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Sunday, 25 May 2014

[Book Review] With You by Orizuka and Christian Simamora


Judul Buku       : With You
Pengarang          : Christian Simamora dan Orizuka
Penerbit            : Gagas Media
Jumlah Halaman : 316 halaman
My Rating          : 4 of 5

(Semua gambar cover, identitas buku, dan blurb dalam review-review novelku bersumber dari Goodreads)


BLURB

365 hari dalam setahun,
24 jam dalam sehari.
Di antara semua waktu yang kita punya,
kau sengaja memilih hari itu.
keluar dari mimpi indah,
lalu hadir dalam hidupku...
sebagai cinta yang selama ini aku tunggu.

WITH YOU adalah Gagas Duet, novella dari dua penulis GagasMedia: Christian Simamora dan Orizuka. Keduanya mempersembahkan dua cerita cinta yang menemukan takdirnya dalam satu hari saja. 


THE AUTHORS

Okke Rizka Septiana, gadis penggemar thriller yang senang mempelajari berbagai bahasa asing ini lahir di Palembang dan besar di Cirebon. Selain menulis, di waktu luang ia gemar membaca, menonton, mendengarkan musik serta fangirling bersama Kpoppers. Karya-karyanya antara lain: "Me & My Prince Charming", "Summer Breeze" (repackage: That Summer Breeze), "Duhh... Susahnya Jatuh Cinta...!" (repackage: Meet The Sennas), "Miss J" (repackage: Call Me Miss J), "High School Paradise", "Fight for Love!", "Love United: High School Paradise 2nd Half", "The Truth about Forever", "17 Years of Love Song", "The Shaman", "FATE", "Our Story", "I for You", "With You", "Best Friends Forever", "The Chronicles of Audy: 4R", "Oppa and I", "Oppa and I: Love Missions", "Oppa and I: Love Signs", "Infinitely Yours".

Chirstian Simamora, penggemar Meg Cabot, Johanna Lindsey, dan Candace Bushnell. Bisa hidup hanya dengan menu telur setiap hari. Berharap bisa berubah-ubah bentuk jadi orang lain seperti Mystique dan Minky Momo. Penonton setia serial kriminal dan sitkom. Pembeli impulsif topi. Gampang terpesona dengan apapun yang bermotif leopard. Bisa makan makanan pedas, tapi perutnya nggak kuat. Takut hantu dan suara-suara mencurigakan. Masih rajin mengecek nama sendiri di search engine dan Twitter. Novel-novelnya: "Jangan Bilang Siapa-Siapa", "Boylicious", "Kissing Me Softly", "Macarin Anjing", "Coklat Stroberi", "Shit Happens", "Pillow Talk", "Good Fight", "With You", dan "All You Can Eat".

(Sumber: Website GagasMedia with a bit of modifications)


MY SUMMARY

Novel ini diawali dengan kisah Cindy dan Jere (ditulis bang Chris), dua model terkenal yang baru aja saling mengenal dan menghabiskan satu hari bersama untuk mengobrol. Dari awal, keduanya udah saling tertarik, dan dalam satu malam, keajaiban cinta terjadi. Kisah berlanjut ke Lyla, sepupu Cindy. Jadi, awalnya Cindy dan Lyla sedang ketemuan di kafe dan mengobrol, lalu salingc curhat, deh. Lyla, (ditulis kak Ori), yang baru putus dengan kekasihnya karna merasa kurang cocok, dipertemukan kembali di saat keduanya sedang berusaha keras melupakan satu sama lain. Dalam satu hari yang penuh kejadian tak disangka-sangka, mereka menyadari kalau mereka masih saling mencintai. Inti dari With You emang cerita tentang satu hari penuh bersama seseorang yang disayangi.


MY COMMENTARY


How I love GagasDuet. Keunikan dari sebuah novel yang ditulis oleh dua atau lebih penulis adalah, pembaca mendapat dua jenis tulisan. Dalam arti, dua tulisan dengan gaya menulis yang berbeda. Setiap penulis memiliki gaya menulis masing-masing, yang tentunya berbeda satu dengan yang lainnya. Jika dalam satu novel ada dua jenis gaya menulis, jelas membacanya menjadi lebih menyenangkan dan nggak membosankan.

