Sunday, May 7, 2017

Moorpark College: A Reflection

This has less to do with writing, and more to do with reminiscing. But it is about Moorpark College.
Now that my final days at Moorpark College are coming to a close, I feel it appropriate to reflect on my journey at this...fine institution.

I began attending Moorpark right after graduating High School in June of 2015. I distinctly remember my sister (2 years my elder) announcing that she would attend community college, right out of high school. I thought it was the biggest joke. Community college wasn't necessarily painted as this...glamorous bastion of knowledge and learning. I thought it was where drop-out's belonged, or people who needed a supplementary education after finding their course in life. I remember laughing at my teacher's suggestion of a "junior college".

I was kind of a little shit.

Anyway, fast forward two years, and I was in my sister's shoes. Planless, mediocre grades (nothing U.C. worthy), and no direction.

That's a one-way ticket to Moorpark College.

So, I watched my friends all get their letters of acceptance and rejection. I watched them hitch their every belonging to their cars, and spread out across the country, and even, the world. I was left behind. In Moorpark.

...Suffice it to say that I was incredibly disheartened.

The first thing I remember was parking. I came, on my first day, to find every single spot taken. I parked in a staff spot, and came late to class.

I learned to leave an hour early, the following morning.

I remember feeling bouts of loneliness. I felt small, and insignificant, and I didn't want to raise my hand, ever. I'm not an introvert, but I don't like participating when I feel like I don't quite belong.

I remember trying to figure out the registration system like it was damned calculus equation. Waking up at four in the morning to reserve spots was insanity at its finest.

...And then my second semester came. And my third, and now my fourth.

I am still late to class, despite my best efforts.

I still feel bouts of loneliness.

Sometimes I do still space out in class.

But that doesn't mean that progress hasn't been made.

I came to this campus with the intention of honing my interests and skills to become a formidable transfer student, and eventually, job candidate.

I learned many valuable lessons:

1. You don't need to be surrounded by friends all the time.
2. You can do good work, no matter the institution.
3. People seriously don't care about your background, what you wear, or anything like that in the real world.
4. Ask and you shall receive. (Alternatively: Do NOT stare at the professor in hopes that he will understand that you desperately need help because you're too shy to ask for it)
5. Doing your homework on time is SO underrated.
6. There is ALWAYS someone better at what you think you're the best at. Be humble.
7. Do not judge people based on where they live, or go to school. You will be surprised.
8. There is a beautiful sort of comradery that develops when there's a big test coming and no one is prepared.
9. Rate my professor is USUALLY pretty damn accurate.
10. Moorpark has really, really beautiful sunsets.

There are many more, but these were some of the most common.

I will always look back fondly at my time here at Moorpark, despite the fact that I often wish I wasn't here. (That's just the hip thing to do, right?) I will always see it as a sort of safe haven of growth, where I learned a lot more about who I was, and more importantly, who I could be.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Word Count Wednesday!

What am I working on:

I have started working on the screenplay that's coming up in class!

How do I feel about it:

I am desperately trying to ignore the fact that it feels cheesy and reminds me of "contact".

What am I reading?:
Nothing, at the moment.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Word Count Wednesday!

What am I working on? 

Still working on that screenplay. Who would've thought screenplays take time and effort?  

How do I feel about the process? 

I'm actually revising a decent chunk of it. It needs to reflect the struggle of the countries oppressed by western imperialism and terror while simultaneous touching on the plight of Americans who are subject to become sheep to whatever the mass media says.

That's a mouthful. 

What am I reading? 

A wiki-article titled, "What to do when you have writer's block". 

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Fears of Job Security and Other Fun Things

This is less of a post, more of a rant, I suppose. Actually, less of a rant, and more of a...concern? I think that maybe, this might be the best outlet to share these concerns because (unfortunately), we might all be in the same boat. I say this because the majority of us are likely seeking some sort of creative career involving writing. For some of us it's the goal of being a published author, for others, it's becoming an editor, and some, screenwriters.

I'm not sure if I'm just coming from a conventional, strict sort of family, but I do get a plethora of interesting responses when I inform someone of my intended career path.

I get a lot of, ", on the side of your actual job, right?"

Sometimes, it's just flat out, "Oh. Risky, huh?"

