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Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


Just here to remind everyone that it doesn't matter who you are or what you've been. Even if you have been here from Week 1: you fail, you better yourself the next time you enter.

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Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


In.

Beauty and the Beast

Dr. Kloctopussy fucked around with this message at Jan 29, 2015 around 06:00

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


The Appearance of Destiny
(1,539 words)

delete all stories always

Dr. Kloctopussy fucked around with this message at Jun 26, 2015 around 08:17

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


In it so I can't possibly be talked into judging it.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


Echo Cian posted:

helpless


cruel

it should have been regret

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


Paper Crown
1,000 words

delete all stories or be full of regret later

Dr. Kloctopussy fucked around with this message at Jun 26, 2015 around 08:17

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


He -- or maybe she -- is the patron of strangers and disguises: the lord of deception who can never tell a lie. One with so many names that his true name was lost long ago, even to himself. You may meet him many times, he may be everyone you've ever loved, but no one who recognizes him twice, the stories say, lives to tell the tale.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


WEEK CXXXV: THEY MIGHT BE FULL OF REGRET

And by "they" I mean the judges. Hey-oh. I hate myself and I don't want to live in this world anymore. BUT throughout all my life, when I was down, and even when I was up, there was always one band that had the perfect song for that moment. They Might Be Giants. Yes, I am serious about that.

So, prompt is simple: pick a They Might Be Giants song. Yes! That includes their children's albums. No! That does not include solo works by either John. One entrant per song. You can use other songs in secret, I don't give a poo poo, but you can only claim one song. Post it with your registration post, or request a song and I will assign one. Warning: I have listened to them all and I do not promise to give "easy" ones. Some rear end in a top hat is going to end up with Minimum Wage. Maybe.

You may find the most intensely detailed band fan-site of all time useful: http://tmbw.net

Write something 1000 words or less inspired by that song. You can take inspiration from anything related to the song, and interpret it really broadly, but it should be kinda related somehow. And you can do whatever format you want. Yeah, finally that trio of sonnets you have been wanting to do, whatever, go for it (keep reading though).

YOU MAY NOT:
1) Pick Particle Man
2) Write something that is basically the same story as in the TMBG song, but with more words.

VERY IMPORTANT:
Judging is going to be based only on our enjoyment of whatever you write. So think twice before you write a trio of sonnets or just the word "balls" 1000 times (hint: unless you are a sonnet master, "Balls Balls Balls" is going to beat you).

Judges:
Crabrock
Sebmojo
Dr. Kloctopussy very special judge If I don't post crits by 3/24/15, then I am banned. (toxx applies to me only)


Registration Deadline: Friday March 6, 2015 at 11:59pm PST
Post Deadline: Sunday March 8, 2015 at 11:59pm PST

The Hall of Heads:

Capntastic - Birdhouse in Your Soul
SadisTech - Boat of Car and/or Hall of Heads
leekster - I Palindrome I
GrizzledPatriarch - Narrow Your Eyes
SittingHere - Where Your Eyes Don't Go
Wangsbig - Judy Is Your Viet Nam
Maugrim - Chess Piece Face
Bompacho - Purple Toupee
Entenzahn - I'm Impressed
J.A.B.C. - Snail Shell
Jagermonster - The World's Address
Ironic Twist - Ondine
hotsoupdinner - Memo to Human Resources
LOU BEGAS MUSTACHE - Take Out The Trash
Curling Iron - Someone Keeps Moving My Chair
Djeser - Istanbul Not Constantinope
Screaming Idiot - Robot Parade
Benny Profane - The Mesopotamians
Kaishai - The Statue Got Me High
Starr - Stone Cold Coup d'Etat
Pete Zah - Don't Let's Start
Docbeard - Destination Moon
Megazver - Prevenge
PootieTang - Hot Cha
newtestleper - How Many Planets?
Ancient Blades - Canada Haunts Me
Cancercakes - The House at the Top of the Tree Flash Rule: a long-awaited return, mice
Schneider Heim - Twisting

Dr. Kloctopussy fucked around with this message at Mar 6, 2015 around 03:57

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


SadisTech posted:

In. Gimme a song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9bRQUEtH5nw

Boat of Car

Edit: I changed my mind, you can also pick Hall of Heads

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSkd3V-dRY0

Dr. Kloctopussy fucked around with this message at Mar 3, 2015 around 08:05

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


leekster posted:

I"m in and have never listened to this band. Please give me a song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-gW513E8_6I

I Palindrome I

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


Grizzled Patriarch posted:

In. Let's see what you've got for me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zfPsDy1PVU

Narrow Your Eyes

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


Sitting Here posted:

in, pick the best song for me

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ro_u6AhcGYo

Where Your Eyes Don't Go

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


Maugrim posted:

In. Never listened to the band so I will require a song. Tough as you like.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4ftRXG8T9k

Chess Piece Face

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


Bompacho posted:

I'm in. I googled them and picked Purple Toupee for myself because I don't know what the gently caress.

good.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


Entenzahn posted:

In. This is your chance to fulfill your lifelong dream of having me write a story about a TMBG song of your choice, so make it count!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CccPPDe2JU

I'm Impressed

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


J.A.B.C. posted:

Count me IN.