Bang Chris dan Kak Ori. Baru tau nama penulisnya aja udah kelihatan kalau novel ini bakal punya dua gaya menulis yang sangat berbeda. Biasanya, gaya menulis antara penulis cowok dan cewek lebih menonjol, terutama dua penulis ini. Bang Chris lebih sering nulis kisah cinta yang cenderung dewasa. Topik yang diangkat dan gaya bahasa yang digunakan lebih bersasaran ke pembaca adult. Ada adegan-adegan dewasanya, dan yeah, hate to admit, aku lebih suka kisah kak Ori, karna ya, bukan cuma karna dia penulis favoritku. Aku juga suka karya bang Chris, kok. Idenya selalu kece-kece. Tapi ya, terlalu dewasa untukku, if I can say.  Karya kak Ori lebih cocok sama aku, karna topik dan bahasa yang dipakai ringan, cocok sama kalangan remaja atau umum. 

GagasDuet yang ini emang beda sama yang lain. Lebih ke novella, sih, daripada novel, karena dua kisah yang berbeda, tapi berhubungan. Bahasa yang dipakai sama-sama komunikatif. Ide ceritanya sama-sama keren, tapi ya, alur kak Ori lebih rumit, sih. Dan kalau boleh jujur, lebih seru dan lebih sweet juga. Untuk pendalaman karakter, dua-duanya hebat, walaupun cara yang digunaka totally different, but  I like them.

Dapat dilihat bahwa kedua kisah yang dirangkum dalam satu buku karya dua penulis hebat ini sangat berbeda. Tapi, perbedaan itulah yang membuat buku ini menarik. Recommended! Like, whoa, I love you both! Keep writing!

[Book Review] Remember When by Winna Efendi


Judul Buku        : Remember When
Pengarang          : Winna Efendi
Penerbit            : Gagas Media
Jumlah Halaman : 260 halaman
My Rating          : 5 of 5

(Semua gambar cover, identitas buku, dan blurb dalam review-review novelku bersumber dari Goodreads)


BLURB

Apa pun yang kau katakan, bagaimanapun kau menolaknya, cinta akan tetap berada di sana, menunggumu mengakui keberadaannya. 

Bagi kita, senja selalu sempurna; bukankah sia-sia jika menggenapkan warnanya? Seperti kisahmu, kau dan dia, juga kisahku, aku dan lelakiku. Tak ada bagian yang perlu kita ubah. Tak ada sela yang harus kita isi. Bukankah takdir kita sudah jelas? 

Lalu, saat kau berkata, "Aku mencintaimu", aku merasa senja tak lagi membawa cerita bahagia. Mungkinkah kata-katamu itu ambigu? Atau, aku saja yang menganggapnya terlalu saru? 

"Aku mencintaimu," katamu. Mengertikah kau apa artinya? Mengertikah kau kalau kita tak pernah bisa berada dalam cerita yang sama, dengan senja yang sewarna? 

Takdir kita sudah jelas. Kau, aku, tahu itu.


THE AUTHOR

Winna Efendi, lahir di Jakarta, 1986, di bawah naungan zodiak Capricorn. Senang menulis dalam lembaran buku tulis lama hingga akhirnya bergabung dengan sebuah komunitas penulisan online. Novel pertamanya berjudul Kenangan Abu-abu, diterbitkan awal 2008. Ai adalah buku keduanya. Sekarang ini, Winna bekerja di bidang keuangan, serta menjadi kontributor di beberapa majalah online. Waktu luangnya dihabiskan untuk menikmati tumpukan DVD jadul, buku-buku yang tak pernah habis dilahap, dan menulis.
(Sumber: Website GagasMedia)


MY SUMMARY

Persahabatan dan cinta. Dua hal yang berbeda, tapi saling melengkapi. Dua hal yang selalu berdampingan, tapi sulit bersatu, bahkan bisa saling meniadakan. Ada persahabatan yang didasari cinta, atau cinta yang didasari persahabatan. Sahabat tentunya saling mencintai, layaknya sahabat. Dan dalam kisah percintaan, juga harus dijalin hubungan persahabatan yang erat. Tetapi ketika keduanya melebur menjadi satu, ada salah satu aspek yang mendominasi. Kayak yang orang-orang sering bilang, susah untuk milih antara persahabatan dan cinta.

Adrian, Moses, Gia, dan Freya, empat tokoh utama dari novel ini, juga mengalami dilema yang sama. Awalnya, mereka dipersatukan melalui hubungan persahabatan. Adrian bersahabat dengan Moses, sedangkan Gia bersahabat dengan Freya. Moses menyukai Freya, dan Adrian menyukai Gia. Akhirnya, Moses berpacaran dengan Freya dan Adrian berpacaran dengan Gia. Lingkaran Gia-Freya dan Adrian-Moses pun melebur menjadi satu lingkaran yang lebih besar, dan terbentuk juga dua lingkaran kecil yang baru, yaitu lingkaran Moses-Freya dan Adrian-Gia.

