Monday, January 27, 2020

Fear of a Clown Planet

Some writing notes from the last week:

The Great Brain Robbery:  This was a "story idea" from my unfinished ideas file which largely consisted of "Grandpa Anarchy's brain gets stolen".  Of course, why would you do this?  Most likely so that you can place someone else's brain in Grandpa's body and impersonate him for some reason.  I worked up an idea involving Nazi's and Hitler's brain (because... brain transplants, why not go there?) and I began to wonder, how many times has Hitler's brain been hijacked or sabotaged or placed into other bodies, and isn't it getting pretty old and ratty by now?  I managed to finish this story last Friday, 01/24/20, so that was my big accomplishment of last week.

Fear of a Clown Planet:  2-3 years ago I wrote two stories about a resurrected king of an ancient clown empire.  These were Clownface, and The Clown With the Golden Mask.  I kind of like this villain, and I like the idea of a clown apocalypse, similar to a zombie apocalypse but with clowns.  The second of these stories dealt with this on a smaller scale, but I can't think of any reason not to visit it again.  Bofforma III, Emperor of Kalownia inhabits the body of anyone who puts on his death mask, so he's a villain that's easy to bring back.

I found three story titles involving clowns in my Grandpa Anarchy Story Ideas file:  A Clown in a Clown Store, Death by Clown, and Fear of a Clown Planet.  The third is obviously the superior title and lends itself to a clown apocalypse story well, so I began working on this.  My first idea was that an apocalypse was already in progress, and the military along with Grandpa Anarchy and his sidekick (and possibly Geothermal Jenny, who is a member of Grandpa's supergroup and a genius-level scientist herself) were all working with Omigen Corp, the genetics company that plagues Grandpa Anarchy by producing many of his enemies (and a few of his allies).

At the moment this story is bogged down in a conversation between Grandpa and Julia Judas, the current CEO of the company.  This is the first time I've written her into a story and I couldn't not have the two bickering while being forced to work together.  The general idea here is that Omigen's scientists are all brilliant geniuses who experiment on themselves or otherwise go mad with power and turn into super villains, and so Grandpa expects the same thing to happen here.  And I haven't quite figured out what the twist ending is, but I've written quite a bit on the story so far... as I said, most of it  revolving around Grandpa and Julia instead of the clown apocalypse.

The Android Head of Philip K. Dick:  I worked on this idea a bit.  I have an idea in mind, but I'm not sure in which way I want to take the story.  The beginning of the story is firmly in my mind however.

Manekineko, or Lucky Neko:  I did not do a lot of writing over the weekend, but Sunday morning I dreamed up what seemed like a fully-formed idea, and got up and wrote down a paragraph that ultimately did not really translate into a complete plot.  By Noon I'd convinced myself that the idea was dumb and derivative and not worth pursuing, but then by evening I had changed my mind and began working on it again.  At this point I have the first half of a story written about a "lucky" sidekick who keeps dying, but I haven't figured out how the story ends just yet.  I also think I need a better title.

My Gun Is Sharp:  I have three story files that I meant to write for Book 9 -- My Gun Is Sharp.  The first of these, Tremors of the Earth, really doesn't need to go in this volume, it can go in a later volume when I actually write it.  The other two, My Gun Is Sharp and Wings of Liberty, can be rolled into a single story, since one is largely a title looking for a plot, and the other is a sidekick looking for a story.  Wings of Liberty appears in another story in that volume but hasn't actually been featured as Grandpa's sidekick just yet.  She needs at least one story to shine.

For some reason, this story file contains part of a plot idea that I've already written titles Mummy Dearest, but the idea of using Mummy Ra in another story appeals to me.  After some consideration I've decided to also include the villain Holy Hatemonger, who has not been featured much because he's a Black Moon Maidens villain rather than a Grandpa Anarchy villain, but there's no reason he can't appear in one Grandpa story and I imagine he has nothing good to say about an Egyptian mummy hero or a hero who's transformed herself into a half-bird half-human hybrid.  After more consideration I decided he should command an army of clay golems (Soldiers of Heaven!) and that Mummy Ra might just summon an undead army to counter.

I don't actually have a plot or joke ending idea for this, but I can envision a nice action-packed story to start, and try to figure out how it ends later.

These are some of the stories I've been working on this past week.  ^_^

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

New Year's Resolution & Writing Update 1/21

A quick update on my New Year's Resolutions (because writing things down makes me want to do better):

1.  Exercise 30 minutes a day.  I haven't been doing this so much.  I did do 20 minutes on my stationary bike last night.

2.  Eat well.  Eh, I ate from teriyaki places the last two days.  >.>  At least the second time it was Sunny Teriyaki's Sunny Salad, which is teriyaki chicken and salad, no rice.  I have been pretty good about not eating fast food so far in 2020 though.  Also I visited my doctor, which I've been meaning to do for some time.

3.  Read a Grandpa Anarchy story every day.  Eh, I haven't.  I did read two stories today.

4.  Publish once a week to my story site.  Nope, haven't done that yet.

5.  Write a story a week.  This one I've done and then some!  So far I've written:

1/1/20 Die Glocke
1/6/10  Disco Inferno
1/7/20  Dancing Queen
1/7/20  Punch 'Em All
1/13/20  Abyssus Abyssum Invocat
1/15/20  Die Eir Von Satan
1/15/20  Arachnope
1/17/20  Escape Goat
1/17/20  Red Handed
1/20/20  The Clichemonger
1/20/20  When You're Dead

More than half of these stories are not new -- they are old ideas or partial stories that I am only just now going back to and finishing.  Some of them were substantially written already, such as Arachnope, Escape Goat, and When You're Dead.  I just needed to stitch things together and add descriptive passages and usually a good ending.

