Tag-Archive for » comedy «

Curiosity Killed the Cat? The real Story!

Curosity.BookCoverPreview.do      Oddly, (I think) many searches/views on my web site contain  the phrase, ‘curiosity killed the cat’.  I thought it would be fun to tell my visitors where this story actually came from. (Part of my collection of 10 minute plays for the classroom)

By now you  know that I write frequently based on family stories….true ones.

This (short play) comedy is true which just goes to show, once again, that ‘truth is stranger than fiction’.

My auntie Ivah had been grubbing all day in the garden of her brick mansion in the Laurelhurst district in Seattle.  While she could afford a gardener or two, she was an avid gardener herself and could be found there, bare foot, in shorts and a sun hat every fair day.  Ivah wore shorts whenever she could because she had ‘Betty Grable legs’  (An actress circa 1940’s-1950’s whose legs were insured for a million dollars) and Ivah was quite vain about hers. She was eager to show them off at every opportunity…even if it was just to her flowers abounding in her gardens.

Around dinner time her husband, Arthur (an attorney) arrived home and announced that he had a client stopping by to sign some documents on his way to the airport.  Ivah, dirty and smelly from the garden said she’d hide in the kitchen, putting final touches on dinner, until the client was gone.  more »

‘Writers! Never Give Up!’ said the mouse ….

courage, writing, creating, writers, bravery,      Sometimes the business of writing is like the mouse trap; ready to snap our heads off in an instant!  Like this brave little mouse, never give up on yourself.  Believe in yourself and your writing and  put your helmet on and get back in the game!

(A year and a half later visitors are still reading this post, so I thought it deserved another airing.)

What prompted the idea of the helmet?  (what prompts you to write? and about what?) Did the little mouse see his grandpa die by mouse trap?  (are you writing about something you heard, saw, witnessed?) Where did the mouse get the helmet? And how did he know that trap-bar hitting hard surface of helmet equaled safety?  (are you researching your facts thoroughly?)  Or did the mouse listen to a folk tale at his mother’s knee, passed down from generation to generation, about a brave ancestor who foiled the mouse trap?

Like the piece of cheese, it will all be worth it in the end.  more »

Leonard Said, ‘Yes!’ The Big Bang Theory!

PenandLeonardth       Penny and Leonard sittin’ in a tree….k.i.s.s.i.n.g.

Half in fun, half serious Penny and Leonard have been proposing to each other, always confident that they would turn each other down.  Within the brilliant writing of Chuck Lorre’s writing team,  Leonard and Penny are arguing.  Viewers squirm at how awkward the scene is, (again, the brilliance of Lorre’s writing) and then there is one last proposal and Leonard tells Penny ‘Yes! I’ll be your bran-muffin.’

Then in a pure moment of geek love, Leonard gets down on one knee in front of Penny, opens his wallet and digs around until he finds the ring he’s been carrying around ‘for a while’ (two years).  He purposes very formally and Penny says ‘yes’.  Leading up to this momentous event the episode was a delightful collection of vignettes of each couple and their strange and wonderful love for each other.  Sheldon’s description of his written relationship agreement with Amy, and more »

An Idea..A Gift…A new Play and now a Novel! (part two)

short plays mystery,murder mystery, short plays, short plays for the young actor, short plays for teens,   This past Tuesday I started the story about where the idea came, from to write this play.  Here is the rest of the excerpt…..if you like it, write to me and I’ll send you the script,  FREE!  (offer expires 12/1/13) 
And
Next TUESDAY,  I offer twelve TIPS on how to write a stage play!
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(MONTY resumes to paint for a few beats. A door slams down on the street and a woman’s voice is heard.)

VOICE (Off.) Hello, Samantha. Where’re you off to in such a rush?

(MONTY rushes to the window and looks down.)

SAMANTHA. (Voice Off.) Hi, Mrs. Jessup. Just got a call. They want me to audition. Do I look all right?

VOICE (Off.) You’re a blonde now, dear. And so quick!

SAMANTHA. (Voice Off.) It’s a..um…a wig..for the audition.

VOICE (Off.) Well, brunette or blonde, you look lovely, as always.

SAMANTHA. (Voice Off.) Do you need anything from the market? I’m stopping by on my way home.

VOICE (Off.) A quart of milk, if you can, dear. And a half pound of locks if it’s fresh.

SAMANTHA. (Voice Off.) You got it, Mrs. J.

VOICE (Off.) Wait just a moment, I’ll get my pocket book.

