Saturday, January 15, 2011

How do you make a story from 25 words?

Jenny Matlock 

Another week gone by and it's time for another Saturday Centus! This week again we have been thrown a big twist to the regular challenge. Instead of the normal 100 word limit to our Centus we now have just 25 words to craft a story. 25 words. Though 25 seems like a HUGE number to a 5 year old, we all know it isn't much. In fact my first two sentences already totaled 25 words. So really this could be considered the Two Sentence Centus. Sounds pretty catchy.

In addition to our 25 words we are provided a 3 word prompt to use, unaltered, and base our story around. The prompt this week: The lottery ticket

I haven't got a chance to read any of the others yet but I'm really curious to see if anyone took the whole "stone to death" approach from The Lottery.

Below is my two sentence Centus for the week. The prompt is in bold. It's titled: Wishing



At the store, she bought hope for a dollar. Maybe a perfect life was possible. As she wished, the lottery ticket matched, but happiness didn't follow. Wrong wish.



Saturday, January 8, 2011

How about THIS for a blockbuster?

***I apologize for the multitude of typos or lack of comprehensible sentences that may follow below, as I am very tired***

I've had a rather sleepless week this week, staying up often til 5 or even, once pulling an all nighter and staying up for 36 hours and going to two classes.  The reason? School has started up again, which means I have to go back to reporting to my Feature Film symposium class. The class is 9 months long and in the end of it we should have a second draft done on our own feature. This week I am supposed to turn in another 10 pages of my script therefore totaling 40, but over the break I decided to change so much of my story, I am now rewriting the first 30 pages as well. Writing 40 pages in less than one week. Oh plus reading all 5 hours of the original untranslated Hamlet. It's making for a tiring week.

Now it's 6 in the morning and I'm not up "early",  just still up, working on my feature. In needing to take a break from writing, I oddly enough decided I would do... more writing. So I've put aside my feature for the moment and am participating once again in the Saturday Centus.

Jenny Matlock

The Saturday Centus is a meme hosted by Jenny Matlock in which every week we will be given a prompt, usually a sentence or two, that you must form a story around using only an additional 100 words. You must include the prompt but cannot break up or alter the prompt in any way,  and you may not use pictures, or foul language.

This week she is throwing us a twist, and breaking away from the mold. Instead of a sentence prompt we were provided a picture.

My centus based on the picture above, follows below. I've titled it, A Fruity Trailer.

A Fruity Trailer


Coming soon to theaters...

The greatest love story ever told.
Orrie Ange was just a lonely girl rooted in Florida who never felt like she belonged...until one winter...

She met traveler, Jules Snow.
---"He just disappeared in the morning?"
----"I'm going after him."

Their love was instant.
---"She brings color and zest to my life!"

But with their families trying to keep them separated...
---"Orrie, he's flaky."
---"No, he's beautiful!"
--"He'll kill you if you stay with him!"

They'll have to fight to be together.
Can their love survive?
Julia Roberts. Johnny Depp

Orange Julius

February 12th 2011


You can tell I can't get movies off the brain, huh?


Thursday, January 6, 2011

How do you get rid off all food benchwarmers in your cupboard?

Answer: You make it a game.

This week I've created a bit of a challenge for myself that I have proudly succeeded in so far.

You know how sometimes you look into the back of your cupboard and discover foods you bought months ago but never ate?

Not the perishable foods that you find smelling awful and growing a second head but the non perishables. You pick it up. Look at it. Then put it right back where it will continue to sit for another five months just taking up space.

Well, rejected foods, this week is your chance off the bench. 

Low on money, and sick of looking at the two year old bag of stuffing in my cupboard, I came up with a plan. This week, I was to spend absolutely no money, which meant, no grocery shopping or eating out. I was going to only eat what I already owned, and having not gone grocery shopping since way before the holidays, I didn't have much. I would be forced to sustain myself with the few benchwarmer cans of food in my cupboard, and hopefully eliminate them all.

Operation: Divide and Conquer.

The first issue I encountered in this challenge is how none of my rejected foods really go well together. A can of refried beans and pasta? I had to get creative.  How about a side of stuffing, made with another reject, cream of mushroom.

Side dishes were forced to become whole meals. For lunch, a can of corn. Yeah, this challenge isn't really the healthiest of diets.

The hardest part about the challenge is you can never have what you are in the mood for. The question switches from, "what do I feel like?," to "what sounds the least off putting?"

Now after five days, I'm getting down to the wire with my foods. Here is a list of ALL the groceries I have at the moment in my fridge and cupboard.

