Monday, March 1, 2010


A good friend of mine said that I should post the work that I am doing in narrative storytelling up on my blog and so, without further ado, here it is.

Assignment 1: Learning to Lie.
[Two lies and a truth. Although it is generally played, two truths and a lie]

1. Sitting at my kitchen table in my old house in Sacramento, I waited, not so patiently, for my mom to bring lunch. My siblings and I started egging each other on to get our mother to bring the food faster but being a mother of three she simply shook her head with a laugh. Lunch that day was my favorite, macaroni and cheese. As soon as the bowl was down, I dug in, reveling in the cheesy goodness. It was a race between my older brother and I to see who could finish the fastest. He won, but I was a close second. Our sister rolled her eyes and ate hers at the pace of what she would consider a “normal human being”. As the oldest, she was often the party pooper. However, she did have her moments. While she was talking to me across the table I noticed my brother sneaking his fork over for a bite of her lunch, but kept my mouth shut. My sister noticed just as he was pulling away and stabbed him on the elbow with the fork. With a gasp he leapt out of his seat, the fork having drawn blood. I couldn’t figure out for a minute whether to laugh at the look on his face or to be wary of my sisters wrath. The laughter won out. Unfortunately for my brother, he scars easily and the marks are still there today.

2. Every year, I attend the Salmon Festival that is held in Oroville California to bring myself back down to earth and learn about the pieces of my heritage that I am still foggy on. On my mom’s side I am Native American; my Grandmother is full blood Blackfoot. Three years ago when we went, the skies were blue with light fluffy clouds; what a beautiful day. My uncle offered for my brother and I to go Salmon fishing. While my brother opted out, not wanting to get into the freezing cold water, I jumped at the opportunity. Supplied with my Uncle’s fishing license and a spear I waded into the water in my flip flops, shorts, and sleeveless shirt. The water stung at my legs and before long I was shivering. Determined, however, to try to catch a fish, I tried my hand. It turns out I am not made for spear fishing. It didn’t help that I didn’t want the fish to touch me, so if one happened to come near me I would jump. Having been in the river nearly an hour, my teeth her chattering and I’d gone partially numb. Riding back to our camp in the back of my Uncle’s truck, I couldn’t stop shivering. I was suddenly struck by a curiosity, however, as it seemed that my Uncle was holding a snake by its tail out the window as he drove us back. I was just happy I was in the back of the truck. When we got back to the camp, my mom noticed that I was shivering and got me some warm clothes to change into. My Uncle, however, decided he had his own cure. Walking over to me, snake in hand, he shoved it towards me. Panicked, I jumped back with a scream. I was about to yell at him when he said, “Are you still shivering?” After the fear faded, I realized that I wasn’t. With a smile he nodded and let the snake go in the bushes.

3. Around Mother’s Day of 2004 I got a puppy. She is a full bred German Shepherd. She was the most adorable little thing, with “teepee” ears that looked way too large for her head. My siblings that I had convinced out mother that we should be able to get a puppy only a month prior. It took a lot of “Go ask your Father.” and “Go ask your Mother.” back and forth before the consensus was come to that we could indeed have the pet that we wanted. We scoured the internet, looking for a breeder that was nearby. The closest that we found at the time was Fresno. Running to tell our Mom, we were out of breath with excitement. “When can we get it!?” Was all we could say, it was all we could manage. The idea of getting a puppy was almost more then I could handle. The drive to Fresno was two hours of, “Are we there yet?” Until we were told that we needed to settled down. Our dog, Jade, was considered to be a mother’s day present. It is something we still laugh about, since my mom didn’t actually really want the dog to begin with. I know she loves Jade though, its hard not to.

No one in the class were able to guess which my truth was. My friends should know this one quickly, but to people who don't know me, I suppose it could be somewhat of a challenge.

Assignment 2: Begin with a given line; "One more thing before you go."

“One more thing before you go.” He said, offhandedly.
As I stopped mid step the strap of my bag continued forward with my previous momentum and caught me a little off balance. He didn‘t seem to notice as I composed myself again.
“I need to you make sure that you pick up my medicine from the store and we’re out of milk.”
“That’s two things.” I mentioned.
He simply shook his head, causing his long brown hair to sway slightly. “Yeah, two things then.”
It took only the tone in his voice and the way he didn’t notice how I was smiling at him to realize that the tension I’d been feeling lately wasn’t just in my head. I suppose that's what happens when you've been with someone so long, there are no secrets. “Okay then!” I tried to sound upbeat, but even I could hear the distance in my voice, “I’ll see you later.” There was a long pause; he didn’t respond. Outside, the sky was blue and filled with large fluffy white clouds. Around me bird songs danced and laughter filled the air. With a heavy heart, I wandered down the road. “Its over.” I mused.

