Cinders, cinders, everywhere

Well, the script’s out with six readers. Two have given feedback already.

It’s strange, the experience of sharing writing with others. It’s much better now compared to the first time I did it, when I fell into a deep nausea and depression. And this from a creature who laughs through puddles and sandstorms.

It’s like writers are male praying mantises, built to seek out the very exposure that will kill us.


But once you’ve survived death… death changes its face. All you need to do is walk over the wreckage of your ego and your naked secrets.

So be it. Let that be my morning walk. My constitutional.

Was that my rib I crunched? So be it. Was that my face, underfoot? Why, yes. Walk on. Walk on.

Write on.


The writing desk with the novel-in-progress, before the play that shattered me and took me into the screenplay I’m editing now. (Sept 2013)

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Foiled Again

I’m of a merry morning disposition, and somehow I’ve blithered through life without adding enemies as a result.

On Monday, I stopped by one office to ask how their weekend went. They asked about mine.

“Oh, I killed someone this weekend,” I said.

They laugh.

I decide to take this as them not believing me, and not as a sign of severe psychosis.

One woman says, “Lucky you,” and I leave.

A few hours later, I’m hard at work, and another colleague stops by my office. Gives me a meaningful look. Along glare-lines.

“I come in here, spill my soul, and you… you don’t even tell me??”

Color me confused.

He prods. “What you did this weekend….?”

Mind you, hours have passed. And I say many things in a day. AND, I spend every weekend doing the exact same thing: writing.

It doesn’t help that he’s waving around a giant pen in his fury.

He prods again. “Who did you kiss?”

I stare. I blink. I flip.

“I didn’t KISS anyone??! I KILLED THEM!!!! OMG, who TOLD you that? I KILLED–KILLED! Doesn’t anyone LISTEN???”

I turn to dial the office. He begs me not to, coz they’ll know he told me.

I incinerate him with my fury. “I cannot have them telling people I KISSED someone this weekend, when I KILLED them. People will THINK things!”

… I should probably conclude by mildly noting that I did not kill anyone either. But it’s one thing to wholly misrepresent oneself, and another thing entirely to have one’s misrepresentation misrepresented.

That is my profound take-home for the week. Bury it in your gardens, and may it sprout a tree of eternal confused truths. And may you pick leaves in your dreams.

Everything is absolutely normal.

Everything is absolutely normal.

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Writers are odd ducks…

Reached out to a friend the other day.  After not being in touch for a while, my first email basically was a question about poisoning a certain type of animal. He’s a vet, and I’d realized belatedly that my current script has a scene where an animal has possibly been exposed to something severely toxic.

So I detail the situation to him, neglecting ABSOLUTELY to mention it’s research for my script.  Instead, I end with: “Just wondering,” and close with: “As you can tell, things are the same with me. What about you?”

A few minutes later, the ominousness of my email like a canker on my mind, I send a short second email. To ease his mind. Poor animal lover. I write: “Perhaps I should mention I am asking for the sake of a fictional pet.”


His response referred to “your allegedly fictional pet.”  He must think me mad. And to his credit, this doesn’t turn him off in the least.

I think.

Yeah. I think. :)


Driving around the Caucasus Mountains before our hike…

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Criminal Mind

Bit of a scramble this morning.

Woke up late and tired, decided ye olde brain was in no useful shape for writing, and to tidy the house instead. An act of desperation.

I found a pink envelope that informed me it was URGENT.  Pink envelopes are not urgent.  Pink does not say “open me.”  Pink says “breeze on by.”  I had already ignored it for a while, but I opened it this morning.

Discovered it held a government jury selection form. What? Okay.

But heaven forfend I check which column is YES and which is NO.  In a tired blur, I ended up checking YES confirming I’d been convicted of the entire slew of crimes they listed.

On the upside, I found an eraser after only a wee bit of a scramble in ye olde desk.

On the extra upside, I think it might be fun to behave in a slightly angled way today, do something different to commemorate my day of mass criminality.

Something other than finish cleaning the house.


This is not my house. Nor a pink government form. Nor a crime. I think.

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Seize the crown, cousin.

Joys, for reasons best explained when I am awake, I must find a crown tomorrow.

In the meantime, the exquisite words of Richard II — Shakespeare’s Richard, that is:

Let’s talk of graves, of worms, and epitaphs;
Make dust our paper and with rainy eyes
Write sorrow on the bosom of the earth…


…for within the hollow crown
That rounds the mortal temples of a king
Keeps Death his court: and there the antic sits,
Scoffing his state and grinning at his pomp,
Allowing him a breath, a little scene,
To monarchize, be fear’d and kill with looks,
Infusing him with self and vain conceit,
As if this flesh which walls about our life,
Were brass impregnable, and humour’d thus
Comes at the last and with a little pin
Bores through his castle wall, and farewell king!
Cover your heads and mock not flesh and blood
With solemn reverence: throw away respect,
Tradition, form and ceremonious duty,
For you have but mistook me all this while:
I live with bread like you, feel want,
Taste grief, need friends: subjected thus,
How can you say to me, I am a king?















Cotswold graveyard…

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Is this a dagger I see before me?

Let’s be Frank.  Let’s talk Brutus. Shakespeare’s Brutus.

Because a prank was played on me due to my strong feelings on the matter. :)

Brutus. This is a guy who whinges and whines about how he HAD to do the noble thing and kill Caesar, a man who trusted him and protected him through dark times. And oh, how Brutus suffers the slings and arrows of outrageous guilt. Okay.

But I’m sorry, I don’t buy it.  The guilt, yes, but Brutus’s guilt isn’t about doing the noble thing. It’s about the ignoble reason.

Think about it.  Put yourself in the man’s place. In a toga with clean cotton knickers.

You’re hanging around, being Brutus.  And suddenly you’re let in on this conspiracy at the last moment. About 40 senators are going to kill Caesar, do you want in?

Now ask yourself. What’s going on here?

If Brutus says no, he won’t help them–Caesar still dies. And when it comes to divvying up the wealth, the honor, the power, Brutus is left out. Because he didn’t work that stab. More than that. If Brutus says no, his loyalty is in question. He could lose his life.

Now. If Brutus says yes, he’ll kill Caesar with them–he saves his life, his land, his power. And Caesar still dies.

Both ways, Caesar dies. So did Brutus kill Caesar for reasons of honor? Or to protect himself.

Seriously. I cannot esteem murder for the sake of self-preservation–even if I can understand it. But don’t ask me to act like Brutus was noble for doing that. He was saving his hide.

Not even Shakespeare can convince me otherwise, and not even feeling Brutus’s pain can change that.

And apparently I can talk about this at length, and yes, I may have forced a bunch of students to re-enact Caesar’s death so that I could make my point. I may have also made Caesar stand again because I (Brutus) hadn’t yet killed him.

So apparently the students found this funny. Apparently.

Because one day, after coincidentally going to see the play, I come into my office to see this:

Brutus Got Yo' Back

Brutus Got Yo’ Back

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Accidental hiatus, but I’m back.  Having a blast finishing the seventh draft of a new work, and taking notes for the next two writing projects.

Life is magic!


Photo: The gorgeous gardens of the Cathedral of St John the Divine.


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