Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Where Do I Go From Here?

    I'm an omnivorous reader. I literally am one of those who would read a cereal box or any other printed matter in front them at meal times. I have loads of books, most in storage currently. I always have whatever novel I'm reading at bedside along with a bag of books next in line, usually from the library. In my study (read "bathroom") I keep one or two non-fiction books usually, along with current and not so current magazines. The latest book there is "Writing Down The Bones" by Natalie Goldberg, and the magazines run to "Mother Earth News", and "The Backwoodsman". (All of which I heartily recommend, by the way.) I also have quite a few books of many kinds loaded onto my laptop ready to look at should I be trapped somewhere in need of reading matter. I feel quite lost if I stop for lunch somewhere and don't have anything to read.
    I've accumulated books for years. I often know the contents of Half Price Books better than some of those who work there. When I was young and living with my grandparents they had a rather high closet, built over a stair space. The floor of the closet was at least four feet above the room floor. This closet had a couple of shelves on each side full of books that were mostly leftover from my father. I often spent hours in the closet, surrounded by books. I had a small light there and I was quite happy among the 1940 Book of Knowledge and the red set of Miss Minerva and William Green Hill books. And, I still have them. I've added quite a few since.
    I once donated two library shelf units, three feet wide, six feet tall, I think about five shelves each, and enough theater type books to completely fill them to the community theater I was working with. And, it barely made a dent in my library. (I do miss some of the books now and then.) Much of that was from a purchase I had made some time before at a garage sale of fourteen boxes of theater related books. It completely filled my Chevy Suburban to the roof. 

Can you say "bookaholic"? 

    I'm looking forward to finishing my new office trailer so I can have many of my books around me again. I will, however, still have to weed them out thoroughly in order to fit them in. I do intend to be strict with myself and only keep what will fit. Books in storage are a sad thing. Some of it is a bit silly. I mean, most of my collection is non-fiction reference type stuff. I mean, that's the sort of thing that having the internet makes unnecessary. However, having the printed books does feel good to me.

    For many years I  had the desire to be a writer. About 1993 I got a chance to write a play in collaboration with a friend, Barbara Stopp Vance. We wrote several plays that did pretty well. A couple of them were produced several times and in four countries. I went on to write other plays including a couple of award winning one-acts that were produced at Sam Bass Theater in Round Rock, Tx. 

    For several years following I concentrated more on the acting/directing side of theater and less on writing, although I did have several ideas germinating. A short time ago I returned to the writing with ideas for two projects. One is a series of mystery novels, the other is a stand-alone fantasy. I also have several play projects in working.

    Every single play I worked on previously was developed in different ways. Only one actually began with me knowing the ending, and even that one wound up working out differently than planned. Now I find it easy to come up interesting, if unrelated, scenes, but I often find it difficult to find out what the overall story is, and where it is going. That makes it very difficult. In fact, it's a huge challenge. Sometimes it feels like I'm trying to string together a bunch of improv skits. 

    Oh, well. If it was easy we'd all be authors.


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