At first, we didn’t even know they were there. Little things started happening in our idyllic, semi-rural community of farmettes. First it was Old Lady Capshaw down the lane – accusing the kids of stealing her apple pies or reading glasses off her front porch. We didn’t pay it much mind then – she’s 92 and her memory isn’t what it used to be. Chalked it up to her misplacing the glasses or not actually baking the pie. After it kept happening over months, we questioned all the kids – ranging in age from 5-17, across all 7 farmettes – and they all denied stealing anything. Had no reason to doubt them, they loved their old granny Capshaw, wouldn’t’ve done anything to cause her distress on purpose.
Other things started to go missing, and not just off front porches. Hens didn’t seem to be laying as many eggs over the summer, and small items missing from the clothesline. A hammer taken out of Horace Johnson’s tool shed and little Charley Harris’s jr Big Wheel. We were all trying desperately to be neighborly and not blame one another, but it was obvious a thief was in our midst. We’d smile at our neighbors on the street but cast an eye of suspicion after they passed.
They got bolder in the fall – parts being taken out of tractors, locks broken, bags of grain missing from silos, an entire hog taken right out of her pen on the Henderson farmette! And on around Halloween, Charley’s big brother Jimmy was out in the pumpkin patch to collect future jack-o-lanterns one evening and heard a rustling in the corn nearby, then claimed to have seen a shadowy figure running away with a sackful of corn. He used it to scare the little ones, so we only half believed them, until other strange things started happening.
First Jenny Larson, who was 12 years old and never told a lie in her life, said she saw three dark figures near the Johnson barn when she was walking home from the Sadie Hawkins dance at the Junior High, which lent credence to Jimmy’s story. She turned away to ask if her friend Hannah had seem them and then they were gone, but she swears she saw ‘em. Old Man Jones was fishing out by the Snyder Pond - which is way out on the periphery of the community – and says he found a small lean-to under a big boulder with four little bedrolls and a bunch of other stuff, but when he brought some of the other men to scout it out, it was gone. And strangest of all were the...mobiles? talismans?...that started showing up all over the place, in trees, under porches, inside milkboxes and barns – small, crudely-fashioned figures of animals and people whittled from wood or woven from reeds and cornhusks.
That Thanksgiving was tense as we all gathered in our houses, gathered for meetings, took turns walking the parameter keeping watch for any weird activity – and weird activity we did see, but always at dusk, always on the periphery, always out of the corner of our eyes. We tried to keep a watchful eye, but eggs, hens and livestock were still disappearing out from under us, and several folks heard giggles even as they heard quick footsteps taking flight.
As the first snows started to fly, the odd footsteps that led to nowhere started appearing. And early on Christmas morning, young Harvey Weaver and his new wife had gotten up with the chickens to milk the cows and as they headed back to the farmhouse, saw four dark figures leaning up against the fence on the Larson’s north field, watching them. Standing and sitting, lined up against the fence, watching, unmoving, unafraid.
That’s when the kids started disappearing, one by one.
Which American do I pick? The Mormon or the Texan? I probably shouldn’t be so confused – after all, I already have plans to marry the Texan and go to Texas with him. But...
I’ve been dating the Texan for two years. He’s funny – he makes me laugh, and I can completely be myself around him. He’s cute, too – in a nerdy way. I’m just not sure I ever pictured marrying someone like him – it’s not as romantic as I expected it to be with your beloved.
The Mormon is here on his mission, we’re not actually dating, but...I allowed him to “convert” me. Ha ha – not really – I’m Jewish, after all, and that’s how I’ll stay, but he’s cuuute and so very earnest, and we can’t date because of his mission, so yeah, I allowed myself to listen to his teachings.
My parents would be scandalized if they knew this – they like the Texan – he comes from a good family, though he’s not jewish, either.
