Sunday, November 25, 2007

Update, Late 2007

A reminder that I need to dive in on the following:

~Untitled college superhero comedy/adventure

~Untitled horror set in abandoned mental asylum

~Tales of Earth Omega (tentative): Superhero epic with a dark twist. It's actually taken a surprising turn, as I've completely overhauled the villains, making them something I hadn't considered.

~One Year In College (tentative): Whittled the time frame down to one year, which I believe will be 1988. Still going to be told in short story chapter form, with a song list for each chapter. I've been lax on my Strip Generator version of the story.

~Dead Run: The zombie epic has received a few new characters, and several "prologue" short stories. Several twines move along to one string.

~Untitled comedy about working at Disney in 90's, although I may need to make it an entirely fictional theme park. This is still a fresh idea, and luckily, I've been running into old friends from that time on the 'net. Lots of embellishment to make it more dramatic, but most of the events will be based on real stuff.

~Untitled horror in the Silent Hill/H. P. Lovecraft vein about a town that I've based on the town in which I grew up. I always thought it was a place that "sucked you in." Still pretty fresh; I've got the atmosphere and setting fairly down.

Time to let the Idea Machine loose.

Friday, June 15, 2007

On The Docket

More motivated in recent days. The writer's block is eroding; so now it's mostly writer's logjam.

Mmm. Jam.

So, working on the following in various forms:

≈ A new part comedy, part superhero epic with characters based on my real-life college roommates from the 80's - brand new idea that may have been around subconsciously for a few years.

≈ Horror story set at an abandoned asylum - I plan on reflecting a little on my love for abandoned places and their horror fiction potential at some point.

≈ The huge superhero epic taking place on Earth Ω - this one keeps getting bigger and bigger, and has undergone seemingly countless overhauls.

≈ The 80's comedy, semi-autobiographical in nature, about my life and adventures at Central Michigan University - This one has taken on new life in comic strip form at Strip Generator. There are limitations, but it's carrying through the deadpan spirit of the stories, while the actual collection of short stories will be more fictional embellishment. There's a scene in the winter that never took place that visually would be pretty nifty, for example.

≈ And don't think I've abandoned the zombie epic. Yeah, zombie fiction is everywhere. I've already written a script (done in 1996), and the longer story will be based on that. The events in the script will be stretched out a little more, and will be only a small part of the whole focus. I agree with Robert Kirkman that zombie fiction is less about the gore and repulsion, and more about the human condition in the face of an impossible crisis. Read Max Brooks' fantastic World War Z for a very deep look at this notion.

≈ I could jot something down about my years working at Disney World, and my years behind the scenes in independent wrestling. Plenty of stories with each that could be a fun read, but those are far behind in the line right now. Both would be straight-up comedies.

Music + easy lighting + comfortable chair + notebook + pen = writer's block gone

Thursday, April 19, 2007

I Hate This

I have writer's block. My brain actually hurts with the dumb. No amount of music or fantasy is stirring up anything worth writing. I squeezed out one paragraph for "The Dead Run." I can't even get started on the comedy set in the 80's. The comic book script is all over the place. This blog about writer's block is the best thing I've written tonight. I don't want to play any games; I remember what Brian K. Vaughn answered when I asked him how he gets over the block, and he said, "Writer's block is just another name for 'video games'." I like the idea of writing through it, but I don't want to sacrifice quality. Wow, even this old chestnut from the Scorpions, "When The Smoke Is Going Down," from a formative time in my life, can't snap me out of it. I might as well chalk tonight up as "blocked" and try again tomorrow.

I still hate this.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Inspired in part by a dream I experienced the morning of 3-21-07. The setting and situation is the same; otherwise, the rest is fictional embellishment. Enjoy.

He chose the second floor because he thought it would be safe. It was close to ground level in case he needed to make a hasty getaway. The night was supposed to be quiet, and that was such a rare thing. Finding a room on the second floor, behind a railing right above his stolen pickup truck, was his idea of good planning. Twenty-six hours without sleep and the meager contents of a potato chip bag may have colored his decision with a haze. It seemed like such a good idea at the time.

