What are Production Rights?

Good Afternoon! Here is my Monday Blog, Tuesday edition!

How was your Memorial Day Weekend? Did you take time to honor and remember those who have served our country? I have many family members who have served in the Armed Forces and I took some time to remember each one. I also got some work done around the house to enjoy the fabulous weather we had in Minnesota.

Blogging has taken me on many writing journeys. I enjoy learning about new places and things and when I do research into topics for the blog, I always seem to come up with other new and interesting facts. While I was working on the book review of Taming of the Shrew that I published last week, I learned that the rights to plays have to be purchased before they can be performed in public. Those are called Production Rights.

Paying for Production Rights is the way an author can be paid from groups wanting to perform their works. So, when your kids do those plays at school, church, or acting camp, and want to perform them for others, they have to purchase copies of the script and the rights to perform that particular version of the play. You may wonder, where does one go to purchase the rights to a certain play? The rights are purchased from the publishing house who holds them. The Sixty-Minute Shakespeare versions that I mentioned last week have their rights owned by Dramatic Publishing.

Who is Dramatic Publishing?

Dramatic Publishing holds the rights for over 1500 authors of plays and stories that have been adapted into plays for the stage. Just to give you an idea, through them for this specific version of the play, each script is $9.95 and the minimum royalty paid per performance is $80.00. Here is a link to their website to check out other titles you may be interested in Dramatic Publishing.

According to their website, the company was started by Charles Sergel in 1885. With his interest in the theater, he founded this company to serve authors, artists and educators by managing the production rights of various plays. The company has been handed down through five generations. Christopher, Sr, Charles’ grandnephew, worked with Harper Lee and got the rights and her permission to create a stage adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird. He took over as president of Dramatic Publishing in 1970 which was the same year, he started creating this stage adaptation. He also worked with S.E. Hinton for the rights to create an adaptation of The Outsiders.

With all of the company history of a company kept in the Sergel family, according to an article in the Chicago Tribune on August 2, 1992 called High Drama in Woodstock, after being in the same location for 100 years, in 1983 a fire destroyed their downtown Chicago location. So, in 1985, Dramatic Publishing moved their headquarters to Woodstock, IL, to a location just a few blocks from The Opera House, an historic theater in town. Having the company who owns rights to plays just down the street from a place to perform is a great match. Then I started looking into the story of The Opera House and things got more interesting…

The Opera House in Woodstock, IL was built in 1889 as a multi-purpose city building which housed the administrative offices, police and fire departments. It was later used as a venue for performing arts and receptions.

Many well-known actors got their starts at the Opera House. Paul Newman got some of his training there during summer stock. Other stars where attending the nearby Todd School for Boys, where people like Orson Wells produced full length Shakespeare plays while in his mid-teens and later on his son Christopher attended the school.

The Todd Seminary for Boys was opened in 1848 as a boarding school and later evolved into a seminary. In 1892, Noble Hill purchased the school for $20000 and in 1929 he transferred the school to his son Roger ‘Skippy’ Hill and renamed the school, the Todd School for Boys in 1930.

Here is a description of the school as The NewYorker described it in 1938 from Wikipedia.com

Todd is a preparatory school of considerable antiquity, now run on severely progressive lines. The present headmaster, Roger Hill, a slim white-haired, tweed-bearing man, who looks as if he had been cast for his role by a motion-picture director, has never let the traditional preparatory-school curriculum stand in the way of creative work. All the boys spend as much time as they want in the machine shop, the print shop, the bookbindery, or the school theatre.

With the location of Dramatic Publishing in the Midwest, they focus more on the adaptations of popular books and plays the Woodstock and Rockford, IL locals have read or seen. This move makes the theater more accessible and relatable to the people who would be coming to the Opera Theater to see a show. They chose to cater their business more to the churches and schools with much lower Production Rights fees to pay for the plays to make these plays accessible to them.

With the Opera House for shows and the connection of a few well known actors attending or affiliated with the Todd School for Boys it brings the 135 year old family held company to place with a history in theater. Check out their websites with the links above. I’m so intrigued by the connection between these places that I may have to make a road trip to see them in person.