Snail Shell

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJkQ7J0YRZM

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


Jagermonster posted:

In. Song me please.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfDj19o5RaM

The World's Address

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


hotsoupdinner posted:

In, slap one on me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NiIZdbJSj8

Memo to Human Resources

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


starr posted:

Thanks for the crit Fumblemouse : )

Also I am in, please pick a song for me as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FjpTmng9bV4

Stone Cold Coup d'Etat

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


Pete Zah posted:

In.

I need a song.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJQnZZ-Wmao

Don't Let's Start

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


PootieTang posted:

IN with a and I would also like a song pretty please.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7RUR-k3O3TY

Hot Cha

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


Sitting Here posted:

Judges Tuesday through Saturday: U WEAK-SKINNED MILK-DRINKING BABBIES, NUT UP AND POSTPOSTPOSTPOST

Judges on Sunday: *crosses fingers, hopes 1/3rd of everyone fails*

1/3rd? too low.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


Schneider Heim posted:

In. Please give me a song, thanks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z_4IjyX8lJo

Twisting

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


Alright y'all, I am going to a party so I won't be here to officially close registration or to assign any more songs tonight. Registration closes when I said it would. If you still want me to assign a song, just know in advance that I won't get around to it until tomorrow, possibly afternoon. You can take your chances with Sebmojo or Crabrock coming around earlier if you want.

DocKloc Out.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


Week 135 Judgment: Everybody Dies Frustrated and Sad....And That is Beautiful

Except when it is happening to me, while reading your stories. Now is time to pass on that beloved torch of misery.

Winner: GrizzledPatriarch -- congratulations. Everything right is wrong again, at least for you. Because now you have to judge. Welcome to the throne, may somebody scream "Kiss me, Son of God" as you sit there in all your majesty. More probably it will be like people trying to change your mind by hitting it with a rock. HAVE FUN!

HMs:
SadisTech
-- Reminded me of Rural Rental boys, but a good enough voice to be okay.
Benny Profane -- you had a good joke with just enough dedication to move our cold, bitter souls.
Ironic Twist -- I was actually curious and cared about what happened, kind of. Good job?

DMs:
Ancient Blades:
-- this story was all like "lol mustaches and the noble savage and also DRUGS"
Bompacho -- you win the award for "first story I stopped reading because it was so loving boring"

Loser: J. A. B. C. -- I have no loving clue what was happening here. I dare you to say "You just don't get it." I loving DARE YOU.

General Note: There was way too much description, passive voice, and people dying this week.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


sebmojo posted:

tbh I mostly don't even read the prompt when I judge, it's a good story or its not u feel me

Same.

Week 135 (They Might Be Giants) Crits - Part 1

Maybe I failed to mention that these stories had to be good, comprehensible stories without the reader knowing the song.

Screaming Idiot - Machine March

Prompt: "Robot Parade" by They Might Be Giants
I do not like onomatopoeia, especially for the first words of a story. Does it add anything here? No. This story is just the description of a scene -- where are the characters? There are robots and children in the scene. A nameless voice yells at them, but I guess this little robot Rex is a character, kind of? The conflict is flat for me, an abstract David and Goliath. The prospect of all the children being callously murdered does not stir a tender feeling in my heart. The BOLD ALL CAPS YELLING seems like an attempt to use formatting over substance to make something dramatic and scary. I am not interested in anyone or anything. But I did keep reading until the end without wanting to die, so okay

Ancient Blades
Canada Haunts Me (couldnt think of a better title)


Prompt: "Canada Haunts Me" by They Might Be Giants

I know what is going on here, but at the same time, what the gently caress? I guess this is supposed to be funny. But itís not, because what is funny about it? He has a big moustache and they do drugs in some sort of weird rear end possible parody of the Mystic Savage sterotype that may not even be an intentional parody? The conflict is that his men are dying so he begs an Indian to help him and the Indian agrees and they do drugs together and he makes some kind of devilish bargain that doesnít matter right then? Then he calls the Indian a drugged out freak, which is maybe a joke? Assuming this was supposed to poke fun and the stupid attitudes of white people towards not-white people, then you didnít hit the right notes. If not, this is even worse garbage than Iím giving it credit for. Garbage story.

