The 2016 Playwrights Unit Retreat is underway.


Paul Graham
07/28/2016 5:27am

its 7:35 the first morning of our stay at Brydcliffe, by us I mean Vicky D, Ariana, Nia, Victoria S is a local townie day tripper ... all thanks to Wallace, our fearless and generous Gentle, who stocked the kitchen with berries and mint and thyme and other herbs from his garden. and made us a big fab dinner, steak and salmon and chicken kebabs and salad, but mostly just sweet thoughtfulness and generosity. we talk about how we want to proceed with the days ahead and don’t come to many conclusions other than we’ll talk round noon or so everyday about what we want or don’t want to do. Victoria books us for Friday afternoon. she wants to do some playing around with Improv. Wallaces Scott comes over for dinner with us. he is a painter and we talk some about Twombly and Joan Mitchell and Helen Frankenthaler. Later last night, when most of us go over to their house to hear Obama endorse Hilary, I see some of his paintings. they strike me as being lush/robust/considered and their deep color reminds me of Francis Bacon’s who I think is kind of super masterful and I’m not sure why. The lighting director stops by post dinner to have his fill of our bountiful leftovers. I think his name is Zach. he fills us in on the not so wonderful sound renovations in the theater ... and tells us about a dance program he’s directing this weekend. the house here is circa 1908 or so and Brydcliffe is an arts and crafts colony with origins round that time ... there’s some amazing tables in the house with simple but exotic parts and I read that they made all kinds of things here for over a century ... pottery, paintings, plays, metalwork, textiles ... all at first in yards and yards of fancy dresses and coats and ties ... and it makes me think of Obamas reference last night to Hilary doing it all backwards and in heals ... which is originally credited to ann richards from texas I think ... which shows you how much we live in post modern world where everyone sleeping in this house right now fears that there’s a possibility that Trump could end up as the philosopher king without any philosophy on the side of good. back to Brydcliffe, in the books, they’re photos by a woman named Eva Watson Schutze, I think it mentions she studies with or was a contemporary of Steiglitzs ... lovely portraits , one of a woman bending over to smell a lily, another of a woman wearing a jumbo white robe hugging herself, a sexy guy named Carl Lindin with elbow bent and the other arm stretched out ... wearing Seinfeld’s puffy pirate shirt but somehow looking absolutely smart and right in it ... Obama has some of this old world, old soul do right charm and heart to him .. when he mentioned last night that when he’s been most down ... he thought of us, of “you” ...he stated and it gave pause to his distress and renewed encouragement. and the funny thing is ... I believed him fully. that’s quite a feat in 2016, more than a century after the beautiful photos in this book beside me on this blue table were created. Vicky and I are online. I made coffee in the maker and then it stopped moving the water along halfway ... one of the gals will have to show me if they know whats what with that ... I’m gonna go for a little walk right now ... and work myself up to beginning my new piece ... God’s wallet. if he carried one, what do you think you’d find inside it?

Vicky Devany
07/28/2016 5:54am

Good to be up with Paul and starting work on a scene in the early morning. Amazing meal and company last night and good to watch the DNC.

08/26/2016 10:08am

I read all your literature written as comment Paul. I am not from here so I am not sure if you just narrated what's happening or you are coming up with something out of nothing. It's a beautiful story.I loved your choice of words. I apologize for involving myself but I enjoyed reading. I hope you don't mind.


Same here and agree with you. At first it's a bit confusing on what is happening and where is the real story here.Good thing I take time reading comment of Paul and Vicky here and so I found little ideas on how this playwrights works. It is so amazing how they both shared their experiences yet making me drifted back to life during retreats and acquaintances of my high school and college days. It is so refreshing and memories are even so priceless and relevant. Thank you for sharing all your experiences here which is worth to read.

09/04/2016 10:47pm

This is good, we are easily notified about the different things that is happening in our surroundings, Playwrights Unit Retreat is underway. I will share this to my family and friends for them to be notified also and I am sure that they will love and appreciate me for doing this. I am glad that I have read this.

09/14/2016 5:44am

This is fantastic! It really shows to me where to amplify my online diary. I construe that sooner or later on I might endeavor to make a book to oblige my web diary, yet we will see.Good post with supportive tips and contemplations.

I love playwrights. They are simply the most creative people I know. They make a complete scene inside their heads out of nothing. It's not easy. Oh well maybe some days it is easy but everyone has writer's block once in a while. If you're a professional, you will know what to do. It's amazing how these artists cope.