-stuffing (Still. There's lots and I haven't really made a dent in it.)
-pasta (same as the stuffing.)
-refried beans
-green beans
-artichoke hearts
-3 boca burger patties
- coffee (I don't think I would be able to succeed in this challenge if I started while low on coffee)

And that's it. Anyone know any good recipes with these as the only ingredients? Haha. 

I only have two days of the challenge left before I'm going to go buy groceries but with everything almost gone, I might hold out until there is only one man standing. 


Monday, January 3, 2011

Are those real?


I don't really care for sunglasses much but ever since I was a little kid I have loved plain old glasses. Really loved glasses. Maybe not as much as this guy -

Yeah...he is actually getting glasses tattooed on his face....not a good idea.

But I do like them and I don't know why. I can't think of anyone close to me growing up that had them so maybe I loved them because they were so foreign to me. Nonetheless, each eye exam would end in a bitter disappointment. The results were always the same.  20/20 vision. What an outrage.

Perfect vision didn't stop me from wearing them though. At every drug store I would pick out a pair of reading glasses and beg for my mom to buy them for me. Picking out a favorite pair was always a difficult task because with them on it was nearly impossible to distinguish my face from my hair, let alone judge what I looked like in them. If only camera phones or digital cameras existed back then. Instead I would have to squint and get really really close to the mirror. People stared. I didn't care.

 My mom never bought me a pair. Probably because by the time I picked one out and walked over to her in them, I looked as if I was going to puke from the dizziness.

When I got old enough to shop by myself with my own money I discovered that Claires, a store in the mall, sold glasses with no magnification at all! I was in heaven. I bought two pairs.
I wore them so often everyone probably naturally assumed they were real. It wasn't until one day, when some friends and I were talking about eye prescriptions and decided to do the whole oh-let-me-try-on-your-glasses switch, that it came up. Someone asked to try mine on and I replied, "Okay, but they're fake."

This is when I discovered that regular glasses wearers don't take too kindly to folk who wear glasses for no reason.

"What? They're fake!"


"Why would you wear fake glasses?"

"I don't know. I just like them."

The conversation then turned into a lecture about how much glasses sucked and that I didn't understand. How they fog up. How they cause glare. Slip off. Cause headaches. All things I could simply put to an end by taking them off but they had to suffer through in order to see anything.  This continued into more complaining about how contacts can be an even bigger pain; poking your eye every morning and having them dry up or burn.

It was as if they thought we shared a unspoken bond through the torture of glasses that I had fraudulently joined.

After that I made sure to bring it up to new people when I meet them that my glasses are indeed fake. Most people laughed and were a little confused but It's a good conversation starter.

This all changed in the winter 2009. I went in for an eye exam after almost ten years of not having one. When the results came back, I was very surprised. My vision was 20/15! The doctor said really I had no issues reading but he wanted to give me glasses to use in case my eyes start to feel strained after reading for long periods of time. Never having experienced that before I wondered if I subconsciously fluked on the test in order to get glasses. Then I was told even more surprising news. I had an astigmatism in my left eye that had gone unnoticed!

Wow, two things not to really rejoice about but because it hadn't affected my life at all, I was fine with it. And this meant my issuarnce would pay for my first pair of perscription glasses. A week later, my glasses were ready. They were only .5 but it was something. They were prescribed. They were real!

I showed them to one of my glasses wearing friends and he scoffed.

"But, these are prescription!"

"Did you purposely blow the test?"

"No. Not only that but I have an astigmatism thank you very much. And you can't fake that."

 Even with prescription glasses though I continued to wear my fake ones more often because I liked the frame of those better.

The fake glasses wearing has slowly come to a stop this year as it has become the "Hipster" thing to do, and I don't want to risk looking like a Hipster poser.

But...I've found a new outlet for my need to accessorize my eyes. That's right. Fake contacts.

I don't wear them nearly that often but now have two pairs. Blue, and Green. Both total contrasts to my naturally deep brown eyes. Luckily friends know that my eyes changing from brown to blue overnight it must be the result of fake contacts so I've avoided the glasses sham situation.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Wow, words exist out of the dictionary?

A bit morbid but I just love dark humor.

I really wanted to get a post in today. You know, see how long I can keep the daily posting up in 2011. But as the day winded down I realized I still hadn't gotten around to writing anything, and I was at a loss for a topic anyway.

So I decided I would whip out a dictionary, flip to a random page, land on a random word, and that would be my topic. After a beat of excitement my smile faded...I don't own a dictionary. Is that wrong for a writer to not own a dictionary? Really there is no need with right? So I went to the website but soon discovered that they don't have a random word generator.

