Random Pictures

Posted: August 1, 2010 in Rough Writers Assignments

Assignment: choose 3 random photos and develop a story from each photo. Here are my 3, however, I still haven’t written a storyline for the second picture.

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  1. Brilliant Czechoslovakian scientist and inventor, Drahzen Bohonek, disappeared from the face of the earth almost 40 years ago, not to be seen since. He was known for his innovative advances in microchip technology. Before he disappeared it was rumored that he was starting to go mad. It’s Alexandria Wessels’ wedding day and she’s on the brink of her political career as she is about to receive the independent party nomination for presidential candidate only to experience a reversal of her political beliefs. Leaving her fiance at the altar alone to face the angry mob of guests, Alexandria begins to investigate her medical history. As an adopted child she’d never before looked into her birth parents heritage, but with the onslaught of strange dreams and thoughts she wants to learn more. What she discovers not only threatens her life, but also the lives of the people of the entire planet. With the help of un-attached, hunky, FBI agent, Elliot Todd, they find love in their quest for the truth and work together to stop Bohonek from taking over the world. Bohonek has produced an army of chip-kids – men and women of various nationalities he had implanted mind-controlling microchips into when they were infants. He then gave the babies to couples who were desperate for a child under the condition that they submitted the child periodically for technological updates and testing under the guise of a study of adopted children. Waiting for these kids to achieve adulthood and attain positions of power within politics and finance, he monitors their physical and mental growth, providing opportunities they might not otherwise have had. Once the ‘kids’ are strategically placed, Bohonek plans to execute his greatest invention to date – the first ever unified thought-controlled panel of world domination through his chip-kids.
  2. Work In Progress  
  3. Has-been superhero and self-proclaimed recluse, Jordan Readlin, has an opportunity to redeem himself when he is sought out by a woman with a problem. Jordan hasn’t used his super-human powers since the tragedy of little Katrina six years ago. He still has nightmares about how the rescue went bad and the mistake he made that killed Katrina for which her parents still blame him. Renata asks for his help. He refuses because he has turned his back on his super abilities. He is unwilling to take that chance again.  Renata Billings was living a perfectly normal life until she was knocked unconscious during a failed convenience-store robbery. When she wakes up she discovers she has acquired the ability to read and alter people’s thoughts, as well as the ability to harness low electrical currents. Realizing the enormity of her newfound skills Renata seeks help from Jordan in handling her talent. Uncertain if Jordan was still alive, she was surprised to find him not only alive and kicking, but sullen, melancholy and reluctant to help her. When another child is abducted Jordan refuses to get involved for fear of history repeating itself. However, Renata tricks Jordan into offering his services and together they find love while they track down the kidnapper and deliver little Caleb safely back to his family.
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Dialogue

Posted: June 14, 2010 in Rough Writers Assignments

Assignment: write a scene with dialogue in 700 words or less.

Michael saw the empty toaster box next to the garbage can as he came in from the garage when he returned home from work. He looked to the counter expecting to see his old toaster, the one from his college dorm days, instead a shiny new gleaming chrome version sat in its place. He crossed the kitchen and saw that Rowan had bought a toaster with four slots. Michael went back to the garbage can, picked up the empty box and took it over to where the toaster sat on the counter fully intending to put the offensive device back into the box. Rowan walked into the kitchen as Michael was putting the toaster into the foam protective bag, having already unplugged it.

Confused, Rowan asked “What are you doing?”

“I’m repackaging this and then you will return it to the store.” he explained.

“Why would I return the toaster? This one makes four slices of toast, the slots are big enough for bagels and it has special settings for frozen items.” Rowan felt like an appliance salesman after that pitch. She reached for the appliance but Michael evaded her grasp by pulling the toaster out of her range.

“You’re returning the toaster because there is nothing wrong with the old one. Plus we didn’t discuss purchasing it. You just can’t buy something or make a decision without thinking about how your actions are going to affect other people. It isn’t just about you anymore. We need to discuss purchases beforehand.”

