Archive:  Year 4 - Tuesday, November 17, 2009 "Here we go... again"

Well, here we are.  Shrink-wrapped, insulated and nestled into the River for the duration of the Winter.  In many ways I feel that this moment is exactly what it is – my 4th time around in what has now become familiar discomfort.  The tight squeeze into the plastic, the resulting surge of static electricity, and the cold toes.  

Yet, this Winter is also totally new.  Once through the shrink-wrap and stepping into the cabin – it’s a lovely new room with working everything and, generally, a more comfortable place to flop.  And there are other glimmers of optimism in the grey, early sunsets:  The marina crew, after waiting for the most ideal day, shrink-wrapped the boat to perfection.  I’m not kidding.  In Winters past, the protective shell around my boat has had large drooping corners that collect snow, huge crooked seams, or holes…  For the most part, these imperfections are not a big deal – inconvenient, ugly – but not in the way of doing it’s job. 

This year, the white, stretched shell is flawless! I was booked the afternoon it was done and when I came home it was like coming to a sparkling castle.  Taut and straight and hole-free, I congratulated Eric - the man in charge - concluding that it was his masterpiece.  He humbly agreed.  Perfect weather, no wind, plenty of time…  Right on.

I have also been using my fresh water tanks for weeks aboard, which made the day they turned off shore-water much easier.  The water aboard will run all Winter.  Yes, it will.  It must.  The pipes and walls are insulated, the shrink-wrap is perfect, my determination is set.  Last Winter set the record – 48 days in a row with frozen pipes.  I became an expert at the process of hauling water:  Break the ice, pull up the hose, fill the containers, bring them aboard, and heat, filter or refrigerate as needed.  Shower at the gym, and boil water to do dishes… Guh.  Not again.  Truth is, however, I won’t really know if the improvements I made are adequate to the task until I’m sitting in the midst of February with a stretch of below zero.  Finger’s crossed.

There also has been a comforting rumor circulating around the bonfire – that this will be a comparatively mild Winter.  The boaters have been nodding to one another, throwing around dangerous phrases like, ‘we’ll be fine.’, and ‘this one’s gonna be calm’.  To their credit, they are not the sort that offer empty comforts.  Last Winter – the worst in 10 years – the correct predictions sounded more like:  ‘Don’t go light on the insulation this year’, ‘watch out’ and ‘we’re gonna get it’.

Please, please, please...  

But let not this preemptive whining worry you.   The fact is that I know what I’m getting into, and I’ll take it.  I know how uncomfortable and inconvenient it can get at times, and I also know how glorious it is.  Watching the River pour out pillars of steam in the morning; indulging in the quiet, seeing Grace - plow-like - romp through the snow… It aint all bad.  

In the meantime, I am also bolstered by a huge and exciting new project.  I have been researching and writing a new play for almost three years and will finally have an opportunity to see it staged this January.  The play is called A Candid World and takes place during the American Revolutionary war.  It is a look into the life of a family living in New York in the weeks following the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  I was curious about how this unique time in history might have appeared in to the people living in it day-to-day.  After a lot of research into a variety of subjects, including the Loyalist’s perspective, the Son’s of Liberty, and the ban against public amusements; the storyline of A Candid World came together.

The production will be done as part of ‘Light’s Up!’ at The Illusion Theater in Minneapolis – a fantastic opportunity for new playwrights.  I am provided with rehearsal space, performance space, set, costumes, lighting, a paid cast, director, publicity, and a small stipend for yours truly… Good deal…

Ellen Fenster, the force behind Light’s Up, contacted me in late summer to see if I would be interested in participating.  She had read the first act of the play as I was working on it for an informal reading and liked it.  I hadn’t worked on the script much during the boat renovation...  nor did I bathe much... But I said yes, I would finish the script by Thanksgiving and then use the opportunity to end up with a play - not only written - but polished it by the process that can only happen with an audience. 

With the renovations and Winterization complete, I have found, in the past few weeks, both time and the lovely writing corner I needed.  The first draft of the script is finally finished, and all of the remaining pieces are quickly falling into place.  Holla!

A Candid World will premiere at The Illusion Theater on Tuesday, January 19th and will run - in rep with another great playwright, May Lee-Yang - thru the 23rd.  Four performances only.  I’m already so nervous I want to vomit. 

Which should give me plenty to be distracted by until at least the middle of Winter.  By then, the only thing to do, even if the weather does turn against me, is to move ahead anyway.  I’ll concede it’s not a great plan, but it has served me well before.

Pictured:  A view increasingly bleak.  


Next Post: December 9, 2009 "Cold Snap"

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