Posts Tagged 'wilson'

Sneak Peek: Resistance

No, not the Muse song. The new story I’m working on! With class dialing down and with a semester that I’ve spent mostly writing-free behind me to recharge my resentment batteries, not to mention another story of mine getting published to boost morale, I’m trying this whole “writing” thing again. It’s been too long! Please share and enjoy this new taste of my (everyone’s?) favorite fast casual restaurant:

Clarissa watched Clarence trot back into the office with a smirk on his face as she stood in back getting a drink. She’d heard the proceedings and knew that Clarence had won, the Cleaners had lost. With their defeat, Clarissa felt the mantle land on her shoulders, the feeling that most people only feel in a ninth inning, a fourth quarter, or when everyone else has been shot in Counter-Strike.

“It’s all up to me,” Clarissa mumbled.

“Get back to work!” Clarence called out from the office.

Clarissa carefully set her cup of Diet Pepsi down and shuffled back up. It truly was up to her. The Cleaners would behave now for fear of their jobs. The teenagers that worked nights wouldn’t care, the kitchen crew wouldn’t notice, Denise didn’t question the authority of males, and Twinkie, well, Twinkie was obsessed with ornithology this week. That might sound impressive, but it was only an offshoot of his obsession with dinosaurs last week. Clarissa would have to be the hero. There was just one problem.

“I know you don’t like me,” Clarence had said when he called Clarissa into the office the day after his promotion. “You think I’m cruel. You think I’m downright evil.”

He’d started pacing across the office with his hands clasped behind his back at this point, and Clarissa dropped her face into her hand.

“That will change. You’ll come to understand my methods. You’ll even embrace them.”

He paused and looked at her. Clarissa sighed loudly and threw up her hands. “No, never,” she shrugged out.

“Oh, yes, and sooner than you think. I’m going to drive you crazy the same way I was driven mad,” Clarence said.

Since then, Clarissa’s morale had been sapped daily by her new job. She felt another little piece of her grey matter flake away as she pushed the button on the headset.

“Thank you for choosing Cliff’s, how can I help you?”


Almost Interesting

So, I’ve been busy of late. I had a peritonsillar abscess, which from what I’ve been reading usually results in antibiotics or surgery or death. I raw dogged it. So… I got that going for me. I also bought Dragon Age, which… hm.

I’m increasingly of the opinion that BioWare’s games are successful at presenting a gripping story that almost makes up for the fact that I’m playing a BioWare game. God, I know some people that last sentence would piss off. I LOVED KotOR until the final boss fight, where suddenly being without my team and without one very specific skill for Lightsiders meant that I simply couldn’t beat it. I tried three different times to like Mass Effect because I sank sixty dollars on it, but at the end of the day the horrible mechanics made me put it down. On the third try, it was when it took me more than a dozen tries to kill a boss, and the fact that on three of those tries, I didn’t even get to move because I got thrown around so much, or a crate dropped on me, or some other horrible occurance.

Dragon Age was BioWare’s big chance to redeem themselves, and for the most part, they have. It’s fun and engaging, but that’s also because it’s a big step back from Mass Effect’s failures. It’s also because Dragon Age is so closely based on your tabletop game systems that there’s less room for error. In fact, I only requested Dragon Age as a gift because I can’t get my failure friends to play D&D with me. I’d much rather do that as either a player or a DM than play Dragon Age.

The game is fun, however, and the story is interesting, and it feels like they’ve made a big improvement by not having gauges ala Fable or Mass Effect that track how good or chaotic you are. In those situations, the only tangible in-game rewards were typically for maxing out the meter one way or the other and it made more realistic, middle-of-the-road play seem useless. Dragon Age’s moral choices are strongly individual, but with long lasting effects. I like it.

The largest problem I’m having with the game is its buggy nature. I’ve had several occasions where quests bugged out, or switches didn’t flip to progress whatever was supposed to happen upon my entering a room or killing a certain enemy, and it’s annoying. Furthermore, while I was incredibly invested in the game and playing it nonstop for a while, enthralled enough to work on two separate campaigns, my main story has progressed to the point where the actual story and lore are winding down, and after spending a day away from the game I have no desire to play it left. BioWare has this dialogue tree and story stuff down. Now if they got together with a game company that made games, they might get somewhere.

Maybe if I keep bitching about things people love I’ll get famous. Might need to be funnier or talk fast, though.

I’m holding a conversation concurrently with writing this post. I think that’s how the word concurrent works. And as my girlfriend pesters offers entertainment for me via YouTube, I start thinking about how I really don’t like watching videos compared to viewing images or simply reading. And I think I may know why.

