Mostly True Memoirs

Grown but not Mature

The grown son told me that his friend will be passing through town.

Could I put him up in my spare room?

I said of course.

The grown son asked if I could make a special dinner.

I said of course.

Lasagna?

I said of course.

But, I told him, I’ll need you to go to the store for some things.

The grown son rolled his eyes and huffed in annoyance.

Proving that “grown” and “mature” aren’t quite the same thing.

Not yet anyway.

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Mostly True Memoirs

Slacker

I had three students and an interpreter in my English class.

One of the students was really struggling to understand.

Usually the interpreter will jump right in to help.

This interpreter did nothing.

I asked her to please help the student.

She said, in perfect English, that she couldn’t help him.

Because she didn’t understand.

What?!?!

The students said something to each other,

and they all laughed.

I don’t need an interpreter to know that they said, “slacker.”

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Mostly True Memoirs

Editing

Who proofreads this stuff?

I read the following headline:

“Homicide Suspect Arrested from the Sheriff’s Department.”

This implies that the suspect worked in the Sheriff’s Department.

Which was not the case at all.

The suspect was arrested BY the Sheriff’s Department,

not FROM the Sheriff’s Department.

That’s a whole different kind of news story.

And a bit of a disappointing read.

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Mostly True Memoirs

WHY???

I have lived in Texas for a year now.

And there’s one thing that I just don’t understand.

Maybe someone can explain it to me.

In the left turn lane,

with a flashing yellow arrow,

WHY doesn’t the car move ahead into the intersection?

The car always stays behind the limit line.

From that point, there is often no opportunity to make the turn.

It can take two or three cycles for even one car to move ahead.

Why don’t they pull up?

Is it a law?

Texans are otherwise very aggressive drivers.

Why are they so weak on left turns?

I’m not sure if it’s a law to stay behind the limit line,

or if Texans are just weirdly polite about it.

I silently seethe.

And wait my turn.

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Mostly True Memoirs

FOCUS

A huge problem that I see in the scripts that I cover

is that the protagonist lacks focus.

The main character is going in too many directions.

He wants love.

He wants to win.

He wants revenge.

He wants to go home.

He wants to reconcile.

He wants redemption.

I advise writers to focus their protagonist.

Give him one single desire that drives him through the entire plot.

Are there exceptions to this rule?

Of course there are.

But an aspiring writer should master the basics first.

Yes, I know, I used “he” instead of “he/she.”

But I’m thinking of a specific script

in which the protagonist was male.

I gave the writer suggestions about refining the main character.

I can’t wait to read the revisions.

It will be a much better story when the protagonist is focused.

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Mostly True Memoirs

My Revenge Game

Bob had to get up very, very, very early this morning.

His alarm woke me up.

Fair enough.

I went back to sleep.

However, he left his phone on the nightstand.

In snooze mode.

Nine minutes later, when I barreled furiously into the kitchen,

he said cheerily, “what are YOU doing up so early?”

I don’t usually curse.

I made an exception this morning.

However, something went wrong in the execution.

Bob just laughed.

Lacking a Plan B at last-night-o’clock in the morning,

I murderously stared him down,

and methodically turned on every light in the house.

Just to annoy him.

Again, he laughed.

He turned off all of the lights and apologized for the snooze thing.

I’m going to have to work on my revenge game.

I’m getting weak.

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Mostly True Memoirs

A Big Texas Fly

They grow ‘em big here in Texas.

I recently cornered an enormous fly in the bathroom.

I shut the all doors and started swatting at it with a towel.

I knew I couldn’t actually hit it – it was way too fast for me.

My intention was to keep it flying frantically around the room.

I planned to kill it with exhaustion.

It was so big that it made a distinct “thunk” noise every time it hit a wall.

Which was often.

I kept thinking, “Well that’s gotta hurt…”

But the fly just kept on flying, oblivious to any traumatic brain injury.

This bug had a very strong will to live.

Its will to live was stronger than my will to kill it.

I got bored.

I quit.

Fly 1, Human 0.

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