Aftermath

By Diane Grant

I opened up my email yesterday only to discover that this was my blog week. I thought, “Oh, Robin, Robin, Robin, I’m not ready, I’m not ready.” It isn’t as if I hadn’t been forewarned. Our excellent Blog Mistress posted the schedule some time ago.

But I was going to wash the kitchen floor today, do the laundry, and go grocery shopping. And I’m cat sitting. (I’m crazy about this cat but those of you who have ever cat sat will understand that it takes some adjusting. My daughter’s cat likes to sleep with me and on me and isn’t that fond of my husband, for example.)

Lately, my life seems to be so bitty – each day becoming a series of unconnected chores that once completed lead on to the next. I’ve lost the daily practice of yoga and so admire Jessica Abrams’s morning routine. (And her web series.) I don’t write in my daily diary. Not daily, not even weekly. I don’t know when I’m going to get to the Fringe.

When I do sit down to write, I stare at the screen. It stares back, emptily.

Not long ago, I was exhilarated and full of energy. I had worked long and diligently on my latest play, Rondo a la Condo, and the characters finally broke through. The plot flowed.   It worked!

Then, I had a staged reading of it.

The actors were very good and it was thrilling to be onstage, playing one of the characters. The audience seemed to like it but after it was over, I sensed that the response was not overwhelmingly positive. One man said, “It was all right. It was confusing and you really couldn’t follow it. And the narrator was hard to hear.” Others said, “Umm hmm. I enjoyed it.” Etc. My husband said, “I like it but the one I really like is your The Piaggi Suite.” One friend said he thought it was great and lifted me up by saying that I wrote about “the magical in the everyday.” Well, I thought, “How nice.” And he, of course, is perceptive and highly intelligent. Then, night and silence.

I know I’ll pull up my socks. I know I’ll start sending Rondo out. Start looking for someone who adores it as much as I do. I know you can’t please everybody and every audience is different. Laughs got one night get none the next. Some say tomatoes, some say tomahtoes.

But at heart, I agree with Colin Firth who said, “You can be very susceptible to the slings and arrows. It can be one word in a review or something somebody said. Somebody can come up to you and shower you with wonderful words and the last thing they say as they walk away ….’Wait, you like everything except for what?’ That’s the one thing that sticks in your mind.”

So, for the moment, I’ll wash the kitchen floor, pat the cat, and be happy to have the pleasure of writing in here.

 

3 Comments

  • By jenniewebb, May 20, 2014 @ 1:58 pm

    I so get the overwhelm – and now I need to fold the laundry.

  • By Nancy Beverly, May 20, 2014 @ 4:02 pm

    Everyone has an opinion about an artistic work, don’t they? And none of it is THE TRUTH, it’s just their POV, ha ha! Some friends of mine intensely disliked THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT and I loved it. What if Lisa Cholodenko had listened to only the naysayers?

  • By Korama Danquah, May 29, 2014 @ 12:10 pm

    What you said about the one thing people don’t like sticking in your mind rang very true to me. You have to also remind yourself that you’re probably a much harsher critic than anyone else and if you write to make yourself happy it’s all going to be fine.

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