Isn’t [a writer] knitting together scraps of dreams? She hunts down the most vivid details and links them in sequences that will let a reader see, smell, and hear a world that seems complete in itself; she builds a stage set and painstakingly hides all the struts and wires and nail holes, then stands back and hopes whoever might come to see it will believe.
For this week’s Writing Thoughts, I thought I’d share this descriptive quote about writing by Anthony Doerr, best-selling author of the 2015 Pulitzer-Prize winning novel All the Light We Cannot See, which also won the 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction.
This comes from his 2008 travelogue Four Seasons in Rome, a book about his time in that ancient city on a writing fellowship. According to the book summary, the day Anthony found out he’d received the fellowship to live and write in Rome was also the day his wife gave birth to twins, so he had to juggle writing with being a new father.
I’m having an interesting time myself juggling writing with being a mom to our newly-expanded clowder of cats, with two rambunctious 10-week olds, their still skittish 1 year old momma, and three seniors who continue to be less than thrilled at the idea of these newcomers entering our space. We’re going to try to introduce them all this weekend, I think… fingers crossed!
The idea in the full quote above, that a writer “builds a stage set and painstakingly hides all the struts and wires and nail holes,” inspired me to look for an image of a dragon on stage to go with my post today, and I wasn’t disappointed!
Making the Shrek Dragons, on the blog of the talented folks at Stage Monkey Design and Consulting in California, recounts the whole story from concept to completion of the creation of a pair of dragon puppets, including lots of work-in-progress images, for the travelling production of Dreamworks’ Shrek by the Riverside Children’s Theater. It’s an interesting peek behind the curtain, and I recommend you check out the full post for all the details.
I love these photos of the puppet in action! Even though you can see the puppeteers in some cases, I think the grand design and scale of the dragon makes you forget it’s being operated by people. It’s a dream that the audience is drawn into believing.
My husband and I love to see live theater productions (in fact we just saw The Bridges of Madison County last weekend, which won the Tonys for Best Score and Best Orchestration in 2014), so hopefully someday I’ll get a chance to see a production of Shrek with an amazing dragon like this one. The Stage Monkey Design post mentions that their puppet now tours in productions across the country, so I might even see this exact dragon someday, who knows? 🙂
Thanks for reading everyone, take care and stay creative!