Home Run Club / Incompleat Works / The First Christmas / The Fork / The Process / The Stage / Writing

Oh yeah, I have a blog….


From Hazel Twigg, coming soon (we hope) to a nightstand near you.

threedotSometimes I forget about my daily blog that I update religiously every week without fail or so (mostly “or so” lately). But sometimes I remember. … Speaking of ellipses, did you know if you’re on a Mac, you can make ellipses by clicking the option key and the semi-colon keys at the same time? It’s true. To think of all the time I’ve wasted in my life clicking the period key three times. … Boom. Just saved more time. … Boom. And again. … I’ve actually spent a lot of time a lot of time lately dealing with such nuances as the finer points of ellipses (see what I did there?) and when they should have four dots instead of three (breaking some rules with this post, but it’s my blog and I’m doing the three-dot thing my way and if you disagree I have mad respect for that) and how Adobe InDesign has ways that you can increase the spaces between the dots without the risk of having them commit the embarrassing gaffe of breaking mid-ellipses at the end of a line without having to resort to the caveman-like use of option-semicolon. The reason I’m learning such things is because I’m working on the design of Hazel Twigg & the Hollyhock Hideaway, the first book my sister Ruth Agle has completed in what will hopefully be the Hazel Twigg series. I just finished laying out what could very well be the final draft of the Advance Reading Copy last night at precisely … (you carry on — I’m going to go check our Slack to see what time we declared it done, then come back and let you know, which also will give me a chance to use a couple of more nifty ellipses) … 7:19 pm Mountain on Oct. 9, 2015. It has been — literally —  years in the making. It clocked in finally at 419 pages, dozens of which are sumptuously illustrated by Nina Khalova. We were originally planning to self-publish, but as we’ve been looking at it over the last few weeks, we think it might be worthwhile to at least test the publishing waters. (Anybody know a good publisher?) In either case, it will be a grand adventure to see where it goes next. Kudos, Ruth. … Not doing The First Christmas as a stage production this year for the first time in four years has created a great disturbance in the force for me. No rewriting the bookends in July. No production meetings in August. No auditions and desperate casting calls in September. No rehearsals in October. No emotional breakdowns in November. No show in December. There are ups and downs. I miss the ups, but I’m actually fine without the downs. Mostly, I miss the association with all the good-hearted people who set aside any semblance of their personal lives for a few months to make something pretty cool happen for 14 nights in December. … On the other hand, when one door closes … I got a call a few weeks ago asking me to help with the cultural event celebrating the opening of the new Provo City Center Temple in March. We’ve been meeting for weeks now. It’s been a cool experience, but impressively time-consuming. I thought the cast of The First Christmas was big. This one will have a cast of — and I’m not joking about this — 5,500 teenagers and will be held in a venue that seats about 19,000 and will be 70 minutes long. No way I could’ve done both this and TFC. Things work out. Talented people in this group. Today we’ll meet for a few hours. Gonna try to finally hammer out this script, or at least frame it. I don’t exactly know what my role in the project is. My feeling is I need to just plunge in and help in whatever way I can, and try not to screw anything up. A good motto for life, I suppose. … On the “I wanna be a playwright when I grow up” front, I shipped off Incompleat Works to several places that indicated they are willing to consider unsolicited works from unknown playwrights (bless them). Now I’m in that dead spot that lasts months when you hear nothing back and which persuades you a little more with each passing day that you have no business writing stuff. … But because I try to ignore that voice when I can, I finished a second draft of Home Run Club, a play about the ultimate student of the mechanics of hitting a baseball (the hardest thing to do in all of sports, by the way — just ask my Dodgers), which serves him well until baseball is suddenly removed as an option. I shared it with Ken. He gave me a couple more notes. But not huge things. I think we’re a draft away. We’d love to stage this next year somehow. It combines our love of theater with baseball. For bonus points, it would require a degree of high-tech wizardry that we haven’t done before, but are slightly giddy to get into. … Lastly, there was a nibble on The Fork (see what I did there?). I heard from a group in NYC that had read the full-length version, which they liked, but didn’t think would work with their set up, but they had heard about the short version, and hence requested that. It goes before their review committee this month. I looked up when I sent the script to them. It was last September. I did the math; that’s over a year. Clearly the note-to-self from all this about this playwrighting thing is to never sit around waiting to hear about anything. Ship it off and get back to work. Speaking of which …