Vicky Devany
07/29/2016 5:50am

Friday a.m. 7/29

Plugs and wires;
Wires and plugs**;
A ton of different passwords, to stay cyber-safe to the degree that one can;
**Leaves and trees - much better than the above
An ant just climbed up my writing notebook (the old fashioned kind of ant and notebook); he or she seems friendly;
Spider webs that remind me of "Charlotte's Web" one of the best children's books Ever!;
A suitcase of sadness;
Another colleague, and dear man, just died: an amazing coach/pianist;
This will continue and must figure out how to go with that flow to the degree that any of us can;
The kitchen light just went out;
I type in the dark;
I type to sing;
I type to live;
I type to search;
I have been a writer since I could hold a pen and pencil; that girl is somewhere in here -- maybe even in this kitchen.
An election which concerns so many of us;
Sound, light, cars,
Different country, not city sounds
Light dimming - if you see typos--
Hitting submit;
Saying adieu to my pro-proofreading brain as the light dims, and dims and dims... yet the sun is semi-shining and they ant has gone back outside...

Paul Graham
07/29/2016 7:27am

friday morning ... 10:04 says my laptop ... feels a little cooler, Vicky D and Mindy in the kitchen, rehashing what was important in last night’s Hilary speech (Double Jeopardy for $1000 ... climate control and the disabled) ... I forgot to include Mindy’s name in yesterday’s blog so I want her to know she is my very forever always favorite playwright person in this very creaky house. and there’s a hole in the bathroom floor upstairs and you can see down to a brown paper bag on a table in the kitchen) we were going to go back to wallaces and scotts for the convention last night, and apparently told we could if we behaved ourselves better ... there’s a bit of a noise issue going, was going on (it’s a long story) ... and we decided to give them a reprieve and stay here in the house and watch the speeches online ... and so we did ... ariana and nia were very bad and spoke when all they should have done is follow my admirable lead/example ... i.e. make a gesture or a mostly monosyllabic remark ... whenever Chelsea or Hill took a beat and gave all of us an opportunity to briefly ruminate. but no, A and N, in the bleacher upper mez seats I must admit ... more than once in a while ... they acted like they were at a wrestling match ... and we (the good, quiet people) wrestled how to manage their antics ... love is love is love is ... I remind myself. from my vantage on the floor in front of the laptop ... which was perched on a window sill ... outside in the screened porch ... the screen was all off ... the color ... and chelsea looked warpaint red with midnight blue eye sockets and lips ... if I straightened up my posture some ... she looked a little better. and then we lost computer power and we listened to the rest on mindy’s smartphone ... and it felt very Diary of Anne Frank to me,the huddling around and heightened interest in events far away and life changing. before all of this ... A and N and V and I went to a goats guild poetry reading and we all read something and the work overall was better than I expected it to be and I was proud of we four and I got a sense of country community and how tasty that might be if I didn’t look at it too carefully and avoided the facts about geography and shaky mental lonely guy landscape. I think yesterdays blog is better but as the song said after Trumps speech ... “you can’t always get what you want.” (I bet someone said to him ... lets end with a Stones song and he probably said, yeah, yeah, sure, fine ... and that was that. the fucking bonehead.

08/01/2016 5:13am

monday morning 7:16 ... another night full of dreams ... I lose my shoes in so many of them. Jimmy Stewart popped up and walruses trying to enter my elevator, newborn babies sleeping in fed x packages ... same old same old. the coffee is perking. worried that I lost my phone and found it in the back seat of the car and even magic clicked the door open with the thingamajig ... could this be more fascinating? yesterday .... hmmmm ... it rained and rained more ... which makes the day elongate ... got up real early so took a nap ... then wrote some ... then nia and ariana and I went into town for groceries ... then over to Scott’s and W’s to tour his painting studio ... that would be so great ... to paint and have one ... writers just get a crummy, boring old, nobody gives a shit about it desk ... “yes, come in and see my magical workspace. there’s my laptop, there’s a pencil. oh, look ... is that a pad mere inches away from some paper clips ??? not quite the same thing. ric and bette are up here and rehearsing happy days which goes up a few days after we leave. they looked jazzed and pumped and at the start line ... bette tells me Becket has moved into her brain rent free. she looks great, streamlined and lighter haired. then we came home ... looked at some paintings of Melinda Stickley Gibsons ... a friend of Noni’s .. and photos of the nanny who died without ever developing her great 50s city street photos ... kinda like helen levitts ... and a Joni Mitchell interview online where she objects to artists throwing out false modesty (she thinks her peers are Debussy and Ellington, gotta love her for living her beliefs ) ... Ariana made good chunky pasta with lots of taste sensations ... Mindy and I had a conversation about parents ... the old classic can’t get away from it standby subject that has no end ... read the sunday times ... the global slaughter seemingly took a day off ... lights out earlier than usual. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Vicky Devany
07/30/2016 5:14am

Saturday, 7/30, approx. 7 a.m.

