Items of Interest

Periodically, I have ideas of things to post here, things that I could talk about. Inevitably, when I sit down to actually do this, I completely forget what I was going to say or do. There’s an app for my phone which could probably help me at least register ideas as drafts, and I could go from there. One of these days, I’ll get that organized.

Neat things:

  • “Rules of Enchantment,” the story I wrote with Tobias Buckell, which appeared in the John Joseph Adams anthology, Operation Arcana, turned up on (with our permission, natch) last weekend. Check it here.
  • After a discouraging weekend looking at houses, we might be getting a second chance on a house we thought we had completely missed out on. All depends on a relocation company seeing reason, but we’re cautiously hopeful. Apartment living is getting really old.
  • I continue to write, slowly but surely. I should do some more after I finish up this blog post.
  • I attended my first meeting of my local community theatre’s Play Reading & Casting Committee. I’m really excited about contributing to the theatre with this, and getting a better appreciation of what’s out there. I feel woefully under-informed when I have conversations with just about anyone else in the community, so I’m excited to contribute and get to know the landscape better at the same time.
  • That’s about it. Yep, that’ll do.  It’s Friday, so… yeah.

In other news: Friday.


Yesterday, I asked my friend Erin if she was free for lunch. I was in an area where she sometimes works, and I thought it would be nice to get together for a meal beyond the confines of the show. Sadly, she wasn’t available, but she mentioned that she was going through theatre withdrawal. And… yeah.

Me too.

Tonight will be the first Friday in a month that I haven’t been doing the show. I’m tempted to pop in the video and just watch it, just to make the transition out easier. But that’s really just a pale comparison. None of the people, none of the energy, none of the fun of actually doing it, just the finished product. Earlier in the week, I mentioned my feelings about it to some friends and compared it to how a lot of us feel the Monday or Tuesday after a science fiction convention. There was all of this stuff–people, energy, events–and when it goes away, there’s a weird sort of hole there. Because it’s not necessarily something you want to do, or could do on a constant basis, but it makes its own space in your life, and when it’s gone… there’s something missing.

Now, as my wife pointed out last night, it’s not as though I’ll have to wait a year for it again, like generally happens with the conventions. By the beginning of May I’ll be backstage, at least, on the next show, and trying out for the one following that in June or July. But it’s going to be a bit of a lull until then. And this is only my first outing, as I’ve said, in a long time away from the theatre. It’ll be nice to maybe start to work into a regular rhythm, activity and rest, that will ultimately help smooth over the immediate post-show letdown.

And even if it doesn’t, I’d rather do the shows and deal with the letdown than never do the shows at all.


So I haven’t blogged the last two lunch hours because I’ve been busy… writing!  I know, I know, it’s crazy. Nothing much so far, and mostly it was transcribing from an old notebook, but today was actual new, fresh words. And I’ll probably get to more of them as soon as I post this. (Once people stop e-mailing me.)  It’s been nice, getting back to some of the first characters I ever wrote about, albeit slightly changed. I knew I would get back to them eventually, and now seems like the right time.

In other news, I’m already getting into the planning for the next show at the community theatre I’ve joined, and it’s been fun chatting back and forth with the director about some set decoration and prop items, which is what I’m handling for this show. It should be a lot of fun, if a little less intense than actually appearing in the darn thing. Definitely a bit bittersweet there, especially since my friend Shaun (one of the new friends I came out of the last show with) will be on stage in this show too.

With that said, time to get back to writing, I think.

Strike the Set

Yesterday was the last performance of “Out of Order,” the show I had been cast in as the lead, Richard Willey. It was… so much work and so much fun, I have a hard time putting it into words. After high school, I really didn’t think I’d act again, and when the kids were really little, it didn’t seem like I’d ever have the time again. But things came together, the wife and I agreed, and off I went to auditions.

I won’t gush about it being a transcendent experience; it certainly wasn’t. But it was fun like I haven’t had in a long time, both in the acting itself, and in the social stuff around the show. Meeting new people is always a kick for me, and I’ve met a couple at least that I hope can be friends for a long time, in and out of the community theatre scene. I enjoyed hanging out with and working with everyone on the show, though, and even if I hadn’t made new friends, then that enjoyment would have been worth it.

Now the show is done, and I’ll miss it, miss the work, miss the show itself. Thankfully I won’t have to miss the people, at least not very much. I’m sure I’ll be seeing a lot of them quite a bit more in the near future.

How Was Your Weekend?

I had a pretty good weekend–it’s the middle three performances of the play I’m in, with the last three coming next weekend. Had a nice time after each one hanging out with some of the folks from the cast and crew. (Me and one other person are in the running for making it to each after-show gathering.)  At one, spent a lot of time discussing science fiction and fantasy books and reading and such, and it was a strange relief to be talking about it with someone who is just a reader–not in the industry, no aspirations to be a writer, no real strong opinions on the health of the genre or anything like that. Just… a reader. As I mentioned before, I can be really sensitive to hype and over-discussion, and that was just the antidote I needed.

