Day 10 of 365

Continuation of yesterday’s short story. This one is fun, will have some additional assets later this week to go with this tale. Hope your week is going well!

~Kendall


“Welcome back to RING! I’m your host Valrose Meteor! If you’re just turning into this exciting race of Ring we are now down to our final two players. Two ferocious women that have taken out the 20 other females in this game. One’s saucy and sweet and the other is spicy with a little kick to it. If you haven’t been following us for the earlier part of the game make sure that you catch up on our app! RING! is the name of it!” A loud charismatic man shouted at the camera with a grin that felt like it was its own entity.

Behind him, the screen sparkled to life and focused on the individual women competing. They were running in a small maze with stun guns. Mylard was short with bright purple hair with a couple freckles. She found herself one of the remaining two contestants in this massive competition, and honestly, she was terrified. She felt like every moment leading up to this had been on big mistake after another. There was no possible way she could get to this point.

The camera shot panned away from Mylard to Tomkin a tall woman with orange hair that flowed straight down to the violet tips. She had a pair of sunshades propped up as a headband to keep her hair out of the way. Her frosted lipstick matched the shade of her dyed hair and glittery eye makeup. She was chewing a stick of gum and carried her stun gun over her shoulder casually. Tomkin seemed comfortable walking through the maze waiting for the inevitable confrontation with Mylard. Contrary to her relaxed look her thoughts were racing. There’s no way I’m winning this. I’m up against Mylard of all people. She’s going to get me before I get the ring.

Valrose Meteor popped back into the frame as the cameras continue following the girls. “How ’bout that Ringers! Lets recap who these fine ladies are and find out what their defeated rivals think of them!”

Close up shots of their faces and quotes from when they started the game 72 hours earlier flashed across the screen. This Mylard has her hair in a braid to the side. She attempted to smile but Valrose held the stage.

 

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Day 4 of 365

Made some good plotting points yesterday, threw half of them out the window for random inspiration. Still following this story.

~Kendall

Part One
Part Two
Part Three


There was a large man standing at the back door holding an alien weapon. The Sandburg aliens tensed up and Mr. Sandburg lifted the gun he held. The man had a large scar on his face and several tattoos that were hard to distinguish on his arms.

Marilyn was the first to speak. “Verona. You found us.”

Verona smirked. “Been a long time coming. What do you go by these days? I haven’t seen you lot since you were rats running.”

“These bodies are Sandburgs,” Fell responded. He was leaning forward in his chair watching Verona. The air was full of a nervous energy.

“You gonna kill us?” Diana snapped. Her eyes darted around the room at the gun Mr. Sandburg had pointing at Verona and alien weapon in his hand.

“Depends. Got anything redeemable? I heard a ship is gonna touch down in the next hour or so. Its drop point isn’t far from here. I wanna trade for some freedom,” he said.

Ellis tried to follow the conversation but found himself in silence and in confusion. He wanted to ask so many questions but the hostility made him feel nervous.

“Even if we had something we wouldn’t give it to you,” Mr. Sandburg said. He wanted to kill Verona, but Marilyn kept giving him looks.

To be continued…

365 Stories | 001 of 365

Happy New Year!

I’ve decided on another 365 Day project! I’m going to write a story every day. So hope you like story time because a lot of words are coming at you this year.

Some of these might span multiple days because I don’t know where these stories end. The plots might get out of hand, but this is all for good fun practice. I’m excited to create and push my creativity.

Hope you enjoy the first one below!

~Kendall


 

The pie was fresh out of the oven when Mr. Sandburg arrived, but by the time they all ate it was cold and nearly everyone wanted to throw it away. Dinner had always been awkward for the Sandburg family, but they did their best to eat in peace without so much as a scowl or under the breath mutter of annoyance. The three brothers never looked each other in the eye and the youngest sister rarely spoke when she came. Mr. Sandburg typically read his newspaper during dinner, ignoring the rest of the family, and if someone tried to interrupt he would go to bed.

Marilyn was the youngest sister and would sit in the corner reading a book. She hardly ever looked up from the pages trying to escape into the words. Diana the eldest of the family siblings always helped prepare the dishes while her mother dictated the correct way to prep the turkey, stir the soup and cut the greens. Derrik, Fell, and Preston were brothers by blood but as far as anyone was concerned they must have had different upbringings. Derrik was the town apothecary never daring to leave the small town in which the Sandburgs lived. He didn’t stray far when he came of age. Fell was the devil child having left before he came of age, stealing from neighbors and even his own family on his way out of the town. Preston had moved away for college and independently wealthy after going into the mining business. The siblings were never friendly with each other.

