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Hello, writers. A shout-out for those who reported surpassing 50,000 words in the month of November:

Cronewit
terrypinder
USHomeopath
Cassandra Waites
Woohoo! Big cheers. Well done, folks. If this is your first time through—now you know you can do it. If this is your third, or ninth, or twelfth time through… now you know you can do it. (It does get easier. But it doesn’t get easy.)

Cheers, too, to all the folks who went for it and will no doubt hit it out of the park next year. Or maybe NaNoWriMo just isn’t your style, but you’ll have the manuscript finished by next November anyway.

To tonight’s topic… Ideas. I’ve been thinking about ideas a lot lately. It seems to me that most of the stories we read, and love best, use very old tropes. Boy meets girl. Boy meets boy. World must be saved. World must be changed. The seven basic plots, or the 32 basic plots, or the three basic plots. What matters, as we’ve discussed before, is not the newness of the idea but how you renew it, with your own twist, voice, humor, quirky characters, etc.

New ideas should be handled with caution. (I’m talking strictly about fiction here! Not government, science, education, etc.) Often new story ideas are logically flawed… the reason no one’s done a story like this before is because it wouldn’t happen, people don’t act like that, dragons don’t act like that, the second law of thermodynamics doesn’t act like that. It’s always worth trying a new idea, in case it really is new, and it’s possible it will turn into a wonderful story. But bear in mind that a story has to make an awful lot of sense. Much more sense than, say, reality.

Sometimes a writer thinks s/he has a new idea, but the idea is really pretty old. This tends to happen to writers who haven’t read enough in their genre. It’s not a huge problem, because most ideas are old. It’s just that if the writer doesn’t know it’s an old story, s/he might neglect to twist it properly.

If you’ve been reading Write On! for a while, you’re familiar with the tale of the Jewel of Togwogmagog. To wit:

A callow youth (male or female) is the Chosen One who must obtain the sacred jewel of Togwogmagog in order to save the kingdom.
Stock stuff, right? The bloody battlefields of fiction are strewn with the corpses of Chosen Ones and littered with the discarded wrappers of sacred jewels.

But what happens when y’all write about this hackneyed youth? S/he becomes the shiny new star (or shiny new patsy, or shiny new resident klutz) of very different stories. Not one of the callow youths you’ve written about is like another. Their stout companions are all different, and the Realms they inhabit are different. If everyone published their Togwogmagog tale, nobody would be accusing anybody of stealing ideas. (Well, I hope not, anyway.)

Sometimes when I put up a Tonight’s Challenge, I think “Well, of course everybody will write X.” But nobody ever does write X. Everyone’s idea is different from mine.

Most story ideas are old, but all story ideas are endlessly renewable, reusable, expandable, twistable, reversible, spoofable, sublime… damn, I’ve exceeded my adjective quota.

Don’t be afraid to use up all your ideas. You can’t. They’re everyone’s ideas, and they go on and on.

Tonight’s challenge comes from a logline I saw in The Guardian for a review of a Broadway play. I didn’t actually read the review, but I jotted down the line because it seemed like it should be a story idea. Yours or mine— whatever we write, it won’t be what the playwright wrote.

Here’s the line:

[a] one-night stand gone surreally awry
Use that line, either as a description of your scene, or as a line in a scene, a metaphor in your POV character’s thoughts… use it any way you want.
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Comment Preferences

  •  Of course, I can't really use that idea (14+ / 0-)

    because there's just no space in the middle grade market for one-night stands gone surreally awry.

    And I just realized I forgot to mention that while the idea is up for grabs, of course the actual words belong to the writer.

    Btw, did I miss anybody on the 50k count? When people reported their counts last week, there was still a day left in NaNoWriMo.

    -9.0, -8.3 "Remember, a writer writes. Always." --Throw Momma from the Train

    by SensibleShoes on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 10:19:40 AM PST

  •  I shall take up the challenge: (12+ / 0-)
    one-night stand gone surreally awry
    The pair stumbled, giggling, drunk.

    "Here we are, my dear!" said Marcus, unlocking and opening the door. "Ta da!"

    Adrienne just giggled and hiccuped.

