Doing It With A Friend

10 03 2014

What do you enjoy doing with your friends?

Lately for me, it’s been writing.

I recently began a little writing project with one of my close friends. Wasn’t my idea sadly but I am thrilled to be participating in it nonetheless. It started off as an endeavor in cooperative storytelling. It still is mind you. I realize that phrasing makes it sound like it took a terrible turn for the worse but that is not the case.

The whole thing was very well planned out ahead of time. I think the conversation went something like:

Friend: “Hey man, you know what we should do?”

Me: “What?”

Friend: “We should totally write a story together.”

Me: “Done.”

And now you have the inside details.

Seriously though, we didn’t plan this thing at all. He fired an email off at me one day with a paragraph of what would start this monumental undertaking of literary, uh, genius. At any rate it didn’t take us long to run off with it and start to expand.

What started as an exchange of paragraphs has now grown into the exchange of larger chunks of fiction churned out amongst the cries of small children, the sometimes angry buzz of wives/girlfriends, and other such obstacles one runs into during such projects.

What I find most interesting about this whole thing is where it is going. In the beginning of this thing we decided to eschew any sort of plotting, world building, story boarding or any other sort of thing ending with ‘ing’. The idea was to build as we went and see what the other could come up with.

It’s been a sick game of back and forth challenges. I picture him at his computer sometimes screaming, “Ha, finish that thought Brindle!”

Sometimes.

It’s been enlightening. We are moving along at a reasonable pace and honestly it has been a rewarding exercise so far. In a sense I feel like I’m receiving a bit of instant feedback in my storytelling. A literal example of ‘I think it would be neat if this happens next.’

What are we going to do with it? Don’t know. Publish it and make millions of dollars to share between us maybe!

And by maybe, I mean, naturally.

Now. Go here and read this. It’s a little something over at Ermiliablog that made me think of what I’m doing here. Oh and don’t worry, my friend and I aren’t so focused on tea.





Excuse Me, Is This Burger 100% People?

3 11 2013

My god I wanted hash browns the other day. And I don’t mean any sort of upper class, fancy-shmansy, brie and saffron, pan-seared golden Idaho potato cake. I’m talking bottom of the barrel, “I got these from the dumpster behind McDonalds,” sort of hash brown.

Well maybe not that bad. Let’s go with “I bought these at McDonalds.” That makes me sound less like a homeless dude who just spent his last $0.99 on a quarter short of sympathy tequila instead of food. I would not survive as a homeless dude.

Still, I wanted hash browns like pregnant women want any number of strange things that they (or any other human being, possibly the dog) would never eat normally. So I did in fact go to McDonalds, or as I now like to call it, ‘Heathen Burger.”

Curious about that? Let me paint you a picture.

Its 8 AM, I’m sitting at the traffic light outside of the little shopping/hotel/medical care/grocery store plaza, where this McDonalds can be found.
So I drive up in my Prius, round the one way section to the drive thru. I request a hash brown from the robot that lives inside the menu sign. She agrees to my demand to trade fried, greasy potato products for American dollars. I then pull around to what they refer to as the ‘second window.’

Once there I am finally met with a human being. She wore the classical McDonalds garb. A tabard bearing the golden arches and a hat bearing, I think probably grease.
She took my money and gave me my potatoes. The following exchange occurred.

Me: “Thanks, very much. Have a good day.”
Potato Merchant: “Why thank you sir, be well, and have a blessed day!”

Please note that the merchant’s comment was accompanied with a staring smile that made me wonder just what sort of alchemy/sorcery was used in the preparation of my hash browns.

I ate them anyway and they were delicious. Maybe magically so…

I took another drive around just to double check the menu at the drive thru. I’m thinking I’ll have to stop in again soon. The McSacrifce sounded awfully good.





Celebrating in Salem

1 11 2013

So the Vixen and I recently went on a bit of an adventure. As I’ve mentioned before she was foolish enough to marry me and consequently must suffer through a yearly ritual known as “Anniversaries.”