All my searches for random word generators on Google just brought me to sites that supply you with words like "hultwerner" or "fiatelry." Words that don't exist and are truly just random. Why would you need that? I have my own random word generator that is more fun. It's called have your cat walk across your keyboard and see what pops up.

  Some cats really are just looking for a creative outlet. 

But then I realized I do have a ASL dictionary and that would suffice. I flipped to two random pages and randomly selected the words birdcage and tree.  (You know...I realize now could have just done that with any book. My mind was too set on a dictionary I guess to think of anything else.)

So here is the results of my random creative writing exercise based off the words Tree and Birdcage. I turned them each into their own poem because, well, I'm running out of time here. 


All your life you wanted to leave me
Fly free
Away from me
I held you back
forced to stare out at the world that could have been

You dreamed of better things
And resented me for your “imprisonment”
I was trying to protect you
from the dangers outside
But forgot about
the dangers within

I was wrong
And now you’re gone
And I am empty


Last Tree Standing

I stand tall
Amongst the wreckage of my friends
You thought I would fall
But I’m stronger than the others

I am cut,
And I’m bruised
My roots are deep
And I’m not leaving

Yay! I can post this before the day is up. Two posts in a row. It's a miracle. Well for me anyway.

Do you have any favorite writing warm ups to do like this? What do you do when you want to write and can't think of a topic?


PS. Here is a picture of my actual cat.

She likes to watch Sesame Street. All the movement they do to keep kids entertained really works on her.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Why is January 1st so special?

New Years. 
I have a few issues with this holiday.

For one, I know with the holiday comes five months of me trying to adjust and date things 2011 or 11’ rather than 2010 or 10’. A little frustrating but I get over it.

Secondly, the year changing is really all that sets apart January 1st from any other day, so why is it special? Why is kissing someone at midnight on the 31st of December truly more special then kissing them at 11:04 on the 31st of December or midnight on the 12th of March?

Is New Years special because it’s a time for resolutions? I feel like if there is a goal you want to accomplish that you feel will make your life more satisfying or you happier, then why wait til New Years to start it? The sooner the better right? If you want to try and lose 20 lbs then why can’t you start working toward your goal on December 8th ,the day the idea strikes you?

Not to be pessimistic, but it almost seems that resolutions tend to make more people sadder at the end of the year than happy.  Mainly because, let’s face it, a lot of resolutions fall through and aren’t accomplished. So, at the end of the year we end up feeling worse about whatever goal it was because we tried and were unsuccessful.

The whole, ‘I made it another year’ aspect bothers me as well. Isn’t this is a revelation that should be celebrated on your birthday? When you really have lived another year. This criticism of course doesn’t apply if your birthday is on the 1st of January….

It also doesn’t feel like a ‘fresh start’ or a ‘new beginning’ because in the calendar year of my mind, the year really starts in August. Yeah, okay, I'm weird. This is similar to how I feel the week really starts on Monday and not on Sunday, just because you are starting your routine cycle over typically on Monday. I say the year feels like it changes in August because all my life, up until this point, I’ve started a new school year every August. The start of a school year has always felt more like a new beginning than New Years because, well, it is the start of something new. New Years just interrupts the school year only to go back to more of the same.

Wow, who ever thought someone could be this cynical about a simple holiday like New Years.

Seriously, how could a holiday that can make this happen-
 or this-

or this-

be bad? Oh wait...that last one happens all the time.

But New Years has redemption, and that is the community aspect of it all.

On your birthday the whole world doesn’t want to sit back and reflect on your year. New Years is a set date when everyone can come together and be nostalgic for a moment. Think about all the smiles and trials. Come together and celebrate the happy moments you’ve had in that year and toast to an even better future. It gives us a beginning and end.  It’s an end when people can really evaluate their lives and through that come up with resolutions for an even better life. A set date easy to remember by which you can measure your success in those resolutions. But most of all...

New Years Eve is a single moment in time where practically all of the world is meeting up with friends or family to celebrate…well, life. And that is special.

So here is to a new decade. Goodbye 2010, you were pretty good to me. I hope you all had a wonderful New Years Eve and an even better 2011. 


PS. Not to go against my thoughts on New Years resolutions or anything but I guess I have made one. The idea hit me today so hey... I'm going to write on this blog more. Every day? Maybe. Once a week? more likely. A few times a week? That's what I'll try for. It's a resolution I've made many a time before but that doesn't mean I can't try again.