By large, I'm a traditional writer in the sense that I prefer my work to mature in the form of a book, short story, etc. From time to time, I've done work in film, radio, and music. However, I want to add something new to the list: a cartoon.
For the most part, there seems to be nothing wrong with exploring all the different forms writing can take other than what's literal. I've probably said this before, but I believe, in the end, the story is what matters.
With that said, I'm thinking about writing a cartoon with the aid of some buddies. This project is a long time from fruition, but I figure if I post about it now, I'll be pressured into learning more on animation and making this thing move along.
To start things off, you always need an idea. So I could use a little help. Keeping reading for my plot concept, and let me know what you think. Also, let me know if you think it would be better than to take a serious plot-line and add ridiculous character interactions, or if it should just be goofy. (At this point I don't have the skill to make a series animation piece come to life.)
Here's the third installment of "Lucky Shot," another story from the lost files. I wrote this awhile back, and to catch you up to speed, this is the tale of Chance Black, his family, and a mad man. Chance is a photographer for the Long Brooke Sync, a tabloid publication famous all around and outside of Chase County. His day starts as usual: he's late for a conference and a perfect shot at the C.E.O. of a corporation. Luckily, Chance is able to take the picture the Sync paid him for, but his photograph contains a bit more than anyone expected. This unanticipated photograph is of great value to a man who is desperate to make sure it's never published.That's all I'll spoil for now. If you need to catch up, here are the previous two installments:
I'm not sure what all happened while I took my short hiatus recently, but it appears the world is radiating animosity in the direction of writers and booksellers.
First, I found an article by Brenna Clarke Gray in which she argues how much people hate passive aggressive writers. There are writers out there (she says self-pub'd & independent, but I've seen NY-pub'd authors do it too) who try to make you feel guilty for their lack of success. These writers argue it's because the reader didn't buy their book. I agree with Gray that it's really annoying. The same thought of passive aggressiveness now leads us to the topic of bookstores. Whether Barnes & Noble or indie, brick n' mortar booksellers are quickly becoming a relic of the past. Many argue just because they're failing, doesn't mean readers have to save them by shopping. Today I would like to argue why you might actually want to help booksellers out. Like the writer, it is not the reader's job to save or help create the dream. Why do you shop on Amazon or half-priced, used bookstores? Because it makes sense. Books can be expensive. However, continue reading if you'd like to hear me out on this one.
During my morning ritual of reading random articles, I stumbled upon "The State of Serious Fiction in the Age of Games and Pornography" by Nathan Englander.
In this article, he summons the topic of media progression. What I mean by that is, sometimes one medium replaces another. According to the article, by large, we are a society that indulges in video games and pornography more than any other medium of expression. These trends have flipped on the panic switch for many fiction lovers and writers. Will video games, for example, murder fiction? With so many other sources of information and entertainment, why read?
At first I was absolutely shocked to find out a controversial book leaked to the web. The book is called How to Murder Your Life, and the author is Cat Marnell, who is known best for XOJane . . . and being a "drug addict ex-beauty editor."
This is another one of her drug- and sex-journeys in the form of a personal essay nonfiction piece. It sold for around $500,000 USD, which wasn't the highest offer.
This is extremely high for a first-time author with a nontraditional format. And it was leaked to the web? This seem to interesting to be true, and in fact, I started putting the pieces together and came up with an entirely new hypothesis.
Maybe you've never considered "learning" as a possible addiction, but here I am to suggest the contrary. "Addiction is a brain disease," Alan I. Leshner, PhD. said back in 1997. He was considering the chemistry of the brain as it related to addiction, but I believe there are many more ways to look at such a statement, one of them being the way you process information. For example, there are some of us who coast in life, just bouncing off the ropes a bit, because there's an inherent sense of knowledge.
Some people like to refer to such individuals as "old spirits" because they either know everything, literally, or because they have a basic understanding of what to do in life. "New spirits" are often seen as inferior or somewhat ignorant individuals. These people tend to question everything and always flash a curious eye. In my opinion, the stigma around new spirits (and/or "souls" as I think of it now) is completely erroneous and arbitrary at best. People who want to know more, might have a real advantage in life, but on the other hand, they might have a limiting addiction.
