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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Time To Play


By Robin Kramme

I’ve never been good at growing plants.  But, sometimes, when all the elements align just right, I’m able to nurture stories from seedling to healthy, full bloom.

The Soil and initial thoughts of warm Sunshine:
Robin Kramme

In May 2011, I attended a play festival near my home in Arizona.  A writer pal had one of her short plays included in the event and I went to support her. Previously, I had read and enjoyed her short stories and working novels.  The idea of writing for stage had never occurred to me, but my interest was piqued.  It was a lovely evening and as expected I liked her play very much.

The Fertilizer and a cool shower of Rain:

My summer was busy with little time for any form of creative writing.  As October rolled around, I received a rejection letter for a manuscript I’d submitted in April.  (I’d had a successful pitch appointment with an editor at the Desert Rose Desert Dreams Writers Conference.)  Naturally, I was disappointed but wasn’t sure if I’d received a form letter as some of the comments did not apply to the ms I had submitted.  In particular, the editor did not care for the dialogue.  This was a surprise as my critique partners had all commented positively on this element of my novel and I thought it was a strength of the story.  I like writing dialogue. 
 
The Seed:

In November my husband and I treated ourselves to a fabulous 15-day trans- Atlantic cruise.  After a few days on board, I noticed several passengers wearing the exact same jogging outfits with the ship’s logo.  At dinner I overheard a conversation about the poor passengers on board whose luggage never made it to the ship and had no chance of catching up to us as we were shortly headed out to sea.  I couldn’t help wondering, What were the suitcases thinking?  They must be confused and feel abandoned.  Sharing these thoughts with my husband, we’ve been married a long time, he smiled and poured me more wine. 

The Sprout:

When we (and all our luggage) returned home, I sat down and wrote, Bad Travel, a short play that tells the story of four pieces of lost luggage told from the luggage’s point of view.  I researched format, got some help from some writer pals and submitted to the local play contest my friend had had her success with.

The Bloom:

In May of 2012, Bad Travel was included in the Arizona Women’s Theatre Company’s Pandora Festival.  My friend had a new play selected, too.  It was an amazing experience to have my words spoken on stage by professional actors and to hear the audience’s laughter and applause.  Though the stipend was small, my joy was enormous!
 
The Harvest:

Story ideas are all around us.  We need to be open to them and willing to explore the various formats of story telling.  Rejection is part of writing and part of life.  A supportive husband is a gift.  Being a part of a writing community is priceless.

Re-Planting: 

I’ve submitted another short comedy and also a one-act drama that are both currently being judged for the 2013 festival.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.

6 comments:

Judith Ashley said...

Robin,

Thanks for joining us today at Romancing The Genres and for taking the plunge with us as we explore another facet of stroytelling!

I love the fact that you took an idea and used it to inspire you to write a play.

And I totally agree, being part of a writing community is priceless. So glad we belong to the same one!

Paty Jager said...

What a great story! I bet the play was fun.

Robin Kramme said...

Judith,
Thanks so much for asking me to write for this wonderful blog. It was fun remembering how this part of my writing life came about!

And, Paty,
Based on the laughter, which I must admit I like hearing on the DVD they gave me, the play was fun for the audience, too!

Robin

Sarah Raplee said...

Hi Robin,

Sorry to chime in late, but I'm - wait for it! - traveling, LOL.

What a wonderful, whimsical idea for a play! Unique and fun - two of my favorite things in a story.

Hold in your heart the audience laughter that tells you THEY loved your dialogue. Your audience are the people who really matter.

Robin K. said...

Hi, Sarah,
Hope your luggage is behaving!
My director told me theater goers are obliged to clap and that applause can't be trusted but that laughter is spontaneous and is hard to hold back. Isn't it interesting how a rejection can encourage our writing!
Safe travel.
Robin

Lindy said...

Robin,
Fun to hear how your clever play "grew." I can't wait to hear it. It sounds hilarious! When you get back in town you can bring your play on DVD and I'll bring mine and we'll have a "playdate."
Lindy