Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Fork in the Road

Yesterday I was interviewed by a college journalism class. The students had studied up on my life (from my website), asked questions about my writing, my career, and my work as the managing director of the arts center on our campus. One question stuck out: “what do you feel has been your biggest accomplishment?”

This really got me thinking. At forty one, should I already have had my ‘biggest accomplishment”? My life has been full of many bends and turns along the road – not unlike most people who believe they are setting out to achieve “X” and find that “Y & Z” are a much better fit for their lives. I’ve had a great journey and have been able to do so many different things. While I can look back and say “I never got to do this” or “I didn’t quite make it to that” – family and friends are quick to point out all I have realized. I went from being an actor to climbing the corporate ladder in NYC and then returned to my heart’s passion in the arts in my late 30s.

Sometimes, it’s the decisions we make that cause the most agita. Actually doing it isn’t so hard, it’s convincing ourselves that we’re making the best possible choice for that particular moment in our lives. I hope I never have to stop choosing. I enjoy the feeling of  taking on something new. I can appreciate the time it takes to create my pros and cons list and research, research, research. I thrive on the initial fear it brings and then relish in the glow of achieving it. My insides rev up as I see that fork in the road with the knowledge that it’s time to determine the best path to take.   

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Stuck

I have come to a complete standstill in my writing.

That has never happened to me before. I've been writing since I was a child and have always plowed right through.  I've written musicals (score and book), poetry, short stories, 3 novels and I’m working on my 4th.  I started this novel with an outline that poured out of me in a way I’d never experienced before. All because of a dream I had that started the first chapter of the book. However, midway through the book – the characters start to tell me where they wanted to go and the book took a twist that I didn't expect when I started on the journey.  Now my characters are left in limbo like they are on the island in “Lost” or something and I don’t know how to get them out of their own way.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve been sick the past two weeks and it’s zapped all creative energy I had. (At least that’s what I’m going to hope – even though spending more time at home and away from work should/could have given me much more time at the computer.) In the meantime, I open the file on my computer … reread past chapters praying that will spark something to send me down my next path.

I’ve heard of so many people having writer’s block and I always thought it was odd as stories are going through my head constantly. (Does that sound pompous or schitzo?) 


But now as I stare at a blank screen – and though I’ve had some poetry and prose published, shows produced on stage even, I can finally say I must really be an author to have hit this wall.

Maybe my main character will need to deal with how numb he has become to his surroundings which paralyze him from doing anything. 

Nah – that’s just me. 

Friday, September 10, 2010

Remembrance

In this weekend of remembrance - I remember it all very well. I was in the World Trade Center in '93 during the first bombing and walked down 98 floors. In 2001, I stood in Hoboken looking across the water at those two signs of the US economic power crumbling. But much more than brick and mortar and people's lives have crumbled since that horrific day. Human kindness has all but evaporated. The fabric of our society is splitting in two as people yell across invisible lines at each other that their way of thinking is better than another. That their religious beliefs mean more than someone else's. 


I am a Christian - but believe that all have a right to their own beliefs. And to do something terrible (in the name of God - or to get your fifteen minutes of fame) is not the Christian faith I care to be associated with.  Yes - we should remember 9/11 and all the lives lost. But we should also remember the lives that are still attempting to live together in this country comprised of immigrants and people that may not look exactly like us.  Just because our skin color is different or our views may not be in sync does not make us any less human. It truly saddens me the more I read where people are claiming the U.S. as only 'one way' of thinking or viewing the world. We must be careful because it is not a far stretch to see us melding towards other societies that came before us - those that had a very narrow view of the world and thought that anyone that believed other than them had no rights. 


Remembrance.      

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Remix

I love creativity! You can see it in a museum, on a stage, a movie, reading a good book – or even what some people are doing now with audio software.  Man has technology changed since I was a kid. We would use an old tape recorder to make ‘effects’ for haunted houses or things, but nothing like what they have today. There are numerous examples on youtube of ingenious creative types who are savvy with audio/video samplings to take a speech someone has made and turn it into a rap or a song.  Double Rainbow, Patti LuPone, Bill O’Reilly or the newest one I heard about on the radio this morning.   


One man’s tirade is another’s man’s art.