I'm changing gears now, temporarily, and working today on writing new pages for the new full-length play I'm working on. I have workshop tomorrow morning at 10am, and would like to have something to bring in. I've been thinking about the play, and doing a bit of research -- reading a rather dry book on Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It's not great, so I've begun to skim. I've pulled out two other books to re-read that I know will be a better help to me -- one is called Trauma and Recovery, by Judith Herman, and the other is An Evil Cradling, by Brian Keenan. T&R is an excellent book on the psychology of trauma, how it affects people and how they work to find themselves again afterwards, very accessible for a layperson like myself and great for character work. An Evil Cradling is Keenan's story of his five years as a hostage in Beirut in the 80's. It was a book I found and read when I was doing research for Heads, and it feels appropriate to return to it now. Not only is it a wonderful, powerful book -- but what I'm working on is a sequel to Heads, the further adventures of Michael Apres, who is trying to come to terms, so it seems right to read this book again, which is about being a hostage, but also about trying to become human again after. He begins the preface this way:
I think it was DH Lawrence, speaking about the act of writing, who said that writers throw up their sickness in books. So it is with this work.
During my captivity I, like my fellow hostages, was forced to confront the man I thought I was.... Ultimately, not everything can be told. Each man experienced his imprisonment in his own way. Each man selected and chose his own truths.
and later said:
But enough of this writing about writing. It's time to WRITE. See you soon.