“5 Minutes Earlier…” (working title for grade 9/10 play for 2013)


*Updated with new ending*


Bethany, the birthday girl
Katie, her best friend, organizing the surprise party
Steph, her cousin, responsible for the cake
Lainey, her sister, in charge of decorations
Will, Steph’s boyfriend, in charge of party food and drink
Alex, her friend, helping with decorations
Chelsey, her friend, in charge of music
Kaitlyn, her friend, helping with keeping things clean and tidy

AT RISE: A backyard patio with table and seating for 5. It is partially decorated for a birthday party. The house entrance to the yard is at stage right. There is a fancy garden clock showing the time as 6:00 pm.

Noises of fighting are heard before the curtains open — voices overlapping each other:

KATIE: You’re going to ruin everything!

STEPH: Ow! Be careful, watch out!

LAINEY: (loudly sobbing) Waaaahhhh!!!

WILL: Get off me, Katie!

ALEX: Give me that before you break it!

CHELSEY: You owe me now! You owe me $250!

KAITLYN: You guys! She’s going to be here any minute!

Curtains open. KATIE is on WILL’s back, pulling on his hair. STEPH is standing in front of the table with the cake, at center stage, trying to keep the cake from getting wrecked. LAINEY is kneeling over crushed presents, trying to pop boxes back into shape. ALEX is trying to get a portable iPod dock from CHELSEY, who is trying to beat him over the head with it. KAITLYN is running back and forth, trying to keep friends from killing each other and comforting LAINEY.

KATIE: No-one is going to eat that garbage! You had $50 to get pop and chips, what did you do with it?

WILL: I swear, she loves black licorice!

LAINEY: First the bird, and then this! I told you all, just gift cards!

KATIE: (gets off WILL, elbowing him aside to confront STEPH) And you — you had ONE job! ONE!

STEPH: Hey, it’s not my fault these losers can’t keep their fingers to themselves! (She picks up the box and shoves it toward KATIE to show her.) I did the best I could!

ALEX: (in a tug-of-war over the iPod dock, backs into KATIE) Hey, watch it! This was a Christmas present from my Grammy!

CHELSEY: Then you can tell Grammy you had to sell it to buy me a new phone!

KAITLYN: Can we please try to clean all this up before– (she is interrupted by BETHANY entering stage right)

BETHANY: Oh…my…goodness. What is going on?

KATIE furiously shoves the cake up toward STEPH’s face. STEPH moves at the last minute and the cake ends up all over BETHANY.

WILL: Surprise!

Blackout. Music: “Tiki Room” plays while scene is quickly changed: the clock’s hands are changed to 5:55, presents are stacked neatly next to the table, along with an empty birdcage; the cake box is in the centre of the table, as well as a flat of pop. One can is already open on the table. There is a feathery lump on the ground near a laundry basket filled with tablecloths: a dead budgie.

Lights up: All are gathered around the dead bird.

ALEX: Ew. Its eyes are gone. (He pokes at it with a straw.) They must have dried up and fallen out in the washer, or in the dryer maybe.

KAITLYN: Don’t touch it! That’s disgusting!

STEPH: Yeah, put that straw in the garbage now.

WILL: It’s probably sterile, you know. After all, it did go through the wash. (He turns away and sneaks a lick of frosting and a drink from the open pop on the table. He ends up with frosting on the corner of his mouth.)

LAINEY: Now what are we going to do? This was supposed to be Bethany’s main birthday present!

KATIE: We can still give her the cage and tell her she can pick out the budgie on her own. Quick, we’re going to need to get rid of the evidence.

CHELSEY: I’ll go and get a bag.

KAITLYN: What for?

CHELSEY: To put it in the garbage, duh.

KAITLYN: That’s so cruel! We should bury it in the garden.

WILL: We could give it a Viking burial! Make it a little boat and burn it while it floats away on the pond! (He high-fives ALEX.)

STEPH: I knew it! I knew you were getting into the cake! What is wrong with you?

KATIE: This is the last time I ever organize a surprise party for anyone. (She goes
to drink from her pop, but it’s empty. She turns it upside down
.) Okay, who drank my pop?

WILL: Sorry, just trying to save the rest of it for the party. Frosting makes me thirsty.

