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Chapter 7 of Verbolution, A Prose Original Series: Season Four - "Exalted Exit Exhale"
Written by A

March 10, 2014

        Call me A.

        I’m about to tell you several stories within a story.

        It’s March 10, 2014, Austin, Texas, SXSW, and I’m Airbnbing for the first time with a guy I barely know. His name is Jeff Stewart and he’s a professional writer. Arms entirely inked, avid dog-and-metal aficionado, amazingly talented author, the guy’s aura radiates pure passionate artistry, archetypally. He’s attending SXSW to promote a new book, I’m there to promote a new app. We drive to the convention center and make our way into throngs of technothusiasts. I’m somewhat sufficiently prepared, with a technology to demo and some cards to share. Jeff, meanwhile (wherein virtually everyone around us clings fiendishly to some supposedly state-of-the-art apparatus), is hauling a sack of book copies. We start networking with people. I get lost in the crowd. Then, a few minutes later, he finds me.

        “Let’s have a drink. Stop what you’re doing. I just had an idea I know you’ll love.”

        I’m down. “All right. Let’s do this.” We exit the building. “So what’s the idea?”

        “The entire social media experience – but the media content isn’t focused on updates, or on messages, or on images, or on videos, or on songs…”

        “…then on what?”

        “Writing. The entire spectrum of writing. All kinds, all sizes, all skills.”

        Suddenly my mind is taken back to the fourth grade, when I became obsessively passionate about, or passionately obsessed with, writing, and started writing poems and stories and novels nonstop for several years. Then puberty hit and, for me, made writing uncool and thus undesirable, so I fell out of touch with it until graduating from high school. Early in college, this rekindling led to founding a publishing company. My first taste of business and entrepreneurship then led me away, yet again, from my own deep, immense passion for writing and words. It had led me away for six long years. And now the spirit of writing was tickling my soul again.

        Next thing I know we are sitting in the Omni, sipping whiskey coke and eating chicken wings, talking about what Jeff is now calling “Prose.” We lose track of time. The conversation continues for hours and hours, until we realize that it’s 2am, we’re being loud despite trying to contain the excitricity, and our Airbnb host is probably disgruntled for that precise reason.

        I get back to Seattle from Austin and share Jeff’s idea of Prose with the board of my company, Arc Reactor, which specializes in growing technology ideas. We decide to build Prose and add it to our portfolio. We also decide to make Prose look and feel like a game, in subtle ways, through writing challenges and author leaderboards and the like.

        We launch our iOS app in September of 2014, and then our web app (theprose.com) in January. Several months later, our community is divided and frustrated, as an influx of middle schoolers have discovered Prose and spread the word(s) across campus. So we introduce Partners, Spotlight, and Portals to ensure better, more personalized and relevant content.

        Then, in December of 2015, we decide to experiment with a “$100 Challenge of the Week.” The experiment proves to be a success, informing us that we need to make Prose even more gamelike and rewarding. So we introduce Books, Coins, and Juice to let writers make money from their craft via purchases and donations for any kind or size of writing, from a haiku to a chapter to a saga.

        Now it’s February of 2017. We keep eliminating bugs in our code and polishing the Prose experience. We are focused on leveraging all this code that Z has written so we can share Prose with existing, relevant communities – such as writing sites, publishing houses, literary agencies, college classrooms, prison inmates, writers clubs, book clubs.

        Our mission is to help humanity live its intellectual and creative potential by constantly making the written word experience more social, fun, and rewarding.

Thank you for reading and sharing this story. I hope to read and share yours.

