After eight years of blogging, I find myself with a day (today) that I really don’t have anything to say. It’s too early for March’s author interview. It’s a good one! I’ve run dry on tips for writers …. except …. “Writing isn’t a calling, it’s a doing.” That hasn’t and will never change. So get busy.
I spent my morning running errands on the internet; some book buying, some banking, some talking to authors. Next week we will start with my Interview with Lee Matthew Goldberg, a sci-fi writer. And, literally, a tree hugger. >>>>
I’m currently adapting my stage play, Emma and the Aardvarks into a children’s illustrated chapter book. I have discovered a wonderful illustrator in Brazil and this is the first of his work for the book. Wonderful, huh?
I’ll sign off for now. If you’re wondering how I feel about this ‘dry spell’; it doesn’t bother me in the least. I see it as a much needed resting period and I know that March will fire up with lots of good things including our chat with Lee.
My weekly BLOG features INTERVIEWS with best-selling AUTHORS! November: Ella Quinn, December: Lauren Willig, January: Madeline Hunter, February: Mike Lupica, March: Lee Matthew Goldberg To receive my weekly posts sign up for my
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CLIMATE CHANGE. ENDANGERED SPECIES have all come to the Fabled forest. In this sixth script in the series, Emma, Donald, Thomas, Cheets and Stare all return (to the story) to meet their visitors and try to help them.
~~THE FIRST THREE DIRECTORS/TEACHERS THAT CONTACT ME WILL RECEIVE A FREE COPY OF THE NEW SCRIPT.
This is a fable about climate change and endangered creatures. Two sisters Aardvarks arrive in the Fabled Forest by accident. Their travel agent, Time Portals to Your Next Adventure, malfunctions and instead of Australia, they are plopped down in Cheets’ clearing in the forest. Here they meet Donald, the fairie, Cheets, the elf, Emma, the farm-girl and all the creatures that inhabit the fabled, mystical forest. Agnes and Annie are so ugly they’re cute. With their jaunty hats atop their weird heads, with their rabbit-like ears and short elephant type snouts, Emma and Donald are entranced. They set about helping the two aardvarks to complete their trip to Australia while helping other endangered species.
The Aardvarks and the Painted Wild Dogs are endangered species and it is a dangerous lifestyle. In this fable children learn more about climate change wiping out habitat and about other endangered species and how we humans can protect them.
CAST OF CHARACTERS
Emma ~~ A young earthling girl Stare ~~ A rhetorical owl Donald ~~ A young fairie
Cheets ~~ a rambunctious elf Patsy ~~ A large banana spider Agnes & Annie ~~ the sister Aardvarks
Thomas ~~ the sea-faring sea turtle Bertie, the bookworm ~~ the resident reading teacher
Fergus ~~ The royal engineer
Mr. Moseyalong ~~ Papa of the Painted Dogs Mrs. Moseyalong ~~ Mama Mic, Jax, Roger, Zeke and Serengeti ~~ the Puppies
No child need be turned away, there can be non-speaking roles as forest creatures and fairies.
TS. “We created a book cover representing the future time when our planet dies and everything is black and white. With a spot of color called hope.”
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Don’t be shy about looking at something you wrote a few years ago and rewriting and revising it. Most reputable publishing platforms will allow you to change the interior files and upload a revised, improved edition. I reviewed this children’s play of mine and in doing so found some editing and new writing.
It’s October, Halloween is right around the corner. So I hauled out a play script that I wrote in 2013. Wow! Did it need work. So I edited, did some extensive rewrites, gave it a new, more contemporary cover and then re-published.
Synopsis: A young family rents a deserted lighthouse so that their critically ill daughter can enjoy the sea breezes and beautiful countryside. Little do they know that, for centuries, the lighthouse has been the home and is in the ‘possession’ of four outrageous spirits.
Ben, an eight year old boy, has no trouble whatsoever making friends with two of the spirits, Baubles and Chaos. The story climaxes as Claire, ill with cancer, slowly fades toward death. Baubles and Chaos have no intention of letting that happen!
While this play has it’s serious moments, for the most part, it is a comedy and makes for great fun as the spirits romp around the stage. The adults can neither see nor hear Chaos and Baubles as they converse and play with the children and terrorize a ‘Man of the Cloth’! All in innocent fun, of course! 4f. 4m. 2 children
If you’re an aspiring playwright you might want to take a look at >>>>>>>>>>>>>
Euphoria!! My full length children’s play, The Exciting Exploits of an Effervescent Elf is being produced in Ontario, Canada!
In this stand alone sequel to “Emma and the Lost Unicorn”, Emma is held captive in Patsy, the Banana Spider’s web. No one can see her except the irrepressible elf, Cheets. Everyone in the forest has been searching for Emma to no avail and given his reputation, no one believes Cheets when he claims to have found her. Cheets can see Emma but not hear her through Patsy’s web. Emma must “act out” vital news concerning the enchanted forest. Hazard, the Lord of the Underworld is selling the forest to developers. Emma must not stand in his way! This fable tells of greed, ecology, friendship, enduring love and justice.
Most of the characters from “Emma and the Lost Unicorn” [Published by Samuel French] return to this new fable. New characters include: Thomas, the sea turtle, pedantic but loveable. Laughter erupts when the audience realizes that he speaks only in nautical expressions and sayings. Patsy, the spider represents greed. Rose, Emma’s mother emphasizes maternal devotion and the ability to believe when the magical creatures of the forest reveal themselves to her. Hazard, Lord of the Underworld reunites with a lost love. Roles for every child who auditions!
