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Showing posts from 2006

New Radio Play

I just received word this week that my radio play, The Snowman Always Shovels Twice, is going into production at Minds Ear Audio Theatre. Snowman, which won first prize in the 2002 International Audio Theatre Script Competition, is a murder mystery/comedy that takes place during the taping of a radio play at your local public radio station. One by one, members of the cast are being murdered. Is it a psychotic killer on a rampage? Or is someone trying to loot the cash-laden coffers of the public radio station?
The play will be recorded in December, and should be available for purchase at the Minds Ear website before Spring 2007. Just go to www.minds-ear.org for more information, CDs for purchase, and free sample downloads.Minds Ear is based out of Bloomington, IN, which is also home to the Apotheosis Saga (a radio sci-fi series available on iTunes), and Lodestone Catalog, a catalog for radio theatre productions.

Cabin Fever U.

Last Sunday, April 23rd, saw the first full length reading of my very first stage play, Cabin Fever U. This was the play originally titled "Into the Woods," which won the Frank and Katrina Basile Award for Emerging Playwrights last summer.

I received some great feedback from the audience members, took some notes based on finally hearing the entire play out loud, and have already received some interest from the Creative Director of one of Indianapolis' theatres in producing it as a site-specific play. Needless to say, I'm pretty jazzed about the entire thing!

I've given the play one final rewrite, and am getting ready to send it to the Creative Director. I'll continue to post the developments as they arise. In the meantime, I've begun sketching out a new play for this year's script competition.

I've also submitted five of my Slick Bracer scripts to a Canadian radio production company called Decoder Ring Theatre, producers of Red Panda and Black Jack J…

Another humor component

My apologies for not posting sooner, but personal life has gotten in the way of many things, so if you were eagerly awaiting another component of good humor, thanks for your patience.

Another important component of humor is Exaggeration. Mel Helitzer, author of Comedy Writing Secrets, discusses the Rule of THREES of humor. This is the second E (I'm working my way backward through the list).

Basically, things that are ordinary are not always funny. Most jokes involve some type of exaggeration and/or absurd to make the humor. For example, there's the joke about the three guys who are all going to be executed by firing squad. The first man is lined up, the shooters take aim, and he yells "TORNADO!" Everyone runs for shelter, and he runs off safely. The second man is then lined up, the shooters take aim, and he yells "HURRICANE!" Everyone runs for shelter again, and the man runs off to safety. So the third man is lined up, the shooters take aim, and the man yells…

Humor writing secrets

A lot of people shy away from writing humor. I subscribe to several speechwriting newsletters, and all of them admonish their readers that they should be very, very careful in using humor in their speeches – almost to the point of never doing it. Because, like guns, it’s very dangerous in the hands of the inexperienced and unfunny.

(Surprisingly, my humor writers discussion group, the NetWits, has never warned its members about the perils of writing speeches. Apparently this is the easier of the two vocations.)

Actually, writing humor is pretty easy, if you know the secrets. Of course, knowing the secrets aren’t enough. You have to be able to execute them well. I mean, I can throw a football well enough to play in a pick-up game, but I’ll never beat Peyton Manning out of his job with the Indianapolis Colts. So don't think that just because you know the formula, you're automatically going to be funny. It still takes practice and an ear for a good joke or funny word or phrase.

And …

The cool thing about blogging, err, Moleskine Notebooks

Blogging is a great viral marketing tool -- sort of the "I told two friends, and they told two friends, and so on and so on" phenomenon. The great thing about blogging is that 1) it's so easy, 2) it's an easy read, and 3) everyone is peeking over each other's shoulder to see what they're blogging about. Then 4) they write about it in their own blogs, which prompts their readers to check that other stuff out.

That happened to me, when Steve at RecordingThoughts.com wrote about my entry about my Moleskine notebook. My first thought was "wow, someone's actually reading this?" But my bigger, and more pressing thought was, "Wow, there are websites devoted to things we use to record our thoughts!" There's also this one at Moleskinerie.com. From what I can tell, it's a pretty cool site about a nifty little notebook. Even guitarist Ottmar Leibert likes it.

Turns out Moleskine is pronounced "MOLE-uh-SKEEN-uh" and NOT "MOLE-…

Ego Surfing

One of the great things about the Internet is that you have a chance to publish your stuff anywhere. It can be your own website or blog, someone else's ezine, or even a fairly decent news site like The American Reporter. Unfortunately, the downfall is that your stuff can easily be stolen and published elsewhere. While it's sort of flattering to an insecure writer like me, it can be downright aggravating to guys like Bruce Cameron (the 8 Simple Rules to Dating My Teenage Daughter guy). For a while, he had a full-time staffer whose job it was to write nasty letters to people who had plagiarized his columns (he also did the one about the chili tasting judge who suffered horrible agony during the contest).

So I will occasionally ego surf for myself on Google.com. Ego surfing can be dangerous. On one hand, it's a huge boost to your ego when you find your name in an unexpected place. On the other, it can be a devastating blow if you don't find anything at all. Of course, it&#…