March 5th, 2017


Dialogue Lines!

I have a note on my tablet. On it is line after line of possible dialogue, odd thoughts I imagined someone saying and then wrote down to save. (One of these lines is about 25 years old; I wrote it down trying to finally get it out of my head.) I'd call it a writing exercise, except I keep not doing anything with the lines. I've toyed with trying to write a story incorporating as many of them as possible, but that'd be a stunt, not particularly useful towards me getting better as a writer.

(At another time in my life I did a similar list, for possible titles. THAT list would be more potentially useful: it's easier to build a story from a title than from disparate bits of stuff said. I no longer have that titles list, which was pages long, but I do have a smaller list of possible titles. Now I want to try writing using those!)

That said, I want to share the lines. Here they are. I offer them for free to anyone who'd like to use them.

Some have profanity, so if you'd rather not picture me writing anything with swear words or off-color comments, don't click the link.

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An unused idea

Here's something I've never written out beyond a note, but I wanted to share it, too:

My relationship with profanity can be weird. I swear, but I try to use profanity strategically. It's long rubbed me the wrong way when people seemingly swear simply to swear. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home helped me realize that:

Plenty of that swearing is just reflexive, almost a fill-in word like "um" or "er," like it's said without thinking. I WANT TO BE THOUGHTFUL ABOUT HOW I SWEAR. (Seriously.) So, I've long had this scenario in my head:

Some very earnest guy overhears a couple of guys talking, and those guys are swearing. The earnest guy barges in on their conversation, asking what they're talking about because, he insists, "If it involves swearing, it must be important!" When the guys quickly get annoyed and blow him off, the earnest guy says, "Oh, poop."

Feels like the basis for a comedy sketch. I do not do sketch comedy. But hey, now it's shared. Thank you.

About a buck

Today, I learned something: markets can log if customers left behind change, in case customers come back telling them "I left behind change."

Someone, it looks like, left behind change.

I was in self-checkout at the Fred Meyer nearest my place, making a small purchase (three items, $2.15 total) so that I could also get cash back, my main aim. I was wrapping up the transaction when I looked down, waiting for the money to be dispensed.

Money was already there. A nice crisp $1 bill. Huh.

Reader, I did due diligence. The person who'd used the station right before me had not taken their receipt, so my receipt had come out with that other one attached. I read it. No change on that purchase. So, likely, someone before that someone had left behind that dollar. (Or the dispenser had randomly sent out a one, but that's...unlikely.)

I pulled aside a Freddy's employee and let him know, and I gave him both the bill and the errant receipt, even though that purchase likely had nothing to do with the $1 bill coming out.

Someone's owed that $1. Not me. Technically not the store, either, and I know a buck is not a big amount in the scheme of things, but at least whomever should get it still stands a chance of getting it. Trust me, I considered keeping it — finder's keepers, loser's weepers — but that didn't seem fair. And I told myself someone else may need that dollar more than me.

But as I left the Freddy's I still picked up a penny left on the floor, because I'm me. Hey, coins on the floor and the ground are fair game.