Other times, it's the sympathetic relative who wants to crush your dreams gently, without doing so directly. So they whip up some response, and it generally comes out like: "Well, as long as you know that it's not likely, and that you pursue something else, and do this on the side, why not?"

And while my initial reaction might be, "No Cheryl, I can't be a screenwriter and a neruosurgeon at the same time," I feel inclined to understand.

And I mean, to some degree, I understand. When the job market is already so competitive, why on Earth would we plunge ourselves into one of the least stable career groups? Why not become a doctor, or a lawyer, or an engineer, (or all three, if my parents had their way)?

I often ponder if I'm on the right track. There's a lot of evidence that suggests I am, but I do feel insecurities creeping in sometimes. First and foremost, I love writing. And this is setting aside any concerns of whether I'm any good, or if I'll ever make it "big". I simply enjoy the processs. There's something cathartic and therapeutic of being able to string words together to perfectly encapsulate what I'm thinking or feeling at any given time.

It's all I've ever really been good at (arguably). Suffice it to say, I'm not the best math student, there's no career for me in history, and if all the people with my grasp of science wanted to go into the field, the world would be doomed. I thought I couldn't have a career in politics because of underqualifications, but this last presidential election sure proved me wrong. 

I know that this job, (screenwriting, in my case), is the only sort of career that will ever make me truly happy.

But I also know what it's like to have food on my plate every night, and I'm kind of attached to that stability, too.

Maybe this is just an exaggeration, but I feel as if this is how our society regards those who aspire to go into creative fields, whether it be an artist, a writer, a performer, etc.

I wish I could tie this to a solution, right about now. It certainly feels expected, what with the way I've formatted this post. But I don't have one. It seems, everywhere I look, I'm finding it increasingly difficult to ignore my fears in pursuit of my dreams. And while people often say, "Follow your dreams at any costs"- those people probably have stable jobs themselves, and don't fear paying off college debts and being jobless right out of university.

Just something to ponder, I suppose.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

The Fine Line Between Progression and Being Out of Character

Recently, I've run into a bit of a paradoxical situation when I've been writing characters that I've established for quite some time now.

I can best pose it in the question, "How far can character progression go before they simply become, 'out of character'?"

Let's say we have character A, who's known to be a hardass, a stickler for the rules, disciplined, etc.

Over the course of the novel, movie, story, whatever, character A softens up to the people around her. She cracks more jokes, she smiles more, she's even okay with playing hooky from work, all because of her exposure to this new friend group that she's made, or something to that effect.

Look at what you've started with, and what you've ended with. The dynamic is completely different. The way they'd respond to something in the beginning of the story should be a complete 180 from how they would react at the end.

This might be a good thing. It might be bad. But this begs the question, is that progression?

Readers tend to get attached to the way certain characters behave. If you're constantly shifting the morals and the attitudes of a character, it feels...messy. You're not really sure where they stand, or how they're going to respond to something, and it's this ambiguity that bothers certain readers. They expect a character to be a certain way.

Again, an example:

Let's say that character A is asked to skip work to embark on the roadtrip of a lifetime.

Your readers now have different ideas of what the response is. Reader 1 might argue, "Well, she's obviously going to say no, because work is everything to her, and I like that about her. She gets shit done."

Reader 2 might say, "Oh, she'll totally say yes, because she's changed, now. She's happier."

So who's correct? How can both versions of the same characters exist at once?

This sort of idea of progression frightens me a little, because it takes an established character, and does away with the characteristics that make them who they are, in a sense. And if people don't agree with this new version of your character, are you shit out of luck?

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Word Count Wednesday!

What am I working on? 

I started working on a new screenplay/play that's doubling as my assignment for class. It's the weirdly controversial one about the terrorist and his (or her) roots. 

How do I feel about the process? 

It's a little difficult to really get the message of the story across without also spreading a message that condones terrorism? I want it to reflect the roles the general "west" has on these people without naming countries. I want to express what a day in the life of one of these innocents was before western occupation, then what happened to forge them into the spiteful people we seem them as, (at least how the media portrays them). It's not really meant to be a sympathy piece, or a message of accusation. It's supposed to just be an unbiased reflection of the other side of the story, what we don't hear in media outlets. I'm not really sure how or if it will come together, but it's been interesting doing the amount of research that I have.