How did it get to be Saturday?
This morning, a fly visits my notebook, instead of an ant;
He, or she, is less welcome than the ant, yet I relax my body and think, "Good morning, fly, one of G-d's creatures".
I hear water from above;
Someone else is now awake which seems friendly and nice.
I see a squirrel over my head, quite a few feet away;
Gone now -- as quickly as I looked down to the page
I am used to seeing concrete when rise in the city.
We saw some wonderful dancers last night;
We spoke; we did improvs;
We heard an amazing speaker from the DNC that we had missed on Thursday; there are no words yet - as to his grace,his pain, his elegance, poise; made a difference, his courage; to lose a son; to lose a son...I guess I did find some words, to my surprise; he moved me to tears that I tried to stop...why did I try to stop them I wonder?..should I have walked to a tree and found private release?;
I don't know; too soon to tell; too many tears left...
Another fly....

My friend and colleague arrives;
We talk about dreams; I will sip tea, talk and sign off. The mouse slips; the typos continue; I let my proofreader brain rest. I will edit later; I will edit what I think; what I say; what I project; how I am...appropriate at times, as an adult yet why today I wonder? A day to edit less perhaps. I will keep you posted.

Paul Graham
07/30/2016 5:40am

a therapist once told me that our rituals are important ... but you shouldn’t inspect them too carefully. what did she know. a pattern establishes after on a few days ... 8:09 am ... vicky d is in the kitchen on wallaces’ computer ... I make coffee ... come out here to the blue table on the porch ... type these words ... mindy is usually next up, then A, then Nia ... and we breakfast and then scatter to various parts and do what we do .. sometimes even write a thing or three ... Victoria came yesterday with improv exercises she wanted us to do ... I was a guy on his way to a job interview ... to Ariana’s frazzled waitress who smelled good with a babysitter on the lam and worry ravaging her brain... mindy and Nia were on a blind online date ... and mindy was a virgin in lesbian land ... vicky d had a manuscript for victoria in the post office ... but marty or louie or someone had the key to the closet it was in and he was on a break ... my fav line ... after vicky d tells victoria to watch her mouth, “there’s a five year old child over there” ... victoria turns her body suddenly and bends down and says to imaginary tyke “I’m sorry little five year old.” funny what slays ya, gets you big sometimes for some quirky, mysterious reason. we went to a dance concert at the theater last night ... lots of young hair, thick braids, elaborates soignes (I’ve never written that word before, hope it comes close ) ... but yes, real natural girl hair sans extensions and waves and 2016 la dee da ... “they’ll be ga ga at the go go when then see me in my toga of pure, sheen, keen Biblical hair” (Hair) ... and the music was very assorted and modern and as Mindy said ... “lots of young dancing” ... I was touched to see so much fresh, just beginning aspiration and organic pride on faces. Zach introduced the show and mentioned that two of the pieces, there were many, 20 maybe ... two of them were first time choreographic efforts and he wouldn’t tell us which ... I want to find out, maybe today, and would love to see Scotts studio ... and my Rhinebeck friends are coming for dinner in town tonight ... and the days go by ... which reminds me of Talking Heads ... and other things. there’s something about the country that makes me more free associative than when I walk city streets and I’m more aware of the bittersweetness of things and the soft relentless clock ticking until the time when it will stop.

07/30/2016 11:05am

Today Victoria Sullivan came over to do improv work with us. Neither Paul nor I have ever done this before, but we joined in with optimism.

Victoria is thinking about all the aspects of WAITING. She had each of us complete the sentence, “Once when I was waiting, …..”
And we each remembered an episode in our lives where we waited.
I talked about a friend of mine who is always late. The first time I was waiting for her to arrive (she had to drive a distance to meet up with me), I found myself doing extra things around the apartment, which eventually pulled me in and kept me distracted from the reality that I was waiting. This was before cell phones. When she finally called, she was not nearly as close as I expected, after already knowing she was going to get a late start. It somehow freed me to stay involved in whatever it was I was doing. By the time I got everything done that I wanted to do, presto, she had arrived, so I actually didn’t experience that nervous state of what to do while you’re waiting for someone. For the rest of our lives, we set parameters, we get done what we need to and even things we’ve been meaning to get done, and whoever is doing the traveling and whoever is waiting, we always connect at the exact right moment. Our sense of being in the flow is impeccable.

Then Victoria divided us into groups of 2. She gave 1 person a character situation with a certain need, and the other person a character who had a different, opposing need.
Ariana and I were paired: She was a documentary filmmaker out in L.A., who wanted recognition from me, her mother. As her mother, I wanted her to say thank you for all the money I’d been sending her. I wanted her to move back to the east coast. It was amazing. Victoria said it was like Igmar Bergman.