Books are adapted into movies and onstage productions. What is your favorite? Please let me know in the comments below.

Looking for a good Coming of Age Novel? How about picking up a copy of The Hard Way? Just follow the link over to the books tab on my website. The Hard Way!

Get your copy today!

Have a great week!

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

Good Morning! Here’s my Monday Morning Blog!

Happy Monday!

Being a author who writes about teen issues, I’m wondering how our teens are doing through this unprecedented time. I see stories about how some kids are working through the changes and being as resilient as they can be. But what about the kids that aren’t? The ones that aren’t doing well with the stay at home orders? Aren’t learning as well at home without the day to day interaction with their friends? Those kids may not reach out and remain quiet. Are we checking in with them and asking them how they feel?

Since 1949, Mental Health America and affiliates have observed May as being Health Month. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website, each year millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness.

There are many messages popping up on social media with resources to help us. The CDC currently has a public Service Announcement which pops up when you search for mental health awareness on Google.

Be Kind to Your Mind:
Tips to cope with stress during COVID-19

PAUSE – Breathe and notice how you feel

TAKE BREAKS – from COVID-19 content

MAKE TIME – to sleep and exercise

REACH OUT – and stay connected

SEEK HELP – If overwhelmed or unsafe

During the quarantine and stay at home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are isolating alone, have major changes to their daily routines that are leading to feelings of helplessness, or are just scared they are going to get the virus. The stress created by this has affected everyone’s mental health, but the tips listed above are good ones to be aware of even when we aren’t involved in a full-blown pandemic. In my research on the topic, I have found a couple of resources for you, your teen, or someone you may care about to look into. Remember, we are all in this together.

“You are Not Alone”
Everyone faces challenges in life that will affect their mental health. Mental Health America states 1 in 5 people will experience mental illness during their lifetime. NAMI joined with the national movement to raise awareness about mental health with their “You are Not Alone” campaign which focuses on the power of connection for those affected by mental illness. Collectively, we can make a positive impact on the millions of people who are struggling and feeling particularly alone given the current situation of social isolation and physical distancing. They are asking the public to share their experiences with mental health conditions at NAMI.org/YourStory. They want to share the lived experience of others to provide a means for people who are struggling to relate to and find comfort in. They also have a NAMI COVID-19 resource guide available in English and Spanish, just follow this link NAMI COVID-19 Resources.

Tools 2 Thrive
Mental Health America’s 2020 theme is Tools to Thrive. They have a 2020 Mental Health Tool Kit that you can download from their website that provides practical tools that we can all use to help improve our mental health regardless of what we are currently dealing with. This year’s tool kit offers printable handouts on topics like Owning Your Feelings, Finding the Positive, Creating Healthy Routines, and others. There are also marketing materials that may be helpful for teachers or community leaders, but may also help families educating from home with some reminders or materials to discuss with their kids. Here is a link to their site Tools 2 Thrive. When requesting the Tool Kit, it will ask for title and organization. If schooling your kids from home, I would enter parent as your title and homeschool or remote learning as your organization.

For as much as we may not like some of the effects of social media and online gaming for our kids and teens, I think it is a saving grace we have it for our kids to stay in touch with each other. It also helps for families and friends to stay in touch during this strange time in our history. Be sure to use the technology to reach out to family members you haven’t heard from in a while. Let your kids have play dates and zoom meetings to just be themselves with their friends online. But, be sure to keep an eye out and ear open to make sure they are doing it safely. We all need to embrace some of the changes that are happening right now on how we interact with one another. But the interaction doesn’t have to and shouldn’t stop.

Lime Green ribbons signify Mental Health Awareness. Be sure to promote awareness by wearing a ribbon or wearing a lime green shirt. Remember to reach out if you are feeling lonely, scared or overwhelmed. We are all in this together.


Happy Mother’s Day!

I hope you all found ways to celebrate with your moms, grandmothers, wives, etc. yesterday. Some of us have moms in heaven that we recognize with flowers and prayers. The traditional ways of taking mom to brunch or meeting up for dinner at her favorite spot aren’t going to be an option this year. Let me know what creative ways you came up with to show mom that she is special in the comments below.

