Thursday, May 10, 2018

OAK APPLE DAY synopsis

LOGLINE
A little girl longs for romantic love but goes after it in quite the wrong way. 

PITCH
Ten-year-old Poppy Marigold, inspired by the kiss in Sleeping Beauty, imagines being kissed by her own prince and thinks each of her three favorite boy classmates should by now have kissed her more than once. But they ignore her. Using the annual Oak Apple Day parade as cover, Poppy climbs a tree and pelts the boys with apples, planning to kiss them when they’re down. If one of them wakes when she’s kissing him, it will be true love, and everyone will know it. The first apple only hits Alastair in the shoulder. The second hits Duncan in the head but doesn’t knock him down. The third toss smacks Fergus to the ground. Poppy jumps out of the tree and kisses Fergus. He tries to run, so she takes chase and pelts him with apples. Finally, Fergus gives up and makes Oak Apple Day history by kissing Poppy. 
                                   
SYNOPSIS 
The British celebrate Royal Oak Day on May 29 in honor of King Charles II’s birthday. Ten-year-old Poppy Marigold wears an oak apple round her neck because if a student doesn’t wear a costume they are to be pinched—in the bum. Poppy sits at lunch with Alastair Glover, Duncan MacGregor, and Fergus Laird. None of the boys say anything to her. She wants to pinch them in the bum for their bad attitudes. Inspired by the kiss in Sleeping Beauty, she imagines being kissed by her own prince. For weeks, Poppy was sure she was in love with each of the three adorable boys, and now was the time to finally be kissed. She decides that the large Oak Tree outside the School is about to help her get that first kiss.

As Poppy pinches the boys’ bums, their teacher announces that the Heart of Oak Friendly Society Parade starts at three o’clock. This year Poppy plans to sneak up the Oak Tree and drop apples on Alastair, Duncan, and Fergus. More determined than ever, she remembers how wonderful love is supposed to be, according to Oscar Wilde’s The Happy Prince. So, when no one is looking, she stuffs her dress pockets and backpack with apples. Poppy thinks if she hits the boys in the head, they’ll pass out, and she can kiss them before they wake up. If one of them wakes when she’s kissing him, it will be true love, and everyone will know it. When Poppy finishes her Maypole, she slips out to the Oak Tree and positions herself on a sturdy tree branch where she has good aim at any of the boys. 

Her classmates walk out with their Maypoles, oak boughs, and flowers. They look so festive Poppy almost forgets her plan to drop the apples, but when she sees Alastair, she drops the first apple and hits his shoulder. She drops the second apple on Duncan. It hits him in the head, but it isn’t strong enough to knock him out. When she sees Fergus, she throws the apple so hard that it smacks him to the ground. She declares it’s true love. Poppy climbs down and the rest of the apples fall on everyone. As her teacher scolds her, she runs to Fergus, grabs him and kisses him. A few moments later, Fergus opens his eyes, looking so shocked and confused that he can hardly breathe. Yelling, Fergus gets up off the sidewalk and runs down the parade route as fast as he can. Poppy calls after him and runs to try to catch him, throwing apples from the sidewalk at his head, with good aim. After a few minutes, Fergus gives up, and makes Oak Apple Day history when he kisses Poppy. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

THE LEGEND OF THE TREE OF LIFE synopsis (LEGENDS part two)

LOGLINE
Sometimes things go so badly, dangerously wrong on such a huge scale it takes great courage, cleverness, and conviction to set them right—even if you’re only 14 years old. 

PITCH

Julia Genesee’s Humansville backyard holds the Tree of Life, but in the world of Eden on the other side of the Tree, evil Prince Ubel has overthrown Adam II and plans to create his own species to subordinate humans around the universe. Called to action by Evelyn, Eve’s descendant, Julia and her dog Meatloaf enter that other realm where she poses as a convert to Prince Ubel’s cause, then finds keys and a golden sword that might save the day. In the line of duty, Julia decapitates the evil Prince, enters a labyrinthine system of underground rivers and caves, and finds the imprisoned Adam II. Freeing him and bringing him and the original Tree of Life back to the surface, Julia sees Adam II restore order in Eden and free Evelyn from chains to reward her loyalty. Back in Humansville again, Julia realizes her family never even knew she was gone.    

