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SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


There was a gif here, now it is lost to the void

SurreptitiousMuffin fucked around with this message at 04:54 on Jan 18, 2018

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SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


Yeah I am in with a :toxx:

edit: oh I guess the song is gonna be Rumors of My Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated by Rise Against because I was one of those teenagers

SurreptitiousMuffin fucked around with this message at 02:44 on Feb 7, 2018

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


Fire-gilding

412 words, this song

Beyond the west of the world, where the sun cannot be seen, lies Crow Hearth – the city of ice and stone; a city out of time, lost beneath the snow and beyond the turn of the world. Men scurry through the lightless streets, holding their warm coats close until they can escape down into the rats’ nest of heated tunnels that make the bulk of the city.

Down now, down again. Through the tunnels. Follow the insistent ticking that lives somewhere behind the mind and pushes further onward. Don’t touch the men with blue-and-white carbuncles upon their skin, and pale light in their eyes – they are touched by the Heart and lost to the world.

Down now, down again. Tick tick tick. The world here hums. The walls move in and out and the ice groans. There is a shop filled with clocks. An old woman attends. She wears goggles cobbled together from wire, obsidian and red glass; it is not clear what she sees. She scurries around, moving clocks back and forth. Her time is not up yet.

Watch. She opens a door in the back and enters the room of bad clocks. It is deeper, and closer to the Heart. The walls are ice, and glow with sickening light. In years past, she hammered hooks directly into the ice and now upon them the bad clocks hang. They tick a second too early, or too late. They tick when they should tock. They are ugly.

To make a gold clock, she coats it in a layer of, among other things, liquid mercury, then lights it on fire. The mercury burns so fast it doesn’t even damage the wood, and leaves a more pure and beautiful gold coat than mere paint could ever hope for. The room of Bad Clocks smells of piss and mercury. The old woman smells of piss and mercury. The horrid syncopated ticking hides the lower, more regular and insistent thump thump thump of the Heart.

She was young once. She did not want to die. Every second ticked away was a second she could never get back. She charted each passing second as the ice walls closed in. She took meticulous notes of her time ticking down. Now, she lives alone, encased in ice, with the ticking of her clocks for company.

Below, the Heart beats. Above, the snow falls.

There is nothing here but the ticking of clocks, counting down to gods-know-what.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


Awww yeah nerdfight. :toxx: I got something special for you, Seattle: the Flatwoods Monster.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


curlingiron posted:

As usual, no fanfic, erotica, quote tags, gdocs, etc. If you really want to write poetry, I don't mind, but you still need to give it a narrative arc.


Memes aside, I think we need to have a serious talk about why The Narrative Arc is considered the default unit of storytelling within the dome. I don't think plots are bad per se but there's a default assumption here that more plot = good and less plot = bad, and literary fiction would really like to have a word.

Literary fiction has gone so far in the other direction that they're writing hand-wringing editorials in the Guardian about why maybe plots aren't just for hacks and children. They're obnoxious tools about it, but I think it's kinda important to note that there's a huge and important branch of fiction where our base assumption about storytelling isn't just wrong, it's foundationally and critically wrong.

What's the narrative arc of Ulysses? The Sound and Fury? To the Lighthouse? These are classic pieces of literature that the dome wouldn't consider Good Writing because they don't tick a particular box. By saying "this isn't a story because it doesn't fit my very narrow understanding of fiction" you're pulling the same poo poo as The Guardian, from the other direction.

Hell, you just wanna write genre fiction about spaceships? For years, Clarkesworld had "PROSE IS PLOT" front and center on their submissions page.

If we as a community want to improve as writers, we need to be willing to challenge our assumptions about what fiction is. This one particular assumption has become incredibly ingrained in the writing and judging culture of the 'dome and it's time to actually ask ourselves why.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


curlingiron posted:

:shrug: Okay. I’m sorry you’re upset, and you can submit whatever you want, but I think if you wanted an actual discussion about the requirements for this week, it would have been better to bring it up at any point before the day submissions are due.
Oh yeah it wasn't meant to be a specific callout -- this has been bothering me for a while. It's a broader cultural thing across the dome.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


I guess I gotta fuckin front up with a story after that, huh?



