The King Returneth… An Uber App Review, Capellini and A Lot of Theatre Talk…

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My husband, John,  returned from the 2014 TCG National Conference in San Diego last night  feeling renewed and excited, having learned a lot more about the play writing arena.  He feels that this conference really helped him elevate his endeavors to a more professional level.   He saw many one act plays and worked with some notable Hollywood writers, such as the guys that wrote the HBO series, “Hung”.

It was fun to see how this conference sparked his enthusiasm and breathed new life into his ardor for play writing.  Can’t wait to see what he does next.  He is now urging ME to write a play and to attend next year’s conference with him.  I hope to be able to do that, but since I still have another year of my grad program to do, it isn’t likely that I will be able to accomplish it just yet.

One can dream, however.

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Global Citizenship is one of TCG’s four core values (Artistry, Advocacy, Diversity and Global Citizenship), underscoring the organization’s  belief that the future of the U.S. professional not-for-profit theatre requires a connection to the international network of theatres, artists and other cultural leaders.   John loved how the group promotes cultural and aesthetic diversity, and learned about many  of those things as they apply to playwriting in this context.

This was a good thing.  I’m so happy that he went, and I love the fire that attending seemed to have lit under him.  His voice sounded so excited as he spoke of it all, and I was glad to hear that. Can’t wait to see what he does next.  He also got some excellent leads toward production deals for his own work.

In other news, I  had a nice meal of capellini with fresh, organic tomatoes, peppers and basil waiting for him when he got home.  I served it with some pistachio-encrusted asparagus and some of the organic zucchini that we picked last weekend, cooked  in a light white wine sauce with Hawaiian sweet onions.  I also made a nice salad of sliced tomatoes, avocado and other earthly delights.  It was delicious, and John was appreciative of my efforts.

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We ate slowly, sipped wine and had a lovely visit after he got home. I loved listening to him talk about his time in San Diego, and I had fun filling him in on everything that has been going on here…and no, this isn’t us in the pic below.  Just illustrating someone else eating FISH, which I, the vegetarian, never eat .

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While in San Diego, John tried out the UBER app on his iPhone for the first time.  He is now quite enthusiastic about it, so I think it will be regularly used during our future travels.  The app is one that enlists a network of private drivers to run a cab service that is a fraction of the cost of regular Taxis….and the experience is much more pleasant than that provided by the usual cab service, so he was happy.

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It is a little hard to explain exactly how this app works, but the concept goes a little something like this:  Users download the app for either iPhone or Android platforms, and then use it to signal their needs for a ride.  Within a few minutes (John reported less than 5 minutes every time he used it.) nice, shiny black cars show up to take users to their destinations.  Since the user’s credit card is already configured to the mobile app used to call for the ride, the payment and tip are both charged automatically, so no cash is exchanged.  John said service was perfect, and that he enjoyed using this app very much.

John and I both love San Diego.  We stay there from time-to-time, in our timeshare near Balboa Park, but this trip was all business, and I was busy here in Portland, so I stayed behind this time.

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I’m glad that he is home now.  He still sleeping this morning, and I am getting ready to make some Meyer lemon pancakes with blueberries.  The aroma will wake him, and when he wakes to the smell of something delicious on the stove, he is in an excellent mood all day…so cooking this morning, is a win-win.

Mark Twain on Writing

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(from Mark Twain’s scathing essay on the Literary Offenses of James Fenimore Cooper)

1. A tale shall accomplish something and arrive somewhere.

2. The episodes of a tale shall be necessary parts of the tale, and shall help develop it.

3. The personages in a tale shall be alive, except in the case of corpses, and that always the reader shall be able to tell the corpses from the others.

4. The personages in a tale, both dead and alive, shall exhibit a sufficient excuse for being there.

5. When the personages of a tale deal in conversation, the talk shall sound like human talk, and be talk such as human beings would be likely to talk in the given circumstances, and have a discoverable meaning, also a discoverable purpose, and a show of relevancy, and remain in the neighborhood of the subject in hand, and be interesting to the reader, and help out the tale, and stop when the people cannot think of anything more to say.

6. When the author describes the character of a personage in his tale, the conduct and conversation of that personage shall justify said description.