    "Make yourself at home," he said lecherously as he went into the bedroom. He shed every last bit of clothing. Adrienne was hot. He couldn't believe his luck! Picked her up, right there at Zembies.

    They'd start on the couch, and then move to the dining room...and then to the kitchen...then maybe back to the couch...

    He returned naked to the living room.

    Adrienne was not on the couch. In her place was a greenish quivering blob, with many, many tentacles.

    "I made myself at home," it hummed, in Adrienne's voice. The tentacles whirled about.

    "I see you are ready, darling," it said.

    pseudoscience can kill

    by terrypinder on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 05:15:54 PM PST

  •  On Clichés and Tiger Orange (13+ / 0-)

    Way, way back in the late 1980s, a friend of mine landed a job editing a furry anthology comic called FURRLOUGH for a small comics company in Texas.  He asked me if I'd be interested in contributing anything for the comic.  I told him I'd been kicking around an idea about a genetically-engineered combat cat-girl who was trying to find her creator.

    There was a pause on the other end of the phone, and then my friend said, "You do realize that this is the biggest cliché in furry fandom, don't you?"

    Actually, I didn't; so I mumbled something and changed the subject.  But eventually I did write the story and it was serialized in FURRLOUGH.  And "Tiger Orange" became one of the top 10 stories in the comic's monthly reader poll.

    Maybe it was so popular simply because it was a familiar well-liked plot, but I like to think that readers liked it because I managed to do that cliché well.

    "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

    by quarkstomper on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 05:29:50 PM PST

  •  "Surreally awry?" (10+ / 0-)
        "Hmmmm?"  Persimma asked.  He was mumbling, but it's hard to speak clearly with a mouthful of earlobe.  He had a lot of talent in the earlobe field and she didn't want him to stop for a chat.  But you have to be Polite, Persimma reminded herself. Men might have changed while she was slogging through the swamps of Sordor on her way to Togwogmagog with Bunny Nesbit.  For all she knew, they had evolved into beings who wanted to reach spiritual intimacy with their one-night-standees.  Or standers.  He was probably asking "Is it really all right?" just to make sure she agreed with his current approach.  And oh, did she ever.

         He slowly, lubriciously, released her earlobe (Persimma throbbed) and spoke more clearly.

         "Surreally awry?"

          "Huh?"

         He opened his eyes and looked surprised to see her.  "Oh, sorry, Prudencia -- Prunella -- uh...  I was thinking of log lines."

         "Oh."  Same old same old.  Just like Ode on A Grecian Urn.  With writers, it's always about the writing.

  •  I started this the middle of August (10+ / 0-)

    and ended election day.  750 pages 2.7 pounds recounting the epic quest to find The Diamond at the End of Time and defeat and infundicate Flit Doomney and the Jim Jims.

    The Chains of the Sea  http://www.amazon.com/...

    "I didn’t say anything more. We, had found the Holy Grail, two of us had carried the Spear of Power, died and came back at least three times, been to Wrigley and seen God twice, saved Christmas, watched as William James kicked the devil’s ass, saved the world from nuclear war, found the silver that will save everything. I had, personally, saved the Lost Poems of John Keats, saved the One Ring. Tim had saved the Blues, Sam had been given a noogie by Jesus himself, we all had saved the world from the Alien Baby Eating Jesus…I had given a piggy back ride to John Keats saving him from the alien corn and I couldn’t even remember what else…oh, yeah, I almost killed Hitler. Would have killed him if Tarbard hadn’t been in the way. Been wounded twice with arrows dipped in the Ichor of Jane…oh, yeah I also saved Desdemona from Othello, helped give Dracula a reason to live, exorcised the World’s Greatest Economist from the Devil’s ass…found the Willie Mays baseball card that would be the key to everything…

    The President of the United States, Ralston Valentine knew what we were thinking I think.

    “Wait a minute guys. I know what you are thinking, I think. Look, we would never be here without you three. But, the fact is you cannot throw. You cannot hit. And you don't know baseball from shit – compared to who we got! These are the End Times.”