Assignment 3: Making characters more believable.
[For this assignment we filled out a character worksheet and had to write a free write for the character in which something happened to them. I choose to work with a character that I made up that I hold dear to my heart.]


“Son? Son? Can you hear me?” The words sounded faint yet inviting to Zia through the throbbing that his head was producing. He couldn’t open his eyes, although he tried, and his attempt to talk failed as he tried to place the voice. Someone I know? He thought, No. Old though. A man. He managed to open his eyes but an abruptly shut them; the mid day sun stung.

“Can you hear me? Get him up.” A pair of rough hands grabbed Zia and sat him up.

Oh, now he’s done it. Zia knew it would happen before the retching even started; his lunch ended up all down his front. When the smell of bile reached his nose he had to fight anything else from coming along with it. Squinting his eyes against the day, he managed, “Stop…”

“He’s alright!” Exclamations were made all around, causing Zia to brave the stinging and open his dark blue eyes to scan the scene in front of him. A crowd of people gathered and an old graying man, the owner of the voice, squatted in front of him. “You’ve had quite the accident young man.” He said softly, reaching out with a handkerchief to wipe at the younger man’s head. But Zia couldn’t hear him.

Pushing the wrinkled hand away from him, Zia stood on unsteady feet. The crumpled hunk of blue metal that had once been his beloved motorcycle lay not twenty feet from him. The sudden realization of the bikes fate triggered in his body at once and soreness hit like a sledge hammer. He groaned and dropped to his knees, “You’ve got to be kidding me…” He muttered.



Name: Zachariah Alexander Soles

Gender/sexual orientation: Male/ Straight

Date of birth: December 16, 1987

Posture: Good. Carries himself confidently.

Height/weight: 6’ 2” feet/ 170 lbs

Hair/eye color: Very dark brown hair [almost black] / Dark blue eyes.

Hair style: Shoulder length; normally hanging free but sometimes pulled into a ponytail.

Tattoos/piercings/scars? None.

Overall appearance: Attractive male, well toned body, very clean, shows outward confident.

Race/ethnicity: Caucasian / French

Unusual physical characteristics: None to note.

Dialogue tags (common phrase that this person uses): “You’ve got to be kidding.” [Sarcastically]

Personal gestures: Often plays with/ runs his hand through his hair.

Name several things in the character’s pockets or purse: Cell phone, wallet [inside it are a couple twenties, a small photograph of his mother, and two credit cards], keys, and gum.

Favorite outfit: Fitted dark blue jeans, an undershirt, and a nice button up shirt on top.

Type of watch: Doesn’t wear one.


Socioeconomic class: Comes from a very rich family but could be considered middle class since he was disowned.

Religious orientation: Not religious.

Occupation and attitude toward work: Works manual labor as he can get it, usually construction work. He likes the physical aspect of it and although he considers it to be under his intelligence level, he enjoys it for the most part.

Education/educational ability: Stopped going to school after going to high school. Thinks often about going to college but can’t find the time.

Political affiliations: Doesn’t follow politics because he thinks all the parties are corrupt.

Personal interests: Playing the piano, riding his motorcycle, picking on his younger brother.

Place in community: Delinquent turned social butterfly.


Sexual and moral standards: Considered to be a womanizer of sorts, his standards are not set very high. He has little respect for the law but will not go so far as to commit murder.

Personal ambitions: To be a good father.

Key frustrations or disappointments: He still hasn’t been able to locate his mother. Currently disappointed in himself for not making more of himself.

Fears, inhibitions, superstitions, obsessions: He is afraid of losing Felicia since she is the closest thing to a mother he’d ever had and he is obsessed with his motorcycle.

Extroverted? Introverted? Extroverted.

Leader? Follower? Leader.

Special abilities: Plays the piano.

Intelligence level: Average.


Raised by: House maid named Felicia.

Raised where (location): In his father’s house in New York.

