Revisions! (And a new thing)
There goes September…!
Here’s writing / producing / thinking that happened in September, more below…
• Untitled Historical Audio Drama (Audio Drama Mini-Series)
• Untitled Robot Novel (Novel and Audio Drama)
• The Sound of Many Oceans (Play)
• All Praise the Ikon (10-Minute Stage Play)
• Goodbye, She Said (Audio Fiction)
• Remittance (Monologue)
Untitled Historical Audio Drama (Audio Drama Mini-Series)
I thought it was time to start a project I’ve been thinking about— in particular, for a few years— and in general, since high school— the subject of the first novel I attempted, although in a much different context. An event I consider the axis mundi of human history. Everything changed afterward.
The weight of this project is a bit daunting— but if not now, there may be no when. In the first two weeks of September I wrote the first episode, about an hour. Set in the 1940s, I’ve been researching the overall plot of events for the outline, planning to write the individual episodes, then research again, once I have a better grasp of the shape of the story and the overall voice I want to give to it, which is slowly congealing.
It’s looking like four, one-hour episodes.
This is my first time writing about real people to any degree, and I have certain anxieties about honoring them, though the more I learn and write and inquire, the more confident I become about telling this particular story in a particular way— within a particular form. Am I being vague enough!
Once it’s finished, it’ll be easier for me to speak about the structure, which informs the theme. I feel it’s still a bit delicate at the moment. I guess I can say I’ve been learning about epistles, synoptics, canon, the oral tradition, how all this relates to historical storytelling.
My plan is to apply for grants to get this produced. Big cast. Lot of music.
A few weeks ago I received helpful notes on the pilot from Katharine Seaton (Theme Composer on my audio drama The Transposition of Chloë Brontë), W. Keith Tims (Writer and Producer of the audio drama The Book of Constellations), and Matthew Robinson (Writer and Director of the historical plays Mary’s Medicine and BlackBalled: The Rise & Fall of Negro League Baseball). I’ve also got some coffee time coming up with Matthew—! Looking forward to his insights. His historical adaptation work on the aforementioned plays was a particular inspiration.
Untitled Robot Novel (Novel and Audio Drama)
I thought it might be fun to share a bit from this work-in-progress— here’s a snippet of the robot ZOE-5, played by Abigail Wahl. It’s a lot of fun designing robot voices.
We’re in France, and ZOE-5 is arguing with the main character— another robot—
The Sound of Many Oceans (Play)
Alex believes a micro-circuitry device has been attached to his body to reshape his brain and prevent him from hearing the sound of oceans. His friend and Confidant Jules agrees to search his body. Later, Kelly is interrogated by her friend and Advocate Jules, who is determined to uncover the secret location of an invisible, formless being of cryptic and dangerous power.
So I thought I might be able to rewrite the third act of this play in two days for a submission deadline to the National Playwrights Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center —but alas! I was on a freelance job at the time, last week, and it ran into Wednesday, a day I had planned to dedicate to revisions— regardless, I made good progress, and there’s another developmental deadline approaching in early October which I’ll be able to hit. Below is a a few new lines written last week.
p.s. I wrote about this play’s table-read last spring in this post—
All Praise the Ikon (10-Minute Stage Play)
I did another revision of this, as well as audio adaption to submit to a festival in the UK for a potential live performance.
If they perform it, I’ll let you know.
An Instructor suggests to a fellow educator there may be ways of resisting the occupying bureaucracy which seeks to control the books in their classroom— texts chosen by an Algorithm allegedly serving the sacred Ikon.
Goodbye, She Said (Audio Fiction)
I posted my short story audio fiction Goodbye, She Said (produced a few years ago). Here’s the synopsis:
When ‘She’ loses her boyfriend and her sister on the same day, ‘She’ indulges in a newfound compulsion for horror. ‘He’ begins to investigate, believing the rumored monster cult is responsible for all their woes.
Written, Produced, and Read by William J. Meyer
Featuring Nicola Branch as the singing voice of ‘She’
Music by William Seegers
This piece of audio fiction also features the first song I wrote—
If you want to hear the song outside the context of the story, you can listen below:
This piece joins three other audio stories on my Substack—
• The monologue A Wish For My Forever, performed by Erika Sanderson.
• The short story The Loser, read and performed by Emily Strand.
• The audio drama Waiting to Die in a Tent, A Few Thoughts on Valhalla, starring Boyd Barrett, Karin Heimdahl, Owen McCuen, and Madeline Goshorn.
Early in the month I wrote a monologue from the point of view of Christopher Latham Sholes, a newspaper publisher and politician who, following the execution of John McCaffary, led a campaign to end the death penalty in my home state of Wisconsin.
The campaign was successful in 1853 and the law stands to this day. During my research, I also learned Sholes invented the QWERTY keyboard. Which was certainly a surprise given the nature of what I was reading about.
I submitted this monologue to an anthology, and will hear back in October.
Speaking of hearing back—
If rejection is a part of writing, how much more so is waiting? Recently someone shared their surprise with me that writers have to sometimes wait months to hear back, so I thought I’d let you know my novel Valkyrie has been in a reading queue at a publisher for 466 days.
I believe the book’s queue position was somewhere in the low 300s when I first submitted it. Generally I hear back on novels, plays, screenplays, and short stories between three and nine months. This includes agents, publishers, contests, development programs, theaters, and the like.
Of course, sometimes you never hear back. One screenwriting competition told me they didn’t share the results of the contest I entered (a paid contest, mind you) since I opted-out of their marketing messages. Which— well, rant withheld. And sometimes— you don’t even get a notice of receipt— not an auto-reply email, nothing. Bizarre!
Lastly— are you familiar with pareidolia?
The term pareidolia describes the phenomenon of perceiving visual representations of objects within other objects, such as seeing animals in clouds or a face on Mars— but my particular pareidolia talent is for detecting states in sidewalks.
Here’s the left side of Wisconsin— embedded somewhere in Los Angeles.
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