"North Star Children" update + Festival of Books live-blog?!

North Star Children

Two things.

thing 1:

Last week, I finished a play at three in the morning, and the rest of the week felt like I had joined the cast of The Walking Dead. As one of the walkers. Or as an extra who get killed within the first five minutes. Because... zombie Sam.

There was a joke in there somewhere.

The play is North Star Children (working title) and it's for my Playwriting II class. If you want to know more about it, you can read/skim the blog post I wrote last month about the idea.

I'm about to start revising it, and it's a little bit daunting. I've written one-act plays before, but never a full-length (the difference being that a full-length is... double the length/two acts rather than one. I know. It's aptly named), so I'm not so sure how to go about rewriting.

The writing process was completely different than that of one of my novels/short stories. I was just letting my characters talk, so I now have what is basically a "talk piece" on my hands... but I'm okay with that.

This play was never going to be about plot—if that were the case, it would have been a screenplay. It's a play about young people navigating relationships and life without much action (besides the random rescuing of a cat trapped on the roof. As I write this post, I have a cat on my lap... so I guess it's pretty easy to see where I got my inspiration). Right now it touches on many different issues, but doesn't get into any of them very deeply.

I started writing Children with the idea that each character came up to this mountain cabin with a lot of baggage. Heavy baggage—mental illness, drug addiction, and finding your worth in the aftermath of abuse are only a few examples. And while I think they came through in the writing of the first draft... now it's time to fully explore them.

The last thing I want to do is to touch very lightly on a few of those things and not be able to do them justice. I need the funny (hopefully) banter to keep the tone light—because I always want the focus to be on the light, and not the darkness—but I also want this play to be made up of scenes that aren't afraid of the messy, the brokenness, the hurt.

I've made a patchwork play. Scenes are out of order, monologues are crammed together in awkward sequences... it looks more like a lumpy rug than it does a tapestry.

But that is such a good thing, because that makes it even easier to shift scenes around and rework them and delete them and smooth them out. Beat out the lumps. Soon. *taps fingers together*

Still, I finally took that short story I wrote two years ago and made it into what I originally wanted it to be. Which makes me happy, and grateful—because my Playwriting II classmates showed me so much undeserved support when I was bringing in my first draft scenes and overwritten monologues and making them read them every week... I'm sorry, guys. My classmates are just really cool.

(Also... this means that I'll be getting back to Cure Me soon. Y'know... that novel I started way back when and then put on hold? That one.)

thing 2:

The LA Times Festival of Books is next weekend on the USC campus as usual, and tickets were released this morning at 9 AM on the website. I had an alarm set and everything to remind myself to GET ONLINE and GET DEM TIX, but when I got there...

...all of the panel tickets to see John Green (The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska) were SOLD OUT.

The only panel that was sold out. The ONLY ONE.

My nerdfighter heart is crying. How dare you come to my school and not let me love you, John Green. How dare you.


However... I did get tickets to see Veronica Roth (Divergent), Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak, Wintergirls), Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor & Park, Fangirl), Laini Taylor (Daughter of Smoke and Bone), and more! So I'm still, like, ridiculously excited.

I'm debating live-blogging it, like I did for Comic Con... but I figured I'd ask you guys. Would you be interested in another half-crazed post involving a bunch of authors' intelligent comments plus me fangirling all over the place like the biggest YA book nerd you've ever seen?

Take a look at the Comic-Con live blog I did this past summer before you answer that. I may even end up getting into John Green's panel, if I line up super early. So there's that added incentive.

Thoughts? Suggestions? Bribes?