Category Archives: fiction

If I wrote Passengers  


If I wrote passengers. The verdict is pretty unanimous about the movie passengers. So I thought about what I liked and what I would have liked to see in the movie. 

The set up. 

A man (Jim Preston) wakes up in his transit pod only to realise he can’t go back into stasis and is still 90 years away from his destination. How did he get up here? He is/was a blue collar worker in a class system where his skills whatever they may be have never been discovered, this has put him firmly in the grunt worker category. In order to get anything worthwhile you have to be a grifter, a thief or a gambler. He tried gambling and lost big time which is why he ended up on the ship. He is traded to settle his debt. He finds out after waking up that his job is as the ship’s handyman. Though the ship is automated you still need a human to fix things under the guidance of the ship. He should be able to go back to stasis afterwards but the man he owed (Jackson) didn’t shell out the extra 1000 credits. Why? Because Preston was a wise guy that made Jackson look stupid. He gets his answer when he reads the manual and finds he has to live out the rest of his life on the desolate ship. 

A slow acceptance

Preston might not be happy about being isolated and trapped on a space ship floating in space. He has free run if the ship and gets to use some of the facilities after he fixes a few things here and there. He exercises, watches movies and reads. But It gets pretty old fast. He starts spending time in the stasis chambers looking at the different people who are asleep making up stories about who they are. His access to the pods is on rotation. He checks to make sure the pods will not fail. He is allowed access to a new stasis chamber/suite and finds a woman Aurora asleep in the pod. He recognises her, she was a celebrity from his past he found mildly interesting but in his bored/desperation she is the highlight of his time. He tries and fails to convince the ship’s A.I that he needs to repair something on her pod. The ship denies him access and he has to wait six months before he can access that part of the ship again. 

The plan

Preston formerly dead beat, waiting to die glorified janitor now has something to live for. He uses the system computer to learn everything he can about Aurora. What he can mostly find are archived reports of past interviews and her personality profile. He finds out that there is military and civilian interest in the new planet. A new form of radiation has been discovered because a star imploded. It causes degeneration in the human brain eventually resulting in death. The people on earth are in the direct path of the radiation blast but the new planet is out of that range. They are not entirely safe though as galactic activity may change the path of the radiation storm and another star is just as likely to implode. The ship continues to monitor these activities and keeps a log for the captain. The moment the readings exceed acceptable parameters the first captain and the first general are to be woken up immediately. Preston uses cleaning me maintenance as a ploy to access the captains quarters where he reads about Aurora and her reasons for moving to the new planet. 

Every Action…

Six months roll by and Preston gains access to Aurora’s pod. He makes a big show for the sake of the computer that she is in distress and her pod is failing. He fiddles with her pod against the computers advice and her pod opens. She is awake. He tells her there have been issues with the computer and both their pods failed. In her confusion he gives her his version of events the main issue being that they will be stuck together for 90 years. Aurora clearly shocked at the news leaves to gather thoughts. She goes to her cabin which is on a side of the ship he cannot get access to. She wanders, she cries, she rants but eventually gets a hold of herself. She asks the computer questions which confirm Preston’s story. Is her pod is damaged, yes. Will it take more than 90 years to reach their destination, yes. Is Preston the only other person awake, yes. She slowly accepts that she and Preston are the only people on the ship and will likely die together. Preston finally having someone to talk to. A slow and awkward relationship starts with Preston using some of the information he has learned about Aurora. 