Mereka mengira lingkaran mereka udah simetris, cocok apa adanya, nggak akan berubah. Tapi, perubahan adalah satu-satunya hal yang pasti di dunia ini. Apapun dapat berubah. Lingkaran-lingkaran kecil yang mereka bentuk pun akhirnya saling melebur. Ada yang membentuk lingkaran baru, ada yang hancur. Konflik-konflik bermunculan, dimana lingkaran baru terbentuk dan meniadakan lingkaran yang lain.

Untuk mempertahankan lingkaran itu, harus ada yang mengalah, bisa satu pihak, atau mungkin semua pihak. Siapakah yang sanggup melakukannya? Apakah akhirnya lingkaran yang telah mereka jalin susah payah dapat pulih kembali? Persahabatan emang sering didominasi oleh cinta, tapi persahabatan sejati akan terus bertahan hingga akhir, walaupun melalui berbagai rintangan. Apakah persahabatan mereka juga begitu?


MY COMMENTARY

Persahabatan dan cinta remaja. Tema ini emang udah sering (banget) diangkat, bahkan oleh kak Winna sendiri, seperti pada novel "Refrain" dan "Ai". Tapi hebatnya, kak Winna selalu berhasil menyajikannya secara berbeda, jadinya nggak bosan dan selalu terasa fresh. Bumbu-bumbu baru dipercikkan, memberikan sensasi yang berbeda pada setiap kisah, termasuk yang ini. Konflik yang diberikan cukup kompleks, dengan solusi yang nggak tertebak.

Gaya bahasa yang digunakan sederhana, tapi banyak juga yang maknanya dalam, dan semuanya mudah dicerna dan terasa mengalir sejalan dengan alurnya. Pendeskripsiannya juga sangat baik, jadi seluruh aspek dalam novel ini terasa hidup, mulai dari tokohnya, hubungan antar tokoh, latar, bahkan konflik yang ada pun terasa sangat nyata. Akhir yang bahagia. Siapa yang nggak suka happy ending? Tapi, akhir yang bahagia biasanya mudah ditebak, sedangkan akhir dari novel ini, bahagia, tapi nggak mudah ditebak. Akhir yang membuat gregetan, karena selama membaca, aku selalu berusaha nebak gimana akhirnya dan menanti-nanti akhir yang bahagia tersebut.

Sampulnya yang berwarna pucat memberikan kesan mellow yang cocok dengan kisah di dalamnya. Gambar kursi taman yang kosong, hanya ada sebuah tas, payung, dan jaket memberikan kesan sepi, sunyi, dan hampa, mendukung kesan mellow yang ingin digalakkan. Novel ini memberikan banyak pesan moral untuk para pembacanya. Makna baru mengenai persahabatan: friendship that lasts. Makanya, aku sangat merekomendasikannya novel ini. And there's a good news. Novel ini lagi diproses untuk diadaptasi jadi film! I can hardly wait! Penulis favoritku ini emang kece! Adore you, kak! Keep writing!

Saturday, 24 May 2014

[Book Review] Paris: Aline by Prisca Primasari


Judul Buku       : Paris: Aline
Pengarang         : Prisca Primasari
Penerbit           : Gagas Media
Jumlah Halaman : 224 halaman
My Rating          : 5 of 5

(Semua gambar cover, identitas buku, dan blurb dalam review-review novelku bersumber dari Goodreads)


BLURB

Pembaca tersayang,

Dari Paris, sepotong kisah cinta bergulir, merupakan racikan istimewa dari tangan terampil Prisca Primasari yang sudah dikenal reputasinya dengan karya-karya sebelumnya "Éclair", "Beautiful Mistake", dan "Kastil Es dan Air Mancur yang Berdansa".

Ini tentang sebuah pertemuan takdir Aline dan seorang laki-laki bernama Sena. Terlepas dari hal-hal menarik yang dia temukan di diri orang itu, Sena menyimpan misteri, seperti mengapa Aline diajaknya bertemu di Bastille yang jelas-jelas adalah bekas penjara, pukul 12 malam pula? Dan mengapa pula laki-laki itu sangat hobi mendatangi tempat-tempat seperti pemakaman Père Lachaise yang konon berhantu? 

Setiap tempat punya cerita. Dan inilah sepotong kisah cinta yang kami kirimkan dari Paris dengan prangko yang berbau harum.

