Sunday, January 2, 2011

A New Start

I'm back! Didja miss me? It's been two years now since I blogged about doing something new every day and I'm finally ready to commit to blogging regularly again. Why? I finally know what I want to be when I grow up.

Perhaps I should explain.

After a mid-life crisis, a marriage crisis, a career crisis and watching my mother die, I feel like I've burnt my fields so I can begin raising new crops. I probably got that metaphor wrong, not knowing anything about agriculture, but you get the idea. It's like the Hindu god Shiva. I don't know anything about Hinduism, either, but my limited understanding is that he is part one of the Hindu trinity, the god who destroys so that that Brahma can create, followed by Vishnu preserving, followed by Shiva destroying. Over and over again.

Well, it's Brahma time.

So I'm moving to New York to write the books and lyrics of musicals. As far as I can tell, the job suits me - I'm a structure wonk who writes smart farces with heart, or as I like to call them, "smart farts." I'm an extrovert, so I prefer collaborating than writing alone. And I'm a total theater geek, as evidenced by both of my novels, as well as the third, which is due for its Brahma moment, as well.

Here's the plan - I'll return to Portland to teach my classes on story structure and the first fifty pages one more time at the Attic Institute, then will pack up and move to New York for good on April 24th. Like the immigrant who comes to work in the rag trade, I will send for my wife in the babushka (aka Floyd) once I'm settled.

What that will involve is building my teaching career so I can sustain myself while this new chapter unfolds. Luckily, I enjoy repairing stories the way some people take apart toasters, and find that teaching makes me a better writer. So I'm excited to set up shop in New York. If anyone knows of an opportunity for a writing tutor or teacher (freelance editor, book doctor, nanny/tutor to school age kids), I'm open for business.

Apropos for my new life, Floyd (sans babushka) and I celebrated New Year's Eve nine stories above Times Square in the Actor's Equity building, working as fluffers.

Again, perhaps I best explain.

We were the guests of Lauren Class Schneider, producer of the Broadway play Looped, which tells the true story of how Tallulah Bankhead took six hours to dub one line in her final film Die, Die, Darling. Valerie Harper gave an astonishing performance that revealed the humanity behind the caricature, a subject which, as the writer of smart farts, fascinates me. Lauren also oversees one of the New Year's confetti crews, which require three hours of fluffing.

Come to think of it, Lauren kinda looks like Valerie here, though none of us were looped because people throwing things out of windows need to be sober. Here's the view of the million or so people who stood in pens for twelve hours without being allowed to pee.

We were just above the stage so we saw the Backstreet Boys, aka Men of a Certain Age.

Then we removed our watches, rings and hats, took aim at Bernadette Peters...

And showered Times Square with colored paper, aka "littering."

Because we had work to do, Floyd and I had to postpone our New Year's kiss until we were done and Frank Sinatra's voice was booming all over the square:

If I can make it there,
I'll make it anywhere...

But with all due respect to Kander and Ebb, I don't think it's up to New York, New York. It's up to me. And this was as fantastic a start as I could want.

To be continued...


terripatrick said...

Wow. I'm glad you were still floating around in my Google Reader base or I would have totally missed this. Great News!

Now worries about all the crises past, it's all research for smarter farts. We all need to feel the earth shift beneath our feet to get our balance on new ground, even if that ground is nine stories up and we're fluffers.

Happy New Year to you and Floyd. Great fortune in your new adventure!

MelTheDestroyer said...

I will be moving up to NYC this summer when I graduate. If you happen to have started up some sort of workshop class or anything like that, know that you will have a student/customer waiting.

Rick said...

Glad you're back. Look forward to your regular blogging, the new book etc.

The Frog Queen said...

Ah, I knew it was only a matter of time. Going to miss you guys - but I could not be happier to hear that you are happier. (I think that makes sense...)

To your futre!