Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Day 3: 3 x 3,564

Comic book pages: 3
Prose words: 3,564

The morning went swimmingly, the short story taking on a life of its own and progressing in all sorts of interesting and strange ways. Then the afternoon came, and things slowed down.

Then evening came and I diligently plotted out a five-pager for House of Mystery. If points were awarded for detailed plots, I'd have five pages instead of three. But points are not awarded for plot outlines, and I only actually got three pages done.

It's like this: the "soundtrack" for House of Mystery is a singer/songwriter named Imogen Heap. She's the only music I can listen to when I'm writing that book. I try other things, but nothing else quite does it. Zero-7 came very close -- they have a song called "The Space Between", which is quite striking, since the story arc I'm currently writing for House of Mystery is called "The Space Between." But as fun as that synchronicity was, it's still no Imogen.

The problem is that Imogen Heap has, to date, only released three albums; two solo records and a collaboration with Guy Sigsworth called Frou Frou. A new album is in the offing, and she's been merciful enough to release one single off of it. But it's NOT ENOUGH. As much as I love this music, I can only listen to the same three albums so many times before I go insane. I need Imogen methadone, something to keep the high going. And so far, nothing works. Regina Spektor? I love her, but too quirky cutesy for HoM. Portishead? Not poppy enough. Sia and Feist? Both lovely and singer/songwritery, but too organic. Where's that perfect blend of trip-hop electronic groovy and sultry pop sensibilities? Can no one match my beloved Imogen?

The reason I bring all this up is that instead of writing the last two pages of my five-page story, I spend an hour and a half on the Internets seeking in vain for HoM-worthy music, and failing.

Nonetheless, I finished three of the five, and this puts me over the top, contest-wise.

And now I'll say goodnight and go. Here's a snippet from today's prose work; same story as yesterday:

“Wait until they clear the buildings,” says Captain Jerusalem, who’s leading the show. “We want as little collateral damage as possible.” Personally, I’m more worried about the non-collateral damage; i.e., the damage to my person. But I don’t say that.

Everyone else on the bridge splits their attention between Captain J. and the Ghouls’ approach. The Captain is an unlikely leader. He’s fat, for one thing, and yet still insists on wearing his form-fitting blue and white Spandall costume. He’s also balding and not particularly handsome. But he’s smart, and he’s confident. And that makes up for a lot. Of all the remaining members of the League, he’s the only one I’d follow willingly into battle. Apparently the same can be said of Kate Frost, Pickle, and the Lyme Twins, because they show no hesitation whatsoever.

“So, what do you make of this Ghoul King dude?” Kate asks me, really just making conversation. If we’re being totally honest, Kate is good for looking at and for shredding things with beams from her eyes, and not much else. She clearly could care less what I make of the Ghoul King, and I don’t even bother to answer her.

Captain Jerusalem is the default expert on all things Ghoul, since he’s the one who discovered their origin. When they first appeared six months ago, nobody had any idea where they came from or what they wanted. What they wanted became eminently clear almost immediately: they wanted to kill things and eat them, particularly human beings. Everyone had a theory about them, but it was Captain J. who took the time to study them up close, scanning their cracked-open eggs with some device he’d invented and doing sciency things with the results.

His conclusion was that the Ghouls are a gift from the 71st century, sent back in time by some enterprising villain to plague the 21st. Maybe this villain’s goal was to murder Verlaine to keep him from stopping a clone of Hitler from taking over the colonies on Mars six years from now. Who knows? For all we know, whatever fiendish plan he’s cooked up has already succeeded and the timeline has been altered beyond repair and we’re all totally fucked.

There’s really no way of knowing unless the guy decides to send himself back in time and give a speech. And really, why would he?

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