Tennis Ball Rhapsody



Brief: Write the libretto for an opera.

Notes: This was meant for the day 8 prompt, but after trying to adapt two different episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and realizing it was taking more time than I can give, I posted two out-of-order, scrapped everything, and went back to this today. Thanks to my friend Fran for the inspiration. And to (counterclockwise from the top right) Teddy, Perry, Max, and Piper for being my loyal, if drooly, companions.


TEDDY:                     No one knows what it’s like

Being feared and hated

Knowing death is fated


ALL:                            Behind steel bars.


PIPER:                        But we dream

Of love and cuddles

And fur-ever families…

Follow the link below to read the entire play.

008 – Tennis Ball Rhapsody

Waltzing with Matthew


Brief: Write a play that takes “just a minute.”


No, I mean. What if… what if me not being able to beat his time means he won’t come home.

MOTHER:                  (wrapping her arm around her son). Sweetie, whether you race through the piece in fifty-six seconds, or  play it in the two minutes most people do, it won’t bring your dad back sooner, or prevent him from coming home.

MATTHEW:               Promise?

MOTHER:                  Promise. (she ruffles his hair) Want to know a secret about the Minute Waltz?

Notes: Another out of order piece… still working on prompt 8.

Follow the link below to read the entire play.

010 – Waltzing with Matthew

Alphabetical – a Revised Amphigory for Modern Children

alphabetical via

Brief: Write a play aimed at 3-6 year-olds.

Notes: This is appallingly bad. And it’s written for kids to perform, as well as watch. It’s also the response for brief 9, because brief 8 is incredibly lengthy and needs more time.


CHILD TWO:                E is for Everyone getting along.

F is for Fortnight, my avatar’s strong!

G is for Grover and Oscar the Grouch.

H is for Hiding behind the big couch.

Follow the link below to read the entire play.


Variations 1-7

Brief: Use a piece of music composed by Beethoven to inspire a play.


She:                  So, do you come here often?

He:                  My writing group meets here on Thursday evenings; yes.

She:                  Is that usual? For a published author to still have a writing group?

He:                  Absolutely. Feedback is better than a home-cooked meal.

She:                  I’d think that would depend on the meal.

He:                  Oh?

She:                  Well, you know, pot noodles aren’t exactly on par with shrimp scampi.

Follow the link below to read the entire play:

07 – Variations 1-7

Cello Practice


Aye, Calypso!

Brief: Write a play in which you meet one of your idols.


JACQUES:                  Do you know why these were made without handles?

MELISSA:                   I do. It was so the submarine officers on watch could wrap their hands around them for warmth.

JACQUES:                  Warmth is something we all need when we are at sea.

(he places the mugs on a low table between them, and pours tea from a pot into each)

Do you need milk or sugar?

MELISSA:                   I used to. Not so much anymore.

JACQUES:                  I find I like the bit of astringency that comes with black tea. It’s bracing. Reminds you you’re alive.

Notes:  Some of Jacques’s lines are taken from actual quotations.

Follow the link below to read the entire play.

06 – Aye Calypso!

Jacques Cousteau Statue by Ron Jordan

From the Logs of BASIL

Robot head looking front on camera isolated on a black background

Brief: Write a monodrama (A play for only one performer.)


The Cousteau has just completed a humanitarian mission to the planet we refer to as Aquaria  Three, though the native population – a race of sentient marine mammals not far removed from the Terran cetacean species – has a different name for their world. The organic beings among our crew have been unable to reproduce the name, but I have managed a close approximation that the locals told me was ‘close enough for krill.’


This piece is a sort of prequel or companion to a short story written a couple year’s ago: A Winter Tale

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05-From the Logs of BASIL

A Match Made in Purgatory

Martian demon via

Brief: Write a play using one or more of some pre-defined characters, using some or all of the provided traits.

Notes: I didn’t feel that any of the suggested characters were speaking with me so I went to the THEY FIGHT CRIME generator and stole two that I liked, but used a couple of traits from the pre-defined characters.


HOBBES:                    Then how did you mean it?

CALVIN:                    I’m Aristide. Calvin Aristide. Metal dude on my right is Sparky.

HOBBES:                    (ruffling her wings in irritation) And this information matters to me… why?

CALVIN:                    (annoyed) The Agency didn’t tell you? I’m your new partner.

HOBBES:                    The Agency hasn’t bothered to contact me in weeks. They still blame me for what happened with the last guy. It wasn’t my fault he decided to go to Kestrel Five without me. I mean, who does that?


Figured they’d call me in, put me on permanent sabbatical, not assign a new partner. Do you drink?

CALVIN:                    Well, not blood…


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04 – Match Made in Purgatory

Mirror, Mirror

Mirror, Mirror via

Brief: Choose a random phobia from a list, and use it to inspire a play. I chose Eisoptrophobia: the fear of mirrors or of looking into them, or of seeing your reflection.


QUEEN:                     My hunter. I had him, in my home, in my bed.

THERAPIST:              And the mirrors?

QUEEN:                     Their voices were quiet for a time. And then they were not.

THERAPIST:              When did the mirrors start speaking to you again?

QUEEN:                     Jeremiah mentioned that the girl was becoming a beautiful woman.

THERAPIST:              And?

QUEEN:                     He said she was the only person more beautiful than me.


Follow the link below to read the entire play:

03 – Mirror, Mirror

Agua y Fuego

Madrid Motto

Brief:  Write a play that is a love letter to part (or all) of Europe.


Ignacio:            I had some tea from the replicator, thanks. And you’re underestimating with “chilly.” The last hour of the trip, I couldn’t feel my fingers… or my chin.

Naomi:            I guess I’m just acclimated. Well, don’t worry; you won’t have to visit the surface anytime soon, and once you’ve passed quarantine, you’ll have access to the hot springs.

Ignacio:            Hot springs? I didn’t think Europa had geothermal heat?

Naomi:            Europa doesn’t. Nuevo Madrid does. We cycle our waste energy through a couple of the springs within the complex, filter out any traces of radiation – don’t worry, there’s nothing harmful. Well, there was that one person who grew gills…

Follow the link below to read the entire play:

02 – Agua y Fuego


Copyright: kentoh / 123RF Stock Photo

The Brief

No… we started our journey on a ship at sea, so lets end it with some “Land Ahoy!” Write about the destination… the port, the land, the horizon, the future…

The Excerpt



So much has changed, Basil. When we met, you were primarily a scientist, an explorer… then the war happened, and I was the wife of a solider, a battle commander, and finally we built peace again, and now…


(picking up her thought)

…and now, retirement. Do you recall, Zoe, when I referred to the different changes and evolutions in our relationship as ‘etudes’ for us to master?


I do. It was an apt metaphor.


To Read the Entire Play

Click Here: 1902.28 – Etudes 1902.28 – Etudes