The longer I go into the run of this show, the more I’m convinced that this one of the best decisions I could have made. Now, I won’t be performing in the next show, but I am going to be helping out, and I’ve volunteered to get more involved in the actual running of the theatre as a whole. So I’m hoping that by keeping my hand in I can kind of expand my social circle and cement myself a little more into this particular community.

In other news, we went house-hunting this weekend and spotted a couple of really nice houses in our price range. We’ll see if anything comes of that…

Reading Lines


Today’s lunch hour was mostly dedicated to reading lines for the show. I did some basic social media maintenance as well, but mostly I’ve been going over my lines, hoping to keep away the rust that might set in after five days without performing the show (as it will be by Friday when we hit the stage again). It’s a little nerve-wracking, as well, since I know my wife will be in the audience Friday. Turns out, I’m perfectly happy getting on stage and being ridiculous in front of strangers, but it’s a little different with people I know and like. I know why, of course, I wouldn’t be much of a introspective navel-gazer if I didn’t, but it’s all very boring and includes a few, “Because of this, then that, then also the other thing too.”

That aside, I am hoping to see more people I know come out to the show the next two weekends, since I’ve otherwise seen no one, which has me oscillating a bit between disappointment and relief. There’s also the possibility of a review in a local indie paper, which is all kinds of exciting.

And yeah, one of these days I’ll stop talking about this show, and anyone who is reading can have some relief. I likely won’t be trying out for anything again until auditions for “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” come up in Julyish. Then it’ll all be boring talk about writing (since I think I’m contractually obligated not to talk about work). I will certainly miss it, though, even if you won’t.


I got a new headshot over the course of the show, courtesy of one of the members of the theatre. He also took a bunch of show pics on the night of dress rehearsal. Verdict? I look fat and frumpy in the suit they have for me, but oh well. Just goes to show I a) need to further improve my diet and exercise and b) should probably get my own suit (or two). I’m lucky enough not to be in an industry that demands them, but they’re obviously good and useful things to have in your closet. One of the few things that has held me back so far has, of course, been my optimism about losing weight.

But, I guess, I could always buy something bigger and have it tailored down on that happy day where I’m more pleased with my general health and fitness level. (And yes, I know that good health & fitness don’t necessarily correlate with lower weight… but I’ve been on this roller coaster enough to know that, yeah, in my case they generally do.) We’ll see how my latest attempt to track food intake and such works out. (Haha.)

I will tell you, though, that is something that has become significantly easier with the right tools, at least for me. Now my scale talks to my phone, and my phone tracks my steps, and I keep track of my workouts on there, and track my food intake, and so on and so forth and… yeah. Way easier than all the times I would try to put that stuff into spreadsheets or notebooks. Still not utterly automatic, but… you know… close enough, maybe.

Anyway, all that to say there’s now a very recent picture of me on here, off to the right there. Bask in its glory! (Or… something.)

Rehearsal’s Over, Time to Perform

About three months ago, I followed a whim and decided to audition for a play. The reasons were fairly simple: I missed being involved in the theatre, I needed a creative outlet that wasn’t writing, and I felt like I needed to find a new social scene in my new area. (The expected social opportunities not really materializing like I thought they would.) I’d done theatre in high school, a bit at university, and once in “regular adult life,” and I’d enjoyed it each time I’d done it, and made some good, if not lasting friendships along the way. So, I requested a script and went to auditions, figuring I’d offer to help out with set construction or props or something if and when I didn’t get offered a part.

So when they did offer me not just a part, but the lead… well… I was a bit taken aback, but pleasantly so. They asked if, given my limited and distant experience, I could reliably memorize the metric butt load of lines, and I said yes, probably. They wanted to make sure I wouldn’t have a panic attack over it all, and I said I’m sure I wouldn’t. I did have a few, of course, but just the same I managed. We started rehearsing just after New Year’s, then went without our scripts at the beginning of February. Last night was our final dress rehearsal.

Tomorrow night we open, and I couldn’t be more excited. We do nine shows across three weekends, which is the most ambitious I’ve seen in a community theatre. I’m not complaining, though, I enjoy the long run and multiple opportunities to perform. The show is a damn good one, I have a few funny lines, and I’m surrounded by wonderful actors and crew who make the whole show come together, very much in a “sum is greater than the parts” sort of way.

And along the way, I’ve made some friends that I hope remain friends for a good long time. I hope to perform and work alongside them for many years to come, whether in this theatre or others in the area. That whim worked out pretty well for me after all.IMG_0198