3/2/21: It's been one year since COVID-19 forced Florida into a shut down. Verdict for yours truly? I still have my health, I still have my job (which I LOVE), and I have finished TWO full length plays in one year, bringing me up to six. I haven't been this creatively prolific even during my fiction writing years. Now, are any of these dramatic works good (like "Out of the Mouths of Poets")? Well, the jury is out on that one. We shall soon see in the years ahead.
6/27/20: The Big 5-1! The first half of my life was an incredible one! Let's make the next 50 years (God willing) just as incredible! Deo Gratias!
6/19/20: Mike Merrill, our County Administrator and a wonderful boss to all his 4000+ employees, has retired. A little newsroom story about it here.
11/9/19: Whew! I finally got a breather, here. On 8/1/19, I was shocked to discover that I was nominated for Creative Loafing's Best of the Bay 2019 in the Playwright Category. Although I didn't win, it was a humbling experience. :)
5/27/19: From 2/8 to 2/24, 2019, my first full-length play production, "Out of the Mouths of Poets," came to fruition and became a huge success. You can see what happened here.
9/20/18: Wow! What a week I'm having. County COmmissioner Al Higginbotham, who will be retiring in November, gave me a nice call-out during a board meeting. A classy act by a class person. Thank you, COmmissioner. See the first 20-30 seconds of the video here.
9/18/18: I was at work when I opened my email at 4 p.m., a little dream of mine came true! I was notified by the Lab Theater Project, a professional theater in Tampa, that my full-length play, "Out of the Mouths of Poets," was accepted to be a part of its 2018/19 season. I am on Cloud 9! Check out the theatre: here. One of the best days of my life! Deo gratias! My first full length production. And, God willing, it won't be the last!
3/10/18: Whoa! One of my LA Splash reviews was just quoted in a collection of Dramatic Criticism edited by Grayley Herren: Text and Presentation,2016. VERY COOL!!
12/22/17-12/31/17: It looks like I'm an official playwright. A THIRD (3 is the magic number) play of mine has been produced. Originally titled "The Boulder of Sisyphus Rolls Over Me Yet Again," my one-act play, "The 12 Dates of Christmas" was produced along with 11 other plays at TheatreOne, which was presented at the Catherine Hickman Theatre in Gulfport. Not only that, for the first time in over 20 years, I acted on stage. I was not only the star in my own play, but I also acted in 5 other short plays. EXHAUSTING, but fun. Best of all, my play was awarded "BEST PLAY/AUDIENCE FAVORITE." Here is the review from Broadway World. But no smart alec comments about my elf outfit!! A wonderful way to end 2017 and begin 2018.
8/12/17: Well, after 1 1/2 years, I returned to writing Newsroom stories and my first one at Hillsborough County has just been published: "Be Your Pet’s Best Friend: Have a Disaster Plan".More to come later on.
7/15/17: WOW! A lot of time has elapsed since my last update. The good news is I've been very busy working, writing, and reviewing plays once again. This time, I broke ground reviewing shows in Florida, specifically at AMERICAN STAGE, a regional theatre in St. Petersburg. I first reviewed "Joe Turner's Come and Gone,", an excellent production. Next was "Informed Consent," a very decent show. But their finale...ahem...was "Sex with Strangers," not a good show at all. Still, it's a damn fine theatre and I can't wait to review their next season.
7/15-17/16: Well, it looks as though Theatre Odyssey was not a fluke. Soon after that event, my 10-minute play, "Confessions at the Avenue P Barber Shop," was chosen as a finalist (out of over 160 submissions from around the world) for the Weathervane Playhouse's 8X10 Theatrefest. It looks like I'll be sticking with playwriting for a while.
5/5-8/16: Well, a new stage in my creative career. The moment I moved to Florida, I decided to take a break from fiction writing and begin writing plays. After 3 months and 200 pages of material, I decided to submit my work, mainly my 10-minute plays. And all that hard work is beginning to bear fruit. My 10-minute play, "Call These Delicate Creatures Ours, and Not Their Appetites," was chosen as a finalist to be performed at the 11th Annual 10-minute Play Festival, hosted by Theatre Odyssey. And it was a smash. You can see what happened here.
9/8/15: Finally settled into my new domicile in the Sunshine State. Time to go to work. Articles to come in the future.
6/24/15: To the great state of California: for the last 27 years, you have provided so much for me and my family. We came to you out of simple faith, searching for a new and better life. And those hopes and dreams surpassed expectations in terms of quality of life, professional and educational opportunities, and creative and especially spiritual growth and evolution. Now, as we leave you and establish ourselves a new life in the Sunshine State (Florida), we want to thank you once again for everything you have done for us. We want to especially thank all of those people in your state who we met and befriended. And lastly, we thank God for being there for us---and for still being there with us---in the next step in our journey. Deo Gratias.
