WRITING

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A published writer, Jackie Marx, welcomes you to her writing page. Samples of poems, short stories, plays, song lyrics can be found at the links below and at links throughout the site. She has been writing and performing her original music since 1972, and has studied the craft of song composition at numerous workshops through the years, including The Sheila Davis Songwriting Workshop, Vanderbilt University Workshops  (NSA), Workshops in Nashville, Chicago, and Los Angeles. She has won recognition for her original music at a national, and worldwide level. She has won numerous honors for her musical achievement in the military veteran community.

Jackie has been honing her playwriting craft since 1985 by attending workshops, producing and directing plays. Jackie's musical drama, Rocket City!   (The American Dream ... Interrupted)  has been produced in Illinois, Texas, and Arizona.  She has won recognition in the Writer's Digest Writing Competition for four of her stage plays, and four of her 10-minute plays were chosen by the Dramatists Guild for staged readings.

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Writing Examples

Lily
 

Lily now avoided mirrors

her lovely face had disappeared

here and gone

Time crept on...

Lily no longer rode her bike

she had always loved to ride

here and gone

Time crept on...

Lily stopped having friends

socializing at an end

here and gone

Time crept on...

Lily finally spoke her mind

no more only being kind

here and gone

Time crept on...

until it didn't.

copyright 2022 Jackie Marx

Mother robin tends her nest
wind races through the forest
Mother mourns her loss

Cricket chirps...
when she hears
human footfalls
she holds her breath

 


 Yearning for Yesterday

Today, hands tied behind my back,
mouth taped shut,
I am swept into this untenable world…
not of my making
ignorance and blatant thievery
writ large upon a corrupt canvas
erasing the once-sacred document
created by God for us,
that guided our actions to an equitable state
of balance, of liberty
wiped clean and modeled in a malicious manner
that will enslave us...
 
I yearn for yesterday


copyright 2020 Jackie Marx

Never Trust a Perfect Stranger

Don't be fooled by his winning smile

those accommodating ways

been sneaking money from your purse

been doing it for days

Don't let him take you for a ride

in his fancy rental car

might not reach your destination

might take you way too far

Never trust a perfect stranger

as perfect as he might seem

could shred your lovely life to bits

could shatter more than dreams

copyright 2021 Jackie Marx

Plays

FREEDOM'S
LAST
BREATH  
 
Short (under 10 minutes) patriotic/educational stage play with 2 characters.  Easy to produce (minimal set/props).  Perfect for school classrooms.  Chosen by The Dramatists Guild of America for a staged reading.

THE

BUS
TO

VEGAS
 

Short play (10 minutes) with 2 characters and minimal set/props. Chosen by The Dramatists Guild of America for a staged reading.

Northern Lights

GOSPEL
BEACONS

Jackie Marx

Premiere: Playwrights Workshop Theatre,

Phoenix, Arizona

Sounds in the Night

...and then the sound of rustling near my open window,

a sound I am not prepared to deal with

from deep sleep to action--I am not a fireman

my brain in a fog, I assess the situation

would it be prudent to load my gun?

It could be a 'friendly' out for a stroll...

meandering past my open window

in my backyard with a locked gate...

copyright 2021 Jackie Marx

 

Grandma Rose had been busy. The roast was in the oven; the pies were cooling on the windowsill.

Her grandchildren were roughhousing in the side yard. She dreaded the moment these seven-year-old twins would come inside and turn her house upside-down.
 

She loved Johnnie and Dempsey, but they were wild and disobedient. Her daughter and son-in-law were extremely permissive; the kids ran circles around them. Rose would try to discipline but was stopped at every turn.
 

“Mom, it’s not your job to reprimand the twins. That is our job.
 

‘Grandma’ was moments away from telling her daughter not to bring the boys over for the weekend ever again. Maybe a Sunday afternoon, with both parents present, would work better.
 

Rose looked out the window; it had gotten quiet in the yard. The twins were nowhere in sight, but she could hear giggles. She noticed the blueberry pie was missing.
 

“Boys, come inside and wash up.”
 

As they burst through the back door, she realized what had happened to the pie. Both boys had blue teeth and blueberry-stained t-shirts.
 

“You know boys, Grandma has magical powers, as well as a direct line to Santa. Whenever you do something wrong, I know, and I call Santa,” she said. “For instance, I know you stole it.”
 

“Stole what?” they said in unison.
 

“The pie. Or, at least, sneaked it from the windowsill without permission. I already called Santa and he has made a black mark next to each of your names. So, get cleaned up, and behave yourselves for the rest of the day or...”
 