Have a great week!

Teacher Appreciation Week 2020

Good Morning! Here’s my Monday Morning blog!

How are you doing with the whole Coronavirus thing? It is too big to not be affecting most everybody in some way or another. We couldn’t have imagined all the changes that have happened since the virus was deemed a pandemic in the United States almost two months ago. Being told you would have to stay home to curb the spread of the virus, learn and communicate via the computer or a six-foot distance, or to have to wear masks when you go out in public.

Did you know that this week, May 4th-8th, is Teacher Appreciation Week? Since 1984, the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) has designated one week in May to honor men and women who lend their passion and skills to teach our children. Teacher Appreciation Day is tomorrow, May 5th. Before, parents would have been out shopping for that special teacher’s gift to present in peron, now it will turn into showing that appreciation virtually or by special delivery.

I have been wondering about kids and teens are really doing at this time. How are they feeling about missing out on going to school and seeing their friends? Yes, we have Zoom for teachers to bring their classes together, but learning from a computer at your dining room table isn’t the same as being at school with your friends. Even though some kids and teens have always said they don’t want to go to school, I don’t think this complete change was what they were imagining. Or, the reality of having their parents trying to teach them the ins and outs of algebra or that new math after breakfast was what they had in mind.

A couple of weeks ago, I had a conversation with a very special seventh grader in my life. She’s a smart kid and loves school but, misses her teachers and fellow students. She finds it hard to get into remote learning because of how it was just thrown together and doesn’t feel very structured. It isn’t anyone’s fault that it happened this way, since we didn’t plan for the effects of the Coronavirus. She also feels that her grades may be suffering because she isn’t thriving as well in this less structured learning environment. Sure, it is one of the casualities of the situation we must adapt to, but it winds up being a negative impact on someone who is trying to do everything right.

The other ones who are on my mind lately are high school and college seniors who were due to graduate this spring. Just a couple of months ago, they were rolling into their spring quarter or semester on what they thought was the downhill slide into graduation. Then it all came to an abrupt halt. No prom, spring sports, or graduation ceremony. Those school events are what has given some of us adults the fond memories we hold in our hearts about that time in our lives. Things change, so maybe our “normal” will not be the “new” normal going forward.

Congratulations to all 2020 Graduates!!!

We are all trying to make the best of the current situation for those seniors and give them something similar to what they were expecting for their end of school activities and graduation.

-Many high schools around me made up signs for those seniors to put in their lawn to show us who they are. They are also having car parades drive by their homes to honor them.

-A friend of mine has a senior in her household. She had her daughter and her prom date still get dressed up, they got a dinner to go from the Olive Garden, took some pictures in the park, and did a bonfire at their house with the prom couple to make a memory for them. I have seen other seniors pose for pictures in what they would have worn to prom and post them on Facebook.

-There will be a graduation ceremonies, probably virtual, coming in the near future, but not the same as going to your high school football field or college auditorium to walk across a stage to receive your diploma (or the fancy document holder).

Have you seen people struggling with change through this pandemic? I have seen and personally struggled with things through all of this,

-Seeing friends and family struggling with things they were looking forward to doing being cancelled.

-The struggle from some teens to do school remotely when their heart is at school with their teachers and friends.

-College students being sent home to do school remotely, instead of being able to enjoy the college experience away from home.

-Me and many others who are now in the process of looking for new jobs due to no fault of their own.

-Me and many others, not being able to see their loved ones, who are in assisted living facilities which are currently on lock down from having visitors.

The best advice I have seen is to be gentle with yourself right now. Let yourself feel sad if you are sad or mad if you are mad. But, let yourself do what needs to be done to keep yourself moving forward with your goals and dreams accepting what the new normal may bring. It is ok if it feels a little bit weird, because it will. Be ready, life as we knew it pre-Coronavirus will probably be changed forever too.

If you are struggling, please reach out and ask for help. We are all in this together.

Have a great week!

Happy Birthday to The Hard Way!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THE HARD WAY,
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!

Three years ago, today, I published my first book, The Hard Way. April 12, 2017 was the day I became a published author.

If you are looking to purchase a copy, here is a link to the books tab on my website which will take you over to Amazon.

