WHY NOT ALL THREE?

So I'm furiously writing my latest opus- a play with the working title "Don't Get Too Comfy Pal". The title will most likely change soon, but that will be the subject of a future blog. The play is a bit of poetic realism following four twenty-to-thirty-something New Yorkers dealing with unrequited love, betrayal, and attempted murder with a pinball machine. I've got the characters down- meaning I can hear what they sound like in my head and as such when I write a scene they just come in and do what they would do, react the way they would react, and still manage to surprise me with who they are. I've got a basic premise, or gimmick, where reality shifts at the end of every scene. And I am liking it all quite a bit. But then I get to that thing called the ending, the resolution of the crisis, the way things turn out for the characters, and I pause. There are at least three possible ways this story can finish: the sad ending with death and sorrow; the bittersweet ending with no death but lots of isolation and everyone realizing rather unpleasant things about either themselves or the world; or the happy ending where those who deserve a break in this vicious world actually get one. I can see the merits in all three. What to do?

I ponder. I ponder some more. I talk with the few people I trust to read what I've already written. My sister Heather leans towards the happy ending. My friend Jack is opening a production of Little Shop of Horrors and hasn't gotten to read it all yet. Then I call my older brother Jerry, and he says "why not all three?"

And it's like a light goes off, the way is clear, the problem solved. Why not all three? I've already got reality shifting left and right in every scene. One of the main characters is Norn- the three gods of fate in Norse mythology embodied in one person who can do pretty much whatever she wants with time and space, so why not have three alternate realities? The Norns in most versions of Norse mythology are three women- Urd, Verdandi, and Skuld. Urd spins the thread of your life, Verdandi measures it, and Skuld cuts it. They're very similar to the fates of Greek myth. And the thread of life makes me thing of string theory, and alternate universes, and all those crazy ideas that seem to be accepted by science if what I watch on shows like Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman are telling the truth.

And it all just fits. The first draft gets written, and entered in the Rough Writers contest at the Fine Arts Center in Colorado Springs. I send copies to more friends- including Martin Denton,  the man behind nytheatre.com and Indie Theater Now. Martin is one of modern theatre's true champions and someone I consider myself very lucky to be able to call my friend.  And the feedback is very positive.

Now I am getting ready to dive back in for the second draft. There are scenes to clean up, and other scenes that haven't even materialized yet. But I'm not worried. The base is there, the foundation. And I've already found something interesting that has sparked my interest. Apparently, in some versions of the myths about the Norns, they write your fate in rune stones, which they hammer into this shield. I have this image of Norn working in her garage, hammering some runes into a shield, while talking with Sabrina about life, the universe, and everything. And then there's Gladde, Larfor, Jaypes, and Pranxtor- who may or may not show up.

We shall see where it goes next.

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