Thursday, December 15, 2011

Mini success.  Stage Left in Chicago requested my full script after reading the sample of my play GoTo Country.  Up to 6 months to hear back.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

The bios are up and tickets available for Pulp Diction/Pulp Sampler in Portland Oregon.  It will be in January of next year and I hope to make the trip.  Looks like a cool theatre.  Linkage below.

Saturday, November 19, 2011


I am part  of LinkedIn, although I wasn't sure why.  Today I was sent an email to join a LinkedIn group called book authors and agents.  You have to request to join.  So that's what I did and then I brushed up my profile to include the book publication here at Punkin House Press, my poety journal publications, play that will be on stage for Pulp Diction next January and I forgot to add my pending children's book.  Probably won't go anywhere, but it's a nice idea and you never know. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Kid's book

I have a children's book that I am trying to find a published for.  It's called Alphabet Haiku.  The book has a haiku for every letter of the alphabet and an illustration.  The illustrations are done by my friend and political cartoonist Mike Garman.  His political cartoonist style makes for some unique and interesting interpretation.  I think they are great. 

We printed up a packet of 40 booklets sample and are starting to send them out.  It's a crowded market because I think that almost every parent that reads a children's book says to themselves, "I could do this."  But I think we have something different and hopefully it will stand out.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

I think I like writing groups.  Its always great to be around people that are interested in the same things that you are.  I'm in a couple groups right now that I recently joined.  One meets at this nice coffee shop that is near me in an area I really like. Liked the group, but they do group writing projects for the purpose of developing writing skills.  I'm all for it, except I only have time to write for myself at this point in my life so I don't want to spend any time working on things that I'm not trying to publish or a specific goal for me.

The other group just started and they are a theatre writing group so exactly what I want.  They have only met once and still decidind upon a place and time to meet.  I offered the above place.  That would be a great start.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

I have been focusing on 10 minute plays that are specifically targeted at contests that provided a theme.  Which is great since it gives me a theme.  Its also nice to be able to finish a play while I work on a full length play.  My problem, as silly as it seems is a lack of proof reading before I send in the play. I am so happy to have it completed I am shipping it off with errors that I find a couple of days later.  On the bright side I know what I have to correct.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cover for 5 Tool Poet

Idea by : Paul Handley
Illustrations and layout by : Stephen A. Colyer
Courtesy of Punkin House,

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Some play success.  I will have a reading of my short play entitled "Best Son" at Pulp Diction III in Portland, Oregon in January 2012.  Very exciting.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

My friend finished up his drawings for the alphabet haiku book we are putting together.  We have decided to make booklets out of it (I forget the name of the site we are using) and this is less expensive than printing out each color page and then submitting.  I have a list of submission places for children's books so we should be visiting the PO soon.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Back to work

I finished my 10 minute comedy play and I'm fairly happy with it. I now have 5 short plays and 1 long play circulating for acceptance. I received another email stating that a monologue I have submitted is still under consideration. I choose to view this news positively.
Good new. I have started my 2nd full length play and I am pleased with set up elements. Themes include racism and mental health. Fun, fun.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


Still working on my 10 minute comedy play. Hearing lots about pods lately and how it is being iinundated with comedians. Also had the fringe festival here in boulder which has lots of monologes (monolinguists?). I am interested in possbile putting together a monologue and seeing where it goes. I reading swimming to cambodia right now and have it on my netflix list so I will see if it seems to be a good thing for me or just a diversion when I should focus on the plays.