SAMANTHA. (Voice Off.) No, it’s okay. You can pay me when I get home. Gotta go…..see you later.

VOICE (Off.) You’re such a good girl. Bye. more »

Writers! Do You Know the Basics of good grammar?

15 Grammar Goofs That Make You Look Silly
Like this infographic? Get more content marketing tips from Copyblogger.

Are you like me?  Even though I know it’s ‘its‘ that I want, my fingers type ‘it’s‘ when what I really meant was  ‘its’.  Just this morning I caught myself using ‘whose’ when what I really meant to say was ‘who’s’.  Thank goodness for grammar check!  It surprises me every time I see someone who doesn’t know the sometimes subtle differences between nouns, verbs, and adjectives and the infamous dangling participle.  For writers who want to present themselves as professional this is the kiss of doom.  Your reader will be jarred and thrown off  ‘the cadence of reading’ by your goofy grammar.  I loved this article and graphic offered by copyblogger.com.  Really a good one to save!
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  DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS. INTERVIEWS with other best-selling AUTHORS!    Join us at the Writer’s Corner! I have had a wonderful response from other authors and will feature an interview once a month . I have invited such luminaries as: Ann Purser, Susan Elia MacNealMark Childress, Rhys Bowen, Dean Koontz, Sheryl Woods, Jo-Ann Mapson, Jeffrey Deaver, Elizabeth Gilbert, Amber Winckler, Heidi Jon Schmidt, Robert McCammon, Caroline Leavitt, Sue Grafton, Karen Robards, Walter Mosley, Nora Roberts, and many others.

So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!  July features Rhys Bowen.  Sue Grafton is August’s author and September will feature Tasha Alexander. Jeffrey Deaver is November’s author and  slick mystery writer, Andrew Grant will join us this winter. Loretta Chase will be featured later this year.
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To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  Go to the home page; On the right side you’ll see a box where you can enter your email address. Click on “join my blog”. You need to confirm in an email from ‘Writer at Play’ . Thanks!

What does it Look like? From No book to Finished book…55 days

        writing, blog, authors, create         This past Sunday I finished the first draft of my second novel.  74,000+ words and 365 pages.  This was possibly the purest writing I have ever done and almost an out-of-body experience.  WHY?  You ask?

       I let go! 

As most of my friends will tell you, I am a double ‘A’ personality with control issues.  Okay!  Call it what it is;  I’m a control freak!
But this time, I started with only a loose outline in order to keep my historical facts straight and to track where I thought I was going with the story.   I had written the prologue months ago.  On February 19th I marked my calendar that this was the day that I would begin writing it in earnest.

By the second chapter the characters took the story away from me and told me to hang on and start typing.
They told me who they were, where they were going, who they loved, why they had failed and all about their flaws. women's fiction, roaring twenties, flappers, prohibition

Now!  Other than the fact that I am in excellent company, I would agree with you when you mutter, “She’s just plain nuts!”   But according to the authors that I am now interviewing on a monthly basis, this is not bat-poop crazy but rather a condition that most writers dream about and when it does happen they don’t question it….they just let it happen and they give thanks!

During long, long days of writing (sometimes until my fingers refused to work any longer) I spent my non-writing, quiet time surrounded with great authors.  Either posting their interviews, reading their poetry, or curled up with a good book.  I believe that reading makes us better at our writing.

I am so inspired by other good writers.

So let go!  Open your hearts and minds and let it flow.  Don’t force the direction of your story…it will never be exactly like you planned and that’s a GOOD thing!
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Start your month off right!! DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS. INTERVIEWS with other best-selling AUTHORS!      A SERIES, “The Writer’s Corner”

I have had a wonderful response from other authors and will feature an interview once a month . I have invited such luminaries as: Ann Purser, Susan Elia MacNealMark Childress, Rhys Bowen, Dean Koontz, Sheryl Woods, Jo-Ann Mapson, Jeffrey Deaver, Elizabeth Gilbert, Amber Winckler, Robert McCammon, Sue Grafton, Walter Mosley, Nora Roberts, and many others.

So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!  Mark Childress was our April author.  Robert McCammon is scheduled for May. Caroline Leavitt is June‘s author.  July features Rhys Bowen.  Sue Grafton is August’s author and September will feature Tasha Alexander.  Slick mystery writer, Andrew Grant will join us this winter.

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To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  Go to the home page; On the right side you’ll see a box where you can enter your email address. Click on “join my blog”. You need to confirm in an email from ‘Writer at Play’ . Thanks!

