Monday, February 11, 2013


Technically I've been ignoring three quarters of my 2013 writing (and art) goals.  I'm supposed to work on my fan fiction and other original fiction, I'm supposed to draw something each month, and I'm supposed to write a Tai-Pan story each month.  I was able to let last month slide a bit because we didn't actually have a Tai-Pan writer's night meeting in January, but this coming Saturday is the February writer's night, and I'd like to have a Tai-Pan story finished, preferably The Pilgrimage of Ian St. Ritz.

Mind you, I do have a few stories to read, should it come to that.  After not having anything new to read for many, many writer's nights over the last 3-4 years, I've actually written about thirty-eight Grandpa Anarchy stories since October.  That includes all thirty stories that I started in November -- the last of them, Trouble Focusing, I managed to finish today.  Woo!  I read Shadows Over Scranton at our November writer's night, and Two-Fisted Christmas Ghost Story for our Christmas party/writer's night in November, so that leaves me with about thirty-six stories that I haven't read to my friends yet.

Trouble Focusing wasn't really even a new idea when I made it my story idea of the day on November 21st.  It was actually a brief story idea that I'd already had in my files for several years previous.  It consisted entirely of the idea that Grandpa Anarchy would be too busy to save some random sidekick who was tied up with a bomb strapped to them, and then when the bomb went off he'd say, "Dang, I forgot about the bomb.  I lose more sidekicks that way...."

Which was kind of a funny idea until I started to write it.  At that point, you give the sidekick a name and a look and a bit of personality, and you realize that having them just die seems really grim and wrong.  Not that I haven't had sidekicks die before, but Circuit Girl dies before Remember This begins, and The Great Society Kid possibly dies after Garden Variety Hero ends.  I've also had a number of sidekicks claim that Grandpa left them for dead.  Natural Twenty, for example, from the story I wrote just last night, Roll of the Die.  Or Double Jester in Turncoats:

Grandpa spun and kicked the gun from the clown's grasp.  The two grappled at the edge of the precipace.  "Jester, it's been nearly fifty years since you were my sidekick!  Let it go already!"
"You left me to die in Baron Schaudenfreude's collapsing volcano base!" yelled Double Jester.  "How can I forget that?"

This mirrors Sam Solo's complaint in Nemesis:

"We've all built things for you, over the years, from Bluejay's Anarchy computer to the rocket bike that I designed, to the dimensional portal that Kid Calculus was able to create.  All of your sidekicks building things to help you, and what have you done for us?  You've left us danging over the abyss."  He poked Grandpa in the chest; the man swung about above the alligator pit.
"I don't just speak metaphorically, either," said Sam Solo.  "Don't you recognize this pit?  It's identical to the one that Carnival Act suspended me over back in 1966.  You remember that, don't you?  I remember it very well.  Every.  Last.  Detail.
"I just wanted you to hear that before you die.  We all did."  He grabbed a remote control that dangled by a cord from a crane high overhead.  "Always remember, Grandpa.  We are your greatest nemesis.  And now, Mr. Anarchy, goodbye."
But I'd never actually killed a sidekick on screen, as it were.

Given that this was the very premise around which my story was based, I had to think very hard about whether I could actually do that and still have the story be funny, or whether I could find a way to not do it, without robbing the story of any impact.  But I do think I came up with a pretty good ending, so I'm happy.

(I set this story in another collapsing volcano base.  I should have Grandpa go on a rant about how many villains he's fought in collapsing volcano bases at some point.)

Grandpa Anarchy grappled with Baron Climate Change at the lip of a volcano.  Behind them, a steel platform extended back to  a warehouse-sized room, open at the end facing the volcano.  The ground shook.  Rocks crashed down.  The Baron, dressed in World War I flight leathers with thick goggles, cackled.
"Feel that, Grandpa?  My coal-fired, tar-sand oil burning nuclear supervolcano accelerator is at work!  Soon the world will be brought to its knees as volcanic gasses envelope the earth, triggering a mini ice age!"
"You fiend!" yelled Grandpa.  "Not if I stop you!"
High above on a warehouse platform, a young woman was tied up.  She had a green mohawk and wore a black Misfits tee shirt, ripped jeans and Doc Martins.  She yelled, "Grandpa, he's talking out his backside!  Get up here and help me!"
"I can't take that chance, Punk Rock Girl!" Grandpa yelled.  "The fate of hundreds of millions could be at stake!"
"Give me a break!  A, there's no such thing as a coal-fired, tar-sand oil burning nuclear supervolcano accelerator.  He's just throwing words together!  B, there's no way anyone could induce a supervolcano to erupt, and C, this tiny island does not qualify as a supervolcano!  He's got me tied to a bomb, so get your arse up here and rescue me, you old geezer!"
The Baron pinned Grandpa against the rocks.  His head and upper shoulders stuck out over the edge.  Far below was the yellow-orange glow of molten lava.  Grandpa's fedora began to smoke.
"I'm a little busy right now, Punk Rock Girl," Grandpa called out.  He kneed Baron Climate Change in the groin.  As the villain stumbled back, Grandpa scrambled to his feet.  His hat fluttered into the crater and burst into flames.
The Baron produced a weapon that looked like a cross between a blunderbuss and a brass pesticide sprayer.  It sprayed hot, oily soot into Grandpa's face.

I was actually hoping to finish a second story tonight, but I only got halfway through Most Dangerous.  I have a pretty good beginning for that one, but I don't know where the ending or punchline is yet.

One of these days I'm going to try and write three or four short stories in a single day.  ^_^  Gotta push yourself!

Anyway, Update!  2013 Writing Goal of writing one Grandpa Anarchy Story a week:

January 2013

Jan 19:  DarkFireDragonNinja  (begun several years ago)
Jan 24:  OmniGen Again  (begun Jan 23)
Jan 25:  Veteran of the Bone Wars  (begun Dec 30)
Jan 29:  Nemesis  (begun Dec 10)

February 2013

Jan 31:  Turncoats (begun Dec 8)
Feb 3:  There Ain't No Justice  (begun Nov 29)
Feb 5:  City of the Monkey God  (begun Nov 26)
Feb 7:  Future Me  (begun Jan 31)
Feb 10:  Roll of the Die  (begin Feb 10)
Feb 11:  Trouble Focusing  (begun, Nov 21, in theory)

I am well ahead of my Grandpa Anarchy story goal.  I really need to focus on my other goals this week.

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