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1. Elvis - the Real Story...maybe

A year-long celebration to commemorate Elvis Presley's first professional recording on July 5, 1954, is set to take place on Independence Day weekend in Memphis and Graceland. There are people who believe that "the King" is still alive and that he planned his disappearance. So let's say that this was the case and that a very old Elvis is living in anonymity, somewhere, but makes rare appearances at nondescript venues like gas station diners to relive the good, old days.


Elvis – The Real Story
                                                      By Eleanor Tylbor
 
 CAST OF CHARACTERS

 
TAMMY        40-something avid Elvis fan and wife of Len
LEN                40-something husband of Tammy
"THE" ELVIS, former big star/singer/performer

 
THE TIME
The present

 THE PLACE
Jackson’s 7-11 GAS BAR AND DINER

 
Photos of Elvis cover a large portion of one wall; Elvis songs play none-stop. There are a few tables with chairs on one side of the room, while the other side of the room has the usual gas station products and displays of motor oil, etc.

 AT RISE:

 TAMMY and LEN, two customers, are seated at a table looking around the room
LEN
(Scrutinizing the surroundings)
Um…who recommended this place?
 
 TAMMY
(reading book)
The restaurant guide write-up says it’s fine dining with a difference
 
LEN
Fine dining if you’re a rat! Did you happen to notice that a cockroach just crawled out of our bread basket? Must be one that escaped the Chef’s special catch-of-the-day
 
TAMMY
Stop being so negative and take in the atmosphere
 
LEN
You mean the aromatic scent of “eau du trash” coming from the back? Phee-ew!
 
TAMMY
You’re so…so…provincial in your thinking, sweetheart. It's about this authentic ‘60’s décor that gives the place its special caché!
 
LEN
More like early condemned. Every square inch of wall space is covered with faded Elvis photos and the man’s been dead for how many years?
 
TAMMY
That's the beauty of this place! It’s like a shrine devoted to “The King.” It's all too…wonderful
 
LEN
Are you saying that this…this gas station and three table diner was the King of Rock and Roll’s eatery of choice? Not!
 
TAMMY
For your information they say he used to eat fried chicken here and sometimes he even entertained diners
 
LEN
If I had known we were coming here to eat, I’d have checked to make sure my insurance policy was paid up
 
TAMMY
You know how long I hadda wait to get reservations for this restaurant…
 
LEN
…obviously not long enough…
 
 
TAMMY
…seven months! If you think I’m going to give up the chance to dine here…
 
LEN
…and a fine dining establishment it is – if you’re into salmonella poisoning
 
TAMMY
Get a grip! The waiter is coming so try to act normal, if that’s possible
               the waiter dressed in an Elvis jumpsuit struts over, swinging his hips in a
              typical Elvis-like walk. He smoothes the sides of his hair with his hands,
             frequently
 
WAITER
(swinging his hips between every word)
Evening folks’. Need a menu? Uh-huh – oh yeah…
 
LEN
No. We prefer to use ESP to order. Of course we need a menu!
 
TAMMY
Don’t mind my husband – I don’t. Leave the menu here and we’ll choose
 
LEN
So tacky. All the dishes are Elvis songs. 'Be-bop-a-lu-la' chicken wings…' The 'Love Me Tender' t-bone looks questionable and it comes with fries that are probably a couple months old and a 'I Did It My Way' salad. Look at this: says here on the menu that all their steaks are aged to perfection. Yesterday's road-kill most likely
 
TAMMY
Have you considered that your cranial spark plugs have stopped kicking in? I can’t make up my mind – so many choices…
 
               the waiter comes over to take the order
 
LEN
Are all those dishes served a la carte?
 
WAITER
(swinging hips)
No – on a plate. Uh-huh…
 
TAMMY
Just choose something already
 
WAITER
Want me to come back, folks? Uh-huh…
 
                                                                                                            LIGHTS DIM
 
TAMMY
Ssshhh! Quiet! The shows is gonna begin
 
                                                                                            SOUND: GUITAR TWANG
 
LEN
I don’t see why we hav’ta be quiet. Cheez – I can hear the sound of someone pumping gas outside, not to mention the smell. Mind you, it's hard to tell the difference between the food and the gas
 
              (The song from “2001: A Space Odyssey” is heard and the waiter now dressed
              in a mechanic’s uniform on the other side of the room walks in front of the
             counter holding a hand mic.)
 
VOICE OVER
“For your entertainment and pllllea-sure, the King has entered the building!”
 A very over-weight man dressed in a white jump suit enters, stopping to pose while leaning on a cane. A wide belt hangs well below a sagging stomach; black aviator glasses cover his eyes and a badly-fitting black wig sits lob-sided towards the front of his head
(VOICE-OVER)
“Direct from his engagement at the luxurious Pink Flamingo Laundromat and Bank Drive Thru in Tijuana, Mex-i-co, the management of Jackson’s 7/11 and Diner is proud to present, “the” King of Rock’n’Roll himself, the one – the only – El-vis!”
 
A bent over Elvis slowly makes his way to the other side of the room. He stoops  over to kiss Len, who pushes him way
 
ELVIS
“Whoops – sorry. Gotta get my eyes checked
 
he whips out a dirty handkerchief, spits on it and cleans his eyes and replaces it in a back pocket
 
ELVIS
(in weak squeaky voice)
Thank y’all very much! It’s the first time I been back this way goin’ on twenty years…or maybe it’s thirty…could be forty… Anyway… Good t'see y’all ain’t fergetten the King
              whips out his handkerchief again and blows his nose
 
ELVIS
Guess I ain’t the same Elvis you remember a ways back, huh? But then who is?
 
              starts coughing and choking. Scantily dresses nurses rush over to pat him on
             the back
 
ELVIS
See? I still got it but now I don’t know what to do with it! Thank y’all very much… Listen ladies – go see if you can find my extra set of dentures that I left in a steak yesterday.
 
              starts to choke again and a well-endowed female doctor wearing tight fitting
             clothing enters, with a stethoscope draped around her neck
 
DOCTOR
Now Mr. Elvis – honey – you know y'all gotta take it easy. Your ticker ain’t what it used to be
 
 
ELVIS
(laughing and staring at her breasts)
Yeah but ask me if I care. Thank you all very much. And now I’m gonna sing you a personal favourite of mine…at least I think it's a favorite...what's the name of the song now...nobody help me - it'll come back ...
 
