The Best Gift Your Writing Has Ever Received...

December 13, 2013

We asked our authors the question, "What is the best gift your writing has ever received?" Below are three of the replies...

Patrick Gabridge tells us:

When I graduated from college, intending to pursue a writing career, my parents gave me an engraved sheet of glass that read: "There are three rules for successful writing. Unfortunately, no one knows that they are." --Somerset Maugham.

In one gift they were able to show their acceptance of my aspirations of becoming a writer (I'd started out studying computer science), and showed me that they understood that the path I was taking was poorly defined and I'd have to figure it out on my own, and that was okay.

I'm still figuring it out. And they still think it's all right that I'm a writer.

Kelly DuMar offers this story:

A year ago in December I ordered eight copies of my one-act play, The Adventures of Rocky & Skye, which had recently been published [by YouthPLAYS] in hard copy. My characters, Rocky and Skye and their pals, Ratani and Grant, were inspired by diary entries I had written to my three children when they were young. While I was developing the script, I recruited my daughter, various nieces and nephews and a few young friends to stage excerpts, including a summer show we performed on Martha’s Vineyard. For Christmas last year, I gave a wrapped copy of the script to each of the families of the kids (well into their teens at this point) who had helped. When my sister-in-law opened her copy, my niece Meg grabbed it out of her hands and begged for her own copy. I was surprised and touched to see the lasting impression playing Skye had left on Meg. If her reaction was the only feedback I ever got on Rocky & Skye, it would have been enough!

And Barbara Lindsay shares with us:

My writing has been given so many incredible gifts - talented actors and directors, some awards and prizes, many splendid productions - but I have to say that the best gift has to be my first mentor and teacher. When I was just starting to explore playwriting, I happened to cross paths with a UCLA professor who was putting together a group of emerging playwrights. He taught us all the basic elements of dramatic storytelling, always holding us to a rigorous standard in our work. I learned so much from him and from the other members of the group, a core of whom ended up staying together for about 17 years, even after the death of our founder. I am so very grateful to the late Dr. Jerry Fey for his insights, his clarity, and for connecting me to a community of playwrights whom I respect and adore. I am a hundred times the writer I would have been if I had had to flop about on my own without Jerry's guidance and support.

Thank you to Patrick, Kelly, and Barbara for sharing these gifts with us, and our best to everyone this holiday season. Please also read "Part Two" of the Writing Gifts blog (coming soon) to learn more about even more YouthPLAYS authors.

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