STEPH: Why couldn’t you snack a little on the party food?

WILL: Nah, I don’t like it.

KATIE: Will, this is dollar store Hallowe’en candy. Hallowe’en was ten months ago!

ALEX: Time for some music! Chelsey, toss me your iPhone!

CHELSEY: Don’t drop it.

ALEX: I have excellent reflexes. (CHELSEY throws it. He misses and drops it,
falling backward onto the presents and crushing them.
) Crap.

Blackout. Music: “Tiki Room” plays while scene is quickly changed: the clock’s hands are changed to 5:50, the cake box is in the centre of the table, and a flat of pop. One can is already open.

Everyone is in various stages of preparing for the party, except for STEPH and KATIE, who are offstage. KAITLYN is sweeping the patio, LAINEY and ALEX are hanging streamers and/or balloons, and WILL is filling bowls with candy in between sneaking drinks from the open pop. CHELSEY is unrolling an extension cord behind the table, bringing the end to the portable iPod dock at stage left.

CHELSEY: I have all of Bethany’s favourite songs on a playlist. It took me a few hours but I know she’s going to love it. (She shows ALEX, who is helping LAINEY with decorations.)

LAINEY: That’s great, but we really need the tablecloth now. Katie’s bringing the presents in from the house and I don’t want them to end up on the ground. They’ll get all dirty.

CHELSEY: Where are they?

LAINEY: In the dryer, right next to the back door.

CHELSEY: I’m on it! (As she passes the cake box, she sneaks a fingerful of frosting from the edge of the cake.)

ALEX: Bethany’s going to be so surprised! I’ve never been to surprise party before, I think I’m more excited than she’s going to be. Can I do the music for a bit, just for fun?

KATIE: (enters from stage right with a stack of presents, and the empty birdcage is on top) Guys, I can’t find the budgie. You have to watch it really carefully when it’s flying around.

WILL: Well, you can’t leave it in the cage all day. That thing is tiny. (He sneaks a bit of frosting off the cake.)

KATE: It’s just until she gets it home. The bird needed exercise. Nobody saw it fly out the door, I hope? (She goes to set the presents on the table.)

LAINEY: Can you just put those by the table for now? We’re just waiting on the cloth, and it’ll be a pain to move them all.

KAITYLN: Will, can you hold the dustpan?

ALEX: Make sure you wash your hands, after. Otherwise it’s just like we’re eating food out of the dustpan.

WILL: Yeah, yeah. I’m done anyway.

KATE: Okay, I know I haven’t had more than a couple of drinks from this and it’s already half empty. Who’s been drinking my pop?

STEPH: (enters from stage right with a can of frosting and a butter knife) You’d think that a cake decorator would know how to spell “Happy Birthday” properly. Guys, I can totally tell that you’ve been tasting the frosting! Stop it! (She prepares to fix the cake.)

CHELSEY: (enters from stage right with a basket full of laundry) Okay, tablecloths are fresh and ready to go! Kate, can you help me with this? I love fluffing it like a sail.

KATE: (grabs a corner of the top tablecloth) Remember when we were in kindergarten and we’d have one of those big parachutes? Everyone would hold a side and we’d put a ball on it and pop it all over the place. (They shake out the tablecloth and a feathery bundle flies out, landing on the patio floor.)

Blackout. Music: “Tiki Room” plays while scene is quickly changed: the clock’s hands are changed to 5:45. The table is at stage left.

KATE enters from stage right with CHELSEY, ALEX, and LAINEY.

KATE: So, I was thinking, it won’t take long at all to put everything together. Just move the table over here for the food, cake, and presents, and put the streamers on the trees. Boom, done!

CHELSEY: And where do you want the music?

ALEX: I brought my dock for you, but I think we’d get better sound on the other side of the yard. We need an extension cord.

KATE: I’ve got one in the kitchen.

LAINEY: I’ll get started with the decorations. Alex, want to help me?

STEPH: (enters from stage right with the cake box) Am I late? There was a little problem with the cake, but I bought some icing to fix it.

KATE: (opens the box and looks in) Happy Birthday Insert Name Here dot dot dot? Seriously, Steph?

STEPH: I know, but I can fix it!

