Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Timber! and other news

Hey everyone! College has started along with a lot of other stuff. The biggest event that has happened is that my Grandfather passed away a week from last Sunday. I had to drop everything in the middle of last week to attend the viewing and funeral. I'm still sad about it. Christmas will be the big reminder that he's dead. At Christmas (well, around that time) all my Mom's family gets together for a Christmas celebration and we always went to my Grandfather's house. I don't know where or if we'll meet this Christmas. We'll see what happens.

I've contacted the Whetstone (went to a dinner of theirs) and signed up to do at least 1 article per semester. I can't commit to more because my schedule's still being decided. So, my getting to know the people there has begun. I'm really considering taking over from the current managing editor after she graduates next spring. That would look good on a resume.

I was still catching up on homework from last week this morning and the last bit I had to do was to write a short mini-play (1 scene with minimal number of characters). It was due today at 12:30pm (hence why I sat down and wrote it this morning and not tonight) so I got to work this morning and actually had it done in time. Anyways, this is the first part in an experiment of mine this semester. That experiment is a course in playwriting. We shall see if I survive. If I do, then I'll come out of it with another method and perspective of writing. If I don't, I'll know that playwriting is not my thing. This course will definitely help with fleshing out my characters, though.

About the play now. I received the comment that I need to show more through my dialogue, but my scene directions were vivid. Mind you, this is a short scene so there is not much room to play around with the characters. The assignment was to find a picture and write a scene off of it. My picture was of a young man bundled up in winter clothes posing beside the roots of a fallen tree.

Oh and as a parting note, NaNo is on the way (less than 2 months to go!). I've already got my story idea ready. It's an idea that's been floating around in my head for a while. It revolves around one of two sci-fi characters that I have created in my head. However, I have appropriated it for my Lwyn: A Space Trader's Daughter series. It shall be the book that explains how it all began. Now I just need to finish Adventure at Anwar first. I've got less than 2 months to do it! I'll use it to train for the crazy marathon that is NaNo.

Do you know what NaNo is? I've been referring to it without explaining it. A bit of explaination for those who do not know of it is in order. NaNo (short for National Novel Writing Month) takes place during the month of November. The goal is to write the 1st draft of a 50,000 word novel, in 30 days. Crazy, eh? Well it's all good fun. I did it last year for the first time and had a lovely, hectic blast. Second time around should prove to be even more fun as I know what I am doing this time. As for last year, Firequeen was the novel (novella) I started. I didn't win last year (I only wrote 17,000 words) but I think I have a better chance of doing so this year as I write a sci-fi novel this time around.

Until next time!

(finally, here's the play!)


by Anna Mittower

Cast of Characters

DERRICK, male in his early 20s (college age) Nicholas’s roommate, strongly opinionated and quick to voice his opinions, quarterback on the school football team, popular and always dressed in the latest fashion, goofs off but still gets good grades, acts rashly.

NICHOLAS, male in his early 20s (college age) goes by Nick, Derrick’s roommate, loves the outdoors, doesn’t speak up much outside of close friends, but is still opinionated, dressed comfortably, doesn’t really care about fashion, cautious.

REPORTER, female in her 20s, dressed smartly in a suit, very curious, and wears a big smile constantly.

FIREFIGHTER, male in his 40s, looks like he’s been on the job for many years, a veteran, heavy build, about average height.


(It’s the middle of winter and Nicholas and Derrick are standing at the base of a very large and old oak outside their dorm on campus. Both are bundled up against the cold. Ground is saturated from the previous night’s heavy rain. A strong breeze is making the oak tree sway ominously.)


Are you sure it’s wise to climb up that tree? It looks like it might fall any minute.


Give me a break. It’s perfectly safe and I have to do this.

(starts climbing up tree and pauses at first branch. He shouts.)

My honor is at stake. I can’t back down now, not after Gordon dared me. Anway, I’ve been wanting to test it out for myself.


(shouts up to Derrick)

You’re mad to take him up on his dare! He only wants to see you hurt yourself. You’re stupid!


(Derrick has climbed beyond earshot. Doesn’t hear Nicholas’s last line.)

What a view!

(climbs onto the branch that is his destination and stares around the campus. Shouts down to Nicholas)

You should climb up here and see this!

(Remembers what he’s supposed to do and stares down at the branch he’s on. Gordon’s dare is to cross to the next tree over on a branch bridge. The two branches intertwine, but as Derrick starts across the branch feels less stable as the tree rocks in the wind.)


(watching from the ground gives him a better view of the oak starting to lean. Shouts to Derrick)

Get down Derrick! The tree is falling!

(waves arms wildly to attract Derrick’s attention. Derrick doesn’t look. Nicholas stands looking horrified as he watches the tree falling. Once Derrick falls Nicholas kicks into action and rushes under the falling tree to try and catch Derrick. He half succeeds and Derrick knocks both of them to the ground. Nicholas tries to drag Derrick out of the way of the falling tree but a branch lands on him and Nicholas can’t get it off.)

Don’t move Derrick! I’m going to call for help.

(Runs to the dorm.)


Hurry up!


(comes back at a run)

Help’s on the way, Derrick. Hold on.


My leg’s killing me, and my back.


Well that’s where the branch is laying on you. Is there any other place that hurts?


I am sore all over.

(He groans)

Just wait till Gordon sees me like this. He’ll have a good laugh at how stupid I was. Sorry for not listening to you earlier.

(Siren wails in the distance before Nicholas can speak. Firetruck pulls up followed by an ambulance and people dash over to Nicholas and Derrick. They cut the tree branch and put Derrick on a stretcher and then put him in the ambulance.)


Are you alright?


I’m fine. I’ll probably be sore all over from being a cushion for Derrick like that.

(laughs quickly)


Do you know why he was up there in the first place? A warning was issued for this area about the possibility of old trees falling in the high winds today.


Someone dared him to cross from this tree to that one by going across a branch bridge. I tried to talk him out of it, but he went right on ahead and did it.


(shakes head)

That was very foolish of him.


I think he realizes that. He admitted that was he did was stupid while we were waiting for help to arrive.

(Another vehicle pulls up quickly. It’s a white news van with a large number 21 on the side. Reporter gets out followed by a camera man and comes over to where Nicholas and the Firefighter are standing.)


Hello. I’m a reporter for Channel 21. What happened here?

(Eyes the fallen tree and the obvious scrapes and bruises on Nicholas’s face and hands. Thrusts a microphone at the Firefighter.)


A young man climbed up that tree and fell out of it when the tree toppled in the winds.


Is this the young man who climbed the tree standing here?


No, it was my roommate, Derrick, who climbed the tree. An ambulance just took him to the hospital.

(Is nervous because the camera is pointing his direction and the reporter has transferred the microphone to him)

I’m all scraped up because I tried to catch him when he fell.

(grins sheepishly)

He was a bit too heavy to catch and used me instead as a cushion to land on.


(laughs lightly then turns to the camera)

So here we have a young hero in the making. He has just saved his first victim from death.

(Nicholas looks skeptical at this. Reporter turns back to him, microphone ready)

So how does it feel to be a hero?


I-I don’t feel any different. I’m just glad I was able to help.


(turns back to camera)

So there you have it. A young hero.

(turns back to Nicholas)

Now, can we get a picture of you beside that tree? An angle showing the roots of the tree would be best I think.

(Nicholas and camera man follow her around to the other side of the tree)


(Climbs up onto the tree’s roots and poses with a triumphant look on his face like he just conquered the tree.)

How’s this?



(Picture is taken and the reporter looks satisfied. Everyone but Nicholas exits. He walks back his dorm. Curtain)

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