All posts by Debra A. Bagnato

By Gum, I think I’m Ready to Publish! by Debbie Bagnato

Yes that's the reality, I believe the site is finally ready. BUT then I find some small piece of wording on a page--other than the play I adapted (the actual project) and begin to revise that...So, I wait another day and find some other minute section I want to reword, ever so slightly, and so the tale goes. But, I had wanted to visit Dr. Z and do the actual publishing with her--a sort of security blanket? And that might be what I am waiting for--except my schedule is unpredictable of late--and sometimes erratic. And she is even busier than I am! These next few days will decide it for me--once I see my work schedule for next week, I can either go ahead and take that plunge (actually, push the little button that says "publish") or I can email my mentor and see if perhaps we can squeeze in one short piece of time. The concerns are non-related to the writing; I went word by word and found a few details to change but feel pretty confident it is in good shape. It is in the other pages that are directed to the reading public--the world of the internet. Among which will be my co-workerrs looking to see if they are mentioned, listed in the cast, and if their photos look presentable on my website.
My hope is that they are all pleased with what I have done; the store is the "setting" for my entire adaptation. Many of my co-workers are the modern-day cast members who shadow the original characters Aristophanes created back in 411 BCE. I simply noticed the similarities--and often exaggerated the likenesses--to create this piece set in this situation with these people. I feel a bit like I have stage fright--and the only cure for that is to get out onstage. If I feel the need to publish will remedy these cold feet, I will go ahead. Of course, I will be looking and checking all pages later (I just finished...) and then finishing up my other piece. I think my next blog might be read--if you choose to follow--on my website! Hope everyone is moving confidently towards their big finish and cannot wait to see you all on the eighth. Bye for now my writing chums.

Blogger’s on my Website!!! by Debbie Bagnato

So, I somehow managed to get Blogger on my website and am eternally grateful  it was simple to do!  Truthfully, it looked as if it was going to be a pain in the butt and when I googled it, was told (on one Website) that Wix did not support this activity. But then I figured I should check some other sites and the outcome was worth my trouble. I've been reviewing each page of my site now and trying to catch anything I previously missed--particularly the pages I wrote for my Gallery. The next section on the agenda, is a final review of my Real Character cast list; hoping I did a decent job with my earlier revisions as everything is situated to work with the pictures on these pages. But once I get through that group of pages I'll go through my actual project--my adaptation of Lysistrata--scene by scene. I'm praying that I don't want to change large pieces of it, but think I was satisfied with most of the project. I know myself though and I'll probably tinker with a line or stage direction here, there and everywhere. I will use restraint and try to picture this as not only a piece of writing but also a potential performance--for a lot of actors. The cast list is enormous which is why I included alternatives for casting directors; there is a section which provides the roles that can be doubled or tripled by actors allowing diversity for character actors and more opportunities to be onstage. It also cuts the cast in half and relieves backstage traffic. Not to mention money if one is paying actors for their performance; not an issue with high school or college theatre but AEA would not approve of unpaid performers... I realize that I am almost finished and can press the little "publish" button anytime now. That makes me rather nervous though--I want to push that key with Dr. Z (I am in rhyming mode today for some reason...) The difficult part is to make time--and see if she is available when I am. Hopefully I can be fully prepared by the middle to end of next week and she can spare a few minutes to sit with me--if not I will do this on my own and immediately email her in my angst that I have missed something of great magnitude. Jeez, I'm such a nerd...
My other project is moving along in spurts, but that's how this play has progressed from the beginning, as well as returning to scenes and adding dialogue and all of the stage directions that are in my head but need to be on the page. Hopefully, I will be finishing that by next week (the latest) and will continue my revisions as I go. Then I need to reach out to Premiere Stages and find out when I might submit this play as it has a very small cast and might be accepted by them--if they find it worthwhile. It does not address a social issue of any specification as many of the plays they produce do, but simply is creative nonfiction presented in a humorous, yet honest fashion. I 'll submit anyway and take any pointers I may receive. Lord knows, I need all the help I can get!
That's it for now; hope everyone is wrapping up their loose ends and feeling excited about what we have all done. Pretty soon guys, we'll be graduating; this really flew by! And I am so grateful that I got to meet and share all of this time with you and be blessed with our Dr. Z leading us all the way. See you all soon!

