Tag Archives: projects

2012 Thus Far

Thought it might be interesting to take a quick inventory of all that’s happened thus far this year. The good and the bad.
 

  • Scott interviewed for a new job (mid-January).
  • I made travel arrangements for my trip to London (mid-January).
  • I wrote and finished my novella “St. Peter in Chains” (January).
  • Scott was offered the job in San Francisco and accepted (early February).
  • My play “Warm Bodies” was produced and was a finalist at the Valley Repertory 3rd Annual Lab Works (late February).
  • Movers packed up our house, and after a couple nights at a hotel we flew to San Francisco and moved into temp housing (mid-March).
  • I flew to Boston for a night, then on to London for a 10-day stay, then back to Boston and home to San Fran (March-April).
  • While in London I: converted “St. Peter in Chains” into a short screenplay, saw two plays, and celebrated Easter alone.
  • I submitted the screenplay version of “St. Peter in Chains” to the Nicholl Fellowship (April).
  • An area agent and an agency in the UK asked to look at my Sherlock spec; the UK agency also asked to read “St. Peter in Chains” (April)
  • We sold our house in Massachusetts (April).
  • I found out three pieces of my flash fiction had been accepted to be published in a 2013 anthology (May).
  • The agent declined to represent me and the UK agency did not respond to my follow-up query (May).
  • Scott’s parents visited and Scott and I celebrated our 11th anniversary by staying at El Drisco, eating at a fancy restaurant, and seeing Roger Clyne & the Peacemakers play at the Red Devil Lounge. Scott also gave me a gorgeous ring (May).
  • We moved out of temp housing and into a new house in Livermore (May).
  • I flew to Washington D.C. to see “Warm Bodies” produced as part of the Source Festival, and also got a chance to meet and spend the day with one of Scott’s high school friends who until then I’d only known online (June).
  • Scripts sent to Script Pipeline and the Page Awards did not advance (June-July).
  • After repeated rejections, I self-published the novella version of “St. Peter in Chains” as an e-book; it’s had steadily increasing sales (late June).
  • Encouraged by the success of “St. Peter in Chains,” I also self-published “Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Last Line.” It has outpaced “St. Peter” by a large margin and has been especially popular in the UK (July).
  • I did not advance in the Nicholl Fellowship (early August).
  • I self-pubbed my Star Signs Operating Manual (August).
  • I found out my play “Warm Bodies” was to be published in an upcoming anthology of short plays (August).
  • I was invited to submit a full-length play to a competition that only accepts full-length plays via invitation (August).
  • I did not advance in the Austin Film Festival screenwriting competition (August).

So . . . A mixed bag. I’ve left out the fact that a small army of query letters has gone without response. I’m chipping away, you see, but I wouldn’t mind a bit more success. The year is two-thirds over. Not sure what else I can hope to accomplish. I am working on another Sherlock Holmes story, and I am hoping to submit something to that playwriting competition. I’m also hoping some other plays I’ve submitted to various venues get selected for production. And more than anything I’d like these scripts I’ve written to get some notice. That, for me, would be the big win.

Books Status & Current Projects

Well, I’m pleased to be able to say that “Sherlock Holmes and the Mystery of the Last Line” has been surprisingly popular, particularly in the UK, where it has been in the top 10 on Amazon for a couple weeks now. I’m actually quite flattered; I’ve had a number of e-mails asking for more Sherlock Holmes stories, so I have that on my [rather long] list of projects. “St. Peter,” too, has been steady, though its audience is much more narrow. And the Star Signs Operating Manual got quite the boost from its day of being a freebie, so that’s all good.

Meanwhile, I now have the following on my list (though they may or may not occur in this order):

  • Finish The K-Pro
  • Finish my zombie story (and possibly rewrite as a potential television pilot)
  • Outline/Write the pilot for my British estate story/series idea
  • Write my Henry II/Eleanor of Aquitaine project (still trying to decide on format; a play?)
  • Finish “Stir Constantly” (a play)
  • Finish “Can We Still Be Friends?” (a play)
  • Write another Sherlock Holmes story

Okay, so that’s a pretty full slate . . . Plus I have plays out at various venues. And I’ll be at the Austin Film Festival in October, too, so I’m not sure what I need to have ready for that . . . Shaping up to be a busy fall!

More on “St. Peter in Chains” & some K-Pro

Fellow writer Christine Rains will be posting her review of “St. Peter in Chains” on her site on Tuesday. The following Monday, July 9, she’ll publish an interview with yours truly. Thanks, Christine, for the awesome hospitality!

Now to focus on The K-Pro. I’ve given myself a deadline of July 31 to finish the draft. I’m not sure yet how realistic that actually is since lately I’ve felt kind of flat when it comes to writing, but I’m sure as hell gonna try. I sometimes forget that a draft is just that: a draft. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It won’t be. But if I want to try Camp NaNo in August, I need The K-Pro to be done first.

Prologue

The torch is the only light in a sea of darkness, and the goddess holding it stands in its glow, beautiful and terrible in the way of goddesses, her hair the same gold as the flame, her dress a marvelous white. She waits, knowing they will come because they always come—there is always someone wanting something, needing a door unlocked, a path revealed.

“Hecate.”

She turns. This is not who she expected, and she does not invite him into the circle of light, nor would he come if she did.

“It’s mine by rights,” he says.

“I need it for my work.”

They stand on either side of the light, and she peers at him, past the flame and into the eyes that are the color of an oncoming storm.

“You cannot keep it,” he tells her.

“I only look to borrow it,” she says.

Even in the shadows, she can sense his frown. “For how long?”

“. . . Indefinitely.”

He reaches for her, but she is too canny to be caught. She inverts the torch, extinguishing the fire, and before he can lay hands on her, she runs.

