Regarding Weinstein and Trump’s sexual harassment of women and the huge volume of Metoo’s that have appeared, it is clear that sexual harassment (and worse) of women in particular it is clear that problem is pervasive. I think it part of a larger attitude towards women that is reflected in things like only 17% of plays produced in the US are directed or written by a woman; that South Florida’s Carbonells for directing, new play, and overall production, are rarely awarded to women. Hollywood TV producers were sued in a huge class action suite discriminating against women, and they lost the lawsuit. That the vast majority of the artistic directors of Miami are men. That the romance genre of books is still considered pretty much garbage although 50% of fiction sales of romances. Surveys of reviews of plays and books by women reveal that reviews of works by women are, shall we say, less laudatory than those by men. Not only are the stories that women enjoy considered of lessor import, but the way women tell stories is often, wrongly, considered of less quality. In the music world, only when blind auditions became the norm were women musicians finally hired on an equal basis with most orchestras today have equal numbers of men and women musicians, while in composing where the gender of the musican is known, the number of women composers whose works are chosen are still in the minority. That when for the first time a competent, honest, well prepared woman ran for the US president, the news, including and especially the New York Times focused on a false attack about her using a private email account like all her predecessors did and like the current incumbents do, rather than reporting on her record and the issues of the day. Indeed, just her running for president sent many, women and men, into a rage. So, men, when you turn down a role in a play written by a woman thinking it doesn’t have enough “meat” does that mean it does not have men shooting guns and screaming, or that the man’s role is supporting to the women’s roles and you think that shouldn’t be? When a man says a play about sacrifice is unimportant and who cares about that even though a major tenet has its central message the importance of sacrifice aren’t you showing the same underlying derogatory attitude toward women as the extremes of Trump and Weinstein are? So, women when you consistently choose to be on boards of the theaters that have men as artistic directors and go along without a boo with a theaters that have men artistic directors, men directors, and men playwrights, and roles that feature men both in numbers of roles and the importance of the roles aren’t you also showing the same underlying derogatory attitude? When the majority of uneducated white women voted for Trump aren’t they showing the same underlying derogatory attitude? As women still tend to be the primary caregivers of children, then why do so many children grow up to have these bad attitudes toward women? We all have a lot of work to do to “raise our consciousness” as we used to say. However, since men hold most positions of power, since men receive more respect for anything and everything they do, they have a greater responsibility to look at their own unconscious attitudes and correct them. Even men who love women in general, respect women in general should ask themselves if they have a habit of interrupting women, preferring creative works by men than women, feel women secretly relieved they make more money than their wives or girlfriends, and if they do any one of these things, stop it. Women who routinely defer to men’s opinions, fall silent when men interrupt them, and choose men to run things when a competent, honest, and perhaps of-greater-intelligence-or-talent women is available, stop it.
Terror and exhilaration consume you when you are about to launch a book. These emotions can be so extreme that they can easily trick you into procrastination through the guise and excuse of “I’m learning to market.” Right now I am learning to market, and so I bought Write to Market: Deliver a Book That Sells. This book was helpful in quelling some of my terror because I found that yes, my new fantasy series The Saga of the Dragon Born is still a hot category. It also has prevented me from making a huge mistake: writing the wrong sort of blurb. Readers are loving capable, kick-ass female characters. Now my new book Foreshadow: Book One of the Saga of the Dragon Born has exactly that sort of character, and the members of my writing group tell me they like her the best of my main characters. So I have to showcase feisty Burta in my blurb about my book, not gentle, sweet natured Tristabé-airta. Great stuff, to learn, huh? I think I need a least a week or two to suck all the marrow out of Writing to Market. I’ve bought another of Chris Fox’s books, Write to Launch. I expect that will be good for another few weeks of researching how to market. Don’t think I’m procrastinating though. I’m learning important lessons, and I’ll get Foreshadow up on Kindle soon, after learning to market, in a few weeks, not to long from now, when terror of not having put it up there on Amazon already sets me to leaping out of bed shrieking that I’m wasting my life. Okay, okay, I’ll research faster and publish the book very soon.
Have you ever edited a film? I’ve been teaching myself to edit by editing the films we taken of our plays. Right now, I have finished editing ”Belisa and Don Perloba in the Moonlit Garden.”
However, getting the sound track in good shape is tricky, so Guillermo (my husband and cohort in art) who studied film and engineering in college is working on the sound for me. While he does that, I am editing Flesh and Blooders, a dark comedy of magical realism.
I’m very excited to get these projects up on Youtube and on our site, storycrafterstudio.org.
