March 24th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter
I woke up REALLY needing to find a picture of the book I learned words from as a kid, and HERE IT BE:
I think this was all of elementary school, opening this owl and shoving its contents into my head. I was always good at memorizing, not so much internalizing. And so when my vocabulary sort of froze at the age, of, what, 24? Is that when the brain stops growing? I ended up with a moderate but far from impressive collection of words. I know no fancy synonyms for moderate or impressive. For a writer, my arsenal is limited. When I read I do so with Dictionary. But every now and then, I meet a word that I like, and it sticks in my head like gum I can’t see. And so I try and trot it out, and it’s usually awkward like trying to make a friend as a grown up, HOW IS YOUR LIFE TODAY, PERSON? But if I persevere (a word that I know ONLY because I have a cousin named Perseverance) I can normalize it and stop saying it surrounded by question marks, like I’m on stage at a spelling bee. And so today, I declare to you, I will use my new words with alacrity, which is just a sharp and beautiful little word that I always say in my normal life, by which I mean, with willingness and cheerfulness.
Posted in YAY, a lot, the future, the whole world, the writing of drama plays, things, things that I Have, tout, trying too hard, whining, words | No Comments »
March 19th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter
My American Gods bosses sent me this screenshot of my lil piece of the pie in the show’s opening credits. Maybe some day years from now my name on a screen will make me feel nothing but currently, it still gives me a hot zing of yay which is what I call all good feelings, just in general. COMING TO STARZ 4.30!
Posted in I write for television?, TV, YAY, a lot, i am lucky, words, working | No Comments »
March 14th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter
While I’m off work, I’ve been teaching writing to some girls in Juvie up in Santa Clarita of all places (where we wrote and filmed Switched at Birth) through Writegirl (nonprofit that pairs professional writers with, you know. Girls.) I am using the word ‘teaching’ lightly because 1.) teaching might actually be to antonym of my actual nature and 2.) first we must get them to even care, like, at all. I wouldn’t even call them apathetic. It’s just that there are so many grander things for them to care about than a poem that might or might not be in the shape of a hat. Just a few miles from malls and 900 starbucks and big box stores, and for some of them their old neighborhoods, the girls are kept in a weird time loop that sort of looks like school meets a summer camp meets the ROTC. They are kept on a tight schedule of classes and seem to care only about when they will get out and bobby pins and what shoes I’m wearing and what they could do with my bangs, given the chance. They’re all working towards high school class credits, but there’s also this paralysis because when they do get out, they’re re-entering the exact same world that got them into the place to begin with. Most seem to not have a moral support from parents, many of whom are also in jail, and so they’re left to their own devices. They could change, be better versions of themselves, resist temptation, but also they are seventeen year old CHILDREN and how strong was our resolve then, really? How strong is it even NOW? I want to help them connect words to their helplessness so that they can sort through their thoughts. I want to not say stupid things to them like YOUR WORDS WILL SET YOU FREE! But also I want them to know their words will set them free in their minds, which counts. But first I have to get them to even care, which, I now realize, is the first part of teaching, or even THE part. It is the whole part.
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March 9th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter
Me as little as two years ago: “I put my email address on my blog because I really like to be able to share plays upon request, and answer questions, and in general just be very accessible as opposed to mysterious and hard to reach.” Bekah as little as two years ago, let me be the first to say, aw, that is so sweet, and you are so cute. Me today: “AHHHH MORRISON PLEASE HELP ME TAKE MY EMAIL ADDRESS OFF MY BLOG, AS MUCH AS I WOULD LOVE TO HELP EVERY THEATER STUDENT, no but really I would love that, IF I GET ONE MORE POLITE REQUEST FOR A PIECE OF MY BRAIN I AM GOING TO DIG A HOLE IN THE GROUND FOR ME TO CRAWL INTO WHILE SOBBING
Posted in I am a teacher (?), a lot, generally, ha, hmmmmm, how interesting, i am a grown up, life, the whole world, the writing of drama plays, theater, things, whining, words, worrying | No Comments »
February 16th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter
Looking at my schedule for next week, I realize I’m meeting with four different people so that they might ‘pick my brain.’ As a classic Gemini, I’m of two minds about this. Mind Pt. 1: I am happy to do it, especially in honor of those who did it for me when I was just starting out. If I can offer any insight that might help a person get to where they want to be, then good on me, good on them, and good on kindness. Mind. Pt. 2: my brain is currently in a million places. It’s held together by frayed bits of old friendship bracelet and sour punch straws and the subpar bobby pins that really don’t hold any hair in place at all. If anyone were to, at this point, ‘pick my brain,’ it actually might lose its structure entirely.
