Short Story Reading: Initiation Season by Sean McElhose

Performed by Elizabeth Rose Morriss

Get to know the writer:
 
What is your short story about?

There’s this sort of frustration I have surrounding certain initiation rituals and in-group thinking. The idea was to create a specific emotion as an example.

What genres would you say this story is in?

It’s fiction without skewing to far from a simple reality.

How would you describe this story in two words?

Expressive indignation

Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

Yes

What motivated you to write this story?

Anger

If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

Jack Kerouac

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Painting, reading, flying, mountain climbing, and learning new things.

What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

Curiosity

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

The trick to writing is in using words in a certain order that makes a sort of sense.

 

 

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Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

 

 

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Prologue & Chapter 1 Reading of BODIE by Anne Sweazy Kulju

Performed by Val Cole

Get to know the writer:

 What is your short story about?

A woman’s murder in the most violent town in our nation’s history…Bodie, California.

What genres would you say this story is in?

Western/Historical Fiction/Paranormal

How would you describe this story in two words?

Paranormal Western

What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Dumb and Dumber (my daughter and I can recite the whole movie!)

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

I’m Into Something Good, by Herman’s Hermits

Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Suzanne

What motivated you to write this story?

A dream. The recurring dream that the sisters experience in reality belongs to me and my sister. This is our story, with tons of research and a bit of creative drama thrown in.

If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

Clint Eastwood (fingers crossed he’d bring Scott along…)

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Rescuing Pit Bulls, Up-cycling junk into Franken-furniture (I call the business “Twice Upon A Time”), and the beach, of course.

What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

Just shits and giggles. It sounded like fun.

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Just as important as what you know, is who you know. Work at making smart connections.

 

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Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

Novel Transcript Reading: Courage the Mouse, by Cornelia Fick

 

Performed by Laura Kyswaty

 Get to know the writer:

What is your story story about?

Thank you for the opportunity to talk about myself J. This is actually a story about following your destiny.

What genres would you say this story is in?

It’s a children’s story for ages 7-11

How would you describe this story in two words?

Adventure. Playfulness

What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Gone with the wind.

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

The greatest love by Whitney Houston

Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

Mice and Men, John Steinberg. Recently The almanac of the dead by Leslie Silko

What motivated you to write this story?

I wrote it for my son and added pictures in water colour. The pictures were not very good because I have no art training.

If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

Nelson Mandela

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Reading, charity work (although I haven’t done much of the latter in the last couple of years)

What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

I previously had a short story, Diary of a soldier, performed and I loved it.

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Persevere. It’s not a sprint but a marathon. And above all, believe in yourself.

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Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

Short Story Reading: OFF THE HOOK, by Lionel Walfish

Performed by Laura Kyswaty

 Get to know the writer:

What is your story story about?

Money can’t buy you everything.

What genres would you say this story is in?

An exotic tale.

How would you describe this story in two words?

Futile search

What movie have you seen the most in your life?

‘Strangers On a Train’ (Hitchcock)

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

Lover Come Back

Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

YOU CAN’T GO HOME AGAIN (Thomas Wolfe)

What motivated you to write this story?

Folks who think they have ‘everything’.

If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

Charles Dickens

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

classical music

What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

Wildsound Festival always does such a great job with my stories!

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Keep writing!

 

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Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

Short Story Reading: NOISES IN THE CEMETERY by Mari Tamez.

 

Performed by Laura Kyswaty

 Get to know the writer:

What is your story story about?

My story is about the spinetingling events that took place in a cemetery before the embalmment process was universally practiced. These events were witnessed by my grandfather, a gravedigger, during the Great Depression.

What genres would you say this story is in?

Non-fiction mystery that takes place during a historical time.

How would you describe this story in two words?

Unbelievable and horrific

What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

Can’t Take my Eyes Off You by Frankie Valli

Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

Beloved by Toni Morrison

What motivated you to write this story?

My grandfather was a great story teller. Every Friday night, he stopped by for a visit and told his grandchildren stories about his childhood and life experiences. He also told us ghost stories and legends. This particular story is one that I never forgot. I know that it may be hard to believe but grandfather insisted that it was true. I saw tension and anxiety on his face when he told the story.