Rowan couldn’t believe this was happening; he’s upset over a toaster? “Michael, this isn’t a major purchase. It’s only forty dollars, not four hundred.”

Turning to her he flung his hands in the air and exploded “Exactly! To you it’s only forty dollars, but to the family’s needs it may as well be four hundred. Anything Rowan wants, Rowan gets, doesn’t matter if it’s forty dollars for a toaster, four hundred for a dishwasher or even four thousand dollars for schooling.” By this time Michael was yelling at her. He had moved from his place at the counter and was standing in front of Rowan. His nostrils were flaring, his chest heaving.

Rowan could tell he was extremely angry. She also realized that the argument wasn’t actually about the toaster, but about her decision to pursue a graduate degree. Apparently Michael was against it. Her voice barely a whisper, “Why are against me finishing my schooling?”

He looked at her incredulously. Expelling a breath in exasperation Michael turned away from Rowan, pulled a chair out from the table and sat down. With his elbows on his knees and his hands clasped in front of him he looked as though he was contemplating the existence of man instead of stating the obvious to his wife.

“Why? I’ll tell you why.” Michael held up his hand, and ticked off his points on his fingers, “Several reasons: one, you’ll be taking time away from the family because you’ll be spending nights in class and weekends doing your homework.” Continuing, Michael got up and started pacing, “Two, any extra money we have now will be applied to tuition and there goes eating out, date night and the extra little things that you buy.” Another finger shot up. “Three, once you get your degree you’re going to want to look for another job and you know how I hate change. Four, there’s nothing wrong with your career now. We have a routine in place that works for everybody.”

Pausing, he stopped mid-stride and looked directly at her, “And lastly, what advantages would be gained by spending the time and money for something that is only going to benefit you?” By this time all the fingers of his left hand were splayed, emphasizing his five reasons.

The Great Crib Escape

Posted: June 14, 2010 in Benjamin's Blog

2nd Installment in the Life and Adventures of Ben Jamin’ Regan.

 Over the past six years Ben has proven his unique talent for slipping through the noose. I have lost count of the number of times that this precocious little man has expertly executed an escape that would make any skilled magician envious. His escapades have ranged from the simplistic: sneaking candy one piece at a time until it’s all gone and you suddenly crave a piece. To the extreme: climbing the fence at daycare – out the door, up and over before the provider realizes he is gone from her care.

Ben began his career as an escape artist at an early age; first known account dates back to before he was a year old. His first attempt, although a resounding success, wasn’t as graceful or nearly as sneaky as later accomplishments, and definitely not as well planned either.

By eleven months he had demonstrated an amazing capacity for learning quickly (still scary to this day) and he decided that he did not enjoy sleeping in his crib. Oh, he slept in it fine for the first months, but once he nailed the crawling/almost walking gig, a crib was no longer a place to sleep but had transformed into a holding cell, one designed to keep him from the world at large. On this point, many parents will agree that the crib was doing its job of keeping an infant safe from harm. But to Ben, his crib was not an object of safekeeping. Instead, it represented a silent challenge, one that he intended to conquer.

Bedtime routine went off without a hitch: bath, food and coddle time with mommy. Wrapped into his personal blanket, patted on the back until his body went slack and his breathing deepened, the night began normal enough. Ben woke only once during the night when his diaper was wet, then went quickly back to sleep. Just around dawn, I heard him snuffling in his crib and waited to see if he would lull himself back to sleep. I must have dozed off because the next thing I knew I was jerked awake by a loud and solid thump that came from his room.

Skyrocketing from my bed, a million thoughts raced through my head, with the most prevalent being that Ben had managed to get the side gate down and fell out of his crib. Images of a prostrate little boy with cartoon stars circling his head flashed before my eyes. I felt, no, I knew that a mother’s worst fear had come true: something terrible had happened to my precious baby. I was certain that I was now the mother of an impaired child and all that that entails. I couldn’t envision myself as a parent with a disabled child – I don’t have the patience or the fortitude. All these thoughts zoomed through my brain quicker than Speedy Gonzales outruns Sylvester.