But the other day, something happened. Me and the Mormon were talking through a chain link fence. He told me his mission was almost over, that he was leaving. My hand was on the fencepost and...he covered my hand with his...which is a HUUUGE no-no, because he’s on his mission! So I knew I wasn’t imagining it, that there was something between us! My heart nearly exploded, it was sooo romantic.
I went home and cried.
I went out with the Texan. He could see how miserable I was, and figured out why. Well. Do you know what he said?
“I hate to see you so sad. I know why you’re sad. I have money saved for us to travel back to Texas, but you can have it. You can have it, and you can follow him. I just want you to be happy.”
Now how’s a girl supposed to respond to that???
I married the Texan, after all. We married here, in Montevideo with our families there to witness. I moved to Texas with him, but we didn't stay long - moved to California to teach at Peace Corps camp, where we had our oldest daughter - then moved onto Vermont. I took a trip back home when the baby was about 7 months old, so she could meet her Abuelos, and do you know what my mother told me?
The Mormon came back.
Yes - around the time the baby was born, the Mormon knocked on her door. He was done with his mission, and had come back for me. HE CAME BACK FOR ME! Now that's something out of a romance novel if ever there was. IN the novel or the film, of course, the heroine would drop everything to be with her ONE TRUE LOVE - but of course, real life is stranger and more mundane by turns. I loved The Texan too, and now we had a baby to think of. And I was happy in my new life.
The Mormon married someone else and had three kids. The Texan and I saw the whole world more than twice over! And also had three kids. The Mormon and I exchange holiday cards every year. Everything worked out the way it was supposed to, but I'm a storyteller, and sometimes I wonder what might've happened if...
MEETING AT THE RAINBOW BRIDGE
By Carolynne Wilcox
Woman walking through unformed haze of underworld,
searching for something.
Hello...? Is anyone here?
Sound FX: purring
Sound FX purring & kitty trills
Vixen? Vix? Is that you? Here, kitty!
Vixen enters, woman dressed in vague suggestion of a
beautiful, dainty, but feisty calico cat.
Oh, my sweet baby!
The two reunite, joyously.
Oh, sweet baby, I missed you SO much!!!
Missed you, Mama.
You can TALK!
All speak language heart. Meow.
I can’t believe it. I never thought I’d see you again.
Vixen headbutts and nuzzles woman vigorously.
Woman scratches Vixen’s head..
I’m so sorry.
What sorry for?
Wish we’d taken you to the vet sooner. Wish vets would check more deeply
at the first sign of something wrong. Wish those cretins making medicine for
cats would make the pills smaller.
You always wanted me to watch you & pet your butt while you ate.
I’m sorry I didn’t do it often or for very long. If I could go back...
Okay! Mama. Love.
Awww, sweet pea, I love you, too. You can’t imagine how much.
Losing you was one of the worst things to ever happen to me.
Know, Mama. Stayed around – watched. Talked you. Talked Echo.
Silly black cat.
Echo took care of me...after. In her janky way.
Silly black cat. Brat.
She missed you, too. You were her whole world!
She stepped up! I hope I didn’t...make you...stay around.
Wanted to. Missed you. Love. Love.
Vixen rubs all the way around woman’s legs. FX: purring sounds.
Awww, Vix. I’m so happy to see you.
She walks towards the exit.
Smiling through tears
Yes. Go together.
Woman follows Vixen out.
Our love affair began on May 20, 1992 as I sped north from Portland. I had dreamed of you for nearly a year before, set a path in motion that I wouldn’t deviate from. The long drive up from San Diego with $75 in my pocket for gas and about $200 to my name in the bank and a whole lot of homemade food for the journey. Exhilarated and terrified, spent a week in San Francisco with Jonathan, both of us broke, broke, broke, then moved on to Portland for 3 days, where they confiscated my credit card at the hotel and I had to pay by check – spent half of that $200 on 2 nights in a hotel until I finally got hold of Matt (no cell phones in those days) and spent the final night at his place before heading north as the sun set, north to YOU.
