Write On – Exploring What We Know May Teach Us What We Need to Learn
“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”
– Anais Nin
Greetings from Victoria!
My apologies for not getting a blog written last week. I was on Orcas Island (San Juan Islands) in Washington state and the power kept going out. And when the power was on, I was madly writing The Neighbours play script – now tentatively titled Bungalow by the Sea.
The good news: I made tremendous headway on the play over the past two weeks – thanks in huge part to Lynne Karey-McKenna, an actress and director who is helping me develop the script. Lynne also has a background in psychology, which is turning out to be rather handy.
Getting the key scenes in place has been relatively straightforward since the play is based on my real-life experience of living next door to noisy neighbours on a busy street. There’s no shortage of comedic scenarios to draw from…blaring music, spectacular arguments, boa constrictors in the shed, bandsaws, an old fridge in the yard, power washers, raging bonfires, leaf blowers, nail guns, rats in the crawlspace (mine), trucks roaring by, etc.
The sound tech is going to LOVE producing this play when the time comes!
The not-so-good news is that trying to determine the main character’s (“Josie”) motivation for putting up with the noise and madness for seven years has been a little…uncomfortable, shall we say.
For who in their right mind would STAY – when they don’t have to?
It’s a good question…one this particular playwright is in the midst of trying to answer.
I am (obviously) a firm believer in the old adage: “Write what you know.” I like this advice not because it’s easier to write what we know – but rather because writing what we know has tremendous potential to teach us what we need to learn…if we can get out of our own way.
But writing, of course, isn’t the only way to explore potentially useful lessons that may be hiding in a difficult life experience…or, perhaps more importantly, our response to that experience.
Working with Lynne on Bungalow by the Sea is helping me do just that – kicking, screaming and arguing all the way, of course…rather like my former neighbours. But there have been an awful lot of laughs, as well…for good ol’ “Josie” is quite the nutty character herself ?
As for life on the road?
Ahhh…plenty of valuable lessons being offered up here, as well. As an example, I am learning (whether I like it or not), to be flexible. This has never been a strength of mine.
I am a planner…I like things to go according to plan. I love order. I need to be organized.
Hah! All of this has now officially flown out the window of my jam-packed CRV.
For as a friend recently asked (in a kind way): “Uhhh…isn’t the point of a Bohemian adventure to NOT plan every detail and just go with the flow?”
In theory, yes. In practice, this micro-manager has some adjusting to do.
Here are a few more photos from my travels over the past couple of weeks:
A note about WWOW…
So that I can focus on my road trip and bigger writing projects over the next few months, I will be sending out a WWOW blog every second Wednesday, instead of every Wednesday.
See…look at me learning to be flexible ?
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Maryanne Pope is the author of A Widow’s Awakening, the playwright of Saviour and the screenwriter of God’s Country. Maryanne is CEO of Pink Gazelle Productions and Chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund. If you would like to receive her regular weekly blog, please sign up here. As a thank you, you’ll receive a short but saucy e-book entitled, Dive into this Chicago Deep Dish – Ten Bite-Sized Steps for a Yummier Slice of Life.