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So, the last day of November… Time for reviews, isn’t it?

Let’s begin with my not-quite-NaNoWriMo. I meant to work on my new on spec play – the one without even a working title – and so I did: the other night I finished the first draft, with a couple of days to spare. It is a very first-drafty first draft, and will require a lot of work still, of course – but there it is, and not too horrible. I think I can count it as done.

But that’s not all. Considering how December is a month for sporadic writing at best, I might as well take stock of my writing year in general. Let’s see…

First thing, I meant to do something with my novel – and, on the whole, I have. It has taken a long time, for several reasons, but there we are. I’m waiting for an appraisal, over the next few days, and then, if all goes reasonably well, I have a destination in mind. Not that I have concluded much, but things are moving.

Then I wanted to write out of my comfort zone – and did I ever! There were the lamps, first of all: writing in an entirely new field was challenging but quite stimulating and interesting, and I believe I’ve learned a good deal during this past year – and still learning.

Also, I took a poetry course, a MOOC with CalArt. Now, let me be clear on this: I don’t write poetry, but I greatly admire those who do, and have always aspired to learn some of that concentrated effectiveness and supreme expressive control. So, when I saw this course, I thought… well, why not? And I loved it. Another good learning experience.

Then there was the screenplay for a very short short against food wastage. This was nothing entirely new, because I took a screenwriting course ages ago – but I’d never put the knowledge to much use until last June, and most definitely never for commissioned work. So I guess it can count as a first, after all, and a little out of my comfort zone again.

Even theatre-wise, I stepped a little off the path, if you count all the work on the Gadda play – from a novel I rather thoroughly dislike… Or, at the very least, not one I’d have chosen to adapt for the stage. Instead, it all turned into the most intense and wonderful workshop I’ve ever had.

On a related note, I think I’ll mention my first direction ever with the Company: the patchwork Oedipus – of which, now I come to think of it, I still have to tell you. Let us say, for the moment, that it went very, very well – and count it another good thing for this year.

And in fact, there have been quite a number, haven’t there? Add finishing a huge translating project with a promising future on the stage, and a good deal of other interesting work along the line – and I think I can call 2017 a good, fruitful, interesting year, full of new challenges and things learned…

And it is definitely early for new intentions – but I can’t help thinking that perhaps I should make it a habit of stepping out of my comfort zones? Good things, it seems, are to be found there.