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Stephen Evans

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Stephen is a playwright and author of The Marriage of True Minds, The Island of Always, Painting Sunsets, A Transcendental Journey, and Funny Thing Is: A Guide to Understanding Comedy

How Plays are Written

The Laughing String ebook cover - a red light wave symbol on the cover.


This is how my plays are written.

I was feeling pretty down today and not at all like writing but I opened the laptop and looked at some of my works in progress. I usually have three or four things working, so I don’t get bored with any one in particular.

I happened to open a one-act play I have been working on, thinking I would just see how far I had gotten the last time. I read the last line I had written and thought of a line in response. Then I thought, well, I better write that one down at least, or I will forget it. So I wrote it down. Then I thought of a response to that line, and I thought, well, I better write that down at least, or I will forget it. Ten pages, later I finally couldn’t think of a response, so I stopped.

This is the kind of in-depth planning characteristic of my work.

Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
That's typical writerly in-depth planning for many! I'm a great believer in writing yourself into the zone, as was Jane Austen, fo... Read More
Tuesday, 01 November 2022 13:56
Stephen Evans
I have always tried to do the first draft as fast as possible - knowing there are many more to come.
Tuesday, 01 November 2022 22:22
363 Hits

Along the Way

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I have posted some pictures from my trip across America, along with excerpts from the book (A Transcendental Journey Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Edition). Here are the links (in order) in case you missed any:


Twenty-Fifth Anniversary

Speculative Men



Unfamiliar States


The Walls of the World


The Virtual Aggregation


Rocks of Ages

Full Many a Flower

A Wink of the Universal Eye

Devils Tower

The Anthropomorphic Life

The Retrograde River

The Best Camera

Desperation Point


The Gifts of the Wizard

The High Ground

Russell Stover

Every End is a Beguinning

Recent Comments
Thank you, Steve.
Wednesday, 19 October 2022 12:38
Ken Hartke
I have the 20th. Misplaced it. Found it. Enjoyed it. Now I have pictures, too. Journeys call back to us. I retrace mine every fe... Read More
Wednesday, 19 October 2022 22:05
Stephen Evans
They do. Thank you Ken. 55 years is quote a journey!
Thursday, 20 October 2022 01:21
316 Hits

The Anatomy of Morning Coffee


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First, there is water.

I don’t want to waste my morning coffee taking pills.

Then coffee, often carafe-aged for 24 hours, because I don’t drink a whole pot in a day. A dash of fat free half and half, then 1 minute in the microwave.

My parents drank Luzianne coffee with chicory sold in cylindrical metal containers, though as far as I know they had never been to New Orleans. Later, they drank Folgers decaf in large green plastic containers that looked like laundry detergent. It cost less, and by then money was tighter.

My mother drank hers in the morning, hot, from a cup that said Tennessee is Udderly Delightful. She had bought it on a road trip with her best friend Ann to Asheville, North Carolina, which meandered over the Smoky Mountains into Gatlinsburg, Tennessee.

My father drank his hot in the morning, then cold the rest of the day. In the summer when I was growing up, he would have a large mason jar filled with ice and coffee as he was mowing what little grass he could get to grow in our yard. Later, he had a tiny purple cup that held less than most coffee cups. I don’t know why he drank from that—it shall remain a mystery to the end of days. But it was easy to knock over, of which the coffee stains on the carpet are evidentiary proof.

I like to drink my coffee, hottish, from clear glass cups, so I can watch the cream swirl into the darker liquid. I find the patterns endlessly fascinating, a metaphor for something, though I haven’t yet figured out what. If I ever go back to college, I will study fluid dynamics. Unless there is math. Then maybe art history.

I never drank coffee until I got married, and my wife made it in the morning. But it didn’t become important to me until we moved to Minneapolis with its wonderful coffee shops. Eventually, I left Minneapolis, but coffee (if little else) stayed with me.

Coffee is a leitmotif in my short novel The Marriage Gift. Here is an example:

James walks over to the vendor. There is no line.


Two what?

James looks at the sign.

Two coffees.

The Vendor shakes his head.

We don’t have coffee.

James looks at the sign again.

It says COFFEE.

The vendor shrugs.

It's a fluid market.

James looks at the sign once more.


Coffee is a fluid.

Actually coffee is a suspension and an emulsion.

James considers this information.

It's not helpful.

My novels are a compendium of perspective just like this.

I used to drink whatever coffee caught my eye at the grocery store. Now I order Community Coffee off the internet. I imagine it tastes better. Perhaps it does. There is expertise in most things in life, not to be disregarded.

Once I mistakenly ordered whole bean coffee instead of ground. Then I had to order a coffee grinder, which cost much more than buying new coffee. I eventually decided that the enticing aroma of newly ground coffee was not worth waking everyone for four blocks around me. So I am once more grounded.

The ritual of morning coffee is a celebration of living. Dionysian in intensity. Apollonian in joy. One more night is over. One more day is given.

Morning coffee is also an allegory of life.





Image courtesy of rahulsankraft on









Recent Comments
Rosy Cole
I seem to remember that The Marriage Gift features an irksome toaster with even greater prominence. Just shows how our breakfast r... Read More
Monday, 10 October 2022 16:17
Stephen Evans
Yes - a treacherous toaster that ruined a marriage. So true! ... Read More
Monday, 10 October 2022 17:47
Rosy Cole
Sunday, 16 October 2022 13:19
972 Hits

Twenty-Fifth Anniversary

Twenty-five years ago, I left home on a cross-country road trip that somehow changed the direction of my life. 

A Transcendental Journey was the first book I wrote, though not the first published. From time to time, I have shared some excerpts here with my Green Room friends. The Twenty-Fifth Anniversary Edition, with a new afterword, is available today.

I’m grateful for those who in one way or another kept me going, and especially for those who pointed the way.


Jackson Lake 3 cropped 2

Recent Comments
What a great way to document your memories, reflections and insights about a journey of discovery on many levels. We hope this boo... Read More
Tuesday, 13 September 2022 14:41
Virginia M Macasaet
25 years! Takes me back to the early start of my own personal journey... You've come this far, I can too! :-)
Tuesday, 13 September 2022 23:57
Stephen Evans
No doubt!
Wednesday, 14 September 2022 00:24
378 Hits

Writing For Life

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Latest Comments

Stephen Evans The Art Of Life
16 March 2023
No doubt!
Rosy Cole The Art Of Life
16 March 2023
Inclined to think, though, that canvas will outlast film and digital in memory and in fact.
Stephen Evans The Art Of Life
15 March 2023
Yes there is a completely different feel about it - that is one of the aspects if his work that impr...
Rosy Cole The Art Of Life
14 March 2023
A magnificent accomplishment, technically more so than the one above, I feel. We can zoom in digital...
Stephen Evans The Art Of Life
13 March 2023
I like his rural paintings, but I also like his Paris paintings, like this one:https://www.metmuseum...