Liana's picture
Liana from Romania and Texas is reading Naked Lunch December 12, 2011 - 8:09pm

Oh thanks all, no pressure now!

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz December 12, 2011 - 8:11pm

Yay Dakota.

What do you mean Liana?

Liana's picture
Liana from Romania and Texas is reading Naked Lunch December 12, 2011 - 8:16pm

The anthology idea is getting busy. It's a good thing, it's just that the pressure is getting bigger.

Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones December 12, 2011 - 8:28pm

dont feel intimidated, liana. least of all by me. all the work i posted here is old, and im definitely not that good right now.

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz December 12, 2011 - 8:34pm

Oh, I see what you mean. Take a Xanax.

Bekanator's picture
Bekanator from Kamloops, British Columbia is reading Ugly Girls by Lindsay Hunter December 12, 2011 - 11:02pm

@aliensoul77 - Sounds good.  I've got an anger rapist with some anti-social/anxiety/substance abuse issues.  I searched around to see if a disorder kind of linked up with misogyny but the hatred of women usually comes with a package deal of assorted disorders. 

And just to be sure, we're aiming for the end of January for a final draft?

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. December 12, 2011 - 11:18pm

I extended it to mid-February for the final final drafts but I would like to get some stories before then.  Rough drafts Jan. 10th since I know people are going to be busy with the holidays but if anyone wants to workshop a story before then, they should feel free.

Liana's picture
Liana from Romania and Texas is reading Naked Lunch December 12, 2011 - 11:21pm

Makes sense! Thanks Alien.

Raelyn's picture
Raelyn from California is reading The Liars' Club December 13, 2011 - 3:05am

I've got 900 words so far. I'm hoping to have my 'first draft' up by Friday. Posting this gives me more pressure to actually meet that goal.

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters December 13, 2011 - 5:47am

I've got a rough draft created, hopefully I'll be able to post something for the workshop in the next day or two.  Not sure if it's good, but I have a rough draft at the very least. 

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. December 13, 2011 - 6:16am

Thank you all for taking the time to help make this project a reality.

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. December 13, 2011 - 9:25am

I need some advice on my story I'm working on.  I decided to give my character a split personality which he believes is his brother that died in the womb with him.  Throughout the story, I am using the narrative of him describing his every action as "we went to the store", "we looked at our hands".  He thinks in the third/second? person because he considers himself two people living in one flesh.  Do you think this is too confusing?  I really didn't want to use the word "I" a lot so I thought this would be an interesting alternative.  Or do you think we are making a mistake? lol

David Shepherd's picture
David Shepherd from shepherdsville, KY is reading Idoru by William Gibbson December 13, 2011 - 9:29am

I like the idea just don't go out of your way to make it known. As long as it fits in naturally with the narration I think it would be a great element to the story.

Laramore Black's picture
Laramore Black from Joplin, Missouri is reading Mario Kart 8 December 13, 2011 - 10:13am

Hey, I lied about not doing anything. I just had an idea.

Can I do Capgras Delusion?

Richard's picture
Richard from St. Louis is reading various anthologies December 13, 2011 - 10:16am

gotta have thick skin, people. never take rejection personally. even when it's from friends. i guest edited a couple editions of Colored Chalk and Sideshow Fables (both defunct) and it's all about individual taste. maybe an editor likes first person over third, or just read seven vampire stories in a row and wants zombies now, it could really be anything. and those rejections were the hardest i ever had to send out. so tough.

glad to see there's passion in this thread. just write what moves you, and hope for the best. there's an audience for everything.

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. December 13, 2011 - 10:19am

@Laurance--Oh crap, Josh Joslin just asked me if he could do that literally this morning.  You could do a write-off and I pick the better story.  Otherwise no one has picked Cotard's syndrome yet.

