The Hubbard Challenge, or Quickly Down the Rabbit-hole

Writing ChallengeOverture

It all began with a tweet.

I follow an actor by the name in Vince Caso on Twitter. Being a fan of live performances and Mr. Caso’s style, I convinced my wife that it would be fun to go see his performance.

We got into the car and drove up to the L. Ron Hubbard Golden Age Theater in Hollywood, CA (7051 Hollywood Boulevard, for those interested in dropping by). Now, the name struck me as vaguely familiar but it was not until my wife, Katie, reminded me that L Ron Hubbard invented Scientology. Fortunately, this theater was not as much a tribute to Scientology as it was to Hubbard’s commercial literature. (It was brought to my attention later than Hubbard holds two Guinness World Records: The World’s Most Published & Most Translated Author).

Upon arriving, we were greeted very warmly by the ladies at the front desk and whisked back us to the ticket book, where we purchased our general admission tickets for a very reasonable $10/person.

From there we entered the room wherein the stage was located. I must say, the setting was quaint and endearing. Mitch, the bartender, served refreshments while elderly couples snacked on homemade confections at their seats. Everyone in the audience seemed to know each other. It is always nice to see signs of neighborliness where it can be found, especially in a big city such as LA.

Before the main event, a lounge-type singer recited a few lovely show tunes with the help of her talented accompanist & the accompanist’s young daughter. After finishing with a spot on rendition of “Adelaide’s Lament” from the musical, Guys & Dolls, they took a bow and turned the stage over to Mr. Caso & his fellow actors.

Act 1 

The play was done in the style of an old time radio drama. The title of the piece was, “The Slickers,” starring Jimmy Wheldon, Ryan Spick, Bob Caso, and his son, Vince.  The story follows bravado-rich sheriff Tex Larimee as he heads to New York to protect an old friend, only to find that friend murdered and Tex accused of being the man whodunit. Like a boss, by the end of the play Tex manages to clear his name, catch the real culprit, and return back to his native Arizona having outsmarted the entire New York Police Force.

The play is tribute to its genre and the actors performed it beautifully. Mr. Caso, especially, wowed, switching back and forth between 9 different characters without missing a beat. If you are ever craving some fine quality entertainment on a meager budget like mine, I highly recommend that you drop on by and see them go!

Entr’acte

After the performance, we, the audience, were ushered up to the 4th floor of the building, where we were treated to delicious food, provided by the adjacent Vegas Buffet, in a luxurious library housing many of Hubbard’s 1,084 publications (don’t pretend like you’re not impressed). A helpful valet named Marcos was quite eager for us to make the most out of our experience, and Katie and I were most certainly blown away by it, but the best part was yet to come.

I am an unashamed nerd. So, it was to my great delight when Mitch reappeared and showed me over to a wing of the library housing the Writers of the Future exhibit. How I did not know this, I am without words to answer, but apparently WOF holds a semi-annual contest awarding prizes to the best and brightest new writers and illustrators in the sci-fi/fantasy genre. The judges are noteworthy to say the least, including the likes of Orson Scott Card and Dave Dorman.

As I gazed upon the illustrious exhibit, the crazy started up in me again. Suddenly, I knew what I had to do. I had to make a submission to this contest!

Act 2

That night, I went home and looked up the deadlines: July 1 is the last one for the year. Today, it is June 5. So, apparently, I have less than an entire month to write a book. Now, I have written books before, quite of few of them actually (none of which went anywhere, but c’est la vie). Still, I am a bit rusty, despite being very optimistic.

Your prayers and well-wishes are much appreciated as I embark on this new endeavor. I will make sure to let you all know how it turns out. In the meantime, love God, chase your dreams & check out the Golden Age Theater.

Good night & God bless,

Aaron

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