Friday, May 18, 2007

Fry Day

RoboWriters met last night. Again, I am blown away by the level of quality and creativity. I threw everyone a curve by bringing in a scene that had a serious tone. I probably should have warned them. As we were reading the scene, they were waiting for the big laugh to come in. Sorry, no donkeys, no strap-ons, no retarded robot pirates. The recurring theme in last evening's feedback was "character." There were a few scenes read where the most interesting characters weren't the ones the the scene was about. Tell a good story, yes, but what helps make a good story are characters you care about. Not just from the audience's perspective, from your perspective as the author. Write characters that interest you. You like vampires? Great, write about vampires. Or give one of your characters vampire-like qualities. You're the one creating a world, make sure it's a place you want to spend time in. You do that by making sure it's populated with people you want to spend time with.

ROBOWRITERS ASSIGNMENT FOR NEXT WEEK: Go to a place in public, like a coffee shop or a park, where you can sit and free write (pen to paper without stopping) for at least ten minutes. Free write about the environment around you and the people around you. Do this three times over the next three days. Develop a scene based on your observations. Develop a scene based on your observations.. I also challenged the 8pm-10pm group to make it a ten-page scene (and justify the length! No padding!).

MOM UPDATE: The doctors didn't find anything with the MRI, which I guess is good news. They kept her overnight and she should be going back to the nursing home today.

COLUMBIA UPDATE: I got an "A" in Biology! Somebody owes me an ice-cream cone. Non-dairy.

AL GORE: I'm glad we were smart enough to elect him president in 2000. I wish we had been smart enough to allow him to serve. Here's an except from an excerpt from his latest book, The Assault on Reason...

It is simply no longer possible to ignore the strangeness of our public discourse. I know I am not alone in feeling that something has gone fundamentally wrong. In 2001, I had hoped it was an aberration when polls showed that three-quarters of Americans believed that Saddam Hussein was responsible for attacking us on Sept. 11. More than five years later, however, nearly half of the American public still believes Saddam was connected to the attack.

At first I thought the exhaustive, nonstop coverage of the O.J. Simpson trial was just an unfortunate excess—an unwelcome departure from the normal good sense and judgment of our television news media. Now we know that it was merely an early example of a new pattern of serial obsessions that periodically take over the airwaves for weeks at a time: the Michael Jackson trial and the Robert Blake trial, the Laci Peterson tragedy and the Chandra Levy tragedy, Britney and KFed, Lindsay and Paris and Nicole.

While American television watchers were collectively devoting 100 million hours of their lives each week to these and other similar stories, our nation was in the process of more quietly making what future historians will certainly describe as a series of catastrophically mistaken decisions on issues of war and peace, the global climate and human survival, freedom and barbarity, justice and fairness. For example, hardly anyone now disagrees that the choice to invade Iraq was a grievous mistake. Yet, incredibly, all of the evidence and arguments necessary to have made the right decision were available at the time and in hindsight are glaringly obvious.

The entire excerpt can be read at Time Magazine.

I'm not always the biggest fan of SNL, but I did think they got this right back in 2000 when the presidency was still up for grabs. It's a speculation on what a Bush or Gore presidency would be like shortly after they take office.

The only thing they got wrong is that Bush would have been in deep arrogant denial about things falling apart around him.