Monday, November 28, 2011

11/28/11 Written today! Lead up the garden path.

Shock, horror. I managed to post the day I wrote.

IoMANNITE: We considered trying them as witches, the lot of them, dog included. A little bit of dunking in the river* and a couple of tribulations before tying them to a stake each on the green and burning them as a true and just punishment.
But wiser heads prevailed and we decided against it. We are attempting to be modern and past that kind of small town, olde type thinking behind us.
REPORTER: Are you being serious?
IoMANNITE: Of course not, you daft bugger. This is the 1940s not the 1640s. This thing was simply a monumental pain in the arse and that isn;t a capital crime, last I heard,
REPORTER: What did he do?
IoMANNITE: Ah, now. I can only talk a little hearsay about what he did to others, but to me, well for starters he put the frighteners on my sheep. Simply by being in the same field. He would throw gravel at the house. He'd laugh during the night, you'd think it was a fox screaming, but it wasn't.
The more I say the less I find him a nuisance
"And the more I find him a terror" would be the following statement.
Also the asterix above is to remind me to check if there are actually  any rivers on the Isle of Man.
IoMANNITE is really Isle-of-Mannite.
The worst was the whispering. You'd not be able to make out words, but it was definitely someone. Not the wind. He could keep it up for hours, it'd follow you around. You'd try and find it, and it would never be where you'd expect it to be. He can move fast. One night, I was standing at the front door and the susurrus of whispering began. Tired of this nonsense, I went and found my shotgun. I didn't know why I did. It's not like I had a target to hit. I placed the butt to my shoulder and aimed into the dark. As I was about to squeeze the trigger a small hand touched the back of my knee. I just about died.
There was no one there. Anyway, I put a load of shot into the front door. The little bastard couldn't stop laughing.
REPORTER: Susurrus?
IoMANNITE: I do the crossword.
REPORTER: I think I did the same one.
IoMANNITE: Did you know he used to steal golf balls at the club?
IoMANNITE: Sure. I don't know where they all went. There's probably a burrow somewhere.
REPORTER: So, Gef played golf.
IoMANNITE: As much as any wee beastie might. He probably chases reflected light too.
 That was a lot of fun to write. There will be more to follow. There are things to be said about the family too. My beloved, Carmen, suggested that Gef probably stole the golf balls and didn't really play. I reckon he actually had a set of perfectly scaled clubs. Your mileage may vary.

11/25/11- War and blood

Gef and Jim talk.

JIM: I've read that we may be at war again.
GEF: The gods of war live on the blood of young men. They're not fussy are they? Just give it to them raw. I used to live on blood for a while.
JIM: What made you stop? I imagine that it can't have been easy?
GEF: I loved it! Looooved it. Could not get enough. Chicken blood. Pig blood. Cow blood.
JIM: Human blood?
GEF: Oh no, not human blood. Cannibalism. I am no cyclops! Lambs blood is tastiest. Rabbits blood is easiest.
I bring you the rabbits.

From notebook 11/25/2011

This set of notes was written after reading a friend's play and really thinking about the practicalities of the actual theatre space.

How to depict Gef?
Show him? Hear him?
Have characters interact with Gef in one-sided conversations?
Should Gef's voice be pre-recorded?
If so, should Gef be voiced by Voirrey's actress?
What should we see on stage?
[Idea: a claustrophobic box set] - [literally a box with a roof enclosing the characters. Light becomes an issue.]
The box set is made up of gapped slats - the gaps large enough to show light and movement behind them. [Stage hands then become performers as well] -[mongoose mask + tails!]

Light in set perhaps comes from diegetic sources: lamps, lanterns, candles, etc etc
Diegetic being the fancy word for "occurring within the same world as the characters."
i.e. The light in the scene won't come from the spots in the rafters of the theatre, it will come from the character's turning on the lamps or lighting candles.
Voirrey is always in the set box until she dies, then she leaves into Gef's area.
Gef is outside the box.
The last sentence is totally appropriate on a few levels.

Then a list of possible set furniture, with an eye to flexibility.
Bed - chaise lounge
Pictures on walls
[sets start out crowded and then get more and more spare]
Who acts where?
How do they meaningfully interact?
I thinking I was talking out my backside on the last one. They meningfully interact because I write it so. I actually mean "How do they physically interact", which is more a directing and performance issue than a writing one. My job is to provide the motivation for however the cast/crew decide to do their jobs.

