McElrath dark chocolate-toffee medallions into my mouth - artisan chocolate - local - worth getting out of bed for - remind me to do a giveaway.)
After two days of the binge, my husband comes home and I serve him an assortment of small bites. (My favorite way to eat, "I'm not hungry, honey - I'll just pick." Decidedly not his favorite way to eat.)
But when you spread creamy goat cheese over a fig spread on thick bread and top it with prosciutto, thinly sliced plums and a touch of arugula - he doesn't argue.
And when he sees the pile of manila envelops ready for the mail - he knows I'm in "business mode." And one of these days he will come home to the words "takeout, please." I belong to a marketing "playwrightbinge" website where every six months we pledge to send out a play-a-day and share the opportunities with others. Playwrights don't market well. The binge helps. And the daily e-mails from playwrights reminds me that there are humans out there. My days seem to consist of a cat and an errant mouse.
You may think sending out a play a day wouldn't be too stressful - but they have guidelines. Guidelines that cross your eyes and send you crawling through your cabinets searching for chocolate. After 30 days of guidelines you start to crave raw meat.
1. No contact info. Send in separate cover contact info.
2. Name on every page
3. No name - only your e-mail (only.... my e-mail IS my name)
4. Must be of Irish descent and live in PA, NJ or CT.
5. Must address human misery in a heightened, poetical neo-classical theatrical manner.
(True guidelines; I decided not to post the improbable ones out there; some guidelines are a treatise.)
Guidelines sneak up on playwrights. Have you ever found in your work that there is always a gorilla in the room? And you found out too late?
Writing the play is the satisfying part. Having different versions of the play (contact info, where the page numbers go, which has headers, which has footers) and keeping them straight for submitting is a test of surviving "playwright guideline dementia.".
That's where small bites come in handy. I can "cook" this in five minutes and then return to my deconstructed, poetically sturm and drang play that addresses the diaspora of growing up in Queens, that has a header stating my name and a footer stating the title of the play with pages arranged in a sequential order where you need to guess the sequence.
From Cooking Light and you need:
Some grand, thickly sliced bread - toasted
goat cheese at room temperature
Your favorite jam
thin slices of prosciutto
Toast your bread. I used a dense, seven-grain, thickly sliced bread. There was joy in that bread. Spread some jam (fig jam or date jam is particularly good with this) on the bread. Spread your goat cheese over it. Top with prosciutto and arugula leaves. One slice satisfies. During a binge - five slices retain sanity.
Don't you love this? No amounts, no emulsifying, no pots, no oven temperature. It's sane. It's a buffet - it's the perfect small bite. And somehow with this open-faced sandwich at my side, I finished a short play - Before the Gathering - about 3 sisters sneaking shrimp toast and sorting shoes ten years after their mother's death on 9/11 (I know - upbeat). It fits none of the guidelines beyond having my name on every page. But I have sent out 8 submissions already. And received word that Under a Midsummer Moon took 2nd place in a contest - which only strengthened my resolve to make it better. And pop another chocolate and make another open-faced prosciutto sandwich. And maybe pour a glass of wine.