ceelove: (Default)
[personal profile] mangosteen and I pondered the origin of the wasps-becoming-figs phenomenon and decided it needed an origin story, a la Greek myth. We crafted one, and I fleshed it out. For extra challenge, I wrote it in segments of <140 characters so I could put it on Twitter. Here it is.

The lesson is probably, don’t neg a goddess. Or maybe, know your origin stories.
Either way, he’s in for it from the moment he opens his fool mouth to say, “I could do better.”
Now, Athena has some serious resting bitchface - but still, it shows when you’ve displeased She who knit-bombed Arachne into a spider.
Possibly because she’s been hearing this stuff for millennia and most of us are sick to death of it after about five minutes.
And yet, she gives him the same calm, unearned grace she bestows so freely. “You could create a better olive tree, do you mean?”
“No, olives have been done to death. I’d want to go in a fresh new direction, cleanse the palate with something fruity…”
The next thing you know, he goes and creates this flowering tree. Nice enough in its way, but then he keeps fussing with it. Like they do.
He prods the bloom until he is hopelessly entangled with it, inverts it around his finger.
And then he’s caught up in an impossible intimacy, caressing and penetrating its newfound interior.
He shudders with love and it near lifts him from the ground. He buzzes with agitation to be one with his creation.
Athena takes his measure with her cool gaze. “And what would a virgin like you know of it?” he says waspishly.
But it does not sting her. “So what must happen to consummate your union?” she queries. “I don’t give a fig!” he flies back.
Ah, but she does: it is her specialty to unravel the tangled desires of the human will, to find the thread.
And so she weaves his DNA afresh to be himself most fully.
He is a wasp, and he thrusts himself with desperate ardor into his flower, merging to become one succulent flesh.
Athena plucks a fig and nibbles it appreciatively. “I’m glad you decided to do better,” she tells it.
ceelove: (Default)
Catherine the Great, Robert Johnson, Joan of Arc, Niccolo Paganini, and the Devil argue over how to escape from their confines in Hell. It's I Made A Faustian Deal with the Devil and All I Got Was This Lousy T-shirt, my latest and strangest comedy yet.

Care to read? Yay! I have a PDF with your name on it.

Care to listen at a reading? Yay! Fill out the Doodle poll with dates you're available in the next three weeks, and I'll see if there's interest in one or two read-throughs.

Care to read aloud at a reading? YAY!! Let me know and I'll prioritize your dates for a read-through.

ceelove: (serendipity)
I finished two plays last year, and in August I started the process of querying theatres/submitting to contests. It was discouraging until I ran across a (members-only) website clearinghouse of opportunities for aspiring playwrights. Most of half a year later, I'm finally finished the extremely unsexy work of trying to make things happen with my writing.

Final tally: 25 theatres queried and 9 contests entered. (For the two previous scripts I wrote, which were musicals, I found only 12 theatres I could query - of which only 5 even responded - and 5 contests to enter.) I feel like I've got much better chances this time (especially given that two of the first three responses have been positive), that I indeed have a hope in hell of getting my work on the right desk at the right time.

I expect responses will trickle in over the coming year. In the meantime, I'll finish up my other playwright-self-betterment project of reading contemporary plays (27 since the fall, a few more to go, added to the previous year's 39) and start research for my next script, Faustian T-shirt. Gotta get cracking on my standard winter activity of writing, as I make much less headway when there's lots of gardening to be done.
ceelove: (serendipity)
Hey, remember before the heat wave...I mean, "spring"...when it was really chilly? Me neither. But I have proof that it exists, in that I was doing about the only thing I could then: create characters and drag them through funny hell.

The end product is Venn Diagram, a six-character version of the idea that I tried last year with Twelve Nights: longtime monogamously-coupled friends suddenly fall in love with each other and messily figure out the new polyamorous terrain. It's kind of like I was taking a photo at too great a distance, and now I've focused in on the details in one section. I've had beta readers whom I trust telling me it's good (and much easier to follow than before). Now I'd like more opinions, before I spend my summer querying theaters about this & Pyglation and Gamalea.