I remember the miles between us falling away in my rear-view mirror and the sun-kissed rain forest on both sides of I-5. My mind was going in anxious circles – would you welcome me? Would I be okay? I was moving towards you pretty much sight unseen: would we be compatible?
Sometime after Tacoma, I passed that bend in the road, a bend I know well now, after decades. I saw you, for the first time, awaiting my arrival. I saw you, and a calm came over me. The anxiety and fear gone, and only the one feeling remained: I was home. I had finally reached you, my beautiful, mythical Emerald City, and you embraced me at once with open arms and took me in.
We separated once, a long, drawn-out separation. I didn’t want to leave you, but my heart’s desire lay elsewhere. It tore my heart in two as I sped away on I-90, not knowing where the future would take me, but once again, speeding along an interstate, exhilarated and terrified. I didn’t know if I’d find my way back to you again.
But somehow, 3 years later, I did, this time at 30,000 feet – I had to resist kissing the ground, and opened my mouth to taste your air, so very different, so very life-giving compared to that of Baltimore. The grounding factors of mountain, sea and fire in your topography have always put my soul aright.
We were together again, and, though we’ve had our issues, you’ve been the one constant in my life. I grew up here with you. I’ve become here I am, my footprints all over every inch of you, your streets, your hills, your shores. You are a part of me, my rainy beautiful one, and our love is pure.
You had the weirdest food anxiety: always leaving two bits of kibble “for later”, always wanting me to watch you, even rub your butt while you ate. I laughed, and indulged you, sometimes. Now that you’re gone, I wish I’d indulged you more. I wish I’d watched you eat for a minute longer, wish I’d rubbed your furry little arse through all of your meals. 10 years of cuddles, of purrs, of not getting up because you were sleeping on me, of watching you ricochet sideways off the couch, of your sweet, expressive meows. Time. Always fleeting, always too short.
Exhaustion. That’s what I felt as I spend home after 5 straight days of tech. Total and utter exhaustion. “TECH”, for the uninitiated, is that period immediately leading up to opening night of a play or musical, where all the elements of the production come together. You bring in the lights, the sound, special effects if you have them (a projectionist in this case!), the final props, the final touches on the set, the costumes, the hair and makeup – everything comes together and we spend HOURS figuring out how to merge it so it’s seamless when we finally get an audience.
Though I’ve been a theatre artist for decades, I’m quite new to the world of professional theatre. Prior to this year, I was used to working a full day and THEN going to rehearsal in the evenings and on weekends, 2 hours here, 4 hours there. Usually, we’d have a week, often the call time was something like “7pm until we’re finished”, which often is close to midnight.
This time, it’s been two weeks of tech, 8 hours per day, with a 2-hour meal break in the middle, and it’s a great deal of slog where the actors are concerned, the equivalent of multiple takes, I imagine, for a film actor. It’s where we go over a particular tiny bit of the script over and over again to make sure the lighting, sound, FX, blocking, lines and everything else are as we want them to be. It’s a slog. A necessary one, but a slog.
A magical thing had also happened earlier on that Sunday of tech slog: The West Seattle Bridge had opened, after a couple years of south-end traffic gridlock, and I didn’t merely drive home, I hurtled along at what felt like light-speed comparatively, meaning I was actually able to go the speed limit instead of deal with an hour of bumper-to-bumper. I made it from the Seattle Center to my house, on the 6700 block of Rainier, in 12 minutes flat.
And as my car sped south, my exhaustion turned into exhilaration. This “slog” I’d just gone through? It was because we’re telling an amazing and important story. Everyone in the room wanted to make sure it was JUST RIGHT. It’s a story about real people who lived, and who did difficult things so others would benefit, and everyone on the creative team wants to make sure we honor those people and give their story justice. All our hard work, learning lines, putting in pin-curls to wear uncomfortable wigs, inching line by line through text so the lighting and sound are in synch...we’re doing it for them. And for US. They wanted a better world. WE want a better world. People like to talk about the arts as frivolous and unnecessary, “it’s not WORK, you’re just having fun.” There’s a truth to that. But telling stories like this also feels important.