Enjoy the journey,

EDITOR


THE AUTHOR

Prisca Primasari lahir di Surabaya, 22 Februari 1986. Sekarang berdomisili di Bandung. Hobinya adalah mendengarkan K-Pop, musik klasik, membaca novel dan manga, menonton film, anime, dan menulis. Karya-karyanya adalah "Paris: Aline", "Éclair", "Beautiful Mistake", dan "Kastil Es dan Air Mancur yang Berdansa".
(Sumber: Website GagasMedia)


MY SUMMARY

Kita nggak pernah tau kepada siapa kita akan jatuh cinta. Cinta datang kapan aja, dimana aja, dan menyerang siapa aaja. Kita nggak bisa menghentikannya. Cinta itu seperti pencuri, datang tanpa diundang. Begitulah yang dirasakan Aline. Gadis Indonesia yang melanjutkan kuliahnya di Paris atas permintaan ayahnya ini nggak pernah menyangka dia akan jatuh cinta pada seorang pemuda aneh bernama Sena. Bagaimana, kapan dan dimana mereka bertemu aja udah membuatnya heran. Dia nggak sengaja menemukan pecahan porselen milik Sena dan menyatukannya. Sena yang merasa porselen itu berharga mengajaknya bertemu di sebuah tempat angker pukul 12 malam. Bisakah kamu bayangkan bagaimana rasanya diajak bertemu oleh seseorang yang sama sekali nggak dikenal di sebuah tempat angker larut malam begitu?

Tapi karna penasaran, Aline akhirnya memenuhi janji itu. Namun, pada hari ketiga diajak bertemu barulah Sena menampakkan diri. Siapa yang nggak kesal, diajak ke tempat angker di tengah malam tiga kali, dan baru dipenuhi janjinya di pertemuan ketiga? Karna itu, Aline meminta imbalan, yaitu tiga permintaan pada Sena. Sena nggak keberatan dan sejak itu mereka pun sering bertemu. Semakin sering Aline bertemu Sena, semakin sadarlah Aline kalau Sena itu orang yang aneh dan membingungkan. Ada banyak misteri yang tersimpan dalam diri seorang Sena. Dan setelah sebuah ‘ketidaksengajaan’ terjadi, misteri itu pun satu per satu tersingkap.


MY COMMENTARY

Alur cerita novel ini sangat unik. I like it! Menyajikan banyak misteri yang membuatku (hampir atau udah) mati penasaran. Nggak butuh waktu lama untuk melahap novel ini sampai habis. Bukan karena ceritanya singkat, tapi lebih karena aku nggak bisa berhenti baca sejak pertama kali mulai. Tokoh-tokoh yang diciptakan bener-bener unik and lovable. Kalau biasanya tokoh cowok yang dihidangkan di novel-novel romance adalah tipe cowok yang nyaris sempurna dan menjadi dambaan setiap wanita, di novel ini nggak gitu. Karakter cowoknya malah aneh dan membingungkan, tapi menyimpan banyak misteri yang membuat penasaran. 

Tokoh ceweknya juga bukan sosok yang bak bidadari, justru dia merasa dirinya jauh dari itu. Itulah yang membuat tokohnya terasa realistis, karena di dunia nyata emang nggak ada sosok yang sempurna. Belum lagi setiap tokohnya memiliki pribadi dan latar belakang yang kompleks, seperti di dunia nyata. Aaaaaaa, aku bener-bener jatuh cinta sama novel ini. Dan yang bikin tambah spesial, novel ini hadiah ultah sweet seventeen dari adikku. Hihihi. It's highly recommended!! Well done, kak. You impressed me awesomely! Keep writing!

[Movie Review] Fading Gigolo (2014)


Movie Title      : Fading Gigolo
Directed by     : John Turturro
Produced by    : Bill Block, Paul Hanson, and Jeffrey Kusama-Hinte
Written by      : John Turturro
Distributed by : Millennium Entertainment
My Rating       : 2 of 5

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fading_Gigolo)

Fading Gigolo is an American comedy film, revolves around Fioravante (John Turturro), a simple middle-aged man who decides to become a professional Don Juan as a way of making money to help his cash-strapped friend, Murray (Woody Allen). Everything goes well, despite the fact that Fioravante feels guilty about this immoral doing, until the duo meets Avigal (Vanessa Paradis), a beautiful Jewish woman. She has been living alone with her six children after her husband passed away. After causing problems with Avigal’s Jewish community, Fioravante and Avigal are finally split up. Even though Fioravante decides not to continue what they are doing, in the end, they meet an attractive young lady, and it seems like they will be back on business sooner or later. The story leaves with an open ending.
This movie is more of comedy than romance, even though there are some romantic love scenes involving Fioravante and Avigal. It is rated R – restricted, or M, Mature, since it has some sexual content, language and brief nudity. The storytelling is quite flowing with a slow pace. The sudden turn in the end is unexpected yet leaving curiosity to the audience. Some cultural side of the movie also attracts audience in knowing more about Jewish and their traditions. It represents Jewish life quite well and interesting. The whole movie is nicely done, with brilliant camera anglings and great continuity. 

