Workshop in Dialogue

© Dana Bartekoske Heinemann | Dreamstime Stock Photos

I know I may instantly regret saying this, but I miss grad school.  Crazy, right?  I don’t miss the late nights, the endless homework assignments, the studying until I drove myself into an insane, slightly neurotic state (from which I have still not totally recovered more than a year later).  I don’t miss the constant presentations and the anxiety they brought on and I don’t miss weekends filled with homework (or the dread of having to do ALL of my homework Sunday night because I avoided it all weekend).  I do, however, miss spending so much time with the amazing friends I made (p.s. – to those of you out there reading this, let’s hang out soon) and I miss the writing it forced me to do.

Sometimes it’s insanely hard for me to stay motivated when there’s not a solid deadline looming in the background.  The fear of a bad grade could always snap me into focus as well.  I won’t lie, I’m a super over-achiever when it comes to graded work.  My writing partner and I have been working on multiple scripts for multiple years and haven’t had much success in finishing or polishing them, most likely due to our lack of a solid deadline (we were both great in churning out beautiful scripts on tight deadlines during undergrad).  To be honest, I produced fun pieces during my master’s program that I forgot I even wrote.  Below is an example.  I can tell you one thing – I know I wrote it during a summer session Dialogue Workshop.  It was probably the second, maybe third assignment that term.  I can even remember the prompt: “Write a dialogue between two characters in which they are both describing an object in front of them.  You (as the author) should know what the object actually is.  Your characters should not know what the object is.  Do not reveal the object identity to the reader.”


I can’t for the life of me remember actually writing this.  It’s so funny how that works. There are pieces from grad school that I wrote that I practically have memorized.  Pieces from high school that I can almost remember word for word.  But this, something I wrote less than two years ago, doesn’t even warrant a small register in my memory.  In the end, it’s actually kind of fun not remembering.  I can discover new things to read on my laptop without having to buy something.  The best part of this piece is – I can’t remember what the “object” is.  Feel free to take a look and if you can figure out what I was describing…well you’d be my hero.

            “It’s pretty heavy,” Martin said.
            “Heavy and awkward,” said Julie.
             “You can’t use it for anything.”
            “You could use it as a doorstop.”
            “A doorstop?”
            “It’s heavy enough.”
            “It’s too colorful to be a doorstop.”
            “Doorstops can’t be colorful?”
            “It’s not a doorstop.  Look at all the eyes.”
            “There are a lot of eyes.”
            “Sad eyes,” he said.
            “Sad eyes?” She asked.
            “Very sad.”
            “I think they look kind of happy.”
            “Sad and empty.”
            “Sad and empty?” 
            “Shallow even.” 
            “Look at this one; it’s all grey and depressing,” he said
            “Again, I would like to show you the colorful ones over here,” she said. 
            “And color equals happy?”
            “What’s with you and colors today?”
            “What is with you and doorstops?”
            “Doorstop was a legitimate option.”
            “Can you be serious for two seconds?”
            “I am being serious.”
            “You are not,” Julie said.
            “I’m deadly,” said Martin.
            “Excuse me?”
            “Deadly serious.”
            “You’re an idiot.”
            “You’re just jealous.”
            “Of what?”
            “My genius.” 
            “Because doorstop was such a brilliant idea?”
            “Can we stop talking about the doorstop, please?”
            “You’re the one that keeps bringing it up.”

One thought on “Workshop in Dialogue

  1. danielle says:

    Drinking wine and remembering this class. I have no idea what you wrote about! Hmm. I live like two blocks away, let’s drink wine and try to figure this out. Either way, I love your writing and will happily give you a deadline! If for no other reason than I volunteer to read and edit because I have loved all your work do far.

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