Make a moment out of Margaret touching Gef's claws. [Touch is important, touch causes problems]
Gef wishes contact, but contact is painful.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Sat 11/19, Sun 11/20 and Tues 11/22: Margaret and Voirrey talk some.

Each of these kind of follow each other, with some overlap. Each is just a little isolated from each other, and there is a little looping back between the 19th and the 20th: I remember thnking I'd restart the conversation. I have no clue where or when they are talking. Initially it falls out of the stuff between Jim, Voirrey and Margaret earlier.

(Also, I've just realised that Gef has gone from that earlier conversation between Jim and Voirrey. Hmm. Is that something I want?)


MARGARET: Did you fake him? Make him up out of thin air?
MARGARET: I'm not interested in lies.


MARGARET: Did you make Gef?

VOIRREY: Why are you asking me?

MARGARET: I need to know.

VOIRREY: Why does it matter? It happened to us all. Who cares how or why? I don't know how Gef came to us. He told so many stories, versions of himself. Who knows what is true.

MARGARET: You didn't answer.
VOIRREY: Mum, what has changed to make you doubt what happened to us?

MARGARET: Your father is dead.

MARGARET: Without your father, the fancy has worn off.
VOIRREY: It happened. You can't deny it
MARGARET: Yes it did, I grant. So how did it happen?
VOIRREY: How do I know?

VOIRREY: I don't have the faintest.
 MARGARET: Then, how about why?

As an aside, making the formatting work in blogger is a pig.

Synchronous thoughts.

Just finished reading Grant Morrison's personal biographic history of superhero comics "Supergods" (Speigel & Grau 2011) and it talks a lot about magic and connection or synchronicity. The same thing occurring independantly at the same time and in it he talks about and gives the best definition of the tulpa. A nice coincidence, given that I'd been thinking about tulpas recently with Gef.

From page 408 of the hardcover:

Tulpa is a Tibetan description for a solid object, or person, created from thought alone; i.e., literally and deliberately willed into tangible form from nothing.
Grant Morrison is a chaos magician who has used the comics he has written to explore his philosophy and journey into magic. Chaos magic is a do-it-yourself way of ordering the world using rituals and belief systems from all over. So a chaos magician could potentially use kabbalah, bits of Dee, the Lord's Prayer and a heaping of Crowley to contact the fictional entities from Lovecraft's tales.  The idea that magic is fiction is a feature and not a flaw (for example Alan Moore, writer of Watchmen, From Hell and League of Extraordinairy Gentleman among others,  worships Glycon, a snake puppet used to commit fraud in 1st century AD Rome) because in magic fiction is another layer of reality.

Morrison describes superheroes beautifully as the ultimate ficitonal reality. We created them as the ultimate answer. There is no physical, mental, spiritual problem designed that we cannot have our superheroes overcome. They are designed to overcome and to inspire. He uses as an example the idea of The Bomb. From page xv of the introduction:
Before it was a Bomb, the Bomb was an idea.
Superman, however, was a Faster, Stronger, Better Idea.
It's not that I needed Superman to be "real," I just needed him to be more real than the Idea of the Bomb that ravaged my dreams.

Grant Morrison then spends the rest of the book making the case that superheroes are humanity's aspirations toward perfection.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

From note book. 11/18 James Dies

Looks like it was written on the 18th.
I've started writing in my notebook during my 15 minute breaks at work. It turns out a bit disjointed, but it's getting the job done.


JAMES: You've been a weight on us, crushing the breath from us. So you've come to beg forgiveness, eh?
MARGARET: Jim, must you?
VOIRREY: Forgive me for what?

JAMES: For deserting us, for all of the heartache you've subjected us to. For bringing the outside world crashing down on us. For tricking me.
VOIRREY: I never.

JAMES: I believed in Gef.

VOIRREY: Gef was real.

JAMES: Was he? I used to think that. For the longest time I was sure and then I got to thinking. He only ever talked to the three of us. I talked for hours to him and now... and now I am unsure. Voirrey, did you make him up? It's my one unanswered question.
VOIRREY: and assuming that's what I did, then what? I mean, which would you rather? Gef be a fabrication? Or Gef be real? 
I didn't make him up.

