Captain Spaulding on Skull Island

RIP Bill Paxton

February 26th, 2017

I’ve never thought of Bill Paxton as one of my favorite actors, but he sure was in a lot of great movies.

He was also an excellent director.  His film FRAILTY is terrific and one of his only other directorial efforts is the video for “Fish Heads.”

Rest in peace to the only actor to be killed by the Terminator, an Alien and a Predator.

Some favorite Bill Paxton movies:

Streets of Fire, 1984

The Terminator, 1984

Aliens, 1986

Near Dark, 1987

One False Move, 1992

Tombstone, 1993

Frailty, 2001

Hatfields & McCoys, 2012

Edge of Tomorrow, 2014

Nightcrawler, 2014


Did you know that every February Gumbo Fiction Salon does a special Mardis Gras show?

And this year, in that special Mardis Gras Show, they’re going to feature a reading of five of my short New Orleans plays?

“Alligator Whiskey at the Neon Cypress”

“Fire-Belly Beignets at the Neon Cypress”

“Spirits of the Swamp at the Neon Cypress”

“Jug Band Blues at the Neon Cypress”

“Fat Tuesday Fabian at the Neon Cypress”

Mardis Gras at the Neon Cypress Roadhouse will feature Philip S. Bloch, Taylor Humphries, Alice Liddell & Maria Schrater.

There will also be an Open Mic!

And a raffle!!

And you can buy the excellent food and drink that Galway Arms Serves!!!

Thursday February 9 at 7:00 – Galway Arms – 2442 N. Clark in Chicago



The nice people at Out Of The Gutter Online have published my holiday short story “Molotov Cocktails on Chimney Cake Lane” as part of their Twelve Daze of Christmas.



Happy Holidays!  Here’s a short play I wrote for the festivities.


(Lights up.

The Neon Cypress, a roadhouse down by the swamps.  There are a couple of signs advertising Abita beer and Old Crow whiskey.  Cajun Christmas music plays on the jukebox.  JUVENAL tends bar and looks like he’s been tending bar here for several decades.  WALLY sits at the bar, an abiding barfly.  After a moment, ALICE enters. She is in her early-twenties and attractive in a wild way.  She carries a log.)


Got it!


Look at that there – As fine a pagan tradition as I ever did see.


Found it over by the Black Willow Cascade.  It should burn just fine.


Light it and don’t let it go out.

(ALICE puts the log into a barbecue grill that the Neon Cypress uses as an impromptu fireplace.)


What’s the point of a Yule log, anyway?  I never did know.


It’s bad luck to let it go out.


‘Round about these parts, the stories go back year after year about the Yule-Gator.


Is this one of those ridiculous swamp legends you like to tell?


Legend – yes, ridiculous – no.  This happens every year around this season.  Now-a-times we call it the Eve of Christmas, but, long ago, it was just Winterpeak.  On Winterpeak, from out of the coldest, deepest, darkest part of the swamp, came the biggest alligator the bayou ever seen – the Yule-Gator.


The Yule-Gator?


That’s right, to be sure.


Let me guess, the Yule-Gator roams the countryside with nary a care in the world, gobbling up all the bad little boys and girls.


That’s it!  That’s what he does!  Grown people, too!  The Yule-Gator goes after anybody that’s done somethin’ in the last year that they was ashamed of.


That don’t narrow the field too much, does it?


Long as a fallen tree that grew for a hundred years, heavier than all the marsh-mud that could be dredged up by ten thousand men – he has eyes like frozen hearts and claws like insults from an ex-lover.  His teeth are so long and sharp that…


We get it!  He’s a nasty dude.


That he is, surely.  The only thing that keeps that ornery monster away from people trying to love each other is the light and the warmth of a Yule log burning.  People sit around that fire together and that kind of comradery gives them safety and protection from things that mean to do them harm.


It’s bad luck to let it go out.


Okay – so that’s the point of a Yule log.  Keeps away the Yule-Gator.  I guess now I know.


Light it and don’t let it go out.



(ALICE searches her pockets for matches or a lighter.  She finds nothing.)


Looks like I’m all out of fire tonight, fellas.

(JUVENAL and WALLY both search their pockets.)


I ain’t got nothin’.

(WALLY makes a gesture to indicate “Me, neither.”)


So, how do we want to handle this?

(Something starts scratching at the door to the tavern, something that sounds very large and full of ill will.)


That him?  That the Yule-Gator?


It ain’t Father Christmas.


How ‘bout that.

(They listen to the scratching for a brief moment.)


Got any ideas on getting’ rid of him?


Either of you done anything in the last year that you’re ashamed of?


Nope!  I live fine with the stuff I do.


