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My old high school asked me to write an original, two-act play for their advanced drama class which consisted of ele en students. It was published and here is a new review of the play.

I do not normally read plays but as I enjoy Bill Wilbur’s quirky sense of humor and writing style, I took this one on and boy am I glad I did. This play is so darned clever and funny that I had to come on here and write a review to let folks know that this should not be passed by. Take a few minutes and read this, slowly, or you will end up like me…reading it once quickly, then reading it again slowly to catch all the hilarious turns of phrase, and the endearing MENTAL PATIENTS who are actually likely to be suffering from lack of attention more than anything else, I can envision this play being enacted by myriad thespians and can nearly hear the laughter which would ensuePermanent cover

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Thank you for reading!

I am always humbled when a reader is moved enough to leave a review for one of my books. This Amazon review is one of my favorites:

Jump into a feast of a story by an author that considers words to be caviar for the soul. An example: Cottonwoods “like mute sentinels, they saw everything but revealed no secrets.” Any page, any paragraph of Saragosa is just as rich with imagery that attaches and drives forward the characters and plot in this multi-layered adventure.

Let me say that westerns are not my thing. But my preconceptions that they are too violent, too stereotypical, too shallow was shot to pieces by Orin’s Colt 44-40 real quick. Saragosa, no matter its genre, is really a celebration of the human spirit.

Yes, it’s violent, yes it has some comforting stereotypes as our best myths do, but in no way is it shallow. And the violence, couched in old west idiom, is better than my daily paper and critical to the adrenaline rush that ensues.

The truth is, we all need to go to Saragosa. We need to know men (applicable to women but hey, it’s 1873) where death is certain but the right thing needs doing anyway. Where loyalty keeps a man alive long after his body should be down for the count. Where just from reading the printed page you can begin to perspire and hyperventilate. No kidding, this was my husband…it occurred at cruising altitude…he shrugged off my concern as well as our lone luggage at the carousel until he finished the damn thing.

For myself, I maintained bodily stasis. But now, very strangely, I encounter the dentist and pshaw, bring it on. Things that go thump in the night–let me at ’em. My fears are felled by channeling my inner Brody. Not bad, not bad at all for a few dollar investment. By Vicki K. Hoffner

Introduction and Respect

There is this feeling you get when a writer that you respect more than most agrees to write an introduction for one of your books. That feeling is at once giddy and weighty, it is thrilling and loaded with dread all at the same time. For a few minutes you laugh hysterically and then suddenly feel like you might throw up. There is a responsibility to live up to the kind words written about you by someone you look up to. Thus was the case when my friend, E. Ervin Tibbs, author of SUNSET TOMORROW agreed to  write the introduction to my latest book of short stories. I have posted the full intro below, but first I must say, if you can find a copy of SUNSET TOMORROW by E. Ervin Tibbs, It is unfortunately out of print, grab it and read it, you will love it. Here then is the introduction:

First let me say that Bill Wilbur is one of my best friends, and he happens to be the only man ever to have killed me. An explanation is in order. In his book Saragosa, Bill developed a character that he said was based on me, an honor because the character was honorable. But in the course of the story, the character had to die and so he died, heroically. That little episode illustrates Bill’s commitment to honesty, he will stay true to his vision whatever the consequences. I have known Bill for many years and have read most of the stories he’s written all the way from first draft to publishable manuscript. He characterizes himself as an old badger that just keeps on coming, and it is the best way I know of describing both the man and his values. When he writes a scene, no matter how wonderful, if it strays from the vision, or doesn’t fit the character, he will toss it out. That is to say that Bill tosses out writing that is better than many authors best work. In the stories that follow, there will be excitement, adventure, danger, and love, but there will be one overriding principal in them all. Honesty. Dive in and enjoy yourself, it will be a great ride. ~ Ervin Tibbs

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Celestial Raven Anthology

Many of you know that I have four published books so far, but what you might not realize is that I have been editor for an anthology. I enjoyed the process so much I am planning another anthology. This will not officially be associated with any organization. It is an idea I had for an anthology and it is a collection that I would read. I invite all writers to submit stories they feel would fit. Feel free to share with anyone you feel might be interested.

Prompt: There is a carnival that appears overnight in a field somewhere in the Midwest. You know the kind…there is something off about it…something wrong. It wasn’t there yesterday. Your character(s) visit the carnival, and encounter the mysterious Celestial Raven whose role at the carnival is unclear…she may be a mystic…she may be the owner or manager…she may be evil or good…and she may very well be the soul of the carnival itself. Your Character(s) must experience something odd or strange or unexplainable…light or dark…and they must end up at or on their way to the funhouse. Your story should be complete and have an ending, but then get your characters to the funhouse. 