Nicknames: Z or Zia and occasionally Zach by co works and Felicia.

What was important to the people who raised this character? That he grow up to be a respectable young man and that one day he would be able to see his mother again.

Home life: When he was young he was raised by one of the maids in the house, Felicia, because his father and step mother wanted nothing to do with him. Now that he is older he lives in the lower part of the city with his half brother in an apartment that they share.

Siblings or significant others in the household: When he was growing up he lived in his father’s house with his half brother and now lives on his own with his half brother.

How did these people feel about this character? His half brother is confused about why his brother treats of the people the way that they do and wonders why Zachariah and their father couldn’t get along.

What incidents/situations shaped the character's main traits? When he was young his father got a mistress and cast his mother out of the house, keeping Zachariah, but not showing him love. To get back at his father, Zachariah acted out becoming a juvenile delinquent and in turn getting kicked out of his house and being disowned by his father.

What is this character’s happiest memory? (Go beyond the obvious here!): When he won the bet he had with his brother as to whether or not he could get the sister of his “mortal enemy” to date him for at least for months [I.e. Hold a steady relationship with the most unlikely of candidates.]


Fill in the blank: He/she is the sort of person who__________________.

1. Doesn’t outwardly care what others think.

2. Comes across as an ass.

3. Secretly has a soft spot for his younger brother.

4. Plays the piano.

5. Has a hard time turning down a challenge.

6. Is highly competitive.

7. Gets into fights often.

8. Wants to have a son.

9. Is highly motivated.

10. Hates his father.

Residence: Two bedroom apartment; Forth floor.

Does he/she have an accent? No.

Occupation and attitude towards it: Works manual labor as he can get it, usually construction work. He likes the physical aspect of it and although he considers it to be under his intelligence level, he enjoys it for the most part.

Salary: Depends on the weather and how many jobs he can get. But mostly will make about 16 dollars an hour.

Bank balance: Checking $800. Savings $3000.

Closest friend: His younger half brother, Mikal.

Habits: Sleeps around. Likes to drink.

Make/model of car: Kawasaki / Ninja ZX-10R / 2007 [Motorcycle]

5 things in his/her refrigerator: Water purifier, Milk, Beer, uncooked steak, half eaten box of Chinese food.

Brand of toothpaste: Crest, cinnamon flavor.

Biggest regret: His delinquent background.

What three characters trait rule the character's actions (or inactions)? Stubbornness, Arrogance, and Curiosity.

Biggest secret: That he plays piano. [The only person who knows is Felicia because she taught him].

Favorite song: Little Wonders by Rob Thomas although he most definitely would never admit it out loud.

Enemies: The older brother of his girl friend; Rio Van Diz.

Obvious strengths: Intelligent. Strong.

Obvious weaknesses: Comes off as an ass. Has a background that he cannot get rid of and this makes people wary of him. Bad a commitment.

What does this character most want right now? He wants to see his mother and know that she is alive and well.

What stands in the way of him/her achieving this? He doesn’t know where she is and hasn’t had any luck finding her even though he has been searching for years.


Dream for the future: Zachariah would like to have a son someday.

Can she/he see himself having this? He believes that there is a very good possibility that he can have this.

Does the character have a plan? As of yet his only plan is to not mess things up with his current girlfriend, Isabella Van Diz.

Assignment 4: 55 word story.
[The rules were that you had to start with a 10 word sentence, then a 9 word sentence. Losing a word each sentence until you reached 1. That in itself was difficult, but the other challenge was that the story had to have a full narrative arc.]

First post:
The rain isn’t going to stop soon, Zia noticed gloomily. With a sour disposition he stared out the window. He hated the rain with an unyielding passion. Which was why he stayed inside today. Nothing could make him leave home. Except maybe if Isabella called. He knew she would. He predicted correctly. She called. Damn.

The storm isn’t going to break soon, Zia noticed despondently. With a sour disposition he stared out the window. He hated the rain with an unyielding passion. Which was his reasoning for staying inside. Nothing could make him go out. Except maybe if Isabella called. He knew she would. He predicted correctly. She called. Typical.


So far my teacher has this to say about my work in class:
Stephanie: You are doing very well in this class! All of your work is up-to-date, your posts are frequent and insightful, quizzes are rocking, and your writing voice is light but powerful. Keep up the good work!

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