SYNOPSIS

It has been several months since the Tree of Life stood tall in 14-year-old Julia Genesee’s backyard in Humansville. With the Tree of Good and Evil gone, all seems quiet and serene. Then one night in a thunder storm, lightning hits the Tree of Life, and it cracks through the trunk of the tree into its roots. Listening to the player piano in her living room once again play a magical song, Julia and her dog Meatloaf run into the backyard only to find that the song opens the window to Eden for a second time. Evelyn, a descendant of Eve, partially crawls through the window to deliver a message to Julia. Although Evelyn can’t crawl through the window entirely—because she is chained to the original Tree of Good and Evil in Eden for eternity—she warns Julia that Adam II has been captured by an evil ruler named Prince Ubel. He wants all the power from the original Tree of Life in Eden, and he has sent lightning storms to all the places in other worlds where seeds were planted to grow secondary trees. If she is brave enough, Evelyn asks Julia to visit Eden and help save Adam II and the original Tree of Life, which Prince Ubel has uprooted from the springs in Adam II’s palace and hid in an unknown location. If Prince Ubel controls all the power of the Tree of Life, he will have the ability to decide the life and death of every soul everywhere, and he will most likely destroy them and their children to create his own species—a species that would make any humans subordinate to them. Because humans have too much free will, Prince Ubel’s new race without free will would control any humans who are not killed. Evelyn tells Julia that she only has minutes to decide if she is up to the task. The window will soon close, and Julia will not have a second chance to slip through the window. Worried her family will wonder where she went, Julia scribbles a note in the dirt saying: “Be right back.” Before thinking about it too much, she jumps through the window and sits next to Evelyn, chained to the Tree of Good and Evil. 

Rain pours as Julia and Evelyn sit beneath dripping tree branches in Eden. Evelyn explains that Adam II has been gone for days, and Eden is desperate for someone to find him and the missing Tree of Life. Then to Julia’s surprise, out from behind the tree trunk jumps Meatloaf. She wasn’t aware that her dog had followed her through the magical window from Humansville. As the dog starts to howl, a looming figure walks in the shadows until he appears to the women. Holding the sword that was supposed to guard the Tree of Life in Eden, Prince Ubel threatens the women to either join him with the rest of Eden or die. He tells them that Adam II has only days to live and that the power from the Tree of Life will then be his forever. The Prince taunts Evelyn and says that he would surely free her from being chained to the Tree of Good and Evil, if she serves him. Unable to think of anything else to do other than lie, Julia tells Prince Ubel that she will join him in his reign. Secretly, in her heart, Julia plans to kill Prince Ubel at the earliest moment and free Adam II, but she can’t convey this to Evelyn in front of Prince Ubel. Evelyn gasps and refuses to join Julia in her supposed betrayal. Then Prince Ubel decides that Evelyn’s fate chained to the Tree of Good and Evil is worse than death, so he leaves her chained to the Tree, and he departs with Julia and Meatloaf. 


Later that evening, Julia arrives at Prince Ubel’s camp outside of Adam II’s palace. He gives her a tent and says that his soldiers will move into Adam’s palace once his belongings are removed. The Prince says he wants to put Julia in charge of identifying all the Trees of Life throughout the cosmos. If she could organize them into an exact list, then Prince Ubel would be sure they were all destroyed with his lightning attacks. He shows her the key for the vault in his tent, where the maps of the Trees of Life are held in safe-keeping. He tells her to arrive early in the morning to start her job. When Julia asks Prince Ubel where he is keeping Adam II, the evil prince threatens Julia with the sword that once protected the Tree of Life in Eden. When Prince Ubel isn’t looking, she grabs the key to the maps. She apologizes with tears and runs with Meatloaf into her tent to sleep for the evening. While in the tent, Julia whispers to Meatloaf that he must go out during the night and find Adam II and come back and give her a clue as to his whereabouts. After she sends Meatloaf out, she sneaks back over to Prince Ubel’s tent and spies through the curtains to see where he has kept the sword that protected the Tree of Life. As she peers through the curtain, Meatloaf returns with no clue as to where Adam II might be. He whimpers and digs in the dirt. The sword from the Tree of Life is also nowhere to be found. 


Curious as to what else might be in the vault, Julia slips into Prince Ubel’s tent with the key while he is asleep and opens the vault door when his guards aren’t looking. Next to a set of maps is a second key, which Julia believes might be able to free Adam II. As she lifts the key and the maps from the vault to take them with her, she finds the missing sword. She looks at Prince Ubel who is fast asleep and then glances at his guards. With Meatloaf outside the tent, she decides that she has no choice but to kill Prince Ubel now and put herself in charge until Adam II can be found. She takes the sword and decapitates Prince Ubel. Then, she stabs the prince’s guards in the back with the sword before they notice what she is doing. Meatloaf runs into the tent and barks. As other soldiers approach the tent, Julia holds the head of Prince Ubel on a dinner plate. She points the sword at the guards and declares that she is now the ruler of Eden, and they will bow to her or be destroyed with the rest of the prince’s soldiers. In terror, the guards flee as a beam of light streams from the sword and strikes them dead. 


Before any more guards arrive, Julia grabs Prince Ubel’s head on the plate with the maps and the second key and flees with Meatloaf back to Evelyn. She figures the only way that Evelyn will trust her is if she shows Evelyn the head of the dead prince. When Julia arrives to Evelyn, she gasps in horror and asks if Adam II has been found. Still unable to find Adam II, Julia unrolls the maps from the vault. Fascinated with how many seeds have been planted from the Tree of Life in other worlds, Evelyn asks her if she and Meatloaf checked in the caverns below the palace for Adam II and the uprooted Tree of Life. She said there is a channel of rivers that runs beneath the palace into caverns. Maybe there is still time to find Adam II before he is killed in captivity by whatever inevitable trap Prince Ubel set. So, Julia and Meatloaf set off on a small boat with a lantern that descends into the caverns. As they hold up their lantern and descend into the caverns, the water grows higher and higher and the boat nears the top of the ceiling. After hours of floating along a dark corridor, they come across Adam II behind bars in a corner of the cave. The Tree of Life had been tossed next to him with the roots toward the ceiling. Julia uses the second key that she found in Prince Ubel’s vault, and it opens the cell door.  