The Writer’s Corner.. an Interview with Mark Childress (part 2)

interviews, author quotes

Part II ….Mark Childress

movies, Crazy in Alabama, famous authors, writers

Q. Do you ‘get lost’ in your writing and for how long?

A. All the time, when it’s going well. I actually get kind of impatient with the demands of real life when the imagined life really gets up and cranking.

Q. When did you begin to write seriously?

A. In high school, after I won an “honorable mention” in a short story contest and Miss Eudora Welty herself put the plaque in my hand.

Q. How long after that were you published?

A. I was published as a journalist starting just two years later but it was nine years before I got my first novel published.

Q. and the all important: What does the process of going from “no book” to “finished book” look like?

A. Assuming you have found an agent who has found an interested publisher, most of the process is directed by the writer. Despite what people think, publishers don’t generally force novelists to stick to strict deadlines or to stop editing the book before they’re finished. They want you to write the best book you can. First you write the book. Then you rewrite it a few times or a few dozen times for yourself.

Then a few more times for the editor. Then another time for the copy desk. After that, it is waiting, longing, hoping, and having Oprah dreams. Then publication happens and is both much better and much worse than you ever expected. Then you face the blank page and start the next one. Rewriting is the core of what writers do – so if you can’t stand rewriting and being edited, choose another profession.famous authors, interviews, writers

Q. Where/when do you first discover your characters ?

A. It is different for each book. Sometimes it is an idea, or a place, sometimes it is a character. It’s important to keep listening for that little bell when it rings.

Q. What inspired your story/stories ?

A. Life, pain, a happy childhood that was also miserable. A weird family. Being from Alabama.famous authors, writers, interviews

Q. Have you? Or do you want to write in another genre`?

A. The one problem my agent has always had is that I like to write a completely different novel each time. I don’t stick to one theme or one type of book. I love writers like Graham Greene who can do a little bit of everything, and I’ve always wanted to be like that.

Q. Please feel free to share more with us.
interviews, authors, writersA.   “I love my readers. They have made it possible for me to have the life I dreamed of back when I started out. If you are one of them – my thanks.”

http://www.crazyinalabama.com/
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Start your month off right!! DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS. INTERVIEWS with other best-selling AUTHORS!      A NEW SERIES, “The Writer’s Corner”

I have had a wonderful response from other authors and plan on featuring an interview once a month . I have invited such luminaries as: Ann Purser, Susan Elia MacNeal, Mark Childress, Rhys Bowen, Dean Koontz, Sheryl Woods, Jo-Ann Mapson, Jeffrey Deaver, Elizabeth Gilbert, Amber Winckler, Robert McCammon, Sue Grafton,Walter Mosley, Nora Roberts, and many others.

So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!    Robert McCammon is scheduled for May. Caroline Leavitt is June‘s author.  July features Rhys Bowen.
Sue Grafton is August’s author and September will feature Tasha Alexander.
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To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  Go to the home page; On the right side you’ll see a box where you can enter your email address. Click on “join my blog”. You need to confirm in an email from ‘Writer at Play’ . Thanks!

The Writer’s Corner…Interview with author, Mark Childress (part 1)

interviews, author quotesThis blogger is so pleased to have this interview with Mark Childress.  Author and screen writer of the movie, “Crazy in Alabama” starring Melanie Griffith, David Morse, Rod Steiger, Robert Wagner.  Mark has kindly shared his writing world with us and his tongue-in-cheek wit.

Q. Where do you write? Do you have a special room, shed, barn, special space for your writing?

A. I cannot upload a picture of my desk because my Mom would be ashamed of me.
It’s really messy. Like the inside of my brain. For only the second time in my life, I live in a house which has an actual
separate office in my interviews, authors, writershouse where I work. Usually I’ve worked at a desk in my bedroom because I’ve lived in tiny apartments. Having a separate space is such a luxury and it means I get to leave it as messy as I want and NOT publish photos of it! However, I wrote most of my first two novels on a typewriter in various motel rooms while traveling for a magazine, so I know you can do it anywhere if you apply yourself.

Q. Do you have any special rituals when you sit down to write? (sharpened #2 pencils, legal pad, cup of tea, glass of brandy, favorite pajamas, etc.)

A. Water. Chair. Butt in chair. Turn off the internet. Do not move until you can’t do any more.

Q. What is your mode of writing? (long hand? Pencil? Computer?)

A. Computer. I remember typing 11 complete drafts of my first novel on an old IBM Selectric and boy oh boy was
I glad when they invented cut-and-paste. In college, I made beer money as a typesetter for our college paper
on an ancient “computerized” machine that had a tiny led screen with a three-word display. So these machines do
not intimidate me.

