Liveblogging the Marathon

There’s a first time for everything. This is my first attempt at liveblogging. I decided to do it on impulse – I’m trying to finish A Father Christmas today via a marathon of writing, and it struck me that liveblogging might be a cool and interesting thing to do. Or not.

So, some quick background. I started writing about 9:30 or so this morning. Broke to get my mother breakfast, and in the process of getting ready to go out to the barn, I decided to do this. So here’s the first report.

First Report, 11:11 Hrs.

Progress so far: 3 pages (127)

Reason for break: Farm chores, going to feed the critters

Listening (via iTunes shuffle play):
I guess you’re just what I needed
I needed someone to feed
I guess you’re just what I needed
I needed someone to bleed

Update, 13:21 Hrs.

Progress so far: 3 pages/6 pages total (130)

Reason for break: Time to go mess with the dog for a bit.

Listening (via iTunes shuffle play):
There can be bad blood in all I can see
It’s in my brain
You don’t know the pain I feel
As I must live again
Rocks and stones can’t bruise my soul but
Tears will leave a stain

Update, 15:02 Hrs.

Progress so far: 5 pages/11 pages total (135)

Comments: Act Two, Scene Two is finished. Time to eat some garlic hot wings and move on to the last scene in the play.

Reason for break: Need to dab at my eyes and blow my nose. Yeah, it was one of those.

Listening (via iTunes shuffle play):
Under my shirt, have to amass
Sling the tainted words
I’m each arms they fall on
It’s my body, puzzles the trick in me
I lend it out to borrow, it might survive*

*lyrics approximate

A Quick Postmortem On Act One, Scene Two Before Moving In For The Kill

(15:54 Hrs.)

An interesting end to the scene. Throughout the play, I’ve framed each scene with the protagonist addressing the audience. I had notes for the speech at the end of the scene, but when it came down to it, this scene hit such an emotional high point that I thought any monologuing to the audience would be anti-climactic. So I threw out my notes. The protagonist’s speech to the audience at the end of this scene is now seven words long.

As far as the admission above that I got choked up while writing the end of the scene… well, yeah, I did that. And I’ve never done it with any other piece of fiction I’ve worked on.

That’s not just PR (of the kind that Jaqueline Suzanne was said to be brilliant at). I was writing something that I knew was hoping to have an emotional impact on the audience, and well, the fact that it leaked out my eyes is a good sign. Of course, I’m known to cry at Disney movies, so maybe that’s not such a good indicator.

But it does put me in good company. Charles Dickens reported that, while working on one of his now-classic stories, he underwent a number of different emotions, from tears to euphoria. And that was a Christmas story, too.

And now, back to it…

Listening (via iTunes shuffle play):
I danced with a girl to the tune of a waltz
that was written to be danced on the battlefield
I danced to the song of a voice of a girl
A voice that called “Stand till we fall
we stand till all the boys fall.”

Update, 18:19 Hrs.

Progress so far: 2 pages/13 pages total (137)

Comments: She’s a-rollin’. I’ve got a lot of notes for this scene and, as with the last chapter of one of my novels, it’s virtually written inside of my head. Short work ahead.

Reason for break: Had to pause to write the essay for my 5,000th Scrobbled song at Last.FM. Also need to feed the dog and gather eggs.

Listening (via iTunes shuffle play):
Down the hill fell Jack and Jill
And you came tumbling after
‘Cause of original sin

Update, 21:29 Hrs.

Progress so far: 6 pages/19 pages total (143)

Comments: Notes in head and notes on page into manuscript. Magic.

Reason for break: Pit stop before the final lap.

Listening (via iTunes shuffle play):
Here is a rich boy, a bit of a brat,
To him life’s just a fling
Phi Beta Kappa and first in his class,
He’s treated just like a king
And he says, “I’m not sure what it is I must have
so I guess I’ll just take everything”

Update, 23:20 Hrs.

Progress so far: 7 pages/26 pages total (150)


I’m done. It’s odd – all day long I’ve had the feeling that the play would come in at about 150 pages in length (roughly 2 1/2 hours running time – but it should go shorter as I edit – plus the pacing will speed things up). And when I wrote the word (BLACKOUT), it was on page 150. More magic.

And here’s one more piece of magic… and it’s real. I couldn’t possibly have made it up because it never occurred to me. I’ve known for a long, long time that when I direct the play, I want to have the curtain call while Troika from the Lieutenant Kije Suite by Prokofiev plays in the background. It’s an upbeat piece that sounds very festive, and because of it’s joyous sound, it gets played a lot at Christmas. In fact, Emerson, Lake and Palmer stole adapted the melody for part of their song I Believe In Father Christmas. As I was typing the last line of dialogue tonight, guess what I realized was playing through the speakers?

I don’t believe in signs like this. But this sure makes me wish I did. Maybe it is. And maybe it’s time to believe. It’s about Christmas, after all.

And now, a rewrite, and then on to the board at the local community theater. Then the waiting begins.

Meantime, between the edit of this, the upcoming edit of And that’s the end of the news, and finishing up that novel I’m writing by hand, I’m going to be spending a lot of time working in the La-Z-Boy that I affectionately call my Editing Chair (which I’ve had since A Death of Honor). Time for me to order one of these.

Listening (via iTunes shuffle play):
Between the big and the bad times
It’s just skinny little line
You’re on the up escalator
But you’re living in an upside down world


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