Friday, October 31, 2008

ArmageddonMUSH Disclaimer

To any old ArmageddonMUSH players who may stumble across this blog:

Babylon Remembered is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual player characters, living or dead, is purely coincidental. In other words, my nano-novel is non-canonical, and even though I make use of traditional names ("Baal", "Baphomet", etc.), consider them "Feature Characters", with my portrayal unrelated to any other player's portrayal of them. Heh.

That said...

Hey! Are you doing NaNoWriMo too? If not, you should! Mwah ha ha ha ha!

And...

C'mon, we should do an ArmageddonMUSH anthology. Self-publishing is easier than ever. Wouldn't you like to have your very own dead-tree concoction on your bookshelf? I'll even write another Arma. short. ("The Three Pigs" with Fetch the hellhound? "Billy Goats Gruff" over the Chasm? Who knows...)

Send in a story! Or, send Brude your Armageddon screenplay! *whistles innocently*

Almost Nov. 1st...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

T0 minus 3 days

I want to start. Words and images swirl around in my head. It's only in November, when I capture them, that I realize that story ideas are like gas, but words typed out are more like liquid. All those cool thoughts and bits of dialogue compress down to almost nothing. It's terribly depressing.

I've been trawling for characters. I think I've caught a few... Ms. Cardboard Cutout Damsel-in-distress deigned to reveal herself to me yesterday. She's called "Number 37". (The 36 are still out there somewhere, is what she believes.) She's a Babylon Rat. The Mark of the Beast on her is a forgery, as Mikael warns Luz. She's sure to have her own agenda. Mr. Mayor turns out to be Baphomet. Baphomet is a name he took. He's a fallen saint. Why would a saint fall? I'm not sure. I'll find out later. The "children" are Connor and Elsa.

Characters don't "talk to me". Sometimes I hear them talking to each other (the same way I can be watching TV in a dream), but I'm not in their universe. When I type their dialogue, it can surprise me. Sometimes I don't know what they'll say until they say it. I don't like to decide everything beforehand. Many times ideas will occur to me as I write the story. I just need to work on revision more.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Countdown: one week!

Yeah. Panicking yet? I thought so. Still no name for the POV character. Wait. It came to me while I was taking a shower this morning. It's a maybe. Not sure yet. Stealing from the Narnia series. Lucy. My version of the anti-Lucy? Heh. But I don't really like the name Lucy. But "Light" is appropriate enough. Perhaps "Lucinda"? "Luce"? "Lucia"? (St. Lucia, patron saint of the blind...) "LooCHEEa"? (damn, that's ugly). "Luz"?

"Luz" would make her Hyan Luize, another of my NPCs. The stubborn self-righteous priestess from the City on the Lake of Night. She's dead now, so it could well be her soul in this character, except for the minor niggle of being in a different universe. But at least it would give me a basis for writing the character. I know who Hyan Luize is. The current NaNo character is a cypher to me. Luz it is, then. Luz, nickname for Lucia. Hyan Luize never gave up. She was defeated, but she never stopped fighting.

Luz and Mikael. They only met after the first ending of the world. I started writing Appendix One ("What has gone before") yesterday and realized that. Now (in my head) they're arguing: Mikael chose to accept the mark of the beast, but Luz won't. In the current timeline, Mikael is arguing with the Nameless about the uselessness of names (but I can't write that yet as it's part of my NaNo). The Nameless says it's another gift squandered by the children of Adam. Language did not come naturally to angel-kind. Mikael says, "Nah. It's overrated. I mean, look at me. Named for an arch-angel and where'd it get me?" Mikael likes to argue with people. Apparently. He's about to name the Nameless "Stan". Stupid, but it amuses him.

The Nameless declares, "All names shall be mine. Stripped from every breath and every thought, until all the world lies mute beneath the sky. On that day, every name shall be in my grasp."

"Isn't the whole point of names to be able to tell things apart? So if you're going 'all ur names are belong to us', we're back to square one again."

"Precisely. And this time /I/ shall give things their true names."

"If you say so." Only a demon would declare a vendetta against nouns, he thought. Or possibly an angel. Same difference. What's in a name? A rose by any other name, yadda yadda. He sighed.

"I do say so."

So there you have it. Names, shnames, what's for lunch today? Leftovers, probably.

[Edited to add: The name was probably planted in my subconscious by the "Miss Lucy" clapping rhyme. Heh.]

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Characters! Where are my characters?

