Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Script Progress

Monday was a lovely slow day. We walked in the morning. I was freezing cold when we started, but by the time I got back to the car, I’d been warmed by the effort of the walk. I came home, built up the fire and read much of the rest of the day. Late in the afternoon, we went for our second walk and then I came home to do more reading and to make dinner.

In the evening, I worked on the script. I went through the whole thing, just reading it, not aloud, and I felt the evening’s work was wonderfully worthwhile. I think it’s much, much tighter and, for me, more interesting to perform because I have different rhythms in it. And the flow is better.

I truly did not expect to be selected for the festival. No false modesty. It is more story-telling, than theatre. There’s no drama. It’s elder rap. But I felt brave about applying. So, I thought a lot about how I could make it more theatrical if I got in.

That led to a first major revision a few weeks ago. Last night, was another significant revision, and I am really pleased with the result. And now I’m kind of excited about performing it. But fuck, I hope that I can memorize it all. It’s currently 1,300 words, and I still haven’t finished the second revision. Yikes. I’ll go through it on screen again, once more, and then go through it twice saying it aloud. Then, I reckon, it’ll be ready to submit to Holdar and Tony.

I’m actually proud of this script.

I had a few experiences in my professional life as a writer for hire when I wrote something of which I became very proud. It was always after doing many, many re-writes of the assignment—so many, and such dedicated work, that it was barely recognizable as my writing. This script may become one of those things for me.

I’ve decided to perhaps work up to a performance here at my house. I’m could to ask Regina to help me, getting our friends to make things to feed a small audience. I want to try to do the script in front of a small group of people whom I don’t know. That’s what the festival will be like. “Rehearsing” in front of friends isn’t the same thing for testing my capacity for fluency at the festival. And I’ll arrange for Regina to time it. Then I’ll be able to tell the festival directors.

It’s getting a little bit scary. But John, and maybe Bunny, and Bryce and Stacy have expressed potential interest in attending. This is very good news! I need to have people there to be with after, because after my bit, I’m not anonymous anymore and I want protection. People want to be nice, but too much focus on me and I am going to seize. 

One of the worst experiences of my life was at a surprise party my friends threw for me. My blessed friends staged a surprise party for me in our home, Steve’s and mine, and together they bought me a return ticket to France. Well into the party, someone stopped everything, and it was time to make the presentation of the gift. I had no idea what was coming.

I was seated on a chair facing all our friend who were all giddy with excitement about my reaction to opening the envelope with the ticket in it. They looked like a firing squad to me. Other times they looked like wolves. I was in a state of extreme internal pain. I was rubbing the back of my head because I thought it would explode. Steve filmed it. Everyone could see my pain. They got no bang for their buck.

On stage, you see, I feel safe. I’m alone and the audience is well behaved, sitting silently in the dark. They don’t talk and they don’t approach me. On the floor, where there are no rules, I feel utterly extremely vulnerable and anxious. Strangers want to say nice things to me but it is just too much for me to tolerate. I want a security detail to go to directly as soon as I am “off duty” from the festival.

Snow! Fuck! Last night there was a light snowfall. We’ve just a few centimeters this morning, but rain is expected to return tomorrow, and I’m glad. 

Today will be fun. I’m walking with Stacy this morning, and this afternoon I have a clinic meeting and then I’m going to The Surf for dinner with 5 gay friends and 2 more gay guys who’ve just moved to the island. My gay cabal has grown now, from 4, to 8. 

Monday, January 30, 2023

A Fun Evening with Friends

Me, Sheba and my long johns walked in glorious sunshine and brisk fresh air yesterday morning. It felt good to be outside in the bright light, and good to come home to read and relax by the fire. Once warmed and refreshed, I went into the village to find a birthday gift for Stacy to take to our surprise birthday dinner last night at Kris and Steve’s. (Kris is Stacy’s sister.)

I took Sheba out in the afternoon to chase the ball. I wanted to exhaust her so that she just relaxed and slept while I was at Kris and Steve’s place. And dinner with Kris, Steve, Stacy, Bryce, Nancy and Conner was a perfect evening. As always with Kris, the food was spectacular, and Nancy brought a to-di-for Pavlova for dessert. We had a great, great time. And it was a treat to have Conner there. He’s Kris and Steve’s son and he’s fabulous company.

Today is cold again. It’s currently 8:40 am and -7°, but as of tomorrow, the cold spell will dissipate, thank God. Her Highness and I are walking with our friends this morning, and I have the rest of the day to myself. Keeping the fire stoked is my only task today, plus I’ve a bit of clinic work to do.

Soon, unfortunately, I will be stacking wood. My supplier is liable to call any day. It’s a job I loathe, especially if I must work in cold and damp weather. But there’s good news! I have so much wood left over from last year, I will have much less wood to stack. Hurray! 

Sunday, January 29, 2023

A Ballet of Arms and Hands

I’ve re-written my monologue and I think it’s in much better shape. I’ll be reading it again over the next few days and saying it out loud. Speaking it always makes me want to add and edit for the sake of the rhythm of delivery. It has to work for the audience, and it has to work for me. Then it goes to Holgar and Tony with an invitation to comment. It’s a pleasure to work on it knowing that I’m going to ‘perform’ it—I mean that it will have an audience. It’s practical writing. It’s fantastic to be working on something that’s not about the clinic.

It's cold (-6°), sunny and bright. This morning, I join the big community dog walking group and then come home to read and, perhaps, to do more work on my monologue. It’s Sunday, the one day of the week when I feel no obligation whatsoever. It’s my day to live as I choose. No should exist.

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Great News from the Monologue Festival

I’ve read extraordinary things about this film; I’m dying to see it.


Our walk on Friday morning was a good one. The air was crisp and there was no rain. It felt good to be back with my walking buddies and on the trails. In the city on Wednesday, there is no soft ground to walk on except in the parks and leashes are required everywhere. It’s not really a dog friendly place, but here is paradise. 

When the walk was over, I hurried home to wait for the call from the monologue festival. I was very excited about what the outcomes might be and to meet the people involved, and I wasn’t disappointed. Tony and Holdar are both lovely men. They were easy to be with (via video chat) and what they said surprised me. They said incredibly nice things about my script that filled me with pride. I’m in, I’m re-writing and I’m performing. My script won’t be performed by an actor.

What a blast this is going to be.

In the afternoon, Nancy came by to do some clinic work together. Remember Nancy? I had so much trouble with her at one point, but no more. We work excellently together now, and when we finished up yesterday, she gave me a big hug. I was so touched by her warmth. I’ve come to really like working for/with her. 

In the evening, I watched yet another movie on Kanopy. It’s like having a film festival here at home. I’ll do the same tonight. Today will be a day of rest as Sunday I go on the long dog walk and in the evening we’re celebrating Stacy’s birthday at Kris and Steve’s.