Thursday, August 31, 2017

Keep It Silly, Stupid!

In my last post, I bemoaned that I couldn't write anything serious.  I have since found that I like the "silly" stuff that I have written more than the "serious" stuff.  Consequently I will stick with the silly stuff.

At some point, I may find my serious voice; I will keep trying, but if a story turns silly I will let it,because I like it more.  At the end of the day, no one is going to read my stuff except me anyways, so I might as well enjoy it.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

I Can't Write Anything Serious

I didn't set out to write a silly story, things just worked out that way.

The current story that I'm working on, Squats and Mobiles, started out as a reaction to what Trump is doing.  In it, a future society is basically run by genetically engineered super intelligent beings that are referred to in slang as Squats called that because they have to stay in one place, while regular human beings, are referred to as Mobiles because they can move.

In this society, the Squats notice that the human race is slowly dying out, because nobody has much ambition any more.  The Squats decide to give something for humans to care about in the form of the re-introduction of fascism and despotism in the form of an unfortunate individual called Logan, who suffers from bipolar disorder.

The idea is for the Squats to steer Logan towards fascism and get the rest of the mobiles to oppose him.

Sounds serious, right?

Lately, I've written sections about how one squat, called Aristotle, becomes obsessed with potato salad.  The protagonist, called Elsie, is obsessed with coleslaw.

As I've written more and more, it has become increasingly silly.  I need to decide, fairly soon, whether this is going to be another silly story, or if it's going to be serious.  The problem is that I don't know how to write a serious story.

I guess the advantage to writing stuff that nobody reads is that I won't let anyone down if I try and fail.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Don't Have the Skill...Yet

There was a direction I wanted to take in my most recent story, but I didn't because I lack the skill to pull it off. In the story, I have these two groups and one group is obviously The Bad Guys.  The direction I wanted to take was to make The Good Guys were really the Bad Guys: they would do bad things for a good reason.  At the moment, I lack the skill to do this.  Some time in the future I may have the skill, but no right now.

I reminded of an artist who said something like to break the rules, you have to follow them first.  At this point I'm trying to figure out what the rule are.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

500 Words a Day

It doesn't sound like much, but I am finding it hard to do.  After I get going, however, I find it easier.
At any rate, her is chapter 2 of Squats and Mobiles:

* * *

The Squats had a meeting,

"The question is," Fred began, "whether we want to be responsible for creating a bunch of miscreants and thugs who are none the less able to carry on the human race."  There was stunned silence.

Finally Aristotle said, in a small voice, "That's not we were going to talk about."

"Your right Aristotle!  This meeting should be about that, but instead we are going to lie to ourselves, and instead go about creating thugs and miscreants to carry on the human race."

"How about if we let the human race die instead?" ventured another brain called Spinoza.

"That's the real question," Fred agreed, "should we do something or should we just let humanity die?"

"But in addition to creating thugs, human beings also created things of beauty. Don't we have an obligation to keep trying?" another brain put in.

"How about if we create the thugs for the other people to oppose rather than to carry on?"

"You mean that decent people need something to strive against to keep going?" Fred asked.


"We would still be creating thugs and miscreants." Fred observed.

"This is true."

"I can't go for that." Fred stated.

Silence greeted him.

"So it's down to if I don't support this, I'm out?" Fred asked.

Again silence.

"Then I'm out." Fred stated and got out of the meeting.

* * *

This was going to be difficult.

Fred had to go up against the other brains.

Over countless millennia, genetic engineering had made them the most intelligent, most resourceful of all sapient beings on Earth.

And he was going up against several of them.

Fred had no illusions about himself, he was smart, but there were limits to what he could do.

He thought again about what they were proposing: was it so bad?  Why did he feel this way when the rest of them felt differently? Was he maneuvered into feeling this way so that "the righteous" would have something to do?

He couldn't answer those questions, at least not right away, but he felt he had to do something.  He couldn't just do nothing while the rest of them created a race of thugs to carry on.

He wondered again if this had been planned.

* * *

"Well, that's done." Aristotle said to the rest of the group.

"I thought for sure that it was going to be you." Spinoza opined.

"Well, we knew that it would be somebody it just happened to be Fred."  Plato observed.

"Have you guys wondered if we're doing the right thing?" Aristotle asked.

"Doubts, I'm full of them." Spinoza quipped.

"But are we really doing the right thing?  We know what these people will do..." Aristotle persisted.

"What choice do we have?  The alternative is to give up."  Spinoza observed.

"True" Aristotle finished.

* * *

Elsie was looking out at the city when Fred's call came.

"Yes, Fred, do you want to play Trivial Pursuit again?" she asked tiredly.

"I just had a meeting with the other squats, it looks like some changes are coming."

"What sort of changes are you talking about?" Elsie asked.

