Sunday, June 29, 2008

Mechanicalizing the Idiosyncratic: Habit

Writer sits, pile of paper on her left side, ashamed of what’s she’s created

The motion is repetitive but irregular, jerky and tense and waiting

Trying to find the right word, the right phrase, then yanking it violently out of her head.

Smoothing the irregularities. But they’ll grow back, tufted and irritating and embarrassing

People see the process but not the result. Wonder what she’s doing.

The right words are never smooth. They are kinked and bent and spiraly, squiggling out of her hand. Too short sometimes to grasp at first, but she always comes back. She gets them out.

The ones she can feel.

Many more remain, unexplored, on the right side. She needs that side for work. All the worry and frustration and fear comes out on the left. The pile of papers on the left. On the couch. On the carpet. On the table. Thrown away in an embarrassed, disgusted gesture.

Two tufted twirls. Sinister spirals. Stressful semester.

Sometimes she doesn’t type for days. For weeks. But always returns to the typewriter unconsciously. Banging out the words jerkily until someone reminds her

Of all the other things that need doing.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

The Mechanicalized brain of Nicola Tesla (in a jar)

Our hero has been reduced to mechanical version of his former self through pride and terrible decisions-making. At first he does not understand what has happened. He finds he can haltingly control a mechanical claw where once he had arms. His brass eye stalks slide in and out as his mind struggles to learn how his new optics work. They are not nearly as finely milled as the natural eyes he once owned. He looks around to see a featureless place. Only one item is there. It lies in front of him. His body, if it can be called that, lurches toward the fuzzy outline of an object on the floor. After several minutes he manages to control each degree of freedom on his mechanical limb. He stretches it out and plucks the out-of-focus prize. It is only when the item is placed close enough to his nearsighted lenses that he realizes what it is and recoils in horror.

Tesla had many idiosyncrasies. None were more amusing to me personally than his fear of spherical objects.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Mechanicalizing the Idiosyncratic... a wallpaper

Here's a 1024x768 of my interpretation of the first Phinal Phriday challenge. Kind of rushed, as I'm leaving town in the morning and didn't know if I'd have time for something bigger. Scanner-as-camera is fun.

A Little Cheerleading

Just a reminder, we're not looking for perfection in Phinal Phriday responses—this is about getting your creative juices flowing. You're not going to write the next great American novel in one weekend. But you might write a loose, fun, short story, or have a seed of an idea that you just have to jot down, perhaps to be expanded upon later, perhaps not.

Don't sweat the quality. Much like NaNoWriMo the goal is to get you (and me) doing rather than thinking.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Phirst Phinal Phriday!!!

Is it Friday yet? Eh, close enough. So sharpen your pencils, dust off your vocal chords, get that sand out of your eyes and get ready to do something creative.

Your challenge for this weekend?

Mechanicalize something idiosyncratic

Easy, no?

Interpret that HOWEVER you want. Give me a song. A short story. A film. A poem. A drawing. SOME creative output that somehow either expresses that concept, or reflects it, or bends it into a tight knot that you'd have to gnaw at with your teeth to undo.

If I've already got you on the author list, you've got until some time late Sunday to submit your entries to this blog by logging in to and creating a post on the Phinal Phriday blog. If you're not an author yet, let me know you want to be one, and I'll get you hooked up when I can. (I'm leaving town on Saturday and I'm not sure what my net access will be like for the next week or so...)

So, GO!!!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Phirst Post

What's Phinal Phriday? Inspired by such artiface as 48 Hour Film Project, Instant Films, Fast & Loose and others, I decided PHUI might be a nice venue to once a month challenge my friends for some creative output.

So the last Friday of each month I'll be posting (and likely emailing prospective participants) a challenge. They'll post their results here by some point that Sunday. Their creations can be anything from comic strips to plays, short films, songs, poems, fiction, or whatever--so long as it keeps with whatever parameters I've thrown at you (or even if they don't... this isn't a contest, so really, no rules).

I'm thinking that all entries should also be licensed under Creative Commons Share-Alike license to encourage building derivative works and collaborative world-building from month to month.

More later.