Even stealing my own characters (it's fun to read roleplaying logs from 10+ years ago, yes it is! Captain Helike had more scenes than I had remembered. Department of Instruction, was it? One successful onscreen corruption of a human soul. And then there were all those cultists who were killed, then turned into zombies! Before that, there was the strange scene where the angry angel was torturing them to get them to recant! No, I wasn't the person playing the angel. I played the mob of blasphemous cultists. Shopkeeper Mazarin and his nephews Henri and Joe-Bob. Fetch the hellhound. Demon summoner Anam. Crazy angel follower Tomo. City Guard Lin.)--- it's useless.

I still need characters for THIS story, for THIS year. Bah! So I have no one but myself to blame if I have strange voices arguing in my head as I'm driving or walking. But do they fit in my story, this story? Uh...I don't know. Do they? The worst part is the main character. It's going to end up as a horrible self-insert blank, I can tell. ARGGH!!! She doesn't even have a name yet. I can just call her Mary Sue and be done with it. Dammit, I know her husband better than I know her, and she's supposed to be my POV character. Time to write some short sketches to figure out who she is.

Why am I babbling about it here? Who even reads these blogs, eh? Time to shut up and write something in character...

Friday, October 17, 2008

All I need to know about the afterlife, I learned from my kids

So my ten-year-old daughter was having her friend over for a playdate today, and I overheard them chanting and clapping this rhyme (I think it must also be a jump rope chant), which either I never knew or had forgotten. I love these! This one went something like this:

When Miss Lucy was a baby, a baby, a baby, she went like this: Waa waa! (fists around eyes like a baby)
When Miss Lucy was a toddler, a toddler, a toddler, she went like this: Waa waa, suck my thumb (w/gestures)
When Miss Lucy was a kid, a kid, a kid, she went like this: Waa waa, suck my thumb, gimme a piece of bubble gum (w/gestures)
When Miss Lucy was a teenager, a teenager, a teenager, she went like this: Waa waa, suck my thumb, gimme a piece of bubble gum, hey boys! (w/gestures)
etc. repeating the pattern with:
...mother...go to your room!
...grandma...my aching back!
...dead...*gasp*
...bones...rattle rattle
...dust...sweep sweep
...ghost
...devil
...angel
...gone!

Are these things cool or what? No wonder it's such a popular cliche to use children's rhymes in horror stories. I'll have to include some, too. I wonder what rhymes the ghosts of dead children recite?

Incidentally, it was International Night at my kids' school last night. We had fun, and it reminded me that I should remember to keep my "Last City" diverse in the races and cultures represented. (It's that time of year...everything reminds me of NaNo...)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Apocalyptic madness it is!

After mulling over various story ideas for awhile, I've decided to work on my post-apocalyptic tale of lost souls, ghosts, zombies, angels, demons, and who knows what else. (Brude, it's all your fault for sending me that email and reminding me! Now the idea is stuck in my head and rapidly accruing more ideas that just seem to glom onto it...) It's clear I won't be able to get anything else written before I get this one out of my system.

It doesn't help that I still need names for most of the characters. One of them is called the Nameless, but how many of those can you have running around in the same story? Well, maybe they've started a club. Rune magic being as risky as it is, it's quite possible we have multiple characters who've lost/spent/sold their own names. Huh. How did she learn it anyway? Presumably that's one of the memories that's been lost. (But I need to know. Hmm. Was it a sneaky trick by the Architect of Damnation? "Architect of Damnation"? Is that really what I want to call him/her/it? Usually you'd think it meant Lucifer. But in this case, I doubt it is. Then again, who knows? Lucifer is NOT the current Lord of Hell, is he? He could be hiding under "Architect of Damnation". Maybe he and the Nameless are one and the same after all. I never said he wasn't. Whatever happened, the Architect was tricked out of his souls. And he's not what he was. Still. If he was the serpent in the Garden, maybe it was his idea all along. He was a rebel, and wanted humans to rebel, too. But he never forced anyone. He only tempted them. Sounds cheesy. Mmm...cheese...)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Contact has been made...

...as the victims of a sentient telepathic virus said in one of the sillier episodes of classic Doctor Who (as in Tom Baker with the hat and the scarf and the jelly babies).

I think I managed to infect a fellow mom at the playground the other day, burbling on about NaNo while our kids were playing. She told me of her notebooks full of ideas and head full of unwritten lines... Sound familiar? Mwah ha ha ha! That could be any number of us.