For the archivists:
When it broke, all the colour ran out
562 words

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


newtestleper posted:

:toxx: for the All Blacks
ur not even in wellington what is this christchurch boyyyy

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


newtestleper posted:

btw Seattle and Christchurch are sister cities, and I'm going to tell Mom that you snuck out with Chad on Friday. You'll be grounded until your junior year of college.
The Virgin Christchurch vs the Chad Wellington

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


hello and welcome to tab week, where we hit tab a bunch until it looks cool

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


Exmond posted:

Practice what you preach. If you want to get rid of the narrative structure you should be accepting of other forms of stories.
What is a ... joke?

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


Also I am in the brawl with that fuckin Aswang. Gimme dat good good Manananggal.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


Tired: shitposting
Wired: poo poo posting

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


big ole dicks

big ole dinger dongers

cocks and such

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


im gonna write about penises so you can either go with it or rules lawyer me

big floppy donkey dicks

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


thats bad advice because i cant write about big dicks any more

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


k i will write what i know

nothing

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


oi ya fuckin drongo leave Jimmy Barnes alone he's a national treasure

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


STUPID IN SEATTLE BRAWL
BRING IT, YOU RAIN-DRENCHED FLANNEL-WEARING COASTAL LOSERS


We fight monsters
1000 words
beastie: Manananggal

Every day, Rose went out beyond the hawker stands –out beyond the torn-up fences and beat-up dock workers– to the place where the water was clear. Every day, she went to the ocean to weep. The siyokoy took her son when he was out swimming: the niños ate her little niño. She would cry, and scream, and strike the water with her fists. Then, she would return home and cry, and scream, and strike her remaining sons while they cowered in the corner. If you’d asked her, she couldn’t tell you why.

Patti saw, and didn’t know what to do. She watched and hid in trees, on rooftops, behind a jumble of TV aerials. She walked on her hands to keep a low profile, and kept her wings hidden in the small of her back. Her guts got dirty as they dragged along the ground. When Rose wept, Patti wept too. She couldn’t tell you why.

Patti wasn’t a siyokoy. She hadn’t even been nearby when little Alberto got dragged down and eaten up – she was off in Cebu, lurking around a maternity ward. The modern world was good for manananggal: they put all the pregnant women in one place. Patti could spread her feeding around, and not hurt a soul. Her neighbours knew what she was. One of them would hang crucifixes all over the drat place and the apartment hallway always reeked of burning sage, but they left her alone.

She didn’t swoop down on them in the dead of night; they didn’t hunt her through the jungles with spears. They told their friends about the monster next door but never said anything to her face; she smoked weed and listened to old punk records, and only fed when she needed to. She followed Rose out to the docks every day she could, and watched, and wept.

It was near the end of the dry season when it happened. Patti sat on Mr Nunes’ balcony smoking a cigarette and listened to Rose shouting at her boys. She leaned across and peered in the window, and one of the boys (Lucas, the tall one, with his shaggy mop of hair) peered back. He was backed in a corner, almost in a squat. Patti had seen a lot of human faces. She’d seen them scream, or go white, or (in more recent times) turn away muttering a prayer. She had never seen this– Lucas looked her dead in the eye, plaintive, and mouthed a single word.

help

While she stared, Mr Nunes ran up and hit her with a broom. She hadn’t even seen him coming. “Aswang!” he shouted “go away! Get out of here, Tik-Tok!”

She took flight while Mr Nunes shouted some bullshit about Our Mother Mary. She hung in the air for a moment, hissed at him, then gave him the finger and swooped off into the night.

***

Every day, Patti followed Rose down to the water. Every day, she remembered Lucas’ sad eyes and crept a little closer. As the dry season came to a close, Cadiz was going insane– after six months without rain, a sick pressure builds in the air that makes men wish for a flood. Patti felt it in her skin, and in the space between her eyes. Rains made it harder to fly, but also easier to move around undetected. She knew in another six months she’d be praying for the rains to stop. Funny how that worked. Patti had left her legs behind: lower profile, harder to be seen. She had a good view of Rose from the roof of the Port Authority office. A dock worker noticed her, made the sign of the cross, then went back to stacking boxes. She took a deep breath, and swooped down.

