Part of what prompted last week's post about horror is that I scraped together some money (well, not really - just used my credit card and put myself further into debt) to take a class at Hugo House called "Writing the Monster", because I've been in something of a rut in terms of writing for nearly two years now, and this recent and technologically-magnificent production of Pandora and the Box I just performed reminded me of two things: 1.) how much I like thematic material that is not only creepy but that goes to the root of the human psyche and 2.) how much I like performing my own material and having roles in a production beyond just hired-gun actor.
Not that I haven't written at all. Certainly there have been a few blog entries sprinkled about, and even some freewriting that has occurred in the past two years. And of course, the reason for the rut, my last day-job that involved lots of PR and copywriting.
But the inspiration to write anything of real note, like a short play or even a poem has just eluded me. That last day job just SUCKED every creative impulse out of me and left a dry husk in its place. Am only now starting to recover, and just putting myself in someone else's hands with thematic material I respond to has been balm to my inner creative writer over the past two weeks.
It's great, because even when we're just talking about horror and monsters, my whistle is wetted. And then the creative prompts...well...they feel eerily tailored for me.
Once again, I can't seem to get away from Greek myth and archetype. Last week's writing prompt was to pick a monster you loved and a monster you hated, then write about the good and bad things about both these monsters. I chose Medusa for the monster I loved. Then synchronicity struck last night, when instructor Evan had us draw 3 cards from his Mage the Ascension tarot cards.There was the first one, 3 of wands. And then I kinda gasped aloud a little when I saw the next one: the good ol' TOWER. I've written about the Tower before. I have a whole short play about the Tower, Fortune Teller, that has even been produced. I have thought a lot about the Tower. So, to see it there felt like synchronicity's way of saying, "It's time. You get to be creative and write again...and MAKE something this time."
And interestingly enough, the next card I drew was the one I've put here to accompany this blog post: the five of cups. Which, in and of itself doesn't necessarily mean anything to me, but if you look closer at the photo...the hair coming out of that faceless woman's head has mouths. They could be the mouths of snakes. This woman could be MEDUSA...another one in a looooong line of misunderstood Greek women. I've written about them before: The Hydra, Clytemnestra, Pandora...thought lots about this topic. I love all those old Greek stories, but it galls me that they're all about the boys: Odysseus, Hector, Creon, Agamemnon - most of the myths revolving around women show them to be more reactive than active for the most part: Penelope, waiting for Odysseus to come home, all of the women of Troy waiting to become of slaves of the Greeks, Electra waiting for Orestes to come home so HE can avenge their father's death...etc.
It is kind of an unofficial mission of mine to change this. Re-interpret these myths for our modern age and sensibilities. The hydra was a wonderful vehicle for exploring the idea of multiple personalities (Stings Like Acid). Pandora struggles with issues of lonliness and control. I'm excited to burrow into another one of these Greek anti-heroines and find out what's there...because I appear to have another muse knocking at my window, with each snake on her head hissing to get in mine. Come to me, Medusa!
10/16/2012 09:42:33 am
Can't wait to read some of the cool interesting pieces that will come out of the "Writing the Monster" class, Carolynne! And I hope you succeed in changing public mentality around! It's always about the boys, isn't it? But things are a-changing because of women like you!
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Day to day thoughts, rants and mental detritus.