Growing up, I read and played video games. Sure, I watched TV, but my two biggest forms of entertainment were books and hand-me-down consoles from my grandpa. Both of these are extremely interactive forms of entertainment – videogames require actual input, whereas books require the reader to conjure sights, sounds, and other senses in order to perceive a scene. Then, in seventh grade, I was introduced to the internet, and what might be one of the most significant developments since the printing press – hypertext.

In short, the internet is hypertext. It’s what the first two letters in HTTP mean. Anyone who has ever had a wikipedia bender leading from Mystery Science Theater 3000 to Jean-Paul Sartre knows what I’m talking about. It is a very stream-of-consciousness, chaotic, and reader dominated. Video, however, is not. The pacing is set. Rewinding and rewatching is difficult for the same reason that voice mail is difficult when compared to text messages. You simply get the same problems again. There is no (little) way to slow things down without what really amounts to changing the product you’ve been given.

I, and countless others, grew up on hypertext. We fed off of it. I am not the only person that grew up on video games, then discovered hypertext at a formative point. There’s a generation out there that has grown up expecting to set its own pace and be able to explore in its own direction. Give it time. Maybe another 30 years, maybe another 10, maybe two. Hypertext will kill the video star.

On a marginally related note, if you thought the definition of art was tricky now, think of it once hypertext takes over.

In fact, I have an even cooler idea than this website. I should take everything about Wilson, every character, every setting, every plot point, and I am going to make a wiki of them. And I will call that wiki the primary text, and I will go “Behold! I have written a hypertext epic!” And the critics and high-minded literary snobs will kneel before me, for I have invented the future, and it is the wikipedia bender. And I will sell ads on the website to make money, and because everyone will come to the site and invent their own narrative, I will get impressions. And make millions. It isn’t just post-modern, it’s post-text. And I am the future of art and

…wait. In the internet version of that South Park idiom about the Simpsons, Penny Arcade did it first.


I decided to rework how I’m selling – and I use the term loosely – my works on Scribd. Instead of charging a buck a pop per story, which was the minimum I could charge and isn’t fair when actual books are like $10 each for a paperback, I’ve simply taken everything that belongs under the moniker Wilson, Wisconsin and tossed it together in one big living document, which is now for sale for $5.00 on Scribd.

Like I said when I first started ‘selling’ things – I have no expectations that people will buy this stuff. However, having a product for sale makes me feel like a real writer, and I like having a way for people to support my efforts. The fact that the catch-all document for sale has one and a half unreleased stories (one of which is still under moderate construction) that are currently unavailable on this site makes me feel like I’m offering some kind of carrot to those people. To the rest of you, do not worry. As soon as part one of the new stories is more finished, I shall upload it here for your reading pleasure, and the already finished part two with it.

Buy it as a gift for your friends, unless you want to keep them as friends.

Patch Notes – December 18

  • Changed the title of the story formerly known as Wilson, Wisconsin to The King of Pecatonica County. However, the story remains at its original URL until such time as I am willing to go through and update links. This was done to help avoid confusion between this story and the Wilson, Wisconsin project as a whole. In addition, whenever I lay and bed and fantasize about being a real author, I imagine this story as the first in a book and it’d need its own chapter/section title.
  • In the process of changing Clarice (from the Battle of Cliff’s Eatery series) to Clarissa. My proofreader, whose site I will link as soon as it’s up, said Clarence and Clarice was too confusing. I suggested Clarissa instead, and she said it was still too similar, but my mind was made up. My apologies, Stephanie.

Way Too Early

I meant to post this last night, but found myself distracted helping friends and roleplaying.

I’ve upgraded A Wilson, Wisconsin Holiday Special out of beta status after my proofreader found nothing wrong with it. You can find it in the usual places.

I’ve also added a box on the sidebar that allows people to become fans of this site and the Wilson stories on Facebook. I consider this awesome, and seeing on Facebook that someone became a fan of me is pretty badass in my opinion. Anyone reading this is welcome to do that as well.

That’s all the actual news. Now there’s just one anecdote.

Yesterday morning, I managed to get Dr. Feelgood by Mötley Crüe stuck in my head. As you can imagine, this was not a pleasant experience. Toward the end of the day I was simply praying to anyone out there to get it out of my head. There wasn’t much worse to get stuck in there.

Then, on the way home, Paradise by the Dashboard Light by Meat Loaf came on, and I knew how wrong I had been.

That is all.

Rough Cut: A Wilson, Wisconsin Holiday Special

Enjoy. It’s only what, six, maybe seven days late? The following’s complete in main content, meaning, et cetera. Mainly needs proofing and detail-adding. No, that’s not a word.

There was a layer of spray-webbing over the doorway, so Clarissa gently lifted it and stepped through into the darkened restaurant. Candles flickered about a foot apart down the entire length of the front counter of the store. A ghost hung on the wall, and the spray-webbing had been abused further on the interior with wispy strands hanging from nearly every corner.