Because I've finished so many of my unfinished stories (which are mostly stored in my current working story file, which at the moment is Book 11 -- Fist to the Face), I decided last night to investigate my Grandpa Anarchy Unfinished Ideas folder, which I've mostly ignored for years.  A lot of the "story ideas" in this folder are just titles and maybe an idea or a quote or something from an article that caught my eye.  Not very many contain plots.  There are over 100 files in this folder, most of them along the lines of the story file Troubador which contains the line "Grandpa fights a singing villain" and a suggested name:  Old Gray Eyes, the Silver-Haired Crooner.

Not a lot to go on, in other words.  ^_^

However, I found an old file called Add A Line that directed me to a series of story files where I was attempting to write a little bit on each file each week.  These story files contain a bit more than the others.  In particular, I forced myself to come up with a villain and a sidekick for each one.  Few of them contain any actual plot elements, but there were some creative villain and sidekick ideas that I've never used.  The file Add A Line was for keeping track of what I was working on, and was last updated on 1/27/2014.  So these are all old ideas.

An example is a file called Magnificent Bastardry, in which the villain is a lowlife cur named the Mercilous Montebank.  There's a complete description of him, and the sidekick is Kid Leotard, who is a fan of Jules Léotard, the inventor of the leotard.  He's an acrobat and flying trapeze artist (the sidekick, as well as his inspiration), and the file contains a history of Jules Léotard copied probably from Wikipedia.

I transferred several of these story files to my current working folder.  I want to try and write some of them.  I also transferred three stories with clown titles -- A Clown In A Clown Store, Death by Clown, and Fear of a Clown Planet.  The last in particular suggests another encounter with Bofforma III, the former king of the Kalownian Empire, who appeared in two stories, Clownface and The Clown With the Golden Mask.  I'm going to try and work on those ideas as well.

Saturday 1/18/20 was Writer's night at Matt's in Woodinville.  I read Oulipo Blues.  This story was an experiment of mine; I wrote the same scene in several different styles, which is a form of Oulipo; I then came up with a framing device in which I don't really explain why the scene keeps repeating.  To my mind it was kind of a psychedelic take where the characters were at once in the scene and commenting about how the scene was written; it wasn't really meant to make sense, per se.  At the time I wanted to attempt the Oulipo trick of rewriting the same scene several times, while also somehow attributing this to the Literate Lemur, who would of course be a big fan of this kind of writing technique.  But people didn't like it and thought it was confusing, because there was no explanation for why Grandpa Anarchy was trapped in the same scene over and over.

Gene's advice in these situations (which didn't originate with him but I forget where it comes from) is that, when people tell you a story doesn't work, they're right -- but when they tell you how to fix it, they're almost always wrong.  In any event I didn't get too many suggestions on how to fix it.  My first instinct was that it was meant to be an experiment and somewhat nonsensical, so I didn't need to explain things and if no one else got it then I didn't care.  I like it the way it was.

But of course, I want people to like my stories too, and eventually I found a framing device that makes sense.  I already have the Literate Lemur say (right at the beginning) something about leaving clues using Oulipo writing devices that led Grandpa to find him.  So it was easy enough to frame the entire series of repeated scenes as part of the clues left behind by the Literate Lemur.  Grandpa Anarchy is still in his Anarchy Cave, reading what amounts to a literary novel of some sort.

I rewrote the story on Sunday and Monday.  I think the results work well.  After that, I finished two other stories, so I'm doing well this week also.  ^_^



Thursday, January 16, 2020

Update and Some Weird Story Ideas

I finished three stories this week.  On Monday I finished my A Wardrobe Too Far story that I started last week.  I retitled it Abyssus Abyssum Invocat, which is a Latin phrase that literally means abyss calls to abyss, but in more general terms it means one false step leads to the next.  Since it's a story about an illusion-creating villain, this title seemed to work.  And there's an abyss in the story.  ^_^

On Wednesday I finished Ahmguh, a story I retitled Die Eir Von Satan, meaning the eggs (or balls) of Satan, which is the title of a song by Tool and is a silly reference to deviled eggs.  This was part of a trilogy of stories involving the sidekick OMG Girl -- Abyssus Abyssum Invocat was the first, Gotta Punch 'Em All was the second, and this was the third.  I'm glad to finish these two stories, that was my goal since at least last Thursday.

Immediately after I finished the above story, I also finished a very old story idea, Arachnope, which has possibly been around as long as 2013/2014.  I've worked on it off and on for the last year or two; finally it is a completed story, for better or worse.  The villain is a one-joke villain, but for some reason I have the titles of more stories involving him in my head, even though I'm unlikely to ever write them.  Kill It With Fire would make a good title, for example.


Although my goal is to finish stories and reduce the number of unfinished stories in my files, I wound up creating two new story ideas yesterday.

The Android Head of Philip K Dick

In 2005 The University of Memphis constructed the world's first conversational android – an intelligent humanoid robot, of a sort.  Then, while flying the robot for a demonstration, the head was lost.

The part that amuses me the most is that the head was lost twice.  On a flight from Dallas to San Francisco it disappeared.  After several frantic calls it was located in Los Angeles and put on a flight to San Francisco -- and it disappeared again, this time for good.

There are several other amusing bits to this story.  Dick wrote so much about when is a human no longer a human, or when is an android or robot real enough to be considered human, and even wrote about famous people from history being recreated as robots, and he himself became the first such robot.

Also of note, all of this data on Philip K. Dick is stored on computers in Memphis.  In his novel Flow My Tears the Policeman Said, the main character Jason Taverner apparently has all his personal data stored at a computer facility in Memphis.  So there's that.  ^_^

But I just really liked the idea that the android head of Philip K. Dick is out there somewhere.  That sounded like the start of a story, and while I'm unlikely to write the definitive sci fi story based on that jumping-off point, I did think I could make a bizarre and funny Grandpa Anarchy story out of it.  Because of course Grandpa Anarchy has the android head of Philip K. Dick in his vast anarchy cave.

