Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Theater in the Court

Julia Cameron, in her "The Artist's Way" recommends making a two-hour artist's date with yourself every once in a while. The purpose? To open your horizons to experiences and people who might inspire new writings. And these inspirations can lead to creative writing projects or serve as juicy fodder for your journal. Not ready to spend cash on a "date"? You don't have to. One special outing might be a visit to your local state or county court. Slip into a courtroom and listen to the proceedings of a criminal or civil case. A strange and exciting new world and all its characters may be laid before you to take note of in your journal.

And if you happen to be on jury duty and are going through the selection process before a judge and panel of lawyers, take journal notes on your fellow jurors as they answer the judge's questions. Those mild-mannered, newspaper-reading suburbanites you first glimpsed in the waiting room may reveal personal details about their lives that will make your head spin and journal pages ignite.

Librettist and playwright James Lapine makes weekly visits to his local family court in between projects and finds it "The best theater in town," according to an article in The Wall Street 1ournal. ◦