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My Weekend: Ritz to GRAVE

Me and my disreputable LiFT friends.

I thought if I led with a really cool picture, my readers would forgive me for another post where I ain’t got nuthin’.    Yes, I said “ain’t got nuthin’.”  A double negative, the word “ain’t,” and a phonetic spelling of lazy pronounciation.  Lots of no-nos!  Ah-ha-ha-ha-ha! (That was my evil laugh, in case you did not recognize it.)

I had a busy, tiring weekend.  The above photo is members of LiFT Theatre Company participating in the Ritz and Ragtime fundraiser for the Landmarks Society of Greater Utica.  That was my Saturday night, and I spent a good portion of Saturday afternoon getting my costume back together and generally fretting about it, as I tend to do about such things.  We had a lot of fun and got to see one of the famous mansions at Rutger Place.  I’d like to find out more about the Landmarks Society and participate in future fundraisers.

Sunday was taken up with A G.R.A.V.E. Murder, the murder mystery fundraiser for the Herkimer County Historical Society.  That was a lot of fun, too.  We met at my house, so naturally I had to fix a few snacks.  We had a lot of laughs, too.  Now I must get on with learning my lines.  You might think I would already know them, since, you know, I wrote it.  But not so much.  Anyways, it will be easier than learning Shakespeare.

Expect to hear a lot about this in the next few weeks.

After A G.R.A.V.E. Murder, I may take a break from theatrics for a while (even from being a drama queen in real life, if I can manage it).   Many of my friends shake their heads or laugh and point when I say that, but I really need to work on some other things in my life.  On the other hand, if the Landmarks Society wanted to do a murder mystery fundraiser…

 

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More Fun with my Theatre Friends

I am sitting on my couch in my husband’s bathrobe (oh, don’t say TMI, just be happy I’m not sitting around naked!), waiting till it’s time to get ready for tonight’s adventure, which I wrote a blog post about two days ago (perhaps you read it).  I did accomplish one thing I meant to do: I emailed out character sheets and scripts to the cast of my next theatrical endeavor.

They put my name on the flier! I’m really on the spot now!

A G.R.A.V.E Murder is an interactive murder mystery dinner theatre.  I’ve done a few such in the area. Engaged To Be Murdered  and He Laughed Himself to Death at the Morning Star Methodist Church in Ilion were presented under the auspices of Ilion Little Theatre.  Who Shot J.S.?  was produced by and for the Herkimer County Historical Society.   Rubbed Out at Ruby’s was a slightly different interactive murder mystery presented by LiFT Theatre Company at the Overlook Mansion in Little Falls.   So you see, I have the bonafides when it comes to murdering people theatrically (my computer is telling me “bonafides” is not a word, but I don’t have time to look it up) (full disclosure:  I probably do have time to look it up; I’m just too tired and agitated).

Where was I?  Ah yes, A G.R.A.V.E. Murder.  G.R.A.V.E. stands for Ghost Retrieval and Verification Enterprises.  We are a company of ghost hunters, and our fearless leader was recently killed during a ghost-hunting expedition.  Were the evil ghosts he was hunting responsible?  Or was it one of his earthly colleagues?  Hmmmm…..

We begin rehearsals tomorrow (murder mysteries don’t take nearly as many rehearsals as full-length plays).  I have gathered a wonderful cast of marvelously talented people (I don’t say that just to butter them up; it is quite true and I’m sure they would agree with me).

My co-workers have been shaking their heads at me, reminding me that I had vowed to take a theatrical break after The Tempest,  yet here I am, pulling out Ruby’s long cigarette holder (don’t worry; they’re fake cigarettes) and writing murder mysteries.  But these aren’t full-length plays!  Tonight shouldn’t even really count, since I didn’t have any lines to learn.  All right, for the murder mystery I have some lines to learn (I’m not the dead body, after all).  Not too many!  Oh well, maybe after Oct. 14 I will take a real break.  If I don’t, you are welcome to say “I told you so.”  I will be too busy having fun with my theatre friends to worry about it.

A G.R.A.V.E. Murder  will take place at the Mohawk American Legion on Oct. 14 at 5:30 p.m.  Cost is $22 per person and includes a delicious roast beef dinner.  There will be a Chinese auction as well as prizes for some who correctly guess the murderer.  Tickets may be purchased at the historical society at 400 N. Main St., Herkimer, NY, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by calling 315-866-6413.

 

I Think the Word was “Conflict”

It is Wuss-out Wednesday, and it is going to be a Wuss-out Wednesday blog post, and you can read it and enjoy it or ignore it.  You can do that as a reader.  As a blogger, I have to post (“The blog must go on!” I say in a dramatic tone of voice, posing in a half swoon, with one wrist to my forehead) (THAT’S IT!!! It’s Wrist to Forehead Wednesday! Damn!)

OK, now I’m getting silly.  I just searched WordPress blogs for Writer’s Block and find that I am not alone.  Oddly enough, not one of the posts I looked at claimed that “there just ain’t no sech animal” as Writer’s Block, a contention I have heard on many occasions (with or without the hillbilly wording).  They may have something at that, as I see I am over 100 words already.  It is almost never impossible to write SOMETHING.  But to write something good?  As Hamlet once emoted, “Ay, there’s the rub!”

