Crossing Points


You search and search for a way in, for what are commonly termed “ideas,” but what are really doorways into the word room. And then, when they come, you resist because you know, if they really take off, you belong to the words, and there’s nothing you can do but see where they take you. If you find a title, forget it. Especially if it’s a good one. You might as well snap on the handcuffs because it’s gone from “writing” to “being a piece.” And you just have to hang on for the ride.

I have a title. Or it has me.

Of course, you can short-circuit this at any time, just by telling someone what the title is. It automatically dissipates the magic, your attention flags, and you’re free to get on with normal life. For example, I could just tell you the title is….

But…then I wouldn’t have anything to write, and I’d have to start searching again.

This is a weird business I’m in.

About Steve Patterson

Steve Patterson has written over 50 plays, with works staged in Portland, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Austin, Tampa, and other U.S. cities as well as in Canada and New Zealand. His works include: Waiting on Sean Flynn, Next of Kin, Farmhouse, Malaria, Shelter, Altered States of America, The Continuing Adventures of Mr. Grandamnus, Bluer Than Midnight, Bombardment, Dead of Winter, and Delusion of Darkness. In 2006, his bittersweet Lost Wavelengths was a mainstage selection at Portland Center Stage's JAW/West festival, and, in 2008, won the Oregon Book Award (he also was an OBA finalist in 1992 and 2002). In 1997, he won the inaugural Portland Civic Theatre Guild Fellowship for his play Turquoise and Obsidian. View all posts by Steve Patterson

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