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So, today was the day.

The Mystery Festival.

Today, I walked up to the semi-outdoor assembly hall at my nieces' school and saw a dozen actors perform the play I'd written to - I'm terrible at estimating numbers - some 300? 500? students. I had no idea how many changes they'd made since I dropped it into their laps before heading off overseas (well, slightly after, actually, but that's beside the point to a deadline-driven person). Not too many changes, really, and all of them for the better.

One of the funnier changes I'd been sure they made at the time, in fact, was actually in the original script and I'd just forgotten it. (Speaks to my state of distraction at signing off, really because, including this one, I could count the number of things I've been wrong about in remembering my own work on one finger.)

Most of the jokes went over their heads. Most of them had no idea why Archimedes insisted on suggesting taking a bath as the solution to all problems, or why Fettuccini declared participating in the race an offer he couldn't refuse. But certainly more than enough of the humour - mostly stuff I'd worried was trite! - hit the mark to get the big laughs, and... well, with the addition of their teachers in the roles doing ridiculous things, the kids just plain loved it.

The film I took is of particularly low quality (all due respects to the parents-in-law's excellent camera), features an absurdly heavy thumb on the zoom, and records the sound of a couple of aeroplanes that passed overhead at inopportune moments better than the voices of the actors, but still. I can see that it won't be deleted from my hard drive for quite some time.

The comittee had organised some extremely cool experiments to work out who'd cheated - from urine testing for banned substances, to dropping scrapings from the competitors shoes into a candle to see if they'd picked up any iron filings while running through the forge en route. The plasticine models they used to matching the watermark on a boat which seemed to have been used to take a shortcut with the weights of various competitors were particularly impressive.

I must say I think the most suspicious part of the whole play was Archimedes' heavy Italian accent. Sadly, that turned out not to be a clue at all - it was certainly geographically closer that most accents the kids would have heard to Greece. :) The Inspector turned out ever so slightly gay instead of British - an easy mistake to make, I guess. Harecules was definitely the biggest hit with the kids, despite having only about five lines - he kept coming out in different big silly wigs, spent about fifteen minutes straight pumping hand weights in the background, and was, after all, one of their teachers pretending to be stupid.

But the thing that was most surreal was turning up to be introduced around by the organiser as "the playwright" (I'd kind of been referring to myself as "the person who wrote the play", which doesn't have quite the same ring). To be told over and over that they really hoped I could do next year's play as well. To watch people I'd never met interpreting the roles, flawlessly delivering the lines I'd written, using the characters' names without any hesitation or realisation that I could have just as easily chosen something else, because they'd somehow become invested in these characters that started life inside my head.

Yeah. That was kind of cool. :)
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5:15 in the morning is too early for anything, let alone the beginning of a 36 hour day, sixteen hours of which was spent sitting in exactly the same spot, and another eight and a half in queues of various description.

I did, however, finish off the Mystery Festival. One of my favourite characters (the mafia guy who threatens your stuffed toys if you fall behind in your loan repayments) has unfortunately been gutted (and not in a mafia sense, either), but the Inspector was very useful in changing the whole way everything worked. Not entirely thrilled with the results, but it's at least done. So I guess the answer is: yes, I can do a bodge-job if I'm kept to the task by the ticking down of my laptop battery and kept from getting distracted by being strapped in an economy seat for thirteen hours. :P

There was a section of turbulence for the LA-Chicago leg, which was quite fun indeed - there were people yahooing and so on like a rollercoaster - although the worst thing about the entire trip was that someone was leaning on the hostess call-button throughout the entire descent, so the bell was going "ding... ding... ding... ding..." AARGH!

By the time we’d arrived in Chicago towards the end of a very strange day, Macca's (or as we see on the signs over here “Micky D’s”) was seeming like a good option for dinner. A quintessential American restaurant, maybe, but perhaps not the best of plans on a stomach already vaguely queasy from flying. So, instead, we decided on barbecue ribs. :P Then we wandered around taking photos of the pretty lights.

Picspam! )

We’ve just crossed from winter to summer, and that’s why it seems so ridiculous to be freezing our rear ends off. We poor Brisbanites knew it was going to be cold, but we're such wusses at 10C! Hopefully it won’t get much colder than this, or we’ll have no jumpers left to put on on top of one another. :)
thewhitelily: (Default)
G'bye everyone!

Plane to US leaves tomorrow at crack of dawn (ie. 11am, which is the crack of dawn when you allow for customs, etc.)

Software is not bug-free and Mystery Festival play is not finished. Have left a mostly awesome version of the former for the final preparation before the demo and the latter is about halfway done and I've at least got the story sorted. I'm planning to finish the play on the plane and email from [livejournal.com profile] iviolinist's.

When *that*'s done, I'll be on holiday. Am I capable of doing a bodge job to get it finished? We shall soon find out.

Ack

May. 13th, 2008 11:19 pm
thewhitelily: (Default)
Have noticed a bereft wail of despair polite poke from [livejournal.com profile] humble_mosquito about my disappearance from the face of the Internet, so am here with a Lily Update.

