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Jul 07 2017

Let me just check one more source…

 

There’s an awful temptation to just keep on researching. There comes a point where you just have to stop, and start writing.

American historian and author, David McCullough, was born on this day in 1933.

Had I read this quote from Mr. McCullough sooner, I might have saved myself some time researching World War I. As you may recall, I spent a lot of time doing background research in preparation for turning my grandfather’s WWI diary into a stage play.

Truth is, I did a little too much research.

Mug Shots
(click the pic)

No, don’t get me wrong. It was fascinating to learn about the war, about the causes, about the horrors. Much of this is alluded to in his diary, but not in great detail. Even in the commentary provided by my aunt.

So I felt this need to learn more about the war, about why we entered, about why we waited so long.

Turns out, as I edit, and re-edit, the script, I’ve got a little too much history detail.

As I mentioned a good friend and I read the script out loud for the first time this past week. I’d done that once before with an earlier version.

Lots of history. Lots of fascinating stuff.

Not quite enough to keep an audience on the edge of their seats for 90 to 120 minutes.

As I’ve said, I know I have a compelling story. I’m just not sure that I have a compelling script.

So, I’m not as done as I wanted to be. But now the pressure is on because I’ve said it’s ready, and I’ve got a reading scheduled for early September.

I have work to do.

It’s all part of the reassessing and reevaluating that I do on a regular basis.

I knew when I put it out there that the version I had was not the final. I just thought it was final-er than it is.

Not to worry. It will be ready for that September reading.

That’s the thing I’ve always found about writing or editing. Even after publication I’ll still find things that I wish I could have or would have changed.

It was that way when I edited my college yearbook. It still pains me that there are a thousand or more copies of a yearbook that I edited that said Scapino was written by Moliere. (Look up the reference for clarification, it will do you good).

It was that way when I edited Bearing Drift magazine. And it was that way when I was doing the Playbill for a local theatre. In that case, I’d generally find the typo on opening night.

I won’t be doing the Playbill on the night my script opens on stage. And let’s hope there are no typos in the dialogue. That’s kind of not the point.

There’s a point at which you have to accept the premise that finished is better than perfect.

I’m sure there’s someone brilliant and/or famous who said that. But, in the spirit of having this post finished rather than perfect, we’ll let it go at that.

See what I did there?

I’ve stopped researching now. I’m going back to the script and giving it the voice that it needs. It’s not a history lesson, so Wilson’s reelection on an anti-war platform may not be that necessary to the content of the play. It may.

While I know there is no shortage of fascinating stories and information regarding the war, I also know that they can’t all be told by me. Nor should they.

I’m telling the story of one doughboy and his last pair of Clean, Dry Socks. That’s the title, by the way.

There’s work to be done.

As Ringo knows, it don’t come easy.

English singer-songwriter, drummer, and actor, Ringo Starr, was born on this day in 1940.


FIVE THINGS FOR YOUR WEEKEND

The Kind of Christian I Refuse to Be
John Pavlovitz
Looking around at too much of what represents my faith tradition, particularly in this election season, it’s become a daily battle to make this once effortless declaration, knowing that it now automatically aligns me with those who share so little in common with the Jesus I met when I first claimed the name Christian.

What Hobby Lobby’s president plans to do with 40,000 biblical artifacts
CNN
A few blocks away from the National Mall, a historic building is being transformed to hold thousands of biblical artifacts owned by the president of Hobby Lobby.

Trump Donates Presidential Salary To Restoring Civil War Battlefield
The Daily Caller
President Donald Trump is donating his first quarter’s salary to restoring historical structures at the Antietam National Battlefield — a Civil War site and stage of the bloodiest single day battle in U.S. history.

Hacked computer server that handled DNC email remains out of reach of Russia investigators
The Washington Times
In recent days, questions about the server have taken on more importance as attention has focused on an email suggesting that the DNC and the Obama administration’s Justice Department were trying to limit the scope of the FBI’s investigation into Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s secret email account.

The media needs to ‘get the hell out of the picture,’ Columbia Journalism Review publisher says
The Washington Post
Evaluating coverage priorities is never a bad idea, but to the extent that news outlets divert their attention from Trump’s media-bashing tweets because they think such a move will weaken his support, they will perpetuate the notion that the press is an oppositional force working strategically to undermine the president.

And here’s a bonus just because:

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