A Little Bit of Trivia: My Acting Career So Far and My Upcoming Plays

May 1, 2019
At home in Aztec, NM

I have done a lot of public speaking in my day.  From 1985 to 1996, public speaking was one of my primary duties in my career as a naval intelligence officer. From 1998 to 2007, it was one of my primary duties working for the Interpretation division in Padre Island National Seashore.

In 1997, when I had been only a short time out of the Navy, I lived in my home town of Frankfort, KY, where I was trying to establish careers as a photographer and a writer. Neither was going anywhere initially, and, long story short, I joined the National Park Service. While living in Frankfort, I happened upon an opportunity to do the head shots for a small, local theater group.  I became friends with them and before I knew it, was playing roles in two Tennessee Williams one-act plays, which were performed on the same nights.

The first was the role of the porter in “Portrait of a Madonna“.  I did have some dialogue and I seem to recall doing well at the role, though the play ran for only a few nights over twenty years ago.  Here is a production by the Chicago Actors Studio, if you would like to see their version.  Ours wasn’t taped to my knowledge.

The second role was as Winston Tutwiler, the husband/drunk in “Lord Byron’s Love Letter“.  My role consisted almost entirely of sitting on a sofa and being inebriated. I am not certain if I had any dialogue.  It was fun though. I drank a considerable amount at that time, so I was a natural to portray a drunk, though I didn’t drink any for the role. If I recall correctly, I portrayed this role before my first appearance in “Portrait of a Madonna”.  I was in a hurry to dress in costume before walking out on stage, and being naturally absent-minded, I forgot to zip up my fly!  As soon as I made my entrance, I was to head to a sofa and flop down, half-heartedly listening to the other characters. It was then I noticed my fly being open. But realizing that this is not an uncommon occurrence among drunks, I stayed in character and blatantly zipped up as if it had been planned all along. I think I got a few giggles out of the audience.  Here’s one performance of it.  I don’t know who is performing in this video.  My role was that of the guy in the green shirt.

I found acting to be a lot of fun.  I would love to do it again.  The stage is really quite addicting. That’s probably why I have become fascinated recently with writing plays.

I have completed two small plays and I am currently working on two more.

The two completed ones are adaptations of my previously published short stories “Murder by Plastic” and “The Last Sane Man“.  Both should be around ten minutes on stage. I am looking now for somewhere to have them produced.

The next up in length is one called “Incommunicado”. I have developed a different vision for it than I have had previously.  I conceived of it maybe a year or two ago. It was originally about a man named Quinn Gallagher (yes, the same Quinn Gallagher as in my short stories “The Scent” and “The Slightest of Indiscretions”). In this play, Quinn has gone off to a ghost town in New Mexico’s Gila Mountains to write and celebrate being able to drink again after being on the wagon for a year after a DUI.  He intends to stay drunk for the weekend.  However, he finds he has enjoyed being sober, and this conflicts with his desire to drink again to escape life’s problems.  One way is easy but ultimately self-destructive, while the other means tough self-discipline, but is ultimately more productive and rewarding.  I originally thought of this more of an extended soliloquy, though I see now that I will have to bring in one or two of the local townspeople to add action and bring in more perspectives.  I hope to have this play last about thirty minutes. I am shooting to have this done by the end of May.

The last and longest play I am working on is entitled “Centaurs”.  It is about a man and a woman who are having an affair.  Both are married intellectuals, but they find their intellectual sides conflicting with their animalistic desires. They have decided to keep this relationship purely physical, but they find themselves falling in love. I intend for this play to be about 90 minutes in length and be three acts with a lot of audience involvement.

I will try to update this website regularly about my stage work.

“A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror” Will Be Free at Amazon on December 31, 2017.

Cover of the Kindle edition

I will be offering my e-book collection of horror shorts A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror” free on December 31, 2017.  To order your copy, go to my Amazon author’s page where you can find links to my other works as well.

In this collection of published and previously unpublished stories of horror, I offer a look into the minds of people who perpetrate horrors, from acts of stupidity with unintended results to cold-hearted revenge to pure enjoyment to complete indifference. Settings range from 17th-century France in the heart of the werewolf trials to the resurrection of the Aztec black arts to a medicine man’s revenge in the Old West to the depths of Hell to mob vengeance and modern day necromancy to sociopathic serial killers and on to alien worlds in the distant future.

Comments on previously published stories include:

Jay Manning, editor of Midnight Times commented in its Spring, 2006 issue: “Wolfsheim” is basically a traditional horror story that tells the tale of a small European village confronted by the threat of werewolves. If you like stories about lycans, you definitely need to check this one out. Great stuff.”

Publisher Charlie Fish of Fiction on the Web summarizes “A Tale of Hell” as a “… chilling vision of hell”. Other comments on “A Tale of Hell” from readers of Fiction on the Web:

“An intense and well paced story, cleverly leading the reader up a number of garden paths before Jack’s reality finally clarifies and appears in all its horror. The writing is focused and spare as Jack’s malevolent characteristics and idiosyncrasies manifest themselves…Overall a strong tale that lingers in the imagination…”

“brilliantly descriptive piece on man´s apparently unstoppable descent, literally into hell,…”

” Enjoyed this story. I thought it was nicely written. Started with a familiar vision of hell, but added several unique treatments; kept me interested in how it all would end. Thanks”

Publisher Charlie Fish of Fiction on the Web summarizes “Dream Warrior” as a “…powerful revenge epic about a man who visits his Mexican grandfather for spiritual guidance after a violent crime results in the death if his fiancée”. Fiction on the Web readers commented:

“quite literally a rite of passage, mystical and with an interesting payoff, one which Miguel may have to reckon with in time. some very good writing and characterisation. well done”

“…this is a rite of passage, complex and rich with significance. The cultural invocations are vivid and intense, the work of a writer in his/her full stride. The future for Miguel, who knows? The readers interest is fully engaged with what is to come…”

“Really enjoyed the story-kept me up past my bedtime reading it!”

“I loved the concept, was fascinated by the almost hallucinatory detail of legend with its fatal shadowlands.”

Reader comments on “Murder by Plastic” include:

“Chilling and brilliantly economical”

“Very well-paced and intriguing”

“Fabulous story! Five stars!”

“A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror” Will Be Free at Amazon December 30-31, 2017.

Cover of the Kindle edition

I will be offering my e-book collection of horror shorts A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror” free from December 30-31, 2017.  To order your copy, go to my Amazon author’s page where you can find links to my other works as well.

In this collection of published and previously unpublished stories of horror, I offer a look into the minds of people who perpetrate horrors, from acts of stupidity with unintended results to cold-hearted revenge to pure enjoyment to complete indifference. Settings range from 17th-century France in the heart of the werewolf trials to the resurrection of the Aztec black arts to a medicine man’s revenge in the Old West to the depths of Hell to mob vengeance and modern day necromancy to sociopathic serial killers and on to alien worlds in the distant future.

Comments on previously published stories include:

Jay Manning, editor of Midnight Times commented in its Spring, 2006 issue: “Wolfsheim” is basically a traditional horror story that tells the tale of a small European village confronted by the threat of werewolves. If you like stories about lycans, you definitely need to check this one out. Great stuff.”

Publisher Charlie Fish of Fiction on the Web summarizes “A Tale of Hell” as a “… chilling vision of hell”. Other comments on “A Tale of Hell” from readers of Fiction on the Web:

“An intense and well paced story, cleverly leading the reader up a number of garden paths before Jack’s reality finally clarifies and appears in all its horror. The writing is focused and spare as Jack’s malevolent characteristics and idiosyncrasies manifest themselves…Overall a strong tale that lingers in the imagination…”

“brilliantly descriptive piece on man´s apparently unstoppable descent, literally into hell,…”

” Enjoyed this story. I thought it was nicely written. Started with a familiar vision of hell, but added several unique treatments; kept me interested in how it all would end. Thanks”

Publisher Charlie Fish of Fiction on the Web summarizes “Dream Warrior” as a “…powerful revenge epic about a man who visits his Mexican grandfather for spiritual guidance after a violent crime results in the death if his fiancée”. Fiction on the Web readers commented:

“quite literally a rite of passage, mystical and with an interesting payoff, one which Miguel may have to reckon with in time. some very good writing and characterisation. well done”

“…this is a rite of passage, complex and rich with significance. The cultural invocations are vivid and intense, the work of a writer in his/her full stride. The future for Miguel, who knows? The readers interest is fully engaged with what is to come…”

“Really enjoyed the story-kept me up past my bedtime reading it!”

“I loved the concept, was fascinated by the almost hallucinatory detail of legend with its fatal shadowlands.”

Reader comments on “Murder by Plastic” include:

“Chilling and brilliantly economical”

“Very well-paced and intriguing”

“Fabulous story! Five stars!”

“A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror” Will Be Free at Amazon December 29-31, 2017.

I will be offering my e-book collection of horror shorts A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror” free from December 29 (#FictionFriday) to December 31, 2017.  To order your copy, go to my Amazon author’s page where you can find links to my other works as well.

In this collection of published and previously unpublished stories of horror, I offer a look into the minds of people who perpetrate horrors, from acts of stupidity with unintended results to cold-hearted revenge to pure enjoyment to complete indifference. Settings range from 17th-century France in the heart of the werewolf trials to the resurrection of the Aztec black arts to a medicine man’s revenge in the Old West to the depths of Hell to mob vengeance and modern day necromancy to sociopathic serial killers and on to alien worlds in the distant future.

