Posts Tagged ‘dance’

Tiny Updates

Monday, February 18th, 2008

dreamsproph.JPGBesides the disturbing Valentine in the last post, I’ve been keeping myself busy-busy with life in general. Here’s the current skinny.

Writing: I’m nearly halfway finished with The Sum of David’s sequel.

I’m beginning to think I started the story too early, which means I’ll end up cutting/condensing the first few pages. The story will take as long as it takes to tell, however, so page count is really secondary to my concerns, even though I do want to keep it about the same size as TSoD. We’ll see what happens. In my experience, this stuff usually works itself out. And trimming is always easier than having to add and recalibrate a portion of the plot. For a while, I was actually more worried about…

Well, it isn’t writer’s block, exactly. It is more like the Midas touch, except everything produced via my fingertips is stinky poo instead of wonderful shiny gold. I had a very successful write-o-thon last weekend, but haven’t been able to do anything worthwhile since then. The dialogue is wooden and fake, the action forced, and any dramatic revelations seem out of character, over-acted or blah.

This was in a blog draft I wrote last week in an effort to confess some sins and refocus. To my surprise, it actually worked. I got some solid writing in Saturday and Sunday. There are some points that I know will shift in the revision — and that’s a bummer of a feeling, when you’re putting down words and you know for a fact they aren’t going to stay — but it’s not the verbal vomit like it was last week. Whew!

Illustration: I’ve got lots on my plate, but in the most wonderful way. I’ll post current projects upon their release. For the moment, you should check out Chest Laser, an online independent clothing store. Matt Gondek has created two nifty designs so far (including the logo), and more products will follow as the store expands.

I’ve got a couple ideas slated as personal development on my agenda, too. My character designs need a little more variation, for example, so I’ve got an idea for a series that should stretch my abilities on that front. It will still be that ‘cute evil’ style I happily fall into, but hopefully in differing shades. I’m also looking forward to working with some fresh people, and that will be exciting. Who knew people would actually want the stuff I love to do anyway?

Dance: My plan to take one class a month is still on track. I’ve taken four classes at PBT since the new year and I’m loving it.

*Illustration at top is a chapter icon from The Cauldronborn. The story should probably never see the light of day, but the icon is nice — it heads a chapter where the protagonists visit a fortune teller that sees into the future by throwing a tantrum over her freshly baked cookies. Then she eats the cookies and goes into a trance. …it doesn’t have to make sense; it’s the future, maaaan.

A Fresh (if painful) Start

Friday, January 11th, 2008

When I was a kid, I took both gymnastics and ballet classes. At age nine, my parents made me choose between the two and I went with ballet. I stayed with it through high school, dancing professionally for those four years before leaving the company for art school.

Dancing professionally was one of two career choices. Eventuall, I reasoned I’d rather be poor with working knees than poor with bad knees… and hips… and possibly ankles.

So at 18 years old, I went from the strict environment of dancing for 16 hours a week to not dancing 16 hours a week and I enjoyed that phantom thing called free time. I did things like “socialize” and watch “tv”. I would return to Charleston to visit family and take a ballet class and attend performances, but that was the only ballet I got.

In 2000, Josh encouraged me to find a school here in Pittsburgh to attend. I found a good facility with a wonderful teacher in Library, and have been making the trek out there ever since. At first, the classes were priced fairly, the exercises were challenging, and the students were nice. But that school eventually closed down, and the teacher moved to classes to another facility close by that isn’t nearly as good. The classes have also grown less impactful and more social, and the floor is terrible. So after massaging my ego a little and pumping myself up, I inquired about taking classes somewhere more challenging, more professional.

At Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, to be exact.

I went to one of their open classes last night and it was INCREDIBLE. First of all, there were probably 25 of us, which is the largest class I’ve attended for almost a decade. The students ranged greatly in age and skill. Dress is casual, so there’s none of the pink-tights-black-leotard nonsense. The studio was huge, with a high ceiling and skylights, and the front wall was lined with mirrors. And the floor… the beautiful, Marley floor. I could have kissed it. We had live accompaniment, the pianist was fabulous. And there were boys - boys! - I haven’t taken a class with a dude since 2002, and certainly not four of them. Male dancers change the whole dynamic of a class, the most important of which is room: dudes are taught to jump and jump BIG. I also got two corrections, which is beautiful.

I am so happy I could burst. I am also spectacularly sore, but in a good, I’m-totally-going to-do-it-again-next-week kind of way. If you haven’t had enough of me babbling about ballet, go here to check out one of my favorite variations. I performed it my junior/senior summer in Charleston (ironically, South Carolina this time and not WV). I’m sure I didn’t look like her doing it, but it’s the same choreography. And my headpiece was prettier.