The Writing Life

Since young boyhood, John has tried to be a compassionate person. He has been in love with the English language for as long as he can remember. His parents read to John and his siblings and told them stories. They had a small standing whiteboard with the alphabet surrounding the edges. John would choose letters and write them on the board, asking his Mother if they made a word. She told him he amazed her with how often his letter choices formed actual words.

   John has found richness in many art forms. He draws and paints (mostly portraits), writes songs, and is very active in theatre. In his fifth grade library he discovered mythology books, supported by his teacher. He also started reading Shakespeare’s plays—though there was much in the plays that he didn’t understand, he fell in love with the language. In junior high John started writing poetry, and in high school he edited the school’s creative writing publication, which he did again when at Graceland College. 

   John got a B.A. in English. His first semester two friends, who did plays, dragged him to the auditions for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. He got cast in two small parts, and fell in love with theatre. John got a strong minor in theatre, and wrote a play his senior year that was a finalist for a national contest. John continued writing and a few years later earned his Master’s in theatre from Central Missouri University. He was commissioned to write a play about local history, which he directed for the town’s theatre group, and wrote another play, Children of the Pelican, for his Master’s thesis.

   John then went straight to UC—Santa Barbara, where got his doctorate in Dramatic Art. He directed some one act plays from the play-writing program. He also appeared in some other plays. He wrote his dissertation about a San Francisco production of a play about Jesus at the same time California was preparing for a vote on a new state constitution. Eugene O’Neill’s father, James O’Neill, was arrested for playing Christ on a professional stage.

   During his last summer, John went to Kirtland, Ohio to direct and act in a play he had been commissioned to write by the Community of Christ for the 150th anniversary of the dedication of the Kirtland Temple. He later received special citations from two different history associations.

   John has written many blogs on Kansas City history, and several stories and poems for children. He also has a book titled The Prayer of Mathias and Other Plays for Worship.

   He is now working to get a publisher for his novel, Quite at Leisure, or, Second Impressions, his sequel to Pride and Prejudice, or, First Impressions.

   John is in his 30th year of marriage to his wonderful and beautiful wife, Hemdah Salonimer-Horner, a brilliant pianist and piano teacher.

Laurence Ferlinghetti, Beat Poet (March 24, 1919 – February 22, 2021)

  Ferlinghetti’s most famous work, Coney Island of the Mind, (1958). Also co-founder of City Lights Booksellers & Publishers

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Tom Stoppard (August 24, 1966) based on Shakespeare’s play, Hamlet

University of Central Missouri, Warrensburg, Missouri

Graceland University, Lamoni, Iowa

Community of Christ Church, Independence, Missouri 

John’s plays, The Prayer of Mathias, Arches, Who Shot Old Drum, Children of the Pelican, The Kirkland Rehearsal, The Dancing Tyrant 

Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen, and Jane Austen’s collected works, Love & Friendship

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, Lauren Gunderson and Margot Melcon

John’s unpublished novel, Quite at Leisure: Or Second Impressions

PodMatch, A dating service for podcasters

“Humans are not ideally set up to understand logic; they are ideally set up to understand stories.” ~ Roger C. Schank, Cognitive Scientist

Published by lucindasagemidgorden

I grew up in the West, the descendant of people traveling by wagon train to a new life. Some of their determination and wanderlust became a part of me. I imagine them sitting around the campfire telling stories, which is why I became first a theatre artist, then a teacher and now a writer. They are all ways of telling stories.

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