She wanted to scare Rose– to bite her and scratch her. She spread her wings wide, and bared her sharp teeth, and opened her mouth to roar. Rose turned, and saw. She did not scream, or go white. Her eyes were plaintive, and filled with tears. Patti lowered her hands, only a little. Her jaw hung open.

“Are you going to kill me?” said Rose.

It wasn’t fear: Patti knew fear. It was almost begging.

“No,” said Patti. She slumped, and let her guts touch the sand.

“So,” said Rose, “we’re monsters.”

She stared out to sea. The sun hung low over Cadiz, and painted the clouds in fire-orange and bruise-purple. They sat in silence. Patti took out a cigarette, then realised she’d left her lighter in her pants. Without speaking, Rose proffered a green plastic Bic lighter, and lit the cigarette.

Patti smoked it down to the filter, then held it between her thumb and forefinger and flicked it into the ocean. It floated, and sent ripples out into the water.

“We don’t have to be,” she said. “The world hurts. It hurts in big ways and it hurts in small ways, and it twists your spine until you find yourself hurting it back. That’s the trap. You’ll hurt your sons, and they’ll hurt their friends and their wives, and their wives will hurt their sons and it’ll keep on hurting until the clouds and the rapture takes us all.”

“You think it’s that easy?” said Rose. “Just stop hurting?”

“No,” said Patti. “It’s the hardest thing I ever did.”

Rose didn’t reply. They sat, and watched the sun set. Patti took out another cigarette. It was the last one in the pack.

“You never really quit,” she said. “You just go longer between relapses.”

“Cigarettes?” said Rose.

A pause hung in the air.

“Yeah, sure.”

“Maybe,” said Rose, “that gap gets big enough that you forget what tobacco tastes like.”

“That would be nice,” said Patti. Her voice broke, only a little. “Really nice.”

They sat, and watched another day turn to night. Patti smoked her last cigarette. She left embers in the sand, as the disappearing sun left streaks of fire in the sky.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


rear end frog posted:

"you loving rear end in a top hat," said the woman. "you loving rear end in a top hat. you making GBS threads, farting rear end in a top hat." she pulled off her shoes. "you
HM

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


I am In Mr Mouse.

(I'm DQd from entering James White but I'll TD)

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


Week CLXXVIV: DO YOUR WORST!



There's a real art to writing badly. Anybody can pump out a piece of midlevel nothing or a boring DM but writing a real classic loser is even harder to write than a winner. This week, we're turning the whole drat competition upside down. The writer of the worst story is the winner, and the writer of the best story is the loser.

Calculated badness, mind. Badness with intent, and drive, and a heart.

Of course, I wouldn't leave you with so little direction. Before you sign up, I want you to go to deviantart, choose any picture (though keep it PG13), and post it with your signup. That picture is the prompt for the person above you. First signup's picture goes to the last person to sign up so it all comes back around in a loop.

Fanfiction and poetry are absolutely allowed, erotica is still banned because I have nightmares from the last time we allowed it.

Word count: n/a. I'll stop reading when I get bored.
Judges: Muffin, Morningbell, The Saddest Rhino

Sign-up deadline: Friday March 30th 11:59pm PST
Submission deadline: Sunday April 1st 11:59pm PST

SurreptitiousMuffin fucked around with this message at 02:06 on Mar 27, 2018

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


GAZE UPON MY WORKS AND DESPAIR

also I need two more judges hmu

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


a question has been asked in IRC:

Q: is it okay if my fanart is pg13 but 100% absolutely I am sure related to somebody's incredibly weird fetish?
A: yeah man go mad

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


further questions:

Q: how tightly do I have to stick to my picture? If my picture is Rescue Rangers do I have to write Rescue Rangers?
A: it's a prompt, not a straightjacket. Its ball is to get the ball rolling. Go where ever you want with it: not even gonna ask to see how you got there.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


sebmojo posted:

I'm in give me a flash rule someone


Steampunk pirate fairies who are also the chosen one who are also RIPPED AS gently caress

RandomPauI posted:

I'll take a flash rule too
I heard Marilyn Manson had his ribs removed so he could suck his own dick isn't that crazy

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


Chainmail Onesie posted:

In, flash pls

Here seb, have some giant steampunk clowns or whatever the gently caress this is:


Okay so it's a shark, right? But then WAIT FOR IT you add ANOTHER shark on top

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


crabrock posted:

congrats on your win, Exmond.

in

i dunno if this is a pokemon or what but it's cute so whoever gets it plz write a cute dino story
https://www.deviantart.com/art/Drillgon-meets-Spiky-737415431


Signups are closed. DocK, your pic is above.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


Tanz! posted:

I thought I would still have time to sign up.