And as the exhaustion started to turn into sparkly exhilaration, I also remembered yeah, I “get” to do this. I “get” to tell this story. I “get” to be an actor. I have fought for decades to be exactly where I am right now. This enviable position of being invited to audition in the professional arena and then getting to do the work itself. So, through the slog of tech, through the driving back and forth on a traffic-clogged I-5 to rehearsals, all of it exhausting, all of it exhilarating and it all comes down to this, in our silly world of toxic capitalism: I actually get to put “actor” under “occupation” when I fill out my taxes next year, and after such a long road, that feels extremely fucking satisfying.
1.) The Clean Houseby Sarah Ruhl
A romantic comedy about loss, love, change and redemp-tion, The Clean House is both whimsical and touching. A serious career-oriented doctor, Lane, has hired a quirky Brazilian maid. The only problem is that the maid, Matilde, hates to clean. Instead, she longs to be a comedienne. Lane is deserted by her husband, Charles, who leaves her for his mistress, Ana, a passionate, older Argentinian woman upon whom he recently performed a mastectomy. Sarah Ruhl's enchanting play reminds us that there is humor and beauty to be find in life's most unlikely messes.
2.) The Maidsby Jean Genet
Solange and Claire are two housemaids who construct elaborate sadomasochistic rituals when their mistress (Madame) is away. The focus of their role-playing is the murder of Madame and they take turns portraying both sides of the power divide. Their deliberate pace and devotion to detail guarantees that they always fail to actualize their fantasies by ceremoniously "killing" Madame at the ritual's dénoue-ment.
3.) Eclipsedby Danai Gurira
Amid the chaos of the Liberian Civil War, the captive wives of a rebel officer band together to form a fragile community—until the balance of their lives is upset by the arrival of a new girl. Drawing on reserves of wit and compassion, Eclipsed reveals distinct women who must discover their own means of survival in this chilling and humanizing story of transformation and renewal in a hostile world of horrors not of their own making.
4.) BFEby Julia Cho
Cute blondes are disappearing from her strip mall-covered suburban town, but fourteen-year-old Panny is more concerned with surviving adolescence. Raised by an unbalanced mother who thinks the perfect birthday gift is plastic surgery and a shy uncle who spends most of his time painting miniatures, Panny is afraid she’s hopelessly different. Thanks to a fortuitous misdial, she strikes up a phone friendship that seems to be the connection she’s been longing for.
5.)Circle Mirror Transformationby Annie Baker
Five lost people come together at a community center class to try and find some meaning in their lives. Counting to ten can be harder than you think. Over six tangled weeks, their lives become knotted together in this tender and funny play.
6.) God of Carnageby Yasmina Reza
What happens when two sets of parents meet up to deal with the unruly behavior of their children? A calm and rational debate between grownups about the need to teach kids how to behave properly? Or a hysterical night of name-calling, tantrums, and tears before bedtime? A bitingly funny and whip smart examination of the things we don’t think we teach or children.
7.) 4000 Milesby Amy Herzog
After suffering a major loss while he was on a cross-country bike trip, 21 year-old Leo seeks solace from his feisty 91-year-old grandmother Vera in her West Village apartment. Over the course of a single month, these unlikely roommates infuriate, bewilder, and ultimately reach each other. 4000 Miles looks at how two outsiders find their way in today’s world.
8.) Blastedby Sarah Kane
Blasted opened in 1995, making front-page headlines and outraging some critics who thought her premise that there was a connection between a rape in a Leeds hotel room and the hellish devastation of civil war was simply an attempt to shock audiences. Brutal and graphic, “Blasted” is important but not for the faint of heart.
9.) Ohio State Murdersby Adrienne Kennedy
When Suzanne, an African American writer, enters Ohio State University in 1949, little does she know what the supposed safe haven of academia holds in store. Years later, Suzanne is invited to return to the University to talk about the violence in her writing. A dark mystery unravels. The play is an intriguing, unusual and chilling look at the destructiveness of racism in the U.S.
