There’s no point in getting depressed about it, but work on my own personal scripts may have hit an all-time low this past year. It’s not that I stopped writing … but in the struggle to teach four college courses and guide another eight elementary school classes through the 20-week Arts Link program while working at my 20-hour-a-week nonprofit job – time to work on my own independent projects evaporated.

And I don’t think it makes me less of a writer or an artist to know without a doubt that the eight superhero plays I wrote with second and third-grade students this school year are more important than anything else I could have written during this time. The children have had a profound experience. They have participated in making something none of us were quite sure how to imagine when we started. It’s not naive to imagine the long-range impact of the shift in their worldview. This is just the beginning of what is possible. Writing is power. Effective storytelling can and will change their lives.

The personal writing I’ve done in the last year looks more like notes on projects I want to get back to work on – sprinkled with poetry and journal reflection.

I’m hoping to knock out a significant amount of my own scriptwriting in the next three months. The Intro to Screenwriting summer course I’m teaching in the next five weeks will hopefully help me get my own projects back on track as much as it helps the enrolled students get a first draft of their visions on the page.

I’ll keep you updated.

In the meantime, here’s a bookshelf portrait I thought looked cool. Maybe the first in a series … one shelf at a time? What do you see?

-ali, may 31, 2022