Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Vermont Playwrights Award

Here's an endorsement for Peter Miller's book (review below). Last year when I first flipped through Author!Screenwriter! he got me thinking about being a turn-coat. I knew I wasn't ready to write a screenplay, but maybe I could cross over to the stage. With that in mind I adapted WOLF into two plays and submitted the first for the Vermont Playwrights Award. ThenI did what we writers do best, well, after writing...

I waited.

This morning I got the call.

"Is this Eben? Good news. You won."

Thank you, Vermont's Valley Players of Waitsfield. I look forward to meeting you all at the upcoming production of Cemetery Club and again at the 6/10th Board Meeting. (Mind if I bring champagne?)


At 4:00 PM , Blogger Sheela Wolford said...

By Eben Reilly
US $18

Running with the Woodchucks

By Sheela Wolford

Consider Eben Reilly’s latest young adult novel, “WOLF” as Gabriel Garcia Marquez comes to Vermont. “WOLF” lends itself to a maple syrup magical realism that cracks open the real world of Vermont and two young males coming of age. Co-written by Flatlander (Vermont non-native) mother, Eileen Ressler and Woodchucker (Vermont native) son, Ben Ressler, this heartwarming mystical gripper teases the reader into thinking this will be an urban kid goes to the country tale, and that’s all it is.

Yet the alchemy of change and lush country life erupts as soon as Adam, a Flatlander from Brooklyn, sets foot on a train headed for Vermont to spend the summer with his Uncle Larry and meets Luce, a young lesbian woman, who proves to be his anchor in a summer of wolves, meeting up with his dead father, and feeling the rushing healing of heavy metal music and puppies. And then there’s Shane, a Woodchucker, borne to a father and grandfather who pay honor only to verbal abuse and alcohol. Shane’s mother, a Native American, is missing and his nurturing milk is found in the same bottle his father has learned to suckle from.

Eben Reilly weaves this hallucinogenic tale by giving Adam and Shane their own sections in the novel leaving the reader to wonder how this psychedelic story will come together? But it does, as wonderfully as it appears it won’t. It is Eben Reilly who masterfully lets the novel organically grow and make connections until the reader discovers that he or she has grown, too. And as Shane is freed from the wickedness of shame, so Adam finds solace and answers to his father’s suicide in the fresh Vermont air giving him a new set of lungs and insight.

In the most non-Disney way, the reader is drawn to the flame of a wolf’s spirit rising and duct taped boxes of rock albums, who along with Shane, Luce, and Adam, are all on the “Highway to Hell” and suddenly the mystery makes sense. So come along and meet at the Redemption Center, but leave the syrup for the saps for “WOLF” takes a trip to the other side. And there, indeed, the air does smell better.

Sheela Wolford is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn, New York with her two cats. The mother of two grown daughters, she is working on her first novel set in Texas where the tumbleweeds blow.

At 4:01 PM , Blogger Sheela Wolford said...

Congratulations! Just the beginning. You have the golden touch and no big straws even needed!

At 6:40 PM , Blogger Eben Reilly said...


What greater love hath a friend for a friend than to

a) purchase her book
b) read her book
c) (as if that weren't enough)
write a review of her book...

I look fwd to reciprocating.

Write on.


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