              Elvis sings the first few lines of “My Way” completely off-key
 
LEN
(starting to get up)
Oh fer… We’re not gonna stay and listen to this…
 
              Sound of tires squeaking to a stop and the slam of car doors
 
ELVIS
Uh-oh…they’re coming back…I knew they’d find me… Damn aliens!
 
              Two males wearing white outfits move on either side of Elvis and take
              his arms
 
                                                                                                
MALE 1
C’mon pops. You got another gig at the Sunnyvale Nursing Home
 
ELVIS
But…but…I ain’t finished my set, yet!
 
MALE 1
(shaking his head and winking at Len and Tammy)
You don’t wanna be late for your big entrance.
 
ELVIS
Where’s my peanut butter and banana sandwich. I caint sing without it!
 
MALE 1
Here you are…
 
               the two men start to lead Elvis off the stage but Elvis stops and addresses the
              couple
ELVIS
Thank you all very much!
 
Elvis walks over, signs a piece of paper and hands it to Len and then exits with the men
 
LEN
(addressing waiter)
That was not “the” Elvis Presley now, was it? You got us here under false pretences. And that’s against the law, y’know!
 
WAITER
The guy is over 80 years old. Whad’ya expect? He’s got two hip replacements, a bad knee and now all that shaking he does is the real thing, poor guy. By the way, know that piece of paper he handed you?
 
LEN
I really couldn’t care less about the man’s autograph… In fact this is what I think of you AND your Elvis
               LEN rips up the piece of paper into small pieces
 
WAITER
You shouldn’t have done that. Uh-uh…
 
LEN
Elvis my a-s-s!
 
WAITER
That piece of paper would’a given you a free tank of gas with your meal. Oh well…uh-huh…
 
Len throws himself down on the floor picking up the pieces of paper trying to put them together
 
LEN
A tank of gas is a tank of gas is…
 
VOICE OVER
“The King has left the building”
 
LEN
(on his knees scooping up pieces of paper frantically)
Hang on a minute. I can stick these pieces together… Help me Tammy – at the price of gas these days…
 
 ©Eleanor Tylbor, 2009

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2. The Laugh Track

When did they make the last truly funny show? Has there been anything funny created in two decades or are they simply repeating the same thirty minute plotlines with different characters? The real question is, are they still using the same crazy laugh track from I Love Lucy and The Andy Griffith show? We are […]

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3. Arks to Go: the flood sequel II Scene 2

SCENE: LIVING ROOM OF AN APARTMENT. LATE EVENING

ANGIE and her male friend(JOE) are sitting on a couch, caught up in an embrace. Her cell phone rings repeatedly.

ANGIE
Ignore it. Now where were we...

(cell phone stops ringing and is replaced by the ringing of her regular phone)

JOE
Shouldn't you answer? Sounds like it's important

ANGIE
Some people might think so but not me. So...now...where were we?

JOE
You know who it is?

ANGIE
I have a pretty good idea

JOE
Strikes me that whoever's calling you, is trying to get your attention

ANGIE
Ignore him. As I recall, you had your arm here...

JOE
'Him'?

ANGIE
That is to say, it's probably one those scam companies making me an offer I'll refuse

(both phones ring simultaneously)

JOE
I dunno, Angie. Sounds like someone really wants to speak with you. You better pick up one of them. Why don't I go get us a drink while you choose?

ANGIE
Honestly! I get crank calls all the time. Why should this be any different?

JOE
(getting up)
Answer the phone, Angie

(JOE leaves the room. ANGIE stares at the phones while they continue to ring)

JOE
(from the other room)
'Answer the phone already!'

ANGIE
Why...why did I get involved in this again? Hello?

NOAH
Guess who? Is this your cell phone I'm communicating on? I've been thinking of getting one msyelf...

ANGIE
 I'm going to end this conversation, now

NOAH
...I mean, it would definitely give us more manoeuvering room. We could travel around and still keep in touch with everyone.

ANGIE
We? I don't think so

NOAH
Okay. I get it. We'll only use your cell phone. Don't wanna squander resources

ANGIE
We are not partners, got that? Now if you excuse me, I'm otherwise occupied

NOAH
Seems like a nice enough guy

ANGIE
Say what?

NOAH
Dear, Angie, my special connections allow me a private view into people's lives not accessible to humans

ANGIE
What happened to my right to privacy? It's beyond chutzpah! This conversation is over

NOAH
Would it make a difference if I apologize? It's not like I ask to have this insight. Comes with the territory. It's all water under the bridge, anyway. Always wanted to say that. Oh my - I am witty today.

ANGIE
You mean, wit-less

NOAH
Just trying to inject humor in what would otherwise be a dismal and gloomy topic. We have important things to discuss like how are we going ensure that we have two representations of all living things on this planet

ANGIE
There is no "we"! I'm not working along side a peeping Tom or Noah as the case may be. Good bye!

(ANGIE turns off her cell phone. It rings again)

ANGIE (cont'd.)
'I'm not home, Noah!'

(JOE re-enters and looks around)

JOE
I thought I heard voices

ANGIE
Watching this stupid program on TV about this weirdo who thinks he's been appointed to save the world and tries to convince a woman to join him

JOE
Sounds interesting

ANGIE
Forget about it. Let's get back to what we were doing before, better

(CELL PHONE rings again)

JOE
Boy! You sure get a lot of calls!

ANGIE
It's always the wrong number. Gotta do something about that

(Knock on the door. ANGIE answers)

ANGIE (cont'd.)
You!

NOAH
Hope you don't mind me dropping by. I happened to be in the neighborhood

(pushes by ANGIE)

NOAH (cont'd.)
Hello! I've heard so much about you and at last we meet. I'm Angie's friend, Noah. Tell me...have you given much thought to all this rain we've been having?


TO BE CONTINUED...

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4. Scenes from Life: a Short Play-ette. Miley and the Walmart Ladies:

MILEY AND THE WALMART LADIES


Sometimes, a playwright is privy to a conversation that just begs to be written. Okay. Perhaps begs is too strong but this was over-heard while standing in line in Walmart (no less) waiting to pay for some items. It went something like this.

SCENE: WALMART. Long line up of people waiting to pay.

THE CAST:

SALLY (60-ish female)
FLO (80-ish female) and mother of SALLY

SALLY
Lot of people today, mom. We're gonna have to wait a bit

FLO
People always seem to shop at Walmart when it rains. I wonder  why

SALLY
Nothing better to do, I guess

FLO
Uh-huh...maybe...

(SALLY's attention is on the magazines located in the check-out aisle. She shakes her head)

SALLY
Sad...really sad

FLO
What?

