Thursday, September 24, 2020

Writing Update Sept 24 2020

 I wrote a blog post on August 13.  I never posted it.  It was a bit rambling and incoherent, because I was trying to figure out how to get my story the Return of Sally Stardust off the ground -- to figure out what the central plot of the story was, and how to introduce it at the beginning.  But at the time I hadn't figured this out.

I wrote another blog post around the first week of September.  I also never posted this, but I felt it was a much better explanation of my struggles on my story, and I really felt like I'd solved the key to making the story work.  I liked that blog entry, even though I didn't post it.  I meant to, but then I started working on other stuff and even though I was certain I'd figured out how to write my story, I didn't actually write it.  Just the blog post.

...which I can't find now.  Either I didn't save it, or I  saved it under some weird name in some random folder that I can't remember.  It's not where it ought to be.  I do vaguely remember saving it with whatever default name popped up based on the first line of the text file.  But I can't find it now, it's lost.

Part of my problem is that I tend to write more at work, on my breaks, but I'm no longer able to view or update my blog from work as the company decided to block web access to blogs.  For some reason I have a hard time bringing myself to do these things when I'm at home.  I think I wrote my second blog post at home, late at night, but... can't find the file now.

Anyway, here's everything I've done since July:

For Camp NaNoWriMo in July, I finished X stories:

403  Miss Trinity  finished 7/5
404  Pillar of Light finished 7/8
406  COVID Warrior finished 7/10
407  Robe and Wizard's Hat  finished 7/12  (working title was Balrog)
408  Asylum  finished 7/13
405  Fox Con  finished 7/15
409  It's Complicated  finished 7/16

410  University of Hard Knocks finished 7/18

411 To Punch A Hitler  finished 7/19

From July 20th, through all of August and into the first week of September, I was working on the Return of Sally Stardust.  Along the way I added a lot of background lore in an attempt to understand my characters better.  I did a lot of writing but I don't have a great deal to show for it at present since my story still doesn't have a completed opening scene.

From the first week of September up until this week, I was trying to work on my A Bomb In Heaven cycle of stories.  This is a group of related stories with an overall theme/plot that I started last year.  I have about 20 or so completed stories, but I still haven't finished the cycle and wrapped things up.  In any case, I reworked the first several stories and I wrote a new "interlude" that is not finished, and... that was about it.

This past week I decided to go back and work on regular one-off Grandpa Anarchy stories, which for whatever reason are much easier for me to do.  I've completed two stories this week and I'm working on another titled Micronations.  My two completed stories:

412  Internet Villains  completed 9/21

413  Indestructible  completed 9/23

And... that's what I've done with my writing the past three months.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Camp NaNoWriMo July 16

So far this month for Camp NaNoWriMo I've written approximately 11,000 words and finished 7 stories.  To date:

403  Miss Trinity  finished 7/5
404  Pillar of Light finished 7/8
406  COVID Warrior finished 7/10
407  Robe and Wizard's Hat  finished 7/12  (working title was Balrog)
408  Asylum  finished 7/13
405  Fox Con  finished 7/15
409  It's Complicated  finished 7/16

Currently working on:

University of Hard Knocks:  I wrote about this story in June.  I've added to it, but it's not an actual story just yet.

To Punch a Hitler:  I should be able to turn this into a story, there's a lot already written.

New ideas:

Boy or Magic:  I saw someone on Twitter talking about a trope that strangely does not appear in TV Tropes (yet) -- that of the (most often) female character having to "give up" magic in order to find true love.  Most often found in stories about magical girls who have to give up their magic when they find a boy to have a relationship with, but also encountered in other stories where young women have to give up whatever makes them special in order to enter into a relationship with a man.  Often this is portrayed as a noble sacrifice or a testament to how strong their love is, but the man never has to give up anything.  See:  Arwen in Lord of the Rings, and to a lesser extent also Éowyn.

I don't have a specific story in mind for this but I agree that it's a stupid trope and magical girls should not have to give up their magic for love or as a transition to adulthood, and I wanted to write a story that specifically dealt with this trope.  And why is it not listed in TV Tropes anyway?

Mission Briefing:  An old idea/old story file, built around the idea that you would not brief people on a mission until you're already in the helicopter on the way to the mission.  Because they do that in the movies all the time and it makes no sense whatsoever.

Infinite Dojo:  After I wrote Miss Trinity I decided that there is now a sub-basement below the Anarchy Cavern that Grandpa does not yet know about, set up by Glory Ashes and Annie Two.  This includes the manufacturing facilities where the various Annie robots were built, a base of operations for several magical girls including Little Morphin' Annie, possibly gateways to a magical girl base in space and perhaps the base of operations for F8Wasp and Amelia Bloodraven, possibly a resurrection station run by Glory Ashes for her own use; and of course the Infinite Dojo -- which at first I imagined as a dojo with mirrored walls and ceilings, but then I also imagine robotic sparring partners, and possibly other "danger room" style additions.