Sunday, August 14, 2011


2 vacations later I feel revived and ready to write. I submitted my technophobe play on the sponsor's site. They have previously stated that once I signed up I would get mucho reminders and I didn't receive any, which makes me suspect somehow their email isn't getting by my span filter. That will be my excuse if I don't hear from them about this submission.
I'm working on a another 10 minute play that is fun to do. Its suppose to be comedy and I like the way its coming together so far.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


My first postive response to GoTo Country. A NY theatre liked my sample and asked for the entire manuscript. Makes me feel a little better since I thought my sample was failry representative of the whole thing.
I'm getting close to finishing with my 10 pager about technophobes that is due 7/31/11. Later.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

this that

I received a response to my book proposal entitled Fake Quotes, Falsely Attributed. This was about the 4th or 5th from an editor that really liked the idea, but for whatever reason wouldn't publish. He suggested a blog akin to Shit My Father Said, which my wife had suggested. I don't know.
I'm going on vacation tomorrow. I'm a little burned out, but I still want to write. It's more the body shutting down on me.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

more GoTo

I just finished extending my play GoTo Country to 60 pages which seems about the minimum for what can be considered a full length play. I will probably work on editing it some more and wait at least a couple of weeks to make the play 75 pages. I'm burnt out on it now and am considering taking chucks of my unpublishable book about military school and translating to a play.

Monday, June 27, 2011

play format

I'm working on expanding my longish play. I was at 43 pages including title page and character/scene page. I think I have to a have at least 60 pages to submit to a lot of places that want a full length play. Apparently a page is supposed to equal a minute. There is a lot of conflicting format info out there. Some of it talk about indenting the left side so that it can be bound, others the speaker should be listed in the middle of the page or the side, etc... . I have looked at many plays and their is mucho variation. I'm also having trouble have the page number start at 1 where the dialogue starts. When I figured that out I had to split the doc into 2 sections and now I can't figure out how to eliminate the pagination on the first couple of pages.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

more stuff

I recently finished a monologue called Best Son about a father-son con men team. There are a couple of sites that collect monologues and then people can peruse the site and pay a fee to use it.

I was thinking that my next project should be full length play, but I have opted to write to the specs of reqeusted submissions. I would like to get a track record of some readings and performances and the theory is that if there is a greater likelihood of an acceptance if you are giving somebody exactly what they want.

Sunday, May 22, 2011


The writing group I was in shut down because of health issues with the founder. It's interesting how these things come and go. My playwriting class also ended last week. I didn't even go because I was running so late it would have been a rude entrance. I'm working on a play monologue despite just reading a warning to never write one. I was inspired by Neil Labute's Wrecks, which I found amazing despite (again) a truly disturbing ending.

There are adult acting classes in the area and I might try out a couple. It's $25 per class and it might help me feel comfortable enough for an audition so I can try to feel my way around the theatre scene. Probably a dead end, but what the hey? I saw a audition for a Labute play that I loved reading called the Mercy Seat. I just want to see the play when it comes out. Cool stuff.

Sunday, May 1, 2011


I finished my one-act play that was taken from my alaska fishing boat experience. I have really mined that one. I have a memoir, poem and now a play from that one couple month experience. I also sent out more submissions for my alphabet haiku book. My friend Mike Garman is doing the illustrations. He has a political cartoonists background, so I think we have a pretty unique product. I took off another week from writing. Looking over this blog I see I am taking a lot of time off. Writing takes a lot out of me, but also gives me a lot. I felt pretty useless this week and am looking forward to getting back to it.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


I finished my one act play and then went back and changed the ending based upon reading Neil Labute and his unexpected endings. I have just read a couple of his plays that I really like. He also had one where an infant was killed and having a child I can't take plays, movies or tv with child endangerment. But really liked one set the day after 9/11. Another play had a technique with the the main character/narrator coming removing himself from the play and talking to the audience and scenes that could have happened that I thought was amazing. The blindside (i mean this positively) ending was my inspiration for the change in my story.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


I have started to submit my play GoTo Country to various theatres throughout the country. I'm starting to write a one act play based upon experiences working on a fishing boat in Alaska. My bad job history is an asset in writing. I stopped trying to create short stories out of acts of my play. They are just so different and I'm just in playwriting mode and don't have the will to try to to as well as I should with writing a short story. There are a few places that accept plays for publication, so I have entitled acts in the play and submitted them.

Sunday, April 3, 2011


Maybe the best thing about trying to write plays is reading a lot of great plays. I just read Dead Man's Cell Phone and Gods of Carnage. I've also started plays by Donald Margules and Neil Labutte and another one entitled Copenhagen. I'm incredibly impressed by Sarah Ruhl...Amazing technique.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Went to my first playwriting class. It was a good experience and I look forward to more. I was running late from taking our new dog to the vet that we got from the dumb friend's league. We want to be a one car family and so every once in a while that causes some inconvenience. Brought my laptop-no need. We sit around a big table and talk, which I am very comfortable with being a grad student for so freaking long. Read a really excellent one act play. Seems like interesting people in the group and the teacher is really good-he can roll with just about any kind in input and sounds like theatre has been his life. My stuff is pretty raw, so reactions could be fun. I took about 2 weeks off from writing and feel renewed. I want to write and feel like I dont have enough time again. Tell you about a project I am working on besides the play next time or sometime.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


My self-published book Fake Quotes False Attributions is now available on Amazon as a soft cover book and a Kindle electronic version. I have a couple of the printings and I think I will take them to the bookstores in my area and see if they will let me place them on their shelves. I put links to Kindle and Amazon and Punkin House Press on my facebook. I am also contacting the journals where I had poems published and they are included in the acknowledgments to let them know I have a book coming out with Punkin House. As expected, some publishers don't respond and others are very enthusisatic and everything in between.

I'm taking a bit of a writing break and working on promotion. I have a children's book called Alphabet Haiku that I wrote and illustrations by my friend Mike Garman that I am trying to find a publisher for and I am sending out one act portions of my play to various theatres. I start a playwright class in about a week and a half so I will go full bore on the play until the end of the class-6weeks. That's the plan.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

writing group

I went to a meeting of my writing group the other day and we did something I have never done at a writing group meeting-write! I wrote an ending to my play that upon a reread feels a little tacked on, but I think I have a core I can work with. Good Meet...

Thursday, March 3, 2011


I signed up for a playwrighting class and that is way to expensive, but my wife gave me a membership for Valentine's Day so a bit cheaper. I had to use the membership didn't I? The organizatiion is called Lighthouse which sounds to me like a halfway house, but the instructors seem very qualified and I don't have any formal training at all writing a play so this should help. I have a nearly complete play and it should be interesting if I need to make some minor adjustments or I am told to trash the whole thing or something close to it.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Writing poetry was a great way to find out about poets. I get inspired by reading other works and I think I learn that way too. Right now I'm trying to write a play and I'm finding some excellent playwrights and plays. I loved Mamet and rereading and reading new stuff by him. Martin Mcdonagh is fantastic and so is Tracy Letts.

I am finding some common themes in plays. Madness seem to be a good item to toss into a play. An unlike film, a downbeat ending appears to be the way to go.

Monday, February 14, 2011


I did it. There was an article the other day in USA Today about self-publishing. I have a strange, hybrid book called Fake Quotes, Falsely Attributed that is humorous. I made up quotes for well-known people and put some of them in poetic form or forms of speech that are not typical of the speaker. I received some pretty good feedback from publishers, but no acceptances. I had submissions pending, but they are taking forever to get back to me so I decided just to go ahead.

I did it with Kindle and I had some formatting issues. Hopefully, they will get back to me and help me out. There is only a quote a page and 98 pages so the layout is a bit different. I had to try it at least once and see what happens.

