Personal Updates – Spring in Review


In a week I’ll be on vacation with my mother in Israel. I like being able to break life into these seasons, because as I say often: how do you eat the elephant? One bite at a time.

At the beginning of March I outlined a list of goals for myself and frankly didn’t accomplish everything. My novel in progress, The Spectacular Seraphim Versus the Fame Monster remains a work in progress. I’m stalled working out a fourth act side-plot, so I’ve paused at 40,000 words while at work on other projects.

In April I dusted off my feature interview skills and started an artist interview series. I’ve been lucky to sit down with a diverse group of interesting artists spanning a number of art forms- filmmaker, punk violinist, visual artist- and more still to come. It’s been enlightening to hear other artists talk passionately about what they make and why they make it. I have a soft goal of 12 interviews for the series, but could very well keep going past that.

Mon Men is going strong and we’ll be releasing Episode 13 this Sunday, May 8. I joke often on the show that my favorite episodes are the ones where we talk about the Pokemon at best half the time. When we started, I told Michael that if we were only talking about Pokemon we might as well just read Bulbapedia and release it as an audiobook. The fun is using Pokemon as a conduit from which we veer onto tangents, jokes, or personal stories. Much like the interview series, I’m having a great time relating to people through chats about those lil’ pocket monsters.

Lastly, I wrapped up both Sketch Writing 1 and Improv 2 in the past two weeks, passing with good grades. I’ll wait until I get back from Israel to hit the “enroll” button on more classes, which means I likely won’t start on the next levels until the end of June at the earliest. Nothing wrong with a little breather, and not like I haven’t got other things to work on.

Confucius once said “a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” That’s the spirit with which I started the first page of Beneath the Wood three years ago after deleting every last page of my writing to that point in my life. Page by page, one became ten, became a hundred, and now have become so many I have no earthly idea what the count is anymore.

UCB classes started with that first evening of Improv 1 (taught by the awesome Monika Smith. If you’re in L.A. and considering improv classes, she gets my wholehearted endorsement). Now I’m onto levels 2 and 3 with them in Writing and Improv. Mon Men started with one episode back in December. The Interview series started with one conversation, one question.

I haven’t gone a thousand miles yet, so I can’t say how far any of this goes, but what I can say is that first step is the big one. After that you’re just putting another foot in front of the other again until it adds up and you’ve gone out on a journey somewhere new, somewhere wonderful. Where’s my journey taking me? Watch this space.

Take care everyone, much love as always:

We move forward.


Author: Y. Balloo

Amateur novelist / Work in progress.

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