The Hard Way by Selma P. Verde

If you subscrible to Kindle Unlimited, you are able to read the book for free that way.

How did this book come to be? The idea for this book had been bouncing around in my head for a while, but when I think back to the day I first started writing it, I remember being on a week long staycation from work. The day was April 15, 2013, the day of the Boston Marathon Bombing. I was working on some notes for this book and remember watching the constant news updates while the event was unfolding. In those updates, a piece of inspiration came to me and I started writing what became The Hard Way.

In April of 2016, I hired my editor, Michelle Morgan and my book cover designer, Jennifer Givner of Acapella Book Cover Design. We worked together and pulled all the pieces together and created a young adult novel, the one I had been dreaming about publishing since I was a preteen. This same team is working together to bring book two in The Way Series to you.

After some revisions and rewrites, in April of 2017, I took a deep breath and hit the publish button and on April 12th, I got the message back saying your book has been published. I became an author and a book seller all in the same day.

To celebrate this milestone, I will be doing a reading of chapter two of The Hard Way on Thursday, April 16, 2020 at 11:00 AM Central on Facebook Live. Be sure to check into to my Facebook page. Why not read chapter one? Well, if you sign up for my email list, you can receive a free copy of chpater one.

If you aren’t a follower of mine on Facebook, check it out on Selma P. Verde and be sure to like or follow the page. Here is a link to my Easter Post which will take you right to the page. Happy Easter from Selma Hope to see you there!

Happy Easter!!

Happy 3rd Book Birthday to The Hard Way

Have you read my first book, The Hard Way, yet? It is a young adult novel about my main character, Paul Jones, and how he learns the importance of choosing the right friends and how difficult it can be to navigate peer pressure. If not, I have a deal that just might get you interested.


In celebration of The Hard Way celebrating its third birthday (publication anniversary) on April 12th, I’m an doing a Facebook Live reading of chapter two next Thursday, April 16th. I’ll announce the time of the reading in my weekly blog post on Monday.

Happy Birthday to The Hard Way


You may ask, why not chapter one? Well, when you visit my website, a special offer pops up. If you are willing to sign up for my e-mail list, you can receive a free copy of the first chapter of The Hard Way. Be sure to read the chapter before April 16th, because then you’ll receive the next part of the story from my online reading. So, you get to preview two chapters of The Hard Way free before you buy it.


To pick up an ebook or paperback copy of the entire story, follow the link on the books tab of my website or check it out on Amazon.


And, for the next bit of exciting news, if you pick up your copy of The Hard Way now, you’ll have time to read it over the summer and be ready for book two of The Way Series called Shawn’s Way, due to publish September of 2020. Check back to my website for more details.

Featured Image provided by Morgan Lane on Unsplash

What can I do to improve myself during this trying time?

Good Morning! Here is My Monday Morning Blog!

Things have been a little crazy in the world lately, huh? Lots of people either being laid off or losing their jobs, teaching their kids at home, and trying to figure out how to cook (since going out to eat isn’t an option at this point). It hits me every time I go to the grocery store to see those empty shelves. I know some people hoarding certain items, but some of it is due to people picking up that one extra, so they can shelter in place a day or two longer before having to come back for something else.

Some news from my personal front, I was furloughed from my “day job” last Friday. So, I’m entering a new place for me to be. Filing for unemployment, figuring out what our family budget is going to look like in hopefully the short term, and deciding whether my dreams for my own company will have to go on hold, again, due to a possible financial strain. I’ve been doing a lot of journaling about my goals and dreams; looking for some definite direction.

Faith things will get better is a hard thing to hold onto sometimes. I will say, I’ve gotten better at it over the years, mainly through experience showing itself and accepting the idea things always work themselves out. Maybe not the way we want them to; sometimes worse than we expect, but sometimes better.

When working in aircraft scheduling, sometimes you have mechanicals, sometimes it’s weather, and sometimes it’s an unexpected air traffic control hold. We don’t have any control over any of these events, but are forced to work through all possible solutions to accommodate our client’s travel plans. In these stressful situations, I’ve learned, it’s about providing options to choose from and not saying there is nothing we can do. Again, sometimes these options are worse than what they want, but sometimes better. But in the end, they are options and when presented the client gets to choose what is best for them.