WILL: (enters from stage right with shopping bags of candy, a flat of pop, and a bowl, that he sets on the table) Oooh, yummy! Can I have a taste?

STEPH: Your finger gets near this cake and you get back a stump.

KATE: I am parched — I hope nobody minds if I have a drink right now? (She gets a can and opens it, taking a sip.) T-minus 15 minutes to party, everybody!

CHELSEY: I can’t wait to see her face! And you got her the bird, right?

KAITLYN: (enters from stage right) That almost sounds dirty. Just like this patio. Honestly, you couldn’t have swept a little before we got here?

ALEX: Come on, everyone, let’s just be nice to each other. It’s a party!

Blackout. Music: “Tiki Room” plays while scene is quickly changed: the clock’s hands are changed to 3:00. The patio is empty.

KATE and BETHANY are doing yoga on the patio.

BETHANY: I don’t want any fuss about my birthday this year.

KATE: Why don’t you come for a sleepover? We’ll keep it completely low-key, just movies and popcorn.

BETHANY: Sure! That sounds like fun.

KATE: We could make it with all of our friends. But nothing birthday.

BETHANY: Nice and relaxing, it’ll be perfect. I’ll ask as soon as I use the bathroom! (She exits stage right.)

KATE: (takes out her cellphone and dials) Hey, Steph? Can you order a cake for tomorrow? I’ll email you the details after Bethany goes home, but we’re going to have a surprise party for her!

Blackout. Music: “Tiki Room” plays to the curtain call.

Bear in mind — this might get altered a bit by the students after they see the script. Comedy isn’t always my strong suit.

Hearts in Exile by Mysti Parker — Cover Release Party!

mysti cover reveal

From the author of the fantasy-romance Tallenmere series:

Let’s get in gear for the June 3 release of Book Three in my stand-alone fantasy romance series! I’ll be revealing the cover of this book, designed by the talented Caroline Andrus AND there will be prizes, games, music, and a heck of a lot of fun. 

Loralee, Sir Robert, and the dragons of Draekoria are waiting for you!

On Friday, May 24 from 5:30-9:30 PM EST, I want to show off this beautiful cover, so please join me for a night of prizes, games, music, and merriment! Share this event AND bring a friend! 

Schedule/Prize List:

Cover Reveal, Blurb, Trivia / Weekend Spotlight OR Interview

Song & Excerpt

What’s Your Dragon Name? / Notebook & Mug

Song & Excerpt

Add Your Own Caption / 4 E-Copies of Hearts in Exile

Song & Excerpt

Share the Cover / Signed Print of Hearts in Exile

Song & Excerpt

LIKE & Share / $25 Amazon Gift Card

Join the Party HERE: https://www.facebook.com/events/187835458040261/

To learn more about Hearts in Exile and the Tallenmere Series, visit Mysti’s Goodreads page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4625596.Mysti_Parker<a

* * * * *

Hey — If you missed it, here’s the cover… It’s completely fabulous! I can’t wait to read this one.


Getting closer to the launch of Wind and Shadow: Book One of the Talbot Trilogy

It’s not my first foray into publishing, but definitely my first MAJOR adventure, and after the hills and valleys of edits on my debut novel, the release is finally (hopefully) approaching! Here’s a good sign: my page is up on the publisher’s website!


I’m exhausted but thrilled!

Wind and Shadow: Book One of the Talbot Trilogy — Playlist!


One of the things I love about new books (or old!) is the playlists that authors provide to accompany the characters, settings, events, or even what inspired them. And of course, I do have one that I developed a few years ago when I was coming to the end of the first draft of Wind and Shadow, for all of the above reasons.

Now, the book takes place over six days at the end of October and beginning of November, so I’ve included the dates as reference, as well as the chapter numbers. I’m excited for the release (currently slated for May 30th) to see what you think of the associations I’ve made between the songs and the sections of the story!

