...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.