The Turn

Aurora and Preston begin to form a pattern. Their relation is far from exclusive but with no other participants they have little to compare it to. They is a need each has for the other as they each fear being alone on the ship. On their lunch date Preston says something strange which confused Aurora. He plays it off and changes the subject. As time passes Preston’s behaviour becomes more and more erratic. He has o continue his maintenance jobs but begins hearing and seeing people on the ship. After his lunch with Aurora he goes to the medical bay where he learns he has been exposed to radiation. He realises Aurora may soon share the same fate as him but he doesn’t want to die alone and chooses to keep it to himself. On one of his maintenance runs he sees the captain and goes after him. He follows the captain to the lower engineering levels. The captain tells Preston not to trust the ship and shows him a cubby where the previous maintenance man lived before him for thirty years before dying. There is a picture, a worn book and a blanket. That maintenance man was not as lucky as him as he didn’t speak English and couldn’t communicate with the computer. The captain tells Preston that the ship has been going round in circles for the last fifteen years as it cannot find a clear path to the new planet. Preston asks the computer to show him the path to planet. The path makes no sense to him and he believes the captain. Aurora notices Preston is frantic and unwilling to tell her what is bothering him. One of the system fails which puts the ship on red alert. The computer requests assistance from Preston but the audio message soon goes off. Aurora is now scared and panicking. Preston tells her not to trust the computer and tells her they have to get into an eject pod so he can reset the computer. This makes Aurora question Preston. She wonders if he has radiation sickness. He tells her he is protecting her and takes her through the ship. Having her with him allows him access to different parts of the ship but they eventually make their way to the pods. She tells him to get I first. When he turns his back to her she knocks him out. She gets anaesthetic to keep him sedated. She accesses the on board doctor who tells her that Preston is suffering from radiation sickness. If she leaves him he will eventually destroy the ship. She wonders if she can jerry-rig him into a coma and use her credits to save him as his pod is not working. The computer tells her his pod was not designed for the full flight like hers was and unlike her pod which can be repaired his will not work to keep him in prolonged sleep so it is unsuitable for stasis sleep or a medically induced coma. The Projection doctor suggests the medical pod in sickbay which is good for a week. 

Aurora realises that Preston has lied to her this whole time. We leave the story here. Will she take revenge and hurt Preston? Will she simply fix her pod and go back to sleep? Or will she cure him and pretend none of this ever happened? 

Now that’s how I would write it. 

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If I wrote a book: the break up

The break up

The break up

If I wrote a…(cringes) romance short story. Because lets be honest I can write about fluffy white clouds but not two people being all lovey-dovey. I have my limits. Lets just call this a situation comedy with romantic over tones shall we? 

You know those really funny romantic comedies that make you laugh so hard that deal with stereotypes that insults both sexes? Yeah mine wouldn’t be anything like that.

We would start with a young couple. Lets call them Grace and James who are in the middle stages of their relationship. In the sweet spot where the honeymoon period is a distant memory but they are so not ready for a committed relationship. So Grace would be a woman trying to navigate the world entrusted to her by all the great women before. She has so much to choose from and she is worried about getting it wrong. Should she be “every woman”? 

James would be the man or rather the boy-man. The man who still feel in a lot of ways like a boy. Because the world reminds him he is not a child but won’t treat him quite like a man yet. That is for everything except taxes and getting arrested. 

Their wonderful and soon to be tested relationship would come to a head at a friend’s barbecue and both Grace and James would be hurled off into different directions and each would have to answer some really hard questions about themselves. Their friends would of course dump on them after years of being ignored because I have to be entertained in their misery. Come on don’t look at me like that I have to get something out of their misery. 

James would get the clichéd Grace knows him a lot more than he knows her revelation. But to up the ante he will discover his relationship was not exactly what he thought and his role may be just as shaky as his professional one. His sweet angel has flaws and may have been unfaithful. Will he be a hypocrite and hold that against her considering he has cheated on her more than once. His job being his late solitude he stumbles onto a secret about his company that changes his picture of his future career. The questions for James begin. Is this job what he really wants to do? What is his functioning purpose if he is not a designer?

Grace would come face to face with a lot of her fears and for once in her life take a risk. After leaving the barbecue with a tall dark stranger, because let’s face it. No other kind of stranger would do. She finds herself using her head and her heart in ways she has never really tried. Some of her adventures will leave a mark just because I want my characters to have lasting reminders. The truly shocking realisation for her would be to realise she has been postponing her dream of being a lawyer for much deeper reasons than she originally thought. The questions each face will be about facing who they are and what is truly in their heart.

For me the comedy comes with people forced to really take a look at who they are and being thrust into situations they have tried so hard to avoid. Seeing yourself through the advice of well meaning friends who send you into an emotional tail spin.

 

Text on book back cover

A summer barbecue with friends finds Grace and James each thinking about their relationship. 

James is a young man struggling to get into the design industry. Grace is a young woman still deciding if she wants to become a lawyer. They are sure about one thing, that they adore each other. Which is tricky because Grace is paranoid and James is a little bit of a slut. Thankfully, for James she has always turned a blind eye to his antics but tonight Grace begins wondering. What if her indecision about making a mistake is holding her back? What if she is holding James back? 