Now they were at his door. He could hear them behind the frame, brushing against the wall, touching the doorknob. The chain lock swayed lightly in its roost, making a slight tapping noise. Metal on treated wood. How did they know he was there? He had been quiet. He didn't turn any of the lights on, instead using his lighter to cast a weak glow so he could find the bathroom in the night. Still, they had found him. All the precautions, and they found him.

Since the dead were once again walking the Earth, feeding indiscriminately on living flesh, he had never known them to be able to climb stairs.

He checked his pistol and steadied himself, then prayed they hadn't learned to open doors as well.

© Dod March 2007

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Running From

This exercise was inspired by a man I saw running down a sidewalk on Boardman Avenue in Traverse City.

It had been cold for days. Not just the usual cold that besets a northern state, but one that grows teeth and steamrolls in from the frozen wastelands near the Arctic Circle. I had lived in this area for so many years, I'd grown accustomed to feeling the icy-crisp air pour into my lungs with each breath. This winter was the worst I had ever seen it. It was below zero every night, and single digits every day. Derelict cars sat powerless in parking lots throughout town. People huddled against the cold, hunched over and layered thick in coats. It was a chill to the bone no warmth could fix.

I had taken to the habit of visiting the library every Thursday, trying to absorb a book every seven days as a way of keeping myself out of the blustery winter. My ancient car lurched in the arctic air, laboring for every turn of the belt or firing of plugs. The heat barely worked, seemingly defeated. It didn't just feel cold outside -- it looked cold. No sun, a gray sky, and endless clouds that dumped thick, wet snow everywhere. Spring was a world away, and summer was a world ago.

I saw the man just after turning onto the road leading to the library, crimson down coat stark against the drab white. His head was covered with a paltry stocking cap, and blue ski gloves covered his hands - at least when I could see them clearly. He was running, and running hard. It wasn't the steady, disciplined run of someone enjoying it or benefitting from the exercise. It wasn't the lazy jog of someone simply in a hurry to get out of the freeze. Unlike a true runner keeping his arms close to streamline the body, his arms were out, as if elbowing his way through an unseen crowd. His stride was erratic, steps out of rhythm. Even covered in the coat, I could see his labored breathing. Breath appeared and quickly whisked away, just as erratic as his pace. As I passed him, I caught a glimpse of his face: drawn out, mouth open, and eyes bugged wide. Then I knew that this was the run of someone afraid. No, not afraid. Terrified.

There was no one around him. He was alone, but he kept looking over his shoulder. Behind him was the intersection I just came through, and beyond that a darkened treeline leading into a forboding patch of woods known for housing transients and the homeless. I swore that, over the sound of my poor engine, I could hear him shrieking. Even now, I tell myself it was the wind somehow whistling through a torn seal on my window.

What had he seen back there? Why did he now hurtle down the barely-cleared sidewalk, running with such a fearful motion that whatever he feared was perhaps directly on his tail? The snow blew from drifts surrounding him on either side and for a moment - one moment - I saw something. Something large and unwilling to be seen. Something used to the shadows and not ready to be revealed by a running man in a crimson down coat.

I didn't stop. I stared straight ahead, and drove past the library. I was shaking. It was cold outside, and there was a chill no warmth could dispel.

I keep telling myself it was the cold.

© 2007 Dod March

Saturday, February 10, 2007


Just a little about this place, this Institute...

The only drama published here will be fictional. I'll use this place to exercise my writing muscles, keep them limber. I might relate my thoughts on a piece I'm working on, or the lesson plans I incorporate into a classroom.

Any fiction or nonfiction I publish here will be mine, and copyrighted as such. You'll see the familiar © symbol along with my name after each piece.

I've got other places for other topics, such as MySpace and LiveJournal. This is for writing, and this Institute needs to be open.