Pirates without Mothers

I’ve been absent for a while– trying to focus on writing 🙂 but I thought I’d post a little excerpt from one of the episodes I’ve been working on. Nothing fancy…just Hook and some of the other pirates discussing their woes about being ‘Motherless.’

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Two quick notes:

  1. The word mother is capitalized throughout because in this case I’m using ‘mother’ as more of an idea than a person…
  2. The beginning scene is largely transcribed from JM Barrie’s original work, which I then took in a slightly different direction from the original. A big part of the reason I want to make this a TV show and not a movie is the opportunity to really expand on the central character’s lives and motivations that Barrie hinted at, especially the complexities of Captain Jas. Hook of The Jolly Roger

 

Check out the pdf here:

Motherless Pirates

 

Smee Smew

Once upon a time, when I was looking for pictures on Google Images for people who looked more or less like the characters I was seeing in my head, I simply could not find anyone who looked like Smee!

This was surprising, since my picture of him was similar to the “Smee”s I’d seen in the movies. But nothing I found felt quite right.

That’s when I stumbled upon Lars: a man who embodied Smee not only in face & beard, but in spirit:

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This sweet, ginger-haired man jumped into freezing Norwegian waters to save a duck which was trapped under the ice.

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I asked myself, what kind of person would do that?

Well, Lars, of course, but also…Smee.

A large part of what defines Smee’s character is that he’s the type who would help others before himself, almost to a fault. It’s why he’s put up with Captain Hook’s antics for so long with a smile on his face.

And part of what draws Smee to the Captain is that Hook is, in many ways, a duck trapped under ice. The only difference is, a duck knows when it’s drowning, and Hook doesn’t.

But the similarities didn’t stop there!

On a completely separate occasion, I was looking up if the word “smee” meant anything. It wouldn’t have surprised me if JM Barrie gave him that name for a reason, and since those who arrive in Neverland don’t remember their own names, I needed that reason.

Well, I’m not sure if the one I found was the one Barrie intended, but I did discover that a ‘Smee’ or ‘Smew’ is a type of duck not dissimilar to the one Lars saved:

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Wouldn’t it be beautiful if Smee was nameless for longer than average in Neverland (because no one cared enough to name him), until one day he saw a duck struggling in the water—trapped somehow—and jumped in fully clothed to rescue it, without a second thought?

Smee_parrot_crop

 

Then, of course, he would be named after the type of duck he saved, and keep it as a pet and let it ride on his shoulder.

 

Naturally, Hook would disapprove, since the proper pirate shoulder decoration is a parrot.

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If this isn’t classy, I don’t know what is

This is my Therapy

Why do I write?

A HUGE reason why is too process what I see, what I think, how I feel…

And The Gay Adventures of Peter Pan is my therapy. I project myself onto on my characters (hopefully in a healthy way), and allow them to act out my own unhealthy habits. My insecurities, impulses and secret thoughts…

So I thought I’d share some of what I work through with my characters:

Captain Hook – I love Hook and find him the easiest to write for. Having Hook take his denial to an extreme (literally burying his head in the sand or refusing to believe there’s a boulder in his path), allows me to see and express my tendency to plug my ears and hum when there’s something I “don’t want to know.”

Hook allows me to express my denial, my fearful choices, my lack of self-esteem, my tendency to cling to the past and over-analyze, my desire to be seen in a positive light even if I’ve done something incredible stupid, and the list goes on and on and on.

Hook is a way for me to view how past experiences can strongly influence current life decisions. The reason Hook’s choices are often so backwards is because he’s forgotten his past and therefore re-written his memories to be what he wished they were.

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Peter Pan – Like Peter, I often wish I could just run around and climb trees. He’s a good way to connect with the id and stay in the moment.

But he also provides an outlet for the part of myself which tries to wall off my emotions and unwanted thoughts. His strategy? If it makes you feel bad, block it out.

I was cut off from my emotions for years and only recently began opening up more and practicing my vulnerability. I think it also helps to write for someone who’s such an extreme. In comparison, I feel a little more grounded.

John Darling – John is my geeky and socially anxious side. He doesn’t fit in at school (and neither did I), but he doesn’t know how to “fix” that. When I write for John I get to let out the part of myself that wishes I were more easy-going, but in the end wants to control everything. “If I could just control myself more, then I could be more easy-going!!!!!”

John has to suffer through everything he hates so he knows he can survive it. A large part of social anxiety comes from mental exaggeration. You go over and over the same thing in your head and create a story to go along which can make even the tiniest thing seem insurmountable:

A pause in a conversation is the scariest thing in the world. And don’t even get me started on public speaking…

Conceptual image of human brain in colorful splashes

Smee – Smee is my shadow (the part of myself I’m not in touch with). Smee gives and gives with no expectations. He trusts people implicitly.  I have trouble trusting people, and learned to give so I could get something in return.