Q. Do you have a set time each day to write or do you write only when you are feeling creative?

A. I sit down every day about 9 or 10 and write until I can’t any more.

interviews, authors, writers, movies, Crazy in AlabamaBiography: I was born in Monroeville, Alabama. Shortly thereafter Miss Nelle Harper Lee made
our town famous with “To Kill a Mockingbird.” So, for me, being a novelist was always a dimly
achievable goal. Everybody admired Miss Lee and I wanted to be like her. When I read her book,
I really wanted to be like her. I wrote my first novel when I was 15. It was awful but I finished it,
and thus learned the most important thing: if you keep going, you can finish. Also,
did you hear about the writer with severe attention deficit disorder? He……
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Don’t miss part II of this interview on Thursday, April 4th.
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Start your month off right!! DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS. INTERVIEWS with other best-selling AUTHORS!      A NEW SERIES, “The Writer’s Corner”  

I have had a wonderful response from other authors and plan on featuring an interview once a month . I have invited such luminaries as: Ann Purser, Susan Elia MacNeal, Mark Childress, Rhys Bowen, Dean Koontz, Sheryl Woods, Jo-Ann Mapson, Jeffrey Deaver, Elizabeth Gilbert, Amber Winckler, Robert McCammon, Walter Mosley, Nora Roberts, and many others.

So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!  Mark Childress is our April author.  Robert McCammon is scheduled for May. Caroline Leavitt is June‘s author.  July features Rhys Bowen.  Sue Grafton is August’s author and September will feature Tasha Alexander.
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To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  Go to the home page; On the right side you’ll see a box where you can enter your email address. Click on “join my blog”. You need to confirm in an email from ‘Writer at Play’ . Thanks!

Do You Doubt Yourself?….Your Writing?

famous authors, writers,          I ran across a description of one of my enemies….DOUBT!  Author, Jacqueline Winspear wrote: “Doubt. Was it an emotion? A sense? Or was it just a short stubby word to describe a response that could diminish a person in a finger snap?”

I wrote earlier about my being in good company.  Regardless if we writers are obscure or famous, we all doubt ourselves and our work.  What if Henry Charles Bukowski, or Ernest Hemingway, or John Steinbeck had let DOUBT win?  Put away their pen, dumped their scribbles into a shoe box and made a trip to the attic, got a day job and never wrote another word?   It doesn’t bear thinking about.

famous authors, writers, famous quotesJ. Michael Straczynski:  “When in ‘doubt’, blow something up.”

 

 

famous authors, famous quotes, writers
F.Scott Fitzgerald:   “All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.”

 

 

famous authors, famous quotesE.M. Forster:  “How do I know what I think until I see what I say?”

 

 

 

Tapani Bagge:  “Everything that doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.  auithors, famous quotes, writersAnd later on you can use it in some story.”

 

 
Maya Angelou:  “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”poet, poetry, famous quotes, famous authors

 

 

 

 

authors, famous quotes, writersElinor Lipman:  “Critics have been described as people who go into the street after battle and shoot the wounded.”

 

writers, authors, famous quotes

 

Leo Rosten:  “The only reason for being a professional writer is that  you just can’t help it.”

 

 

Let’s see …..when were my worst moments?  DOUBT clawing at me, whispering in my ear, crawling up my spine.  Telling me that I’ll never make it, I’ll never finish a whole novel, that I don’t know the first thing about writing poetry.  Writing play scripts was relatively easy for me. After all I had been in theatre reading scripts for over thirty years.  And the stories simply fell out of the sky and into my brain when writing a script.

When I could no longer resist the urgency of writing about the women who wait outside prison walls, I researched the length of the average novel; number of pages and words.  Yikes!  Over 300 pages and 70,000 words.  DOUBT was screaming in my ear: ‘you’ll never be able to write that many pages.’  ‘you’re a playwright; not a novelist’, ‘who do you think you’re kidding?’  But I had a true story (several of them, in fact) and all I needed to do was flesh those stories out.  Write one page at a time.
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Start your month off right!! DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS. INTERVIEWS with other best-selling AUTHORS!      A NEW SERIES, “The Writer’s Corner”

I have had a wonderful response from other authors and plan on featuring an interview once a month . I have invited such luminaries as: Ann Purser, Susan Elia MacNeal, Maya Angelou, Mark Childress, Rhys Bowen, Sue Grafton, Dean Koontz, Sheryl Woods, Jo-Ann Mapson, Jeffrey Deaver, Elizabeth Gilbert, Amber Winckler, Robert McCammon, Walter Mosley, Nora Roberts, and many others.

