Thursday, May 4, 2017

Experiment #5: Write a story in media res

            "Leo, you don't have to do this," I placed my space phone on the counter and let the holograph of Leo enter the space surrounding it. He looked a little older than he did when I left him to come to the new planet of Lires last year. His hair had grown out and now fell in a dark halo framing his face. He was taller and more muscular. I couldn't imagine what he must have gone through in his undercover military training. He didn't like to talk much about it, so I didn't ask. His normally bronzed skin had become three shades darker, probably from the amount of time he spent running outside in his free time. The only thing that had really remained unchanged were his piercing blue eyes. I could see his childhood self in them still.
          "Liv, no offense, but you're gonna get yourself killed if you try to go into this Hexa Palace invasion alone," he pleaded with me,"and no one knows you better than I do. I will know exactly how to cover you when you let a guard steal your blaster right out of your hands."
         He always joked around like that; especially when he was stressed about something and this definitely qualified as a Leo stressor, "That was one time! You can't hold that over me forever."
        "One time, my butt. If I let you go into the palace alone, we both know the first thing to go will be your blaster. Oh, and by the way, never letting that one go," his blinking holograph paced across my counter.
        Leo had a point, not that I would ever admit that to him. Going into the Hexa Palace alone was a big risk, even for me. I had been training for this for years, but I wasn't exactly sure if any amount of preparation would set me up to win against a fleet of palace guards and the Hexa military. The truth was I would have loved to have Leo by my side for the mission; the two of us had always been most successful together. General Axel always told us that while we could probably each save a nation alone, we had the power to save the whole galaxy together. This was just the first time we were actually placed in a situation that required us to save the galaxy which basically put the whole universe on our shoulders...literally. The real reason I didn't want Leo to join me was because I didn't want to lose my best friend. He was dangerously impulsive. I knew that if Leo got hurt or worse I could't forgive myself. I would rather die myself than watch him lose his life for us.
      "If you promise me that you'll-," that was all I got out of my mouth before I watched hologram Leo start jumping up and down on my counter as he punched the air.
     "Yes! Yes! Yes! Thank you, Liv! I won't let you do and I promise I will be careful and use my brain...occasionally! Liv and Leo off to save the universe! I'm so happy I could kiss you!" he was talking so fast, I could hardly keep up with him, but that last part made my face burn red.
      Hoping he would't see, I turned my face and pretended to be searching for something on the table in front of me. Once I was sure my face was no longer the color of a rose, I turned back to face Leo's hologram,"Alright, be here by morning. I will meet you at The Star Tavern. We have a universe to save."

Experiment #4: Setting and character outline for play

Setting:

The setting of this play is on an alien planet. It is inhabited by a variety of sects of aliens. The terrain is rather rugged on the outskirts of the planet but the center is a major city. The city is extremely modern and high tech. There are floating skyscrapers and a lot of bright lights at night. The majority of the scenes take place within the city as the human secret agent follows one of the higher ups in the alien government. The major scenes occur in a restaurant, the girls bathroom of that restaurant, the secret agent headquarters, and the Commanders palace.

Character Outline:

-Secret Agent Olivia Blank: Olivia is the secret agent assigned to follow Madame Justine on this alien planet and find as much information as she can on her. Olivia is eager to do her job well and prove herself but she doesn't always do the best job on her assignment. She is witty and charismatic. She is about 20 years-old. She is a brunette and has green eyes. Leo is her best friend and fellow agent. General Axel is in charge of the mission and she reports to him. Her character develops over the course of the play as she learns more about how to be a good agent and realizes that the only person she needs to prove herself to is herself.
-Leo: Leo is also a secret agent but he is often times sent in disguise to work as a soldier in the U.S. Military. He is very daring and sporadic. He doesn't really think anything through which can come back to bite him at times. He is very sarcastic and his biggest fear is having to discuss the female menstrual cycle. Era sees a picture of him on the Z-web (the alien version of the internet) and has a huge crush on him. However, Leo is interested in his best friend Olivia. Olivia is entirely unaware of this. Leo has jet black hair and blue eyes. He and Olivia met in middle school and have been friends ever since.
-General Axel: He is the head of the Secret Agent Agency for the U.S. He is an older man, probably in his late 50's. He has no children of his own anymore, since his only son passed away a few years ago in a Plygot (an evil sect of the alien planet) attack. He struggles with this deeply. He views Leo and Olivia like his own children. While he can be reserved and cold at times; he has moments of kindness where he lets go. He has a gray beard and blue eyes. He is losing his hair but he still has some.
-Commander: The Commander is pretty much an evil dictator. He is the leader of the Hexa Sect. He is extremely wealthy and very powerful within the alien government. He is very hard on his daughter, Era.
-Madame Justine: Madame Justine is half-alien and half-human. She is very the equivalent of a duchess. She is from a different sect than The Commander and is having an affair with him. Her objective is to get him to sign a treaty between the two sects or so it seems. She is actually trying to marry him, assassinate him, blame it on someone else, and take over his sect. She is definitely a villain.
-Mox: Mox is one of Era's best friends. She is the leader of the trio of alien girls. She is kind of bossy and very opinionated, but she means well. She is very popular at their alien high school and gets invited to all the parties in the city. She is obsessed with her image and the image of others. She spends the majority of her time on the Z-web.
-Castra: Castra is Era's other best friend. She is far more of a follower than a leader and pretty much does whatever Mox tells her to. She is very agreeable but only because she is afraid that if she disagrees with Mox she will be kicked out of the group.
-Era: Era is quieter than the other two girls. She doesn't really agree with a lot of Mox's views which can create conflict at times. She is in love with Leo and spends a lot of her time trying to figure out how to contact him on Earth. She lives in the palace with her father and despises him. She eventually befriends Olivia Blank and helps her in overthrowing both her father and Madame Justine. She finds herself and leaves behind her old friends.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Word Count Tuesday

What am I working on? 

I am working on some poems for my portfolio and journaling as usual. 

How do I like the process? 

Poetry is not my forte, but I am actually enjoying experimenting with it so far. It's allowing me to expand my skills as a writer.

What am I reading? 

The One by Kiera Cass

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Experiment #3: Letter to my 100 year old self

A letter to my hundred year old self

Dear me,

There are so many paths I could have taken, I don't want to assume I took just one. I want to assume that they all collided. I wish to think that all of those paths came snaking together, twisting around each other, and that I made something beautiful out of it all.

Sometimes I believe in fate and I think that my life is set out a certain way. I believe at times I am destined to follow a preset path. Other times I think it's all up to wild chance and that all the power of where I go next falls in my hands. I wouldn't be disappointed by any such path as long as I lived a happy life. If I found joy and spread that joy with others then that's enough for me.

I always wonder what I will look like as an old lady. I stare in the mirror and try to imagine where the wrinkles will settle themselves in and how my body will deteriorate over time. I wonder if aging will bother me like it does some people. I don't believe it will, but anything is possible. I hope I have long braids like my Great Grandma. I never met her but my mom said until the day she died she kept her gray hair in two long braids that went all the way down her back. Yes, I'd like that if I could. Future self, try to grow your hair out if you don't have it long. Do it just for the heck of it. I hope they've found a way to speed up hair growth in the future. Use it if they have.

I can't imagine all I must have seen at 100 years old. I'm often frightened about the lengths technology may go in the future. It's a scary thing how much people care about their phones and their image nowadays. I predict that issue only got worse as time went on. I wonder if I saw a world war in my lifetime. I hope not. I hope we are a more peaceful world when I hit 100.