Ariana as a waitress whose babysitter just left her 10 and 5 yr olds alone, cuz her boyfriend called; waitress wants to dash home. Vs Paul, who was nervous about an upcoming job interview and he needed coffee to calm himself down. Paul managed to be indecisive, then a bit lecherous. Truly great.

Vicky was a sister who loves to ski, who wants to do moguls with her brother Paul. He’s very reticent and she’s wild with enthusiasm. She tells him he should have some coffee and snap out of it, gather some energy together and he was behaving as though she were a freak. Very funny.

Paul Graham
07/31/2016 4:48am

sunday morning ... am first up for the first time. I hope Vicky is alive. first time I write this blog inside ... it’s thick misty out there ... makes me think of jeanne moreau/belmondo ... soft greens, grays, blues... a fun saturday ... got good work done on the new piece ... some fun research ... i.e. newton invented the pet door (hail Google) ... and a trip into town and good talk with the bookstore owner ... who clarified Great Performances is doing a show on the history/making of Hamilton ... they are NOT taping the full musical ... he heard me tell Nia that they were ... she was looking at the new book out about it ... and he chimed in in a charming, helpful way ... what the world needs now. we talked Byrdcliffe and Dylan ... I bought these postcards ... kinda a Hollywood movie star map except its Dylan and musical friends and lovers ... he faked his motorcycle accident mere yards from where we are staying and once lived in one of these places ... called highlow ... there’s a picture of him wearing a searsucker suit right before his long train coming preacher man everybody’s got to serve somebody period ... making kids and sprouting scripture ... but I love it when bookstore folks know there stock ... nice store. Ariana was all worried about this little lost orphan kitten lonely in the drizzle and a half hour later I asked her if she heard the latest news on main street ... about said feline having its dimensions changes ... she didn’t believe me ... I reminded her as I did my REAL 4 sisters ... you only tease the ones you love. it quiets people down a noticeable bit when you profess that kind of thing. we began to plan a little something for Wallace ... but since he reads these postcards from the fringy edge ... I keep my yap trap laptop shut tight ... except to say its a fun work in progress. Nia went out with Scott to hear jazz piano ... review ... fab ... and I went off to Bears Cafe with Mark and Garrison and Joe ... after a rocky departure in the rain on the bumpy driveway ... Joes inner Son of Sam rose up high ... just for a moment ... it only takes a moment ... we mealed amicably and talked too much politics ... and looked at pics of Mark’s house in Southern France ... I don’t dare attempt to write anything more specific re location ... you now those French with their singy song sashay ways of naming things ... it looks so cool and unamerican ... I admire his desire/ability to pull up stakes and have a pee wee big adventure. back at the ranch, Wallace visits after dance concert ... we all watch a video of Bob Newhart shrinking a woman who obsesses about being trapped/buried alive in a box ... and his cure takes three minutes to arrive at ... Stop It! you had to be there. brilliant. and then as I went up to bed ... a fake Melania on Colbert crushed it with ripoffs of kit kat bar songs and such ... lovely saturday.

Suzanne M Fowkes
07/31/2016 2:30pm

Paul it is so neat to be having this experience - i am happy for you - the energy must be wonderful - you are fortunate and so are your friends to be able to share this time

i so enjoyed everyones writings - it sounds like so much FUN

please say hello to Wallace and Nia and i hope to see them again

I love you Sue

Paul Graham
08/01/2016 5:15am

monday morning 7:16 ... another night full of dreams ... I lose my shoes in so many of them. Jimmy Stewart popped up and walruses trying to enter my elevator, newborn babies sleeping in fed x packages ... same old same old. the coffee is perking. worried that I lost my phone and found it in the back seat of the car and even magic clicked the door open with the thingamajig ... could this be more fascinating? yesterday .... hmmmm ... it rained and rained more ... which makes the day elongate ... got up real early so took a nap ... then wrote some ... then nia and ariana and I went into town for groceries ... then over to Scott’s and W’s to tour his painting studio ... that would be so great ... to paint and have one ... writers just get a crummy, boring old, nobody gives a shit about it desk ... “yes, come in and see my magical workspace. there’s my laptop, there’s a pencil. oh, look ... is that a pad mere inches away from some paper clips ??? not quite the same thing. ric and bette are up here and rehearsing happy days which goes up a few days after we leave. they looked jazzed and pumped and at the start line ... bette tells me Becket has moved into her brain rent free. she looks great, streamlined and lighter haired. then we came home ... looked at some paintings of Melinda Stickley Gibsons ... a friend of Noni’s .. and photos of the nanny who died without ever developing her great 50s city street photos ... kinda like helen levitts ... and a Joni Mitchell interview online where she objects to artists throwing out false modesty (she thinks her peers are Debussy and Ellington, gotta love her for living her beliefs ) ... Ariana made good chunky pasta with lots of taste sensations ... Mindy and I had a conversation about parents ... the old classic can’t get away from it standby subject that has no end ... read the sunday times ... the global slaughter seemingly took a day off ... lights out earlier than usual. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