I don't have an actual story in mind for this yet, but at some point Grandpa is going to find out about it.  Also, I have plans for Glory Ashes to team up with F8Wasp and Amelia Bloodraven to form some sort of super group of their own.

Micronation:  I want to write a story about how many micro nations run by villainous dictators there are in the Grandpa Anarchy world.  Hundreds of them, I assume.

Indestructible:  Based on an idea that popped into my head while rereading PS238, I want to write a story about an entire superteam of "flying bricks" or as they put it in the PS238 universe, "FISS" heroes (flying, invulnerable, superstrength, superspeed).  At the moment this team is called the Indestructibles of Miami, although nothing is set in stone.  I imagine each gained their powers a different way -- one is a god, one is magically cursed, one is a mutant, one was exposed to cosmic radiation or somesuch.  Because they all have the same powers, they are actually quite easy to game plan against.

All About You:  I'm not sure this even qualifies as a story idea.  It's just the idea that super villains such as Kid Calculus see themselves as superior to everyone else.  Grandpa Anarchy does not think this way.

Sunday, June 28, 2020

June 2020 Writing Update

I haven't updated in several months, and that's because I have written very little in the last several months.

Magical March -- I managed about four stories I think.  I continued to try and write on these stories throughout April and May without much success.  In June I finally decided to switch and write some regular Grandpa Anarchy stories, and also I started posting to my Grandpa Anarchy Blog again.  Things have gone slightly better.

Stories I have written this month:

Disposable - Grandpa must contend with a sidekick whose entire goal is to be the girl whose death motivates Grandpa enough to defeat the villain.  This is a play on the stereotype of a disposable love interest/sidekick/friend who serves no other purpose in the story except to die and advance the plot.  Of course, death is not permanent in Grandpa's universe, but he still objects to having his sidekick die just as a plot device, even if it's been done before.

Loopholes - Grandpa objects to cheap tricks to resolve seemingly impossible situations -- such as "no man of woman born can slay me" and the hero was born by cesarean section so somehow that works.  All the while, Grandpa employs the same sort of cheap tricks when it's convenient.

Stories I've been working on:

Balrog - I got this idea while rewatching Lord of the Rings (obviously).  The idea is that Death Medal summons a Balrog, and then geeks out about it because he's a Tolkien fan and just thinks it's really cool.  I haven't actually got a plot or a joke/twist ending for this one yet, but it was very easy to imagine the scene and the dialog and I'm sure I can come up with a way to make it work at some point.

Fox Con - This is a story about a Chinese security company soliciting to install a security system for Grandpa's mansion.  Of course, there's a Chinese tech villain involved.  This is a story I've had on the back burner for a long time, and I think I could make it work but in a way it feels too similar to Punch 'Em All.

Spanish Restoration - with the recent news of yet another botched art restoration in Spain, I thought, what if there were a villain behind all of these botched restorations?  My first idea was a villain whose entire goal is to deface works of art by "restoring" them.  My second idea was some sort of demon who possesses people and does this, which explains the woman who defaced Ecco Homo for example.  My third idea is maybe it's a villain who can bring these botched painting restorations to life so that Grandpa has to fight Monkey Christ.  Anyway, I don't have a fully-fledged story idea for this yet.

To Punch A Hitler - I've written quite a bit on this one.  The idea is that every May 8 Grandpa Anarchy becomes depressed because it's Victory Day in Europe, and he never got the chance to punch Hitler in the face.  He's punched Hitlers from various other timelines, he's punched Hitler's brain in a shark, he's punched all sorts of alternative Hitlers, but he failed to punch our timeline's Hitler in th face and it's one of his greatest regrets.

My biggest problem with this particular story idea is that it's all setup, and I don't have a satisfying punch line yet.  However it did give me an opportunity to explore more of Grandpa's comic book/film history, including the realization that there was a black Mr. Anarchy in a 1970's Blaxploitation film called Funky Anarchy (black Mr. Anarchy got to punch Hitler, of course).

University of Hard Knocks - This is a dialog between Grandpa Anarchy and the villain Idiot Ball about whether villains are born or made.  Idiot Ball naturally subscribes to the theory that he was forced to be a villain, that he had no choice.

I don't actually know where this story is going at the moment but I liked the idea of including this sort of discussion in the middle of a fight.  I think this stems from some podcasts I listened to which explored the idea a bit.

