Mario Villalobos

I Just Want to Read!

I finished reading the first part of Don Quixote, and a few hours later I received Everything That Rises Must Converge by Flannery O’Connor and Runaway by Alice Munro. I’m going to take a break from reading the second part of Don Quixote and focus my energies on reading and learning from these two books of short stories. I’m excited. With all my focus geared toward improving my craft, I’m living a happier life.

I feel more creative. I have a few characters in my novel that I love writing, and I started writing them again yesterday, and everything I’m writing with them I love. They’re funny and tragic and they’re the heart to my story, so much so that I’m thinking of focusing on them a lot more in the second draft. I’m also nearing the end of my story, so everything’s converging toward the climax, and I’m having fun writing that. I’m supposed to be finished with this novel sometime next month, and that deadline both scares and excites me. It’s good to have a deadline, but that also means I need to start wrapping things up and getting ready for the rewrite. Can’t wait.

The main drama teacher is gone for the rest of the week, so I was able to take charge of the class and act on a few of the ideas I’ve wanted to play around with. Like fun improv activities. We played one called Freeze, where two students stand up and start acting a scene that I give them. Later, someone in the audience yells Freeze! and takes the place of one of the actors — pose and all — and continues the scene. I would then yell Stop! and give them a different prompt once things were slowing down. We had a lot of fun, but I noticed a lot of the same kids going up and doing all the work. We had to call on a few students to come up and start participating. They did well, but I would’ve liked them to be more active. That’s something I could work on later.

They start acting their Social Network scenes tomorrow, if we have complete groups available. Our school — and possibly our district or the whole state of Montana — thought it wise to schedule more of their track meets during school hours. I had most, if not all, of my track meets after school. They weren’t going to have us miss school because of an insignificant track meet. But I guess in Montana they feel the opposite. So many of our drama students are in track and so they’ll be gone tomorrow. If we have groups, we’ll go; if not, we’ll probably do more improv. Fine with me. Our next assignment has something to do with Fairy Tales, but we haven’t figured that out yet.

Pretty standard and habitual day, unfortunately. The more I simply read and write and workout and not do much else, the less material I have to work with to use in these entries. I may not make it a full year not for lack of discipline, but for lack of material, and to save my few readers the trouble of reading something very boring.

I’d rather read than write right now. Take that for what it’s worth.