Friday, 17 August 2018

A Stop

They'd scattered by the time I glimpsed a pair of ears, a fragment of tawny pelt. They'd been hearing me for 300 metres, no doubt. I saw no more of them, though I knew they hadn't gone far and I looked for them (carefully, I thought) as I walked. I realized that my best chance of seeing more was to stop.
Perhaps the same approach will work for a moment of Oak Floors! This moment--I'm ready to find, should it be ready to appear--will be what happens between (1) the climactic rooftop patio dance scene, and (2) when Patty returns to the Oak Floors, having, with everyone else, left the place for some reason. This moment may be brief or extended.
Other than the paragraph you just read--bless you for doing so, dear reader--I've stopped looking for this moment in favour of lunch, a walk, and a Diet Coke in the commercial core of Cypress Hills, Centre Block. Today, hot again, seems to be Ugly Hat day. I include my own hat, of course, in that snide assessment. 

Saturday, 11 August 2018


is what I say when anyone asks how it's going. You know how it is. You get to the end of a thing, and now the real work begins. My objective for these two weeks in Cypress is to finish the first complete draft of Oak Floors! With some scenes, I've already pressed ahead.
By "press," I mean narrow the focus to individual lyric or dialogue choices. This has gone on the whole time, of course, but somehow now, at this point, there's time to give even the smaller elements their moment of deep inspection.
I say "deep," but I'm well into a pint of IPA in a Cypress bar while checking my Blue Jay feed and keeping an eye on the PGA Championship. After an aqua-size session at the pool and a couple of naps, and much fly-swatting.
Such lollygagging might help, if it contributes to this "time" I claimed, a moment ago, I was taking with my musical. Seen another way, I'm stalling, for the closing number needs serious 
fleshing-out. Forget details, I'll settle for a complete scene.
In fact, I've imagined a doozy. Everyone has left the Oak Floors--their conversation carries them after a climactic dance scene on the rooftop patio--until talk turns to going back to the Oak Floors. They sing their reasons. But only Patty gets there. The others have drifted off. For the third time in the piece, she's alone in the vestibule, locked out.
I really shouldn't reveal if the door opens or not.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

A Digression

I'm retreating at the Johnson Cultural Centre in Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park. The Johnsons (whose custom-designed, fieldstoned, Danish modern, skylit house--bequeathed to the Friend of Cypress Hills Inc. as an artist retreat--contains hundreds of books) believed in reading about everything. From a Casey Stengel bio through bestsellers, encyclopedia, books on birds and wine and Napoleon, classics of English and American lit, how to win at backgammon, railroads of western Canada . . . to John Steinbeck, Travels With Charley, a book I love. 
It's graceful and potent, funny and sharp, supple as the swat end of a flyswatter. That last bit I just threw in. Here in the Johnsons' kitchen (through the two windows to the right of the front steps in the photo) a couple of flies are going at it--and they're gonna get it--between the blind and the window.
I took a break from Oak Floors! to walk and do this entry. And read--how good to read the Steinbeck again.
I might even borrow this nugget: that the only cure for loneliness is being alone (or words to that effect). Not about myself, mind you, but the janitor, in Oak Floors! (through which I've been progressing a scene at a time by moving around upstairs, in the mornings before it gets too hot up there). 
Completion of first draft, here I come.