Almost Home! by Debbie Bagnato

This past week, I have cleaned up a few quirky spots, changed some photos in my Gallery, added, changed, or re-created a couple of lines I wasn't crazy about but mostly, I just fixed little clunky things I caught. Some were in the writing but more were on the website--Martha is on point about the strange animal of editing on one's website instead of any other way. But, I am actually feeling alright about this; in truth, I am very glad that I completed the writing when the situation and the people in my store were similar to their depictions in my play. Most of my "real" cast has been transferred or fired. My own position is being tampered with (again) making my open perception of the setting (my workplace) less complimentary. And I am being very kind. But, that is the nature of the beast and exactly why I chose this setting for a group of modern-day women who choose to fight back. If only Aristophanes method would actually work at store level as it does in my play...
Nonetheless, I am feeling almost ready to complete this thesis and hit that little button that says :"publish." ALMOST! But not quite yet--I will feel better after I meet with my peeps tomorrow and talk with Dr. Z; then I will have a clearer sense of what I need to do next. So hope everyone is doing super and cannot wait until we get to see each other and our work at the Symposium! Ciao for now...

Website Revision Time by Debbie Bagnato

Yes, I am up to the revising on the website part. But that doesn't mean I'm in great shape, home free, sailing smoothly down the bay... It does mean that I have to check with a magnifying glass and fine tooth comb that I covered all the entrances, exits, and with the double-casting suggestions in mind, have made certain that the characters played by the same actor are not onstage at exactly the same time. SO, I am really doing some tedious revisions.
So far, however, each time I think I've caught something really in need of fixing I am pleased to discover that I already took care of it. Nonetheless, I will continue with this and some other tweaking on the various pages--don't want to leave any unfinished business. The About page, Gallery pages, and the other pages in need of MY writing have been finished--finally--but they too are subject to daily changes as I find myself better able to verbalize what I want to say here and now.  I am hoping that I get it right in time to publish. Still, I am feeling more comfortable with the whole process now that I finally put some of my own words and thoughts into the website pages and tweaked a few things so they are more to my liking/ style. But, there is still a long way to go, so back to work for me. Hope everyone is moving along with ease--enjoyed seeing all of you who came last Thursday! And cannot wait to see everyone for our Symposium. Wow, we are almost there guys!

Why Can’t I finish my "About Page"? by Debbie Bagnato

I have written heaps of wonderful, insightful information that captures everything I would like to say to my potential readers. I have laid out the photos-changed them--changed them again, and jotted down short blurbs to accompany these pics as well. The background is set, the colors, the lettering--BUT, I cannot seem to get the words onto the page. Once that is completed, (the impossible dream at this point) I still have to write a paragraph per page for my Gallery pages--basically six strong, informative pieces that reflect the nature of my project and its connection to the people. Easy stuff compared to everything that has been done so far. BUT, still I have nothing. Some random thoughts on numerous pages--yet I lack the ability to pull it all together. Am I burnt out? Somewhat, I'm sure. However, I really want to keep the momentum at the level its been at--up until now. I am secretly (not anymore) hoping that by seeing everyone tomorrow and perhaps hearing this author speak, I will take away the enthusiasm I need to finish the numerous ends that require my attention. I am also at a standstill in my other project, so I need to find some inspiration and embrace it fully--and write like a madman! My other project is more than halfway done--not too bad--but I do not feel the need to put it down on paper right now and that is disconcerting. My plan is simple due to this unexpected lapse; I will try and finish one page today, and then another on Friday; tomorrow will be off-limits due to work and school but if inspiration strikes I'll go with it. Forcing humor, or openness as on the website pages, doesn't fly but if I set smaller goals I am hoping I can surpass this phase--I'm not enjoying it one bit... Also, I think if I get the website cover pages filled in (hopefully to my liking) I can better focus on the completion of my other piece. I will continue to edit my thesis project--there is always something I find that needs a slight change or something added, etc. BUT, I need to feel like the website is truly "good to go" and place my passion in the other project (as before) so that I can give it the importance, and attention it deserves. Then I can go cuckoo over the last-minute revisions on the thesis, as I know I will, simply because the distance from it will allow me to be more objective with my final cut. That's my plan, and I will try and see it through--really. Hoping everyone else is sailing along with ease--and hoping my game plan works as well as I'd like it to. Bye for now.