Mrs. Sandburg during this particular dinner felt a little off after ordering Diana to take the mushroom casserole out of the oven and cover it with foil. She ignored the strange twinge in her upper chest and continued on telling her eldest to go fetch some water from the well. She began chopping some carrots for the salad while Derrik sat upon a stool in front of the counter watching her. It happened quite fast and Derrik didn’t know how to react, but Mrs. Sandburg was dead. She fell on the countertop with her knife skittering to the ground in a clatter.

Derrik stared at his dead mother confused about what to do. He hadn’t even stood up to check on her before Diana returned from getting the water. The eldest sister sighed while placing the bucket of water next to the sink. She did not seem distressed at the sight of her mother.

“Finally,” Preston said picking up the knife on the ground and setting it in the sink. “I was beginning to think she’d never keel over.”

“Can you take the body out to the garden, Preston?” Diana asked. “Fell help him.”

Preston nodded and picked up his mother by her shoulders while Fell reached for her legs. The two siblings carried their mother out in silence. Diana turned to Derrik who was staring at the scene with his mouth half open.

“Derrik could you clean up the carrots and slice some new ones. Dinner is nearly ready,” Diana snapped at her brother. Derrik nodded slightly shaken at the whole ordeal but he took a breath and carried on as if nothing had happened.

The Sandburg family continued with their dinner as if nothing had changed. They all sat down at the table with a single empty seat. All of them ignored each other and ate the mushroom casserole in silence. Mr. Sandburg put down his paper at the end of dinner and looked at his children.

“When do you think Mrs. Sandburg will return? I’m quite fond of her,” he asked.

“Just after the sunset, I believe she’ll awaken,” Marilyn replied looking up from her book briefly. “I can’t imagine it’ll be that hard to get up and running.”

The family tried to eat dessert but Derrik kept fidgeting. “Can you please stop Derrik?” Fell snapped. Derrik stopped squirming in his seat.

Mr. Sandburg chimed in, “Fell remember Derrik is still the newest implant. He still has the memories of the original Derrik controlling the body.”

“Doesn’t change the nervous energy rolling off of him,” Fell retorted. “This family is by far the worse family we’ve taken over. None of these siblings talk to each other and the controlling mother–”

“–Fell, you’re just as prone to the feelings of your host’s body. After all your host is incredibly suspicious and a kleptomaniac,” Diana interrupted. “Father, how long until we can rid ourselves of these feelings?”

Mr. Sandburg rolled his eyes. Marilyn was the one who answered, “We’ve only assimilated into the hosts for the last week. The only ones who are past the feelings of their hosts are me and father. Even then we’re all still forced to listen to their thoughts of horror and express ourselves in this sill manner. I wish Marilyn would shut up about how she really misses being in control of her own body. It’s not like she lived anyway. She’s never gone outside of this town. I’m sure Preston’s body has got better stories than what I get to experience.”

“Would you two stop fighting. We’re 5,500 years old and you two still fight like that married couple you were in the middle ages. I swear one of these days I would love to just assimilate alone,” Mr. Sandburg said. Fell and Diana looked away from the table.

The Sandburgs had been controlled by aliens for the past week. The process of taking over a family or herd always took a week or two. First, the head of a household or alpha, depending on the type of animal or body, would be taken by Mr. Sandburg. He’d learn how to control the body he was in and navigate through memories the creatures had. From there it was important that he’d help assimilate his second in command, in this case, Marilyn. From there Diana, Preston, Fell, Derrik, and their mother was the order of taking over this particular family unit. All under the control of aliens that had lived on earth for thousands of years.

It startled the family of aliens when someone knocked on the door. They all turned to stare at the door hoping that the person would just go away, but they knocked again. Marilyn looked to Mr. Sandburg who rose to his feet, warily. He opened the door a crack to look outside. A young man by the name of Ellis was standing outside holding flowers. He smiled at Mr. Sandburg.

“Mr. Sandburg, how are you this evening? Is Diana home?” he asked grinning and trying to look past him.

“No,” Mr. Sandburg’s alien retorted. The real Mr. Sandburg tried to control his body by shouting out Help! We’re being invaded by aliens! but only his alien heard.

Ellis’s grin faltered. “I’m sorry Mr. Sandburg, did I offend you? I didn’t mean to. Is there anything I can–”

“You can leave,” Mr. Sandburg’s alien interrupted.

Ellis, taken aback tried to swallow his pride. He held out the flowers wondering what he had done to offend him. “Could you give these to Diana when she does return. I’d love to take her–”

“Leave now sir,” Mr. Sandburg’s alien snapped. He shut the door in Ellis’s face.

