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 …
Reading Time: 2 minutes Opportunity knocked once, then knocked a little harder. And then it just shrugged and walked away. Was it more than just gossip?
Reading Time: 2 minutes Procrastination is seldom fatal, but that’s not a certainty. A heart condition, cancer, a serious infection — can be deadly.
Reading Time: 2 minutes One thing that’s still unchanged: My worries are really blessings. That’s good advice from a 24-year-old to himself a half-century later.
Reading Time: 2 minutes Smoke-free workplaces are far more common, even public policy, thanks to 50 years of the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout.
Reading Time: 2 minutes Often blunders you make in one issue will be forgotten when the next comes out. Then again, they may resurface in a diary 44 years later.