I didn't know what Gigolo was. If I'd known, I would've not watched it. It was free movie pre-screening, so I thought, why not? I came home late at night for this, hoping it would've been a good refreshing afterwards. Not that it's not a good movie. It's not my cup of tea. That's pretty much why I rated it low. Cheers!


I also posted this review on my Bubblews account. Check it out!

Friday, 16 May 2014

[Article] Remediation (Essay)

A little bit of background: This is an essay I submitted for an assignment. I was required to remediate a media text, which means I represent this media in other way or medium. I chose to remediate a short movie into a short story. Here is the remediated text. After that, I was also required to write an essay about the process of remediation and how I understand it and its impacts, as well as how I link it to the unit.

Original Text
Title: Somewhere Like This
Format Producers: WongFu Productions (Written and directed by Wesley Chan, produced with Philip Wang, Christine Chen, and Ted Fu. Production crews: Sam Bay, Andrew Mai, Chris Dinh, Regina Fang. Casts: Julie Zhan as Irene, Robert Ryu  as Scott, Ki Hong Lee as Irene’s boyfriend. Music by Kenson and "In Your Arms" by Kina Grannis)
Distributors: WongFu Productions YouTube channel and website
Consumers: Teens - young adults (15-30 years old)

Remediated Text
Title: Somewhere Like This
Format: Short story (posted in a blog)
Production: Alfindy Agyputri as the writer (the short movie is from YouTube video (WongFu Productions 2013))
Distribution: Blogspot
Audience: Teens - young adults (15-30 years old)

The original text is a short movie, which is remediated into a short story. The two have different essentials. Short movie is based on what the audience can see and hear, while in short story, everything is described in words and requires the readers to visualize in their own image. So, basically, this remediation is about representing what the audience can see and hear in words. The first step was to acknowledge the main idea of the movie. Just like before a story is written or created, the writer or creator should know the big picture of what the story is all about. 

After watching the movie once or twice and getting the main idea of the story, the next step was to acknowledge the plot and how it would be represented in the short story – outlining the chronological orders and choosing a point of view of the short story. There are some viewpoints that can be used for a fiction story, but the best one for this situation is the detached viewpoint, where the author is just an invisible observers (Knight 1997, 126). The author and readers cannot get into the head of any character (Knight 1997, 126). There is also a narrator viewpoint where there is someone as a narrator who is telling the story (Knight 1997). However, the detached viewpoint is the most relevant, because in a short movie, it is rare to have a narrator. Some movies uses the main character as the narrator, as what is called as “character-narrator” (Bordwell 1997, 61), but this short movie, in particular, does not have any narrator. The audience can directly see and hear what happens as if they are there in the story. That is probably the reason why most movies are holding on to visuals and audios and are very careful in shooting the scenes so that the audience will not notice the camera’s existence. The movie makers aim to pull the audience into the story as if they are experiencing what the characters do.

That is the difference between the detached and narrator viewpoint. In the detached viewpoint, the narrator has disappeared – rather than feeling that the story is being told by someone, the readers would have the impression that they are seeing and hearing the events as they take place, as if they are present but invisible in the story (Knight 1997, 126). With this kind of viewpoint, the next step was to observe and record everything that can be seen and heard in the movie. Firstly, taking notes of the dialogues between characters, which was pretty challenging. The dialogues should be recorded exactly as they are, so there would not be any misunderstandings. It was also to help acknowledging the whole story.

This is where short movie and short story have in common. They are both depending on details, in which each of them has to be built into the story. Everything that is represented should be important and related or relevant to each other. That is why each detail in the short movie should be recorded properly to give the same essence in the short story. So, the next step would be to pay attention on details – describing what happened in chronologically orders, the characters’ appearances, expressions, and behaviours, the settings (time and place), and any other details that could help building the story. 

The movie has a back and forth plot, which moves forward in the present time, and also flashes back to past events or memories. In the short movie, the audience can get the idea about the flashback straight away, while in the short story, the way it is represented is to be separated into different scenes.  The readers will not notice it straight away, but once they continue reading, they will get the idea eventually. It is one way to avoid the impression that the readers can get into the characters’ head and their flashbacks, because that is not how this story is run.  

