Free Spirit #8 - Abnormal Science (Page 1) As tough nuts go, cracking this one was one of the toughest jobs I've had to date. I wrote the first half of this story in August of 2013 and then just let it sit. I came back to it a couple months ago and rewrote much of the dialogue, but still couldn't get my mind past page six. I just couldn't come up with anything satisfying. What was wrong? Then I realized the problem: I thought parodying Weird Science would be easy; Winnie = Lisa and go from there. But usually for a parody to work it has to be more outrageous than the original, and I could not think of a single thing Winnie would do that Lisa, the computer genie at the center of Weird Science, wouldn't also do. Lisa pulled a gun on Gary and Wyatt's parents, for crying out loud (later revealed to be a squirt gun, but still). I didn't want to dump the story entirely because of the first five pages. This story introduces Winnie's other weakness besides mirrors and I love how it makes complete sense. There is a thorough explanation, and normally when all things magic are considered you don't get one. I also loved Winnie trying to use a computer. I thought of dropping the Weird Science aspect entirely and having Winnie go somewhere else after entering the computer, but having to rewrite that much of it would delay it for months. I thought of minimizing the parody aspect so you only saw the bare minimum of Weird Science and the bulk of it was the Harpers trying to find Winnie, but I wanted a better option. I walked away from it and worked on another story for a while, then came back and thought, "Instead of changing Lisa, try changing the teenagers." A lot of the dialogue I had down for the teenagers just wasn't funny enough. Could they be girls? Kids? Old men? "Old men" was the funniest possibility, and suddenly the writer's block was gone. For a little while, anyway. I'm still toiling through drafts for the second half of this.