i.e. How to Tell a Story

Procedures for Running a Sync Sound Narrative Film Set by Chat Gunter (adapted)

1. Position the camera only for the opening master shot. (Hook the Reader).

2. Rehearse the blocking and dialog of the entire scene with the actors. (Introduce your characters).

3. Crew will light, mic, prop, grip, and ready the set for shooting. (Set the scene).

5. … The director calls, “Action!” (Spark the complication and plot arc).

6. Shoot. (Go for it).

7. When the action is completed, the director calls “Cut!” and the camera is turned off. (End your story sharply, all ‘boom shadows’ cleared and away.)



WLOD, i.e. this blog, is offline due to inclement weather.

All parents/essential employees report at once for duty: hot chocolate prep, craft creation, snow gear tracking, video taking, squabble refereeing, sled slogging, homeschool teaching, cold hand warming, movie selecting, mixed-drink downing . . the last for parents only—likely one of the most essential tasks of the day.

No Time for Angst

A few weeks ago I was sitting around fretting: What should I do next with  my career? Go for another book? Write short pieces? What about? And for Whom? Blah. Blah.

And then I picked up a class—and all of the ensuing, yet fun, chaos of creating a new course and keeping up with papers and readings and trying to individualize it all for my students—a goal that quickly took front-and-center. No more time for angst. At least for the moment. Kind of a relief, I guess.

But it made me wonder: Do we all stay super busy to avoid thinking about bigger questions? Like, where we are going in life? Or, what is going to happen to all of the elephants, and monarch butterflies, and polar bears, and coastal cities in the next 30 years.

Our daily distractions are keeping these worries at bay, at least for the moment. The poor disappearing butterflies . . . ack, it’s too sad . . . I’ll go check out the latest wacky kitten video on YouTube.  Angst is by nature uncomfortable. Yet discomfort is what prods humans to do something, much like the demons of hunger force us to eat.

Some of my students wonder whether we have actually crossed the Threshold to the Apocalypse—with the specter of Global Warming, and virus-laden bee colonies, and mass shootings, and bizarre natural disasters with the suffix ‘mageddon’ attached. And I tend to agree. Maybe we should look back to the Fall of the Roman Empire for a cautionary tale. What does it matter if the core is imploding if we all have Bread and Circuses.


Overheard at a Towson bagel shop

At the table next to me: “I had just a half  ‘a mixed drink in the car on the way there.”

My ears perked up—-their conversation, loud-enough to hear, fair game. The young woman, wearing college garb (black-and-gold hoodie and leggings), described that Saturday night.

“I know I didn’t drink that much, but my words were slurred, and I was falling off the stool. I know I was drugged. I didn’t drink that much,” she said. “When I went to the gym the next day I felt sick and threw up.”

Any discussion of goings-on later in the night was reduced to whispers. But the core of the conversation heated up: date-rape drugs.

“What kind of drugs do they use?” one young woman asked. “SSRIs? Tranquilizers?” She asked again, and then again.

But no one answered.

Ruffiie (Rohypnol ) is the official answer. The fear is real. Yet there’s an even bigger issue: The high-octane, fruit-juiced grain alcohol in all those red Solo cups might be the more insidious culprit. Go ask Alice, when she’s not 10-feet tall.