The twins hurried to the bathroom to wash up. They were perfect angels the rest of the day, and from that day forward.
 

Drastic times call for drastic measures.
 

WC: 291
Jackie Marx

 

The Pie Thieves

 

Avery and his brother, Cyrus, had set out on an adventure forbidden by their mother.

“You will not go poking around in those caves,” their mom had warned earlier in the day. “Heaven only knows what lurks inside.”

“Mom, they’re just abandoned caves!” Avery said, making one last attempt to change her mind.

“I forbid it! Promise me!”

Both boys had promised their mother, fingers crossed behind their backs.

Thirteen-year-old Avery was in the lead; Eleven-year-old Cyrus hung back a bit.

“Come on, scaredy cat!”

“What if Mom is right, Avery?”

The older boy disappeared into the cave; the younger boy followed.

Avery hated how his mother tried to control him. He knew there was danger in the caves; that was part of the thrill. Cyrus should not be part of this; he could not keep a secret.

“Cyrus, come on!”

“I’m coming.”

Avery stopped to wait; he looked around the cave. There were drawings on the walls—gang signs, not ancient hieroglyphics.

The sound of gunshots from deeper in the cave echoed off the rock walls just as Cyrus caught up.

“What was that?” The younger boy’s eyes were as big as saucers.

“Let’s get out of here,” Avery whispered and turned back toward the mouth of the cave, pulling the younger boy with him. “Cyrus, run!”

“Are they after us, Avery?”

Avery could hear people running from deeper in the cave.

“No!”

He could see light and knew he and his brother were almost safe.

“Let’s run all the way home, just in case,” Avery said as they burst through the mouth of the cave.

“Mom was right!” Cyrus said as he gulped air.

“Don’t you dare tell!”

“I won’t!”

“Promise!”

“Promise,” Cyrus said, fingers crossed behind his back.

WC: 291
Jackie Marx

Promises

Millie Thornton

 


Millie Thornton was hiding between her house and a blooming Burning Bush. A metal wind-up horse was crossing the sidewalk in front of her house.

What in the world?

Millie couldn’t believe her eyes. The horse was headed for the street and into traffic. She had to do something, even though the action would expose her to danger. She ran out, scooped up the toy, and hurried back to her hiding place. The horse kicked and bucked until it wound down.

"Now what, Trigger?"

She couldn’t just leave Trigger behind the bush where no one could find him. A child must be missing him.

But how did he end up in front of my house? Who wound him up?

Millie decided that as soon as night fell, she would sneak over to St. Jude’s and leave Trigger on the doorstep of the church. Catholics always did charitable things.

She was getting hungry, and her legs were cramping up. Millie couldn’t sneak into her house because she no longer had a key. Would she make it until nightfall? And if she did, where would she go?

I’ll figure it out when the time comes. If they find me, I’m a goner.

“Mrs. Thornton?”

The voice was familiar.

“Mom?”

Another familiar voice.

“We know you’re hiding behind the Burning Bush, Mom. We saw you come out to rescue Maddie’s horse.”

It’s my granddaughter’s toy. I thought it looked familiar.

“Mom, please.”

Her daughter had wound up Trigger. It was a trick to trap her dear old mother.

I have been betrayed.

Millie pressed herself against the house and held her breath.

“Mrs. Thornton, I don’t want to drag you out, but I will.”

It’s the nasty man from that place.

“Mom, please listen to Mr. Moody.”

“Trigger, what should I do?” she whispered into the mighty steed’s ear.

The horse was mute.

“Not even a winny, old boy?” she whispered.

Millie had to do something; she couldn’t keep hiding forever. Mr. Moody had a nasty temper and might hurt her as he dragged her out of her hiding place.

Now I have to pee. Blessed bladder.

“Mrs. Thornton, I’m going to count to ten.”

“I didn’t know he could count,” she whispered into Trigger’s ear.

“One, two…”

“Mom, please!”

“Three…four…five…”

Millie Thornton emerged from her hiding place clutching the metal horse. Her daughter tried to hug her; Millie pulled away.

“Traitor!”

“Mom, you ran away. You can’t do that.”

Two men in white coats got out of the van from Camelot Gardens and came toward her.

Millie knew if she put up a fight they would restrain her, so she went willingly.

She whispered in Trigger’s ear, “You be a good boy for my little Maddie.”

Millie Thornton handed the horse to her daughter and got into the van with her two handlers. Her daughter and Mr. Moody followed in his Chevy sedan.

Millie looked back to see her home disappear in the distance.

WC 492

Jackie Marx