JAMES: Oh God, Voirrey, I wish you'd stop. Just stop lying and tell the truth. You were a ventriloquist for God's sake.
MARGARET: I thought you made him up, Jim. You were his favourite.
VOIRREY: I'm not lying. I heard what I heard and saw what I saw and I'm still paying this exhorbitant price that everyone has levied on me. You were the one who wrote the diary and sent it to Price. You were the one who told tales at the local. You were the one who drove [brother] away and turned our lives into a circus. You ruined our lives, not me.


The line that sticks out to me is Margaret's "You were his favourite." It opens up whole other worlds of jealousies.

Edit: oddly enough, I realise that James doesn't actually die.

Notebook dump from 11/18: 'GEF' DIES!

A rifle shot

FARMER: Got 'im

Lights up on FARMER with a sack.
FARMER: I got the bugger. He was always playing tricks on me. He stole my morning's milk. He killed my hens. The little bastard would whisper to me at night.
REPORTER: Can you be sure it was really him?
FARMER: How can I be sure? Can I be bloody sure?

FARMER reaches into sack and pulls out a bundle of fur.
He tosses it at the reporters' feet.

FARMER: I'm pretty bloody sure,

REPORTER [toeing fur]: It looks like a mongoose.

FARMER: What are you? An idiot? It looks like it because it is! You can tell.
REPORTER 2: Yes, it looks like a mongoose, but is it Gef?
FARMER: It weren't singing a rude limerick but this is Gef.

REPORTER: You murdered Gef? 
FARMER: It's a mongoose!
REPORTER: A talking mongoose. Literally a miracle. And you shot him.
FARMER: You can get off my farm and all, you can. Go on, sod off. I removed a pest and that's all I'm going to say. You bastards of the fifth estate can go whistle for more more from me. You don't have to put up with the singing and the dancing,. all of the sightseers leaving the gates open and trampling the crops all in the hope of seeing some sodding pest. And according to you, you little oik, I've killed one talking bastard already. So, there he is. Satisfied? I'll stuff the bugger and use him as a door stop. Now clear off the lot of you.

The Farmer is fairly foulmouthed in a very british '3 Bs' way.  I imagine that the Gef tourism industry was still in play a decade after the initial uproar. I've really wonder about this guy (I have his name in my research docs) that he felt the need to alert the media to his kill, also the idea that he killed a creature as unique as Gef. He's cashing in to an extent. Spurred by damage to his property, the loss of privacy and, possibly, the realisation that the farm is hard work, located as it was high up among the rocks.

I doubt that Gef was even there to torment the guy, let alone there to be shot. He'd moved on to parts unknown.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Voirrey monologue fragments.

This from my notebook, written 11/5, 11/6 and 11/7 during breaks at work.

It's incredibly static, but it does something I like a lot. I can't recall if this was intended to be part of Voirrey's interviews or retirement. I am keenly aware that I have not been concentrating on  sharpening the conflict. Otherwise it is just pretty prose.


VOIRREY: I never returned home. Not in any real sense. I tried to keep in touch with my sister and her children.

I walked a lot. Read a lot.

I look back and I see a simultaneous retreat from the world and a stripping of identity. All so no-one would connect me with him.


VOIRREY: My mother, who had such wonderful talent for reading other people, missed what was happening under her own roof. She missed the festering resentment and yearning.


I don't know if she loved my father


I don't know. Was she relieved when she died? A little, I think. He'd been ill a long while before he passed. I'd like to think that brother made his peace with him before the end. They were stubborn bastards. Too proud the pair of them.

I miss them, I do. I miss them all. They were the only family I had. The closest I had to friends, outside of my dogs.

Inside of a dog, it's black as pitch.

My friendships only went so far. People get too close, get curious. Ask questions and put two and two together and get the right answer.


They ask me about him and I become his, his creator, his ward, his master, his victim. Whichever.

Am I the girl dreaming of the mongoose? Or the mongoose dreaming of the girl?

I can't seem to wake up. When I sleep, I dream of the farm.


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Another idea in the mix

Hmm, this fits gloriously well as an idea of what Gef is and this is probably the neatest-ties-everything-up-in-a-bow theories out. But who's the creator of the Tulpa that is Gef?

In the grand scheme it doesn't really matter for me, Gef simply is.

More notes later.