The Earth Is On Fire

I had a vision yesterday morning when I woke up.  It involved Grandpa Anarchy and Geothermal Jenny confronting Baron Climate Change again.  One of my earliest stories is about these three in a confrontation, and Geothermal Jenny is kind of the ecological hero of my universe, and is now a member of the New League of Two-Fisted Justice, the hero group that Grandpa Anarchy is in, so I'm not sure why I haven't written a second encounter like this before.

My vision was just as I was waking up and included some good dialog that I had already forgotten by the time I was fully awake and getting ready for work, but the kernel of the idea was still there.  I decided that maybe I should set the story in Australia, and write something involving all of the fires happening there.  Baron Climate Change is not the source of the fires but would try to take credit and would also maybe do something to make them worse, and I have some Australian heroes I came up with that I haven't made use of yet, so all of that seems to add up.  I'm just not certain exactly how the story will go just yet.

The title comes from a song by Yacht, and seems quite appropriate.

Invictus

This one is not a new story file, but an old one that I worked on again this morning.  What I have is ideas rather than plot.  My file contains the poem Invictus by Willaim Ernest Henley, most famous for the last two lines, I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.  The entire poem is about triumphing over adversity, and the name Invictus in particular spoke to me as a great title for a Grandpa Anarchy story.

The second thing in this file is a section of a speech by Theodore Roosevelt titled Citizenship in a Republic.  There is a famous section referred to as  The Man in the Arena which carries a similar theme of fighting against adversity:

It is not the critic who counts;
not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles,
or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;
who strives valiantly; who errs,
who comes short again and again,
because there is no effort without error and shortcoming;
but who does actually strive to do the deeds;
who knows great enthusiasms,
the great devotions;
who spends himself in a worthy cause;
who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement,
and who at the worst,
if he fails,
at least fails while daring greatly,
so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.


Striving is everything, and the only thing.  The fight is what is most noble.  I can definitely craft a hero story around those themes.

The third thing in this file is the lyrics to Eminem's song Lose Yourself.  When I was thinking about the themes of the above two works, the words to this song came to mind, because it's on a similar theme -- striving to get things right, to get better, to succeed. 

You better lose yourself in the music
The moment, you own it, you better never let it go
You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow
This opportunity comes once in a lifetime, yo

I don't have a plot for this "story file", but I have a theme.  I also might have a good hero name.  Invictus, or Sol Invictus, or Something Invictus.  I guess this story might involve a new hero that I haven't written before.

Sol Invictus means the unconquerable or undefeated sun.  This was the main god of choice in the Roman empire in the late period just before Christianity took over -- although other gods had used Invictus as an epitaph as well, such as Apollo Invictus, Mars Invictus, Jupiter Invictus.  I mean if you're a god calling yourself undefeated and unconquerable is not a bad choice.  ^_^  But I'm surprised that I haven't seen Invictus or Sol Invictus used as the name for a Marvel/DC hero before (to my knowledge).  My search turned up a game I think called Invictus Heroes, but that's not quite the same thing.

On a side note, while researching this poem more I learned that the author of the poem (who wrote it after having his leg amputated) was the model for Long John Silver in Treasure Island.  William Ernest Henley was a friend of Robert Louis Stevenson.  Somehow, that seems like a cool anecdote to add to a story, if I ever manage to turn all of this into a story.





Friday, January 10, 2020

First Ten Days of 2020


It's been 10 days in 2020, and I've written four stories (although I'd written that many by Tuesday the 7th).  I wrote Die Glocke first, and I've already forgotten who the sidekick was in that story, or quite how I managed to end it.  Next I worked on some old stories which were plotted out a year ago in an attempt to fix one of my oldest stories, Solar Sister and the Disco Trolls of Doom.

At the time I had decided that this story was at least 3 different stories, possibly as many as 5 (one reason why it didn't work as a single story).  Although I didn't remember this, I had already written one of the stories I was going to replace it with, the Name Game.  I had several more plotted under the titles Disco Inferno, Dancing Queen, Hot Stuff, and Get Down Tonight.  I liked the idea of giving them all disco song titles.

I managed to finish Disco Inferno and Dancing Queen, and was working on Hot Stuff when I doubled back to finish a different, "current" story called Punch 'Em All.  That's the story I finished on Tuesday.

Wednesday I decided to work on a second story involving the sidekick OMG Girl.  She's the sidekick I used for Punch 'Em All, but I really didn't get to explore the joke of her name that much.  I had a file named Ahmguh which contained some dialog between her and Grandpa about her name -- the entire joke is that she pronounced OMG as if it were a word, "Ahmguh!"

This by itself isn't a plot or even a scene, so I decided they were in pursuit of a villain -- let's say it's Death Medal, he's a recurring villain and is fun to write.  Usually Death Medal is stealing books with spells to destroy the world/universe/all of humanity, or powerful artifacts that do the same thing.  So let's say he's stolen a magical tome, and wants to cause genocide and global or universal destruction.  That's his thing.

I've done several jokes in the past about things that can go wrong when you try to read a deadly spell from an ancient magical tome.  This time I realize that I can do the Die Eier von Satan joke.  This is a song by Tool, in which a man speaks dramatically in German while a crowd cheers.  I was told this was a recipe for Deviled Eggs, but actually the joke is deeper than that -- it's a recipe for cookies but the speaker keeps repeating "and no eggs!" which would cause the recipe to fail, to turn out flat.  This is a metaphor for Hitler's Germany without the Jews.

Die Eier von Satan reads as "the balls of Satan" or "the eggs of Satan".

But I'm not attempting a complicated allegory on Nazi politics and making fun of Americans and their automatic assumptions that dramatic German speakers with cheering crowds equals Hitler.  I just want to make a joke about Death Medal failing to cast an Armageddon spell again.  He starts to read the spell out loud in German, and realizes it's just a recipe for deviled eggs.

