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Wednesday, February 01, 2012

As the mind churns

I finished Garry O'Connor's excellent biography on playwright Sean O'Casey last night.  I am in the middle of several writing projects and the one that has me the most absorbed is the one-act play.  I don't like to share the plots of my work online, so I don't.  I can share that this one-act play will be what is termed a tragde-comedy.  I picked up my love and understanding of tragic-comedy duality through my early love of Irish plays and stories.  O'Casey was a world-class brat, no question about it, but he was a most determined, and brilliant brat.      For all the contempt he held against others and entire institutions, he managed to make a happy home life for himself and inspire fierce loyalty in spite of himself.

This one-act play that I am writing will mark the third time I am submitting a play for a professional production.  My past plays were commissioned by various type of organizations, except for "Tender Moments With My Cat," for a short play competition back in 1990.  It got a professional production, along with the other contest winners, in New York.  I was pleased with it.  I then wrote another one-act play called "Boomerang" which got produced as well by the same theater.  I wish I knew where that script is now.  I can't find it.  One thing I prefer to do, as opposed to Mr. O'Casey, is not attend rehearsals or productions of my work.  That's how it has been in the past.  I don't know if I will feel any differently if any of my new crop of plays gets a production. Once I've written the thing, it's a matter of interpretation and I can't control that once the play is out of my hands.  I don't dwell on what I cannot control.  I don't fight with people who may criticize my work (or me).  There isn't much you can do to alter interpretations or opinions except to keep moving forward with your own vision and truth.  Your actions will either educate or be ignored.  I wondered while reading the O'Casey biography how much of the energy he spent writing lengthy counter-criticisms of his work and responding to real and perceived slights could have been spent writing more (and better) plays.

Conserving emotional and  psychic energy is no small matter.  It is too easy to get distracted and hung up on what is, in the ultimate scheme of things, not very important.  I noted in this bio on O'Casey that as his life became less complicated and more comfortable his creative powers picked up and even with his ageing and poor eyesight issues was able to be productive.  As my life has calmed down and become more stable in the past year  (after a few years of total instability and chaos) my creative juices almost need some kind of dam, or at the very least, a way to note ideas and concepts for future pondering.  I have found ways and means to do this without losing focus on what I am working on right now.  This has been a long time coming and it's not something I will take for granted.  I am always looking for ways to better harness my energy and save ideas in a potent form for later use.

One of my intentions for the near future is to write some screenplays in the horror genre.  For that, I will look for a pen name that does not give away my female gender.  There is a prejudice in the industry that women can't write good sci-fi stories, or even horror stories (save for Ann Rice and Mary Shelly).  For me to get a script under the right nose, I need the right sounding name or at least a name that sounds male.  I am seriously considering using Yeats O'Casey as my pseudonym.  I wonder what O'Casey would have thought of that???

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