If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

I miss my grandfather. His stories truly made an impact on me. Because of him, I am now an award-winning writer with 12 traditionally published picture books and 20+ picture books in English and Spanish/Bilingual. In addition, I have published 14 short stories, including one published by Chicken Soup for the Soul. My husband, A. M. Vela, has contributed immensely as a co-writer. You are welcome to see our picture books at http://www.readingforfun.net. (Note: I write for children under the name Mary Esparza-Vela and ho

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

I am also the inventor of three plush dolls that are “out of this world.” They are so unique that they stop traffic. You may also see them on my website.

What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

WildSound previously contacted me about submitting a story and I am thrilled to learn that they accepted “Noises in the Cemetery.”

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Write what you know. This worked for me, thanks to my Grandfather.

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Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

Chapter 1 Novel Reading: Briar Earth, by Paul Tapp

Performed by Val Cole

Get to know the writer:

What is your novel about?

Reluctance, tradition and coincidence. They bring together as princess and escort, an opiniative ‘silly girl’ and a ‘handsome captain’, who fails his diplomatic mission to keep her silent on contentious matters at her fox-hunting debut. A puppy hound and a missing fox-cub confound the biggest fox-meet of the year and bring an end to the cruel tradition.

What genres would you say this story is in?

Historic fantasy/Historic romance.

How would you describe this story in two words?

World’s collide.

What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Casablanca

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

Summer Wine

Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

The Woman In White (Wilkie Collins)

What motivated you to write this story?

As a kid I watched my grandpa and his dogs race rabbits to their burrows. He’d dig them out, apologise as they squealed in fear, wring their necks. It was his living. So too for many over the centuries, is the tradition of fox-hunting. It was a cathartic journey to understand the fear of the fox … and the concomitant respect between the hunted and the hunter when a beagle puppy discovers a fox-cub hiding in a manor stable.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

International polemics in a complex, selfish world that will destroy everything we love.Making family documentaries. Investigative journalism.

What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

Nice to hear someone read something I have written. To see if they ‘get’ the nuance in a chapter without the perspective of the full novel.

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Don’t pitch to an audience. Write to appease something within.
Re-write until all paragraphs say ‘yes’. Writing is a private journey to somewhere. Collect fellow travellers along the way. 

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Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox

Short Story Reading: Give Me Truth or Give Me Silence, by Melissa R Mendelson

Performed by Laura Kyswaty

 Get to know the writer:

What is your short story about?

Give Me Truth or Give Me Silence is a Dystopian short story, where individuals are forced to speak the truth, but like with any other society, there are those that still lie. But it might be the last lie that they will ever speak.

What genres would you say this story is in?

Science-Fiction

How would you describe this story in two words?

Honesty Hurts

What movie have you seen the most in your life?

Since I was eight-years-old, I’ve seen a lot of movies and a lot of television shows, but one of my favorite movies is Suicide Kings, which is an intensely written Drama, where the truth is a cool hand played right up to the last bluff.

What is your favorite song? (Or, what song have you listened to the most times in your life?)

Again, I’ve been listening to music since I was eight, and I have many favorites. And I love U2, and I especially love their song, The Troubles.

Do you have an all-time favorite novel?

My Cousin Estelle, who passed this year and may she rest in peace, used to give me books when I was a kid, and I would read right through them, looking for more. But one of my favorite books that she gave me is Charlotte’s Web, and I still have it somewhere in a bin downstairs in the basement.

What motivated you to write this story?

I am part of this community called, HitRecord, and they do Weekly Writing Challenges. One of the challenges was to create a Utopia or Dystopia, so I created, Give Me Truth or Give Me Silence.

If you could have dinner with one person (dead or alive), who would that be?

Stephen King. He will always be my favorite author, and a few have told me that some of my writing reminds them of his work.

Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

One of my hobbies is to write Parody Lyrics, and I don’t do it often. But when I do, I like to base the lyrics around my favorite television shows such as Supernatural and Killjoys.

What influenced you to enter your story to get performed?

I have been coming to WildSound for a long time now, and with their reviews on my writing, I have been able to make my stories more than what they started out as. And I love the opportunities that they provide such as these readings to give my stories a platform, where they can not only be read but heard.

Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

Look for inspiration. Sometimes, I like driving around town, passing through neighborhoods, and I have created some of my favorite short stories based off those drives like Faded Shades of Rainbow and Cellar Dawn.

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Producer: Matthew Toffolo http://www.matthewtoffolo.com

Director: Kierston Drier
Casting Director: Sean Ballantyne
Editor: John Johnson

Camera Operator: Mary Cox