My first premiere happens in six days. My play, One Bear Lake, opens in Charleston at 5th Wall Productions on January 20 and runs every weekend until the last performance on February 4. I’ll be in town for the opening weekend, and I hope to see you there. One Bear Lake is about sibling rivalry taken to the nth degree. Three siblings gather with their spouses for a week long retreat and soon discover that growing up in the same family doesn’t mean they had the same childhoods. Jealousy, anger, love, and humor are the ties that bind.
And, while I call it “my” play, that is no longer true. It now belongs to the extremely talented cast and crew of 5th Wall Productions, and they are as follows:
Emma Scott – Lily
Jason Olsen – Paul
Freddy – Jamie Young
Rachel – Margaret Nyland
Tom – Greg Tompkins
Gayle – Sarah Daniel
Director – Blair Cadden
Come one. Come all. Buy your tickets early. 5th Wall Productions’ One Bear Lake
Let’s face it, January 20 is not a date most people are looking forward to. I don’t care if you support or hate the man who will be the 45th POTUS. The country is going to be shrouded in a blanket of anxiety thanks to an enormous political and social divide.Things are going to be tense for a long, long time to come.
What you need to do is learn how to laugh in the face of the dark days ahead, and what better way to do that than to watch a two-act comedy about carrot cake and cancer. My play, One Bear Lake, happens to open on… January 20 at 5th Wall Productions in West Ashley (Charleston, SC). I’m flying in for opening night and Saturday night’s performances. The cast is stellar. The director is superb. The writing is… Well, it would be in poor taste to tell you how fantastic the writing is since I wrote the play.
Bottom line? Come. Laugh. Enjoy.
Lead or get out of the way
Dear President-Elect Trump:
You are going to be criticized harshly for the next four years. You’ve created a dynamic that calls for you to be questioned for every statement and policy move you make. Your speeches are filled with inflammatory remarks. Your tweets are overtly combative and filled with personal attacks against your critics. As it is now, your behavior is deservedly condemned by public officials and private individuals. You can bully your way into being feared, but you can’t bully your way into being respected.
If you want to be respected, you can start by shutting your attack dogs down. Whenever you are criticized, your rabid followers react irrationally. They issue death threats, following your example of fear and intimidation to shut down dissent. These people, your avid supporters, are cowards. You aren’t leading them. You’re feeding hate to crazed idiots who can’t think for themselves. I’m calling on you to step up and take control of this fringe element. Be a leader. Stop fueling their contempt and paranoia and be presidential. It will take more than you looking into a camera and dispassionately saying, “Stop it.” You need to call a press conference or devote a series of tweets to the cowardice of responding to dissent with the promise of bodily harm and/or death. If you can’t lead your own followers, I have little faith that you can lead this country.
An Amerian Embarrassed by the Example My President-Elect Sets
Welcome to the South Side of the Moon
The blog has been down for awhile because of technical difficulties. And by that, I mean I am technically challenged. I changed the domain name because pearlofjustice.com no longer makes sense given that Deputy Dani Savage’s last name is no longer Pearl. Given that I write books by many different titles that range from young adult to Souther thrillers, I’ve decided to stay away from naming the blog after any of my books or characters. The new domain name reflects my Southern roots and my decidedly un-Southern belief system. Welcome to Southsideofthemoon.com.
Yesterday, after waking up to the unthinkable, I posted on Facebook that for the first time in my life, I was ashamed to call myself an American. Some people felt the same way and others weren’t happy about the results, but didn’t feel the shame that I did, nor are they required to. I enjoy a lot of the relationships I have with people who don’t think like me. Frankly, they probably get tired of me ranting and raving, but they’re too nice to say anything, so it’s the perfect relationship as far as I’m concerned.
There were the “how dare you” type comments throughout the day, of course. They weren’t mad that I was upset about the election. They were mad that I would do something as unpatriotic as to say I am ashamed of my country. And that is the problem with America in a nutshell. This unwavering pride that is impervious to introspection and to critical self-analysis. It’s called blind nationalism, and it has led to the downfall of societies throughout history.
By me admitting my shame, I’m saying we made a historical mistake. If that’s unpatriotic, then I am happily unpatriotic. I want to get better as a country. We don’t do that by refusing to examine policies and beliefs that have gotten us to this point simply because we’re America, and America can do no wrong. We have to allow ourselves to feel shame. Shame will either destroy you or it will rebuild you and make you stronger. I have faith that this country would experience the latter and not the former.
I am ashamed because Donald Trump is now my representative as an American to the international community. He is a man with no redeeming qualities whatsoever. I am ashamed because 47% of my fellow Americans decided his brand of politics spoke to them. They overlooked, and in some cases celebrated, his destructive speech, behavior, and policies. They discounted his obvious lies because he echoed how they felt. He made up easily disproved facts and figures to support a candidacy that featured hate at its core. That is why I’m ashamed to call myself an American. That he could spur people to vote against the best interest of our country is shameful. I’m not leaving America. I’m staying. I’m going to reevaluate my beliefs and actions, and I’m going to reevaluate my country’s. I refuse to be an unthinking nationalist. I am not a drone-American. If it is required that I constantly express pride in this country in order to call myself an American, even when I feel it has made a catastrophic mistake, then call me un-American. I will wear the name with honor.
I’ve lived in Charleston for 21 years. It’s the longest I’ve lived anywhere by 15 years. But I am moving on to Connecticut to reunite with my best friend and love of my life. We’ve been apart for 8 months, and we’ve spent that time getting to know each other again over the phone, email, and Skype. It’s time for the second draft of this play. Same cast. Significant rewrite.
I didn’t think I’d be sad to leave this tiny house, but I am. I’ve spent the best years of my life here. I’ve written about 14 novels, a half-dozen screenplays and a handful of stage plays. It’s my writing den.
More updates to follow, but I have got to get back to packing up. BTW – Anyone want to buy a living room set, bedroom set, and office set?
The “Real” C. Hoyt Caldwell
I loved doing this interview because the questions weren’t the typical “author’ questions. Nobody has ever asked me what is the one book I would require the president to read. The one problem with the interview is that they used an ancient picture of me that I created to disguise my true identity when I first invented C. Hoyt Caldwell. Because C. Hoyt can be excessively vulgar, I wanted to separate my two “author” identities. I gave up on the notion about a year into the experiment and let my freak flag fly. I’m posting my real C. Hoyt photo here to counteract the trauma of seeing that old photo.
Here’s a partial answer to my answer to the question: “What scene in Savage Reckoning was your favorite to write?”
It’s technically two scenes. I initially wrote it as one but broke it up into two parts in rewrites. It features Step and his girlfriend, Bones, in his house. Calling it my favorite makes me sound like a horrible person because it focuses on how tragic their lives are, but as a writer, exploring the destruction of a character’s life can be liberating. It gives you the illusion of knowing how real life works.
You can read the rest of the interview here: Interview with C. Hoyt Caldwell, author of Savage Reckoning
As always, Savage Reckoning is available as an e-book at the following online retailers: