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Category Archives: Fictiony Bits

“The Long Blink” [prompt -> script -> video!]

“The Long Blink” [prompt -> script -> video!]

It’s summer, by the college calendar, time to feel the liberation from homework, enjoy the sunny 60-degree days in Portland . . . maybe even get back to a long neglected blog! And a blog is a great place to share some of the results of that hard work, especially when both of your majors and minor are all about writing. And now that I’m a senior, I’m doing a LOT of writing!

For example, as a sample, I submit my proudest achievement this term: a video of one of the more fun scripts I wrote and saw come to life in my New Script Development class (the advanced version of the Dramatic Writing classes at PSU). In this class, writers like me were challenged by some pretty wild writing prompts; and then future directors and actors in class helped us to develop these stories into something akin to a finished product. I can’t tell you how much fun and hard work this is–and I loved ever bit of it.  ^_^

The project I’m sharing today is called The Long Blink, and it came out of this rather crazy prompt (just in case you already saw the video and are wondering “wtf was all that 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.

from Karin Magaldi, my awesome Dramatic Writing instructor

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. Yikes.

Once we had something to work from (and wow, there were some fun scripts that came out of that), we were teamed up with a director and actors (fellow students in class desiring to act/direct) who rehearsed and helped us to develop our stories into something much more wonderful than we could have done on our own. Then, to celebrate this wonderful collaboration, we got to see our scripts read on stage in front of an audience (with all the changes there was simply no time to block, act and memorize them). But even as voice actors, these girls and guys put way more life into our words than I imagined.

But I’ll let you be the judge… =)

I present to you a stage reading of my script The Long Blink, wonderfully performed by Nick Nolan, Taryn Judah, Madison Shanley, and Drew Pierce. Filmed by Jerry Rous.

It’s 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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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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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 Bloggie Bits, Fictiony Bits

 

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