The Flood is now a complete narrative, which is where I wanted it to be at this point. There’s a sequence of edits I’ll go through next, but I wanted to have a complete story from start to end, before I head to Sweden, which happens a week from now.
I like the play. I think it’s retained the idea I started with, which was to explore what happens when a stable situation, with unbalanced power relationships, is invaded by an outsider. The characters are Gideon, the father. Danny, his teenage son, and Magill, the outsider. There are a number of other issues floating around in the narrative, and this is my first play to incorporate physical violence, which was fun to write. It also contains – or at least flirts with – elements of absurdist theatre, which I think aligns it somewhat to the first play I wrote 3 years ago: “Final Performance”.
Anyway, as I said, I’m heading to Sweden a week from now and I’ll be there for 3 weeks, then, when I get back, I’ll submit The Flood to the One Act Play competition, then I guess I’ll re-commence work on The Worm, starting on Part 3. I also have a couple of ideas for new sci-fi stories. My interest in writing sci-fi has been reignited by the acceptance of The Fear Engine by Andromeda Spaceways Magazine. I guess I feel like if I can get one sci-fi story accepted, then perhaps I could get another sci-fi story accepted, or maybe it’s at least worth trying for that.
Now that I have three plays for the stage, I realised these three plays could just about form a book; a modest, rather slender book, but a book nonetheless. Amazon.com makes it pretty easy to put an eBook together and make it available, so I’ve gone ahead and made one.
The eBook includes “Final Performance”, “Over the Rainbow” and “Greener Pastures”. I might follow this up by making a physical version of the book as well – Amazon also makes this possible – I’ll see.
I’m very grateful to Mandy Gardner for letting me use her photo for the front cover.
I finished Greener Pastures last night, and sent it off today. It’s my entry for the Noosa Arts Theatre National One Act Playwriting Competition. I also entered in 2014 and 2015. Neither of those entries were shortlisted. When I started writing my first entry: “Final Performance” in 2014, I had the idea that I would do a play each year for 3 consecutive years. I think really the point of this activity has been for me to try and learn something about writing plays. Have I learned anything? Well, I think Greener Pastures is probably the best of the three. I was never sure which of the previous two was better, but I’m pretty happy with this latest one. It has, I think, two pretty engaging, pretty interesting, believable and relatable lead characters in Satya and Verity. I had a similar mutual-outsider vibe happening with Io and Hermes in my 2015 Story: “A God From The Machine”. I think Greener Pastures also has some rich themes weaving through it, and I think its a decent little yarn. So, we’ll see. The judging process is pretty long. I think for last year’s competition, I didn’t find out I’d missed the shortlist ‘till some time in January.
Next things… well, I’ll be getting back into The Worm. Chapter 6 awaits, in which poor Viktor and Eva spiral ever deeper into the existential abyss. I also have the beginnings of an idea for a short story, which I think is pretty interesting. It’s another sort of allegory, along similar stylistic lines to The Signal Box. I’m not sure if I might have already mentioned it on this blog, but anyway… It’s called “The Electric Fence”. Also, I have some interest in doing a non-fiction piece to be titled: “The Speaking Clock”. This would be about Pat Simmons, the voice of the United Kingdom’s telephone system, Speaking Clock from 1963 to 1985. There are some pretty interesting facets to this story and I think it might be worth writing, but there’s quite a bit of research required, including writing to some people who might not want to be bothered.
Probably my most pressing creative commitment now, however, is to complete the soundtrack for Phoebe’s animated film, which I have another 2 or 3 weeks to do. Then, at the start of November I’m heading to New Zealand with Brian for a week, to hike Milford Sound. So, busy as usual, and plenty to look forward to!