On a sidenote, I swear to God, since I have started this anthology, I have drawn out the crazies.  First the crystal meth dude the other day.  Although I have always attracted crazy since grade school (my first girlfriend was schizophrenic) but I swear I hang  out at this Starbucks in Seattle and crazy people keep talking to me on a whim.  Today this guy who admitted he is paranoid schizophrenic offered to let me read his science fiction next time he sees me.  The ideas he was telling me about were literally insane.  Menstral blood with brain stem juice in people's underwear, telepathic antique shopowners who peek into people's bedrooms.  I was like WTF!  Then he said something about the funnest thing to do in a mental hospital is sit on the radiator until your asshole gets really warm and stick an apple in it.  Just thought you'd like to know.

Jack's picture
Jack from England is reading texts of rejection from pretty ladies December 13, 2011 - 11:03am

JACK, JACK, JACK.

Jay.SJ's picture
Jay.SJ from London is reading Warmed and Bound December 13, 2011 - 11:05am

Ah, now the ficticious third Joslin brother is involved in an anthology.

Jack's picture
Jack from England is reading texts of rejection from pretty ladies December 13, 2011 - 11:10am

Also, I'm fine with you doing Capgras Delusion if you pick something else for me, I don't mind what.

Jay.SJ's picture
Jay.SJ from London is reading Warmed and Bound December 13, 2011 - 11:13am

Alien, I was thinking of doing this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Truman_Show_delusion . Think it's interesting. Yet is not recognized in the DSM, could I still do it?

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters December 13, 2011 - 11:18am

Okay, fellas, I posted a little something in the workshop for this. 

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. December 13, 2011 - 12:43pm

You can do the Truman show delusion.

Sorry, Jack.  I promise not to call you Janis Joplin.

Capras or Cotards is still free I believe.

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz December 13, 2011 - 1:01pm

@ AlienDanny: The 'We' approach sounds interesting. Sounds like it could be effective, try it and see.

@Tom Richardson: Yes. Thick skin. I just want to say that even though I am somewhat involved in this, I in no way expect that my story will make the cut. In other words, only if you all think it's good enough and fits the flavor of the Anthology would I then assume the same. I just want this thing to be as good as it can be.

@The Joslin triplets: Jack, Josh and Jay. That long lost third brother is going to be one hell of a writer. Oh, Jack , what is Crabgrass Delusion?

 @Avery: Way to go Doll.

 

So, following yesterday's discussion about what is and isn't appropriate for this anthology, I began to think about my story. Although it's based on a very real condition and actual events, it ultimately becomes a blend of magic realism, fantasy, bizarro and the absurd. Again, it may not fit in the final anthology but I need to get it ready to go somewhere, so I intend to use this opportunity to develop and polish it further.

Just a heads-up.

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. December 13, 2011 - 1:45pm

Yeah, so far the emerging theme seems to be reality based.  My friend Traci Foust said she will see if her publisher lets her put an excerpt from her novel as a chapter in the anthology like as a mini-story.  She wrote a book about living with OCD and it's doing really well and got nominated for book awards.  It's on Amazon if you want to check it out.

http://www.amazon.com/Nowhere-Near-Normal-Memoir-OCD/dp/B005GNJO12/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1323809043&sr=8-1

 

Charles's picture
Charles from Portland is reading Mongrels by Stephen Graham Jones December 13, 2011 - 1:58pm

@chet: if my idea, which is becoming stranger and stranger (although based on actual events) does not fit with this anthology, it should fit right in with the horror one a couple doors down.

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz December 13, 2011 - 2:11pm

Thanks Chuck, I will keep that in mind.

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. December 13, 2011 - 2:23pm

Avery's story is an example of the type of story I want, subtle but packs a punch.  Like I said when I originally came up with the idea for this anthology, picture Joyce Carol Oates short stories or Flannery O'Connor.  Sometimes real life is more horrifying than anything we can make up supernaturally.  The killer on the side of the road who murders a family who gives him a ride, the paranoid fantasies of a sociopath, a mother who drowns her children to get back at her husband, a guy who becomes convinced that one of his limbs shouldn't be attached to his body and saws it off, visions of God telling us to kill.  Stories that are like a story you would see on the news and be like, "Why would that person do that?"  I like stories that make me feel like I'm peeking into someone's bedroom window and seeing their deepest, darkest secrets. 

