I try to keep busy. It's nice to be retired, but I'm afraid I'd get horribly bored just sitting around all day. Too, with actual pensions now a thing of the past, I find I need to keep at least a little extra coming in to supplement the Social Security.
Naturally, I'm still writing. My latest book, The Sixth Victim & Other Plays, a collection of five short plays, was published on Christmas Eve. Included in this volume are:
- The Sixth Victim
- To Kill a King
- Burying Dad
- It's the Computer's Fault
- Sunday Afternoon
The second, To Kill a King, and the longest at nearly an hour, was a development of some earlier speculation on what motivated Claudius, the villain of Shakespeare's Hamlet, to murder his brother. Specifically, it asks, what if the late King Hamlet wasn't quite the paragon his son painted him as being? Or what if, in fact, the Ghost wasn't Hamlet's father, but his uncle, plotting to trick his actually illegitimate son into murdering his real father? To maintain consistency within the existing story, this one is written in blank verse.
The Sixth Victim has been available for a while as a photocopied script, and speculates on what happened to Jack the Ripper after the murder of Mary Kelly. One possibility, his next (sixth) victim turned out to be more dangerous than the Ripper. And several hundred years older. And thirsty. Very thirsty.
Burying Dad takes place in a funeral home, where a brother and sister are waiting for their dead father's friends to visit. No one ever does, but they learn a few things about themselves, and about their father, while they're waiting.
It's the Computer's Fault is really a monologue, delivered by a young murderer with OCD tendencies, to a teenaged waitress who spends the entire play tied up in a chair in the killer's basement.
The last play in the volume, and the one that took the longest (nearly three years) to write, is Sunday Afternoon. This involves an older couple, married for 45 years, and their early middle-aged daughter. It addresses a Sunday afternoon in suburban Columbus when it becomes only too apparent that the father is losing his ability to remember, or to cope.
As a reminder that my interests involve more than just writing, I've also released a second spoken word album, Edgar Allan Poe: Ten Poems & The Cask of Amontillado. This is available from the Amazon MP3 store, and iTunes. It can also be streamed at various services, but I'm going to make you hunt for those links, because I really do hope to make at least a little money from this, and streaming clips generally earn a good deal less than a penny each.
The album includes:
- The Raven
- Anabel Lee
- El Dorado/A Sonnet: Science
- The Bells
- The Conqueror Worm
- The Coliseum
- The Cask of Amontillado
The last, being a short story, is obviously the longest. Two of the poems, El Dorado, and A Sonnet: Science, are very short, so they're placed together as a single clip.
Just to insure I don't have much free time, I'm in the process of recording one audio book, and just finished recording another. Neither of these are my own books. I'll tell you the titles and provide links once they're available from Audible.com, which should be soon.
Oh, and starting January 7th, I'll be playing the Duke in the Columbus Civic Theater production of Shakespeare's The Comedy or Errors. If you're in the area, be sure to come out and see it.