I should probably be sleeping but, as usual, I’m in front of my keyboard and pecking away.
We had a very nice Thanksgiving dinner this year. As usual, Vicky’s cooking was superb. And we had her friend, Julie, over because we didn’t want her to be alone on the holiday. We invited over some other friends but they missed out. Vicky does a wonderful job as a hostess and I wish I made some money so we could afford to do it more… but, oh well.
I finished the new play this week, which I believe is my fourth new, full-length play of the year. That’s about one every three months! So, as much as I’m hurting for work, I’m still producing some good stuff. This play is a post-apocalyptic musical farce – and my friend, Stephanie, says that now I’m creating my own genres. I consider it more of a mash-up but that’s just me.
Now, I’m doing what I normally do after I finish a project… which is thinking about the next project. One of the nice things about being me – one of the benefits of living in my skin – is that I’m never short on ideas. I have two novels that I had started recently but never finished. One is a children’s book, which I think of as Harry Potter without the magic. I like the idea of a kid in a magical world who can’t do the magic, who really has to deal with being a little kid. The other book is one I really liked; it was what I called a neorealist novel. Inspired by Bicycle Thieves, one of my favorite films, I began writing a book about two people in an abandoned train station in Arizona. It was very gritty and dark and I was loving it… then, I got laid off and that screwed that up. In addition, I have a couple ideas for plays. One is inspired by an idea I have called The Eternal Jew, and the idea is of this Nazi guard in a concentration camp who keeps seeing the same Jew dying in a gas chamber. He sees it over and over, a reflection of his mounting guilt. Of course, the play wouldn’t be about these people; it would take place here and now and use that idea as a starting point. So, you have a regular guy like me who sees the same homeless person out on the street. The play would deal with what that does to a person – to both people, actually. Then, there’s your more typical “Ken” play, which I’m calling The Sandwich and deals with people looking for meaning in every act – even making a sandwich.
I list all of these ideas because I am not compelled to work on any one. This is refreshing and I’m hoping to use whatever break I might have to recharge my batteries a bit. I keep thinking, though, that I may be done with comedies for a while. Of course, last time I said that I went on to write The Death of Ethics – so take that for what it’s worth.
As the year winds down, I try to reflect on some greater narrative than “I was unemployed all year long.” As true as that might be, it feels like shit. So, it’s important to realize there was more there. For instance, I finished seven plays (four full-length) and that was pretty outstanding. I had a staged reading that went very well. I got to do some gardening and took up jogging again after many years. So there is a larger narrative to keep in mind and I’m going to try and remain upbeat.
Anyway, I know several people who are going on their second or third year without steady work so I figure I’m actually pretty lucky. That said, think I’ll go to bed now. G’night.