He turned to face the family. His face was dark.

“Do we have to leave so soon?” Fell asked. “I swear we just took over these bodies.”

“I haven’t even been assimilated for more than 10 minutes,” Mrs. Sandburg’s alien said entering the room from the backyard. The mother walked over to the counter. “Also, why did I have to go last this time?”

Marilyn rolled her eyes and looked at Mr. Sandburg. “Should we leave?” she asked.

“I’m not certain,” Mr. Sandburg replied.

“I think we should let Diana go out on a date,” Fell replied with a mischievous grin. Mr. Sandburg glared at his son.

“I don’t recommend it. Even the real Diana doesn’t like that boy,” Diana’s alien said. “I say we just ignore it and carry on.”

“But don’t you want to have fun?” Fell asked. “I think we’re entitled to some fun.”

“What is our goal with these bodies?” Preston interjected. “Should we even be having fun in them?”

Ellis knocked on the door again interrupting the discussion. He had only walked as far as the driveway before turning around, plucking up some courage to ask why Mr. Sandburg already hated him. Mr. Sandburg opened the door again.

To Be Continued…

Goal Checkins

Time for a 2016 Goal check-in/status update. Been awhile since I’ve looked at them and tracked my progress. Below is a reminder of my goals below, some have changed a bit.

  1. 12 Animations, one per month to get better at animating
  2. Improve storytelling by doing 365 days of stories on a blog.
  3. Minimalism
  4. Find a design or mograph job.
  5. Read 52 books this year.
  6. More videos on Youtube.

Animations have been on pause recently since I spent a long time really trying to finish up the School of Motion projects. Now that it’s done I really just need to get that reel of them together and post it for you to see.  Also I need to rework a few scripts as well as do some concepting. Since I haven’t been animating outside of the homework I’ve been focusing on analyzing other animations.

Which leads into my Storytelling improvement goal via this blog. I would say that my goal is still ongoing, but has taking a pivot towards Animation Inspiration. Although not traditional storytelling the analyzing has been helpful in making sure I keep improving. I would like to see myself really bring back in the creation part though. Meaning creating stories from my own ideas rather than just finding them and analyzing. The blog in itself is still going swell since I’m still updating every night.

Minimalism is going okay. I’m not getting rid of a lot of things, but I am trying to make sure I bring in only things that are of value. This has helped me from buying really useless items just for the sake of how pretty they are. So still working on this. The objective is to pair down to most essential items when I eventually move for a job (hopefully soon.)

Job wise I’m on the hunt for some interesting internships and jobs right now. I’m reworking my website again for it and doing some other things for it. Hoping for something mograph/animation related!

Reading is going slow…I realized today I’ve been sucked into the Netflix bubble. We have it till May for a couple shows my sister needs to watch for her homework. Today my mother forgot to renew it so I was locked out for the day. Oh my god, I didn’t realize how much time I waste on it. I kept going to Netflix when bored only to realize it was the 5th time I’d visited the site in the past half hour. Need to start replacing it with reading.

Youtube is going better. I made vlogs for my spring break trip to New Mexico. The thing is when I got back I realized I don’t like vlogging that much. I’m up for trying Booktube again, but I need to get on my reading goal for that.

This is a reminder to myself to get back on track. Stop watching Netflix. I’ve been derailing my focus as a result. Also, I needed a reminder of what my goals were again. I’d lost sight of the reading one which kind of impairs the goal for Youtube. Gonna have to make sure I do more monthly checkins. The checkins will help remind me to get back on the path and stop wandering/watching aimlessly.

How’s everyone else’s goals/New Years Resolutions going? Start new ones, give up, or pivot any of them?

~Kendall

A Soup Bowl of Coffee – NM Road Trip Vlog 3

Three days into vlogging and I’m already feeling guilt that I haven’t filmed every single second of my day, but then again… The nice thing about this is that I am mastering my editing skills. Getting a little faster at the edits and figuring out what I like or don’t like style wise. I’m excited to challenge myself in this new medium. I know that once I get home that my vlogs won’t be filled with as many timelapses and jerky pans (I don’t have a tripod, sorry folks :c), and I’ll have to work on my skills at taking to the camera. So tomorrow I’m going to try to work on some messages and themes rather than just journal my day. There’s so many moments for me to elaborate that I have yet to take, and I know that I should. So tomorrow I’m going to work on some more in depth topics of discussion.

Hope you enjoy today’s vlog of the trip!

