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Topics - Agent24

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Feedback and Encouragement / The Dubious Story of Dave
« on: January 17, 2019, 04:54:28 pm »
This... thing started as a bad dream and a joke with a friend. I hesitated to post it here but then figured perhaps someone would get a laugh out of it.
Give feedback if you want.
It's a work in progress. It doesn't have a proper title yet. I apologise in advance for what lies inside. There's probably going to be a lot of swearing.

Everything contained within is copyrighted to me, naturally.

The Dubious Story of Dave


It was one of those days.
   You know the kind I mean – the kind preceded by a night where you get home late from work, tired and hungry, so you take the easy way out and grab a box of microwavable Chinese-flavour-rice-risotto in the ‘Family Pack’ size, only to find that the box contains an actual Chinese family.
   While this was probably all your own fault, and down to a matter of perspective in the way your exhausted eyes read the wording on the front of the box as you opened it, you can’t help cursing the Karen’s Kitchen company as you drive back into town with said family in tow, trying to concentrate on the GPS while dodging a headache, as your passengers all talk over each other in non-stop mandarin, occasionally glaring at you as if it’s your fault.
   You don’t get to sleep until three in the morning, naturally, and when you do, it’s fitful and useless.

Prompts / The Uncomfortable
« on: November 10, 2018, 12:29:37 pm »

Could these provide interesting prompts for writing....?

Feedback and Encouragement / Japanese Juxtaposition
« on: June 19, 2018, 10:00:13 pm »
For some reason I thought a new topic was probably in order by now? The name reflects the situational context of my mind. Whatever that means. Perhaps my Wasabi-themed hairdo has detrimentally impacted all cognitive function.

To write a poem
Is my desire
But I shall find
My hair on fire

And if the flames
Cannot be quenched
I'll find myself
To be entrenched

I must concur
With all that follows
Even as I squeeze
The bellows

For if my hair
Does not burn bright
I'll freeze to death
This chilly night

I took this rhyme
From mister Wonka
While doing burnouts
In my Tonka

It makes no sense
I can attest
This effort's really
Not my best

So I say nowt
Now but goodnight
And hope my hair
Will stay alight.

Feedback and Encouragement / Italian Ingenuity
« on: April 10, 2018, 08:27:49 am »
Welcome back to the writer's weekly progress report, where we attempt to extricate ourselves from procrastination's stranglehold and the dazzling, shiny void of over-polished kitchens.

Post your updates and/or new words here, so we may all bask in the glory of each other's linguistic acrobatics - then join us back on the 30th for an 'English' spaghetti special :P

PS: I wonder if anyone would be interested in an outdoor writing adventure/picnic during the holidays?

Discussion / Which book(s) are you currently reading?
« on: April 07, 2018, 07:58:45 pm »
I had an idea that we could have a thread where we post about which books we're reading, and we could inspire each other to read more!

So to start off: I've just finished reading Epiphany Jones by Michael Grothaus, and have now gone back to finishing off the eighth book in the Skulduggery Pleasant series, 'Last Stand of Dead Men", by Derek Landy. (actually, I've been cheating, it's an audiobook :P). I'm also trying to get my hands on a copy of the final book in the 'Hex' series; Ghosts by Rhiannon Lassiter.

What's everyone else reading?

Feedback and Encouragement / French Fortitude - Week 4
« on: March 19, 2018, 06:32:55 pm »
Another week, another title of positively insufferable encouragement! The bad jokes will keep on coming unless someone else gets in first  :P

So, anyway. Here we are in the latest week of the writing challenge. All are welcome to join in on this little literary logbook.

To reiterate the purpose, we each set a daily personal goal, which could be as simple as showing up to post anything you like here, regardless of whether or not you have written anything. Even if you're having an awful day, you could simply show up and say so, if you wished. (Or not - we all have to hide under a rock sometimes.)

Everyone is encouraged to post their goal in the thread, although as with sharing work, word counts, etc, it's all voluntary, but of course, a public goal can help in keeping yourself accountable.

Here's a quote from Steven Pressfield, which may help inspire you :)

At the end of the day, I ask myself only one question.
I don't ask myself, 'Did I write anything good today?'
I don't ask myself, 'Did I write a lot today?'
I only ask myself, 'Did I overcome resistance today?'

Now go forth and write!  :D  (And try not to throw each other under the bus. Even if it is full of popcorn.)