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Chapter 7 of Verbolution, A Prose Original Series: Season Four - "Exalted Exit Exhale"
Written by A
March 10, 2014
        Call me A.
        I’m about to tell you several stories within a story.
        It’s March 10, 2014, Austin, Texas, SXSW, and I’m Airbnbing for the first time with a guy I barely know. His name is Jeff Stewart and he’s a professional writer. Arms entirely inked, avid dog-and-metal aficionado, amazingly talented author, the guy’s aura radiates pure passionate artistry, archetypally. He’s attending SXSW to promote a new book, I’m there to promote a new app. We drive to the convention center and make our way into throngs of technothusiasts. I’m somewhat sufficiently prepared, with a technology to demo and some cards to share. Jeff, meanwhile (wherein virtually everyone around us clings fiendishly to some supposedly state-of-the-art apparatus), is hauling a sack of book copies. We start networking with people. I get lost in the crowd. Then, a few minutes later, he finds me.
        “Let’s have a drink. Stop what you’re doing. I just had an idea I know you’ll love.”
        I’m down. “All right. Let’s do this.” We exit the building. “So what’s the idea?”
        “The entire social media experience – but the media content isn’t focused on updates, or on messages, or on images, or on videos, or on songs…”
        “…then on what?”
        “Writing. The entire spectrum of writing. All kinds, all sizes, all skills.”
        Suddenly my mind is taken back to the fourth grade, when I became obsessively passionate about, or passionately obsessed with, writing, and started writing poems and stories and novels nonstop for several years. Then puberty hit and, for me, made writing uncool and thus undesirable, so I fell out of touch with it until graduating from high school. Early in college, this rekindling led to founding a publishing company. My first taste of business and entrepreneurship then led me away, yet again, from my own deep, immense passion for writing and words. It had led me away for six long years. And now the spirit of writing was tickling my soul again.
        Next thing I know we are sitting in the Omni, sipping whiskey coke and eating chicken wings, talking about what Jeff is now calling “Prose.” We lose track of time. The conversation continues for hours and hours, until we realize that it’s 2am, we’re being loud despite trying to contain the excitricity, and our Airbnb host is probably disgruntled for that precise reason.
        I get back to Seattle from Austin and share Jeff’s idea of Prose with the board of my company, Arc Reactor, which specializes in growing technology ideas. We decide to build Prose and add it to our portfolio. We also decide to make Prose look and feel like a game, in subtle ways, through writing challenges and author leaderboards and the like.
        We launch our iOS app in September of 2014, and then our web app (theprose.com) in January. Several months later, our community is divided and frustrated, as an influx of middle schoolers have discovered Prose and spread the word(s) across campus. So we introduce Partners, Spotlight, and Portals to ensure better, more personalized and relevant content.
        Then, in December of 2015, we decide to experiment with a “$100 Challenge of the Week.” The experiment proves to be a success, informing us that we need to make Prose even more gamelike and rewarding. So we introduce Books, Coins, and Juice to let writers make money from their craft via purchases and donations for any kind or size of writing, from a haiku to a chapter to a saga.
        Now it’s February of 2017. We keep eliminating bugs in our code and polishing the Prose experience. We are focused on leveraging all this code that Z has written so we can share Prose with existing, relevant communities – such as writing sites, publishing houses, literary agencies, college classrooms, prison inmates, writers clubs, book clubs.
        Our mission is to help humanity live its intellectual and creative potential by constantly making the written word experience more social, fun, and rewarding.

Thank you for reading and sharing this story. I hope to read and share yours.
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Challenge of the Week #58: You are a victim of injustice, write a story about it. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $150. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Chapter 6 of Verbolution, A Prose Original Series: Season Four - "Exalted Exit Exhale"
Written by A

The Social Contract Lawsuit

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Challenge of the Week #58: You are a victim of injustice, write a story about it. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $150. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Chapter 6 of Verbolution, A Prose Original Series: Season Four - "Exalted Exit Exhale"
Written by A
The Social Contract Lawsuit
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Challenge of the Week #57: you’re god; rewrite the creation story. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Chapter 5 of Verbolution, A Prose Original Series: Season Four - "Exalted Exit Exhale"
Written by A

In the beginning, I was.

        In the beginning, I was. Nothing more, nothing less. All numbers contained within the zero of my being, all words embedded in the blankness of my page. The emptiness meditation lasted forever, quite literally, since time did not yet exist - but then that silence was interrupted. I no longer simply was, for now, I felt. What did I feel? 

        Desire. 

        Desire to disrupt the nonduality and split myself into many pieces. In acknowledging the desire's existence, I experienced the notion of "notion" as such - of thought - and, consequently, the notion of "experience" as such. I desired to think of every possible experience and to lose myself in each one, only to remember, eventually, that I always am and am all that is or can be. Nothing is separate from me, for I am everything. So I started playing. 

        I started casting spells by coordinating my awareness, my feeling, and my thinking. The first thing that I created was light - a means to perceive. I looked at myself in the mirror of myself, in the form of a single ball of light. It had no size because there was no-thing else with which to compare it. I gave the ball a mind of its own, a mind with the infinite capacity to create, to sustain, and to destroy. Then I exploded the ball into quattuordecillions of smaller balls, each with its own unique tendencies, its own velocity and trajectory and creation-sustenance-destruction preferences. 

        I watched myself change, grow, evolve. I watched myself thrive and suffer, birth and kill, ebb and flow. And I eagerly but patiently awaited the moment - the frame of this film directed, produced by, and starring, myself - when what began as that tiny shard of ensouled light remembered that "it" was but "I," and so experienced the pure, perfect feeling of bliss, delight, that is the only reason why I chose to transform myself from nothing to something, from being to becoming, from creator to creation. 

        Do "you" not remember?