    •  Fron the Ending (6+ / 0-)

      NoWhen + 1

       The Flit Domney Entity appears in an instant at the right hand of the cheering God. God is oblivious. The Flit Domney Entity extends its NotHand and the Tarbard BONGS and the Flit Domney Entity hesitates for an instant. Looks at Opie who shouts “Ask not for whom the bell tolls, mofo. It tolls for thee!” and then smiles…the All American smile … and the Flit Domney Entity turns and smiles back. “Don’t look!” the blind epic poet John Milton screams and leaps in front of Opie and jumps into Nothing fastening his teeth on the throat of Nothing who screams and then, from that wound, a black vapor of the color called Analume, an eldritch ichor of the Lovecraftian sort, formless, formed, sentient, beyond good and evil yet EVIL and swirling turning there then an army of the NOTHING in the air.

      John Donne, the Sammel, Davy Crockett, Codswallop, me, Tim, Sam, Lovelace…all of us howl in unbelief… frozen in terror… but Opie, only Opie, advances slowly… smiling…  advancing as if against a wind from Hell and then the Fonz is next to him smiling at the Nothing the Fonz combing his hair smiling and smiling and then the Flit Domney Entity falls to one knee!

      And there beside him swinging his bat again and again against Nothing and crying is the young Seymour Glass. Forms like bats pour out the wound… whirl, ascend then dive towards Seymour and are one by one taken out by the disappeared ducks led by one…a duck, no the white feathers fall off as he dives – Captain Flint, the parrot … Long Johns Silver parrot! … or …and the bats fall to the floor of the stadium and change at once into trolls their fangs bared, their long arms reaching for us!

      “The Kochs!” Red howls and we all begin firing as Milton clings by his teeth to the throat of Nothing and the Flit Domney Entity twists shrieking and pulls Milton at last from his throat and hurls him into God who is cheering and oblivious, never notices the poet, dead again but redeemed forever and Richie circles the bases, stops a second before he gets home, touches his hat, looks up, then touches home plate.

      Dark! Dark!

      And then a chant “Kong! Kong! KONG! The stadium fills with an orange light and Sam Spade, who is King Kong touches the Maltese Falcon and is KONG AGAIN, roars, grabs Jeri and puts her on his head and Vonnegut cheers, Saul Bellow runs into the aisle emptying his Colt .45 into the Entity, flips a Remington Full Auto Herzog to Asher Lev and they both advance guns blazing and the Forms of Ichor fall and the Kochs fall.

      I am screaming. Out of the corner of my eye I see the parrot attacked by three giant bats and then fall to the floor covered in blood and I get up, fall, get up. The sky is folding, then erupting. I dream that I am in “The Waltons,” I dream I am one of the Monkees. I fall again but the Jack of Hearts pulls me to me feet and then the deuce and the ace run wildly past me. I see the deuce bend down and pick up the parrot and hand him to…who is that? But then Sammel groans beside me and I look towards God who is disappearing…the hand of the Flit Domney Entity finally touching him and Seymour jumps, swings the bat against the arm which pulls back and the Flit Domney Entity glances down stopped for just that second and then it howls and reaches out towards God again and is encircled by a giant hand, the Ape’s hand that picks Nothing up, with the other hand Kong points to FOREVER and then Nothing changes, there in Kong’s hand, changes into an elephant. An elephant in my old Hopalong Cassidy pajamas and Kong looks down and the elephant cries “Please, I’ll be good!” and Kong looks down and hesitates and I aim Old Betsy and pull the trigger and the BB hits him squarely between the eyes and he changes again and Kong sees what is there…Kong looks at the ultimate Nothingness and grins and hurls Nothing going going gone over the stadium wall out of here to FOREVER!

      Milton jumps up! Does a happy dance! The parrot is beside me. Tells me he was Flaubert’s parrot all along. Harpo is beside me introducing Captain Spaulding (yes, our man…the Heckle, Spaulding, the Jeckle Spaulding, the owner of the library where it all began…you see…) as Rufus T. Firefly. The national anthem of Freedonia is sung. Peace a last. “I shot an elephant in my pajamas!” I shout. And then “Did someone call me Schnorrer?” And from all. “Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!”