Headaches still around. Drugs to knock me out through the peaks mostly working. Have discovered that aspirin, which we generally haven't had in the house because Hubby's allergic, actually puts me back on my feet when the pain's at a medium level, where paracetamol and ibuprofen seem to have negligible effect. Have also discovered the hard way that skipping lunch at the same time as the morning's aspirin wears off is a REALLY bad idea.

Off to North America on Thursday week. Looking forward to it in a massively big way. Have a passport in posession, and check its continued existence at least once a day. Have booked flights, car, and all accomodation except for one night where we still haven't heard back from the client we're hopefully visiting. Hubby is freaking out over the travelling already, which is not a good sign, and am providing sincere but stern sympathy.

Am working like a crazy person trying to get my current project ready for the demo that will be leaving on a tour of Europe while I'm away. Am having a surprising amount of fun working in a team of three, where we have to keep fighting over who has the files checked out, rather than the usual arrangement where we each work on fairly disparate modules. Have reaquainted Hubby with the fact that changing the position of a variable typecast from double to single may well be provide a miniscule performance improvement, but is not a sufficiently urgent reason to make me pull out of a difficult major architecture restructure. Am also having a great deal of fun doing stuff that's technologically, functionally, and graphically cool, in a generic way that will mean that even clients not using this new area of tech will benifit in their own areas.

Have completely pushed Remix from my mind. Remix? What Remix? Surely we always knew this would happen.

Editing: reached 25%, then see Remix. Actually, pretty pleased with this. Seriously shows the potential of Return to Sender, and gives me a much better idea of how fast I can realistically edit a nanovel when I'm not driving myself crazy. Am now aiming realistically for next year's Vogels.

Have had the Mystery Festival play returned for edits. They loved it: it's funny and just right. Would I mind modifying it so that all six people run the race but five of them cheated. Oh, and they've heard I'm going overseas next week and they need to start rehearsals ASAP, so could I have it done before I go? Not really whinging about this one, because I knew they would ask me to change things, only I totally am because they are ZOMG DESTROYING MY CREATIVE VISION [/melodrama]. *sigh*

I need a holiday.
thewhitelily: (Default)
So, I've finished my play for the Mystery Festival.

It's been an interesting experience: my first attempt at a play, and my first attempt at writing something to quite a restrictive set of guidelines. I think I've decided I'd very much prefer to stick to prose, in general - dialogue comes complete with tagging in my mind, and it's very difficult to refrain from putting in the surroundings to whatever I manage to make people say.

The hardest thing's been ending it. I'm very particular about my endings, and usually they're just what I want because I rewrite them enough times that they're perfect - but this one's been pretty much devoid of inspiration.

In any case, I've finished. I promised a few people I'd send it when I was done - is anyone still interested?
thewhitelily: (Default)
Some people find the blank page intimidating. A whole empty white page, staring at you, with nothing on it but possibility.

Not me.

I have a short attention span, but as long as I prevent myself from alt-tabbing away from a blank page for long enough, it ends up with writing on it. Lots of writing.

My problem is the imperfectly filled page. (tl;dr) )

This year I have a great deal on, writing wise. First of all, there’s the personal commitment I’ve made to submitting a manuscript to the Australian Vogel Award this year. (Deadlines = Love) I haven’t yet decided whether it will be Return to Sender or Cloud Castles. Given the above, I’m going to have to work pretty hard on at least one of them to bring it to a standard where I’m willing to let it out of my sight in just over four months time.

At the moment, I’m procrastinating. I’m supposed to be writing a play for my nieces’ school’s Mystery Festival: a humourous whodunit that concludes with each one of six suspects looking equally guilty. I’ve got almost two pages of it written, out of about ten – after which it will need editing. It’s simple enough now that I’ve got a multi-layered plot with a cast of seedy characters. It’s easy, it’s fun, I’ve got stacks of fantastic ideas, and it’s good procrastination for getting stuck into my more serious manuscripts.

Still, I’m having trouble focussing. I should be gazing at the empty third page of the Mystery Festival play, staring it down long enough that, to prevent me from dying of bordom, the creative juices will start to flow and sweep me up into that literary orgasm of productivity that will result in another few pages of script.

Instead, I’ve opened up a second word document, where I’m writing endless pointless introspections on my psyche and personality traits. Such as procrastination.

Speaking of which, my apologies for randomly disappearing for a six weeks once again. I’ve been rather overwhelmed by life: since we last spoke I’ve attended to Hubby’s grandma’s funeral, hosted the Lily Family Christmas Spectacular starring nine children under ten and a chocolate fountain, maintained an incredibly high level of productivity at work, broken down at Hubby under the strain and threatened to move to Sweden for a year, mopped up the remains of a two-foot deep flash flood in the office, and generally continued running at top efficiency in procrastinating writing.

Hmmm. Time to get back to it, I guess.

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