 

Also if you’re even watching or reading these thanks you! I appreciate it! ❤

~Kendall

Stillness Part 4

Been awhile since I’ve added to this story. Check for the beginning parts in the Stillness category on my sidebar.


 

“I’m ordering a CT scan to see if there’s something else going on inside your head that might be causing the amnesia,” Doctor Wells told Clase. She was alone in the hospital room with him. Well, as alone as she could be with the strange ghost like thing following her still and the hands trying to strangle her. “And you’re sure you remember nothing about the incident or specifics about your husband?

“I’m trying, but honestly all I remember is standing out on the dock at the house onward. There’s moments where I know I should be feeling something about him, but I just don’t know what,” Clase said. Her eyes ducked down to study her hands. There were little cuts and bruises over her arms and some strange birthmarks she couldn’t remember ever having. “These are strange birthmarks,” she said. “I don’t remember having these.”

The doctor’s eyebrow raised. “That’s a good sign that you remember something.”

Clase looked up at him. “Oh…I guess I do.”

“Do you remember if you have siblings at all? Family vacations?” he asked.

“I think I have a sister…named Alice, but she lives in Florida,” she said. It was surprising to have a distinct memory that came effortlessly.

“That’s a good sign. You probably just have some post-trauma amnesia combined with retrograde. That means you don’t remember the cause of the head injury, and it seems you are missing a few crucial life moments,” he said jotting down some notes.

“Like getting married,” Clase said sadly. “I just don’t know how I can forget my husband.”

Dr. Wells looked at her with a sad face. “Well, we will figure this out. I’m going to go order the CT scan. If you want I can notify Damien and/or Dr. Gifford that they can come in. If you’re not ready, that’s okay, with amnesia patients it’s always a little jarring and hard to know.”

“Uhhh…Yeah, go ahead and let them know, but tell them I need a few minutes alone before they come in. Just want to process it…” Clase said. Dr. Wells nodded and left the room.

As soon as he did Clase looked up for the wispy white man. She stared at it, her eyes trying to process what it was. The streak of white was always changing like smoke or water, and his face would float with it.

“What are you?” she asked when they made eye contact. The man’s mouth opened to speak but she could hear nothing.

A thought popped into her head. I am Agirara. You are Clase.

Clase swallowed hard. “Hi…Agirara…” she muttered staring at the ever changing streak.

You don’t have to speak out loud. Simply think and I will respond.

Okay…Who are you? What are you?

I am a wizard spirit here to help defend you from the demon’s attacks. I warn you, do not close your eyes again for any longer than to blink. The demon is nearly at full power and will surely kill you if he gets the chance.

I’m sorry…Demon?

It’s hard to explain. Just know that you are not crazy. He has taken your memory, but he can’t take your soul unless you are near death. Don’t sleep, stay awake. I can contact the witch here in your world to help, but if you sleep before she can help…Well you will be gone.

KNOCK. Clase jumped as someone knocked on the door. It swung open gently and Dr. Gifford peaked in.

“Sorry…Did you want more time alone before we came in?” he asked seeing her face.

Clase glanced at the spirit of Agirara who simply stared at her. “It’s fine, come in.”

Tripping over Thoughts & The Raven Boys Book Review

I don’t know what it is, but I’m just smitten with The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. I started trying to hand letter the title again. There’s just something about this book that makes me fall head-over-heels for it. I honestly was going to work on my Snackadoodle animation and start refining my script for my Untitled second animation. I picked up The Raven Boys book again for a little research for an art project, instead I found myself rereading it. Just drinking up the words.

I’ve been trying to make a coherent paragraph on this book, but I just can’t seem to express these feelings I have. I feel drunk on the pages and like I’m eating chocolate at the same time. It’s just such a strange thing to describe the power this book has over my creativity. I’ve been sitting on so many ideas for creating, and yet I haven’t done them. WHY HAVEN’T I MADE FANART? This is me being uncomprehending of this blasphemy. I don’t think I’ve been this excited to make something since Hannibal. And I created a whole brand for that TV show just because I could. Logo, patterns, and a whole lot of silhouettes.

Just tripping over my thoughts today.

So making this relevant to storytelling with a quick synopsis and a short spoiler-free review.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater is about Blue Sargent. She comes from a family of fortune tellers, and everyone has some kind of prediction ability except for Blue. Her family has told her for as long as she can remember that she will kill her true love. The story centers around her coming of age and meeting a group of boys that attend the all boys school, Aglionby Academy. They are known as Raven Boys. One of the boys in this group is supposedly her true love. There more to the story, but I don’t want to give anymore away if you want to read the book, which I suggest you do.