Thinking about making things better for me, I scrolled through my Facebook feed, which I’m sure many of you are doing right now, and found a free online course I thought would help me get my business and book selling back on my main drive. I’m currently working through the Limitless Entrepreneur – The Digital Retreat.

Melyssa Griffin is a great presenter and motivator who I enjoyed working with throughout this course. The content is helping me get excited about selling my books and creating new ideas for my own business. One of the first things she talks about is a Scarcity versus an Abundance mindset. Scarcity mindset says there is never enough. You must hold onto what you have otherwise you are going to lose it. In an Abundance mindset there will always be more. I’ll get more than I bargained for and seeing a more positive outcome. I see the scarcity mindset as a realistic mindset (basing the belief on what is happening in the here and now and scared of what may happen in the future). Where the abundance mindset is more faith driven, believing that things will get better in the future.

When I look at my things will work out theory I talked about above, it works well with the abundance mindset. But I seem to have myself tangled up in more of a scarcity mindset, especially now with my furlough. But as I work to recognize my scarcity mindset fears, my view of the abundance mindset options is helping me see the ideas I am generating for my business are good ideas. I may be able to act on some of them now and others may be implemented into my current business plan so I am ready when things get better. By having more faith in myself and life will help me to take some risks with my ideas, and have faith that things will work out in the end. Be sure to stay tuned in to see what could happen.

What I ask you to do is take a good look at your Facebook feed or email and see if there’s a course that could help improve your mindset right now. Maybe it is learning how to knit, or organize things in your house, or printing pages to color. These activities will not only distract you from what seems to be going wrong right now, it may also help you make some forward progress on projects which have been just sitting stale on your plate. I’ll be excited to hear about what you decided to do. Please let me know in the comments below.

Have a great week!

My writing update and a little bit about William Shakespeare

Good Morning! Here are my Tuesday Morning Thoughts!


How have you been doing with the changes in our day to day activities due to the Coronavirus? I have been primarily working from home for my day job. Jim has been going back and forth to work, since his job is more hands on, and the boys are “laid off” from their part time jobs for now. I will say, there are positive things to be found in our current situation. It has been nice to have family dinners again and we were able to do a movie night together Sunday night.

On the writing side of things, I’ve been actively working with my editor to get book #2 of The Way Series, Shawn’s Way, ready for a couple of final reads before its summer pre-launch and eventual publishing in September. Getting excited for my readers to find out how the story line of the series continues.

If you have read the first book, The Hard Way, and left a review, I thank you. For those of you who have received free copies on my promotional download days, if you would leave a review on Goodreads, that would be great. If you are a member of Kindle Unlimited, you can always select to read it for free as part of the subscription, and you would be able to leave a review on Amazon. If you purchased a copy on Amazon and want to leave a review on Amazon, that would be appreciated as well. Any of these reviews will help me out for the pre-launch of Shawn’s Way this summer. Leaving a review for a book you read is a great way to help a writer get people to read their books. The reviews show that people have read the book and it helps potential readers to get an idea of what other people thought of it.

A little bit about William Shakespeare

You may have seen the recent post on Facebook talking about Shakespeare and the writing of his sonnets. Did you know he wrote 154 sonnets when all of the theaters were shut down because of the Bubonic plague? I found it very interesting. With the Coronavirus shutting some things down now, maybe it will give us writers and authors some down time get some of our best writing done, just like Shakespeare did.

My interest in Shakespeare was also piqued by another blog post I saw about the unique spelling of the word playwright. You would think it would be spelled playwrite, right? Well wright is a word for a crafts person or someone who builds things. So, in that sense of the word, Shakespeare was one who built plays and sonnets.

