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Screenwriting as Love Drug Mania Part 1 – The High

Holy fucking roller coaster, Batman. And the ride isn’t over.

screenplayimagesThe last two weeks have been a completely new kind of writing experience for me. It feels a little weird to be able to say that at 33 years old, especially considering I was writing little stories since, like, first grade. But it’s true.

It was so intense. It felt kinda like how I imagine being manic might feel. It felt like being in love. It felt like being on reeeeeeeally good drugs. It was all rushing and inspiration and not being able to sleep and waking up early with ideas and thoughts of how to work parts of it together. And it was a lot, lot, lot of writing.

Here’s what happened. For my university, there is a requirement called a senior capstone. I’ve resisted it as long as I could, putting it off term after term, imagining the anonymous diatribes I wanted to write against the requirement in the school paper as if that could somehow exempt me from having to take a capstone class. But this winter, I had to sign up, so I picked Research Experience for Science Majors, hoping to, you know, get some research experience.

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7 Movies I Really Want to See in 2014

There are so many movies I’m anticipating this year, and the first one of these came out yesterday, so I thought I’d give a quick rundown of a few of the ones I’m anticipating the most.

veronica-mars-movie-poster1. Veronica Mars

IMDb

Veronica Mars was a TV show from 2004-2007. Kristen Bell played the title character, who was a sassy high school girl who also did junior PI work for her father. Each season had a main mystery (or two) that she spent the whole season solving, and each episode had it’s own caper or crime to solve. And there was love drama. And class drama (as in classroom drama but also socioeconomic class). And family drama. The tone, the writing, and the cinematography are all pretty noir. It was all set in the fictional town of Neptune, CA. There were twists, deceptions, affairs, a best friend’s murder, a murderous bus crash, and a whole lot of witty remarks. If you haven’t seen the TV show, you can watch it for free on Amazon Prime Instant Video. It’s addicting and dramatic and so, so sassy.

I’ve tried to stay away from reading too much about the movie because I don’t want any spoilers, but from what I know, the story takes off when Veronica’s ex-boyfriend Logan calls her for help after being accused of murder. Oh yeah, Veronica did clear a lot of false accusations in her days as a teen detective. And so she goes back to Neptune to help out. It also coincides with her ten-year high school reunion, so all the old characters should be back. So psyched!

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Breaking Bad: Pictures from Halloween

It was fun to be Walter White for a day. I even got to go to my workplace where I tutor chemistry in costume for a little bit. In fact the next day, someone who had seen me in costume the day before, said, “Oh, you’re the crystal meth girl!”

So here are some fun pictures:

Taking a break while cooking that sweet baby blue:

IMG_4264Back to work cooking that good shit:

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The final product:

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By the way, this is totally misleading. We did not actually cook the blue stuff. We tried. To make rock candy, I mean, not meth, but two chemists had a pretty epic chemistry fail and didn’t realize how f’ing long sugar takes to crystallize and tried to cook the stuff at the last minute using the principles of basic recrystallization that we’d learned in organic chem lab. We ended up with blue syrup. But luckily I had ordered some rock candy as a backup.

When we were carrying the little baggies around we got some great comments. One person said, “They have blue rocks! That makes me so happy!”

Oh and here is another attempt at that iconic Walt and Jesse shot with beer and popcorn, with our suits halfway unzipped but this one doesn’t work quite so well. Mostly my fault.

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What were you, if anything, for Halloween?

~Emilia J

Breaking Bad Episode 516 “Felina” – The Series Finale

“Just get me home. Just get me home. I’ll do the rest.”

goodbye breaking badSo much to say that it’s hard to know where to start. I’m so full of different emotions. I loved the finale. It was so bittersweet and surprisingly hopeful, and full of sad goodbyes that were heartbreaking but understated and not sentimental. And then there are all the feelings I’m having as a fan. It was actually hard to watch the finale a second time in order to write this post because all the goodbyes hit harder the second time around. It wasn’t just Walt saying goodbye in different ways to the people in his life, but us saying goodbye to all these characters we’ve lived with since we started watching the show, characters who were written and acted so vividly that they seemed almost alive and breathing in the real world.

