Writing in the Dark,, an apt metaphor for anyone who has ever tried to tap out words on a  backlit screen.  This book, a collection of essays gathered by Max van Manen, shows how "different kinds of human experience may be explored, the methods for investigating phenomena contributing to human experience…the process of inquiry, reflection and writing…a valuable and rich resource".   That is to say, writing is an attempt to reflect what goes on inside us.  Inside us is where "story" occurs.Scott Popjes maintains a busy schedule, writing, producing and editing major theatrical trailers, promos and EPK's and developing and producing TV series and films, such as "The Remarkably 20th Century" and "The Long Ride Home".  Born and raised in suburban New Jersey, this everyman director/editor loves making movies.Ernest Hemingway - The man who ran with the bulls.  His literary sparseness and compression, well-worn and well-earned, captured the attention of critics and public in a volatile age.  In 1952, he received the Pulitzer for The Old Man and the Sea.   In 1954, he received the Nobel Prize for his "powerful style-making mastery of the modern art of narration."  He wrote from life.  Until his life subdued and rescued him.Will Shakespeare - Aka "The bard".  Arguably the best English writer to ever glide pen to page, populist hero as well as aristocratic raconteur, though we wish he had used all women instead of all men to populate his plays.  (Not a prejudice, just a fact.)   His sonnets remain divine.  Rare is the writer who can scribble successfully in one genre, let alone two.  Some postulate this poet and playwright was, in fact, more than one man…or woman.  What would he have done with film, we wonder?Though he produced fewer than 40 paintings, Dutch painter Jan Vermeer is one of the most respected artists of the European tradition. He is known for his serene, luminous interiors populated by one or two figures. Vermeer grew up in Delft, Holland, joined the painters' guild in 1653, and worked as an art dealer to support his wife and 11 children.  In 1672, war with France ruined Holland’s economy and Vermeer's business failed.  Soon after, he died of a stroke at age 42, leaving his family bankrupt.  Vermeer's paintings were largely forgotten for nearly 200 years, until 1858 when a French critic began to write admiringly about his work.  Interest in Vermeer surged again recently with his work exhibited at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.  Contemporary writers have also been inspired by him, including Tracy Chevalier whose novel Girl with a Pearl Earring imagines the life of the girl in Vermeer's painting of the same name. L.Ron Hubbard - Whatever you may think of his other worldly beliefs, the full body of L. Ron Hubbard's work includes more than 5,000 writings and 3,000 tape-recorded lectures, spanning five, highly productive decades.  A humanitarian and adventurer, he  believes, "There are only two tests of a life well lived: Did one do as one intended? And were people glad one lived?"  We add, "And can one write about it, anyhow?"Johannes Vermeer's "Lady Writing a Letter with Her Maid" records a prior chivalrous age where class decorum reigned.  (Oh, well, you can't have everything.)   One of the most talented painters in the Dutch Golden Age, that's the 1600's, Vermeer's work was forgotten for centuries.  The most brilliant artists of any century are probably never discovered, their paintings hidden till ruin, their pages dropping to dust in unfound attics.  We find this oddly comforting.  No martyr of time, this particular masterpiece hangs in the National Gallery of Ireland.  Definitely worth a gaze.Jules Verne - Ode to childhood and the player within us.  Verne was born, aptly, in Nates, France in 1828.  He promptly ran off to become cabin boy on a merchant ship but was caught and sent back to his parents.  Thus constrained, his imagination wandered.  He wrote story after story, became very rich, bought a yacht and resumed his initial intent - to sail around the world.  Or Europe anyhow.   Our favorite remains Twenty Thousand Leagues.
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First-Place Winner, November 2012 - April 2013
Screenplay Contest - Teleplay/Short Series
"Divorced At 24 "
Written by Kate Wood
Heather Kenihan "Chasing Rabbits"
ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Writer Kate Wood was born in Fredericksburg, VA to Dave and Nancy Wood. She grew up in Northern Virginia (NoVa, as the locals say) with her sister, Jacq, and two brothers, Davey and Peter. Upon graduating high school, Kate moved to New York City, where she attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. In 2012, she graduated from NYU with a BFA in Film & Television. Within weeks of completing her studies, Kate moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in sitcom writing. In September of 2012, her pilot script Empty Nest won “Best Teleplay” at the Broad Humor Film Festival in Venice, CA. Her pilot script Divorced at 24, won first place in the November 2012 – April 2013 The Writers Place Screenplay Contest.

Additional Writer Information:
cgw214@nyu.edu

LOGLINE

A young woman who has spent her entire life preparing to be a housewife decides to leave her husband and find happiness without a plan.

