Conversations With The Naive

Madeline
Madeline — Click to see more by Little Blue Bird Photography

In my creative writing class, we had this assignment due a week and one day ago:

Create an opening scene for a movie (no more than 12 pages). What is the conflict for your intended movie? What is at risk? What has happened in moments prior to the action that begins your story? There should be at least two primary characters but no more than three. In the scene, what do each of these characters desire?

Or

Create a short script (no more than 12 pages) that surrounds a single event, in which at least two primary characters (but no more than three) should have significant interaction. Consider the relationship between the two characters. Incorporate the techniques learned about dialogue and character, particularly subtext.

This was my first attempt at a script and I really enjoyed it. I took various pieces of reality from my life, dramatized them, and added some extra imagined flare to create a short script that I guess surrounds a single event. It doesn’t work as an opening scene as it closes nicely, so I suppose I followed the second prompt. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy it!

You can download the script in the nice “official” layout here: Conversations With The Naive

Or read it in the incorrect format below:

CONVERSATIONS WITH THE NAIVE

Written By:

Katherine M. Zellmer

FADE IN:

INT. HOUSE – LIVING ROOM. MORNING.

Sound of a child crying echoes through the hall. KONSTANTINE, a girl, in twenties, with long, blonde hair sits up on the couch and looks towards the sound.

Konstantine walks to the sound and opens the door.

INT. MADELINE’S ROOM.

MADELINE, a few months before her third birthday, is sitting in her bed, pink toys strewn about, crying.

KONSTANTINE (with concern): You okay, Madeline?

MADELINE (looking up from her hands): KAY, me wants to play wit da baby mouse.

KONSTANTINE: He’s asleep right now. Did you have a scary dream?

MADELINE: (climbing off of bed) Oh. (confused) No, me has no dreams.

KONSTANTINE (kneeling to Madeline’s level): Wanna go in the living room and wait for MIMI to get up?

Madeline nods.

INT. LIVING ROOM

Konstantine relaxes back on the couch where she was. Madeline stands beside the couch.

MADELINE: Why is da baby mouse sleeping?

KONSTANTINE: He’s nocturnal. (observes Madeline’s confused look) … Umm… He sleeps during the day and is up at night.

MADELINE (after consideration): Baby mouse likes da moon, me likes da sun.

KONSTANTINE (smiling ecstatically): That’s right, Madeline! You are so smart.

Madeline smiles. The two play for a little bit, Konstantine tickling Madeline and playfully throwing her onto the couch.

MADELINE: Kay, are you staying wit me all today?

KONSTANTINE (tiredly): Yes, I am staying here again. (considering) Do you want to watch TV?

MADELINE: Yes! Akyudees!

KONSTANTINE (confused): What? I couldn’t understand you.

MADELINE: Da black monster and red monster and blue monster.

KONSTANTINE (as she turns on the TV): Monsters? What monsters?

MADELINE: Black and red and blue.

KONSTANTINE: Where are the monsters? Are they in your room?

MADELINE (flustered): No monsters in mine room. DADDY keeps monsters away wit gun.

KONSTANTINE (covering her face as she laughs): That’s right. DADDY protects you, MIMI, and Baby JUDE. (pause) Madeline, what do the monsters do?

MADELINE: Blue one makes everything blue. Black one big.

KONSTANTINE: Can he turn you blue? Can he turn the house blue?

MADELINE: No. Red monster turns blue. Mines green house stays green.

KONSTANTINE (sifting through children’s shows and movies on Netflix): I’m really not sure what you are talking about.

MADELINE (turns away from Konstantine to view TV): Dere!! AKYUDEES!

Konstantine follows Madeline’s excited eyes and finds that “Hercules” has just appeared on the screen.

KONSTANTINE: Oh! HER-KYU-LEES.

Konstantine starts the movie.

Konstantine looks up to see her sister, KIERSTEN, enter the room. Kiersten’s hair is disheveled and she dons a warm-looking argyle bathrobe.

MADELINE: MIMI! Me is watching Akyudees!

KIERSTEN (falling into the recliner and smiling, exhausted): I see that.

KONSTANTINE: How many times did Jude wake up last night?

KIERSTEN: I have no idea.

KONSTANTINE: I guess mother nature was kicking in cause I think I woke up whenever he cried.

KIERSTEN: Sorry, dude.

KONSTANTINE: No worries.

KIERSTEN (concerned): How are you doing today?

Konstantine lifts her left arm to display scabbed, but still tender, cuts along her wrists.

KONSTANTINE (apathetic): I guess it was a bad night…

Konstantine replaces her wrist onto the couch.

KONSTANTINE (smiles slightly): Not feeling suicidal though!

KIERSTEN (concerned, to slightly irritated, back to concerned): You should’ve come and woken me up… I’m here to talk to! … Love you, sis. Chill here however long you need to.

A baby’s cry can be heard down the hall.

KIERSTEN: … though I don’t know how relaxing this is.

Kiersten walks down the hall and disappears into another room. Konstantine notices as Pain and Panic appear on the TV.

