Friday, December 10, 2010

A Bit of Rant

I was reading on Huffington Post about Oprah and her NOT being a lesbian. WHO CARES?! Seriously folks what is the big deal if she is or is not a lesbian. Why can’t she just be really good friends with Gayle and have it be done there. Why must we make a mountain out of this mole hill? I think it stems from the politics of Oprah being a financially independent black woman. She has thrived in her career and has had a steady eddie by her side called Steadman. But the media can’t believe she doesn’t want to get married. So of course the insinuation must be made that she is a lesbian. Really?! Just because her prime focus is not marriage and kids does not make her a lesbian. It means she just has different goals than the prescribed social standards. Oprah has gotten as far as she has in her career because she’s driven and focused. Please let the topic rest.

There are more important things to contend with like: What solutions can we come up with for the millions of people who are starving not just in third world countries but this country as well? Or how can we get clean drinkable water to the millions that go without? Or how can we stop violence not just on a community scale but on a global scale? Shouldn’t that be discussed? Don’t those issues merit more contemplation and more media coverage? I’ve heard people say how depressing the News is in the evening and I finally figured out why it’s depressing…because all these negative images fill us with hopelessness. We become so overwhelmed with the global scale of the problems BUT the media needs to start covering some of the solutions being tested and tried throughout our communities. Seriously!! People need to see what is working. It might inspire someone to help. It might give someone else an idea for another solution. We need to start building up possibilities for change.

I read about more billionaires are going to give away their wealth in the near future to charities. That’s really great but the sole responsibility does not sit on the shoulders of the rich. (Don’t get me wrong, distribution of wealth and resources are needed). However, we, as human beings, are responsible for each other and I’m not going to hold my breath and wait for the money gods to rain down some solutions when WE (all of us) can do something in our own small way. Every person from every walk of life has the ability to make changes that contributes to the well being of others and in the spirit of the holiday season I hope we all find a calling. Peace, L~

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2010 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Bright Day in December

Let’s see, for the past couple of days I’ve been dealing with a raging head cold. You know the kind, you’re so congested you feel like your head is made out of cotton balls and you’re submerged in water. Not fun at all. I missed a day and half of work. I’m temping so I don’t get paid if I don’t physically go into work. Hmmm. It’s fine. I mostly slept those two days and it was enough to get back on my feet by Wednesday. Well just barely.

I did manage to go to a networking social given by NYCEDC late Tuesday night, despite a mild fever. Now what the hell was I thinking? Part of me didn’t want to miss the opportunity. You never know what chance encounter will open up a new door. However, most of the time, I find myself struggling with some residual shyness. For the most part, I’m pretty outgoing but when it comes to these events you have to be ON. When I feel the pressure of being ON, I lose my words. I managed to introduce myself to a few people and get some business cards so a little high-five for me. I stayed for about an hour and a half and then this cold got the better of me. By the time I made it to the train to head home I had chills and a full-on fever. Bleck!! :-p Glad I went. I just wish I had been feeling a bit better to deal with the socializing aspect of it.

I also managed to write another 1,025 words for my novel. I know I haven’t been updating word count lately…but I haven’t been doing a whole lot of writing. There are no excuses. It’s just difficult to face the empty page every day. It really does (my eyes just popped wide open). Over the weekend I wrote a mere 500 words and felt pretty despondent over the meager word count. Yes, this is what goes on in my head, “meager word count.” It was so slow getting those 500 words that I thought to myself, “that’s it, I’m all dried up. I will never be able to finish this thing.” Then on Tuesday in a feverish state, I wrote another 1,000. Where did that come from? I don’t know but the prospect of not writing and finishing is a lot more painful than facing the empty page. So I choose the lesser of two evils. Gosh, what the hell am I prattling on about? Don’t I have work to do or something? (looking over my shoulder.) Aww heck, I can spare a moment or two to continue with this entry. These blog entries keep me grounded when I’m feeling a bit lost.

This morning, I walked out of my house to find a small group of starlings picking over my neighbor’s garbage (He has pet birds and plenty of bird seed in his garbage apparently). Now on most days it would be no big deal, right? But today, they were being loud and aggressive as they fought over the seeds and I clapped my hands loudly to get them to fly away. I tell you, hand to G*d, they just looked at me and then went back to squawking at each other. It made me laugh out loud, which then actually scared them away. Nice! Anyway, thought that little moment was made to be written down.

All for now…
Have a great day. It’s a bright, bitter cold day in NYC…you gotta love winter.

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2010 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.

Friday, December 3, 2010

fickle lover

I was a bit reluctant to do the reading last Monday night. You see my relationship with playwriting has changed so much in the past couple of years, I just thought why put time into this particular reading when I am so far from being a playwright these days. My sister and my friends encouraged me to just do it. It got me moving pretty quickly, I was able to wrangle up some actresses to play each of the parts, (thank you Rosanna Plasencia, Maria Rivera and Vicky) and it was great fun. Lots of wonderful, positive feedback afterwards. Even time to talk to other writers and talent during intermission.

I also heard great material from other playwrights at this event. Amy Fox’s piece really had me laughing as did James Armstrong’s piece. It’s lovely when you have the right combination of language and actors bringing your piece alive. I wrote earlier this year that I was putting aside playwriting so that I could work on other projects…after Monday night…I’m in love again. God, I love theater. I love when it works, I’m even amused when it doesn’t. Every time I think I’ve left it for good, I get drawn back in. I even came away with some ideas for possible future projects.

I’m smiling as I write these words because I’m sure I will work on my next play and be in tears when it doesn’t work. Be so frustrated with it I could spit nails. Yes, the act of writing plays has me in tears at times. I tell you it’s a love/hate affair. We have not been able to come to some common ground yet. I know I’m a control freak. I want the piece to be as beautiful in life as it is in my head. Alas, somewhere between my head and the paper it just kind of falls apart. Again, I laugh.

I’m still working on my novel, slowly but surely the words are coming out but I need to spend more time with it. This weekend will be some much needed quiet time to work on the story. I keep stopping myself because I want to bend the story a certain way and the inner voice is saying, “heck no!” It has its own story to tell so I guess I just need to allow it to come out.

Our words come to life…now that is sweetness. The love affair is far from over as I’ve jotted some ideas on the back of my script. The scratch, scratch, scratch of the next idea emerging. Mmmm.

If you would like to check out the plays, pick up a copy of Best American Short Plays 2006-2007 from Applause Theatre and Cinema Books. 

All artwork, photos, and text © Copyright 2008-2010 Liliana Almendarez unless indicated otherwise. All Rights Reserved. Any downloading, copying or use of images on this website is strictly prohibited without express written consent by Liliana Almendarez.