Ukraine: the Soap Opera

What good is a political crisis that affects millions of people’s lives if you can’t mock the idiot politicos that create them?

 

As the World Spins:

A soap opera based on the Ukraine crisis

 

Cast:

Eunice: (Ukraine) shares an apartment with her husband Viktor

Viktor: (Russian leaning govt. of Ukraine) abusive husband of Eunice

“The Bear”: (Russia) Viktor’s Mafioso uncle, landlord of the building Viktor and Eunice live in, has important business dealings with E.U. West.

E.U. West: (Europe) night club owner who lives in the apartment across the alley from Viktor and Eunice, often flirts with Eunice

Sam: (USA) close friend and ally of E.U., richest, loudest member of the country club across the street.

***

(Scene:  EU’s and Eunice’s apartments, split screen view, EU and Eunice on the phone, looking at each other from across the alley thru their apartment windows)

EU:  “Hey.  You’re looking cute this morning.”

Eunice:  (giggles) “Thanks, you too.”

EU:  “Mmm… I can’t wait to get my hands on you.  How long till your divorce is finalized?”

Eunice:  “Just a few months, then I can kick Viktor out.”

EU:  “I’m counting the days.  I’ll call you later, I have plans with Sam this afternoon.”

Eunice:  “OK, love you.”

EU:  “Uh-huh.  Bye.”

***

(Scene:  Country club, EU and Sam teeing up on the 4th hole)

Sam:  “So, dude.  You get in Eunice’s pants yet?”

EU (bragging):  “I’m working on it… using my charms, you know how it is.”

Sam:  “Not me, dude.  I see a chick I like, I’m just like, Bam!  You’re my woman now!  So anyways, you love her?”

EU:  “Puh-lease.  She’s cute, having her on my arm will be nice for a while.  It’s delicate though, her husband’s uncle and I have dealings… messing around with her could cause problems there.”

Sam:  “Who is the uncle?”

EU:  “Bear, the mobster.”

Sam:  “Oh, I hate that guy!  He’s like, my arch enemy, dude.  He’s been kicking my ass all over the golf course lately, too… making me look like an idiot in front of everybody.”

EU:  “Yeah, everyone has talked about it.”

Sam:  “Duuuude.  I hope you get Eunice, just to stick it to the Bear.  I’ve been telling everybody you two make a great couple… that she should be free to love who she wants.  You know, trying to get some good vibes all up in this place.”

EU:  “Yeah, I appreciate it… but maybe dial it down a little.”

Sam:  “No way, bro.  Eunice should be with who she wants to be… I totally believe in like, free choice and all that shit.”

***

(Scene:  EU’s apartment, 3 am, phone rings)

EU:  “Hello?”

Eunice:  “It’s me.”

EU:  “Me who?”

Eunice:  “Eunice! Who else?”

EU:  ”Oh, hey.  I was just teasing.  What time is it?”

Eunice:  “Three in the morning.”

EU:  “Oh.  Why you calling so late?  I just got home from work, I’m kind of tired… can we talk in the morn-“

Eunice:  “I’ve left Viktor.”

EU:  “You what?”

Eunice:  “We had a terrible fight.  He hurt me, so I cracked his head open with a frying pan and chased him out of the apartment.  Now we can be together.  Can you come and pick me up?”

EU:  “Ummm…..”

Eunice:  “Its ok, Viktor is not here.  He probably ran off to his uncle’s house.”

EU:  “The Bear?  Aww, shit.  You didn’t tell him about us, did you?”

Eunice:  “Of course I did.  That’s what the fight was about.”

EU:  (mumbles) “You stupid bi—“

Eunice:  “What? I can’t hear you.”

EU:  (looks out the window into the alley between apartments)  “Nothing.”

Eunice:  ”So are you coming over?”

(multiple black sedans drive up to the building, Bear’s henchmen pour out and surround the place)

EU:  “Ummm….”

Eunice:  “Hello?  You still there?”

***

(Scene:  Country club driveway; area is crowded, members from all the surrounding neighborhoods gossiping about the Bear’s actions)

Sam:  “Come on bro, we gotta rescue Eunice!”

EU:  “Why couldn’t she wait?  Just a couple of months and she could have been free.”

Sam:  “What’s done is done, dude.  We just can’t let the Bear go and like, take over people’s apartments and girls and stuff.”

EU:  “He kind of does run the building already.  Besides, he sort of has me by the short hairs.”

Sam:  “No way, dude.  You should go and like, slash his tires… teach him a lesson.”

EU:  “I can’t mess with his car.  I get the gas for my car from him… I told you, its complicated. “

Sam:  “Well, what about Eunice?”

EU:  “What about her?”

Sam:  “I thought you loved her.”

EU:  “Ahhhhh, no.  She’s not worth this trouble, that’s for sure.”

Sam:  “Well, we gotta do something!  We can’t just let the Bear do whatever he wants and get away with it!  Next thing you know he’ll go after all the girls in the building!  Don’t forget, most of them are his exes!”