6/5/15: A lot of article publications out this month. But I have to say that one of my favorites---overall---is my Montage article profiling best-selling thriller author Brad Meltzer. SO FRIENDLY during the interview. And his life is truly inspirational to me as a reader and writer of the thriller genre! Check it out on pp. 78-81 here.
4/23-30/15: A TRUE BLESSING! My dream to attend a film festival for free as a press pass holder has come true! Was it Sundance? Nah, too cold! Cannes? Nope, even better. It was the Newport Beach Film Festival! I attended 27 screenings, 3 galas and I'm still alive. Best yet, I had the opportunity to review a few of those films, three of which posted me on their imdb.com External Reviews page. See an example of one of those reviews here.
1/8/15: I am truly saddened to hear that Lawrence Davis, Editor-in-Chief and Owner of Splash Magazine, tragically died today. If it weren't for him giving me a chance with my writing, I wouldn't be writing reviews and be the journalist I am now. More information about him here.
8/15/14: Bards and Sages Publishing has released my latest book: Triptych: An Omnibus of Wonder, which contains my three award winning works published by Bards and Sages---The Grandmaster, The Chameleon's Addiction, and In Our House: Tantalizing Tales of Terror. Purchase your copy at the Amazon link here.
6/27/14: What a birthday! My five articles from Firebrand Media just came out (during my hell months from my last update) and they look great, including my global article on commercial space travel; I even interviewed a representative from Virgin Gallactic! Also, my horror/science fiction story "Black Ops," which was performed at The New Short Fiction Series four years ago—along with "Wash Cycle" and "Chamber Music"—has finally found a home; it's published in the horror anthology "Horror in Bloom." If you want a copy and check out the articles, go to my PUBLICATIONS page.
3/?/14: WHat day is this? Where am I? Who am I? I have a record of five features from Firebrand Media due this month, as well as 3-4 plays/concerts/ballets to review, and of course, my taxes! Beware the Ides of March? Damn Straight! Will I survive? AIIIGGGHHHH!!
1/27/14: HAPPY NEW YEAR! Lots of features of mine have been coming out from Firebrand Media these past few months. And more will follow. This month, my first non-Firebrand feature from Toastmasters International's magazine. And it's a cover story, too. Please check my portfolio for updates. :))).
9/7/13: August and September were busy months. Five articles that I wrote for Firebrand Media came out all at once; a busy summer for me. Articles include The Golden Age of Hollywood, Filmmaking in Miami, High-Tech Homes, Treasured Speciality/Hobby Rooms, and Sailing. Check them out in my Publications Page under my Journalism Portfolio.
6/16/13 FATHER'S DAY: On 5/18/13, The Generations Art Exhibition was presented in Huntington Beach. My video, "Uncle Ronnie's Retirement Home" (based on my poem) made its debut. On Father's Day, it finally made it on YouTube. Check it out here.
6/7/13: A fellow Ray Bradbury fan, Jack Collins, sent this cool video to me: "Fahrenheit 451" in 3 minutes. Check it out here.
3/20/13: Bespoke Magazine has published my article on the Cannes Film Festival. I interviewed the Director of AFI Fest and the executive producer of the Oscar award-winning film THE ARTIST. The piece is titled "A Cinematic Occasion"---Pages 60-64; Page 10 for my photo and bio on the Contributor's Page. My first global feature in the following St. Regis Resort editions: Monarch Beach, Bahia Beach, Bal Harbour, Atlanta, Houston, New York (Displayed), San Francisco, and even Mexico City!
11/09/12: Newport Beach Magazine has published my article on the "OC Collects"---Page 22-23 exhibit at the Orange County Museum of Art. My first regional magazine publication. God willing, it won't be my last!
6/6/12: Literary legend Ray Bradbury passes away on 6/5/12 at the age of 91. The next day, I wrote my own personal eulogy about this talented and humane man, how his work influenced my writing, and how meeting him has changed me as an individual. Check it out here.
3/17/12: Happy St. Patrick's Day! "Chamber Music" has been awarded 2012 Best Short Story by the 2012 EPIC eBook Awards!
11/30/11: An early Christmas gift! In Our House: Tantalizing Tales of Terror has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize!
11/15/11: My second book, In Our House: Tantalizing Tales of Terror is now available. Check out my Books page for more information.
9/26/11: My short story "Chamber Music" has been named as a finalist in the Short Story Category by the 2012 EPIC eBook Awards. Winners will be announced March of 2012. COOL!
6/27/11: It is official: In Our House: Tantalizing Tales of Terror will be published by Bards and Sages Press. Its release date is November of 2011. A blessing of a birthday gift!
6/12/11: Peter participates in IWOSC READS ITS OWN at Vroman's Bookstore in Pasadena. Watch him read an excerpt from his award-winning short story "Chamber Music" here.
2/15/11: What a way to start off 2011!! My gothic horror short story "Chamber Music"---which was the finale at THE NEW SHORT FICTION SERIES, was awarded Top Ten Finalist by the Preditors and Editors Reader's Poll for Best Horror Short Story of 2010 (Ranked 2nd! So close, yet so far!!). Check it out here.