Writing for Smee, I feel like I’m finally beginning to understand what it feels like to view the world through a lens of love and trust. And I have to say, it feels pretty good. It’s not like Smee never gets hurt or taken advantage of, but his general experience is joyful and my general experience is one of anxiety and suspicion.

***

I’m basically “writing what I know,” but metaphorically.  I’ve never lived on a tropical island or been a pirate captain, and I haven’t yet learned to fly. Instead, I’m writing from my many years of experience of being imperfect.

A special thanks to my anxiety, depression, and negativity for being both my inspiration and an endless source of new ideas!

Character Sketches

My friend drew these, which was so wonderful! If there is any question if I drew them or not, visit my Meaning of Life blog & you will see that I definitively CANNOT DRAW.

 

Peter for Website
Peter Pan

 

“I don’t believe I ever make promises. I certainly don’t keep them…”

 

 

 

Hook for Website
Captain Hook

 

John for Website
John Darling

 

Wendy for Website
Wendy Darling

 

Smee for Website
Smee

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“My subconscious is none of your business.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I don’t wear my pajamas more often than most people; I just happened to be wearing them when you kidnapped me.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“No, I don’t know where we are, John, but I’m pretty sure there’s not a phone handy.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“I find it very classy of you, Captain, to formally threaten Peter before kidnapping his newest recruit and holding him hostage.”

 

Tigerlily for Website
Tigerlily

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Shut up, I’m helping you.”

In My Wildest Dreams…

…wouldn’t Samuel Barnett make a brilliant gay Smee? maxresdefault

If anyone reading this happens to be a close personal friend of his, please tell him to call me.

That would be just swell.

 

Not only is he a hilarious actor who’s also able to do deep, emotional scenes, but I can just picture him being at Hook’s side no matter what, ready with a fresh cup of tea or a word of encouragement which falls upon deaf ears.

Samuel also happens to be queer (or however he identifies), and interested in social justice. If it turned out he could spit rainbows, it would almost be TOO perfect.

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Is this gay? Yes, it is gay.

 

#MakeSamSmee

#IDon’tHaveATwitterAccount

#MaybeIShouldGetOne

Samuel_Morse
This is not Samuel Barnett; This is Samuel Morse, a man with a beard

The Pirates Who Don’t Do Anything

A special thanks to Veggie Tales for being awesome.

I was first introduced to Veggie Tales by my roommate in college, and I never looked back. By far my favorite segment is Silly Songs with Larry, and by far my favorite Silly Song is the pirates who don’t do anything.

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As if I didn’t already love the song enough, it reminds me of Captain Hook and his bedraggled crew.

It’s disturbing how our society stereotypes pirates as people who went out and got things done. What of the pirates who prefer to just stay home and lie around?

 

Excerpt, The Gay Adventures:

NARRATOR:  Hook was a very brave man. Perhaps not in the traditional sense, but when you fear as many things as he does, you are brave to even get out of bed in the morning.

HOOK:  I am staying in bed today, Smee.

SMEE:   I don’t think so, Captain.  C’mon, up-and-at-’em!

HOOK:  At whom?

Smee rolls Hook out of bed and he ends up on the hard floor, wrapped so tightly in the blankets he can’t escape.

HOOK:  (muffled) As usual, Smee, you have somehow managed to make a bad situation worse.

SMEE:  Will you be taking your tea on the floor today, Captain?

 

The Rain Falls Evenly On All Things

Excerpt, The Gay Adventures:

EXT. BEACH – NEVERLAND – DAY

Hook and Smee stand in the rain. Hook holds a 1’x1’ pink umbrella. Smee cowers as heavy drops pelt him. Hook is dry.

HOOK:  They say the rain falls equally on all things.

SMEE:  Is it meant to be taken literally, Captain?

HOOK:  (annoyed) How should I know?

***

I agree that the rain falls equally on all things.

…including umbrellas, which some have the  privilege to stand under.

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Happiness, the Eternal Struggle

Sample Scene, The Gay Adventures

Hook is meditating. In his mind, he transports himself to a beautiful sandy beach. He can hear the waves lapping, the birds overhead…  All is peaceful and calm. He smiles.

Hook opens his eyes: he’s sitting on a beach. The Neverland beach. Apart from a few details his mental beach and this beach are virtually indistinguishable.

Hook frowns deeply.

HOOK: I am in a waking nightmare.