      The Splendid Splinter. the little guy sweating each pitch against class D minor league semi-pros, St. Louis Stars, Detroit Wolves, Kansas City Monarchs, Homestead Grays, Pittsburgh Crawfords Memphis Red Sox, Chicago American Giants, Kansas City Stars, Detroit Senators. Grover Cleveland Alexander sick and dying at Beaubier's Hotel… somehow saved. Or… So that:

      NoWhen + 2
      It’s over and the demons, and Balrogs, the great dictators, the evil wights all utter a great groan all at once and then, as expected, the air darkens with a dark never seen and from under the earth, from above the earth, from all sides of the stadium their legions pour into the stadium to doom everyone.

      Satan laughs! Hitler leaps up and gestures to the sky. Schwarffen SS soldiers appear next to him and surround him their weapons aimed everywhere. Stalin brings his arm down and gestures to the sky and the sky is filled with nameless forms. In fact there were so many nameless forms that it seemed as if the very heavens would burst. when they are joined by the Named: Giant Balrogs of Ignorance, 666 Tush Bimball Balrogs, the Blood Mongols of the Great Ku Klux Khan and 31 million Glenn Becks, and, of course, the Chamber of Commerce.
      And with a careless grace hitherto unmatched Deputy Barney Fife dressed as Long Johns Silver activated his rocket pack and floated until he was directly above Satan THEN looked him in the eyes (Satan’s eyes directed at his doom), THEN squeezed the trigger of his revolver and put the SINGLE silver bullet directly between Satan’s eyes and at the same instant shouted “NIP IT IN THE BUD!”

      In the same instant the Dude, Garry Getz, leaned a bit to the left on his SuperHarley while Norma Desmond fixed her eyes on Stalin. “I’m ready for my close-up, Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili, Father of All Nations!” she ululates!  Stalin looked at her in horror as the Dude infundicated the mofo with a single golden beam from his Derealizer.

      The Silky saw this and, with a light laugh, walked directly up to Hitler, his guards frozen by Howling Wolf playing “I’m a Man” and kicked der motherfucker in the balls thrice and then infundicated der motherfucker sixteen times until The Wolf gently touched her arm and pointed to the sky where poet puppets fell, falling, softly falling on the living and the infundicated.

      And the nameless forms and so on? Infundicated utterly by the GoodWill beams directed from Scrooge’s rocket and from the riverboat “Not for Sale” from which Twain and Dickens and Huddie Ledbetter leaned out and waved smiling and smiling.

      “Tiptoe through The Tulips” played blasting from the Super AR 15s on the Polaris as King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table ran onto the field desperate to get Richie Halloran’s autograph. Richie was just then signing the Disappeared Satchel Paige ball and giving it to God who kept on materializing bats and balls for Richie to sign until Babe Ruth gently led him away.

      The President of the United States, George Washington, was able to establish some order. Abe Lincoln was next in line, then Teddy, then Franklin Roosevelt. When the President saw Sam he, of course, put him near the head of the line right in front of James Dean who asked Sam for HIS autograph. Mark Lostlenore, who had been through so much, looked on. He thought it was cool that he was now Ted Williams and hoped that, very soon, he could just go back to being Mark Lostlenore even though Robert Frost was writing a poem about it and even though, for the first time in his life, he could really hit.

  •  Never drop acid before trying to pick up chicks (11+ / 0-)

    I always tried to take that mantra seriously;

    But then the Dead went on tour again.

    Another one-night-stand gone surreally awry.

    What in the world ever became of sweet Jane?

  •  Btw, hugs to everybody who (11+ / 0-)

    celebrates an anniversary the waiter doesn't want to hear about.

    My sister is two years from diagnosis as of tomorrow. I forget what the chances of getting here were, but the number "14%" is what stuck in her mind, so maybe that was it.

    -9.0, -8.3 "Remember, a writer writes. Always." --Throw Momma from the Train

    by SensibleShoes on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 06:02:05 PM PST

  •  Middle School Verzun (10+ / 0-)
    I told my stoopid brother it wudn't work. But he sed I wuz wrong. We shall sea.

    So there we wer at 4 in the AM tryin to be as quite in the kitchun as we cud. "Fresh baked bred with a schmear can make your Grandfather agree to almost anything," stoopid brother sez.

    "He's your Grandfather to," I sed.

    "I know thet," he sez, "I'm just quota-ing Mom. Now help me with the ingrediunce."