Pyramid - The idea is that a villain is running a create-a-villain pyramid scheme or "Multi-Level Marketing" company, which is code for it's a pyramid scheme but it hasn't been proven in court yet.  ^_^  Possibly this is a create-a-hero pyramid scheme, I haven't worked out the details yet.

Pillar of Light - Having just watched Suicide Squad, I noticed that they also use the famous "pillar of light" trope that you see so often in fantasy/sci fi/superhero/horror movies.  I need to write at least one Grandpa Anarchy story that involves one of those.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Magical March?

I had a very productive January and February, but March has not been productive at all.  I spent the last part of February and the first part of March trying to work on my Sally Stardust stories, and those went nowhere.  Then I realized it was "Magical March", when artists on the internet are challenged to draw a magical girl for each day of the month, working from a list of themes.

I tried to write a magical girl story for each day of the month of March 2018, using the same themes.  Ultimately I didn not quite finish, but I managed stories for nearly every day of the month, and I planned the last few and then didn't write them.  There was a big event story near the end that combined everyone in one massive adventure, and I wrote that but I knew that it was poorly written, so I never published it and planned to rework it, but never did.

Nevertheless, I decided to try again.  Like last time, I planned to do this late -- around March 4th or 5th, several days into the month.  Then I failed to get anything done right away.

The thing is, I still like the idea, and I really want to include some of the real-life stuff that's been happening lately with the COVID-19 outbreak and world events.  I like the idea of writing a story a day, that is meant to be happening on that specific day.  As an example, today's theme is "Beach" and young people doing spring break at the beaches despite calls for social distancing has been in the news, so that's a subject to insert into a possible Beach-themed magical girl story.

On Sunday I managed to write my first two stories.  I figured if I could continue to write a story a day, or even two stories a day, I'd eventually get to the end.  But I've finished nothing since.

Part of the problem is that we're very busy at work.  I'm one of two people in my department who are still coming to work, which means we handle more phones, and I had already committed to working a couple of extra hours in the evening on Monday and Tuesday each week, and it has either left little time for me to write or get into the mood to write, or at least it's been a convenient excuse to avoid writing.  So... so far I've only written the two stories, and it's already 20 days into the month.  And next month is Camp NaNoWriMo, which I was hoping to use to finish my fanfiction story Nerima All-Stars.

But I'm still positive and think I can get on top of this somehow.  It's just one story at a time, you know.

I also did not post anything to my story blog last week, and haven't done this week either.  I'll probably try to post something by this evening though, I have a lot of stories from this year to post.

Friday, February 28, 2020

End of February

I don't have much of an update this week.  I didn't get a lot of writing done.  I edited my story Sally Stardust Is Dead, and I couldn't decide on the composition of a couple of paragraphs, and I fiddled with it but eventually posted it for better or worse.  Sometimes I think it's the best of my Eve stories, other times I feel like it's one of the most problematic.

My other big accomplishment for the week was to start a story that I eventually decided to call the Return of Sally Stardust, or the Resurrection of Sally Stardust.  I've got a lot of ideas for it but at the moment no completed scenes.  And I sometimes think how I feel about my other story affects my desire to actually sit down and write this one, or the two that follow.  :/

One idea for the story is that I want to progress the relationship between Eve and Amaryllis, and have them conceive a child.  In Amethyst this is done through the use of a plant called a wombflower, so neither of them will be pregnant.  Then I decided that, at the same time, Eve's partner Muriel would become pregnant -- which is a thing that her species does asexually, through parthenogenesis I think the term would be.  I want Eve to finally read a bit about Muriel's race and realize how little she knew about her partner -- they are not actually very human-like normally.

I also want to explore other divisions of the 5E government wing of the Eieio Empire.  It makes sense to me that there is at least one alien military division similar to the space babes, but where the members are not humanoid at all.  Maybe like sentient rock creatures or floating psychic wooden monuments, something very abnormal to earth life.  Something as strange as a sea cucumber, you know.

My second idea for this story is that the company which produces the Girls of Two-Fisted Justice cartoon want to do an episode with Eve and Muriel in it, and they've hit upon an idea where, since Eve looks like an old cartoon character named Sally Stardust, they went out and bought the rights to that character and even want to talk Eve into maybe changing her name legally to Sally Stardust.  Which is a weird idea but I did write up a background history of the character and where she came from, and I want to include some of it in the story somewhere.

Since neither of these ideas presents a lot of drama I thought I should manufacture some sort of fight or conflict to actually drive the story.  When I thought about what kind of villain might show up, I thought of the Space Thralls.