Ye-e-es...I'll blame the excitement of a "new recruit" for my impulse buy of a new Acer Aspire One notebook computer. *cough cough* But it was so cuuuuute. And at a good price, I felt. My daughter fell in love with it instantly. She's been making videos of herself (it's the first time I had anything with a webcam...that thing is so...skiffy...so vidphone...with its modern technology and what is this wifi you speak of?) and sending them to her friends. While talking to the same friends on the regular phone. *headdesks*

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Two more stowaways! I mean story ideas...

Glub glub glub...

I think we're going down. Two more stories I intended to work on. Argh.

7) Pix in the City? A collaboration with a friend of mine. It's all his fault! Yeah, that's the ticket! Last year we agreed to work on a novel together during NaNoWriMo. Well, we've been doing online RPGs together for years now, so in theory we should be well attuned to each other's thoughts...in theory... Anyway, this will be an SFish story about fey waking up (or being woken up by the Evil Corporation) in the near future.

8) Furry Cyperpunk Cthulhuoid Fey Collectives! Or something. Earth has been overrun by the hive-mind created by the TechnoPax Virus. The survivors crash-landed on an alien planet when their experimental stardrive (some kind of psionic engine) broke or was sabotaged. Now they must forge a new civilization without being eaten by Great Cthulhu. Or something to that effect. I've always hated furries as much as I've hated elves and vampires, so of course now I feel compelled to write a story with "furries" in them. Call it a tribute to Cordwainer Smith. Yeah, right.

Ok. That's 8. I should go for an even dozen! I'll dredge out my old files of notes and find something, I'm sure. If I cheat and write them as short stories, say 5000 words each, I'm all set! Woo hoo! Chances are, even if 90 percent of what I write is crap, I'll get ONE decent story out of this. Right? Right? If I try to write 10 NOVELS, that'll be another...6 years? Bah.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ghosts of NaNos past

Heh. Just as I started gathering up story ideas for this year (2008)'s NaNo, memories of last year's came flooding back into my head. I muddled through and was never satisfied with the motivations, powers, and ending, but now...but now...it sudddenly all became clear! Yes! So THAT's why they did what they did...

The kraken's power was to wash away time. All that water...it's time draining away. Undoing the present, undoing the past. What's left is the kraken's own creation, which is the eternal ocean. The changelings and their fey supporters wanted to undo the past so that the Queen never knew their names. That was the only way to be sure. Simply killing her now wouldn't stop her from once having held their names. This way, the Republic would have always existed. No other past. They think they can be a solitary fey republic, Atlantis or something...didn't you know Atlantis was a fey republic, huh? Huh? Well, now we can watch it sink beneath the waves again due to our two pet prophets.

Been there, done that? I don't care. I haven't, so I will if I want to.

The point is, why didn't I write all that last year?

So now that's story #6 on my list of stories to write this year...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Another year, another NaNo

I'm going to try keeping a blog about my attempt this year. Maybe it will inspire me to some kind of coherance. Then again, maybe not. Or it can be somewhere I can babble under my breath about story ideas and plots. I have about five different story ideas that I wanted to write. Not sure which one I'll work on in November.

Let's see, there's...

1) the Bastard's Tale: set under Earthlaw, with the bastard, the Exterran War, Jack Frost, the wereweasels, and the messy aftermath of a previous unfinished story of mine.

2) the Werewolf's Tale: the werewolf conspiracy, and how it was foiled by my team of prophets (the vampire and the elf, yeah right). This one may involve too many shopping malls.

3) the Demon's Tale: the two prophets interrupt a wedding, stop a miracle, and precipitate a strange chain of events with Minos, the bride, the Labyrinth, the freedom fighters, and the Rune of Chaos (or some other less cheesy plot token.)

4) the Seven Who Returned: Seven mass-murderers who only did it for the best of reasons, now dragged back from the dead as six pickled heads in jars and one janitorial necromancer, all in the service of an evil queen and deicide. (RPG tie-in, homebrew world. Amusingly enough, the seven were all my characters. If someone else writes a tie-in, their characters can be the protagonists.)

5) the Mother's Tale: Post-Apocalyptic fantasy. I always loved the imagery of the Bible's book of Revelation. So this is what came afterwards. Not being a Christian, my distorted interpretations, characters, and depictions may seem blasphemous. I did a "rewritten fairy tale" in this setting once (Jack and the Beanstalk!) and now I may try a longer piece. (Another RPG tie-in, long-defunct game, homebrew setting and random rule system pulled out of my ass.)

Hmm...what to do, what to do. Anyway, I'm looking forward to NaNo. But I say that every year. Until it starts. But I mean it! It's a lovely bit of (cheap!) escapism from a depressing (for humans) real world.