SALLY
Miley Cyrus

FLO
Who?

SALLY
Miley Cyrus

(SALLY points to photo of Miley Cyrus on magazine cover)

SALLY
You know Miley Cyrus...

FLO
Who?

SALLY
The singer?

FLO
Name sounds familiar...

SALLY
Remember she used to be in Disney movies? Such a sweet thing she was. Sad...

FLO
Is she dead?

SALLY
No - but if she doesn't change her life style, she could be

FLO
Oh...

SALLY
She was in the hospital, y'know

FLO
She sick I suppose?

SALLY
Yeah...could say that. The girl exposes herself

FLO
She's not wearing a lot of clothes. Perhaps she susceptible to colds

SALLY
I read somewhere that she has a heart murmur

FLO
Didn't know that. My friend, Phyllis has heart problems - so does Arthur... They take a lot of pills, especially the pink one's with a heart on it? Everyone I know takes them.

SALLY
Says here she was hospitalized for an allergic reaction to antibiotics. She probably over-dosed on drugs and they're just saying that to cover up

FLO
Arthur over-dosed on water pills. Couldn't stop peeing. Hadda go to the doctor. I told him, 'Arthur! Just put in a plug.' He didn't like my suggestion. Good. We're next in line

SALLY
Such a good girl, she was. Wonder what makes a girl like her suddenly do all that sexy stuff?

FLO
M-o-n-e-y!

SALLY
Her dad was Billy Ray Cyrus. Remember him? Achy-breaky heart guy?

FLO
They play that when we do line dancing at the Seniors Center. Lots of steps to remember but nobody cares when someone forgets, unless of course they trip somebody. Last week Sam forgot what direction he was supposed to go and Phyllis ended up with a sprained ankle.

SALLY
Oh well...hope Miley sees the light and gets normal again...

(replaces magazine back on stand)

FLO
Aren't you gonna buy the magazine?

SALLY
Neh. I finished it waiting to pay for our stuff. Poor Miley...

FLO
Whatever...

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5. Victricia Malicia, Book-Loving Buccaneer by Carrie Clickard

…………………… Victricia Malicia: Book-Loving Buccaneer Carrie Clickard, author Mark Meyers, illustrator 4 Stars ………….. Inside Front Jacket:  Victricia Malicia Barrett may have been born on a pirate ship and raised in all the best pirate ways, but she sure is a wreck on deck. Her knots slip, she falls from the rigging, and rats abandon [...]

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6.

One of my started-but-not-finished full plays. I've always liked this one but for whatever reason, forgotten about it. Have done many updates. Perhaps that's my problem as a playwright: starting plays without carrying them through to the end. Over the years have come up with a number of possible endings, which is a good start. An ending means all I have to do is fill in the blanks and create a middle. The cast characters listed are part of the rest of the play.

The story focuses on shrubs that separate the back gardens of two neighbors and their continuing fued as to their ownership.



NEIGHBORS
(April 2011)



CAST OF CHARACTERS:


TAYLOR, JEFFREY, 45,
PORTMAN, ROBBIE, 47,
JENKINS, 50, next door neighbor on other side
PATTY, 40-ish, bartender
MARTINI, 60, land surveyor and friend of PORTMAN


THE TIME

The present, mid-summer


SETTING: Back garden(s) of two neighbors. A picket fence separates their properties

AT RISE: Morning. Hot summer's day.

SOUND: Lawnmowers


ROBBIE (ROB) PORTMAN lazes in a hammock reading a book, holding a glass of liquid in his other hand. Dressed in cut-off jeans and a grungy tee shirt, his hair is long, unkempt and he sports a heavy beard

JEFFREY TAYLOR, his next-door neighbor is the antithesis of Portman and a perfectionist. He hoes his garden wearing a short-sleeved dress shirt and pants. He stops to res,t makes his way over to the fence and studies PORTMAN


TAYLOR
(wiping forehead)
Phee-ew! Must be a hundred degrees in the shade today. I’d be indoors right now if my tomatoes didn’t need pampering. That’s the real secret of growing big veggies, y’know? Give ‘em extra ‘TLC'. Hello? Am I disturbing you?

PORTMAN
(Takes gulp of liquid from glass)
Must be them damn chipmunks making a racket again

TAYLOR
How long you been laying there?

PORTMAN
Let's see now...what time did the sun come up?

TAYLOR
Had another liquid breakfast, did we?

PORTMAN
FYI - this is healthy, pure Florida vitamin C orange juice

TAYLOR
You expect me to believe that's straight orange juice without any - how shall we say - additives? Pllleeze! Don't insult my intelligence

PORTMAN
Go suck on a lemon

TAYLOR
My-oh-my! Touchy-touchy aren’t we?

PORTMAN
Anything you say goes in one ear and out the other

TAYLOR
You know damn well what I'm getting at

PORTMAN
Just say it. You’re dying to. Then go away - forever!

TAYLOR
It’s not like I haven’t expressed my feelings a thousand times before

PORTMAN
How does what I do affect your life?

TAYLOR
Christ Portman, it's only gone ten in the morning! You’re well on your way to turning into an alcoholic. Doesn't that bother you? Why am I asking such a dumb question

PORTMAN
Been there…heard it all before so don’t waste your breath. Go tend to your carrots or something. They need the Taylor touch

TAYLOR
Don’t ask me why but I care ‘bout you. Maybe something to do with the fact we've been neighbors going on twenty years and I don't wanna see you end up with cirrhosis of the liver - or worse

PORTMAN
Since when do you give a crap about whether I live or die? My passing would make your life easier. Maybe somebody who loves zucchinis would move in and the two of you could get all touchy/feely running your hands all over them

TAYLOR
Don’t feel like breaking in a new neighbor at this stage Do you see the incongruity in your chosen profession?

PORTMAN
Maybe I would if I could understand the question. Can’t you speak plain English like us regular people?

TAYLOR

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7.

Haven't decided yet whether or not to continue this into a longer piece or perhaps even a one-act play. There are two characters, one of which can be seen and the other off-stage as a voice-over.





ARKS TO GO - the Flood Sequel
BY ELEANOR TYLBOR


SCENE: A WOMAN STARES OUT OF WINDOW. TURNS AROUND AND GRABS PHONE DIRECTORY FROM A TABLE. CHECKS LISTINGS WITH FOREFINGER.

WOMAN
This is just ridiculous...all this rain... It’s gotta mean something... Aha! Found it!

(punches in phone number)

WOMAN (cont’d.)
Hello... Hello? Is anybody there? Anyone?