In one distant corner, a pirate and a ninja stood discussing something quietly and chuckling. Clarissa waved, not remembering the names of the two nighttime-crew members. She quickly hurried past before they started talking to her and she was found out.

Next in line was Denise, standing quietly alone, seemingly oblivious to the fact that she was thirty years the senior of anyone else attending the Cliff’s Halloween party. Clarissa saw that her green-clad right arm was stretched upward and prayed the old woman was wearing deodorant.

“Hello, Denise,” Clarissa said, tipping her big red hat upward show herself more clearly in the dim light.

“Clarissa! Dear, you look… stylish,” Lady Liberty said.

“You too! You’ve certainly gained a lovely patina with age, and that look never goes out of style.”

“Oh, thank you, lovely girl.” Denise smiled, her teeth standing out in the black light.

“Anytime. However, since I’m not tired, poor, or huddled, I’m going to move along. Have more people to say hi to.”

Denise nodded, and Clarissa moved deeper into the restaurant.

Turning and heading back into the staff section, she found Clarence’s drive-thru section marked off with police tape and labeled CONDEMNED, which made her smile. Sitting on the counter past the tape, however, were Rorschach and the Comedian.

“Kevin, for the love of God, close that bathrobe!” Clarissa said, quickly averting her eyes before covering them.

The Comedian blinked and pulled his legs together. “I have underwear on! God! And… Clarissa, is that you?”

Rorschach would have looked stunned if his face had been visible behind the inkblot mask. “Holy shit. It’s Carmen Sandiego.”

Clarissa grinned, striking a dashing pose and tossing the straps on her trench coat loose, but there was no breeze for them to flutter in.

“From the Red Sea to Greenland they’ll be singing the blues,” the Comedian said.

Clarissa stopped and pointed at him. “No. Dammit, I had that song stuck in my head the whole time I was making the costume. Don’t you dare get it stuck in there again.”

“Fine. Can I plunder your treasures, at least? You already stole my heart.”

The master thief slumped. “That was so clever I’m going to throw up.” She summoned her confident stance back, then tipped her hat back downward and turned her back.

Past intertwined orange and black streamers was the storage room, where a half-dozen teenaged night- and weekend-crew employees huddled in a circle. One girl, dressed in as good a Paris Hilton costume as can be made without requiring antibiotics, had a flashlight pointing up from beneath her chin.

“So the boy runs all over his school, asking everyone about this picture of the girl in the red dress holding up a peace sign. But no one’s ever seen her before. And when he gets home, he asks his mom and his dad if they’ve ever seen the girl in this picture holding up a peace sign. And they haven’t.

“So he’s sad, and he goes to bed. At midnight, he’s awakened by this… tapping. He sits up, turns on the light, and looks around, but he can’t find anything. He looks at the picture of the girl on his nightstand, but it’s just the same, of course. He shuts the lights off, and goes back to sleep. But about fifteen minutes later, it happens again. Only this time, there’s soft, feminine laughter with it. And again, he turns on the light and looks around, but finds nothing.

“He tries to go back to sleep, but the noises keep coming, and he finally gets out of the bed – grabbing his picture of the girl in the red dress holding up a peace sign – and going downstairs and outside to look for whatever’s tapping on his window. There’s nothing there, but he hears a rustle in some bushes across the street and goes to look at it. But just as he’s crossing the street, BAM! A car hits him.

“The driver gets out of the car and goes and performs CPR on the boy, but it’s too late. He’s dead. But the driver notices the picture in the boy’s hand. He picks it up and looks at it in the light from his headlights. It’s a picture of a girl in a red dress holding up three fingers.

Someone screamed, and even Matt, the stocky football player, shook in his Spartan outfit. A couple kids tried to laugh it off. Clarissa shivered a bit. The flashlight was passed to the right, taken by a yellow, cupped hand that brought it to a rectangular body, where it shone up onto a large, cylindrical head with a peg on the top.

“It’s the near future,” the face on the round plastic head said. “The year 2015. And President Palin–”

At this, each person there screamed, and all of them bolted upright and out of the confined space, leaving Clarissa alone with the storyteller.

Carmen Sandiego looked down. “Hello, Twinkie,” she said with a smile.

The Lego minifigure looked up, smirking. “Hey.”

Show Me. Prove It. Demonstrate Your Goddamned Thesis.

I’ve been writing, and I can do all of the above. Aside from the little things you’ve seen me crank out of late, I’d like to present an early look at yet another new story. This one’s currently called A Dairyland Fairytale and is totally about a gay boy. If that doesn’t interest you, I don’t know what will.

Continue reading ‘Show Me. Prove It. Demonstrate Your Goddamned Thesis.’

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Header photo by David Reber's Hammer Photography. Many ideas and images copyright Blizzard.