Three More! From Portomarin to O Pedrouzo!

I last left you in Portomarin and gave you a taste of Arzua after we discovered a great restaurant run by lovely people. But before Arzua, we had one previous stop. Palas de Rei!

As we CLIMBED out of Portomarin, after getting a shuttle car from our hostel back to the point in Portomarin we had walked to the afternoon before, we came to one of my most memorable Camino places. After leaving Portomarin, there’s a steady climb that eventually leads up an endless orange-sand hill. On my first Camino in 2014, I walked with 7 or 8 other pilgrims. We all picked up some picnic food at a supermercado prior to leaving Portomarin. Then we stopped and had a picnic at the top of that large orange hill. It was such a lovely experience…one I still cherish today.

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Connie and I at the picnic at the top of the world just outside Portomarin (May, 2014). Connie passed away not quite a year after our pilgrimage. Such a lovely person. I was so fortunate to walk with her and our wonderful group of pilgrims.

The rest of the journey to Palas de Rei was uneventful. There was an awful lot of hills this day, though. More than I remembered. It was also the first day we had a little rain. Just a little, though…nothing too unbearable.

Day 10 of walking took us from Palas de Rei to Arzua. My previous post here is about the place we found for dinner in Arzua. It was superb.

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We left Palas de Rei in the dark, but soon stopped for breakfast. Those breakfast stops may just be the ones I looked forward to the most. Zumo de naranja, cafe con leche and cruc de chocolate. Fresh squeezed orange juice, coffee with milk and a chocolate croissant! Mmmmmmmm!

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Such a great part of every morning on the Camino! The Breakfast Stop!

As the morning came into its own that day, it glowed beautiful. We soon found ourselves in Nirvana, quietly taking in its soul-healing rays…

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This was the day we broke the 50km mark, the day of Melide, and the day of walking through the vast and fragrant eucalyptus forests. It was a peaceful day filled with grace and awe. And I remember it as being much easier…or maybe we had just found a stride that day. (-:

Arzua at the end of the day was lovely. I was a little bitter, however, about the shower at our hostel. The showers in Spain were incredibly amazing. Until Arzua. The shower had no faucet, just a button you would push and the water would come out for about 30 seconds and shut off. Annoying. Like a pool shower from 1979. I was not impressed…but it was what it was. Every other shower on the Camino was spectacular.

Day 11 found us making our way to O Pedrouzo AND the very last albergue prior to arriving in Santiago!

Again, we left in the dark and again we found a lovely little cafe in which to enjoy our yummy Camino breakfast.

And we soon came across the beer bottle cafe too. I don’t recall it from my 2014 pilgrimage, but I’ve seen it all over Instagram lately…

We broke the 20km mark this day, and stayed at 23 on the 23rd! (-:

And then, just like that, we were only ONE DAY AWAY FROM SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA. The cathedral at the end of the yellow brick road. We would have one more albergue sleep in O Pedrouzo prior to waking up, dusting off and setting out on our final walk…

Food – Ultreia Café in Arzua is a MUST on the Camino de Santiago!

Ultreia was a surprise delight in Arzua on the Camino de Santiago! Don’t miss it!

We walked today from Palas de Rei to Arzua. A long exhausting uphill hike.

After showers, we walked back to the restaurants we passed on the way into town. The one we chose was absolutely incredible!

As with many Pilgrim Meal combos, Ultreia had the 10€ offering where you get to choose a starter, a main, and a dessert… With a drink. I chose cod/pepper croquettes for my starter, meat lasagna for my main and mousse with blueberry coulis for dessert. Ultreia is fine dining. Every dish was impeccable and incredible! It’s obvious they take pride in their work. The whole combo menu looked appetizing. It was so difficult narrowing down our decisions. But I’m guessing every dish is a winner! And they gave us a bottle of wine to share between the two of us.

Michael had a mushroom ravioli dish for his starter and it was the best ravioli I’ve ever tasted. So good.

If you’re on the Camino de Santiago going through ARZUA… make sure to stop for food at ULTREIA CAFÉ! You won’t be sorry.

We did not stay at the albergue, but there is an albergue attached to the Café… It would be worth checking out! If the accomodations are half as amazing as the 10€ meal, they’ll be excellent. ❤

For those looking for more typical Galician dishes, they can also be found on the menu. (-:

Here’s their website:

http://www.albergueultreia.com

Buen Camino, peregrinos!!

