Today is the first page….

Today is the first page of a 365 page novel. Make it good!

And since I’m feeling rather adventurous for the new year, I thought I’d reveal the cover art for my ebook of plays! The work was from my best friend, a painter and all-round awesome artist, Ashley Hunt, who now lives out in Buffalo.

final I have just a bit more work on my book (ok really I’m just waiting a few weeks to calm my nerves) but it should be up within a few weeks. And yes, I’m sure I’ll be obnoxious with shooting from the rooftops about it.

Here’s to 2014 being the year you write a best seller with your life.

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Goodbye 2013 (the last of my two pieces published this year)

One more day until the new year, so I decided to post the other two of my pieces which were accepted in Euphemism. I’m about a month behind on this but as I documented so much in this blog, life has a funny way of getting in the way of my life plans! Enjoy and stay safe this holiday!

After (You’ve Gone)

the heart beats on

life beats
on.

the heart generates
an electrical
signal

its own signal,
animpulse

this,
we can prove
recorded by
an EKG

dots of
your fingertips
painting my
skin red

electrodes
on
chest

it exists

as

I and you,
did, do,

still do

though not us,
rusted, worn, rotten pictures

the impulse leads
to each beat

mix-tape memories stuck
controlling

a we’re-through, salty-tear
smooch stains until
you tear awayas
the signal spreads
across the heart

triggering
muscles to contract
in the correct sequence.

the signal spreads
right to left

a party of dreams
relay-replay.

pushing the blood into…

right to
left

right to
left

your face brushed
mine, smiling

the impulse is
then passed through
to the ventricles

misty, black n white
nightmares

us

causing
the ventricles to
contract.

I throw off my
sheet, ripping at
my skull.

the heart
beats
on.

and my essay:

The flip side of a copy

Time moves slowly when you’re a glorified copy wench. As the pale glow of replication illuminates the growing wrinkles adorning my face, the realization slowly sinks in. A train monkey could take my place, not a NASA rocketeering monkey either but a sleep-most-of-the-day in between poo-flinging one.

As the minutes tick to the void, my eyes scan the room. I want to rip down the OSHA poster, burn it to the ground, screaming to my coworkers, “six years, two degrees, honors societies and publications have to amount to more than paper cuts. And sleepless nights slaved away with library crammed house should amount to more than a no-benefits, crap-dollar an hour pay.”  I want to start anew.

A battled scared vet returning to a reformed nation, I find myself longing to be lost in The Wasteland, strung out and strung up in a hotel full of beatniks and hippies hell bent on filling the worlds with flowers.  But the best minds of my generation are wasting away in cheaply pressed suits, long retail hour eyes wearied, as their back breaks with the loans on which their future was built/destroyed.  And my rent is due in a week.

The copy machine spits out my order. As my hands shake, I pick up each warm piece, permeating my skins. But my bones shake as I turn out the light and slowly walk away, each step echoing down the hallway.

Acceptance!….and a poem

Euphemism, ISU’s literary journal came out. As I spent four years getting two degrees at Illinois State and a few years on the staff, this journal is a little baby to me which made it much all the more pleased that this year they accepted four of my pieces (two poems and two essays.) Over the next couple of weeks, I will post the work for you guys to enjoy! The first:

no light to come

Rachael Stanford

no light to come

I waited with razor blade eyes for a voice,
any voice, to tell me that can’t
could be undone.

waited, wrist atrophied
body pruning to death
amongst scented bubbles

to know
we is not are

not the doodles of remembrance
in our youthful futures.

unequivocal proof that is
isn’t only a perfect mess
potentially erased

is only is [sic]

but knowing that with wanting
what the answer could only be,
that even, if only, for the blink of an eye

even, if only, in the last lucent moments
before the drunkard stumbles
into their perpetual state of dis-existence
that we could never still be, but in—

if only

finding that never
sometimes is our only constant

the separation between you and I
exist besides grammatical purposes

(if only)

in a fractured corner of the Jungian mind
separated and immersed in
slipping words
chests of watery graves

(if only)

the pressure pushes
upon my breast

The neon lights
my heaven

So this is being an artist?

Can it be? My first book of plays has finally been edited (OK twice now) once through an editor, once through a former classmate of mine (I majored in technical writing and editing) and now I just need to make the final cuts and stick it on Kindle.

Editing is I believe one of my worst enemies....Editing...

Ironic because in college I loved editing. I saw it as a giant puzzle. You have to make the right moves, search the whole of your mind to find just the right word that can make or break a piece. It riveted me in college. I lived for finding lost referents or dangling participial.

But as a writer, creativity swirls around me. At most times, I usually have five or six writing projects going, and it takes most of my energy to set all of my many projects aside to move one ahead.  I live on this,  breath it in.

Editing, for me is the opposite of this. Slow and methodical.  Everything my artistic soul hates.