    "Bobby," I sez (that's my stoopid brother's name - Bobby - not thet there's any chance I'd have a smart brother, cuz they never are), like I wuz sayin, "Bobby, we don't have enuff flower."

    "That's OK, get that box of Grape-Nutz and top off the measurin cup with that. Tastes better than flower anyhow. Especially that dark stuff, what's it called, awry flower? We'll be gettin Granddad to take us to the Appel Stor for sure."

    We were out of cream cheez so I suggested that a jar of Jif wuz practicly the same. And soon we were tiptowing into granddad's room with a tray garunteed to net us two iPads.

    "Which night stand shuld we put it on?" I sez.

    "The one hiz glassus and denchurz aren't on." sez stoopid brother.

    Then it happend. Granddad woke up, snifed the air, and smiled. "Excuse me children, thet smellz so gud, I won't even bother puttin in my teeth. Hot, soft awry bread. Mmm mmm." Then Grandpa bit down, and screemed in payne. "What the Hell did you put in thet bred?" as he reached for his glassus.

    "Grape-Nutz," I sez.

    So Grampa starts chokin a littul, and reeches for his denchures so hard that the the broken laig on the night stand brakes again, and the glass with his denchures in it spills all over the kat. Heering this Mom comes in and sez to Bobby, "What is going on heer?"

    Bobby sez, "It's just a one-night stand gone surreally awry."

    best,

    john

    Strange that a harp of thousand strings should keep in tune so long

    by jabney on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 06:04:04 PM PST

  •  I'm not sure I can recall an example (9+ / 0-)

    of a genuinely new idea that just totally failed to stick - I think it's much more common to get the sense that a writer didn't realize his/her 'new' idea is a very old one that's been around the block a few times and is starting to look a little worn out.   I'm sure the garbage bins of publishing houses are littered with the first drafts of "I've got a great idea for a story"s that all look way more alike than their authors realize.  Stanislaw Lem argued that his frustration with contemporary science fiction is that it's almost all old mythologies rendered into kitsch by authors who don't even realize they're doing it.  

    Since we're on the topic of surrealism and one-night stands, has everyone been keeping up with the nominees for the Bad Sex Award?  Here's the 2012 winner.  It's quite a doozy.  

    Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

    by pico on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 06:10:20 PM PST

    •  I Went to the Link (7+ / 0-)
      propelling you bodiless and soulless into undulating space where the undulating skies make your non-body undulate
      What, no ululation?

      best,

      john

      Strange that a harp of thousand strings should keep in tune so long

      by jabney on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 06:28:39 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I gotta tell you I consciously had the thought (8+ / 0-)

      "You know, Sensible, you're really going to annoy pico."

      Followed by "Oh well, he hasn't shown up in a few weeks anyway."

      ;P

      You're right, that is a doozy. I could barely make it to the end. I'm surprised Kamal could.

      Reviews of self-published books often contain some quick outlines of new ideas that don't work, usually for logical reasons, sometimes for WTF reasons...

      But can you think of an example of a completely new idea in fiction that you've seen in, like, the last ten years?

      -9.0, -8.3 "Remember, a writer writes. Always." --Throw Momma from the Train

      by SensibleShoes on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 06:30:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Ha! You never annoy me. (6+ / 0-)

        I've just been busy with work... It's been hard to get the time away.  Wednesdays are even worse, so I haven't dropped by cfk's joint more than once or twice in the last few months.

        For what it's worth, here are the words that really stick out to me in that list of reviews you linked: in the first, "familiar"; in the second, "the usual tropes"; in the fourth, "tired formula"; in the fifth, "clichéd"; etc.   I'm guessing many of these authors don't even realize they're doing it, which is the bane of the amateur.  