It was our first. I’m not going to mentioned specifically when it happened because I don’t need any new credit cards, especially ones that I don’t have access to. And while I’m sure the average blog reader isn’t that untrustworthy, the number one term used to find my blog using Google is still “bondage serial killers.”
I’m thinking serial killers are more likely to commit fraud than average Joe. Or maybe you’re all just really kinky people. I’m going for more safe than sorry and all that.

Anyhow, we decided that since we didn’t have either the kids with us that we would take a bit of a road trip. We made plans and they were detailed. We had a sort of half-assed mini itinerary. It consisted of when we will wake up and when we will leave the house. After that it was up in the air. Hence the ‘mini.’

But hey, we knew we were going to Salem and there was bound to be a plethora of fun to be had there!

After consulting my abacus and proto-human skull the night before I was able to determine, after also plotting the position of Jupiter and multiplying it all by the square root of pie, that 4 AM would be the ideal time to wake up. Shortly after at 5 AM we would leave the house and arrive at our destination around 9 AM.

Naturally we were up at the crack of eleven and on the road by noon.

This of course was after the Vixen banned me from the use of ancient human remains in planning our trips. Some things were said about an atlas and something else. I think she criticized the flavor of pie I used in my math. I have no idea what she means. And can anyone explain to me what a Titan has to do with trip planning?

Needless to say we arrived later than expected. After experiencing traffic on the Mass pike for about a half hour that ranged between 0-10 MPH, we were happy to arrive. Aside from that horrendous portion of highway there weren’t any other problems and we’ve always been able to laugh at that sort of thing so we dubbed the trip ‘still running smoothly.’

That ended about five minutes after we got there.

Now we used to live in Cooperstown, NY which is a touristy place. I can talk to you for hours about how miserable it was trying to do normal things around town when tourist season was in full swing. But after visiting Salem I feel I’ve lost my right to complain.

There were THOUSANDS of people walking the streets. Driving within the city was slow and at times dictated by the Salem PD. On the bright side I can now say that I have seen a policeman directing traffic. On the not so bright side I can say I’ve been sitting in my car watching a policeman directing traffic. These are two very different experiences.

It took an hour to park. And when we finally found a place it was in the parking lot of a church and it cost $20. Would have been okay if we had arrived when we initially planned because it was all day parking but since we didn’t and we weren’t planning on staying there that evening it was more like $10 dollars an hour.
We walked around and saw the exterior of several cool buildings. We also made mental notes of what to see on our next visit. As it turns our visiting Salem during the month of October is tricky. Apparently that’s tourist season.

After parking it was around 6 PM. Having nothing in our systems but red bull and excitement we thought it’d be good to find a place to eat straight off. And that is just about where the saga of our first visit to Salem went.
We drove to Massachusetts for dinner. And also frozen yogurt after. Then we left.

And the funny thing about being married to the Vixen?

We drove to Massachusetts for dinner and we had A GREAT TIME. I even got lost once and we giggled our way back on track.

Do it again in a heartbeat. We had a blast doing something crazy, out of the ordinary.

But we’re totally going back in the spring and this time I’ll have a whole new pie to plan with.





Sometimes the Mattresses go to You

20 08 2013

http://db.tt/U8G5E7N7





Gaimanian Avettonian Music

17 05 2013

“My vacations ending, I’m coming home late. The weather was fine and the ocean was great, and I can’t wait to see you again.”

 

Actually my vacation is over. But as I sat here thinking about how to break the sad news to you all that I would be resuming blogging activity, that little snippet popped into my head.

I have a varied taste in music. I suppose I listen to just about everything and I do mean everything from old hair bands to new age electronic, Scottish folk to Zimbabwe death polka. I’m everywhere.

