For this 3 point writing assignment, “Changing Fortunes” (http://assignments.ds106.us/assignments/changing-fortunes/), I had to use a randomly-generated fortune cookie for inspiration in my own short narrative which tied in our spy theme for the semester. I used my character, Wren Wilder (003), to explore the idea of loneliness an office-based agent might face when his friends are called away. I found this assignment enjoyable, and not incredibly difficult after having completed my character dossier. My narrative is presented below.
The clock was broken, what Wren was trying to convince himself, as he saw that only three hours had passed since his favorite colleagues parted ways with him at the facility’s helicopter pad. Dread and concern never ate away at him to a paralyzing degree when his friends left on a mission, and this wasn’t even an internationally based target, so the lack of relative danger related to this mission should not leave him feeling… dazed. Regardless, the Chinese food they had urgently been called away from to be briefed and outfitted with Wren’s recommended equipment had lost the warmth the break-room had shared when they were enjoying lunch. Wren packaged the leftovers, before discarding the trash. He tried to behave as if a silence prayer was not passing through his mind.
After wiping down the tables and turning off the break-room’s lights, the wrapper of a piece of trash caught his eye. He pulled out the fortune cookie, and opened it unassumingly to read, “being alone and being lonely are two different things“. He placed the sentiment in the recycling bin, before his mouth upturned unconsciously.
He pondered whether he could find a practical reason to radio his friends before the helicopter reached its destination. Wren raced back to his station, to think of some more gadget features he could instruction the agents on from the weaponry log details. There must have been something he had missed. If he was alone, he could mitigate threats by being more miraculous. Tools are only useful when their users are knowledgeable. 003 could find that knowledge. Knowledge is power, and power is the closest thing to protection he can promise them in the end.
I feel remorse when I hear this song, as it reminds me of how I’ve hurt people I never should have in the past (Either intentionally or unintentionally). It can feel like a natural response in some moments to lash out at people when you feel wronged or unjustly hurt, but I’ve had to learn the hard way over time that my problems stem from myself. As change is the only constant in the world, the nearest thing to a constant which I can control is my reaction whenever negative or emotionally charged situations present themselves to me. While I’m not necessarily a fan of ballads in general, I found the simplicity of this song instrumentally and the emphasis on a single vocal delivery of the lyrics to make me feel remorse for past actions, but also encouraged that I can recognize how I’ve changed the way I perceive my own actions towards other people. Learning from your mistakes is always powerful. I would rank this assignment as easy and enjoyable!
For this 3 point writing assignment, “Dear Diary…” (http://assignments.ds106.us/assignments/dear-diary/), I was encouraged to write a diary entry from the perspective of any Disney villain I choose. In an attempt at creative liberty, I chose villainess Mirage from Pixar’s “The Incredibles”. I justified this decision by the fact that Disney owns Pixar, and incorporates their merchandise within Disney theme parks and Disney games. While the animated film is not a traditional spy movie, I had the idea of focusing on Mirage’s shift into a “double agent” or spy working under Syndrome and ultimately betraying him (Incorporating our semester’s spy theme).
Next, I chose to focus on a diary entry which would occur directly after Mirage witnessed what she intuitively recognized as Mr. Incredible’s family be seemingly murdered (Children included). I wanted to delve into the psyche of Mirage, to figure out her justification for the clear involvement she had previously in the systematic murder of superheroes up until this point. Additionally, I wanted to see why this changed in the story as she chose to eventually become a double agent. Writing this wasn’t entirely difficult, but finding the correct character motivations for Mirage was a challenge. I would rank this assignment as average in difficulty. View my diary entry below.
Throughout my career in classified-security threats faced by the government, bleeding into my program management duties for Syndrome, I’ve always believed in the greater good. Natural selection is a powerful and dangerous concept when applied to the human race, as oppressors over the weak have permanently and repeatedly marked the history of our society throughout time with blood and cruelty. Legal precedence banning superheroes from vigilante work were a direct result of gross endangerment of human life on a consistent basis by superheroes. So, while not necessarily sanctioned by the government as the ideal method of handling the security threat of superheroes, Syndrome’s methodology still worked in favor of the interests of the non-superhero public. It was almost a test when I interacted with supers like Mr. Incredible; he could refute the idea of vigilante work sincerely when tempted, or suffer the consequences of valuing his own life above those of mere humans.
Yet, the button I pushed today killed not just mere humans, but the pinnacle of human innocence itself: children. I will eternally value human life above all else, and I knew firmly that Syndrome felt the same… until today. Reveling in his decision to murder innocents, he was thrown off-guard as Mr. Incredible lunged for him. When I blocked his attack, Syndrome encouraged him to bring me my death after hearing Mr. Incredible’ emotion-fueled threats. I felt as if I was looking at a miracle, but hadn’t understood it, when I stared up at Mr. Incredible after he released me from his hold. Valuing life is the mission of my life, and I don’t know what kind of mirage I’ve been content with living in until now.
For the writing assignment, “A Haiku Poem About a Haiku Poem” (http://assignments.ds106.us/assignments/a-haiku-poem-about-a-haiku-poem/), I was supposed to writing a three-stanza haiku poem about the Haiku poem itself. I first decided that my topic would be on my interest in attempting to translate any given haiku into another language. I noted that this seemed to pose quite a difficult challenge, due to variations in language patterns between different languages. As a result, I completed this 3 point assignment with this topic in mind while following each stanza’s required 5 / 7 / 5 syllable rule requirement. I also used a syllable counter found online to check my syllable count was accurate for each line, which turned out to be a wise decision as I misjudged and overestimated the syllables found in longer words on more than one occasion. Overall, I would rank this assignment as easy-to-intermediate. My haiku, “Two Languages”, is presented below.
For my first Writing Assignment, I chose to complete a “TV Guide Remix” (http://assignments.ds106.us/assignments/tv-guide-remix/). The goal of the assignment is to approach an existing film or show by shifting the characterization of the story and plot as significantly as possible with a TV show/movie synopsis of one to two sentences. In generating my initial idea, I limited my potential movie options to animated films (as details and scenes could more easily be referenced online to remind myself of each plot). From this idea, I became interested in “The Little Mermaid”, a hugely popular film which was nonetheless critiqued throughout the years for having the lead character be too focused on her potential love-interest. This gave me the idea of changing the genre described in the synopsis from a romantic, family-friendly, and musical fantasy into a psychological thriller. Below is the film synopsis I created:
The Little Mermaid:
After falling in love with a wealthy stranger while he is vulnerable and unconscious, Ariel decides to leave her home and undergo significant cosmetic changes; after allowing her to room in a building he owns without Ariel saying anything about herself, Eric notices increasingly strange incidents start to occur.
This synopsis clearly contrasts with a two-sentence synopsis of comparable length displayed below.
I found this assignment to be an enjoyable writing puzzle of sorts, with larger amounts of rewriting and sentence restructuring necessary to complete my goal than I had expected. I’d recommend this assignment as an easy-to-intermediate experiment in creative writing. I found that I was able to inject thriller tropes into my synopsis to mislead the reader using actual facts from the movie effectively, after doing some story research again. It’s not immediately identifiable to me why I chose to darken the context of a lighthearted story instead of the reverse, but I found the finished product to be both creepy and amusing.