I wrote a story called the Ring of Hanubatum a couple of years ago, and this involved Grandpa Anarchy's two great granddaughters, on an adventure through space and to the fairyland of Amethyst.  Along the way I established some things that had happened in the past but which I'd never written into a story -- Elsie McDaniel is a princess of Amethyst, so she's been there more than once (she was there when she was about six in my story Return to Amethyst) and Kelli Nova is a junior member of the Space Babes.  Both girls are descended not only from Grandpa Anarchy, but also from the Nova family which founded the Space Babes -- and also from the heroine Hellfire Lass, who was Grandpa's wife and their great grandmother.

In order to explain some of this, I created a backstory of a dramatic event that was unwritten which involved an invasion of Amethyst from Space Thralls -- trolls from space -- which were repelled by members of Grandpa's supergroup along with the Space Babes and with the help of at least Kelli Nova.  Afterwards a space station was set up over Amethyst, which I've used in several other stories including Sally Stardust is Dead.  I presume the steampunk Space Babes space station over Amethyst is heavily defended against any new Space Thrall attack, and so I thought, what if the Space Thralls try to attack through our universe first?  They'd encounter Eve and Muriel.

I had an idea that maybe the king of the Space Thralls would fall in love with Eve on sight and try to make her his bride.  I dunno how far I want to go with that -- I don't really want to make Eve a damsel in need of rescue, although having Muriel and/or Amaryllis rescue her might be fun.

Anyway, as I said, I have a lot of ideas and it sometimes seems that I have an entire story if I assemble everything in the right order, and I suspect that maybe the heart of the story should be about whether Eve want to marry Amaryllis, which may mean Eve wants to remain as she is after her tour as a Space Babe.  Also, perhaps part of the conflict is Muriel deciding to remain humanoid because her child is born as a humanoid child?  I dunno.  They could retire to a farm in Amethyst or something.

All of this caused me to reread the Ring of Hanubatum, which has some problems because I figured out the backstory mentioned above as I was writing the story, and Kelli acts completely oblivious about Amethyst despite the back story saying she's been there before.  Also Elsie's stuffed dragon talks to her in the first scene, and never again. There are a lot of inconsistencies.  I need to rewrite it a bit, which I always knew.  I want to revisit these characters who are young heroes but whose parents are against heroes and adventures in general.  I have to figure out how they come to terms with being heroes despite their parents wishes.

All of which made me think that I should really go back and write the unwritten story of the Space Thrall invasion.

So basically, I want to work on Space Babes Are Easy and You Can Be Sally Stardust, but I came up with a prequel to work on first called the Return of Sally Stardust, and then I came up with another prequel to this and the Ring of Hanubatum called... well, Space Thrall Invasion for now.  And then assuming I can write all of these stories, I may also write a sequel to Ring of Hanubatum.  I think I already have one partially plotted actually -- The Devil and Miss Elsie.

I didn't write much this week, but I plotted a lot I guess.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Third Week of February 2020

Friday I finished my story Them Rats.  On Thursday I only had a vague idea of how this story would go -- it involved the villain Holy Terror, and I wanted to include a lot of the background on Glory Ashes, Grandpa's current sidekick.  I had no plot.  But by Friday morning, I'd figured out how the story should go, and it came together pretty well.  In fact, I finished it so quickly that I thought to myself, "I have time to work on my other story idea, The Strangulator."

Of course, this didn't happen.  Even when I think I have plenty of time to write more than one story in the same day, I get that one story done and then I'm simply not in the right mood or frame of mind to write more.

I did not write much of anything on Saturday or Sunday, but Saturday was Writer's Night at Gene and Michael's in North Seattle.  I read Them Rats and people liked it quite a bit.  I got some suggestions for minor tweaks, which I immediately incorporated.

Sunday I planned to work on The Strangulator, but instead I watched two movies.  One was Snow White, the other was Frozen.  I have a plan to watch all of the Disney princess movies, and to that end I've also recently purchased Cinderella and the Little Mermaid.  I think I am still lacking Sleeping Beauty, Alladin, and... Mulan?

Anyway, inspired by Snow White, I suddenly imagined Grandpa Anarchy with a similar magic mirror.  He stands before it in the morning and says, "Mirror, mirror above the bureau, Who's the greatest superhero?"  A few sarcastic replies occurred to me.  I really liked this, and envisioned it as a short joke scene in some other story, with no real explanation of where he got the mirror or what he planned to do with it.  But since I had no particular story to put it in, I wrote it down and saved it as its own file called Magic Mirror.

Monday I woke up, and I knew exactly how the entire Magic Mirror story should go.  I wrote the story that day.

Tuesday I woke up and I knew how to transform The Strangulator into a complete story.  This one I struggled with for most of the day, but in the end it pretty much came together the way I'd imagined it in the morning.

