Here, There be a Writer

Monday, March 18, 2013

Life in the last 2 weeks...

So, in the past 2 weeks I have finished my month long sonnet-a-day project and hosted 24 Hour Theatre. I am quite pooped, but very satisfied with how it all went down. I am not one to sit idly by for long. This is a story of a number of things that brought me to this point, so important lessons that have change my outlook.

See, 2012 was a VERY busy year for me, actually it started sooner, the 2012 was truly a busy year. Back in august of 2011 I was laid-off I was suddenly not busy without having a job to go to. I threw myself into theatre. It's one of my hobbies, and a solstice to the long boring days of unemployment. I was asked to assistant direct a production of "Sweeney Todd" quite the endevour. I enjoyed the thrill and challenge and learned a great many things about the theatre arts. After Sweeney, there was the Christmas shows and auditions for "A Midsummer's Night Dream"; I got cast as Bottom. That was the first 5 month of 2012. I also became employed again, and I still was doing all manners of theatre, Oliver! in the Summer and then directing Charlotte's Web in the Fall. The whole time I was swept into a world of imagination and music. By the time I hit Thanksgiving I was ready for a break.  At that time I had also decided that I was going to devote more time to writing.

I wrote a novel through "National Novel Writing Month" (NaNoWriMo) in November 2011, and started writing stories, poetry, anything. By Fall 2012, I was so busy with Charlotte's Web that NaNo was not an option, but I still wanted to write. I start "Here, There by a Writer" in November 2012 as a blog. It was partially because the post show crash with Charlotte was harder than any other show I had done previous. I had given 'birth' to a theatre baby and that kind of emotional rush is hard to let go of. So, I blogged about it. That lead to a previous idea that I had had, about trying to go free lance with my writing. I had proven that I could write and write to some degree of  skill. "Here, There be a Writer" was the perfect outlet. So, I brainstormed ideas and concepts of things I wanted to research and write about. Sometimes it was an interview with someone, other times it was a retrospective on something from my childhood, or even a top 10 list of something that inspired me.

The blog almost 4 month old, and I do not feel that it's slowing down. I blogged about sonnets one day, after I decide that I wanted to try writing in Iambic Pentameter. That was the beginning of the month long project and to make it a challenge I chose to still blog one a week and write a sonnet-a-day. Even more of a challenge was when I ask friends for sonnet topics. This lent itself to some interesting topics and some creative telling, or retelling of stories, ranging from Vertebrae to cheese and numerous Doctor Who related topics.

I did it! I wrote 31 sonnets (from February 11 to March 14th) which was when I wrote my last sonnet (well, not last, but the last for this project). It was a fun and awesome ride. I learned a few things about writing and myself in that month.
  1. Iambic Pentameter is not as hard as you think to write it. After a while you well often write the right number of iambic feet in a sentence (line).
  2. Rhyme is hard, but not difficult. I still haven't mastered writing rhyme on the first draft of a sonnet. There are get tools that make writing sonnets easy. is a rhyming site, very handy for getting the right word to match the rhyme.
  3. Thesaurus's are your friend. Whether it's an online one, or a real book version, a thesaurus is very useful. I think it also helps increase one's vocabulary.
I feel more confident with my writing after this month of literary happenstance. There are other poem styles that I want to revisit, forms that I wrote back in college, but haven't touch since then (Villianelles, Terzenelles, Sestinas). I also feel that I get inspired more after writing these sonnets.

 Sonnet # 3 Sealed with a Postage Stamp: A Sonnet (or, I will seal my love)

Postage Stamp

I will seal my love with the confines here,
A token of myself that I give to
You. I see you from far, you shed a tear
I am not by your side. What do you do?

A letter you do write, upon the page--
Words you craft by your hand from your own heart
To tell me the love that rests within, Sage
wise, know that words can cause us two, to part.

With that knowledge you still mail your passion
To me, within a poem of your own speak.
You have sealed and stamped in careful fashion
And to the post you go without a creak.

The sign you pass allows you by, to place
                                                                       the letter to one that makes your heart race.

Something else that has brought a change in how I view myself and the world is a book and the author of this book. My really dear friend who lives in another state, had told me about this inspirational book by this writer friend of hers. He was giving away digital copies of this book. She recommended I that read it. she said it would change my life. It was a short read. You should give it a try.