Comments on previously published stories include:

Jay Manning, editor of Midnight Times commented in its Spring, 2006 issue: “Wolfsheim” is basically a traditional horror story that tells the tale of a small European village confronted by the threat of werewolves. If you like stories about lycans, you definitely need to check this one out. Great stuff.”

Publisher Charlie Fish of Fiction on the Web summarizes “A Tale of Hell” as a “… chilling vision of hell”. Other comments on “A Tale of Hell” from readers of Fiction on the Web:

“An intense and well paced story, cleverly leading the reader up a number of garden paths before Jack’s reality finally clarifies and appears in all its horror. The writing is focused and spare as Jack’s malevolent characteristics and idiosyncrasies manifest themselves…Overall a strong tale that lingers in the imagination…”

“brilliantly descriptive piece on man´s apparently unstoppable descent, literally into hell,…”

” Enjoyed this story. I thought it was nicely written. Started with a familiar vision of hell, but added several unique treatments; kept me interested in how it all would end. Thanks”

Publisher Charlie Fish of Fiction on the Web summarizes “Dream Warrior” as a “…powerful revenge epic about a man who visits his Mexican grandfather for spiritual guidance after a violent crime results in the death if his fiancée”. Fiction on the Web readers commented:

“quite literally a rite of passage, mystical and with an interesting payoff, one which Miguel may have to reckon with in time. some very good writing and characterisation. well done”

“…this is a rite of passage, complex and rich with significance. The cultural invocations are vivid and intense, the work of a writer in his/her full stride. The future for Miguel, who knows? The readers interest is fully engaged with what is to come…”

“Really enjoyed the story-kept me up past my bedtime reading it!”

“I loved the concept, was fascinated by the almost hallucinatory detail of legend with its fatal shadowlands.”

Reader comments on “Murder by Plastic” include:

“Chilling and brilliantly economical”

“Very well-paced and intriguing”

“Fabulous story! Five stars!”

“A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror” Will Be Free at Amazon December 28-31, 2017.

Cover of the Kindle edition

I will be offering my e-book collection of horror shorts A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror” free from December 28-31, 2017.  To order your copy, go to my Amazon author’s page where you can find links to my other works as well.

In this collection of published and previously unpublished stories of horror, I offer a look into the minds of people who perpetrate horrors, from acts of stupidity with unintended results to cold-hearted revenge to pure enjoyment to complete indifference. Settings range from 17th-century France in the heart of the werewolf trials to the resurrection of the Aztec black arts to a medicine man’s revenge in the Old West to the depths of Hell to mob vengeance and modern day necromancy to sociopathic serial killers and on to alien worlds in the distant future.

Comments on previously published stories include:

Jay Manning, editor of Midnight Times commented in its Spring, 2006 issue: “Wolfsheim” is basically a traditional horror story that tells the tale of a small European village confronted by the threat of werewolves. If you like stories about lycans, you definitely need to check this one out. Great stuff.”

Publisher Charlie Fish of Fiction on the Web summarizes “A Tale of Hell” as a “… chilling vision of hell”. Other comments on “A Tale of Hell” from readers of Fiction on the Web:

“An intense and well paced story, cleverly leading the reader up a number of garden paths before Jack’s reality finally clarifies and appears in all its horror. The writing is focused and spare as Jack’s malevolent characteristics and idiosyncrasies manifest themselves…Overall a strong tale that lingers in the imagination…”

“brilliantly descriptive piece on man´s apparently unstoppable descent, literally into hell,…”

” Enjoyed this story. I thought it was nicely written. Started with a familiar vision of hell, but added several unique treatments; kept me interested in how it all would end. Thanks”

Publisher Charlie Fish of Fiction on the Web summarizes “Dream Warrior” as a “…powerful revenge epic about a man who visits his Mexican grandfather for spiritual guidance after a violent crime results in the death if his fiancée”. Fiction on the Web readers commented:

“quite literally a rite of passage, mystical and with an interesting payoff, one which Miguel may have to reckon with in time. some very good writing and characterisation. well done”

“…this is a rite of passage, complex and rich with significance. The cultural invocations are vivid and intense, the work of a writer in his/her full stride. The future for Miguel, who knows? The readers interest is fully engaged with what is to come…”

“Really enjoyed the story-kept me up past my bedtime reading it!”

“I loved the concept, was fascinated by the almost hallucinatory detail of legend with its fatal shadowlands.”

Reader comments on “Murder by Plastic” include:

“Chilling and brilliantly economical”

“Very well-paced and intriguing”

“Fabulous story! Five stars!”