SittingHere: Burst
So, I loved the first part of this story. Crabrock said it was probably because I have horrible itchy rashes all the time, WHICH IS TRUE. But itís also because of the pathos of even the person closest to you not understanding your pain, and trying to hide it in front of a stranger, and being overwhelmed by something so utterly minor to everyone else. Also the grueling misery of finding housing, but again, that might just be me. The problem for me was the ending. Not quite the dissolving into ribbons of skin part -- although that awkwardly reminded me of a story that I wrote (http://writocracy.com/thunderdome/?...+for+the+Lonely) which then made me feel awkward about judging. But also because the very last bit about her floating on the winds was just really... out of touch with the rest? I donít know, the last bit just didnít work for me. Seriously though, I have not found a cream that works and more tests are being run.

Bait - SadisTech
This story was kind of the opposite of Ancient Bladesís story for me. At first I was like ďwhat the gently caress is this trying to do--be stylistically edgy and then have gay people die as a joke?Ē Also it reminded me of ye olde Aboned Bunker. BUT. Turns out the voice really works. And the story comes together so neatly in the end. So inevitably without being obvious. I started to suspect when the car stank -- the best moment to start suspecting, in my opinion. Also, it wasnít relevant to judging criteria, but I am really impressed that this came out of Boat of Car. If you want to do anything further with this story, and manage to find me in the right frame of mind on IRC someday, I will give you a line crit.

Underneath - Jagermonster
Oh man, my first and last thoughts on this one were basically ďwhy the gently caress did this have an upskirt anecdote??Ē Pushing through racks of clothing -- that is a good analogy. But then out of nowhere: POKEMON. But then on second thought, the Pokemon thing actually makes some sense. I couldnít quite buy into the kidís thoughts of ďmaybe better to stay in this place where I have no parents and can flyĒ thing. But I kind of blame that on you, because put like that, it does sound like something a kid would think. Ditto the whole ďmy tumor is a PokemonĒ thing. But at the end, I was just like ďehhhhhh, not enough characterization, and weird that he would decide to be dead, and also why the upskirt thing?Ē endnote: I canít help thinking that the upskirt is based on some sort of personal experience that could be like...the perfect awkward anecdote in a different story. NOT THIS ONE, WHY???

The Crackhouse at the Top of the Tree - CancerCakes
gently caress me, I donít even want to give this one a crit. This is a story about gangster mice, or maybe squirrels? I guess probably squirrels. Anyway, they are having Ye Olde Gangster Fight Of Succession, and there is Ye Olde Woman Who Is About To Get Raped. Yet Is Saved. By Better Gangster. gently caress you, that is my entire crit.

Kings - Bompacho
This is so boring I want to die. LikeÖ ugh. Itís just so boring. The best thing I got out of it was that maybe the dude actually killed everyone and now someone else is killing him. I hope so. He deserves to die. This was just so boring. Everyone dies someday and I hope that I die soon. Thatís how I felt about this story. And I donít think you were even assigned the song ďI Hope that I Get Old Before I DieĒ -- which I donít think is the name of the song anyway. But on the off chance that you chose that song...no, I still hate this story. (because it was boring. sorry you didnít get a better crit, but gently caress itís so boring.) Edit: slightly better crit: this story is boring because there are too many words about a character who I donít give a poo poo about and nothing happens.

Dig Two Graves - Megazver
Plot of this could have worked. LIke the deep-seated irony of trying to avoid your fate and failing miserably no matter what. Honestly, that could probably work well in the setting of a hitman burying bodies in the desert. But it didnít work. So why? As so often is the case, the answer is: the middle. Thereís something noble about an ignoble character running head-on to confront his fate, instead of trying to run away from it. A nobility which you fail to convey because 1) your main character is unolvable in the most bland and cliche way. His rage against the fate machine is dull because thatís all there is. I feel like you tried to substitute any character development with an ill-conceived joke of an ending.

The Curious Undeath of Grumpy Old Mr. Sanders -- Entenzahn
You may have guessed that I am bored. If I had never read a story about deterring death by being a stubborn rear end in a top hat, or maybe if had never read Bartlby the Scrivener (did you know that was written by the same dude who wrote Moby Dick? I think you may have been the one to tell me that, actually. But it does you no good! Also, apologies to the other person who told me that who is now not receiving credit, whatever). Anyway, if the whole grumpily refusing death thing was new, I might not be so incredibly bored. But yes, though my head is nodding yes, I am bored. I feel like the entire thrust of your story relies on the concept of being able to resist death through mere pig-headedness, and it feels neither original or interesting-despite to me. The bit about his dead wife wanting to see the Grand Canyon was kind of touching. I SAY GRUDGINGLY.

Trash and Treasure -- LOU BEGAS MUSTACHE
As far as Frankenstein retellings go, when it comes to Frankenstein retellings I have read within one week of reading the original Frankenstein, which would be this story only, this story isnít so bad actually. The foreshadowing is there, and hits payoff at more or less the right moment, IMO. On the other hand, I hated Dr. Frankenstien, and while your Henry isnít deserving of the same hatred, he is deserving of an equal amount of apathy. Do not care. ALSO IT WAS THE DICK THAT WAS MISSING RIGHT? UGH.