EU:  “Seriously, they’re not worth it.  I like to flirt, maybe get a little action now and then.  Not going to get into a fight over it though.”

Sam:  “Dude!  I’ve started fights for less!  Sometimes out of boredom!”

EU:  “Yeah, I know… ah, just let it go.”

Sam:  “I can’t!  I got a reputation to uphold, dude.  I’m always talking about freedom and all that shit, I can’t back down now!  It’s all about respect!  Everyone here in the club looks up to me.”

EU:  “You know, you’re not as popular as you think you are…”

Sam:  “No way, bro.  Everybody loves me.  I rock!”

EU:  “Ugh…  I suppose we should do something though, everyone is watching…”

Sam:  “I know, let’s kick the Bear out of the country club!”

EU:  “You can’t… he’s got a lifetime membership.”

Sam:  “Well then, let’s ban his tennis court privileges.”

EU:  “Does he even play tennis?”

Man in crowd:  “Hey, isn’t that Eunice up in the window?  I think she’s trying to get your attention.”

Sam:  “Where?”

EU:  “Don’t look.  Act casual.”

 

To be continued….

(Cue dramatic organ music)

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Thorny Rose (Fabelwald)

thorny-rose

Free download !!!

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/381528

 

Above you see a manga-styled cover for a free short story I have published on smashwords.com.  The story takes place in the Fabelwald world, approximately thirty years before the events in ‘The Mythic Forest’ (available in print/ebook at amazon/apple/createspace/etc… search by title or by my name!)

The story serves to introduce you to one of the major supporting characters we will see in Fabelwald Book II, as well as a couple of new races/creatures.  I have too many origin stories laying around, and as much as I’d like to get them into the main books, I’m afraid they would just distract from the main plot line.  I remember reading Lord of the Rings (Fellowship of the Ring) and thinking ‘what’s up with all this Tom Bombadill crap?’ …. And I am no Tolkien, lol!

Book Proofreading

torches

I have nearly finished reading my novel in long sessions to get a feel for continuity and pace and all that fun stuff, and though I had reviewed it a million times for grammar, word choice, etc., I still find tiny things to change.  My biggest pet peeves are the occasional instances of “I used that word too much in the last few paragraphs!”.   So off we go to the online thesaurus!

Hmm… thesaurus.

Let me jump off track here.  I remember back before there was an internet, when I was in grade school I needed to buy one of those little “Roget’s (?) Pocket Thesaurus” for class.  I was in the local pharmacy buying an X-Men comic, and on the off chance they had such a thing I asked the cashier where I could find one.  That’s not so strange, is it?  I mean they always put in those racks at the beginning of the school year with packages of pens, pencils, erasers, notebooks, glue, compasses, etc…  So the lady who bore a strange resemblance to the mom of the family of thieves in “The Goonies” :

Says to me : “What’s a fasoris?”

***

Anyways, back to proofreading, I would like to share a little gem I discovered weeks ago when researching medieval life to make sure what I was writing was accurate.  I don’t recall what I was looking for, but somehow came across this Brit’s youtube videos.  He has a wonderful sense of humor, sort of a Hugh Laurie vibe.  He apparently does a lot of historical reenactments, cosplay and so on, so not only has a good historical knowledge but a practical one as well.  He found out (the hard way sometimes) about little details like uses of fire, weapon and armor details, etc.   He mocks the Hollywood versions of things, like sound and lighting effects, which are done simply cause they look or sound cool, but are completely wrong. Of course, the world has grown up seeing these things in movies, and we assume its real.

I had a scene in a castle, and described a scene where the flicker and sputtering of torches created all this tension and mood and yadda-yadda-yadda…. and then I saw the following video and went back and rewrote it all.

In my proof reading last night, I caught the mistake of mentioning “torches” instead of “lanterns” pages after my rewrite.

Which is what got me on this sidetrack.

Or was it a sidetrack?  I was talking about proof reading.

I think.

What the hell did I start this post for?  Ah, never mind.

Just enjoy the videos.

Book Proof is In!

Image

I finally got the physical proof of the fantasy novel I have been working on since the beginning of the year!

Being of grumpy nature, my first words upon opening the package were “God damn it!”  Ha ha ha.

I was of course referring to how dark the cover printed- most of my painting simply came out black.  As I have griped about in previous posts, what you see in you actual drawing file versus what gets saved when converted to a .jpeg or .pic or .png is a whole other animal.  Over the last year I have searched for clues online on how to get things to come out right, but have had no luck. 

I actually thought my prayers were answered when I had to submit the drawing file to the printer, cause they required a PDF file.  When I saved it as such, I was shocked to see that it looked identical to my drawing file version.  No way! I cried… finally I had found a format that looked like what I had intended.  Well, now I know it looks good, but prints terribly.  The other formats look worse, but print better.

Back to the drawing board (no pun intended, but what the hell, it works).