10/10/10: THE NEW SHORT FICTION SERIES was a smashing success! Check out the photos of this wonderful event here. Be sure to check out his photos from his Panel Discussion Appearances at The Santa Barbara (9/27/08) and West Hollywood (9/28/08) Book Festivals now FINALLY published.
9/30/10: A SUPER SEPTEMBER!!! Now only has my short story "Wash Cycle" found a home at Speculative Fiction World, my gothic horror novella "The Chameleon's Addiction" has now been published and is on Amazon. Meanwhile, one more week till the New Short Fiction Series on October 10,2010 (oooh, 10/10/10. Cool!)!
8/13/10: YET another positive FRIDAY THE 13TH: "Chamber Music" is now on sale on Amazon! "Chamber Music" and three other stories will be featured/read/performed at The New Short Fiction Series on 10/10/10---The HALLOWEEN SPECIAL!!
4/29/10: As Peter waits (im)patiently for his gothic horror story "Chamber Music" to be published as an Amazon e-story by Uncial Press in August/September, his story gets its first cover blurb: "In 'Chamber Music,' the story of a convicted murderer who finds compassion within the music of insanity, Peter A. Balaskas touches the reader's soul with the ultimate truth that evil exacts a cost, that the universe does not forsake good. Haunting and as horribly beautiful as it is disturbing, 'Chamber Music' will resonate in memory long after the tune ends."--C.S. Fuqua, author of "Eyes of a Child".
3/29/10: Ex Machina Press is officially closed. Click here for his message.
10/22/09: Peter is awarded Publicist of the Year by the Book Publicists of Southern California 2009 Awards. Watch him receive his award from Best Selling author and L.A.Times columnist Chris Erskine, as well as his acceptance speech here.
10/15/09: The Grandmaster named Best Horror Novel of 2009 by Books and Authors.net and Best Horror Novel finalist of 2009 by USA Book News Best Book Awards.
8/23/09: Peter learns how to make updates on his website by himself! Woo hoo!!
4/23/08: Peter is interviewed on "The West Coast Authors Show" to talk about his book, The Grandmaster.
6/1/09: The Grandmaster wins Honorable Mention in the science fiction category at the 2009 New York Book Festival.
6/1/09: The Grandmaster wins Runner Up in the science fiction category at the 2009 Beach Book Festival.
5/3/09: The Grandmaster wins Honorable Mention in the science fiction category at the 2009 San Francisco Book Festival.
4/25-26/09: Peter and Ex Machina Press appear at the LA Times Festival of Books, on the MAIN STRIP.
3/13/09 (FRIDAY THE 13TH): Peter's unpublished short story, "Oranna's Song," was awarded Honorable Mention in the Romance Category (SECOND in the nation) by the Writer's Digest Popular Fiction Awards. Listed in the July/August Issue of Writer's Digest.
2/21-23/09: Peter, in association with the Independent Writer's of Southern California, teaches a Short Story Seminar Class on 2/21/09. He also serves as moderator for the IWOSC Short Stories Panel. Check out the audio seminars: here
12/15/08: "The Grandmaster" wins Best Science Fiction Novel at the New England Book Festival and Honorable Mention in the Genre Category at the London Book Festival.
9/28/08: Ex Machina Press made its third appearance at the West Hollywood Book Fair, where Peter was be a panelist on the First Fiction panel, along with first time novelists David Fuller, Natasha Bauman, Selden Edwards, and Amy Wallen. See the photos here. Check it out on YouTube:
9/27/08: Ex Machina Press made its second appearance at the Santa Barbara Book Fair, where Peter was a panelist on the Variety is the Mystery of Life Panel (fellow Panelists included Best Selling Thriller Authors Gayle Lynds, Robert Gregory Browne, and award winning author of Stolen Boy, Michael Mehas). Check it out here.
9/11/08: The Northeast Book Reviews gives a glowing review of The Grandmaster: Northeast Book Reviews Link, written by renowned critic, Mona Lisa Safai.
7/11-12/08: "The Grandmaster" is awarded Best Science Fiction Novel at the 2008 Hollywood Book Festival. Peter then read three excerpts from his novel at The Grove Plaza in Hollywood.
5/16/08: Peter's letter regarding Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull got published in the 5/23/08 Issue of Entertainment Weekly. Rock and Roll!!!
4/26-27/08: Ex Machina Press at L.A. Times Festival of Books for the third year in a row! (UCLA)
4/23/08: Peter is interviewed on "The Michael Dresser Show" to talk about his book, The Grandmaster.
4/3/08: Peter is interviewed by John Seeley on Write On!, a radio show dedicated for IWOSC (Independent Writers of Southern California). Click here to listen to the interview!
3/14/08: My website is up!!!! You can listen to my radio interviews, including where I am interviewed by Martin Perlich on KCSN (88.5 FM), "Arts and Roots Forum." Click here to listen to the interview!