10.) Stop Kissby Diana Sun
The story is deceptively simple: two young women in New York meet, talk about their boyfriends, feel a growing, unspoken attraction for each other, and finally kiss. And that one innocent kiss sets off a savage gay-bashing. Callie is holding down a job as a radio traffic reporter when she meets Sara, a Midwesterner who, against her parents’ wishes, has moved to the city to teach third-grade students in the Bronx. Both have boyfriends, but as they get to know each other, their shared experiences and sense of humor create a strong bond. The tragic consequences of their kiss—the center of this powerful drama—serve as both an indictment of hatred and a moving study of the perils inherent in living life fully.
1.) Participate in a Play Reading, Online.
If you don't know anyone hosting one, pick a play you've always wanted to read and host it yourself through one of the many conferencing apps that abound. Not only do you get to flex your acting/reading chops, but you get to do it amongst friends!
You can be as fancy with your camera equipment as you want to be, or not. Use your phone! Or even, your actual, analog camera. Take one photo for each day of your isolation. Give yourself a theme, if you want - that seems to help with focus. You can journal around each photo, or get really ambitious and create a poem for each image! Pets can make WONDERFUL subjects...or, find a famous painting, stage it in your home and recreate it via photography.
3.) Work on Your Audition Pieces.
Use your free time to find and memorize new audition pieces. Challenge yourself to find one for every possibility: Classical, Dramatic, Contemporary, Comedic, Shakespearean, 10 bars of two contrasting songs (if you're into musical theatre), Do them in your living room. Do them often. Take a break from sitting at a screen and do your monologue. Take it one further and host a group of your favorite peers to work your pieces in front of each other online! You can focus on a different type (Shakespeare, Contemporary, etc) each virtual meeting, When productions start and auditions come back up again, you'll be able to hit the ground running!
4.) Create an Image Board.
Either break out the magazines and craft supplies and create a physical image board, or go over to Pinterest, create an account, and do it virtually! If you have a show coming up (at SOME point in the future), start working on an image board for it to use going forward when rehearsals begin: if you're an actor, find images pertaining to your character; if a playwright/director/designer/dramaturg, all the things about the whole show! If you're writing a novel, find images pertaining to different aspects of your book. You can also simply create a vision board, and find images pertaining to things you'd like to manifest in the coming days/months/years. Create your dream garden or your dream house through images.
5.) Do Some Planting!
It's spring: perfect time to begin clearing and planting! Plot out spaces in your yard for flowers and vegetables...or start a small herb garden in a window box in your kitchen window, or maybe some strawberries in a planter on your balcony! Plant simply for the pleasure of getting the earth on your hands, or take it a step further and plant intentions with each seed and/or clipping.
6.) In the Kitchen
Cooking and baking are another way to stay inspired, stay connected to your creativity and of course, have some great things to eat! If you're a bit phobic about either cooking or baking, get courageous and follow a couple recipes to the letter - journal about your results, if so motivated! Or, if you're a more experienced chef, try something complicated you've always felt daunted by: sourdough bread? Beef Wellington? Macarons? And of course, take photos and post to social media so everyone can see...
7.) Make Music
Been awhile since you've picked up that guitar? Have a haunting melody disturbing your brain? Maybe it's time to make some music! Open up Garage Band, or any other music creation app, and create a soundscape for your show, workout, or anything you like. Form a virtual band and have a jam session with your favorite creatives using homemade instruments: a jar of beans becomes quick percussion, a hollow box with rubber bands around it becomes a string instrument, a wine bottle becomes a wind instrument - let your imagination run wild! Don't forget the singing and beat-boxing.
