Scholarship Committee Meeting: Help Wanted

The Writers Forum Scholarship Committee will be meeting Tuesday May 7th at 6pm at Yaks on Hilltop.  Writers Forum members are invited to attend and read this year’s submissions from local high school seniors.  Please come and help Writers Forum Director at Large Laura Hernandez choose this year’s winning piece.  For more information please email Laura at: writersforumdal1@gmail.com
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Leading Ladies at Riverfront Playhouse

Writers Forum is hosting our annual buyout night at Riverfront Playhouse.  The featured play is Ken Ludwig’s Leading Ladies, directed by our very own Jennifer Levens.  The play is February 7th at 7:30pm-just in time to take your sweetheart out for Valentine’s Day or to treat your own heart to some hilarious theater!  Tickets are $15.00 each.

Last April we had an absolute blast at Lend Me A Tenor, also written by Ken Ludwig and directed by Jennifer Levens.  I can’t remember ever laughing so hard at a play!  I’m laughing right now just thinking about it.  While I take a moment to compose myself, here’s a little more about the Leading Ladies:

“Leading Ladies is a comedy about two English Shakespearean actors, Jack and Leo, who find themselves so down on their luck that they are performing “Scenes from Shakespeare” on the Moose Lodge circuit in the Amish country of Pennsylvania. When they hear that an old lady in York, PA is about to die and leave her fortune to her two long-lost English nephews, they resolve to pass themselves off as her beloved relatives and get the cash. The trouble is, when they get to York, they find out that the relatives aren’t nephews, but nieces! Romantic entanglements abound, especially when Leo falls head-over-petticoat in love with the old lady’s vivacious niece, Meg, who’s engaged to the local minister. Meg knows that there’s a wide world out there, but it’s not until she meets “Maxine and Stephanie” that she finally gets a taste of it.” ~kenludwig.com

Then gather your friends for a great night of local theater.  Here’s what reviewers said about author Ken Ludwig’s Broadway production of Leading Ladies:

“Ludwig’s newest comedy is so funny, it will make sophisticated and reasonable men and women of the 21st century cackle till their faces hurt.”
The Houston Press

“Leading Ladies is consistently funny – indeed, increasingly hilarious as it progresses.”
The Houston Chronicle

“Leading Ladies is a highly combustible and continuously hilarious new comedy by Ken Ludwig, Broadway’s reigning comic writer.”
The Cleveland Plain Dealer

In case you’re still not convinced to join us, here’s a short clip from the actors at the Greenville Little Theater:

All ticket sale proceeds go to the Writers Forum Scholarship fund.  We hope to award at least one $500 scholarship to a local senior who excels in writing and is continuing their education at a college or university.  It’s only because of ticket sales that we’re able to make this scholarship possible.  So thank you for supporting young writers and local theater.

Tickets can be purchased at our January Writers Forum meeting.  If you’re unable to attend the January meeting and would like to purchase tickets, please leave a comment here or contact the Writers Forum at (530) 515-4828.  Checks can be made out to Writers Forum and mailed to:

Writers Forum

P.O. Box 492282

Redding, CA 96049-2282

See you at the theater!

Member Monday: Le Bon Hiver by Rudi Yniguez

Welcome back to Member Monday.  In case you missed it in our May newsletter, it’s my delight to introduce you to the second recipient of the Writers Forum Scholarship.    Rudi Yniguez is a recent graduate of Shasta High School.  Please be sure to take a moment to leave a comment or two for this up and coming writer after reading the winning piece.

Le Bon Hiver

By Rudi Yniguez

Adam locked himself in his father’s cabin for seven months because that was the  only thing that made sense. It was a dense winter, a long thick couple of months that seeped under doors and through cracks in the windowsills, but he never seemed to mind. He’d come to make music. Armed with a guitar and keyboard he fought the silence with notes and words. He battled his inner demons because he was too scared to face the world around him. That’s what Emma said. That he was using the music to hide behind, to escape from a normal life. I assume she was right, but never asked.