Besides, I’m a perfectionist, and something about letting my work out there for the world to see, when I’m sure I could make it better ( I can always make it better) is horrifying.

But as I keep telling myself, all of these plays have been produced. It’s time to let them into the world and move on.

I can do it. Can’t I?

And I’m fueling myself with the fact that I signed my first real contract today for my play “The Wall,” I’ll have the details for you when they post it all. 🙂

Time to embrace the writing life.

 

We did it!

Just a quick note guyscolbert_wedidit, we did it!

Today Independent Playwrights announced their winners, and I (looks around like who me?) was named the winner of the Dear Reader category!

Eek! I am beyond thrilled and want to take a second to all of my readers and followers who voted for me.  Your guys’ support means the world to me. 🙂

Anyway, there will be more updates to follow (I’m sure you guys will get sick of it so I’ll try to refrain from going overboard) so stay tune on information about the anthology I will be featured in.

*Whew* now that its all over I can devote myself to writing a novel with the rest of the month……..

…..I am insane.

Oh yay! I got a guest blog published!

This was a fun an exciting weekend at the comic book festival. It has definately inspired me to look for a graphic designer and work on a comic idea I have had for a while(more details to follow).

But first, I have some fun and  exciting news to share. jumpI have had a guest post published on the Independent Play(w)rights website! It’s titled 5 things I wish I knew before I became a playwright.

It is, if I do say so myself, a good little piece of information that contains some  great tips I had to learn the hard way. If you are just starting out writing plays or even if you are experience, go ahead and give it a read.  You might just learn a thing or two!

A quick exciting announcement

Sorry to make this quick, but as I moved to a new house, not yet equipped with the internet, I have to make my blog post on my lunch break.

The Prairieland Theatre Company will present “Prairie Playwrights: Four Plays Three Authors at 7 p.m. on Friday, May 31 and Saturday, June 1 and at 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 2 at the Farmhouse Banquet & Event Center in Delavan.

This will include a piece of mine. I’ll have more information to follow!  I’m so honored to be included in this.

Welp, time for me to eat. I’ll post more information soon.

Rach

In theatre, expect the unexpected.

My "fans" (ok my friend and bf) and I before the plays

My “fans” (ok bf and friend) and I before the show

I started the day on edge. Today (Sunday) was the big day. Two of my plays were showing at Cornstock Theatre, as well as one other I directed.

There’s a special fear I feel on performance day. The dread and trepidation that an audience will despise a piece and  cringe along with you at the awkward moments, that in your head made sense, but that dissipate on stage, leaving a cloud of awkward stilted words hanging, fog.

Adding to the stress, a day before, I learned that one of my actors had come down with the flu, leaving the art director and I scrabbling to find another one.  Luckily, an actor in one of the other performances stepped up at the last-minute.

I came to the theatre, anxious and worried, but my worries were completely unfounded.

My first play, “Game On,” opened the performance.  It was wonderfully acted. And if I do say so myself, and I hate to toot my own horn, it was wonderfully received. The audience laughed and applauded, though there are a few parts that I am going to revise.

My second play,  “A Sunday Proposal,” opened the second act. This was the play I was most fearful of. I have spent two years revising it and still can’t get the play where I want it. However, seeing in on stage has softened my opinion of it. It is delightful for what it is, a light-hearted, comedy about the affairs of the family.

The day ended with “Red, Blue, Whatever” by Gary Hale, and directed by myself. I was fearful that my inexperience would drag down the show. But my actors were amazing. The performance was lively and more importantly the writer was pleased with performance.

Game On by Rachael Stanford

Game On by Rachael Stanford

A Sunday Proposal  by Rachael Stanford

A Sunday Proposal by Rachael Stanford

Red, Blue, Whatever by Gary Hale, directed by Rachael Stanford

Red, Blue, Whatever by Gary Hale, directed by Rachael Stanford

In the next few days, I will upload the videos of my performances as well as a few more pictures that will be place in my gallery.

Play practice today

Today, we had our rehearsal for next week’s, Life, The Universe and Playwriting: A Sexlet of Orginal Plays, for which two of my plays are being shown, and I am directing one. I use the term directing loosely, as most of my directing experience is relegated to five year-olds or cheesy plays we did in college.

I was at first reluctant to even again to direct. But I decided what the hell, you only live once!

I haven’t regretted it.

The experience has been wonderful. My actors have been helpful with their advice and thoughts on blocking.  And I feel like this will help my craft.

As a writer, my first thought is to do what I think best to complete my story. However as a director, I am seeing how this, on stage can created a bevy of problems, especially with blocking and character motivation.  I think this is something I need to keep in mind when writing my plays.

Anyway, I still have some work to do for next week’s production, so this will have to be a short post.

Peace n luv.

P.S. If you are in the Peoria, Il area on Sunday check out the show. You won’t be disappointed.