up late/early

I went to bed a few hours ago and slept for a while. Now I’m awake. Instead of lying in bed listening to the night sounds, lately I’ve been getting up and reading or hanging around online until I feel sleepy again. Supposedly that’s better than lying in bed not sleeping. I’m always reminded of the Stephen King novel Insomnia. If I remember correctly, a man (who is getting older) has no trouble going to sleep, but he wakes up earlier and earlier each morning. He tries going to bed earlier in hopes that he’ll get more sleep, but that just means he wakes up even earlier than he did the previous night. This continues until he can see an entire other reality (or until he’s gone coco-loco – you pick). I always wondered if King was dealing with insomnia when he wrote that. Because I’m contemplating my own attack on the subject. Gotta have something to do in the middle of the night…

In other news: over the past four or five days I accomplished something that, to this point, has eluded me. I wrote a full-length play.  What I’ve written should run about an hour and fifteen minutes, which many people would argue isn’t “full-length” but is instead a long one act. Those people can bite me. Also, my compact little play is TWO ACTS. I’ve seen a number of plays that are full of fluffy writing that stretch the things out way past their bedtime. Longer does not equal better in my estimation. I’m reminded of what Albee says on the subject: The length of a play should be the length of the play. In other words, there is no prescribed appropriate length. The story should go on until you’ve told it, and then you should get the fuck out of there.

I’ve been thinking about this play for the past two years. Until last week, I’d only written about 15 pages of it. Don’t know why I couldn’t make it happen – I guess it was the old curse of needing a deadline. At one point this weekend James said that I get “crazy” eyes when I’m deep into a project. I took offense at that until I looked in the mirror. Huh. Kind of a conflicting combination of Charles Manson intensity and glassy eyed nitwit. I’m glad I didn’t have to look at that all weekend. Though it would be great to be picked for the three-week workshop I applied to, what’s even more exciting is that I am, in fact, able to stick with a story past 20 pages. After a number of years spent writing short plays, I wasn’t sure that was the case.

4 Replies to “up late/early”

  1. i get that same crazy-eye look. apparently, only during san diego beer week. i met a bartender tonight that looked like a miniature version of that crazy bitch i almost married. it was kinda creepy, until i realized how hot she was/is, the bartender, not the crazy bitch.

  2. Sheldon, how many beers did it take to make that realization?

  3. Congrats on the completion and your subsequent sense of satisfaction/accomplishment concerning it. That quote of Albee’s (who, while I acknowledge is a master of his craft can be a real pill at times) reminds me of an exchange between Kevin Smith and an aspiring writer from Evening harder about writer’s block which Smith eventually answered in his rambling roundabout way by saying:”Finish it. Finish it, sir. Finish it and shoot it.” That’s about as basic as it gets. All the wailing and hand wringing will never get it done. If it ends up being crap, then there it is, but it’ll be finished crap, and trying to fix something that isn’t finished is a supreme exercise in tail chasing. [stepping down off of soapbox]

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