08/02/2016 7:41am

tuesday ... the beginning of the 2nd half of our stay ... I finished the first draft of my piece yesterday ... now the part that I like more ... tinkering ... its the part where you know you have it down and it will only get better from here ... it never gets worse ... it usually gets tighter, less cute or something ... more natural ... all of this ... hopefully. but I like this part of the ride when peace in the valley is assured. yesterday ... victoria came over at breakfast and we talked about today’s event with a arthur g playwright ... all of us voiced a concern about the 5 hour window ... as Dylan once sang “time passes slowly up here on the hillside” ... we’ll see ... and we drove into town and ate good pizza and took in some wildly seasoned hippie faces ... they did not go gently into any good night ... but they are interesting ... finely etched with the only thing river stone smooth about them is the something weary in their eyes ... we go to the little town square to pick up vicky on the trailways bus and a big happy looking photographer with a stutter whos been here since ’69 ... asks me how I like the car we are in ... which is like asking dolly parton about Paris fashion ... I told him someone rented it for us ... that we were staying at Byrdcliffe ... and added that I’ve never owned a car which made him actually step back a couple of feet ... and then Nia came by and set him straight, it’s not a rented car ... its wallaces ... like I said ... I am two with cars, kinda like I am with just a little less so nature. we come home, Ariana and I sit outside and talk about our type in men ... hers Malkovich and Day Lewis (I confer re DDL ) Ricky Gervais and I mention my fav of favs ... David Stratharin ... I go up to bed with my book, “Manhattan Noir” and read about a just released prisoner who is mistaken for a child molester when what he’s really after is 80k behind a bathroom cabinet in a welfare hotel ... he got caught. the mother of the kid who everyone thought was his target told him “you shoulda told me ... we could have split it.”

08/03/2016 3:52am

wednesday 6:09 ... I haven’t been up this early since I served 6:15 mass ... but its official ... am on a wacky sleep thing here ... the bed is fine ... so, like the doctor said to the mom in the exorcist ... it’s not your daughters bed, Mrs O’Neal, it’s her brain” ... we all spent five hours with arthur giron yesterday ... a seasoned playwright ... recently wrote amazing grace musical on broadway and loads of others ... good gathering ... he was generous with his words and experience and interest in us and what we are attempting to create... old school/world composed, genuine genteel ... he works from 4:30 in the morning until noon ... EVERYDAY ... and when I asked him how he keeps so disciplined ... even when things get rocky ... he said you have to really love your characters. nice. he brought out stuff in all of us ... we talked about our lives ... and I did notice that more than the content ... how we spoke about them how we chose to relay our past was more important ... tone is such a delicate thing ... so the how might be even more important than the what ... both in art and life ... or something circling that idea ... he thinks every play needs “a dramatic question”, “a main event” a “dropping of the mask” and “a clear feeling at the end” ... the audience is attracted to the youngest character ... by which he means the one who has the most to learn/change/surmount ... that was pretty much the whole day ... a good piecemeal dinner ... Wallace brought lunch and we made dinner of it as well ... and then everyone went off to bed sooner than usual ... and I enriched a part of the new piece that I was skimping on ... when I don’t exactly know what to say, I do that ... when I feel like I’m careening into melodrama or cliche turf ... I have a character change the subject ... go off on a tangent and ... it’s not good practice/work/way to go. the coffee just stopped percolating ... speaking of changing the subject ...

Vicky Devany
08/03/2016 5:51am

The girl in black rain slicker by the window:

Yesterday was amazing; I hold it close to my head and heart, as requested, via my nature, and Meryl Streep's advice re: some things being like prayer....and we all find our own journey with prayer, and in different forms.

The ants, mosquitos and spiders have found me; I’m an unusual blood type that they seem to enjoy (?);

Still itching from Saturday; today is Wednesday; the topicals doing bupkis;

It is so beautiful here, I am willing to muscle through
And have seen others bigger and stronger than I am do so;

Even with bite/welts -- they are my champions and inspiration; and having just witnessed someone wrestle w/ ALS, this all seems very manageable; someone who smiled and joked with nurses and occupational therapists, as every part of the body disintegrated; this is the diagnosis that scares doctors the most from what I hear.

One year
One moment
One hope
One prayer
“Never go to bed angry” still holds true
A little coffee and dark chocolate are ok (for now…?)
Time dances on, and I am grateful to be a part of a quiet and steady parade.