There is my mission statement, Chester.

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. December 13, 2011 - 2:48pm

@averydoll - 'a little something' my ass.  That story is fucking fantastic.

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz December 13, 2011 - 2:55pm

Love it. That really clarifies things, at least for me.

Also, reading that Traci Foust excerpt and Q&A with the author that you linked gives me a clearer idea of what you are after here. I like it, a lot. Hopefully she gets the green light on that novel excerpt from her publisher. That is really good stuff. Also, I will be right there at the front of the line with her if they ever come out with a Hooray! Happy Sunshine Days! pill.

I have another story that fits that mission statement better. 

Did you paste it into the header yet?

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters December 13, 2011 - 2:58pm

Haha!  Thank you to bryanhowie and aliensoul!  I'm glad you guys like it.  I wasn't sure if it was even a real story! 

Brian Ingham's picture
Brian Ingham from Stillwater Oklahoma is reading There is No Year by. Blake Butler December 13, 2011 - 3:45pm

Damn...wish I could afford the workshop so I could read these gems. It would really help me with my piece bc I'm struggling a little. Oh well, should have a rough draft done soon, I'll have to post it in here though.

Liana's picture
Liana from Romania and Texas is reading Naked Lunch December 13, 2011 - 3:46pm

Well now I'm wondering if what I'm planning "fits" - how realistic is it supposed to be? I don't plan sci-fi or magical realism, but there may be some not-so-realistic scenes. I expect with psychosis there is some freedom to explore the mind, which is not a realistic space. It's not that clinical, right? Plus, I was planning to incorporate stories told by someone about someone else, and there is distortion of reality when a story is told. I just want to understand the amount of thematic restriction, because if it doesn't fit, I can still write it of course but maybe not for this. Since I'm looking at an Arctic disorder which is said to have existed until some decades ago, it has to be the stuff of story-telling or at least a more murky past that I'd imagine. The culture I'll write about is in danger of disappearing. So I don't know, maybe it's too werid for this project?

Avery, they got me intrigued, I'll read your story soon!

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz December 13, 2011 - 5:00pm

@Brian Ingham: How much is the Workshop anyway? Or who else knows?

@Liana: One example might be the link to Traci Foust that AlienDanny posted. 

However, I did read Nicholas Wilczynski's story which does characterize the point it sounds like you are trying to make. 

How real are voices that aren't real?

And as Traci Foust points out, how real is a disorder to people who don't believe it exists?

This is very tricky ground. By the very mention of Psychosis and Psychotic, we immediately enter the realm of the impalpable or sublime where things are very real to the people experiencing them but not necessarily to others.

Correct me if I am wrong, but I guess one way to look at it would be to compare A Beautiful Mind to Pan's Labyrinth. John Nash was a real person with a real condition that caused unreal things---almost fantastical things, to happen all within the confines of his own head. His neurological disorder caused his life story to become almost mythical.

On the other hand, Guillermo del Toro's story incorporates real elements such as the Spanish Civil War with those of pure fantasy to construct a sort of parable. Del Toro says himself that his story is largely influenced by fairy tales.

John Nash's life, as grim as it sometimes was, would never be considered a fairly tale.

I am assuming that what Danny is aiming for is more along the lines of the latter. Real mental conditions (psychoses) that cause unreal things to happen to people. 

Now maybe someone really believes Pan exists and sees eyeball hands wherever she goes...

 

bryanhowie's picture
bryanhowie from FW, ID is reading East of Eden. Steinbeck is FUCKING AMAZING. December 13, 2011 - 5:00pm

@liana Write it, then worry about it.

