Sometimes you have story ideas that don’t work out. They seem like brilliant ideas at first, but then they just slowly die. It can take a while to even realize your story has died–I know I’ve kept working on some long after they’ve passed on.
Last month, the Economic Security Project had a contest to write a short story about Universal Basic Income. I tried my hand at it, but didn’t get far. I thought readers might be interested in seeing an example of a story that died.
It’s a very interesting spot. I’ve gotten a lot of ideas for my writing here, including this poem and one of the stories in this book.
These pictures don’t do it justice. Even video wouldn’t do it justice. It’s very peaceful, standing here and feeling the wind rustling the leaves and listening to the creaking of the trees.
As a kid, I loved decorating for Halloween. Here are a few old photos of my handiwork.
WARNING! The following clip contains intense LEGO violence. Parents, this is what happens when you give your nine-year-old sons red clay and LEGO skeletons! (Credits blurred as before, to avoid embarrassing family and friends.)
This movie is a little clearer than my previous ones, I think. It was about an army of skeletons who invade a planet and massacre the inhabitants. I made the movie when I was nine, but the music came much later–when I was about 15, and I briefly got into composing scores for my old movies.
And now you know how far back my cosmic-horror fixation goes…
I stole this idea from Barb Knowles who got it from Paul who got the idea from Aaron who stole it from Jess. (Whew! It all reminds me of the Tom Lehrer song “I got it from Agnes”–quite possibly the dirtiest song ever written without using a single off-color word. But I digress.)
- American football
- The color red
- Desert landscapes
- The movie Lawrence of Arabia (combines 6 and 7)
- The book A Confederacy of Dunces
- A good scary story.
- Gilbert and Sullivan operettas
- Political theory
- Hazelnut coffee
- Conspiracy theories
- Well-written, metered, rhyming satirical poetry.
- The number 17
- Friendly political debates
- The sound of howling wind.
- The unutterable melancholy of a winter sunset in a farm field.
- Pretentious sentences like the one above.
- Knights of the Old Republic II
- The book 1984
- Niagara Falls
- The song “Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner”
- Pumpkin-flavored cookies. coffee, cake etc.
- The book The King in Yellow
- Trivia competitions
- Numbered lists
- Mowing lawns
- The smell of fresh-cut grass
- Black licorice
- Beethoven’s 3rd,5th and 9th symphonies
- The color light blue.
- Exercise machines
- My iPad
- Feta cheese
- The movie Jane Got a Gun
- Gregorian chants
- December 23rd
- The story “The Masque of the Red Death”
- Mozzarella sticks
- Leaves in Autumn
- Long drives in the country
- The song “You Got Me Singin'”
- The book To Kill a Mockingbird
- Constitutional republics that derive their powers from the consent of the governed.
- Strategy games
- Ice skating
- My Xbox One
- The smell of old books
- Tall buildings
- Rational-legal authority, as defined by Max Weber
- Bagels with cream cheese
- The Olentangy river
- The movie The Omen
- Far Side comics
- Planescape: Torment
- The song “Barrytown”
- Reasonable estimates of the Keynesian multiplier
- Stories that turn cliches on their heads.
- Editing movies
- Really clever epigraphs
- The movie “Chinatown”
- Ice water
- Deus Ex
- Silly putty
- Swiss Army Knives
- Radical new models for explaining politics.
- Madden 17
- The song “The Saga Begins”
- Writing “ye” for “the”
- Well-made suits
- The word “sesquipedalian”
- The movie Thor
- The movie The English Patient
- Cello music
- The story “The Hound of the Baskervilles”
- Soaring rhetoric
- Getting comments on my blog posts.
I put it on Wattpad–same place as The Castle on the Frontier. You can click to read… or you can just walk away right now. No one will think less of you.
(You can see the original here.)
All of us dressed in our Witch-Sabbath best
To celebrate Halloween’s coming.
There was the Countess Villette and her one-eyed pet
Hosting that mad night of mumming.
There was the fiery hell-cat, in her black pointed hat,
And a lumbering mountainous man.
There was the old gypsy crone, and a creature unknown
Who looked like a doll from Japan.
O! Not even the Devil could imagine that revel;
That cosmic costume soirée of the weird.
Its ghoulish appeal was so very surreal
And nothing was what it appeared.
We laughed and we danced, and all were entranced
As if by some powerful hex.
The fiendish fell spell could be felt down to Hell;
A cocktail of madness and laughter and sex.
Then the clock struck thirteen, and with that, Halloween
Had ended as fast as it came.
And everyone vanished–the occult magic was banished,
And once more, all was quiet and tame.