So because I'm at the part of rehearsals where I'm trying to forget just how much memorization is ahead of me and the fact that I couldn't fall asleep last night, I decided that I HAD to finish my writing file last night. I love boxes and organizing-type things, and I recently bought a new file box and decided to use it for my past and present writing.
A CONFESSION: I am a pack rat. I keep everything because I always think I'll have a use for it later (and generally, I use the excuse that I might need it for a future play/musical that I'm in... which is the case a lot, but not enough to keep all the stuff I do.) It took me about four hours to go through all of my past writing last night and tonight (most of my preseny writing was already filed away.)
And that was only about a quarter of all of the notebooks I threw away. And while some of them were, as the top notebook suggests, academic, most of them (even those in the school category) were filled with writing. In between pages of a+b=c were ten pages of a story I was working on at the time.
TWO FIFTH GRADE NOTEBOOKS
Yes, I was rather proud of the name stickers that made it look like my moniker was exploding out at you in a burst of confetti when you moved the cover. These are two notebooks that I kept intact rather than simply tearing out the pages that had my writing in them. I carried these two notebooks with me EVERYWHERE during my last year of elementary school. The turquoise one contains a "Happy 11th Birthday!" message from my best friend inside the cover, a "complete" twelve-page play called Thoughts vs. Reality as well as a props list, cast list, costume sketches. There is also an incomplete play (twenty-two pages) of a play entitled The Parkers vs. the Sytas (I was apparently really into putting "vs." into the titles.)
In the final section of the notebook is eight pages of an incomplete play, untitled, that I abandoned that same year, picked up as a novel the next year, abandoned soon after, then picked up again at sixteen, when I turned it into a screenplay, entered it into a contest, and won an award for it.
In the marble-covered notebook, I have a partially-written story about a girl who really wants to have a carnival (or, as I said it back then, "carvinal"), another half-written tale about a girl who starts a new school in fifth grade, a list of play ideas and titles, a series of drawings I did in seventh grade, and a "Things I Want to Bring to Middle School" list. Also, onc contained in this notebook (though it was torn out for the performance) was a sketch I wrote for the D.A.R.E graduation at the end of fifth grade, in which I played the lead, Natalie, who was peer pressured and had a classic "angel and devil" moment, with one on each shoulder :p
Besides the satisfaction of storing everything away neatly, it was also cool to see my growth as a writer (though I didn't read most of the things I filed away) and also, just to see how much writing I've done in my life, which is, well... a lot. Also, to see what types of composition I dabbled in. In first and second grade, I wrote both stories and plays. Third and fourth grades were strictly stories. Fifth grade was some stories and a reintroduction into plays. Then in sixth grade, I became convinced that I was a terrible playwright and refused to write anything but stories for four years. Eighth grade was stories and some poems I was forced to write for my comm. arts class. Tenth grade was when my friend Katie and I began our feature-length (still in-progress) screenplay and I got back into writing plays in addition to stories. During my theatre-school years (eleventh and twelfth grade), I was almost strictly a playwright. And college so far has been plays, novels, screenplays, and short stories. It's been an adventure, and it's all contained in a purple accordian folder.
MY FILE BOX AS OF HALF AN HOUR AGO
I don't know/think that this "Flashback Friday" thing will be a regular to-do on my blog, but it might pop up occasionally, because I think it's cool to see writers' growth... even if that writer is me. And so to kick off this thing-that-might-possibly-never-happen-again, I give you the opening scene (and the only scene I actually physically wrote- the rest was memorized by dictation and rehearsal) of my very first play, written at age seven (with my clarifications in italics):
DIRECTED BY: Rachel & Allison D.
The rouel (royal) anonsment (announcement)
Pupets: Gorge (George): "Crunch, munch, crunch, munch.
"Oh hi I'm crureos (Curious) gorge, and,,,,, [crash he drops the pepper he is holding) Ops, I drop a pepper, ernie is going to be mad!"
"what are you eating?!"
Gorge: "Nothing"! Well. ah, Ernie I was eating a pepper but juce (juice) din't get anywere or, or, or."
Ernie: "Just be quit (quiet) and let Me do the talking, buster."
Gorge: O.K., O.K. I will be quit, but you have to promies me, you'll let ME do the talking for the NEXT show!"
Ernie: O.K! (go backstage). (sound effecs.) (backstage) CRASH!
Ernie: you broke the tape! That was the tape we were saposed to use!"
Gorge: Oh well."
STARTING THE PLAY: Loud speaker
I know, after reading that preview, you are all amazed that this play was only performed in my basement and grandparents' living room (where we hung a sign reading "we hop you injoy the play!") I had a lot of fun with it though. It was about ballet dancers because I had just gotten a pair of slippers that looked like ballet shoes for my birthday (the puppets were not in the ballet part... for some reason, I was adamant that all my plays had to start that way.) In fact, here's a picture of its final performance at my grandparents' house:
ME IN MID-TWIRL
Now, if I can just get that confidence in my writing back...