Sunday, January 04, 2009

Short stories you probably read in high school

Well. That was the most pleasant run I think I will have for a while. Weather's getting fugly.

Distance: 5 miles
Temperature: 36 degrees
Weight: 155 lbs.

Listening to: PODRUNNER Classic - Playing To Your Strength (171 BPM)

We are moving into those mixes which were released as I began training for the 2006 marathon - and began listening to Podrunner (big ups, Karl.) Really looking forward to those, some I even listen to just 'cause.

A theme that runs (heh) through the play is short stories I read Senior year in high school. There's a character in the play named Mr. Abraham (just to give him a name, no one calls him that) who is based on my English teacher, Mr. K.

Mr. K. just retired from my alma mater, he was there, what 38 years? I think he started in 1970, a young man then, one of several of my teachers who claimed who have attended Woodstock. I don't know, maybe he never made this claim, he seemed like the one about whom it was most likely true.

A very tall man, he was a track coach and is a marathon runner many times over. A soft-spoken man, I had to turn the character in this play into something not like him. He's there to convey certain bits of info about running, and to speak set the stage for the several classic 20th century stories which will be referenced in the play - all, it may not surprise you, written by white guys.

Why make literary allusion? Because they were all there, in my head, as I trained for that race. The Machine Stops, To Build A Fire, The Swimmer - each one about man vs. the elements or his own nature, or anti-nature ... they just came up, pretty much where they do in the play. And we covered them all in Mr. K.'s class.

This morning I had to truncate Mr. Abraham's big scene. It disappointed me a little, because I had to make him more of a didact, and remove most of his connection to his students. But it's a shorter scene, a more coherent scene, I dare say, a better scene. It worked better tonight.

Original word count: 12,535
Today's word count: 12,113

Can we dip below 12,000? Will it really make a difference?

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