What am I reading? 

Lots of articles from the past few years regarding the subject. I bet the CIA is suspiciously monitoring my google searches, now. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

Creative Writing Experiment 6

A world exactly like our own, except...

  1.  A world exactly like our own, except when someone does a terrible parking job, they lose their rights to drive an automobile forever 
  2. A world exactly like our own, except you are fined every time you utter a curse word. 
  3. A world exactly like our own, except intellectuals are revered over entertainers. 
  4. A world exactly like our own, except gender does not exist. 
  5. A world exactly like our own, except Pangea never split up. 
  6. A world exactly like our own, except colleges PAY YOU to attend. 
  7. A world exactly like our own, except the need for food and water is gone. 
  8. A world exactly like our own, except you can purchase knowledge. 
  9. A world exactly like our own, except the government is pure and uncorrupted. 
  10. A world exactly like our own, except space has been colonized. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Word Count Wednesday!

What am I working on? 

I found an old journal of mine from when I was 8-10 years old, and I'm trying to polish it and also make an online copy of it for...posterity.  

How do I feel about the process? 

It's hilarious to read how naive and excited I was about everything back then. It's riddled with grammatical and spelling errors, and it's just...innocent. I can see myself trying to be funny, and failing miserably. (I must have thought it was damn great at the time). I'm working on transferring it to my computer, but I want to preserve the errors. Also the smudges. It really puts things into perspective for me. I mean, if anyone told me I was going to aspire to be a writer later on, I think I would've died laughing. It's terrible. 

What am I reading? 

Just my journal, at the moment. I have a to-read list I'd like to pick up, but there's not a lot of spare time at the moment. 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Word Count...Thursday

What am I working on? 

STILL working on polishing that screenplay! 

How do I feel about the process? 

I'm proud of it but I also hate it at the same time, if that makes any sense?  

What am I reading? 

Just our Stephen King text.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Narrative Project (Pt.1)

This was originally adapted for a screenplay for a film project I’m working on:

“You know, it takes a lot out of you.” The words crackled to the young marine over the less than ideal internet connection, the figure of her sister an amalgamation of grainy seeds on a screen, formed vaguely in the shape of her face.
A face etched with concern.
“I like to think that sometimes, it’s going to be okay.” Her sister went on, the telltale lilt of her tone suggesting that it was anything but okay. “I think we’re all entitled to that hope, right?”
The marine nodded, wondering if her sister could even see the movement, the doubt reinforced doubly by the grainy quality of the video chat, or the fact that she was so wrapped up in the words that spilled out of her own lips, a quiet sense of piercing emotion behind every syllable.
“But then again, I’m reminded of what’s at stake.” Her sister blew out a breath, almost laughing in a sort of melancholy, hopeless tone. “What happens if things don’t go our way? What happens when I’m not there?”
“You’re overthinking this.” The marine assured softly, her hands resting just under the table upon which the monitor sat, in the darkened communication room on her base. She didn’t have too much time, she knew she was required elsewhere, but this conversation was so...dire.
She’d never seen her sister- her older sister, her tough, gritty, icon that she grew up admiring- broken to such a shell of the woman she normally was.
She felt guilty, like the weight of an anvil was pressed upon her shoulders, and she couldn’t meet her sister’s gaze. Part of this was her fault. Part of this was due to the fact that she was out in the badlands of some country that didn’t ask to be ransacked the way it was. Part of this was due to the fact that she wasn’t home.
“Sleepless nights.” Her sister continued, as if she’d added nothing at all to the conversation, (and maybe she hadn’t). “Do you know what sleep deprivation does to the body?”
The marine nodded her head.
It was part of her profession to know.
“You don’t notice it at first, but pretty soon you’re sleeping maybe...two hours a night, at best. And it kills your routine, the next morning.” Her sister pressed on, as if getting closer and closer to the tip of the spear that she was intent on driving into the heart of the conversation.
Soft whirrs of the nearby computers and flickering lights of the sleeping monitors gave the marine little peace.
“The cries.” Her sister continued. “They tear a little piece of your soul out, every time. Every cut, every scrape, every bruise is a reminder of mortality, a nick in your coat of armor, a cautionary tale. It’s enough to drive someone crazy.”
The marine swallowed the lump in her throat, nodding slowly, knowing that it was enough acknowledgement for her sister to continue.
“And I think the worst part of it is knowing that you can’t stop every bruise, and every fall, and every cut. And you can’t stop it because….well, you’re not enough. You’re one person, and despite all the training, and the classes, and the lessons from mom and dad….you’re alone. And being alone is the worst, because not only are you prone to failure, but you have to accept that they’re your failures, and only yours.”
The marine felt her lips dry, licking them with apprehension as her sister sighed, her blurry hand moving to pinch the bridge of her nose (as far as her sister could make out on the grainy display).
“It’s harrowing.” Her sister finished softly, an echo of her rising tone just moments before. “And I know that no one said being a single mother was going to be easy, but…” She trailed off, a gentle crease in her brow as the connection cleared up momentarily, enough for the marine to see the tears pooling in her sister’s eyes, glazing her own vision as she felt herself react.  “No one said it was going to hurt this badly, either, you know?”
The marine woke up startled, reliving the last conversation she’d had with her sister. Before she’d been killed a day later, in a car accident, leaving behind her son of only six years.