I spent my breaks at work trying to work on a project which ought to have been done by now (I dare not tell you what project, because I don’t want people who know about it to know it is not yet finished) (in fact, already I’ve said too much).  I couldn’t do it!  I managed to write some notes, which is more useful than it sounds.  Then I started to write another note and completely blanked on a word.

WHAT THE HELL IS THAT ALL ABOUT???  I asked myself.  Have I gone senile?  Is it early onset Alzheimer’s? Yes, I am a self-dramatizing fool (see wrist to forehead pose in the first paragraph).  I daresay I’m no stupider than I was yesterday (cue jokes about how that is quite stupid enough).   Still, it is upsetting when one cannot think of a word or even a reasonable substitute.

I think I like it better when I share pictures from monster movies on these days when I just don’t have a blog post.  I may do that tomorrow on Non-Sequitur Thursday.  As always, I hope you’ll stay tuned.

 

Tired, But I Ran!

I have been trying to get back into the running habit, with some small amount of success.  I ran two consecutive weekend days, took yesterday off, and managed to run today.  Having written no blog post earlier (I DID write while on break and work AND after I got home, but it was not a blog post, sorry), I will attempt a Running Commentary, even as the little devil on my shoulder (you know, like they used to show on the cartoons, angel on one shoulder, devil on the other?) is whispering, “Tired Tuesday!  Make it another Tired Tuesday! You qualify!  You deserve it!”

Ahem, trying not to be distracted, I continue.  It was chilly and foggy this morning, but this afternoon was one of those when Mother Nature reminds us that it is still summer, even in the Mohawk Valley. I prefer to run in the fall weather.  I told myself that it certainly was not in the 80s, which I have run in, so I should just get out there and do it.  So I did.

Very slowly.

I had gone about three steps when I began to wish I had remembered to stretch before running.  I have gotten out of the habit of stretching before a run.  It is hard enough for me to start running anyways; I figured stretching was just more time for me to talk myself out of it (although full disclosure:  I have never talked myself out of running once the sports bras were on or even out of the drawer).  Additionally:  most sources say you should run in place for a minute and then stretch.  Oh, that is way too much trouble.  I thought, I begin running slowly, that will be my warm up.  And it has worked all right.  However, lately I have been thinking a few little stretches before the run might be a good thing to do.  Only now I am out of the habit.  Oh, the trials and tribulations!

So today I thought, should I pause right now and stretch?  I had just waved at a couple of neighbors sitting on their front porch, so I felt self-conscious.  Then again, they probably would not think anything of it.  Then again, stopping running was what I wanted to do more than anything else just then, so I was afraid of my ability to begin again once stopped.  I kept going.

It was soon apparent that I was not up to a long run.  That was OK, I told myself.  This was a mid-week run.  Twenty minutes was all right.  Just enough to get a little exercise, stay in the running habit.  No problem.  Oh, but it took a long time.  And it was warm.  Every bit of shade I ran through, I appreciated.  Of course I have had much hotter runs, and certainly more humid runs.  I have had runs where my feet, knees and back hurt more, where I have been longer without running, where it has been more difficult to breathe.

In short, I need to count my blessings.  I ended up running for 30 minutes.  This is how long I was running last week.  Sunday I upped the time by the recommended 10 percent to 33 minutes.   Oh, don’t shake your head at me and ask if I couldn’t possibly have lasted three minutes more!  Maybe I could have.  And maybe that three minutes would have tired me out so much that I really would have had a Tired Tuesday post, after NOT getting done the writerly chores I finished before making this post.

I’m going to call that a win.  I hope to see you all on Wuss-out Wednesday, for which I will make no promises.

 

Nobody’s Perfect

Likewise blog posts.

Yes, it is another post about How I Can’t Write a Post Today.  Or much of anything else.  However, I do have a fascination with writing about not writing.  By the way, I stole the above image from a Facebook page I follow called Writing About Writing.  The fellow that runs it writes a blog, but full disclosure:  I don’t follow the blog.  Come to think about it, none of the blogs I follow are about writing per se.  I wonder what that says about me?  To answer that would probably call for some half-baked philosophy more suitable to Lame Post Friday than Monday Mental Meanderings.

As you may guess by the plethora of lame posts lately, I continue to have difficulty with my writing.  Sometimes it is a question of just not sitting down and getting to it.  However, whenever I do sit myself down, it seems that nothing happens.  I know, one must persevere, and I will.  I’ll let you know as soon as I get some results.

I would like to share with you the actual projects I am having difficulties with.  However, that would be to advertise to the world how close I have come to the deadlines and nothing to show for it.  Oh dear, what if the people I am writing for read this blog?  I’m hard at work!  I’ve finished those projects!  Everything is great!  Not writing?  Me? You must be daft! I am prolific as the day is long!

