I launched this blog without any promise of keeping current, but man, even I have to admit I am remiss. I do have one decent excuse; my laptop died. Motherboard. Meltdown. Mortified. Not that I have NO access to a computer, I just have to negotiate for time. We’ll remedy the problem (with a purchase) in the next month or two. So, for now it’s catch-as-catch-can.

What’s new? I am now a preschool teacher. At least one week a month. One day, Miranda asked if she could go to school. Two days later a cooperative preschool came to my attention. Funny how the universe hands us these things. I wasn’t planning on entering her in any school this year since she can’t start kindergarten until she’s nearly 6. But she asked. I tried hard not to do it this year; we’ve been having such fun together. She’s a great companion and there didn’t seem to be any rush. But she asked. I quizzed the mom who organizes it intensely; any unacceptable response would have been a deal-breaker. But everything was acceptable. Even teaching two days a month is o.k. After the first week I can state that it’s fun. It’s exhausting and I still don’t know how someone does that five days a week, week in, week out. But I enjoyed my week. And I look forward to the next one.

Miranda, is surprisingly reticent about attending; there’s been a small scene with plenty of added leg-clinging each morning when I drop her off. But Dad dropped her off today and apparently she went right to playing without a fuss. So maybe the drama of drop-off is a special performance for mom. Two-and-a-half hours, two days a week. It really couldn’t be that bad, could it?

I am trying to be productive with my new-found free time. Got my desk in order and am finishing the sewing projects that have been languishing there. Next I’ll start pouring my abstracts and prepare for two art shows in October. That’s three weeks; better get working, eh?! I’ll try to post one or two pieces here so you can see why I am “Abstractist.”

I also started taking an acting class. This is the first formal training I have received in the dramatic arts since junior high and high school speech classes. There is a wonderful teacher here in the Verde Valley and I thought I’d better take advantage of the opportunity. It is at once terrifying and exhilarating to put myself out there as an actor. The feedback is very positive so hopefully everyone isn’t just being kind. I want nothing more than to entertain.

The Verde Valley Theatre has begun preparations for a production of Steel Magnolias in the spring of ’09. I have been cast as Annelle, the beauty shop assistant. We had a read-thru to meet everyone and make a recording for purposes of learning lines. It went remarkably well so we’re all even more excited than when we were cast. The Verde Valley Theatre (VVT) again confirms my theory that talent is everywhere; Hollywood has no special edge. We will do this wonderful play justice. We open April 24.

Miranda is showing signs of having inherited her mother’s flair for the dramatic. I was cleaning up the make-up kit for the VVT and my assistant was fascinated. She wanted to know if she could be in a play with me and have, “Big, pink lips.” She suggested that she play a, “A butterfly-dragon princess…No, no. A butterfly-dragon queen.” When I asked what I could be in that play, she responded without hesitation, “A butterfly-dragon queen too!” She is a generous soul.

We will take the performance route slowly. Last winter when asked if she wanted to be in a play, she responded very strongly in the affirmative. It was “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” a lovely play with lots of roles for children, including walk-on angels–perfect for three-year-old budding actors!– But, when it came time to go out on stage, it was all so new and overwhelming, she began to cry. I didn’t want to disrupt the rehearsal for everyone else and I wasn’t sure if she’d just adjust and get over it so I didn’t run out on stage and carry her off. I was backstage when she suddenly stated in no uncertain terms, “I need to go potty!” I ran out and grabbed her. I knew she didn’t need to go potty, since we’d gone 15 minutes earlier in preparation for her entrance. But I recognized that this was a clever way to push the eject button; mom reacts instantly when Miranda makes this statement. It worked. She never did make it back on stage for that production. We went three nights and each night she said no. That’s fine. Since then, each time we attend a rehearsal or performance she wants to go on stage and check everything out; familiarize herself with lights and sets. I have a feeling Miranda will appear on that stage someday. I just hope she’ll still want me to be on it with her.