Monday, January 11, 2010

Another book and another play…

This year began with a hint of optimism. I had an agent ask to read With Eyes to See. I had another agent ask to read Wormfood. I had a play entered into a festival in Georgia. I had another play chosen as a finalist for an evening of one-acts in Hollywood.

Since then, the theater in Hollywood has gone without choosing my play – but that doesn’t make things any less optimistic. I’m submitting more books and plays to agents, publishers, and theaters than I am applying for jobs, which I assure you is more indicative of the job market than any attempt on my part. There are just more ways to submit work than jobs to apply for.

So, I’ve been working hard selling the old stuff and also coming up with new stuff.

The new book I’ve been working on is called The Wrong Magic. I just completed the first quarter of that and can give some idea of what that’s about. Here’s your semi-official blurb: After eight years of marriage, Stephanie and Alex are finished. Moving to Cambria, Alex is mistakenly shipped more than just his half of the stuff. He also finds himself in possession of the unfinished stories he never encouraged his wife to finish. So, he decides to finish them himself but soon finds elements of those stories popping up all around him. And when redwood trees begin dislodging homes, a butler appears out of nowhere, and a bicycle race is thrown into horrible disarray, Alex realizes he can use a little magic to get his wife back – even if it is the wrong magic.

The first quarter of the book is set-up, of course. How did they split up? What’s their back story? That kind of thing. The first quarter sets them on their separate paths and new lives – call it Act One. Act Two will involve the stories. Act Three will involve the magic. Act Four will involve the resolution. It’s a lot of fun, returning to novel writing after all those plays, and I think this one is good and marketable. As I’ve often said, I will happily sell out and write marketable over artistic at every opportunity.

And with that said… there’s another new play on the horizon. I don’t know how I’m going to shoehorn this in but my current, unemployed state provides me plenty of time to do it. As much as I would love to sit around and play video games, I just never seem to allow myself that luxury.

The new play starts with a bizarre idea. Two characters, a man and a woman, are on a stage. They agree that they should have complete honesty in their relationship. No lies. So, the woman tells the man, “I’m an actress and we’re in a play.” This idea has been with me since before Christmas but I wasn’t sure where it went from there. I mean, once you have a character in a play admit that it’s just a play – there go the barn doors.

I’ve entered a distinctly deconstructionist phase, one which Vicky doesn’t really understand. Hell, I don’t understand it, either – but that’s where the muse is taking me. So, where would a play that begins that way go? That would be telling. Suffice it to say, I had no idea until I began diagramming out the situation the man and woman find themselves in… and once I saw it, then I knew where it should go. Now, I just have to write it.

I am positive that the day will come when I run out of ideas, so I write today with an appreciation for the fortune I have in this area, at least. Anyway, when that day comes I’ll be able to catch up on my video game playing…

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