John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

You Can Sleep Over in This 130-Year-Old Library

By Emma Cubellis|January 18, 2019

Have you ever dreamt of spending a night in a cozy library? Gladstone’s Library in Northern Wales, UK is making those dreams come true. This 130-year-old library doubles as an adorable bed and breakfast — as well as a retreat for writers, readers, and curious thinkers.
Gladstone’s Library, named after William Gladstone, houses the former UK politician’s personal collection of 150,000 books. Before his death, Gladstone wished that his collection of books be made available to the public, and that the library he proudly owned be transformed into a haven for writers and thinkers to engage in intelligent and stimulating discussion.

One-hundred and thirty years later, the library has fulfilled the goal set out by Gladstone and is a place where thinkers can both stay and learn. The library has 26 boutique style rooms, and each comes with its own collection of books. Guests can stay at the library for one short night, or months at a time!
It wouldn’t be hard to stay at Gladstone’s for months with their incredible array of activities. The library is famous for their ‘Writers in Residence’ program, in which Gladstone’s hosts prestigious writers for several months to teach courses. These course offerings include workshops like ‘The Art of The Short Story’ and ‘Writing Animals’. Courses proffer attendees the chance to learn from – and write alongside – authors while gaining invaluable feedback about their work. The best part? Courses are open to anyone at any skill level!
If you find yourself lucky enough to be at Gladstone’s in either November or February not only will you be able to go to an amazing class, but you’ll also be able to attend Hearth. Hearth is a daylong, biannual event where attendees sit around the library’s cozy fire with four distinguished authors. Authors share tips and tricks of the trade, like how to get your work published. Then, together, the group writes, reads, and critiques one another’s pieces.
If you find yourself feeling a bit peckish after all the writing and reading, then grab yourself some Food For Thought. Food For Thought, Gladstone’s Library’s bistro, offers locally sourced food from the surrounding Welsh villages, all homemade daily for guests. In addition to their delicious daily offerings, the bistro also hosts classic Afternoon Tea Monday through Friday and traditional Celtic lunch on Sundays so customers can get a taste of classic Welsh cuisine.

So what are you waiting for? Great food, opportunities to learn, and the chance to sleep nestled amongst books await you in the Welsh countryside!

What a wonderful face!

Portrait of the Singer Alexandra Molas, 1883, Ilya Repin

Words are the writers business

Cumulate and its far more common relative accumulate both come from the Latin word cumulare, meaning "to heap up." Cumulare, in turn, comes from cumulus, meaning "mass." (Cumulus functions as an English word in its own right as well. It can mean "heap" or "accumulation," or it can refer to a kind of dense puffy cloud with a flat base and rounded outlines.) Cumulate and accumulate overlap in meaning, but you're likely to find cumulatemostly in technical contexts. The word's related adjective, cumulative, however, is used more widely.

Art and love

Art and love are the same thing: It’s the process of seeing yourself in things that are not you. 
Chuck Klosterman, Killing Yourself to Live: 85% of a True Story 



PlayFest 2019 will present readings of seven new plays during two weekends at the beginning of November 2019 in the Margeson Theater at Orlando Shakes. Each reading receives about 20 hours of rehearsal time with professional actors, director and a public reading–all with the playwright in attendance.


Seeking Short Plays: Comedic, absurd, dramatic, satirical, farcical, musical, etc. are all welcome for review. Works for actors of all ages (children thru seniors) and abilities are strongly encouraged. Selected plays will be performed at Theatre 82 in Cranston, Rhode Island from July 11-27, 2019


East Valley Children’s Theatre is searching for aspiring playwrights to become a part of the theatre’s future seasons of performances. The first place entry will receive a $500 cash prize, a stipend for travel, and will be produced by East Valley Children’s Theatre in its upcoming season, if it meets all the criteria for performance. Second and third place winners will be announced and recognized.

*** For more information about these and other opportunities see the web site at http://www.nycplaywrights.org ***

*** Romantic Comedy ***

Romantic comedy (also known as the portmanteaus romedy or romcom) is a genre with light-hearted, humorous plotlines centered on romantic ideas, such as how true love is able to surmount most obstacles.[1] One dictionary definition is "a funny movie, play, or television program about a love story that ends happily".[2] Another definition suggests that its "primary distinguishing feature is a love plot in which two sympathetic and well-matched lovers are united or reconciled".[3]


The Rom-Com Renaissance Is Here Thanks To Netflix

At some point in the past seven years, we forgot how to love. At least, that’s what you might think if you walked into a movie theater. Romantic comedies — true romantic comedies — have slowly dwindled from the marquee. The groundwork laid by writers like Nora Ephron and John Hughes in the '80s and '90s endured into the early 2000s. Audiences could rely on a steady stream of rom-coms making its way through cinemas every couple of months, and the genre could rely on them to show up. Now-classics like You’ve Got Mail, Bridget Jones's Diary, and The Holiday all held their own at the box office, and stayed in cultural rotation thanks to their frequent appearances on cable TV, where unsuspecting channel surfers were sitting ducks. In fact, if you were to name your favorite romantic comedy, it’s likely it came out when you could still rent it at Blockbuster.