Got my Creative Commons License–Feeling Alright! by Debbie Bagnato

Yes, the title says it all--I did get the license and it is now on every page of my website. The process was simple so I made it a huge task by (see above) researching all the variations of all the licenses and worrying about getting the link etc., etc., etc. Printing out the "how-to" rules despite I had already checked off the needed steps. Luckily, I asked Dr. Z's opinion, and with that information decided to just get it done. That is when I figured out it was really not very difficult at all, and understood how I really overthink way too many things. BUT, it is now done and I am very glad. I rearranged the website after our class and like this so much better--thanks to Colin for noticing the strange order; I tend to get caught up in the "next" part I am tackling and neglect the part I am in the middle of and plan to "fix" before I am done. And then its late and I'm tired and tomorrow will be fine to straighten this out--and then I forget.. The same can be said of my final scene so I went back and cleaned up the hazy sections so my punchlines might punch a bit better--or at least not leave readers with questions or outright confusion. It looks a lot better now but I will re-read the full scene and fix any other oopsies in a few days--need to distance myself from it to be objective. The next big task is to take my free-writing--and there is a good amount--and transform it into a half dozen crisp paragraphs for my Gallery pages.Then I need to do the same with my main page for the play itself and also for my About page--but only one main paragraph for each and a short Bio for me; the rest will be descriptions of the stage set with visuals of both the ancient Greek stage and my modern day "Acropolis" right in the center of Metro Plaza Shoprite (instead of the center of the Greek stage...). My coworkers are really very excited about this project--they are either in it as my characters or simply part of it because they work there--hence the story is about them. This really keeps me going when I'm feeling discouraged so I am eternally grateful for these guys. For now, because I do have to write something constructive--I hope--I will end this blog much more quickly than usual--I have been up since quite early and feel I am running out of steam. Looking forward to seeing everyone next Thursday so until then, Cheers!

Movin’ Along! by Debbie Bagnato

Well, I am happy to tell you that my thesis website is beginning to look like a real website! There are sections that I have not done very much with as yet, but there are very definite plans for their future. As for the parts I am feeling excited about, my amazing group and Dr. Z's opinions/ suggestions/ capable help, will help me finish, polish and fix up. The only problem I recognize now is that I have ceased revising almost completely. When my group meets on Tuesday, we will read--probably--my last scene and after I complete the revisions on that (based on their feedback) there will not be very much left to revise on the actual piece. Instead, the About page and my Gallery entries--all of which pertain to the idea which prompted the writing of my thesis--will be the areas I must carefully revise. I still am rewriting, correcting and finding goof-ups I missed earlier, but my focus is directed more towards the entire website and its presentation as well as my representation of the entire thesis experience. The goal is to make it all inviting for people to read as well as enjoy the photos and the energy that inspired this work. I only hope that I am able to capture and express that honest emotion, laughter, pain, and caring in a simple, straightforward fashion. I will be free-writing a little tonight in an effort to get some "stuff" on paper; hopefully a starting point will be found and a direction that will fulfill my hopes.
Of late I am not finding the writing as easily as other times; perhaps my creative brain is aware that time is running short? My other piece is also moving slowly now but baby steps are better then none at all (I hope)...Any-hoo, the website which seemed so utterly impossible is becoming a reality--slowly but it will be done and that is very exciting for this not-so-computer-savvy-as-my-younger-classmates lady. The Creative Commons license is not chosen yet as I want to go over this with Dr. Z. There are several choices, but in my case, the one I think is more appropriate is not "free" while the less desirable one is. However, the site provides either one (it seems) and there is no fee required. In my confusion, I decided to check with the Doc before I make the wrong choice.