Prompts / Poetry by chance
« on: March 15, 2018, 01:57:21 pm »
As I think I mentioned earlier in another thread, I recently 'wrote' a poem by pulling chopped up sentences from my bag. Originally these were from another exercise (at Words and Biscuits?) - cutting words and parts of sentences from a typed page to create a found poem from them.

So, the prompt here is simple: Take a newspaper, magazine, etc, and liberate some words (and groups of words) from it. Deliberately create a found poem, if you like. Then, throw them all in a hat\bag\violin case and pull them out at random.

Does the resulting 'poem' make sense? If not, perhaps some combinations will stick out as prompts in their own right.
I liked the line "Black, the whole book duplicitous, confused, mad."

Feedback and Encouragement / Dutch Determination – Week 3
« on: March 13, 2018, 11:53:31 am »
Now in it’s third week (and admittedly, slightly late), the continuation of our arbitrarily internationally-themed writing challenge endeavours to once more rouse your imagination from dark and distracted ruminations about the meaning of ducklings. Especially those with questionably textured sideburns. (You really had to be there)

Bring your pen, cursor, or typebar(!) to the blank page, and join us in a steadfast effort to maintain momentum on this journey of literary accomplishment, to hold back the tides of resistance, and do more than just tilting at windmills. ::)

Feedback and Encouragement / Russian Revolution - Week 2
« on: March 05, 2018, 05:40:30 pm »
So as the Mexican Ultimatum seemed to work quite well, the idea shall be continued in this new chapter, where we revolt against procrastination, distraction, apathy and generalised morbidity (or whatever else might be stopping you from filling up white rectangles with little squiggly things).

The choice is yours: target a sentence, a paragraph, or whole page (or even just write clever two-word song titles) and repeat the exercise daily. Don't forget to post your work (or simply post about it) in the thread here.

We shall all hold each other accountable, comrades! We must make a stand! It is time to push back the emptiness of the unwritten page for the glory of ... uh ... English? (or you could write in Russian if you really want to)  :P

Discussion / What is your favourite writing instrument?
« on: March 01, 2018, 09:23:22 pm »
Just a random thought, but what does everyone like writing on/with? Or maybe you dictate?

I prefer my computer most of the time because my handwriting is terrible and slow and gives me wrist pains.
I also quite like my cellphone and its Swype keyboard, which is almost as fast as typing. I use it for a notebook.

If I'm feeling particularly lazy or just want to ramble around on my thoughts, let them all tumble and sometimes fall into place, I might just record myself speaking. It's a great way to ignore everything else, close your eyes, relax, let your mouth wander. You'd be surprised at how free the ideas can flow when there's a direct line for them to come straight out from your head.

I've been thinking about getting an old electric typewriter. I like the idea of having the speed of a keyboard but without the complexity or internet-enabled distraction of a computer. Also there's no delete key, which might help prevent real-time editing and result in more output.

Prompts / A poem (or maybe something else?) prompt
« on: February 26, 2018, 10:09:31 pm »
Write a poem which ends with the following line: "from the cupboard, singing Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star."

Prompt: Devon, with a gift for comedy, takes up stalking, to see the world. His obstacle is Don the jailbird.
Starting Line: There I was just standing there, when what I wanted to do was forbidden.

