The Dog Next Door

My friend Victoria brought it to my attention that I have yet to write anything about the actual contents of the screenplay I’m writing. this is just the kind of thing that I’m apt to forget. I know what kind of screenplay I’m writing so I just assume you do too. As the great bards of Siam Shade once sang: “Why don’t you know in my head!?”

The story is called The Dog Next Door. It first began as a writing exercise for Takako, when I tried to get her back into creative writing. Originally it was just about a girl who is visiting her grandparents and starts trading food and water to the neighbor’s abused talking dog in exchange for stories. Takako, who is a fan of murder mysteries, suggested the story go in that direction. I tried but I never quite got it.

That was almost 10 years ago… but like the wind shapes the stone through the centuries, I have eroded these impenetrable ideas into a framework for what I think is going to be an amazing story. The story is less about the murder in the dog’s story now and more about the girl who has never been let to grieve the death of her father, after he kills himself and a carload of teens in a fatal drunk driving accident. The mother and daughter lose everything to the courts and eventually have to move back in with her estranged parents in a bad part of New Jersey. Hilarity and family drama ensues.

I’ve always been a fan of magic realism. Rumiko Takahashi is my template. There were elements of magic in her family dramas that didn’t necessarily propel the narrative. They were almost incidental. That’s key.

Here’s hoping I can share more soon.