Thursday, March 19, 2009


The show is blocked. *insert big sigh of relief* Now I get to do all the fun stuff, the character stuff. We're running all of Act 2 tomorrow night and then next week we'll do Act 1 one night then Act 2 the next. It seems like we just started, but we're a little over a week away from running the entire show for the first time! We'll do some refining next week and will correct any small problems.

We have only 35 days until opening night, according to my counter! The theatre is completely clear of previous sets now and is ready for my set to be constructed. I think they're starting on that tomorrow.

not just yet

I went to the bookstore yesterday and paid special attention to books in the genre that Summer and the rest of that series will fall into and found some new publishers that were not in my Christian Writer's Market Guide or in my Writer's Market Guide. Both guides are a couple of years old, so maybe that explains it. I don't know, but I do know that this means I have some additional options. I'll explore those before doing anything else. We'll see what happens.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

research and editing

I'm still doing research into the possibility of print on demand for my inspirational romance stories. Based on the research I did before sending them off for publication, there are only a few publishers who carry this kind of story anyway, and all the ones I could find in the Writer's Market Guide have rejected the story. For the most part, form letters were involved, but one mentioned a scene that involves a description of something violent that happened in the past that they did not like. I think that's a little crazy since it's not graphic or anything, but that's the reason they didn't want to publish it. This scene is so important to the story that I can't change or cut it, so that's not even an option!

These publishers are all the ones who use mail order to sell their books. It's a book club setup and if you're in the book club, you get the books. If you are not in the book club, there really isn't a way to buy a certain book. Obviously, that's not ideal.

POD would give me the freedom to keep the stories the way I want them and will allow anyone to buy the books online. I'm still doing research on which company and I'm still trying to find other traditional publishers who would take this type of story, but I'm giving it until May and if I don't find any others to send it off to, I'm going with POD for this story and any that follow in this series. That way, I can keep my inspirational stories to POD and continue doing queries for my secular stories.

I worry just a little about the stigma of self-publishing, but then do the traditional publishers really have to know? I don't know. It's all so confusing and frustrating.

One good thing is, I've already got someone in place who will read and edit the book before I do anything else with it. She's freelance and is a friend, so I'm looking forward to working with her. She'll be the first person outside my family to read it.

I almost feel like POD is giving up. I mean, do I really want to rob myself of the excitement of being published for the first time by doing it myself? Do I need or want the validation that comes from being accepted?

But then again, do I want the story to sit on my computer for the rest of my life because it's not quite right for any existing publisher? There's a lot to consider.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

POD or something

I've been thinking a lot about doing some research into POD for a couple of my books. I've sent them off to every publisher that takes that kind of work and haven't had any good responses. Normally, I would say that must mean they are not very good and I should give up on them, but I really believe in them and want them "out there." Particularly Summer's Blossom. It's such a nice story with really good characters. I want people to get to know them. So I'm going to do some research and see what happens. The Writer's Life blog had a nice article about POD and its advantages and the process. They mentioned Lightening Source as their company of choice and gave a step by step description of the process. I want to be careful what I decide to do because I don't want to get caught in a scam of some kind, but I know there are legit ones out there and I will find the right one with lots of research and lots of questions to everyone I know who has done it before. I'm well aware of the PublishAmerica scam and have been a frequent visitor to Writers Beware, so I'm confident I can find the best company for my needs.

At this point, it's more about getting the book in print than making any real money doing it. I want family and friends to be able to buy it if they want and I want to give copies out for Christmas gifts this year.

One thing about POD and being your own publisher is that you do have complete freedom to do whatever you want to do. I can make it a series like I wanted and I don't have to follow any guidelines other than my own. That sounds really nice right now! Obviously, I'm not getting famous doing it this way, but I'm still trying the traditional route for other books. It's just this particular genre I want to try POD and see what happens with the others.

Anyway, that's something I'll be working on after Enchanted April closes and after we're finished shooting Crossroads. Seriously, my March, April, and May are going to be freaking INSANE!