Emma, the earthling girl
Cheets, the elf
Stare, the rhetorical owl
Donald, Emma’s faerie best friend
Cleo, Queen of the Faeries
Handmaidens of the Queen
Assorted faeries and woodland creatures
New characters: Patsy, the spider
Hazard, Lord of the underworld
Thomas, the sea faring turtle
Rose, Emma’s mother
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Children’s Play (#5 in the Fabled Forest Series) has been released! Children’s story book by the same name.
The story is in play form. A one hour children’s play, by the same title, offers a part for every child who auditions.
New characters are introduce: Barcode and Fiona the two cats. Reginald the Raccoon and his merry band of baby raccoons. And lots of others.
Synopsis: Cheets is looking for an adventure! The elf had heard about ‘town’. Emma and her mother went all the time but no one from the fabled forest had been there. Cheets was certain it was a magical place and he decided that he must head for Troublesville. He stows away in the car one day and finds himself in busy, noisy streets all alone. He begins his adventure by befriending two cats who live in a house with two humans. Then because of his obsession with carrots, he is captured in a trap and that’s when his adventure no longer is any fun. 6f. 15m. (many roles non-gender)
Recurring characters from the series return to help find Cheets. Don’t miss Cheets’ escapade and daring rescue! Full color illustrations by Jefferson O’Neal.
MY features INTERVIEWS with best-selling AUTHORS! Did you miss the past few months? March: Mystery (and Western) writer, Larry D. Sweazy. April: World Traveler, Tal Gur. June: mystery author, Manning Wolfe. Check out more Motivational Moments…for Writers!
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Format is extremely important. If you submit your new play to anyone they will not read it if it is not in the proper format. There is software out there that offer auto-format but sadly I have not found one that demonstrates correct formatting. Notice the character names are in CAPS and centered. Setting, Rise and Dialogue are justified left. Single space between character’s name and first line of dialogue. Blocking (action) is indented and double-spaced from the line above. (The playwright gives the characters instructions on when and where to move. But, keep it short. Remember there will be a director who has their own ideas of where they want their actors to be.) If blocking is only one word, place next to character’s name in parentheses. A ‘beat’ is to enhance the pace of the speech and is in parentheses within the dialogue. Here is a formatting example:
Setting: A loft studio in Greenwich Village. Late afternoon. There are many paintings but all of the same woman. Large, open windows overlook the street.
(MONTY is standing at his easel, painting. Voices are heard off stage. His clothing is paint smeared.)
Hey, beautiful! You’re home early.
(Brush in one hand, palette in the other, MONTY crosses up to the windows and peers into the street below.
The lilting laughter of a young woman is heard.)
SAMANTHA (Voice off. teasing.)
Hey, Mr. Murray. Your wife know you’re trying to pick up women in the street?
No…and don’t you tell on me. My old woman would give me what for…bothering a young lady like you.
SAMANTHA (Voice off.)
Your secret is safe with me (beat.)…for a price.
Oh yeah, what’s that?
SAMANTHA (Voice off.)
Some fresh bagels from your bakery.
You got a deal. I’ll bring them home with me tomorrow.
SAMANTHA (Voice off.)
Thanks, Mr. Murray! I’ll look forward to it. Bye, now.
Bye, beautiful. See you later.
(MONTY’s shoulders slump and he sighs as he watches Samantha disappear into a building.
HE crosses down to his easel.)
Jeez…how can that old guy be so easy with her? (beat.) Monty, you’re pathetic.You can’t even say ‘hello’ to her in the street. What the hell’s the matter with you?
(end of sample)
Title Page of your script: Play title and Playwright’s name. Add contact info on this page if you are submitting to a publisher, agent or theatre.
Early in the script book, list the Cast of Characters. Sample:
Cast of Characters
MONTGOMERY ANDERSON: 29 years old, a reclusive artist.
SAMANTHA SPARKS: 24 years old, an aspiring actress.
DETECTIVE O’ROARKE: 38 years old, a hardened homicide detective. (Note: Listing the ages of the characters is very important for casting.)
Greenwich Village, New York City
Leave lots of white space on the page. Actors/Directors will need wide margins in order to write notes and blocking when in production. Read more about How To Write a Play
Author’s note: This formatting is approved by my publisher, Samuel French, Inc. This is what they expect to see when you submit. Correct FORMAT if you are self-publishing. And, yes, it’s very different!
How to Format a Screenplay
Want to try writing a ten minute play? Click here ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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The Exciting Exploits of an Effervescent Elf opens tomorrow at the Historic Palace Theatre in Cape Charles, VA. That’s three openings for me this month; Chicago, Connecticut and now Cape Charles! See? Dreams Do Come True! I am just thrilled!
Synopsis: In this stand alone sequel to “Emma and the Lost Unicorn”, Emma is held captive in Patsy, the Banana Spider’s web. No one can see her except the irrepressible elf, Cheets. Everyone in the forest has been searching for Emma to no avail and given his reputation, no one believes Cheets… Continue reading “My Kids Play Opens in Cape Charles”
Recently The Eastford Elementary School in Eastford, CT began rehearsals for my children’ play, Stanley, the Stalwart Dragon, directed by Catie Protonson. The kids have really been working hard and I have enjoyed every minute of watching them through FB.
In addition to the color illustrated paper back, this charming book has had great success in audio books
In book 1 of the Fabled Forest Series: Rainey, the unicorn, is a prince who has been banished, for centuries, by the warlord, Hazard. He can never return home unless Emma solves more riddles than Kodak, Hazard’s Lieutenant who ultimately reveals his secret weakness. The fable ends with a surprise twist which will delight readers young and old. While written for children, this fairy tale is sophisticated enough to appeal to adults as well. Continue reading “Emma and the Lost Unicorn…Book 1 in the Fabled Forest series”
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