“A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror” Will Be Free at Amazon December 27-31, 2017.

Cover of the Kindle edition

I will be offering my e-book collection of horror shorts A Tale of Hell and Other Works of Horror” free from December 27-31, 2017.  To order your copy, go to my Amazon author’s page where you can find links to my other works as well.

In this collection of published and previously unpublished stories of horror, I offer a look into the minds of people who perpetrate horrors, from acts of stupidity with unintended results to cold-hearted revenge to pure enjoyment to complete indifference. Settings range from 17th-century France in the heart of the werewolf trials to the resurrection of the Aztec black arts to a medicine man’s revenge in the Old West to the depths of Hell to mob vengeance and modern day necromancy to sociopathic serial killers and on to alien worlds in the distant future.

Comments on previously published stories include:

Jay Manning, editor of Midnight Times commented in its Spring, 2006 issue: “Wolfsheim” is basically a traditional horror story that tells the tale of a small European village confronted by the threat of werewolves. If you like stories about lycans, you definitely need to check this one out. Great stuff.”

Publisher Charlie Fish of Fiction on the Web summarizes “A Tale of Hell” as a “… chilling vision of hell”. Other comments on “A Tale of Hell” from readers of Fiction on the Web:

“An intense and well paced story, cleverly leading the reader up a number of garden paths before Jack’s reality finally clarifies and appears in all its horror. The writing is focused and spare as Jack’s malevolent characteristics and idiosyncrasies manifest themselves…Overall a strong tale that lingers in the imagination…”

“brilliantly descriptive piece on man´s apparently unstoppable descent, literally into hell,…”

” Enjoyed this story. I thought it was nicely written. Started with a familiar vision of hell, but added several unique treatments; kept me interested in how it all would end. Thanks”

Publisher Charlie Fish of Fiction on the Web summarizes “Dream Warrior” as a “…powerful revenge epic about a man who visits his Mexican grandfather for spiritual guidance after a violent crime results in the death if his fiancée”. Fiction on the Web readers commented:

“quite literally a rite of passage, mystical and with an interesting payoff, one which Miguel may have to reckon with in time. some very good writing and characterisation. well done”

“…this is a rite of passage, complex and rich with significance. The cultural invocations are vivid and intense, the work of a writer in his/her full stride. The future for Miguel, who knows? The readers interest is fully engaged with what is to come…”

“Really enjoyed the story-kept me up past my bedtime reading it!”

“I loved the concept, was fascinated by the almost hallucinatory detail of legend with its fatal shadowlands.”

Reader comments on “Murder by Plastic” include:

“Chilling and brilliantly economical”

“Very well-paced and intriguing”

“Fabulous story! Five stars!”

Publication Announcement: “Murder by Plastic”

Writing at Hasting's Hardback Café in Farmington, NM, late evening of October 16, 2015 (self-portrait)

Writing at Hasting’s Hardback Café in Farmington, NM, late evening of October 16, 2015 (self-portrait)

My flash work of crime/thriller/horror “Murder by Plastic” appears today in www.fictionontheweb.co.uk.  “Murder by Plastic” has previously appeared in Every Day Fiction in 2013.  It is a work of taut suspense involving murder, gangsters, intrigue, and betrayal.  “Murder by Plastic” has been called “chilling and brilliantly economical” and “very well-paced and intriguing”.

Many thanks to Charlie Fish and his staff for reprinting this, one of my favorite stories.

Publication Announcement: “Murder by Plastic”

9mm Computer Graphic by Phil Slattery

9mm
      Computer Graphic
        by Phil Slattery

Today I received word that my flash suspense/crime drama/horror/thriller story “Murder by Plastic” will be re-printed on Fiction on the Web on November 17.   Set in the modern day, “Murder by Plastic” is story about what happens when someone pisses off the wrong gangster.

Many thanks to Charlie Fish and his crew at Fiction on the Web for re-printing another of my personal favorites.

“Murder by Plastic” was first printed by Everyday Fiction on March 24, 2013.

Thoughts?  Comments?

Update on Publication of “Murder by Plastic”

Last night I received an e-mail from the editors at Every Day Fiction.  Among other items, they mentioned that “Murder by Plastic” would be published on March 24th.   Please look for it on their website about that time.   Don’t forget, however, that sometimes the unexpected happens and publication may have to be delayed.

“Murder by Plastic” To Be Published

 

Today, I received an e-mail from the folks at Every Day Fiction saying that they will publish my story “Murder by Plastic”  either next month or the following month.  Please watch the table of contents on their site for when it appears.   I will post an update on my blog as soon as they notify me that it is up.

“Murder by Plastic” is flash fiction (about 998 words) that I can most accurately describe as on the border between crime thriller and horror.   Please watch for it and visit Every Day Fiction often.