Exquisite Corpse

This entry is part of an on-line exquisite corpse – a short story told in 10 installments by 10 different authors. My 250 word installment is below; if you’re interested in writing the next part, scroll down to the bottom of this post for details on how this all works…
— — —
easy to see much of anything.
“They’re probably in a gully. Lost their feet, face-first into the mud,” Dianne said.
“We’ll find them.”
Dianne felt crowded in by the bush and the mist and Peter’s eyes. The cemetery had bothered her. The statues there had seemed too familiar.
“Good exercise anyway,” Peter said, mostly in jest. “And hot cocoa later. I’m sorry, you know.”
Something rushed past Dianne’s cheek, the thrum of its big flat wings in her ear. It was already too dark to see properly, but she knew it was some kind of insect, something big.
“Get away,” Peter said, swatting as the bug came back. More amused than anything. “Go on now.”
“That thing sounded like a helicopter,” Dianne said as the dusky calm reasserted itself.
“I wish. Search would get done a mite quicker if it was.”
She felt it crash into her back. She flinched. Her clothes yanked and gathered as insect feet grabbed for purchase. She could feel it scratching through her layers, and the pull of its weight – she started to flail, trying to scare it away but it only seemed to tighten its grip and she suddenly became terrified it would leap up and get tangled in her hair.
Dianne turned sharply and saw Peter’s eyes. They were big and afraid.
Then her feet lost their way in the mud. They kicked up into nothing as her centre of gravity shifted, and she felt herself pitch over the side of the path
— — —
This is part 4 of 10. You can find the other installments here (but DON’T DO THIS YET if you want to join in):
1. www.sleep-dep.blogspot.com (26 June 2009)
2. www.multi-dimensional.blogspot.com (27 June 2009)
3. www.deb-onair.blogspot.com (29 June 2009)
4. www.additiverich.com/morgue/ (1 July 2009)
WANT TO READ IT? Jump back to the previous entries using the links above.
WANT TO JOIN IN? This exquisite corpse operates on a first-come, first-served basis. If you want to write the next installment, FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS:
1.IMPORTANT – Don’t read any of the previous entries! Read only the one you see here.
2.ALSO IMPORTANT – Post a comment here, saying “I claim the next entry”, followed by the URL/web address of your blog. If you don’t do this, we’ll never know where to find you.
3.Copy the text of this blog entry into a new post on your blog, but DELETE THE CHAPTER and write your own as the next installment. Start with the chapter number as I’ve done here, and start exactly where the last chapter left off (in mid-sentence if necessary).
4.Your entry should be EXACTLY 250 words long, unless you are writing chapter 10, in which case you must bring the story to a conclusion in 250 words or less.
5.At the end of the chapter, where the text reads: “This is part X of 10”, change this to the number of your chapter.
6.Add the URL/web address of your blog and today’s date onto the list below that, so people reading later entries can jump back to your chapter.
7.Finish your chapter and post it within 24 hours of claiming your place. There – it’s freaking easy! You can go back and read the rest of the story now.
8.IF YOU’VE JUST FINISHED ENTRY #10 and finished the story, DELETE THESE INSTRUCTIONS from the bottom of your post – they’ll just confuse people. ALSO, let CG know by posting a comment on the first entry (on www.sleep-dep.blogspot.com), or sending him an email on squid.mohawk@gmail.com. CG will assemble a full version and send it round to all of the contributors.

Marie Antoinette Project

(This is a repeat of a post from last week that got mysteriously lost.)
One of my sekret projects has been announced. I’m the writer and interactivity guy for a co-production between the St James Theatre and Eklektus, Inc.
The Affair of the Diamond Necklace: an evening with Marie Antoinette in the Gardens of Versailles is an interactive theatre experience being presented in August 2009. It’s going to be awesome.
Also, will be interesting. I haven’t found anything quite like what we’re doing, and I’ve done a lot of looking. It isn’t quite a murder-mystery type dinner theatre or dinner party, it isn’t a live roleplaying event, it isn’t a conventional performance, it isn’t like any kind of improv I’ve been able to find out about… We’re carving our own path here, and that’s great fun, because I’m convinced there’s lots of unexplored space in the interactive experience realm.
You probably won’t see it advertised through normal channels, because the St James Theatre will be offering the tickets first to their corporate clients and expect to sell them all that way. However, if its successful (and we hope it is!) it will be offered again. Other such events are also in development.
I’m pretty excited!