This lead me to the obvious next line, "It's a cookbook!"  Which is of course the famous line from To Serve Man, a well-known episode from the Twilight Zone.  After doing some research and considering how I could work this into the plot better, I decided to make a race similar to the Kanamits from To Serve Man, only in my story they're a race of librarians with a fancy alien library that has collected books from earth for thousands of years.  Death Medal stole his magic tome from there, but got a cookbook by accident.

This is how I construct a story sometimes:  imagine a setting and a villain, then try to come up with jokes that I can use for that situation.  Hopefully I come up with one that makes a good ending joke.  For the above story, I'm aiming for a joke on the aliens and the cookbook, and I think I can pull it off but I haven't actually written most of the story yet, just bits of dialog.

Anyway, the obvious new title for this story is Die Eier von Satan.

For Wednesday, instead of finishing this story I constructed another new story out of nothing.  I did not plan to do this, it just happened.  I had a kind of vision of Grandpa Anarchy and OMG Girl appearing in a fantasy/fairyland setting while chasing some sort of magical enemy, and immediately I had some Grandpa Anarchy dialog in my head:

"Ah!" Grandpa said, "if it isn't the Enchanted Thistle Forrest of Lavenderlandia, in the land of Hopsibayrne, near Eiderdown Town  on the shores of Crystalcola Sea.  If I've been here once, I've been here a million times."
"You have?" asked OMG Girl in surprise.
"Generally speaking," Grandpa replied.  "I may not have been to this specific place before, but all these fantasy fairyland realms kind of blend together after a while.  You've been to one, you've been to them all."
"If you've never been here," said OMG Girl, "then how did...."
"I read that sign over there," Grandpa said.  "The You Are Here sign?  By the way it says to be wary of bubblegum spiders and insurance salesmen.  Sound advice if you ask me."


This leads to another Grandpa Anarchy rant about magical villains.  He's not in favor of them, of course -- they're the domain of magic types like Dark Dr. Dark and Black Dahlia.  Grandpa much prefers mad scientists, psychopathic masterminds, and super thugs.

At this point I didn't so much have a plot as a setting and a rambling rant about the situation from Grandpa -- but I considered what other jokes I could throw in, and a fantasy world directions joke popped into my head.  You know, through the looking glass, past three wardrobes and then there's a phantom tollbooth on the right, take the next road, it's made of yellow brick, you can't miss it....

At this point I titled my new file A Wardrobe Too Far which is almost certainly not the final story title.

So this meant they had to ask a local for directions, and while constructing the dialog in my head I inserted a fantasy-world equivalent to "and Bob's your uncle!" which I decided should be "and Oz is your wizard!"  This lead to another bit of dialog where this phrase is explained, and the elf or gnome or whatever he is gets to complain that Bob is NOT his uncle, his uncle is Candleblast the Unsteady, the milner in Fuffledumfph Town (or something like that).

I considered a fantasy-world substitute for a similar phrase, "as easy as pie" or "a piece of cake" and came up with "as easy as forbidden water!"  Because in Oz if you drink from the Forbidden Fountain, you forget everything -- it contains the water of forgetfulness, which is why it's forbidden, it's a bad idea to drink it.  The rambling conversation in my head led to the elf/gnome stating the reason for this phrase -- if you drink from the forbidden fountain you forget your past crimes and can't legally be held accountable for them.  Grandpa argues with him on this point, and suddenly I realized that this is the center of my story.

Miss Mixelthpthpthpthp (my magical villain) has stolen a valuable artifact, and now plans to drink from a forbidden fountain so that she cannot be legally held responsible for her theft.

I'm not entirely sure how this will work out, and I'll probably have to cut some of my jokes to make the story flow well.  At the moment I think I'll cut straight to the court scene at the end or a scene in a fantasy-world police department, but one way or another I think I have a story now.  And once again, this is how I sometimes construct stories:  imagine a setting and a villain, try to come up with jokes that can work for this setting, then maybe one of them turns into the joke or plot that makes the whole story work.

I changed the title of the story three times... to Forgotten Lore and then to I Forget which is much too on the nose, and most recently to Forget Me Not which might be a good title and maybe I should even place candy forget-me-not flowers in the opening scene.

So... this week I wrote one story and I plotted two more, and I just need to finish them.  ^_^  That's always the hard part!


Sunday, January 5, 2020

Grandpa Anarchy Story List


One of my goals for 2020 is to reread every Grandpa Anarchy story I've ever written and make notes on characters and such within each story.  I have a file of characters from my stories, but it's only based on the first three or four books, about 100 - 130 or so stories.  I can't remember when I stopped updating it, but it was years ago.  So I need to start over and re-document everything again.

To that end, I've tried to assemble a list of all of my stories.  My numbering system is a bit out of whack, so there are a few numbers I've skipped, a few unnumbered stories (most of them unfinished) and a few unfinished stories that have nevertheless been numbered.  Also towards the end I start jumping around and jumbling up which stories with which numbers are in which books, but these are mostly listed in the order I expect them to appear in any books I publish (at least, for now that's the plan).