I thought it was a rich narrative with a voice I haven’t really encountered. I don’t know if I just haven’t read books with Stiefvater’s style of writing or if she’s just very unique in her own style, but I really love the way she structures this story. The narrative is well done and pacing is great. There’s a ton of world building and a great sense of detail that makes the world seem real.

The characters and how they are depicted in this narrative is a little hyperbolic, but still rooted in real emotions and life. This makes the characters feel very real and full of layers. It is a fantasy book, but there is a nice realistic feeling that contrasts all of that. Example is that Blue’s family deals in predictions, but at the same time it’s set in a modern type setting. So there’s magic but there’s also cars and they still go to school (unlike some high school TV dramas, looking at you Pretty Little Liars). It creates this picture of what we think of fortune tellers to be by making it feel modern with very sceptical and vague predictions. On the other hand you have very mystical scenes that happen in the book which are described in a realistic tone. It reminds me of that feeling where you turn in a test and you’re just so sure you failed. Absolutely positively failed that. And then you get your test back, and somehow you passed and got a high grade. So it’s that feeling of knowing you did well, but you’re not at all sure how you pulled off this miracle test grade. I guess that’s the closest feeling I can think of to describing the way Stiefvater wrote this book.

The plot develops quickly and goes in unique directions. I can’t say a lot without spoilers, but I really enjoyed the twists near the middle and end of the book. I could say more, but I want to leave some excitement for my creative projects I plan on making. There’s just so many things in this story that make me want to wildly create fanart. I forgot how powerful the story was for a little while there. I’ve been wrapped up in other stories and thinking about my projects, so, when I just started skimming and then rereading it just made me remember how much I loved the book.

5/5 Stars because I’m still drooling over it.

Write like a Kid!

Day 27 of 365

Quick update before the blog! I’m going to just face that I probably won’t finish my animation for January 31st, but that’s okay, I’m gonna keep working on it anyway. However, I’m gonna keep the updates for the animation to a minimum so we can see a bigger jump in progress from now until then. I feel like updating every day gets a bit boring, especially if progress is slow and small. You guys want to see big jumps in progress, I know because I do, and so far I have not been delivering that to you. I think I’ll roll out a weekly schedule for these blogs starting in February. It’ll help keep me in check as well as vary content. I’m rambling now so continue on to the fun stuff!

Write like a Kid

I’ve been feeling like this blog is neglecting the story skillset I’m aiming for, as I’ve said probably three or four times before, so instead I’m gonna take some action to fix this. Today I’m featuring some great stories told by kids, or stories that feature children’s creativity and their wondrous imaginations. Some kid stories don’t make sense, but they’ve always got a great way of telling it. They feature their point in an excited fashion and reemphasize it frequently. I love learning stories from kids! There’s so much they can teach us about the importance of telling a great story, and I think people often forget to look at them for inspiration.

Children like to tell stories in an excited fashion, they tell it simply and straight to the point. They usually don’t mess around with explaining the details, unless it’s really important to them. They also tell it with a giant grin on their faces, which is the best part when you think about it–unless you’re the kid in the Julian Smith skit below. They have no limits when it comes to stories. It’s a story told by a kid.

Kids can also inspire stories and unique tellings. The example below of “Conversations with my 2 year old” makes for hilarity when you replace a kid with a full grown adult. Sounds ridiculous coming from adult, but completely normal from a child. Reenactments are great for telling stories from their perspectives. I love that they just focus on the big stuff, and forget things. They also go straight for action rather than lingering on little details. It’s the reason why I think kids stories are fun to learn from.

I frequently wonder when I started putting rules on my stories, and truthfully I don’t ever remember why I have to have rules. I don’t need rules, I just need to tell stories. If you learn one thing from this post, it’s that writing doesn’t have rules. A story is a story. Don’t let society or even your own rules dictate what happens in your story. It’s something I need to remind myself frequently, and I’m sure many of you forget that writing can do anything. And I mean anything. Your story doesn’t have to make sense, it just has to have a beginning, middle, and end. So what if nothing gets resolved? Maybe your words are out of order, or that story is just about A Cat Walking a Long Time. Write like a kid, and have fun with your words!

Kids are amazing. They are tiny humans that are inspiring and crazy, but they’re learning just like the rest of us. They do many things creatively without missing a beat, and don’t let parents or adults tell them the way to tell their story. So write like a kid and learn from how they tell a story.


 

Below are my favorite sketches involving kids and the things they say. I hope these inspire you to write like a kid, and enjoy the art of storytelling through the lense of children’s wonder and amazement.

Thanks for reading and watching these!

~Kendall