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  • Archives for July 2011 (14)

Photo Phriday #30 – The Depressing Truth

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Published on: July 29, 2011

 

Every. Single. Time.

Processing

Categories: Whatever Wednesday
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Published on: July 27, 2011

So, a month of story starters has passed, and again you’re back to reading my less structured ramblings. Did I learn anything? Well, sure. I learned that I have an awful lot of conceits in my fiction writing that I have a hard time overcoming, first off. As I moved through the month, I found that I had a lot of trouble making the stories feel different. I haven’t written a lot of fiction, so I went for the writing style that felt most natural to me, and I think that hurt a couple of the stories.

I tend to write fiction like I write these blog posts: More or less stream of consciousness, and from a limited internal narrator. The only difference is that there are characters I’m trying to determine the motivations of in the fiction, and odds are good that I know what I’m thinking already in the blog. (That’s not as guaranteed as you’d think.) I think Trailblazer is the clearest example of this. If I were a magical space navigator, my blog would read more or less like that story. I don’t think this is a bad thing, but, as I started to write the rest of the stories I found that they read very much the same. So I tried to make each of them a little different. They all frankly hold to pretty much the same construction, but I’m still fairly proud of even my little variants.

I think as far as variation is concerned that I’m the most happy with Red. Red was already a bit of a stretch for me. The other stories have a lot of components that have been kicking around in my head for a long time. For instance, some of you recognized the setting of Trailblazer as that of a D&D campaign that I ran in college. Doors is actually even older. As a kid I imagined a world made of different small areas linked by magic doors. That concept made its way in to the first D&D campaign world I ever created (although it never showed up much). Caravan is the second youngest of the concepts, being based on a dream I had a few years ago. Still, I like the idea of guys driving armored semis across a post-apocalyptic wasteland, and I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it since then. (And, honestly, I like post-apocalyptic wastelands in general, so it wasn’t a far walk to get there.)

What was I talking about again? Oh yeah, Red. So the idea for Red came from a conversation I had with my wife while I was planning how I was going to do this whole Choose Your Tuesday thing. The hook of the conversation that I liked, and that led me to write the story was just how utterly strange the wolf in the story of Red Riding Hood is. There’s a lot of weirdness that gets taken for granted in fairy tales, but a wolf who can impersonate a person, but still sort of look like a wolf, and also talks, and is smart and malicious enough to lay a trap for a little girl is a genuinely scary concept. But yeah, the idea was pretty fresh, so I had to build a world around it a lot less organically than I usually do.

Because of this and the perspective thing, Red is the only story for which there exists a first draft that is radically different than the final project. The original actually is all from Red’s viewpoint, instead of shifting narrators like the final, and the storytelling was a lot messier.

I’ve rambled enough about writing for today. I’m really looking forward to writing more stuff for you folks. Don’t forget to vote here if you haven’t yet, and I’ll see you Friday.

Music Monday #30 – Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting

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Published on: July 25, 2011

For your Saturday Monday, Minions, here’s a live cover of Queen playing Elton John’s “Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting.” Enjoy.

Also, a reminder that the poll to select the new Tuesday story is still open here. (Unless you’re reading this after Friday, July 29th, in which case, hello, future people.)

Photo Phriday #29 – Re-imagined Literature

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Published on: July 22, 2011

See you Monday, Minions.

Choose Your Choose Your Tuesday

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Published on: July 20, 2011

Thanks for reading all the stories! Now it’s time to choose which one you’d like to see on Tuesdays. You can vote for as many as you like. If there’s a tie after a week I’ll do a run-off.

Tuesday Option #4 – Caravan

Categories: Whatever Wednesday
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Published on: July 20, 2011

Sorry for another late post. WordPress seems to have eaten the original.

Walther was driving right where he liked to be. Way back of the caravan, like this, he could see the sights out the armored windows of his big rig. Up in the caravan it was all dust and radio chatter. Sure, most of the sights were nuclear fire-scarred wasteland, but they were sights all the same. Plus if the rad levels got high, he’d hear it from up ahead first.

