Fifty First Pages

Hey guys!

I’ve mentioned that I’ve been doing month-themed projects for each month this year. January I didn’t drink alcohol; February I read (aloud) at least a poem a day, and…I bet you’re wondering what I did for March!

Well, I didn’t mention in case I didn’t make my goal, but in fact, I did make it through!

Wanting to jump-start my personal creativity, I decided that in the month of March, I would write fifty first pages to short stories or plays. That’s a little more than one a day.

Some of these were just space fillers. They can’t all be gems, folks. But a few have something to them. I could see continuing some of these stories. Hopefully I’ll have a chance to. Out of curiosity, out of these fifty ideas, which ones would you be interested in learning more about?

1. A young woman trying to figure out how to get to work through an epic level of unplowed snow

2. A woman, a carriage, a mask, a river, a phantom

3. An oracle that lives inside the trash cans in an alley [play]

4. A man–or a woman–who is as mad, or as sane, as the narrator of Poe’s “The Telltale Heart.”

5. A woman about to tell the story of the most amazing thing in the world, and where it happened, who then turns into a potted plant [play]

6. A woman detailing why she will not hook up with a rebounding old flame who texts inappropriate things

7. An exploration of the day before the breakup

8. The question: what does the Tarot Card of the Hanged Man really mean?

9. A woman who physically acts as another’s shadow, without being noticed [play]

10. The colors and images that conjure the spring

11. A world in which no one can see the sun except for one hour a day, and seasons no longer change, and people cannot imagine the luxury of space in a house

12. The trouble with cold ears

13. A boy who wants to make his fortune and not be told what to do, so he dresses as a girl in order to make it in a world where women have the power

14. The dangers of time manipulation and the responsibility of the scientist

15. Scheherazade has run out of stories, 896 nights in

16. The strange American female obsession with male British accents

17. A sister’s responsibility to keep her sister from risking her life [play]

18. The consequences of constant anxiety

19. The difficulty of life for pretty girls–seriously

20. Disappointment in the comparative efficacy in getting someone to come to a show of saying, “I wrote this,” and “I’ll be in a bikini”

21. How to cope with severe itches on the legs

22. A woman who can’t help but be late because she sees poetry everywhere

23. A battle for space on a subway seat

24. A transgendered woman and her complicated relationship with pronouns

25. A suburban household in which one of the little girl’s chores is to leave meat and milk out for the fairies

26. “Heritage” mania and what the world sees when you’re technically Polish-Czech-English-Irish-Hungarian-Saudi

27. An art installation of a cloud in a glass room and its relationship to the dawn

28. Hair envy

29. A woman determined not to throw up in public

30. A ghost who died on a subway platform trying to see if he can get on a train

31. A woman who is safe only when she wears red on her person, somewhere

32. A girl who wishes she were a dog

33. The way that TV and movies can convince a paranoid person that their delusions (of someone else living in their apartment when they’re gone, of tiny beings in the walls) are true

34. How people misunderstand the story of Samson, and the real power in hair

35. What it’s like to lie in a river in Montana in mid-July

36. Dealing with the aftermath common, spontaneous bleeding, possibly brought on by someone with a vendetta

37. A lover’s quarrel; or, what happens when you say “I hate you” for the first time

38. A wager between two friends, one who bets on the importance of pleasure on earth, one who bets on the importance of virtue for pleasure after death, and the way the former manipulates the latter into sacrificing for him in the here and now

39. What a woman can do when she learns her friend has been sexually harassed or even assaulted

40. Methinks the lady doth protest too much…about how kind she is to animals

41. A baby is born who needs to be hidden from the world for fear of the reaction…but is she horribly beautiful or wonderfully hideous?

42. What it’s like when you literally need wine to survive and the other Bacchae are all dead

43. Legalizing inanimate object marriage

44. The imagery of daily life walking the streets of Chicago

45. The impracticalities, if one has a choice, of using a spinner who can spin straw into gold as their cash cow

46. A neighborhood whose trees stand like sentinels, while the real threats live in the silences within the houses

47. A woman’s apology to the jury on behalf of a violent man

48. The boredom of eternal life and having to adjust to changing societal standards

49. A young woman who has fiercely craved garlic since she woke up after her accident, and her brother’s sweet, strange solicitousness

50. A young man who can no longer wait to see if the tree planted at his birth contains his death date under its bark

Thoughts? Ideas? Questions?

Happy April, everyone! It’s my birth month, so I have some fun plans for this month. Hopefully I’ll report back soon!


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