An Open Letter To My Future Husband

An Open Letter To My Future Husband

I wonder if I'll actually show this to you or not.

rlawley
rlawley
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Dear future husband,

First off, I have to say: I wonder if I'll actually show this to you or not. Either way, this is a letter of my hopes for our future. I have no idea if I have already met you or not, but whoever you are, I know you are a man of God. God will be the center and foundation of our relationship. We will not just attend church every so often. We will pray together. We will worship together. Our relationship will be a journey and I'm so excited to see how we will both grow closer to God.

I have prayed for you. I have prayed for patience, for I know great things cannot be rushed. I know that when the time is right, I will know for sure because God's timing is perfect. I already have a Pinterest board for our wedding because yes, I am one of those girls.

As you know, I love planning things and I need reminders to have patience. I'm a handful. I can be messy, insecure, loud, shy, and more. I am flawed. But you are also flawed because we are human. I know you'll understand that as I do and we'll laugh at our mistakes and imperfections.

I know you will be full of light. Of course, like everyone, you'll have some darkness but nothing that can't be overcome. I know you will be hopeful when I'm doubtful. I know you will be an encourager for when I'm lazy. Most of all, I know you will love me unconditionally.

I hope you will have a job you love. I will love you the same if you're a hotshot doctor or if you're struggling to find a career you love. We will be on the same team, always.

I know we'll have fights because we are human. But I pray our fights will make us stronger, not weaker. No matter the size of our fight, I know it will always end in forgiveness.

I hope you will be the one for me. Though I cannot predict the future, I trust my instinct in finding the right husband. I have full confidence in that we will be together till the end. Whether I have already met you, or I'll meet you in eight years, I am joyful and excited for our future to come.

Love,

Your future wife

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My Best Original Screenplay Oscar Predictions Based Solely On The Writing, As It Should Be

Let's focus on the writing, not the politics.

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The Oscars are almost here, so it's time to make predictions.

Except, if you're like me, you probably haven't seen all the nominated movies. This year, I realized I had not seen any of the films up for Best Original Screenplay. This was a bit of a failure moment for me as a hopeful future screenwriter, but I took the opportunity to do something everyone always says to do when you're learning—read scripts.

I decided to read these scripts and make my predictions based solely on the writing, as it should be. I read each script, then watched the trailer and read a few articles about the movies to answer any questions.

And here's what I decided.

"The Favourite"

I'd heard great things about this movie before reading it, so I was excited to study this screenplay. It was well written, I will be honest, so bravo to Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara. But, it still left some to be desired. It definitely has its good qualities and is justified in its being a, well, fan favorite.

Except, the script relied heavily on subtext for commentary. Any narrative, no matter what time period it takes place in, will be held against the current societal environment regardless of intentions. However, it was clear that this film's intentions were to place a female voice in history and in current outlets. Which, of course, is not a bad thing. However, this film does so with disregard for true equality. The female focus is at the men's expense, which is not true equality (but that's an argument for another time).

I actually found the story predictable. The story tried to build suspense around the war, but even that seemed like a second priority to the writers after the love triangle. The script didn't explicitly tell the reader "how to feel," but it was strongly implied by the end.

"First Reformed"

This was a solid film written by Paul Schrader. Each scene really does move the plot forward which is story 101 but still important to note sometimes. Even the scenes that seemed like they would be time fillers allowed for the voice-over narration of Toller's journal.

This voice over was a nice touch of characterization and introduced well in the first scenes. This introduction was so well written, I could see exactly how it would play out, which is textbook screenwriting. The dialogue was believable. The setting description was a good balance and told part of the story too.

But there was that ambiguous, "La La Land"-dream-sequence-ish ending though.

"Green Book"

Okay, this one. This film is important and was skillfully written, so definitely a bravo to Peter Farrelly, Brian Currie, and Nick Vallelonga.

This film spoke to racial equality in the sense of true equality—meeting on the same level. It took place in one of America's shameful times and followed a white man realizing how things really are for those different from him and learning how to use his privilege in a way that helps and not harms. Like Dr. Shirley said, "You never win with violence." And as far as movies nominated in this category based on true stories, this did the best at maintaining the integrity of the original.

The writing was phenomenal. There was a personality in the action. The characterization was shown, not told. This was done through the actions, letters, reactions, how the characters treat others and how other characters treat the main characters. There was evident development in growth in the two main characters Lip and Dr. Shirley. It ended nicely, and the scenes were paced well.

"Roma"

This story would be better as a novel, in my opinion. The descriptions were beautifully written, so much so that every time there was dialogue or a scene change, I was roughly drawn out of the story. For a script, the action was almost too artsy and I could tell that it would be better visually than in writing. There were a few inconsistencies, like how Pepe calls Cleo "mom" in the beginning when Señora Sofia is actually his mom. Of course, this was probably meant to be just a kid crying for his mom when he was tired, but it leads to some confusion going forward when introducing characters.

This film was artfully written by Alfonso Cuarón. Most of the time, there was a good balance between detailed and vague descriptions (except that one part that described the color of the sky even though this is a black and white movie). I was struck by the impactful use of sound descriptions woven into the script, such as the car horn or the plane flying overhead. This was something that was present in the other scripts but didn't make as much of an impact, in my opinion, as it did in "Roma"

"Vice"

Oh goodness, where to begin? Adam McKay begins this script with an indignant tone in the superimposed text saying they "did their f***ing best" to tell a true story. But did they? No. If this Best Original Screenplay award is based on the writing, then "Vice" is shockingly nominated. If it's based on political people-pleasing, then I guess the nomination makes sense. The film is riddled with a bias to the left. It assumes the viewers agree with the flat narrative of the film and that we all see the characters as the one-dimensional people they movie portrays. The film even addressed this bias at the end, but the way they did didn't level the playing field at all, but just pandered to that bias, trying to pick a fight. Well, they shouldn't be dignified with a response, in my opinion.