It’s a big loss. No more predicting what Walt or anyone else will do. No more suspense, or shocking surprises. No more crazy, off-the-wall scenarios tossed out during the weeks or years between episodes. No more time with these wonderful awful people who are all so flawed and human. But even this loss puts some sweetness in the bittersweet of it all. The show did go out on top. There are shows I love that have just gone on too long and shown a drop in quality, and it’s usually around the fifth of sixth season, sometimes sooner, so that by the end, no one really cares anymore, and just watches out of habit if at all. And there are shows that ended too soon (The Killing, anyone? Don’t get me started) with stories unfinished, left on cliffhangers that will never resolve because the writers didn’t know the last episode was the last episode.

Vince Gilligan and his brilliant team of writers did know, for a long time, and so they could craft an ending, build up to it. And craft they did.

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Live Chat for “Felina” (Breaking Bad)

livechat516indexAs mentioned in this post, there will now be a “live chat” post for each new episode. Feel free to post thoughts before, during and after the episode here. This will be a place for all the discussion on the new episode before the review post goes up.

I’m actually watching the first showing this week–everyone’s coming to the early one–so less than two more hours to go. I don’t feel all that excited today, though. I’m dreading what could happen to all these characters we’ve invested so much in over the last several years, and I’m just so sad that it’ll soon be over. I already feel the emptiness that is sure to set in big-time later tonight and tomorrow.

Live chat in the comments section! Have at it!

~Emilia J

P.S. Some final thoughts:
Still expecting Marie’s poisoning fantasy to play in SOMEHOW.
I may be the only person who doesn’t think that “woodworking” has anything to do with Lydia and her “woodchipper.” I think it’ll be something random that we can’t yet guess.
I think Walt dies in the episode or will be dying by the end.
Think Walt may turn himself in and take the ricin so he doesn’t have to keep living in jail.
Jesse’s a wild card but I hope he ends up okay. Live, Jesse, live!
It’s going to be fucking EPIC!

Breaking Bad Infographic: Walt’s Money and the Storage Locker

While we wait for the finale, here’s a Breaking Bad infographic. I’ve been finding and receiving lots of cool things like this, and some videos and other fun BrBa art and such, so there will be more on its way. Hopefully it’ll all help fill the inevitable feeling of emptiness that’s bound to hit later tonight and soothe us through the BrBa DTs over the next few days.

From the creator:

Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock for the past few years, you’ve undoubtedly heard the buzz around AMC’s hit drama “Breaking Bad”. Now the 2013 Emmy Award winner for Best Drama Series, this program has been raved by both critics and fans alike, and the guys over at SpareFoot share the same sentiment. The online self-storage marketplace decided to take a deeper look at one of the key plot points from the most recent season: Walt and Skyler’s storage unit.

They decided to try and come up with answers to some of the most detailed of questions surrounding the Breaking Bad storage unit. “What was the size of the pile of money?”, “Where exactly was the storage unit located?”. These questions, and twelve others like it are answered in this one-of-a-kind infographic from SpareFoot.

Breaking Bad Infographic
Produced by SpareFoot. Copyright 2013.

Like I said, I have some more Breaking Bad infographics and videos and other treats coming your way over the next few days, in the desperate hope that these will help with withdrawals.

Can’t believe the end is here.

~Emilia J

Sleepovers and Upward Social Mobility – Truth, Lies and the Wicked Witch 10

This is another installment of a rough draft of a memoir chapter that covers fourth grade. Here’s a short lighter moment.

To start this piece from the beginning, click here.

tlww10imagesA girl named Holly invited me to a sleepover. She had come over my house a few times before. It was a household dinner table joke that she’d once asked my mom if she could use the bathroom. As a joke, because the question was so silly, my mom had said no.

At Holly’s there was a punching bag in her big living room. I beat the shit out of it. All of the girls stayed in Holly’s room. We did girl things like tell the boys we liked. Matt Peer, I confessed. He was quiet, mysterious, and seemed nice. A few of the girls were doing some complex algorithms with names. “You guys are a 107!” One of them shrieked. “Oh my god, you guys are like true love!” I was so excited I couldn’t sleep.

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Next Segment in this Piece: Walking Home and Crossing Streets

So this is an excerpt from a chapter from a project I’m working on called Eclipses of Jupiter. It’s in its infancy still, but it’s about growing up with albinism and being legally blind in my crazy family, and all the school and social implications. It’ll also focus on blind camp and related programs when I get into teenage years. This chapter, which will be broken up into installments and posted over the next few weeks, is all about fourth grade, which was a bit of an epic school year.

Check out the Samples Page, as well as Published and Early Work, to read more of my writing!

~Emilia J