Photo of William Shakespeare from Biogrphy.com

According to Wikipedia.com and Biography.com, William Shakespeare was known as one of the greatest writers in the English language and one of the world’s greatest dramatists. He was born in 1564 in Stratford-upon-Avon, a bustling market town along River Avon. He married Anne Hathaway in 1582 and was the father of three children. After the birth of the twins (the second and third children) in 1585 it is believed that is when he started writing. Many Shakespeare biographers refer to the years between when the twins were born and 1592 (when he came onto the acting scene) as the lost years. During this time frame, he doesn’t leave any historical traces, but it is generally believed that he may have found work as a horse attendant at some of London’s finer theaters, which may have been how he got involved in theater. Records show Shakespeare had works published and sold as popular literature, which was seen as reaching above his social rank and posing a bit of a threat to playwrights who came from a more scholarly background.

Shakespeare was part of a very popular acting group called the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, (which became the King’s Men in 1603 when King James I became king). The members of that group along with Shakespeare put money into the coffers to build their own theater called the Globe Theater. For the time, this was an unique commercial operation for actors. They not only had a shared in the profits from the show, but also had a share in the profits from the playhouse. According to britannica.com, all of Shakespeare’s plays were performed there after it was constructed in 1599. His plays were said to be written from a career actor point of view rather than a scholarly one, which was probably another point of contention with the scholarly playwrights. An interesting fact, the plays were always staged in the afternoons to make the most of the light provided by the sun; since the theater didn’t have lights.


According to civil records, in 1597, Shakespeare purchased the second largest house in Stratford, called New House, for his family. But he spent most of his time in London away from his family acting and writing since Stratford was a four-day ride from London. When he retired from the theater in 1613, he moved back to Stratford where he died three years later.


Here in Minneapolis we have a place called the Playwrights’ Center. Founded in 1971 by five writers seeking artistic and professional support. The center serves more playwrights in more ways than any other organization in the country. What a great way to keep the theaters alive for the communities to enjoy.

I love the name they chose for the Playwrights’ Center, especially knowing what the term really means now. Do you ever think about why people pick the names they do for things? Book titles, for example, usually have a connection with what the author wrote about. However, not all title meanings are understood until after you have read the book. What book titles have connected with you? What are some of your favorites? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

Have a great week!

Write the Story Prompt from Writers Unite!

Good Morning and Happy New Year! Sorry I’ve been away for so long, many big life events took place last year which really consumed my time and energy and altered my life journey. But I’m making my way back.

Edits are moving ahead for Shawn’s Way. Looking at publishing early this summer. I’m in the process of revamping the website. I made contact with someone in my neighborhood who is going to help me with it. Look for updates and announcements coming soon.

One of my life events last year was helping my dad through his dementia journey. He’s living in an assisted living/memory care facility. The challenge I encountered is the amount of time and energy it takes to help our aging parents through their lives when and illness stops them from leading lives on their own. I friend of mine wrote a story about her journey. It is a writing prompt from the Facebook writing group called Writers Unite! Reading her story has made me think about what affects dementia has had on my own life journey.

Continue reading “Write the Story Prompt from Writers Unite!”

Never Stop Dreaming!

art business close up decor
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

I love looking out windows. Not only to see what is happening outside, but also to let my brain relax and reflect. After running a free ebook promotion of The Hard Way this weekend, I took some time to think about where I am in my writing journey.

It took many years to achieve the dream I had since I was a teenager, the dream of publishing a book. Two years ago, I published my first, The Hard Way. Now, book two, Shawn’s Way is due to publish this summer.

I built a writer’s platform and I am active on multiple social media sites. It has become the main way I engage with my readers. I have also connected with other authors, who have supported and helped me achieve my dreams to reach the point I am at in my writing journey.

I have a website where my readers can come and find me, my books and news about what is happening with me Selma’s Website.

With my busy lifestyle, I am still finding time to work on things to promote my passion. Whether it is a discount book sale or a free promotion. Thank you for your downloads and purchases of my book. It makes me happy to see it getting into the hands of readers.

My message for the week is to never stop dreaming. Working towards a dream can be a lot of work with challenges to overcome. It is frustrating, it is hard and it is a journey, but it can be achieveable. Sometimes I can’t believe I have published one book and will soon publish a second.

The Hard Way Thumbnail

I have had my share of challenges and have had to make time in my life to make my dream come true. The journey hasn’t been easy, but it is so worth it when I see another copy of my book bought or downloaded.

Have a great week!