When you've written more than 300 stories (I'm actually closing in on 400 soon), it's easy to forget stuff.  Anyway, as sort of proof that I actually have that many stories (or at least, have a a detailed list of story titles), here's what I've come up with:

Anarchy Lore -- Story List (With Sidekicks Noted)



Book One - Tales of Two-Fisted Justice

(218 Short Circuit)

001. Reading Comprehension (2009)  Kid Enigma
002. Garden Variety (2009) The Great Society Kid
003. The Magic Knight (2009)
004. Kids These Days (2009)  Resistable Force and Moveable Object
005. Doomed

Jack (unfinished)
(219 Ripperology)

006. Remember This
007. Simple Solution
008. The Silver Coin
009. Precisely
010. Assassin
011. Dancepocalypse
012. Double Trouble
013. Supper Soldier
014. Roasted
015. What You Should Know
016. Contract
017. Amethyst Road 1 - Shadows
018. Amethyst Road 2 - Princess Kiss
019. Amethyst Road 3 - Who Do Voodoo
020. Sex Slaves of Sirix Alpha Six
021. Turncoats
022. There Be Whales
023. Space Kraken
024. Triple Aaar
025. Shadow Over Scranton
026. Stone Temple Space Raiders
027. Soldiers Men
028. Mostless In Capertown
029. Dig My Grave
030. Nemesis
031. My Sudden But Inevitable Betrayal
032. Two-Fisted Christmas Ghost Story


Book Two -- Fist of the Anarchist

033. Dead Again
034. Darkfiredragonninja
035. Trouble Focusing
036. Omnigen Again
037. World of Hero 1 (unfinished)
038. World of Hero 2 (unfinished)
039. World of Hero 3 (unfinished)
040. World of Hero 4 (unfinished)
041. Fryer Out of Time
042. Solar Sister and the Disco Trolls of Doom
Name Game (unfinished)
Disco Inferno (unfinished)
Hot Stuff (unfinished)
Dancing Queen (unfinished)
Get Down Tonight (unfinished)
043. Idiot Ball
044. Ocean of the Void
045. Justice Hangs In The Balance
046. Let Sleeping Gods Lie
047. Love and Justice
048. Veteran of the Bone Wars
049. City of the Monkey God
050. There Ain't No Justice
051. Future Me
052. Roll of the Die
053. Most Dangerous
054. The Thing in the Suitcase
055. Devil in the Details
056. Questionable Judgement
057. Your Stupid, Stupid Minds
058. The R Word
059. Stronger
060. Unfinished Business

Book Three -- Anarchy Is Forever

061. An Inconvenient Airship
062. Continuity Error
063. Dark Anarchy
064. Ruse
065. Black Moon Rising
066. Gutbucket Magic
067. Brothers and Sisters
068. Hackernaut
069. Pandora's Closet
070. Take Me Back to Constantinople
071. The Chef That  Time Forgot
072. Time of Your Life
073. Endangered Species
074. Magic Is a Bitch
075. Zero Hour
076. Anarchy Is Forever
077. Self-Made Man
078. The Statue Got Me High
079. Pick of the Litter
080. Historically Accurate
081. Youth is Wasted on the Young
082. Transformation Station
083. Curse of the Teenager
084. I Was a Teenage Ballerina
085. A Glitch In Time
086. Damsel in Distress
087. Dirty Job
088. Vows
089. X Chromosome
090. A Good Start
091. The Crystal Weenie
092. Deep House of Horror
093. Banana Also Rises
094. Arbor of  Pain
095. Hero's Sacrifice
096. That Sinking Feeling
097. Fate Maid to Order
098. Return to Amethyst 1 -- Miles To Go Before I Sleep
099. Return to Amethyst 2 -- China Town
100. Return to Amethyst 3 -- Spirits of Stone
101. Gin and Ginger

Book Four -- Never Say Anarchy Again

102. Serum Theorem
103. Second Class (unfinished)
104. Tryout Trouble
105. FInal Act
106. Villain of the Weak
107. The Eagle Has Landed
108. Revealing
109. About a Hellboy
110. Bombs Away
111. Landoff
112. Disorientation
113. If Books Could Kill
114. Landmark Decision
115. Trick of the Trade
116. Out of Cheese Error
117. Diary of an Anarchist
118. Blah Blah Blah
119. Reboot
120. Grandpa Anarchy the Musical Act One
121. Grandpa Anarchy the Musical Act Two
122. Grandpa Anarchy the Musical Act Three
123. Four Weddings and Nine Hundred Funerals
124. Beneath the Skin
125. The Hand You're Dealt
126. Bane of the Black Spork
127. Temple of the Dog
128. Startup
129. Grandpa Anarchy and the Fiendishly Foul Fetid Frog
130. Empathy for the Devil
131. Iron Maiden Surprise
132. Crack Squad of Misfits
133. Pompatus of Love
134. No One Cries for Superman
135. Archimedes Death Ray
136. There Is No Try
137. Distracted by the Sexy
138. Family Tree
139. Where's My Super Suit
140. Past Life Sister
141. Hip Bone
142. Maps of Vampires That No Longer Exist
143. Call Me Maybe
144. Performance Review
145. Bookstore Avenger
146. Crowdsourced
147. Conspiracy Claus

Book FIve -- Steel Knights and Iron Maidens

148. Substitute
149. Lessons
150. Permit
151. Abjure the Realm
152. Superdrone
153. Dream a Little Dream
154. Elementary
155. Shadow Out of Joe's Mouth
156. Consuming Passion
157. Whom the Mad Would Destroy
158. Godzilla Was An Artist
159. Trauma You've Been Craving
160. Gorgon Gun
161. Oz on the Half Shell (unfinished)
162. Asphalt Cemetery
163. Sharp Dressed Man
164. Happy When It Rains
165. Avatar Bazaar
166. Walpurgisnacht
167. Old
168. Heart and Soul
169. Girls of Two-Fisted Justice
170. Murderbot 146
171. Old Boy's Club
172. Unpossible
173. Patron of the Arts (unfinished)
174.
175. Number One
176. Sisterly Love
177. (non-existant Christmas Story)