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Challenge of the Week #57: you’re god; rewrite the creation story. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Chapter 5 of Verbolution, A Prose Original Series: Season Four - "Exalted Exit Exhale"
Written by A
In the beginning, I was.
        In the beginning, I was. Nothing more, nothing less. All numbers contained within the zero of my being, all words embedded in the blankness of my page. The emptiness meditation lasted forever, quite literally, since time did not yet exist - but then that silence was interrupted. I no longer simply was, for now, I felt. What did I feel? 
        Desire. 
        Desire to disrupt the nonduality and split myself into many pieces. In acknowledging the desire's existence, I experienced the notion of "notion" as such - of thought - and, consequently, the notion of "experience" as such. I desired to think of every possible experience and to lose myself in each one, only to remember, eventually, that I always am and am all that is or can be. Nothing is separate from me, for I am everything. So I started playing. 
        I started casting spells by coordinating my awareness, my feeling, and my thinking. The first thing that I created was light - a means to perceive. I looked at myself in the mirror of myself, in the form of a single ball of light. It had no size because there was no-thing else with which to compare it. I gave the ball a mind of its own, a mind with the infinite capacity to create, to sustain, and to destroy. Then I exploded the ball into quattuordecillions of smaller balls, each with its own unique tendencies, its own velocity and trajectory and creation-sustenance-destruction preferences. 
        I watched myself change, grow, evolve. I watched myself thrive and suffer, birth and kill, ebb and flow. And I eagerly but patiently awaited the moment - the frame of this film directed, produced by, and starring, myself - when what began as that tiny shard of ensouled light remembered that "it" was but "I," and so experienced the pure, perfect feeling of bliss, delight, that is the only reason why I chose to transform myself from nothing to something, from being to becoming, from creator to creation. 
        Do "you" not remember?
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Chapter 4 of Verbolution, A Prose Original Series: Season Four - "Exalted Exit Exhale"
Written by A in portal Politics

The United Nations of Earth

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Chapter 4 of Verbolution, A Prose Original Series: Season Four - "Exalted Exit Exhale"
Written by A in portal Politics
The United Nations of Earth
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Challenge of the Week #56: Write the beginning of a story about a tyrannical king who threatens the entire realm. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Chapter 3 of Verbolution, A Prose Original Series: Season Four - "Exalted Exit Exhale"
Written by A

In the Hall of the Boy King

        "...but they believe that this is a democracy!" stammered his Majesty.

        "Your Grace, that is true, quite true, but that belief is being challenged."

        His Majesty grimaced smugly and turned away from the Royal Adviser. These subjects are more foolish than I had originally thought. They simply underestimate the power of a secret monarchy. It has worked over 100 years now, and I shall make it more effective than it's ever been. Just you watch.

        "Your Grace...?"

        "Yes?!"

        "My apologies, your Grace, but I said, what would you like me to inform the Master of Misinformation, with respect to this most recent uproar?"

        I really should have this imbecile executed. "Inform the Master that we are to proceed with our plan, as discussed, and that there shall be no pivots or compromises."

        "Of course. At once, your Grace."

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Challenge of the Week #56: Write the beginning of a story about a tyrannical king who threatens the entire realm. The most masterfully written piece, as voted and determined by the Prose team, will be crowned winner and receive $100. Quality beats quantity, always, but numbers make things easier for our judges, so share, share, share with friends, family, and connections. #ProseChallenge #getlit #itslit
Chapter 3 of Verbolution, A Prose Original Series: Season Four - "Exalted Exit Exhale"
Written by A
In the Hall of the Boy King
        "...but they believe that this is a democracy!" stammered his Majesty.
        "Your Grace, that is true, quite true, but that belief is being challenged."
        His Majesty grimaced smugly and turned away from the Royal Adviser. These subjects are more foolish than I had originally thought. They simply underestimate the power of a secret monarchy. It has worked over 100 years now, and I shall make it more effective than it's ever been. Just you watch.
        "Your Grace...?"
        "Yes?!"
        "My apologies, your Grace, but I said, what would you like me to inform the Master of Misinformation, with respect to this most recent uproar?"
        I really should have this imbecile executed. "Inform the Master that we are to proceed with our plan, as discussed, and that there shall be no pivots or compromises."
        "Of course. At once, your Grace."
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Written by A in portal Poetry & Free Verse

Yours Truly

        Properly, Shakti novelly and navelly shocked his majesty, Shi, furiously forcing an utter apostrophe on Lakshmi out of sheer spontaneity. Chi mastery. Quite the achievement. After all, the season of pure being gets plain and boring; needs some seasoning. The reasoning theistic: Don't go ballistic on me yet as Indra's Net's net output's equivalent to the past, present, and future tense. You are tense because this succinctly said sequence seemingly means that previous divine glory wasn't so vehement and relevant as initially read in that story. But fear oblivion to psychic dyslexia as it may swiftly lead to hungry-ghost -level anorexia. Take a breath of fresh jiva and please remember yours truly,

        Shiva.

