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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

In The Making

Maybe there is something good about living here in the desert (at this time of year I am grumpy because I am hot and have to drive a car sans aircon to work, so I find it difficult to be grateful, oh between late June and early Sept., the time the rest of the country is frolicking and basking - plus I haven't had a vacation in about 3 years... that doesn't help). I mean, yes, it is pretty and most of the year is lovely weather and all that... but it is distinctly devoid of creative stimulation. I have been seeking and have found many people - but most of us seem to be on permanent seek mode here with little find.

In any case, this lack of stimulation leaves a lot of time on one's hands. Time, which, if I were in LA I probably would not be availing myself of. Because LA is so stimulating. Just going to the Coffee Bean down the street was full of interest and curiosity - enough that I did not get a lot of writing done. Short bursts of creativity sure, but volume-wise I have done more while living here.

Granted most of you have not read or may ever read any of my work... but something happens here that never happened to me in LA. I have just finished my first novel. I wrote and performed my first solo performance, I've written several short stories and articles for a local magazine (Dune Magazine - dunemag.net for those of you who are interested), several screenplays including one for the production company I work for and written a couple episodes of a web series I am working on with a partner. So I have been busy, and working, and productive... but now that all of these projects are completed and/or on summer hiatus and/or in holding pattern I have nothing to work on.

And with nothing to work on comes an odd sort of restlessness, sleeplessness, a creeping panic even. And when this happens no manner of creative desert community could help. The only thing I can do is write - something, anything... even writing a letter helps.

Now if I were in LA just driving around town I would be confronted with a thousand bits of stimulus that would suggest a story, a scene, some dramatic activity I could get involved in. I would be continuing acting class and auditioning, looking for a play to be in or a new job or working on a show with friends. I'd be supressing the panic with lots of things and people and projects. But here it is just me and my computer. There is not the same sense of urgency in creativity here too, that there is in LA, that urgency to create, which I suspect, drove many to LA. But here it is all about the beauty and the pleasantness and the 'lifestyle' (my new unfavorite word - worse than 'moist' way way worse) and the just being happy to live in such a beautiful place! Oooooooo pinch me!

It is that Bay Area dark side, the cynical, that was branded on me from birth by my extremely sardonic family (I didn't really even understand any other kind of humor for years) that creeps out and won't be shoved back - no matter how good the weather and no matter how many chapters of The Power of Now I have read. No, deep down I just don't buy it - that all is well in paradise - and it makes me just want to &(&#^*%*&#@ write something! That is how I show my ingratitude for living in such beauty and magnificence, I write something subversive... well, subversive for ME, which being a 'nice' girl is only so raw...

I've been thinking about this short story where two neighbors kill their spouses on the same night and then have to cover for each other... maybe that's next...

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Sacrifice

For some reason I had been thinking about things and this thought popped into my head - probably because I just finished my novel and now that it's done my mind is seeking new stories - this thought, that I had thunk before but never quite in these words. And when I did I thought, "Ah, that's so true".

This thought was as follows:

Women sacrifice their self for love.
Men sacrifice love for their self.

Now before you gross generalization fiends start ringing off your bells, I know, I know, it's gross, it's generalized, it's a platitude which makes it not true for some people and maybe even many. We are 'liberated' after all (if you call being able to have a job and be paid less and then be able to go home and do the house work too liberated I suppose) and shouldn't be sacrificing anything for anybody.

But the fact is we do. Women, in general, sacrifice. We sort of... can't help it, I suppose. But that doesn't make it feel any better. And the reason I say I think we can't help it is because we sort of don't realize we've done it until it's already been done, till it's too late and to rectify would be so much worse.

And, dare I suppose that there might even be something... genetic about it? Now, settle down y'all. Men can be gentle and giving and very generous - they have the capacity if they choose to use it, this is true. But back them into a corner where you are asking them to do something that would force them to lose their sense of themselves and you have a fight. Again I am generalizing people.

But women will inevitably... do the right thing. Whatever consequences that right thing brings upon us. You can make all the "Sex and the City" movies and TV shows you want but women will always do what they see best for their kids (and they are looking mind you), try to make everyone else comfortable even if they themselves don't feel so, make sure everyone is fed and thanked and isn't offended... and then after the party is through try to figure out what is right for themselves.

Meanwhile, your hopes and dreams for your liberated self are slipping through the cracks in the floor boards just as you are sweeping. Your sacrificial self is bolstered and supported and help up by everyone around you as admirable and worthy. And then if you try to 'take' time away from the kids, from the housecleaning, from the spouse you either really do or are expected to feel guilty. Like they can't make a grilled cheese without you (well, in my case that actually may be true)

Harumf! Maaaaaaaaan, being liberated is hard.