Hot Wheels: Battle Force 5

Local computer game company Sidhe Interactive have announced one of their projects: a game called Hot Wheels Battle Force 5 based on a toy/TV license. I did some dialogue work on this game earlier this year. Can’t give any more details than what’s already been released, so to quote the article:

Activision says each episode of Battle Force 5 puts kids in a fantasy world where they will meet an elite team of teenagers in five ultra-fast vehicles who must work together to save the Earth from the most outrageous galactic predators.
In the game, fans will be able to live out these adventures with pedal-to-the-metal combat-racing in numerous Battle Zones, where they car-battle with The Sark and The Vandals dangerous aliens from another dimension.

I can say that I’ve read a bunch of scripts and watched some pre-viz materials and, man, this thing is gonna be catnip. Writing dialogue for all the characters was really fun but also pretty challenging – there’s a lot of careful effort that goes into this stuff!
Here’s some photos of the toys from the New York Toy Fair earlier this year. And here’s a few more as a short video. I feel like I’ve bonded with all these crazy vehicles and their drivers while working on ths game, so I might have to buy one of these…

Writing Update – April into May

Plan to write twelve short stories this year is, predictably, falling behind the curve, but not fatally so.
Two stories completed to a point I can send them places without significant shame.
One completed to a point that I think it is unsalvageable and probably need to pretend it never happened.
One completed to a good draft stage, need to type it up and fire it out to helpful volunteer readers.
One in progress.
Comic meetings are still happening. That is taking a very long time though.
(In fact, major writing project at present = thank-you cards…)
[Last writing update]

Writing Update – March

So my plan to write twelve short stories in twelve months continues. Yesterday I sent the first two for the year off to local lit journal JAAM.
Story #3, promised to readers a month ago, has been mothballed – it just doesn’t work and I don’t want to send anyone to sleep. I need to totally rethink what I’ve done there and see if I can salvage anything. There’s one really cool idea in it but everything else feels wrong and the cool idea isn’t leveraged well enough. Gah.
Story #4 is in progress. This one I actually sat down and made some notes about in advance of writing the first word, a level of planning that is rare for me. It helped me find the right way into the idea, I’m sure, but I’m now second-guessing where I thought I was going. Still, I think there’s promise in it. To be continued.
There is no story #5. Yet.
Overall, I’m pretty happy with my progress. I could definitely be going faster but it does feel like things are getting done. So that’s good.
Meanwhile, I’m meeting with comics artist girl for an hour every Monday to work on page design and tighten up scripts. It is fruitful. I wish I could draw as well as she does.

Writing Update

My short-story-a-month plan is running along with a few bumps. I’ve written two short stories in Feb, but I’m not happy with either of them. I think there’s some potential in the second one, but the first one (while fun to write and hopefully fun to read) is probably not salvageable, it came out more like a writing exercise than a story. Will see about typing them up anyway, anyone who wants to take a look is welcome to stick their hand up…

Writing Update

Recently I posted of a desire to write some short stories. This is unusual for me; I’ve always found them completely impenetrable from the writing perspective. Said I, “my goal is twelve short stories this year that I would be comfortable submitting for publication somewhere.”
Thus far, story the first, ‘The Tape’, completed in first draft (and fired off to some feedback volunteeros).
Story the second in progress and going well. This pleases me.
In related news, the Grizzled Dog decided he was going to do a Novel Writing Month on his own, and he hit his target and knocked it off on the weekend. Nice work!


Have decided I need to focus on the short story form. Oddly, I now feel that I actually have an inkling of how to write for it, when for the last decade it has baffled me. So my goal is twelve short stories this year that I would be comfortable submitting for publication somewhere.
The first is now underway. It is amusing me, and riffing off an idea that’s been bouncing around in notebooks for the best part of that aforementioned decade. It’s reassuring to know that good ideas will wait patiently for me to catch up with them.