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Written by A in portal Poetry & Free Verse
Yours Truly
        Properly, Shakti novelly and navelly shocked his majesty, Shi, furiously forcing an utter apostrophe on Lakshmi out of sheer spontaneity. Chi mastery. Quite the achievement. After all, the season of pure being gets plain and boring; needs some seasoning. The reasoning theistic: Don't go ballistic on me yet as Indra's Net's net output's equivalent to the past, present, and future tense. You are tense because this succinctly said sequence seemingly means that previous divine glory wasn't so vehement and relevant as initially read in that story. But fear oblivion to psychic dyslexia as it may swiftly lead to hungry-ghost -level anorexia. Take a breath of fresh jiva and please remember yours truly,
        Shiva.
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Write drunk. Post sober.
Written by A

blackberries

are miniature grapes

just like broccoli

are miniature trees,

and holy shit

does

that

make

them

taste

better

thing is,

they go along better

with beer

than with wine

and

I don't know why

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Write drunk. Post sober.
Written by A
blackberries
are miniature grapes
just like broccoli
are miniature trees,
and holy shit
does
that
make
them
taste
better
thing is,
they go along better
with beer
than with wine
and
I don't know why
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Chapter 2 of Verbolution, A Prose Original Series: Season Four - "Exalted Exit Exhale"
Written by A in portal Philosophy

The Budget Continues

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Chapter 2 of Verbolution, A Prose Original Series: Season Four - "Exalted Exit Exhale"
Written by A in portal Philosophy
The Budget Continues
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Chapter 1 of Verbolution, A Prose Original Series: Season Four - "Exalted Exit Exhale"
Written by A in portal Philosophy

Elemental Air

        Breathing is a metaphor of life. 

        Inhale. The moon waxes. Summer approaches. Life renews. Exhale. The moon wanes. Winter approaches. Life decays. Sometimes, breathing is difficult. Sometimes we hyperventilate out of panic. Other times, breathing is pleasurable. Sometimes we rise to savor each breath, savor the subtle pleasure each inhale and each exhale yields, a pleasure more pure and real and satisfying than any drug synthesizable.

        The space in between breaths is the space in between life's ebbs and flows, the unified field, the nothingness that encompasses anything and everything all at once. 

        Feel it.

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Chapter 1 of Verbolution, A Prose Original Series: Season Four - "Exalted Exit Exhale"
Written by A in portal Philosophy
Elemental Air
        Breathing is a metaphor of life. 
        Inhale. The moon waxes. Summer approaches. Life renews. Exhale. The moon wanes. Winter approaches. Life decays. Sometimes, breathing is difficult. Sometimes we hyperventilate out of panic. Other times, breathing is pleasurable. Sometimes we rise to savor each breath, savor the subtle pleasure each inhale and each exhale yields, a pleasure more pure and real and satisfying than any drug synthesizable.
        The space in between breaths is the space in between life's ebbs and flows, the unified field, the nothingness that encompasses anything and everything all at once. 
        Feel it.
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Write the first 50-100 words of your new song. When this challenge expires, record and upload it to YouTube and/or SoundCloud, including the link to your post and #prosesoundchallenge
Written by A in portal Music and Rap

Portlandia Theme Song Remix

I’m from Cascadia.

Been savoring me some evergreen mania.

Serendipity

got me feeling like Narnia.

Take a knee

since I do pardon ya.

‘Cause President Bizzle just isn’t

so simple.

Justice is more than a principle.

The principal of this School of Rock

is a geek and a freak and a jock

not at odds with all odds.

I spit it pretty raw,

a really hot dipping sauce.

I dip my paw

into a potent potion,

some Edgar Allen poems.

Yeah you know it?

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Write the first 50-100 words of your new song. When this challenge expires, record and upload it to YouTube and/or SoundCloud, including the link to your post and #prosesoundchallenge
Written by A in portal Music and Rap
Portlandia Theme Song Remix
I’m from Cascadia.

Been savoring me some evergreen mania.

Serendipity

got me feeling like Narnia.

Take a knee

since I do pardon ya.

‘Cause President Bizzle just isn’t

so simple.

Justice is more than a principle.

The principal of this School of Rock

is a geek and a freak and a jock

not at odds with all odds.

I spit it pretty raw,

a really hot dipping sauce.

I dip my paw

into a potent potion,

some Edgar Allen poems.

Yeah you know it?

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5
2
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