[The Story] Purpose of Birthdays

If there were one day of the year to practice healthy self-respect, it’d be your birthday. We continually sacrifice ourselves for others throughout the year. Why not reclaim our autonomy on our birthdays? Do what you enjoy doing most, do nothing, or do something ambitious! In “The Story,” Trishna [right] and her family have that attitude toward birthdays, so when John [left] has his first birthday as part of “the family,” it’s a culture shock.

Spoilers?: Minor (just character building)
WANNA CONSIDER THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ARROGANCE AND CONFIDENCE IN REGARDS TO HOW YOU TREAT YOURSELF AND OTHERS ON YOUR BIRTHDAY? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!

[The Story] Cluttered Living Space

I don’t completely endorse the idea that settings are like characters. While someone’s workspace or personal space can convey surface-level symbolic meaning over personality, what is tolerable or not, and more, I don’t think it’s a comprehensive glimpse into a person’s, or character’s, mind. Still, in “The Story,” there are some key settings that could provide interesting anecdotal information into the minds of Trishna [left] and John [right]. Let’s declutter the psychology from the physical.

Spoilers?: Minor (set-building… as character-building?)
WANNA CONSIDER HOW THINKING TOO LITTLE OR TOO MUCH ABOUT SETTING CAN BE WASTEFUL? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!

[The Story] Incubating The Scene

Like a brainstorming incubus pinning me down when I am in a half-dazed stupor, many scenes from “The Story” will appear as vestiges of memories appearing more vivid than many memories I’ve actually experienced. I’ve never experienced anything quite like what happened here to John, right, in a pneumonia-induced daze, with Trishna desperately trying to keep him warm. I just know that when I’m in that half-dazed slumber, this memory or scene will often appear:

Spoilers?: “Minor” (pre-narrative scene building)
WANNA CONSIDER THE BALANCE BETWEEN ACTING AND PREPARING TO ACT? AND HOW I GAUGE WHEN I’M READY? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!

[The Story] Shave and Bathe

Now that I’m writing bi-weekly updates to “The Story,” I dredged up an interesting realization: why not write about some of the scenes that float through my imagination? It’ll be good practice for the real thing! Throwing characters into hypothetical situations can help build context for how they’ll act in other scenes. Like a movie playing on repeat, what if these scenes are already swimming around in your imagination? Let’s start with an innocent one:

Spoilers?: Minor (rough scene walkthrough)
WANNA CONSIDER HOW THE MORE YOU WORK ON A PROJECT, THE MORE THE PROJECT GROWS SEEMINGLY BY ITSELF? THEN ISN’T IT A MATTER OF SHAVING THE EXCESS? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!

[The Story] Aspirations of Homesickness

How much would you sacrifice to make your aspirations possible? How important is your comfort? As we grow older, there’s a growing sense of wanting more from life. For Trishna (right), she wants to go to college to fulfill her dreams and become independently successful, well, along with John (left), yet part of that means leaving her retiring service dog Pollyanna (center) and family at home. How might that answer be addressed in “The Story?”

Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (character exploration) WANNA CONSIDER HOW MUCH SACRIFICE THEY AND WE GIVE TO ACHIEVE OUR ASPIRATIONS? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!

[The Story] Loving “The Scene”

I’ve been procrastinating on writing “The Story” because I can’t write concisely nuanced enough yet to do it all justice. There’s an early scene codenamed “The Scene” that drives Trishna (right) and family three hours away to collect John (left). “The Scene,” and therefore “The Story,” would fall flat if I wrote it today. I don’t know when, or if, I’ll develop that skill. Loving the time until then is the only way to succeed.

Spoiler Warning Scale: Major (plot exploration) WANNA READ ABOUT HOW WE MUST LOVE WHAT WE NEED TO DO IN ORDER TO DO IT WELL? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!

[The Story] Meeting New People

How often do you meet new people? Not just regurgitating scripts during transactional interactions with humans, either, how often do you allow yourself open up so that new people can meet you? That does require the vulnerability of letting your guard down, inviting people to see your ego’s grit, and possibly getting hurt. “The Story” will focus on many people and encounters, centering around Trishna (left) and John (right), almost as guides through their world.

Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (philosophical character-building!) WANNA SEE HOW JOHN AND TRISHNA MEET OTHER FICTIONAL CHARACTERS? AND HOW THIS ANALOGY WORKS WELL FOR MAKING NEW FRIENDS? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!

[The Story] Meeting Their Heroes

They say meeting your heroes is a terrible thing because of over-expectation. Stumbling through my words and thoughts, I gained artistic context and overcame shyness from meeting some of my “heroes.” How about John (center-right) and Trishna (center-left)? Do they even have celebrity figures they admire? Let’s take a psychological detour for this week’s update to “The Story” and consider how respect for authority, ambitions, and the drive to emulate, create, or procrastinate inspires idolization.

Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (possible scene ideas) WANNA POTENTIALLY MEET THE HEROES OF THE HEROES? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!

[The Story] Pollyanna’s Great Service

It’s been useful having physical representations of the main characters of “The Story.” I can bring these minifigs representing Trishna (left) and John (right) along with me to brainstorm ideas on the go and their ubiquity allows me to quickly consider in new ideas. The set with Trishna’s wheelchair also had this dog, which after some brainstorming, became a pivotal character in her back story. Let’s explore how one dog could provide such great service.

Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (character-building, without major plot details)
WANNA INCIDENTALLY READ MORE ABOUT SERVICE DOGS ALONG WITH A DOG CHARACTER BIOGRAPHY? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!

[The Story] Doing Daily Tasks

“Tasks are how we succeed or fail. Everyday, we must complete tasks, John. This book has all tasks we must do today.” Let’s broadly consider discipline in this week’s update to “The Story.” Though primarily focused on how John (left, waving) learns to integrate with his new family and living environment on the Lanchester Farm, after years of chatting online with their youngest daughter Trishna (right, sitting), there might be some general motivational material, too.

Spoiler Warning Scale: Minor (analogies using Trishna’s family farm worldbuilding)
WANNA CONSIDER APPROACHES TO COMPLETING DAILY TASKS? CLICK HERE TO KEEP ON READING!