The above line is pulled right out of ‘The Ballad of Love and Hate’ by the Avett Brothers. That song in particular is one of my favorites from a writerly perspective, being clever in form and story.

The premise?

As the opening line of the song tells us, “Love writes a letter and sends it to Hate.”

And of course it goes on from there, a back and forth between Love, who is on her way home and Hate, who is waiting for her in his own…uplifting way to come back.

I’m not going to tell you anymore because I don’t want to deprive you of discovering the story on your own. I’m just going to step back and close this short blurb into the space by saying two things.

  1. Go listen to this song.
  2. I’ve returned from vacationland and am now firmly ensconced at the keyboard in case you missed it.

Talk to you later internet.

Oh and as an addendum to 1, if you enjoy what you heard, maybe you might give a thought toward buying it?

 





Dog Days

9 05 2013

20130509-143102.jpg

You ever have days like this? Cthulu knows we do.





Playing for Keeps

27 04 2013

Look! We’re reviewing stuff!

This time it’s “Playing for Keeps” by Mur Lafferty.

Her website right here of course!

Now, Mur, is a sound I like to make to myself sometimes when I am thinking and occasionally when disappointed. So you can imagine my excitement when I discovered someone with the name, Mur. I’m not trying to be insulting or anything, I really enjoy names. So when I happen upon one that’s nontraditional it makes me smile.

My name is Kyllan after all. Can’t tell you how many times that is even pronounced right and don’t get me started on the number of people who are shocked to discover that I’m not a woman.

Anyhow.

I first stumbled upon Lafferty by way of a Chuck Wendig interview. A friend had directed me to a podcast “I should be writing”, hosted by, of course, Mur Lafferty. The interview was great and she was a rather entertaining host.

Fast forward a month or two.

I was poking about Matt Forbeck’s website and what do you suppose I notice while browsing a post on his 12 for 12 project? A book by Mur Lafferty called “Playing for Keeps”.

Naturally I took this to be a sign and did what any other rational human being would do. So following a quick goat sacrifice and naked moonlight ritual-dance, I bought the book off of Amazon.

So how about a blurb?

The shining metropolis of Seventh City is the birthplace of super powers. The First Wave heroes are jerks, but they have the best gifts: flight, super strength, telepathy, genius, fire. The Third Wavers are stuck with the leftovers: the ability to instantly make someone sober, the power to smell the past, the grace to carry a tray and never drop its contents, the power to produce high-powered excrement blasts, absolute control. Over elevators. Bar owner Keepsie Branson is a Third Waver with a power that prevents anything in her possession from being stolen. Keepsie and her friends just aren’t powerful enough to make a difference. At least that’s what they’ve always been told. But when the villain Doodad slips Keepsie a mysterious metal sphere, the Third Wavers become caught in the middle of a battle between the egotistical heroes and the manipulative villains. As Seventh City begins to melt down, it’s hard to tell the good guys from the bad, and even harder to tell who may become the true heroes.

Who doesn’t enjoy a nontraditional spin on established story telling?

I didn’t know what to expect heading into the book but I can tell you with the exception of some strange kindle formatting errors, I really enjoyed it.

 Lafferty has a knack for humor that comes out of nowhere. From unexpected comments during super powered combat to the very nature of some of the characters super powers, it came off as fresh and entertaining.

You could take a lot from this book.

For instance we have a story that is the tale of the downtrodden, third-rate (or third wave) citizen’s rising to meet the challenge of overcoming powers far greater than theirs. And succeeding through team work and the knowledge that they might fail.

We also have a touch of commentary perhaps on the sometimes less than wholesome methods by which ‘the good guys’ gather information for the greater benefit of all.

Regardless of whether Lafferty intended it or not of course, that is entirely up to interpretation.

Or you could just ignore all that deeper meaning stuff and enjoy the hell out of a well crafted take on the super hero genre.

I hope that someday we might see Keepsie in a whole new story!

 And if you missed that link up above near the beginning… go buy the book here!