Act 2 almost finished

Well, we finished blocking Act 1 last week and started on Act 2. The cast was doing so well I actually gave them some time off, which actually ended up being very good for me as well. We were going to rehearsal on Friday, but since we were ahead of schedule I backed off a bit and gave them that night off. We were only supposed to be through scene 1 by Thursday and we finished off scene 2. I had allotted two nights for each scene in Act 2 because of how much longer they are than the 9 scenes in Act 1, but there are only 4 and if we get them all finished in one night like we did with 1 and 2, we will be very ahead of schedule. My directorial advisor (I have one of those because it's my first experience directing and I asked if I could have an advisor in case I have problems or questions) said that I need to be careful not to let the play peak too soon because sometimes they lose their energy and freshness if you rehearse too much. I've never experienced that myself, but our cast for the last play did and by the end of it, you could tell they were tired of doing it over and over and over. Me, I would do a show every day for years and years if they would let me. Every show is different because every audience is different, but that's just the way I see it personally.

So anyway, to take his advice and to give everyone a little break, I cancelled Friday and Monday rehearsals and we were already scheduled for a night off on Tuesday, so that gave them a nice break. We'll be back on Wednesday for scene 3 and then Thursday for scene 4, giving us Friday to run all of Act 2 a couple of times. We will run the show for the first time next Monday, which is something I'm really excited about!

So on Friday, rather than going to rehearsal, I met my lead actress after work and we went wig shopping - spending a bit more than I wanted to but getting the perfect wig for her. We went to dinner and then to another community theatre for their production of The Foreigner. It was brilliant, by the way! We went because a friend was in it, as well as one of our cast members. They were both wonderful and it was a great show. We laughed so hard our sides hurt.

As we were leaving, we were invited to a cast party that evening, but because I had to be up at 6 to get to the Saturday film shoot on time and because she needed to get home before her husband sent out a search party, we didn't go. Today is their last show and I wish them the best with it! I'm looking forward to having my actor full time now that he is finished with this show. He's a delightful person and I think it's really going to be fun working with him.

So things with the show are moving right along. 40 days until opening night! Sounds like a long time, but also it sounds short, you know? Since we are in such good shape right now, I'm sort of waiting for the bad thing to happen. Hopefully it won't!

Shooting a film

Yesterday was the first shoot for the movie Crossroads, being filmed right here in Alabama by a friend of mine. He was in the last play at Theatre 98 and asked me to come in for a screen test. He offered me a choice of two parts and I chose the one I thought was most interesting. I'm really excited about this because it's my first time doing anything like it and we all know how much I like trying new things!

The shoot was interesting, to say the least! Most of it takes place in a forest where these people have set up camp and in the areas surrounding the camp. I was in one of the three scenes we shot yesterday.

The thing that struck me most was how VERY DIFFERENT filming is from theatre. I mean, I knew it was different, but it felt so strange. I have no problem at all acting in front of an audience. I get so much energy from my fellow actors and from the flow of the production and from the audience members. With film, especially one with a small crew like this one, there are not many sources of energy. Also, I generally get my sense of character during the rehearsal process, but with film you have to go in with that already. I hadn't done a lot of preparation as far as that goes, so I had to make something up on the fly!

I actually feel like I wasn't very good yesterday. I felt awkward with the camera so close to me and didn't really know what to do with my body or my eyes. The director said I did fine, but I think he was just being nice. I need to really focus on the next shoot and make sure I do better.

Overall, it's been fun so far and I'm looking forward to going again.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sunset on Mobile Bay

I took this photo last week at the Fairhope Beach. It was so pretty out there - the light had a quality I had never experienced before. Everything was pink and peach. It was like being in heaven!

Saturday, March 07, 2009

almost finished blocking Act 1

Yay! We are almost finished blocking Act 1 - just two scenes left and those are ones that we haven't been able to do because one of the actors in it has been in another show - which closes this weekend. I'll get those scenes blocked Tuesday and then all of Act 1 will be finished! We're really doing much better than I thought we would be at this point.

Last night we ran all the scenes we have done so far and it really was great. I had the actors who were not on stage sitting in all the extreme corners of the theatre because on a thrust stage with the audience on three sides (3/4 round) you have to be extra careful of the sight lines. That's what we focused on last night, to make sure the blocking doesn't... well... block anyone! We were pretty spot on for most of it, although there were a couple of places where we had to make some adjustments.

I'm still so impressed with the character work that's happening already. A few of them are already off book in some scenes, which is unheard of in community theatre. Well, at least in our community theatre!

We have the weekend off and then we do those two scenes and then - Act 2!