SYNOPSIS

On her wedding day, 22-year-old Charlotte Baxter already knows the groom is not the man for her, but marriage is next on her checklist. Two years later, she gains the courage to leave her husband and abandon the plan she had set for herself as a child. With a useless college degree and no work experience to speak of, it won’t be easy to start over. But, with the help of her sister, a support group of bitter divorcees, and a new career for which she’s surprisingly qualified, Charlotte slowly starts to find happiness on her own.

LEGAL NOTICE

The Divorced at 24 screenplay, copyright, and story idea below are owned by Kate Wood. No copying of any of the below pages is allowed unless approved by owner.

SCRIPT FOLLOWS

FADE IN.

INT. CHURCH DRESSING ROOM- AFTERNOON

Charlotte, 22, a tall, pretty brunette, is standing in front of a long mirror in a wedding dress. With her in the room is her sister, Melissa, 19, a shorter version of Charlotte.

                   CHARLOTTE
He’s a good guy, right?

                   MELISSA
Yeah.

                   CHARLOTTE
Don’t bullshit me, Melissa.

                   MELISSA
I’m not!

                   CHARLOTTE
Liar.

                   MELISSA
He’s a good guy.

                   CHARLOTTE
You're right. Very sweet. Hell of a
guy. I don’t want to marry him.

                   MELISSA
Okeedokee. I’ll go tell the
minister.

She turns to leave, but Charlotte grabs her arm to stop her.

                   CHARLOTTE
You’re not even going to try to
talk me into it?

                   MELISSA
Why would I do that?

                   CHARLOTTE
Because... because... look at what
I’m wearing! This is expensive.
There are so many people here
and... stuff like that.

                   MELISSA
    (robotically)
Look at what you’re wearing. It’s
expensive. There are so many people
here.

                   CHARLOTTE
And? Now you think of things.

                   MELISSA
I don’t want to talk you into this.

                   CHARLOTTE
That’s the maid of honor’s job, you
big jerk. I can’t be a runaway
bride. That would be so
embarrassing!

                   MELISSA
How about this: pros and cons of
getting married today. What are
some cons?

                   CHARLOTTE
I’m only 22. He’s shorter than I
am. This isn’t even the dress I
wanted.

                   MELISSA
That’s it?

                   CHARLOTTE
What do you think are some cons?

                   MELISSA
He’s 10 years older than you.

                   CHARLOTTE
Girls mature faster than boys.

                   MELISSA
He has three children that you’ve
never met.

                   CHARLOTTE
I don’t like kids that much anyway.

                   MELISSA
He doesn’t have a job.

                   CHARLOTTE
The economy is bad... or something.

                   MELISSA
You just said you don’t want to
marry him.

                   CHARLOTTE
You've got me there.

                   MELISSA
Pros?

                   CHARLOTTE
We’re here. Guests are here. I’m
already 22.

                   MELISSA
What happened to “only 22”? That’s,
like, really young.

                   CHARLOTTE
    (quickly, nervously)
No it isn’t! Ever since I was 5
I’ve had my whole life planned.

She reaches into the bust of her gown and pulls out a laminated checklist.

                   CHARLOTTE (CONT’D)
Valedictorian of my high school,
check. Get a pointless degree from
an overpriced college, check. Get
married at 22, in the process of
checking. Then I’ll have my first
baby at 24, three more by 30 and-

                   MELISSA
Wait. You literally just said you
don’t like kids.

                   CHARLOTTE
I would like my kids. I’m not a
monster.
    (beat)
Anyway... when my old husband dies,
I’ll move to Italy, where I’ll meet
a young Italian and take him as a
lover.

She turns back to the mirror and gently places the veil on top of her head.

                   CHARLOTTE (CONT’D)
Then I’ll die.

She turns back to face her sister.

                   CHARLOTTE (CONT’D)
Now you say, “Yes, Charlotte. Great
plan. Let’s go get you married.”

                   MELISSA
You’re a crazy person.

                   CHARLOTTE
That is so rude.

                   MELISSA
Charlotte, listen to me. If you
want to get married, great! I’m
happy for you. But if you don’t,
then don’t. Do you even love him?

                   CHARLOTTE
Well, yeah. But that’s no reason to
get married!

                   MELISSA
Pretty much everyone on earth would
disagree with that statement.

                   CHARLOTTE
There are so many people here, Mel.

                   MELISSA
They can go home.

Charlotte turns back to the mirror again.

