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  • Writer's pictureJason Haskins

March(ing) in place: March 2023 newsletter


Wow. The month of February sure flew by. Seems like only 28 days were in the month.


Ha! In the words of Dave Coulier, "Cut. It. Out."


Welcome to March, where madness usually follows.


Men's and women's college basketball will likely take up a lot of my attention in March but, per my style, I will find moments to write. As mentioned in February, after the completion of The Dragon Slayer, my attention turned to a story I've worked on since my junior year of college.


The story began as random thoughts while I should have been taking notes in numerous classes. The idea has always remained on the peripheral of my writing projects. Sometimes, I work on the story months at a time while there definitely has been instances where years go by without me touching it.


Elizabeth Gilbert writes about "Ideas Going Away" in their book Big Magic and I can identify with this. Gilbert, in this instance, writes of returning to a novel or project, trying to make it work, only to find the "living heart of the novel is gone".


There have been certain projects I once loved to death and have tried to get over the finish lines multiple times over the years. And, no matter how hard I tried, the "oomph" just wasn't there. So, they have fallen by the wayside and, in some instances, forgotten forever.


This story, the one of Through the End of Time, has not been an "idea that got away", so i decided 2023 would be the year it bore my full concentration.


Saving a full synopsis for a later date, this novel is about a battle between Heaven and Hell and the battle to save the world. Pretty standard, yes, but with it the story involves a deep examination of religions, belief, redemption, and more. In some way inspired by Dante's Inferno, it's sort of a modern-day look at one man's journey from the depths of addiction to being thrust in the role of possible savior.


Momentum in writing has been fruitful through the first two months of 2023, so, with any luck a draft will be completed by this summer.


That is, if basketball and my usual entertainment offerings don't get in my way too much.


February writing


Much of the writing done in February was devoted to Through the End of Time. There was a bit of work done on my new play but right now the effort is about mostly sitting down and seeing what sticks (idea-wise).


Wrote articles over at Chowder and Champions, including about a superb stretch for Derrick White of the Boston Celtics. And, since baseball season is close, wrote about the Boston Red Sox and the everlasting hope of spring.


An effort has been made to write more over on my blog. A lot of sports stuff going on over there, including posts on Boise State basketball. Pop culture is always a topic, too, as well as another trip down memory lane.


Over at Alley Repertory Theater, In the Next Room, or the vibrator play by Sarah Ruhl opened on March 3. Continued with dramaturgy work on this play and wrote about the cast and a little history for the production.


Television


A solid mix of old and new(ish) shows graced my television screen the last month. I'm into season two of Reservation Dogs and have one episode of Wednesday left, both continuations of last month's list. And the first episode for what I'm calling season 3b of The Mandalorian (let's be honest, the back half of The Book of Boba Fett was basically Mandalorian season 3a) premiered on March 1.


In addition to much of the list from last month, added a few others:

  • That 90s Show (Netflix)

  • Easy (Netflix)

  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine (Peacock)

  • Wu-Tang: An American Saga (Hulu)

  • How I Met Your Father (Hulu)

Movies


Initially, I thought February was a pretty light month in regards to the films I watched. In looking back, I started off the month quite strong and it's only been the last couple of weeks in which viewings waned.


There was a nice mix of films, too, ranging from a Christmas movie to a cinematic classic to Oscar nominated films.

  • Violent Night

  • The Bridge on the River Kwai

  • All Quiet on the Western Front

  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever

Books


Really trying to stay on track with this year's Goodreads challenge. Despite reading (almost) every day, managed to knock out only two more books off the list. Well, one book and one play. (Maybe the Pizza Hut reading program can toss adults into the mix to. Because that would be cool and exciting.)


How to do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell is a book I finally got around to reading. While I haven't fully embraced and implemented all the ideas in this book, there were certain action points I've reflected on. I've also found myself taking a bit more stock of the world around me, especially on my weekly walk.


I also read the play Stew by Zora Howard; a play I had not heard of until a month ago but am glad I stumbled across it.


Music


Efforts to listen to new music have improved in recent months, with new albums/songs from SZA and the supergroup boygenius on regular rotation as of late.


But it's learning about old songs/musicians that led me to including a music category this month.


The first is about the song "Vincent" by Don McLean. A song I've heard numerous times over the years and never really paid attention to the lyrics until sitting in my car recently. Lyrics in which it finally dawned on me the song was an ode to Vincent Van Gogh. All the information was always right there in front of me and, I suppose, it will no longer just be that "Starry, Starry Night" song to me from here on out.


The second was that The Eagles covered one of my all-time favorite songs by Tom Waits. "Ol' 55" was off the album Closing Time and it only took a year for that pesky "Hotel California" band to cover the song. It's a well-done version but can't touch the original.


That'll about do it for this month. Be bold. Be kind.







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