Book Six -- Weird Tales of Weird Anarchy

178. Opportunity of a Lifetime
179. Shadow Secrets
180. Superpowered Self-Defense
181. Eclipsed in Time
182. Legal Eagle
183. Chaos and Order
184. Status Report
185. Prison World
186. Happy Jack
187. Wight Stuff
188. Meanwhile in Frosthaven
189. Meanwhile in Intersect
190. Meanwhile in Zendeth Sector
191. Meanwhile on Planet Zorlthrax X9
192. Gloom and Doom
193. Blessed and Cursed
194. Strike the Worm
195. The Nonhumans
196. Painted Into a Corner
197. Bombs Away
198. Daughters of Anarchy
199. When We Last Left Our Heroes
200. Girl Gravity
201. Green-Skinned Alien Babe
202. The Further Adventures of Grandpa Anarchy and His Sidekick
203. Llahna's Girl
204. Nursery Rhymes
205. Punchathon
206. Secret Crisis Wars
207. Time Waits For No Ninja
208. Fairytale Physics
209. Above the Law
210. Funeral For a Friend
211. Grandpa Anarchy 101
212. No Surprises
213. Muse
214. Super Secretary
215. Complete
216. Super Vacation
217. X Factor

Book Seven -- Serial Anarchy  (unfinished novel)

218. Short Circuit ()  Kid Continuity, Circuit Girl, Circuit Boy
219. Ripperology

Book Eight -- High Tech Fisticuffs

220. Just a Story
221. Teddy's Bear
222. Write Your Way Out
223. Epiphany
224. Presentation
225. Apocalypse Blues
226. Rubber Forehead Theory
227. Code Habanero
228. Rock On
229. Truthiness
230. Graveyard Smash
231. Good Fences Make Good Neighbors
232. Buckets of Blood
233. Bug's Life
234. Annie Two
235. New Car
236. Unfinished Painting
237. Return of the Roaring Rangers
238. Meeting of the Minds
239. Until That Day
240. Rosario's Model
241. Mauve Mist
242. Super Freak
243. Gate Into Danger
244. Beside Myself
245. Ghost and Miss Bloodraven
246. Murderbot 150
247. My Sister the Computer
248. If You're In Berlin
249. Tell Me a Story
250. Raw Justice
251. Elixir
252. Vigil
253. The Ring of Hanubatum
254. Fist to the Face
(255 - 258 see below)

259. Breakable
260. New League of Two-Fisted Justice
261. Upgrade
262. Ghost Cop
The Devil and Miss Elsie (unfinished)

Book Nine -- My Gun Is Sharp

252. Vigil (?)
255. Secret Millicent
256. The Dreamquest of Unknown Anarchy
257. Down the Drain
258. By Any Other Name

263. Mummy Dearest
264. Brain Salad
265. Second Law My Metal Ass
266. Lingua Franca Fractura
267. Grimdark Wonderland
268. Dues Ex Machina
269. My Clone Sleeps Alone
270. Feeling Wordy
271. Games People Play
272. Another Time, Another Place
273. Clownface
274. There Goes the Neighborhood
275. Splitting Hares
276. Clown With the Golden Mask
277. Cryptid
278. The Summoning
279. Monumental Error
280. Gods and Punks
281. Time Trip
282. Motivational Poser
283. Market Crash
284. Hurricane Punch
285. As High As the Falcon
286. Gadda Da Vida
287. Return of the Holy Terror
288. Edgewise
289. Black Friday
290. Enigma
291. Silence is Golden
292. Fund My Catgirl
293. Christmas Gorilla
294. Unique
295. Experience Pays
296. Miss Devastation
297. Eve the Explorer
298. Beautifully Engineered
299. The Dream Ends

307. Grandfather Clause
308. Family Affair
My Gun Is Sharp (unfinished)
The Tremor of the Earth (unfinished)
Wings of Liberty (unfinished)

Book Ten -- Mahou Shoujo Blues

312. Sign Here
313. Pokemon
314. Fun in the Sun
315. Moon Power Shake Up
316. Star Crossed
317. Pet Circus
318. Flower Power
319. Cocoa Blizzard
320. Kiwi Blitz
321. Guitar Hero
322. A Royal Pain
323. Girl's Academy
324. War Ready
325. Fairy Confection
326. Maiden de Mer
327. Angel on the Balcony
328. A Mighty Steed
329. Warrior Princess
330. Red as Blood
331. Majorette
332. Corporate Bunny
333. Bedroom Confessions
334. Bunny Blues
335. Deluxe Model
336. Tidal Wave
337. Spy Games
338. Steel Drivin' Boy
339. Dark Forces
340. Friendly Invasion
341. Sales Secrets
342. On Holiday

Book Eleven -- Fist to the Face

300. Hero Lunch -- Tony's Diner
301. Hero Lunch -- One With Everything
302. Going Home
303. Hero Dinner -- Slice of Time
304. Ancient Festival
305. Hero Lunch -- Happy Jack's
306. Prince Allwyn and Princess Erin of Arowen

309. Ballroom Blitz
310. Sally Stardust is Dead
311. Dressed to Kill

343.
344. Oulipo Blues
Space Babes Are Easy (unfinished)
You Can Be Sally Stardust (unfinished)
377. Die Glocke

Book Twelve -- A Bomb In Heaven

A Dark Magical Interlude 1
345. Goodwill Ambassador
346. Totally Like Sailor Moon
A Dark Magical Interlude 2
347. Motivation
348. Dark Kingdom
349. Double Trouble
A Dark Magical Interlude 3
350. Vlog Slog
351. Purpose
352. Out of Phaeton
353. Starchild
354. Trapped on Titan
355. Space Opera
Ancient Robot Interlude 1
356. Here Be Dragons
357. Shadow Magic
358. Soul of the Matter
359. Ring Thing
Interlude of Terror
360. Wish Upon the Moon
361. Witch Queen of Titan
362. Dark Teatime
363. Disaster Station
364. Realm of Magic
365. Money Shot
Scattered Seeds
366. Dark Magic Trap
367. Pink Light
368. Big-Ass Spaceship
369. Save Your Enemy
Villain Emporium
370. Girls Will Be Girls (unfinished)
371. Tsundere (unfinished)
372.
373.
374.
375. A Bomb In Heaven (unfinished)
376. Ancient Cosmic Evil (unfinished)

