Probably thirty years ago, right out of the blue, I received an email from a young filmmaker at UCLA. He requested permission to make a short film based on my flash fiction story “At Confession.”
Then several years later, so maybe fifteen or twenty years ago, a different filmmaker wrote me with the same request. And it was about the same story. How cool is that?
So imagine my thrill when lightning struck for the third time early this morning. Oh, and if you’re a lover of classical music, you’re going to like this.
Have you ever heard of Stanley Grill?
I hadn’t, yet the man is a composer whose music “has been performed the world over – from Ecuador to Poland; Toulouse to Tokyo; Brooklyn to Vienna – by such artists as Camerata Philadelphia, Camerata Arkos, Duo+ Ensemble, Englewinds, the Pandolfis Consort, Diderot Quartet, the Bronx Arts Ensemble, One World Symphony, violists Brett Deubner and Ralph Farris, and violinist Jorge Avila.”
To be honest, I had never heard of any of those artists either. But then, like most of us, I stay in my niche, or niches.
I can talk writing in any of three forms: long fiction, short fiction or poetry. I can talk military in two forms: Vietnam War era specifics and particular aspects of the US Marine Corps that never change (discipline, code of conduct, honor, and more). And those are pretty much my main niches.
I enjoy some classical music, but not to the point that I can even match a composition to a composer. On the other hand, I can, if offered the title of a poem, name the poet most of the time.
That niche thing again.
Composer Stanley Grill emailed me. In part his email read “Dear Mr. Stanbrough, I am a composer. Recently, I’ve been on a hunt for contemporary villanelles, as I’m starting to compose a song cycle, for small chorus, using the villanelle as a common thread. While on this hunt, I came across your poem ‘Roses?’ and would like to obtain your permission to include it in the cycle.”
INSETIf you aren’t sure what a villanelle is, see https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/text/villanelle-poetic-form. (Perhaps the most well-known villanelle is Dylan Thomas’s “Do Not Go Gentle into That Good Night.”)
I responded (of course) that I would be honored, a phrase I do not use lightly. There is no greater payment than a request from an artist to include my work in a new composition, whatever the artistic genre. Certainly there are more useful payments — for example, actual money is good — but none greater.
Now perhaps a film producer will pop into my inbox sometime with an email that reads, “Dear Mr. Stanbrough, I am a Hollywood producer. It seems historical action-adventure westerns are making a comeback, and I recently stumbled across your excellent series about Wes Crowley. May I….”
Yeah. I’d be honored AND giggly.
I finally finished coding and installing a new Become a Patron page on both websites. There are four levels — Patron, Patron Plus, Patron Writer and Patron Saint — and each has a stack of rewards beneath it.
Take a look if you’re interested. The pages are identical on both sites.
I thought about setting up a Patreon page, but I’m not going to do that. I’d rather work directly with the few who follow me.
I have to ask, please don’t send me any liberal political commentary, either in comments on my websites or in personal emails. How and what you believe is up to you, as well it should be. But the First Amendment does not come with a clause that guarantees an audience. Thanks.
To learn a bit about composer Stanley Grill, see https://www.stangrillcomposer.com/.
To learn a bit more about yours truly back when I was labeled (by others) a “New Formalist,” see http://www.webexhibits.org/poetry/explore_classic_villanelle_make.html.
Wow. See “Five Shots At Your Own Sales” at https://www.deanwesleysmith.com/five-shots-at-your-own-sales/. Read it carefully. Twice.
Fiction Words: XXXX
Nonfiction Words: 670 (Journal)
So total words for the day: 670
Writing of “”
Day 1…… XXXX words. Total words to date…… XXXX
Total fiction words for the month……… XXXX
Total fiction words for the year………… 453762
Total nonfiction words for the month… 3930
Total nonfiction words for the year…… 179483
Total words for the year (fiction and this blog)…… 633245
Calendar Year 2017 Novels to Date………………………… 9
Novels (since Oct 19, 2014)………………………………………… 27
Novellas (since Nov 1, 2015)……………………………………… 4
Short stories (since Apr 15, 2014)……………………………… 182