8.) Makes Something Visual
People like to say they "can't paint" or "can't draw", but those are only two disciplines under the vast umbrella of visual arts & crafts. Use rubber stamps, or found images. Try doing a paint pour. Or, gather all your hard, flat pieces of junk mail and use them as canvasses for multi-media art-work - using glue, paint, found images, glitter, crayons, whatever you have on hand! Or get an app or coloring book and do some coloring - you'd be surprised how meditative and calming it is! Or paint an accent wall in your house. Prime and paint your car a funky color...paint a wizard on the side of your van! Sky's the limit - You don't have to be super skilled to create something beautiful you can hang on the wall (or post on Instagram)!
9.) Write, Write, WRITE!
What a perfect opportunity to hone your writing chops. Start a journal or a blog - you can either make it general, or focused: I know someone working on a grief journal, someone else working on a poetry journal. A post-apocalyptic blog would be perfect right now, and there's so much inspiration between pop-culture and real life...if journaling isn't your thing, try a form or genre you've never tried before: start a play...make it social, get some friends, each of you write a 10-minute play on a theme, then hold a virtual reading of all of them. Gather writing prompts off the internet, from magazines, from books. Write them all down, fold each prompt down, put in a jar, then select one prompt a day and write. Or, go to one of the myriad virtual museums online, select a work of art and write a story, play or poem about it...or an essay. Or a critique, if you are more logically-minded. Revise it. Submit it somewhere.
10.) Take a Class
So many virtual class offerings going on right now, you can pretty much pick your poison! Freehold Theatre is offering some great online classes this spring; many colleges around the country have been and continue to offer some great courses in just about any subject you can think of - Coursera is a great place to start for things unrelated to acting. Learn a language; take a cooking seminar. There are so many possibilities out there to make quarantine easier.
11.) Costume Party
Play dress up: dress to the nines and host a virtual happy hour for friends. Or, pick a theme: costume yourself in your best post apocalyptic outfit, funky 60's garb, goth it up - you do you! Or, do outrageous animal makeup. Create a social media group and share your photos.
So, I would say I'm a singer. For a long time, actually. I don't get to do it very often, because 1.) I really don't like most musical theatre and 2.) I don't know how to read music. But I've gotten to the point where I can actually admit that I sing, pretty competently. And I've even done it on stage sometimes. For audiences. I'm also trained. I've taken voice lessons with multiple teachers in the past. I've sung in choirs, and even been in a musical or two, despite the hairy eyeball I cast upon the genre.
Back last fall, when I first signed up for Ladies' Rock Camp on the recommendation of my friend and frequent collaborator Machelle Allman, and was filling out the application, I waffled back and forth between being a drummer or a vocalist. I've wanted to learn drums ever since doing a super female-focused and punk RAWK version of Cowboy Mouth (written, as legend would have it, by Sam Shepherd and Patti Smith, yes, THE PATTI SMITH, while shacking up together at the Chelsea Hotel, passing a manual typewriter back and forth between them) with the most AWESOME thrash band out of Olympia (Tight Bros From Way Back When). At every performance, the drummer would break several drumsticks, and after the show, I would quietly collect the remnants and I still have them today on my little artist altar. Anyway - I decided to be a vocalist, because I felt like doing the camp would be pretty out of my comfort zone as it was, since I don't feel like I am necessarily the most dynamic performer when I am the one who is supposed to be leading the charge.
The Monday night before camp, I felt the first little tickle in my throat, which just got progressively worse and worse throughout the week, and when time came for camp on Friday morning, the plague had progressed...not sure if it was a mild flu or a bad cold, but I still felt like crap as I entered the Vera Project's doors, uncertain as to whether I should even proceed. I mean: VOCALS? With a CHEST COLD??? Awesome. Having just gotten laid off and not really being in a position where I can just kiss off the something-hundred dollars I'd paid to be part of the camp, I decided, somewhat reluctantly, to persevere.