Chess Piece Face -- Maugrim
This one reminded me of some artsy movie I saw in college when I was about to go to law school but wished I had gone to art school, I think literally called ďArt SchoolĒ about a guy who killed people and made paintings, and then some wannabe art student stole them to pass them off as his own (in art school!) and then got accused of the murders and got famous. Except I think I liked your story better, so yay.

On the other hand, this story didnít move me. It reads more like a dry, intellectual experiment. And repetitive: the old man saying they are real people, real souls, slavery, real people. The protag repeating how he didnít know the old man was so crazy. The only tension is the protagonists growing uneasiness. I guess something horrible might happen after he removes the face? I’d rather read about that, I think. This same problem occurs in Thunderdome stories all the time and it drives me up the wall. I guess the idea is to leave things implied, that the implication can remain more mysterious and terrible than actually writing it? I donít know. Why leave out the most exciting part of the story?!

[/b]A Planet for Ana - A Picture Book -- newtestleper[/b]
Story delivers on its promise of being the text for a childrensí picture book. Cute and with the expected ďmoralď at the ending. The story feels so satisfyingly expected that I think it must have already been done -- and I mean that as a compliment, hope it makes sense. It just makes perfect sense. Le Petit Prince has some similarities, I suppose, but not the same. Itís hard to say much else about this honestly. I thought it worked as a kids story, but Iím not a kid.

The trip to Vietnam was a bit strained -- I think the part about their visit to Vietnam was awkward and strained. It was strangely impersonal and almost read like a caricature of Vietnam -- necessary in some sense because you only have a few lines, butÖ. I think this would have worked a lot better if you had just said she was Vietnamese when she looked at the picture of her mom, instead of just describing the skin and hair vaguely. She was able to point out Hanoi on the globe, so she clearly knew where her mom was from. A few more sentences about how she felt like she didnít belong because of her physical differences, and making it a little more obvious about how going to Vietnam tied into that, but didnít work. I know you didnít have a lot of words to work with, but I would have sacrificed the fart joke and the conical-hat-doll for a few.

Anyway, now that you donít have a word limit, polish it up and find an illustrator????

The War Is Over -- docbeard
Good. Except: I have no clue what happens at the end! Did she kill herself? And if so why? Why did she just struggle to plug the oxygen back in if she was just going to take the helmet off anyway? It basically ruins the story for me. And I liked the rest of it. It made sense and came together well. I think this suffers from the same problem I talked about in Maugrimís, but in a slightly different variation: I donít think we need to know whether she is rescued or not. The interesting thing is what she decides to do and why. So, deciding to leave Solmen behind, good, clear. The end, bad because I canít tell what she decided or why. No reason for it to be so vague -- maybe you didnít mean for it to be so vague.

Suicide seems like the best guess because she took her helmet off and there was freezing mist and her hip didnít hurt, but if that, then why all the rest of what she did in the ship? And what was the switch she flipped before? The distress beacon? Why didnít she flip that before she launched then? Just say she flipped on the distress beacon and took her helmet off and it all makes sense? Kind of. I still donít get why she would kill herself.

Remorseful Loves -- Schneider Heim
REVENGE. Also law school suicide. Also not really revenge. Why on earth DID she call him back if it was just to apologize and then tell him he was a jerk? I guess sometimes you REALLY want to tell someone they are a jerk. But then why the macaroni and cheese? I can appreciate the conflicting feelings when someone you love is also a jerk and then they die, but the rest of the story seems too simple. Another cute boy comes along and now she will bring him back to be a new boyfriend. But it will be better because he is nice. Maybe itís a sweet story, but I think she is just really stupid. If this story is really about complicated feelings and not simple feelings, there is too much plot and not enough about the emotions to carry it. If itís about the plot, which is what I suspect, then it lacks the internal logic to hold it together. All the actions feel designed to get to the end, instead of unfolding naturally.

Access. - J.A.B.C.
Reading this, I felt like the story was always on the cusp of making sense, but then it never did. I keep trying to reread it to find something coherent to criticize, but I canít. Every other paragraph seems to make sense, in terms of the words coming together to make a thing comprehensible to my brain, but then they donít relate to each other. UGH. He killed someone after they got a promotion when he had complained about him? Then he was put in some sort of scrap yard? Then something burst through the ceiling and enabled him toÖ.escape? But there was a factory accident and he did something related to that? NO CLUE.

The Truth - Kaishai
I donít have much to say about the beginning of this because I really liked it. The boy sold instantly invokes injustice, one of the best ways to create sympathy and interest. Everyone hates injustice. Then, the ignorance of the emperor, no wonder Sochan despises him: bitterness, helplessness, and lack of respect are a potent combination. Fighting for his friends, his change of heart when the Emperor stands up for his family despite his fear and obvious disability: good. And the writing painted a solid picture, without standing out as WORDS -- which is how it should be in a story like this, IMO. Itís the picture, the moments of created time, that I want, not a turn-of-phrase.

I really liked everything about this except the fact that the sculptor made him into a penguin! I just canít get over how strongly I dislike that. It just -- really! This one was still in my list of favorites, but a penguin just didnít fit. The rest of the story conjured up a specific kind of world to me, and it was NOT a world with penguins. It felt too goofy and unexpected. Surely there is another not-usually-considered noble animal that would fit better in with an Emperor, portcullises, eagles, greyhounds, bears, and stags.

Hot Cha - PootieTang
Iím really glad someone took advantage of the open format to write a poem. Itís not a good poem, but thatís okay. Decent plot to it, as well, chronicling the descent into addiction and desperation. Also includes the name of the band in one line, which isÖ.good? I donít know.

Poem relies far too much on rhyme and has poo poo scansion. You should be able to read a poem out loud without stumbling over extra, missing, or under/over emphasized sylablles. Yours has a TON. Also severely lacking in metaphor. or subtlety.

How to Begin Again -- hotsoupdinner
I guess this guy broke up with her and then she tried to kill herself and then sheís still like ďI love youĒ and heís like ďI donít love you, but donít hurt yourself again, okay?Ē and sheís like ďOkay. That hurt, but okay.Ē Is that the plot here? For all that drama there sure is a lot of ďI donít give a poo pooĒ in my response. A lot of the smaller details in this feel right to me: friends as ďappointed guardiansĒ probably by themselves, the pretending not to see, pretending not to look, asking for drugs, the her sudden wish that she had gone home and taken a shower. Those things feel real enough. Itís the main point conversation that bugs me. Itís sparse, which could be okay if there was anything that came before it to give its sparseness weight, but their isnít. Really all we know is that she tried to kill herself after some ďphone callĒ nothing else about what was between them. It could just be some dumb high-school crush. It SOUNDS like a dumb high school crush. Nothing to really carry the decision to get over it into an interesting or impactful decision.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


They Might Be Giants (Week 135) Crits -- Part 2

Lighthouse -- Captntastic
Words, sentences, paragraphs, all fine of their own right, but the story leaves me flat. I remember it being okay while I was judging, but I donít want to read it again to write a crit. The whole struggle seems pointless--which, I think may have been the point, but then that made READING it also feel pointless. And the whole time I was thinking ďif they had already invented the cinderblocks to build this place, wouldnít they also have electric lighting.Ē I felt too much of this story was clearly about [i[the authorís intent[/i] and obvious symbolism. Maybe not a pointless struggle, but a struggle with a point unknowable, of uncertain utility. There arenít really any questions demanding answers in this story. Iím not sure if there is really a significant change in the character, either. For all the struggling through a storm and then upstairs with a heavy burden, for all the relation of the duty to his parents duty that led to their death, for all he sees his own tiny nightlight in his own home across the gale, from within the lighthouse, I donít see the significance of him deciding to repaint it.

Also I looked up the cinderblock/electricity thing, learned that by the time cinderblocks were common building materials, electric lighthouses had already been around for a while. https://cardinalscholar.bsu.edu/han...3456789/193842; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Souter_Lighthouse. I didnít find a good timeline about when either one became common though. So maybe there could be a cinderblock lighthouse that used kerosene lamps -- but even after nuclear power plants? I dunno about that. There are apparently a handful of kerosene lighthouses still operating today. Then I also found this article about how lighthouse keepers wouldnít have to actually drag heavy containers of kerosene up the stairs every single day, because kerosene lamps actually donít use all that much fuel: http://www.lighthousedigest.com/dig...?StoryKey=3672. I did enjoy learning a little bit more about lighthouses, and I donít think you have to get all the facts just right since this is obviously a symbolic story, but all the symbols and feelings and grief are just strewn around, and donít really come together for me.



Stainless -- Ironic Twist
This story is...interesting. I like the layers of emotions and motivations and fears. I do not like the layer metaphor of a chipped manicure. It was too long and contrived. Should have just stopped with the rock formations metaphor. That was sufficient. Itís funny that finding out her nightmares are about murdering him makes the protagonist feel better, not worse -- at least, that is how I understand the story. But itís believable. The decision to keep loving her even after he finds the knife is a satisfactory conclusion. Iím not quite sure what to think of the knife itself though. Presumably Ondine put it there. But it what frame of mind? Why leave it there? Did she know it was there? The conversation on the phone where she says ďI just canít. Sometimes I think Iíll wake up with the knife in my handĒ confuses me more. Did she place the knife there to ward away the nightmares? Does it relate to how she can cut off a rooster head? Itís not just that these questions arenít satisfactorily answered -- sometimes that is okay -- but that they arenít satisfactorily tethered to the story. There is nothing there to anchor their significance.