        I'm having a hard time with the "new" thing.  Every example I come up with, I start thinking "oooh, that's just like..."  Which is the bane of the academic.  :)

        Here's my entry, which is not a new idea:

            Walter was stuck in a time loop.  This in itself wasn't so unpleasant: once Walter realized what was happening (loops 1-6), exhausted all his attempts to find a solution (loops 7-82ish), went through his cycle of anger (loops 82ish-85), mourning (86-91), and despair (92-147) and lost count of how many time he'd relived the same day (somewhere around loop 164), he came to find its familiar rhythms comforting.  His friends never died, and they were always happy to see him.
             There was, however, one thing he wished he could change: every morning began with the sound of vomiting from the next room, from a woman he'd brought home the night before the time loop began.  They'd both been drunk and the sex was no doubt awkward (Walter long ago forgot what it was like), so every morning he had to face the glare of a sick woman who, realizing where she was, couldn't believe she'd actually gone home with him.   They both stank of sweat and booze, and even at his most blasé Walter felt ashamed when she looked at him with disappointment in her eyes.
             He tried different approaches.  Sometimes he'd apologize and offer breakfast (which she rarely accepted); sometimes he felt bitter and stormed out before she'd left the bathroom, feeling, in his callous way, that any damage he'd do would be erased on his return the next (same) morning.  She'd be there vomiting tomorrow, the one-night stand you could never shake.

        Saint, n. A dead sinner revised and edited. - Ambrose Bierce

        by pico on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 06:58:04 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  dear lawd have mercy that's...dreadful. (6+ / 0-)

      pseudoscience can kill

      by terrypinder on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 06:57:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Come to think of it... (12+ / 0-)

    A lot of the stories I drew for GENUS, the adult furry anthology my friend also edited, fall under the heading of "One-Night Stands Gone Sureally Awry".

    Perhaps my favorite was a story with a character I called "Sex Kitten".  Yes, real imaginative name.  She was a super-hero who had to indulge in passionate love-making every 24 hours to recharge her super-powers.  Her arch-enemy, Xenobia, kidnapped Kitty's boyfriend, Milo, to prevent her from doing this.

    After frantically searching the city, Kitty realizes that her powers will expire soon and there's only one thing she can to do stop it.  But every man she approaches, suddenly falls over unconscious.  "I've never had that effect on men before!" she frets.

    But she soon figures out the truth.  Xenobia has sent one of her henchmen to follow Kitty around town with a rifle full of tranquilzer darts to make sure she didn't get lucky.

    Now when I started the story, I intended to have Kitty solve her problem by jumping the henchman; but as the story progressed, I realized I needed to do something different.  In an earlier scene I had a policeman call her "Sex Kitten, beloved symbol of virtue and decency."  I thought was being ironic, but in retrospect I realized I wasn't.  Kitty really was a nice, sweet, decent girl.  Who just happened to enjoy lots of hot 'n' happy sex with her boyfriend.  She was not one to have her way with some random stooge, not even for the sake of a gag.  I realized that for the story to work, there could be no sex in it.

    So I had Kitty fly around the earth at super-speed.  The Time-Dilation Effect caused time to slow down for her, so that when the time came to confront Xenobia, she still had her powers and was able to defeat the villain.

    One of the readers commented, "Only in a comic book would it be easier to fly around the earth at relativistic speeds than simply fly to the next city to get laid."

    "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

    by quarkstomper on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 06:16:58 PM PST

  •  I know I don't use new ideas (10+ / 0-)

    I like mining myths and fairy tales to reinterpret. I am a sucker for romances, even if I'm trying them in new directions, like a species that forms long term commitments in a foursome, and that foursome needn't be just their own species.
    And throw in a must-save-the-universe for added fun.
    (Although, I'm getting hints that some where in the vague abyss of my subconscious is a story questioning exactly who are we saving the universe from? that has something about a mirror for an answer. It's an interesting idea but my characters are running from it in horror. Should be a good one then. . .)

    Well, on to the exercise. Less saving of the universe, more saving one's sorry scraps of dignity:

        What the solar flare up my ass hit me?
        Well, yes, it had been one of those rudimentary backwater dives. He was in the black holey hell of the galaxy. Primitives. Primates.
        Only those jumped up tree swingers stuck hideous jeweled garlands around your neck.
        With a glue, apparently. He tried futily to bang it off with a rear hoof, again. Which did not help the ache in his head.
        Alright, he had tuck in quite a few of the apples. Very nicely fermented, really, for being stored in wood barrels. Certainly had broken the atmosphere with the ladies. One of those perks of scouting, in the out-backs, no one has to know every thing you did.
        Such lovely, lovely ladies, too. But not really the brains to be worth being saddled with the itchy monstrosity around his neck. Was it some sort of marriage custom? Mark of a sacrifice to their gods?
        He looked around. The strange field was empty. No wooden shelter housing the fruits, no hay filled alcoves for frolicking with the fillies. Well, best get moving before they show up looking for commitment. Walking a short distance, he realized his other rear leg hurt like a meteor scrape. Like getting his immunizations on joining the Scout core.
        Not too far away, he found a pool of water, collected runoff. A deep drink eased his headache. He might just be fit enough to port his sorry ass out. Gazing into the still water, he got a good look at the indignities done to him. Payment for one night of debauchery.
        And explain it all- collar, shaved ass, and rear-striking-meteors! An ear tag. . . Snowstone is going to laugh her ass off at me. . .