The Next Three! Camino de Santiago from Fonfria to beyond! Onward…

Walking Day 6! Leaving Fonfria is such sweet sorrow. I love this stop. The only place I stayed in twice. Once in 2014 and back this year!

Angela, the lovely albergue owner and cook. Friendly and lively! She gives life to the Camino! Stop in Fonfria if you can!

Off we go. From Fonfria we took a bit of a rest day. Only about 10km to Triacastela. And the Pension Garcia just as you walk into town there. The eats were good and the room was comfortable. Because we had arrived early, we had lots of time to casually explore town after showers.

Day 7 Walking was Triacastela to Sarria, which is the big 100km town where lots of people begin their Camino. You need to walk at least 100km in order to get the Compostela certificate in Santiago de Compostela. It was, again, a lovely day.One thing to mention is the SAMOS route to Sarria. It adds kilometres, but is so worth the visit to the monasterio in Samos. I just love the murals there. So beautiful…we started in the dark in order to allow time for the detour Camino…

Day 8 walking was Sarria to Portomarin. I had made an error in booking, and it was only after we had arrived in Portomarin that we discovered our hostel was 2km behind us. Be prepared for anything on the Camino…

 

The Next Three! Onward to Santiago de Compostela!

We last left you in Ponferrada! Here we go!

Walking Day 3 – Ponferrada to Villafranca del Bierzo – It was a hard day but such a beautiful one. Vineyards everywhere (-: Lovely!

Walking Day 4 – Villafranca del Bierzo to Las Herrerias – Obviously another beautiful day. They all are. The last hour of every day is the hardest.

Day 5 Las Herrerias to Fonfria!

Fonfria, Fonfria, Fonfria! I love the albergue there! Second visit! This was the day of climbing mountains! To O Cebreiro and beyond to Fonfria. The hardest day, but the others prepared us well! Plus, WE MADE IT TO GALICIA!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Marker for GALICIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

First 3 Days of the Camino de Santiago – We Are in Love with Spain!

Just pictures. We are on the Camino de Santiago, loving every minute! Began in Astorga this time. Mini Camino.

Astorga, before the walk!

Walking Day 1 – Astorga to Foncebadon

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Day 2 – Foncebadon to Ponferrada

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Cruz de Ferro!
Such an epic milestone on the Camino de Santiago! Cruz de Ferro…

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August and Everything After…

How did we get here? The month of August is quickly being eaten up and September is just around the corner. This time last year we were eagerly anticipating a September in India and Nepal. As it turns out, it was far more beautiful than I could have ever imagined.

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This is the view from the Shanti Stupa, which is situated on a hilltop across from the town of Pokhara, Nepal. You can either drive to the hill, or take one of the beautiful boat rides across Lake Phewa and arrive at the foot of the hill (mountain?). I walked barefoot from lakeside to the stupa and it was a gorgeous and picturesque route…all uphill!

I feel as though I am still processing India and Nepal. I have written about some of my experiences there, but I have only just scraped the surface. It was a profound experience I’ll remember forever.

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From one of the pieces I wrote on my September 2018 experiences in India.
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The nicest surprise in India was a city I had no previous knowledge about. ORCHHA. It was a breathtaking city, filled with magical places to explore. The people were friendly and inviting. AND…some of our group went to a cooking class in the home of a local woman who runs her own cooking school. We had THE best time! I love Orchha!

India is now behind us by almost a year. I can’t even fathom that truth! It seems like yesterday.

With September 2019 comes…another adventure! I once said there were too many places to visit to go to one place more than once. HA! That was before I met the Camino de Santiago. Yes, dear reader, I’m talking about the Camino yet again. I will probably continue to talk about it UNTIL EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU HAVE HEARD AND HEEDED THE CALL OF THE CAMINO!

We are 20 days away from setting out on my 2nd and my SO’s 1st Camino de Santiago pilgrimage. Michael is looking forward to it as much as I am, though he may possibly have more trepidation than I have. I remember the days leading up to my first Camino…all I could think of was the impossibility of the whole thing. I was as nervous as I was excited. NOW I know different. I already know I GOT THIS. But that’s probably something one has to come to on their own. It all seems very overwhelming when you begin to think about taking that first step. Can I do this? Is it too much?