Babylon and On -- Benny Profane
This HMed, for me, in large part because of a good joke well executed, and carried on far past when it should have ceased to be funny. Then it changed to what may have been a strange political metaphor about how we should all just get along and our disagreements will fade with time? I donít know. Ninja Turtle part was real good though.

Julian to Come - Djeser
Good premise on this one, but needed more serious thinking about the consequences of time travel. In the first paragraph: ďThe villages the dragon attacked were sent a hundred years into the future. The king's men arrived to find the great-great-grandchildren of the villagers that had lived there before.Ē But...if the villagers were sent into the futre, their great-great-grandchildren would be born even further into the future, not in the present, right? So Iím immediately kind of confused about this Time Dragon and have lost confidence in this story to handle the pain-in-the-rear end that is time travel well. It continues to be a problem. Why was the one knight ďwitheredĒ by the dragon breath instead of sent into the future? Why on earth would a young person be less susceptible to such a breath? How do we get from ďbreath sends people into the futureĒ to ďwater will erode its skullĒ? Then the young knight gets sent into the future (that part was at least suitably foreshadowed), butÖ nothing really comes of it? He finds his name in an old book and it reminds him of home and that makes him feel betterÖ. but so what? Is he just going to live in his memories. Nothing changed about the character, it was just a series of events and those events didnít quite make the sense they needed to. Boo.

Fault Lines -- Grizzled Patriarch
I like a story with a good allegorical sinkhole opening up right at the beginning. Nothing to jostle the hero out of his normal life like a good old-fashioned earthquake that disturbs the shrine and calls him on a quest. Good refusal of the quest, and then the further nudge, the visit from the oracle, the decision to go, the passage into the underworld. It all feels really natural, which is impressive for the whole sink-hole, crawling into a crack in the wall after dead-daughter singing, discovery of a massive underground room thing. But then...the ending is unsatisfying. No wisdom gained, no circle closed. You leave him poised on a precipice of uncertain significance. It appears he has no choice to descend, so how does he REACT. He doesnít, you cut us off. Not pleasant. Not ďeffectiveĒ or ďdeepĒ or ďinteresting.Ē Irritating and makes the rest of the story feel almost like a waste.

Someone Keeps Moving My Chair -- curlingiron
Ahhhhhh this is such a nightmare situation. They might be cliche by now, but these kind of cruelties, which feel so inescapable, always get me. Itís why I canít really bear to read Kafka. Heís the master of it, after all. Anyway, poor Harry. And the insults, too. And the final insult, the chair on the window ledge. Itís all pretty convincing to me, in a nightmare sort of way. My own personal nightmare of being helpless and surrounded by assholes. A nightmare that kept me reading in a grim sort of sympathy to the end, butÖ. man that ďinsurance policy doesnít cover suicide thingĒ is sooooooo cliche by now.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


Maugrim posted:

Congrats once again GP, you're on a roll (PROOOOOMPT)

Thank you for the TMBG Week crit DocKloc.


For me, whether or not you hit the prompt is a major part of the scoring.

Someone should compile notes on how to pander to each of the possible judges.

This is why the TMBG prompt said:

quote:

You can take inspiration from anything related to the song, and interpret it really broadly, but it should be kinda related somehow.
...
Judging is going to be based only on our enjoyment of whatever you write.

For me, the real point is that the story should stand alone without reference to the prompt material.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


The Bone Loom
1,292 words

Removed For Posterity

Dr. Kloctopussy fucked around with this message at May 30, 2015 around 01:02

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


Anyone (who participated this week) who does 10+ non-poo poo critiques will get a gift certificate for a custom avatar. For this illustrious award, you will need to do more than the minimal 3-5 sentences, but SittingHere's guide (above and quoted below) is a good guide. Crits don't need to be a line crit, but more than a few bullshit sentences. It's arbitrary. Deal.

Not gonna lie, there's no good way to make this "objective" so you're going to have to rely on my own interpretation of the above. Life is hard and luck is mostly on your side.

If you hope to see a new picture under your name, PM me with a link to your critique post(s). If you cannot PM me, you will have to ~enter the IRC~ where pretty much anyone can pass me the message. (It's #thunderdome on synirc, by the way, and if you don't hang out there 24/7 you are a ...silly person who should make less silly decisions).

Sitting Here posted:

-What you didn't understand

-Where you stopped reading (if you struggled with reading the whole thing in one sitting)

-Whether or not you understood the characters' motivations

-Whether the ending resolved things satisfyingly, or at all

Don't worry if you don't think you have anything helpful to say. Let the writer assess that for themselves.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


Dr. Kloctopussy posted:

Anyone (who participated this week) who does 10+ non-poo poo critiques will get a gift certificate for a custom avatar. For this illustrious award, you will need to do more than the minimal 3-5 sentences, but SittingHere's guide (above and quoted below) is a good guide. Crits don't need to be a line crit, but more than a few bullshit sentences. It's arbitrary. Deal.

