Writing Agenda: What’s on Tap

Every few months I like to highlight and update my writing to see what I’ve accomplished and what I’m currently working on. Here’s the latest:

Recently Finished:

 

  • Full-length Musical – Boardwalk Melody: A Musical. Currently in production.
  • Novel The Reach of the Banyan Tree – set for a July 1 release
  • Short Musical A Woman at War (now my co-composer is working on it) Will be entered in Short & Sweet Musical Malaysia later this year.
  • Apathy – A short play about Michelangelo’s creation of mankind paintings on the roof of the Sistine Chapel
  • The Heavyweight Fight of the Ages: Almighty God vs. Nothingness – A short play about Michelangelo’s creation of the universe paintings.

Currently Working on:

  • Novel 4 – Jonny, Who Stood on the World – about 2/3 finished with the first draft. Projected release date of early 2015.
  • Play – A full-length play for adult audiences on a rather controversial topic. I’ll keep it vague for now.

In the Works:

  • Two more short plays about the Sistine Chapel paintings. All four of these dramatic sketches will be produced as part of our Fine Arts Festival in May.
  • Eight more dramatic sketches for RLT Players 2014 season. Already have lots of interesting ideas. And new material to submit to Short & Sweet Malaysia. I want to do a reworking of a short play I co-wrote last year called “I Once Was Blind.” It’s a powerful piece.
  • Novel 5 – First chapter already finished. I also already have a title. But this one’s a long way off.

I love writing and creativity!

 

Government can be a blessing in a time of tragedy.

As we all send out our anxious prayers to the grief-stricken families affected by the tragic disappearance of the Malaysian airliner, I was reminded how we need to be thankful that we live in a day and age where governments can step in and help in the midst of trials.

I have a feeling that isn’t such a popular message these days. Government is popular to criticize, and not without cause. The offer a huge bulls-eye which is easy to hit. Most of the time they put the bulls-eye on themselves due to bone-headed moves and head-shaking behavior. Plus, no one likes paying taxes or having the IRS looking over your every move.

Much debate and discussion has been elicited recently about the role of government in today’s modern world. Some criticize the nanny state mentality which pushes for cradle to grave entitlements and massive economic overhaul in order to redistribute wealth. Others criticize the political right as being cold-hearted in their approach to government, espousing deregulation and business practices which pits the “good ole’ boys” rubbing elbows with government types in shady corner bars on Friday evenings.

But when tragedy strikes, we all finally get a glimpse of what government can do right, even if their steps are not mistake-proof.

Government, however funded, has the ability, know-how, time, energy and resources to step in where individuals would not be able to succeed.

Look what is happening now in the South China Sea as I write. China, Malaysia, Vietnam, and the Philippines have sent search and rescue teams, navy jets, and logistical teams ready to offer hope to any survivors or to react quickly to any scenarios where they can help.

Investigation teams in Malaysia and elsewhere will spend years sorting through the clues to try and determine the cause of the disappearance, trying to make sure that something like this does not happen again. The United States has dispatched FBI to the region in order to offer assistance if their help is needed. The coordination between and heart-felt sympathies of the various countries involved show us a glimpse of the purpose of government.

This is a moment to be proud of our governments and what they can do in times of need.

So as you offer up a prayer for this tragedy, add a quick sentence for those officials who are involved in managing and getting to the bottom of this crisis.

There will be plenty of time later to continue in our criticism of government. But for now, count it a blessing that we do, indeed, live under the rule of government.

Thank you! Best blog month ever!

I just wanted to thank all of you who have checked out my blog during October 2013. It was by far and away my biggest blog month ever in both number of views and number of visitors.

Though the numbers are still modest, I greatly appreciate everyone who has stopped by to same an article, read about a promotion, or check out some original writing.

There are many more articles to come about writing, history, culture, and life. I’ve enjoyed sharing my thoughts and writings with you over this past year, and I hope for much more interaction to come.

Thanks for stopping by!

The Recluse Storyteller: Meet the Characters, Part I

With one week left before the release of my second novel, I’m pleased to introduce some of the fun and unique characters you’ll meet on this journey. 

Margaret: The recluse who tells stories based on her neighbors.

Michael Cheevers: The jolly loner who lives beside Margaret. He wears a red baseball cap and mainly keeps to himself. But Margaret knows more about him than he thinks.

CHARACTER INSPIRED BY CHEEVERS: Red Hat – The terrorist, who seems to have a mysterious scheme to accomplish but keeps being sidetracked by bizarre things like flying flower pots and yoghurt trucks.