08/04/2016 8:35am

thursday ... 5:07 ... a ridic time to be on 2 feet but so I be ... body clock counter clockwise or so it seems ... the coffee drips into the pot and sounds like a fountain in a health spa and I think bout what yesterday brought ... mindy and I go into town and she post offices I bookstore and market for pasta and tomatoes and I walk down a sidestreet and come upon this big two story all stone house ... really stately ... on elwyn lane or court or way ... and I wonder how $$$ and I think about big inside and outside space and kinda think na-a-a-a-a-h, but then again then again ... I want to check it out with some agency today and just out of curiosity. victoria comes over late afternoon to do more improv ... and dennis arrives ... and I ask him if he’s bonnie drys dennis and he says yes ... Bonz and I were kids together at channel thirteen in the early 40s ... fresh out college ... fun times a lot ... he’s warm and a good actor and the improv work was surprising ... if someone asks me to read/act at the Fringe ... I read, I don’t try to act at all cause its foreign to me but when I’ve done this a couple of times during the past few days ... ooopps a mouse just tightrope balanced down a wire in the pantry and then scouted behind the stove ... hmmmm ... wonder what craft he does ... anyway, as I was writing ... when I do improv, it’s easy more natural to assume a character or bring mine out ... and who disguised mild mannered reporter Clark Kent ...

Vicky Devany
08/05/2016 12:14am

I like the Clark Kent image; I would cast you as Clark Kent.

"The girl in the nightgown, by the window that views concrete":

(Fascinating: see italics mode on one laptop but not the other); a Tech expert told me the other day in her lovely, soft voice: "This is my field, and I can't even keep up with it. Tech is changing while you and I are speaking." I ask her about "1984" - (heard about, never read) relative to now; she says "That book was nothing compared to what is going on now in Tech." I won't think about that;

A relative goes to a Tech conference; she said you cannot believe how much personal data is out there now.

What am I doing? Elsie, this is Not why you woke me up?!!

The muse arrives;
I tell her (and not sure if it is a her; maybe a mythological mix of male and female; I'll call her Elsie for now; her real name will come later, and I'll hold it close to my chest, so as not to frighten her away).

"Elsie" I think...why are you wanting to write at 2:00 in the morning?
She does not answer as I do not hear voices; I leave that to The Maid of Orléans;

Here's the thing: I am flooded with 7 new ideas; I type fast - so where do I store these and very quickly before they fly away?

Query...? I could probably write until dawn....yet I owe it to about 9 people to show up alert, present and so I have to force myself to s..t..o..p; the answer...there must be a way...

08/05/2016 6:05am

riday the 5th ... dreams packed to the REM ceiling beam ... skidding cars and men with really short pleated skirts and shag rug chests in the rain ... and stuffed animals and my first apt on 10th street where new moms are selling grass and face cream ... at least I slept ... yesterday we flyered for wallace in kingston and I drove with victoria and found our about more about who she is ... also found out that the gorg house I saw was for sale the other day ... is a cool million ... yikes!!! ... and we all went out to lunch and my sleep deprivation hit me big time like a steel clown hammer ... and I felt very not full of air ... which some people might call “deflated”, yeah, that’s it ... and I get back to the house and sleep some ... make a turkey burger, watch a couple of episodes of Rhoda with Mindy at the kitchen table and then “Chuckles Bites the Dust” upstairs in bed ... that show, MTM, was a singular combination of fab writing and cast ... you cared about all of them and wanted to know more about them ... and it’s kinda right I think what George C. Wolf recently said ... that TV is character driven, movies - about storytelling and theater - ideas ... Bette White as Sue Ann Nivins aka the happy Homemaker makes a collage of the all the major food groups (“ oh, whats all this silly I talk about famine) and gives it to Mary and says ... “your bedroom needs a little excitement to balance all the tension in there” ... and it’s a thread through the whole show ... a light one ... but very fun ... watch it ... chuckes bites the dust ... I dare you not to laugh when semi self righteous Mary breaks up at the wake. high art. as you can see ... deep in the throes of idea making playwriting yesterday ...

Vicky Devany
08/05/2016 7:34am

10 a.m. Fri., 8/5

Shout out to Paul to start; enjoy reading your blog.

"Girl in the orange t-shirt, promoting the NYPL" - Go Books!! I guess it's okay to wear today as I am in the midst of literal construction and possibly the only person in my department;

I want to jump back onto the bus, yet I must keep my eye on the ball; I cheer myself up by buying a huge book on Shakespeare from tne nice guy a block from my Apt., in a slight Southern drawl says; "that's a lot of book for that price" ....I hope he won't raise the price: $5 is what I can spend and what the sticker says.

