I have been writing almost continuously since I was 14 years old—
and submitting my work for publications for nearly all of that time.
I sent Evergreen Review my first submission in (best guess) 1964.
Editor, Barney Rosset, attached a brief handwritten note to the
rejection slip encouraging me to continue writing. Quite possibly
there was not a person on earth who needed that encouragement
less. Forty-four years later, after discovering Evergreen Review on
the internet, I sent them some work which, Editor-in-Chief, Barney
Rosset accepted immediately.
So, now, my work is in there amongst writers like; Samuel Beckett,
Norman Mailer, Henry Miller, LeRoi Jones, Susan Sontag, and
Edward Albee. My worry now is that if it’s another 44 years before I
see print again, I'll be 110, and most likely will have lost all interest
in anything that isn't called chocolate pudding. In the meantime, I'll
publish my work on EstuaryPublications.com
Thirty-some years ago I wrote seven full-length plays and, even
after all these years, I strongly believe that any one of those plays,
properly folded, might still make an excellent doorstop.
In 1980 however, Magic Theatre, Eureka Theatre, and another
local (San Francisco) theatre which I cannot, for the life of me,
recall, thought much more of my work. The Assistant Artistic
Director at Magic called me to tell me, somewhat breathlessly: “I
probably shouldn’t tell you this, but… John Lion has everything
you’ve sent us on his desk, AND he has instructed us that
anything else you submit should be brought directly to him.” She
continued, “The last time Mr. Lion had more than one play on his
desk from one playwright, it was Sam Shepard!”
Meanwhile, the Artistic Director at Eureka, called me and invited
me over. Three people met with me, saying among other things,
“Any actor would be eager to sink his teeth into any of your
characters.” From that alone I realized that these people knew
more about my plays than I did. Despite all that enthusiasm,
Eureka did not produce any of my work.
That same year, Mr. Lion entered my play, “An Appeal for Shorter
Doors”, into the highly-respected FDG/CBS competition. Selected
theatres were allowed to enter one play in that contest. Magic
Theatre received over 1600 submissions for that competition; I
didn’t even know it existed. Ultimately, Shorter Doors was one of
the top 25 plays, out of (I forget) 27,000 or 37,000 entries. That
play, however, was never produced.
Encouraged by Mr. Lion’s somewhat peculiar, unspoken support, I
sent that play off to two additional competitions: Louisville and The
Eugene O’Neill Theatre. It did not place in either competition.
However, one of the judges from Eugene O’Neill sent me a
lengthy, hand-written letter saying, “I think the other judges are
wrong. I think this is a remarkable first piece and it should have
been staged by us. I really regret my inability to represent your
play better. Please continue writing and please continue sending
your ms to Eugene O’Neill.” After one full year of hearing nothing
whatsoever from Magic, I received all of my plays back, in the mail,
I don't write plays any more.
In 1998 BILLBOARD BOOKS (the most widely recognized and
greatly respected name in the Music Industry) published my book—
STUDIO BASICS, What You Should Know BEFORE Entering the
Recording Studio… just in time for the digital explosion to render
most of the technological advice in that book completely and
I don't write about the business of music any more.
I'll just continue publishing my work through Estuary.