I feel like I had the great welcoming into the drama group on Monday night. I’d met a few people in the other sessions, but everybody made a point of introducing themselves to me this time. I’ve been working very hard at providing useful criticism, and I make a special effort to understand what the writer intends with the work, rather than what I would do with the same material.
It’s all about respect, which can be scarce in drama groups, given the egos involved. By giving respect, I’m getting it. I think you learn a lot more from listening than from getting your point across. And three people actually came to me separately after we broke up to ask me to bring some of my writing in. (They mean plays, and I don’t have any plays at the moment. That’s a hard thing to confess.)
Anyway, the six lines topic was one I introduced, “That’s a great question.” People worked wonderful twists on this (including setting up “To be or not to be” as the great question. With my own topic, you’d think I’d score big, but I didn’t pull out anything. I’d done three scripts with very strong situations (death of a politician as explained by the son who is running against him; drunk, naked, newly tattooed kid explaining his situation to his dad; breaking the bad news of where we are to a new arrival to hell). Unfortunately, none of them were well-written. And in a night of really enchanting stories, they would have branded me as a loser.
Oh, and I’m recalled to life because, as Anne Shirley would say, “My life is a perfect graveyard of buried hopes.” I’ve had more rejections since my last lamentation. Including two no comment ones from markets that usually give me encouragement. But today, I pulled myself back together and sent out two and put Waverley into the Baen mix. (The Charisma Plague is still being chewed on, so version four is not posted yet.) I’m always better when I rise up, shake my fist and take some steps forward. Once I got a rejection notice with instructions on how to fold it into an origami swan. Now those were the days.
Putting work out there is important, but actual writing separates the writers from the wannabees. The work does continue. In addition to getting big chunks of Charisma done (mostly added scenes I don’t feel I need by the group says I do), I have a complete draft of Whinging. It does everything that a story needs to do, in my opinion. Now it needs some rewriting. Something new? I’ve got a time travel police piece (say that five times). It’s on hold at the moment while I get some research from cops. But I won’t wait very long. My goal is always to be working on something new and something old.
Best news of the week was from an artist friend. We talk weekly about writing. He told me that he has pinned a note up in his workspace, “It’s supposed to be fun!” It’s a mantra he credits to me, and it’s quite an honor to be quoted by a successful artist. Take inspiration from wherever you find it. (And you can quote me on that.)