust his activities, but the back problems DID go away for the most part after a while, and he said if I listen to my back, I will learn how to treat it).

Anyway, if I let my writing do my dancing, well, that's an idea I hadn't thought of but did earlier this evening, and it's a thought. I listen to r&B/hip hop music now, like Chris Brown, Ne-Yo, Rhiannon, and Timbaland (but also downloaded the new Jack Johnson CD Tuesday), and watch Idol and dance shows (though I can't sing well OR dance). But I *can* write and why not use that as a means of self-expression? So that's tonight. It might not be the way I feel tomorrow, or next week, so I'll have to piece it together.

Right now, though, I have to figure out a way to get my car out of the back lot, so I can get to the doctor on Tuesday.............