Not gonna lie, there's no good way to make this "objective" so you're going to have to rely on my own interpretation of the above. Life is hard and luck is mostly on your side.

If you hope to see a new picture under your name, PM me with a link to your critique post(s). If you cannot PM me, you will have to ~enter the IRC~ where pretty much anyone can pass me the message. (It's #thunderdome on synirc, by the way, and if you don't hang out there 24/7 you are a ...silly person who should make less silly decisions).

EDIT: These crits need to be completed by sign-up deadline for next TD

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


THUNDERDOME WEEK 143: Smells Like Dome Spirit


Inspiration: This week, take time to stop and smell the roses. Or at least imagine how they smell. Or just read about how they might smell if they were combined with a bunch of other scents by a weird goth lady in her basement. Go on over to http://blackphoenixalchemylab.com a fun indie perfumery. Pick one of their many scents. You will see that included in the description of nearly all their scents is a myth, or a poem, or an entire Thunderdome story. Find inspiration within the scent of your choice. Its name, description, what the scents themselves conjure up in your mind. I don't care. I'm sure as gently caress not going to read the description of your scent when I read your story.

You don't have to tell us what your scent is. You can change your scent as many times as you like and as late in the week as you like. Don't post about it if you do (no one cares), just do it. More than one person can use the same scent. If you can't decide, as always, I will assign you one. You must ask by the sign up deadline, though.

Don't post the name of your scent in your story post (I mean, you can use the name of the scent in your story, or as the title, or whatever, but don't write like "My scent was XXXX, here is my story."

Guidance: A common bit of writing advice is "get into your character's head." Well, this week I want you to get into their body. This week's theme is "writing with all 5 senses." Too often, description is limited to sights. Occasionally a sound. Build the texture of your story by immersing yourself in the environment. Sights, sounds, smells, tastes, textures. Put yourself there, feel it all, then put it in your writing. In judging, I will take into consideration how effectively you have done this. Not how many senses include. Not how well you describe the immaculate scent of lavender on a summer's day. I know what lavender smells like. This isn't a contest on who can describe poo poo the best (hint: it's lovely).

DON'T YOU DARE JUST WRITE A BUNCH OF DESCRIPTIONS AND WORLD BUILDING AND EXPOSITION FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

Complete. Independent. Story.
Goals. Motivation. Conflict.
Characters. Plot. Setting.

Thinking about how characters would experience their world in all five senses is intended to benefit you, the writer. As people, we experience the world with all 5 senses all the time, though we often ignore the information. How can you use this information to enrich your story? How can it help bring your characters or setting alive? It should add to the story, not take over it. I'm not looking for stories that are about experiencing sensations. The story probably be about something else. But I want to see the benefits of immersing yourself in sensation. In my opinion, the most effective way to do this is to have your story mapped out, possibly even a first draft written, then go through it, be in it, and find the details that bring it alive. Details that matter.

For example, I have a bad habit of letting vegetables go bad in my fridge. And I feel really guilty about it and hate myself for not doing something I meant to do (cook and eat the vegetables). If you were writing a story about me feeling guilty about not doing something I really should have done, and cared about, maybe you would write a little foreshadowing scene at the beginning where I open the fridge and hate myself. A good way this could work is if, hypothetically, I was an alcoholic, and drinking is what kept me from doing something really important, so at the beginning, you would show me opening the fridge to get another beer. Let me tell you that half-spoiled cabbage has a very distinct smell, and that smell alone makes me feel guilty and ashamed. Sometimes I avoid opening the fridge just to avoid that smell -- and then I cook even less. It's a terrible circle of guilt. So that would be a good detail. A story that was just about how that smell makes me feel, not so good.

FORBIDDEN
1) No synesthesia. Be wary of writing about hallucinogens, too.
2) No erotica. I DID NOT MEAN "GET IN THEIR BODY" LIKE THAT. GROSS. NO.
3) No Fan Fiction! Many of the scents on BPAL are like the perfume version of Fan Fiction. You can pick any of those, it's totally fine. You can not write fan fiction. You can pick a Fraggle Rock scent. Do not write Fraggle Rock fan fiction. Even if it is not "pop culture," if it was created by someone else, writing in their world or with their characters counts as Fan Fiction. Do not write Alice in Wonderland fan fiction. Some of the Neil Gaiman stuff has archetypes like "Death." Writing about the archetype Death is okay. Writing about Neil Gaiman's goth girl Death, or anything that I think looks sufficiently like her, is NOT okay. If in doubt, write something more original.

