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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Algonquin Round Table and Literary Criticism's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, February 2nd, 2012
12:00 am
[cyranocyrano]
Hey guys! Remember this community?
I sort of do! But it's been quite some time since I (a) actually finished a project that (b) wasn't smut. You've probably at least peripherally heard me natter on about the short fiction I was composing for one of my games at AmberCon last year. I finally finished Young Bones Groan, just before the Game Book comes out for *this* year's AmberCon. Which was pretty much my hard goal.
Monday, March 7th, 2011
2:44 pm
[cyranocyrano]
Five hundred twenty-five thousand
It's been a year since Amanda and I left California, a convertible trailing, and set off across the country. I wrote a few... I guess if I were pretentious enough I could call them "mood pieces". Observations of the world I was passing through. I lost some--there was a short musing on town names in New Mexico (I remember Truth or Consequences of course, Shakespeare and Moriarty, and Nutt just down the road from Hatch), and I know there was one about the odd town we stayed in on the north side of Los Angeles before we got on Ten and headed east.
But I do still have two, lodged in with notes on a Deadlands game, and God Attack the Queen.
This is one of them. It's about a gas station.Collapse )
Thursday, February 10th, 2011
9:49 pm
[cyranocyrano]
Hrmmmm.
I am not accustomed to writing prose from the third person where there is no indication as to what's going on inside anybody's head.

It looks like I'm going to get some practice, because this Number Six/Number Four story is going to hinge on nobody knowing what Number Two or Number Four are thinking. Go me.
Wednesday, February 9th, 2011
12:06 am
[cyranocyrano]
I am not a number.
Something awful happened today. We were wandering through Hollywood World, and there was a trailer playing in the background for "I Am Number Four", the awful alien magic tween romance. The line that caught my attention was some girl saying "I am Number Six". Of course, I immediately responded with "I am the new Number Two."

And now? I desperately want to write this story in the universe of the Prisoner. And then drop it in the middle of fanfic dot net. What does an alien with magical powers who protects his people from evil alien races do when he wants to retire? He is sent to The Planet, a place from which there is no escape, a place where everything *seems* normal, but clearly there's something wrong here. A place where you don't have a name--only a number.

"We want. Information."
"You won't get it!"

This so needs to happen. But... it would probably demand that I actually read the rest of the damned book, wouldn't it?
Saturday, December 25th, 2010
10:57 am
[cyranocyrano]
In the Bleak MidWinter
So remember the note gathering I just did for Exodus? I'm going through the same process for the 1890s San Francisco story. So if I've talked to you about the story, or you remember where I might have left plot notes (I checked MVC and EverNote, currently making the rounds of other sources), let me know. Maybe I'll name a character after you--one that doesn't die in an embarrassing fashion. (Those roles are already reserved.)
Monday, November 29th, 2010
12:56 am
[cyranocyrano]
Good News Bad News
Lost a bunch of notes on whatever Exodus is going to become, probably in the move.
Got a clever idea this weekend and started making new notes.
Spent an hour pawing through my piles of notebooks trying to find notes.
(Discovered that I'm catching up on Dame Agatha's notebook count.)
Found some of the notes. Transferred part of them to Evernote.
Found more notes in a few non-notebook places.
I can remember a little bit about the stuff that's missing.

All in all, lost a little but collected what's left and am organising it for next year when I start having official writing time.
Thursday, September 2nd, 2010
8:55 pm
[cyranocyrano]
Mysterious Ways
I found this, my sole entry over on DreamWidth, this evening. I'd completely forgotten about it, and I thought I'd drag it over here.



Since 1974, Leon had spoken with God repeatedly.

Of course, it wasn’t until 1978 that Leon knew he was God.

He was sitting near the back of the crowded diner, trying to finish a pastrami sandwich and lemonade before his lunch break was over, when a man who looked a lot like Wavy Gravy came over with an egg salad sandwich and asked to share the table. They got into a conversation about politics, and Leon lost track of time. He was fired from his job at Woolworth’s, which he honestly didn’t mind too much. He hated the job, but couldn’t bring himself to quit.

The next time they met, it was under the Bicentennial fireworks in the park. Leon recognized the man and was overjoyed to relate to him the consequences of their conversation eighteen months previously. God expressed concern, but Leon shrugged. “I’m working as a cook at the Empire Diner, down by the Chelsea. I like it—I think it suits me.” God smiled and allowed that fate moved in mysterious ways. They were engrossed in conversation when there was a particularly loud boom; God started, and accidentally knocked Leon over into a young lady standing next to them, spilling her Coke all over her jeans. Leon was mortified, and apologized profusely, offering to make things right somehow. Within an hour, they were both hip deep in Belvedere Lake, splashing each other and laughing. It wasn’t until the next morning that Leon remembered that he hadn’t seen God since he bumped into Rebecca.

