"Whiteface over Lake Champlain," Colchester, Vermont, August 13, 2022. By Howard Fielding. Offered under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.

Week in Review: Week 33

Reading Time: 2 minutes
"Whiteface over Lake Champlain," Colchester, Vermont, August 13, 2022. By Howard Fielding. Offered under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.
“Whiteface over Lake Champlain,” Colchester, Vermont, August 13, 2022. By Howard Fielding. Offered under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.

At the urging of some of my biggest fans, I spent most of this week working on the manuscript of “Harry Houdini and the Witch of Beacon Hill: An Exorcism in Two Acts.”

The play-within-a-book, or book-containing-a-play, is an exorcism to drive away the writing ghosts that haunted me for four decades. The project started as a one-act for a playwriting class, but I was never satisfied with it. (Rereading that first draft, which I’m including in the book with snarky running commentary, I can understand why.) So it’s sort of a how-to playwriting book and a finished two-act play showing how it came out. You can follow some of the early chapters here.

The long blocks of time on that project cut into work on blogging and other projects. I do have ideas for the next couple of blog posts and may be able to polish them off before next week’s update.

Observations: It’s much faster to transcribe (and comment on) previously written material than to pull new stuff out of my hat. And I’m having a blast poking fun at my own sophomoric writings during my junior year.

Interaction: Nothing to interact with, so nothing to report.

Professional development: Still working on Zinsser’s “Writing With a Word Processor,” which has moved on from his first-person experiences. The final section is on lessons for writers, which apply even today. A review of that will become a coming post, and on Amazon and Goodreads.

Next week: Really, no one wants to guess about the color of my new Royal Quiet Deluxe, or why I bought the same model (but different color) as Ian Fleming used to write the James Bond books? I guess I’ll have to explain.

In case you missed it

  • A lovely day, 1979

    A lovely day, 1979

    Reading Time: 2 minutes The word itself is, well, lovely, but it’s weak and nondescriptive. Yet Irving Berlin used it on at least two songs. (With videos).

  • In Other Words: Season 2, Episode 3

    In Other Words: Season 2, Episode 3

    Reading Time: 2 minutes I was also job-hunting for work in a compatible field. I procrastinated about which path to take, job or freelance. I couldn’t see the third path: to do both.

  • Watching the personal clock, 1979

    Watching the personal clock, 1979

    Reading Time: < 1 minutes But I can’t help but wonder whether I’m going to have the time to get down to writing. My personal clock … isn’t set for that yet.

  • ‘Girls of the Ivy League,’ 1979

    ‘Girls of the Ivy League,’ 1979

    Reading Time: 3 minutes Freedom of choice includes the freedom to make bad choices, choices that we might regret someday. Would I tell that to my own daughters? I have.

  • Channeling ‘Animal House’: Delta debut, 1979

    Channeling ‘Animal House’: Delta debut, 1979

    Reading Time: 2 minutes It was the rightful family heir to “Animal House,” with most of the same production team and cast. Why wasn’t an instant success?

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