Mrs. Trumble: The snooty neighbor across from Margaret who gets her hand caught in Margaret’s door when trying to return a piece of mis-delivered mail. She declares Margaret a menace and wants her put away.

Janice: Margaret’s aunt, who looks in on her from time to time. She doesn’t know what to do with Margaret, who seemingly keeps slipping away from reality into her stories.

CHARACTER INSPIRED BY JANICE: Janice. In Margaret’s stories, Janice pierces incessantly into the blinding light coming towards her, ready to sacrifice everything for the light.

Priscilla and Florence. In Margaret’s story called Red Hat, they are the hilarious elderly sisters who accidentally drop a flower-pot on Red Hat’s head. This, of course, slows him down.

Chester Tomsey. Chester is Margaret’s boss. He sends work to Margaret over the Internet and she completes various manuals and projects for him in order to make a living. When Margaret’s stories start to affect her work, he does all he can to stop Mrs. Trumble’s witch hunt.

And I’ll even throw in a couple of places:

TWO IMPORTANT PLACES:
The Village of To Hap – In Margaret’s story called “The Ridge”, a former Vietnam vet, looking for peace of mind, returns to the Vietnamese village of To Hap where a horrific incident happened during the Vietnam War.

Harper’s Hill (19th century American Midwest) – In Margaret’s story called “The Mark Across the Sky”, the young girl, Georgia, sees a strange mark in the sky. She’s convinced that it means her father is coming home. She encourages her sister to trek to the top of Harper’s Hill, to the lonely crab apple tree, hopeful to witness her father’s return. But she could have never expected to find what she finds.

Tomorrow: Meet Reverend Davies, Reverend Taylor, Mrs. Johnson & her twin girls Sam & Pam. Georgia & Gwen.

PRE-RELEASE SALE CONTINUES UNTIL OCTOBER 7. Save $1 on ebook pre-orders at Apple iBookstores, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

recluse storyteller cover med

 

Back in Penang from Short & Sweet Musical KL 2013

 

 

 

Had a great time in KL over the weekend attending Short & Sweet Musical Festival KL @ KLPAC. Let’s get to the photos:

Here I am at Aloft Hotel’s rooftop pool. The Petronas Towers in the background. Love hotel @ KL Sentral.

photo aloft hotel

photo aloft hotel2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(above) Yet another view.

Here’s the mugshots of all the guilty individuals. It was fun to meet the director and cast of “Captured in Time & Space.”

(below) Right before the show began.  I have a few more photos to come.

 

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On my first trip to KlPAC

Why Does it always feel so good to get away? That’s exactly what my wife and I are doing this weekend.  We flew to Kuala Lumpur to take in the performance of my mini-musical Captured in Time & Space  in the Short & Sweet Musical Festival.

My thoughts?  I don’t know. It’s really strange to see a performance of something you’ve written but weren’t part of the production process. My drama group, The RLT Players, will be performing the same musical in November, so I certainly have  preconceived notions about the script. But I found it’s very interesting to see what someone else envisions for your work.

Overall, I thought the production was good. the actors certainly worked hard at it and they highlighted the themes well. Is it exactly how I would interpret it? No. But that’s the fun in it. Seeing how others view your work. Its been really fun to be part of the process.

After the show, a guy I never met before  came up to me and said, “Are you Mark?” He introduced himself as an actor who is acting in my script for Short & Sweet Theatre KL in a couple of weeks. He’s acting in my script Almighty Might (one of my favorites which you can read right here on my blog).

It’s a ton of fun being here in KL and seeing my writing come to life. I realize how lucky I am.

But I’m much too excited to go to sleep.

Pictures coming tomorrow!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12 Days Left to Save on Pre-release order of THE RECLUSE STORYTELLER – 2nd novel from Mark W Sasse

The release of my second novel is just around the corner on October 8. The e-book is on pre-release sale for only $2.99 (regular $3.99) from the following retailers:

You can also read the novel’s first review written by a reviewer who received a pre-release copy. The review is on Goodreads: Read review HERE!

Thanks for your support. I hope you enjoy the read.

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THIS WEEK! Captured in Time & Space: The Musical

Earlier this year, I wrote a 10-minute musical (with the help of musician Shion Beak) and submitted it to the Short & Sweet Musical Festival Kuala Lumpur. I was happy to have it selected for production with Marcus Lee at the helm.

Now, it’s finally here.

This week, the musical will be featured alongside other musical numbers from Wednesday – Saturday at KL Performing Arts Centre. I’ll be flying down on Friday to take it in on Friday and Saturday nights.

Do you want to see a sneak peek? The director sent me some photos and videos from their rehearsals. Here’s a link to one of the videos:

Rehearsal Video of Captured in Time & Space