In Media Res Assignment 4

I tend to enjoy writing personal narratives in the comedic style- I hope it can be applicable to this assignment! 

"You look like a starfish." My sister couldn't have been more brutal at the tender age 12, where she'd just learned that she could insult me, so long as her insult didn't bear any curse words, and get away with it.

I felt a little like the kid from A Christmas Story, you know, the little brother who couldn't move his limbs from the layers upon layers of winter outerwear. Technically, I was wearing a ski suit. A mocha colored ski suit. What kind of cruel parents would do that to their own children? What kind of parents would condone their two daughters to go skiing at one of the most prestigious resorts in Colorado, looking like two caramel macchiatos flying down the mountain. (Or, in our case, falling down the mountain).

Actually, my parents hadn't even purchased the suits. Rather, they were a gift from my eclectic Austrian uncle, who wore a hot pink suit to his own wedding, and thought Polo shirts were the epitome of fashion.

"Shut up." I growled back, meekly, but I was only ten, and the plethora of curse words at my disposal were at bay, due to my parents' presence behind us.

"You two are going to have so much fun!" my dad exclaimed, excitedly. "This is your first time skiing. The class we enrolled you in is great, lots of kids your age will be there. You'll be pros by the end of today."

What father dearest failed to mention was that he stranded my sister and I, helpless valley girls, in a room full of dudebros employed by the resort to teach idiotic, snot nosed children, how to make "pizzas" and "french fries" with their skis.

And then, without checking to see if these future prodigies knew how to employ the pizza, and the french fries, they would toss their sorry asses down the mountain, like some barbarian blood sport.

My parents had opted for a day at the cafe, at the foot the mountain, where they could watch the children tumble to their deaths, while sipping a nice twelve dollar cappuccino.

"Alright, little dudes." The main instructor, whom we will now refer to as Brody, spoke in his totally sick drawl. "You're gonna line up by this chair lift, and it's gonna take you to the top!"

What a concept.

"Now remember, wait for my signal, and then we're all gonna go down together."

Right, yeah. I could do that.

So, we lined up, every single other pairing before myself, and my sister. In fact, even the instructors went before us.

I remember watching the mountain as we ascended, wondering what would happen if I fell. Oh, if only I knew. Truth be told, it was a mere bunny slope, something they'd designed for children, and the lesser coordinated. That didn't mean it didn't look daunting. I mean, I had never even seen snow until the day prior.

I watched, as the students got off, sliding off the miniature ramp, and waiting attentively by the side of the chair lift operating station, a small building on the side of the mountain, terraced so it was flat.

My sister and I were last, and the whole group was waiting for us to get off the chairlift, so they could show off their newly learned fast food sounding moves.

But hey, the chairlift was slow, and there was nothing my sister and I could do to pass the time.

So, naturally, we started kicking each other.

Maybe it was revenge for the comments we exchanged earlier, but that didn't really matter. In the midst of our kicking, we both managed to get our skis off, just in time for our exit.