MADELINE: Look, Kay! Da blue monster and da red monster.

KONSTANTINE: Oh! I see.

Kiersten returns with baby Jude in one hand and a spoon and baby food in the other. She places him in Madeline’s old pink baby exerciser.

KONSTANTINE: Madeline said some of the cutest things before you came in here! She is so smart!

Konstantine recounts the recent events to Kiersten.

KIERSTEN: We only watched Hercules for the first time yesterday. I am impressed that she remembered that about the titans! Cause the ice one turns everything to ice, but it is blue.

KONSTANTINE: Oh, yeah! I forgot about that. I haven’t seen this movie in forever. (considering) Reminds me of being a kid… before responsibilities and before shit mattered.

At the swear word, Kiersten looks to Madeline’s back that is absorbed into another world and back at Konstantine with slight irritation.

KONSTANTINE: Anyway… I’m really thankful for you letting me stay here.

KIERSTEN: No problem, dude.

KONSTANTINE: Like, seriously, Madeline has helped me a ton. Just seeing how bright she is and how when things are explained to her just right, she just lights up… (gesturing aimlessly) This all… gives me hope.

Konstantine closes her eyes for a moment.

INT. SMALL ONE BEDROOM APARTMENT – KITCHEN. NIGHT.

A drained Konstantine frantically cleans the kitchen counters. The timer on the oven sounds and she rushes to grab the food.

KONSTANTINE (hitting the top of her hand on inside of the oven): Shit!

She repositions her ovenmit and pulls out delicious looking lasagna, enough for at least four people. After placing the lasagna atop the stove, she continues cleaning.

KONSTANTINE: Dammit, if I would have just woken up from my nap when my alarm went off I wouldn’t have been so rushed and stressed! Doesn’t help anything!

She finishes cleaning and sits on a bar stool in the corner of the kitchen. The deadbolt of the apartment door turns.

KONSTANTINE (strained smile): Hey, honey! Welcome home! How was work?

DILAN: (carelessly throws keys on counter as he enters kitchen): Sucked. It was a long, exhausting day. Whadya make? What’s all this lasagna?

KONSTANTINE: Oh, it’s for us and JOHN and MARK.

DILAN (turning towards Konstantine): They are coming over next Friday, not today. God, you’re fucking stupid. I’ve told you every damn day this week, and you still mess it up and now we are going to waste all this fucking food and it’s all your damn fault. Stupid bitch.

KONSTANTINE (standing and backing away): I’m sorry, I’m really sorry, I must have just forgotten.

Dilan approaches Konstantine as the scene fades.

INT. QUAINT HOUSE – LIVING ROOM. DAY.

MADELINE: Kay, kay, did you have a dream?

Konstantine stirs and opens her eyes to see Madeline in front of her, Hercules still playing in the back.

KONSTANTINE: Yeah, somethin’ like that.

MADELINE: Was it a scary dream?

Konstantine looks into Madeline’s beautiful blue eyes and considers her messy light brown hair that curls cutely at the ends.

Konstantine sees Jude excitedly pound his hands on the edge of the exerciser as he impatiently waits for Kiersten to feed him another spoonful.

KONSTANTINE (genuinely smiling at Madeline): No, it wasn’t anything that can scare me anymore.

                   FADE OUT.

THE END

About Me

I am Katherine. I write, I play, I listen, I plan. I am an improving and improvising writer. Once, I studied calculus and engineering, but integrating those fully into my life has yet to prove its worth. With my happiness slipping away, I stopped blocking the holes in my imagination and instead starting writing every picture and piece and letter that seeped from the cracks. My aim is clear: to connect people with words.

One step of my goal is encompassed in studying abroad with Semester at Sea. I have determined that I have to see the world in order to (1) gain a better perspective of the world, (2) determine ways to connect people around the world, and (3) find and record stories that anyone can identify with.

While on Semester at Sea, I plan on compiling as many stories as I can to improve my writing. Primarily, I wish to focus on stories/poems surrounding depression around the world, because, while I have been working through my depression, I have found that the feeling of being connected with others anywhere in the world improves my mood immensely. Following my journey, I aim to complete an anthology of depression around the world.

With my place already held within the Fall 2015 voyage and my application for the Spring 2016 voyage submitted, I am now in the How The Turd Do I Pay For This stage of planning. I do not embark until September 13, 2015, but I need to start raising money via scholarships/loans/donations/whatever I can think of/selling homemade beef jerky (I tried to do this once… but instead I ate all of it, so I don’t think it’ll work). I figure since I have this blog going already, I will start including my traveling plans and whatnot as things unfold.

