for the birds

Interesting weekend. I attended an all-day artist workshop at DiverseWorks on Saturday. This was something you had to apply to in order to participate, so I had high hopes for the experience. Had it been something anyone could do that cost $250 or something, I would have been dubious. Actually, I wouldn’t have gone. But this is something that DW gets a grant for and invites Houston artists to participate in. I was blown away by the experience. My head is swimming with ideas and possibilities for the future. The presenters were from a group called Creative Capital, based in NYC. They teach artists how to manage their careers and actually make a living off their art. I was the lone playwright in the group. Most everyone else there was a visual artist. And almost every single one of them (there were 50 of us) worked in more than one medium.

Though I never expect to live off my playwriting, I do have hopes of creating a work situation that encourages more creative writing. And I’m hoping that by the time I do the extensive “homework” from this weekend that I’ll have a better game plan. Something that I thought was nice timing: on a break at the workshop, I checked my email. Received notice that Militia Slumber Party has been chosen for a fest in NYC. It made me feel like I was on the right track Saturday, especially since this is the first hit for that play (other than the original commission) since I wrote it in February. I was worried people were viewing it as too “regional.” That’s what a producer in LA told me. That he thought it was funny but his audience wouldn’t be into it. I don’t understand what my problem is with getting a west coast production. This will be the third time for my work to be done in NYC but I can’t catch a break on the other coast. Weird.

Saturday night I had a dream. I have dreams every night (as do we all – I just happen to remember many of mine) that are odd, so this one didn’t stick out. At first. I dreamt of a dead bird in our yard. It ended up being thrown in the washer with my clothes, and I demanded that my cousin (who lives in another state and who I’m sure has never shown up in one of my dreams) remove the bird. I guess he was the one who’d put it in there. He pulled it out as if it were a shirt or a towel, but it was really a dead bird. And that’s not the worst of the dream, but it’s the part that is relevant to the next day. So I go to the grocery store early Sunday morning. When I get back, there’s a little (alive) bird in the front yard. It doesn’t fly away as I walk right by it. I guess it fell out of the tree. James checks it out and while looking at that bird, finds its brother or sister. DEAD. Don’t you think it’s random to have a dream about a dead bird and then the next day there’s a dead bird in your front yard? I find it odd. But not disturbing. I’m not sure why.

What I do find disturbing is what happened last night. After dinner, I thought I saw James pinch a little piece of leftover chicken. Then I heard him go outside. He’s not giving that little bird…CHICKEN, is he? Yes, that is exactly what he was doing. Making that poor little bird commit cannibalism. I don’t know if the bird ate it or not. Mama bird has been keeping an eye on things, so she may have recognized it for what it was. The fact that it was chipotle lime chicken only adds to the wrongness of the situation. When I left for work this morning, I saw that he had put out a little bowl of water for the baby, which is still sitting on our garden hose (not that we have a garden) and mama bird is still in the crape myrtle keeping an eye on things. I hope it works out for them and one of the asshole neighborhood cats doesn’t come by for a visit. I hate cats.

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