Brian Ingham's picture
Brian Ingham from Stillwater Oklahoma is reading There is No Year by. Blake Butler December 13, 2011 - 7:03pm

Could anybody post a synopsis of their story or maybe a little excerpt of it for me in here, I'm unable to get into the Writers Workshop and I'd love to get a few ideas of the tone of this anthology. I'm struggling a little bit with the two pieces im working on for it, and I'd love to see an example or two of the overall feel of this thing. If possible, it would be much appreciated. I have a few great ideas for the Shock and Appall anthology and the writing seems to be running smoothly but I can't seem to get a good feel for anything as far as this anthology is concerned. I've gotten about 300 words deep on 2 different stories and decided to scrap it and try again...come hell or high water i will be done with a first draft by next week, but a little help would be great. Thanks!

Nick Wilczynski's picture
Nick Wilczynski from Greensboro, NC is reading A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin December 13, 2011 - 7:39pm

From Puppet Show:

 

 I don't know why he bothers cleaning though. It can only delay the inevitable. He adds long, drawn out moves to the dance, but the puppet can never really get away from his string.

"Leave me alone."

He's a masochist. That's why he wants to take the slow route, lung cancer instead of the exit in the middle of the room. That's why it's taken him seven miserable years of sitting here, alone, trying to deal with…

"SHUT UP!"

The neighbors bang on the wall again, probably soon somebody will call the cops. The cops will want to come inside, take a look at things. Get in the way of his freedom; probably escort him someplace nice and safe.

"I am not going to use that thing, it's a negotiation tool."

He pushes the shirt around on the floor awkwardly, only sopping up as much blood as his feet are still leaving in his wake, "I'm sorry! I'll keep it quiet!"

But who's to say they haven't already called in a noise complaint, at the very least. He's going to end up in some bland little file cabinet, zonked out of his mind on tranquilizers until some grad student needs to do a thesis paper.

Once we made them prophets, shamans and mystics. Can you remember when our voices held such power? We gave men an insight to the minds of the Gods. But in the modern world people like poor Mary, all of our blessed disciples are at best lab rats and more likely just a terrible inconvenience on the staff.

Which leaves only the exit in the middle of the room, the performance of his lifetime, his moment of truth. This is the only path.
 

-

Puppet show is about the voices in a man's head pushing him around, the narrator is the primary voice and it wants our protagonist to complete the promised puppet show by hanging himself. It uses fears of being sent to an asylum and of vast conspiracy against "mary" (the male protagonist) while Mary relies on an attempt to talk the voices out of their course or distracting them until it is forgotten.

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. December 13, 2011 - 8:07pm

Chester has got it right, everything from A Beautiful Mind to Pan's Labyrinth.  I love both those movies because in a Beautiful Mind you really believe what you are being shown until you realize it's all in his head.  Then you have Pan's Labyrinth on the other end of the spectrum with it's fantastical elements which could be taken either way.  God, that ending is a killer.  Spoiler if you havent seen it...*SPOILER* when she dies at the end, you want to believe the fantasy that she has gone on to the other world instead of just being a little girl who was murdered by a psychopath.  I still can't go to the supermarket and look at a mandrake root without thinking it's going to come to life and start screaming at me.  Although, I blame Harry Potter for that too, those things are freaky!

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz December 13, 2011 - 8:11pm

That was an entertaining read Nicholas. I still need to write a review for you though. Working on it.

"Shut up."

@Brian: Maybe if you PM Kirk and tell him you would like to test drive the workshop for a few days he might grant you a temporary pass.

Be sure to tell him how much of a site God he is.

 

aliensoul77's picture
aliensoul77 from a cold distant star is reading the writing on the wall. December 13, 2011 - 8:16pm

Like I was telling Phil earlier today, if he wanted to write a story for the anthology, I said it could be completely abstract if it takes place in the mind of a schizophrenic person.  It could be like walking through a Salvador Dali painting and touching the elephants with the spindly legs and the melting clocks.