I'm thinking I'd like to do a read-through sooner rather than later of this. I'll need three male-presenting and three female-presenting people (plus one for reading stage directions). Would you be up for reading or attending in a few weeks? Would you like to have a PDF script to read?
ceelove: (serendipity)
Got a massive lack of response to sending out the musicals last year, which is not terribly surprising. Didn't expect to hear back from any more theaters at this point. But then got a personal response back from the New Georges, saying Fire and Ice was inventive & smart but not a match for them.
Responded to say, "well, but as a theatrical institution you stress that you're looking to develop relationships with female playwrights rather than individual plays, and my new work Pyglation and Gamalea is better suited to you, may I send it to you and if so, PDF or hard copy?"
They responded immediately with, "Hard copy, please!" So, my first professional request for P&G, before I even started sleuthing out where to send it. Go me!
(In other news, I'm whistling along on my current piece, Venn Diagram, which is an interesting balancing act alongside lots of springtime gardening and starting a course of strength training, while, y'know, living my generally-busy life. Whee!)
ceelove: (serendipity)
Earlier this year, I wrote a new play, Twelve Nights. This time I cleverly excluded any of those bothersome songs, hoping that would make it more stageable, but less cleverly sabotaged the play by using twelve characters. I had fun in the writing and learned from the feedback, and next year I'll write a new play with many of the same themes but half the characters.

For now, though, I'd like to have a read-through. Just for funsies. To be done properly, it will require twelve readers, six female-presenting and six male-presenting (plus one for stage directions).

But wait, Cee, what's this play about? Friendship, sex, religion, and mid-life crises. It's a comedy of manners, a modern take on what happens when a love potion a la Midsummer Night's Dream sends a group of friends into a tailspin. It's a love letter to a certain romantically adventurous subset of my community. I'm told that it's witty, interesting, and timely.

So, who will take a role? All I need is twelve other people who can commit to getting together once to read aloud, some time in the next month or two. If there's more interest in that, then yay, we'll have backup readers (which we might need, with a cast of twelve) and maybe even an audience. If there's sufficient interest, I'll reserve a library room or somesuch for the read-through.

Comment or email me at ceelove [at] speakeasy (dot) net, and I'll get you a PDF of the script.
ceelove: (serendipity)
And now it's time for the next project, Pyglatian and Gamalea! For this, I need data. See, it's all about tattooing, and my own experience is not very representative: I haaaaate needles, I needed a two-person support crew to get through it and tried to faint, twice. So I'm asking you: tell me about your tattoos. Tell me about deciding to get them, designing them, having them inked, how they've impacted you since. Send your friends to tell me about theirs. Share freely.

Yes yes, I'll be asking to talk to the artists at tattoo studios and hitting up the library and such too. But this is going to be a deeply personal play, and verisimilitude will be my watchword. So I want to hear from individual people, the why and how and ouch and yay and change of it all.
ceelove: (serendipity)
I'm humming along on Twelve Nights, my new (non-musical) play, with four (of twelve) scenes done. It's about polyamory and community and friendship and belief systems and parenting and modern life. Warning, it has twelve principle characters (no small parts), so there's a lot to keep track of: part of what I need to know is, is it All Too Much?

I'm excited and self-congratulatory and in need of a reality check. Want to give me one? Read my 30 pages (it will take you maybe 20 minutes?) and tell me what you think.

Given an email address, I can point you at a dropbox link or send you a PDF.
ceelove: (serendipity)
Woot, I am chair-dancing! My revision of Fire and Ice, she is finish! Almost a year after the first take, but I was kind of busy this year. :P

I've never before enjoyed rewriting - when I did it to get a story published at 20, I said that it was like cutting off my baby's arms and sewing them on backwards (not that I would have known). But this! This was fun. I shaved that puppy down from 129 pages to 99 (should be under two hours), tossed out two songs, and now have something that feels manageable instead of lumbering.