You can. It’s not. It’s beautiful and you should.

I’m ready for the Camino de Santiago. I hope these 20 days fly by. We are ready to discover the path together. Come September 10th, we’ll fly into Madrid. By the 12th, we’ll be in Astorga…where we will begin our shortened Camino journey. On the 13th, my 53rd birthday…we’ll be on our way! The walk to Santiago de Compostela will begin!

While I have your attention and I’m talking about the Camino…just a heads up— WRITING NEWS IS FORTHCOMING! MY LIPS ARE SEALED FOR THE TIME BEING, BUT I HAVE VERY EXCITING CAMINO RELATED WRITING NEWS COMING!!!

Come on, September! BRING IT! We’re Camino ready! Buen Camino!

 

Home from the Marathon – My 11th MNM

I usually write about my Muskoka Novel Marathon (MNM) experience shortly after it’s over. But I wasn’t sure how to deal with this one. I’ve been home from it a week today. I felt like I got nothing done this year. But I also managed to write almost 40,000 words in 72 hours. Perception and reality vastly conflict with one another. It’s the same ole same ole.

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Another of the many distraction tactics I look forward to every year at the MNM…a long walk up a short hill to this place. LION’S LOOKOUT. Down below me, in the background, is the MNM venue.

Why is it this way? Because of the automaton feature that writers will often tap into. They can begin a project by being a writer writing and end up just being writing. Writer disappears at these marathons. Writer becomes writing. The act itself…with no one at the wheel.

This is why I always underestimate my creative output and my productivity. I disappear.

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These are the 10-Page marker ribbons that all writers add to the clothesline every time they get to another 10-page milestone. They add up over the course of the 72hr novel writing marathon!

I was driving yesterday and a thought about my Muskoka Novel Marathon novel came to me in a flash of brilliance. It was more like a eureka moment. ‘I really should have my one character meet with a therapist.’

I mean, something big and terrible happened to them. Most likely, a therapist would be foisted upon them practically against their will in real life after experiencing what they experienced. I should write a scene where they visit a therapist.

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This is the Active Living Centre in Huntsville, Ontario, at night. Shot from the dock at the water’s edge down below during Saturday evening’s distraction period of socializing. (-:

Then, when I finally sat down in front of my manuscript to continue my read-through, a funny thing happened. I came upon a fairly long scene (several pages in length) where my character visits a therapist. Who knows, there may even be more therapist meetings in the manuscript. I’m still reading through. This is one of the reasons I try not to edit while doing that first read-through after arriving home from the marathon. I often have no recollection of what my manuscript contains. And I never know what I’m gonna find. Literally, I have no idea. The therapist scene is a case in point. Blindsided.

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A shot from the dock beside the Muskoka Novel Marathon venue.

I also know that I’m a monumental distraction to other writers at the marathon. I do my best focusing when I’m not focusing at all. I have too much energy to do things in another way. I write my ass off while drinking coffee and eating garbage candy and shooting myself madly off in every direction. Somehow, I walk away from the marathon with most of a novel…and somehow I get that novel completed in the few weeks immediately following the marathon. It’s how I function as a writer.

Another year in the can, another diabetic coma narrowly avoided. My novel is coming along. I may even like what I came away with. I’ll like it more once this read-through is complete and I know exactly what it is I wrote.

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The Camino de Santiago Part II is Coming!

When we first decided that we would walk the Camino de Santiago in September of 2019, the month and year seemed so impossibly far away. The little number in the corner of today’s date on my desktop calendar tells me the divide between then and our departure date has somehow become so much smaller! Practically insignificant in comparison. The excitement grows every day. Once you walk the Camino, it scratches at your thoughts like a lost home that keeps calling you back. It’s almost as if the Camino aches for you as much as you ache for the Camino…and it keeps reminding you. “I am here. I am here. I am here.”

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This is a small clock tower that leads to a piazza in Ponferrada, Spain. I have arranged it so that Michael and I will be staying right inside that piazza during our September, 2019 Camino pilgrimage. We will need to walk through the small corridor beneath this clock in order to get to our rest stop for that particular night. (I snapped this shot during my 2014 Camino)

September 10th is when we fly to Spain. 54 days from now.