These aren’t my only projects. I’m choosing plays to direct for the rest of this year, and have found short plays for an evening of short plays. Let me tell you, Miami is full of talent. These plays, all by local playwrights are superb. I am also a novelist, and currently my fantasy saga, The Contending, is posted at Kindle Scout for reader nominations. Kindle Scout is a program Amazon uses to find novels to publish. They offer a really good publishing contract. Cross your fingers for me! And please nominate The Contending. If it is awarded a contract, all the nominators receive the ebook free.
A gnome, a really ugly one, squat of body, gnarled of face, mean of eye, strolled out from around the carton of milk and jerked the box of cereal away from Shepard. The gnome stuck his filthy mitts into the cereal and shoved the food into his mouth, said mouth containing a long pointed tongue and broken and black teeth of ugly yellow. Shepard took the bottle of Kahlua from which he had been swilling, and emptied the contents down the sink. The gnome kept eating, dribbling milk down his chin. Then gnome stripped naked. Shepard went to the cupboard and took down his entire supply of spirits and upended every bottle into the sink. The gnome climbed into the box of cereal to reach those hard-to-get Fruit-Loops wedged in the corners. Shepard opened his fridge and gazed at the six-packs of Guinness Stout. He looked at the gnome. The gnome was now lying in Shepard’s bowl of milk that had one stray red piece of cereal floating in it. The gnome’s eyes closed, and the small monster splashed milk across his protruding belly and hairy navel. Sheppard decided he was of such stern stuff that he could give all the Guinness to his sister when he went to her and his brother’s-in-law house tonight for dinner. Sheppard looked at the bowl of milk and gnome. Milk suddenly bubbled violently between the gnome’s legs. The gnome was farting it up in the milk, farting up the milk. The lone, red Fruit Loop floated to soggy rest on the gnome’s hairy belly. The gnome bent his head to it, and slurped it up. Shepard grabbed up his six-packs of Guinness and headed out to his car. His sister wouldn’t mind him showing early, especially with all this Guinness.
The next day Shepard awoke happy—one day sober! He showered, dressed, ready for work. He popped into his kitchen for a quick bowl of cereal—a different type than yesterdays. He filled his bowl with cereal, then milk, instead of putting in milk first as was his usual habit. The gnome strolled out from behind the cereal box, strolled up to Shepard’s bowl, set its elbows on the rim of the bowl and then set its head on its hands in contemplation of the bowl of cereal. Shepard lowered his spoon back to the table top. The gnome stripped and climbed into the bowl of cereal and milk. It fixed Shepard with an insolent glare as it squatted down and started smacking on cereal.
Shepard simply left the apartment and went to work. He called a number on Craig’s List about another apartment and drove to it that night, deposit monies in his pocket. He never went back to his old apartment.
“I’m clean now. I don’t want those memories.”
In his old apartment the new tenant, a woman named Hooke, stubbed another cigeratte into her stuffed, stinking ash tray. A really ugly gnome was eating her toast as it sat in the sunny side-up egg she had just cooked for herself.
For decades, cities have rezoned blighted areas as arts and cultural zones in order to improve the areas. Artists come in, lured by low, low rents they can afford and set up shop. The Abbey Theater in Dublin was originally a funeral home in a bad part of town that a patron of the arts bought for Yeats and his fellow playwrights (Sean O’Casey, etc.) to open a theater. The Village in NYC moved from bad area to art conclave, and because of the artists eventually became ultra expensive. Lincoln Road on Miami Beach was a terrible area until the artists moved in. As usual, the artists attracted so many people that eventually the artists on Lincoln Road were financially pushed out with rents climbing to $100,000 a month. Wynwood, a dangerous area of empty warehouses that the city feared would catch fire, lured in the artists with cheap rents. Today few artists can afford Wynwood and are seeking inexpensive rents in other parts of Miami. Some of Miami artists can be found in Little Haiti where the Villain theater and art galleries have sprung up on along the tree-lined streets. As most Miamians, know, however, both Wynwood and Little Haiti suffer from very little available parking and gun fire. North Miami has for many years been interested in beautifying and uplifting the city. In the time honored method that has always worked so well, the City of North Miami has zoned an area as a Design and Culture District. Part of the district runs along West Dixie Highway. From NE 125 St, where great music and art can be found at the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Luna Star Café, and various small are galleries, to up along West Dixie Highway to about 130th Street where the Performing Arts Network and Storycrafter Studio do live performances, the arts are moving to North Miami. Like arts Wynwood (prior to becoming corporate Wynwood) and arts Lincoln Road (prior to becoming corporate Lincoln Road), West Dixie Highway has its fine restaurant, Captain Jim’s Seafood Restaurant. Unlike Wynwood and Little Haiti North Miami’s Cultural District has plenty of free public parking and NO gunfire. So come to West Dixie Highway in North Miami and enjoy dinner at Captain Jim’s Seafood Restaurant and see The Wish Maker at Storycrafter Studio. If you do, you will have found where artists have come.