And now I must read everything the internet thinks about what I can do to get it produced. Unless you happen to know a theatrical company looking to do a cutting-edge apocalyptic musical with eight principles and six in the ensemble?
ceelove: (Default)
So, absolutely no thanks to me, Fire and Ice is now up on YouTube. Chris Lahey (who performed as Frank) deserves all the credit for cutting it into useable pieces and putting them up.

It is as rough (especially early on) as one would expect from a piece as unrehearsed as this was, but I believe you can still get the gist.

Also understand that I know this to be a work in progress. I've already gotten plenty of useful feedback suggesting where my rewrites will lie: making Frank's character less unlikeable, making Act One less redundant in establishing the characters, stripping back the conversations with Janet and adding in a boyfriend for Madison who is stuck vacationing in Europe, rewriting "Who Can We Blame," and possibly leaving out "Buy Buy Buy." I'm open to hearing your thoughts!
ceelove: (Default)
Just finished the read/sing-through of my musical. I need a drink.

Okay, I have a drink. Now I need a, a...something to stop me from vibrating with excitement for the entire rest of the day.

I kind of can't believe it's already over. Like, it's so long! And it took so much work to have some people read and sing things I wrote in front of other people. Who knew? Oh, right, anyone involved in theater, i.e. not me. But yes, there were plenty of people there to read, sing, play, film, and witness Fire and Ice.

The library closed about two minutes after I finished singing the last note, so nobody could stay and hobnob about it, but I think the majority of the audience took a moment to shake my hand and say something to effect of, "That was awesome." People clapped after the best songs, laughed even more than I expected (yes, it's a tragedy, but it can't be leaden for two and a half hours), and did indeed seem yanked around by the heartstrings, just as I wanted. I'm sure it can use some tweaking (and seven more arrangements, out of nineteen), but I think it's safe to say, it works.

Next stop, Broadway! :P
ceelove: (Default)
A family slogs across post-apocalyptic America. Most of them die. And, perhaps the worst indignity of all, they are characters in a musical, and so they have to warble about the whole damn thing.

It's Fire and Ice, the epic tragedy that I've been crafting for the past two years. Some cohorts and I will be doing a read/sing-through, open to the public, in the conference room of the main Somerville library.

We will start promptly at 2:00 and likely go til about 5:00, with an intermission between acts. Did I mention there are 19 songs? There are 19 songs. If we're lucky, a majority will be accompanied by piano.

Yes, bring your videocamera. Yes, invite your friends, at least those whose tastes run to countercultural musicals. Yes, volunteer to read a part (in which case, I'll email you the script beforehand) and/or sing (in which case, I'll email you song files and coordinate rehearsing beforehand). But mostly, if you've ever wondered what else the writer of Never After might have to say, just show up, because, YES!, it is finally ready for your delectation.

(But no: don't worry that I will be offended if you don't show up. I get that a musical post-apocalyptic Grapes of Wrath isn't for everyone.)


Dec. 31st, 2012 12:22 pm
ceelove: (Default)
Told you. :)

It's been over two years that I've been writing Fire and Ice. It took me the first two-thirds of the time to write the first one-third of the script, but then I thankfully found my groove, and since the spring it's felt like I could finish this year. So I did. Including rewrite.

It's 128 pages, about two and a half hours runtime. Nineteen songs, well over an hour of music even before an overture or whatever. Sometimes people have expressed amazement about one person writing the music, lyrics, and libretto, whereas to me it's not amazing, merely a lot of work; what boggles my mind is the idea of trying to mesh talents between multiple people to produce things. (Unsurprisingly, I'm having a hell of a time getting this bugger arranged.)

Congratulate me, people. This was the longest, most intentional, epic, demanding thing I've ever written. I believed that Never After was good, and many hundreds of people apparently agreed. I'm telling you that this is better. It may not necessarily be to your tastes, but it is a damn fine work.


Feb. 21st, 2012 11:48 pm
ceelove: (Default)
So I'm still adrenaliney, hours after the fact. In other words, that worked.

Twenty people showed up to hear a cold reading and songs from the first act of Fire and Ice. Twenty! I feel all supported and heard and stuff. And then they workshopped it! Even better than when that happened piecemeal about Never After: I can incorporate changes before putting it in front of hundreds of people. (Assuming that I have the chance to put it before hundreds of people.)

Overall, I think it was quite well received, with enough positive commentary that I think this is on the right path to be a great play and enough criticism that I know people weren't blowing sunshine up my ass. I came home with a boatload of suggestions, a head percolating with ideas, and a 60-watt smile.

Thanks, y'all. Now, how the heck do I calm down enough to sleep? I know, I'll jump back into working on Act Two!
ceelove: (Default)
I love writing musicals.

Fire and Ice is officially underway, and is already going the way of Never After. I don't even fully realize that I'm writing, I'm in this intensely-focused trancelike place and then suddenly hey presto, there's part of a song sitting there. Even if nothing comes of the thing, I'm going to have a hell of a lot of fun writing it.

Twenty-two songs I have planned, people. Oh, and some text in between.
ceelove: (Default)
Hey, I should, like, tell people!

Leah and Catya have implemented a redesign of www.neveraftermusical.com. It better reflects where I'm trying to go with Never After and includes clips from the DVD. Hopefully it doesn't so much reflect that I know little about self-promotion or graphic design.

In other writing news, oh dear: the next musical is getting more impatient to be explored. In the last few days, two of the songs have presented themselves to me. One was an idea, while I was gardening-and-listening-to-musicals, that contained the ending of the play and told me who the main character is going to be. And one was a song snippet that appeared as I came out of savasana, that suggested the entire song in itself and themes that will permeate the script.

I am rueful that I can't turn my attention to it now, that there's still many months of writing to go on Trickster and Three Charismatics (or whatever it ends up being called). But still, it's thrilling to know that yes, I have another musical up my sleeve: that this appears to be something I do now. I know, every time I say, "Dystopian post-climate-change-apocalypse musical!", people go, ".......sounds fun." But really, I think it's going to be wonderful. And I was right about the lesbian fairytale musical thing, wasn't I? :P


Dec. 23rd, 2008 10:31 pm
ceelove: (Default)
Mindgames didn't make it to the finalists round in the Filmmakers competition. This was no surprise, given that I think the script can be better, myself.

Please, no "Oh, I'm sorry"s. I'll get back to work on it in a few months, it'll be better, and then it will make it to the finals!
ceelove: (Default)
I keep not having written this up, and thus having to explain it yet again at a party or somesuch, so:

[livejournal.com profile] rednikki thankfully alerted me to the fact that the Screenwriters Agency is a scam. It doesn't exist, basically: it requires a critique before taking on a writer, and helpfully refers to an agency for $95, which is apparently far above the usual rate; after that, presumably, nothing ever really happens.

I'm not actually upset about it. Very glad to have learned it before committing more money to the scheme. Not terribly surprised - it tied a lot of little discrepancies together. The greatest loss is that I'm back at ground zero of "what the hell am I going to do with Never After when it's done?" (Though it has been pointed out to me that there's a chance the script could be put into the hands of Joss Whedon, to add to the ridiculous queue of "what ifs" it already trails around with it.)

I'm especially glad to have learned of this at the very point when I had proof positive that some people in the film industry think well of Mindgames. I still don't expect it to go further in the FilmMakers competition, in part because now I have some cool ideas about what I could do to rev it up a bit more. But it occurred to me that the critique I'd gotten on it - which was so tepid as to make it emotionally difficult for me to read it closely - might well be complete crap. Upon rereading, it was: it even reversed a major plot point, in dissecting the script. So for all I know, Mindgames actually is strong enough to attract some more interest in it, from the presumably not-crap industry reps at this stage in the FilmMakers contest. I'll find out at the end of this week.

I specifically do NOT want comments of "aw, that's terrible!" It's not terrible. I didn't waste any time getting morally outraged or anything. I've been bummed about some things in the last few weeks, but this isn't really one of them.

Never After, since you are of course dying to know, goes well. I'm over 100 pages, with about 15 to go.


ceelove: (Default)

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