Saturday, December 24, 2011

The best Christmas present of all

As many have been doing in this troubled economy, my wife and I kept our Christmas gift buying to a minimum this year. But I still got what I most wanted. Yesterday, Pioneer Drama Service informed me that they will be publishing my second play with them in the spring.

The play is Long Tall Lester, the one-act western comedy that I've written about before.

How does that make me feel? Ecstatic.

In a way, this feels like an even bigger breakthrough than getting my first play published. One play can be a fluke. But two... well, maybe one small part of my brain is starting to figure out this playwriting stuff.

The only problem? I've run out of plays to submit.

It's not that I haven't been writing. I've been writing like crazy.

It's that I haven't finished anything. Call it the Siren Song of the New Work. As any writer knows, a new play, a new novel, a new anything, seems brilliant when first conceived. The characters are vibrant. The storyline mesmerizing. The dialogue sparkling.

And then you start setting it down on paper.

Soon the characters lose some of their luster. The plot points start stumbling over each other. The dialogue isn't quite so clever.

Then a New Work calls. This one promises to be different. This one promises to be perfect in every way.

So you drop the first work.

But the truth is that good stories don't spring fully-formed from the mind. They're born kicking and screaming, and they only reach maturity through a lot of sweat, tears and mind-numbing drudgery.

And so for 2012, I'll be making just one New Year's resolution.

Resist the Siren Call and finish something.