Me neither!  All year I’ve been lit and I didn’t let it go out.


Me, too.  My guilt is pretty inconsiderable.  (Calling.) You hear that, Yule-Gator?  No shame here!  No need for you!  Go on, Gator!  Git!

(The scratching at the door ceases.)


Back to the coldest, deepest, darkest part of the swamp he goes!

(JUVENAL pours three drinks and raises his glass in a toast.)


To the holidays and tradition!

(JUVENAL, ALICE and WALLY all drink.)


Anybody got any stories about eggnog?

(Lights down.)

A Mitchum in Every Stocking

December 12th, 2016

Tomorrow night December 13, come see (and maybe perform) a reading of my holiday monologue “A Mitchum in Every Stocking.”  It’s part of The Make Ready, which is done every other month by the good people at Dandelion Theatre.

Here are the details:

Tuesday, December 13


The Make Ready

Featuring “A Mitchum in Every Stocking” by John Weagly and other short scripts by other talented playwrights.

Vagabond School of the Arts

4001 N. Ravenswood, 5th floor


Presented by Dandelion Theatre.


Happy 100th Kirk Douglas!

December 9th, 2016

Happy 100th birthday Kirk Douglas! Here are a dozen Douglas movies to celebrate with:

Out of the Past, 1947
Champion, 1949
Ace in the Hole, 1951
Detective Story, 1951
The Bad and the Beautiful, 1952
20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, 1954
Lust for Life, 1956
Paths of Glory, 1957
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, 1957
The Vikings, 1958
Spartacus, 1960
Lonely Are The Brave, 1962


I’ll be hosting a round table discussion about playwrighting at the “So You Want To Be An Author” Seminar presented by the Myth-Ink: SFFH Writers of Columbia College this Sunday November 13.  I’ll be talking about writing plays, sending scripts the theaters and all sorts of other playwrighty stuff.

If you’re so inclined, check it out.  It’s FREE!

Tina L. Jens, a professor at Columbia, uses my short play collection TINY FLIGHTS OF FANTASY as a textbook in her class “Fantasy Genre Writing.”  You can purchase TINY FLIGHTS OF FANTASY here.

Here are the details on the seminar:

Myth-Ink: SFFH Writers of Columbia College presents

So You Want To Be An Author

A professional development seminar

Sunday, November 13

11:00am to 5:00pm

Columbia College – 1104 S. Wabash in Chicago

Myth-Ink, the student science fiction, fantasy, and horror writing organization, is putting on So You Want to Be An Author, a one-day professional development seminar and Immersion Event in partnership with the Career Center. This seminar will focus tightly on real-world advice about the publishing industry: how to break into it and how to advance a burgeoning career.

So You Want To Be An Author is being held in conjunction with the Chicago Book Expo, which will have three other tracks of panels, along with an Expo Hall. All events are free and open to the public.


Table Tennis Terrors

October 31st, 2016


I know what you’re thinking – “I hate this time of year! I get so sick and tired of all of the ping pong Halloween plays.”

Sorry – here’s another one.

I wrote this short little ditty for a fundraiser that Promethean Theatre Ensemble was doing at a ping pong bar.  Check Promethean out – they do good work!

And then the incredibly talented Greg Owens was kind enough to post a recording of the script on his HIGH COUNTRY DRAMA podcast.

It features me and Brian Pastor.

Here it is – the table tennis terrors of… “Table Tennis Terrors.”

Happy Halloween!


Tomorrow night (Tuesday 10/11) my short Halloween play “Oscillating Sasquatch” will receive a staged reading by the good people at Dandelion Theatre as part of their THE MAKE READY.

Goth-punk-hillbilly girls robbing a grave – what could be better!

Tuesday, October 11


Dandelion Theatre’s THE MAKE READY

Featuring “Oscillating Sasquatch”

The Galway Arms

2442 N. Clark – Chicago

Come see “Jesus Saves” by Eoin Carney, a very funny short play that I’m directing for Otherworld Theatre’s PARAGON Play Festival.  It features the out-of-this-world talents of Conor Clark and Martha Reddick.

PARAGON is a short-play festival dedicated to furthering Otherworld’s mission of growing the genre of Science Fiction and Fantasy Theatre through the discovery and promotion of new artists and works.

This wonderful festival will feature 40 Plays in 2 Days.

Here are the details:

Sunday, October 2 at 3:10

“Jesus Saves” by Eoin Carney

directed by John Weagly

featuring Conor Clark & Martha Reddick

The Public House Theatre

3914 N. Clark Street in Chicago

Block Tickets for the festival (from break to break) can be purchased at the door for $7.

Day Passes are $15.

Weekend Passes are $22.


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