In the movie, the characters can be seen visually without any detailed descriptions, while in short story, the characters are represented in words, so in order to visualize them in the readers’ mind, description about how the characters look like is important. But since short stories only have limited number of words, the writer cannot put too much details. As long as the readers get the big picture of how the characters look like, or at least the characters can be distinguished from each other based on their common facial features, basic descriptions of body image, and how they represent themselves (their outfits), it would be fine. The characters’ expressions and behaviours are also important, especially on how they react in certain situations and respond in relation to other characters. It is to show their personalities, as well as their chemistries with other characters. It is something the audience can see and observe in short movies, but should be built properly in short stories.

One of the challenges of writing short stories is to avoid putting too much information, but still have a strong main point of the story. When you watch a movie, you will see a lot of details you can describe, but you cannot put them all in a short story, due to the limited number of words. Even though there is no certain limitation of the length, according to Nebula Awards Rules 2013, short story should be less than 7500 words. It is quite a lot, but to describe characters, their appearances, expressions, and behaviours, as well as settings and all other details that can be seen or heard in a movie, it takes a lot of words. 7500 words will not be enough for the writer to get the readers to have the exact picture as in the movie. Therefore, to avoid putting too much information, the last step was to read the written story with a reader’s glasses and edit it based on short story’s essentials – it should have at least one character, a plot, a conflict, and setting (McCarthy 2000, 5). Shorty story also has a dramatic structure. According to Freytag (1863), a drama is divided into five parts: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and resolution, which is not too different with the short movie’s structure. 

“Creators of other electronic remediations seem to want to emphasize the difference rather than erase it” (Bolter 1999, 46)). Whether the creator intentionally emphasizes it or not, the difference between one media to the other will always be noticed. The audience can see the differences easily. In one media, they can see and hear every detail, while in the other, they need to visualize it themselves. In short movie, the maker focuses on visuals – the camera angles, lighting, etc., while in short story, all those elements are almost diminished, since there are some things that cannot be described perfectly in words. Short movies also focus on audios – the audience can tell when a voice comes from distance, while in short story, it should be described and told. 

This remediation might not be the same as what Bolter is talking about. It is not from an old media to the newer, digital-aged one. But the idea of different experiences the audience get when the media changes is agreeable. “Ideally, there should be no difference between the experience of seeing a painting in person and on the computer screen, but this is never so” (Bolter 1999, 45). Even when a same exact object is represented in a different medium, it brings different experience, let alone when there are a lot of changes made when something is remediated. The main idea of the story, even the plot, the characters, and the settings are all the same, but with these two different mediums, which represent those elements in a complete different way, definitely bring different experiences. Like it is mentioned before, once the movie is remediated into writing, it loses the visuals and audios elements. The audience expects different things when the media changes, not what they can see and hear anymore, but descriptions and narratives that can help them visualizing the story.

REFERENCE LIST

Bolter, J.D. 1999. Remediation: Understanding the New Media. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Bordwell, David. 1997. Narration in the Fiction Film. US: Routledge. 

Freytag, Gustav. 1863. “Die Technik des Dramas Inhalt.” Y. Preiß / J.Matoni. Accessed May 16, http://www.matoni.de/technik/tec_inh.htm.

Knight, Damon. 1997. Creating Short Fiction. 3rd ed. New York, US: St. Martin’s Griffin.

McCarthy, Tara. 2000. Teaching Literary Elements with Short Stories: Ready-To-Use, High-Interest Stories with Mini-Lessons and Activities That Help Students Understand Literary Elements and Use Them Effectively in Their Writing. US: Scholastic Inc.

Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. 2013. “Nebula Rules.” Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. Accessed May 16, http://www.sfwa.org/nebula-awards/rules/.

WongFu Productions. 2013. Somewhere Like This. YouTube video, 11:06. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=83BxayyVcbA.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

[Short Story] Somewhere Like This #Remediation


A little bit of background: I wrote this short story for an assignment. I was required to remediate a media text, which means I represent this media in other way or medium. I chose to remediate a short movie into a short story. The original text is a short movie by WongFu Productions called "Somewhere Like This". I hope I managed to remediate it well. Enjoy!


“Okay, okay, I got it. Don’t worry.”

A young man who was sitting on the driver seat moved forward to look out through the window. “Yes, I’ll make sure they’re not damage,” he reassured someone on the other side of the phone. “I’ll call you if I have any questions, all right? All right. Bye."