                   CHARLOTTE
I’ll just do it. It’ll be fine.

                   MELISSA
Alright. Don’t come crying to me
when you’re divorced in two years
with a baby he refuses to pay for.

                   CHARLOTTE
Damn, Melissa. Stop being so
negative. This is my wedding day.

INT./EXT. MELISSA’S APARTMENT- EVENING

CHYRON: TWO YEARS LATER

There is a loud, urgent knocking at the door. Melissa opens it to reveal Charlotte standing there with a suitcase.

                   CHARLOTTE
At least there’s no baby.

SMASH CUT TO                                      
TITLES.                                      

ACT ONE

INT. MELISSA’S APARTMENT, KITCHEN- EVENING

Melissa and Charlotte are sitting at the table. The room is covered with wedding crap: bridal magazines, cake toppers, invitation samples with all sorts of ribbons, etc. Charlotte looks shell shocked.

                   CHARLOTTE
Am I dead?

                   MELISSA
    (reassuringly)
No.

                   CHARLOTTE
This feels like hell.

                   MELISSA
You think hell is all white and
cheerful? My roommate is getting
married soon and in a little over
her head, planning-wise.

                   CHARLOTTE
God is punishing me. I left my
husband and now I’ll be surrounded
by weddings til the end of time.

                   MELISSA
I thought you were an atheist?

                   CHARLOTTE
Ending up in hell would probably
change my perspective.

Danielle, 22, annoyingly perky, bounces into the apartment carrying a giant garment bag, which is obstructing her view.

                   DANIELLE
    (singing)
Going to the chapel and we’re gonna
get ma-a-ar-ried...

She lays the bag down on the table and notices Melissa.

                   DANIELLE (CONT’D)
Aren’t you supposed to be on a date
right now?

                   CHARLOTTE
A date?

                   MELISSA
It’s no big deal. I can reschedule.

                   DANIELLE
    (to Charlotte)
Oh my god! Hi!

She hugs Charlotte, who grimaces.

                   MELISSA
You remember my roommate Danielle?

                   CHARLOTTE
Not even a little bit.

                   DANIELLE
Oh, of course you do. I was at
Mel’s birthday party.
    (beat)
You remember. I kept drinking
margaritas with salt, and you were
drinking margaritas without salt
and we were all like, “at least we
can tell them apart.” Then I
accidentally took a sip of yours,
and I was like, “Ugh! This is so
bland!”

Danielle laughs nervously. Charlotte forces a confused smile.

                   DANIELLE (CONT’D)
So, what’s up? I love girl talk.
Dish.

                   MELISSA
Actually, it’s kind of private.

                   DANIELLE
Of course! Our little secret.

She giggles and mimes locking her mouth shut and tossing the key over her shoulder.

                   MELISSA
No-

                   CHARLOTTE
I just left my husband.

                   DANIELLE
Oh. My. God.

She hugs Charlotte again.

                   DANIELLE (CONT’D)
I am so sorry. That’s awful.

Charlotte gently pushes her away.

                   DANIELLE (CONT’D)
I can’t even imagine what you’re
going through. If my Jake ever left
me, I would just D-I-E die right
there on the spot. Did he run off
with another woman? He’s a piece of
dirt, you’re better off, girl.

                   CHARLOTTE
No, I left him.

                   DANIELLE
Oh. Then, you’re free, I guess.
Free. As. A. Bird.

There is an uncomfortable beat of silence.

                   DANIELLE (CONT’D)
Well, now that you’re here, you can
be a bridesmaid.

                   CHARLOTTE
What? We just met each other.

                   DANIELLE
I insist. It’s bad luck to say no
to a bride.

                   CHARLOTTE
Is it bad luck to have a stranger
as a bridesmaid?

                   DANIELLE
It’s settled! I’ll go tell Jake to
get another groomsman- we don’t
want an uneven bridal party.

Danielle bounces into her bedroom before Charlotte can protest again.

                   CHARLOTTE
What the fuck was that?

                   MELISSA
That was Danielle.

                   CHARLOTTE
I’m not going to be a bridesmaid.

                   MELISSA
You kind of have to.

Charlotte groans.

                   CHARLOTTE
So, this is hell.

INT. MELISSA’S APARTMENT, LIVING ROOM- LATER

Charlotte is lying on the fold out couch. She is eating what looks like ice cream and crying, while watching Mary Tyler Moore on TV.

                   CHARLOTTE
She doesn’t need a man; why should
I?

Melissa enters and sits down next to Charlotte.

                   MELISSA
Do you want to talk about it?