Despite many years of stage performances under my belt, I'm more of an introvert than an extrovert. I'm better one-on-one than in groups, especially LARGE groups with lots of people I don't know. So as I entered the big room with all the ladies, and saw many of them sitting already in groups together at tables laughing and talking, I felt shy and intimidated, and went over to sit on one of the couches by myself, reasoning to myself that I was quarantining everyone from my germs. Presently, one, then another of these ladies came over and sat by me, and we struck up a little conversation, and it was nice not to feel totally on the outside. Rachel and Eva, I thank you for that little act of solidarity.
Eventually, we got herded off to our Instrument Instruction groups, which put me with all the other vocalists. As we went around the circle, there were a couple campers that sounded absolutely terrified either to come up with a song, or to sing in front of people, and tears came up. It was such an honor and a privilege to be in that room and slowly feel the terror shift energetically into something different: a willingness, maybe? An anticipation? Led by Kira and Stephanie, who let all our fears and preconceptions about ourselves and each other air out and transform into support and inspiration.
A little later on, we got placed into our bands. As I got my first glimpse at the women I'd be creating and playing with in that main room, I felt a little uncertain. The four of us are supposed to write a song together? We're strangers. WE can't possibly have ANYTHING in common. I didn't say that, though. I still felt like crap, so I was conserving my energy. No superfluous talk, movement or thought. I think this ended up serving me well.
And then, of course, the magical Sue Ennis came to gave us our songwriting seminar, as we sat with our newly-formed bands in the main room. I kept looking over at that mural of what I kept thinking of as "Icharus".
OUR BAND: Barb, on guitar. Libby, on bass. Amber, on drums. Me, vocals. And our two coaches, Maggie and Darcey.
So, this post is a bit of a "test run". When I was in 8th grade, The Day After aired on television. It was the junior high equivalent of a water-cooler topic - we were ALL talking about it beforehand, and we were definitely all talking about it the day after. As a movie, it wasn't the most perfect example of speculative fiction, but it served as great fodder for classroom discussion (especially in the middle of the cold war!). I remember a friend and I, during summer vacation, creating our own fictional bunker in case of nuclear war - we'd spend hours just figuring out how long we'd have to stay underground, who we'd like to bring with us and what kind of sewage/water/food systems we'd have to subsist on. The Day After was probably my formal introduction to the subgenre, likely the first I'd thought of it, and was the kickoff to a lifetime's fascination.
Sub genre of what, you ask? Is apocalypse/aftermath fiction horror? Is it science fiction? I've long had a fear it will become science FACT. I like the umbrella term "Speculative Fiction". Under its wings you might find Science Fiction, Fantasy, Horror, etc. And I suppose, depending on the type of apocalypse, you would then go on to put things under those subcategories...zombie apocalypse might fall under horror, whilst robots destroying the world might fit better with Science Fiction.
In high school, I read my first Stephen King novel, The Stand, which tells the story of a world decimated through a superflu plague. Another of my friends had also read it, and we spent hours on the phone each night imagining what we might do in such a scenario, where we might travel, what and who we might bring, and how we might rebuild society. Obviously, I was hooked.
Several decades later, I am no less fascinated and intrigued by the different iterations of fictional apocalypse, and have happily devoured many television, film and book tales with varied and imaginative end times. I’ve even written a couple of post-apocalyptic plays. And there is no shortage of end days’ paranoia, given the current political situation and global climate, to think about. Climate change anyone? Nuclear war? How ‘bout some ebola?
Right now, my intention is to start an entire apocalyptic blog on the subject and of course, all its potential subcategories, because, though I have very little control over things unfolding on the world stage, at least I can have some control over this. I'll discuss zombies, aliens, asteroids, WWIII, acts of god, no armageddon is off limits, and maybe I'll throw in speculation about how one might survive such a thing, and even discuss putting together different sorts of survival kits for your more run-of-the-mill cataclysm. I'll make book, film and tv recommendations on each subcategory, because lord knows I've consumed a lion's share!
If this is your thing and you're intrigued, feel free to take a look! And if you have any suggestions, thoughts, or ideas on topics you might enjoy reading about within the subject, please feel free to share your feedback.
Day to day thoughts, rants and mental detritus.