Sunday, April 11, 2010

Another year older, and deeper in...

...well, no.  Actually, I'm feeling pretty good about things.

Birthdays, for me, have always felt like a good time to try to make a clear-eyed assessment of where I'm at, versus where I want to be.

Where do I want to be?  Writing the best possible plays I can figure out how to, preferably while making enough to keep a roof over my head and my cat in cat food.  Working with great people, if possible.

Where am I at?  Writing plays.  Making enough to keep a roof over my head and my cat in cat food.  Working with great people on a pretty regular basis.  How cool is that?

The last year has brought some lovely readings and productions of my work, awards, residencies and publications.  I've written some new short plays, and am deep into researching and writing a new full-length.  And I've been given the opportunity to quit my stable, sensible day job here in Los Angeles, and go write full time -- from September 2010 to May 2011, anyway -- as a Hodder Fellow at Princeton University.

I'm taking it.  I am seizing the freakin' day.  New Jersey, here I come.

Several things make this decision possible.  The love and support of friends and family.  The odd blessing of owning nothing.  The financial cushion that the Primus and Steinberg awards gave me (and may I thank them once again for their generosity!).  And a keen sense of my own mortality.

I have no idea what the coming year will bring.  Challenges and opportunities both, I'm sure!  But I'm ready to work harder than I ever have before, write lots, see new things, see some shows, meet new people and make the most of this new adventure.  (I think I'm ready.  I hope I'm ready...)


If the year to come is half as rich as this one has been, I'll count myself lucky.


PS:  If you're in New Jersey next year, please stop by and say hello.  I don't know anyone there, and I'm a little nervous!

PPS:  A special thank you to Samuel French, publishers of "Song of Extinction."  They've made me their "featured playwright" for the month of April.  Click to see an interview with yours truly, and to buy a copy of the play.


Gwenna Sebastian said...

Hey love- this is DC and I wanted to say congrats on being able to quit your job in LA and that you are coming up to NJ! Although I'm not there, I'm not far in upstate NY.

Happy birthday to you as well- what an incredible birthday present that you will be able to realize something so wonderful- to be able to write full time and be paid enough to do it.

Let me know when you get to this side of the coast- I hope we can maybe meet up sometime. :)

Mel said...

How exciting! That will be an amazing experience. No more fighting LA traffic on a daily basis, just immersing yourself in the writing and the campus. You'll have to get used to real weather again. :) I just ordered a copy of "Song of Extinction" - and how nice to be the featured playwright. Great head shot, too!

NoHoJax said...

Such a fantastic interview, Ellen. I'm so pleased and proud to have you as a friend (and co-workshop taker).

EM Lewis said...

Hi, DC and Mel! Thank you for your good wishes. I'm super excited about this new adventure! Giving up traffic and gaining weather sounds like a wonderful trade-off right now .

Jackie-- thank you, and I'm glad you liked it! I always find it so hard to talk about my plays. It's easier to write them -- and that's saying something, because that ain't easy either! Hugs to you.