I enjoy writing lyrics. I started this when I was in Ireland, and I finished it up (at least for now) just this evening. Who’s going to put it to music? What’s it about? Picture a boy who walks through the jungle two hours one way to attend a small village schoolhouse. Certainly, it’s a true story.
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Michelle James posted her review of A Man Too Old for a Place Too Far, and it’s a great one! Here’s a short excerpt:
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Remember, A Man Too Old for a Place Too Far is only part one of the brand new Forgotten Child Trilogy. Book two is scheduled for a June release, so if you haven’t read book one yet, here’s your chance. It’s available on Kindle and in paperback.
One of my tasks for my residency at Greywood Arts in Ireland was to complete my new show entitled “Crazy Love.” The world premiere of this show will be performed by my drama group The Sun & Sand Players in December 2018 in Jeddah.
In addition to the two full-length plays I completed this week, I’m thrilled to see “Crazy Love” come together. It’s a collection of 8 dramatic sketches and one mini-musical all themed around crazy love. The show will consist of 7 brand new pieces plus two of my award-winning sketches from other years which fit perfectly in this collection.
Yesterday, I wrote the entire script called “Bridge Watchers” which completed the show. I also finished the script “Young Love” and did some final editing on some of the other scripts as well.
Here’s the way the show is looking:
- A Pinch of Fate, A Shot of Destiny – Best Script Award Winner – the death angel comes for Rebecca but wasn’t expecting fate to get in the way
- The Talk – New – snippets of parents talking to their kids for the first time about the birds and bees
- Bridge Watchers – New – seven bystanders watch a tragedy unfold from on top of a bridge. Who will get involved?
- Fruit Punch – New – Banana tries to setup Olive on a date with an actual Date. (yeah, it’s crazy)
- Shame on the Moon – New – a reworking of Romeo and Juliet, every time Romero and Julia look at the moon, they fall in love
- Young Love – New – snippets of love from the perspective of kids
- No in Spite of Itself – Best Script Award Winner – a young man stands on a cliff having a conversation to himself, lamenting the fact that the girl he loves doesn’t love him
- Love is Not a Straight Arrow – New – a fictionalized version of a true story about my grandmother in 1924, when she came to Pennsylvania to marry Otto Sasse
- Crazy Love: The Musical – New – a mini-musical about a family falling apart, and a child who thinks she is to blame
I think it will be a great show! Because love is always funny and dramatic. Who can resist it?
I’ve been inundated with those Master Class video ads on social media lately. I’m sure you’ve seen them, and I have to admit, some of them certainly catch my eye. I was real curious to see what Ron Howard and Martin Scorsese said about film-making, and even their introductory videos were quite engaging.
Of course, there’s a bunch of well-known writers on there as well, and I am, as a writer, interested to hear what they have to say. I like to keep my options open. I like to learn and grow in my craft, but whenever someone says how important it is to do this or that when being a creative writer, I usually balk at it and tell them to slow down the bus!
Writing is different from film-making or some of the other arts because it’s so subjective. There’s no one formula. There’s no “best practices” which will insure success. Sure, there are some writing guidelines which may help, especially for young writers, but blanket statements are not that helpful.
One well-known writer on the Master Class videos said how important it is to outline. You must outline, outline, outline like crazy. Outline until the cows come home. Outline through all your holidays. Outline until you’re blue in the face, or until the next season of your favorite show comes out. OUTLINE!!!! Okay, I might be paraphrasing here.
But the point is, this particular writer emphasized how important outlining is. And in reply to that, I say hogwash!
It might be important to you. It’s obviously important to him. It’s not important to me. Now you might think to naturally side with him because he’s famous and rich and I’m not. That’s a valid point. But if I may, I content his outlining obsession has nothing to do with his success.
Here’s the problem I have with outlining. For me, it’s basically useless, because by the time I hit the third chapter of my outline, the rest of my outline has no validity because I’ve changed the story so much since my original ideas.
Simple! Writing leads to new ideas. New writing leads to newer ideas. To think you can sit down and know the ending of a creative story before you actually start writing is rather preposterous. That’s like chaining yourself in and not allowing your ideas to grow as your story grows.
So if you do outline, I’d offer this advice. Don’t let the outline be the ultimate driver of where your story is going. Use it as a guide, but as your ideas develop, please feel free to change your outline. Please feel free to change your ending!
Just today, I completely revamped an ending to a play which I thought I had finished yesterday. But it wasn’t sitting right for me, so I had to go back and change it.
Now, with all that said, it doesn’t mean that I never outline. I do loosely outline at times when I think I see where the story is going. For example, on my new fiction trilogy, I do know the ending of book three. But I only know the ending because I already wrote book 1 and 2. When I was writing book 1, I didn’t even know how it would end. But now that I’ve written 2/3’s of the trilogy, it has become obvious to me what the ending must be. Great! No problem!
My ultimate point here is that there is not one correct way to write. It’s so personal and subjective. Do what you are comfortable with. Follow your passion and your story. Allow it mold and form what you want to say. Never allow preset guidelines to determine where your story must go.
You know where it’s supposed to go. It’s in your heart. You were made for this moment. Create and discover what you never thought possible.
I’ve been in Killeagh, Ireland at Greywood Arts for a little more than two days now so I wanted to check in with everyone concerning how’s everything going. Well, in a word, great!
Greywood is a terrific venue for the arts. A renovated (and still being renovated) 18th century Georgian house specifically for promoting the arts. Here’s my amazing writing room.
It overlooks the Dissour River, more of a stream in my mind, but has a beautiful view of a small cascade right from the desk. I even saw a river otter! It is bright, cheery, and quiet. A perfect combination for creativity. How’s it been working? Amazingly well. On day one, I completed a play called “Embrace” which I started nearly five years ago and wondered if I would ever finish it. Well, I did. Seven hours of hard labor on that script completely revitalized it and I’m very happy with it. Unlike anything I have ever written.
Today, day two, was spent working on a play called “For the Glory of Nat Turner.” I had started it last year with a mere 2000+ words and I hammered out the entire first act, clocking the whole thing in at around 7000 words now. Tomorrow, I’d love to finish this one too! Amazing productivity.
The village of Killeagh is small and quaint. No more than 500 souls live here. Here are a few shots.
The weather today turned toward the nasty. Really cold and rainy. No walks and very little out and about. The forecast isn’t great, but I hope it clears a little tomorrow cause I was going to take the bus over to the seaside town of Youghal only 10 minutes away. We shall see how it looks in the morning.
I’m also hoping to take a trip into Cork for a day and check out the city. That will likely be the extent of my touring since my main focus is on writing, writing, and writing.
This is such a terrific opportunity. So relaxing and rewarding and I can’t think Greywood enough for their hospitality.
Let’s get back at it!