The Final Stretch (And, Finally, Moving On to the Verse Play)

Well, I've officially begun work on the verse drama. (Two weeks before the sabbatical report deadline! I am GOOD!)) This past week I finished revising three scenes and putting the language right, to some extent. All in the all, the experience was rather like rearranging furniture in a room, and it made me realize -- or rerealize (sure, let's pretend that's a word!) -- that something written in meter does not a poem make.

Or something like that.

Anyway, writing a play with poetry is difficult (to which statement, my eloquent-as-ever-inner-critic says duh!) and will take me much longer than I anticipated. I don't see it as an insurmountable task, but I do see several drafts in my future. Right now, each scene is very brief, very sparse. I don't have that many extended speeches or monologues, and that's something that needs to change -- not simply because they'll help each scene last longer than a blink of the eyelids, but because there are moments that need to be expanded to help the thematic and character development of the play. Also, from what I've read of other verse dramas, it's those extended speeches that most often create the "poetry" in the play.

So I'm happy that those moments, those opportunities for poetry, exist! But it does mean that the play is going to take a lot of work, and, because I'm in the middle of a semester, a lot of time. So I'm going to attempt what I did with the fairy tale poem -- to just keep writing, moving forward, and finish the skeleton of the thing. Then I'll flesh it out and make it something like a real, live play.

Thus, it's going to be a long, long time before any draft sees the light of day, or any eyes other than mine, methinks. Well, I'll print out what I have for the sabbatical committee, but I'm not even going to pretend that they'll read it, and that's fine with me. This weekend and next week I have to go about the business of writing my sabbatical report and printing out and copying all of my supporting material, such as the posts from this blog! Also, there are all of my legal pads to xerox, drafts to print, final drafts to print, and notes on my reading that I need to type up in some official capacity.

It's all worth the price of my sabbatical, to be sure -- that is, I don't mind doing the work because taking this sabbatical and having the chance to write and only write was one of the best experiences ever. (Yes, the italics are necessary!) I think what I loved best was being able to dedicate time to something that means so much to me, and yet not take anything away from the people who mean the most to me -- those little crazy blonde people, and my husband, and yes, even my dog. It was nice to write, guilt-free, or relatively guilt-free. And to actually finish a draft of a book -- to not run out of motivation or enthusiasm or belief in a project until the project was more-or-less finished. I'm perhaps most satisfied with that aspect of the sabbatical -- which may or may not have anything to do with the sabbatical itself. It might just be an essential change in myself, as a writer.

I see changes in myself as a writer, as a result of this sabbatical, as a result of being given time to think. I hope those changes stick.


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