Dam busting

June was a wash-out for me in terms of writing; the touring and the babysitting sapped my creative mind. OK, my mind in general (put me in a car for longer than 40 mins and I seem to go a little bit crazy. Amusing crazy, not postal crazy).

I think I might be addicted to writing. A few days off it I get antsy and find it hard to get comfortable. I little longer and books begin to mock me – with their complete sentences, their metaphors, their characters and, well, their completedness. A few days more and I’m grumpy and mopey and start feeling depressed.

All of this is only thrown into relief when I begin to write again. While I’m in the doldrums (difficult in Wellington. Ha!) I have no idea what’s wrong with me. Why am I listless? Why is the world grey?

This week I had a break through with my play Kiwiana Charlatan; the story began tumbling out (now neatly on post its and stuck to my wall). I had a vague idea of making “Kiwiana Charlatan” a character on a subversive radio show (Zeke, my cowboy is under suspicion for the show) and that has fleshed itself out. I wanted to find an old scratchy recording that “opens” his show, an old concert party type song from the 30’s or 40’s and rediscovered He Puru Taitama (which I seemed to have known forever, but given the subject matter I doubt we were taught it at school!).

He Puru seems to be the perfect song – it fits in with rodeo as well as the sexual relationship that will occur between Zeke and Sarah.

Sarah. I’ve kept her name (thanks to Jolisa for the link to the names database) because she is a Sarah, even more so now that she’s Maori.

I’ve decided to take a suggestion from David about the rodeo scenes and have Zeke perform them (some sort of dance movement I think) which I may use again for the sex scenes (too vulgar? To have Zeke perform the same actions as riding a bull when he is having sex with Sarah? Given the three-way in I Ain’t Nothing But am I creating a reputation for myself? Or do I have a pathological need to make my parents uncomfortable when they see/read my work?)

The character of the radio show was also influenced by He Puru – the show will be someone taking the piss rather than strident propaganda (which it could have easily been). I think it will be a good vehicle for exposition about the world they live in, but I’m resisting the urge for news reports (too easy!) instead I’ve written an interview with nanny State (personified as a nanny) and I’m writing a parody on an old song (in the vein of My Old Man’s an All Black) which is possibly the most offensive thing I’ve ever written.

And bloody great fun!

I have that bubbly feeling again. The feeling like you’re falling in love, I can’t wait to spend time with it and it is filling my mind. Also the crazy invincible feeling that it is all finally clicking into place, that everything you do seems to relate directly to your project. Synchronicity.

That is until I show it to other people! Just a few more golden days between me and mine I think…

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1 Comment

Filed under Kiwiana Charlatan, Musings, Playwrights' studio

One response to “Dam busting

  1. “I little longer and books begin to mock me – with their complete sentences, their metaphors, their characters and, well, their completedness.”

    Ahh, that’s so true! I do that with music, too, when I listen to a great performer when I know I’m not practicing enough.

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