"The sort where I'm going to have to ask you to do some things that I haven't asked you to do before."

Elsie sighed.

"What sort of things?"

"The sort that are doing to take a lot of time."

"What's this for?" Elsie asked.

"I can't really talk about that."

"Let me think about it."

Elsie hung up and stared out at the city.

Elsie thought about her life.  She was trying to impress people who didn't care so that she could feel good about herself.  This seemed like a very vapid pursuit.  On the other hand, Frank's vague hint weren't exactly compelling either.

Finally, it came down to doing something for Frank.

Elsie sighed again.

Frank wasn't exactly a good friend, she couldn't understand a lot of his ideas when he tried to share them.  He mostly relieved her boredom.

She decided and called Frank back.

"I'm sorry, Frank."

"It's for a good cause, you know."

Frank paused for a moment and then said "You know, in previous times, it was considered 'cool' to have some sort of cause."


"Yes but that probably won't work with todays people."

"I don't know about that..." Elsie imagined cocktail parties with something to actually talk about.

"Count me in."  She decided.

"Are you sure?"

"Yes." Elsie hung up

* * *

Over the next couple of days, Elsie researched what people used to do for causes and the talked to Frank.

"Do you realize that people used to throw parties and that sort of thing to raise money for research into diseases?" she said excitedly.

"Really?  Tell me some more."

"Well, this one time, a bunch of famous signers got together for Africa.  It was called 'We Are the World.'  Apparently, anyone who was important got invited!"

Frank hoped that this would maintain Elsie's interest for a long enough time.

"So what do you plan on using for a cause?" he asked.

There was a pause then Elsie answered "I was hoping that you might be able to help out with that."

* * *

Over the next few months, Aristotle and friends reinstated 'brown shirt' rallies in Europe.  Of course they didn't call them that or align themselves with neo-fascism, but the ideas were there.  They looked around for someone suitable...

Ryan was a person with problems.

He was, what previous generations would call, manic-depressive and spent some of the time wildly enthusiastic about something only to be depressed later on.

Due to the state of medicine, he was getting proper treatment for his condition he was also getting the proper medication for it.

"The Gnomes of Zurich" as the group of brains liked to jokingly refer to themselves, met to discuss him.

"But we can't take him off his meds!"  Spinoza pleaded.

"We aren't going to take them away, just modify them a little."  Aristotle said.

"It's the same thing!  He'll start doing crazy shit."

"That's just what's needed."

"But what about him?" Spinoza asked.

"Sometimes, for all to be saved, some have to be sacrificed."

* * *

Logan received his "new" meds (which looked the same as his old meds) and took them.  The gnomes waited...

He started having paranoid delusions within a few months.

His therapist didn't know what was wrong.

* * *

"He's starting to lose it."  Spinoza said.

"Everything is going according to plan.  He needs a nudge in the right direction." Aristotle responded.

The "nudge" turned out to be attendance at a brownshirt rally.

Logan took to it like a fly to honey and was soon speaking at rallies.

"I think he's moving in the right direction." Aristotle commented.

"But this is wrong." Spinoza protested.

"It's for the greater good." Aristotle rejoined.

The other brains were silent.

* * *

Elsie planned for a "Virtue Gala" that would be thrown in what was now New York.  There was a slight problem.

There wasn't a cause that the Gala to be thrown for.

But this detail didn't bother Elsie.

"I've invited everyone who is anyone to be there!" she enthused to Frank.

"But you don't have a cause!"  Frank protested.

"Details." Elsie dismissed.

* * *

The "Virtue Gala was a resounding flop.

Elsie was there, but 2/3 of the people she invited weren't.  Those that did show up, mostly milled about for less than an hour and left.

"Nobody even showed up!" she said to Frank.

"You didn't have a cause."  Frank tried to point out.

"That's beside the point!  Some of these people were my friends!" Elsie went on about how betrayed she felt.  Frank wondered if he had the right person.

* * *

The gnomes were making better progress with their project.

After some discussion, they decided to take key people in the movement off their meds too.

Logan was now giving speeches to hundreds of people. Flailing about for a target minority, Logan finally settled on a group known as "The Humanist" to pick on.  One of their beliefs was that all human beings should be treated equally.

Logan's speeches took on more angry tones, going on about how the Humanists were weakening the race, etc.

At this point Logan's therapist became a problem.

Becoming increasingly distraught over Logan's transformation, she became convinced that something was wrong with his meds.

* * *

"We have to do something about her." Plato mentioned at one of their meetings.

"What's her name again?" Aristotle asked.

"Sue Ventura." Plato replied.

"What do you suggest?" Aristotle replied.

"I don't know, but she could ruin everything if she finds out." Plato observed.

Sue had become alarmed when Logan stopped showing up for their sessions.  Then when she found out what he was doing in his spare time she became frightened.