Okay, I said. I went and downloaded this book. I wasn't sure what to expect. I am not really the inspirational type. But, I told her I would read it. I mean, it was free, right? It wasn't going to cost me anything. Maybe just an evening, a few hours of reading. I read it...

...and I cried! I found it very open. Almost as if this man was baring his soul to me. It reminded me of all the times I would go to Perkins with my best friend and we would talk, baring our souls to each other. This man was telling me about his life, the hardships, the joys, the lessons, and the the realizations. I saw myself in some of these moments. I saw that even after everything he still kept going. He found a way past those 'speed bumps' of life and made his dreams into reality. I was left with a sense of wonder, that if this man, this random man on the other side of the country can pull himself up out of the mistakes he made and find joy in the everyday, then certainly I could too. That was my introduction to James Owen and "Drawing Out the Dragons." I have never been the same after.

Not long after I read "Drawing Out the Dragons" there came "The Barbizon Dairies" book two in a trilogy series call "The Meditations". I bought the digital version of Dairies and read it from my computer in a few hours (not owning a Kindle or Nook). I balled! I sat there and  cried! Afterward I came to realize something, something that James was trying so hard to teach others. No matter what, you, YOU have a choice in how you live, you feel, and make your own way through this life. It's so much more than that, but sometimes word fail me when trying to explain something that  is so very important and very  emotional for me. I even told James in a poem (actually to poems, one a free verse and one a sonnet) what my heart felt  after reading his meditations. I cannot accept feeling sorry for myself, when there's a life to live, books to read, movie to watch, and choices to make.

I used many of James' phiolosophies in my directing of my Charlotte cast, to help them bring out their own great, their own personal brand of awesome. This is the quote that went with each of my emails to my cast!

"Purpose is the reason;
Will is the means;
and Will guided by
Purpose leads to Aréte:
the fulfillment of one’s
potential for

James tells people that all it really takes is one person to tell you that they believe in you, and that start a chain reaction of goodness and awesome that awakens the soul. "I Believe in You!" It's a small sentence, but it packs a punch. I DO NOT say this unless I mean it! I had my Wilbur, in her first show, with some intense stage nerves. I kid you not, I told her that I believed in her, and the young lady wowed 3 nights of audience members that weekend.

I just headed up an event called 24 Hour Theatre that my friend Sara Love introduced me too 2 years ago with one of the theatre groups I perform with (there are about 4 or 5 theatre organizations in the area where I live). I decide to bring this concept to my home theatre group. You create theatre in 1 day! Writers write shows the night before, then the next day directors and actors bring the shows to life. I found 6 teams of writers to write 6 shows and 6 directors to direct these shows, and about 20 actors to act in these show. Again I have taken James philosophies to boater the creative energies of these people and make something truly amazing, beautiful, and awesome.

"The focus of one's life and work
should not be on enduring trials,
which everyone has, but on finding, seizing,
and exulting in those rare moments of 
Transcendent Joy."

"Choices are cumulative, but the results are
not always  apparent, or immediate."

"If you really want to do something,
no one can stop you;
but if you really don't want to do something,
no one can help you."

I saw people working together to make stories come to life. I saw blossoming writers and directors who were coming alive by the chance I gave them. I saw new friendships begin. I saw people from different theatre groups working together. It has made me so happy to known that I have helped create this beautiful moment. It has given me purpose to a previously failing attitude that I had been holding onto. Not only has James bolstered my writing confidence, but he has helped me to see that I can help others.

I would recommend "Drawing out the Dragons" and "The Barbizon Dairies" to anyone looking for a little help. maybe a hand to hold crossing the bridge, riding the bike, or just a dark in the dark. I cannot wait for the final book in the Meditation Trilogy, "The Grand Design". My heart is lighter and I enjoy waking up more (well, as long as I have my coffee too). Thank you James!!

I am working on another script for a script writing contest and still blogging about pretty much anything. I even made up a story for 2 1/2 year old Wendy Love and am going to make a book version of the story for her 3rd birthday. I am going to write. You see, I have this dream, to be a writer and I am going to pursue it...

...For Here, There be a Writer!

1 comment:

  1. James blogs at his website ( and the posts are very much along the lines of what he wrote in the Meditations books.


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