Saturday, August 9, 2014

The Blue Warrior



The Warriors Project

For no apparent reason, I was feeling blue August 8. So I made a list of warrior accomplishments since Laura's death July 17, 2011




The Warrior's Stance, a volume of poems by my late daughter, Laura Morefield. Proceeds benefit Colon Cancer Alliance, Washington, DC www.ccallaince.org/laura Book design by Patty Kevershan, Kevershan Design




The Warriors' Duet a play by Charlene Baldridge based on the mother/daughter relationship and Laura's profound poetry, both affected by Laura's three-year battle to live.
The play was first heard in a resting at ion theatre, then produced by Circle Circle dot dot in the inaugural San Diego Fringe Festival in 2013. It was a semi-finalist in the 2014 Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's Playwrights Festival.

Poster design by Justin Warren Martin





The Rose in December, a collection of Charlene Baldridge’s poetry written post-diagnosis, published by Finishing Line Press, 2014. Cover art by Patty Kevershan of Kevershan Design







The Work at Hand, Symphonic Songs based on poetry of the late Laura Morefield, composed Jake Heggie, set to premiere in its chamber music arrangement at Carnegie Hall February 17, 2015 and in the full symphonic orchestration with the Pittsburgh Symphony  May 15-17, 2015.







Warriors: The Books We Never Wrote, a 55,000-word joint memoir comprising Baldridge’s What Next, Miss Mommy? and Morefield’s Golf on Monday, Chemo on Tuesday. This manuscript is looking for an agent.







Any questions may be directed to Charlene Baldridge, charb81@cox.net

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Wondrous Strange Snow


Now I can tell you

March 29: I’ve been sitting on hope and this revelation for a couple of months now, and today I finally received what I’ve been waiting for — a letter from the O’Neill Theater Center, where my play, “The Warriors’ Duet,” has been under consideration since last year, a semi-finalist for the 2014 National Playwrights Conference. Today’s letter said,  “…congratulations again on advancing to the semi-finalist round of consideration. At this time, however, we are sad to report that your work is no longer in consideration for the summer.”

What? When my wardrobe and the rest of my life were already planned around this event? I was so hoping to be heaped with O’Neill glory this summer, for the story about this daughter and mother would go global!

In the closing graphs the artistic director and literary manager -- both women by the way -- say there were more than 1,200 works submitted this year; that they hope I feel encouraged by making it this far. Then they write, “Please continue to share your work with us….”

Don’t they know I’m turning 80 on April 26? 

Oh, well, at least my new book, The Rose in December, arrived March 28. That’s some compensation, but I did want it all!



Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Work at Hand

News of the Warrior

A Title, Soloists and Carnegie Hall Announced for Jake Heggie World Premiere Featuring Laura Morefield’s ‘The Work at Hand’

Laura Morefield at the world premiere of
Moby-Dick
I just hate it when people (Me!) release the really big news in dribs and drabs. Sometimes it can’t be avoided.

As many of you may already know, our friend composer Jake Heggie, a great pal of my late daughter Laura Morefield and composer of Dead Man Walking and Moby-Dick, among many others, is writing a concerto for soprano, cello and symphony orchestra for Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra (I'd previously thought the premiere would be in November 2014; now it will be May 2015).

And that’s not all. There is a title:

The Work at Hand: Symphonic Songs
poetry by Laura Morefield 

Additionally there are two versions of the three-movement work, each movement named for a yoga pose. A chamber music arrangement for soprano, cello and piano will be premiered at Zankel Hall, the chamber music venue in Carnegie Hall, February 17, 2015. The other, for full orchestra and soloists, will be premiered in Pittsburgh in May 2015 (dates and official announcement soon on Pittsburgh Symphony web site).

Soloists for both New York and Pittsburgh performances will be mezzo- soprano Jamie Barton, a Metropolitan Opera regular and recent winner of the Cardiff Singer of the World Competition, and cellist Anne Martindale Williams, principal cello of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The pianist is yet to be announced. Here are details: http://www.carnegiehall.org/Calendar/2015/2/17/0730/PM/Jamie-Barton/

Need I say that the proud mother is over the moon with joy?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The Warriors Write a Book

January 23, 2014


Laura Morefield & Charlene Baldridge

I’m embroiled in a tough task these days, back at work on the big prose book tentatively titled What Next Miss Mommy? and now subtitled The Books We Never Wrote.

The first book is my memoir about the mother/daughter relationship, which we managed to rebuild from the depths to which it had plunged when at age 58 I ended my marriage to the man Laura loved, her stepfather, the late Chuck Baldridge. The resurrection and deepening of our relationship was not easily achieved, and people who saw us together on our yearly cultural trips often urged us to detail how we did it. We never wrote the book because we never figured out how we did it. And then cancer came along, cutting short my daughter’s life, but not our relationship.

The second book was Laura’s never-completed Golf Monday, Chemo on Tuesday, an intended how-to about taking charge of your cancer treatment. Laura completed two chapters before she ran out of steam. Apparently, there were other, more important things to do, like survive.