After ending the phone conversation, the man pulled out his car key and opened the door. He left his gray Acura parked on the side of the street and approached the cream house’s front porch. He knocked on the wooden door twice, and a moment later, a girl with a long black hair came out from inside.

“Scott?” The girl looked surprised.

Scott raised his eyebrows. “Irene?”

Irene smiled in confusion. “What are you doing here?"

“I thought this–” Scott observed the exterior of the house and turned back to the girl in front of him. “What are you doing here?” he asked back.

“I… live here,” Irene answered with a small chuckle.

“Oh, right.” Scott added a pause. “I don’t know you’re back in town.” He frowned with both eyes closed as if he was trying to remember something. “Wait, um, isn’t your house in Maple behind the library?”

“Yeah, that was years ago. We moved,” Irene told him.

“I guess it’s been awhile,” Scott commented, while Irene nodded with a wide smile.

“Anyways, this is crazy, um, you wouldn’t happen to be selling some vinyl record, would you?” Scott asked in doubtful tone.

Irene’s huge eyes were widened even more. “Yeah, I am!” She nodded in excitement. “Well, most of them are sold already. Sorry,” she added quickly. She then squinted her eyes and tilted her head. “Since when were you into vintage stuff?”

Scott chuckled as he rubbed the back of his neck. “I’m not,” he replied as he shook his head. “My cousin is. She saw your ad online, and she got call to work, so she asked if I could come to pick them up for her.”

Irene remained smiling widely as she nodded her head. “Okay,” she replied shortly.

The two was staring at each other in silence when Irene shook her head and opened her door wider. “Well, come in, come in!”

Scott followed the girl inside and closed the door behind him.

“You know, you haven’t changed at all,” Irene commented with a chuckle as they walked towards the living room. “That look on your face when I opened the door…”

Scott stopped and leaned his back against the wall. “What do you mean?”

Irene also stopped her steps and turned to Scott. “You were just as clueless back then, too,” she replied as her eyes wandered around.

Scott chuckled with both hands crossed in front of his chest. “I wasn’t clueless,” he defended himself.

Irene was giving him a doubtful look, so he added, “Maybe nervous.” He shrugged. “But only because your dad scared me.”

“I think that was the point,” Irene joked. She smiled as she moved to the center of the living room.

“How have you been?” Scott asked as he continued his steps to follow Irene.

Irene turned back to him. They had reached the middle of the room where a white sofa and a coffee table in front of it were placed. “Not bad. Um, I started a new internship downtown, so I’m staying here with my parents till I find my own place.”

Scott nodded his head. “It’s exciting?”

“It is.” Irene smiled. “How are things at the shop? You still work there?”

“Yeah, I do. It’s been busy.”

“But things have been well?”

Scott shrugged his shoulders. “I’d say so.”

Another silence as Irene looked down, playing with her fingers, while Scott stared at the girl in the blue cardigan. “You look great,” he commented.

Irene lifted her head and froze when her eyes met Scott’s. “Uh, let me find those records for you. Sorry, this place is a mess.” She sighed desperately as she moved quickly towards her room.

Scott spotted some boxes full of random things on the table beside him. “You’re moving again?”

“That? Oh, no. I’m just cleaning some stuffs,” Irene replied from distance. “I’m having a garage sale next weekend. You should come. Oh, I mean, it’s mostly all used old junks, but maybe you’ll find something you like.”

Scott went through all the things in the boxes. There were an iron, a water bottle, some cardboards… He stopped when he found a black cylinder with lenses in both ends. He grabbed and observed it with wandering eyes. Scott smiled as he gently rubbed the three little white stars which were painted on its side.

Irene was startled when she came back to the living room and noticed what Scott had found. She tightened her grip on the records she was holding as she avoided Scott’s gaze. The two were trapped in silence for the third time that day.


A couple was enjoying the park with their hands in each other’s. The boy with a black backpack on his shoulder put his hand around the girl as she looked up to see the beautiful trees surrounding them. The two laughed as the boy embraced the girl and kissed her forehead.

“You’re really gonna make me guess?” The pony-tailed girl asked.

They sat on the grass facing each other.

“Uh-huh.”

“Fine,” she replied as she patted the backpack on her lap and lifted her head with wandering eyes. “It’s… a new pair of shoes?” She tried to guess.

The boy with shorter bangs covering his forehead tried not to smile. “You wish,” he teased.

“It’s–” She looked down on the grass. “–that antique typewriter we saw last week?” She guessed again, keeping her enthusiastic expression.

“Nope,” the boy simply replied.

The girl in gray outfit opened her mouth. “It’s a puppy?” Her eyes sparkled.