But I digress. The writing. That's what we're here for.

Unfortunately, even the writing was objectively bad compared to the other scripts. And I don't say that lightly. It read like a school project that was completed the night before it was due. There were typos everywhere (notably, "due" was spelled "do"). The story and scenes seemed willy-nilly thrown together with the only goal of pushing an opinion. The framework and organization were centered around how best to convince the viewer of McKay's views, not tell the story. It's a very serious subject that's covered here and could've been handled better instead of this script that reads like a comedy with political propaganda tendencies.

And now, my predictions for best original screenplay go to...

I'll break this down into categories.

My favorite: "Green Book."

What should win: "Green Book."

What will probably win: "The Favourite."

They all have a chance, but if "Vice" wins, then what are we all here for? The writing, or politics?

The other films all had their stance in politics without taking away from the story being told. "The Favourite" was female-driven with LGBT aspects and classist themes while telling the story of Queen Anne and her ladies. "First Reformed" critiqued megachurch culture, environmental activism, and big business while telling Toller's story of grief. "Green Book" also had some classist themes and attacked racist tendencies in a way that can educate and change minds by telling a historical story. "Roma" was the story of a family set in cultural and political context. But "Vice" was just about politics and not the story.

Let's focus on the stories. Let's focus on the writing.

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An Open Letter To The City Council of Munford, Alabama

The Eagles said it best, "You can't hide your lyin' eyes."

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In October of 2018, my Sons of Confederate Veterans Camp #454 (Samuel C. Kelly) was looking for a meeting spot. After much searching, and some hateful treatment by staff at the Friendship Community Center, we found Munford. It seemed like a godsend The Mayor came out of her office when she heard us discussing with the staff what plans we had regarding our camp meetings if approved. The Mayor, Mrs. Fambrough was thrilled that we had come to Munford. She literally welcomed our camp with open arms. After a brief discussion, she told us that she was perfectly fine with us meeting there. She did add that we need to introduce ourselves (myself and my Lieutenant) to the council. To clarify any questions or answer any questions. We made plans to attend, added ourselves to the agenda, and waited.

December 4th rolled around, we attended wearing coats and ties. We began handing out information packets in the council meeting. Adding that this was a work session for the council, there were some absentees. I took this into consideration and I left additional information packets with the Mayor. We were again graciously accepted by all in attendance. We left a $300 check with the Magistrate of the town to be used towards the upkeep of the meeting hall we intended to be using. All went well after that, and we left so the council could finish their business.

December 11, 2018 I received a text message in all caps saying: "DO NOT EVER PUT A REBEL FLAG AT THE BLUE HOUSE! YOU WILL NO LONGER MEET THERE IF THAT'S THE CASE! Thank You" Baffled, bewildered, and confused to say the least, I had no idea what to do. The "rebel flag" she refers to is the Confederate battle flag. The literal trademarked logo of the Sons of Confederate Veterans. In fact, the Sons have full ownership, this is stated by the Confederate Veterans who voted to pass this organizational responsibility down to the Sons.

I set up a meeting with the mayor 48 hours from the time I received the text message, I carried more documents to explain to her the importance of this organization. She acted like there was no misunderstanding. We would be allowed to use our flags, as long as we did not leave them in the meeting place permanently. She once again had a smile on her face and was glad to have us. We left in a confused state

January rolled around, we held our first camp meeting and began planning events for the year. This was to include voluntary painting the meeting house inside, improving the lights, removing old wallpaper, and restoring the front porch. The meeting went well. We had about 8 in attendance, all were ready to help improve our new meeting place. Having a new meeting place meant taking pride in it, our podium was left on loan there, we hung framed articles of local history there, and even began working on a project that would include a crowd of possibly 10,000 people.

All of these plans collapsed when we submitted a letter of agreement to the City, as requested. The city began a month-long period of feet dragging. Instead of the council agreeing, they did not provide an answer.

On February 7th, 12 days before our camp meeting, I received an email. The Mayor stated that the council decided not to agree to our terms, they offered little to no options for a renegotiation or a meeting to try and get this decision reversed. We were told to come to Munford retrieve our belongings. I immediately demanded our donation check back, which they agreed to return.

My purpose in writing this letter is to ask the City Council, why were we refused? The Sons of Confederate Veterans is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit. By denying us the right to meet, even by paying you have opened up the opportunity for us to sue for discrimination. A. Federal. Court. Opportunity.

Munford, this is not the attention you want. We as an organization deserve answers. I have moved on, but for the sake of my camp members, they deserve an apology. You cannot consider yourself tolerant people if you remove things that honor our veterans.

We cleaned your monument for free.

We gave you free copies of research that took hours to obtain.

We collaborated on finding you lights for your flagpoles.

We gave you a service of writing a history on a historic home, this will not be fulfilled.

We gave you assistance on a veterans memorial, this will not be fulfilled.

You gave us an eviction notice with no explanation.

Zachary C. Grizzard

Camp Commander

Samuel C. Kelly Camp #454 Oxford & Munford, Alabama

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