    I am much too liberal to be a Democrat.

    by WiseFerret on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 06:27:16 PM PST

  •  Hi (8+ / 0-)

    I am home from a nice day with four grandbabies who live three hours away.  I am too tired to read and rec, but I will try to do so, tomorrow sometime.

    I am exhausted, but oh, the endorphins!  Still smiling lots.

    Join us at Bookflurries-Bookchat on Wednesday nights 8:00 PM EST

    by cfk on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 06:56:16 PM PST

  •  Now that you mention it (4+ / 0-)

    I have a new idea in science. Are you sure it's okay to

  •  One stormy night in Togwogmagog (5+ / 0-)
    The flagon of wine was mostly empty, and Stout's chainmail was on the floor.  Lydia Gator's pinstriped suit was unbuttoned in provocative places.  She pulled away from a hot and heavy kiss to whisper in Stout's ear, "There's just one more thing."

    "Oh, right," Stout said.  "Protection."

    "Yes.  Legal protection."  She opened her alligator briefcase and pulled out a document.

    "Legal what?"  Stout was momentarily distracted by the fact that her briefcase contained mostly thongs rather than briefs.

    Lydia spread the document on the table.  "The party of the first part, Lydia Gator, and the party of the second part," she wrote in Stout Guinness, agree to engage in mutually pleasurable coitus, including at least two climaxes for each party, with the following stipulations."

    "Er...what?"

    There were seven more pages of fine print.

    I shall die, but that is all that I shall do for Death; I am not on his payroll. - Edna St. Vincent Millay

    by Tara the Antisocial Social Worker on Thu Dec 06, 2012 at 07:41:25 PM PST

  •  Design a quilt that has a star in the middle (6+ / 0-)

    and several borders around that.

    Yeah? OLD idea. Done a million times. And you know what? Each time it can look new and fresh and interesting. OR it can be boring. Done to death.

    Story ideas, same thing.

    Here's the top of my new one.

    It's quilted now, which it wasn't at the time of the photo. And I still need to bind it. But it's almost done. Perhaps it will be Jim's Christmas gift. Shhhhhh! Don't tell!

  •  Speaking of tropes... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SensibleShoes, terrypinder, cfk

    .... if you've never looked at TV Tropes, it's a very expansive (and addictive) encyclopedia of tropes used in TV, films, video games, and literature.   It's a great resource on all kinds of tropes, the tools of the fiction writer (or storyteller in any medium) trade.  And it gives lots of examples, so you can see how a particular trope can get used in dozens of different ways.

    Scenelet another time....

  •  Meanwhile... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SensibleShoes, terrypinder, cfk

    Chapter 23: A One-Night Stand Gone Surreally Awry

    • 64 thread count minimum, paisley satin sheets
    • 1 pint Flandarill flower honey, fermented
    • 1 dwarf elephant, white, housebroken, female
    • 4 and 20 blackbirds, with perfect pitch. Pie optional
    • 1 classically trained accordion trio
    • Assorted liqueurs, inhalants, and other intoxicants
    • Mendalyn massage oil, plus trained erotic massage specialists
    • The deluxe 7-course meal for two* in the Imperial suite
    • an exclusive evening with Leandra Exemplara, hetaera extraordinaire

    * Or more, if so desired.

    Bodrin frowned uncertainly at Clarse.
    "That's the shopping list?"

    "No special skill, no standard attitude, no technology, and no organization - no matter how valuable - can safely replace thought itself."

    by xaxnar on Fri Dec 07, 2012 at 04:00:56 AM PST

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