The other place I need advice is the addition of my blogs; should I simply provide a link to my entire thesis blog on Blogger? I imagine that makes the most sense, but again, will run this query by the Doc and group on Tuesday afternoon. My About page will probably be completed last; I think I need to write all the background info amidst the photos in my Gallery pages. Once I have that accomplished, I can focus on the smaller section "About" which will include some of my information. I would like to make this somewhat more personal than a simple bio piece, so hope to use the feeling set with the Gallery background information and continue--or actually begin--that conversation. The About page precedes the Gallery, so I might be working backwards--which is often a delightful way to go. Either way, I am babbling and need to be free-writing to get this in motion. Hope everyone is moving along with their projects and enjoying the ride; cannot wait to see everyone's remarkable work!

Revisions, Revisions, Revisions…

Well, I imagine the title explains what I've been doing all week! And yes, I am (again) almost all done; naturally, I want and need the feedback of my group as well as the luxury of hearing some parts aloud to truly be finished. BUT, in the big scheme of things, I am beginning to feel like I have a finished product close at hand. My website is starting to look like a real entity, and I am almost ready to put the scenes--all six of them--on said website in their respective homes. And no fear, they are all next-door neighbors. I do need a few more photos for my character list--hoping they don't get camera-shy and run for the hills as I want their actual faces to place in the spots I have open and waiting for them. Also, I held off on my About page as I need to really give that more thought; I would like to write something about myself, as the author of this lunacy. But, I would also feel it necessary to mention the place I work which prompted the unusual adaptation I chose to write for my thesis project. The role of women, and minorities in my workplace--as well as the general acceptance of this mentality--together provided my impetus for writing this piece. Because it is such a commonplace attitude in blue-collar labor, for certain people to project authority (and automatically receive respect) while other equally competent employees become (or remain) the solid, reliable workhorses, humor is generally the best, if not the only way to get through any "work day."
It is an equally effective tool for re-imagining Aristophanes comical plea for peace between Athens and Sparta into a plea for a non-stress-filled work environment where women and minorities can--and do--know how to effectively take charge. Now, all that I just sputtered about needs to be worded cleverly--but with some punch and then included in my "About" page; I need to put on my smart hat and get that down on paper very soon...In the meantime, I may start putting the scenes I am pretty solid with into their new homes. That way I can see how they look and if they will need any tweaking after they move in. I am still finding weirdness I missed while proofreading before, and will try to remedy all such things, but am rather enjoying my project as I try and build the website. It still makes my head hurt when I try to switch things that should be easier to do, but I am getting more used to the Wix system--limitations and oddities included. Most importantly, I feel more confident when I am trying to move things around on there and for me, that is priceless. So, for now, that's all guys. Hope everyone is getting lots done on their projects and cannot wait to see you all soon!

