But here's the thing: what you do as a screenwriter is you sell your copyright. As a novelist, as a poet, as a playwright, you maintain your copyright.
That's what I like about [smoking] . . . taking a drag off of death, Mmm! Gives me a sense of controlling my own destiny. What power! What exhilaration! Want a drag?
I find it fascinating to think about what the world is going to be like when people won't talk anymore.
Plays are so much more special if they've never ever had a production, but I think you can really work on a play and make it better with each production.
There are probably brilliant people, geniuses, alive today who don't even know how to say, "Hello, how do you do?" because their minds are absorbed with electronic images.
The impetus behind going to graduate school was a year after graduating from college spent in Dallas working at the dog food factory and Bank America and not having met success in my chosen field, which at that point was being an actress.
That was always my inclination, to start on a new play before the other one gets done, because at least you'll have something to go back to if that play gets trashed.
I love to work, although sometimes I can spend whole days doing nothing more than picking the lint off the carpet and talking to my mother on the phone.
What I loved about the acting class was that you got to think all day long about a person that wasn't you, and figure out why they were sad and what they wanted, what they dreamed.
It was kind of enlightening to become a playwright.
I just loved being divorced from my own wretchedness.
The most glorious thing about working in the collaborative art is when you have somebody like Susan Kingsley or Kathy Bates who are better than your play.
My first few plays took place in the South and even The Lucky Spot was in the thirties but in Louisiana.
And all writing is creating or spinning dreams for other people so they won't have to bother doing it themselves.
Part of that is that New York has proved to be too much fun for me to live and work; I love New York so much.
It's really interesting that whenever you do something that is so out of character, like having an emotional outburst, that you don't get in trouble.
I love writing for the screen.
I was just restless with being in school; so I went out to Los Angeles.
But when I got to SMU and decided to take a playwriting class, I said this isn't a bad idea. IfI write characters, they could be as dumb as me, and I don't have to be very smart.
In movement class, you had to lie on the floor and get your alignment in to pass the class.
I tried to start a theatre in LA and failed miserably, but I was probably not meant to raise money.
I grew up in Jackson, Mississippi, really in suburbia, so my mother was in community theatre plays.
I did write a couple of original screenplays, but I'd rather write plays.
It's called Sisters of the Winter Madrigal. It was interesting for me to see it done after so many years; because I wrote it and I didn't realize what a rage I was in.
The next thing I wrote was in a writing class at night school. It was about a poor woman who worked at a dime store and who was all alone for Christmas in Laurel, Mississippi.
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