Tag Archive | Visual impairment

Screenwriting as Love Drug Mania Part 1 – The High

Holy fucking roller coaster, Batman. And the ride isn’t over.

screenplayimagesThe last two weeks have been a completely new kind of writing experience for me. It feels a little weird to be able to say that at 33 years old, especially considering I was writing little stories since, like, first grade. But it’s true.

It was so intense. It felt kinda like how I imagine being manic might feel. It felt like being in love. It felt like being on reeeeeeeally good drugs. It was all rushing and inspiration and not being able to sleep and waking up early with ideas and thoughts of how to work parts of it together. And it was a lot, lot, lot of writing.

Here’s what happened. For my university, there is a requirement called a senior capstone. I’ve resisted it as long as I could, putting it off term after term, imagining the anonymous diatribes I wanted to write against the requirement in the school paper as if that could somehow exempt me from having to take a capstone class. But this winter, I had to sign up, so I picked Research Experience for Science Majors, hoping to, you know, get some research experience.

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Blind Dating – Blind Alien Nation 2

This section directly follows the first segment from this essay.

Color-Blindness-Image-Google-Images-ArchiveA few months ago, a similar thing happened to me. I was out at an event with some friends, including a guy I had a met few times, had lots of great talks with, and who was, that evening, flirting with me. To some extent he knew me, knew about my blindness, had seen me at several different events and get-togethers before this. That night, our group took a bathroom break and the guy asked me, “Do you need help in there?”

The crazy part? This was not a total anomaly. It’s happened before this particular instance. And will probably happen since.

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The Simple Things in Life – Blind Alien Nation 1

cristina-blind-man-descending-stairsA few months ago, I was talking to a blind friend and mentor. She’s a practicing naturopath who teaches seminars for other naturopaths about thyroid conditions, depression and biochemistry. I asked her if she ever got sick of people making a big deal about how amazing she is to have gotten where she is while being totally blind. She said no. She said it was a big challenge, a career that’s challenging even for people who are fully sighted, and she had to work hard for it. “What does get to me,” she said, “is when people make a huge deal about me doing things like climbing a flight of stairs without falling. I’ve been doing stairs my whole life.”

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The Chapter Two Curse – An In-Depth Look at Revision

peaceEver since I got back from AWP, I’ve been working on revising my memoir manuscript, Moonchild.

It’s been a real challenge.

But as challenges go, it was relatively okay for the first chapter. A lot of work, yes. Lots of stitching together, inserting, deleting, writing new material, actually getting clearer on memories of the time that I’d forgotten and writing those in, shifting focus, bringing in more background. It took a lot of time and energy but it was fairly pleasant.

Then I got to Chapter Two, and that was more like…well, a clusterfuck.

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Crabby Girl

crabindexOne night in early September, there’s a crab feast in the cafeteria for dinner. Everyone’s so excited, especially the students from Maryland. I’ve never had crab before. John, sitting next to me, demonstrates for all of us. He whacks his crab a few times with a mallot, and then pulls the crab apart. I watch closely but can’t see how he knows what’s the meat and what’s pieces of bone or innards. It looks like brain surgery.

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End-of-School-Year Fire Drills – Truth, Lies and the Wicked Witch 17

This is another installment of a rough draft of a memoir chapter that covers fourth grade. This is final episode, I mean installment for this chapter (which is way too long and needs some epic editing sessions). This story comes to a close.

To start this piece from the beginning, click here.

End of the Year 3Late in the school year we took another musical instrument test. I didn’t even look at my grade, just filed the paper deep in one of my black folders with the neon pink and yellow squiggles. The folder was so full now that it was starting to tear at the crease. Mom would have to look through a lot of dittos to find it. I would find this folder years later in the basement of our new house in New Jersey. I’d gotten a D. Mom had never found it, or never said anything.

In the last week of class, we had a lot of fire drills, to meet some regulation. One time, Matt Peer was behind me in line as the class filed in and used the water fountain on our way back inside. Matt Peer, my 107 true love. I drank some water then swirled away in what I imagined was a supremely flirty move.

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Sleepovers and Upward Social Mobility – Truth, Lies and the Wicked Witch 10

This is another installment of a rough draft of a memoir chapter that covers fourth grade. Here’s a short lighter moment.

To start this piece from the beginning, click here.

tlww10imagesA girl named Holly invited me to a sleepover. She had come over my house a few times before. It was a household dinner table joke that she’d once asked my mom if she could use the bathroom. As a joke, because the question was so silly, my mom had said no.

At Holly’s there was a punching bag in her big living room. I beat the shit out of it. All of the girls stayed in Holly’s room. We did girl things like tell the boys we liked. Matt Peer, I confessed. He was quiet, mysterious, and seemed nice. A few of the girls were doing some complex algorithms with names. “You guys are a 107!” One of them shrieked. “Oh my god, you guys are like true love!” I was so excited I couldn’t sleep.

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Next Segment in this Piece: Walking Home and Crossing Streets

So this is an excerpt from a chapter from a project I’m working on called Eclipses of Jupiter. It’s in its infancy still, but it’s about growing up with albinism and being legally blind in my crazy family, and all the school and social implications. It’ll also focus on blind camp and related programs when I get into teenage years. This chapter, which will be broken up into installments and posted over the next few weeks, is all about fourth grade, which was a bit of an epic school year.

Check out the Samples Page, as well as Published and Early Work, to read more of my writing!

~Emilia J