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Category Archives: Fiction

“The Long Blink” (prompt – script – action!)

“The Long Blink” (prompt – script – action!)

This project came out of one of the more challenging prompts from my Advanced Dramatic Writing class at Portland State (just in case you already saw the video and were wondering “wtf was that all about?”):

Put no more than four characters in one of the following settings (note the theme here: small spaces): a closet, restaurant booth, bathroom, cockpit, confessional, elevator, hunting blind, cave, submarine, office cubicle, ferris wheel, tunnel, jail cell, bed, … you get the idea. The scene must additionally contain the following ingredients: A blind date, 3 days without sleep, a phobia, and a man covered in tattoos.

The odd thing is, the more limiting a prompt is, the easier it seems to be to come up with ideas for it. I suppose this is because when you’re asked to “write something,” the entire universe of ideas doesn’t come rushing in to overwhelm you and you end up staring at a blank page too small to fit anything that comes to mind.

For some reason this didn’t seem enough punishment for one project, so I added a couple of limitations of my own:

  • I would try to use most, if not all of the settings given, and
  • I would do so without any narration. It would all be in the dialogue.

The class really came up with some fun stories from this prompt. The best part was the collaboration: although it was the writer’s job to create the piece, we were teamed up with other students who would take on the roles of director and voice actors, so we could see and hear how the piece works for an audience. During rehearsals these collaborators helped workshop the piece from their perspective, as director, actors, as well as a volunteer dramaturge (someone who makes sure the piece holds together in its own universe).

This collaboration is key, in my book, helping you not only to craft the work so that the story in your head actually makes it to your audience, but to find amazing connections. ideas and considerations from the mouths of your own characters, as told from the people who are acting them out. It’s an amazing thing to be a part of and one that makes the story far surpass its humble beginnings.

Since this was one of our main projects for the term, we got to see our scripts read on stage in front of an audience–and a video camera. As awesome as it would have been to see it acted out, there were too many scripts constantly evolving and too little time to block, act and memorize them all. But as voice actors, these performers made this silly story truly come to life.

But I’ll let you be the judge. =)

Here for your enjoyment, a stage reading of The Long Blink, wonderfully performed by Nick Nolan, Taryn Judah, Madison Shanley, and Drew Pierce. Filmed by Jerry Rous.

It is still a work in progress, of course (especially the new ending), but we had a lot of fun getting it this far. I hope you enjoyed it.

Hopefully more soon!! ^_^

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Posted by on June 16, 2016 in Blog, Fiction, Stageplay

 

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A Dinosaur Ate My Guacamole

2015.03.21 037So, turns out the pterodactyl was a darling.

She called a family of brontosaurs she knew who run the Pangean Towing Cooperative, who came out and towed my defunct way-back machine to their cave garage. I’m still not sure when this is, but the natives here have been quite accommodating.

Of course there’s always a fly in the ointment amber, or an unexpected dinosaur in the tar pit . . .

We were having a lovely dinner at Laughing Planet (who knew they’ve been around since the dawn of time?), only to find there are small happy dinosaurs running about the place stealing peoples’ side dishes.

This critter for example (Exhibit A, right), took a serious liking to my guacamole. I mean, yes, I did mention earlier that I can’t really taste guacamole, but jeez, the little raptor could at least have asked before it grabbed my spoon and started snarfing it up.

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2015 in Blog, Fiction, Memoir

 

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Breaking My Wayback Machine

So, I’m thinking about making my blog a little less blog-a-day-zical. Eeek! I know right!?

I mean, frankly who wants to read this much of my silly ramblings every single day? Well, other than my cats, and the other small rodents they have over when I’m not around (really guys, the tiny beer cans so give it away).

Perhaps if I post 3 or 4 times a week, that will suffice to get my blog fix. I can last that long between ramblings, right?

Well, uhm, okay . . .

tumblr_m17tguFPbu1qiq0tko1_500The actual truth is: I think I broke my Way-Back Machine from using it too much.

I was sitting here pulling buttons and twisting levers and pushing knobs . . . wait, that doesn’t sound right. And then the cat sneezed (I so don’t want to talk about that mess) and the next thing I know I’m way outside of my “normal” blog zone. I have no idea when I am now . . . or then . . . or . . .

OMG . . . is that a pterodactyl??

Cool!!

I’ll get back to you.

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2015 in Blog, Fiction, Memoir

 

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Random Amoebic Fiction

One of the many seemingly random “Bits” I hope to explore in this space–my final frontier . . . is my fiction work. As if reality wasn’t suffering enough here already, hmm?

By fiction I mean both screenplays and novels, perhaps even some short pieces.

Like everything else that spews from my fingers, like Mork from Ork in reverse, my fiction also verges on weirdness . . . or hadn’t you noticed? I kinda like throwing normal present day people in normal settings into something a little unusual and watch what happens.