And somehow in the midst of imagining an injured child my brain registered that no sounds were coming from his room. No sobs, not even a whimper, just silence. My fear increased. Could he not cry because he fell on his head and snapped his neck? Or because he landed face down and crushed all his facial bones? Or did his blanket get wound around his neck and he accidentally hung himself? My imagination knew no bounds.

Rushing into his room, I had to stop fast lest I tripped over him. He was on his rump on the floor, next to his crib. He didn’t appear to be injured in any way. His head sat naturally upon his shoulders, no evidence of a broken neck. The blanket was still in the crib and he had a cheesy grin that wouldn’t be possible if facial bones were broken. In fact, not only was he grinning, he was actually laughing. Giggling was more like it. Pride in his accomplishment was written all over his face. If he could talk coherently I bet he would have said: look what I did!

I scooped him up and did a quick frisk over his body looking for injuries. Finding none, my heart began slowing down and my thoughts ceased their frantic circling. I then questioned how he got out of the crib. By this time, my husband had joined me and together we checked the gate mechanism. Everything was still locked in place, free of indication of malfunction. So how did Ben get free?

The answer appeared a couple of days later. I had laid him down for a mid-afternoon nap and sure enough, a couple of hours later he was on the floor. I put him back in his crib and left the room. Through the crack in door I watched how Ben created his own ‘get out of jail free’ card to freedom. His maneuvers were worthy of any rock climber as I watched his escape in motion. With both hands he grasped the top rail and pulled himself to a standing position. With the rail crossing about his shoulders, he was able to swing a leg over the rail, wiggle his body over to hang from the rail, let loose his grip and plop to the floor.

I was in awe. My eleven month old son was fearless. He wasn’t waiting to grow out of a crib and graduate to a toddler bed; he wanted to be free now. Once again, Ben rushed something in his hurry to live life.

Ben meets the world

Posted: May 25, 2010 in Benjamin's Blog

This blog is a dedicated recording of the adventures and trials of my youngest son, Benjamin. Why him, you ask? What’s makes this young man more deserving of a blog just for him over my other sons? Because every now and then an individual comes along that has the spark – that magical combination of fearlessness, curiosity and the burning desire to live life to the fullest. Ben has that. He wakes up every morning, hits the floor running and doesn’t stop for anything. For him, there’s always a castle calling to be built, a tree begging to be climbed or a lonely sprinkler waiting for someone to run through its watery spray. Ben is not only willing to build the castle, climb the tree and run through the sprinkler, but he will create the moat for the castle, swing from the tree branches like Tarzan, with accompanying yell, and pay the sprinkler a lengthy visit. Ben loves life and is always in a hurry to live it.

That’s how his life started– in a hurry to get born. I went to bed the night before devoid of any indication of what was to happen. I woke up at five am the next morning with 5 minute contractions. As we raced to the hospital, the contractions increased. We increased our speed, (channel the driving to the hospital scene from Talladega Nights), praying that we didn’t have to make an emergency roadside stop and that we didn’t meet any law officers patrolling the night. We reached the hospital safely and rushed to the delivery room. The birth was happening so fast that I wasn’t allowed an epidural, as there wasn’t enough time for the medicine to take effect. Instead, I was given Stadol, a mild form of pain relief. Suffice to say, I felt every contraction and every stretch of my body while Ben forced his way. With each pass of pain, I mentally cursed my husband, the powers that be, the person that invented the breathing exercises that don’t work and I also cursed the little being making the pain. Ben had barely taken his first breath and already I was cussing him for the pain he brought into my life. Is the pain that accompanied Ben’s birth a precursor of how he will live life?