Wednesday I woke up and I knew how my story about the robotic butler Wilfred 2.0 should go.  I wrote most of this on Wednesday, and then finished it up Thursday morning.

I have to say, complete stories don't just spring into my head.  I have to be actively thinking about these things beforehand.  But I'll have some setting or scenario and I'm trying to imagine how I can transform it into a story, and then at night my subconscious steps in and says, "This is how you should do it!"  So it's a byproduct of me trying to figure these things out in the back of my head already, but it still feels magical when I just wake up and the solution to my problem just presents itself to me.  ^_^

I wrote 13 stories in January, and so far in February I've written 11 more:

2/2 A Clown in a Clown Store
2/2 Death By Clown
2/7 The Tutu of Lully
2/9 Banavatar
2/11 The Emancipation of Philip Dos
2/12 The Seeker
2/13 The Luckiest Human
2/14  Them Rats
2/17  Magic Mirror
2/18  The Strangulator
2/20  WIlfred 2.0

Also, WIlfred 2.0 is story # 400.  This numbered list includes 17 unfinished stories or skipped numbers, so technically I have not written 400 stories.  My numbered unfinished stories/skipped numbers are:

037-040  World of Hero (novella -- book 2)
103  Second Class (novella -- book 3)
161  Oz on the Half-Shell (novella -- book 5)
173  Patron of the Arts (book 5)
174  ?
177  (non-existent Christmas story)  (book 5)
190  Meanwhile in Zendeth Sector  (book 6)
370  Girls Will Be Girls  (book 12)
371  Tsundere  (book 12)
372  A Bomb In Heaven  (book 12)
373  Ancient Cosmic Evil  (book 12)
375  Space Babes Are Easy  (book 11)
376  You Can Be Sally Stardust  (book 11)

By this point I think I've written enough stories to make a complete book 11.  What I want to work on now is finishing some of these unfinished stories.  I think that's my next goal -- but it's a big goal, because three of these are novella-length and the stories in book 12 might as well be one giant novel, so the ending is particularly hard to get right.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

February 13 Update

On Sunday I completed my Banana Split story.  I retitled this Banavatar.  I am also considering Bananavatar and Avabanana (suggested by Chuck).

Tuesday I completed my Android Head of Philip K. Dick story.  I retitled this the Emancipation of Philip Dos.

At this point I was feeling several things.  I had introduced a new sidekick named Glory Ashes, but had revealed none of her backstory -- it didn't really fit into what I was writing.  I really wanted to write one or two more stories with her in it so I could get the chance to explore her backstory which is far more elaborate than my typical sidekick.

I was also feeling a little burned out on the gender bender tropes that were a part of both stories, because I know I've written too many stories like that and I kind of feel like that's not meant to be the focus of my Grandpa Anarchy stories and I've been overdoing it.  So I felt a little depressed, like I was writing stories that most people wouldn't want to read, and I should try something different.  I began work on an old story called Fox Con, which I had decided to transform into one of my stories with Glory Ashes in it.

But then Tuesday I went back to Book 1 and finished a "fill in" story that I had "plotted" quite a while ago.  I say "plotted" in quotes because my entire plot consisted of "John Haggard shows up for some reason".  2-3 years ago I'd planned out these stories involving Circuit Girl -- who I'd built up as one of Grandpa Anarchy's best sidekicks ever, but she had never actually appeared in any story.  So I created three stories to slip into my first book that would give her some background.  Two of these I wrote right away, but the third one, called Jack really was only the idea of a story.

However I managed to come up with an idea and flesh out the full story.  I retitled it The Seeker.

So at this point (yesterday) I was feeling much better.  I'd written an old story I'd planned to write a couple of years ago; it was meant to be for Book 1 and was the only incomplete story in that book, and now I began to think I should concentrate on finishing up other unfinished stories.  I have a few which are numbered and placed in books as if they're complete stories, but they aren't.  Usually I know what major event is supposed to happen in that story, and so it needs to be there, for reasons.

So naturally Wednesday night I came up with two completely unrelated story ideas -- although both involve Glory Ashes, and one sort of takes the place of what I was trying to do with Fox Con.  I was watching some music videos before bed and in the back of my mind was this bit of dialog about heavy metal bands that are strongly visual, and because of this I had to watch some Babymetal, some Band-Maid, and then some Ghost.  And while watching Ghost videos I realized that I really needed to write another story involving the Holy Terror, a villain who kind of looks like Papa Emeritus in his evil pope getup.  I really like this villain a lot, and I've only used him twice.  Before I knew it, I'd plotted half of the story in my head.  I titled it Them Rats.