Boring but Important:
Sign up: Friday, May 1, 23:59 PST
Submit: Sunday, May 3, 23:59 PST
Max Word Count: 1,250
Judges: DrK, Muffin, Grizzled Patriarch

Smelly Dudes:
Killer-Of-Lawyers
Wangless Wonder - to submit at least 12 hours before the prompt is due.
Jonked
Blue Wher
Tyrannosaurus
thehomemaster
Sundance Shot :toxxx:
Ravenkult
dmboogie
SadisTech
Broenheim
spectres of autism
Sitting Here
Bompacho
Claven666
skwidmonster
Sodacan
Something Else
big perm
Kaishai
JcDent
Screaming Idiot
thehomemaster
Mercedes
Noah
Screaming Idiot
A Classy Ghost
TheGreekOwl
Megazver
CrazySalamander
Mrenda
NewsGunkie
Pete Zah

Dr. Kloctopussy fucked around with this message at May 2, 2015 around 03:02

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


Kaishai posted:

I'm in, and I'm calling my shot:

Fairy Market
Otherworldy golden incense, blooming wind-flowers, everlasting lavender, bluebell, a faint whiff of exotic sugared candies, and fae mist upon wet green grass.

Ectoplasm
A luminous, viscid blend of white amber, lemongrass, white oakmoss, and davana.

drat it, I really can't afford to buy more perfume right now!

Dr. Kloctopussy fucked around with this message at Apr 30, 2015 around 00:17

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


crabrock posted:

DrK got that lawyer money

You know it: negative net worth.


Screaming Idiot posted:

DrK gonna end up in the trunk of my car while I collect that lawyer ransom money

just kidding i do not own a car

EDIT: OH MY GOD THEY HAVE STEAMPUNK PERFUME

LIKE, WHAT DOES IT SMELL LIKE? GREASE AND NECKBEARDS AND SWEATY GOGGLES? THIS SITE IS A loving GOLDMINE


One of them does does smell like grease and googles.

ALSO, $17.50 for 5oz of perfume oil is not expensive. If you diluted it to the same oil/alcohol solution as Old Spice, the Old Spice would be significantly more expensive per ounce. In fact, the Old Spice Cologne, at full price is $27-32 on amazon, for 6.37oz. Even if you compare volume-to-volume, the BPAL scent will be $3.50/oz and the Old Spice will be $4.24/oz. If you consider that the typical dilution ratio for cologne is 95/5 solution/oil, your 6.37oz bottle of Old Spice only contains 0.32oz of perfume oil, so you pay $84.37/oz of perfume oil. Basically, Old Spice is 24 times as expensive as a standard BPAL scent.

If you compare it to department store fragrance, it's an even better deal, and let's not even talk about designer fragrances because holy loving god who spends $500 on perfume?!?!! Perfume has an extremely high profit margin and if you ever get famous enough, DEFINITELY start your own fragrance line.

DID YOU REALLY THINK FOR EVEN ONE SECOND THAT I WOULD NOT DO THIS??

Your scent is: Some Strangeness in the Proportion
http://blackphoenixalchemylab.com/s...ess-proportion/


Noah posted:

In. Flash me a perfume, I'm lazy.

Eat Me
http://blackphoenixalchemylab.com/s...vorites/eat-me/


Wangless Wonder posted:

I cannot in good faith navigate that website, please flash me a smell

Fallen
http://blackphoenixalchemylab.com/s...lvation/fallen/

Dr. Kloctopussy fucked around with this message at Apr 30, 2015 around 22:17

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


Broenheim posted:

hit me up with a perfume, none of them are really striking me as any good

Old Demons of the First Class
http://blackphoenixalchemylab.com/s...he-first-class/

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


A Classy Ghost posted:

DRK AM I IN THIS WEEK???

Yes.

Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


SurreptitiousMuffin posted:

Goddamit Doc, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab prompts again?


I hate reruns. Since I'm co-judge, that means I hate all of you. May god have mercy on you if you pick the same perfume I did last time and do it worse than I did.

It's not exactly the same prompt. Anyway, that's why I made you co-judge.

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Dr. Kloctopussy
Apr 22, 2003


Entenzahn posted:

Attn wizard week toxxers: I promised you wizard week crits but since there's been a fuckton of them flying around already I'll instead give you the pick of any of your TD entries. Just let me know what you want critted. I'll probably start going through the list by Sunday so if I haven't heard from you till then you get your regular old wizard crit.

The list again: Broenheim, Wangless Wonder, ravenkult, newtestleper, Dr. Kloctopussy, Benny the Snake, skwidmonster, kurona_bright, curlingiron, Auraboks, Doctor Idle, Maugrim

Also thanks for the crits sh, crabman, beefman, hammerman, maugriman and tonicboy aka the half-a-dirty-dozen

I'd also prefer a critique of wizard week, since I might try to shop it at some point.

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