It's not a coincidence you haven't seen the sensitive jock in movies as much as you used to. That's because our entertainment—for many reasons—has by and large abandoned the romantic comedy, a genre that dominated theaters for decades and serves as the primary home for these types of guys. In 2013 The Hollywood Reporter officially declared the romantic comedy dead, noting studios are prioritizing films that can be "sequelized" and translate overseas (i.e., big-budget superhero blockbusters or anything with "Jurassic" in the title).



Engaging Shaw is a fun-loving romp of a parlor comedy that hits its mark at Best Medicine.  The script by John Morogiello imagines one of the truly most gifted social writers in history confronted with the embodiment of everything he has railed against, in the form of a woman who seems tailor made to fit him to a tee.

Sworn bachelor, known for causing women to swoon with adoration, the notorious George B. would flirt brazenly with no intention of anything more than an air kiss if that. Then here comes the lovely no nonsense Charlotte Payne-Townshend played winningly by Rebecca A. Herron who crosses paths with him, literally, while riding her bike.  



A forerunner to the Romantic Comedy genre by William Shakespeare, the plot of Much Ado About Nothing centers on two couples: Hero and Claudio, whom the villain Don John spends the play trying to drive apart, and Beatrice and Benedick, whom most of the other characters spend the play trying to bring together.

Like all of Shakespeare's plays, it is much-adapted. Some of those adaptations include:
Beatrice and Benedict, an opera by Hector Berlioz.

A 1993 film directed by Kenneth Branagh, featuring Branagh as Benedict, Emma Thompson as Beatrice, and an All-Star Cast that included Denzel Washington, Keanu Reeves, Michael Keaton, and Kate Beckinsale.

In 2011, Digital Theatre produced a filmed stage version starring former Doctor Who cast-mates David Tennant and Catherine Tate as Benedick and Beatrice.

Also in 2011, on vacation from filming The Avengers (2012), Joss Whedon shot a shoestring-budget adaptation of his own in his house, which premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival and was released in June of 2013 to much critical praise.

A Setting Update Vlog on Youtube entitled Nothing Much To Do, which puts the characters in a New Zealand High School.



Study: Rom-Coms Could Save Your Marriage

Watching and discussing romantic movies is roughly as effective as couples therapy in reducing the divorce rate among newlyweds, according to a University of Rochester study published in December's Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. Researchers looked at 174 couples over the first three years of their marriage, when one in four couples divorces. Couples were randomly assigned to one of three month-long programs — conflict management, compassion training, or movie-and-talk — as a kind of secular surrogate for the marriage-preparation classes offered by churches. The conflict-management and compassion-training groups required about twenty hours of therapist-supervised lectures and practice sessions, whereas movie-and-talk required half as much time, involved watching movies, and was almost entirely done at home. But all three groups halved the divorce rate of the control group, from 24 percent to 11 percent. 

Their conclusion? People already know how to fix their relationship problems, they just need the excuse to think and talk about them…“


Film scholars generally explain the screwball comedy genre as cinema’s answer to rising divorce rates and changing gender roles in the wake of modernization and women’s suffrage (Mizejewski 34)[2], but why was screwball the answer? And why does the genre, which reached its height during the Great Depression, allow its heroines greater power to fulfill their desires than many of today’s rom-coms?

Compare Bringing Up Baby (1938), in which an unconventional woman convinces a serious man to have more fun, to the more recent Trainwreck(2015), in which a serious man convinces an unconventional woman to have less fun. 

Trainwreck challenges gender roles by placing Amy Schumer in a role usually filled by a male “Brat Pack” character in a Judd Apatow film—that of the hedonistic 20-something whose path to love is paved with a growth in maturity. Showing that women can also enjoy casual sex and marijuana in a media landscape where even the most lauded television shows contain nagging wife tropes,[2] is certainly useful, but the film ends by containing this unruliness. Screwball comedies, by contrast, not only feature unruly women as a key element of the genre, but also uses their unruliness to fuel the jokes, the narratives, and the romantic relationships of these films. Though not entirely radical—happiness still must equal marriage—screwball creates a world driven by female desire and agency, safely couched but undeniably present in its zany humor.



Julia Roberts Says She Shouldn’t Star in Rom-Coms Anymore

A modest proposal for Roberts: please reconsider!

...Roberts certainly hasn’t turned her back on the genre—and she doesn’t mean to imply that, at 50, she believes she’s too old for these sorts of movies. “I love them,” Roberts said of rom-coms. “I love to be in them, I love to watch them. But sometimes they just don’t work at a certain point of life experience. It’s not even about age; it’s just about what people know, that you know.”


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Good writing

The power of a glance has been so much abused in love stories, that it has come to be disbelieved in. Few people dare now to say that two beings have fallen in love because they have looked at each other. Yet it is in this way that love begins, and in this way only.
Victor Hugo

Literary reading, Vladimir Makovsky

Jane Austen

I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it saves me the trouble of liking them a great deal.
Jane Austen, Jane Austen’s Letters