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The Project That Ate My Summer and My Blog – A Screenplay

August 17, 2013

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESAct I

Scene 1:

Scenery: It’s May and the flowers are starting to bloom. An ugly but functional wooden shed stands in the backyard. Its roof is covered with moss. The door is warped and hanging from its hinges.

Her: There are mice in the shed and they’re shitting on my garden tools.

Him: Mice are cute.

Her: There are nests of hornets, and the neighbors complained that the shed is an eyesore.

Him: The trees will be tall enough next year to hide the shed.

Her:  Your tools are getting wet and rusting.

Him: Let’s replace the shed.

Scene 2:

Scenery: It’s June and the woman is standing where the shed used to be. The sun is shining and the trees are resplendent in their greenery.

Her: This spot has a really good view of the wetlands. Wouldn’t it be a great place for a writing studio?

Him: You already have a perfectly good writing office.

Her:  It will be a selling point if we ever sell the house. AND, I’ll turn my office into the guest room so you can have another workroom.

Him: I’m going to die in this house. But, it would be cool to have two workrooms. Let’s use the foundation from the shed and make it the same size to keep it easy. We have a couple of old windows in the garage I could use to keep the cost down.

Her: Hmm. If you doubled the footprint someone could sleep out here. Or, I could have my writing meetings here and not disturb you while you watch the Cubs lose. But, I would need more light. Those old windows are small and they don’t open. Maybe we could have skylights and a ceiling fan.

Him: No skylights…possibly a ceiling fan.

Her: The ceiling needs to be vaulted for a ceiling fan. I don’t want my friends to get hit in the head. They’ll sue us. We should really match the siding to our house, too. I think hardwood floors are a must, don’t you? How long do you think this will take?

Him: A month should do it.

Scene 3:

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESScenery: It’s July and the heat and humidity are the worst Oregon has seen in years. The studio floor supports are in and are covered in plywood.

Her: We need to order the windows.

Him: We will.

Her: I bet it takes weeks to get them.

Him: No it won’t.

Her: We need to order the windows today.

Him: We have to check Lowe’s, Home Depot, and the Recycle place to make sure we get the best deal.

Her: That’s stupid. Let’s just go to Home Depot.

Him:

Act IV:

Scenery: The couple is in the car heading home from Home Depot.

Her:  I told you it would take three weeks to get the windows. You’re gonna be all done and the thing won’t have windows. Didn’t I tell you it was a waste of time to go to Lowe’s? I’m never going back to the Recycle place. It has a weird smell.

Him:

Scene 4:

Scenery: It’s August. The tomatoes are ripening. The studio walls are up, and it’s time to cover them with plywood.  The couple asked their friends over to help with the siding. They overnighted Italian beef from Chicago’s Portillo’s as a bribe. The four stand staring at the studio.

Her: Jean and I will cook while you two hammer.

Him: But, we have a thousand nails to hammer!!!!

Her: You want to eat, don’t you? Anyway, our backs hurt.

Scene 5:

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESScenery: The man is sitting in a lawn chair staring at the half-built studio.

Her: Why aren’t you working on the studio?

Him: My elbow hurts. It’s probably tendonitis from all the hammering.

Her: We need to call an electrician. We need to buy a door. We need to get shingles that match our roof. Let’s go look at hardwood flooring.

Him: I hate this studio.

Her: How about if I finish nailing the plywood. Maybe we could finish it with screws?

Him:

Her: I’ll start nailing. We need to call an electrician. It’s really humid. This is hard. I need a break.

To Be Continued.

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21 Comments
  1. Wonderful! You’re a born playwright. Good luck with the studio. And enjoy the tomatoes. There’s nothing like fresh tomatoes in summer.

  2. That was fun! Thanks so much Michael. I think my inner Allen came through on this one.

  3. jaydun@comcast.net permalink

    Diane, Knowing the main actors as I do, I marvel at the verisimilitude of your play. It is inspired. That brief scene about the need for windows, the decision to order windows, the trip to Lowe’s and finally the blame heaped on the store was better than good. Curses on that store and all who shop there.!!!! It is remarkable that two people can live together for 20/30 years and, all the while, live on different planets. There is in your wonderful mind all kinds of magical stories waiting to be told. I look forward to the next part(s) of the play with breathless expectation. I used to feel the same way from week to week waiting for the next episode of Flash Gordon at my local theater. Thank you for sending me an advanced copy. I will keep your secret, particularly the part about the lifetime boycott of Lowe’s. This is the “good stuff.” More. More! My Best, Jim

    • Thanks! I’ll try and provide more “good stuff” Jim. All I have to do is write down what happens to me each day, I guess.

  4. Betsy permalink

    Hi Diane- keep the faith. Your studio will magically appear. Bob works slow but steady. Take care and see you soon. Betsy

  5. Hilarious! I can’t wait to read the finale.

  6. Laughing here. Out loud and everything. This is a sit-com. I love it. When exactly do the rains start in Oregon? :)

    • Let’s hope the rains don’t come for another few months. This looks like it’s going to take awhile.

  7. I love watching your studio take shape! even if it’s killing you and Mr. P!

    • It’s gonna be a miracle if we finish this thing. I hammered a couple dozen nails today and had to go lie down because my allergies were so bad. Wanting it to rain to clean the air, but not wanting it to rain because I have no roof.

  8. Hurray for a lovely studio-in-progress–and I can’t wait to find out what happens next!

  9. I love it! There are a few lines where Him is left blank, which left me wondering if that represented silence, expletives or just a gap in the script :) Definitely press for skylights, heaven sent light, star gazing, squirrel watch, body in tune with nature instinct, migratory birds overhead, so many good reasons.

    Domestic humour is the best, I hope its going to be ok out there in winter! Looking forward to part 2 and happy to note I haven’t missed out on anything while I’ve been blogsent myself.

    • Thanks, Claire! The blanks after Him are deafening silences of a man who is biting his tongue. Stay tuned.

      • Right, so silence AND the unspoken expletive, I am laughing and imagining the actors face who will play the part. So many possibilities including the one you witnessed. :)

  10. This is so good. My wife and I have done several projects together. I can identify with all the ups and downs. It always started for us with the magic words: “We could do that”.

    • Thanks so much, John. You call them magic words, I call them cursed. :-) Wait until you read about today’s events…

  11. John McNeese permalink

    I don’t own a hammer and I’m one happy man. Of course, Lori is out right now looking for a handy man who can drive a nail and fix things. Keep Bob inside or Lori will find him!!!

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