He was still working at the Empire Diner a couple of years later, when Bill Wyman came by at 4 am for scrambled eggs and gave him a ticket to the Stones concert that night. Leon was fairly certain that, with his long hair and delicate features, and Wyman’s extreme intoxication, he thought Leon was actually a girl. But he was not one to look a gift horse in the mouth. His only stumbling block was telling Rebecca that he only had one ticket.

He ran into God at the concert, waiting on queue to buy beer after Peter Tosh’s set ended. He told God that he was engaged, and God smiled and nodded.

“You should marry Rebecca—she’s a good person.”

Leon’s eyebrows arched. “What, you know her?”

God shrugged. “I’m kind of an expert on good and bad.”

“And now you’re Santa Claus?”

God just shrugged again as he pushed his money across the counter and took his cup of beer. “Not quite, Leon. Baruch atah Adonai. Blessed am I. Enjoy the rest of the show.” And with that, God slipped into the crowd.

When Rebecca asked him how he liked the concert, he wasn’t sure how to reply.

He and God still ran into each other from time to time—their son Josh’s bar mitzvah, late one night on the ferry, that sort of thing—but it wasn’t the same. If it took that long for a friend to tell you something that important, then how could you really trust him?
Wednesday, June 24th, 2009
3:30 pm
[cyranocyrano]
So yeah, I'm writing again.
I've got a story on my hands that involves bringing down a prominent businessman. And what I'd like to do, since my manager-in-crime is a byzantine sneaky genius, is actually come up wiht a genius plan. But I'm not genius enough. What I'm trying to manage is two or three capers that do not seem to be related, but which all lead up to our big finale where our villain goes down in flames (figurative or literal) as suddenly the pieces fall into place.

If you have advice or want to get into a planning session, I could use the help.
Monday, June 22nd, 2009
10:26 pm
[cyranocyrano]
Good news bad news
So I was throwing myself around the internet trying to find out who Sutro was running against in the mayoral election in 1894 when I remembered "Oh hey. Isn't this supposed to be steampunk?"
I have an alternate reality, and it's not important that I get every detail right.

However.

I've now traded all that research time in for world building. Plus I still need to know enough about the actual history so that I have rockbed to grow the world up from.

It's complicated.
2:12 pm
[cyranocyrano]
Woo hoo!
I have a plot!
Well. A plotlet. A little baby plot. It's got a lot of growing to do. But GODS I'm so pleased to be through that hurdle.
Wednesday, February 11th, 2009
8:36 am
[cyranocyrano]
You can turn the other cheek, or take it on the chin
Yeah. The first time in forever that I get the actual creative push to write is when I'm running late for work. I'm a little later now, but I think I've got at least the framework down.

(And I comfort myself thinking "Well, it's a new story so I'd probably get about two thirds of the way through and then abandon it in the graveyard of unfinished words".)
Thursday, October 16th, 2008
10:05 am
[cyranocyrano]
I don't want to dream alone
This is what I could cobble together from this morning's dream, hampered by the ephemeral and fading nature of dream as well as my time constraints.

Ignacio, Romany, trickster, racing through the upper levels of a rickety, dark narrow street. Unclear at this time whether it's middle ages, cyberpunk, or just a run down suburb of Jakarta today. He's late. Mister Hu is so far ahead of him this year, he may never catch up. He's dodging people, ducking in and out of shops and homes (like parkour, because it's so cool) to catch shortcuts.

Up ahead, there's a t-intersection. Across the street, through a poorly-curtained window, he can see the half dressed Chinese girls. It's distracting, but he reminds himself how late he is and pushes himself forward. Quickly, he clambers down, into the street, and then up the other side.

Mister Hu is a whoremaster. Ignacio hates him (Because of how he treats the girls maybe?). Every year Hu takes some sort of important trip, and every year Ignacio tries to disrupt it. He wants to bankrupt Hu. This year his plan involves him getting one of those girls. (Are they Hu's girls or somebody else's?)

Ignacio says: "Now don't get me wrong. I like the girls. I like sex. Okay, I love sex. But this bastard...."
Tuesday, February 19th, 2008
4:15 pm
[cyranocyrano]
RPG background
I'm working on the background for a fantasy character, and I've got a framework but at this point the details are thwarting me and I'm perfectly willing to tear apart the framework and rebuild. I'm eagerly seeking suggestions, as I'd like to have the details (especially surrounding why she left the Hands) by next Tuesday, when our first session is.

The basic setting: There was this guy named Ormuus and he was a mighty mighty wizard. He set up this council who wanted to know things and explore magic and didn't care squat about anything else. Unfortunately, they soon discovered that they needed resources, and in the process of procuring these resources, they built a gigantic empire. The people in charge of procuring these resources were called the Hands of Ormuus, and they were essentially their own law. As time went on, other power structures developed within the Empire--guilds and 'noble' families--but they were all clearly third rate, and served at the pleasure of the Hands.