Camp NaNoWriMo

You may have noticed my Camp NaNoWriMo badge under “Coming Soon” in the sidebar. I got an e-mail about this yesterday, and I’ve decided to participate in August.

Camp NaNo is basically the same thing as “regular” NaNo except not in November. And since November is very difficult for me because of holidays and such, I’m thinking August might work out better. (June is another camp option, but I have other obligations for June.)

The other cool thing about Camp NaNo is how you get put in “cabins” with writing partners. Like bunks at camp. You can request certain roommates, or roommates who are your age and/or write the same kinds of things you do, or go with luck of the draw. Since I don’t know anyone who is planning to do Camp NaNo, I went with “Surprise Me!” But if you’d like to request me as a bunkmate, I’m mpepper on the site.

No idea what I’m going to write yet. I’ve put myself under “chick lit” for now, but that may change. Might go YA or something. Might do a sequel to “St. Peter in Chains.” I have a few ideas, just not sure which will demand the most attention come August.

2012 Goals Update

Here were my goals for 2012, which I posted at the beginning of the year:

  • Finish “St. Peter in Chains”
  • Finish “The K-Pro”
  • Finish the spec script
  • Get at least one more play accepted for production somewhere

Items in green have been completed. Items in yellow-orange are . . . not quite? Let’s put it this way: “Warm Bodies” was accepted for another production (I’ve mentioned its forthcoming Source Festival run), but none of my other plays have been, and that was really my goal. On the flip side, however, I’ve had three flash fiction pieces accepted for publication. That’s something. And “The K-Pro” is half done. I thought it would be a novella, but it’s looking to be a novel, I think.

Now, though, I’ve had a spate of rejections and am also waiting to hear about various screenwriting competitions and such, and I’ve decided to go into a sort of semi-retirement. I haven’t decided yet what that really means for me except that I’m breaking from submitting and probably also from writing, at least at the rate I had been going. I’m teetering on burnout and a bit of depression, so I think it’s better to back away from the cliff. I may write from time to time—more likely dabble than take on anything serious—but I’m not going to make myself feel too guilty if I don’t, either.

This retirement kicks off this coming weekend. I’ll be staying at the Hotel Drisco and going to see Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers at the Red Devil Lounge. Maybe I’ll get inspired. Probably, though, just sotted with wine.

Karmic Balance

Found out this morning that a play I’d sent to Arundel for a festival had been short-listed . . . But ultimately rejected. Sigh.

But on the up side of the scales, an agency asked for my two sample scripts to review. So maybe something will come of that. They’re good scripts, solid, but as with all scripts and screenplays (and plays or novels or stories for that matter) it will take the right person to see the merit in them.

Today I will take a little time off to go enjoy some sun and fresh air. Maybe lift my spirits a bit.

“Warm Bodies” Pseudo-Tour & “St. Peter” as Play or Screenplay

I had been hoping someone might review the LabWorks shows so that “Warm Bodies” would have, well, a review of some kind. But I haven’t found anything online. There were plenty of press releases before the shows, and the shows were well attended, too. But I guess maybe there was no press on hand.

Never fear. If you missed the premiere, “Warm Bodies” will still be showing in Texas some time in late spring and in Washington D.C. for the Source Theatre Festival this summer.

Meanwhile, I am working on turning my novella St. Peter in Chains into a stage play as well. Though I’m starting to wonder if it wouldn’t be better as a short film of some kind . . . It’s funny because I originally conceived of it as a play but wrote it as a novella, just to get the plot points smoothed out. But a lot of the story is internal dialogue, difficult to put into a play. I’m scripting it for the moment as written, but I think I’ll have to go back and flesh out a bit of what can’t be seen or easily acted. The reasons I’m wondering about turning it into a screenplay instead are: (a) better ability to focus in on things like reactions, and (b) it wouldn’t hurt to have another script on hand, an original one besides. Could possibly even be a television pilot, but would be more BBC than American television, I think. It’s a quiet story and needs time to build, and American networks are not known for their patience. We’ll see. I’ll finish the stage play and then consider a screen version to boot.

2012 Goals Revisited

Here were my goals for 2012, which I posted at the beginning of the year:

  • Finish “St. Peter in Chains”
  • Finish “The K-Pro”
  • Finish the spec script
  • Get at least one more play accepted for production somewhere

You’ll notice a couple of them are now yellow/orange, as in “caution light” color. This is because they are in some ways completed, but not really.

For the spec script: last night I finished the first full draft. Huzzah! So that’s “finished” in a way, but I do intend to do some rewrites.

And for the play acceptance, well, “Warm Bodies” got picked up again for another play festival, BUT . . . They are supposed to be sending a contract, so nothing is final yet. Plus, I’d really like a different one of my plays to get accepted for something.

Meanwhile, with a big move in just a few weeks now, I’m glad I’ve at least made this much progress early in the year. Who knows how long it will take to settle down enough to get my momentum back after the cross-country haul?

Progress Report

Yesterday I got a lot of work done on the spec script I’m writing, and I’m hoping to get lots more done today and over the weekend.

I also have four plays out at 15 different places for consideration. And then, of course, the one being produced in three weeks. And again in late spring/early summer.

And St. Peter in Chains has been submitted to four different publishers. I’ll begin turning it into either a stage play or screenplay soon.

Meanwhile, today Neptune moves into its home sign of Pisces. This only happens about every 160 years, so it’s no small thing. Neptune will stay in its sign for about 13 or so years. And do you know, my horoscope said that under this influence I should consider living near water? Well, guess what?

I’m moving to California.

The Bay Area to be exact. So . . . Water? Check. Better weather? Check. Bigger theatre and entertainment industry scene? Check.

Life is about to get a whole lot more interesting.