So his tires tore up the desert sands, mile after mile. Here and there¬† some scrub poked through, but the Green Bay to Duluth run was pretty bare of vegetation. That made for easy driving, which Walther didn’t mind, he was pretty tired. Actually, he was maybe a little too tired. Was that a glint of light in the distance, or was he just sleepy? Sometimes a piece of metal, some sort of old holding tank would get exposed by the relentless winds. It could be quite a find. If he got first salvage rights on something like that he could eat well when they got to Duluth.

Walther squinted at the horizon again. There was the glint again. Nice. Part of his brain was already planning the fresh veggies he’d buy with his cut, but another part was a bit itchy. That wasn’t quite where he’d seen it before.

Another squint at the horizon showed two spots of light, neither where the first one had been. Also, there was a puff of dust.

Raiders!

Walther banged on the sleeper compartment door. “Freddie, get your lazy rear end out here, there’s shootin’ to be done!” He heard Freddie grumble, and pulled his old shotgun out of its place by his chair. He checked the two shells that were loaded, and fumbled for the box of extras with his hand that wasn’t driving. Lighter than he liked. Another quick slam on the door to try to get Freddie up, and he grabbed the radio. He turned it on and got nothing but static. Too far back! They didn’t work real well with all the rads in the area.

He laid on the gas hard. It finally sounded like Freddie was moving. The caravan was kicking up too much dust, they’d never see the raiders coming. He heard a “Pang!” off the panel by the passenger door, and looked back. Some opportunist had seen him in the back and thought they’d take the easy target. Walther grinned.

Freddie finally got to the back, and Walther soon heard the barrels spinning up and Freddie laughing. “Pull it!” he yelled.

This was Walther’s favorite part. He yanked the cord in the cab, pulling the canvas off¬† the mounting that housed the M61 Vulcan mounted to the back of the truck. The opportunist hardly had a chance to be surprised before his vehicle was blown away.

Freddie gave a wild war whoop, and Walther stomped hard on the gas. If they couldn’t eat well on salvage, they’d eat well on bounties.

Music Monday #29 – Black Friday

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Published on: July 18, 2011

For your Friday Monday, Minions, here’s Colin Nagle covering Steely Dan’s “Black Friday.”

On a related note, Rebecca Black has made searching for songs with the word “Friday” in the title incredibly annoying. See you Wednesday!

Photo Phriday #28 – Jolly Dog

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Published on: July 15, 2011

The dog’s face in the last frame just sells this for me. See you Monday, Minions.

Tuesday Option #3 – Doors

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Published on: July 13, 2011

Sorry for the late post, I’m on the road.

 

With a loud crash the beast shattered the door Marny had been trying to seal. He had no time to mourn the loss of his last sealing stone, because he was running as fast as his gnomish legs would carry him. (Fairly quickly, truth be told, for a gnome, at least.) Had he looked back he would have seen a strange sight (something he always loved to see) as the beast (a monstrous bipedal affair that he had just named a “Karagh” because that just sounded like a big brown biped with a sword twice as long as a gnome) tried to push its way through the door, which, being a door attached to another dimension, kept repairing itself.

No, Marny missed out on that sight because he was using his Second Sight to look for another Door. This Pocket appeared to be a large mansion, so there were lots of small d doors, but he was having trouble finding a Door to another Pocket.

There it was! A big door at the end of the hall glowed in his Sight. (Humans must have built it, they were always making Doors big grand affairs that no gnome who was valiantly running for his life could open easily.) He kept up his full tilt run, chanting a spell of opening that he let fly just before he put his shoulder into the door. The door’s lock popped loose, and the shoulder pushed it open. (And probably damaged something in the shoulder, which wouldn’t repair itself nearly so quickly or neatly as the door.)

Marny chanted the reverse spell as he pushed the door shut. A mundane lock wouldn’t hold the Karagh forever, but it would hold him long enough for him to come up with a plan. He looked around at the desert ruins that made up this Pocket. He had a couple good ideas already. (And ideas were his specialty.)

Music Monday #28 – Jersey Thursday

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Published on: July 11, 2011

And for your Thursday Monday, here’s Katherine Priddy covering Donovan’s “Jersey Thursday.”

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