This all started with the election of Pope Francis.
I was sitting at home watching the coverage of the Papal Conclave (for how could I not? It's fun for history nerds, religion nerds, and regeneration-loving Whovians alike). Chris Matthews was providing the commentary, and he somehow had convinced himself that after over three decades, the papacy would once again be entrusted to an Italian cardinal. So certain was he of this, so enraptured was he of this notion of being in St. Peter's Square in Rome when the papacy came back to Italy, that he was utterly flummoxed when it was announced that Argentina's Cardinal Bergoglio had become the new Pope. "What could this mean?" he wondered at considerable length.
Now, I'm not Catholic. I'm not a particularly devout anything. But I'm informed enough in religious and world affairs to have wanted to shout back an answer to Mr. Matthews. "Isn't it obvious? In Latin America, the major rival to the Catholic Church, its major competitor for worshipers, is the Conservative Evangelical Christian movement! What this means is that we're going to see a return to a more ecumenical, conventionally liberal form of Christianity on the part of the Church! One that stresses the actual teachings of the New Testament - of loving our neighbors as ourselves, of caring for the outcasts among us - and downplays the kind of extreme focus on social issues that's been driving it for so long! One that moves away from the kind of 'Prosperity Gospel' that's so prominent in America, and goes back to that whole 'Blessed Are The Poor' thing! You know, the stuff that's actually written in the Bible!"
And as I sat there, yelling at Chris Matthews, a thought occurred to me. What if this exact same schism - between an ecumenical and a charismatic approach, between seeking to understand the meaning of a holy text and trying to live by its precepts, and using it as a springboard for a highly personal and highly distorted personal mythology - happened with the most ridiculous book imaginable?
What if it happened, let's say, with a YA paranormal romance series about teenagers who were the magically gifted human descendents of dragons?
Well, after months of thought and research and prep work and drafting, that question resulted in a play called Dragon's Breath. Which I submitted to the New York International Fringe Festival.
And two weeks ago, I was informed that it had been accepted.
So, brace yourself, everybody. Between August 8-24th, 2014, Dragon's Breath is going to be performed as part of FringeNYC, marking my professional playwriting debut.
Quite frankly, I have no idea how I'm going to do this. But then again, I don't know how to put together a website either - and yet somehow, you're reading this. (Dear gods, I hope somebody's reading this.)
Please consider checking back here from time to time as I let everybody know how this project is coming along. I promise I'll try and make it worth your while.
And thank you, Chris Matthews. Just for being you.