Here's another addition of what Chris found while cleaning up some files. I wrote this flash fiction piece in 2008. Enjoy!
In an isolated cellar chamber, the man in black told me, “You can either have the photograph or the handgun.” Before me lay those two items on a table, two guards by the only door, and an undersized wooden chair that I was once strapped to.
“Either way I’m dead, right?” I asked.
“That depends. A gun seems the most useful. The picture can only hurt you more.”
I remembered the suffering I faced the minute I snapped a photograph of the man’s trade. He was smuggling illegal weaponry to average citizens in an abandoned factory.
“Or, it can hurt you,” I muttered. The gun’s probably empty, too, I thought to myself.
“Don’t count on it,” the man in black replied. “You’ll never make it out of here alive.”
“A picture is worth a thousand words.” I mocked the man with my tone.
“But a gun is worth complete silence. Choose.”
Blankly, I stared at the two choices before me for several moments. If I had gone with my instincts, I would have snagged the photograph and ran for my life. However, I knew that killing the guards was my only way out of the cellar chamber.
As the man in black glared at me, I began to shake and sweat. My palms were moist with trepidation, and I further feared, that when I went for the gun, it would slip right out of my hand. Then where would I have been? Dead.
I came to a decision. Faster than a blink, I reached out and snagged the photograph. As preconceived, I sprinted for the only door out; meanwhile, the man in black used the gun to fire wild rounds at me.
Most of the bullets missed me as I neared the guards. One shot, though, grazed my right shoulder, which I favored with my left hand. I kept the photograph near my chest.
Click, click. The man in black’s handgun ran out of bullets.
My immediate sense of relief blew away with the sound of the guards arming themselves with their own pistols. At their first fires, I ducked.
Somehow, I managed to survive. Yet, I still felt like a dead man. Knowing that I would never make it out unscathed, I decided to act like a hero. Swerving around the guard on the left side of the door, I was able throw my good shoulder down into his knee.
Echoing as the metal smacked the ground, I saw the pistol fall just before the guard. Quickly, I reached for the gun, and so did he.
Underneath the spray of bullets from the other guard and between the grasp of the guard on the ground, I struggled to maintain possession of the gun. Once I felt secure enough to do so, I hopped up to my feet and began to fire at both of the guards, who fell to ground after a few misfires.
I had no intention of killing them. They were just hired muscle, but I had escape in order to turn in the photograph.
As I started to feel confident, something struck me in the neck.
February was bitter cold; snow buried most of the land. Angry and in a neck brace, I watched as a man in blue walked up a stage and approached the lectern. A plaque was placed in his hands by a chief officer for turning in evidence of an illegal gun trade.
At that moment I began to appreciate the power of knowledge. There was a time when artillery solved problems and was synonymous with power. Now a time had come where intelligence and technology proved superior.
While the determinants of supremacy had changed throughout time, man had not. At least, that’s what I thought as I watched my ex-partner take the glory of my efforts on stage.
Any curmudgeon out there will tell you the problem with the kids these days is a sense of entitlement. I think that's what every generation says. "You mean, some bus comes to your house and picks you up for school? In my day I had to walk 20 miles, along a snow mountaintop, to reach the 10-mile-away point . . . ."
The second thing they might tell you, is that more and more youngsters aren't doing their homework. That is, social media ruined our true connection with people & the spoken/written word. If no one's reading and writing, they're losing out big time. However, that's just not the case.
I've roamed around the web a few times, and now there seems to be a combination of recreational social media use and, of course, the homework. And guess what? Youngsters are online and writing more than ever.
Kelsey Timmerman, author of Where Am I Wearing?, Where Am I Eating?, former mentor, and the only writer I know who can catch a glimpse of someone's undies and recognize their origins, tagged me in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop.
Check out Kelsey's answers on his work in progress.
Now take a breath and prepare yourself for my journey.
Win a Small Library of Books!
Those of us behind Somewhere in the Shadows decided to put together a sweet little giveaway.
If you're a boss, you'll win a copy of every book in the contest.
If you're a middleman, you'll win a book of your choice and an eBook of Somewhere in the Shadows.
If you're the muscle, you might squeeze your way into third place, which is a copy of the anthology.
What's cool is you already qualify for 2 tickets. Copy the link of this page into the tab for visiting cmhumphries.com!