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One of the biggest thrills of my 2014 Camino was when I discovered the murals on the walls of the Monastery of San Xulián de Samos in Samos, Spain. I mean, it took my breath away. I think about it still with some kind of loving devotion that makes no sense to this heretical atheist. I can’t wait to see these murals again. The murals depict scenes from the life of St. Benedict. Shortly before SAMOS, SPAIN, there is a fork in the CAMINO ROAD. One way goes to Samos, and one way bypasses the beautiful town to save a couple miles. TAKE THE ROAD THAT WILL TAKE YOU TO THESE MURALS! It’s worth the extra miles.

We will not be doing the full Camino Frances, but that is no matter. The Camino is not about that, as much as some people who don’t fully get it would have you believe. We will be flying into Madrid, and then travelling from Madrid to Astorga. Once there, we will begin our Camino de Santiago adventure from that beautiful town…from the shadow of the gorgeous cathedral there.

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The vistas you come upon on the Camino will steal your heart and hold it captive. This shot was taken during my 2014 pilgrimage. This is a typical scene in the GALICIA REGION of SPAIN. It’s big sky and big universe country. It will stay with you forever, but it will also demand that you one day return.

I will be taking notes this time. I’ve already decided. I’m not finished writing about the Camino. It has decided to become a greater part of my story, and I have decided to keep listening, to keep reflecting, to keep projecting. So stay tuned, OR BE FOREWARNED. There will be more to come.

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I wrote a novel upon my first return from Spain. One day I hope it finds a way to the light of day. This time? I think I’m going to write about our journey. That’s the plan, anyway. But what happens on the Camino happens…there is no way to predict your journey. We shall see. I will be looking for a sign…and I hope to write about it later. I know one thing for certain. We will be putting one foot in front of the other.

You never will get where you’re going
If you never get up on your feet
Come on, there’s a good tail wind blowing
A fast walking man is hard to beat
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking ‘cross the floor
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking out the door
If you want to change your direction
If your time of life is at hand
Well don’t be the rule, be the exception
A good way to start is to stand
Put one foot in front of the other
And soon you’ll be walking ‘cross the floor

 

My 24 Hour Project Script – A Cup of Sugar

As is customary, I post my 10-minute play scripts after they are initially performed. Also, as is customary, I offer my scripts up free of charge for other theatres to produce if they wish to do so. My only stipulation is that they ask permission by emailing me at kevintcraig @ hotmail.com first. I like to know when and where my plays are being performed. I had one of these short scripts performed across the world, from Australia to India to several states in the USA. It’s a thrill for me to know they are getting traction.

The 24 Hour Project was a fundraiser for MYSTERIOUS ENTITY THEATRE. Mysterious Entity is a company of theatre artists based in Peterborough, Ontario. The 24 Hour Project took place at GORDON BEST THEATRE in downtown Peterborough.

From their website:

mysterious entity represents:

-theatre as empowerment

-innovation and exploration

-communities in creative exchange

-complexity and diversity

-theatre as a communal experience

-making change by connecting audiences and artists

Headed by Em Glasspool, the 24 Hour Project was such a exciting dynamic piece of theatre. 5 playwrights – 5 plays – from inception to performance in 24 short hours. Em himself even acted in one of the short plays. This was the first short play festival in which I took part where there were almost no prior stipulations set out for the playwrights. We weren’t even kept to the usual 10-minute timing format. This made it a little bit more exciting for me, as I was able to wander off in any direction. The only string that tied each play together was a single sentence that had to be used in every play. On Friday night Em ran around to other patrons at the ONLY CAFE in Peterborough and asked them for text messages on their phones. He’s braver than me…it was interesting seeing strangers open up their phones and give their text messages freely.

The sentence that appeared in every play?

“I just discovered eleven ice cream sandwiches in my fridge.”

The text actually said FREEZER, but there was a bit of lost in translation happening. In my opinion, this made the sentence even more interesting. (-:

So, without further ado, here is the script from this past Saturday’s 24 Hour Project,

TITLE: A CUP OF SUGAR

PLAYWRIGHT: K Thomas Craig

SYNOPSIS: On again off again warring siblings get together to meet the new boyfriend and sling some more arrows.