Website Building gives me a headache…by Debbie Bagnato

Yes, I have said it--website creations are super when they're finished BUT while in progress, they give me a headache! I am pleased that I seem to be making headway; I finally "get" the how to's I was previously missing. That is why I am staying with Wix--my aggravation earlier on is paying off now as I figure out the numerous quirks. And my initial work was actually quite extensive so staying put makes more sense than starting over. The tips Dr. Z gave me, and the fact that Colin is also using Wix made my mind up for me so I now have several pages completed and work on other new ones each night. My revisions are happening as I put things on the website and I rather like it that way. I rearrange a lot and am not sure exactly how I will organize this when I have all the pages finished but the game plan is in action and the alternative layout seems to take form as I progress. I will want the feedback of my group and especially Dr. Z so am trying to get as far along as time will allow. The more I have completed the easier it wll be to show them and get their suggestions and opinions. The revisions will continue for the main piece in Docs for the time being but the companion pieces such as the real character list, casting suggestions, and my About page are all workable as I put them on this website. The backgrounds and other appealing features are also becoming fun to utilize with the addition of my words--hopefully the finished product will look polished and inviting. But I find that I spend an exorbitant amount of time working on what seems to be such a small amount of work; perhaps I just am too meticulous or --horrors-- just too absorbed to recognize how longgggg I am taking... Probably the latter. But, in my defense, I am writing, fighting with the Wix quirkiness as well as my own, and trying to use the numerous pictures I have taken of the real people in the script. These need to be included but in a manner that makes sense and is relevant to any reader as they check out the website and the play as well as the reasons behind this unusual adaptation choice. (And I wonder why I have a headache?) Well, the progress is moving along albeit at a snails pace but  at least it has begun--and it is sort of exciting with every page I complete.
 Still a long way to go, plenty of little details to be attended to, and revisions probably right up until May, but I feel excited to be putting my very special project "onstage" so to speak. One day I would love to put this on a proscenium stage but for now this is a great forum to showcase my blood, sweat, and tears. I will go back to my Wix page shortly and continue with my "real characters" and their real photos and try to complete a few more pages so that part will be done. Then its time to work on my About page--oh boy, I have much to do! But we all are singing that song...keep writing everyone--we're almost there.

Finally I will see my People! by Debbie Bagnato

Despite my ability and often preference to work alone endlessly on a piece before I want to share it with anyone, I am so excited and actually relieved to be meeting with my group later today! I have spent an endless amount of time on this piece, editing, revising, loving, hating and--in some scenes-- almost destroying my writing completely. The result is that I recognize my profound need for their input! I did follow my own instructions from last week and stayed away from this piece, in an effort to not destroy it through unnecessary revisions and/ or deletes. I will be reading todays chosen piece almost as my colleagues are because I only skimmed the scenes opening and closing lines to know where I might start and finish--class-time provided. There may be a bit more then we can read in each "script" but we will see how the time works and decide together. Then I can return to the revising mode with a fresh outlook and some strong ideas, perspectives and suggestions (and not destroy what is perceived as the good stuff)...I have a store full of co-workers who are excited about this story being told--and their personalities being enjoyed, laughed about, or identified with by others.
As for the website, I hope to gain much knowlege from my worthy colleagues so that I can comfortably and confidently move forward with this piece of the puzzle. We all know that I am not the strongest in this area so will need the tips and clever clues (?) of my colleagues in order to complete this challenge with ease. I do not want to be weeping over my inability to get the scenes to show up by clicking on a link or--worse still--realize that I have deleted my entire project after working on it for days by accidentally hitting a wrong key--and yes, I am fully capable of such malfunctions...Despite all my true efforts alone, I need the help of my peeps!
Other than that, working on my other piece has been an entirely different type of mindset but I am having fun as I go. It seems I can revise my earlier scenes--but not to excess--and then continue with my tale in my changing voice. This is also a sort of creative nonfictional piece as well--the scenes are based on true happenings OR are a recap of events, modified for the purpose of performance and/or  reading enjoyment. It seems to be a similar voice to my thesis project but there are different underlying concerns beneath the humor in these two pieces. For now, I am just trying to get the rest of my outline--in the remaining scenes--on paper in a humorous yet true-to-these-character fashion. The break from my multi-character piece to this "two-fer" was strange but allows for more one-on-one interaction. After pages of thinking of the endless, multi-layered conversations in front of Courtesy and trying to capture that momentum, this is equally trying as I attempt to bring the conversations, heart, and humor down to the simple reality of my sister and I. Our back-and-forth banter, fueled by jet-lag, mom-worry and poor Italian usage when visiting our brother, is a different but equally enjoyable type of emotion that I am trying to recreate. My hope is that each project will benefit the other and I will find my voice in both pieces, and be glad to hear it. Happy writing guys!