Each Wednesday I set out across the snowy wasteland to bring him food and supplies. As far as I know this was the only human contact he had that year, if you can call it that. He never spoke, seemed anxious to return to his hermit’s cave and forget that he depended on us, on me. Wisconsin made it easy to forget. The frozen lake outside his window was the only thing visible for miles except white expanses of nothing. Sometimes, walking to his cabin even, I forgot that I wasn’t alone in this world. I imagined my knocks would seem futile on the cracked wooden door, a plea for company that would go unanswered because there was no one to answer it, until his padded footsteps crescendoed towards me and a ink-splotched hand extended itself towards my basket. He hesitated to open the door enough to let me see past his skeletal frame and unkempt beard into the room behind him. I imagined it was messy, him not allowing Emma to tidy up as she was being paid to do, but I never made an attempt to prove this. Old age had gleaned any curiosity I had left from my bones, and left me content to simply be, and allow others to do the same. If only it had done the same for Emma.

“There’s something wrong with that boy, not wanting a tidy room and clean sheets to live in. ” she said one night as we slipped beneath our faded quilt.

“Maybe he just wants his privacy.” I said, knowing that it she was right, but still feeling the need to protect him.

“To do what? He’s writing songs, not saving the world.”

“Maybe they’re the same thing.” I turned out the lights.

One day I arrived to find him on the porch, smoking a cigarette. He looked so out of place outside of the cabin, and yet so much more comfortable. He protected the cigarette with calloused hands stained blue, red, and green.

“A project I’m working on,” He said when he saw me looking.

“Ah. How’s it coming along?”

“It’s coming. At least it’s coming.”

I followed the gaze of his Sinatra blue eyes to the frozen lake. They hadn’t left its hazy surface since I’d arrived, seemingly entranced with its quiet mystery, its expanse of cloudy blue.

“Do you think the fish know they’re trapped under there?” He asked.

“You mean by the ice? I suppose they know it’s there, but what difference would it make? They wouldn’t go up to the surface either way.”

“They probably wish they could, now that they know they can’t. I bet its awful down there, that they all feel like prisoners, waiting for it to thaw.”

“Maybe. I guess we’ll never know.”

The cigarette fell from his hands and he crushed the sparks with the heel of his boot. Taking the basket from me, he turned and walked inside, humming a melody that reminded me of a Celtic hymnal with all the religion missing.

The next week I returned, carrying a basket of salami, bread, cheese, and apples, the only things he ever requested. My knock resounded empty on the door, left for the first time unanswered. I waited patiently for a couple minutes, feeling the cold festering in my worn boots and the wind wearing on my exposed face. I thought about leaving the basket on the stoop, then realized that its contents would freeze in these conditions. The door wielded to my fingertips, as if yearning to be opened and yet having been too shy to ask in the past. The quiet dark of the one room cabin was a relief from the blinding white outside. Everything looked clean and normal until I turned on the lights. It was then that I noticed the walls. Every surface in the cabin had been painted on, written on, glorified. Murals of angels, demons, gardens, and skies, quotes in calligraphy, and what could have been entire symphonies filled every once open space with vibrant color and music. Ceiling, walls, and floor were not spared. I couldn’t decide if it was genius or insanity, but the beauty of the spectacle stopped me from passing judgment. I stood in awe for what must have been ten minutes before realizing that Adam wasn’t there. As I set down the basket on the table, his note made itself apparent. “Check the Lake.”

Some say he did it to escape his father’s disappointment. Others said he must have slipped along the icy banks. I don’t know who to believe, and I’m not sure I have to believe anyone. It took them three days to find his frozen body, the ice groaning protests beneath the bow of the search boats as they scanned the floor with nets. It took his father two more days to hear the news and arrive to collect his belongings.

“Who found him missing?”

“I did, sir.”

“Has the cabin been thoroughly cleaned?”

“Emma washed the sheets and windows before you came, but we tried to leave
things as they were …. ”

“I’d like to see it now.”

Initially he refused to walk, complaining of asthma until I told him there was no other way there in this weather. There was no sound except the crunching of our boots and his heavy breathing. I let him walk in first, out of respect, and hesitated to follow, not wanting his presence to alter my feelings about the cabin. He scanned the room quickly, I assumed taking in the murals and notes, the final remnants of his only son. Finally he turned to me, a look of impassiveness and loathing streaking his features.