There I was just standing there, when what I wanted to do was forbidden. The hot concrete swam in heat-haze at my feet, burning the soles of my shoes like a seething hell-broth of summer fury.
   The businessman in the sweat-drenched suit was standing in front of me, about to walk off into the airport terminal, about to lose me in the burning, dusty air. I couldn’t let this go. Not this time. Not after so long. I had to follow him. I had to get on that plane and go wherever he was going. I knew it was wrong, but I had no other option.
   Barely had I taken my first step across the shimmering tarmac when a gruff figure in grimy jeans and a ripped t-shirt barged into me, almost knocking me over.
   “Hey!” I shouted, “Watch it will you?”
   The man stared at me, his straggly beard curling in the heat, his eyes deep with lines that betrayed a hard life. He grinned horribly at me, his broken, rotting teeth lurching around inside his mouth like a goods train in the act of derailing. Instinctively I took a step back.
   “The name’s Don.” he said, in a way that sounded as if the fact was supposed to mean something to me. When I didn’t react, he stopped grinning. He glared at me.
   “You don’t even know who I am, do you?”
   He made a threatening gesture with his body as if flexing his muscles, and a tear in his already tatty t-shirt opened up wider, exposing an incredibly bad tattoo of a mermaid with three pairs of breasts, one of which was Don’s own right nipple. The black chest-hairs sprouting from the poor mermaid’s tail wobbled indecently as he flexed his muscles. I couldn’t help myself. It was the worst tattoo I’d ever seen. I burst out laughing, doubling over in hysteria, the blood rushing to my head as I spewed mirth into the hot air.
   “Shut up,” He said. “Shut up!”
   I felt the iron daggers of his vicious glare against my back. But I couldn’t stop laughing. My knees gave out and I collapsed against the burning tarmac, the smell of melting, sticky tar hitting me as I fell, my face mere centimeters from the amalgamation of oil and stone.
   I could feel the searing heat burning my right cheek, feel the hot tar sticking to my skin. I didn’t care. I kept laughing. I couldn’t help it. I could see a blob of chewing-gum melting into the stitches of his left shoe. I just knew there was no way he was getting it out. His sneakers were ruined. I laughed harder.
   I heard Don growling and looked up from his feet. He was mad, and I mean real mad. Mad like a mad dog that’s just had his favourite bone stolen by the postman. The problem was, I was up hysteria creek without a paddle. In fact I was up hysteria creek so far that I’d abandoned the canoe, and found myself setting up camp beside the wellspring which fed the entire body of chortling water.
   Don glowered at me. Talk about if looks could kill, right? His body shook with homicidal rage, with repressed anger, with all the hatred and misanthropic fury that a man could muster. His face was almost glowing with the crimson sheen of soaring blood pressure. He leaned over me, his features contorted in apoplexy, his mouth opening to form words, when I got an eyeful of the tattoo again.
   From such a low angle, the mermaid looked squashed, disfigured. Her now stubby tail was half hidden behind a fold of Don’s skin, her hirsute appearance enhanced by shadow. As Don stood shaking with anger, a little drop of sweat beaded up on the tip of his nipple. It glistened and quivered and fell, running down the mermaid’s tail hairs like a ping-pong ball in a fairground sideshow. One of those ones with the swiveling, gaping, disembodied clown heads. It was the epitome of ridicule.
   I lost it, and I mean I completely lost it. I couldn’t breathe for the laughter choking up my lungs, from the pain in my stomach, from the ache in my jaw. I could feel myself becoming light-headed, saw the blinding sun of the summer’s day blooming in the corners of my vision. I was almost paralysed.
   Don began screaming. A gutteral howl of anguish, a disjointed wailing. It was like someone stripping the gears on an eighteen-wheeler, trying to engine-brake downhill against broken glass because the derailed goods train from earlier was still coming in hot through the level crossing, and the rails were gouging twin hailstorms of sparks from the upturned carriages, and I literally mean through the level crossing, because a hundred tonnes of steel doesn’t stop for no man or woman or something insignificant as a chain-link fence and a barrier-arm, and as the impact of the train-wreck slammed into fence and signs and concrete and cars, I saw something shatter behind Don’s eyes, something small but which had held the heaviest of weights, and in that moment I saw something nobody should ever see.
   It felt like an eternity before Don’s screaming finally died away to silence. We were both still for a time, both staring at one another, unspeaking, unblinking. Then he turned and stumbled away, his form receding into the air-rippled city streets, a subtle difference in the way he held himself betraying all the pathos of an utterly broken man.

Prompts / Inspire yourself somehow with this music video?
« on: February 22, 2018, 10:40:19 am »
Or just enjoy it...  ;D
(Nitai Hershkovits - Flyin' Bamboo Feat. MNDSGN)

Prompts / Write something based on this picture...
« on: December 16, 2017, 11:01:38 am »
For a bonus challenge: Imagine that this image is what you saw when you took a Rorschach (inkblot) test.

Discussion / Ideas for this space
« on: December 16, 2017, 09:44:50 am »
Is this a good place to ask a question? Should there be somewhere specific to ask questions? Is there and did I miss it?
Or a discussion/off topic section to talk about things like this?

I'm also wondering about prompts and their resulting works... and feedback on such... I think it may become confusing if many people put their works on the prompt thread? perhaps prompts should stand alone and people can post their responses in the feedback section, and refer to which prompt they used if they wanted.

Not sure what the optimal solution to that is, I wonder what other forums do?

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