Category Archives: Film

Stepford Wife Street

Just watched “Altman.” A surprisingly good documentary about Robert Altman on Hulu, where I spend most of my life watching late night talk shows to pass my 50s.

And I realized, when it was over and had affected me like a good film will, that I live on a Stepford Wife Street, in a Tornado Alley (and not just metaphorically), in a life I don’t remember heading toward, and I don’t remember who I am. But it made me want to be reminded.

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Honing my act – MFA program in Creative Writing – Week 4

First upheaval of the 10 day extremely intense residency for the NILA MFA program in creative writing – after introductions I begin to waffle about whether to stick with fiction and the professor that gets my sense of humor and likes my style, or switch to nonfiction where I might get to do my thesis as a performable memoir and also they have better parties. Introduction session included saying my name and home town, I got through that, but third thing to share was my writing goals. I opened my mouth and said, “well to be honest, I’d like to write more screenplays and a performance piece to be also published as a book.” 

I picture the performance as one person show style storytelling that feels like standup, and Mike Birbiglia has already set the precedent, that’s a thing. A doable thing. So that’s my model. – Slight problem, I am currently suffering from paralyzing stage fright. Not cute self-deprecating I need to throw up stage fright. Not just get over it stage fright, but I want to die right now, throw myself in front of a bus I’m not kidding rather than get on a stage, stage fright. So, I am attending an MFA program, and within the first day, I realize I am using it as a vehicle to write my one person show and workshop it with editors, rather than a live audience. But editors think like editors and not like a comedy club audience. I don’t know where the laughs are.

Plus, in the fiction workshop people are responding to a stream of consciousness piece I wrote for NanoWrimo with the connection and emotion I wanted to get from the performance piece, and the more I read the fiction piece, Marshmallow Man, the more I love it too. The more I realize I am saying things with it I could never say in stand up.

I feel lucky to have options, but stressed to have to make the call – fiction or nonfiction – in just a few weeks before registration for fall comes around.

Opinion? Please vote below. Fiction or Nonfiction

 

An adventure – MFA program/T minus 8 weeks

I have the good fortune of having a weird, sometimes wonderful, workplace at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. There are semi-secret caves, and the staff got a subterranean tour last week.

I have always hated close space, been very claustrophobic and never had a desire to go spelunking. So, of course I did.

2015.11 spelunking at WFC

And crawling around on my belly through mud and through tiny gaps in rock that make you certain they will be dropping the jaws of life down to pry you back out made me realize, there’s not much adventure in my life anymore.

As a kid, there was adventure all the time. We’d go out in the woods and create scary real and fictitious adventures. There’d be real human and kid drama. There’d be real and imagined personal danger. But this tiny cave exploration is as close I have gotten to being terrified in a long long time.

And I realized, all the sensations of adventure, of real life fear and new tactile and human interactions of closeness, of the dark and silence of absolute cave interior shared with a group. These are the kinds of things I need to have a WHOLE LOT MORE OF if I want to write about adventures.

If I want my writing out of its rut, I need to get my life out of its rut.

2015.11.me spelunking

Any suggestions? What do you consider a good adventure?