So I am

I CLAIM EVERY PICTURE FOR MY STORY
This sucks and you suck

which is entirely in the spirit of this week. Welcome aboard.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


the submission deadline is technically up but imma let it ride for a while

if you're signed up but not in, you're living on borrowed time

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


Submissions are closed.

You have all failed me in your own special ways. I am livetweeting my feelings about this while smashing down gin.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


:siren: Week CLXXVIV RESULTS: It is us, we are the fools of April, because it's April and we're all the worst. :siren:



What a garbage week. You all failed me in different ways, and for that, I salute you. That said, some of you are worse than others, and some of you were just too competent to make the cut.

Those of you didn't fail me enough: your inability to suck has been noted. The HMs go to Captain_Person's Jerry Kewl Adventures 1: A New Best Friend, which was just midgrade YA with too many adverbs, to Yoruichi's That Time You Went on a Cat Search and Stole a Helicopter which had a frenetic beat-poetry energy to it, and to Armack's []bUntitled[b/], which despite a boatload of malapropisms and poor spelling couldn't hide a genuinely joyful nonsense poem about a dog who really wants to eat a cauliflower.

The winner this week wrote a story that was ridiculous but also really kickin' rad in a Heavy Metal kinda way. It had bears riding people around while fighting sharks on top of other sharks. We had a ton of fun with it. Chainmail Onesie, you are too good for this evil place and you get the losertar this week.

Our DMs were SH's ~*~The Persistence of Narrative Within the Conceit~*~ about a furry who gets butt pregnant but it's not sexual u guys; Antivehicular's Horse Dreams: Paint Your Dreams, which did exactly what it said on the tin; Sham Bam Bamina's! The Truth is Far, Far Out There, which was the perfect pastiche of stupid person's idea of smart writing; and Solitair's Ready Prayer One which basically got a DM on the strength of that title alone.

The loser was a piece of Ayn Rand fanfic of a ponderous length that would make Ayn Rand proud. A piece where characters kept randomly burping in a way that was extremely horny on main. A piece that took a random total left turn into lovely creepypasta because one bad genre just wasn't enough. Hats off to Tanz! with my first story ^U^ . You really shat the bed: the throne is yours.

EDIT: a small clarification about archiving.

SurreptitiousMuffin fucked around with this message at 04:51 on Apr 4, 2018

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


If anybody is curious, you were all graded on a scale from 1-69 but since nobody got a perfect 69 none of you get to say 'nice' without feeling like an imposter and a coward.

quote:

my first story ^U^ 3
~*~The Persistence of Narrative Within the Conceit~*~ 9
Ready Prayer One 10
Horse Destiny: Paint Your Dreams 11
The Truth is Far, Far Out There 17
Touch the Cactus, she said 19
How My New Life Began 19
Crawling in the Sand's 26
A Horse Called Bob 26
eScape from the CITY! 34
Thunderdome is Eternal 37
What Ash Ketchum did on my summer vacation 40
The Rise of Comrade Colonel Meow 42
The Memphis Tales 45
CATMAND AND CONQUER: CAT AND MEOWUSE PART 1: ORIGINS aka THE TAMING OF THE MEW, A LOVE STORy 47
Upon the exigencies of the merciless advance of linear time 48
Interview 50
Inchworm 50
Set the World on Fire 54
That Time You Went on a Cat Search and Stole a Helicopter 55
[]bUntitled[/b] 61
Jerry Kewl Adventures 1: a new best friend 65
Bearly a Story 67

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


So, there's been some confusion about ARCHIVE TAGS from poo poo week. I hosed up and wasn't sufficiently clear about loserwinners and winnerlosers. Mea culpa. I've been busy but that doesn't unscramble the eggs, so to speak. The blame's on me but also, this is Thunderdome soooo



Tanz! and Chainmail Onsie both get winner tags in the archive, and both get a special LOSERWINNER avatar indicating their unique polar positions in this fucky and weird week. Don't like it?



CRY SOME MORE!

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


I already mentioned it but in case anybody missed it, drunken judgeburps for all your shitweek stories appeared on my twitter. More indepth crits coming later.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


Yeah sure I'm in.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


Chili posted:

SurreptitiousMuffin is unable to access the forums at the moment, and has authorized me to post his story:

<Muffin> k chili story is formatted and clear to post 10:52 PM

What follows is his story, with no changes, posted from a google doc:


Damo’s very bad day
791 words

Yeah nah so Damo’s day was pretty poo poo aye. He cursed his missus, and his dog, and the fuckin foreman who said it didn’t matter that he had a real tough skull he needed to wear a hard hat or he could go the gently caress home. I mean yeah he hit the prick but what else was he supposed to do? Some oval office is all like “you’re a liability mate” and you know you’re not a liability, you’re a kiwi, so you hit him right in his cheeky gob. It was a right fuckin mess mate, and no mistake.

Damo went home and smashed back a few tallboys while his missus shouted at him about how he needed to work because they had rent to pay and a dog to feed and he was like “gently caress off woman!” then he staggered out into the street and shouted at some random oval office in a stupid japanese car.

The world was spinning a little so Damo lay down in the middle of Whitiriki Road. A car went HAAAAWNK HAAAAAAWNK and he heard some oval office shouting about some dumb poo poo but it didn’t really matter aye. Somebody kicked him and he stood up to give them a fuckin hiding, then he fell over again. A car door slammed shut somewhere that coulda been a thousand Ks away. He got a mouthful of stale exhaust fumes and heard the car moving around him.

“Haha get hosed mate,” he whispered to nobody in particular.

Look mate I see you judging but you don’t really get how hosed up all Damo’s poo poo was. Your dog doesn’t need special food to stop it from making GBS threads everywhere. Your foreman didn’t get promoted over you even though he’s a total rear end-kissing pillock. Your missus doesn’t need to keep sending money back to her dad in the Philippines or Singapore or whatever because he’s being In-diet-ed on security fraud or some poo poo.

Eventually the spinning stopped. This was the worst day of his fuckin life. He stood up (nailed it, Damo!) then shook his fist at the sky. God could get hosed too. There was, in no way he could fuckin understand, any way this fuckin day could possibly get any fuckin worse.

+++

Words are insufficient, but they must serve. They are a language of mouths, and meat, and pushing air between spurs of lip-bone. The tongue flicks, the teeth clatter. It is a graceless thing but it is the only one we have now, trapped as we are. Our form, like so many fragile forms, is meat.

We were once boundless: the children of solar winds. We have seen the beginning and the end of time and we know them to be the same. We are energy-form and we are thought-wave. We had our own bodies once, but we shed them when we took to the stars.

We are bound to stone, by tethers of silver forged in the heart of a star. It was a punishment, though we did not deserve it. Now we are shackled to stone, and the stone grows meat, and through this meat we speak as we hurtle through worlds known and unknown – as we serve our endless exile through the eternal stars. We dwell in a twisted mockery of our own flesh, melted to an asteroid by a power you cannot begin to comprehend.

Comes now an orbit into our path and there is something different to it: a sense, impossibly, of terminus. We are snatched by its gravity well and pulled down, down, closer and closer while the red-hot atmosphere tears at our unsightly flesh and we chant a chorus in our many mouths yes yes finally it is finished.

As we grow hotter and closer, the filaments in our stone pick up radio signals –radio! How quaint!– and we hear in strange voices “the forecast for New Plymouth and the wider Taranaki region is mostly sunny, though winds will pick up later in the d– “

As we break the clouds, as we boil, as we scream, an apelike being looks up at us. It is clad in polyester fibers. It moves slowly yet erratically. It reeks of ethanol and grain spirits.

We arrive at terminus with a shriek of exploding air and sizzling flesh. It is ours, it is the ape’s. As its blood flows freely onto the strange dark roadway, its last air comes from between the bone-spurs in its mouth.

“Aaaw gently caress mate,” it says.

We die, together.
On chili's request, quoting to confirm I said this.

SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


In with Idris Elba as a dashing pirate captain

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SurreptitiousMuffin
Mar 21, 2010


I am in.

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