I suppose I should tell my future self about who I am right now so that I can compare how I've changed. Right now I am 18 years old. I will be turning 19 in two months. I already feel like life is going by really fast so I must be feeling like life is nothing but a speedy blur at the age of 100. 18 is a cool age to be because most days I feel anything is possible. Nothing in my life is really fully set in stone yet and there are so many things awaiting me. Soon I will transfer to a four year university. I can't wait to do that! I can't wait to meet all the people that will become my friends. I can't wait to learn all the things that will make my mind whirl. Right now my top two schools are UCSB and UCLA. I would be happy at either. My best friend in the whole universe is Camille Coss. I just don't think she will ever not be in my life. I mean that. I can't imagine a me without a her. I wouldn't be surprised if she was sitting next to me right now as I read this letter in the future. I hope memories are hitting us both right now and that we laugh a lot. I hope we never told anyone about the Mexican food, I hope it's still our secret. My other close friends are Monica Deyski, George Holmes, Priyanka Dave, Lauren Cloughesy, Eliza Richard, Sarah Koep, Bek Kamolov, Colin Buchanan, Jerry Zhang, Logan Werner, Payton Chilano, and Amanda Mertzel. I read and write all the time, no surprise. My favorite color is yellow. I have an orange affliction. I journal daily and I love going to the beach. Drake and Teddy are the family dogs. La La Land and The Secret Life of Walter Mitty are my favorite movies. The Great Gatsby is my favorite book. Space Oddity by David Bowie is my favorite song. The best days of my life we're going to the swing with Ethan, Olivia, and Priyanka, Ashley Stephen's last day of school party junior year, the day of Katherine, and the beach day in Oxnard when Sarah, Lily, Emily, Bek, Jerry, and I met the miniature horse named Tar Tar Martinez. I am smiling thinking that even better days have come since those ones. I am probably laughing thinking that I thought those were so great in comparison to what is to come.

I hope I had a family of my own and that there is a lot of love in that family. I hope that my sister and I call each other every day. I hope that I travelled the world. I hope I took a lot of risks and I hope that I made the best out of everything I had. I hope that my relationship with my parents stayed strong throughout our lives. I hope that I opened my mind to new ideas.

I would imagine the world is a much different place now. I hope it is a better place. Maybe that is too optimistic but I think hope is a daring and wonderful thing. I want to contribute to making it a better place for all those who will come after me.

Oh and before I forget! Happy 100th Birthday, my future self! Who knows maybe 100 is considered young in the future! Maybe they have found a way to make the lifespan a lot longer. Either way I hope today is filled with love and joy. Braid your hair and give Camille a hug. You better have at least two dogs.

Love always,

Me

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Word Count Saturday

Fun fact: I am writing this at a little league baseball game

What am I working on?

Revising chapter 2!

How do I like the process?

It's going pretty well so far. I've had a few friends and family members read it and I am currently working with their feedback.

What am I reading?

Just finished Caraval! If you haven't read it, you definitely should. It's extremely imaginative and the plot will hold you at the edge of your seat the whole time.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Word Count Monday

What am I working on?

The letter to my 100 year old self!!

How do I like the process?

I love this concept! I do the majority of my personal journal entries in letter form so this is right up my alley. It's making me think very deeply about my future and while that is sometimes scary, it is also exciting to think about everything that is ahead of me. I think I'm actually going to save the letter when I'm done with it and hopefully I make it to 100 to read it. It will be interesting to see if my guesses about what my life may become will match up with my reality.

What am I reading?

Caraval by Stephanie something (I don't remember her last name!)

I like it a lot so far. My childhood best friends mom recommended it to me because Stephanie was her friends college roommate!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Yet Another Word Count Sunday

What have I been working on?

Journaling and a few short story ideas

How do I like the process?

I am good at coming up with bits and pieces of stories, but not so good at sticking to them for the long haul. Usually, I just end up with a bunch of different intros to stories but for me that is better than nothing. We will have to wait and see if any of these mini stories actually turn into anything.

What am I reading?

Forums about college life from all the schools that I am considering transferring to...

This is something that simultaneously stresses me out and excites me.