                   CHARLOTTE
Well, Rhoda called this guy to be
her date to Mary’s dinner party-

                   MELISSA
I mean real life.

                   CHARLOTTE
Oh. Not really.

                   MELISSA
Did you tell mom and dad yet?

                   CHARLOTTE
No! They can’t know about this.

                   MELISSA
They can’t know about you leaving
your husband?

                   CHARLOTTE
I don’t want them to think I’m the
kind of person who just leaves her
husband.

                   MELISSA
But... you are that kind of person.

                   CHARLOTTE
No, I’m not. I’m a good person.

                   MELISSA
It’s okay, Char. Good people get
divorced, too.

                   CHARLOTTE
Where’s the line? Do good people
rape and pillage, too?

                   MELISSA
You’ll have to tell them
eventually.

                   CHARLOTTE
Not necessarily.

                   MELISSA
They’re not stupid. I think they
might figure it out when they never
see him again.

                   CHARLOTTE
I’ll just tell them he’s away on
business.

                   MELISSA
He’s unemployed.

Danielle enters, talking frantically on her cell phone.

                   DANIELLE
It’s just that my mother-in-law is
allergic to chocolate, and-
    (listens)
Right. I do want the red velvet for-
    (listens)
No!

                   CHARLOTTE
Which bakery is she using?

                   MELISSA
Francisco’s.

                   CHARLOTTE
I used them. They’re good.

Suddenly Danielle shoves the phone at Charlotte.

                   DANIELLE
You talk to him!

                   CHARLOTTE
What?

                   DANIELLE
Please!

Charlotte reluctantly takes the phone.

                   CHARLOTTE
Hello.
    (listens)
Yeah, she just wants the layers to
be different flavors.

Charlotte quickly transforms from a slumping mess of a divorcée to an angry shark.

                   CHARLOTTE (CONT’D)
Who the fuck do you think you’re
talking to? I know you spend most
of your time dealing with spoiled,
whiny brides-to-be and their “Botox
for brains” mothers who will throw
down the plastic without even
pretending to think, but that’s not
me.

                   DANIELLE
What’s happening?

                   CHARLOTTE
You want to price gouge me? I’d be
happy to go down to your little
shop and show you exactly what
being gouged feels like.
    (listens)
I’m talking about shoving a carving
knife into your balls.
    (listens)
Make it noon. She likes to sleep
late on Saturdays.

She hangs up and hands the phone back to Danielle.

                   DANIELLE
Oh my god, you’re so scary.

                   MELISSA
You should have heard her when Girl
Scout cookies jumped to $5 a box.

Charlotte quickly reverts back to her sad, messy self and curls up with her food.

                   CHARLOTTE
Why are you doing this by yourself,
anyway? Doesn’t your mom want to completely
take over and drive you crazy?

                   DANIELLE
I’m sure she would, but she and my
dad just got divorced, so she’s
kind of busy being miserable.

                   CHARLOTTE
Sure, sure.

                   DANIELLE
She’s actually going to a divorce
support group tonight. You should
go.

Charlotte gestures to her bowl.

                   CHARLOTTE
This is all the support I need.

She gobbles a big spoonful and some drips down her chin.

                   MELISSA
Classy.

Danielle scribbles on some scratch paper and sets it down.

                   DANIELLE
Just in case you change your mind.

Charlotte ignores her. Danielle exits to her bedroom.

                   CHARLOTTE
Why can’t I be more like Mary?

                   MELISSA
Because you’re not fictional.

                   CHARLOTTE
I’m such a Rhoda. Always desperate
for a man. When she finally got
married it lasted for five seconds.

                   MELISSA
I always liked Rhoda better.

                   CHARLOTTE
Sure. She’s great in a lonely
spinster sort of way.

Charlotte drinks the last of the bowl.

                   MELISSA
That better not be my chunky
monkey.

                   CHARLOTTE
This isn’t ice cream.

INT. MELISSA’S APARTMENT, LIVING ROOM- EVENING

Charlotte is still on the fold out couch. Melissa enters wearing a pretty dress.

                   CHARLOTTE
You look nice. Laundry day?

                   MELISSA
Actually, I have a date. But, if you
need me here, I’ll absolutely stay.

                   CHARLOTTE
No. Go. Have fun.

                   MELISSA
You’re sure?

                   CHARLOTTE
Yes! Get out of here. You’re
interrupting my brooding.

MELISSA
Okay. Call me if you-

                   CHARLOTTE
Hasta la vista!

Melissa exits. Charlotte reads the paper from earlier.

(CONTINUED)