I've also had another song stuck in my head recently -- Let Me In by MC Chris, the nerd rapper known best for his Star Wars rap Fett's Vette, but I like Let Me In better.  It's the story of they Ghostbusters character Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) and opens with his prophecy about Gozer the Traveler:

Gozer the Traveler. He will come in one of the pre-chosen forms. During the rectification of the Vuldrini, the traveler came as a large and moving Torg! Then, during the third reconciliation of the last of the McKetrick supplicants, they chose a new form for him: that of a giant Slor! Many Shuvs and Zuuls knew what it was to be roasted in the depths of the Slor that day, I can tell you!

So that's been stuck in my head for a couple of days, and this led me to create another story file initially titled Gozer the Traveler, but this morning I renamed it The Strangulator.  My idea is to have a Ghostbusters-like invasion, because I'm not sure I've done that yet.  This story also includes Glory Ashes of course.

So -- naturally after deciding to work on old stories, and then creating two brand new story files... I completed a different story today.  I've been working on a story called Manineko or Lucky Neko, and this is one of those stories that I'd been very down on Tuesday evening.  I came up with a very complicated backstory for how the regeneration vats that Grandpa and Dark Dr. Dark and the New League of Two-Fisted Justice use work, and it was far too complex to fit into a story, and I was trying to build a joke based on something that could not be quickly explained or understood.  So I wrote down all of my ideas and set them aside, and in the morning I realized that I didn't need to explain things much at all and I also came up with an entirely different ending that made more sense for where the story had been going originally.  So I finished it today and retitled it The Luckiest Human.

But I numbered Them Rats and The Strangulator first, because I want stories involving Glory Ashes to come before my next story involving a different sidekick.  So once again I've numbered two stories that aren't finished yet.  But I think I can finish these two fairly quickly.

Stories for February:

2/2 A Clown in a Clown Store
2/2 Death By Clown
2/7 The Tutu of Lully
2/9 Banavatar
2/11 The Emancipation of Philip Dos
2/12 The Seeker
2/13 The Luckiest Human

Working on:  Them Rats and The Strangulator.

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

First Week of Feb 2020 Update

On January 2nd I listed several story ideas I planned to work on.  Of those, I've finished Arachnope, Punch 'Em All, and my Ahmguh story (renamed).  I also listed a story file named No Politics that I've done nothing with, and another new story file called Grandpa Anarchy 2020 that I've failed to develop.  Sometimes that's how it goes -- I jump from idea to idea, and as long as I'm finishing something at some point, it's all good.  And some of those ideas I fail to work on weren't really much of an idea anyway.

On January 10th I talked about splitting an old story into five:  The Name Game, Disco Inferno, Dancing Queen, Hot Stuff and Get Down Tonight.  The last two of these have yet to be finished.  (And while we're at it, I've poked at another old story called [for now] Jack.  It's supposed to fit into book 1 but it's not finished either.)

On January 16th I listed more stories I was working on:  The Android Head of Philip K. Dick, The Earth Is On Fire, and Invictus.  None of these are finished, but I've worked on the first one a bit and I believe it works as a set of two stories with my android butler idea titles Wilfred being a follow-up story.  As for The Earth Is On Fire, this was one of those "I had a vision of how this story should go" things where I really failed to write down much of anything, so there's not a lot to work with at the moment.

Stories I was working on on January 27:  The Great Brain Robbery (finished), Fear of a Clown Planet (finished), Manekineko or Lucky Neko (not finished) and My Gun Is Sharp (not finished, I don't even remember what I was doing with it.)

Over last weekend I finished up my "clown" trilogy.  I numbered A Clown in a Clown Store as story 389, Fear of a Clown Planet is 390, and Death By Clown is 391.

Since then I've been working on several new ideas.

Banana Split:  (This story is very much a working title.)  It occurred to me last week that I really needed to write a new story about the Eternal Order of the Second Banana.  I wrote about them way back in story 067 Brothers and Sisters, and the Second Banana Strike Force has appeared a couple of times.  The Eternal Order is a secret society of former sidekicks, run mostly by the Electric Bluejay and his associates (who also run the temporary sidekick agency).  The strike force is a secret paramilitary wing of the order... basically a collection of heroes who are available to help others but mostly work behind the scenes, rather than as a public hero group.  Also, they tend to have a revolving cast of agents.

The strike force was featured in story 093 Banana Also Rises and the secret order bar is the setting for two other stories, 281 Time Trip and 284 Hurricane Punch.  These are tall tales about Grandpa Anarchy as related by the Electric Bluejay, and I always intended to write at least one more but I didn't come up with anything.