Thankful for his release, Adam II tells her he thought he had only a few more hours until he drowned in the rising water. She tells him that she killed Prince Ubel and took control of the kingdom, but Eden is in disarray, and they must hurry before someone else tries to put themselves in charge. Worried that they still might drown, Julia hurries back into the boat with Adam II and Meatloaf. She floats the tree next to the boat, as Adam II holds it, and they try to float to the surface. After hours of rising water and capsizing a few times, Julia and Adam II return to the surface. The Tree of Life, however, is sopping and moldy, and Adam II is concerned it won’t grow. Now in charge of his kingdom again, Adam II carries the Tree on his back and replants it firmly beside the springs of his palace. Slowly, over a few days, the Tree begins to bloom. For her faithfulness, Evelyn is released from being chained to the Tree of Good and Evil. Adam II once again sends Julia back to Humansville with seeds from the Tree of Life. After returning through the magic window between Eden and Humansville with Meatloaf, she plants the seeds in Humansville in her backyard to grow another Tree of Life, hoping for a second chance. Watching the sun rise over the hills, her family never even noticed she was gone. 

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Christmas Pudding: The Story of the Holiday Silver Coin

Christmas pudding isn’t just a dessert,
That you try to keep from spilling on your shirt. 
It’s filled with fruit and a silver coin, 
That you search for after eating tenderloin. 
Made weeks or even months in advance,
With thirteen ingredients not by chance. 
The British pudding is steamed and lit,
And doused with custard when it cools a bit. 
If you find the silver coin inside your cake, 
Luck has found you through a pudding bake. 
Happy December becomes happy all year,
Sweet blessings filled with love and good cheer.
Top it with holly and red berries for show.
Plum pudding tastes better than holiday snow. 
Stir up the wishes with a round of applause,
And be sure to save a piece for Santa Claus. 

Copyright 2018 Jennifer Waters

BARNYARD ANIMALS AND THE BIG CITY synopsis

LOGLINE
One brave and visionary individual can inspire and improve the lives of many others . . . even if they’re a chicken.

PITCH
Roberta the Chicken has had enough of mean old Farmer Bosworth and has decided to fly the coop and head to the Big City to make a new life for herself. She invites the rest of the Barnyard Animals to join her. Each one has a personal reason why they don’t think they can leave, but Roberta’s logic and enthusiasm sway them to the idea of a great escape. Piled into Sam the Taxi Driver’s cab they head out, pursued by Farmer Bosworth with his shotgun. Thus begin the adventures of the Barnyard Animals & The Big City.  

SYNOPSIS 
Roberta the Chicken is flying the coop, going to the Big City and leaving the Barnyard behind. Anyone brave enough to come with her is welcome. Farmer Bosworth paces through the Barnyard with his shotgun and cup of hot coffee with whisky. Olga the Pig wonders why Roberta would do such a thing—like leave them. Of course, Farmer Bosworth is crazy mean, but the Big City might not be much better. Gobbler the Turkey doesn’t understand how Roberta would ever stay there. Possibly visiting would be tolerable but living there is another circumstance altogether. 

If Ezequiel the Sheep goes to the Big City, he is sure that everyone will try to make him into a wool sweater. Olga the Pig thinks she might even become bacon, and Apple Dumplings the Cow is hesitant because the whole neighborhood will want milk from her all day long. If the Barnyard Animals moved to the Big City, Gobbler the Turkey fears every Thanksgiving the Pilgrims would try to make him into flaming turkey wings, or Nanny the Goat would be used for goat cheese. It just seems altogether too dangerous. Stallion the Horse and Jack the Donkey think they might have to go with the Chicken anyhow. When Sam the Taxi Driver arrives at the farm, Roberta suggests that everyone pile in the car, and even ride in the trunk. Jack the Donkey insists that he cannot let Roberta go-it-alone and asks everyone to accompany them. Taking last gulps of water and food from their troughs, the Barnyard Animals ready themselves for their trip. 

They all pile in and Stallion the Horse runs beside the Taxi. Sam triples the fare since the entire Barnyard comes with Roberta, who says not to worry because she swiped money from Farmer Bosworth. When the Farmer sees the animals fleeing, he comes after them with his shotgun and shoots out the right back tire. Threatening to track them down in the Big City, the Farmer keeps shooting at the car. Sam promises that he has friends who can help them out in their new life. He worriedly says he will have to teach them everything he knows, but at least he will get them away from crazy Farmer Bosworth. Of course, Farmer Bosworth follows them all over the City with his shotgun, but he is never able to catch them. Sam the Taxi Driver has too many friends in low and high places in the Big City—and soon so does Roberta the Chicken and her friends.