I say, "Well, as a working girl, I appreciate this great deal, Sir" - he is fine with this, and gives me my change. He is pleasant and in my hazy memories of "South light" / my earliest childhood, I know he reminds me of the people who were so kind to me , who did not care about the color of my skin, who saw my curiosity, who saw that something had been stolen from me, and who were good, decent people in the midst of major, so needed changes in our country.

He was right - this is a big book for $5 (I open the cover; it was originally $25; wow - I am so luck and as mentioned: big: on my lap, on the subway it comes to 3/4 length of my thigh and twice the width of my thigh; next promise to find the time to read it, and now as my friends who also have small NY apts, if this goes in - something must go out; I will plan that tonight. Need to tweak work for Sunday; excited to edit later; sad I missed the Italian lunch yet reveling in the joy of taking flyers around for "Happy Days" the day prior, and making new friends in NYS. Write, live, love - back to Data, data, data and hopefully helping others w/ their careers, as I am not the only one seeking....I will post jobs for them!

08/06/2016 3:59am

6 ish now ... saturday 8/6 ... b day yesterday ... and the older I get the more meaningful my yearly greetings from family and buds mean ... we go into town for breakfast ... mindy, A and me and hit the copy store and copy scripts for sunday ... ( thank you wavy haired handsome helper guy with cryptic cool tattoo and new black shoes) - we visit Noni and her cartoon Frankenstein foot ... which weirdly brings out her inner elegance ... we try out our stuff on her ... not bad ... we drive thru lovely landscape aplenty ... shop some and have roast chicken and salad for dinner ... A and I lay in the grass looking up at high end tree silhouettes ... wallace comes by ... excited n praising his actors in happy days ... he goes off to do due diligence/pr at the show in the theater ... rex harrisons son with a Tiffany voice is doing a reading about a reformed Nazi at which he wears a caftan (?) and pronounces that it has 52 parts (no joke) Wallace wilts big even while retelling the tale ... we talk Nazi theater some ... anne frank, bent etc ... and langford wilson ... and Mindy and I do our porch thing ... and call it one more day for us and year for me.

Vicky Devany
08/06/2016 11:25pm

Girl in the purple chemise

"Oh Captain! My Captain" -- Oh Elsie! My Elsie" Why oh why are we up at 2:00 a.m. on the nose on 8/7 - 8/8? Much to do, much to say...clock is ticking; if I take time to check date, the battery will go down and there is so much to say;

Feeling the energy of the world; feeling that something is happening in the middle of the night/morning; do I hear footsteps? Need to re-read the play "Ghosts"....No - I hear a door; it is another writer/friend...

I ache
To Sleep
Perchance to find another idea, yet the later idea that may reach out to many of you, or some, or even just to one other, so that I ideas connect to Y....O....U.

08/07/2016 7:48am

the final full day here ... sunday ... took me all this time to sleep well .. geeez ... first up ... a good yesterday saturday ... walked down the road to what maybe was dylan’s house ... the stories swirl and sway round here ... about him ... it all pretty much comes down to various collective hunches just like most other realities ... but the walk was great, a beautiful breezy fall’s a comin kinda morning... and victoria came over and we talked some about the reading today and over to bonnies and dennis’ for dinner with her two nieces and a very pretty thai girlfriend whose the only white person in her family ... such a good group ... great warm cozy house ... bonz seems to have it all ... and when I noted that to her ... she rolled those eyes she loves to roll so much ... ah, homospaiens ... want want want ... funny ... her niece reminds me of a young shirley knight .. placid whip smart soft spoken ... works for the Times and does comedy ... could tell she was a journalist ... asked good questions and really wanted to hear the answers ... of course, we talked the issue of the summer ... and old times and how young women now are different ... and the Vietnam draft ... the sister women are sitting around the table when I get back ... I scare them at the screen door ... it works ... we read about byrdclifffe but mostly look at the pictures ... look forward to the reading later today and the Spahn Ranch ... aka Manson’s lair ... aka Brydcliffe Barn ... I just sent the house gang pictures of it ... lets put on a show in the barn and invite Judy and Mickey and Spanky and Alfalfa.

VIcky Devany
08/08/2016 2:07am

Monday early a.m. is cc'd in the other tab / comments sections; just froze here.

Vicky Devany
08/08/2016 2:16am

cont'd from Tab A* (Comments Section); post laptop freeze

So early;
So silent; other than the door (in Tab A*)
Fingers hover past 2 keys; energy of a house with this much energy and history;
More to say, to do, to decipher...
To remain compassionate, when others are not;
Yet - many others are, like Pema Chodron, teachers w/ hope; teachers who believe in edit later - we move docs around and around - ideas from our heads and hearts to desktops, laptops, recorders, legal pads; they Fly A_W_A_Y.

