When I was in the 1st grade, I wrote a book called Sometimes. This book was more of a poem, with a line of prose starting with the word “sometimes” in the center of an 8×11 white paper all bound together with a few staples. I showed it around to various family members and grown-ups who all admired and seemed impressed by it. Was it because a 7 year old made a picture book purposely without pictures? Or perhaps the fact that I wrote a book at all without being asked or instructed and wanted the world to know “Sometimes I am sad and don’t know why” and “Sometimes I do not want a cookie but will eat one anyway”? The world may never know, but sometimes I forget how inspiring little kids can be.
March 19, 2011
July 27, 2010
I’m working on some new poems for this summer season, regardless if they have to do with summer or not, but I will post them when they are ready to be read. In the meantime, I thought I would showcase some past poems again that I either recall writing in the summer, or writing about summer. I may post one or two throughout the week in their own special post, but here are a few links to what I will post later… until I’m ready to post something new, of course.
And even though I’m putting my poetry hat on, I’m still working on telling my adventures in Canada. To be frank about it all, life has been in fast forward since I’ve been back and I’ve barely had time to sit down to recount all the events that happened in those few days. But no worries, those stories will be posted soon. In the meantime, enjoy some oldies but goodies. When I repost these poems, I will give more of a back story as to how I was inspired and what the story is behind it… if it isn’t obvious.
“The Night We Ruled the World” – a poem detailing the adventures I had at Purchase College with a great friend of mine named Dan around the time the semester was over.
“Forever Lasts Tonight” – an imagined memory of friends enjoying a summer’s night.
“Gravity” – okay, so this one is about spring… but I think I wrote it during the summer.
Summer Haiku – self explanatory.
July 20, 2010
I’m writing this while still being caught up with Inception and its crucial last scene ending. I want to call it a “twist-ending” but I think it’d be more correct to call it an ambiguous ending, since so many people are debating about it and what it means to the overall story. I’m not about to say what I think here in this format, but if you want to discuss further, write a comment, or send me a message and we’ll chat. But this only applies if you’ve seen the movie… and you should if you haven’t!
As for Mr. M. Night… we tend to relate him to having a shocking twist at the end of his movies. Even Robot Chicken made a sketch out of it! Major spoilers follow: The Sixth Sense has Bruce Willis dead the whole time, and we, as audience, don’t realize it until the end. In Unbreakable, Bruce Willis is being crafted as a superhero. Although is that really a twist? Is there a twist in Signs? That was a mixed bag overall for people, but I liked it. It relied more on suspense and the payoff was decent. The Village I personally yawned on and discovered “the twist” long before it happened–the monster thing was a costume someone wore to keep people from venturing in the woods and away from the village, and the village itself was nestled in or on the outskirts of modern day town. Lady in the Water was forgettable. I remember watching it and thought it was a good story, but I couldn’t tell you how it ended because I don’t remember nor do I have the need or want to see it again to remember. And then we have The Happening. The trees/plants were making people commit suicide. I don’t know if you want to qualify that as a twist or what, but that was that movie’s punch line. Humanity was getting out of hand, so nature took matter into its own leaves. This was just too morbid and depressing for me, overall.
I haven’t seen The Last Airbender, which I’ve already heard horrible things about. Not only that, people keep asking (rhetorically) how he keeps getting money and attracting stars to his projects with all these failures (according to the box office, top critics and everyday movie goers like you and me).
But here I am, constantly trying to defend him as a storyteller. I respect the writer/directors and sometimes value their work a bit higher than other films, just because they have more control over their projects than if a writer sold a script to a studio and that would be the last said writer would have any say in the story he or she penned. That’s not always the case though. And I usually like where Night’s mind is at, because it’s something new or unique. But the problem is having a great build up with a payoff this is equal or greater. Sometimes you hit the mark, sometimes you don’t.
So I recently saw the trailer for the next Shyamalan picture. I want to have high hopes for this one. Although he’s not directing, this is apparently one of many stories he has in his mind and letting someone else direct. If it bombs, my guess is the majority of fingers will be pointing at Night for its failure. I could be wrong though. And for the sake of storytelling, I hope it does well. Horror really isn’t my genre, but I’d get around to watching it sooner or later.