The door to the chairlift popped open, and out came my sister and I, with no skis.

It must have been entertaining, to watch the two caramel colored starfish looking girls fall out of the chair with no skis, completely disoriented as they hit the snow, face first. I remember my sister's ski fell and already began it's descent down the hill without her, accompanied by a chorus of laughter from our "bros" in the kids program.

I was luckier, my skis remained nearby, and as I struggled to grab them, I noticed my sister lifting her head up, a face full of powdery snow, just to be met with the back of the chair, still moving in it's rotation, shoving her face back into the ground.

A fresh chorus of applause, because truly, it was a performance.

I mean, something this bad had to be coordinated. Right?

And then, at the age of ten, I learned about the cruel nature of mankind. I remember glancing up, about to reach out to my ski instructor, Brody, for his hand, for his mercy- and I remember the way he ushered the rest of the children down the mountain, as if I weren't part of his group.

In retrospect, if I were Brody, I too wouldn't have wanted to claim my sister and I as part of his group. I forgive you, Brody.

But that left my sister and I smack in the middle of the ramp, with a fresh group coming straight for us.

If I'd listened to the operators, who were moving to halt the lift so we could be assisted, this story probably wouldn't have been as entertaining.

I remember the rush of adrenaline as I heaved, yanking my sister, ski on only one foot, rolling off the ramp. And, subsequently, off the terrace.

When I imagined going down the snow blanketed mountain for the first time, I  had imagined it with skis. Or with a snowboard. Or a tube. Or a sled. Just not on my ass, and not with sister tumbling straight behind me.

And you're probably thinking, "Well, she couldn't have tumbled the whole way, right?" 

You're wrong. I defied the forces of nature. I defied physics. I rolled like no one had rolled before. My skis ejected, my goggles fogged, my admiration for the sport- destroyed.

(Yes, it was actually a fairly short tumble, as I mentioned this was a hill for toddlers, probably, felt like a black diamond).

I remember rolling to a stop in front of the rails of the cafe, (oh the irony of it all), and my parents were waving proudly as they took their pictures.

I remember Brody skiing over, offering to help us up, in front of my parents. 

My sister and I did three more slopes, after that. We did get better, contrary to popular belief. The lift operators actually learned to slow it down whenever they saw our telltale, ugly, caramel colored suits in display.

But the damage was done.

That evening, my sister and I had retired our skis (for good), and had opted to visit the cafe for some hard earned hot chocolate. Because, dammit, we earned it.

It was there that another man, elderly, this time- Not a Brody, perhaps a...Eugene? An Earl? He was guiding his group of students, younger than us by a few years, out of the cafe.

The words out of his mouth haunt me still.

"Oh, looky here." He drawled (seriously, why does everyone drawl?). His class of kids was at full attention. "It's the crash and burn twins."

The crash and burn twins.

I wanted to argue, but...we did crash and burn. And we did look like twins in those horrendous suits.

I wonder if we've become something of a legend, there, a cautionary tale to all those who were not born with Shaun White's skills, who still dream of trying to ski at least once in their lives.

All I know for certain is that I can never, ever go back to Colorado.

Map: Activity 2

A guide to my brain: (Illustrated by yours truly):

Welcome to my brain! I know it can be a bit terrifying to navigate (not in the dark, edgy way), but in the sense that there's just too much going on. Since you're a tourist, I've outlined a map of sorts for you, so you can get around.

First, you'll start at Social Anxiety Station. It is the staple of my behavior. Here, you'll witness thoughts such as: Is my stomach gurgling too loud in class? Why did I just tell the waiter "you too" when he told me to enjoy my meal? Has this stain been on my shirt all day? Am I really wanted in this group or do they just tolerate me? And so much more! Note that it is one of the larger lobes of the brain, meaning it has more impact on my day to day life! Isn't that fascinating?

You'll now come to a fork in the road. On the left, you'll be visiting Smartass Central.  Note that this is the largest and most prestigious lobe my brain has to offer- that means I've been honing it for years! Here you can witness engaging thoughts such as: Why don't you watch your tone, I'll come down when I'm good and ready!, Duh, No shit, sherlock, and so much more! This lobe, as diverse and large as it is, also features the largest number of delinquents and incarcerations, as I usually get in trouble when I'm a smartass.

