Like other areas of writing that I love exploring within Lost Word, I’ve also been excited about the challenge of playwriting, ever since our Lost Word Playwriting Workshop, headed by Coralie Johnson, was presented in April.
In The Ballad of Eleanor, one of my greatest challenges has
been to create a believable dialogue between my main characters, a woman
passenger and a shipmaster, within an 18th turn-of-the-century
setting. Eleanor is immigrating to America with her husband and children on a voyage that has
suffered the loss of many passengers. She's lost her dear friend, Hannah,
and Capt. Williams has lost a boatswain, an orphan he took under his wing.
Eleanor has been ridden with guilt for having voiced such a strong conviction that Hannah come to America. In one of the scenes, she is playing a ballad on the Welsh harp in memory of
her friend who was particularly fond of it, and this sparks a dialogue
between her and the captain. Through this very brief connection, they both find a few moments reprieve in their grief. But Eleanor is about to inherit a secret of Hannah's she knows
nothing about yet. It is my first attempt at completing a play, all though I
expect it to go through another revision before it is ready to present.
Another play, Roadside Affair, is about a couple on a
weekend road trip, who witness something scary happening. It’s supposed to be
more light-hearted (even with the scary thing). Finally, my third play, Moving
Olivia, is partially completed. A family affair involving an elderly woman who
is not ready to leave the home she has raised her family in, the daughter who
thinks it’s “best” she move, and the granddaughter who intervenes. Both The
Ballad of Eleanor and Moving Olivia are heavily adapted and revised from poems
I’ve written. I have set Moving Olivia aside for now, in a file I have dubbed,
Winter Projects, along with three other writing endeavors waiting to come to
In the meantime, two projects very close to my heart, Lost
Word’s poetry anthology, Inner Fortress, and Milan’s biography, will continue
to have my utmost attention. Inner Fortress is (so far) thirteen authors and
150 pages strong, and I am halfway through the manuscript for Milan’s bio.
I’ve also found a new edition to my library, free with a coupon. A very good
Oxford University Press edition (1938) of The Complete Works of Shakespeare, in
one volume, 1,252 pages, not counting the glossary.