Book Thirteen -- Just One Punch (empty)

Book Fourteen -- Anarchy On Vacation (nothing finished)

Beginning of the End
Continuity and Anarchy
Electric Anarchy
Grand-Daughters of Anarchy
Mighty Anarchy
Vacation

Book Fifteen -- The Companions (nothing finished)

Lady of Fire
Prince of the Underworld
Secrets of the Shrieking Forest
Bodysnatchers of Yan
All In Good Time
The Thing in the Ice
Untitled Marie de la Mer Story
The Cephalapod that Befriended the Wind
Untitled Slay Belle Story
Untitled Hellfire Lass Story

Book Sixteen -- Magical Girl Death Match (unwritten novel)

Thursday, January 2, 2020

New Year Writing Update!


So!  Between August 2019 and October 2019, I worked on a series of stories which involved Grandpa Anarchy and a bunch of magical girls, including four former sidekicks who were forming their own magical girl-themed supergroup.  I still have these stories listed in a folder titled Book 15 -- Just One Punch which is a title that has no real relation to the stories contained within.

My plan was to tell one complete story over the course of about thirty short stories.  I had plans for how I was going to wrap things up, but I ran into November and NaNoWriMo and didn't finish it.  This is typical for me -- I wrote a big ending story to my Magical March 2018 story arc (Book 10, Mahou Shoujo Blues) and I didn't like it and wanted to rewrite it, and I still have never done that.

In the meantime for NaNoWriMo I worked on a fan fiction story called Nerima All-Stars.  My plan was to finish this story and publish it on the web, but by the end I realized I was about 50,000 words shy of a good ending -- there are a series of battles left to write, a big finish.  And so I planned to continue working on that for December, then wrote nothing more.

I also planned to write a Christmas ghost story in December.  I poked at two partial stories, The Library of Dreams and Two-Fisted Santa, and didn't finish either one.

For my New Year's Resolutions I want to write a story a week in 2020, and publish something to my story blog once a week.  I haven't published anything there since early November I think.  But!  I started off the new year by completing a story, Die Glocke.  I have a lot of old story ideas that are partially written and this was one of them.  I'm not sure the end result is a good story but hey, it's something!

Today I've been looking at other partial stories and story ideas I can work in in January:

No Politics:  This is a satirical story from The Onion I think, about how some comic readers don't want politics or political statements in their comics, which are almost entirely based on political ideas (avatars who stand in for capitalism, communism, or fascism; stories about mutants who are persecuted for being born different; stories about people transformed into government agents by secret authoritarian government agencies).  I didn't specifically have a story plot here, just copied the Onion story to a file because the ideas expressed in it would make good fodder for a Grandpa Anarchy story.

To Punch A Hitler:  This one is partially written.   The idea is that on March 8 Grandpa Anarchy is depressed because this is Victory Day in Europe, and Grandpa never managed to punch Hitler in the face.  He's punched a myriad of Hitler clones, alternate-universe Hitlers, robotic Hitlers, etc., but not the actual Hitler himself.  I haven't figured out the ending of this story (I don't think I want to write them going back in history just to punch Hitler) but I really like the setup so I want to try and finish it.

Amguh:  The idea here is that Grandpa has a sidekick whose name is OMG Girl, but she pronounces it Amghuh Girl.  Really, that's all there is to the idea at the moment.

Arachnope:  I have a lot of stuff written on this file.  There's a villain named King Spider who is deathly afraid of spiders himself, and thinks they are the most terrifying thing in the world, but tends to build traps filled with Daddy Longlegs/Harvestmen because to him they're quite terrifying, and he can't contemplate using something that might actually be dangerous to him.  Again, I like the ideas but not sure where the story goes or how it ends.

Punch 'Em All:  I should write this because I think I have a complete plot for it.  Grandpa Anarchy is approached by a group of people who are creating a Pokemon Go-like game involving hunting down villains and punching them.  Grandpa at first makes fun of it, then becomes addicted to it, but the people who made the game are using it to track Grandpa and hack into his computer systems.

Mister Anarchy 2020:  This is a new idea.  I saw a post on Twitter about an old Superman story called Superman 2020.  In it, Superman's grandson becomes Superman III, and fights Nazis in a future world that looks a lot like the time it was written (I think the 60's or 70's) but in which they insert "future slang" to try and make it more futuristic.  I want to write something similar for Grandpa Anarchy.

This story involves a lot of research.  I've written about Grandpa Anarchy in pulp fiction, comics, television and movies before, but I had that information buried in a catch-all Anarchy Lore file, and I've written quite a few things since that aren't included in the file.  I decided to set up a separate file just for Grandpa Anarchy In Fiction, and I'll need to track down all of the other things I've added regarding new movies and some of the details about pulp fiction stories that were written -- Miss X is the title of one, and there are several more involving Kid Continuity and the Continuity Crusaders, who have traveled back in time to collect some exceeding rare pulp stories, and also collected a whole slew of alien-made comic books from a race of beings called the Painters.

I swear I have a file somewhere that contains some of that info but I wasn't able to find it this morning.

Now that I think about it, one of my New Year's goals should be to read at least one Grandpa Anarchy story a day and update my lore files with everything important contained therein.  I need a list of all of Grandpa's sidekicks, for example, a list of all stories and whether they are completed or not, and I desperately need to update my list of people in the Grandpa Anarchy universe.

Wilfred:  While researching the story above, I noticed that I have a note that Grandpa Anarchy had a butler until 1959.  Wilfred died that year, as well as Grandpa's partner Guy Shadow and soon after the enemy which killed Guy Shadow, Doctor Zero Hour II.  There's a story in there somewhere, and it might possibly involve a robotic version of the butler Wilfred or I don't know, something equally weird.