June 26 — Additional Note: I know, it’s a list of rather gargantuan proportions, and I’ve realized something. I need to learn how to make mash-ups, because really, when I’m writing and reading, I’m taking pieces of the songs and applying those sections in the manner of a musical montage. Still, every song on this list has a place in the book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Shadows: The Talbot Trilogy Playlist 1

Rolling Stones, “Time Is On My Side”

October 28

Chapter 1:
Linkin Park, “A Place For My Head”
Natalie Imbruglia, “Torn”
Simple Minds, “Don’t You Forget About Me”
Greg Joy, “A Maid in Bedlam”
Blue Rodeo, “Lost Together”
Leona Lewis, “Bleeding Love”

Chapter 2:
Alicia Keys, “Girl On Fire”
Journey, “Separate Ways”
Journey, “Open Arms”
Green Day, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”

Chapter 3:
Third Eye Blind, “Jumper”
Sarah McLachlan, “Good Enough”
Barenaked Ladies, “If I Had $1000000”

Chapter 4:
Patrick Watson, “Slip Into Your Skin”
The Editors, “Weight of the World”
Linkin Park, “Papercut”

October 29

Chapter 5:
Lenka, “Trouble is a Friend”
Bon Jovi, “It’s My Life”
Band of Horses, “No One’s Gonna Love You”
Sam Sparrow, “Black and Gold”

Chapter 6:
Three Days Grace, “Never Too Late”
Linkin Park, “By Myself”
Tokio Hotel & Kerli, “Strange”
Loreena McKennitt, “The Mummers’ Dance”
Seether, “Broken”
Daughtry, “It’s Not Over”

Chapter 7:
Delhi to Dublin, “Apples”
Band of Horses, “The General Specific” or Toby Keith, “Red Solo Cup”
Tonic, “If You Could Only See”
Cage the Elephant, “Ain’t No Rest For The Wicked”
Daughtry, “Feels Like Tonight”
Stevie Nicks, “If You Ever Did Believe”

Chapter 8:
Chicago, “You’re the Inspiration”
The Editors, “No Sound But The Wind”
Finley Quaye, “Dice”
Radiohead, “Creep”
Nine Inch Nails, “Piggy” or Iron Maiden, “Lord of the Flies”
Florence & The Machine, “Heavy In Your Arms”

Chapter 9:
Big Scary, “Falling Away”
Lisahall, “Is This Real?”
The Cardigans, “Lovefool” or A-ha, “Take On Me”

Chapter 10:
Coldplay, “Fix You”
Guns N’Roses, “Welcome to the Jungle” or Blue Oyster Cult, “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper”
The Barr Brothers, “Old Mythologies”
Beck & Bat for Lashes, “Let’s Get Lost”
Eagles, “Hotel California”
Cavo, “Let It Go”
Muse, “Undisclosed Desires”

October 30

Chapter 11:
Bruno Mars, “Grenade”
Placebo, “Running Up That Hill”
Gordon Lightfoot, “If You Could Read My Mind”
Blue Oyster Cult, “Blown Wide Open”
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, “Done All Wrong”

Chapter 12:
The Flys, “Got You (Where I Want You)”
“Fur Elise”
The Rolling Stones, “Sympathy for the Devil” or Antsy Pants, “Vampires”
Imagine Dragons, “Radioactive”
Saidah Baba Talibah, “So Cool”
Said The Whale, “The Gift of a Black Heart”

Chapter 13:
The Police, “Every Breath You Take”
Sarah McLachlan, “Fear”

October 31

Chapter 14:
Sarah McLachlan, “Fear”, or Katy Perry, “Wide Awake”
Greg Joy, “Unquiet Grave”
Day One, “Bad Before Good”

Chapter 15:
Sarah McLachlan, “Into the Fire”
Lorena McKennitt, “Huron ‘Beltane’ Fire Dance” or Bonnie Tyler, “Holding Out for a Hero”
U2, “One”
The Tragically Hip, “New Orleans Is Sinking”
Linkin Park, “One Step Closer”

Chapter 16:
Taylor Swift, “Safe and Sound”
Plain White T’s, “Welcome to Mystery”
Ajnabee feat. Go-ray, “Earthrise Sound System”
Linkin Park, “New Divide”

November 1

Chapter 17:
Avril Lavigne, “Keep Holding On”
Sarah Harmer, “Coffee Stain” or Neverending White Lights & Jonathan Bates, “The Warning”
Dido, “Here With Me” or Theory of a Deadman, “Not Meant to Be”

November 2

Chapter 18:
Pink, “Fucking Perfect”
Third Eye Blind, “The Background”

Playlist for Book 2 TBD. Your comments are welcome!