Posted in a lot, hmmmmm, horn tooting, how interesting, i am lucky, i am scared, the writing of drama plays, theater, things, trying too hard, words, working | No Comments »
February 5th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter
In this week’s New Yorker!
I wish I didn’t need it, but I do, so Big it’s Sad. I know I care too much about how I’m seen. But it really only takes one subtle compliment, like just a non-negative thing, in a sea of ‘Brunstetter is annoying’ to make me think and feel, Onward! There is something There. If nothing else, I have affection.
Posted in YAY, i am a grown up, the writing of drama plays, things that I Have, words | No Comments »
January 31st, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter
I’m reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Brave Magic, a book on ‘Creative Living Beyond Fear,’ which makes me feel like the like the largest white girl cliche there ever was, like I’m covered in greek yogurt and surrounded by moleskin journals, but still, it’s got some fantastic nuggets about how a creative person ought to view their creativity. She stresses that we must hold this paradox in our heads: that what we’re creating is the single most important thing in the world, and also, the least. It has meaning, but also, it does not. The stakes are high, but also low. What we do is beautifully unnecessary. She pulls this quote from Tom Waits: “I realized that, as a songwriter, the only thing I really do is make jewelry for the inside of other people’s minds.” Is that not the most wonderful description of a piece of art that you have ever heard? For me, it is. OKAY, OFF TO MAKE SOME BRAIN BRACELETS!
Posted in awesome, books, the writing of drama plays, women, words | No Comments »
January 25th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter
I’ve been playing this drama play writing game for some time now, and have, at this point, received a fair number of reviews. I’ve never been much of a critical darling, so I figured that I’d share some advice on how to read and process reviews of ones own work.
1.) A review is one person’s attempt to interpret and assign meaning to a piece of art, which is basically impossible. It’s a moving target. There is no one answer. So it’s all an attempt. Your work is an attempt, as is theirs.
2.) Even if the review is unfavorable, you cannot let it detract from how YOU feel about your work. You have to approach your work with at least SOME confidence, some solid command of what you are intending to say. It can’t be fragile, or a review will easily knock it down. If this happens — revisit what you meant to do in the first place, and think about how to make it stronger.
3.) A reviewer is a human being engaged in their own life, stepping into your life, just for a minute. You must take whatever they have to say in the context of their own life, which again, is not yours.
4.) A review should not affect how you perceive your own work.
5.) JUST KIDDING THEY ARE EVERYTHING EVERYTHING THEY SAY ABOUT YOU IS RIGHT AND SHOULD BE INTERNALIZED AND THOUGHT ABOUT OVER AND OVER UNTIL YOU FIGURE OUT EXACTLY HOW TO FIX THE FLAWS IN YOUR OWN WORK TO THE LIKING OF AFOREMENTIONED CRITIC AND IF YOU CAN’T FIGURE IT OUT WELL YOU SHOULD PROBABLY JUST QUIT AND WORK AT A YOGURT STORE
6.) I would actually really enjoy working at a yogurt store
Posted in YAY, a lot, generally, ha, hmmmmm, i am lucky, i am scared, the writing of drama plays, theater, whining, words | No Comments »
January 20th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter
Let’s everyone just STAY FOCUSED but also WITH SHARPIES.
Posted in a lot, i am lucky, i am scared, love, the whole world, women, words | No Comments »
January 10th, 2017 by Bekah Brunstetter
I have always fancied myself a nighttime writer, whose brain is the most open and active and night, who types best cloaked in darkness. Maybe that was once true. But lately, by ‘most open and active at night’ I mean ‘only ever wants to watch Food TV and refuses any sort of creative thought.’ I think, with age, I’m turning into a morning writer. Now, in the AM, as soon as I open my eyes, my brain whirs with ideas, and I have to fully wake up to catch up with them. Like this gem from this morning, as my alarm went off: There are all different kinds of alarm sounds, some small like bells, some big like sirens. They could be separated into bins like candy and scooped out with giant spoons, taken home like fish. GOLD, RIGHT? GOLD? GOLDDDDDDDDD
Posted in a dream is a wish your heart makes, a lot, the writing of drama plays, things, words | No Comments »