Tag Archives: book

The Jungle Book

Here’s a screenplay I had to write in class for my Creative Writing final. The assignment was to write a memoir in screenplay format, so here’s what I came up with:

The Jungle Book

(PS: I still haven’t shelled out the $250 required to actually buy Final Draft, so please excuse the demo format, watermark, etc.)

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AP English Doesn’t Leave Time for Creative Titles (an analytical writing sample)

Young love is condemned by cynics and writers alike as a situation that is too fleeting and idealistic to truly last. Maybe this is true; just ask the Montagues and Capulets. However, the significance of a first love should not be dismissed because the effects can last long into a person’s life and even beyond. Thus is the case with Sybil Vane, the young beauty adored by the title character in Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray. Though she only appears for a few chapters, the effect Vane has on Gray resonates throughout the entire novel and is the cause for most of his major transformations.

Before Dorian Gray really changes, he meets Sybil Vane and immediately falls in love with her. He is still young, energetic, and rather narcissistic about the appearance of his face that friends and acquaintances alike praise. When it comes to love and romance, Gray is also extremely idealistic, raving about the purity of his love for Sybil and how the play he met her at, Romeo and Juliet, could only mean good things for their future (rather ironic when the ending of this play is considered). His love, however, proves shallow, and when Dorian Gray dismisses her because of bad acting, Sybil commits suicide. This begins the course of Dorian’s fall from grace as he first feels guilty but after some talking to from his friend Lord Henry Wotton, decides that this is the most romantic thing that has ever happened to him. The attitude towards the suffering of others as pleasure for himself leads Dorian down the path of debauchery and seduction, forever erasing the innocence he once had.

Without this innocence and the idealism of his youth, Dorian Gray seems to have no morals or fears regarding the consequences of his actions. He frequents opium dens, has indecent relationships with men and women alike, and even kills his best friend, Basil Hallward. After committing the murder he does not even seem to have qualms about blackmailing Allan Campbell into disposing of the body. Throughout all this, he does not ever even seem to remember Sybil Vane until her influence reenters his life in the form of her brother, seeking revenge. For the first time, Dorian is forced to face potential consequences for his actions in the past. Though he escapes death and Sybil’s brother is killed instead, her influence–and possibly even the memory of her and his past love–promotes yet another transformation within Dorian. He begins to fear consequences and even to feel guilt, eventually causing him to destroy the painting that has been keeping him so innocent and young-looking all these years, in effect destroying his own soul and killing himself.

Dorian Gray’s life is destroyed by his own susceptibility to influence. He is influenced by his friends, influenced by vanity, influenced by literature, and–to arguably the greatest extent–influenced by the love he once felt as a youth. The destruction of this young love and the death of Sybil Vane destroyed Dorian Gray’s own innocence. Though she was not in his life (or the book) very long, Sybil Vane influenced Dorian Gray throughout the rest of the story, as do the effects of young love on a person’s life.

The Library of Dreams: A Children’s Story

the cover for the picture book this story was originally written for

Once upon a time there was a little girl named Sage who loved to play outside during the winder at her family’s cabin in Tahoe. She enjoyed skiing and ice skating and even playing fetch with her dog Buddy out in the snow.

One day, Sage threw a ball particularly far, and Buddy ran into the woods by the house too try to find it. Sage waited and waited, but he didn’t come back after a long while and she began to worry. So, Sage set off into the forest to find him.

After what seemed like hours of searching, she saw some paw prints in the snow that led off the trail and Sage followed them for a ways until she found a tall stone building. “Interesting,” Sage thought to herself. “I’ve never seen a building like this in the middle of the woods with no one around for miles.”

Being the curious girl that she was, Sage pushed open the heavy door and stepped inside. Instantly, Sage was greeted by the warmth of a fire roaring in the corner and the smell of cookies baking. The room around her was bright and comfortable looking. There was a big soft chair in front of the fireplace, and the walls of the room were covered–from floor to ceiling–in books. Sage looked through the doorway that led to different parts of the house and saw that they were also filled with books. When she saw a small desk next to the door she had just come in, she realized this wasn’t a house at all. It was a library.

“Woof!” Sage heard a bark coming from down the hallway and saw Buddy running towards her.

“There you are!” she said, grabbing his collar and hugging him.

“Is this your dog?” said a voice. Sage looked up and saw a tall girl with golden hair emerge from where Buddy had just come from. “I’m glad you finally found him.”

“What is this place, exactly?” asked Sage.

“Why,” answered the girl. “This is the Library of Dreams.”

“The Library of Dreams?” asked Sage. “What does that mean? It looks to me like there’s only books here.”

“Well yes,” said the girl. “But these books are special. They hold and record the things that people imagine, dream about, and want to do or become someday. Watch, what’s your name?”

“Sage Barry,” said Sage.

“Okay,” the librarian said, moving to one section of the room. “Let’s see.” She pulled a relatively small book off the shelf. “Sage Barry,” she said, opening it. “Age: 6, dream job: artist.” The librarian looked up suddenly. “You want to be an artist?” she asked.

Sage nodded.

“Then you must be really good at painting!”

“Well,” said Sage. “I do my best.”

“Thank goodness you’re here,” the librarian responded. “There’s something I need you to see. We are in desperate need of your help.”

The librarian took Sage to a different section of the library. The books here were not colorful or filled with pages of untold stories. They were gray and damp and it seemed like most of the pages had fallen out and the spines were falling apart. “This section of the library,” the librarian said, “is for the dreams of grown-ups. A lot of them have boring jobs now, and hardly any of them use their imaginations.” She pulled one book from the shelves. It was practically falling apart at the seams. “See? There aren’t even any pictures in them,” she said.

“Can’t you draw pictures?” asked Sage.

“Well yes,” replied the librarian. “That’s my job here: keeping people’s dreams alive, but there is just so much hopelessness I can hardly keep up. That’s why I need your help.”

“What can I do?” asked Sage.

“You can help me make these grown-ups’ books beautiful again.”

Sage wasn’t sure if she would be able to fix them all, but she was glad she brought her set of markers and crayons with her. “I’ll try,” she said, and she and the librarian went to work.

She grabbed a stack of books from the shelf and began coloring in anything she could think of. In one, she drew a picture of her beautiful black and white cat, Abbot.

In another, she drew an illustration of a beautiful front yard, just like the one at her house back in Walnut Creek, complete with flowers, plants, and lots of trees to climb.

She colored pictures of bumble bees, and her dog and her friends and a baseball team and her cousin’s home in Hawaii. She even used her crayons to draw pictures of delicious adventures and exciting foods, until one by one her markers started to run out of ink, and her crayons had all but worn down completely.

At first Sage was disappointed that she couldn’t keep coloring, but she took a step back and looked at the pile she had restored. The once old and tattered books now looked more beautiful than ever, and some even began adding pictures automatically, as a newly inspired mind somewhere began to dream up more dreams once more.

“Thank you so much for your help!” the librarian said.

“Of course,” responded Sage, “but I should probably be getting home soon. It’s getting late and my mom is making macaroni and cheese for dinner!”

“Then you best be going on your way,” said the librarian. “But first, I want you to take this.” She handed Sage a book–the very book she had read earlier that illustrated her dreams. “I’ll start a new one here for you,” she said. “And you can keep this to remember all the things you liked and thought about at this age.”

“Thank you!” Sage responded eagerly. Then, clapping her hands so Buddy would follow her, she headed home.