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25 Years Ago: A Freewrite Character Sketch 
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So a few years ago when I was playing a geeky new kid in school for a college play, I had this idea of imagining that character growing up 20 years earlier. I remembered this the other night and decided to just start free writing whatever came to me as a character sketch. Here it is:


The year is 1988. I have just turned 15 and as a present my parents have bought me a second phone line for an Internet connection on my computer since I finished the school year with straight As again. One of my D&D friends knows about an online thing where you can be an animal person but the name escapes him. He and I would rather be Lizardmen in our party but as Halflings, neither of us has the courage to ask our DM about doing a homebrew spinoff.

Posters of They Might Be Giants, Monty Python, and sci-fi movies, each of them bearing at least one autograph, line my bedroom walls. Near my computer is a Casio keyboard, one of the nicer models. I've written some of my own TMBG-esque songs but I'm too shy to share them with anyone.

My bookshelf is stuffed with everything from H.G. Wells to Tolkien to Orson Scott Card with a bunch of Star Trek novels. And so many action figures that I have to take a couple of them off the shelf just to get to each individual book!

T-shirts of wolves and dragons and video games fill my closet. There's my Renaissance Celtic outfit I've yet to grow out of after 3 years. Those action figures are so much more buff than I'll ever be.

On top of my dresser is a scarf. A very long, striped Doctor Who scarf. Sheri knit it for me for Christmas last year as something to remember her by. Her family was moving to Illinois because of her mom's work. We talk on the phone once a week but it's nothing compared to seeing her squarish glasses frame her freckled face. Maybe she'll go online soon.

I'm hoping Dan, the owner of the Space Shop, will let me work there once I turn 16 next year. My parents stopped giving me an allowance 2 years ago but even before then I'd been funding my nerdiness through doing odd jobs around the neighborhood.

I leave used-car magazines around the house with some of the pages dog-eared--dropping hints at my parents for next year. With that job I could at least pay for the gas.

This summer instead of flying to Oregon for annual family reunion we'll drive. Seeing the sights along the way will be kind of fun, but the trip's the same weekend as the "season premiere" of our D&D group's new campaign for the summer. Sorry, Jason.

My lab Chewy jumps up onto the bed to sleep for the night. He's the sweetest dog and we've grown up together but now he's ten and starting to get old. I hope Chewy doesn't die before I graduate high school.

That reminds me...I'm supposed to meet with my guidance counselor tomorrow about starting to look at colleges. At this point I don't know what to do with my life other than "something in science". Not a medical doctor, but maybe a chemist or astronomer. Maybe fractal mathematics. I kind of want to go into physics just to try and bust the secret of time travel. I want to go see dinosaurs in the flesh. For now I'll stick with the ones in my books and on my walls.

Sweet dreams, Chewy.


Mon Jun 10, 2013 10:09 am
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Lady Sloth
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:33 am
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Location: CO
interesting concept, but I'm not getting a strong 80s vibe from it, like. One I think it's weird you'd have internet since I didn't get internet in my house till the mid-90s, growing up, and two I'm interested to know why you like the 4th doctor, since there's nota huge dr who following in the US yet (and those who do know of it, like my mom's cousin, liked later, more recent doctors, since the only access to the show they had was on cable TV).

what was nerdiness like in the 80s? young wil wheaton is a great research example. he played D&D as a kid and writes about it on his blog sometimes. where was the furry fandom in the 80s? whovians? I think trekkies were a lot more visible in those days, seeing as TNG was airing starting in '87.

basically I'm seeing a sketch of you, as you are now, with certain 80s buzzwords thrown in. but what I'm interested in is a reimagining of who you would be if you were born in the 70s. could be an entirely different person. who knows. the research just isn't bringing it alive for me, if that makes sense.

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Fri Jun 28, 2013 1:20 am
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...well, it was just a freewrite, no research needed.


Sat Jul 06, 2013 3:34 pm
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Lady Sloth
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well yeah, but a freewrite is the beginning of a thing, you can't just stop there, right? my critiques are, if you go forward with this concept, what you would need to do for it.

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Sat Jul 06, 2013 7:10 pm
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Ah, you should have said that. :p


Sat Jul 06, 2013 7:33 pm
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Lady Sloth
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:33 am
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well, what else are critiques for but advice for the next draft?

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Sat Jul 06, 2013 8:53 pm
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