The trailer looks promising. The premise seems simple enough, full of mystery and intrigue. It’ll probably be packed with a bunch of gotcha-scares before it’ll deliver on some of the real ones. And perhaps this movie will do for elevators what Psycho did for showers. Perhaps. I know there are a few terrorized elevator movies out there already, but none that I can remember going to mainstream cinemas.
So if this film works out, would we be able to forgive Mr. Shyamalan for a few of past films that so many seem to hate him for? Can he be redeemed? Can he ever follow up to the success of The Sixth Sense? And, unless he wants to be the Twist King, will we ever view him as a great storyteller and filmmaker? Only time will tell. Maybe 20 years from now, we will look back on his movies (which will probably have a cult following) and regard him as one of the greats. One thing is for certain, he tells the stories he wants to tell, how he wants to tell them. And for that, I respect him still. But I refuse to watch The Happening again, sorry.
April 10, 2010
Every so often I need to be reminded to “stop and smell the roses.” Well, today I’m not near any roses so daffodils will have to do. On sunny, warm Saturday afternoons like today has been, it is important to take in these sights, sounds, smells and even feelings. By the way, I smell someone grilling nearby and I’m feeling calm with a twist of pensive reflections.
Today, I decided to spend some time at the park with Alice while enjoying some relaxing music. John Legend is on call at the moment. Normally I take a lap around the pond on foot, but I’m just going to sit and admire. My next step would be to take over a bench… but alas, I forgot my earphones yet again. No worries, that’s what Alice is for.
Another important thing to note while I bask in this beauty: my mind is pretty free. I’m not concerned with anything or anyone. It’s nice. Just as quickly as I realized this, tiny buggy things attacked Alice, forcing me to roll up my windows. Sadness. Could be worse. They could’ve been mosquitos, or bees! Then watch my calmness disappear followed by an intense drive home. Good times, indoob.
June 10, 2009
Last week I started a little controversial debate about animals in the wild having emotional feelings. Surely my argument didn’t have a scientific leg to stand on, but so what, call it fictional creative writing expression. I was just masking some grievances I had been feeling that day and was inspired by watching some squirrels and birds doing their squirrelly and birdie things. So I took it out on nature. Plus, my imagination was triggered by a caffeine surge.
Apparently, the neighborhood wildlife has computers and protested what I had to say. Or maybe they can pick up on Wi-Fi signals and managed to read this very blog. At least the birds knew about it. Not only that, but they were aware of an incident that happened with my sister last week and an unfortunate bird.
I never thought it was possible, but apparently if a bird can get hit by an airplane, what’s to stop the same thing from happening to someone’s car? My sister, driving to work one morning, managed to strike a bird! Due to the graphic nature of the incident, I’m choosing not to post the picture of what’s left of the bird. That’s right… what’s left. What was left was a wing, as far as I could tell. The bird got lodged into the grill of the vehicle, so a stick was needed to remove it. It wasn’t a pretty picture, and it made for a humorous story in a weird morbid way (depends how strongly you feel about animals).
Anyway, between that incident and my remarks about emotionless critters, the birds might have it out for me. I park in an area where I haven’t been attacked “fecally” due to the lack of trees. My usual space has been something short of target practice that only car wash owners appreciate. But just recently, they dropped a bomb, maybe as a warning to me? An ultimatum? Revenge? Or maybe just to say “We’re watching you.”
But if they weren’t saying it then, they definitely said it yesterday. Every so often I like to open the door to my office (the front door to my house) and just look out at the neighborhood. Sometimes I get the mail, which is a short walk from the door to the curb, or go to my car which is about just as short of a distance. But this particular time was just for observational purposes.
Standing there in the middle of this triangle of my car, the mailbox and the front door, was a robin. A robin that had seemed to have his chest poked out at me, and looking me square in the face. (I don’t know the gender of this bird, but he seemed masculine, so I’ll say it was a dude-robin.) I saw his little beady eyes. Or at least I think I did, they have small eyes. But I know he saw me. He didn’t move. Standing there as if to say, “Yeah buddy, I’m lookin’ at you. I know what you said. And I know what you did.”
