Today I am grateful for playwright Neil Simon. Recently I watched several of his best plays, turned movies and gained a whole new appreciation for his skill with words. Catchy, quick, honest, real, there simply aren’t enough adjectives to describe them.
Some of you might not know that I have written and had a few plays produced. The writing part is fairly simple and, like much of my writing, if I wait for the proper time to sit down and start, words shoot out of my fingers with a life of their own. It’s not work. It’s wonderful. It’s like having conversations with all of my alter egos.
The real work enters with the editing. Wow. What a tedious process it is to have just enough happening in each scene to garner interest in the next scene. Of course, a novelist has these concerns, too, trying to end a chapter so that the reader will be unable to get their dishes done, or forget to pick up their kids because they can’t put the book down. But with a play, people will actually walk out the door. They won’t come back and “pick-up” the story later. They’ll be all done with it. Writing a play is an enormous responsibility. It’s terrifying. It’s wonderful. Having it produced with real actors interpreting every line is fantastic!
Maybe I’ll write another play and have it produced on Broadway. Why not? Hah! Hah! Quoting/paraphrasing Jenny, from “Chapter Two” when she assaults George with a perfectly crafted monologue. ”I want everything and why shouldn’t I? It’s okay to want everything because there’s not a chance in hell you’re going to get it all any way. . .but you have to at least WANT it!” Thank you, Neil Simon, for reminding me. I am very grateful.