The Second Banana Strike Force also appears in an unfinished novella, Second Class, which involves the expansion of the Black Moon Maidens supergroup.  Largely because of this story and a a later group of stories involving the formation of a magical girl supergroup, the Shoujo Alliance of Frosthaven, the strike force is down several powerful heroes.  Former members Spirit Summoner Shaman Sally, Microbat, Tsunami Lass and the Ritzy Cracker are members of the Black Moon Maidens, and Shaman Sally is also a part-time member of the Shoujo Alliance of Frosthaven.

This leaves me with five known strike force members:  Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Sixteen Tons, Dog Is My Copilot, Cell Site Girl and Aquakinetic Lad.  The first two are basically muscle or military types; Dog Is My Copilot is a secretary and a pilot, for the most part (also a decent investigator); Cell Site Girl is a communications support character, and that leaves Aquakinetic Lad as the only true super-powered operative.

So... a story about new members joining the society and the strike force seemed in order.  I put together a list of sidekicks that had appeared in the last 60 or so stories (working my way back through Book 11 and Book 9) and then considered which of these would actually be useful to the group.  I create a lot of joke sidekicks who are not strictly useful and/or could never be expected to have long hero careers.  But I came up with the following:

The Glass Cannon, a young woman who fires powerful force bolts.

Alice Liddell, a version of Alice In Wonderland who wound up following Grandpa Anarchy back to our world.  I always meant to do more with her, but never did.  I imagine she has some knowledge of magic and/or possibly can teleport between worlds.

HighSis, a character who is kind of a parody of Isis from the 1970's show The Secret of Isis (she smokes marijuana in order to transform).  Although kind of a joke character, she appeared in three stories and is actually quite powerful, in the same way the Isis character is powerful.

Kitty Kitty Bang Bang, a catgirl who is an expert gunslinger.

Wings of Liberty, a half-falcon woman who I still have yet to write in her own story (but she appears in another story with Black Dahlia, before she becomes Grandpa's sidekick).  She can fly and would have sharp taloned feet.

Ex Habitu, a character with a dress that can produce any type of weapon.

Furious Bandersnatch Boy, who can transform into a powerful humanoid monster.

Escape Goat, who is an escape artist in a goat costume.

Spyro Gyros, who gains powers when he eats gyros sandwiches.

Boy Ballerina, a boy in a ballerina outfit.

Of this group, The Glass Cannon, HighSis and possibly Wings of Liberty most fit the bill for operatives who are super-powered, I think.  Possibly Spyro Gyro as well -- I haven't really codified his powers in a story yet.  In some ways the last three on the last are joke characters, but I decided to include them anyway.  Boy Ballerina is like a young, male Nina Ballerina, a kid who tries to combine martial arts with ballet moves.

The Tutu of Lully:  I was working on this Banana Split story when it occurred to me that Boy Ballerina's inclusion might be strengthened if he found some sort of supernatural aid to make himself stronger and more effective (and, perhaps, more like a classical ballerina in appearance).  I also thought that Spyro Gyro is going to have a much harder time finding a gyros sandwich in a fight than Popeye ever did finding spinach.  What if he came up with a magical amulet of some sort that summons food?  (Specifically, gyros sandwiches).  This evolved into a story idea I've been working on since yesterday, which is currently titled the Tutu of Lully, which obviously I need to finish before I work on the Banana Split story.

UPDATE:  Over the last two days of the week I managed to stitch together a complete story for The Tutu of Lully.  Right now it's overly long and I probably need to trim and tighten it, and I'm not sure I like it, but at least it reads as a complete story now.  I cropped a bunch of dialog and background information and stuffed them into a new story called:

Tea For Tutu:  Well I mean, what else would I call it?  This title suggests a non-traditional wedding ceremony between Ballerina Boy and Spyro Gyros to me (one involving tea?)  I also thought up some stuff that leads directly from The Tutu of Lully into Banana Split, so this might form a trilogy depending on how these stories wind up being written.

University of Hard Knocks:  At some point last week I was also trying to come up with a new story involving the villain Ichabod Berelli, aka Idiot Ball.  He's a kind of Kingpin criminal mastermind who has only ever appeared in a single story.  I listened to a Villains podcast about Kingpin, and it gave me ideas, but I only got so far on the story before jumping to other things.

Hellfire and Brimstone and Transhumanist:  Sometimes I come up with long bits of writing that don't fit into the story I'm working on.   These are two such files; one is a long section about Hellfire Lass, detailed information on how she got her powers, a lot of which never made it into that story, and the other is a section of villain dialog that did not fit into Fear of a Clown Planet but which I still like.

It's Complicated:  While listening to an Imaginary Worlds podcast about villain plans and how often movie villains especially have plans so complicated and convoluted that it's nearly impossible to figure out what they were hoping to achieve or why (see:  Lex Luthor in Batman vs. Superman), and I decided that a story with that kind of plot would be fun.  Something that was such a mess that Grandpa gives up trying to oppose it because he has no idea what the villain really wants, and the villain has almost zero chance of achieving it.  I created a new story file based on that idea.