They have to talk. A quiet conversation soon erupts into a full blown argument. The nature of the relationship uncertain James storms off leaving Grace behind. After a hook up with a perky blonde he meets at the party he begins to regret his decision and returns to apologise. He arrives just in time to see Grace drive off with another man. 

During the course of the night James and Grace see what their lives could be without the other. James begins to find out that a big part of his appeal to other women is his relationship with Grace and without it he would be just another guy that no woman would take seriously. Grace finds out that half of what she is afraid of could very well happen but that the pain might not be as awful as she had originally thought.

Both will find out from friends who they became as a couple and not all of it will be flattering. But the real question now is as young people coming into society trying to establish their presence. Do they know who they are without the other?

 

What do you think? Will Grace and James grow from this experience? And should we even bother asking the cliche question. Will they get back together? I’m more interested in the revenge they will plan for the friend who uses that night as the perfect opportunity to kick them when they are down.

 

If I wrote a book :

If I wrote a crime thriller.

book cover

Out of sight presentation

The main character would of course be female but this time she would be African. The story would start with what it is like for a foreigner to live in America and the beauty that new York has to offer. Before you get hit in the gut with the horrible set up of the evil villain the Optician you get to meet her sister and learn some of the things that a woman in her position worries about. You’ll learn how you and her are similar and just what makes her a unique individual. You’ll learn that she loves her family but the only person she has left is now her sister, someone who she is taking great pains to keep safe in a new and unfamiliar environment.

Then my dear reader. You will loose this precious gem of a sister and be confronted just like our hero into an emotional hell no human should have to endure. You’ll find out, from her point of view why “minorities” learn to not trust “the others”. You will see how when confronted with an evil unlikely allegiances are struck and a community comes together to find and save one of their own. 

And if you’re lucky. really lucky. You’ll come away from this a new person who sees the world with new eyes. 

 

Text on book jacket

When Nneoma and her sister were watching the news yesterday they had joked about how different things were in America. They were glad that the situation was outside their small community. It was clear that the New York Police department had gotten another package from the killer the media were calling The Optician.  A man that had killed one woman every week for ten weeks. He crowned his achievements by sending their gouged eyes to the police. The small white delivery box was now infamous. The whole city was in fear of The Optician and everyone had taken to travelling in groups. 

Yesterday Nneoma, kissed her sister good night and left to work a night shift at the Hospital.  Today Nneoma returns to find an empty ransacked house and a missing sister. She does not know what to be more disturbed about, the blood or the note written on an old tattered map.  

It seems the Optician has decided that her sister is to be his new play thing. His motives are now Nneoma’s life mission. She did not survive Africa to have her family snuffed out like a used up cigarette. The killer was about to find out that he had picked on the wrong sister. With a week on the clock and nothing more to loose Nneoma enlists her friend an Indonesian mathematician with connections to help her. Nneoma is out of her depth in this big city but. with the help of the hidden community of New York she just might find her sister in time. She soon finds herself confronted with a world she never would have imagined.

A crazy circus

I don’t know why I drew this. I just had an image of a crazy circus. A circus captures our imagination doesn’t it? A place where AMAZING things happen. The strong man, the lion tamer, the creepy-always happy clowns. Even though I’ve seen so many books with interesting circus themes they never seem to capture the way I feel about circuses.
Sigh! I guess it’s just something you have to experience instead of read or watch in a movie.
Well here is my circus. A special place you can only find under my magic tent. If you step outside it though…. Well I can’t guarantee what you will find. 😈
Mwah ha ha 😉

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If I did a television show

Emergence

Emergence

So I was thinking about this story. A librarian is caught in this really difficult situation. There are people trapped in a library. Eek! And there are agents outside trying to get a double agent who has killed multiple assets and has been a thorn in the side of the agencies. Oh this would be an awesome television show. Where every episode takes you through the life of each person trapped in the library we’d get a look at the agent leading the task force. His motivations would definitely not be honourable, just because that is how I roll. Every episode would end in a cliffhanger. But the finally would reveal the mysterious double agent. Sigh! That is the kind of television show I would do. It wouldn’t drag on forever but you’d love the characters because no one is inherently good or bad. It’s all about the choices we make. At least that’s how I would do it.