They say you mustn’t worry what people think, about writing and everything else.  However, right now, the thought of people counting on me, feeling certain that I have written or am writing wonderful things for them… well, it makes me want to finish off this blog post and get back to work on them.  Writer’s Block?  Pshaw!  Never heard of it!

 

Scattered Saturday with No Vampires

Isn’t that an eye-catching title?  I just this minute thought of it, before I even wrote the post. I know, I know, as Truman Capote said, “That’s not writing, that’s typing.”  These days it seems I just sit at my computer, put my fingers on the keyboard and publish whatever spills out.  That is because I am a silly blogger not a Serious Writer.  But that is not what I meant to post about today.  I meant to give a brief overview of my activities for the day, then go back to enjoying my Saturday evening.  So here goes.

My dear husband, Steven, was ill yesterday.  I woke up this morning fearing I was ailing with the same.  Nevertheless, after ingesting some necessary coffee, I went running.  I had it in my head to make a Saturday Running Commentary post.  Remember when that was a thing?  Well, it may be again one weekend, but not today.  I spent most of the run feeling tired and wanting to stop.  However, I persevered. I’ve learned to do that when running, anyways.

Back home I thought I would write a few postcards, as I like to do on a Saturday morning.  I could walk to the post office once the window was open and purchase some postcard stamps, which naturally one runs out of when one make a habit of sending postcards every week, as I do.  Unfortunately, once I sat down with the postcards, I was hit with a wave of dizziness.  That was unpleasant.  I decided to go purchase the stamps when Steven left for work and write the postcards later today or Sunday morning.

Just before Steven left for work, the phone rang.  My friend Kim wanted me to go to the  Mohawk Valley Garlic and Herb Festival   in Little Falls.  Me, say no to garlic?  Or a festival in Little Falls? In fact, long time readers may remember that I have attended this festival every year for some time now (I believe I have written a few blog posts about it).  Yes, I felt dizzy.  So what?  Between my allergies and migraines, I rarely feel 100 percent.  If I can force myself to get through work when ill, I can damn well do something fun with a friend under similar conditions.

And it turned out I felt better when out in the fresh air.  Kim stopped by the post office with me, so I did get my stamps.  We had a great time at the Garlic Festival, and I purchased a bundle of garlic stalks, which I hung over the doorway where the vampire hangs (see picture on yesterday’s post for the vampire).  I’m not trying to antagonize the fellow; it was the only nail already stuck in my wall that was the proper height.  Maybe tomorrow I will post a picture, and do a proper blog post on the festival.

Leaving the festival, we went to The Old Barn Marketplace and Little Falls Cafe, at 6626 State Rt. 5.  What a great place!  I will for sure write more about that!

I have not done a whole lot since I got home, but I believe the movie-watching portion of my Saturday has arrived.  I’m thinking a viewing of Dracula is in order.   Having spent a good portion of the day sampling garlic and eventually purchasing a nice bunch, I do not think I will have anything to fear of vampires for a while.  Then again, I did say to the vendor who sold me the garlic that I was going to write a story about a vampire who loved garlic, just so that none of us could feel safe.

Happy Saturday, everybody!

 

The Million Dollar Question Is…

You know, I am really, really sick of Facebook memes that ask if you would do something for a million dollars: live without the internet, stay in a haunted house, slap your cousin (watch out, Mary Beth!).  You would be amazed at all the stuff you can supposedly get paid a million dollars to do.  OK, now everybody, even though you have already spent your millions (I’m guessing most of you would do more than one of the above-mentioned or other chores), listen to me carefully, I’ll put it in bold caps, in case you need the emphasis:

NOBODY IS GOING TO PAY YOU A MILLION DOLLARS FOR DOING ANY OF THOSE THINGS!!!!!

Yes, I felt it needed all five exclamation points.

I have expounded in this space before about my abhorrence of hypothetical questions.  If only I could remember the titles of any of them, I could make a ping-back (something I have become very adept at doing) (Under the heading It Takes So Little To Please Some People: I get so proud of myself whenever I can do anything on the computer).

I know, I know, these questions are conversation starters, meant to stretch our brains in unaccustomed directions.  I guess it seems kind of silly for an alleged fiction-writer such as myself to rail against asking a questions that have no basis in reality.  After all, what is fiction but finding different answers to questions that begin, “What if…?”

Well, I stand by my grumpiness regarding the million dollar question.  For one thing, on no Facebook post I have seen has it ever, EVER engendered a lively conversation, just a whole bunch of people saying, “Yes,” “F***, yeah,”  etc.  The last time I saw it (today), the million dollar task was to stay in a haunted house.  I commented, “You are more likely to find someone willing to charge you big bucks for you to stay in the purportedly haunted house.”  Everybody ignored me, as, indeed, they ignored other affirmative answers and both silly pictures (a Ghost Busters t-shirt and an actual ghost).  I’m not miffed at being ignored; I’m just pointing out that this was no conversation starter.

Anyways, this is my blog post for today. You will note:  I did not whine about not being able to write a decent blog post.  I contend that I did not whine at all, grumpiness notwithstanding.  I’m going to call it a Bad Attituesday and drive on.