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The Playwrights Forum > The Art & Craft of Writing > Critique my Play > One Ordinary Day

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 Posted: Fri Nov 3rd, 2006 08:22 pm
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*elana*
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Mana: 
Figured I should contribute something to this wonderful website! I wrote this a while ago, when I went through what I call my "narrator" period. I was absolutely obsessed with narrators onstage. Still kind of am, but many of my newer things I have already had workshopped but haven't yet had the time to revise. So yup, here it is...

One Ordinary Day
By Elana McKernan

Veronica mimes in the background (not presentationally, only as a pleasant undertone to Narrator’s commentary)

Narrator: All her life, Veronica Freidman had been passionately noncommittal. Sunflowers left her indifferent, Sunsets left her sleepy, and she mixed her vanilla ice cream with its chocolate topping until it turned into a soupy grey. She avoided Oregano, Cilantro, and Blood Oranges at all costs and layered her clothes specifically according to the temperature range forecasted on the evening news. She went to bed at 10:07 every evening to mundane dreams.

Veronica: (sleeping) Please pass the peas and gravy, Auntie Agnes.

Narrator: And woke up with her blinds closed after hitting her snooze button exactly 2.5 times. She did this all day every day for thirteen and a half years, with a few slight variations.

Veronica repeats the cycle of sleeping and waking.

Veronica: (sleeping) Why is everybody in the hallway staring at me? Oh bother. I seem to have worn my flatties instead of my tennis shoes, although it is nearly 10 degrees cooler than the optimal flatties temperature range. (She wakes to an alarm clock, pushes the snooze button exactly 2.5 times, sleeps again, is awoken by the alarm approximately 10 seconds later, and rises. Repeats the cycle) But I don’t know how to knit flower shalls. Oh, dear.

Narrator: Veronica Freidman disliked loud noises, bumpy car rides, and the color yellow. She appreciated periwinkle, and tolerated the existence of narwhals. When her teacher misspelled a word on the blackboard, Veronica took a vague satisfaction in providing the applicable etymological euphemism.

Veronica: (drawling) I before E except after C, Mrs. Stevenson. Not the other way round.

Narrator: Thirteen years of indifference. One ordinary day, Veronica went to bed as usual

Veronica: (sleeping) If you sharpen all of your pencils at one time, you substantially lower the risk of running out of lead.

Narrator: Slept as usual

Veronica: (sleeping) As I was cleaning the grape juice off the kitchen counter, my paper towel shredded into unfortunate pieces of lint. And then I cleaned them up.

Narrator: And woke up…(Alarm clock goes off. Veronica jumps out of bed.) At the sound of her alarm’s FIRST ring. (Veronica hits the snooze button, and gathers her bearings) Veronica gathered her bearings in the general direction of her window. The curtains were open.

Veronica: I quite detest open curtains.

Narrator: Veronica had gone to bed indifferent, and woken up…(Veronica listens raptly) with Opinions.

Veronica: Woolen socks make my legs itch.

Narrator: And Ideas.

Veronica: What if I am only a very small person in a very large person’s dream? Would I, upon their waking, cease to exist?

Narrator: And Questions! And little to no regard for the laws of spelling.

Veronica: Why must “I” come before “E”? What is so special about I? Does I ever invite E over for afternoon tea, or biscuits?

Narrator: She squinted in the general direction of the sun, and noted,

Veronica: Today is going to be quite different from yesterday.

Narrator: And as she spoke, the snooze alarm sounded through the room.

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 Posted: Fri Nov 10th, 2006 05:29 am
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Rick-8
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Mana: 
I'm still kind of new here, so I might as well dive in.  I liked the playlet and the narrator was not annoying.  However, I did feel that this was part of something bigger.  And I am a stickler for spelling and sometimes I'm dyslexic, so I can relate to the teacher.  It's a kernel of something; make it larger.

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 Posted: Fri Nov 10th, 2006 01:28 pm
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Edd
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Mana: 
Elana,

Thoughtful, smart and engaging.  It works as a one or two-pager for which there are markets.   However, I too think it begs for something larger.  The writing and the spirit felt poetic.  I'm suddenly remembering one of the "I wanna write like that" periods when I fell in love with Under Milkwood.  Very nice.  Thank you.

What did you write today?

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 Posted: Fri Nov 10th, 2006 06:51 pm
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Rick-8
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Mana: 
I read your mini bio and now realize your penchant for fairy tales.  Narrators are usually very present there in the Land of Nod.  This is the beginning of a modern fairy tale.  Go with it.

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 Posted: Mon Nov 13th, 2006 08:12 pm
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*elana*
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Mana: 
Thank you both for your feedback! I will look into extending this as soon as I get my life back (my school's theatre department seems to have stolen it from me temporarily)...lengthening this piece seems to be the main criticism I have gotten for it...I've just been reluctant to, because this is one of the few pieces I feel completely at peace with, if that makes any sense. But I do see how it could easily lend itself to an expansion, particularly in a fairy-tale-like style. I'll never know if I don't try!

Also, I'm very flattered, Edd...I will have to check out Under Milkwood.

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