“Wha–?” The boy chuckled. “Just open it.” He pushed the backpack closer to the girl as she chuckled and unzipped the bag.

Her smile disappeared once she found out what was inside. “Wow.”

The boy smiled thinly as the girl pulled a black cylinder out of his backpack and stared at him and the cylinder alternatively. “I know you’re gonna be busy with classes, but if you can, it works best if you go somewhere far from the city lights,” he told her.

The girl looked through the lenses in amazement.

“That’s where the skies are the clearest and the stars are the brightest,” he continued.

The girl, who was staring at the sky, turned to him and smiled. “Somewhere like this?”

The boy looked away and nodded. “Yeah, somewhere like this.” He smiled, but it didn’t last long. “What’s wrong?” he asked softly when he noticed her change of expression.

The girl rubbed the three little stars on the telescope’s side. “We’re supposed to go stargazing together.”

“I know it’s what we said, but, summer is over, and you’re leaving already, so I just thought… I don’t know.” The boy looked down as he sighed.

The girl smiled thinly as she grabbed his hands and rubbed them gently. “Thank you. I love it.”


“Scott, you really don’t have to,” Irene said as she followed Scott outside. “I mean, I don’t even remember when it stopped working”

They stopped in front of Irene’s house. “Let me take a look at it. I want to try,” Scott replied as he observed the black telescope in his hands. “I don’t think it’s totally hopeless.” He smiled as he turned away to leave.

“Wait, Scott.” Irene stopped his steps. “I don’t want you to think that I… I just…” Irene was struggling to find the right words. She sighed. “I didn’t know what to do with it. I mean, it was so long ago, and–”

“I know,” Scott interrupted her with a thin smile.

Irene smiled back at him. “It was nice to see you again.”

Scott nodded. “I’ll let you know how this goes.” And he left with some records in his right hand and a black telescope in his left hand.


Scott was sitting on his study chair, trying to fix a telescope in front of him. He disassembled some parts of the telescope, replacing and putting them back to their places. He then tried to look through the lenses and sighed. He leaned back to his chair as his eyes wandered out through the window. A shooting star crossed through the pitch black sky.

“Things are gonna be different?” The boy in brown polo shirt asked.

“With some things,” the girl who was sitting beside him replied.

The boy with short black hair turned to her. “With us?”

After remaining silence for a split second, the girl smiled. “Not everything.” She shook her head. “Not us.”

The boy looked down on the grass as she moved herself closer to him and laid her head on his shoulder. “Where do you think we’ll end up?” he asked.

The girl raised her eyebrows as she shook her head. “I don’t know.” She closed her eyes and smiled.

“Somewhere like this,” she replied softly.

She lifted her head and looked him in the eyes, and leaned back to him as he rested his head on hers.

Scott put the telescope on his desk as he spotted a little folded note beside it. He lifted it up in front of his eyes and flipped it over with a sigh.


Scott closed his Acura’s door with a black telescope in his hand and walked towards a one-storey house across the street. His feet stopped when he saw a girl in a light blue dress was holding hands with a young, tall man on her porch. The man in white shirt kissed her goodbye and left as the long-haired girl waved with a smile.

Scott watched them with sorrow eyes and looked down to his telescope. He got back into his car and took out a brown folded note from his pocket.


A young boy in blue shirt lifted a luggage and put it into his car’s trunk when a girl wearing green stripes sweater approached him and handed another bag.

“Is that everything?” The boy with short bangs asked after putting the luggage into the trunk.

The girl tapped her luggage as she nodded. “I think so.”

“You’re ready then?” Young Scott asked.

Young Irene nodded. “Let’s go.”

Scott closed his trunk and they both got into the car. They were driving with their hands in each other’s. Once they arrived, Scott took the luggage out and carried them for Irene.

Irene stopped their steps by pulling Scott’s hand which was in hers. She took out a folded note from her pocket. “Before I forget.” She handed it to Scott. “But after I leave, okay?” 

Scott nodded as he received the note in confusion. “Okay.”

Irene smiled as she walked pass him, and they continued their steps to the airport.

Scott looked up when an airplane flied above him. He got back to his car to unfold the brown piece of paper Irene gave him and read it with a smile. He drove back home with the folded note in his hand.


Scott smiled as he unfolded the note in his hands. There was a neat, glittery handwriting with blue sky water-colored background underneath it.

Across clear skies
Among glowing stars
That’s where I’ll find us

Scott took out his car key and drove away, leaving a black telescope with three little white stars painted on its side leaned on Irene’s porch.


More about "Somewhere Like This":