My last post on this blog was on February 7th. Since then, I’ve restarted my Plays of Eugene O’Neill project on Murmurs from the Balcony, though I didn’t return to it till May. So, what else have I been working on?
Since lockdown began in March 2020, I’ve been working on a diary from detailed notes about what it was like up to getting the vaccine — except COVID had other plans, so that now I’m writing up through my partner getting the disease in July of this year. I know I’ll eventually finish the diary, but in trying to get in as many details as possible, I’ve overwhelmed myself with them. At least most of the start of the pandemic was written while it was still fresh in my mind. I struggled with writing about losing my job and all the aid organizations and billing services I had to contact in the days and weeks that followed. What I didn’t struggle with was detailing the incredible INCREDIBLE kindness of friends and acquaintances. Now with lockdown over and people acting like the pandemic is over (despite the fact that most of the people I know who got COVID got it in the few months immediately after restrictions ended — as if masks were working or something), it seems like most people are ready to move on, and it’s disheartening to see us retreat into our selfish lives again, with few cares for people who still can’t go outside because the disease will kill them.
One problem with writing a work of fiction over years and years and years is that the best you could’ve written it has already passed by the time you decide to abandon it. Such has happened with my novel, which might still make a good short story (which is where it originally came from), but won’t make a good novel without massive changes. But hey, I have two other ideas for novels that I’m working on, and since they’ve sprung from my adult brain, they should be more sustainable in that longer form.
Almost two decades ago, I self-published a book of poems I wrote in high school (with some editing). Since then, I’ve been putting together a second collection of poetry. This collection was initially going to include all of my college poetry, but I’ve since decided to expand beyond those four years, which gives me more flexibility in cutting out all but the best poems.
The Plays of Eugene O’Neill
I mentioned this above, but I’ve restarted my survey of the plays of Eugene O’Neill (originally begun in late February/early March 2014), as seen through versions adapted for TV and film. I’ve also dived a little into the texts, especially when different versions play the same scene differently. My plan is to write four more posts (O Wilderness, The Iceman Cometh, Long Day’s Journey Into Night, and A Moon for the Misbegotten), followed by a final post that collects performances of lesser plays (The Hairy Ape, Hughie, A Touch of the Poet).
If I ever get bored of working on the projects above, or aren’t in the mood, I have a bunch of short stories to fall back on. Some are fan fics, while most are original creations. One is near completion, but it lacks something.
Most of these projects have been put on the wayside for years. Occasionally I’ll stumble across them and think to myself, “I really should work on that,” but then I realize that “should” is a word I’m trying to retire from my vocabulary. These include ideas for plays, graphic novels, an epic poem, songs with lyrics, and music without them.