CHARACTERS:

  • JOEY
  • BEN – Joey’s new live-in boyfriend
  • DARLENE – Joey’s older sister
  • WILSON – Darlene’s husband
  • HARPER – Joey’s neighbour – a flamboyant old queen who feels more comfortable in a caftan than a pair of jeans. (Present however the director/actor sees fit)

SETTING

JOEY & BEN’S APARTMENT

DARLENE [arms folded in a hostile stance. Looks around, appraises the place]: I guess it’s okay. It is a little minimalist though, Joseph. Don’t you think? Your last place with Collin was so nice.

JOEY: It’s Joey.

DARLENE: What. Are you twelve?

JOEY: The name’s Joey, Dar. Always has been, always will be. My name; my rules. And you were supposed to come in peace, goddammit. You said you would come in peace.

DARLENE: Release the fangs, little brother. I see you still have that charming confrontational attitude you’ve always had. The revolution’s over Joseph. Time to step down off that mountain.

JOEY: What does that even mean? And, it’s Joey.

BEN [looking to Wilson]: Were they always like this?

WILSON: Depends on what you mean by always.

DARLENE [turning quick to Wilson]: I thought you weren’t going to talk to the boyfriend?

WILSON [shrugs]: And I thought you weren’t gonna start in on Joey the second we got in the door?

JOEY: Why wouldn’t you talk to Ben? What’d he ever do?

WILSON: I didn’t mean anything by it. I was just being pissy earlier. You know how it is.

BEN: No worries, Wilson. It’s all good. I get it. I’m the new guy. Allegiances and all.

DARLENE: But do you really get it, Ben? Collin was around for forever. He was my brother-in-law. We loved him. That kind of makes you the other man. The homewrecker.

JOEY: Homewrecker, Dar? Really?

DARLENE: If you get to be Joey, then I get to be DarLENE.

JOEY: Collin cheated on me and then left me for another guy. Ben had nothing to do with that. We met after. Collin’s gone because of Collin. Can we stop using his name? I’ll have to get the apartment smudged to rid it of his bad mojo.

DARLENE: You never mentioned that. How was I supposed to know what happened?

JOEY: You’re never around. How was I supposed to tell you?

WILSON: Tough break, kid. Sorry to hear that. And sorry I wasn’t here.

JOEY: It’s in the past now. But thank you, Wils.

WILSON [ruffles Joey’s hair]: No sweat, kid. So I guess this means I can be nice to your new beau now, all things considered.

BEN: Would definitely be appreciated.

WILSON: Let’s start over, shall we? [holds out his hand] I’m Wilson.

BEN [shakes Wilson’s hand vigorously]: Ben. Nice to meet you.

DARLENE: My friggin’ guitar’s busted up, otherwise I’d play Kumbaya for you, boys. Can we put a cap on the cheese before we get too carried away? I didn’t bring my macaroni with me.

JOEY: What’s wrong, DAR? Can’t stomach civility? You really do take after Mom, don’t you? If we’re not throwing punches, you don’t know what to do with your hands. I get it. That’s why pockets were invented…repressed rage. Just shove those fists right down in there and things’ll work out fine.

DARLENE: Why do I bother trying to reconnect with you? Could somebody remind me why we do this dance every few years? It would be so much easier to just be done with you and your theatrics.

WILSON: French toast.

BEN/JOEY: What?

WILSON: French toast. French toast!

DARLENE: Not called for yet, Wilson. I’m holding my own. I’m the picture of pleasantry.

BEN: What’s not called for? What’s going on here?

DARLENE: I wasn’t talking to you. [turns to Joey] Joseph, why is your new man being so nosy?

JOEY: It’s Joey. What’s French toast?

WILSON: It’s our safe word.

JOEY: Safe word?

DARLENE [glares at Wilson for spilling the secret]: He says the word, I remember I’m trying to be nice to you. French toast is two words, Wilson. I told you that earlier. I thought we were going with lemonade. Are we safe yet?

JOEY: Really? You need a safe word? You need to be reminded to be nice to your own brother? Your little brother, even?

BEN: I once poured an entire Long Island Iced Tea over my sister’s head. I can appreciate French toast in this context, babe. A safe word might have prevented that terrible situation from happening.

WILSON: There you go.

[WILSON and BEN high-five]

DARLENE [to Wilson]: I preferred your plan to be combative and non-communicative. You being nice just makes me look like an asshole.

JOEY: Or… maybe you’re doing that all by yourself.

WILSON: French toast.

