January 26th – before the darkest month began – that was the last time I worked on A Father Christmas. I don’t know, maybe next year I’ll experiment and plan to not do anything in February – not even blogging – and see what happens. On the other hand, perhaps not. It might be the only thing that keeps me ticking for those bleak 28 days.
The point is, since coming out of the inertia coma, I feel motivated again, so I once more started work on the play. I only got two pages, but it’s a start, and it’s 100% more than my one page a day minimum. Besides, there were distractions. For one, I had a whole ton of e-mail to answer that I’d lagged in answering during the darkest month.
For another, when I opened the file to work on the play, there was the matter of figuring out the formatting for switching from Act One to Act Two. I’m using my copy of Final Draft to write the play, and I don’t have the command over it that I do over MS Word (which I’ve been using since 1986). When I tried to insert an Act Break into the script, it reformatted pages and sent text all over the place. I tried working around it, but eventually had something of an Inigo Montoya moment – “You keep clicking that button. I don’t think that button does what you think it does.” So I ended up with a perfectly acceptable workaround that served me well through the first act, and when the time allows itself, I must open up the PDF and Read The Fine Manual.
The writing was also slow last night because I was describing a new set – a courtroom in which this scene takes place. That always takes me longer because I have to stop and mentally see the set, then put myself onstage so I can get the Stage Lefts and Stage Rights correct (they’re from the POV of the actor, not the audience, which makes sense if you’re an actor learning from the script), then put myself back in the auditorium and watch the play and write down what I see.
(I actually thought about buying a bunch of Legos and building a mockup of the set with them so I could visualize it easier. That would be cool when going into production – instead of sketches, show the set builders my cool little model of what things should look like, then smile while they give me looks that say, “Okay, we’re theater nerds here, but this guy is just plain over-the-edge.” Okay, maybe that wasn’t such a hot idea. But it made a grand excuse for me to think about spending some money on Lego products. I may yet do it.)
So in the two pages I got through last night, I got all the characters into the courtroom, the judge began speaking, added what might be considered a funny moment to establish a character’s attitude toward the proceedings… now the stage is set (so to speak) for me to start rolling on the actual custody hearing. Tonight.
A Father Christmas
Act Two, Scene One
Pages, 3/6/06: 2
Current Total: 75
Like the time I ran away
and turned around
and you were standing close to me
(via iPod Shuffle)