Or even austism where they see the world in patterns and colors.  They will associate thoughts with colors and sounds with pictures, etc.  I have known some very strange people in my life.  One girl I knew who was severely bipolar used to cut the pieces of skin off her foot and melt them into candlewax so she would have skin candles.  Another girl I knew with Aspbergers had no concept of danger, she was the kind of person who would walk in south central LA at 3am and wonder why people were following her.

Raelyn's picture
Raelyn from California is reading The Liars' Club December 13, 2011 - 8:33pm

My story follows a barren woman who is taking care of her nephew while his parents are out of town. She gets so excited at the prospect of having a child that she tries to create certain experiences of parenting. Needless to say: she takes it too far. The story in itself isn't abstract at all, but I'm attempting to make the prose strong enough that you (as the reader) empathize with the protagonist (or antagonist I suppose). 

I'm worried that for a munchausen by proxy story, this is too straight forward of a concept. Thoughts please?

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books December 13, 2011 - 8:37pm

My story centers around a counselor doing his internship at a prison, working with incarcerated sociopaths, who slowly realizes one of his roommates is a sociopath, and is taking him for a ride. He attempts to rationalize the roommate's behavior and tell himself he is just "seeing his work" everywhere, but then the roommate brings home a dog, and the resulting behaviors force the counselor and the other roommates to face what he really is  and force him out of their house.

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books December 13, 2011 - 8:47pm

Raelyn, I think it could work really well if you start out with some "parenting experiences" that aren't weird or bad, but become weird because of how she forces it (for instance, a birthday party when it isn't his birthday, or pretending it is his first day of school when he is actually in 3rd grade, etc) and then build to the "sick child" experience.

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters December 13, 2011 - 8:52pm

Mine is about...I'm not good at telling what my stuff is about. 

It is on postpartum depression.  It begins with the delivery of a woman's first child and goes through her experience through the first six weeks.  It mainly focuses on her feelings of depression, fatigue, and being unable to feel any sort of love for her child. 

It's a bit of a downer. 

ReneeAPickup's picture
Class Facilitator
ReneeAPickup from Southern California is reading A truckload of books December 13, 2011 - 8:53pm

^^It's fantastic, actually.

Raelyn's picture
Raelyn from California is reading The Liars' Club December 13, 2011 - 8:56pm

Renee those ideas are brilliant! Do you mind if I use the birthday party idea? Right now I have them making a gingerbread house together and drinking egg nog in April. I think the party idea would really take it up a notch. 

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz December 13, 2011 - 8:59pm

It always turns into a west coast party around this time every night.

Those both sound like good ideas.

Raelyn, yours could get pretty weird like Renee suggested. Things that don't make sense for her to do. How old is he? If you make him young enough, she could give him baths.

And Renee, that sounds like a nightmare. 

Chester Pane's picture
Chester Pane from Portland, Oregon is reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz December 13, 2011 - 8:59pm

Just when I say it someone from Kentucky shows up.

Raelyn's picture
Raelyn from California is reading The Liars' Club December 13, 2011 - 9:01pm

Well actually he's six, and the story begins with him taking a bath while Madison (the aunt) is making spaghetti. She gets a phone call from the boy's mother letting Madison know they're staying out of town for a few more days. 

avery of the dead's picture
avery of the dead from Kentucky is reading Cipher Sisters December 13, 2011 - 9:02pm

sorry... *slinks back to coal fields....

wickedvoodoo's picture
wickedvoodoo from Mansfield, England is reading stuff. December 13, 2011 - 9:02pm

If my story is ever finished then it will be about a young woman who's chronic anxiety attacks undermine her attempts to get her turbulent life back on track. It's as much about the impact on her mother, her boyfriend, and her young daughter as it is the impact on her. I'm trying to pitch it for tragic.

If it ever gets finished.