Kind of like what I do with you here. ~giggle~

Here’s one short example that randomly landed on me in a Creative Writing/Fiction class a few college terms ago. Don’t ask me what I was on at the time . . . I don’t want to talk about it.

It goes something like this . . .

Ms. Amoeba, P.I.

The bullet holes were gone. I felt around my chest and abdomen, but they were nowhere to be found. Maybe I’d imagined the whole thing and had simply fainted, but the memory of their entry was painfully clear. The goons with the semi-automatics had fired at least a dozen rounds into me and left me for dead in the alley.

Or so I thought. Even my dress was unscathed.

I got up, shook it off, and made my way to Tony Desilio’s lounge, determined to find the answers to my first mystery. The second mystery would have to wait, the one with the tiny saucer that had landed in the street in front of me and been run over by a cab. I wasn’t sure I saw that either, especially the weird ooze that leaked out of it and got on me when I took a closer look. The blur of memories that hit me at that point don’t bear thinking about, at least until I got a drink in me. The thugs got me while I was distracted with that.

Or so they thought.

When I arrived at Tony’s, I expected more trouble, but the big bouncer looking one at the door just gave me the hairy eyeball and let me in. The other weasel that shot me was waiting inside. They both sported big revolvers under sweaty armpits.

“Sid, the broad’s still alive,” said the bouncer .

“Shut up, Dob, and check her for a vest,” said Sid, eyeballing me, looking less cool than he acted.

The bouncer, chivalrous as a meet locker, bounced me against the wall—hard—to make me more cooperative, but the effect was anticlimactic. My features seemed to flatten to the surface, then bounce back.

Weird wasn’t the word.

Dob reached out toward my blouse, a flicker of something unsavory in his eyes as his fingers hovered over my cleavage.

I shifted and something went squish. The arm the bouncer had wrenched behind my back seemed to melt away and reconstitute in front of me. The anger of what they’d done to my family seemed to turn my fist as hard as a rock. Without thinking, I swung it up, striking Dob hard enough to send him flying. Everyone in the room was shocked, including me.

Sid brought his gun up, but the big one rolled over and jumped me first, pinning me to the floor under 400 pounds of smelly flesh. The next thing I knew I was on my feet again, knocking Sid’s pistol, then Sid, against the far wall. The bouncer was hoisting himself off the floor looking at his hands.

“What the hell are you lady?” he said, “You melted. Slipped away like Jello.”

I stepped toward him and he backed away.

“Shoo!” I said and he disappeared out the door under his own steam.

I stepped past Sid’s limp form and headed for Tony’s office, my mind reeling with possibilities of what was going on with me. Whatever it was, it didn’t stop me from my original goal. Nothing could stop me from that. Tony was going to pay for this. When I entered and closed the door behind me, Tony turned toward me and smiled.

“Hey, Babe. Nice to see you. Hope my boys didn’t give you much trouble.” he was a cool customer right to the end.

“Not as much trouble as I’m about to give you.”

He didn’t seem impressed. He stood up and came toward me. I met him halfway.

“You killed my family,” I said. “Burned them alive in a fireball. You got anything to say for yourself?”

“Only that my boys are getting clumsy. They were just supposed to get you. I don’t like nosy women in my business. Here, let me call the boys so we can tie up this loose end.”

He went to whistle and I caught his hand. He looked down, mesmerized as my hand melted and flowed over him. The look of terror came when I pulled him to me and his body became engulfed in parts of me as well. I didn’t know what I was doing, but my body did. He dissolved quickly, a flash of thousands of horrible deeds flashing into my mind as his skull was digested into me. When it was done, there wasn’t a cell of him left and I knew his every secret.

Half disgusted, half vindicated, I dropped into his chair and stared at my hand. It looked completely normal. I had become some kind of human-amoeba thing, and I’d just digested someone alive. How do I react to that? I was a PI, not a late night cinema monster. What do I do with this?

I thought about what happened in the street with that little UFO under the tire of that checkered cab and wondered if there were answers there. No sooner had a I thought of that than the memories of the flattened creature within came back to me, a history of a world far from our own, filling me with awe. The creature was not a monster. It had been an emissary of peace, and through a moment of frantic resolve at the last minute, it had made a desperate decision. Now this dead alien emissary had passed something of itself into a skirt-wearing PI, who could do things to bad guys that would put her off her grain for weeks.

Lucky me.

Not my usual cup of bananas, this anti-heroine thing. At the time I thought it might have some promise as a possible prelude to a series of stories. I’m not sure of the gruesome ending though. ~shiver~

I’m kinda wondering what you think. (No, really!) I mean, if you’re weird enough to still be reading my blog, I might as well put you to work. You my kinda people!*

[ * i.e., weird. ]

 
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Posted by on March 4, 2015 in Blog, Fiction

 

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