I’m trying to take myself seriously. I was astonished that I could finally get into a responsible routine of physical workouts, and going to the gym 6 days out of 7 in the morning is a complete 180 from my previous inability to stick to anything. The current challenge is to do this with writing the memoir. I have an Everest confronting me here.
Conrad writes like a demon, day after day, on a clear schedule. It’s daunting to imagine constructing something like that for myself, but if I don’t, I’m gonna crap out on this important task.
Conrad has a writing problem: he has an itch. He can’t write in any one place for very long. His current strategy is to go to the gym, then to the coffee house with his homemade cannon-ball muffin, then maybe to the library for a while, and finally home about noon, acompanied by his trusty iPad.
A couple of years ago, he constructed a very elegant desk retreat for himself on one side of our studio. Big trapezoidal desk, office chair, lamp, the whole nine yards. It never took off for him. But now it’s become mine.
I took my pink Himalayan salt lamp out there, set up our tiny Lear speaker system in tandem with my iPod, and set a little space heater at the corner of the area. When we created Frankenstein I made some backstage lights that used very low-wattage bulbs, like night-lights. I grabbed one out of storage and set up a ghost-light. This is one of the most romantic images I have of theatrical stages, the solitary bare bulb on a stand at the center of the stage that is left lit when everybody goes home. Finally, we have a ghost-light in our studio.
So I’ve gotten through one whole week of writing in the studio from 10 to noon. Big deal, but it’s a start. There’s something about the ceremony of entering the pitch-dark space with that tiny amber ghost-light in faithful attendance, setting a small thermos of hot water beside the laptop, turning on the audio (currently ancient Armenian music), switching on the little floor heater, and sitting down to write.
I had an interesting span of dreams stirred up by inviting old buried memories to surface. Some mornings I wake up in a hot sweat, but others leave a complicated glow. The world around me is increasingly surreal, and I hope to put page after page into a path toward being grounded.