These days the Empire has gotten a little decadent, the Council is less interested in science and magic and more interested in gathering power or pursuing hedonistic ends. I suspect that a horse may be elected to the Senate at any time, except that there is no Senate. The Empire is expanding far less dramatically, due to a lack of need for foreign resources and a lack of organization. My character comes from the fringes of the Empire, and another player is PCing the 'Uncle' character. He's a wily old man who is trying to make Sharzhad more socially functional. And I think that, in the interest of character arc as well as Meta-getting along with the party stuff, he's going to do a good job of it.


Sharzhad al Shamis
St 0
De 3
Co 2
In 4
Wi -2
Ch -1


Born in the rough desert north, on the edges of Empire, Sharzhad bears the dark skin, eyes and hair of her birthplace. She's tall, young, thin and gangly. She doesn't trust you, she doesn't particularly like you, but she'll tolerate you so long as you don't say anything stupid. At least, until she comes to trust you, at which point she is still surly and snappish but also fiercely loyal, and it is likely that she cares a great deal about your well being even if she won’t admit it. She still bears the impulsiveness of youth, but it is hoped that in time that will fade.

Mother died in childbirth. Father named her after her mother, but resented her and pawned her off on an aunt who didn't really want her either. When her natural talent started to manifest, she was recruited into the Hands of Ormuus and set to work in the regiments of Ymir.

Either she met Uncle Halway at recruitment ("uncle") or perhaps he escorted her into the Empire for training. There was an incident with her mentor, where she was probably too blunt or forthright or did something without thinking it through, and her mentor Gerald took a grudge. The initial incident wasn't enough to get her punished as much as was desired, so he arranged to set her up and take the fall for a more unpleasant incident. (Was she actually involved, how much, how implicit is she actually, and just how heinous was it?) She decided to go AWOL rather than face charges, and convinced her Uncle to go with her. Or her Uncle grabbed her by the elbow and dragged her off, which seems more likely.

She learned a lot from Gerald, including never to trust anybody and also (paradoxically) that the cadre should be relied upon without though. Your company should be protected as the highest priority--your companions are your greatest asset.
Sunday, December 2nd, 2007
1:32 pm
[cyranocyrano]
Pulled from today's reading
But women cry, even in their worst pain, with hope and relief. They cry like wolves and coyotes do, howling to talk to their mates as well as to the rest of the pack. But there is something about the way that men cry that sounds so hopeless, so anguished, as though the very act of crying is killing them.


Mary Ellis, "Angel"
Saturday, December 1st, 2007
1:55 pm
[cyranocyrano]
NaNoFinalCount
Final Word Count: 37094, even though I forgot to download the last four thousand words. They are words, even if I'm not deliriously happy with them, and I've proved something to myself. Plus, there might be a workable story in there somewhere.
Friday, November 23rd, 2007
2:30 pm
[cyranocyrano]
Quick update
Just over 27.500 words. Most of them I'm not fond of, but they're there.
Wednesday, October 24th, 2007
3:15 pm
[cyranocyrano]
How did this all start? Part 2
Okay. So maybe there's this magic ceremony to split the dimensions, and it requires blood. So she's been feeding the spell a little of her own blood--enough to create the fractures and attract attention. But an underling, somebody on the losing side who would rather see both sides destroyed than surrender (possibly the same person who showed her the magic?), feeds the spell a whole lot of blood, and shatters the barrier. Mass devastation, and our protagonist, May, breaks. The evil underling takes over her enclave and issues orders that she's a traitor and is under sentence of death. Then se continues feeding the rift, weakening the barrier.
Tuesday, October 23rd, 2007
11:07 am
[cyranocyrano]
Hrmmmm. So what if:

The big war started over some minor incident and escalated out of the stupid. Perhaps "The Incident" was generated in an attempt to unite the two sides against a common threat.
This idea was sparked by the thought that I could use a crazy old "Winchester Mansion" lady who is doing crazy old lady things because she feels like her family is responsible for starting the war. And around Episode 21 or so our Heroine who badly needs a name meets crazy old lady who tells our Heroine "You are my heir" so that we can hint at the whole "I started it you ended it" thing.
Saturday, October 20th, 2007
2:47 pm
[cyranocyrano]
Music advice
I'm trying to build a soundtrack for writing this Western/Anime thing.
Right now I'm setting aside some Boiled in Lead, Sunday's Well, what little Ennio Morricone I have on I Western, Alexander James Adams, Nickel Creek, a 'music of the Civil War' CD I found, Greg Edmonson's FF score Qada'an Nachin, some audio snippets from Tombstone and Firefly. I'd like to find some of the music they use in DeadWood. I'd rather not spend a whole lot of money acquiring new music for this, but accidents do happen.
Music mavens, feel free to jump in and tell me what you think.
Friday, October 19th, 2007
11:34 am
[cyranocyrano]
Now It Begins
I have been reminded that I have a flash drive that I can actually store the outpouring of my planned November insanity. However, I can still come here in hopes of plot advice.
Here's the basic framework I plan to hang the story on:Collapse )
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