Stories should be no longer than 3500 words.

Deadline for submission is July 31st 2016

Stories must follow the writing prompt.

Stories must be in standard story format: 1″ margins…double spaced…indented chapters…etc.

Bill Wilbur will choose the final stories to be included in the anthology.

Payment is one contributor’s copy and a significant discount on extra copies.

Submissions should be in the form of an email attachment as a .doc/.docx file. Submit stories to gnubill@yahoo.com

Editor will not significantly change your work, with the exception of punctuation.

Submit only your best work. Correct grammar and spelling is appreciated. All genres considered.  You may or may not receive feedback. If the story isn’t ready, don’t send it.

Late submissions will not be accepted.

Acceptance/ rejection notification will be emailed.

Questions should be submitted to gnubill@yahoo.com

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We Are on the Air

Recently, I was interviewed on LA Talk Radio. The show is called The Writer’s Block and once a week they discuss writing with authors. The show can be informative as authors discuss their process and discipline. They discuss all manner of things related to writing and it is always a fun and lively show. I brought Rey Ramirez along with me to the studio. Rey is the producer who is working tirelessly to bring my book, SARAGOSA to the big screen. We had great fun and the hour went by far too quickly. Host Bobbi Jean Bell and I have known each other more than ten years, but rarely get the time to see each other. So I had a blast talking with an old friend about writing and movies and the like. Here is a link to the interview:

CHWG Podcast

I am often interviewed by various writer’s groups across the country. It is always a good time and I am always encouraged to find an active group. Many people call themselves writers, but it has been my experience that most don’t do the actual writing. Coffee House Writers Group is well over 2,000 members and most are actively writing. J Bryan Jones is an intelligent and fun host who is serious about the craft. We spoke about the process of writing, the importance of language, what motivates us to write, and all manner of very important things. Below you will find the link to the podcast. J Bryan Jones has about a ten minute introduction about who he is and what he is about and then the interview kicks in. Give it a listen and let me know what you think, and if you are interested in writing, follow the CHWG’s Podcast.

Permanent: A Play

Because of the success of Saragosa: The Stage Play, I was approached by the drama teacher of my old high school the following year. She asked if I would consider writing an original play for her senior drama class. I was honored and we scheduled a time for me to go in and meet the kids. We sat around in a circle on the floor and tossed around a few ideas that I had. There were eleven students; eight girls and three boys. we discussed doing another western, a detective noir, and a comedy. Each idea had its supporters, but ultimately we decided on the comedy…but one with a message. Thus PERMANENT: A PLAY was born. It is a play written in two acts that can be performed in an hour as per the school’s request.

PERMANENT: A PLAY centers around the rock star known as PERMANENT, an androgynous musician whose identity and gender are hidden from the world. The president of PERMANENT’S fan club is a teen girl who, along with her sister discover that PERMANENT has checked themselves into the local mental health facility for a rest and the girls devise a plan to get admitted to the facility and try to uncover the rock star to the world. They meet an array of colorful, slightly disturbed characters and finally discover the truth. Available for purchase here!

The Characters of Permanent: The Stage Play

 

PERMANENT(THE ROCK STAR)

Permanent is an androgynous rock star whose identity and gender have been purposely hidden from the world and has been rumored to have checked themselves into a mental hospital for a break from celebrity

ALICIA

Alicia is the older of two sisters who is obsessed with PERMANENT and devises a way to sneak into the mental institution to discover her idol’s gender and identity

BECKY

Becky is the younger sister who goes along with the plan, and is a bit off kilter

PARENTS

The girls’ parents, who don’t share their girls’ obsession

NURSE JONES

Nurse Jones is the harried authority figure for the institution and in over her head a bit

NOSY

Nosy is the jaded long-term patient who befriends the sisters

MENTAL MAN

Mental Man is a patient who believes he is a super hero, but doesn’t know what his super power is yet

Mr. PRESIDENT

President is a patient who believes he is the POTUS

HUSH

Hush is a shy girl who doesn’t speak

BACKWARD

Backward is a girl who only walks backward

ZERO

Zero is a girl who believes that people wear masks to hide their true selves, and she seems to have lost her hamster.

NURSE TWO

Nurse Two is a support to Nurse Jones