Whenever I teach screenwriting to children, I explain that every good movie begins with a good story, and then we go into the writing of each of their stories and it’s always in three acts.
So Act One introduces the main character and whatever problems they face. And Act Two is when the story becomes more complicated, when the plot thickens, and Act Three is the ending, where everything is resolved.
I believe that each and everyone of us creates our own movie, beginning with the contract we made with the original Universal Studio before we were even born to this planet.
In our movie, we’re the producer, the star, the director, the screenwriter and all the crew people, too. Our stories might be about living as a victim or (in some people’s cases) an abuser. But even if we’ve survived a long and tortuous storyline of tragedy after tragedy (ala The Thorn Birds), it really doesn’t have to be the one and only story of our lives. It can simply be what is called in the movie business the backstory, which is really the tale that existed before we became our more enlightened selves.
On October 23, I will be celebrating my 63rd birthday. (No, I can't believe it either.)
I've always been glad to be an autumn baby. I love the crisp, cool air, the leaves, the crackling fires. I'm also thankful for the great smells coming from the kitchen, like apples and cinnamon.
If you've read my book, Mad About Hue: A Memoir in Living Color, you know I've had quite the colorful life. But I didn't include a chapter about the day I was born because, well, I have no recollection of that day, although it did happen. Obviously.
For fun, I decided to challenge myself and write a fictional version of my birthday backstory, in 63 words:
On the autumn day I was born, all the birds and woodland creatures gathered around my lovely mother inside our fairytale cabin, awaiting my blessed arrival. Since my handsome father was off fighting a war in a faraway land and could not be present, he sent me a magical birthday gift in the beak of a golden eagle. It is my favorite possession.
Not the greatest backstory ever written, but I did type it in less than ten minutes!
How to Enter My Birthday Backstory Challenge
The challenge officially opens at 12:01AM (Eastern Standard Time) on Tuesday, October 23, 2018. No early birds or personal family members are eligible to participate.
In exactly 63 words, tell me your birthday backstory. It can be true or not—your choice! But it has to be 63 words long. No more, no less. (And yes, I will count!)
Post your comment at the end of this blog post. To do that, you need to first click the Login/Signup box on the upper right side of this post. Once you've signed up, log in and comment. You'll see your photo and comment space just after the bottom of my blog post.
The deadline to post is Wednesday, October 31, 2018 at midnight, Eastern Standard Time.
Three winners will be chosen by random drawing on Saturday, November 1, 2018 and contacted via email.
The winners' names will be posted on this blog.
Each of the three lucky winners will receive my birthday giveaway package that includes 1) one autographed paperbook copy of my YA visionary fiction book, INN LAK’ECH: A Journey to the Realm of Oneness, 2) one handmade mermaid bookmark, 3) one INN LAK’ECH meditation mp3 package, 4) one INN LAK’ECH ebook, 5) one MAD ABOUT HUE: A Memoir in Living Color ebook, and 6) one Writelighter Retreat Kit digital download
Please note that this giveaway is in no way affiliated with Facebook, Google Plus, Wix or any other parties except Eleyne-Mari Sharp.
Nick and I are going leaf-peeping tomorrow and then on Tuesday I'll be enjoying my birthday cake with just 1 candle. Honestly, I'm not trying to cheat—it's just a lot safer than 63!