She started dropping by his place to check up on him and was concerned at the sort of people he associated with.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Storys Take Work

One thing I find very discouraging about writing is the impression that stories shoot from good writers in their final state.

Things don't work that way for me.

Instead, I have to work at creating a story, often one word at a time, until I have enough to get started. Then I have to figure out what the story is about, if it has the right structure, etc.  Nothing comes to me fully formed,

To reinforce this notion, I will try to post each chapter (about 1,250 words), in all it's ugly glory, as soon as I finish it.  That way anyone reading will see that my stories go through quite a bit of change before they're "done."

Here is chapter 1 of "Squats and Mobiles"

Elsie looked at Frank.  He was a giant (1m) brain in a jar.

"Best out of 3?" Frank said hopefully.  They had been playing trivial pursuit.

Elsie got out of her chair which was pulled up to a table near where the jar where Frank sat and walked away in disgust.

It wasn't because Frank lost, he could beat her easily if he chose to, it was because Frank always turned every game into some sort of experiment.

"Thanks for dropping by."  Frank called as she left the room.  Elsie reflected on the nature of Squats.
Squats, the slang term for artificially created humans, were almost always giant brains these days. They were called that because they usually stayed in on place while "mobiles," like Elsie walked around.

While you could make an artificially enhanced person, nobody bothered to these days.  After many years in which the status of artificial persons were in question, these days Squats were pretty much treated like everybody else. 

And nobody much gave a fuck.

Elsie was something of an anomaly among modern humans.  When you could screen for pretty much any physical condition, "shooting the moon," as making a child the old fashion way and leaving everything up to chance, as Elsie's parents had done, was very uncommon.

Unlike many of her compatriots, Elsie had a zest for life that "people" like Frank found interesting. She spent a lot of her time as "under a microscope" as she jokily referred to her time with Frank.
Squats were interested in why the human race was dying out.

Over the last few thousand years fewer and fewer people were having children.  Now the Earth was only home to a few hundred million of homo sapiens, and Squats wanted to know why.

Most of what she did with Frank fell into what previous generations would refer to as "social experiments," were Frank would do something and see how Elsie responded.  It was hoped that somehow, her interest in life could her transferred to her colleges who didn't give a damn.
That was the problem, Elsie reflected, as she left the building where Frank lived, most people just didn't care.  While today's Earth was, in many ways, better than it had been in the past, there was very little pollution, humans just milled about on it.

Elsie passed groups of people who were staring at nothing, like a cat.  People would do things like that when there was nothing else to do.  You would think that, at a time like this, when humanity has achieved so much, that people would be out celebrating or something, but they just sat around.

Elsie crossed the street and ducked into a subway, on her way home.

On the subway there was the usual quota of riders, going nowhere and getting there fast, that one would expect, but Elsie ignored them.

Getting off at her stop, Elsie bustled into her apartment.  She had 10 rooms to herself, there wasn't a lot of competition for real estate these days because people just didn't care.

Elsie had dinner and looked at several other apartments with her computer.  All of them had more rooms than she currently had.

Elsie changed into her pajamas and went to bed.

* * *

"Where are we at" Frank asked one of his colleagues, called Aristotle.

"300 million give or take, and decreasing steadily."  Aristotle replied through the network that linked them.  Aristotle was actually in Europe.

Frank thought about this.  Since the 2000's, the worldwide population had been decreasing steadily until they were at the point where they were at right now.  When everything had been done what was the point in doing anything?

The inclusion of negatively traits like greed was necessary to continue the race: at least greedy people did something.

Elsie was a strange one.  She actually wanted things.

* * *

"Thank you all for coming." Elsie said brightly.  Her guests looked like they didn't give a damn.
A servant came in bearing a tray full of ordeuvrs.  Her guests looked at them with tepid disinterest. One or two of them took a few.

Another servant came in bearing champagne. Only Elsie took one.

She went over to a window and looked down.

"They look so small form up here."

Her guests stared at Elsie without betraying any thoughts.  A man chimed in.
"That's because we're high up."

Elsie glared at him, but he returned her stare, a helpful look on his face.

"If we were down lower you could see them."

The man, whose name was Adam, said.

 The guests milled about inspecting Elsie's book collection.

"I collect first edition" apropo of nothing.

Her guests were not impressed.

"You have My Pet Goat." One of them observed.

"It is a first edition."  Elsie's smile became brittle.

The guests milled about some more and then left.

Elsie sighed.  Today's people just didn't get into the spirit of things.

"The guests seemed to enjoy themselves" a servant, name Bosely, observed.

Elsie stopped and regarded him.  Bosely was dressed in a black waiters' outfit (Elsie had insisted on this, but most people were not even aware of the outfit's significance) and had that look that all servitors had.  For time out of mind (a few hundred years ago), humanity had come up with another race specifically designed to serve them.

