• AJ

Rewrites and Festivals

I don't know who said it -- maybe it was Neil Simon in his appropriately titled book "Rewrites" -- but the saying goes something like, "Writing is rewriting." I guess this could be taken a number of ways, from saying that all accomplished writers spend the vast majority of time rewriting, to saying that all new material is simply reiterations of the past. Either way, the quote seems appropriate to my days recently.

I worked on "People" a lot this spring, doing two huge rewrites since its final reading in January at NHIA. Wind Warning has likewise had two rewrites, although the overhauls weren't nearly as large. And then came the foray back into the submissions and contests circuit. "People" has now gone out to twenty-four different opportunities and Wind Warning has gone out to twelve. That's thirty-six in the last four to five months, which sounds like I'm hustling, but in comparison to some writers, it's not all that much.

Of course, life keeps me busy, and I wouldn't trade that for anything. Our boys have started to taking a liking to each other (no small task for a one year old and a three year old), and Oliver, our youngest, started walking within the past two weeks.

I also decided sort of, kind of, mostly un-officially to pursue my teaching certifications in special education, because I've been working as a long-term substitute in special education for the past six months and it's been extremely rewarding. I have great kids in my class -- kids with tons of heart -- and I have enjoyed watching them grow. That's not to say we haven't had our differences in class, but there's an individuality about children with special needs that I can relate to -- we're all odd birds.

Oh, and one more thing. I was privileged enough to attend the final day of the first ever West Virginia Playwrights Festival yesterday. The writing was phenomenal and ran the gamut from hysterical to touching to highly intellectual. The performers, too, did a wonderful job. And I'm so happy that this festival exists in our state. We have such unique voices here in these mountains, and I think now, more than ever, those voices need to be heard, especially as WV continues its long stagnation at the bottom of every index. I hope in time the festival comes to be a huge draw, much like the festival in Shephardstown. Although, hopefully unlike Shephardstown, this festival will not go the route of excluding writers without professional representation.


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