THIS week, I am on a writing retreat at Quarry Farm, the Langdon Family's summer retreat in Elmira, NY where Sam Clemens did most of his best writing (although I do like to think he did his fair share in Hartford). The house (pictured above) is only open to Twain scholars working on Twain projects, so I proposed that I do a reworking of Twain's flop play COLONEL SELLERS AS A SCIENTIST, co-written with William Dean Howells, editor of the Atlantic and a dramatist in his own right. Yes, Mark Twain and W.D. Howells are my co-writers. My update will have a Steampunk/Zombie theme and is being called COLONEL SELLERS: REANIMATOR, on which I hope to collaborate with Steampunk legend Joey Marsocci, a.k.a. Dr. Grymm.
I am already about 30 pages into this play and I am only on Day #2 of the retreat. After COLONEL SELLERS, I will work on a commission for Asylum Hill Congregational Church, the Clemens Family's place of worship in Hartford, based on Twain's religious writings. This, of course, will all be accomplished if I do not tipple too much with the caretaker of Quarry Farm and don't find another bat flying around my temporary home!