The Last Lap

I guess I’m continuing with the running theme…

So I’m at the tail end of this 4-week writing sprint, the same class I took last year around this time which resulted in this play I was pretty happy with.

I’ve got four days left to wrap the whole thing up. I’m supposed to get to page 40-50 by the end, ideally. Right now I’m at page 29, and last night I may have sliced and diced enough to pull me back to page 27.

So that’s like 5-6 pages a day for the next few days. Probably not gonna happen.

Also, as my son and I discussed, I’d rather have 5 quality pages of something than 50 pages of crap. So I’m struggling with that a bit, whether to just write for writing’s sake.

But maybe I’ll track here just to keep my honest and motivated.

Monday: Page 28 (being generous)
Tuesday: Page 30 (ugh, I know…)
Wednesday: 36
Thursday (by midnight): 38

All right, I sent in my 38 pages. I kept cutting stuff that wasn’t working and then had to just throw an ending on there. I wasn’t crazy about it, but there is some good stuff inside. Here’s what I wrote to Caridad:

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Big Decision: Hills or Flats

So I’m signed up to run this race in just under two months.

My friend Tom and I have to decide which of us is going to take which series of three legs that are left on the team (there are 12 of us running 216 miles in three days; I know, it’s totally nuts).

The choices are basically:

  • Run 3 long legs on level ground
  • Run 3 medium legs on hills

Here’s an example of one of the flat legs (the first):






And here’s the last of the hilly legs (rated WTH because the climb is about 1000 feet the last 2-3 miles):






Anyway, mulling all this. Part of me thinks hills would be more “fun” because it gives you some variety and a change of pace; and part of me thinks longer and flatter would just be… more pleasant… and less death-defying.

Stay tuned! (or don’t; I probably won’t write about the decision)

BUT there is a little part of me that thinks if I’m going to run 22 miles in three days (the flat version) I might as well run another marathon at some point. Maybe in 2020? Hmm….

p.s. Yeah, those giant mosquitoes on the maps?? Frightening! (not sure what to make of them either)

BREAKING: Kids are Cute


I was at a dinner party last week in south Austin, and the host has a five-year-old son who ended up going to bed about an hour into the event.

When he was all ready for bed, he came into the living room, grabbed my hand, looked up at me with his big eyes and asked me to come read a book to him.


So I went in his room and he spent a couple of minutes finding two books that he particularly wanted read: one about a kid who didn’t like being sad, and another about a circus train traveling the country.

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And Now it can be Told

For the past couple of months I’ve been raising money for a custom award for Christi Moore for the 20th Anniversary of ScriptWorks. She puts in a lot of time and energy for our organization without a lot of reward.

Through contact with our 150 members, I was able to get a bunch of donations and work with a woman named Ruth in Ireland (at an organization called Created) who commissions artists for custom-built sculptures.

This is the piece I was able to get, which was finished just a couple of weeks ago.

We gave it to our executive director last night, along with a generous gift certificate to a local spa.

Was another one of these labor of love things that took a fair amount of admin time, but went off well, and she was visibly moved.


And speaking of our 20th Anniversary, I’ve got a short play in this book (It’s Time from our 2014 showcase, about a couple of school teachers who have a long, shared, secret past).

I got a few autographs from other writers last night, but kinda forgot about doing it—then stumbled a little signing copies for others too. Obviously not very well-practiced for pseudo-stardom.

Anyway, it was a good time, an emotional and celebratory occasion.

To another twenty years!

I Guess Things Turned Out Okay

Another note to self:

The show on May 19th went really well, my fears of low attendance were unwarranted (we ended up with about the same number as the last two shows and had to pull chairs from offstage to seat everyone), everybody had a good time, and we raised more money than we expected.

The only thing I didn’t feel great about was that we ended up going over time, and there was some stress after 10pm about how to wrap it up as quickly as possible. Thanks to Jomo and the guys for understanding and cutting their set just a bit. That said, part of the reason we ran long (aside from my imperfect project management) is that people kept showing up late, it was festive, and people wanted to linger and drink and chat at intermission and no one really wanted it to end.

We ended up pulling in nearly $1400 between ticket sales and donations, and that’s enough to buy the damn washing machine, so… well done, everyone.

This (top) is one of my favorite photos from the show. That crazy dinosaur guy. I also like the behind-the-scenes shots we got (below) which remind me how we all pulled it together before curtain.

Also: getting a photographer was a great idea!*

All right, somewhere there are dozens of orphans who might have a slightly better (and cleaner) life soon.

Till next time (if there is a next time)….


* all photos by Rene Renteria Photography

UPDATE on May 26: per Robert’s blog, he got a couple of good donations on the heels of the benefit too, to bring the total to over $1700, which we’ll take credit for. Smiley face. So happy to hear it…

Tonight’s the Night

Yep, it’s here. Writing thank-you cards and stuff, trying to figure out whether to get programs together, and other information about the orphanage to hand out.

Guess there’s some technical stuff to sort too.

Whatevs. Totally not freaking out at all. So glad I stayed out late last night. No headache at all.

Anyway, here’s our Chronicle listing. Always kinda stuns me to see our stuff in there. Like it’s…. for real.

Also, here’s an awesome mini-washing machine that Marla found to hold the guesses of people tonight at intermission. Super cute, oh my gosh.

That’s all I got. Maybe an update later….

Note to my 2019 self

It’s five days before the show and this guy (pictured) is back. I don’t know why I do this to myself. What did Amy say last year around this time? Oh yeah: “You do too much.”

I can see it.

My hands aren’t shaking or anything, so that’s good.

Anyway, talent is lined up, people are helping, word is out.

We’ll get through it, I reckon.

And then, as Jules pointed out, I need to remember how this feels next time. So that’s kinda what this note is for. The insomnia, the anxiety, is it worth it? (maybe it is; see how it feels afterward; maybe you just get restless and need stuff like this)

Have a good time…

See you Saturday at 8pm. Or for a beer after. Maybe two…

My 20th Century Life

groovelily in the 90sMy friend Brendan unearthed this photo of us back in the late 90s when we were touring around the east coast and parts of the south in our band (that’s Val in the middle).

I miss a lot about those days, and all the experiences and cities and colleges we explored.

I just got rid of that shirt a couple years ago, I think, and probably the rest of those clothes too. Maybe I still have the socks.

Rock and roll.


May Day Mayday


GFT chairsOkay, so…

This May benefit I mentioned is sorta maybe coming together. The theater says they’re working to accommodate me, and Jomo and the guys say they’re in for playing.

At this point I’ve also got two storytellers who say they’re in.

Others on my list of performers include:

  • Two standup comedians
  • Another comedy group
  • Another musician
  • Possibly a remount of Pong: the Musical if the actors are available

I’ve got to get a date nailed down from the theater in the next 7 days or there’s no way I can pull it together (they’ve been too busy to give me a concrete one). But the fact that performers are already lining up is good.

I’ll also need some quick graphic art and marketing. This feels like one of those rush-job challenges on The Apprentice.

Potential titles for the show include:

  • Funny Not Funny
  • Washer for Kinshasa
  • Let’s Get Those Kids a Washing Machine
  • A Night of Random Stuff for a Good Cause

That first one struck me as a good idea today. Funny people helping to get stuff for an unfunny cause. Feedback? Thoughts? Can this come together in time? Will anyone show? Will youuuuuuuu???

(oh yeah, the need right now at the orphanage is for a washing machine instead of toilets, which is why the change in plumbing subjects)