[There’s a knock at the door.]

JOEY: Saved by the bell. [calls out] Door’s open.

HARPER [from offstage]: Hello? Hello, my little piggies. It’s just me. It’s Auntie Harper. Hello?!

BEN: Come in, Harper. We’re just visiting with Joey’s sister and brother-in-law.

HARPER [from offstage]: Oh, sweeties. I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to intrude.

DARLENE [stage whisper to Joey]: Why don’t I believe that?

HARPER [holding out a measuring cup, purse first, barging into the room]: My lovelies, Auntie Harper needs a cup of sugar. I’m making a batch of muffins and Heather’s on a sugar cleanse. The bitch tossed all my white stuff down the chute. Blames me for the new roundness in her hips, if you can believe it.

BEN [taking the measuring cup from Harper]: I’ll see what I can do.

JOEY: Let me come with.

DARLENE: It takes two to pour a cup of sugar these days? Did I miss that memo?

[BEN and JOEY exit to retrieve the sugar]

WILSON: French—

DARLENE: Don’t even bother. That ship has sailed.

HARPER: Honey, I’m not much for ships. I’m a landlover. But I do like the French. What are we talking about?

DARLENE [gives Harper the side-eye]: You’re just a bit too high-octane there, mister. If anyone ever needed a safe-word, it’s you. Do you stop to breathe or are there gills in there somewhere?

HARPER: Miss Thang, no. You need to cool your jets, honey. Don’t go doing this nasty business in these lovely boys’ home. You’ll spoil the atmosphere. You need to land now and push the broom aside.

WILSON: Whoa-hoa-hoa. [goes to high five Harper and backtracks not soon enough…realizing too late what he’s done]

DARLENE: I suppose you’re fully on Team Joseph now too, are you? That didn’t take long.

WILSON: Joey.

DARLENE: Good Lord in heaven. Have I no allies today?

[JOEY and BEN return with an empty cup]

JOEY: I’m so sorry, Miss Harper. I was certain we had sugar. We just had tea last night. We’re right out.

HARPER: That’s okay, honey. Remember… Heather has a key. The evil witch probably came in here and took all your sugar too. She’s good, that one. Diabolical.

BEN [hands Harper the measuring cup]: Sorry, Harp. I guess we don’t get any of your yummy homemade muffins now?

HARPER: I have a tasteless sugar-free vegan cardboard and sawdust recipe somewhere. I’ll dig it out just for you, child.

BEN: That’s okay, Miss Harper. Don’t trouble yourself.

HARPER: Truth be told, Ben, I was just being nosy anyway. Just checking up on my boys. Mother hen’s gonna be henning.

[Harper looks to Darlene and points their fingers at their own eyes and then rotates them towards Darlene, bouncing back and forth a couple times]

DARLENE: What’s that supposed to mean.

HARPER: Means what it means, Joey’s sister. I got my eye on you. I’ve heard stories. I’ll be watching you.

DARLENE: Of all the—

WILSON: French toast.

DARLENE: Joseph. Joey. Are you telling family secrets? To strangers. You know I love you, don’t you? You know my anger is usually out of love, right? You get that, don’t you?

HARPER: Sister, anger’s just a recipe for sadness. Anger’s a muffin without the sugar. Nobody wants a sugarless muffin, honey. Where I come from, that’s just a rock. Something to throw. My understanding is Joey’s all you have and you’re all he has. Why complicate that tenuous bond with anger? It’s lazy of you.

DARLENE: I didn’t come here to get lectured on my relationship with my brother. Especially by the likes of you. We’re doing fine, thank you very much.

JOEY: We are?

WILSON: French toast. French toast.

HARPER: All’s I’m saying is family, chosen or otherwise, is all we got. Wouldn’t you like to be around more often? Aren’t these two of the loveliest boys you ever met?

DARLENE: Well, I only just met Ben. I don’t really know him all that much.

HARPER: I dislike when my point is proven so quickly by the other side. Honey, you’re doing all my work for me.

DARLENE: Did you come here to attack me?

WILSON: French toast.

DARLENE: Okay, Wilson. We all get it. Enough with the French toast.

HARPER: Oddly, that is the one thread in this conversation that has me absolutely perplexed. Does it have something to do with the sugar ruse? Because I wasn’t really looking for sugar. We’re all clear on that, aren’t we?

