A Wild Rumpus

sendakYesterday would have been Maurice Sendak’s 85 birthday. As  with many of my favorite childhood authors, he wasn’t a favorite of mine until I was an adult.

As a child, Where the Wild Things Are, was one of my favorite books for its surface story. Who wouldn’t want to be escape on a wild adventure and come home to hot supper?

But what I didn’t appreciate, what I couldn’t appreciate then in my childish state of mind was that Sendak did what so many fail to. He was a subversive and an unique voice  able to capture the needs of his audience.

Even when I didn’t understand the complex emotions in Where the Wild Things Are, I could feel them. He, like many children authors, understood the complex working of a child and that there are some very dark feelings in childhood which need to be explore. It isn’t always a moral world of joy.

In honor of his birthday, I have complied a wild rumpus of links:

1) Check out his books, maybe buy a few. (And not just Where the Wild Things Are. I personally love In The Night Kitchen which was banned for many years because of an illustration of a naked child. )

2)  Watch one of his last interviews. (Bonus Stephen Colbert is always hilarious.)

3) Read an article about his “scary”  work

4) Find out10 interesting facts about the man

5) Hear Sendak speak about childhood

And lastly

6) Write your own piece inspired by Sendak!

Now on to the wild rumpus!

Art Appreciation

My play, “Art Appreciation,” played last weekend in Delavan with Praireland Theatre Co.

After the rain on Friday, I was worried that the entire weekend would be flooded. However, the staff and city worked hard to clean and drain the park, and by Saturday afternoon, we were ready to go.

ImageThe show consisted of four plays by three local playwrights. This was also the first full-on production of my play “Art Appreciation.” (It previously had a read-through in Peoria.)

The crowd was sparse but enthused, and I, gathered with my small posse of fans, eagerly awaited my words to come to life.

Soon I was rewarded. It was a wonderful performance and I was very pleased with how the actor’s interpreted the text. The play explores art and meaning. And as I often write, I leave a fair amount of ambiguity in my characters.

Art Appreciation With that, it’s always interesting to see how actors interpret my words. This cast read it very differently than the Peoria cast and it was amazing to see what different light they shed on my work.

It was an amazing night and I am so thankful that the theatre decided to perform my humble play.

And now it is time to go back to writing and creating.

A side note as well, I am always open for productions of my work, and if you would like to take a look at this or any other of my plays, please message me. I would be happy to oblige.

Wanted: Something new

When I think of writers, I think of the lone wolf. A slinky man with a bottle of  Whiskey in one hand, and a typewriter in the other or a woman softly spilling her blood on paper, wistfully looking through a window to a dimly lit corner street.  While  others are out and about, we writers are burning the midnight oil by the soft neon glow of  my laptop. It can be, at times, a lonely business.

But, every so often, we as writers need to come out of our dusty corners, let our fingers rest and restore ourselves to humanity.

This is where I’m at. I have several solitary projects I am working on, but I feel a longing, a yearning to find something new, something collaborative,  a writing circle with online friends, perhaps, writing for another blog, heck maybe starting up a fledgling journal….

So my friends, if you come by any opportunities or want to start one up with me, please let me know. Either here or through email (reestanf at gmail .com)

Peace n love my friends.


And the theatre flooded…..

My play, “Art Appreciate” was suppose to play last weekend with the Praireland Theatre company. However, the rains threatened this. As the heavens opened up on Friday, I received the news that the night’s performance was canceled.

Flooded stageAs you can see the stage was completely flooded! Now comparison to the massive flooding and tragic consequences of such rains, a cancelled play is but a speck of dust to God, still, I’ll admit, I was disheartened to hear the news and comforted myself with several ice cream sandwiches.

The question soon became, would the rain continue? And even if it didn’t, could they dry the stage in time for the next two shows (on Saturday and Sunday.)

As I waited to hear the news, I realized how much I had been longing to see my work performed again and that a few months between performances was just much too long! There is a special kind of loneliness found when you’re a writer with no work being performed/published….. And it has made me more determined to stick to a better writing schedule for my plays (alas I get distracted with side projects much too easily.)

As luck would have it, they did clear the stage in time. I will share the pictures I took and the story of the performance with you later this week when I have more time for an entry.

I guess what they say is true, in theater expect the unexpected!

All you needed to know you learned when you were five

Here is a list of popular sayings or “Seuss-isms” from
Theodore Geisel “Dr. Seuss” (1904 – 1991) author and illustrator. You’ll notice that this is a pretty good list of lesson you need to learn from life.

(Note: a few of these are uncited sources that are attributed to Geisel, but they are good advice so I’m going to include them anyway.)

1. A person’s a person, no matter how small.
2. You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose.
3. Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.

I friendly reminder from myself as a baby to jump into life headfirst

I friendly reminder from myself as a baby to jump into life headfirst

4. From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.
5. Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened.
6. Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So… get on your way.
7. If you never did, you should. These things are fun, and fun is good.
8. I meant what I said, and I said what I meant. An elephant’s faithful, one hundred percent.
9. So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.
10. And will you succeed? Yes indeed, yes indeed! Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed.
11. Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.
12. All alone! Whether you like it or not, alone is something you’ll be quite a lot.
13. The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.
14. Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.
15. Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the things you can think up if only you try!
16. Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.
17. I’m afraid sometimes you’ll play lonely games too, games you can’t win because you’ll play against you
18. I’m sorry to say so but, sadly it’s true that bang-ups and hang-ups can happen to you
19. From there to here, and here to there, funny things are everywhere.
20. I know up on the top you are seeing great sights, but down at the bottom we, too, should have rights

Which is your favorite?