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