Screenplay Writing

I am super excited I self-published my memoir and I am incredibly thankful for the help from my friends and family, especially Terrill Thomas who designed the cover, and Tony Brucks and Renee Christopher who helped to edit the book from start to finish.

What a huge freaking milestone and I cannot emphasize how much I appreciate their support. I’m in the process of gathering, revising and adding short stories to compose a collection for my next book.

It’s a lot of fun, and it’s coming along.

My brother, Daniel, inspired me to take on a different project. Dan is a composer and producing music. He said half-jokingly recently that he was waiting for me to write a screenplay that could be turned into a film, so that he could compose for it!
I said with determination and wholeheartedly, “Hell yeah! Let’s do it!”
I’m hungry to challenge myself to write for film and theater. I’m eager to write something that could go somewhere, with something that could be a contribution to another line of artists, with something that could potentially be seen and heard from a wider audience.
I’ve never attempted to write a screenplay before. I honestly had to Google ‘screenplay templates’ because I’m so new to this style of writing. What I’m starting to do is turn my short stories into scenes that could be filmed.
A screenplay, from what I researched, is at least 90 pages long… looks like I have quite a ways to go, but nine pages of an intro is a good start.
It may be something, may be nothing.
People have forgotten how to tell a story. Stories don’t have a middle or an end anymore. They usually have a beginning that never stops beginning.
-Steven Spielberg
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Pieces of Snow

Nestled on the pastel window seat, Lana rested her chin on her palm and sighed. A storm was yawning loudly outside her window. Nothing to do. Nowhere to go.

She was awfully sorry about the snow globe she had accidentally broken. The way the sparkly flakes floated inside the glass dome surrounding the Swedish dancer in the arms of her beloved captivated Lana like the soft raindrops falling outside. Her small hands shook in fear as Lana stared at the shattered pieces spread across her mother’s bedroom floor. She recalled the terror of her mother discovering her hiding behind the chair in the nursery, swiftly yanking her arm and spanking her all the way back to Lana’s room.

Tibbles, her fat black cat, squeezed in between the wooden doorframe and strolled into her room.

“Go away, Tibbs,” she groaned.

He purred as he continued making his way across the room.

“I can’t play with you,” she said. “Mama said I’m in big trouble.”

The cat unleashed a chuckle and shook his head.

“You really did it THIS time,” Tibbles said as he jumped onto the window seat beside her. Lana sighed and dropped her forehead to her arm resting on the sill.

“I know,” she grumbled. “I thought I was being really, really, really careful!”

“Not careful enough, kiddo. Do you know how important that snow globe was to your mother?”

“No….well…kinda,” she said. “I think my grandma got it from far away.”

The cat licked his paws one by one, slowly and meticulously. The rain began to pour down harder on the garden below her second story bedroom. Beyond the house lay endless open fields shadowed by the night sky. Lightning streaks cracked across the heavy clouds as if they were sharp roots clawing into the earth below.

“I think it was Sweden, where my great-grandma was born.”

Tibbles, bored from bathing himself, rolled onto his back exposing a fluffy white blob of belly. The little girl stroked it lightly.

“You can fix it, you know,” said the cat in between purrs. Turning onto his side and all fours, Tibbles leaped to the floor.

“How?” Lana, curious and eager to make amends, turned to the feline strolling to the door.

“By going to Sweden and getting a new one for her, of course!” He hopped out of the room, closing the door quietly behind him.

It seemed so simple to her. No wonder her mother was so furious! She simply wanted her snow globe back. And Lana was determined to get it.

She jumped off of the seat and grabbed her pink sandals. Thinking twice about the rainy weather, she threw them down and took her yellow rain boots. Opening her door and glancing down the hall, Lana made her exit seeing that the area was clear. She had no plan in her mind other than to find this land of Sweden and retrieve a beautiful, whole snow globe.

Lana was so excited that she had forgotten about the jump rope she left on the staircase and slipped on the rope, falling down each solid marble step.