Paul Graham
08/08/2016 6:24am

Paul Graham
08/08/2016 1:15pm

monday ... 8/8 last morning here ... time to go home ... such a fun finale in the barn yesterday aka sphan ranch aka Manson lair ... Mark came on his cool motorcycle and about fifteen others and we put on a show that seemed to please ... bonnie’s dennis did my piece with A and it was silk smooth and and rang well and I love to stand in the back of the room and take in the wave of it all ... a clear sense of making something out of nothing .. .or as wallace likes to say (thanks to stephen s) a hat where there wasn’t a hat ... then folks back to the house and talk about this and that and of course the subject of the summer ... I love that Mindy loves his first speaker was the Duck Dynasty guy ... it is kinda impossibly wonderful ... and we drank and wallace brought over the leftover wine and eats and told us that he got kicked out of the Boy Scouts because he wrote to some mucky muck high up about there being far too much/excessive saluting of the flag. if he doesn’t get that down in a play I will. felt full circle something big yesterday ... ending as I began a half century plus ago ... doing a play in the garage ... making something with sibs ... so lovely, the time here ... on many levels ... I’ll count the ways in days ahead ... peace to us.

Mindy Pfeffer
08/10/2016 6:26pm

Two days after our last day - finally! I'm blogging...
Well - a little anyway...
Just read through all the entries - beautiful, inspiring, sad, sad to be finished with the wonderful experience it was. But happy to have had it Like so many things in life.
Thank you to everyone. I think we all (I hope anyway) got what we hoped for, whatever that was. For me, Yes, I finished a draft of my one-person play. Still work to be done but it's a great great start.
I look forward to continuing the journey, personally, professionally, wish I could think of another "p" word but can't!
To close for now, grateful to have had that amazing time in the woods, in the house, with the company, the work, the food, even the insects. Well maybe not the insects... But maybe yes. It's all part of the experience.
Look forward to continuing on the path with all!

Vicky Devany
08/10/2016 11:48pm

Good morning All! The muse arrived at 2:00 a.m. sharp; she is wide awake and says: "Have you heard about "Happy Days" ?"
Thanks to the retreat for meals, laughter, thoughtful ideas / input and energy. I will let you know where and when I will be blogging next, perhaps even here if my supervisor approves...?! if you happen to see this and have any questions or answers, which are shed in a positive light, please contact: Good Morning Moon! Eat vegetables, vote, be kind, especially to children and to yourself, Never Give U....P! There are miracles everywhere. & did I mention about "Happy Days"~~?!!

08/11/2016 3:33am

Happy Days will be amazing.

08/24/2016 1:28pm

Can't believe that the retreat ended over 2 weeks ago...and since then so much has happened. But wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude to Wallace and to my fellow playwrights for making it a wonderful and memorable experience! I have a bunch of fun photos to remind me of the good times, and I also was able to get some new work done, both as a writer and producer:)
And as a performer--from reading a new piece at New World Cafe with Victoria and her goats to the wonderful improv dates--having worked professionally performing improv for many years, I was truly impressed by everyone's truthful and funny and occasionally moving and FUNNY work! It was a feeling of ensemble--true we all know each other pretty well now, but there was no competitive edge to the work, which was so refreshing. And then our public reading, where I was honored to read new, hot off the press work by Paul--God's Wallet (with a really talented local actor), Nia (lovely piece about being young and free in NYC...hmmm:), Vicky (another highly relatable piece), and we all read Victoria's new piece about waiting, developed from her poetry and our improv. Mindy read from her delightful Ironman play, and I read a short story, 'Thursday: Big Hair, Talking Orchids', which was met with appropriate laughter and delight--lots of good feedback.
Funny that none of us slept hear every step in Eastover, and throughout the night into the early hours, there was always someone awake--though Nia and I battled it out for who could sleep the latest. And I saw my friend Jolene, who is based in L.A., and her theatre, Actor's Art, was my home when I lived (I'm on the West coast now--it took 3 thousand miles and 2 weeks to get me to blog (my first ever, btw). Jolene has a gorgeous B&B near Saugerties, with actual faeries cavorting in her woods. And we visited the ever-lovely Noni, and had a tour of their beautiful 'estate'. Even got to say hi to my buddy Paul in his new liquor store in Kingston. Didn't get to swim or frolic in the woods too much, but had some awesome country rain, and I always love hanging in Woodstock.
And Wallace--bummed I wasn't able to see Happy Days, I know it was amazing. But did get to see our illustrious leader and spend some quality time with him and Scott.
Oh, and the gift basket that I won from Sunrise Market, woo hoo!
Cheers, y'all, can't wait to do it again...


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