Well, I suppose I’m cruisin into a new world. There’s lots to tell. It’s seven a.m. and I still have to pack for a family reunion trip and we gotta be out of here by ten. I’m not sure why I’m shoving into my limited time writing my blog – but I feel like it, and so here goes…
So. I left my job. Yes, I quit. No more Desperate Housewives. I completed thirteen episodes and will not consult on the last ten. But it’s not because I didn’t love the job, LOVE the people, and the show. It’s because…well – I went to New York and did ten shows of Letting Go Of God. And it was really stupendous. I had the best time. I missed doing the show and the audiences were so fantastic. I felt, with every fiber of my being, that I just had to go to New York with the show in a bigger way – to a real off-Broadway theater and do a proper run of the show. It feels so right. The time seems right. Things have changed so much, even since I opened the show a year and a half ago. For example, when I opened my show here in Los Angeles, and I got to the part where I talk about Intelligent Design, I felt that about 30% of the audience knew what I was talking about. But now, EVERYONE knows what I’m talking about. Absolutely everyone. It seems like the topic of religion is exploding right now, all over the place. And I really, really, really want to be doing my show.
Also, I had an epiphany while I was in New York about my book. I was having all kinds of trouble finishing the book. I couldn’t get the tone right, I couldn’t figure out how to write about my Bible Study class for example and not infuse that part with everything that I now know about the Bible, how it was put together, who decided what books were where, how the translations were done. But I didn’t know that when I was taking the Bible study class. I was just reading it for face value. Anyway, this has been a stumbling block for me. And it’s caused all kinds of havoc. My publisher is giving up on the book and basically so was I.
But then – I was at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York looking at this Prague exhibit (I love Prague, oh how I miss Prague – even though I spent just about a week there five years ago or so) and I picked up a book by a writer that I didn’t know. His name is John Banville and he wrote a short little book about Prague called, “Prague Pictures: Portrait of a City,” I’d never heard of him. He’s an Irish writer. I am now completely shocked that I hadn’t read him! Anyway, I was absolutely and completely seduced by his writing. I could never write as well as he does, but I suddenly felt, while reading this little book, that I could write my book. He had the key. His book goes in and out of history of the Czech Republic and his personal story about Prague and art and people and oh! Oh! Oh!
Then, I was at the airport heading back to Los Angeles (I went back and forth for three weekends in a row – working in L.A. at Desperate Housewives and then doing shows over the weekend in New York – it wasn’t so bad actually, I thought I’d be more exhausted) and I was in the airport bookstore and I looked over a table of books for sale of wonderful writers, many of whom are even friends of mine: David Sedaris, David Rakoff, Al Franken – and I was caught up in a sudden unexpected surge of ambition! I want my book to be there! I can write this book! I can! I can!
And I knew right then and there that I had to go back to L.A. and quit and spend the next four months (or more) finishing this book.
So that’s what I did. And that’s what I’m going to do. Then I want to shoot this movie and then take the show to New York for a Fall opening. Of course, I have no idea if I’m going to be able to swing all this, but I feel I am on a mission. And I’m so excited about it. I can’t wait to get started.
But I’ll have to wait a little bit. Because Mulan and I are headed out this morning to go on a Celebrity Cruise around the Western Caribbean (as far as I can tell we are touring the Hurricane Rita path starting in Galveston) with our family – my brother, his wife and kids, my aunt, my mother and my brother’s wife’s family. We return in a week and then I’m repainting my office, getting everything in order, and then starting full time on the book in January. My last day at Desperate was on Wednesday and they were all so cool about my decision. Most of them have seen my show and are really supportive about it. And even though it’s scary – like I’ve woken up three nights in a row at two a.m. in paralyzing fear about money – I also feel absolutely confident that somehow it’s all going to work out well. I am dedicating all of 2006 to Letting Go Of God – I must make this movie this year and open the show in New York. And the CD will be ready soon, I met with Robert (my producer of the CD) last night and everything is going according to plan. The big time-taker on the CD front could be getting the rights to the music I use in the show, but it’s all in the process of being handled.
So, now I gotta pack. And I know this blog is all blurting and blathering and repeating. But I have no time to edit! But I will tell you what I’m bringing on the trip to read:
1.) John Banville “The Shroud” (I immediately went on Amazon and ordered every single thing John Banville has ever written. And his last book won the Booker prize – something with “Sea” in it. I will probably receive that book in the mail while I’m gone. And now I keep mentioning him to people and they know about him. How did I not know about him!?! He’s my literary muse now. He’s absolutely the most hypnotic writer, his sentences take my breath away, it’s like music. I often have to put the book down and swoon after a passage.
2.) “Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand” by Leonard Peikoff. It’s terrible and astonishing that I have not read any Ayn Rand. I think I was put off by her maniacal (it seems to me – in my ignorance) free market solutions to all problems. But I am ready to give her a try and so many people have come to my show and mentioned her – it’s really a sin that I haven’t read her yet.
3.) “Swann’s Way – In Search Of Lost Time” by Marcel Proust. Well – of course I want to read that! I mean, duh. I just got a new translation by C.K. Scott Moncrieff and Terrence Kilmartin revised by D.J. Enright – the whole six volumes. I am going to try to read one hour a day of Swann’s Way, and then head into other things.
4.) “The Ape In The Corner Office” by Richard Conniff. I am actually almost done with this book and I want to reread part so of it and then give it to my brother. It’s hilarious and interesting and it’s fun to read. I recommend it highly.
Mulan is in heaven because her two cousins (my brother’s children who are identical twins, turning five while we are out at sea) are going to be at her side every single minute.
I can take my computer on the cruise, so maybe I’ll find time to blog from there. Oh my god, I have to pack. And there’s so much to do!