JOEY: But our sugar has been confiscated. So.

BEN [to Wilson]: Want to see the den? I should show you the den.

WILSON: I thought you’d never ask.

[BEN and WILSON exit the stage]

HARPER [to Darlene]: Look. You could be a really sweet girl for all I know. If you’re even half as lovely as your brother here, you’re my kind of people. I just came to let you know how special he really is. I mean no foul.

DARLENE: I’m sorry. I get my back up sometimes. [turns to Joey] You know Momma always played us against each other, don’t you?

JOEY: Which is why we really should call a truce, Darlene. This war’s gone on long enough.

DARLENE: I swear, sometimes I feel like my life is nothing but a walking disaster. If I don’t get angry and defensive it’ll all just slip away from me. Best to have the upper hand. Take it by the throat and choke.

HARPER: Honey, please. I just discovered eleven ice cream sandwiches in my fridge. If that’s not disaster porn, I don’t know what is. You get to be my age and you find your toilet paper in the microwave and your dishtowel in the freezer. I’m just saying take it easy. Learn to exhale.

DARLENE [sighs]: What I wouldn’t give for an ice cream sandwich right about now.

HARPER: Honey, you’re welcome to them. The point I was making, however, is that all eleven have perished and died to death. They’re as soup as soup gets. My addled old brain mistook the fridge for the freezer and joy has died this day. There’s no coming back from that kind of mistake.

DARLENE: Well, it must have been a twelve-pack, no? Perhaps there was a little happiness on the way home from the store?

HARPER: See what I mean. There’s hope for you yet. Find the good bits. If you can’t sift through the wreckage and find the light, there’s no point breathing.

JOEY: Why do I feel like a third wheel in this conversation? Are you two actually getting along?

DARLENE: Oh, for heaven’s sake, Joseph—um—I mean, Joey. Are you jealous now? I can’t talk to your neighbour?

HARPER [raises their measuring cup to the sky]: You know. I think my work here might almost be done. I should be off before I overstay. Leave them wanting more, my old daddy used to say.

JOEY: Thanks for looking in, Harper. Appreciate it.

HARPER: Son, you moved in next door to a hurricane. I’m always gonna barge in on things. Especially when I sense a problem brewing. Neighbours borrowing a cup of sugar is almost never about the sugar.

DARLENE: I’m not sure what just happened here, but maybe thank you for the distraction?

HARPER: Honey, all I’m here for is sugar. I don’t know what it is you’re referring to. I’d certainly like to know this French toast business, though. But we’ll keep that for another time. You make sure you check in more often, now. Joey told me some nice things too, you know. He misses you when you’re not around. Family’s all we have in the end, ain’t it. Chosen or otherwise.

[BEN and WILSON return to the stage]

BEN: Leaving so soon, Harper?

HARPER: Honey child, I’ll say it yet again. I came only for a cup of sugar.

DARLENE: It was nice to meet you.

HARPER: The same to you. Maybe next time you can stop by for an ice cream sandwich. I’ll be sure to put them in the freezer this time ‘round. I’m 708. Just two doors down the hall. Don’t, whatever you do, knock on 706. Old man Jones’ll tear you a new one just for knocking.

DARLENE: That sounds nice. The ice cream sandwich, I mean. I’d like that.

HARPER: Well, the invitation’s real.

JOEY: Thanks, Harper.

HARPER: Child, no need to thank me for crashing your party. You should never reward bad manners.

JOEY: No. Really. Thank you. [kisses Harper’s cheek]

HARPER: Best be on my way now. I’ve been holding this ridiculous cup long enough.

[HARPER exits]

DARLENE: Should we maybe try this again soon, JOEY? Our place? Supper? Next Saturday? We can have a real visit, maybe get to know Ben a little better if that’s okay?

JOEY: I’d like that, sis. Yeah, let’s do that.

FADE OUT

END PLAY

Again…if you wish to use this play, please feel free to do so. Just…PLEASE email me first. At kevintcraig @ hotmail.com Thank you so much!