I also want to complete both of the Christmas stories I was working on, The Library of Dreams and Two-Fisted Santa.  I have other Christmas ghost story ideas I could work on, such as the Re-gifted Heart.  I haven't finished a Christmas ghost story in two years soI don't want to wait until next December to work on these again.


New Year's Goals for 2020:

1.  Exercise every day, 30 minutes  or more of walking preferred.
2.  Write one new story a week (or the equivalent -- 1,500+ words).
3.  Post one story to my Tales of Grandpa Anarchy blog each week.
4.  Read at least one Grandpa Anarchy story a day and document people and things of interest.






Monday, December 16, 2019

The Secrets of Gilgamesh


I watched a video lecture about the Epic of Gilgamesh over the weekend, as well as a handful of different other videos over the last few weeks about ancient cultures, certain passages of the Bible, how to build an ark according to the Sumerian story, etc., and I've got all of this stuff in my head, along with the lyrics to The Mesopotamians by They Might Be Giants, which takes four of the more famous names from ancient Mesopotamian cultures -- Sargon, Hammurabi, Asherbanipal, and Gilgamesh -- and places them in some kind of "Hey, Hey, We're the Monkees" song about being in a band.

Who are these people?  Completely off the top of my head, Sargon was one of the earliest known Sumerian kings.  Gilgamesh (or Bilgamesh in Sumerian) was also an ancient Sumerian king, who somehow wound up being a hero figure in a lot of mythological poems, culminating in a poet from a different future society weaving many of these stories together into an epic poem, the Epic of Gilgamesh, which influence later epics such as the Illiad and the Odyssey.  Hammurabi is a famous king from... Akkad or Babylon, I forget, who created a set of laws that later scholars decided were the first such laws ever set down, although subsequently we've realized he was borrowing from kings who came before him.  And Asherbanipal... all I know is he had a library where the clay tablets with the Epic of Gilgamesh were found.  He was an Akkadian or Babylonian king.

I find all of this stuff fascinating.  I find ancient history fascinating.  It's pretty amazing to think that ancient Rome and the time of Christ was 2,000 years ago, an almost unimaginable span of time, and yet recorded history goes back nearly 4,000 years beyond that.  We think our country has existed a long time, but some of these ancient empires lasted hundreds of years, over a thousand years.  We think Shakespeare lived a long time ago and his English is difficult to understand, but stories about Gilgamesh survived in the Middle East for well over a thousand years, through several successive empires.

What fascinates me even more is what we don't know.  Stories were told before the advent of writing.  Stories were written down, then lost.  The stories which we have -- even as popular a story as that of Gilgamesh -- is still fragmentary, assembled from many sources.  We've never deciphered the ancient writing of the Minoan civilization, so we only know about them from excavation and from Mycenean/Greek writers.  The Phoenecians dominated trade in the Mediterranean for hundreds of years, but we know little of their own writing.  What scrolls existed at the library at Alexandria?  We'll never know.  There are hundreds of carbonized scrolls found at the Roman city of Herculaneum which were all but destroyed by mount Vesuvius, and yet we are still trying to figure out how to unroll them and read them.  What heroes existed in myths told for hundreds of years that no modern person knows anything about?

A lot of my fantasies from when I was young until now involve imagining ways such history could have been preserved.  I imagine I'm a part of some ancient alien race, some elf-like beings, shapeshifters or godlike creatures who have dwelt among humans since ancient times and recorded what society was like, what tribes moved where, how people lived, what their music and stories were.  They have some hidden fortress or perhaps a base on another world where all of this information is kept, and if you wish to know what life in a Mayan city was really like, or what tales people told each other 10,000 years ago, you could find out.

I also used to imagine that once you reach heaven, you could learn all of the secrets to the mysteries that you'd read about that were never solved -- like what happened to the crew of the Mary Celeste, who was Jack the Ripper really, or what happened to the lost colony of Roanoke Island?  I guess I've always been really big on the idea that somehow we could learn all of the things we want to know, even though the truth is that we not only will never know most of these things, but in many cases the truth is likely much less interesting than the mystery that surrounds it.  Not to mention, there are many more mysteries and histories that are so forgotten that we don't even know to ponder over them.

On the flip side, we know so much more about some of this stuff today than we did even a hundred or two hundred years ago.  Two or three hundred years ago, experts imagined that written history began with the Greeks.  Slowly people learned of forgotten ancient cultures much older -- ancient Egypt, the Hittite Empire, ancient Assyria, Babylon, Sumeria, the Minoans, etc.  In 1853 the Epic of Gilgamesh was first discovered, but translations in English did not appear until much later.  So from one viewpoint I'm living in a pretty amazing time where we know much, much more about the ancient world than we did only a few generations ago.  I have the opportunity to read about things that people of past generations could only dream about.

I'm not sure there's a point to this post, other than all of these things have been bouncing around in my mind over the last few days.  ^_^

The Epic of Gilgamesh poem is framed by a description of the city he ruled.  It begins the poem, and at the end when Gilgamesh returns, having learned that his quest for immortality is in vain, it ends the poem, as if to say everyone dies, but look at the city!  Life goes on.

Climb Uruk's wall and walk back and forth!
Survey its foundations, examine the brickwork!
Were its bricks not fired in an oven?
Did the Seven Sages not lay its foundation?

A square mile is the city, a square mile the date-grove, a square mile is the clay-pit, half a square mile the temple of Ishtar:  three square miles and a half is Uruk's expanse.

See the tablet-box of cedar,
release its clasp of bronze!
Lift the lid of its secret,
pick up the tablet of lapiz lazuli and read out
the travails of Gilgamesh, all that he went through.