Daily writing?

Hay cool, a rant post!

I talk to people a lot about how I can't write for shit. Maybe sometimes I can write something that sounds ok, but I know that underneath the surface there's nothing but air. Mannn, I'll never learn to write smart stuff, I often whine to myself, and to people who will listen. Where oh where is the solution to my shortcoming? Thinking about it, I realized that, often in the same breath as my whining, I'll tell people that I used to think I couldn't draw, and that my ultimate solution was to draw everyday. The reality about that daily drawing is that I got better, way better despite my on-going insecurities.

So, I have to start writing every day.

Here, then, is my first effort in that direction. This is a little scene that might take place between my Mary Ellen "Desert Hare" Hernandez character, and her friend and seeming constant companion/damsel in distress, Suzette Spotwood, after some kind of Indiana Jones style rescue scene.

scene goal:
establish that Mary Ellen doesn't drink

setting: Suzette's somewhat dingy apartment in Mexico City, circa 1937. Picture Victorian moldings and wall-paper, with second hand art deco furniture, crowded somewhat incongruously with plaster and ceramic mexican folk art.

enter Suzette, with tousseled hair and a skinned cheek and Mary Ellen with soot on her dress, and grease on her knuckles.

Suzette: Can I get you something to drink? I have uh water, half-and-half... uhm whiskey?

Desert Hare: Thank you, I'm fine

S: well I need a whiskey. Seriously, how can you go through something like that and not want a whiskey?

DH: Oh, no, I don't drink anymore

S: ok...you're so stiff, you don't have to be like that with me, I promise! gulp!

DH: heh, you drink that like it's horchata

S: yeah I know, I just can't sip, you know?

DH: I used to know, I had a wrist like a one armed bandit, pull pull pull pull jackpot...

S: hee hee see, you CAN loosen up. it's not so bad is it?

DH: what kind of water do you have, do you have soda-water?

S: yeah! hold on a sec. gulp!

DH: thank you. I guess you must not drink all that often to keep a full bottle like that in your cabinet?

S: no, I just bought that before, you know, everything yesterday, so I didn't get a chance to open it. Usually I can't keep a bottle like that for more than a day or two.

DH: Yeah, I remember those days.

S: why don't you drink anymore, anyway?

DH: I drank because I was sick of myself. But in the morning I'd feel even worse about me. the THINGS I'd do when I was drunk, hoy! So--more drinks. One day I thought I'd stop being the snake, biting its own tail.

S: gulp! did it help?

DH: haha, no of course not, I'm still sick of myself. BUT I don't have a hangover anymore.

S: god, I KNOW! Every time I wonder why it doesn't hurt enough to keep me from drinking the next time. whassa matter with someone who can't learn their lesson?

DH: I've never met anyone who could. It's like every fairy tale is a tragedy, there's always a lesson to learn, and no one ever does. I don't think that's a cautionary tale so much as a bald faced truth.

S: yeahh... gulp! say, you wanna hear a record? I'm gonna put on a record.

S: sure, go ahead.

As suzette wobbles over to the phonograph, Mary Ellen pours herself a whiskey, without looking, or maybe even looking away, as if prentending a part of herself wasn't doing what it clearly was. Suzette, looking back to show off her selected record, catches Mary Ellen staring into the poured drink, lost in thought, and getting ready to drink it.

S: you're sick of yourself right now?

Mary Ellen jumps slightly, shutting up her eyes and clutching her collar.

S: I can't beleive I startled you! after what you did today, I thought you were like a rock!

DH: Hah, no, I'm soft as a kitten. Here, take this from me. heh, I guess I can't trust myself.

S: go ahead, you need it. I won't tell.

DH: you're sweet... no, put on the record. If I lay down on your couch will you stay here and talk to me?

S: sure, I'd love to. As long as you don't mind if I babble, 'cause I'm getting pretty tipsy.

DH: babble away. I'd rather hear your thoughts than mine.

S: what a sad thing to say!

DH: hah, it's way funnier than it is sad, come on, tell me a great story.

S: a great story? uuuhhhhhhhh, oh! yeah OK! so, this one night, me and this guy Jim Torino, and my two friends Lotte and Kate were---

final scene a panel of Mary Ellen contemplatively listening to Suzette's story, in a panel without dialogue. A sort of comic book fade out. Then the next scene, potentially a "MEANWHILE, BACK IN THE JUNGLE!" type scene.

possible re-write criteria:
-strengthen scene's story arc
-strengthen the subtext of her temptation
-set up a connection to the next scene
-fairy tale tragedy line: insert scholarly references

If you got this far, I'd love to hear some feed back. And next time, I promise to have a drawing of Suzette and the Desert Hare on a motorcyle, in the middle of a battle with culty spooks in suits and dark glasses (think Brotherhood of the Cruciform Sword, only evil).


  1. We definitely know that Mary Ellen doesn't drink now, so mission accomplished, and the way that she still manages to unconsciously pour herself a drink is a great touch, but now I want to know more than "I drank because I was sick of myself."

    Even if you want to save the story of incident that actually made her quit once and for all for another episode, this seems like a great place to build suspense and anticipation with a mysterious reference to that exciting and/or tragic event.

    "I could never drink enough to ever forget that I was the one that left Chaco in the clutches of the Vampire Spiders of Ilamatecuhtli in the catacumbas beneath Juarez."

  2. Thanks Crooked Man!

    Great food for thought. I do only partially know what made her quit, so your having pointed it out makes me realize I definitely need to do more to flesh out those motivations.

    as for Chaco and the Vampire Spiders of the Catacumbas de Juarez.... I might have to steal that, heh.

    perhaps instead of "MEANWHILE, BACK IN THE JUNGLE!" following this scene, there could be a "Meanwhile, back in Mary Ellen's sordid past when she realized she couldn't drink anymore" scene.

  3. I think you've got at least two scenes that spin out of this. One is the tragic incident that made her start drinking more heavily than she should, and the second is whatever finally happened to make her quit. The first could be a spectacular adventure that ends disastrously, and the second could be a more personal story, a victory over her demons.

  4. You should reference this classic O'Keef image: