Welcome to my self-indulgent location for the stories (good and bad) that I can't prevent myself from writing. All comments and criticisms welcome. I post on Tuesdays and Saturdays.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Never Truly Gone - Pt. 2

If you saw last Monday's post, you know that I've been working on this multimedia, interactive story for my writing class for the past two weeks. Yesterday I blogged about the process of creating the presentation. Today, I'd like to tell you about the story itself.

We were inspired by this news article in which a father was seeking his daughter. He published the photo in the local news paper, only to find out later that she was actually in the picture. Crazy, huh?

So, after my sick mind created the puzzle board, my partner got to work making the figures. They were designed form 18guage jewelry wire, and then had clay heads, hands, and feet. The one to the right shows what they looked like pre-humanizing cray.

He also built the sets from cardboard. You can see some of the corrugated edges in pictures we used for the puzzle pieces.

Here are the pictures we used. The first two and the last two as I post them here did not move, but the 11 in between could be put in any intermediate position.

This one had dialogue bubbles of nonsense screaming coming from the top two windows.

Mother: You're way to over protective. I never paid enough attention to her. I was too hard on her. You were too easy on her. She always resented my looks. / Father: She never thought you cared. Maybe you should have pair a little more attention t her. I tried to protect her the best I could. I could have done more.

Father: No. / Boy: Why can't I go? / Mother: We've already lost one child. We're not gonna lose you, too.

Mom: I don't know if your sister's coming back.

Laika feels ready to go home.

Cops: "Tell us again what your daughter looks like."

Boy: If it weren't for you, she never would have left.

Look to the left of the mother's flip, and by the tree you will see our runaway.

This was a fun project. I'm glad I got to participate in it. And as much as I complained (which the people I know personally had to bear with) and as much of my own money as I spent (which, all things considered, wasn't that much), no matter what I had fun, and I'm grateful to have had the opportunity to do it. Hope you enjoyed it, too.

Thanks again to Boxcar Books for letting us hang our project there. It's gone now, but if you're in the area, be sure to stop by. It's a great public service/bookstore :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Never Truly Gone

Okay, yes, I have disappeared for weeks. I admit it. I've been writing like a madwoman for weeks. "Wait," you say. "Your NaNo Count is quite low, and you're more than a week behind schedule." To which I say, "Yes. That's true. Remember that writing class I'm taking?"

Ah, yes.

The end of the semester is approaching, and so the due date my writing portfolio is growing near. We have one critique TODAY and another the week after Thanksgiving break (Dec 1 and 3).

Since I have a critique today, though, what am I doing blogging? Should I be writing/editing up to the last minute?

Well, today's critique is a bit different, and now that it's more or less finished, I'm excited to share it with you. We've had to write three stories for this class: two traditional, and one not-so-traditional. In fact, not at all traditional. Our third story was:
  • group written
  • multimedia
  • interactive
  • with an installation component
I took it to Boxcar Books on Sunday at 2pm for the final installation. It will be there until Tuesday evening, when I will return to Boxcar for the NaNoWriMo write-in from 6-9pm. If you're in or around Bloomington, IN, consider this my invitation to check it out.

So, today I thought I would share some photos from my portion of the process. Tomorrow and Wednesday I'll blog more about the story itself.

Here's a picture of our project before I took it to be installed on Sunday.
Remember those tiles games you used to play as a kid? Move each square one at a time until the picture comes out correctly? Well, that's the inspiration for this, except there's no "solution". Eleven of the tiles can be moved in any order to change the arch of the story.

Here comes the mathy-side of my brain. How on earth did we do this? Well, first I made tiles:

Each of these tiles was comprised of 3 6x6in squares of foam board. The middle piece was glued 1/2in up and to the right of the other two pieces to create this simple "tongue and groove" system. You can see how they each fit together.

Admittedly, I shaved a little off of the edge of each tongue so the groove would be wider in case my measurements were off (and let's just say precision is not my specialty). I also squeezed the foam tongues so they would be slightly thinner than the grooves for easy sliding.

Then I had a problem. If they slide easily, and this is hung on a wall, if a middle or bottom slot is left open, won't the other pieces just slip down? Well, to prevent this, I got a 2x2ft piece of steel

and lined the back of each tile with magnets.

Each piece now stays where the reader leaves it.

I also had to make a tongue-and-groove system for the frame, which is hidden by the dark wood frame. Outside of the foam board "frame" are 3/4x3/4in pieces of wood through which we could nail the dark wood frame.

Yup, it took a while, to say the least, but it was kind of fun to use both halves of my brain for this project.

Don't forget to drop by later this week for pictures from the development of the action shots, the story, and discussion of the story itself.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Monday, November 1, 2010

Muses for NaNo


I've already reached my word count minimum for Nov. 1 (see my cool widget to the right?).  This is going to be a short post, seeing as my Mondays and Wednesdays were insane even before NaNo began, but I wanted to share my muses with you.

Muse 1: Mr. Kubuś (that ś is pronounced kind of like sh). Hobbies include sitting on and eating paper while sending good writing vibes to Rosie.  Also, when Rosie is cold, Mr. Kubuś will do everything in his power to warm her legs (even when she doesn't know that she's cold).

Muse 2: Ms. Kasia (pronounced Kasha; she's named the Polish form of Katie and not after breakfast cereal). Latest past time includes curling up on Rosie's chest so that she is only capable of typing one-handed.  Who needs two hands to type 1.667 words/day, anyway?

Where do you find your inspiration?
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