“Throw out his belongings and paint the walls. I’ll be expecting visitors in April, and they cannot see it like this.”

It took me three days to gather the courage to do as he asked. Emma came with me; opened the windows and door to rid it of the musty smell pervading and of any trace left of the musician. She stood next to me as she took in the paradise he had created within these walls, the beauty he had summoned to scare away the darkness. Squeezing my hand, she walked towards the bed and began emptying the drawers. I turned towards the first wall, dipped my brush into the white lacquer, and began to paint.

 A Note from the Webmaster: Writers Forum has the author’s permission to publish this work. The author retains full copyright ownership and protection. This work may not be reproduced or used in any way without the permission of the author.  If you’re a member in good standing, please consider submitting a piece of your work to share.  Essays, poems, songs, articles and any other stand alone pieces are welcome.  To submit your piece, please e-mail it to webmaster, Alicia McCauley, at writersforumwebmaster@gmail.com.   Members featured here are guests in our Writers Forum house.  Treat them as such in the comments section and enjoy this beautiful thing we call writing.

Member Monday: Nineteen On My Own by Triet Dinh Nguyen

In case you missed their pieces in our May newsletter, for the next two Mondays it’s my delight to introduce you to the two recipients of the Writers Forum Scholarship.    Our first scholarship recipient, Triet Dinh Nguyen, moved from Vietnam to the United States one year ago and is a recent graduate of Enterprise High School.  

Here’s what Triet’s teacher, Trent Copland, says about him: “He is a very, very deserving young student with a promising future made all the more so with the support of organizations such as the Writer’s Forum.”  Please be sure to take a moment to leave a comment or two for this up and coming writer after reading his poem.

Nineteen On My Own

By Triet Dinh Nguyen

At the age of nineteen l’m on my own
I must know where I’m going

If I plant good seed at nineteen
Success is what I’m sowing

At the age of nineteen I’m on my own

I have to be responsible for my show
Making good choices determines my fortune
Trading off decisions has to be soon

There is no such a thing as free lunch
Working must be a requirement
Salary for tuition fee and gasoline
Salary supports myself to make a scene

Although with lots of concerns
Don’t forget to be happy
Making friends, having parties
But always keep myself out of burn

Nineteen, the age of dynamic, the age of creativity
If I keep my head stay on still

If I keep my will firm as steel
Success in future myself will be.

 A Note from the Webmaster: Writers Forum has the author’s permission to publish this work. The author retains full copyright ownership and protection. This work may not be reproduced or used in any way without the permission of the author.  If you’re a member in good standing, please consider submitting a piece of your work to share.  Essays, poems, songs, articles and any other stand alone pieces are welcome.  To submit your piece, please e-mail it to webmaster, Alicia McCauley, at writersforumwebmaster@gmail.com.   Members featured here are guests in our Writers Forum house.  Treat them as such in the comments section and enjoy this beautiful thing we call writing.

Lend Me A Tenor

Writers Forum is hosting our annual buyout night at Riverfront Playhouse.  The featured play is five-time Tony winner Lend Me A Tenor, directed by our very own Jennifer Levens.  The play is April 11th at 7:30pm.  Tickets are $20.00 each.

All proceeds go to the Writers Forum Scholarship fund.  We hope to award at least one $500 scholarship to a local senior who excels in writing and is continuing their education at a college or university.  It’s only because of ticket sales that we’re able to make this scholarship possible.  So thank you for supporting young writers and local theater.

To purchase tickets, please leave a comment here or contact the Writers Forum at (530) 515-4828.  Checks can be made out to Writers Forum and mailed to:

Writers Forum

P.O. Box 492282

Redding, CA 96049-2282

Then gather your friends for a great night of local theater.  Here’s what reviewers said about author Ken Ludwig’s Broadway revival of Lend Me A Tenor:

A remarkable piece of theatre … a masterpiece … Author Ken Ludwig has verve, a sound grasp of plot mechanics and a rare ability to couple high art with low comedy.”
The London Times

A rollercoaster of fun for everybody in the building…a solid, constantly accelerating snowball of a comedy!
Phoenix News Times

And just to whet your appetite a bit more, here are some highlights from Lend Me A Tenor: