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    1. Eclipse 2

      Logline During the 2017 Solar Eclipse, a thick-skinned female police officer must prevent millennial Shadows from returning from the depths of the Earth to dominate humanity. Notes Post 1 You can...

      Logline

      During the 2017 Solar Eclipse, a thick-skinned female police officer must prevent millennial Shadows from returning from the depths of the Earth to dominate humanity.

      Notes

      Post 1

      You can also read it in my blog (no advertising, no annoyances, no bullshit).

      - As before, this is not my first language. All criticism is extra welcomed
      - I included the previous content - the prelude - just because it's so small

      @cfabbro, here's the ping you requested! Love to know what you think of it!

      Prelude

      Before time was time, nights were dreamless. No one narrated the hunts, and death was just a cessation of the body. Births were joyful but meaningless. Statements were nothing more than intentions among roaring, shouts, and racket. Sometimes two sounds came together in funny ways, but meaning was still far away from our primitive cogitations.

      In these times of monotony, the Shadows entertained the primitive men. With no timbre or elocution, they came from the deepest layers of Earth’s mantle to tell stories under the moonlight. They lived in harmony, feeding on each other. The Shadows came to life with the laughter and the souls of the Men, and the Men lost the fear of the night with the histories told by the Shadows in a primitive symbiosis.

      One day, a man died after eating a tasty looking fruit. Hunting was a gamble, and eventually, men needed to eat potentially dangerous elements. Another, more intelligent man, noted that the juice from his mouth indelibly marked the rock with a pattern that was pleasant to the eyes. He collected more of that fruit, avoiding to put it in contact with sensible areas. This man did not have a proper name. None of them did. They just knew that there was “The Boss”, “The Hunter”, “The Large” and “The Delicate”.

      Some men had soft lumps in their chests and above the thighs. Eventually, their bellies got big and other men came out from them. “The Delicate”, who discovered painting, was of this kind. In secret, he drew their hunts in the cave. He made everything bigger and more menacing than it was: the spears, the beast, the joy, the moon, and the flames, that reached the sky.

      It took some gestures and vocalizations for The Delicate to make The Hunter understand that that set of traces was him and that the thick line with a pointing end penetrating The Beast was his spear. But soon they understood and had great silence. Followed by a great laugh.

      The Hunter imitated the muffled sound of the Beast’s steps and learned to use this sound to talk about the Beast even when it wasn't there. War shouts, death songs, the cutting of the meat, the crackle of the fire, the crickets, the frogs and all animals soon had their sounds, their own “words”.

      Men stories gained life by their own making.

      The Shadows never came back.

      Weakened, they returned to the depths. And, in the emptiness of their soulless existence, felt profound pain.

      Chapter 1

      Worn books on the balcony: The Physics of the Light, Introduction to Modern Physics and Modern Optics, paid with greasy notes. Stumbles on a rock, knock the books on the sidewalk. On a dark tunnel, fluorescent light flicker irregularly. Hands in his knees, catch his breath and run with the rest of his lungs.

      The front is completely black of smut. Turns the key with difficulty. The stairway creaks under his feet. A stack of old newspapers behind the door. Turns on a weak desk lamp. A crack of light comes from the sheets. Closes it with tremble hands and throws himself in the armchair. A thick cloud of smoke leaves Ernesto's relieved self.

      The curtain drops with a thud. Behind him, a dark silhouette smiles.


      The badge for the "Civilian Police of the State of São Paulo" swing above the toilet. In the ground, two pregnancy tests. Two lines in each. In the holster, a Taurus 38. Impeccable blue jeans. Mariana pees in the third test and waits. Two lines. She's fucking pregnant.


      Ernesto's suit seems expensive twenty-year ago. He looks like a bum that made an effort. He holds a thick notebook with paper falling from the edges and a paper folder that seems to be about to explode. Dries his eyes constantly, and there are black spots bellow his armpits. In the edge of the table, it reads: "Mariana Diniz – Commissioner of Police" Ernesto gives her his card: "Eye of Horus - Paranormal Investigations". Below, a stylized eye with Egyptian inspirations. And a landline.

      — I don't trust cellphones.

      Smiles uncomfortably, trying to hide the nervous tic that makes his head swing like a salamander.

      – It may not look, but I'm a busy woman.

      Gives her two 15x20 pictures. The first is completely out of focus. The second shows an oddly slim, dark silhouette on a sewer canal. Ernesto sweats like an amphibian having a panic attack.

      — For millennia, these creatures have been confined in the interior of the earth. Suffering the monotony of an incomplete existence. Waiting for a chance to come back.

      — Yes.

      – You don't believe.

      Puts the card in her wallet.

      – You got my number.


      The long hills do not affect Mariana. Sumptuous homes, beautiful landscaping, mutilation, and infanticide. They're all part of the same world.


      In a deserted square, eight hood teenagers assemble in a circle. Metal-heads and RPG players never caused her any trouble, but, as commissioner of that town, she has the duty of investigating anything out of the normal. She takes care to not flaunt the weapon.

      They ignore her. The kids emit no sound, make no gesture. They're not injured, and their dark eyes are probably contact lenses. They have an ironic smile in their faces. No drug would generate such severe catatonia on a group that size, and there was no law against looking spooky on public premises. Sent two patrol cars to watch the group and went home.


      The basic Chevrolet goes through the carefully constructed path, with exotic plants on both sides. Between two neoclassic towers, a slightly lower white house. In the living room, Eliza, short-exquisite-hair, beautiful and androgynous, stare at the TV with thick frame glasses. Notices Mariana's gun.

      — Comes with the job.

      In slow motion, a voluptuous Marilyn Monroe impersonator pours milk on a bowl of cereal.

      – Bruno?

      – Upstairs.

      A plate brakes in the kitchen. To the left of the sink, dozens of cups organized by color, size, and format. To the other, plastic utensils organized by function and material. Scapular in the neck, Sofia é very white. She wraps the glass in paper, writes "GLASS" in wide letters and ties everything in a thick, transparent plastic bag.

      – Your kitchen was too… Illogical.

      – Of course.

      Mariana notices a red spot below Sofia's long sleeve. She holds the arm of her friend: bruises.

      — They're old, diz Sofia.

      — Doesn't look like.

      Takes the car keys. The pregnancy tests are in the same pocket. Mariana takes a deep breath and looks at the stairways.


      Law books on the shelf, almost all sealed. Bruno is on the computer. It's hard to get why they're still married. Mariana has always been stubborn. He's on the computer most of the time. At 40, Mariana has silky black, perfumed hair. Tells good stories in a welcoming way. Mariana loves what the does. She's hit on constantly, by both sexes. And has a way to politely decline that doesn't make anyone uncomfortable.

      There's a month since they had sex.

      — I'm pregnant.

      — Are you sure?

      The tests in the keyboard.

      — They're from a pharmacy.

      — Yep. Three.

      She pulls the plug from the computer. Bruno looks at her. His eyes are black.

      4 votes
    2. Eclipse 1 - Prelude

      Before time was time, nights were dreamless. No one narrated the hunts, and death was just a cessation of the body. Births were joyful but meaningless. Statements were nothing more than intentions...

      Before time was time, nights were dreamless. No one narrated the hunts, and death was just a cessation of the body. Births were joyful but meaningless. Statements were nothing more than intentions among roaring, shouts, and racket. Sometimes two sounds came together in funny ways, but meaning was still far away from our primitive cogitations.

      In these times of monotony, the Shadows entertained the primitive men. With no timbre or elocution, they came from the deepest layers of Earth’s mantle to tell stories under the moonlight. They lived in harmony, feeding on each other. The Shadows came to life with the laughter and the souls of the Men, and the Men lost the fear of the night with the histories told by the Shadows in a primitive symbiosis.

      One day, a man died after eating a tasty looking fruit. Hunting was a gamble, and eventually, men needed to eat potentially dangerous elements. Another, more intelligent man, noted that the juice from his mouth indelibly marked the rock with a pattern that was pleasant to the eyes. He collected more of that fruit, avoiding to put it in contact with sensible areas. This man did not have a proper name. None of them did. They just knew that there was "The Boss", "The Hunter", "The Large" and "The Delicate".

      Some men had soft lumps in their chests and above the thighs. Eventually, their bellies got big and other men came out from them. "The Delicate", who discovered painting, was of this kind. In secret, he drew their hunts in the cave. He made everything bigger and more menacing than it was: the spears, the beast, the joy, the moon, and the flames, that reached the sky.

      It took some gestures and vocalizations for The Delicate to make The Hunter understand that that set of traces was him and that the thick line with a pointing end penetrating The Beast was his spear. But soon they understood and had great silence. Followed by a great laugh.

      The Hunter imitated the muffled sound of the Beast’s steps and learned to use this sound to talk about the Beast even when it wasn't there. War shouts, death songs, the cutting of the meat, the crackle of the fire, the crickets, the frogs and all animals soon had their sounds, their own "words".

      Men stories gained life by their own making.

      The Shadows never came back.

      Weakened, they returned to the depths. And, in the emptiness of their soulless existence, felt profound pain.

      9 votes
    3. Do you have a personal website/blog?

      I've been thinking for a while about making my own little personal website/blog, and I was wondering what other people here on Tildes might have set up. I feel like having one could be a cool...

      I've been thinking for a while about making my own little personal website/blog, and I was wondering what other people here on Tildes might have set up. I feel like having one could be a cool little way to get myself to write more often and hopefully improve my writing, especially when it comes to technical subjects.

      35 votes
    4. Not Hungry

      Usually it's simple. You feel unhappy. And you feel hungry. There is a hole in your stomach. There is a hole in your soul. You fill the holes with burgers, and ramen, and shawarma, and fried...

      Usually it's simple. You feel unhappy. And you feel hungry. There is a hole in your stomach. There is a hole in your soul. You fill the holes with burgers, and ramen, and shawarma, and fried chicken. Then the holes are filled. Then the unhappiness turns into being not-unhappy. Being generally-content.

      You're such a good boy! You've finished everything on your plate! The plate that you've bought yourself! Using the money that you've made! Such a good boy!

      But what do you do if you are unhappy… and you don't want to eat? The realisation is horrifying. You thought that you have found a solution. A flawed solution, a patch, but a patch that always works, arteries be damned. Now it doesn't. You are unhappy. And unhungry. Oh no.

      Maybe switch from big nasty burgers to something like candy? Maybe this sweet exotic soda will help? A Japanese chewing gum? A Korean chocolate breadstick? It numbs the pain, but the pain is still there. That's when the desperation comes in. Will it ever end? Will it ever get better? Can the others help you? Can they even understand you? Are they even real people? Did they ever suffer? Do they know the pain?

      If you're lucky, then it's pretty dark already. Go home. Add way too much Mayonaise to your supper. Add too much sugar to your evening tea. Make yourself even more tired. Tired enough to sleep. Tired enough to hope, that tomorrow you'll be hungry again.

      15 votes
    5. National Poetry Writing Month!

      April is National Poetry Month. It's also National/Global Poetry Writing Month, where participants write a poem a day for every day in April. I'm doing it this year, and was wondering if any other...

      April is National Poetry Month. It's also National/Global Poetry Writing Month, where participants write a poem a day for every day in April. I'm doing it this year, and was wondering if any other tilderiños were as well. I'm a little late on the post, but there's still time to catch up!

      10 votes
    6. Looking for tips or best practices for stoking creativity

      So, a little background, my profession is technical writing. I want to write a novel but I'm struggling a little with getting the creative side of my brain going. Technical writing seems to...

      So, a little background, my profession is technical writing. I want to write a novel but I'm struggling a little with getting the creative side of my brain going. Technical writing seems to further inhibit my creativity with all its rules.

      I'm looking into local writers' workshops but they're all full at the moment. In the meantime, I was wondering if anyone here has any advice for exercises or things I could do to stimulate my creativity and free my mind from all the rules of technical writing. Thoughts?

      8 votes
    7. Workshop Wednesday II: we're back!

      Hey everyone, thanks to you who posted in the original Workshop Wednesday; I think it went really well! Here we are for week 2 (sorry it took me til noon, I was busy this morning!) Some questions:...

      Hey everyone, thanks to you who posted in the original Workshop Wednesday; I think it went really well! Here we are for week 2 (sorry it took me til noon, I was busy this morning!)

      Some questions:

      • do we need a new topic every week? Or will one be enough?
      • any other comments/suggestions?

      Please begin your comment with [META] to discuss these. Otherwise, I'll copy and paste the guidelines from last week.


      What's a workshop?

      Basically, a workshop is when you have a bunch of people with poems or stories they've written, and everyone gets together, reads everyone's work, and comments on it, sharing what they got out of it and what the author could do to improve the work for publication. I used to do a lot of them in college, and I've missed the dynamic since graduating. I thought others might also be interested, so here goes nothing.

      How this'll work (for now, anyway)

      Each week, I'll post a "Workshop Wednesday" post. If you have a poem or (short) story you'd like workshopped, post that as a top comment. Then, read others' top comments and reply with what works/doesn't work/questions you have/ideas you have for the piece that could make it better. If you post some writing, try to comment on at least two other people's pieces as well -- we're here to help each other improve.

      11 votes
    8. Workshop Wednesday: Post a poem/story/writing-thing and get feedback!

      So I was talking to @cadadr in this thread about starting a workshop on Tildes, and since today makes for an alliterative title, I thought I'd start one now. What's a workshop? Basically, a...

      So I was talking to @cadadr in this thread about starting a workshop on Tildes, and since today makes for an alliterative title, I thought I'd start one now.

      What's a workshop?

      Basically, a workshop is when you have a bunch of people with poems or stories they've written, and everyone gets together, reads everyone's work, and comments on it, sharing what they got out of it and what the author could do to improve the work for publication. I used to do a lot of them in college, and I've missed the dynamic since graduating. I thought others might also be interested, so here goes nothing.

      How this'll work (for now, anyway)

      Each week, I'll post a "Workshop Wednesday" post. If you have a poem or (short) story you'd like workshopped, post that as a top comment. Then, read others' top comments and reply with what works/doesn't work/questions you have/ideas you have for the piece that could make it better. If you post some writing, try to comment on at least two other people's pieces as well -- we're here to help each other improve.

      Going forward

      Since this is the first one, obviously we can change the format or do something else. Please start meta-discussions with the word [META] so that we know it's not a poem you're trying to workshop!

      I'm excited. Let's do this!

      21 votes
    9. Productive vs non-productive creativity

      I have a slight struggle that I wonder if anyone else can relate to. I'm a creative "type" in that both my job (scientist) and hobbies (many, over the years) require constant innovation, in...

      I have a slight struggle that I wonder if anyone else can relate to. I'm a creative "type" in that both my job (scientist) and hobbies (many, over the years) require constant innovation, in addition to the usual labor, to keep them going.

      I have a note/journal app where I store my ideas. Sometimes these are ideas with acute utility e.g. an experiment design that I can test out the next day at work or maybe an idea for a paper. Other ideas are what I would consider "highdeas" - insights or thoughts that seem amazing when you're stoned but after you sober up they're kind of nonsense. The former are productive and the latter are non-productive forms of creativity (barring any offshoots of the latter that prove useful later on).

      But then sometimes I get idea in-between. Say, an insight into how certain human behaviors are a certain way or maybe a rant on a topic/issue in my lab work that is interesting but not valuable enough to publish or bring up in a formal meeting. My question / discussion topic for you, is, what do you do with these sort of self-ascribed interesting ideas that have no immediate value? One option is to write them out on a forum, as I am currently doing, but I would end up writing all day. Does anyone else keep track of these? Do you schedule a follow-up with these intermediate ideas for future inspiration? I currently use Joplin which is great but I don't think there are any features to stimulate creativity in this manner.

      23 votes
    10. The Ceremony

      This is a short, experimental story I wrote. Hope it's interesting. As I opened my eyes the whirl of indistinction calmed and I was standing there in a room paneled in wood, rich and dark and...

      This is a short, experimental story I wrote. Hope it's interesting.


      As I opened my eyes the whirl of indistinction calmed and I was standing there in a room paneled in wood, rich and dark and polished slightly. It was time for the oath. She stood at her lectern with her book open in front of the priest, who turned to the needed page and bid her to sing, which she did, sweet and calm and certain, without dramatics or pomp. Why would she need it? It was what she was to do. She smiled, I think, her form was not clear except for the vague impression of her gently rounded cheeks and lips the color of a rose too pale a pink to be said red. And now the priest was across from me and my book opened to its song page. Seven squares, (or was it nine?), filled mid grey onto the paper ruled across with needle fine lines the color of rust. It was old, plainly, but still strong. I felt looking at the page a feeling I had never known, not quite joy or determination or happiness or fear but an immensity as if I had for a heart now an infinitely faceted gem in whose faces you could find any color if you would only let it catch the light. It was like madness melded together with a certainty so strong anything less than “it is” fails to reach it. I feared I could not voice it, and said as much to the priest. To point at the page and utter “Sing.” was his only response. And I did, tremulously and weakly, but I sang, and through it came a sweetness despite me. And it was done. Through the haze now I remember the ascent up the stairs and my body collapsing onto the white couch my head landing in her lap, and her final exclaim “_______! We are!”.

      6 votes
    11. Creative Process Discussion

      I'd love to hear about how you create your favorite works. Of anything. How did you write your best music? How did you create your favorite character in a story you wrote? Anything of the sort....

      I'd love to hear about how you create your favorite works. Of anything. How did you write your best music? How did you create your favorite character in a story you wrote? Anything of the sort.

      I'd love to hear all the different processes people have. It's really quite an interesting topic of discussion, for me.

      Personally, I grab a cup of coffee and listen to instrumental music (mostly avant-garde jazz [Coltrane, Washington, etc]) while creating the world of the story I'm writing. There's something very productive-feeling about being wired on caffeine while also having a constant noise in your ears. It's how I compose some of my better characters and settings.

      Due to my constant writer's block phenomenon, sometimes I'll smoke some pot to get past it. It's almost like phasing through a wall you can't jump over. There's something lifting about it.

      16 votes
    12. I hit the 100 pages milestone for my novel!

      I am super happy right now. For the past few years, I've taken on so many futile projects, dead ends, I've ripped things to shreds because I stopped liking them. Finally though, I am content with...

      I am super happy right now.

      For the past few years, I've taken on so many futile projects, dead ends, I've ripped things to shreds because I stopped liking them. Finally though, I am content with one of my creations and hit 100 pages, already reworked and refined! :)

      Sorry, but I'm super happy at the moment.

      32 votes
    13. Today's the first day of NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), is anyone else participating?

      For those that don't know, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is an annual challenge to write a 50,000 word novel over the course of the month of November. That translates to roughly 1,600...

      For those that don't know, NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is an annual challenge to write a 50,000 word novel over the course of the month of November. That translates to roughly 1,600 words a day. More info on NaNoWriMo here.

      I first tried it two years ago though I fizzled out at around 10,000 words and moved on to another WIP. Last year I didn't formally participate though I made an effort to write something every day. Not sure about my word count.

      This year I'm doing a series of short stories in a shared setting since I've been doing more short form writing as of late and I've been mulling over the idea for a few weeks now. It's a nice way to experiment with different settings and themes within a "singular" work. I've made some notes on plot hooks, settings, characters, and ideas I wanted to explore, so it's only a matter of writing the stories now. Maybe I'll even share excerpts as I go along.

      So has anyone else made plans to do it this year?

      18 votes