VOICE
I’m here – and where are you?

WOMAN
Is this Noah’s Ark?

VOICE
It could be. Who wants to know?

WOMAN
I saw your ad on TV yesterday. You build arks?

VOICE
Whom am I speaking to or with or at?

WOMAN
You don’t know me...

VOICE
...but you know me? How strange

WOMAN
I mean to say that I know you through your TV ads, not on a one-to-one basis

VOICE
That would explain it, then. Noah’s my name and arks are my game (laughs)

WOMAN
Good then I’ve got the right person. Listen...

VOICE
You know my name so it’s only fair I know yours

WOMAN
I’m not sure...I mean, I’m just calling you for information, actually

VOICE
Do I sense uncertainty on your part? Perhaps you really don’t want to build an ark?

WOMAN
I think I do...I’m just not sure... You see – it’s all this rain that we’ve been having. Never ending, day-after-day and then there’s all that flooding all over the world. I think somebody is trying to tell us something if you get my drift

VOICE
‘Get my drift’ and you want to build an ark. You made a witty statement. I like a sense of humor!

WOMAN
So you’ll sell me one?

VOICE
Sell? My dear – I don’t sell arks. I custom build them to certain specifications

WOMAN
That sounds expensive. How much do you charge?

VOICE
Not everything has a monetary value. Now...say I do agree to make you an ark, how many species are we talking about here?

WOMAN
I’m...not sure what you mean

VOICE
How many species will be joining you on the ark? Fifty...one-hundred...more perhaps?

WOMAN
To be honest, I hadn’t thought about – well – taking... species along. Just me, my cat Diamond and Clover, my dog

VOICE
You’re not...taking...any animals? Oh no! That won’t do at all. We couldn’t have that. Absolutely not! Good bye!

WOMAN
Hello? Hello? Noah? Are you there?

(she punches in buttons frantically)

WOMAN (CONT’D.)
Just what I need, to piss off the ark builder... It’s ringing... ‘Answer – please!’

VOICE
Yes?

WOMAN
It’s me again! I’m sorry! You never mentioned anything in the ad about taking animals along! I mean, I’m allergic....

VOICE
I see...

WOMAN
...but I could take antihistamines. Please – could you take my order to build my ark?

VOICE
Perhaps. How many species will be joining you?

WOMAN
I dunno. How about two dozen? Would that be acceptable? I mean, twenty-four is a good round number

VOICE
A hundred is better

WOMAN
A hundred? Animals? What’s the matter with me? We’re only talking about cats and dogs and chipmunks and maybe birds...some deer...

VOICE
Actually, I thinking more of elephants, tigers, zebras – specie

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8. New Photos Are Up!



"New" photos are up, just follow the link... 




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9. Youth Research Roundup: Millennial Culture, Affluent Families, New Ypulse Report & More

Today we bring you another installment of the latest youth research available for sale or download. Remember if your company has comprehensive research for sale that focuses on youth between the ages of 8 and 24, email us to be included in the next... Read the rest of this post

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10. The Rochester Children's Book Festival--Saturday!

The 15th Rochester Children's Book Festival will be at Monroe Community College from 10-4 on this Saturday, November 5th.


There will be 44 authors and illustrators to sign books and do performances. I will be one of them.


For more information, go here:
http://www.rochesterchildrensbookfestival.org/rcbf/Welcome.html

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11. Welcoming Ashton

Thanks for the post, Arthur Lawrence

Until this fall, I’ve never really watched Two and a Half Men. Charlie Sheen was such a train wreck in real life I couldn’t bring myself to tune in while watching my direct tv San Marcos. But after all the hype about his being fired and Ashton Kutcher being hired, I couldn’t help tuning in. I wanted to see what all the drama was about. Boy was I not disappointed! I know many long time fans aren’t very excited about the change but I really like the way they made the transition. The funeral was hilarious and a fitting tribute to a character gone rogue. Ashton’s introduction was a blast. He isn’t the best actor but the character he plays doesn’t seem to have much personality so it works! Jon Cryer is always great and continues to play the perfect straight man against Kutcher’s slightly spacy and clueless billionaire. And Angus Jones never disappoints. This show is one of very few examples where the cute kid in the punchlines has been able to grow up and remain relevant. Have you noticed they haven’t had to introduce another younger “cousin” like on so many other sitcoms?

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12. Weekends with Family Can be Side-Splitters

 

Crinkled brows, eyes shifting from side to side, estimating, evaluating; finally a bark of laughter erupts and a lead card is thrown onto the table.

“We have you now,” shrieks a female voice.

“Maybe,” replies a male opponent as a second card meets the first.

A third card, higher ranked, joins the small pile, and a fourth. The trick is taken by the opponent.

“Always expect a holdout,” the man’s voice advises.

Roars of laughter fill the kitchen with raucous sound. Another Saturday night has convened at the kitchen table for the weekly Euchre game between Mom and Dad and Mom’s sister and brother-in-law.

The aroma of strong coffee and one of Mom’s baked wonders tantalizes nostrils and stomachs of those present. It’s always the same group; couple vs. couple or men vs. women. The game might change from Euchre to rummy or to Pitch, but the night would leave everyone relaxed and satisfied.

Mom’s sister had a great deal to do with that feeling of hilarity. She loved playing the fool during card nights and did it very well. Some nights she was more boisterous than on others, but she seldom turned serious when games were in play.

My younger brother and his counterpart cousin generally watched TV during card night and then settled down to sleep. My older cousin and I watched the game in the kitchen as interested by-standers. We didn’t play. If Euchre was being played, we definitely were not allowed to play. In our part of the country, that game was a gambling game, even when not played for stakes. No children need apply.

None would ever consider the two women as not being family. My mom resembled my aunt in coloring and hair style. Their builds were nearly identical. Both were natural artists and could turn almost anything into a piece of art.

My mother worked in paint and clay or metal and findings from the forest. Her sister worked in paint and fabric, for the most part. Both loved antiques, but my aunt could have been a dealer. The knowledge she had was gleaned from years of scouring antique shops, auctions, and estate sales.

Most of all, both women loved the outdoors and nature. They’d grown up in the country. Their mother had taught them a deep love and respect for what grew wild or by design. They each enjoyed growing food for their tables as much as gathering from the wild.

With all of these commonalities, they managed to remain individuals who stood apart from each other.

Auntie was more playful than Mom. Mom had better rapport with children and animals. Auntie desired a house full of antiques and a spotless home. Mom liked things tidy, but she preferred a sense of home and comfort to fill rooms meant for living.