7. When a personage talks like an illustrated, gilt-edged, tree-calf, hand-tooled, seven-dollar Friendship’s Offering in the beginning of a paragraph, he shall not talk like a Negro minstrel at the end of it.

8. Crass stupidities shall not be played upon the reader by either the author or the people in the tale.

9. The personages of a tale shall confine themselves to possibilities and let miracles alone; or, if they venture a miracle, the author must so plausably set it forth as to make it look possible and reasonable.

10. The author shall make the reader feel a deep interest in the personages of his tale and their fate; and that he shall make the reader love the good people in the tale and hate the bad ones.

11. The characters in tale be so clearly defined that the reader can tell beforehand what each will do in a given emergency.

An author should

12. _Say_ what he is proposing to say, not merely come near it.
13. Use the right word, not its second cousin.
14. Eschew surplusage.
15. Not omit necessary details.
16. Avoid slovenliness of form.
17. Use good grammar.
18. Employ a simple, straightforward style.

Some old poetry

These  are some of my older poems:
We are….
pick
 
R
Two notes
Harmonious Duet
in Spirit and in flesh
Adagio & capriccio at once.
Restful at ease…but spirited
Composing our own chromatic scale
We are enharmonic intervals
Two notes…
Differing in name only
Homophony, meant to play
in unison
Intimate in character,
…yet impromptu
Timeless and classical
Yet newly composed
Playing each measure
lovingly and in tempo
A Romantic prelude
to our climatic symphony.
 
guitarkiss

heart-moon

A Heart Struck Moon

Our flesh entwined

on the altar bed.
Moonlight
gently bathes
Cimmerian shade
with lustrous alms.
of light.
and love.
A heart struck moon
Paints lace of light,
Across our mortal souls,
We kiss goodnight.
 blue angel

Pseudologia Fantastica

With mirrors

summoned from

A childhood priest,

Fata Morgana

sweeps a rusty Midas

high and away

in the cold-hearted

dry autumn air.

Calcine flames

wildfire

over Incubus’ air castles

Ere tornados blast their

cinders to the cheerless heavens.

Algonquin’s frosty smile.

Dreaming of her king’s

resplendent touch

Her inexorably

treasured taste

of gold.

I am the charred remains.

 foxfire

The Luminescence of Foxfire

The luminescence of foxfire

bathes decaying wood.

Suffused, languished light

yearning for the magic

that lives in old books

and fond familiar thoughts.

Meridian shadows can

gull a blind blue eye

into higher thoughts

that quickly drop beneath

dark forest canopies,

and eternal nights of

faintly obscuring leaves.

leafless

Season

Leafless branches reach
to the cloudy darkness of the
December Portland rain.
 pregnant

Gestation

Art waits inside my brain.

Forming sinewy
limbs to create words

twisting forth and bursting

beating with the same heart
as my own

Waiting to emerge.

Stacy Alexander
2009

 drop of blood

Poem for a poem

A poem surged
through my brain
blood though vein
dense and viscous
deep. red. irreverent.
Now it rests
on my bones
and on desert
dry , brittle. soft. gray. white.
Stacy Alexander
2009

The Perils of Songwriting…

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You know, I’ve always been a pretty good songwriter.  I could sit down at a keyboard and hammer something out relatively quickly, and it would be decent….not great, but decent.  However, now that I am taking this songwriting course from the Berklee College of Music, I am finding myself drift over to left brained thinking more, leaving my creative right lobes hungry for more substance.  Things are no longer flowing as easily and naturally as before.  Songwriting that was once easy for me is now more difficult as I struggle with all of these terms and the methodology behind them.  I know it will all come together as I keep going, but right now, it is challenging.  Fortunately, I welcome a good challenge.

Last week, we learned about assonance rhyme and additive rhymes.    This week, we are working with plosives and family rhymes.  Rhyme schemes and consonate rhymes.  We are learning when to use single syllable words and we are learning what makes a rhyme or thought stable or unstable.   The course is fascinating….but sometimes, I wish I could go back to my carefree way of writing that didn’t involve so much thinking about things!

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My country and western song, “Call Me When the Coast is Clear”  is starting to shape up, though.  If I can learn to apply all of this theory, I might actually have something!