HAPPY FEBRUARY: Time to Write Faster

Last year’s motto was “Write Faster” and I did. 2012 was a productive year. I hope 2013 is as well. I’ve written three new scenes in the past three days on my new play “The Burning Times.” The problem is, it is a full length play and my deadline is February 28th. Why is that a problem? I am also working this month. I have a few part-time jobs, most of which call me rarely. This month I’m working 11 of the 28 days. So far! That’s good for my bank account, hard on my writing time.

I will make my deadline. I’m not sure of the how yet, but I know the why. I am crazy about the opp, and I know the prompt was created specifically for me. The theatre company doesn’t know it, but I do. You know how sometimes you just know when things are meant to be? This happens to me sometimes. Like the time I woke up one morning and said out loud “The Bobbsey Twins Go To Hell.” My next thought was, I have to write a play to go with that title. I wrote a 10-minute orpheus play, which became the only 10-minute play (so far) to be a finalist for the Oregon Book Award.

“The Burning Times” is set in the summer of 1597 in Budingen, Germany. The protagonist is my 11th great-grandmother, who in real life was so gruesomely tortured in the Witches Tower that she hanged herself prior to her trial. I’m rewriting her history to give her a happy ending, one that redeems one of her accusers. About time, I say. And in doing further research into the place and times, I learned this week that Budingen has finally exonerated all of the more than 400 innocent people they killed during the witch hunts of the Inquisition [as of October 2012]. They hanged and/or burned women, men, even children, accusing them of everything from curdling milk to having sex with the Devil.

Do you have witch ancestors? From what country? What do you know about them? There is a lot of information available online these days. I learned all about mine on ancestry.com, then Wikipedia, and google. Some of my info is in German, then translated to English. I’d like to hear about your own family history. And btw, have you read Kathleen Kent’s book “The Heretic’s Daughter”? it is based on her own ancestors who were accused as witches in Salem, Mass.


4 thoughts on “HAPPY FEBRUARY: Time to Write Faster

  1. What a cool project! I sometimes tell my students one of the great things about fiction is you can take a struggle from your own life and rewrite it to change the ending.

    • A survival tool I learned from a friend who rewrote a letter I received from a close relative to make me feel better. From that I extrapolated that I could write stories about my gramma to make her say the things I wish she had said. I felt that she loved me, but she wasn’t a person who could express her affection in words or physically. I found I could express them for her in fiction or on stage. Now I’m bringing my ancestors to life and giving them a new ending. ha! What fun! Yes, tell your students, spread the word!

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