The 24 Hour Project – Peterborough Play Festival – Sat July 6th

MAUGHAM

One of my biggest writing idols is W. Somerset Maugham. Originally, I loved his novel Of Human Bondage. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read that book. It seems I come across the classics and the lives of the people who wrote them on my own. A kind of self-education if you will. It’s been, at times, a lonely journey, but also an exciting one. Often one title will lead to another to another and to another until I’ve discovered a whole new handful of great writers from the past. With Maugham, I was fortunate enough to stumble upon his ‘how-to’ autobiographical book THE SUMMING UP. I’ve characterized this book as being comparable with Stephen King’s ON WRITING. It has the same feel to it…it talks about writing and the writing process, but it also gives glimpses into who he was as well as displaying his delightful ability to entertain the reader with a great story even when writing and the writing life are the topics he is covering. Much like ON WRITING does.

I read THE SUMMING UP as I was first dipping my toes into the world of playwriting. Maugham was proficient and successful at both novel writing and playwriting. The Summing Up gave me hope that I too could make the transition from page to stage, so to speak. I still don’t think I’ll ever be a great playwright, but I love the 10-minute play format that I stumbled into a few years back. It’s electric, intense and exciting. It summons the same adrenaline rush I first experienced at my first 72hr Muskoka Novel Marathon. That fear that almost paralyses you, even as it propels you furiously forward to create. By the end, you need to have a finished product. The clock ticks, the words build upon themselves, the deadline approaches!

Tonight, I will once again find myself at the starting line of another 24-hour play festival. This will be my 8th. Much like the others, I will have 8 or 9 hours to somehow come up with a full 10 minute play. It needs to be handed in at 5am Saturday morning, along with 4 other plays from 4 other playwrights. At which time, the directors will descend and each will choose one of the 5 plays to direct. The actors will enter and rehearsals will begin.

At 8pm tomorrow evening all 5 plays will be performed for the festival audience.

This is addictive. The fear and anxiety I feel at this moment is laced with regret. WHY DID I DO THIS TO MYSELF AGAIN!? WHAT IF THE NIGHT IS OVER AND I HAVE NOTHING TO SHOW FOR IT?! WHAT IF WHAT I WRITE IS HORRIBLE!? WHAT AM I EVEN DOING?!

It’s all so very exciting and terrifying OH MY GOD!

nervous

Here’s a recent article about this particular play festival, if you’re in the area and are thinking about what you could do on Saturday July 6th:

Five Plays in a Single Day: The 24 Hour Project Returns to Peterborough on July 6

I love the anxiety I’m experiencing at the moment. It’s the fuel that will drive me to figure something out, creatively. Hopefully something comes to me. I just picture the audience sitting there the next night…and the riot that would ensue if, in place of my play, there was simply a dark empty stage. I can’t let that happen.

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Come out to THE 24 HOUR PROJECT in Peterborough, Ontario tomorrow!

WORDS, DON’T FAIL ME NOW!

 

From the Facebook Event Page, here’s the details…should you be so inclined:

The 24 Hour Project is Back!!! – brought to you by Arbor Theatre!

(this will also be a fundraiser for Mysterious Entity Theatre!)

taking place Saturday, July 6th at 8 p.m. at the Gordon Best Theatre! – 216 Hunter St. West

Sponsored by Steamwhistle!
Sponsored by Black Honey!

$10 for 5 original works of theatre!

Here’s how it works…
Friday 8 p.m. – 5 Writers begin scripts
Saturday 6 a.m. – 5 Directors read scripts and each choose one
Saturday 7:30 a.m. – 30 actors arrive and audition
Saturday 9 a.m. – rehearsals begin
Saturday 7:30 p.m. – Doors open at the Gordon Best Theatre
Saturday 8 p.m. – 5 new plays!

This year featuring :

Writers: Linda Kash, David Bateman, Christopher Wilton, Nicky Gibeault, and K Thomas Craig

Directors: Kait Dueck, Lisa Dixon, Wyatt Lamoureux, Dane Shumak, Conner Clarkin

Actors: Randy Read, Charlie Earle, Meg O’Sullivan, Lindsay Barr, Johnathan Sharp, Benjamin van Veen, Tom Keat, Aedan Shaughnessy, Sarah-Jayne Riley, Hilary Wear, Anwen O’Driscoll,
Star Slade, Tyrnan O’Driscoll, Ilan O’Driscoll, Mary Alice Osborn, Vasco Silva, and many more….

And YOU!

email – emglasspool@gmail.com to sign up!

THE 24-HOUR PROJECT FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE LINK