I never liked math.
Numbers didn't interest me much. They were so boring, stagnant - a four was always a four. Four minus two was always two. You could do the same equation in 2018 as some mathematician did in 2018 BCE, and you'd get the same answer. With numbers, the story is always the same.
I like words better. Words are alive, playful, a little slippery - some words can mean two, three, four different things. The meaning of a word can change over time, or new words can be invented (when was the last time we invented a new number?). And look how many stories you can tell with words - an infinite amount! Look at how many stories have already been written, and yet their are crazy people like me who still want to write new stories!
However, in my two decades or so of writing stories, I have come to find that there are some similarities between writing and working mathematical equations. For instance, tonight, as I work on my latest play, The Helen Project, which will be produced this June by ReVamp Collective, I've reached a point where I'm not sure what to do next. I've written about three-quarters of the scene, and I know what the end is, but that last quarter eludes me. And it reminded me of so many complicated math equations in high school and college, in which I got so far, and knew what the answer was supposed to be, and yet couldn't figure out how to get there.
And so I'm trying the tactic that I so often did when I was working those difficult equations in high school and college, and I'm distracting myself. Thinking about something else for awhile so my subconscious can work out the thorny knots of the problem into which I've gotten myself. And so here we are, at this blog post.
Writing The Helen Project has been a lot of fun. Because it is rooted in classic Greek mythology and existing works (primarily Euripedes' Helen and The Trojan Women, and Homer's The Iliad), I've had a chance to really nerd out and do a lot of research, which I love almost as much as writing. I've been vindicated in my refusal to throw away anything because it might be useful later, as a Scholastic book about Greek gods and mythology that I got probably in the 4th grade has proven to be a great source of information and reference. My recent Google search history also betrays the wild mix of ingredients I'm throwing in this pot, including but not limited to: