My new play, Mabel’s Bed, was chosen to participate at the Playwrights Atlantic Resource Centre, Playwrights’ Colony, May 11-26, 2014. I spent two weeks holed up in Anchorage House on the Mount Allison Campus, Sackville, N.B., along with seven other playwrights. I astounded myself and my dramaturge, Don Hannah, by completing the first draft of a two act play (87 pages!). It’s amazing what one can accomplish with no distractions. It was my job to do nothing but write. By nine o’clock in the evening my brain was mush and so I went to the local video store and watched movies on my laptop. Others went out to socialize at the various watering holes but not me, since I rarely drink. My social time was at the kitchen table during meals we cooked for ourselves.
In the second week the actors arrived and all of the plays were given two readings with time in-between to re-write using suggestions from the actors and dramaturge. It was wonderful to hear the words brought to life by the talented actors. It was the most exhilarating, focused, productive two weeks I have ever experienced. Many thanks to Jenny Munday, Artistic Director of PARC, and all the dedicated staff who helped facilitate this amazing Playwrights’ Colony.
My grandson, Cameron, age 13, created the movie trailer “The Course” with his GoPro Hero3 when he was eleven years old. There is no film – just the trailer. Hilarious! He wants to be a film maker. Who knows, the full-length version of “The Course” may eventually be produced. Go for it Cam, you’ve got the right name.
I’m always impressed when children know early on what they want to be. When my brother was twelve he stated that he wanted to be an engineer and he became a very successful civil engineer. Guess what I wanted to be? Famous. Not a good choice for a vocation and probably the reason why it didn’t happen. No big deal. After a few years of trying to make it as an actress/singer, I made it as a secretary. I can’t be too bitter since it paid the bills (sort of). And I became an expert touch typist, which came in handy when I became a writer.
Some believe that it’s not the end result that’s important – it’s the journey. I think that’s a load of crap. It’s not the journey itself because that can be pretty bloody awful. What is important is the person you become as you travel through the swamps. Can you get up and start again after a fall? Do you keep trying again and again, against all obstacles? Can you laugh at yourself and maintain a cheerful balance between not taking yourself too seriously, and being very serious about your goals.
I said I wanted to be famous when I was seventeen but I never said it again. It didn’t take me long to realize that fame is no indication of worth. For years my goal has been to communicate through writing, and to be the best person I can be. I keep watch over my children and grandchildren and hope I set a good example despite my youthful errors.