A photo of a section of the Berlin Wall at the Topography of Terror exhibit, with a poignant bit of graffiti.

A photo of a section of the Berlin Wall at the Topography of Terror exhibit, with a poignant bit of graffiti.


This is gonna be a short one, as I'm currently devoting my writing energies elsewhere. Previous posts have held allusions to the play I've been writing for four years - Scars Over Berlin. (Find out about it here.) Today finds me at home, spending my one day off this week working away on it in efforts to meet a March 15 submission deadline that is pressuring me to fill in some plot points and let the world expand as it's been trying to do since I got home from Europe in November.

A couple weeks ago when I also spent my day off writing, I added a new character to the play, for the first time since I started writing it. I got stuck, though, because I didn't know how to get rid of this character, as I would eventually need to. He just strode confidently into the play and sat down, adamant that he wasn't going anywhere. I gave up for the day, having added substantial content to the script for the first time in months, but with no ideas how to get rid of a Stasi officer in 1970s East Berlin.

Today I returned to my intrepid protagonists and my unmoving Stasi officer. I started writing a new conversation between the characters and the officer. And instead of finding a way to escape this devilish man who showed up without asking me, my dear friends got in trouble, and Mr. Stasi is all the more entrenched in this plot. How very rude. This play is taking all sorts of turns I didn't expect. Faced by this new challenge, I found a new side of one character's personality, and new information about another character's history.

So although some of my characters (and I) are now stuck in prison, trying to find an escape, it's exciting to dig deeper into the creative problem rather than run away from it. Auditions haven't been plentiful of late, but I'm keeping up the fight on the pages of my script. Staying creative, staying artistically active, making progress. Sometimes it makes me feel like the woman in this page's header: throwing up butterflies. It's not the most pleasant experience, but let's hope the result is beautiful (and can fly).