As I came to the end of a first draft, it occurred to me that Laura’s blog titled “A Month in the Life” could and should stand in for her book. It is chockfull of wisdom. Putting it together chronologically and editing it has taken more than a week, and I’m only up to Day 21.

I found myself telling a friend that I was forging ahead with the work, however painful, because who knows how much time I have left, and there is still much to do. He assured me I will fulfill my assignments and promises to Laura and to myself.

As I said, the work is challenging, reading her words, hearing her voice. Today, after my friend left, I returned to the work and I was buoyed up by these words:  “Only one person in the universe knows when my use-by date is up, and I don’t call him doctor. I trust the numbering of my days to the One who whispered me into being out of love.”





Saturday, January 11, 2014

Take a look -- Warriors photos

Take a Look at the 'Warriors'

Laura Jeanne Morefield and her mother,
Charlene Baldridge 2008

In response to a reader's request, here are photos of The Warriors' Duet from the initial reading in May 2012 at ion theatre, directed by Claudio Raygoza and produced by Glenn Paris; and also from the Circle Circle dot dot production co-directed by Katherine Harroff and Anne Gehman at the inaugural San Diego Fringe Festival and The White Box Theatre at Liberty Station. These took place in July and September 2013.


Karson StJohn McGinley, Charlene and Linda Libby
following the reading in May 2012


Ssamsntha Ginn on rooftop of 10th Avenue Theatre
prior to the commencement of the Fringe Festival
Photo courtesy Circle Circle dot dot

Sam and company
Photo Manuel Rotenberg

Matt Carney and Samantha Ginn in performance
at White Bos Theatre

Matt Carney (center) Kathi Copeland (seated, left)
and company at White Box Theatre

Samantha Ginn and Kathi Copeland
Photo by Manual Rotenberg






The lovely 'Warriors' poster
created by Justin Warren Martin






Friday, January 10, 2014

Update on Vimeo post and books

Updating the Warriors

Laura Jeanne Morefield and her mother, Charlene Baldridge
2008



There are many things I cannot divulge these days -- a horrible condition for one such as I, who wants to blab all to the world. Patience is required of me for the first time in a long time, and I've never been good at the practice of this trait. What's the old saying? "I want what I want and I want it now"?

Be that as it may, there are a couple of things I am able to relate to you.

1. James Vasquez's marvelous filming of my November 18 talk about Jake, Laura, Flicka and me is up on vimeo! Just go to www.vimeo.com/83116588 and you can see the whole thing. The composer loves it by the way.


Charlene at reading of Laura's work
April 2013


2. I've decided, since I can't untangle the prose book (see previous post) that Laura does need to have a larger voice in its creation. And so, I've copied the email exchanges between us and news she wrote to her Team Laura caregivers. She also wrote the time line of her disease on her own blog and I intend to incorporate that into the book as well. 

Samantha Ginn and Charlene
July 2013


Collecting and editing Laura's post-diagnosis poetry and making the chapbook The Warrior's Stance (www.ccalliance.com/Laura) brought me daily contact with my late daughter and her luminous works for more than a year.

Writing the play titled The Warriors' Duet, which incorporates her work and mine, brought me peace and release. Watching it performed last year by Circle Circle dot dot (Katherine Harroff and Anne Gehman co-directed) was an indescribable experience.

Finishing Line Press's forthcoming chapbook of my poems, The Rose in December, written since Laura's 2008 diagnosis seems to be the icing on the cake for this soon-to-be-80-year-old (www.finishinglinepress.com and go to forthcoming books). But that brings us to the undisclosed news. If you see me and wonder why my normally open mouth is tightly closed and in a straight line, that's why.

This morning in my predawn dreams, Laura took me shopping at Macy's. "You always looked so good in red," she said, as I held up a wild print in front of my body. "Put that into the cart." We had such a good time. She bought nothing for herself, but it's quite apparent that she is still in charge of the hairbrush.




Monday, December 30, 2013

December 30, 2013

I had dreams of a little girl on toward morning. 
I'll have to tackle those tangled locks.
Yesterday 
I ploughed ahead and finished a first draft of my prose book, What Next, Miss Mommy?  I waited till late in the day to print, read it and edit.

The book draft is dismaying – a huge disappointment that displays both redundancy and gaping holes – much work remains to be done. But I guess that’s what first drafts are for, and at least I got a poem out of it – a poem titled "Redundancies and Gaping Holes."
As I sit here at dawn, I realize that she who came into my dreams was Laura. Furthermore I realize I never did know how to untangle her or her hair – and she wouldn’t let me touch it.
I am heartened. Laura knows what I’m doing. She wants to do it herself.
Back then, when she was 5 or 6 there was a terrible standoff, and I had to hurt her: Without scissors I had to get rid of the matted tangle at the nape of her neck. Tears were shed.
Once I’d done so, I gave her the hairbrush and said, “You’re on your own from now on, babe.”


Laura needs to write the book.