So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!  Mark Childress is our April author.  Robert McCammon is scheduled for May. Caroline Leavitt is June’s author.  July features Rhys Bowen.  Sue Grafton is August’s author and September will feature Tasha Alexander.
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To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction  Go to the home page; On the right side you’ll see a box where you can enter your email address. Click on “join my blog”. You need to confirm in an email from ‘Writer at Play’ . Thanks!

The Writer’s Corner..Interview with author Jo-Ann Mapson (part 3)

writers, authors, blogs, interviews, best selling authors    Part III ** Interview with Jo-Ann Mapson** This has been a terrific interview with Jo-Ann.  She has generously shared her writing world with us and she always inspires me to be a better writer.

Q. Have you? Or do you want to write in another genre`?

A. I write some nonfiction, essays, and have been tinkering with a kind of memoir for decades. Occasionally I am moved to write a poem, such as one for my agent, when her beloved dog died, but I’m not very good at it because I don’t practice the habit.

Something that I find compelling these days is the issue of writing and aging. I’m not sure if anyone has written about this yet. John Updike died, Philip Roth retired, Rosamund Pilcher died, Evan Connell died, and it becomes a kind of reckoning; your name will be on that list sooner rather than later. Somehow it makes the act of writing seem authors, writing, writers, interviewsmore important, to get things right, to write something of substance rather than fluff, or “phoning it in,” as they say nowadays. At the same time, I sense myself detaching from it a tiny bit, but it isn’t frightening, it feels natural. Like a part of aging. You cannot beat Father Time.

Here’s another thing: Every writer I know started out as a reader, and still reads. That’s what drew us to the habit in the first place. So when a new writer shows up on the scene and is so uncommonly great, why should there be jealousy or disgruntlement? It’s all being deposited in the great body of literature. This year I reread several books that I recall making me want to write, just to see if they held up. I was so thrilled to discover that they did! Mary Stewart, Rumer Godden, Henry James, even Danielle Steel’s first romance. I was delighted to discover that sense of timelessness that came with the reading.

I also read some new writers I really like: Tana French, who wrote Faithful Place and Broken Harbor, just plain WOW, that woman is brilliant, and I hope I live a long time so I can read all her books because she is just getting started. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce, those are a few writers I am keeping my eye on.

I recently hired Carolyn Turgeon to teach in the MFA Program in Writing at the University of Alaska Anchorage where I am core fiction faculty. She is an unassuming genius who takes fairy tales and wrenches them into strange and wonderful parables of women’s issues. She reinvents the core stories, which is what writing is, taking the old and telling it new. I’m all for new writers succeeding, pushing the boundaries of the form, and pushing me eventually out of a job. I absolutely love to work with budding writers. It is so satisfying to watch them succeed. I am standing there teary on the sidelines saying, “You go, Girl!” What a joy to be even a sliver of a part of that.

interviews, authors, writers, bloggersI am so blessed. I have a wonderful writing life, but there was much gritty scrambling to arrive where I am, and I know there’s more ahead. And I think that is the way it ought to be, earned rather than given, never taken for granted, so that when success happens, you realize the importance of it and relish your hard work coming to fruition.new fiction, authors, writers, interviews

 

http://www.joannmapson.com/

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Start your month off right!! DON’T MISS UPCOMING BLOGS. the NEW SERIES, “The Writer’s Corner” INTERVIEWS with other  best-selling AUTHORS!

I have had a wonderful response from other authors and plan on featuring an interview once a month .  I have invited such luminaries as:  Ann Purser, Susan Elia MacNeal, Robert McCammon, Rhys Bowen, Dean Koontz, Sheryl Woods, Jo-Ann Mapson, Jeffrey Deaver, Elizabeth Gilbert, Maya Angelou, Walter Mosley, Nora Roberts, and many others.

So come along with me; we shall sneak into these writers’ special places, be a fly on the wall and watch them create!
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To receive my posts sign up for my blog, blogs, blogger, writer, author, playwright, books, plays,fiction Go to the home page; On the right side you’ll see a box where you can enter your email address. Click on join my blog“.  You need to confirm in an email from ‘Writer at Play’ .  Thanks!