Here is what will unfold as funding permits:

Fall 2015: Atlantic Exploration: 100 Days, 11 Cities, 10 Countries

Starts: September 13, 2015; Ends: December 21, 2015

  • Embark: London, England
  • Civitavecchia, Italy
  • Naples, Italy
  • Istanbul, Turkey
  • Piraeus (Athens), Greece
  • Barcelona, Spain
  • Casablanca, Morocco
  • Salvador, Brazil
  • Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago
  • Panama Canal Transit, Panama
  • Puntarenas, Costa Rica
  • Debark: San Diego, CA, USA

Spring 2016: A Voyage Around the World: 114 Days, 14 Cities, 11 Countries

Starts: January 7, 2016; Ends: April 30, 2016

  • Embark: San Diego, CA, USA
  • Hilo, Hawaii, USA
  • Yokohama, Japan
  • Kobe, Japan
  • Shanghai, China
  • Hong Kong, China
  • Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • Singapore, Singapore
  • Rangoon, Burma
  • Cochin, India
  • Port Louis, Mauritious
  • Cape Town, South Africa
  • Takoradi, Ghana
  • Debark: London, England

To say the least, this is an adventure of epic proportions. Here is the cost breakdown of each voyage:

Fall 2015: $23,950; Spring 2016: $23,950

Included in this is the following:

  • Tuition – up to 15 semester credits
  • Housing (pricing varies by cabin category. I aim for the cheapest one.)
  • All meals aboard the ship
  • All academically required field labs
  • Other academic stuff like advising and whatnot

Extra costs that are not included that I still need to get money for:

  • Travel and overnight stay to London for embarkation
  • Travel visas
  • Textbooks
  • Vaccinations
  • Snacks aboard the ship
  • Food while off the ship
  • Laundry
  • Independent travel
  • Any additional field programs that I want to take part in
  • Travel and stay in USA between voyages
  • Return trip from London

So, I’m going to say I need about $60,000 before doing any intense budgeting. That sounds insane, but there are many scholarship options, so I’m feeling confident. I also am accepting donations! Below, you can click to donate via PayPal in case you are (1) feeling generous and (2) in full support of me and my goal with SAS. Every penny counts! Thank you.

Donate Button

If you know of any good scholarships for study abroad, SAS, or for English majors or have any other funding/travel/writing/anything suggestions, just let me know. It would be greatly appreciated as I continue my planning!

Thank you so very much!

Best Wishes,

Katherine Z

California, California, Here I Come

At least, that is what I would like to say. But, alas, I rarely make it back to my birth place. This past fall, I returned. My father showed me the hospital where I was born and the old house I spent my first two years in. He even showed me his high school house. As we neared his old house, he recalled the memory of his high school friend being killed at the same intersection we were at. Even the same lane, though it has been repaved since those days. We even drove on the same road that his sister died upon. These are reminders that I cannot imagine as a song plays and I consider a lost friendship and misplaced trust, but we all still breathe.

20140927_094148
My father’s house in high school.

As we visited my grandfather, I could see my father come to life again. Away from the place he has lived for 20 years — the Michigan clouds that suffocate him — he is at peace. He considers not returning. Our homes are truly not where we live. I have found that they are the places I dream of. When I believed I found them, time inevitably unveiled that the people who comprised my home were lies. It is true that home is where the heart is, but when your heart is broken and lost, home is rather difficult to place.

So, we dream. We look on up to the sky from under Redwoods.

20140929_114207Observe time and gravity20140929_115302_1 Look to disappear

20140929_114429Or maybe just play20140929_113846Not only are the trees nearby magnificent, but the Pacific is not a long drive at all from Santa Rosa. So, we went. And I successfully got a picture of waves crashing on rocks!

20140930_151546

And climbed some rocks
20140930_151219Captured this epic shot of my dad20140930_151948And this seagull20140930_154108I also fell in love with this tree near the cliffs above the Pacific. Location is everything20140930_161746My trip to California was wonderful. We drove along the ocean and my dad went on an one hundred mile bike-ride while I slept the last few days I was there (I had mono). I wish I would have had a camera, not just my phone, for Yosemite. I simply did not get any good pictures at Yosemite. But I think these Pacific Ocean pictures make up for it:

20140930_154449 20140930_160741 20140930_161705 20140930_161928

So, I think I may move back to California someday. I have lived in three states: California, Michigan, and Ohio. To say the very least, California is the most beautiful of these states. Now, upon my plane’s landing in Detroit, I was astonished to find actual clouds in the sky. They were incredibly beautiful and added a contrast to the sky that any photographer would appreciate (or so my sister, photographer for Little Blue Bird Photography, informed me. She’s awesome. I wish I took pictures like her.), but I still prefer the constant 80 degrees, sunshine, oceans, mountains, and lack of humidity found in Southern California over the… lakes of Michigan. And sports fans of Ohio.

My Past Few Weeks

Oh Em Gee homework!
Why the turd now, depression!
Slightly dehydrated=constipation!
I completely missed you, homework!
Cyber Monday=fun with credit cards!
Have to find you, sanity!
Christmas bonus=loans’ interest.
Depression subsiding!
Recollection of missed assignments
Despair emerging
Desperate typing consumes weekends
Weekdays spent walking in cold
Scrubbing toilets and tubs
Missing Sugar Gliders,
Nieces and nephews
Caught up!
But still have looming tests
Late Christmas gifts
An unspoken “thank you”
And inferred “I love you”
On the tip of my tongue
Old friends diminish
Into the ice that is layered
Upon roads around the house
That I moved into yesterday