The servitors looked human, but you could always tell a servitor from a regular human being. The servitors looked like they actually cared. During previous times, a minority of human would have championed against creating a slave race but at this point, no bothered.

Elsie sighed and said "As things go, it wasn't a total disaster."

"Do you want me to grovel?" Bosely asked.

Elsie stared at Bosely for a little bit.  The fact that he really wanted to make her happy took all of the fun out of it.

"No, that won't be necessary." 

Elsie wandered up to her first editions and perused the titles without interest. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

A Page a Day

As a rule of thumb, there are 250 words to a page.  In an effort to keep myself writing, I am doing 250 words a day.

One of my favorite authors, J. Michael Straczynski, once alluded to the fact that, if you did write something, at least there was something to edit later.  I think what he says is true, though I look at it a little differently.  For me, I figure that most of what I write is crap, so I might as well the bad stuff out of the way to get to the good stuff.

This tacitly assumes that there is, indeed some good stuff.

At any rate, I am going to keep trying to write at least 250 words a day.  If, after a week, I am still doing that I will try for 500, and so on until I reach 1,000 words a day (4 pages).  I figure that's a good goal to shoot for.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

DOLT 2 Chapter 3 Up

I just posted chapter 3 of "DOLT 2: Why Settle for a Lesser Evil?" in the stories section.  Blogger was acting out this morning, which is why I didn't post it then.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

DOLT2 Chapter 2 Up

I just posted DOLT 2, chapter 2 in the story area.  I am a little worried that I didn't spell "Astrothoth" correctly everywhere.  No doubt my legions of readers (ha!) will point out any problems.

Monday, August 14, 2017

DOLT 2 Chapter 1 Up

I just put "DOLT 2: Why Settle for a Lesser Evil?" chapter 1 in the stories section.

I did this story using the "1 page a day" method of writing.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Editing DOLT 2

I'm editing "DOLT 2: Why Settle for a Lesser Evil?"  I arbitrarily chose 6 pages to per day to edit. I'm mostly just reading through it and changing from past tense to present tense. I should be done with the story on Monday.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Quantum Toast Up

I just posted "Quantum Toast," in the stories area.  I'm not too happy with this story because the ending seems like a cop out.  If I get around to it I'll rewrite it.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Legumes and Other N-space Components Up

Today I posted "Legumes and Other N-space Components."  This was one of those short stories that I didn't think warranted it's own page for some reason.  It also shows that I am running out of stories from my other site.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Evening Chapter 3 Up

I just posted Evening Chapter 3 in the stories section.  That's the final chapter to that story.  The last "page" was much longer than the others, but thems the breaks.

Monday, August 7, 2017

Evening Chapter 2 Up

I posted Evening, Chapter 2 in the stories section.  I'm running out of stories to "migrate" from my other site.  This means that I will have to write/edit some new stuff.

Oh Joy.

It's not that I don't like writing, I'm just afraid that what I create wont be any good.  Judging by what has come before, however, I've set the bar pretty low :-)

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Evening Chapter 1 Up

Today I posted Chapter 1 of "Evening" a parody of the angsty, teenage movie series "Twight."  It also winds up spoofing the "Harry Potter" series as well.

It was originally written one page a day, but I have gathered 5 days into a chapter.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Groupthink: the Lighter Side Up

I just posted Groupthink: the Lighter Side on the stories page.  Migrating these stories is much more time consuming than I imagined.  Going forward, I may just post a chapter, instead of the entire story.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Deathtalker 2 Up

I posted the sequel to the "Deathtalker" story, "Deathtalker 2" on the blog.  I noticed a piece of original artwork for the story, created by none other than "Ozark" the creator of the "Mind Flayed" webcomic.  I looked around, but I found no working links for that webcomic.  I will try emailing her but I'm not very hopeful.  Too bad: I really liked that webcomic.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Deathtalker Up

Just when you thought the web was safe I go and migrate another story!

This one is a Star Wars fanfic about Anakin Skywalker.  The thing was, Anakin was supposed to bring balance to the force but he really didn't do anything (as Darth Vadar he does but that's another story).

This is a "what if" story in which he takes a different route...

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Puppet: Spydhar Up

Today I put up Puppet: Spydhar in the stories section.

I also noticed something about my writing: as I get further and further into a series, it tends to get sillier and sillier.  Stories like the Puppeteer series, that started out about something serious, like loneliness, end up being about something silly, like giant spiders from another dimension trying to eat you.

I don't know why this is.  I like funny stories as much as the next person.  If I had any readers, I'd ask if it bothers them.  Maybe it's because I tend to get immediate, positive feedback when I write funny stuff.  Maybe it's easier for me to write funny stories.

Maybe it doesn't mean anything at all.

It's just something I noticed.