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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cracking Open Scenemaking

from Chapter 3 Scenemaking, Exercise One: Cracking Open
go back to something you've written (possible the map making piece)
find a sentence or phrase that condences or skims past a scene.
build that into 2 pages of scene narrative - no voice over, no exposition

oh boy!

well I just reread the piece I did after I made my map - found it way back in November of last year. As I read it I think I did a pretty good job of scenemaking at the time - even though I didn't know what scenemaking was. I think that piece is actually, possibly a ton of different scenes. But after thinking for awhile, I've pulled out this sentence to turn into a scene for this assignment.

"everything was a shade of green"

well, here goes.....

My bedroom was at the end of the hall with the long, green shag carpet. My parent's room on the right and my Irish twins siblings on the left. I was the oldest in my family, born four years before my next sister. I often kept my door closed. It was my only personal space in our L-shaped ranch. The small room had yellow walls and one window. It may have been a southern facing window as I distinctly remember feeling sad the day I realized the sunshine was fading my bedspread. I loved that bed. A four poster canapy bed with green and yellow playful Holly Hobby bedding. I laid on the bed often. Sometimes to have piece and quiet. Sometimes to stay out of my parents way. Sometimes to read. I remember laying on my stomach reading in that sunny room until my body would ache. My posture would often give out, and I'd roll over completely stiff and achy, before my eyes would grow weary. I devoured books.
I made that bed, everyday, all by myself.
My mother never made my bed for me, she wasn't a great homemaker which I imagine to be pretty tragic for a housewife in the 1970s. We weren't a dirty family by any means but quite unorganized. Sterotype me as a first born if you will, but I longed for everything to be neat and tidy. Still to this day, I tend to be happiest when I feel like my things are organized.
So my bed was made by day and I know I even crawled in it neatly at night, smoothing the sheets and bedspread as crisp as possible while inhabiting the bed. I may have cursed the sunny window by day but on the nights I couldn't sleep I was thankful my bed was near the window.
When I would pull back the shade I could see the busy suburbs light up the dark night; the church steeple, hospital helicopter pad, the massive high school all supervised by traffic lights. I could see straight into the intersection of two major highways; 367 and 270. They merged each other in a terrible tangle of stoplights. People in their vehicles needed to be guided to worship, the emergency room and the tenth grade.
When I couldn't sleep I would pull back that shade and watch the world pass by. Ambulances would wail and flash their lights while semi trucks would lay on their horn depsite the fact that my neighborhood was resting peacefully within 200 hundred feet.
With my nose nearly pressed to the glass I would close my eyes. Sometimes I would count. Sometimes I would just wait.  When I opened my eyes I would look to the traffic light. If it had changed to green I gave myself a virtual point. If it was still red, I would close my eyes again guestimating, trying to only open my eyes on the green go. This was the way I lulled myself to sleep at night. Some folk counted sheep, I timed traffic lights.
I'm a city girl. The red, yellow and green blinking lights were a comfort to me. They were not just giving me permission to cross the street when I went about my day, they were also my bedtime story, they were my goodnight kiss. Everything about my childhood home was green. The exterior was green. The expansive lawn was green. My favorite bedspread was green and even the way I feel asleep at night was dictated by that soothing color.

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