To the other side, you'll notice Hunger Highway. True to it's name, it is fast, brutal, and constant. Hunger highway is always there. In class? It's there. At night? It's there. After you just ate? It's there. With hunger highway, you'll notice that you'll be thinking about what you're going to eat for dinner, rather than that statistics quiz- oh, look, you just failed. Nice.

Moving along, you'll see Procrastination Place, the second largest lobe. We'll tell you about it later.

Then, you'll come across Irrational Interstate. This interstate is home to thoughts like, "Why didn't the mailman wave back today? Does he hate me? Did I do something? Or others like, "What if I accidentally type the word bomb while I'm texting and the CIA arrests me? What if this isn't real life and this is like the Truman show? Am I being watched right now? Such classics.

Further along, you'll see Regret Road. Kind of what I feel right now after thinking this would be a good idea to make.

Below that is the famed Math Memorial. Kindly treat it with the utmost respect and silence, as we mourn the loss of math skills that could have been. Famous massacres here include the SAT math portion, the ACT math portion, High school Algebra and Geometry, and recently college Statistics. Rest in peace.

Finally, you'll find the glamorous Stupid Song Studios, where the best of the best songs are broadcast to the rest of the brain! That Call me Maybe chorus you hate so much? There. That one Britney song, except she only says "It's britney, bitch" over and over again? Sure. And, for a limited time only, you can sometimes find yourself singing these stupid tunes out loud! In public! Subconsciously!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Word Count Wednesday #3

What am I working on? 

A narrative story for class (the one I'm presenting), and just some journal writing. 

How do I feel about the process? 

I think it's coming along well. 

What am I reading? 
Heart of Darkness (still, I know) by Joseph Conrad

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Narrative: Major Requirement Essay

One of my essays for the colleges I'm applying to requires an episode to be written about my family, (with undertones about racism/social justice/immigrant status). I figured I'd archive it here! 

NOTE: It is meant to be a parody, of course. 