Aunt and Uncle often took Grandma and my cousins on trips away for a weekend to see other relatives. Mom didn’t bother. Her sister took great pleasure in that part of mother-daughter time; leaving Mom to do the Sunday home visits for family time.

Sisters, friends, companions, champions, confidantes; each filled those roles for the other. They talked in person or on the phone every day, without fail. Close didn’t begin to d

2 Comments on Weekends with Family Can be Side-Splitters, last added: 2/27/2012
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13.

Whereas the playwright has a conversation with the main character of  "Old Soldiers", JOE MCKENNA


PLAYWRIGHT
Joe! You old son-of-a-...gun. How are things going with you?

JOE MCKENNA
Cut the crap, Eleanor. You know very well I'm looking for direction

PLAYWRIGHT
You mean, you're lost? How so?

JOE MCKENNA
You keep changing my focus so often, I'm getting dizzy. When are you gonna make up your mind once and for all?

PLAYWRIGHT
It's not for lack of trying. I start out in one direction and then suddenly realize that I'm sending you on a wild goose chase

JOE MCKENNA
How well I know that! Now what are you gonna do with my army buddies? They're obviously important since you put them in the first scene

PLAYWRIGHT
That's the dilemma right now. I love their characters and I love the dialogue that flows out of their mouths, but they have to have something to offer in the way of justification

JOE MCKENNA
They're my friends. That's all they need

PLAYWRIGHT
True...but I want their input to be meaningful. To have an impact on the story. Do you like where they're at now?

JOE MCKENNA
Can't really say for sure - yet. It could work and then again the whole damn thing could fall apart

PLAYWRIGHT
What about the new characters?

JOE MCKENNA
Potential...they could be interesting.

PLAYWRIGHT
Well, if all goes according to plan, they will all have impact on each other

JOE MCKENNA
Sorry - I don't get it

PLAYWRIGHT
Hopefully, as time goes on, you will

JOE MCKENNA
Promises...promises...

PLAYWRIGHT
Trust me

JOE MCKENNA
Do I have a choice? Gotta leave. I have a feeling the guys are meeting up at the pub. 'I'm comin' fellas...I'm comin'! We are, right?


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14. When Emotion Is Free

EmotionsEmotion is what we strive for in writing. Get your reader to feel something! This isn’t a new idea. There’s been plenty of blog posts and craft books on the topic. It’s why Twilight is so successful, because the audience falls in love with Edward. Not stellar writing, sure, but it definitely got thousands of readers to feel something. Yes, this may seem like a no-brainer. We go to a comedy film to laugh. We read a drama to cry. The point is to create a catharsis.

But why is emotion so important? Possibly more important than plot or even good writing?

There’s a quote from Janet Burroway’s book Writing Fiction that has been on my mind for weeks, and I think it gets it the heart of this question.

Burroway says:

“Literature offers us feelings for which we do not have to pay. It allows us to love, condemn, condone, hope, dread, and hate without any of the risks those feelings ordinarily involve, for even good feelings – intimacy, power, speed, drunkenness, passion – have consequences, and powerful feeling may risk powerful consequences.”

This quote stuck with me because it has so many implications for writing and what an audience wants from a literary experience.

I’ve always hated the concepts of writing as entertainment or even escapism. But the idea of experiencing emotion – emotion that is not our own, that we pay no consequences for – is in a way entertainment. But it’s not “entertainment” as a word associated with money or the market, but entertainment as experience. It’s a real human need to feel, to connect, to have the opportunity to experience something – gain understanding – but in a safe environment without consequence.

And that is pretty powerful.

TexasChainsaw1The idea of free emotion puts a new slant on many of own personal struggles with writing honestly. I’m often annoyed with “rules” that there must be conflict, or catharsis, or change in a character. I’m not convinced these things happen in “real life” – and yet perhaps that’s the point. Emotion without consequence allows us to step out of reality, and live vicariously through the fictional characters that are willing to put up the fight, deal with the consequences, and lose everything. We watch a horror film – not because we want someone to chase after us with a chainsaw in real life, but because we want to feel the thrill of fear and not almost die. We want to know the whole gamut of human emotion. And to do that there must be some fabrication, coercion, perhaps even a heightening of the truth, if you like.

Granted, this is a slippery slope. If we read too many romance novels we might forget that great passionate love comes with consequences. You can’t have the glorious love affair without the tears, and the work, and the heartbreak. We might start expecting our partners to be something they aren’t – something easier. We might want a relationship with emotion that’s free.

But then…that’s what books are for. In real life we have to pay the consequences and make the hard decisions.

Breaking the RulesI realize this post is rambling a bit. I’m still wrapping my head around how this affects my work. But it does give me insight and respect for some of the mainstream “popular entertainment” books and films out there. They create an emotional response in their audience – and that’s not easy to pull off.

It also makes me consider the emotional response I want in my reader. Are there enough risks and consequences in my book to create a truly exciting “free” emotional experience? Are my characters really put to the test? Or is my book about creating a pleasurable intellectual experience for my reader? Maybe it isn’t about making a reader cry, but activating their curiosity, or letting them feel the wonder of a new phrase of language.

The concept of “free emotion” opens you to so many possibilities.


1 Comments on When Emotion Is Free, last added: 12/28/2012
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15. When Emotion Is Free

EmotionsEmotion is what we strive for in writing. Get your reader to feel something! This isn’t a new idea. There’s been plenty of blog posts and craft books on the topic. It’s why Twilight is so successful, because the audience falls in love with Edward. Not stellar writing, sure, but it definitely got thousands of readers to feel something. Yes, this may seem like a no-brainer. We go to a comedy film to laugh. We read a drama to cry. The point is to create a catharsis.

But why is emotion so important? Possibly more important than plot or even good writing?

There’s a quote from Janet Burroway’s book Writing Fiction that has been on my mind for weeks, and I think it gets it the heart of this question.

Burroway says:

“Literature offers us feelings for which we do not have to pay. It allows us to love, condemn, condone, hope, dread, and hate without any of the risks those feelings ordinarily involve, for even good feelings – intimacy, power, speed, drunkenness, passion – have consequences, and powerful feeling may risk powerful consequences.”

This quote stuck with me because it has so many implications for writing and what an audience wants from a literary experience.

I’ve always hated the concepts of writing as entertainment or even escapism. But the idea of experiencing emotion – emotion that is not our own, that we pay no consequences for – is in a way entertainment. But it’s not “entertainment” as a word associated with money or the market, but entertainment as experience. It’s a real human need to feel, to connect, to have the opportunity to experience something – gain understanding – but in a safe environment without consequence.

And that is pretty powerful.

TexasChainsaw1The idea of free emotion puts a new slant on many of own personal struggles with writing honestly. I’m often annoyed with “rules” that there must be conflict, or catharsis, or change in a character. I’m not convinced these things happen in “real life” – and yet perhaps that’s the point. Emotion without consequence allows us to step out of reality, and live vicariously through the fictional characters that are willing to put up the fight, deal with the consequences, and lose everything. We watch a horror film – not because we want someone to chase after us with a chainsaw in real life, but because we want to feel the thrill of fear and not almost die. We want to know the whole gamut of human emotion. And to do that there must be some fabrication, coercion, perhaps even a heightening of the truth, if you like.

Granted, this is a slippery slope. If we read too many romance novels we might forget that great passionate love comes with consequences. You can’t have the glorious love affair without the tears, and the work, and the heartbreak. We might start expecting our partners to be something they aren’t – something easier. We might want a relationship with emotion that’s free.

But then…that’s what books are for. In real life we have to pay the consequences and make the hard decisions.

Breaking the RulesI realize this post is rambling a bit. I’m still wrapping my head around how this affects my work. But it does give me insight and respect for some of the mainstream “popular entertainment” books and films out there. They create an emotional response in their audience – and that’s not easy to pull off.

It also makes me consider the emotional response I want in my reader. Are there enough risks and consequences in my book to create a truly exciting “free” emotional experience? Are my characters really put to the test? Or is my book about creating a pleasurable intellectual experience for my reader? Maybe it isn’t about making a reader cry, but activating their curiosity, or letting them feel the wonder of a new phrase of language.

The concept of “free emotion” opens you to so many possibilities.


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16.

A REJECTION WITH CLASS

As an aspiring playwright, rejection is an all too familiar part of the submission process. There are periods when it all gets overwhelming and rather than face yet another run of "thanks-but-no-thanks" notifications, I stop sending out my literary jewels for a while. Then along comes a theatre company and more specifically, a literary manager that makes it all worth while.

Recently, I submitted my play, "Gin: An Allegory For Playing the Game of Life" to the 1111 Theatre in the hope that it would find a home at last. Unfortunately, it has returned home to its birth place, unproduced, but the rejection made me smile and mutter, "oh well - onward and upward" instead of "oh crap- again!" What's particularly refreshing is that the Literary Manager, Louise Hamill, comments indicate she read the entire play instead of sending out another "dear playwright" form letters. That in itself makes her a cut above the rest in my eyes and worth sharing with other aspiring playwrights:

"Thank you for submitting your play, GIN: AN ALLEGORY FOR PLAYING THE GAME OF LIFE, for consideration to our theater. I enjoyed reading the work- each character's traits were clear and constant, and I never had a problem keeping the characters straight in my head (not always the case, unfortunately). I was also pleased Becky opened her eyes a bit at the end- I really wasn't sure if you were going to resolve that situation!

We need to pass on the script at this time, unfortunately, as it is not quite right for our company. I do wish you the best of luck in placing it with another theater. Thank you again for your interest!"

Thank YOU for YOUR interest Louise Hamill. You made my day.

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17.

Still submitting and waiting for that first acceptance. I mean, I ain't gettin' any younger! Be that as it may...I'm back working on a play I started perhaps ten years ago with many edits and tinkering along the way. The more I read it - the more I realize that I really like it so I'm sharing the first ten or so pages with the world - or whoever happens to drop by. I should be so lucky!

Will provide updates as to its progress along the way. Meanwhile, enjoy. Feedback welcome.


DEAD WRITES
by Eleanor Tylbor



AT RISE: Funeral chapel. A group of people chat between themselves while waiting for the service to begin. A coffin is situated on an elevated stand in the middle of the room


FELICIA PEMBROOK, wearing a diaphanous dress, sits on the floor next to a coffin examining her surroundings. Slowly, she examines her body, touching her arms and legs

LIGHTING: Dim lighting, except for a coffin in the middle of the room, which is spot-lit with a white light.

SOUND: somber organ music.


FELICIA
What the hell… Really must'a tied one on last night. Weird though. No hangover like usual… No feelings, period


Staggering to a standing position she walks around the coffin, touching the surface while trying to peer inside. A somberly dressed male passes by, seemingly without noticing or acknowledging her presence

(cont’d) 'Scuse me…hello'?'


Man continues to ignore her, focusing and fixing the inside of the coffin


Is this a… for real funeral parlor? Shoot! What’s the matter with me? Uh duh! This is another of Phil’s jokes. Wait 'til I get him…


Man continues to ignore her


Don’t bother answering me or anything… Fine – your funeral. Hey - cracked a funeral joke! Anyway, I'll find out on my own!


A man (JOSIAH) enters and stands directly behind FELICIA.
He has white hair, is dressed in a white shirt and matching
white pants that glitter



JOSIAH
Perhaps I could be of assistance in some way?


FELICIA
Ho-ly shit. What do we have here? A human Christmas tree ornament

SOUND: thunderclap


JOSIAH
I beg your pardon? Were you talking to me?


FELICIA
Do you come with your own sound effects, too?


JOSIAH
We're quite witty, aren’t we? Just a suggestion here and take it for what’s it’s worth but your colorful use of language could prove to be problematic


FELICIA
Do tell! You an agent for the grammar police?


JOSIAH
Excuse me? Police?

FELICIA
Aha! A little nervous are we, when I mention “po-lice”? Perhaps you’ve dealt with them on occasion?

JOSIAH
In my business we deal with all types and police officers are very common where I work


FELICIA
Not surprised. You earn your living dressed like… that?


JOSIAH
Sorry?

FELICIA
I bet you are – and then some

Holds up her arm and exaggerates a very feminine walk


You know…Cher? Wigs? Makeup?

Looking around and speaking softly


Padded bra… panty hose. Does it ring a bell?


JOSIAH
(puzzled)

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18.

DEAR OPRAH - I REALLY WANT TO HAVE MY PLAYS PRODUCED
Got a great idea yesterday as a possible, perhaps unrealistic but desperate means, in which to get one of my plays produced.

Recently, Oprah Winfrey - "the" Oprah - announced her retirement from her television show. Instead, she has created the OWN - Oprah Winfrey Network that will feature programs focusing on a variety of subjects. One particular aspect of the network caught my eye, which is an opportunity for your ordinary people to fulfill a dream via "Your Own Show" - 'Oprahs Search for the Next TV Star' . This presented a perfect opportunity for me to pitch my search for my plays or at least one of my plays to be produced. So I signed up for the newsletter and then filled out the form, my stomach doing flip-flops all the time. I'm really neurotic about these plays and in the past have found it difficult to even send them out. This insecurity is akin to mothers having a baby and then having to allow them to leave once mature or in my case, ready for Broadway...or anywhere, actually.

Everything was fine until I reached the end where a photo was required to accompany the form. Searching through my photos I selected one, downloaded it as an attachment after which is was refused as too large. Returned to my photos and once again attempted to download another photo with the same result. No matter which photo I attempted to attach, they were all refused.

Hence, the reason for taking to my playwriting blog in the hope that Ms Winfrey and company will somehow come accross this and consider my pitch. I'm placing this issue in the hands of destiny and fate. In this case a photo "less than 500K or a maximum resolution of 500x500 pixels" just won't work for me but then words are my strong point.

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19.


So I'm thinking here...given the success or lack thereof, of any of my plays produced so far, some new strategy is required. To date and as I've shared in this blog, I've written two full i.e. two-act, plays, one-1 act play and approximately a dozen short-short plays and skits over the years. Given the reality of today's economy, the future of having them making their debut on stage looks somewhat doubtful, hence the change of direction.


I've decided to write short pieces of dialogue on a daily or at least a regular basis that may or may not end up as a play down the line. They may be snippets of conversations overhead in a mall, or perhaps conversations with friends or personal experiences that would normally fall into the rant'n'rave category in one of my other blogs. Or maybe the embryonic beginning of a play. Just...stuff.


As always comments are welcome be they good or bad and I will respond accordingly but spammers will be deleted. Playwriting is angsting enough without having to deal with spammers. so stay away and you have been warned!


Meanwhile - on with the show!

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20.

OLD SOLDIERS - THE RADIO PLAY - a progress report #1

Decided to try and convert my short story, "Old Soldiers" into a radio play and enter it into the BBC International Playwriting Competition. My first realization how difficult a task this is going to be is underestimating the amount of dialogue required. Dialogue as it stands now is limited in its present form and this means a complete re-think as to how I'm going to move this story along. I'm also not sure how to write a radio play. Will spend some time searching the Internet in the hope of discovering the form. Some questions requiring answers that keep me up nights wondering:

- is it written in the same manner as a play?
- do radio plays have scenes?
- where are the sound effects written?

Why am I doing it? Because it's a personal challenge, especially since I've entered the competition before having submitted, "Retribution", which should have won...IMHO. This short story is one of my favorites and I think that it has the potential to be a winner.

There are four characters in the short story but more are required. I'm toying with the idea of adding an old dog given that Joe, my main character, is an old soldier. The dog is Joe's confidant, best friend and reason for living.

Dilemma at present is whether to open the story in Joe's apartment as it is in the story, or open it in a pub. If I open it in the pub it could be a few hours before the ceremonies, whereas the kitchen scene would go before he meets up with his friends in the pub to toast the demise of an army buddy friend.

Also considering the addition of an old (as in age) nosey landlady, who enjoys dropping by Joe's apt. He dislikes her, period, and dislikes her never-ending questions.

We'll see what develops as more dialogue is added. To be continued...

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21.

DOWNER - MONA DOESN'T GO




It takes me a while until getting to the point where I actually make the decision to submit one of my plays. There is the usual self-doubt and is it play-worthy and entertaining most of all. When and if I do submit, hope springs eternal in my breast that it could make the grade. Visions of it actually being performed before an audience who clap in appreciation accompany the "submit" button or the actual act of mailing the envelope.



Just came back from checking the Snowdance Festival site in the hope that my name was among the lucky ten playwrights whose plays were accepted. It wasn't.



Inject deep sigh here.



Having not received a notification one way or the other, the only means in which playwrights would know is to continually check their site. That I did - and then some.



The play submitted, "Dusting Mona" was one of my recent creations and IMHO it's well written and entertaining. Obviously not entertaining enough to make the grade.



Inject another deep sigh here.



It was mailed this time since that was their preference and now I'm wondering whether it was ever received. Actually, I would prefer to believe that they never received it rather than believe it wasn't good enough. I'm going to opt for the first. Rejection is part of playwriting or any type of writing but it never gets easier as anyone who is in this milieu will attest. I like to believe that the audience doesn't know what they're missing. Let's just say that Mona and other literary friends are taking a rest.

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22. A shining light for Chanukah

NOTE TO MYSELF: SMALL ACTS CAN LEAVE BIG IMPRESSIONS


As a youngster, Christmas was somewhat of a demoralizing time of the year. Since our family was of the Jewish faith, we celebrated the holiday of Chanukah, which didn't seem to me to be half as exciting as the furor that went along with trimming a tree.

On occasion Chanukah fell during the same period as Christmas and somehow I couldn't work up as much enthusiasm for lighting a candle even if it was colored, as my friends seemed to experience placing ornaments on the branches of their trees.

It was difficult for me to accept that a tree even a miniature one was out of the question, in spite of reminders that people of the Jewish faith don’t celebrate Christmas. Even the protestations that we could call it a Chanukah bush, it was obvious that there was no way a fir tree would be part of our celebrations.

Traditionally at Chanukah, children receive gifts of gelt or money and light small colored candles in a hanukiah (candelabra) one per night for the eight days of the holiday. While this was nice, in my mind it didn't measure up to all the excitement related to the "other" holiday.

At Hebrew school we always celebrated the various holidays, big and small and Chanukah was a particular favorite especially since our class, being the eldest students, entertained the residents of a senior’s home. Each year the teacher would select eight students to sing and perform to play the role of Chanukah candles with fierce competition for the part of the shamash or lead candle.

Not being blessed with a good singing voice and barely able to carry a tune, I knew that my chances were slim at best to play any candle, never mind the lead candle. My biggest rival was Zelig, who had the voice and promise of a future opera singer. Not only did he have the best singing voice, he was also the top student scholastically. He was also the teacher's pet. Whenever games were played for prizes during the holidays, Zelig won everything, which didn't exactly ingratiate him with the other students. Actually, we were all jealous and would have liked nothing better than for his voice to change in the middle of a concert.

Class auditions for candle parts were held a few weeks before the onset of the holiday and at best, the most I could hope for was a minor part and even then, only if the rest of the students had an off day or laryngitis. Each student auditioned for the teacher and as expected, Zelig got the lead role, which irritated me no end.

My resentment was eased somewhat by being assigned the role of a minor candle, probably out of pity more than anything else. Those students not chosen became part of the chorus singing "tra-la-las" at the appropriate time.

Excitement was at a fever pitch when we arrived at the seniors' home, ready to perform for a live audience who were, for the most part, in wheelchairs. They were brought into the auditorium where we were lined up on stage, anxious to perform.

Glancing around the room, many of the seniors appeared half asleep.

"You will be entertained today!" their nurses might have insisted as they wheeled them into the room before our arrival.

The first students opened the concert and sang well and those who followed performed admirably. Finally, it was my turn. My voice didn't fail me and I felt very proud of my accomplishment.

When Zelig opened his mouth it was like a chorus of angels had entered the room. His voice was strong and melodic and suddenly the seniors perked up, smiles on their faces in obvious appreciation of what they heard. When the last notes of his solo faded away, they all clapped appreciatively.

The musical recital was over and we performed a variety of Israeli dances, moving off the stage to mingle among our audience. Although Israeli dancing was a passion, I was consumed with the memory of th

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23.

OLD SOLDIERS -THE BBC INTERNATIONAL RADIO PLAY COMP. : RE-WRITE PROGRESS UPDATE

Slowly revising the story and adding/modifying dialogue. Also added a character (or more) and changed some of the locations. The fiction story opens in Joe McKenna's apartment and I've changed it to Joe and friends getting together to toast an old soldier's demise, at a bar. It seemed that this would be something that a group of old vets would do.

I'm working on flushing out the various characters but I have to be careful that they're not "throw-away" people that will be dropped along the way. They have to be part of the story line. I like the 'feel' of the dialogue - so far. My problem has never been with writing dialogue - I'm strong in this area but to keep the story on track. To this end I'm going back to something I used to do, which is to write an outline.

The challenge, at least for me, is sound effects. In the bar, there is background music and the sound of people talking. The next scene will be in Joe's apartment, which is problematic sound-wise. Mind you he will be talking to his dog... The dog's responses are limited in speech-lolol. Then again, perhaps I'll have somebody drop by, which still won't give me more sound effects...

Definitely need an outline.

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24.

SECOND THOUGHTS...

As mentioned in previous writings, been attempting to re-write my short story, "Old Soldiers" as a radio play and enter it in the BBC International Radio Play competition. As a stand-alone story, it's probably if not one of my best, however, in order for it to be suitable for radio, it requires a complete re-think on my part.

Writing a play even when its completed, requires a lot of tweaking some of which can't be achieved without letting it "sit" for a while. We're talking (or writing) here about putting it away for a while and then returning for a re-read in order to gain some perspective. My first play, "Gin..." took - without exaggeration - at least2-3 years to complete and umpteen revisions. In fact, I still tweak it.

I'm beginning to think that perhaps my attempt at a re-write given the time left to enter (March), just isn't realistic. I've even toyed with the idea of submitting one of my full plays, "Make Me a Wedding" and cutting out some of the scenes. Problem is, cutting back on the scenes may result in watering down the content and the impact of the story line. It's a comedy and very funny but in the end, it should be in its present form. A radio play is 70 minutes while my play is 120 minutes. That's a lot of dialogue to cut.

So where am I? Really don't know at the present. I entered the competition a few years ago and didn't win but the play I entered was 60 minutes long. At least it was viable. Perhaps I have to go back to the drawing board and re-think the direction my writing has to take. Again.

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25.

OLD SOLDIERS - THE PLAY
As mentioned in a previous blog, working on converting my short story, Old Soldiers, into a play for submission to the BBC International Radio Playwriting Competition. To this end, I've completed approx. a dozen pages. Sound effects are minimal, at least at this point but the story line calls for more later on. Meanwhile, here is a sample of the play so far.
Comments welcome. The act of converting the play is definitely a challenge. We'll see how things progress.
Note the play is not formatted for stage.



OLD SOLDIERS
By Eleanor Tylbor


SCENE: A pub/bar.
SFX: Soft rock background music plays in the background, sound of people talking; sound of clinking glasses

JOE MCKENNA
Yup…yup…yup…one less of us. The way things are going, won’t be long before we’re all gone. ‘Over here, Mac!’ The man can hardly walk, even with a walker

MIKE
The man is 87. We all ain’t peppy anymore in case you haven’t noticed. My glass is empty

JOE MCKENNA
Yeah and? I bought the last round

MIKE
Not! Well?

JOE MCKENNA
Well… What?

MIKE
It’s your damn turn to buy! Open up your pockets and free the moths

MAC
(gasping, breathing heavily)
Really windy out there – and really cold. Hope it’s not like this tomorrow

SFX: blowing nose
MIKE
We don’t get to choose the kind of weather t’get buried. Anyway, it’s November.

JOE
Whad’ya having, Mac?

MIKE
You’re buying him a drink? What about me?

JOE
He just got here. You been sponging off me for an hour

MIKE
Say what? You got that backwards!

MAC
I don’t need no handout. I can afford t’buy my own drink, thank you very much.

JOE
Whatever…

MIKE
You should’a taken him up on that. The man’s a cheap bastard

MAC
(aside to bartender)
‘The usual!’ My body feels like one gigantic pain

JOE
Just three of us old farts left, now.

SFX: GLASSES BEING PLACED ON BAR

BARTENDER
So who’s paying?

(five seconds of silence)

MIKE
He is!

MAC
I’ll pay for all of us if it means avoiding another fight. Drink up guys!

JOE
‘To all the fallen heroes – especially Percy – wherever you are!’ I cut his obit out’ta the paper t’keep as a souvenir

MIKE
Another obit for your wallet? Must be full by now

JOE
It’s easy to fill these days what with medical bills and all, but not with money.

MIKE
Don’t I know it

MAC
I wanted to keep the obit, too, but I don’t get the paper every day, anymore

JOE
I’ll save mine for you when I finish. A person should keep up with what’s going on in the world

MAC
What the hell for? I don’t need’a read about murders and people dying in the street. Ignorance is bliss

MIKE
Did it say whether Percy had any kids? Don’t recall him mentioning anything

JOE
(reading out loud)
‘….Percy Albertson, son of….blah-blah-blah… Daughter Fiona…’ He had a daughter? Don’t remember him mentioning any

MAC
Maybe he wasn’t speaking to her. Families are too busy these days to visit the old folk

JOE
Says the funeral’s tomorrow afternoon at 2 o’clock. Good – that gives me enough time

MIKE
To do what? Watch your TV programs?

JOE
Got plans t’make

MAC
Like?

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