Sunday, February 13, 2011


I mentioned before that I have two subscriptions to literary journals that were given to me as a Christmas present. Zoetrope has really great stories in it, but unfortunately no poetry. The other journal is fairly prestigious and I can't read it. Its like someone assigned you Henry James, Scarlet Letter, Sound and the Fury, War and Peace or Finnegan's Wake. Reading that is good for you, but I don't want to read. I can go home and eat a bowl of oat bran while listening to Brahms and then later watch reruns of masterpiece theatre, but I will pass 99 times out of 100. That's my rant.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

on line critiques

For some reason I was reluctant to post the names of the critique sites I am using. The original one I used was Critique Circle and I would like to use again if I can get my password from them. I have been using Scribophile for a month or two. It seems like a good site, but a reluctance to critque longer pieces of 3000 words or more or could be my writing. Though, I did get a good critique this morning. I signed up a couple of days ago for Zoetrope. I was given a subscription for Zoetrope magazine for Christmas and I really like the content. Apparently, if one receives enough good reviews you can win prizes or get published in the magazine, which would be great. I'm going with the play version of my story which is what it is supposed to be instead of short stories like on Scribophile, because Zoetrope takes screenplays and plays for publication which is unique. Scribophiles will critique plays, but I want to submit the short stories for publication. I think the play version is much stronger than the short story form, since that's what it is intended to be. Let's see how it goes.

Friday, February 11, 2011

On-line critiques

I have used on-line critiques in the past and they have been very useful. I had a memoir piece placed in a journal that accepted a very low percentage of admisssions after going through the critiquing process. Recently I joint another on-line critique site and it was good for the first piece I submitted, but the second one is longer and it is hard to get anyone to read it. You gain points for your critiques and noone wants to spend forever on a long piece. So I found another site and posted part of a play there, that I think can stand by itself. Before I can read any of critiques of my play I have to critique other submissions. I will see how it goes.

BTW, the first critique site I used, I forgot my password and when I request that it is sent to me I don't get a response. Either their system is messed up or I pissed someone off with a harsh critique. I don't think its the second, because I only submitted one piece and I was apprehensive about getting shredded.

Writing Group

I went to the inaugural meeting of the writing group I joined. We decided times to meet and agenda. The meetings seem like they are mostly about writing. I mean sitting there and writing, which is good, since it is hard to find the time. My Mom gave me a subscription to a couple of literary journals for Christmas and I left them out for anyone to take. I will talk about literary journals another time. Some interesting people. One guy has about 50 publications and runs his own writers group and so there may be some cross-pollination there.-Meaning we might hit some of his meetings too. Anyway some people there seem to be good resources and I just want to be around people talking books. They want to meet on wkened which stinks. But, oh well.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Writing Group

I have joined a writing group. has about every group that you can think of and a new writing group if forming fairly close to me. The first meeting is next week and an agenda will have to be established. I was in a poetry group before and another writing group before that. Burkowski used to mock writing groups and readings as just another way to fuck off and not do any actual writing, but feel good about yourself that you are doing something. There is also at close to the worst level of a group, that the group really doesn't do any work and just hangs out. But, I like to be able to talk to people that have the same interest that I do and hear what they are doing.

There is everything in between. I have submitted hundreds of poems and been rejected thousands of times so I like to think that my skin is a little thicker and I can handle critcism. However its natural to want to hear good things about your work and to set up a nice critique one has to supply nice critiques to others. Of course you don't want to hurt others feelings either. The middle course often seems to be the answer. "You know what I really like...., but perhaps you could work on this."

Friday, February 4, 2011

play to short story

I am enjoying writing dialogue for my new play that is set in an immigration office. I used to work in immigration so I have many experiences to draw upon. Apparently I have a problem shifting tenses in my play and the converted short stories from the play. I'm not sure where to learn more about my grammar issues. I have taken grammar quizzes on-line and studied from books, but I have a long way to go. In school I could always count on what sounded right and I never learned the nuts and bolts.

I have place my writing on critique sights and I get a lot of help there and from friends and family that proofread, but I need to learn. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Punkin House: Our Final Facelift

Punkin House: Our Final Facelift: "Hey World! Check out our new look....Um, again! We finally have all of our buttons updated, though I think we are having an issue with th..."

Sunday, January 9, 2011

play to short story

This is my first blogging adventure. Right now I'm working on a play, but its hard to wait for feedback. It also seems like too big a project so I am breaking it down into short stories that I can submit and then maybe try to get a book out of the short stories in addition to having a play. Thats the theory.