Thursday, February 14th
Minutes spent writing: 2 hrs (exhilarating). Hours spent subbing: All afternoon. Days on my period: 2 (I pee pink. Perfect for Valentine’s Day).
I love Valentine’s Day even if I am single. I love seeing people fall in love. I love all the red and the pink and the white. I love the romance. I love the way little kids buy each other Candy-grams at school. I love their little crushes.
Nilee’s son gave his not-girlfriend a blue rose and Lindt chocolate. It was planned almost two weeks in advance. I was tickled pink at the thought of him spoiling her. She doused his hoodie in perfume, gave him her scrunchie (he wore it on his wrist all night, even while playing Fortnite) and they ate a heart-shaped pizza under the supervision of his not-girlfriend’s mother. This was all relayed back to me through Nilee while showing me the snap M posted wishing his girl a happy valentines with heart emojis. It just– I literally can’t stop sighing when I think about their little love thing. Oh my heart.
ONE DAY EARLER
My creative writing teacher, Dan MacDonald, from high school was speaking at the Playwright’s Reading Series at the university this evening. A number of people suggested I go. I declined at first but later decided to go. I want to hear Dan talk. My play is a mess. My life is a mess. I’m a mess. I want a pep talk and I want it from Dan who is like a father to me.
I walked over to my Dad’s and waited for him to come home from his errands so I could borrow his car. Drove to the U of R, got lost, showed up an hour late, slid into the auditorium as silently as possible and hid in the back row.
“…I always write on paper. So much is lost with computers and drafts and the delete button. There’s something therapeutic about crossing things out, too. Starting over again. Seeing the process…”
“…Write privately first. All my plays are love letters. To my mom. My daughter. My best friend in high school. And now, my son. Write for yourself first. Write it privately…”
“…I see the world as a play. It’s just the way I’m made. Everything I see, everything I read, I hear, I see it on a stage with actors, moving and breathing…”
“…There’s a reason a playwright is spelled ‘W-R-I-G-H-T.’ Like a wheelwright. Someone who builds a wheel. A craftsman. Plays are all about structure and playwrights have to build. A good play is all about structure. Novelists don’t get that…”
At the end of the talk, I slid out of the auditorium quietly. I know I should’ve said hi (I’m so sorry) but there was a long line to talk to Dan. I wanted to get the car back to my Dad but more than anything, I needed to think.
Closing the door to Dad’s green Camry, I warmed up the car and buckled up.
“Thank you, Jesus! I really needed that!”
I booked off the morning to write. I couldn’t find any paper in my room so I unfolded the brown paper bag my dad made special as an envelope for my Valentine’s card (“It got wet so I had to make another one.”)
Scratch, crinkle, scratch scratch, strike through everything. Sigh. Inhale. Try again. Scratch scratch, crinkle, etc.
It was literal torture trying to force myself to write the next scene. There was no flow. I was absolutely stuck. The scene is supposed to be about a farmer and a hairdresser who are in love. But I couldn’t find anything for them to talk about. Oh spite. Oh hell.
Screw it. I’m taking a nap.
Why do the girls watch “The Princess Bride” in that one scene? asks one of the peeps in the Writer’s Group. Why is that significant?
I don’t know. I just like the movie.
Find out why.
I KNOW WHY!!!
I could see the scene play out in my head. The thing that was blocking me before, it’s supposed to be blocking me. I’m going to use it. But I’m going to write it privately the way Dan said.
I grab my pen and crinkled brown paper bag and scratch out the scene. I did it. I finally had a breakthrough!
That night, I met up with one of my mom’s old friends (her name is actually Susan). She’s like family. We drank club soda and talked about home and work and travel. Said good night and travelled home. I came back to the boys playing Fortnite and Nilee curled up with the cats. She told me about her day and filled me in on all the juicy details of M’s love life. *sigh*
I got ready for bed and tucked myself in with my book, Bridget Jones Diary. I’m at the part where Daniel Cleaver has cheated on her so Bridget’s a complete mess. She’s a blubbering mess who is trying to get her life back together again.
And it’s my favourite part so far.