The echoed screams woke her up instantly. She took a moment to remember where she was, and what she was doing on a plane. Lana was coming home to Nebraska from New York on the first flight out to her mother’s funeral. She glanced out of the small oval window, catching the setting sun across the silky, emerald fields. Patches of brown and gold freckled the diverse landscape.

She had changed out of her business suit and into some faded jeans and plaid shirt. Her long brown hair piled high atop her head in a messy bun. Taking a long and deep breath, Lana checked the time on her phone and counted the seven hours since she heard about her mother’s passing. A throbbing in her skull and knife in her chest brought tears to her eyes. She recalled their last conversation over the phone about the snow globe Lana had shipped to her mother while on a business trip in Stockholm; a globe containing a graceful dancer in the arms of her beloved.

Her mother had completely forgotten about that old globe she broke when she was five years-old. It brought a gleaming smile to her soft, wrinkly cheeks.

Something deeper had been preserved that day. A love so strong and enduring restored from an almost untraceable and unconscious past.

The Day I Went Blind

I groaned and rolled over to my left side of the bed. The warm blankets invited me to rest a little deeper, but I decided to crawl out and get ready for work.

I opened my eyes, but still could see nothing. Darkness remained. I leaned over and turned on the lamp. The heat from the light warmed my skin. I shook my head from side to side and rubbed my eyes with my knuckles. Once again, no sight. My head moved around spasmodically in panic and frustration.

I extended my arms in front of me, waving them all around to find something. Anything.

My heart pounded in my chest. Uncontrollably, my breathing shortened as I attempted to stand, stumbling over a sharp piece of wooden furniture. Pain shot through my right calve. Gooey liquid trailed down my bare, unshaven leg as I tried standing up again and grabbing the nearest wall I could find.

I followed the wall to the bathroom, limping as the blood dripped down my leg. I found the medicine cabinet and reached inside, knocking over an avalanche of toiletries. I couldn’t find eye drops. I turned on the ice cold water and splashed my face, hoping that would wake me from this nightmare. I fell to my knees, grasping my aching calve. And then I heard it… motion. Stirring. In the other room. Two sets of heavy footsteps pounded towards me, echoing down the hall.

I sat up and blurted through my sobbing, “Who’s there?”

A deep menacing voice whispered in my ear, “You bloody well know.”

Wind knocked out of me as a large boot kicked me in the rib. A loud cry escaped my lips. I huddled in the fetal position, not understanding what the hell was happening or who was attacking me. Every muscle in my body contracted, causing me to shiver.

“Don’t play dumb, Sarah.”

I shook my head, curling into a tighter ball. Sarah? He just said my twin sister’s name. They think I’m her.

“We’re going to slaughter you bit by bit!” He shouted in my face, the stench of his hot breath burning my skin.

They did this to me. They blinded me.

I felt numb and powerless, nearly naked on that cold bathroom floor. It was hopeless.

Then something miraculous happened. My tears shed were washing away the darkness. I could barely make out the white tile floor I was lying on. I forced myself to cry harder until I could see clearer.

I opened my eyes wider and saw that the attackers had vanished.

Gone.

Not even a sound of their exit. My sight was still blurry, but I could see shapes and colors.

I took a deep breath and walked out of the bathroom, cautiously looking around the apartment.

“Hello?” I called out. Silence.

In a quick decisive action, I ran to my phone and almost dialed 911 when I noticed that my leg wasn’t bleeding anymore. It was entirely healed, as if nothing happened. My side wasn’t in pain.

Then I saw my badge and uniform hanging on the closet door. I’m a police officer.

I remembered the investigation. My twin sister’s death six years ago. The reason why I became an officer. The light on my nightstand shined a spotlight on Sarah’s photograph, a picture taken of us together a year before her murder.

We never caught them. They haunt me. Taunting me.

I took a deep breath. I walked back to the bathroom to get ready for work, bringing my .22 with me into the shower.