You Will Destroy Us All:  Along the same lines, I wrote down a few bits of dialog based on the idea that the hero always tells the villain he's crazy.  What if they're being serious?  Like, the villain really has mental problems?

I'm not certain that one is an actual story plot, but anyway, I created a file.

Friday, January 31, 2020

January 2020 -- Accomplishments

My goal is to write a new story a week.  I actually completed 13 stories for the month:

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
1/24/20  The Great Brain Robbery
1/29/20  Fear of a Clown Planet

I also read Oulipo Blues at writer's night and later rewrote the ending, and I rewrote the ending for an old story Idiot Ball (see below).

Stories I worked on this week:  I completed Fear of a Clown Planet, and I plotted (mostly in my head) a prequel and a sequel.  Fear of a Clown Planet takes place in the middle of a clown apocalypse, and the villain Bofforma III does not appear in it, so I wanted a story that explained how he was unleashed again, and another where Grandpa takes him down.  Neither is absolutely required but it would make for a nice mini-trilogy, assuming I write them sooner rather than later.

I also worked on a new story called University of Hard Knocks.

Way back in probably 2014 I wrote a Grandpa Anarchy story about a villain named Idiot Ball.  This was my attempt at an underground criminal mastermind along the lines of Kingpin.

An idiot ball is a television script writer reference, where a character acts dumb or out of character in order to move the plot along.  They have the idiot ball that week.  I remember very much wanting to create a villain with this name just because I liked the phrase, but also I think I wanted to name the villain 8-Ball as a first choice, and that name had already been used.  Idiot Ball was my next choice.  My eventual explanation was that my villain, whose name is Ichabod Berelli, runs a company called IB Enterprises and the company logo is a black billiard ball with the letters IB where you would put the number 8.  He makes reference to tossing the idiot ball to Grandpa Anarchy, but he doesn't like being called Idiot Ball himself.

...yeah.  So that whole villain name/concept doesn't work that well -- a very smart villain with the name Idiot Ball.   But he was a big underworld boss like the villain Kingpin, and I managed to write a story with him in it.  Conveniently titled Idiot Ball, my story had a very lame ending because I wrote up to that point without knowing how I was going to end it, and for once nothing came to mind.

Although I liked this villain, I didn't use him again.  I think at best I referenced him in one other story.  But recently I was listening to a podcast about real and fictional crime bosses, and they did one episode about Kingpin, the Marvel villain.  This gave me some good ideas and bits of dialog for a story involving Mr. Berelli / Idiot Ball, so I created a new story file, then went back and reread my old story.

One thing about this story, I always imagined it being set in Seattle.  I had to think about why this was, because Grandpa Anarchy operates in a fictional town called Frosthaven NJ.  But I realized this story was written so long ago that I hadn't really decided where Grandpa Anarchy was based yet.  In any case, nothing in the story actually says where it's set, so I can easily pretend it's set in Frosthaven.

At this point I have several powerful businessmen / villains in Frosthaven, each with their own major company.  Julia Judas and her brother run Omnigen Corp.  Melodious Jackson Magoon runs MJM Enterprises.  The Electric Bluejay (Jay Medberry) and his associates run Temporary Superfriends and the Eternal Order of the Second Banana.  And, of course, the mayor of the city is former villain Judge Doomhollow.

IB Enterprises is one that I had forgotten about, and/or not considered that it was based in Frosthaven.  I need to do a write-up on this company I think.  Also, while I'm thinking about it, some of my previous sidekicks should join the Second Banana order, and maybe the strike force.  I've removed several of their key members, they need to be replaced, and there might be a good story in that.

In any case, I reread the story and was appalled at how badly it ends.  Grandpa Anarchy runs out of options with Mr. Berelli, confronts him but can't come up with a way to pin him for any crime, and as an act of desperation he punches him in the face.  There's no twist ending, it's not really that funny, it was a terrible ending.  Last night as I was about to go to bed I came up with a better ending, so I got up and rewrote the end of the story.  My new ending isn't maybe the most brilliant ever but it actually works as an ending I think, so I'm satisfied.  I feel like I've written two stories this week, even though one of them was simply fixing a really old story.

I do want to use Mr. Berelli in a couple more stories.  He could be a good villain for Grandpa.  My new story file that I created yesterday is titled University of Hard Knocks, and I want to try and work on that one.  I still have two more clown stories in mind, and my other stories I was working on including the one about Philip K Dick's android head, and one about a possible android to replace Grandpa Anarchy's old butler Wilfred.

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.


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)
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

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)
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

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)