At this very same time, I’m looking at this bird thinking, “Is this bird sizing me up? Is he trying to give me the third degree?” More than likely, he was. Whether or not it was working is another question.
You know how birds have this twitching way about them when they turn there heads or look at something? This robin wasn’t doing that. Actually, I was the one doing it. Not in the timid bird fashion, more like a confused dog. I stepped out a bit further. The beady bird eyes followed my step. Then he took a step. Again, most birds I notice have a hop of some kind. This one lifted one tiny foot, placed it in front of the other, and then brought the other foot to meet the other. I heard the blade of grass flap as he made his stance.
Is this bird challenging me? Are we playing chess? I hoped not… I hoped it was checkers. Chess is a game I still haven’t really learned yet. And I didn’t know what piece I or he was playing. But I’m technically on his territory, or I would be if I stepped off the porch, which I’m sure is what he was waiting for. Just to show me that animals, or at least birds, do have feelings and the bird community’s feelings had been hurt. Not just because of what I said, but also because of actions of my relatives. They decided to send a hitbird to let me know how they felt about it. Was this bird sent to actually carry out a hit or a warning is anyone’s guess. Maybe to send a message to humanity, or maybe have an example made out of me?
I have respect for the animal kingdom and all, but I’m not about to get showed out by some random robin. Not in my own yard. So to the bird, in facial expression and posture, I told him I was ready. “Bring it.” We stared at each other for what felt like a good 15 minutes. It was already past noon and I’m sure the cowboys out in the old West would’ve already drawn, fired, and killed each other by now and just waiting for the sunset to go riding off into. I highly doubt a lawman or outlaw ever had to open fire on a feathered being. Well, maybe for food…
But I’m nobody’s punk. It was either me or this bird. The only reason why I ran in the house so quickly when he started flying towards me was because my phone was ringing and I was waiting for an important call.
April 22, 2009
Over the past weekend, when I wasn’t outside being attacked by pollen while enjoying good old-fashioned daylight and mild temperatures, I had locked myself away in my room watching Lost season 3 online. My cinephile friend and I have been getting lost in this show for the past couple months, having discussions after certain episodes or complete seasons. Call it a chat session. We discuss characters, plots, the back stories and of course the delicious eye candies on screen.
When I needed a break from the island, I popped in a DVD. Intolerable Cruelty was the next movie from Netflix that was crying out to be played. And I’m glad I did. I forget where I read about it being compared to His Girl Friday but I must agree to those comparisons. The battle of the sexes, the quick witty banter, the inevitable you-know-what’s-going-to-happen ending. Can’t go wrong. I enjoyed it and got a few good laughs out of it too. I should start getting affiliated with all these links. Times are hard and I could use an extra quarter.
Later on in the night, while foraging for food in the kitchen, I was struck with a thought like I usually do at such hours doing such activities. Perhaps it was more of a stroke of inspiration. Basically it got me back up to my room and just typing out two pages of what would be the beginning of a short film. But it all started with something I thought about posting on Twitter, as I counted how many characters it would take to tweet it: Do you ever get the feeling that love is right around the corner? (65.) Actually, my original tweet would’ve been a bit longer. You know, with my personal brand of sarcasm, cynicism, t. sterlingism.
I don’t particularly think a good story or script can be based on a single line. But then again, maybe it can. I don’t think it’s wise to build a story based on a single interesting or humorous line I thought of or heard, but I’m sure it can be done. Usually my ideas are based on a random event I heard on the news or in idle conversation or just a spark of my imagination running wild. Don’t be surprised if you hear about a movie that involves 10,000 or so eggs being stolen from a farm. Why would anyone do that? I haven’t thought of that yet but it happened in real life.
So this little script I started is definitely in its crudest form. I’m not even entertaining the thought of posting an excerpt. Then again, how can I? It’s only two pages right now.
So what does this have to do with Lost? Nothing really. It’s just one of the many things I did this weekend that I list on my creative side. But I’ll make a connection: character development and intriguing back stories. I’m practicing building fantastic characters and plots. I wish that was a job. To just come up with characters and plots and let others write the scripts with my supervision. Is that where story credits come in? That’d be nice.
Story and Directed by
t. sterling watson
Oh wait, and a “Created by” credit would rock too. Dream big. Yes, yes y’all.