Self wrote the libretto for a two-act opera.
Self doesn’t watch opera. But she is never one to let a little thing like not knowing anything stop her from writing!
Self’s composer/collaborator, Drew Hemenger, is sick, as self was before she left California. A few shots of chili-laced Szechuan soup near Harvard Square and she’s all better!
The world premiere of The Marife Suite is this Saturday, in Nashua, New Hampshire.
Boston is freezing cold. Self tried walking around Harvard Square this morning. CRAAAAP! She didn’t even make it five blocks. The wind and — ugh, ugh, ugh! Lips are chapped! Yikes! Hands look like wrinkled prunes!
She’s switching all her fan fiction (the ones that had Peeta as a Harvard undergrad) to Palo Alto.
So glad. Just so glad she chose to study in Palo Alto, where giant palm trees line the broad avenues etc. May the Heavens preserve us, she just can’t take this bitter Boston cold.
Self brought with her the libretto for The Making of the Representative for Planet 8, the opera by Philip Glass and Doris Lessing. Believe it or not, reading this libretto, six years ago, was what started self thinking that maybe, just maybe, she could pull this one off. Maybe she could actually write a full-length opera.
Lessing’s libretto combines two of self’s most enduring interests: science fiction and terse language. Here’s an excerpt from Act II Scene 4:
BELOW THE WALL
The people stand huddled together, waiting. Beside them is a great heap of insulating material.
The People (variously)
Like coats for houses.
In this new time of ours buildings must wear coats and skins.
They sink down into the snow. Sit listlessly. Some go off to sleep.
Reading the above, self wonders how much of her story The Freeze, the one that’s coming out in Bluestem Magazine (It’ll be on sale at the AWP Book Fair. Yeessss!), consists of lingering echoes from The Representative for Planet 8. In self’s story, the temperature drops overnight, everything stops working, every living thing dies — except for huddled bands of starving people, who decide to head south.
Her story follows one intrepid band (teen-agers and one very old woman) who decide to follow Highway 1 to Mexico.
Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.