RECOGNITION - Blackfalds author Marcia Laycock has landed a Word Award for a powerful play she recently penned called A Pattern in Blue.                                photo submitted

RECOGNITION - Blackfalds author Marcia Laycock has landed a Word Award for a powerful play she recently penned called A Pattern in Blue. photo submitted

Blackfalds author Marcia Laycock lands a Word Award for new play

Acclaimed writer continues to explore exciting new genres

Acclaimed local author Marcia Laycock has landed a Word Award for a tremendously powerful play she recently penned.

Laycock, a resident of Blackfalds, received the award from the Word Guild during a ceremony in Mississauga on June 15th.

A Pattern in Blue won in the Short Script, General Market category.

Laycock was thrilled with the award, adding that it was especially gratifying to receive it so close to Father’s Day as the story is based on her father’s experiences during the Second World War.

He had taken part in the liberation of the concentration camp Bergen-Belsen as the war was ending.

The unimaginable things he saw had a devastating impact and he ended up in hospital in Germany to recover.

The play traces his recovery to wholeness and a place of renewal in his Christian faith. It’s a compelling, poignant one-act, but Laycock wants to expand it further to two-act production.

“It’s been a real learning curve — I’ve always loved going to the theatre,” she says of creating the work. “It was a tremendous process, and I really loved the process of writing a play.

“I have written a bit about the story of my dad, so I had that down. But as I started to think about it, I always wanted to make it something more than that.”

She signed up for a course at the Rosebud Theatre school, and that’s where the concept for the story started taking further shape.

“One of the things they did as part of his therapy (at the hospital) was that he had to make a hooked rug,” she said, which refers to the play’s title. “That’s the only thing he brought back with him.”

Near the end of his treatment, he told his daughter that he had an overwhelming need to find a church.

Upon entering a bombed out cathedral down the street from the hospital, he found an alter with a stained glass panel still intact above the alter. He later told Laycock that in staring at the stained glass, it was like watching the life of Christ flowing before him.

“By the time it was done, the fear was completely gone,” she said. “He went back to the hospital and told the nurses it was time to go home. They released him a week later. He still had his struggles, but he had his faith again. And that took him through.”

For Laycock, seeing the script come to life during her study at Rosebud was something of a revelation.

“They go through it so many times — rehearsing and rehearsing, and changing the tone,” she said, adding that she was given opportunity for much creative input along the way as well. She was also asked by the director to tell the creative team a bit about her father.

“I said he was from a little town near Ottawa, and that they had probably never heard of it — a tiny little town called Perth.

“Well, the young man who was playing my dad had just taken a drink of water and just about spit it across the table — Perth is his hometown! That’s where his family still lives,” said Laycock with a smile, noting the remarkable connection.

“There was one thing after the other like that — it was just wonderful. And it was so encouraging to me because when I started this process, I prayed that if I wasn’t to go in this direction, that God would show me because it’s a totally different direction for my career.

“So my goal now is to finish it, and get a production company to do it. It’s also the 75th anniversary of the liberation of the camp in 2020, so I would dearly love to see it on that stage at that point.”

Laycock, a pastor’s wife at Faith Community Church in Blackfalds, is certainly no stranger to local readers.

Her faith column, The Spur, appeared in Ponoka newspapers for years, as well as in Living Light News in Edmonton.

Her devotional book, Spur of the Moment, won the Word Guild’s Award of Merit in 2003 and her debut novel One Smooth Stone won the Best New Canadian Christian Author Award from Castle Quay Books in 2007.

Her second novel, A Tumbled Stone, was also shortlisted for an award after publication.

Meanwhile, journeying into fresh new territory in the fantasy genre has also paid off for the gifted writer.

Her fantasy novel for middle grade readers, Journey to a Strong Tower, was a winner in 2014.

Laycock has really enjoyed exploring the fantasy genre as she continues to break new ground in her writing.

Years back, when she was living in the Yukon, the first winter was brutally cold. “I sat by my fireplace and wrote this fantasy book – and that was the beginning of these young adult ones.”

To date, three are done – a trilogy – and have landed rave reviews from youngsters. And not to worry – there are more to come.

“I working on another one and I’m quite excited about it.”

For more, check out www.marcialeelaycock.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Alberta Health reported two new COVID-19 deaths in Red Deer Friday. (Image courtesy CDC)
Two more deaths linked to Olymel outbreak in Red Deer

Province reported 356 additional COVID-19 cases Friday

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta’s budget promises more help for COVID-19 with a hard deficit

Annual spending on debt interest is closing in on $3 billion

Alberta reported an additional 399 cases of COVID-19 Thursday, on 9,217 tests, for a test positivity rate of 4.3 per cent. (Image courtesy CDC)
Red Deer down to 562 active COVID-19 cases

8 new COVID-19 deaths, 399 additional COVID-19 cases

Alberta premier Jason Kenney, right and Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Justice and Solicitor General, provide details about Bill 13, the Alberta Senate Election Act., in Edmonton Alta, on Wednesday June 26, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Minister Doug Schweitzer talks on Enhanced COVID-19 Business Benefit

Provincial government rolling out new benefit this April to better help small businesses.

Mike Ammeter (Photo by Rebecca Hadfield)
Sylvan Lake man elected chair of Canadian Canola Growers Association

Mike Ammeter is a local farmer located near the Town of Sylvan Lake

Bookings for COVID-19 vaccines for people age 75 or older start Wednesday. (File photo by THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Updated: Delays for seniors booking for vaccine appointments

By 9:20 a.m. Wednesday, 4,500 seniors had booked their appointments

A helicopter flies past a mountain near McBride, B.C., on Saturday January 30, 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Avalanche warning for backcountry users in North and South Rockies

Avalanche Canada is urging backcountry users to always check their regional avalanche forecasts

Supporters pray outside court in Stony Plain, Alta., on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021, as a trial date was set for Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church. He is charged with holding Sunday services in violation of Alberta’s COVID-19 rules and with breaking conditions of his bail release. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Trial date for jailed Alberta pastor charged with breaking COVID-19 health orders

The court says it will reconvene with lawyers on March 5 for a case management plan by teleconference

A pharmacist prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at Village Green Retirement Campus in Federal Way on Jan. 26. (Olivia Sullivan/Sound Publishing)
Canada approves use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine

The country joins more than a dozen others in giving the shot the green light

Emily Keeping of Wetaskiwin, Alta., was last seen at 4:20 p.m. on Feb. 25, 2021 at the FasGas on 49 St and 50 Ave in Wetaskiwin. Supplied/ Wetaskiwin RCMP.
UPDATE: Wetaskiwin RCMP seek assistance in locating missing 11-year-old

Emily Keeping was last seen on Feb. 25, 2021 at the FasGas on 49 St and 50 Ave in Wetaskiwin.

Sylvan Lake's Winter Village lured many visitors to the town this winter. The town has launched a new contest to attract a new business.
(Black Press file photo)
Sylvan Lake offering rent-free storefront space to lure new businesses

Winning business proposal will get a storefront space rent-free for a year

NDP leader Jagmeet Singh holds a press conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
NDP will not trigger election as long as pandemic continues: Singh

‘“We will vote to keep the government going’

Students and staff at Gateway Christian School wore pink Wednesday in support of Pink Shirt Day, a worldwide anti-bullying initiative that was started in 2007. (Photo courtesy of Red Deer Public Schools)
Students, central Alberta community celebrate Pink Shirt Day

Mayor of Sylvan Lake Sean McIntyre supports anti-bullying cause

Most Read