What the Friday? The Journey Continues

In which we thank Presidents Washington and Lincoln for a three-day weekend.

It’s Friday and weather reports for the weekend are, at best, depressing. Still, there’s much to be done.

Tonight, we’ll be seeing friends perform A.R. Gurney’s Love Letters at the Ashland Coffee and Tea, and tomorrow we’ll be seeing other friends in Steel Magnolias at The Theater Company at Ft. Lee.

I’ll be using the free time, including the Monday holiday, to regroup in the home office and get a handle on where some things are with writing projects.

Oh, and if my director is reading this, of course I’ll be learning my lines for A Red Plaid Shirt, opening on March 15 with River City Community Players.

Monday night, I have an audition. I’ll let you know when you need to know.

What has become increasingly clear over the last week is that the January lull, if there was one, is over.

That said, the time was good. I have a clearer sense of direction. I know what I want to do, and I’m pretty sure I know how I’m going to go about doing it.

It’s funny how things have changed over the years. Thirty-three years ago, this week, I started my job in Washington DC. I was there for almost eight years. I was reminded of this the other day as I rode down the elevator with another gentleman.

I had my scarf around my neck, my earring, my denim jacket, and my sensible shoes (which happen to currently be a pair of black Reeboks).

He, on the other hand, entered the elevator with his newspaper in hand. His hair was neatly trimmed, and he was dressed in a conservative suit, and a charcoal overcoat.

That was my Washington, D.C. uniform and, for a while, my uniform here in Richmond. But times changed and offices became more casual.

And I started becoming more artsy. My wife also requested that I be less fartsy.

That’s another story.

These days, I dress for the day job because I still have to have a day job. But my “real” job is in the world of writing, theater, and art. I look a little different.

And, if my currently nutrition regimen works, I’ll look a lot different before long.

Again, another story.

But, it’s a matter of, at sixty, becoming who I am. Not who society tells me I need to be.

I’m not sure society ever told me that I needed the conservative suit. Then again, I took some seminars in college that led me to believe that was how I’d always dress.

In my current role, noted above, I play a retired English teacher who doesn’t know what to do in his free time.

On a side note, I will never have that problem.

But Marty says he wants to branch out, to not give a damn about society’s rules.

I’ve thought about that a lot lately with the writing.

Stephen King said:

“If you expect to succeed as a writer, rudeness should be the second-to-least of your concerns. The least of all should be polite society and what it expects. If you intend to write as truthfully as you can, your days as a member of polite society are numbered, anyway.”

–  Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

On another side note, I need to read that book again this year.

I’m not setting out to just write things to piss people off. In fact, I’ve made a conscious decision to not write about certain things like politics and culture.

I’m also working through the whole concept of having to market myself and my writing. Oh sure, I can talk about me all day long on social media. But that’s not booking work.

I’m looking for the happy medium between having people beat down my door asking me to write for them, and me making enough successful pitches to keep myself busy. And profitable.

If a brilliant story is written in a forest and there’s no one around to read it, does it still get a commission?

Or something like that.

The journey continues. The clock is ticking and the days building up to the magical, and as yet undisclosed retirement date, are fading.

I have work to do.

I have a weekend, and I’m not afraid to use it.


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