Happy Birthday!

Last Monday marked a milestone in our lives and started a new chapter for us with the birth of our son. It was an awesome experience, and we feel truly blessed.

Well before his birth, and during this past week of getting used to one another and a whole new way of life, I’ve been contemplating what I’d like to do with this blog… Whether I’ll be able to continue in the same way, or even devote the time a daily blog needs. And honestly, I still don’t have an answer to that question.

I’ve also wondered about the direction of this blog…as my focus is now encompasses a whole new reality and set of concerns. It’s a question of balance, and finding my way. Not something I can answer today, or even tomorrow… but something I am working towards.

–Sue

Words’ Worth?

The media world is abuzz (and rightfully so) over a case of not only blatant plagiarism and unbelievable chutzpah.

In response to being called out on her crime, an editor replied to the writer she stole from with such sheer disregard it was disgusting. The disregard was not only for this specific writer, but for all writers, when the editor claimed that not only should she (the editor) get paid for “editing” this writer’s piece (and being “lucky she didn’t just put someone else’s name on it”), but that she has other young writers writing for her, and “ALWAYS for free”.

When did this become acceptable? To have someone do an honest day’s work, and put in an honest effort, to get nothing in return? I’m sure this editor doesn’t work for free, and I’m sure others who are involved in the magazine’s production get paid. So why wouldn’t the writers, who provide the content and for whom there wouldn’t be a magazine without their work and contributions, get paid?

It makes me wonder how much regard we have for writers and how much words are really worth.

–Sue

Appreciating Luxury

These days, I’m realizing day by day, even minute by minute, just how valuable time is. I spent today doing a lot of work… what normally takes me a few days to do, I did in one day.

Was I just not being productive before? No, I don’t think that’s it… I think it’s more a matter of time being a luxury. One only realizes what a luxury time is when it is limited… as is the case with any luxury.

I’ve also come to realize how powerful it is to “make time” for something… and how much effort and persistence that really takes.

It’s amazing when having less makes one appreciate something so much more.

–Sue

Life Imitating Art

There’s the old saying “Art imitates life…” but I think in having written the last scene in my play, life will, if not imitate, be inspired by art.

When I was conceiving the scene, I wasn’t sure I’d be able to write it because I hadn’t fully gone through the experience yet, but once I realized that I’ve been working towards something similar in my own life, and had by that point done a lot of research as well, I realized that I could imagine how the scene would go and still have it ring true.

Hopefully, it does. And hopefully, I can draw strength from that scene for my “real life” upcoming experience.

–Sue

The Art of Surrender

Sometimes, when you’re used to creating worlds from thin air, you get used to having a good bit of control (or at least thinking you do), and a hand in planning and crafting how things turn out. But the way things turn out in the real world can be and usually are very different.

The universe has blessed me with a humbling lesson in letting go and the art of surrender… letting things happen as they will and knowing they are happening the way they should in their own time.

–Sue

Champion’s Circle

I had been fretting about it for the last few weeks… meeting my deadline for Reflection.

It was yesterday evening, around six o’clock (six hours before the midnight deadline), that I treated Scott to a rendition of We Are the Champions. I had gotten up from the kitchen table victorious. My hand was aching from writing that final scene, and I was tired, but it felt good, really good, because I felt like I’d made it… like I’d pushed through and won!

I’d mentioned (a few times in other posts) that I’ve been working on this on and off for the last ten years. Yesterday, when I was typing the last scene, I realized that it’s a little less than a third of my life… I would have never dreamed when I first sat to write this that it would take this long, or that I would hold on to this so hard, but it’s the first big story I ever tried to tell. And looking back, I didn’t have the skill, experience, or understanding to tell this story at this level ten years ago. I’d only gained the experience to write the last scene in the past month or so.

At this point, I can breathe a little more deeply, and maybe even let out a sigh of relief and release. But now, the real work begins… getting it out there.

–Sue

Happy Halloween

I love Halloween for so many reasons… Chocolate never hurts, neither do scary stories or Snoopy. Plus all those pumpkins like the one pictured, and the costumes!!!

Halloween, more than any other holiday brings out the kid in all of us, and give us a way to channel our sense of fun and creativity. It’s a time when it’s not only okay to express yourself, it’s okay to express parts of yourself you wouldn’t normally have the freedom or daring to express in the day to day. If only we could have a little more Halloween every day.

Happy Halloween! …and don’t forget to save me some candy!

–Sue

Basic Instincts

Too often, we eschew our basic instincts and end up chasing after puffs of smoke.

It took me years, YEARS, of following the wrong paths… paths others were looking to forge, and at the end of the day, I always felt sorry; sorry for having wasting my time, energy, and talents on what in the long run (and oftentimes short term) couldn’t sustain me.

It was with small things at first, seeing that when I trusted myself I was almost always headed in the right direction. And over time, those small things got bigger and bigger — and ultimately life changing.

Not just as artist, but as a person, if you can’t trust your instincts, then what can you trust?

–Sue

Setting the Stage for Creativity

Today was about figuring out the solutions to little problems… Nothing earth shattering or anything, but things that needed to be taken care of all the same.

When I found I was really intent and intensely focused on solving the problems, they seemed so much bigger, and I felt like I was ramming my head against a wall. When I walked away, even for a few moments, the solutions floated into my brain easily and effortlessly.

And that’s the essence of setting the stage for creativity. It’s not just about time… it’s so much about space, and giving one’s mind and heart the room to play.

–Sue

From the Rooftops

Joe Stein, the librettist of Fiddler on the Roof passed away at the ripe old age of 98 a few days ago.

As a Jew, and the daughter of immigrant parents, I’ve always had a special place in my heart for the show, as many people do. And though he wrote many other books for many other shows, Fiddler is Joe Stein’s greatest legacy.

And despite being a beloved show and movie, Stein commented just a few years ago: “Look, if I had the opportunity to work on Fiddler now, there are a couple of little things I’d like to change. You can always improve something. Nothing is ever really perfect.”

Sometimes it’s those imperfections that make things more colorful, and make them great… but like any artist knows, we are always our own harshest critics.

Mr. Stein’s work and his work ethic will continue to inspire many theatre artists, professionals and novices, for years to come.

–Sue