In my high school senior English lit class I loved the writing assignments. I wrote essays and short stories, poetry, and wrote my thesis on Wonder Woman. We also had reading assignments and wrote conclusively about what we read, and I did just fine. Until Miss George assigned Thomas Hardy’s The Return of the Native. For some reason I’ve never examined too closely, I took an immediate dislike for the novel, and I could not bring myself to read it. Every day in class we were assigned new chapters and I was supposed to write answers to questions about this classic dreck. So based on the questions, I made up my own scandalous tales concerning Eustacia and Clym, Thomasin and Diggory, and the other folk there in Egdon Heath. Miss George, bless her heart, refused to grade my papers and blemish my otherwise sterling year in her class.
Because I was a prominent performer in high school, I was asked to co-host the Spring National Honor Society awards with my friend, Carol Costello. We had a lot of fun that night, but I was totally taken aback when Carol announced the winner for the Creative Writing Award, and it went to… me. I didn’t even know I had been nominated! I was informed later that although I had shirked the writing assignments for The Return of the Native, my fictionalized tales of Egdon Heath had been enthralling enough to keep the entire English department passing them around, waiting for the next installment of my bodice ripper. The decision to make me the recipient of the award was unanimous.
I’ve continued to write but as the years rolled on and real life happened, my paid writing became more technical. I wrote advertising copy, tech manuals, tutorials. My fiction was mostly relegated to my world for the last several decades. But I never stopped, and there’s a season for everything, I guess. Along with my place, I’ve found my voice again. I’m absolutely thrilled to say I’ve been accepted into the Dramatists Guild. Along with the like of some of my heroes, some of the playwrights whose works we’ve performed this past several years with Gilda Shedstecker Presents: Aaron Loebe, Jon Dorf, Christopher Durang, I am a member of the Dramatists Guild. Not to mention Douglas Carter Beane, Neil Simon, Tom Stoppard, Terrence McNally…
Thank you, Miss Bette George, for believing I was a winner. And thank you to my family of players at Gilda Shedstecker Presents! for bringing some of my beloved characters to life: Lenore Loignes Castrata, Steel Sterling, Priscilla Grace Supoupo, among others, and the whole cast of Hell, with the Holidays. Much much love!
©2018 Grey Forge LeFey