Category Writing

Never Give Up, Never Surrender

The (galaxy) quest to get a play produced can be a long, slow, slog. I first mentioned writing about astronomer Tycho Brahe back in 2012. I finished finished the first draft in December of that year. After a few months of revising, I sent it out, and City Lights Theatre in San Jose, CA selected […]

I don’t do math

How many times have you heard the phrase “I don’t do math.”? Lots, I bet. It’s a common enough sentiment, sometimes stated with pride. On the other hand, I’ve never had anyone tell me, “I don’t do words.” Literacy is considered essential, indeed it’s a marker of how well a country educates its citizens. In […]

Critic: friend or foe?

“Don’t be a critic,” is a common expression, but one that writers should probably avoid. Not only should we welcome critics, but we should be critics as often as possible. Good criticism exercises a necessary writerly muscle. I came to this realization as I was explaining the workshop process to my new group of undergrads. […]

Semicolon or full stop?

One of my professors in a writing workshop once complained that I had started a story with “an explosion of comma splices.” While I appreciated the clever new collective noun, I wasn’t entirely sure what to do about it. He advocated switching to a period (aka full stop), but I initially rebelled. I was trying to […]

The Twist

I just threw (figuratively anyway) a script across the room. I’d been reading a newly published play, and was happily pulled in to the story, until in the final pages, a twist was revealed that changed everything that had gone before. I wanted to scream at the author, “Why? Why did you destroy the lovely […]

Write more / write less

I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed, I’ve now had two staged readings (of different plays) in under a week’s time.  It’s interesting to compare the two experiences.  I wrote about the earlier performance last week, so now I feel obligated to comment on this one. The most recent reading was two days ago, at City Lights […]

What the audience wants

At school on Thursday, I had a staged reading of my most recent piece, Becoming Number Six. The story follows a mother whose son is flirting with an anonymous hacker organization called Incognito, and a shadowy government spy agency who puts pressure on the family in hopes of forcing the hackers to reveal themselves. I though […]