never done

This essay was originally written and performed on KSCO 1080am on the second anniversary of 9/11. It’s not about 9/11 precisely, but more about heroism, about how tragedy bonds, about how tragedy clouds our vision, and about how tragedy can teach. I’ve posted it before, but thought it bore posting again.

My father told me once that he was glad my mother had died first. He loved her too much to wish he had gone in her place, he said. The harder thing was to be the one left behind. He wouldn’t wish the pain and guilt and insecurity and loneliness and self-loathing on an enemy, much less on the woman he loved. Best for her to have gone first, he said. He alone would bear the crushing weight of the following empty years for them both. Continue reading

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Screenplay to Novel: Rocket Summer. The Conversation.

rocket summer movie posterThis is a passage that’s been rewritten SO many times in the screenplay it isn’t even funny. It’s a turning point for Lacey, a glimpse for her into her father’s process, and the beginnings of her realization that he’s human and hurting.

I’m hoping this is finally doing what it needs to do. Of course, this isn’t the whole conversation. Continue reading

Converting a screenplay to a novel: Rocket Summer

rocket summer movie posterThis is a long one.

There’s a theme in Rocket Summer that touches on child abuse and abandonment… this is Darlene’s perspective. Continue reading

Converting Screenplay to Novel: Rocket Summer

rocket summer movie posterAnother excerpt from the novelization of the Rocket Summer screenplay.

It was everything she’d imagined it could be and more, and yet she felt strangely disconnected and was compelled to reintroduce herself. She walked along the car, her car, trailing her fingertips on its side, the metal warm in the early morning sun, and she was almost certain it trembled at her touch. She apologized that she hadn’t been instrumental in the forging of its every detail. But somehow now it knew, she was sure, that the very idea for its second life had come from her.

Hello again, she thought. My how you’ve grown.

There was a pinwheel on the antenna, and it seemed to turn in greeting by some imperceptible breeze.

Screenplay to Novel – Rocket Summer

rocket summer movie posterAnother chapter down… now we’re at the point where a great trust has been broken. It was a delicate trust to begin with.

Betrayal:

Dwayne hopped out of the Jeep, approached Lacey. There was menace in his posture. “Where’s the rockets at, Junior?”

Lacey snapped her head at Darlene. “You told them?” She dropped down off the truck bed, drilled Darlene with a look that should have made her burst into flame. “This is our car, Darlene! We trusted you!”

“Hey, you didn’t trust me,” Darlene replied flatly. “You paid me.”

“They paid you?” Dwayne snorted. “Hah! Sweet!”

The betrayal hit Lacey in the chest like a sack of dirt. Her knees threatened to buckle under its weight, but a rush of adrenaline stepped in and held her up, flushing her system with vibrating energy, and her nails dug crescents in her palms. Her heart pounded in her ears as she advanced on Darlene, and through its rhythmic roar she heard herself yelling. “Dammit, Darlene, we trusted you! How could you do this to us?”