Major Requirement Essay: What Happens in the Cul De Sac, Stays in the Cul De Sac
There is only one way to survive being a minority family in America, and that is with a great sense of humor. Thus, my family’s television series would be quite the comedy. Growing up with Iranian immigrant parents in Los Angeles has subjected me to hundreds upon hundreds of interesting stereotypes, opinions, and beliefs. Over the years, I have garnered an incredible number of speculations about my family, the most interesting of which being that we were a mafia family. Best described and explained by this episode, it is important to note that the main character and narrators are in fact, the neighbors from across the street- (As the stories of most minorities are told by the way they are perceived by the white man)-the incredibly American neighbors. And so, our episode begins.
Our main character, Jim White, is an incredibly nice guy. He works an average nine to five job, loves his wife and two children, and his Prius. Jim doesn’t think twice about the new family moving in across the street. In fact, they’re just like his family. A nice family of four, a father, a mother, and two teenaged girls. The mirror image of his family. With one catch: They are Persian. But Jim is a self-proclaimed liberal humanist, so he certainly isn’t at all weirded out by it. Until, one morning, while he reads his recycled newspaper, his daughter, Sarah, mentions, “You know our neighbors? Well, I go to school with their daughter, Nikita. And guess what? I hear her family is part of the Persian mafia.”
Jim chuckles on his bite of gluten free Wheaties cereal. “Oh, Sarah, come on now. That’s ridiculous.”
Sarah shakes her head. She has a plethora of knowledge on the topic of mafias. After all, she’s seen The Godfather. And, like, half of Scarface. And that scene in Clueless where Cher mentions the Persian mafia. So, she knows. “Check it out dad.” She insists.
Jim doesn’t think anything of it, because teenagers are full of talk. Jim embarks on his usual brisk Monday morning walk, he is surprised to see a series of trucks parked out by the curb. Bearing no commercial logo, Jim pauses, for a moment, Sarah’s words reflecting in his thoughts. No, he thinks. It’s just a coincidence. A bunch of white, unmarked vans pulling up to his neighbor’s house, their doors looking ready to slide open and snatch him up at any moment- No. That’d be racist. And Jim most certainly isn’t a racist.
A week passes, and Jim’s surveillance continues. On Tuesday morning, Jim notices the father leave the house, in a white BMW. Jim wants to think it’s nothing out of the ordinary, until another one pulls out of the driveway. Multiple white German luxury cars? Clearly the work of the mob. On Wednesday, Jim sees the family out going for a walk together. He is appalled to find them wearing track suits. Actual, honest to god track suits. Where on Earth are their khakis? Where is their sense of American culture? Jim is unnerved as he quickly speed walks back to the safety of his driveway. He might just have to bring this up at the homeowner’s association meeting, if this keeps up. Sure, he’s all for diversity in the neighborhood, but this? A threat. He simply can’t have it. It’s not until Friday evening, that Jim notices cars lining the sidewalk. Only a mafia family would gather in such large numbers voluntarily. Oh, the number of BMW’s and Mercedes is horrendous. They line the sidewalk, all the way to his driveway. In fact, one car is exactly one eighth of an inch in his driveway. (Yes, he measured for accuracy). Jim is on his way to call the police about the blatant violation on his property, when he sees the family taking out the trash. Among the average bins are rolls of carpet. Tied up. Jim is petrified in his Birkenstocks. And then, to top it all off, gunshots. Actual, honest to god gunshots echo and resonate throughout the cul-de-sac.
Jim makes a mad dash for the house, calling to his wife, “Anne, call the cops! Get the neighborhood watch! Do something!”
The police arrive suspiciously quickly, as they love to do their rounds in neighborhoods where nothing ever happens. They first stop before Jim, who is standing nervously at the foot of his driveway. They ask him to recall what happened, and with baited breath, he answers, “They-” and he points his fingers accusingly in the direction of the neighboring home. “-they are part of the mob. I’ve seen it. They have…unmarked vans with strange deliveries, and they all drive white BMW’s, and they have bodies rolled up in carpet by their trash! And, for the love of god, they wear tracksuits! In 2016! Listen! Listen! Gunshots! There!”
The police look largely unimpressed. “Mr. White, those are not gunshots.”
Jim is persistent that they investigate, nonetheless.
It takes only twenty minutes for Jim to have his answers. It takes only twenty minutes for Jim’s entire theory to be debunked. Just for kicks, one of the officers kicks the rolled carpet to his feet, where it unfurls to reveal an elegant pattern, with just a stain in the corner. (And no corpse).
“Are you afraid of Persian carpets, Mr. White?’
“But…” He stammers. “But, the white vans-“
“-Delivering a new sound system for the home theatre.” The officer replies, wryly. “Which would explain your so called gunshots.”
“-The BMW’s-“ Jim shakes his head.
“-a popular car choice.”
“-The cars lining the streets!” Jim protests.
“-Just their family, visiting. Persian families are closely knit, Mr. White.”
“But…But what about the carpets?”
“I was told they would rather be dead than caught with stained carpets.” The officer chuckles fondly, now, as if he’s made friends with them.
“…And the track suits?” Jim whispers.
            “Mr. White, it is incredibly vain of you to judge people by their choice in clothing, their upholstery, their cars, and their race.” The officer tsks. “If that’s all, I’d like to bid you a good night.”
            Jim is left speechless, as the officer turns to get into the squad car, where his partner is waiting. “Did he buy it?” His partner asks, as soon as he shuts the door.

            “Doesn’t matter.” The officer smirks as he pats his chest pocket, filled with a wad of one hundred dollar bills. “He’s none the wiser.” 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Word Count Wednesday #2

What am I working on? 

Okay, still working on that script, but also: Personal statements to colleges I'm transferring to. I don't know if that counts as creative writing but I'm creatively trying to sell myself as a stellar student (which I'm not) so... why not add that here. 

How do I feel about the process? 

...Let's just say I'll rest easy when the application is sent and it's out of my hands. 

What am I reading? 
Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. It's con-rad. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Word Count Wednesday

What am I working on? 

A script for a student film project at Pepperdine University! 

How do I feel about the process? 

I hate myself! Just kidding, it's actually pretty fun. It's difficult and fun to write with boundaries that have to be filmed later. I really enjoy this process and hope to go into screenwriting or something of the sort! 

What am I reading? 
A textbook on screenwriting :( 
And The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas